Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Indepenence thought

Independence day in a nation devoid of independent thought. I should actually say critical thought in that none of us take the time to examine our beliefs and biases. As I ride the highways and byways of the north coast I find that the ass with the control the boarder bumper sticker is the same moron rolling down the road at 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. This is just an example of what I wish to explore in this ramble that was inspired by an episode of Blogging heads TV.
I am not a libertarian even though I agree with some of their ideas the idea that a complex society can run effectively without strong governments is ludicrous to me but that is my bias. I like to think my bias is based on data, something the objectivist capitalists don’t seem to believe in. The right is not the only group guilty of belief in that for which there is no evidence, they are just the most destructive. The left and their insistence on spiritualism as a valid excuse for some of their nonsense are just as guilty. I listened to Arianna Huffington today claim that life after death had evidence to support it based on her spiritual experience. Sorry this is first order bullshit. No testable evidence exists for life after death period. Near death experiences are not death as much as the spiritualist want to claim they are, (When someone has one in a PET scanner showing zero activity, the only device we have that can detect all biological activity in a brain and comes back with an out of body description that is verified by recorded video tape describing a unique event that they could not possibly have seen on TV I will be willing to reassess this claim. ) If you need this idea to get up and live by all means cling to your nonsense but don’t preach about living in the fact based world and then put that crap out. It makes a lie of your claim and undermines the larger more important issues that effect real peoples lives.
Life has no meaning other than what you as an individual impart to it. We all seem to need external validation, hell I wouldn’t be blogging if I didn’t want others to know what I am thinking but it will not give my life meaning one way or the other. Again I have drifted off topic, but bias is the topic and the trap.
Most of us will not spend any time assessing our views based on the proposition that we might be wrong. I have tried to look at the idea of assigning a probability to my beliefs recently from the angle of my blog commenting activity and here are a few thoughts to ponder. I have a tendency to be a smart ass, “Snarky“ in the vernacular. I am too quick to be dismissive and will lay waste to someone else’s idea with a sarcastic retort rather than educating and that is probably counter productive to my aims. I am not in the minority in this form of discourse just better at it than many, bias will out. Insert your favorite laugh out loud emoticon here.
There is one difference that jumps out at me from my behavior as opposed to the general behavior of the sphere and as the blogs tend to be echo chambers I find this disturbing. I am willing to asses the argument of the other individual based on their evidence and am open to being convinced by evidence. When someone says the reason they want the immigrants rounded up and sent back is because they are breaking the law while flying down the highway as a scofflaw I will call it for the hypocrisy that it is. When someone catches me in the same type of sophistry and calls me on it I will at least think about their point before I continue the same line of argument, I hope that crisis followers will consider doing the same.

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