Laudable aims? »« Crude examples of the genus Homo

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    Because the people in the “worthy” oval refuse to have anything to do with those in the red zone?

  2. Bill Gascoyne says

    Maybe if someone is smart enough to have opinions worthy of serious consideration, they’re smart enough not to do the other stuff.

  3. unbound says

    As one of my calculus teachers used to say, “it is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer”.

  4. Hamilton Jacobi says

    Stewart, I suggest adding another category, inside the yellow oval but not overlapping with the other two: People who think those in the red and green ovals are just squabbling toddlers who should stop all the silly drama.

    Those in the new category will want the other ovals to be more overtly egg-shaped, so they can refer to the others as Big Endians and Little Endians.

  5. stewart says

    Hamilton, of course, one could add more, but I wanted to keep it simple; your point of course taken. And obviously, I meant the categories seriously, so the red bunch does not refer to anyone who doesn’t actually do that – though I suspect no one is about to self-identify.

  6. Hamilton Jacobi says

    I agree completely with keeping it simple. But perhaps it would be nicer with a few gargoyles and such to liven up the empty corners.

  7. jenniferphillips says

    Jafafa @8 & 9–
    “I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing…” WAS Dr. Venkman’s response to Spengler’s “It would be bad” caution.

  8. Brian Engler says

    The set of people in green employ actual thought–more specifically, the reflective reasoning I usually call critical thought. The set in red does not, despite deluding themselves that they do.

    I’ve read of so-called “strong” and “weak” forms of critical thinking. Folks in the green set would be considered “strong” by definition or their opinions would not be worthy of consideration. A person in the red set–and for convenience I’ll quote Wikipedia–is a “selfishly motivated pseudo-intellectual who works to advance one’s personal agenda without seriously considering the ethical consequences and implications.” Sound familiar?

  9. says

    A person in the red set–and for convenience I’ll quote Wikipedia–is a “selfishly motivated pseudo-intellectual who works to advance one’s personal agenda without seriously considering the ethical consequences and implications.” Sound familiar?

    Sounds like most libertarians I’ve run into, as well as Justice Antonin Scalia. In fact, it also sounds like right-wing think tanks, or indeed most of the radical Right.

  10. bad Jim says

    There’s the old expression that small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, and great minds talk about ideas. It’s visible in the hierarchy of prestige of magazines from people mags to learned reviews.

  11. Joey Maloney Who Is Unable To Login For Some Obscure Reason says

    unbound @4: “it is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer”

    My high-school physics teacher used to say the same thing, usually right before introducing some concept or result that made everyone’s brain explode and dribble out their ears.

  12. says

    People in the red oval would use arguments if they had any.

    I think it’s all down to how you react when you find that you’ve got no arguments to back up your opinion.

    Some people habitually react by saying, “Oops, my bad. Ow! Need to learn something here.” As time goes on, they learn a lot and wind up in the green oval.

    Some people habitually refuse to do that. As a result, they rarely learn, and what they learned before gradually becomes obsolete. As they slowly become more mistaken about the world, they find they’re wrong more and more often. Since these are precisely the people who can’t bear to admit they’re wrong, they get very frustrated and start lashing out. They put themselves in the red oval.

  13. says

    @Hamilton Jacobi #12 – Not to be pendantic or anything (who, me?) but gargoyles are functional: they are spouts that direct rain from the roof away from the walls. Non-functional decoration of similar design is a grotesque.

  14. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    Well there are certainly lots of “grotesques” in the red circle! And not only are they “non-functiona”l, they’re not even decorative. Hyper-grotesques? Grotesques+?

  15. dmcclean says

    The symmetric difference of “People who enjoy freedom of speech” and “People with arguments worthy of serious consideration” is decidedly and most unfortunately not empty.

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