Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Little Bit of Knowledge is an Idiotic Thing

This is an excerpt from Felipe Fernandez-Aemesto's highly acclaimed biography of Christopher Columbus. Please, read it and tell me if it could also and readily be applied to a fair number of tea partiers and progressives out there. I pull it from chapter one and it states quite succinctly, "It is therefore not surprising that Columbus's mind suffered all the defects that a guideless and random absorption of knowledge can impart, like a ship at large upon a starless ocean. He had read extensively but not critically and acquired a mass of information but was never able to dispose of it to his best advantage. He would leap to bizarre conclusions on the flimsiest of evidence, which a more balanced preparation might have taught him to eschew. He selected his reading matter not intellectually but obsessively, reading only what related to his own favorite theories, rejecting or distorting whatever failed to support his prejudices."............So, what do you think? It sure as hell sounds like the tea partiers and progressives to me.

13 comments:

w-dervish said...

Tea partiers AND progressives? Nope, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. If you had said "tea partiers and Independant Blue Dog Moderates", then my answer would have been HELL YES.

As for Christopher Columbus, my opinion of him is that he was a very evil man. The holiday we have that honors him should be abolished.

John Myste said...

Some progressives are as you state. Many of them, probably. Just about all Tea Partiers seem to be as you state.

The Tea Party is the rightest wing of the right wing.

The leftist wing of the left wing is not labeled.

Comparing the extremists on each side could be a fair comparison, though one could argue that it is not.

However, comparing the extremist of the extreme of one side simply to the other side, is nonsense.

I do not agree with the comparison at all.

As for Christopher, we generally do not have anyone on any side that is as outwardly evil as he was in daily life, so neither side compares to him.

Rational Nation USA said...

Fair assumptions with respect to the extreme of both groups.

There are rational Tea Party folks, and there are rational liberals. Although I would wager there are more rational Tea Party folks than rational liberals.

Anyhoo, the post is, for the most part indicative of all forms of extremism.

That is of course unless you are a progressive on the fringe or a Tea Partier on the in which case you would see yourself as both normal and rational.

w-dervish said...

RN: That is of course unless you are a progressive on the fringe or a Tea Partier on [it, in] which case you would see yourself as both normal and rational.

Or a follower of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Those dudes are so extreme they're out of step with the majority of the people on the planet.

If you were THAT extreme and unaware of it you might even create an alternate identity for use on the internet and use the word "rational" to describe yourself!

dmarks said...

WD: I have a very strong agreement with you on the second paragraph about Columbus.

Randists are extreme, but no more so than Marxists. At least Randists do not set out to kill tens of millions when they get in power.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: At least Randists do not set out to kill tens of millions when they get in power.

Randists have never obtained power (as far as I know), so I don't know how you can make this statement. Also, many would die if they did. Because all social programs would be eliminated and the poor would be dying in the streets.

Society would probably break down until we were living in some kind of Mad Max type dystopia, because all the dead bodies littering the streets (that the Randians would refuse to pay government workers to dispose of) would spread disease. The human race might face extinction if they ever did gain power.

dmarks said...

WD: Pretty good points.

Are you interested in an excellent resource on Columbus Day issues?

Joe (Truth 101) said...

Well Will. You got a few guys stirred up and it looks like that was the intent of the post. Well done.

Being of the most sound and rational mind in this corner of Blogistan, I am not offended by it.

John Myste said...

Joe,

Being of the most sound and rational mind in this corner of Blogistan, I am not offended by it.

Don't try to pretend you are the most rational fellow here.

The idea is preposterous as proven by the fact that Rational Nation USA is here.

He has you beat, which is obvious: "Rational" is right there in his name. He's labeled.


I reluctantly concede that the rest of us are morons, though.

This completes my effort to turn the world upside down.

It would have worked, too, were there a "right side up" in space, where the world hangs out.

OK, one more puff, and then I am off to bed.

Rusty Shackelford said...

Rusty told you all to watch Solyndra two weeks ago.

This is going to be quite the shit storm for the White House.

dmarks said...

Rusty speaks of himself in the third person. Dmarks wonders if Rusty is the reincarnation of Bob Dole....

w-dervish said...

I just received the following email from conservative author James Delingpole... an excerpt from his book "365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy"...

On Columbus Day, loudly express your gratitude that America was taken away from backward, cruel, and bloodthirsty Indian tribes and given over to Christian European civilization.

Go further and tell your liberal friends that you've always admired how Cortez and his small band of men conquered the Aztec empire, abolishing a culture based on human sacrifice. As they stand there spluttering, you can rub it in: "You have a problem with that?"


So what do you think? The slaughter of native Americans... was it a good thing or a bad thing?

dmarks said...

We will see if Rusty chimes in on this. On Columbus, and probably most other Native American-related issues, I am as far "left" as you, if not more.

I have also passed this excerpt on to my favorite Columbus Day/etc watchdog blog.