Monday, September 03, 2012

i know. right.

yesterday i heard the most astounding interview with john sununu.

i do not remember him making quite that little sense, or sounding so rabidly angry. i don't know about you, but whenever i hear somebody go on a rant about how fact checkers know nothing and no matter what anyone says about things that have a great deal of evidentiary weight and are a matter of public record, nobody knows anything about it but them, it gives me pause.

i've been listening a lot these days to what they have to say at fact checking sites and i've been listening to what fact checkers like say about bias and their process.

last week i heard an interview with someone at politfact who described the process and the transparency of it, and the care they take to cite sources on everything so you can check it out for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

when i hear a thing that clashes wildly with a thing i believe and want to believe, i usually think: wow. that does not match what i think i know. i should go look that up. i should find as many sources as possible. i should find out who benefits from that being true and who benefits from this being reported this way.

sometimes i learn that a thing i want to believe is just wrong. sometimes i learn that the thing i believe is supported by actual evidence.

in either case, i'm not wild about being told what to to think. and i am really not wild about angry guys shouting that only a select group of people can possibly understand the actual facts, and that everyone pointing to evidence to the contrary are simply too stupid or too much enmeshed in an evil conspiracy to see the real meanings of things, which we should all just shut up and believe what we're told. or else.

i've been thinking about these general ideas a lot recently, and actually not in reference to politics exactly, although most changing ideas in science or even mathematics do touch on politics. i was actually going to write this same post about climate science, or about the debate over what to do with the mental health crisis in this state.

and then i heard that interview with john sununu. go listen to it if you dare.

statements that rest on themselves as proof are not necessarily true. loud belligerent shouting does not make things true.

john sununu is an ass.

i don't remember him quite that way, but apparently he is one now.


Zhoen said...

The Authoritarians is a book about just this, explaining why and how this happens to some people.

Can be read free online, in it's entirety.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

i always thought he was an ass.
But I loved this quote from you, "i'm not wild about being told what to to think"

I couldn't agree more!!


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