Culture and Chaos, linking for thinking

There is no redemption from the original sin of being white. Not much for being male, either.

I happen to be reading (and misunderstanding my way through) Matthew ARnold’s Culture and Anarchy right now, so stumbling over this article on culture and cultural critics was serendipitous.
“Matthew Arnold, a poet-essayist like Dr Johnson, was perhaps the first modern cultural critic in English. In Culture and Anarchy he defined the key word as “being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world”; he felt the fragility of civilisation, and sweepingly labelled the British middle classes Philistines and the aristocrats Barbarians. In the corpus of Victorian poetry his  “Dover Beach” seems arrestingly modern. In fact the lines “And we are here as on a darkling plain . . . Where ignorant armies clash by night” could have been written yesterday. In this gloomy lyric, written about 60 years before the First World War, he was facing the religious, philosophical and cultural uncertainties of Europe.

Nonetheless, as a hard-working writer and inspector of schools, he embodied “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will”. He was remarkable for the extent of his reading across the cultures of Europe, the depth of his perceptions, his engagement with society, and the eloquence of his expression. He felt that the poet had a special insight into the heart of a civilisation. Do any contemporary poets feel the same? Or do we now turn for this to novelists? Is it possible that we are not sure where the heart of our civilisation is? It was he, incidentally, who inaugurated with the scientist T.H. Huxley the “two cultures” debate in its modern form.”

Elsewhere I have recently written (though perhaps in a post-dated post) on how culture even determines the things you notice. What I notice Arnold saying about culture most often, is that its purpose is “to diffuse sweetness and light, to make reason and the will of God prevail.”

Our culture has been harping on privilege lately to the point that it’s a tired, hackneyed, tattered slur that even some on the left are tired of;
In the privilege hierarchy, white privilege — the economic, political, cultural and safety benefits accruing to those displaying the simple trait of whiteness — is first among unequals, though privilege is also identified and decried based on gender, education, sexual orientation, class, wealth and able-bodiedness. “Check your privilege” and “Your privilege is showing” are by now nearly cliched attacks against those deemed insufficiently aware of accidental blessings. And those lowest on the privilege hierarchy are somehow more virtuous, thanks to what Bovy calls liberals’ “fetishization of powerlessness.”

The Academy’s Assault on Academic Diversity– read the comments on this one as well. Incidentally, The Bell Curve doesn’t say what he thinks it said.

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Pelley vs Cernovich

I liked this section of the CErnovich/60 minutes interview, too.

“Mike Cernovich: … But then when Hillary Clinton is having you, coughing fits, well it’s allergies. Hillary Clinton seizes up, oh, it’s pneumonia. Right? So that’s what I mean. We’re willing, the confirmation bias says that you’re willing to take the Hillary Clinton campaign on their word. But that kind of benefit of the doubt would not be given to say, Donald Trump. If Donald Trump had some kind of seizure, and he said oh, it’s pneumonia, people would say oh, that’s alternative fact. And people wouldn’t accept that as true.

Scott Pelley: But the point is sh- The point is you didn’t check this story out. You didn’t have –

Mike Cernovich: Sure I did.

Scott Pelley: Multiple sources. You just, you have some guy who says he’s a doctor say that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease, and you put it out there as if it was true.

Mike Cernovich: Oh, he’s really a doctor though. Dr. Ted Noel, you can confirm that for yourself.

Scott Pelley: The point is, you didn’t talk to anybody who ever examined Hillary Clinton.

Mike Cernovich: Have you?

Scott Pelley: No. No.

Mike Cernovich: Have you?

Scott Pelley: I- this story’s not about me.”

Do I think Mike pushed the limits by claiming Clinton has Parkinson’s as thought it was a fact?  Yes, I do. Shrug. He didn’t tell us he had inside information from an unnamed source, he made it clear this was the analysis of a doctor who had not seen her.  It is easy enough for readers to decide for themselves how much faith they want to put in it.

Pelley stated for a fact that the only thing wrong was that Clinton had pneumonia, and he never talked to anybody who had examined Hilary, either, and the only source that told him pneumonia is a campaign.  Campaigns are in the business of lying about their candidates, and we also know for a fact that this campaign had lied repeatedly about her health- including 3 major lies on the day that she collapsed.    And unlike Cernovich, he did not make it plain that he hadn’t talked to anybody who examined her.  Asking Mike if he’d ever spoken to anybody who had clearly is intended to leave viewers with the impression that Mike is inferior to Pelley in this, and it turns out he doesn’t follow his own journalism standards (if we can call them that) for Hillary.

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How Many Hypotheses Fail Before You Check Your Theory?

Read this very fascinating article.

Late last year, the animal evolutionary tree quaked at its root. A team led by Joseph Ryan, an evolutionary biologist who splits his time between the National Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. and the Sars International Center for Marine Molecular Biology in Bergen, Norway, analyzed the genome from a comb jelly,  Mnemiopsis leidyi, a complex marine predator with muscles, nerves, a rudimentary brain, and bioluminescence, and found that the animals may have originated before simple sponges, which lack all of those features.

You might make a note of how many times their entire hypothesis turned out to be wrong and had to be completely revised.  Nothing wrong with that, hypotheses are meant to be revised.  But at what point do you notice that our hypotheses are so wrong it seems to indicate you have a fundamentally flawed understanding about something further back?  And how is it that no matter how many times you are dead wrong in your guesses about how something happened, you never question your assumptions about what your first guess, which is conjecture and assumptions and has never been witnessed, that the event and process you imagine even  happened in the first place?


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Cultural Intelligence

Listening to Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are

I got it from Audible with one of their special 2 for 1 deals for a credit I had- not exactly free, but I didn’t pay the full price, either.  I almost never do.

He tells an interesting story about a group of pastors from three different countries he met with and they discussed the story of the PRodigal Son.  Don’t go look it up, yet. Just review it in your mind briefly and answer this question:

Why did the Prodigal Son end up with the pigs?

The pastors were American, Russian, and Tanzanian.  Here are their answers, and you can probably guess which answer came from the Americans.

Because there was a famine.

Because nobody would give him anything to eat.

Because he squandered his inheritance.

Who was right?

Luke 15-

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

So who was right?  ALL of them!  Who was only partially correct?  ALL of them!

The point of the lecturer is that our culture doesn’t just influence how we behave, it influences what we *notice.*


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Susan Rice, Unmasking, and the Media

Susan Rice Rice is the Obama official who loudly and publicly praised Bowe Bergdahl for his “honorable service” & claimed he was captured “on the battlefield.”

She carried water for Hilary Clinton on Benghazi, telling the public that it was a spontaneous riot in response to a video when Obama and Hilary and Rice already knew it was a planned terrorist attack.

Two weeks ago she said she did not know anything at all about any unmasking. Now it’s ‘Oh,that unmasking, but I didn’t leak anything.’ Somebody did. She should know who. And why would we believe somebody who just two weeks ago denied what she admits now?

Lemon, Sciutto, and Cuomo instruct public to just ignore a major news story.

10 Questions a journalist would ask, but Andrea Mitchell did not.

Mike Cernovich broke the story (the NYT had ben sitting on it a couple of days). Here’s a disturbing account:

“Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.

“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.

“The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.””

She abused government power, using it to illegal gather intelligence on a political campaign. There’s no way she did this on her own.

Keep in mind she is married to ABC News Producer Ian Cameron.

In an interview with Democrat operative pretending to be a reporter Andrea Mitchell:

On Tuesday, Mitchell asked Rice if she had ever unmasked the identities of Tump transition members “to spy on them and expose them.”
“Absolutely not for any political purposes,” Rice said in a heavily caveated response.
She went on to explain that while an individual within the intelligence community could ask for a person’s identity, their names typically would not be spread. She did not say whether or not the broad dissemination of names after they had been unmasked in an intelligence report occurred.
“There’s no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking,” she said, apparently implying that while any alleged unmasking was proper, any leaking of the information would not be. “The effort to ask for the identify of an American citizen is necessary to understand the intelligence report in some instances.”
She did not explain why the information would have been masked by intelligence agencies in the first place if it were deemed by them to have any intelligence value.
Rice also said the pace of surveillance of members of the Trump transition team was “accelerated” after the election.
“Yes, there was a pace of reporting that accelerated as the intelligence community got more and more information on that [Russia’s influence on the election] and shared it with U.S. officials,” Rice said.
Later in the interview, Rice refused to commit to testifying under oath about her role in unmasking the identities of Trump transition team members who were surveilled by the Obama administration.

It never happened, there’s no evidence, it’s not a story, nothing improper happened, it’s still not a a story but here’s the main character of the nonstory for an interview where we encourage her to share her unchallenged side of the events that never happened and aren’t a story anyway.
Also, we asked an un-named but close friend of hers who says there’s nothing to the story, so obviously, it’s false.

Wow. How Cernovich found out. Must reading.

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