Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am continually amazed by how wrong information can be planted and flourish, despite how conclusively it has been proven wrong.

Case In Point: A fellow student at my university just told me that Saddam Hussein not only had ties with terrorists but harbored them and trained them in Iraq.

01:37:00 PM


Anonymous said...

Welcome to real life. Outside your circle of intelligent friends/family/etc, most people are really dumb, or just plain don't care. They come to accept certain people as valid sources of information (ie. the government, news, friends, etc), and take what those sources tell them as truth.

It takes a lot of energy to convince someone like that that what they know and believe to be true is, in fact, a lie.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to real life. Outside your circle of family and friends, there are people who seek out the truth in order to inform themselves. It's a free country, so who knows, maybe someday you will learn to do that too.

Ever hear of Abu Nidal? Here's a Wall Street Journal retrospective:

Anonymous said...

A2, Someone might have taken you seriously if you had not been an asshole and mocked A1's intro. Congrats on invalidating your advice.

Anonymous said...

I thought that was clever and sufficiently disproved A1's comment. It drew attention to what A1 said so that we could all realize what an asshole he is.

Anonymous said...

In no way does the government tell the absolute truth to its people. The best way to keep control of a country is to manipulate them through 'news'. Watch any documentary on the upbringing of "Homeland Security" and you'll understand the bullshit behind it.

Anonymous said...

A2's comment was not a clever attack on A1. If anything, A2's comment was a failed attempt to mock A1 that completely lacked originality and a comically-inept rebuttal of the example used by the OP.

A2 employed a copycat approach to structure that reflects a childish attempt at mockery to attack A1. A2's comment also included a direct attack on the example used by the OP, rather than addressing the sentiment that is the actual topic of the OP's post and the topic discussed by A1. Meanwhile, you can observe that A1's comment included no reference to the example used by the OP, which made digression on the topic of the example foolish.

A1 simply made a general comment that drew its relevance from the sentiment expressed by the OP. I happen to agree with their comment. If you disagree, you obviously have a different perspective that (when well-supported with proper dialogue) is valuable to this discussion. Mocking people in a manner that is entirely unoriginal and completely lacking of discussion quality is neither clever nor a sufficient means of disproving any assertions previously made.


My perspective is shaped by a background of working and interacting with people of all levels of income and education. Neither idiocy nor laziness knows bounds of education, race, or creed.

Idiocy comes in the form of a general lack of intelligence. This causes people to fail to see things for what they are (or could be), and leads them to agree with the perspective of those who have the most primary, aggressive, or prominent argument without questioning or evaluating the possibilities.

Laziness (or disinterest) often comes across as a lack of intelligence. In the example of the topic in this dialogue, disinterest results in the same complacency as idiocy. Laziness and disinterest commonly occur in people whose lives are busy spent doing things other than actively examining answers. Thus, people who are credited for being educated or intelligent in their field can exhibit symptoms of idiocy through their disinterest in other fields.

Disinterest, idiocy, and laziness are all dangerous qualities in humanity. They lead to complacency and make their hosts vulnerable to manipulation by individuals or groups that wield broad powers of communication and expression.

Unfortunately, modern society continues to encourage these traits. In order to be a successful politician or an accomplished businessman, you must be willing to manipulate others using these techniques. And in order to be successful in other fields, our peers often encourage us to focus on the topics of immediate importance to our work, rather than "wasting" time investigating and debating issues that affect the community as a whole in fields that are seemingly less relevant or more abstract.

Anonymous said...

Hoooooly shit.

Anonymous said...

Somebody has no life.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious discussion thread of thinkers vs. feelers...

Getting back to the original poster and the original question--did the example of Abul Nidal prove or disprove the claims of the person you met at school who upset you? And is your aim to learn the truth about such claims you may encounter, or is your aim to feel emotional stability and to hang with people (or convince people) to think the same as you've always been taught to think (based on what)?

The best part of higher education is encountering a greater diversity of views, the better to explore knowledge and ideas, to listen to the arguments of others, and to form and test your own more informed opinions. You can't do that unless you care about reaching the factual truth above everything else, and have been taught to recognize valid and invalid arguments, fallacies, and rhetorical devices, including the kind of ad hominem attacks and distractions displayed in some of these comments.

With luck, you've already been taught how to find, evaluate, and analyze valid sources of info and to rule out the less useful and invalid ones. In other words, how to judge, how to learn, and how to think effectively for yourself. If not, it's not too late to catch up.

And by the way, no amount of snark, mocking, or length or brevity of expression affects the logical validity or invalidity of an argument. Such rhetoric just tells you something about the speaker and perhaps about his/her motivations. It is always useful in the practical sense to note: Who offers facts in a logical, dispassionate manner and sticks to the subject to make a case, and who offers not facts but attacks or unproven or irrelevant generalizations to appeal to emotion/popularity/fear?

Anonymous said...

Oh my god that was a tl;dr;didn't even care if I ever saw one.