September 15, 2008

do want to destroy the world">Maybe "corporations" do want to destroy the world

In his recent book, cognitive scientist George Lakoff described a problem endemic in the American left; they act like the public is rational, and that this rational decision making takes place (largely) at a conscious level. Of course we know this isn’t the case.

In a recent lecture, Naomi Oreskes, an historian of science, described the wily, “big-business” forces in America who befuddle the minds of non-scientists. As a result, many laypersons think sentences like “there is no scientific consensus regarding global warming” or “evolution is a theory in crisis” are true. The lecture, which analyzes the former instance of the problem, is online, and I’ve posted the link below. It’s insightful and educational, and made me a little less skeptical of conspiracy theorists on the left. (Reading PNAC publications did that too.)

The moral of the story is that Milton and Mill were wrong. The truth (whatever that might be) simply doesn’t win out in free and open discussion.

My moral of the story is that, if Palin is America’s next vice-president, I’m eyeing a few more foreign grad programs come December.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised more commentators haven't picked up on these thought processes that McCain's campaign depends on.

They say, "Palin!? What is McCain thinking?"

In terms of what's good for America, it's a poor decision. In terms of the strategy which wins the campaign, it could not be more genius.

See also:

September 15, 2008 at 10:40 PM 
Blogger goat said...

Interesting article.

You know, around the time that Obama was obviously the Democrat candidate, I was ready to be marginally satisfied no matter which party won, even if I preferred Obama. Since then, McCain went absurdly negative early, delivered a bald-faced lie on The View of all places, and selected a scary-Machiavellian running mate who knows precisely how to make the group who elected Bush fall in love with her.

Also, Tom Friedman's recent op-ed is in a vein similar to Krugman's.

September 15, 2008 at 11:17 PM 

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