Monday, October 02, 2006

The Idiot Cycle

The OH and I had a discouraging dinner conversation the other night with some individuals espousing the problems of Global Warming. I do not disagree with the position, but what was annoying was that these people were quoting "sound bites" as though they were a complete picture of the problem, its causes, possible solutions and ramifications. The OH typically has a lower tolerance for this crud than I do but managed to keep me from committing a social faux pas by calling these idiots, "ignorant sluts"*

Sadly, I think we see more of this than would be ideal for a healthy society. People who form rock hard opinions on topics based on inadequate data. It seems to be especially prevalent among Hollyweird types**

Is epistemology dead?

*Dan Ackroyd from SNL
** OK, you all knew I had to take a shot at Tom Cruise! *L*


Åsa said...

Maybe it’s better to at least know a little than totally ignoring important issues. However “form rock hard opinions” this way is not so clever. When is ever a rock hard opinion ever clever though? (note to self)

Why do people read the Cliff Notes instead of reading the book? So much is lost in the sort version: you miss the opportunity to form your own opinion and make conclusions that can help you in life. There isn’t enough time to dig deep into all interesting issues. I thought college was the time people had time for research, but after that – who knows. You’d think your dinner party would enjoy hearing other points of view to learn more. Isn’t that what we all strive towards: to learn more?

You are right though: not ideal for a healthy society.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Oh yeah. Most of these people have no idea what they're blathering on about. For instance, Cruise is not at all bright - never could get past a year of jr. college, failed priesthood, but ohboy! Is he ever the expert on any and everything! Good thing that he's got our backs, huh?

Ed Abbey said...

I blame it on the decline of reading and the increase of soundbyte television. Most of my peers have never read a book for pleasure and certainly not to learn about a subject of which they are ignorant. I'm afraid the younger generations are even worse.

Senor Caiman said...

I ordered an idiot cycle off e-bay and the instructions were so poor I couldn't put it together.

Balloon Pirate said...

People who form rock hard opinions on topics based on inadequate data. It seems to be especially prevalent among Hollyweird types
On the other hand, at least they acknowledge that there is a problem. Perhaps greater ire should be directed to the assclowns in whe White House, who have access to rock-solid information, but instead hire political hacks to fill scientific positions in the government, in order to throw confusion and doubt into places where none exists in the minds of scientists working on the problems.

And I'm not just talking about global warming here.

Epistemology is not dead. At least it's not confirmed dead. It's just been arrested and detained without warrant, and has possibly been sent to a torture camp somewhere in eastern Europe.


Liz said...

Everyone seems to look for the short cuts. It is like they tune into Jay Leno for the news.

Old Man Rich said...

Ignorant slut them and social faux pas be dammned.

Now I've got to look up epistemology. I'm too old for new words damn you!

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

you make me smile.


sage said...

was it Ackroyd on SNL that asked "Is epistemology dead?" Of course, a more fruitful discussion is the limits of epistemology based on the amount of information available and how much of it can be processed... but in the end, if you can't say it on a bumpersticker, you'll have a hard time selling it to John Q Public

Chrissie said...

I wonder what we would talk about at dinner? LOL

I think I would fall short on MANY topics you and the OH would choose! But I would at least have an open mind and prolly learn a thing or 12!

jj mollo said...

You should count to ten and remember that this is what we have to work with. The solutions to our problems will come from the people who populate the planet today. It would be nice, however, if Hollywood folks were able to recognize the limits of their expertise. They have an exaggerated impact on public opinion and an exaggerated opinion of themselves. Scientists, unfortunately, are often the exact opposite. What we need are more sales people who understand the problem. Al Gore is the best we have so far, but that's only one man.

jj mollo said...

Now, if only we could get Hillary Clinton to come out and say that Global Warming was hogwash. Then every conservative talking head in the country would suddenly see the light.