Monday, November 19, 2012

The Man in the Arena

Here is one of the shortest and most inspirational speeches that I have ever read.

Theodore Roosevelt

"It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Conservatives and The Empathy Gene

I made this YouTube video where a liberal newscaster laments why conservatives don't see the undeniable logic of her positions. Frustrated, she casts about looking for an explanation. In a moment of clarity she arrives at the fact that conservatives lack the "empathy gene". I made this video before Chris Mooney came up with a book called "The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality".

So in the truth is stranger than fiction category, someone is actually trying to explain how conservatives' under-developed brains explains their "illogical" behavior. You can't make this stuff up. Actually, I did make up the "empathy gene" video as a joke, but Chris Mooney is not joking, which is why his ideas are so funny!

It boggles my mind that book this was even attempted. I read a lot of the reviews on Amazon, and they fell along political lines, although a few on both sides tried to think this through.

After three books attempting to make his political points, each of which gets more "serious" and less scientific:

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming 
Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future 

The Republican War on Science 

My guess is that Chris finally gives up and just says, "oh, f**k it, let's just call them brain damaged and stop trying to convince them with argument. Which was the point of my video. After struggling to figure out why the conservative don't "see the light", the conclusion is just that they have a genetic deficiency that needs re-education and Obamacare to fix!

I remember as a kid when on the losing end of an argument, I just would make a personal attack, like "you wouldn't know a good (insert whatever we were discussing) anyway!!

But really? Just think if this were flipped around, and we were told that there is a "bleeding heart liberal gene" and they just can't help themselves from being stupid and putting in place policies that hurt the people they are trying to help. How long would it take before that was absolutely crushed by the mainstream media?

Picture Rush Limbaugh saying "The reason that liberals are climate liars is that they don't have the capacity to understand science". Wow would they be on him like white on rice!

Anyway, this all smells of desperation by liberals to explain why conservatives don't agree with them. Maybe it's as simple as they don't have the same worldview, or maybe I am wrong and they really DO lack the empathy gene! Or maybe liberals really do have a "bleeding heart liberal" genetic defect. I wonder who would write that book?