Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stupidity and An Inconvenient Truth

It so happens I had checked both of these movies out of the library in the same week that we have a school banning one of them because a parent apparently wants the movie to be "balanced" by stories from an old book. Check out just how enlightened this guy is:

"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."

Sorry, if you use what is obviously allegory and fairy tales as the bedrock of what the "truth" is, you have disqualified yourself from being able to engage in any so-called "debate" over global warming. End of story. The Earth is 14,000 years old? I feel sorry for this guy's daughter.

Pretty amusing, since in the movie Stupidity, one of the people made remarks that one of the hardest things people can do is to change their minds, and he specifically mentioned things like driving SUVs and global warming. If you tell them something that instills fear, they will usually go and do the exact opposite of what they should be doing (reptile brain takes over, I guess) like go and buy an even bigger SUV. So I really found the synchronicity pretty funny that within the same week, some idiot (in a blue state, no less) puts the brakes on his child being exposed to anything that might conflict with his worldview - even if it's the truth. They also made remarks about how rigid adherence to one's Belief System (BS) might track well with stupidity as it leads to cognitive dissonance.

I'd wager this guy listens to Limbaugh or one his many imitators like Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, etc. I'd also bet he's a Republican. When are the Republicans going to change their mascot to the ostrich, by the way? It seems they want to hide from or at least whitewash reality at every turn.

How can you "balance" something in a scientific context with stories that cannot be corroborated by anything other than faith? I think it's only a matter of time before Flat Earthers start asking schools to "teach the controversy" of the "theories" regarding globe vs. flat-earth.

I wonder if these religious people know what useful idiots they are when it comes to playing right into the hands of industry. Now I know why Jefferson said this: "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

Anyway, go see both movies. Stupidity was very interesting and funny, and Chomsky makes an appearance to make (as usual) lots of cogent arguments, especially about the usefulness of television to make idiots out of us all, and how that it is a conscious effort on the part of business. An Inconvenient Truth was interesting, especially if you didn't already read the book. A bit more dry than Stupidity, obviously, as there are lots of figures and charts.

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