This is a politically biased article, yet there’s food for thought in it. He speaks of the “cognitive miser”:
“I really can’t emphasise enough just how important this concept is…the trajectory of the 20th Century makes a lot of sense when you look at it from the perspective of the cognitive miser. Simply by weight of numbers, it is he who determined the course of 20th Century history and has been its motor. Nazism, Socialism and Liberalism were harmless ideologies as long as they were confined to the parlor discussions of the philosophers. Cultured people saw the ideas for what they were and rejected them, their fertile ground, however, was amongst the cognitive misers, i.e the people.
Historians tend to think that the average man is swayed by ideas when in reality he is swayed by emotion. Fascism and Socialism appealed less to the mind than to the blood…democracy elevates the unthinking man into a position of power. It is therefore no surprise that when the wise and considered are pushed aside, governance ceases to be a considered subject but becomes an exercise in mob power in pursuit of the satiation of its hindbrain appetites.”
So, in his view, people are thick. Seems to me it’s a case of what the person’s background is and how left or right brain.
When you look at the design of, say, planes or boats, physics and logic must rule first, although tempered by emotion in the sense of beauty in the design concept. Left and right brain work in harmony.
French designers can be too much one way – some came up with a variable geometry multihull – it broke up. They came up with Hydroptere, with which to conquer the speed record. As part of this design, poetic arms spread from the main hull and tapered to a beautiful point at the floats – it was a beautiful craft.
It broke up at the weak point where it tapered. One cannot, under those circumstances, design just to beauty.
A yacht is deemed beautiful if it has long overhangs and curves. Actually, those long overhangs, though reducing wetted area, also reduce waterline length and therefore possible speed. Also the craft pitches forward and backward and rolls in seas.
The author refers to another aspect – creative versus destructive:
What separates us from the cognitive misers is that we … do — distinguish between a creative process and a destructive one.
Conservatives seek to create and preserve things that create or preserve, and destroy things that destroy. Liberals seek to create or preserve things that destroy, and destroy things that create or preserve.
There’s an issue of terminology there.
For a start, today the mainstream is Political Correctness, the origins view is Evolution, the societal model is socialist federalist, with an elite above dictating to the plebs below. A conservative, in that sense, is one who would seek to preserve the pace of destruction, as many of them do in the face of our backlash.
That is – the new conservative is he who has embraced the Narrative some time back and part of that is to close the mind to other ideas, indeed to ridicule them, he’s encouraged to as part of the Narrative itself [post to follow later today on climate] – reject or bypass, ignore ideas such as responsibility, decency, initiative, common sense, sanity – in favour of “fairness, equality, discriminating against the indigenous [positively in their eyes], elfansafeteee” etc.
Part of the Narrative is being puffed up and overweening, part of it is rank dishonesty, masquerading as all good things.
In fact, some minds, for example those embracing feminism, can be so closed they actually quote back verses such as Matthew 7:6, about pearls before swine – hell, I never even knew of that verse, whereas the quoter had it at the fingertips ready.
Some others accuse the thinker of overweening arrogance. There was a rugby series here some decades back when the NZers were accused of overweening arrogance.
Wayne Shelton accepted they were brusque, uncultured, brash but took umbrage at arrogant. “We NZers are far too self-effacing for that.” If there was any arrogance, it came from the game they’d developed on the field, involving a lot of hard work.
Punctuating the article [let's get back to the topic] is the very thing the Narrativists do – he talks about what he’d put a red pen through. Pardon me but as an educator, that makes me see red. Blindly putting red lines through other people’s work is the Wikipedia way:
|The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (December 2010)|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.|
Pardon me again but who the hell is the person who decided to uglify this article with his or her personal assessment? Who authorized that? Jimmy Wales? Where are that person’s bona fides by which we can judge if he is qualified to put those lines through?
Remember that scene in Amadeus where he comes upon the musikmeisters putting lines through the music and discarding what they considered should not have been in there?
Years ago, I was invited to contribute a post on China at a large blog. I was amazed to get back an email that she was “an editor”, i.e. she had a grammar app she used which pointed out deficiencies and she blindly followed that. Often I’ll go ungrammatik like for effect but her programme was happily cutting swathes through my text and throwing out the critical bits. As you can gather, that exercise got precisely nowhere.
The beauty of blogposts and even online news these days is the ability of the readers to comment and far more sense is often found in comments, among the dross. Thus, a commenter comments on the author’s contention:
I think what the author is getting at — certainly what I’m getting at — is that since there is always going to be an elite, I would much prefer an elite that knows it is elite, and knows why it is elite, and behaves accordingly. This can be perverted, of course — noblesse oblige becomes droit de signeur — but for the most part, an aristocracy that knows it is an aristocracy keeps the worst excesses of the mass in check. Our modern aristocracy becomes aristocratic by means of those excesses.
The redeeming feature of that person, whether you agree or disagree, is that he thinks first before putting brain into gear. Cogito …
Remember Python’s argument room?
M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
O: Well! it CAN be!
M: No it can’t! An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
O: No it isn’t!
M: Yes it is! It isn’t just contradiction.
O: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!
M: Yes but it isn’t just saying ‘no it isn’t’.
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it ISN’T!
One thing the Narrative-infected do is what Gladstone claimed to do [quoted in Lord Riddell, Some Things that matter, 1927]:
I absorb the vapour and return it as a flood.
Fine but to be taken seriously, he must first show how he came to that flood in the first place. What was the research or thought process which led him to that? The climate change people came at it armed with graphs and hockey sticks and it was time and opposition which finally put paid to it. To listen to the Warmalists though at the time, The Wisdom was theirs for the disseminating.
And there was a whole lexicon employed to prevent anyone from critically examining it.
It took a lot of science to put that straight so someone bowls in now to WUWT and says “man-made global warming” and it is most frustrating. It takes painstaking reference – over and over again – to get that unthinking person who came in claiming that to actually look at the available data.
Quoting Matthew 7:6 is appropriate in that case but WUWT would not do that, would not say that – he’d throw yet more stats at the person saying it.
Sherlock Holmes, to Watson who had admonished: “Surely that’s rather fanciful, Holmes,” received the reply of two cases in support of Holmes’s contention, with Holmes adding that he would pile example after example on Watson until it was acknowledged. Bullying? Maybe but bullying from a strong position. Not just automatic gainsaying by emotional response. If you were going to argue with Holmes, you had the facts and figures, the instances at the ready.
And so on and so on … we could go on all day.