Someone likes Easterbrook?


I think that citing Gregg Easterbrook approvingly ought to be a criterion in the Crackpot Index.

Comments

  1. says

    You got that right. I even stopped reading his football columns (where I felt he was entertaining and made valid points) simply because I couldn’t stand his other work.

  2. brent says

    There are a few other names that I would add to that list. John Stossel is the other one that comes immediately to mind.

  3. Ratel says

    There seems to be a steady drip of religion into his football writing that I don’t remember from previous years. First with the Harry Potter nonsense and now inserting random biblical quotes into an attempt to discuss the scientific exploration of the age of the universe.

    “For the first 300,000 years or so after the Big Bang, all matter existed in a blurred state; no stars had formed, so the heavens were utterly dark. (Initially, the universe “was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep” — Genesis 1:2.) About 300,000 years after creation, the first stars coalesced. Light shone into the black, and there came cosmic dawn. (“And God saw that the light was good … and there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”)”

    It is bad enough when people try to put their god in my school, but for goodness sake keep him out of my football commentary.

  4. says

    You know REALLY dropped off the Pharygu-radar? That creepy criminologist/chauvinist professor guy. He was like a permanent topic fixture here for a while…

  5. says

    Ratel wrote:

    There seems to be a steady drip of religion into his football writing that I don’t remember from previous years.

    Why should football writing be different than anything else? Baseball stadiums now routinely sponsor “faith nights”. Teachers spew Creationist rhetoric in classrooms all over the country. People who bomb women’s health clinics or interrupt Congressional sessions on the basis of their beliefs are heralded by significant numbers of Americans as heroes. What could possibly make articles about football sacrosanct?

    I’ve had Christian rock music blared at me while sitting in a fast food restaurant and I’ve been preached to by public transit bus drivers. It’s hard to tell what era we’re living in in America sometimes.

  6. MartinM says

    …and now inserting random biblical quotes into an attempt to discuss the scientific exploration of the age of the universe.

    More like random biblical quote-mines.

  7. says

    Or when an athlete does the sign of the cross or looks up at the sky after doing something neat. Yeah, I’m sure your god took the moment off of inadequately taking care of world hunger and suffering to give you a home run. Nice.

  8. cm says

    I didn’t know anything about Easterbrook when I found his book, The Progress Paradox in the public library and checked it out. It looked promising. As I read through it, though, I started to develop this, at first, vague sense of unease, although I was still giving the author the benefit of the doubt. The arguments seemed glib and underdeveloped, the “facts” seemed forced or unsupported, and generally it just didn’t ring true. I decided not to finish the book because it was doing nothing for me.

    That crackpot scoring system rocks, by the way.

  9. Micah says

    Ratel: I’ve noticed that too, and it’s been highly disappointing. I’ve been a fan of the football part of his columns for years – I really do think he’s a better football columnist than the vast majority of the talking heads out there (and their online counterparts) – but I’ve had to come to the unpleasant realization that football is the one and only subject he knows anything about. It’s getting worse too – at first he used to make dismissive quips about things like Dark Matter, saying things like “scientists can’t find 70% of the universe, and they claim God is implausible, hah”. Now he’s gone all the way to the nonsensical biblical quotations.

    I’d send him an email with the message “STICK TO FOOTBALL” but sadly I don’t think he’d listen.

  10. Drew says

    I’d send him an email with the message “STICK TO FOOTBALL” but sadly I don’t think he’d listen.

    Send it anyway. I did. Maybe if enough people complain he’ll get the point…OK, maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

  11. Rey Fox says

    From the “faith night” article:
    “Back in Buffalo, a local church choir belts out the “Star Spangled Banner” as Faith Night’s fans go to the ballpark in search of a spiritual experience.”

    Another sign that the word “spiritual” has lost all meaning. If you really go to a baseball park for a “spiritual experience”, why don’t you just worship the home team in their righteous struggle against the infidel invaders? As a Boisean, I know that I had a pretty damned spiritual experience on January 1 of this year.

  12. says

    Michael Gerson, who seemed so impressed with Easterbrook in Gary Farber’s reference, was the subject of a profile in the most recent Atlantic Monthly. He does not come off well. In Matthew Scully’s account, Gerson’s weakness for self-promotion verges on backstabbing.

    Easterbrook himself got a cover story in the Atlantic a few months ago, saying (this is after years of denying global warming’s existence and/or severity) that the planet is warming, but the results will be just peachy. He is a vastly overrated boob.

  13. Moses says

    Posted by: Micah | August 17, 2007 11:55 AM

    I really do think he’s a better football columnist than the vast majority of the talking heads out there (and their online counterparts) – but I’ve had to come to the unpleasant realization that football is the one and only subject he knows anything about.

    Actually, he’s not. He’s just as much a crackpot about football as anything else. It’s just harder for most people to figure out.

    Evolution, we know the science. It’s complex. Yet it’s well documented and understood. So it’s easy to spot the bullshitters.

    Football is more difficult. First, because it’s an art, not a science. Second, because there are multiple solutions to any situtation and people get entrenched in singular positions. Third, because very few people have anything more than the most rudimentary understanding and these people reinforce their cliche’ driven understanding.

    Anyway, there are a lot of cherry-picked situations/facts that Easterbrook uses to make his observations. And wheil they convince many, Unfortunately, many of them are just products of his ignorance.

  14. pablo says

    Does Slate still retain Easterbrook? I haven’t been there in 2 years, partly because of him and Saletan.

  15. Dahan says

    The “Crackpot Index” is completely wrong in every way. I would prove it, but the scientific establishment is engaged in a conspiracy to prevent me from doing so. I’m sure Einstein would agree with me.

  16. Nix says

    Wow, that’s impressive, Ratel: he has the heavens being `utterly dark’ for the first 300,000 years, when the universal temperature was constantly above 3000K. Is the surface of the sun `utterly dark’ in his world?

    (Oh, and he has the time of first stellar condensation off by a small matter of a few hundred million years or so as well. Oops.)

  17. dusty59 says

    Hmm, wow: this “Amygdaloid” gives a goofy-creepy impression right at the top of his page. The large font blah-blah personal shit. Didn’t read though the whole CpI- does it include that type of intro/header?

    Interesting that “amygdala” refers to something nut-like! now I see!

    BTW Nix; RE: “the heavens being `utterly dark’…” I thought it had to to do with having not yet formed photons… or did they form contemporaneously with the the bang?