Rants and Raves

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A couple of good watches

I've recently come across two good, thought-provoking presentations.

One is from the Heritage Foundation archive of their noon lecture series.

Evan Sayet, a comedian, writer and former liberal talks about Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals "Think". http://www.heritage.org/Press/Events/ev030507a.cfm

Sayet begins with a story about a friend who continually says, "I hate my wife."

He reacts by thinking, "Oh of course he doesn't really hate his wife" until one day they're having lunch together and he sees his friend's wife getting mugged in the parking lot.

"Hey let's do something!"

"Nah, I hate her."

And then he realizes, "He really hates his wife!"

Likewise, after the post-9/11 reactions from the Left he realized, "My God, they really do hate America!"

This is his notion about why.

Now over here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=437008356106616816
you can find Dr. David Brin's Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2.0

There is a lot where I disagree with Dr. Brin, but damn he makes you think! And, last I looked disagree is what free men do.

Brin looks at the Enlightenment project - and how unique it is in the history of the human race.

He points out that everyone in every previous civilization has run into the problem of the impossibility of perfect knowlege. You can't perfectly know the chair you're sitting on (for example.)

But here's where Western civilization differs from all previous approaches: eveyone else reacted to this realization by - giving up.

Only in the Enlightenment project did men start to say, "OK, we can't ever have perfect knowlege, but we can keep poking away at it, learning more about it, and most importantly we can say a lot about what it's NOT."

Great stuff. Now get a cup of coffee because they are both about a half-hour.

Nota: I've written a fair amount about my own notions as to why so many intellectuals in this country seem to loathe it.








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