by Morgan Freeberg | June 12, 2011 11:04 am
My name is Morgan K. Freeberg and I’m a blogger.
Also — as of today — I am going back to being a Sarah Palin fan. Today concludes an experiment I have been doing. More on that below.
I’m the founder, CEO, chief fry cook & bottle-washer at House of Eratosthenes, colloquially known as The Blog That Nobody Reads. There is a reason why we have named ourselves after a guy who lived twenty-two centuries ago; it has to do with a measurement produced by that ancient, accurately stating the circumference of the Earth.
Now, you know how liberal college professors like to say something like “we don’t teach ’em what to think here, we teach ’em how to think?” And then it turns out to be a load of crap, of course. Well, our name is all about borrowing a page from that book. See, to live two centuries before Christ and conduct such an exercise without the benefit of space ships or satellites or really long tape measures or really tall ladders, you can’t be thinking just any ol’ way.
But if you think the right way, you can accomplish some amazing, mind-boggling things. Even without the space ships, satellites, tape measures or ladders.
Today, we live with some powerful influences that dissuade us from thinking in this productive way; and, because of this, meaningful achievements are beyond our reach as a society, beyond even our vision of what might be possible, that ought to be well within our grasp. I believe in this matter regarding the former Governor of Alaska, our situation is roughly akin to a man struggling to recover a grasp on the edge of a cliff as he dangles over an abyss, rejecting the efforts of one rescuer, frantically searching for some other who has yet to materialize. It’s as if he’s saying “no, I don’t want some pretty woman rescuing me, I’d rather fall.”
Many’s the time I’ve heard a Palin hater say “I don’t have a better candidate in mind, but I’m hoping one will emerge.”
Their thinking is that she will screw this whole thing up. Nominate Palin, they say, and it’s four more years of Obama — guaranteed. This is because she’s some kind of a “lightweight.” Well, how do we know she’s a lightweight? And here is where the thinking falls apart; this is where it is shown to be a different brand of thinking, than that which can figure out the size of the Earth two centuries BC. We know she’s a lightweight because…we just do. Because that’s what everybody says. Bandwagon fallacy all the way down the line. Also: These stories just keep coming out over and over again. Bad decisions that she made. Television interviews handled ineptly. Things she doesn’t know about world history.
It’s only when you
1) Dig down into the details of the stories as they come out, and
2) Activate and maintain your long-term memory, remembering what really happened
…that you can make the determination: Just about everything that suggests it’s beyond Sarah Palin’s ability to handle something, is a crock, or is based on something that is a crock. I say “just about” because, like anybody else, Palin does have some fails. However, I have noticed a great majority of these fails have occurred within those very few weeks that she was a VP candidate, within a campaign that was not handled by her. In fact, that campaign was handled by people who weren’t fond of her. See, again: details. If they change the situation, then it’s worth knowing what they are.
People who hate Sarah Palin, or think she’s likely to fail, don’t know her. They’re ignorant. I don’t mean that as an insult, I mean it as a neutral observation of fact. I ask them if they’ve read any of her books, which are not priced out of the market; in this Age of Amazon, they are readily available and can be had for a song. The answer always comes back toward the negative, and furthermore, they haven’t taken the opportunity to hear her side of the story about anything. I quote them things from her books, and for this, they make fun of me. That’s their response to everything, to make fun. And at that point, I have to ask: Does it even matter what facts they do have & don’t have, if they think like lunatics?
We live in a universe that is logical, which means you can measure the size of planets by peeking into water wells. It is a truly amazing universe. But it doesn’t permit you to know anything worth knowing, if you think in a diseased way with the “I laugh at it, it therefore becomes untrue” technique. In this universe, you have to think like a responsible grown-up before you can know anything.
In keeping with that, though, one week ago I recognized that I need to live up to my own hype. That meant conducting some honest experiments, evaluating the strength of positions I didn’t find palatable, and it also meant being receptive to the outcome, whatever it might be. The Palin haters have all these arguments to present about her various deficiencies that have to do with — that rely completely upon — third parties. These people won’t approve of you if you like Palin. Those people over there will be convinced you’re as stupid as she is, if you support her. She will lose the election. If she is nominated no one will show up to vote and Obama will get a second term.
Nobody seems to be able to find something wrong with her, it seems, without speaking out in proxy for somebody else.
So I decided to put it to a test. Does liking Palin have an effect on what others think? Can I win some new friends, maybe, by renouncing Palin and making it known that I am open to another candidate?
Therefore, I put up a post last weekend declaring that I am no longer a Palin fan. I linked to it on Facebook, so that people there would know I am now a reasonable, intellectual, respectable human being who doesn’t like Sarah Palin. On June 4 I joined the swelled ranks of people who don’t have the slightest clue who the nominee should be, but gosh darn it it can’t be her! Judging by how much talking they do and how loud they are, it seems to be a big group.
Also, I put together a list of requirements of what we are looking for, for this candidate who is more acceptable than the Governor. I came up with twenty-five. It ended up being a very silly list, because I based it on these various complaints I’ve been hearing that supposedly make her unacceptable. Requirement Number One is that the “good candidate” should be a man, or a woman who is very ugly. Obviously, pretty women, for some reason that I have yet to understand, are absolutely unacceptable.
Today ends the experiment. I am ready to announce the results.
Number of new friends: ZERO.
Number of honest compliments I have received, for seeing the light that Palin is unacceptable: ZERO.
Number of new additions that have been recommended for my silly list of candidate requirements: ZERO.
Number of corrections I have received for silly requirements on my silly list that shouldn’t be there: ZERO.
Number of likes on my Facebook posting: ONE…not from a Palin hater, but from a Palin fan, who I suspect saw the irony of what I was doing. So I guess that wouldn’t count.
Number of friends I expect to lose by liking Sarah Palin again: ZERO. Hey, I try to think like Eratosthenes, but I’m still human. We all like to see the world through rose-colored glasses.
Conclusion to my experiment? I wouldn’t be able to avoid this even if I wanted to: Palin haters don’t care about the Republicans nominating a “better candidate” who would “stand a better chance” or who might be missing “all this baggage.” They don’t care about any of that; it’s all a smoke screen. They don’t have any new ideas to offer here and they won’t have any.
They are a bunch of bitter scolds. Nothing more. They just like to bitch and complain. Probably because of what Palin reminds us of, every time we think about her. They find all that stuff unpleasing so they make fun of it, in hopes that it goes away. It is no more complicated than that.
I suspected that much before. Now that I have taken my one-week sabbatical from being a Palin fan, I know for sure.
I know for sure because I thought like Eratosthenes. Now I will grant you that this it outside of my field of expertise; a professional software engineer in Sacramento really doesn’t have any business trying to figure out who does & doesn’t have a chance in a presidential election. But then again, a library administrator in Alexandria doesn’t have any business figuring out the size of the Earth.
I don’t perceive things to form opinions that will win me friends. No responsible thinking adult does; not with the questions that really matter. It’s got to do with how you think when you gamble the first of your million dollars, versus how you do your thinking as you gamble with your last dollar. Well, even if you do like to think with bandwagon fallacy, like you have a million bets you can afford to lose, and form your inferences to make friends — guess what? You can’t make friends this way. I’m not speculating on this. I gave it a more than fair try. Someone get the word to the Republican delegates?
My name is Morgan K. Freeberg and I’m a Palin fan.
And yes, as a matter of fact, I am serious, and I do know what I’m doing. I know that much very well, thank you. I made sure.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes, Brutally Honest and Washington Rebel.
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