Sunday, May 15, 2016

Intellectuals and Absurdity

Recently I posted this quibcag, an Orwell quote, which I recommend for your use when dealing with aspergy types who make assertions that violate common sense. It might soften the blow to refer to them as "intellectuals" this way. I refer mostly to absurd trendy social ideas, like that of one's gender being whatever one says it is, that you can import millions of Middle Eastern Muslims into the middle of Christendom and there will be no problems, and that every shortcoming of nonWhite people can be explained away as the result of White racism. That was really all I had in mind, the fact that intellectuals (or pseudo-intellectuals) are completely open to ignoring their lying eyes and assert trendy ideas that are completely unsupported by any evidence, and, in many cases, are even disproven by heaps of evidence. Indeed, many of them take pleasure in asserting absurdities, and then remarking that those who disagree are ignorant or stupid of something of that sort.

But as I said here once before, just about every bad thing is a perversion or excess of a good thing, and this is no exception. Matt Bailey set me straight on that, and the second quibcag is his reaction to the first.

Of course. One of the powers of the well-developed intellect is its ability to consider the possible truth of things that at first glance, seem to be in violation of common sense. What Matt points out here is one of the principles of Einstein's relativity, as I understand it, and while it has been proven to be true, and is universally accepted now, it remains in violation of one's knee-jerk common sense. It's to Einstein's credit that he followed logic to such a conclusion, and didn't let his common sense scare him off.

It didn't start with Einstein, of course.At one time, it seemed obvious to just about everybody that the Earth was flat, but observation and logic led to another conclusion that is now accepted by everybody.

Other ideas that no doubt seemed crazy at first were the germ theory of disease, evolution by natural selection, the curvature of space, and many more. You've probably thought of some others while reading this.

Again, as Matt points out, the problem is with intellectuals (or, again, pseudo-intellectuals) who get a kick out of making counterintuitive assertions that have not been proven and are probably false — most counterintuitive ideas are incorrect, after all — partly for their shock value, and all to often because said assertions are politically correct. and I know you can name a heap of those.
Matt Bailey read the above and responded, expanding on the theme:

An interesting point is that our society has effectively tested some liberal ideas over the last 100 years, come up with conclusive disproving evidence, and liberals have chosen to completely ignore this evidence. For instance, our societal experiments have absolutely proven that Asians are intellectually equal or slightly superior to Whites. Now liberals SHOULD be saying "Well, since Yellow does at least as well as White in the country these days, "White privilege" must not exist." Instead they just handicap Asian kids on Ivy league university admissions, these "anti-racists" apparently think too many Asian kids are being admitted. Meanwhile, out of every single human who has run the 100 meter in under ten seconds, only one has been non-Black, and Chris Le Maitre only recently and barely broke through that barrier. The modern liberal looks at all this and says "race is a social construct!"
Quibcags: The first is illustrated by "Sensei" of Denkigai no Hon'ya-san (デンキ街の本屋さん?, lit. "The Electric Town's Bookstore"). The second is illustrated by Marika Kato on her bicycle (the wheel and its rim, get it?), who, counterintuitively enough, when she's not being a schoolgirl riding her bike to school, is the captain of a space-pirate ship. You can learn more about her at Bodacious Space Pirates (モーレツ宇宙海賊パイレーツ Mōretsu Pairētsu)


  1. that you can import millions of Middle Eastern Muslims into the middle of Christendom and there will be no problems
    No, they realized they had to replace Christendom with the culture of death first.
    Sanctuary cities invite them in. Here in the high plains they are unwanted and there is push-back. As there is in Russia.

  2. Philosophy has been for a long time been doing this. They take a proposition that sounds good but is doubtful how true it is. But then you agree because at first it sounds good. Then they derive from that something which is obviously not true but still can be derived from the initial position. At that point the logical thing to do would be to throw out the initial position. But that is not what philosophers do. They say instead that they have proved the final position.

  3. Social policies based on abstract ideology are almost always harmful. It's easy to come up with ideas that sound good, as long as you don't have to compare them to real evidence. That's the root of the wishful thinking that is destroying our society -- wishful thinking peddled by people who often know better.

  4. I wanted to add that the intellectual problem comes because the software programs [idea he learned in college] that one absorbs when young get solidified into hardware as he gets older. They get hardwired.