Saturday, March 06, 2010

The end of reason?

I am re-reading The Road to Serfdom as it's been awhile and I tend to forget material that is not right in front of me. One of my favorite chapters in the book is one entitled, "The End of Truth" where Hayek discusses propaganda and it's role in a totalitarian society. He argues that intellectual freedom is important because it leads to intellectual progress:

...So long as dissent in not suppressed, there will always be some who will query the ideas ruling their contemporaries and put new ideas to the test of argument and propaganda.

This interaction of individuals, possessing different knowledge and different views, is what constitutes the life of thought. The growth of reason is a social process based on the existence of such differences. It is of its essence that its results cannot be predicted, that we cannot know which views will assist this growth and which will not--in short, that this growth cannot be governed by any views which we now possess without at the same time limiting it. To "plan" or "organize" the growth of mind, or for that matter, progress in general, is a contradiction in terms. The idea that the human mind ought "consciously" to control its own development confuses individual reason, which alone can "consciously control" anything, with the interpersonal process to which its growth is due. By attempting to control it, we are merely setting bounds to its development and must sooner or later produce a stagnation of thought and a decline of reason.

The tragedy of collectivist thought is that, while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason because it misconceives the process on which the growth of reason depends.

When I think of the suppression of free thought in areas like global warming or children who are suspended for their political beliefs, I wonder how future generations will ever learn how to figure out truth from fiction, or learn critical thought and reason. If science, truth and reason lead to progress and our society suppresses it, will we stagnate both economically and in terms of our progress as a society? I am going to assume that the answer is "yes."

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 05, 2010

"..they heard shots. They said she then 'calmly walked away.'"

A number of you have been emailing me this article about the lobbyist in Atlanta who killed her husband:

A 45-year-old woman, charged with ending a domestic dispute by killing her 26-year-old husband of five days, is a registered lobbyist for a group fighting domestic violence.

Arelisha Bridges was ordered held without bond in the Fulton County Jail. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing later this month on charges of felony murder, murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Officials said Bridges claimed she was unemployed. But records show she is a lobbyist for an organization called the National Declaration for Domestic Violence Order; its Web site says the group is pushing legislation to create a database of those convicted of sex crimes or domestic abuse.

Witnesses told police that Bridges was wearing a nightgown and a shower cap as she argued with Rankins on the sidewalk on North Avenue near West Peachtree Street around 10:45 p.m. Monday.

And moments later, witnesses said, they heard shots. They said she then "calmly walked away...."

Bridges' group isn't among the prominent domestic violence lobbying groups in Georgia, said Kirsten Rambo, the executive director of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.

"This is the first I've heard about that organization," Rambo said. "I certainly couldn't say if they were legitimate or not," she said, adding, "It's certainly a new name to me."

I thought Rambo's explanation was a little funny, if not telling of where she stands. It's as if she's saying, "if a woman kills her husband and is not part of a prominent domestic violence lobbying group, it doesn't really count then, does it?" Or at least she is trying to distance herself and her organization from this violent act.

These sexist lobbying groups need to open their minds to the fact that women kill and injure men and that their lack of concern allows it to flourish. Perhaps, like the gem in the article who killed her husband, when a man is hurt or killed, they are unconcerned and "calmly walk away."


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"Brighter boys learn the lesson of female superiority early; dimmer ones may never catch on...."

A reader sent me a rather weird article at Townhall by columnist Paul Greenberg. It is entitled, "Women Know" and initially I thought it was some kind of parody but I think that it's serious. Read it and see what you think.

If it is a real column and not a joke, it is a good example of the silly male chivalry on the right that all of us here should be aware of, and fight back against. Apparently, this author thinks that men are dimwits in need of guidance from women due to their poor ability to think for themselves. Women, to this guy, are smart savvy angels who guide men, sometimes with just a knowing smile and a few words:

I've never been much of a believer in historical theories about the Indispensable Man. There may be some examples -- Washington, Lincoln, Moses -- but they are few. But the indispensable woman, I believe in. Call it Greenberg's Law: Women are the innately superior sex. My theory may not be backed by any scientific evidence, but it's something every man has surely felt. At least if he's got a lick of sense.

You might even call it a prejudice -- in the sense of Edmund Burke's definition of prejudice as the body of judgments passed on as received wisdom from generation to generation, and that need not be proven anew in every age. The word for it in these fecund Southern latitudes is mother wit. Note that nobody ever called that kind of inner knowledge father wit. ...

Every boy soon learns that women seem to know intuitively what the weaker male sex may grasp only by effort and education. Which is why it requires marriage and family to civilize the male animal. He needs a woman's tutelage [my emphasis].

Brighter boys learn the lesson of female superiority early; dimmer ones may never catch on....

What kind of nonsense is this and why is Townhall taking part in perpetuating it? Is it just popular on both the right and left to bash men to get laid or maybe "get out of the doghouse" with his wife like one of the commenters (Sandy) to this article suggested?

What is the point of this ridiculous column? That the writer dislikes men who might compete with him? That he has been brainwashed by the women in his life into believing this nonsense? Or most likely, that he is probably a closet chauvinist himself who has to placate women so they won't go worrying their pretty little heads, lest they actually do something more than "intuit" a situation and feel good about themselves for their lack of real fact-finding? Who knows?

What I do know is that we need to call these "chivalrous" men out when they undercut other men. For what they do is as dangerous as what the left does when they bash and punish men because of their sex, and they should be held just as accountable.

Labels: , ,

Can you work alone or do you need the power of a group to protect you?

I was reading the comments in the previous post and saw one by Kevin M. that got me thinking about working alone vs. working in a team, and which one is better. Kevin M says:

If I had kids, I'd tell them the smartest thing they could do is avoid working in large groups or corporations. Teamwork is horsesh*t today; you have more to worry about your coworkers than someone in a dark alley. Michael Crichton called it perfectly in his novel Disclosure.

If I were to use a word to characterize the next 30 years of American economics, it would be "mercenary." Our kids are going to have to learn to look out for themselves more than our parents ever did. It's getting predatory out there.

As a psychologist, many of my classes and graduate work focused on helping people learn to be more social with others. Though in one more enlightened class at the New School for Social Research, we debated whether man was really a social animal or not. Was it okay to be a hermit? Honestly, in today's world, I am thinking the answer might be "yes." Or at least working independently if you are the type who does well with that.

The problem is, that on an individual level, working alone or with just a few trusted others can be more rewarding and profitable, but on the other hand, big groups seem to have more power and often take over small groups of people and render them powerless. For example, look at what is happening to small business today. They are being regulated and taxed to death, while bigger groups such as big business and government work together to screw them. The Tea Parties are a way for disparate small groups of people to come together into a bigger group that has more power. I think people can do okay on an individual level but the society will lose out if we all keep to ourselves.

What do you think, can you make it okay in today's world working alone completely or in a small group or do you think it necessary to bond with, and work with others to keep from losing our rights and freedoms?

Monday, March 01, 2010

"...we are forcing them to quantify their value based on something out of their control: men."

Commenter Fidelio makes note of this article at Forbes entitled "Marriage, The Last Frontier" by columnist Jenna Goudreau. Goudreau naively thinks that marriage is the last frontier of the women's movement but mainly seems pissed that men are not under her and other women's thumb:

After reading Hannah Seligson's book A Little Bit Married--designed to invoke an internal freak-out that goes something like this: Why am I not married? Will I ever be married? Will I be forced to wait so long that my eggs dry up, my boobs reach my belly button and every eligible bachelor deems me unworthy of love?--I decided that marriage is the last frontier of the women's movement....

In part that's because this new generation features the "child-man," Seligson offers, who doesn't feel like adulthood comes until age 35. He lives with a woman for the regular sex and side benefits of emotional nurturing and a free live-in maid. Marriage is not yet on his mind because marriage represents financial stability, an end to partying and generally becoming old (apparently love and commitment are not deemed worthy criteria).

On this point I think she's right. A young urbanite myself, I know many of these man-children, who I find both amusing and frightening, and begrudgingly call friends. I do not, however, date them with the anticipation of marriage. Are we women so silly and trusting as Seligson suggests?

Staff reporter Goudreau is trying to make it sound like she thinks marriage is not anything that the modern woman should strive for but her wording here is more telling of what she really thinks:

If we continue writing guides on how to get your guy to propose or in-depth analysis on why he hasn't, we're not teaching our young women to focus on the quality (and equality) of their relationships. Rather we are forcing them to quantify their value based on something out of their control: men.

Ahh, so the real problem for this columnist is that men are supposed to come under women's control in order for women to feel satisfied and stop them from calling men names like "man-children." Boy, that's really going to get the men running to get married! When women learn that a relationship is about love, compassion and equality, rather than control, maybe men will start to want to marry them again. Goodreau has it all wrong. It is not that men are "man-children." They are just grown-up enough to know that a controlling woman like Goodreau does not a good wife make.

Update: Stuart Schneiderman has more.

Labels: ,

John Hawkins has a new site on self-help quotes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Run, Joe, Run!

Well, Suze Orman is back at it again, playing the henpecking man-hater who tells women to get divorced from their husbands for making what she perceives to be financial mistakes. I thought she had started to recover from her man-hating, sexist ways, but I was wrong. I watched last night's show (Sat, Feb. 27th) and she had on Andrea, a real winner of a wife who met with Suze to basically castrate her husband, Joe, without his even being present. Ms. Orman stated that Joe was supposed to be on the show, but decided not to show. Gee, I wonder why?

Could it be that he knew that this man-hating show would pit his wife and Orman against him and he didn't have a prayer? Perhaps. Joe's crime? He dared to want to go back to law school in his forties and his wife made more money than him. It seems that wife Andrea makes $120,000 per year and poor Joe only makes $90,000. Joe has little in retirement and was in the military,then went to film school and now, (gasp!) wants to go to law school. Okay, so what? If it was a woman, she would be told to fulfill her dreams. Joe is castrated by these two man-haters as a pathetic loser who is going to lose his marriage if he can't step back in line.

Orman and the wife ooze their disgust on national television while Orman gives Joe a lecture on what a loser he is (see pic above). Repeatedly calling him by his first name, she sounded like Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person In The World" segment. He was not there to defend himself, nor have I ever seen a man defend himself on Orman's show. Do they not dare or are they not allowed?

All I can say to Joe, wherever he is out there, is that your wife should not have gone on national television without you. When you decided not to go on, she should have declined the castration--I mean, invitation. If you ever want to tell your side of the story, I would be happy to have you on my "Ask Dr. Helen" show on PJTV. If men would start to come forward and fight back against the sexism of the likes of Suze Orman and your wife Andrea, then maybe women would stop shaming their men in public. Fight fire with fire. Until then, expect the media to treat men like dirt, and humiliate them, because, well, they can.

Oh, and Suze is doing some "research" on men and money and has asked men to go to her site and answer the question, "If you had the choice, would you prefer to be the primary breadwinner of the family?" If you have something to say to her, you can go here to let her know what you think of men and money.

Labels: , , ,