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Manufactured Consensus

From Daniel Greenfield in his blog Sultan Knish,  The Left is too Smart to Fail.

Excerpts:

That is why Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for having good intentions. His actual foreign policy mattered less than the appearance of a new transformative foreign policy based on speeches. Gore promised to be be harsher on Saddam than Bush, but no one remembers that because everyone in the bubble knows that the Iraq War was stupid… and only conservatives do stupid things.

Liberal intelligence exists on the illusion of its self-worth. The magical thinking that guides it in every other area from economics to diplomacy also convinces it that if it believes it is smart, that it will be. The impenetrable liberal consensus in every area is based on this delusion of intelligence. Every policy is right because it’s smart and it’s smart because it’s progressive and it’s progressive because smart progressives say that it is.

Progressives manufacture the consensus of their own intelligence and insist that it proves them right.

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Speeding Up Ignorance

victor-Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson writes Technology and Wisdom in The National Review Online.

Excerpts:

The latest fad of near-insolvent universities is to offer free iPads to students so that they can access information more easily. But what if most undergraduates still have not been taught to read well or think inductively, or to have some notion of history? Speeding up their ignorance is not the same as imparting wisdom. Requiring a freshman Latin course would be a far cheaper and wiser investment in mastering language, composition, and inductive reasoning than handing out free electronics.

The problem is not just that high technology is human-produced, and thus often crashes in the same way that imperfect humans often fail. Sophisticated electronics also often disguise the brutal premodern world with a thin veneer of postmodern egotism.

Just because we post on Facebook, sell stuff on Craigslist, or charge things on a Target card does not ensure that old-fashion Boston Stranglers or contemporary Bernie Madoffs are not lurking in the cyberspace alleyway to harm us. The ancient Greek poet Hesiod reminded us roughly 2,700 years ago that sometimes intellectual or material progress brings with it moral regress.

Billionaire tech wizard Steve Jobs gave away less of his fortune than did Andrew Carnegie. Google offshores its profits with accounting gimmickry that would have made J. P. Morgan proud. The hip Solyndra bunch got government-insider money and concessions of the sort that Mark Hopkins and Collis Huntington garnered to build the transcontinental line. Yet the old robber barons at least used government money to create something; their modern green-techie counterparts squandered it.

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Self Involved Intelligence

From Daniel Greenfield in his blog Sultan Knish,  The Left is too Smart to Fail.

Excerpts:

It’s easy to tell apart fake intelligence from the real thing. Manufactured intelligence fakes “smart” by playing word games. It constantly invents new terms to provide the enlightened elites with a secret language of Newspeak buzzwords that mean less than the words they are replacing. The buzzwords, Thought Leader and Change Agent, quickly take on cultist overtones and become ways of describing how the group’s leaders would like to use power, than anything about the world that they describe.

Manufactured intelligence is a consensus, not a debate. It’s not arrived at through a process, but flopped into like a warm soothing bath of nothingness. It’s correct because everyone says so. And anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid and lacks awareness of the interconnected ways that the world synergistically works. And probably doesn’t know science, Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson either.

Real intelligence is the product of constant debate. It is forever striving to overthrow the consensus and willing to challenge anything and everything. It uses a specialized vocabulary only to describe specialized phenomena, rather than replacing existing words with new words to describing existing phenomena in order to seem as if it understands the future better by going all 1984 on it.

Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.

Liberal intelligence is largely concerned with the latter. It is a self-esteem project for mediocre elites, the sons and daughters of the formerly accomplished who are constantly diving into the shallow pools of their own minds to explore how their privilege and entitlement makes them view the world and how they can be good people by challenging everyone’s paradigms and how they can think outside the box by climbing into it and pulling the flaps shut behind them.

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The Appearance of Depth

escher

From Daniel Greenfield in his blog Sultan Knish,  The Left is too Smart to Fail.

Excerpts:

Intelligence to a modern liberal isn’t depth, it’s appearance. It isn’t even an intellectual quality, but a spiritual quality. Compassionate people who care about others are always “smarter”, no matter how stupid they might be, because they care about the world around them.

An insight into how we live matters more than useful knowledge. Skill is irrelevant unless it’s a transformative progressive “changing the way we live” application.

Obama and his audience mistake their orgy of mutual flattery for intelligence and depth. Like a trendy restaurant whose patrons know that they have good taste because they patronize it, his supporters know that they are smart because they support a smart man and Obama knows he is smart because so many smart people support him.

The thought never rises within this bubble of manufactured intelligence that all of them might really be idiots who have convinced themselves that they are geniuses because they read the right books (or pretend to read them), watch the right movies and shows (or pretend to) and have the right values (or pretend to).

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Altruism and Benevolence

John Allison

John Allison

“The “common good” (or the “public interest”) is an indefinable concept. There is no such thing as the public. The public is only a number of individual people. When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, the good of some people takes precedence over the good of other people, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.

“Altruism should not be confused with benevolence. Altruism means that other people (society or the tribe) are more important than you are. Altruism is an unquestioning duty to others. It is not about being nice to people. It is about self-sacrifice.

A classic economic error made by liberals is to assume that good intentions produce good outcomes. Economic theory unquestionably demonstrates that so-called good intentions often produce very bad outcomes. This is the “law of unintended consequences” that is so relevant to policy makers and others who not only fail to achieve their aims, but also cause results that are directly opposed to their aims—as when central banks and regulators seek to ensure “safe and sound” banking, but instead make banks and the system more dangerous and precarious. However, if you are an altruist, moral good is defined by your intentions to help others, not by the actual outcome. In fact, altruism often serves as an excuse for bad behavior (and bad intentions).

“Where did the idea of “affordable housing” (that is, subprime home finance) come from? Everyone has a right to a house. Provided by whom? Everyone has a right to free medical care. Provided by whom? My right to free medical care is my right to imprison a doctor to make him provide that care or to force someone else to pay for the doctor. This is exactly the opposite of the American concept of rights. America’s Founding Fathers believed that each of us has the right to what we produce and what we create, not to what someone else has created.

Altruism leads to a redistribution from the productive to the non-productive. In fact, it implies that no one has a right to her own life. Everyone is everyone else’s property. This is a rejection of the concept of rights.”

Excerpt From: John A. Allison. “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure:  Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope.” McGraw-Hill, 2013. iBooks.

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HKO

It is a shallow morality that justifies generosity with some one else’s money.  Just as there is very little nutrition (in the long term)  in stolen food.