Monday, April 19, 2021

Blood-Pressure Reducing thought of the Day

If you criticise something online, the assumption is that you must yourself be the opposite. I am guilty of this myself this very week, reading an essay by David French criticising evangelicals and their cultural, philosophical, and political errors.  I got annoyed, as 80% of what he said could have come from any progressive Christian or secular liberal. Yet it did contain elements that would never have come from those sources, elements that deserved consideration and were not unfair.

Okay, they were unfair, but they weren't entirely unfair. It is a distinction we all have to keep dragging ourselves back to, of hearing out criticism from within our own ranks. It is harder because such complaints will often contain elements of the very things entirely partisan, unthinking opponents throw at us, and we want to stomp those things to earth immediately, or to change metaphors, strangle them in the cradle.

Okay, that would be me with those violent images, it might not be you.  You might want to gently and subtly persuade your opposition with winsome affect and joyful countenance.  If you are out there among my audience I want nothing more than to inspire you and bring greater calm to your endeavors. For the rest of you, which I assume approaches 99%, it is a reminder that spiritually this is the better course, and that is may be tactically the better course as well.  The defections from full leftist support have increasingly come from those who considered themselves moderate Democrats, center-left, octogenarian centrists who are now being accused of being far-right fascists. I hope to write about Lee Jussim in a bit, the liberal, even fairly radical leftist who is chair of the social psychology department at Rutgers but is now laying waste to the entire discipline with his temperate but unwelcome research. At the moment be it simply noted that he is under persistent attack as a right-winger, which he is a big enough man to laugh out loud at, but understands the gravity of how such a thing could come to pass. He wants the assertions of his discipline to be supported by evidence, not activism, which is now radical.  Razib Khan told him "Lee, that's a right-wing position now."

So be of good cheer, those who can manage it.  There's your entry point. The America social sciences are so far left that even Europeans are more accepting of possible criticisms in the field now, and if you are a nicer person than I am, you can brighten up, send postcards to your friends and no longer feel so frustrated. The fields are white for harvest for you.  Not for me, because I have much too large a jerk factor.  But Maybe I can at least pass calm along to you.


RichardJohnson said...

If you criticise something online, the assumption is that you must yourself be the opposite.
I will repeat myself about an online discussion a "progressive" relative and I had about the recent Texas blackout. (I was without power for 3 1/2 days.) I pointed out that wind power fails during cold spells- because that is what I had observed for over a decade of following wind power in Texas.

The relative replied that wind wasn't the main culprit. I replied with very well documented figures on before-during-after that clearly indicated that the biggest fail during the cold spell was wind, as shown by before-during-after data. His reply was "lies damned lies and statistics" -without using the data link I provided to refute me- followed by a multi-point defense of wind energy and condemnation of Republicans.

I found his response rather amusing. I had signed up for wind energy with my local electrical utility over a decade ago, so I wasn't against use of wind energy. While I was for use of wind energy, I saw the need to be upfront about its strengths and weaknesses.

(A further irony is that the progs informed us that wind energy kept going in Minnesota/Iowa etc. because, unlike Texas, Minnesota/Iowa wind turbine were protected against freezing. Maybe they were protected against freezing up north, but it turned out that freeze protection didn't affect wind production that much. If you look at wind energy production for Texas, Central (Kansas/Oklahoma), and Midwest, you see similar patterns of drop in wind energy production during the mid-February cold spell and an increase when the weather warmed up. That is, the biggest reason for the drop in wind production in Texas wasn't the freezing of wind turbines, but the cold weather that had little accompanying wind. What many forget is that there were ~ 5 days of cold weather before the storm. )

Texan99 said...

As a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, I am thrilled to have been granted custody of the position that scientific disciplines should be advanced by evidence rather than activism. That should be good for a lot of conversions.

Richard, having bought a "green" energy contract myself for years, I feel compelled to point out that, while you can choose to give your business to a company that has a higher than average percentage of green plants, you can't actually buy "green" energy, though your contract will say that's what you've done. It's a little like wanting to subsidize certain favorite members of a tug-of-war team. They all pull on the rope, and when you feel the combined tug on the other side, there's no way to separate it into the components from each tugger. In fact, it's worse than that: it's like subsidizing one tugger because you happen to know his diet is 47% vegan, while his teammates average only 10% vegan: you can't isolate a vegan part of the composite tug and buy only that. It's true that you can reward the tugger that's the most vegan. Unfortunately, most green electric contracts merely commit that the company is producing some green power; they aren't telling you how their percentage of green power compares to that of their competitors.

Sam L. said...

The Left is bug-nuts crazy.