Sep 26, 2008 General Nonsense |
One of my favorite words is "doomed." It always makes me laugh. I like the way it sounds. And I reflexively find humor in situations that are so bad there is no hope. I'm not proud of this quality. I'm just saying that if scientists discover a giant asteroid heading toward Earth, I would probably laugh myself to death before the impact.

With that in mind, today I saw two articles about human intelligence, as it relates to voting. I suggest you read both, and pause after each paragraph to contemplate the word "doomed." It might make the experience funnier.

Here's the first. This one made me laugh my "ars" off.


This one is almost as funny.


Now go out there and vote. Especially if you are sure you are right!


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Oct 4, 2008
Great post. I too think I will be laughing when everyone else is crying.

Great post on the upside of recession too. Good job, Scott, one of the best blogs.
Oct 1, 2008
tkwelge, I just received your post in my email, and you illustrate a good point. Both extremes of the political spectrum have very severe misconceptions on society, but with one difference. The difference between the Left is that I cannot avoid them, because they are in every crevice of government and business and profession that deals with the public, writing laws to take away my property and freedoms. I can pretty much avoid The Right by avoiding some churches and skipping over one or two channels on my televison.

If I were living in Nazi Germany, (and hardly anyone would be living that long there) I'd befriend the communists because they are out of power, not because they are right.
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Sep 30, 2008
The first link makes mention of people believing that 9/11 was directed by Saddam Hussein. I've seen that statistic used often to poke fun at conservatives and belittle their intelligence. But see here:


At the time of the poll quoted in this article, 36% of people believed that it was very likely that the federal government had a direct roll in 9/11. 16% of those polled believe that the towers were taken down by explosives rather than airplanes. So, what should we take away from this statistic? In 2004 41% of Americans believed that Saddam caused 9/11 while 36% in the other poll believe that George W probably had something to do with it. So who's dumber? Is it the folks that believe Saddam took down the towers, or the folks that believe Bush took down the towers? I don't want to bet on either, since I think that they are both idiots. I will say that the evidence that rightys are dumber than leftys should be reevaluated. If you look at both of these polls, you could say (spuriously) that only 23% of Americans have the ability to think clearly.
Sep 30, 2008
I find it funny that the people that wrote both of these articles focus primarily on cognitive dissonance on the Republican side. The first story explains that only the conservatives have yet to be researched, but the second makes no mention of this. The second link also directly comments that the Bush administration should be humbled by this new information. However, isn't it worse cognitive dissonance to believe that you (not anyone specific), a democrat are not susceptible to such things? I find people on the left burying their heads in cognitive dissonance whenever it suits them. Sometimes they just say things until it becomes an accepted fact. Like, we're all supposed to know that it's the Republicans that are stopping alternative energy and the Democrats that are trying to fund it, but before 2000, I can honestly say that neither party had more than a novel interest in either solar or wind power. With the technology and the pricing schemes of the previous decade, nobody thought that alternative energy had anything but a potential, far off future. But now I can't turn on the television without being reminded how the Republicans have failed to deal with the energy crisis while Democrats have the luxury of being perceived as the party that would have had a wind mill on every street corner by now. So it's kinda a mixture of cognitive dissonance, revisionist history, and ego. One of the latest books from "The Economist" points out how any isolationist trade policy would be bad for the world economy as a whole, but look how many Democrats wander around the country screaming about jobs being shipped over-seas. George Clooney was quoted saying something along the lines of, "I can't think of a time when the left was on the wrong side of an issue." Cognitive dissonance anyone??????

Democrats commonly point out right wing talking heads whenever possible, but any attempt to point out liberal bias is met with derision, "We all know that reality has a strong liberal bias." Har har har......... If I hear that again, I'm going to puke. Why? Because it's not an argument! It's an f ing one liner. I'm sorry Democrats, but there is still a debate. There are still debates about energy policy, healthcare, religion in society, and economics. Both sides try to pretend that the debate is over, but none do it so vehemently or vilify their opponents like the Democrat party. I'm white and starting to go bald. Should I don a suit and tie, I'd become everything that the current populist left wants you to hate. And as a white guy in a business suit, I would suddenly have the urge to chop down trees while counting my oil money while cackling like a mad man.
Sep 30, 2008
This strip makes "doomed" seem all the more funny:
Sep 29, 2008
Thanks for bringing attention to these. Both are great articles (and obscenely humorous)!
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Sep 29, 2008
If you like the word "doomed", you really need to watch some Dad's Army - fab 60s-70s British sitcom based on the Home Guard in WW2. One of the most memorable quote was Private Frazer's "We're DOOMED!" in a broad western-isles accent.

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Sep 29, 2008
Assume we knew or felt that it did not matter who we voted for, because they all represent the same interests anyway. Incidentally, not our interests.

How would being informed make us change our mind about who to vote for? The area of accepted discourse is so far removed from reality, that any position within that discourse bears no resemblance to what we really think.

In other words, we can safely hold on to our opinions in the face of any reporting to the contrary. After all, what difference does it make?
Sep 28, 2008
It's also strange that people who believe in evolution (me), also believe that global warming is happening (me, too), but also believe it's a bad thing (not me). After all, doesn't life adapt to it's surroundings, not the other way around? At least that's been the way it was before we perceived that we could change, not adapt to, the environment. Even Scott Adams has said that airplanes and other artificially created things are products of the environment, not man's genious.

It's all about selfishness and nature worship, not about facts, that's driving environmentalism today.

Sep 28, 2008
Just so you know, I still prefer PS2. I guess it's because I still like going back to games I've beaten from time to time. Someday I will get an Xbox.
Sep 28, 2008
The one thing I cannot explain is how people want a socialist system, yet continue to have dreams for themselves such as large families, longevity for themselves when they are older and the carreer of their choice. Monday through Saturday they believe in government's ability, then they step into church on Sunday and read the Bible and have faith in God. Why do we think that we, ourselves, will be the exception to the rule, that we will have absolute freedom in this type of system?

I frankly don't care what type of economic or social system we have (I survived one of the worst public school systems in the nation, so I can probably survive in any system), but people should at least be aware of what they are getting into when they demand more social services from the two political parties.

However, if Scott Adams is right, people will continue to think they live in a free country, long after those freedoms are lost.
Sep 28, 2008
Excellent articles - thanks! The behaviour they examine highlights how recently (cognitively) we've come down from the trees. Monkeys driving cars and voting - how bizarre!
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Sep 28, 2008
A little while ago I realized that the problem with cognitive dissonance was that it required cognition. That seemed very rarely to be in evidence. We're DOOMED!

A little skepticism or a touch of incredulity would go a long way to helping things out. People would still have opinions, but they might be less sure that their opinions are right.
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Sep 28, 2008
If you find the word "doomed" funny, you'll love "Invader Zim". "Doom" appears in nearly every title and is probably the most common word. Also, you have to see the school teacher explain to the children why they are "doooomed". Also, Gir singing the "Doom Song" is cuter than "Kitten thinks of nothing but murder all day".
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Sep 28, 2008
Scott, you need to fix the share-to-facebook functionality on your blog. As a lazy college student into counting clicking a bookmarklet or sharing widget as my share of political activism for the day, you're making life really, really hard. Rather than showing my friends how learned and cultured I am with a single click, referencing the Dilbert blog requires torturous minutes of typing and copy-and-pasting. There have been several occasions when I've agreed with a view you espoused, but ended up internet-asserting a completely different one, because the blog arguing for the irrelevance of economics/rationality of religion/killing of cute little kitties/whatever had more elegant integration with Facebook.

The problem in detail:
When you try to share to facebook, all it shows is a link to "dilbert.com," when most sites manage to output the title of the particular subpage or blog post, a relevant thumbnail (you can have it scrape from each post, or define one for the whole site), and a brief synopsis of the content (either scraped from the blog post, defined on each post, or defined for the whole site). If you'd like screenshots of what the share widget should produce versus what it produces from the dilbert blog, hit me up.
Sep 27, 2008
Investment analyst and entrepreneur Dr. Marc Faber concluded his monthly bulletin (June 2008) with the Following:

''The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I've been doing my part.'
Sep 27, 2008
One of my "core values" is a preference for science over ideology so I'm on the side of Dunning and Kruger, not their more delusional test subjects. Makes it kinda difficult to contemplate a Republican vote this year, you know, when you can count past ten and spell your own name.
Sep 27, 2008
Hee hee. You're right, that does make it funnier. Doooooomed.
Also, I'm proud to be in the group that thinks I'm not particularly bright and that everyone else is up to speed.
Sep 26, 2008
I stopped reading the articles when I came upon the word "germane". Then I was lost. But it doesn't matter. I don't vote and I don't care.
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Sep 26, 2008
"Now go out there and vote. Especially if you are sure you are right!"

People can vote for a candidate for two very different reasons: 1) because the candidate shares their political views, or 2) because the candidate seems to be better qualified to lead.

The point is well taken that voters can't realistically know what's right on every issue. Maybe people have a greater capacity to judge WHO is right for the job.
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