Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Birtherism, and Other Nonsense Thinking, Explained.

An interesting, thoughtful deconstruction of the sort of insane thinking behind not only birtherism, but other ideological beliefs that seem to be unhinged, or otherwise favored by the unhinged.

The logician and pragmatist C.S. Peirce called these sorts of patterns of thought 'pseudoreasoning,' and it looks very much like a form of rationalizing. And the key to the effectiveness of these strategies of thought is that the people making errors with them are not exposed to the consequences of being wrong. If you pseudoreason your way to believing that you can fly, you pay the consequences. But if you pseudoreason your way to believing that the President of the United States is a Muslim Marxist AntiChrist, you make lots of friends (and if you stop believing them, you lose those friends).


In the preceding graph, and specific to birthers, the writer notes that."Birthers don't dislike Obama because they think he was born abroad. They think he was born abroad because they dislike him." He does not deconstruct the why of it. He avoids the racist component. And that's ok with me. After all, it's not an either or thing. People can dislike P. Obama for a variety of reasons. Racism doesn't exclude other reasons, nor do other reasons exclude racism. Thing is, it's coming from a place of irrational hatred. Everyone (but for birthers that is) gets that part. Part that some folk disagree about is, how much of the hate soup is comprised of racism?

Oh. One note further about how pseudoreasoning can help folk make crazy friends, and lose rational ones? I have seen how that works, in life. Well, to be more honest, it mostly was on the Internet. It was before birtherism became the rallying cry for batshit crazy GOPers. But still, just after the election of Obama, the shit hit the fan. And I was already in the process of losing a friend to the batshit insane, redneck, racist hordes.

Ever see someone change from a rational human being to an evil lying zombie? It can happen pretty fast, I tell you. One day you are having a rational conversation with a rational human, and the next day the person is saying idiotic shit like,"I can prove Obama is a Marxist." That's practically a verbatim quote. Yes, you can experience shit like that, or (again from the archives of my life) you can end up seeing a person who claims to be offended by vulgarity proclaiming in public on the Internet they might be a redneck. Ya. That friendship ended ugly. Anyway, I used the word zombie for the imagery, as it is not a pretty thing. I bet that she either is a birther still, or at least was before the so called long form was released last week.

Anyway, that's it for now, kiddies. Oh. One last note. Remember, if you have to get intoxicated, do it on wine, not on ideology, or pseudoreasoning, or some other batshit crazy nonsense. Hmmkay?

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