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Alexander Zaitchik - Glenn Beck’s War on Reason
Posted: 01 September 2010 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 03:55 PM

Here is how to find a concrete example of Beck using and spreading irrationality:  Get a book on critical thinking, read the part about logical fallacies, and then watch or listen to his show.  There is your example(s).

You mean you have to watch the show! Sounds like a trick…

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Posted: 01 September 2010 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 03:55 PM

Here is how to find a concrete example of Beck using and spreading irrationality:  Get a book on critical thinking, read the part about logical fallacies, and then watch or listen to his show.  There is your example(s).

That’ll only work, if you’re trying to persuade someone against Beck, with someone who has that knowledge and understanding.

They have to put the effort in and if they love Beck and you vocally hate Beck, they ain’t going to listen to you.

Sorry, you are correct however lacking knowledge, people are motivated by fear, emotions,  etc… Bush motivated a nation on fear of what Saddam might do.

Politicians are great at it. Salesmen, those highly emotional people trying to sell the latest whamo product. Religions use fear before, now they use love.

I’m not a humanist but I wonder how Humanism might choose to address this if it wants to be an opinion leader.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Jackson - 01 September 2010 04:17 PM
Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 03:55 PM

Here is how to find a concrete example of Beck using and spreading irrationality:  Get a book on critical thinking, read the part about logical fallacies, and then watch or listen to his show.  There is your example(s).

You mean you have to watch the show! Sounds like a trick…

LOL Best post yet! IMO

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Posted: 01 September 2010 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Jackson - 01 September 2010 04:17 PM
Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 03:55 PM

Here is how to find a concrete example of Beck using and spreading irrationality:  Get a book on critical thinking, read the part about logical fallacies, and then watch or listen to his show.  There is your example(s).

You mean you have to watch the show! Sounds like a trick…

  Come on, try it out!

Here is a list of some of the fallacies I noted in this video:

1.  The chalk board serves as a huge visual fallacy of guilt by association.  (But notice all the other names thrown around: Rod Blagojevich, Al Capone, Tony Rezko…)

2.  The whole segment involves what some call a “complex question”: Glenn introduces it like this: “There couldn’t, certainly, be anything else going wrong there, could there?!?...Nooo…”  Of course the implication is amorphous (are they communists? Socialists? Dangerous to us?).  He keeps it going in the middle when he adds: “don’t kid yourself about what’s happening here…”

3.  Ad Hominem: New York Times and a host of others.

4&5. He tries to marginalize, discredit, and delegitimize actual journalists and sources of news who don’t “investigate” the kinds of allegations Beck himself throws around.  This one I would call a blend of poisoning-the-well and muddying-the-waters, calling in to question whether any media organization can be trusted.  This one seems like a whopper since it attempts to persuade the audience that these “others” (ahh: othering) are all probably in on the conspiracy.

6.  Appeal to fear: obviously

7.  Appeal to ignorance: we can’t prove that their not communists…therefore they must be; or, “…she refuses to answer any questions about Grove Park…”

(I challenge others to find additional fallacies: 10 points per fallacy.)

(Okay, the last bit was a trick.)

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Posted: 01 September 2010 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 05:06 PM
Jackson - 01 September 2010 04:17 PM
Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 03:55 PM

Here is how to find a concrete example of Beck using and spreading irrationality:  Get a book on critical thinking, read the part about logical fallacies, and then watch or listen to his show.  There is your example(s).

You mean you have to watch the show! Sounds like a trick…

  Come on, try it out!

Here is a list of some of the fallacies I noted in this video:
........

 


When I was a graduate student at MIT they had something on the menu in the student cafeteria called ‘oatmeal vegetable stew’. We always talked about it, none of us ever got it, and we all agreed that to talk about it intelligently SOMEONE had to order it (and eat it).

So thanks for watching Beck (and to Chris for interviewing a book about it) so I don’t have to….

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Posted: 01 September 2010 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Jackson - 01 September 2010 05:19 PM

  ‘oatmeal vegetable stew’.

Mmmmm!  That sounds gooood!

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Posted: 01 September 2010 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Want more evidence of Beck’s “war on reason”?  Okay: 

Beck on universities: “Our children are being submerged in the filth of communism”

Beck: “We have been setting up re-education camps. We call them universities”

Here’s how it gets spread:

A woman in his audience at his most recent rally praised Beck for “teaching us the real history that we weren’t taught in school.”

Discredit universities.  Re-write history.  Rinse and repeat.

I’m not getting paid for this so I’m off the beat now.  Media Matters will handle it from here.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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As usual, and I am as guilty as anyone, things get slightly derailed in these discussions.  Hence why I’m not here often.

The original post was not so much to get into these kinds of discussions, but rather to voice feedback to the show I heard. 

I’ll repeat, what I heard was little about the book (other than a couple of examples of how Beck was an rear orifice back in the days), and lots about how the two speakers really did not like the man (duh!).

Unlike some other offerings, this podcast was a waste of my time, mostly because I learned absolutely nothing.  I have a backlog of podcasts I could have chosen from, but I picked this specifically for the title, hoping to get ammunition for future discussions.

Yes, I could watch Beck, but I don’t have the time to do the kind of research needed to refute what he says.  It’s one thing to point out logical fallacies, it’s another to then go on to prove whatever particular premise we are examining is completely lacking in merit.  Many people inadvertently use arguments that are close to, if not outright logical fallacies in support of what may be a valid premise.  True, Beck probably does it on purpose, but that still leaves the burden of disproving the premise. 

Hence my interest in a potential book on the matter.  The hope was for this show to be an intelligent, well reasoned podcast I could have others listen to, and be a point of discussion, maybe even leading to a book purchase and shared reading.

No such luck.

Now, I did make one mistake when I came here; I tried to explain why I found the show lacking.  What I should have said was “It sucked!” or “DJ would have conducted a better interview, with less leading questions, and less personal opinions”.  Then again, I don’t know that last part for a fact. 

Anyway, thanks for the somewhat-trying-to-be-helpful feedback, but I was hoping to direct my comments more at the host and author . . . which I’m sure are not interested in hearing them.

ejd

p.s. @Gnostikosis - almost a good save there differentiating between intelligence and knowledge.  I am not as pedantic as some when it comes to forum posts, so I look at what the tone and intent of the post might be, and yes, sometimes I misunderstand.  In this case, my comment were directed at both you and the host and author, as they too implied a lack of fundamental reasoning skill in the part of Beck’s audience.

Assuming for a moment that you had in fact intended to differentiate intelligence from knowledge and reasoning skills, the fact remains should some of those poor people lacking knowledge and reasoning skills chance across the podcast and/or your post, I can almost guarantee they will miss the nuance, and just assume you guys are calling them stupid. 

I don’t know you, but I imagine if such a comment was directed at you, you might not be inclined to parse the sentence, identify literal meanings, and arrive at what we now know is the correct meaning.  You know, the meaning that says you are not stupid, you just lack knowledge and reasoning skills; a meaning I assume was not meant to be condemning, but rather to be taken as constructive criticism. 

If indeed you would arrive at the correct conclusion, I bow and tip my hat to you . . . if I had a hat.

Later.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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@Pragmatic Naturalist - I had missed your post, or they crossed while posting.

Excellent summary of the video (no I did not watch it; your recap was sufficient).

But those are exactly the kind of examples I would have liked to have been covered on the show . . . maybe with a little less snark. 

Thanks.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Pragmatic Naturalist - 01 September 2010 05:55 PM

Want more evidence of Beck’s “war on reason”?  Okay: 

Beck on universities: “Our children are being submerged in the filth of communism”

Beck: “We have been setting up re-education camps. We call them universities”

Here’s how it gets spread:

A woman in his audience at his most recent rally praised Beck for “teaching us the real history that we weren’t taught in school.”

Discredit universities.  Re-write history.  Rinse and repeat.

I’m not getting paid for this so I’m off the beat now.  Media Matters will handle it from here.

Followed the discussion on the recent developments at the Discovery channel’s HQ.  I was amazed (and more than worried) at the many people citing Al Gore’s “an inconvenient truth” as the cause for this man’s deranged behavior. No one mentioned that while the action may have been deranged, the underlying reasons are important. There was a complete disconnect from reality, almost surely created by the likes of Beck.

p.s. just saw a list of books now banned from many schools. Frightening!
http://www.adlerbooks.com/banned.html

[ Edited: 01 September 2010 06:50 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 01 September 2010 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Wow.  Seriously, you are connecting Beck to this? 

Because, you know, reading this (http://savetheplanetprotest.com/) my first thought would not be to link right wing conspiracy proponents nut-jobs to this nut-job, James Lee.

And what’s with the Banned books list?  Are you trying to draw Kagan into this?  So she argued in favor of government having the right to ban books.  How does it tie in with the gunman (now dead, thus avoiding a lengthy and costly trial) at the Discovery channel?

In case this post does not make sense, that’s the point.  BTW, those are not “now banned”.  They were banned at some time or other.  Besides, the internet makes book banning almost irrelevant other than as a stunt at a local level.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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ejdalise - 01 September 2010 07:44 PM

Wow.  Seriously, you are connecting Beck to this? 

Because, you know, reading this (http://savetheplanetprotest.com/) my first thought would not be to link right wing conspiracy proponents nut-jobs to this nut-job, James Lee.

And what’s with the Banned books list?  Are you trying to draw Kagan into this?  So she argued in favor of government having the right to ban books.  How does it tie in with the gunman (now dead, thus avoiding a lengthy and costly trial) at the Discovery channel?

In case this post does not make sense, that’s the point.  BTW, those are not “now banned”.  They were banned at some time or other.  Besides, the internet makes book banning almost irrelevant other than as a stunt at a local level.

Sorry, I was not clear.
I was referring to the comments on Huff. There were a lot of comments blaming Al Gore’s movie for this man’s behavior. This sort of connection is often made by the far right, those who listen to Beck. Jon Stewart and Colbert regularly have parodies on beck’s and Limbaugh’s leaps of disassociated connections.

The book thing was just informational. It is disheartening to see that great works of literaure are banned in many schools because they will “corrupt” young minds.

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Posted: 03 September 2010 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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ejdalise - 01 September 2010 06:06 PM

As usual, and I am as guilty as anyone, things get slightly derailed in these discussions.  Hence why I’m not here often.

The original post was not so much to get into these kinds of discussions, but rather to voice feedback to the show I heard. 

I’ll repeat, what I heard was little about the book (other than a couple of examples of how Beck was an rear orifice back in the days), and lots about how the two speakers really did not like the man (duh!).

Unlike some other offerings, this podcast was a waste of my time, mostly because I learned absolutely nothing.  I have a backlog of podcasts I could have chosen from, but I picked this specifically for the title, hoping to get ammunition for future discussions.

Yes, I could watch Beck, but I don’t have the time to do the kind of research needed to refute what he says.  It’s one thing to point out logical fallacies, it’s another to then go on to prove whatever particular premise we are examining is completely lacking in merit.  Many people inadvertently use arguments that are close to, if not outright logical fallacies in support of what may be a valid premise.  True, Beck probably does it on purpose, but that still leaves the burden of disproving the premise. 

Hence my interest in a potential book on the matter.  The hope was for this show to be an intelligent, well reasoned podcast I could have others listen to, and be a point of discussion, maybe even leading to a book purchase and shared reading.

No such luck.

Now, I did make one mistake when I came here; I tried to explain why I found the show lacking.  What I should have said was “It sucked!” or “DJ would have conducted a better interview, with less leading questions, and less personal opinions”.  Then again, I don’t know that last part for a fact. 

Anyway, thanks for the somewhat-trying-to-be-helpful feedback, but I was hoping to direct my comments more at the host and author . . . which I’m sure are not interested in hearing them.

ejd

p.s. @Gnostikosis - almost a good save there differentiating between intelligence and knowledge.  I am not as pedantic as some when it comes to forum posts, so I look at what the tone and intent of the post might be, and yes, sometimes I misunderstand.  In this case, my comment were directed at both you and the host and author, as they too implied a lack of fundamental reasoning skill in the part of Beck’s audience.

Assuming for a moment that you had in fact intended to differentiate intelligence from knowledge and reasoning skills, the fact remains should some of those poor people lacking knowledge and reasoning skills chance across the podcast and/or your post, I can almost guarantee they will miss the nuance, and just assume you guys are calling them stupid. 

I don’t know you, but I imagine if such a comment was directed at you, you might not be inclined to parse the sentence, identify literal meanings, and arrive at what we now know is the correct meaning.  You know, the meaning that says you are not stupid, you just lack knowledge and reasoning skills; a meaning I assume was not meant to be condemning, but rather to be taken as constructive criticism. 

If indeed you would arrive at the correct conclusion, I bow and tip my hat to you . . . if I had a hat.

Later.

I guess I’m a little naive in that in accepting the reality of my own ignorance I don’t see pointing it out as insulting but as being helpful. I am quite happy when someone points out a subject I’m ignorant on. Then I’m aware of it and can work to correct it.

Sorry I have a bit of an agenda it that I’m fascinated by how an opinion leader is created and why people listen to them.

I think that the more one learns about how this strange leadership process works the better one can deal with it.

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Posted: 03 September 2010 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Write4U - 01 September 2010 06:32 PM

p.s. just saw a list of books now banned from many schools. Frightening!
http://www.adlerbooks.com/banned.html

Wow! I just looked at the list, I’ve read at least half of them, I think I’ve either read or purchased all of the children’s books for my sons except for the Harry Potter books which should be banned for being so poorly written (just kidding about the ban!). I also see books which were required reading by my son’s CATHOLIC school, including; Silas Marner (boring as hell), Catch 22, Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and a couple of others.
Wow! is all I can say.

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Posted: 04 September 2010 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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‘Silas Marner’ boring? Oh my!

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