I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 11, 2015 - 12:06 p.m.
Welcome to an exceedingly rare post-breakfast edition of Wise Madness. I am meeting Peter for lunch so I can't eat breakfast at noon like I usually do. The downside is that my cold brewed ice coffee isn't ready yet and as it's in the French Press I couldn't make hot brew so I am coffeeless. And I just read about How Good Coffee Is For You.
I stayed in the entire weekend. I was in almost total isolation. I did speak to Katrina for a few minutes last night but that was the extent of my human contact. Today I'm meeting Peter then I have therapy. I won't forget how to talk. I heard that? Who said, "Too bad?" I don't get no respect.
Now to important news. It's Monday so it's time for the weekly Nashional Batnoses update. Your favorite Fantasy Baseball team had a terrible week but despite that look at the standings:
Yes we are first place. Late last night I checked the box scores and saw that Greg Holland was going for a save in extra innings. I watched the gamecast on ESPN. That doesn't let you see the game but it is a real time pitch by pitch update. Greg Holland was protecting a one run lead in extra innings. He walked the bases loaded with none outs and I couldn't take it. I turned off the game and went to sleep. He saved that game! That meant we went back to first place in saves.
I know that absolutely nobody cares about that but I still post it. Why? It makes me feel good. I need things that make me feel good. Speaking of which I made a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream sundae last night and did not do any walking to burn off the calories.
Now to something I've been wanting to write about for ages; three kinds of posts to avoid making or reading on social media.
The first is about ridiculous claims or sensational looking videos and pictures found on websites that are nothing but collections of clickbaits. If you see a video of a goldfish flying a plane don't repost it. At least check it out on Snopes.com. There are so many fascinating things in the universe that are true. Why waste time on the lies. A repeating theme will be, check your sources. If something sounds too bizarre check multiple sources.
The next is, stop posting the horrible things that some politician you never heard of said. There are tens of thousands of state and local officials in the country each of which says many things. That some sheriff in Oklahoma says that gay marriage is going to lead to Sharia Law is not news. There are so many things that can raise your legitimate ire. The Governor of Texas and one of its senators, guess which one, are taking the rumor that the United States military is planning and invasion of Texas seriously. Here's my rule of thumb, if you never heard of the person, or if it's Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, or Pat Robertson, don’t spread their idiocy. Yes those three, and some others, have made careers of saying inflammatory things, but they no longer have political power so don't give them the publicity they crave. You can still quote the Fox News people and Rush. They still have influence.
Lastly is stop posting links with hyperbolic and misleading headlines. The one I keep seeing recently is how Jeb Bush supports White Supremacists. They all go back to an interview he did where he twice mentioned that he likes books by Charles Murray. Murray made headlines when he co-wrote The Bell Curve. So first off Bush did not praise that book. Murray is a darling of the right who has written books much more on the topic Bush was discussing such as Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Now while I despise his positions in that they aren't racial at all. It is just the standard conservative take on socioeconomics. Even the Bell Curves racism is disputed. I would call it racists as he said, "The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved." There is such a history of racism in the history of the study of intelligence that it should be avoided. Far too many people thought they had proof that one group was inferior, blacks and women for example, but it ended up the lack of intelligence was on the part of the experimenters and theorists blinded by their prejudice. Read The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. But even if the book is racists it is not white supremacist.
This is exactly the same thing as people on the right calling Obama a racist because of his ties to Jeremiah Wright. And of course the people who are condemning Bush condemned the people that conflated Obama with Wright. Be consistent. Again there are so many legitimate things to be irate about. If you want to fire up the base do it with real enormities. Leave the Fox News tactics to Fox News. Attack the right for making false claims. Don't fight it by making false claims for the left. Oh and of course this admonition goes to my friends on the right too. Notice I'm not afraid of criticizing my ideological brethren, you shouldn't be either.
Let's keep it simple. Think twice before you repost things that you don't know are true. Investigate don't just echo.
Hey today's reading level is 6.4. This is difficult enough for middle schoolers!
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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