Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Unforced Error

Talk about big mistakes! The National Review has decided to pick a fight with, of all people, Neil DeGrasse Tyson:




First of all, if you are a National Review reader, then it is safe to say that Dr Neil Degrasse Tyson (BA: Physics, Harvard University; MA: Astronomy, UT Austin; MPhil: Astrophysics, Columbia University; PhD: Astrophysics, Columbia University) is smarter than you. He's smarter than me. He's pretty much smarter than anybody (antipodeans not counted) you'll meet.

That out of the way, Dr Tyson always seems to be very diplomatic when it comes to political issues, and even praised Republicans when it came to funding science- I'll note that funding projects in astrophysics funnels money into the Military Industrial Complex, due to all of the hardware involved. By dragging Dr Tyson, who is a popular, charismatic figure, into a political brawl, conservatives can only lose. Bill Maher offered up Tyson's combination of race, intelligence, and charisma as a reason for the conservative hate-on for Dr Tyson, while D.R. Tucker opined that it is Dr Tyson's belief in anthropogenic climate change.

Sadly, only the opening of Chucky Cooke's article is available on the web for free, and I absolutely refuse to pay money to kill my brain cells unless alcohol is involved. The smart Charles, Mr Pierce, took the dumb one to the woodshed.

I've met Dr Tyson on two occasions, and he is as nice a gentleman as he is a brilliant populizer of science. I don't think he'd want to be dragged into a pointless Left/Right "battle", but if the Conservative establishment wants to pick this fight, all I can say is, "Please proceed, conservatives!"


Edit: Special thanks to Buddy McCue, who not only clued me in to this article, but linked to a thread in which the article was cut-and-pasted. Yeah, it's even worse than you think. My favorite part was this:


"Science and 'geeky' subjects," the pop-culture writer Maddox observes, "are perceived as being hip, cool and intellectual." And so people who are, or wish to be, hip, cool, and intellectual "glom onto these labels and call themselves 'geeks' or 'nerds' every chance they get."

Which is to say that the nerds of MSNBC and beyond are not actually nerds but the popular kids indulging in a fad. To a person, they are attractive, accomplished, well paid, and loved, listened to, and cited by a good portion of the general public.



It's a funny juxtaposition, especially since people like Rachel Maddow are actual scholars. The real news is that the actual nerds won the culture war- we're living in Gary's world now. Chuckie Cooke goes on to whine:


In this manner has a word with a formerly useful meaning been turned into a transparent humblebrag: Look at me, I'm smart. Or, more important, perhaps, Look at me and let me tell you who I am not, which is southern, politically conservative, culturally traditional, religious in some sense, patriotic, driven by principle rather than the pivot tables of Microsoft Excel, and in any way attached to the past.


To that I say, there's nothing that says that a person who is "southern, politically conservative, culturally traditional, religious in some sense, patriotic, driven by principle rather than the pivot tables of Microsoft Excel, and in any way attached to the past" needs to be stupid, but conservatives like Representative Paul Broun choose stupidity. The whole article is merely a whine that the Movement Conservative base chooses to let the stupid people not only speak to them, but to set the policy goals for political conservatives. If Cooke has a beef, it should be with the knuckle-draggers, not the "smart set" that ridicules them.


8 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The willfully ignorant wish that you would appreciate their efforts more.
~

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The willfully ignorant wish that you would appreciate their efforts more.

It's funny how, for all of their whining against affirmative action, they want gold stars for spewing pure crap.

Smut Clyde said...

The pictures I have seen of C. W. Cooke, he resembles those slackjawed village yokels who populate the backgrounds of Breughel paintings.

Smut Clyde said...

In this manner has a word with a formerly useful meaning been turned into a transparent humblebrag:

Shirley this is the crux of the biscuit. Cooke is complaining that "nerd", an insult he previously found "useful", has been robbed of its value for hurting people he doesn't like.

Robert Guffanti said...

Dunning and Kruger probably did not have Cooke in mind but they may as well have. Willful ignorance, perhaps, but ignorance nonetheless.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The pictures I have seen of C. W. Cooke, he resembles those slackjawed village yokels who populate the backgrounds of Breughel paintings.

You're too charitable- he's more like a yokel from a Tobe Hooper movie.

Shirley this is the crux of the biscuit. Cooke is complaining that "nerd", an insult he previously found "useful", has been robbed of its value for hurting people he doesn't like.

Too right! It's yet another front in the culture war that they have lost.

Dunning and Kruger probably did not have Cooke in mind but they may as well have. Willful ignorance, perhaps, but ignorance nonetheless.

Cooke's problem is that he wants to take the mantle from Jonah Goldberg. Is "Nerd Fascism" far behind?

jim said...

.......... & Knotts throws a right cross, hoping against hope that Tyson can somehow be kept laughing long enough to drop his guard ...

Link to full text = DOORWAY TO INFERNAL DERP.

ts;hts*
_______________________________________
* Too stupid; had to skim

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

& Knotts throws a right cross, hoping against hope that Tyson can somehow be kept laughing long enough to drop his guard ...

Pretty much!