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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Out-credentialing the credentializers

I've noted that the Left makes a regular fetish of academic credentials because so many of their arguments rest upon nothing more than naked appeals to authority.  As we've seen again and again, even leftists without any significant credentials attempt to use appeals to nonexistent authorities to avoid having their arguments exposed via debate, i.e. the "you and/or your ideas are not even worthy" excuse.

I always find that excuse to be interesting in light of how my ideas are so often deemed eminently worthy of their attentions so long as they are able to remain on the attack. It is only when my critics unexpectedly find themselves forced to defend their own positions that my ideas mysteriously cease to be worthy of consideration.

In fact, if one stops and thinks through the logical implications, if my ideas merit substantial criticism while theirs do not, that means it is their ideas that are, in their own estimation, the unworthy ones.

Our resident female physics PhD often enjoys ambushing the unwary credentializer with her indubitably superior academic credentials.  I suspect she might relate to this anecdote, which I've dredged from the comments because it merits reading:
Garuda: "I just love how confused they get when not only does their credential trump-card NOT work to cow their opponent, but is itself trumped by a higher-value credential delivered by an aggressive debater."

TJIC: "Best example of this I ever saw: law professor and free market guru David Friedman was talking about climate change in his blog. (He wasn't convinced by some detail of the orthodoxy.)

"A drive-by commentor unloaded some Cathedral snark on him, appealing to the god SCIENCE. It went something like "I don't know why I should care about the opinion of a mere law professor. I took some physics courses in college and I can tell you that XYZ."

"David replied calmly: 'Well, I teach law in a law school, but I'm self-taught in that field. My PhD is in physics.'"
Trusting to your academic credentials is like placing faith in your IQ.  No matter how lofty they are, there is always someone out there with the means to trump you.  That's why it is much better to hone your abilities to present effective arguments and utilize them instead; the correct and effective use of facts and reason will defeat even the most impressive academic credentials and the highest IQ when those things are mustered in defense of that which is demonstrably untrue.

As Aristotle did before him, in his Defense of the Divine Revelation against the Objections of the Freethinkers the brilliant mathematician Leonhard Euler observed that there are people who are simply incapable of being reached by reason:

"The freethinkers have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth, and since they have an entirely different point of view, we should not be surprised that the best refutations count for nothing and that the weakest and most ridiculous reasoning, which has so often been shown to be baseless, is continuously repeated. If these people maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible."

It makes no difference if one calls them rabbits, r-selected, freethinkers, scientists, credentialists, or "people whom one cannot instruct".  What they are, in their core, are lovers of lies. They are haters of truth and they can never be convinced by any knowledge or logical argument because they will literally be damned before they will dare to question, let alone abandon, the dogma instilled in them by their warren.

The fact that Man's greatest geniuses anticipated them and described them with utter contempt doesn't even give them a moment's pause is no surprise, but rather, a confirmation of the predictive model.

Labels:

127 Comments:

Blogger buzzardist July 28, 2013 1:18 PM  

One almost has to expect that the credentialists will soon create a new credential to trump a Ph.D. Right now, perhaps one in twenty Ph.D. diplomas manage to hang on the wall of someone who is outside the liberal fold, and try as the liberals might to exclude all but the like-thinkers, a few wily minds always slip through. The secret handshake just isn't quite secret enough. So what can trump a Ph.D. and be completely exclusive only to those deemed worthy by the left?

Oh...wait, now I get it. That would be a Nobel Peace Prize.

Anonymous Stickwick July 28, 2013 1:27 PM  

Our resident female physics PhD often enjoys ambushing the unwary credentializer with her indubitably superior academic credentials. I suspect she might relate to this anecdote, which I've dredged from the comments because it merits reading:

... "David replied calmly: 'Well, I teach law in a law school, but I'm self-taught in that field. My PhD is in physics.'"


Indeed. That was immensely satisfying. One imagines this is what went through Mr. Drive-by's head as he read David's reply.

Anonymous Rantor, BA, MA July 28, 2013 1:43 PM  

Credentialism seems to be the way the government is going. All around me I see people establishing training requirements for jobs, many which I performed as a military officer without any training.

Truth is, most of their jobs aren't that hard. But they want to ensure that they (the ones with credentials) can get promoted and stronger candidates are left in the cold, because they don't hold the right piece of paper.

Anonymous kh123, BS in Camp(us) Trusty Arts July 28, 2013 1:53 PM  

Papers, please.

Blogger bearspaw July 28, 2013 2:00 PM  

I don't think most are even lovers of lies. Most don't seem to be that capable of manipulating lies to try to convince others of their positions. I think they maintain untenable positions because of an almost childish need to be relevant.

Anonymous DrRansom July 28, 2013 2:02 PM  

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick July 28, 2013 2:16 PM  

Did we just catch Vox praising a Calvinist?

Anonymous Heh July 28, 2013 2:16 PM  

No doubt the fallback credential sneer was "OK, you are a physicist, that doesn't mean you know anything about climate science!"

Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! July 28, 2013 2:40 PM  

Haha, some credentialist from the NSA GOOFED in hiring a loose cannon or this super duper HR gatekeepin' credentialist knew who they were hiring, double agent, triple cointelpro - who cares. Big ears have big wallets.

Rock on credentialist, their degrees and all their linkedin kiss ass accounts! They pensions are TOAST, credentialist are expendable workers. They've got no future and the credentialist women better work ten times more than men and the men better figure out that credentialism is asshattery.

Little does anyone ever discern that all we face is age, decline and death.

Anonymous David of One July 28, 2013 2:41 PM  

Considering all that has been happening the last several months it may be that the truth of Barnaby's death may prove different than soon to be published report of his cause of death. I wonder if he ever delved into the inner workings of electronic voting machines?

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/07/28/hacker-who-made-atms-spit-out-cash-dies-in-california/

Sad that seeking and finding the truth is often dangerous.

I have no idea if he ever turned his attention to the new voting machines but one would think it would be tempting for one such as himself.


Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! July 28, 2013 2:41 PM  

Laughs, one day the most popular credential will be professional outlaw.

Anonymous Jonathan July 28, 2013 2:43 PM  

Apparently, academic credentials are the last places where le differance is tolerated. Since we now give all players in a sporting league a trophy for participation why not eliminate that form if discrimination, too, and award a PhD in "participation" on everyone's twenty fifth birthday.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 2:44 PM  

The truth-haters love Authoritarianism. This is the intellectual side. As I pointed out, Gammas with Guns (especially the SWAT team - like at many federal agencies that aren't involved in "policing") is their final solution to the problem of dissent against unreason.

Might does not make right. It can only destroy the vessel bearing the light of truth and put it out so the darkness can reign.

Blogger El Borak July 28, 2013 2:47 PM  

Bearspaw: an almost childish need to be relevant.

Exactly correct. This is why The Gorax closes his AGW sermons with the following altar call:

"But there’s something even more precious to be gained if we do the right thing. The climate crisis offers us the chance to experience what few generations in history have had the privilege of experiencing: a generational mission; a compelling moral purpose; a shared cause; and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge."

--
What you are looking at is a church of people who don't want God to tell them what to do. They are people seeking a moral purpose that does not demand they be moral, empowered by a spirit that is not the holy one, reveling in "the thrill of being forced".*

They cannot give it up whether the arguments are solid or not, because it's not only who they are, it's all they are. Once humans gave up the idea that God was supremely interested in them, they were forced to face the fact that they are nothing. They can either seek meaning in windmill-tilting exercises like trying to control the sunlight, or they can kill themselves. Or they can do one and then the other.


* McRapey? You have a call on line 1

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 2:53 PM  

As to whose ideas might be worthy or unworthy, they must first be intelligible. Vox states his case clearly, both dialectically and rhetorically. Then when asked, his opponents apparently turn into Courtiers.

Two disagreeing truth-seekers will continually seek to clarify the point of view and reasoning of the other. One seeking truth against someone who only knows their own ideas will find his requests for understanding met with vapid talking points, and it is worse when the explanation requesting clarification is at an 8th grade level. They are either that dumb, ignorant, or corrupt.

In the Gospel today, we had the Our Father, but also, Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened, ask and it shall be given.

If you honestly seek truth - even if you are open to being wrong about God's existence, you will find the truth. The most truly reasonable become theists. But the ingredient here is neither IQ, learning, nor any "credential", but Humility, which is a virtue which is not common even among religions. Yet before God, can we be anything but humbled - and would we be different even if we weren't all fallen sinners?

Anonymous ben July 28, 2013 2:55 PM  

Steven Hawking comes to mind as someone who makes extremely trite, typical, and boring arguments about anything outside his field of expertise. Very disappointing and sad. Appealing to one's credentials is one thing, appealing to one's celebrity status is even weaker. Linus Pauling is another in these ranks.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 2:57 PM  

@Heh - recently on Watts Up With That, it featured an Astrophysicist, and some green lady said specifically that (or threw the anti-credential of being paid by the oil company at him). Knowing how stars and planets form might be more relevant.

Speaking of "relevant", they don't want to be relevant so much as conformist. They will conform to irrelevance or even hate or other evils. I suppose evil can be relevant, but actually desiring it?

Anonymous kh123 July 28, 2013 3:14 PM  

"Rock on credentialist, their degrees and all their linkedin kiss ass accounts"

These need to be lyrics.

"One seeking truth against someone who only knows their own ideas will find his requests for understanding met with vapid talking points, and it is worse when the explanation requesting clarification is at an 8th grade level."

The latter line sums up the bio undergrad audience on most discussion forums, back in the days of yore well before stumbling here.

Anonymous kh123 July 28, 2013 3:19 PM  

"I suppose evil can be relevant, but actually desiring it?"

Some folks really want to grind those axes, no matter what the cost. It's what makes for revolutionaries who are dumb enough to fall for promises of land and equal distribution by a band of thieves several hundred miles away.

And here's a fun trick: Which country and time period does this refer to.

Anonymous civilServant July 28, 2013 3:20 PM  

They are haters of truth and they can never be convinced by any knowledge or logical argument because they will literally be damned before they will dare to question, let alone abandon, the dogma instilled in them by their warren.

Except the denizens of this warren here of course. They are not Most People.

Blogger The Great and Powerful Oz July 28, 2013 3:20 PM  

Is she single?

Anonymous VD July 28, 2013 3:33 PM  

Except the denizens of this warren here of course.

This is not a warren. There are no dogmas that are enforced here. There are certainly some who are incapable of dialectic, but that is more the result of intellectual limitations than closed minds.

Anonymous DrTorch July 28, 2013 3:52 PM  

Wait, how did "scientist" make the list w/ those other terms?

Sheesh, those of us who actually do science don't accept PZ Myers, no matter how much many butterflies he collects.

Anonymous civilServant July 28, 2013 4:03 PM  

Except the denizens of this warren here of course.

This is not a warren. There are no dogmas that are enforced here.


Very well. The habitat.

Anonymous Beau July 28, 2013 4:04 PM  

What they are, in their core, are lovers of lies.

Precisely.

Anonymous Noah B. July 28, 2013 4:13 PM  

Euler was truly a remarkable and inspiring man.

Anonymous rubberducky July 28, 2013 4:34 PM  

The best at tearing down credentials was Socrates. Many Socratic dialogues follow this formula: Socrates finds a recognized expert in a particular field. He then begins a series of simple, innocent questions aimed at establishing the truth in the matter at hand. They never find truth, they find aporia (doubt, confusion) with all the opinions of the expert winding up unsatisfactory. The experts are often exposed as fools who never really thought deeply about their realm of expertise. Mere parrots of received, questionable wisdom.

Of course, as Socrates found out, embarrass enough experts and you've created a slew of potentially powerful enemies. Socrates was bold enough to keep pressing buttons until they had him killed. But he did show an effective way on how the problem here might be approached.

Anonymous Godfrey July 28, 2013 5:05 PM  

Did Thomas Edison have a PhD?

How about the Wright Brothers?

Henry Ford?

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 5:06 PM  

This is neither warren nor habitat, nor ecosystem.

Actual discussion and rigorous debate is welcomed here. I've been wrong more than a few times and appreciate the correction. Other times we agree to disagree.

In the warrens, the only rigor is rigor mortis. The only reason to open your mind is to get a lobotomy. Or let your brain, which has already turned to mush, leak out.

This is the thing I find most stupid about Vox's detractors. There are conservative and libertarian warrens that the discussion is as if not more vapid than anything on one of the SFWA's "member in good standing" blog. And there are liberals who can actually have an intellectual discussion (Example: Glenn Greenwald, - I have Democracy Now! on my RSS feed because they occasionally have someone with a mind).

If someone is honest, the first thing they seek is truth.

The first thing they find while seeking is the need for humility. Many turn back because they have to be willing to abandon their most cherished opinions as they may be myths. They may not be but if you refuse to ask the question, at that point you don't care if it is a lie or the truth, so stop seeking the truth. You must be willing to "cast your bread among the waters" - and it will either be exposed as a lie, or be returned a hundredfold.

Sadly, this can be compartmentalized. We all have our lacunae. Everyone here does too. But here is the next part of the journey. You either seek and destroy your blind-spots because you do not wish to have anything less than 20/5 vision, or you are content with "tunnel vision" where you see the truth on the issues you care about.

I find this especially sad in Catholic circles - in reaction to the excesses of the left, they go to the right. I would like nothing better than to find a woman and raise a brood of Enders and Valentines, but women of substance were always hard to find, much less court when the Patriarchy was accepted. I can't say I would find a PhD sexy, my limbic system isn't hardwired that way. OTOH, my frontal lobe knows what it wants and will bludgeon the hind-brain into submission.

(maybe better for AGP, but as long as I'm delivering another sunday homily). Dominance and Submission is NOT master-slave. It is more like teacher (sensei) - student, or parent-child, or wise counsellor - seeker. Submission is not out of a desire to be dominated, nor because there is no choice, but because for things to be ordered right, greater must be placed above lesser. Higher above lower. Sopranos sing melody. As do Tenors. I'm a Bass? Should I resent it or sing beautiful harmony? The submissive supplicant receives much more than they get because that is the nature of the relationship. The sighted can lead the blind, or everyone can become blind and try to lead each other.

Feminist greed is miss-placed. It is Satanic - they would rather dominate or even be equal in hell rather than submit and serve in heaven.

Anonymous Will Best July 28, 2013 5:08 PM  

The best at tearing down credentials was Socrates.

This was my preferred method of debate in college. I would just ask questions and eventually my opponent would say something entirely inconsistent with their originally stated belief. Most of the time it didn't take more than 10-15 minutes.

Nobody had me killed, but if I would start asking questions I would get cut off with some comment like "Its my opinion everybody is entitled to an opinion" which I suppose is true for things which cannot be verified.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 5:21 PM  

Speaking of truth and rationalization, I'm not making this up

The CFH site daily documents the cupidity and stupidity of the common man.

We are fallen from the men when Aaron Copeland wrote "The Fanfare for the Common Man". Were it written today it would be atonal, but we would need a Schoenberg to write it.

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 5:30 PM  

From my experience, people of average intelligence are insecure about their intelligence, so use their academic credentials to prove that they're smart. Truly smart people are secure in their own intelligence.

This is why feminists thrive on academic speak as a tactic of intimidatiom: 'My usage of jargon proves that I am smarter than you'. The unspoken assumption they also possess is this: 'because I am smarter than you, I am therefore morally superior'.

You can see how easily their arrogance should lead to a belief in Eugenics, though leftists are only for what I think of as 'Gender Eugenics', which is allowable in the PC mind.

Anonymous Brandon July 28, 2013 5:31 PM  

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 5:32 PM  

@Will Best This was my preferred method of debate in college. I would just ask questions and eventually my opponent would say something entirely inconsistent with their originally stated belief. Most of the time it didn't take more than 10-15 minutes.

If you look at the controversies (technical term) between Jesus and the pharisees, you see the same thing, but a bit more economic due to our Lord's wisdom.

The woman caught in adultery. They were trying to trap him. If he said "yes, stone her", the Romans would have arrested him since it was against Roman Law. If he said "no", they would have said he rejected Moses. The beauty of his response is that it reverses the trap so the Pharisees are now embarrassed. If they don't stone her, they admit they are sinners as bad as Jesus has indicated. If they do, then they, not Jesus are in trouble with the Roman Authorities (the could not maintained Jesus - who called them "Sons of the Devil" - could have incited them to stone her). The eldest - the wisest - walked (ran?) away first.

It is something like the puzzle of the two doors with one guard that always tells the truth and one who always lies but you don't know which one is which. Ask what the other one would say - sort of like an exclusive or logic gate - and do the reverse.

But the thing I must compliment you on is your ability to do this at all. For to accomplish this in any form, you must fully understand the other side's position.

Lies are always contradictions of the truth. They may be deeply buried, but somewhere, like a subtle bug in a computer program, there is a contradiction. Something utterly untrue.

Lies are the shadows of the truth - (the darkness of) shadows only exist because of light.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein July 28, 2013 5:46 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 5:47 PM  

Did Thomas Edison have a PhD?

How about the Wright Brothers?

Henry Ford?

------------------

Don't think Browning did either, may the Gods bless that man...

- BAR

Anonymous Beau July 28, 2013 5:48 PM  

Truly smart people are secure in their own intelligence.

I would amend this - truly wise people are secure in the light of the Truth.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch July 28, 2013 5:49 PM  

This country's workforce is absolutely ruined by credentialists. It is because of credentialism that our workplaces are filled with flaky red tape worshipers, and almost blissfully free of people capable of exercising creativity to complete their tasks and serve their employers.

Credentialists have worked hard to sour Vox's name at SFWA, they work hard in our government to sour the names of anyone left who is patriotic, and they work hard to sour the names of the remaining faithful embers of Christendom.

Credentials, credentials. Man thinks the world he "makes" is divine.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein July 28, 2013 5:51 PM  

Kind of the same thing Anonymous (5:30) said... Truly intelligent people (+2 SD),whether credentialed or not usually have curious minds. Credentials merely prove that one is capable of focused, difficult (YMMV), academic work. Weeds out the left side of the curve....but there seem to be numerous 110-125ers who are credentialed and think themselves way more intelligent than they are.

Anonymous, please choose a handle before your wisdom is relegated to the dustbin of Vox Popoli.

Blogger Phoenician July 28, 2013 6:31 PM  

That's why it is much better to hone your abilities to present effective arguments and utilize them instead; the correct and effective use of facts and reason will defeat even the most impressive academic credentials and the highest IQ when those things are mustered in defense of that which is demonstrably untrue.

Well, the fact that you hilariously even fail to understand the science you try to criticize when debating the likes of Myers shows that it's not just credentials that explain why you're laughed at, Dipshit.

A "correct and effective use of facts and reason" is indeed a winning combination; sophistry based on category errors and a failure to grasp the basics just makes you look like more of a fool than you already do.

Anonymous NateM July 28, 2013 6:37 PM  

You're right, much better than your arguments, based on your insatiable love for those succulent ankles. oh, and cock.

Blogger Phoenician July 28, 2013 6:48 PM  

Tell us again how much better you understand the science, Dipshit...

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/06/06/quoth-vox-day-vaccines-are-killing-babies/

Anonymous VD July 28, 2013 6:50 PM  

Well, the fact that you hilariously even fail to understand the science you try to criticize when debating the likes of Myers shows that it's not just credentials that explain why you're laughed at, Dipshit.

Nice try, Phony. I have never debated Myers; he ran away both times a debate was offered. And, as everyone who has read his post on Jemisin knows, he got it completely wrong on the genetic science.

"Here’s Theodore Beale coming right out and saying that while she’s human, she’s not fully equal to a white man, himself (and please, his invocation of “genetic science” is reeking bullshit)."

My invocation of genetic science was completely correct. Non-Africans are not pure homo sapiens sapiens... as some of his commenters even had to point out to him. In fact, he didn't even get it right about my being a white man.

PZ's desperate attempt to immediately cover his exposed ass didn't work any better than your ex post facto attempt to do so here. PZ was unable to point to anything I got wrong, for the obvious reason that I didn't say anything that is even debatable with regards to the genetics involved.

A "correct and effective use of facts and reason" is indeed a winning combination; sophistry based on category errors and a failure to grasp the basics just makes you look like more of a fool than you already do.

Just because it is over your head doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense, Phony. Let's not forget, you're so dumb that you couldn't even tell the difference between California and Massachusetts. I think it is a safe bet to assume that someone is going to remind you of it every single time you post here.

You love to pretend you're laughing, but we all know you're not. Just like McRapey finally admitting that he was pretending to be nice until he simply couldn't anymore, you're trying to pretend to be amused. But you're angry and it's been entirely obvious from the start.

Anonymous VD July 28, 2013 6:58 PM  

Tell us again how much better you understand the science, Dipshit...

I will. First, I note that vaccines are not genetic science. Second, you clearly don't even understand what Orac is talking about.

"Notice how Vox denigrates large scale epidemiological studies."

Yes. Epidemiological studies are not science by any reasonable definition of the term. They are, precisely as I described them, statistical reviews. All "clinical equipoise" means is "the scientist has an ethical excuse to not perform actual scientific experiments."

The funny thing here is that Orac is talking about ethics, not science. And you're trying to claim that I don't understand the science involved when Orac is doing nothing but providing multiple excuses for NOT UTILIZING SCIENCE.

Your failure here is arguably worse than your inability to distinguish California from Massachusetts.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 7:02 PM  

If Orac and his buddies plead "clinical equipoise" as the reason for not doing a real double blind vaccine study, and the reason being not vaccinating children would expose them to all manner of disease, aren't they already violating the principle, since they are assuming vaccines work and unvaccinated children are at risk?

Blogger rcocean July 28, 2013 7:03 PM  

Vox -are your opponents really this stupid, or are paying them under the table?

Anonymous VD July 28, 2013 7:05 PM  

I note that epidemiology is not even science. "Epidemiology is the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.... epidemiology is sometimes viewed as a collection of statistical tools used to elucidate the associations of exposures to health outcomes."

If epidemiology is science, so is playing Tetris and looking for patterns in gold prices.

Anonymous MrGreenMan July 28, 2013 7:07 PM  

This is neither warren nor habitat, nor ecosystem.

I thought the accepted metaphor was it is a virtual Mos Eisley Cantina. Some people come for the discussion, some for the fights, some for the show, and some for the hypnotic beat, although the house band may have been replaced with David Allan Coe.

Anonymous VD July 28, 2013 7:12 PM  

Vox -are your opponents really this stupid, or are paying them under the table?

They are really this stupid. The remarkable thing is that all of them, Orac, McRapey, Myers, and Phony, genuinely believe that they are not only smarter than I am, but so much smarter that I am not even worth debating.

Meanwhile, my monthly traffic has grown from 300k to over 1.2 million, in part because of how I easily kick them around whenever they briefly decide my ideas merit attention, just not so much attention that they'd have to defend their own ideas.

I have no doubt that Phony genuinely believed Orac was schooling me on the science. He doesn't comprehend what he reads well enough to understand that Orac was attempting to justify the failure to utilize the scientific method.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 7:20 PM  

I have never heard of clinical equipoise, but it appears to exist to give people an out if they don't want to do the science. If they can claim a shred of partiality towards a certain outcome they can use it as an out, and also use it to discredit other studies for violating this "principle".

Anonymous MrGreenMan July 28, 2013 7:22 PM  

It is pretty funny that you are called anti-science for wondering why there is more science - as in studies, with control groups, in an experimental form - for baldness and erectile disfunction treatments than for most vaccines.

Then again, liberalism is all about expressing in-group signals regardless of their complete lack of coherence...how long has it been since you've heard a liberal (especially a liberal woman) claim she is liberal because she's for freedom of expression? That must have been when they thought they were weak, and so used American middle class values against the American middle class, and now they think they are strong and so don't need them.

Anonymous physphilmusic July 28, 2013 7:23 PM  

We are fallen from the men when Aaron Copeland wrote "The Fanfare for the Common Man". Were it written today it would be atonal, but we would need a Schoenberg to write it.

A very weird metaphor, considering that Copeland himself did experiment with dodecaphonic music and serialism in the later part of his career. In general, I wouldn't regard Aaron Copeland as representative of some kind of Golden Age of American art music.

Not to mention that "Fanfare for the Common Man" has definite Communist undertones.

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 7:24 PM  

"From my experience, people of average intelligence are insecure about their intelligence, so use their academic credentials to prove that they're smart. Truly smart people are secure in their own intelligence."

The Dunning-Kruger effect is essentially the opposite of what you said. Intelligent people underestimate their competence (because they know what they don't know), while unintelligent people overestimate their competence (because they don't know what they don't know).

Or, if you prefer the Bard's phrasing:

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 7:26 PM  

joetexx here:

Last few posts have been interesting.

See the blogs of
Dr. Bruce Charlton and how Real Science is not even trying anymore.

Blogger RobertT July 28, 2013 7:29 PM  

I have no faith in credentials at all. Some of my college instructors encouraged me to get advanced degrees and I actually tried three different times, but each time I got bored and dropped out. I'm a voracious reader, but I never learned a thing. One of my professors got me a position with the U of Wisconsin and I didn't even have the courtesy to turn them down, I just didn't show up. Credentials in the soft fields like sociology, history, education, business are meaningless. They're a compete waste of time. Physics, perhaps not. I dropped that area of study when I switched from pre med to accounting. Although I've led a bit of a checkered background, I have learned that people who rely on their credentials to win arguments are dweebs and tools.

Anonymous MrGreenMan July 28, 2013 7:29 PM  

@wfgodbold

I might suggest Romans 1:20-32, especially:

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 7:39 PM  


joetexx here:

Vox,

I understand why you keep Phonecian around as a Horrible Lab Demonstration.

But can you please make him put a lid on "dipshit'? It is inexpressibly wearying to see it over and over again. Like listening to a fourth grader with Tourette's syndrome.

Anonymous NateM July 28, 2013 7:40 PM  

Semi OT and this may have been posted her before:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/find-by-topic/

you can basically access any course MIT offers online (or most), free of charge. In some cases you have to purchase the text book, but in others that information is included. So kinda makes you think, what good are credentials again? Since one could basically audit every course an MIT grad did for a certain degree (tests and assignments included), what would be the difference in knowledge aside from the pat on the head that comes with being told you are one of the special ones who was admitted? Especially in disciplines like mathematics. Basically either you can do the math, or you can't, whether you have the degree or not becomes irrelevant. If you can do an equation some MS/PhDs can't do, what is the value of their degree over your self taught education?

Laramie hit the nail no the head earlier, credentialism ruins the work force. I've encountered countless times when I had the answer to a question due to outside knowledge or experience but was specifically told I couldn't give it, simply because I didn't have the piece of paper. And employers wonder why employees seem so lazy. They have been told time and again NOT to do anything outside their job description.

Anonymous Godfrey July 28, 2013 7:51 PM  

Feeling inferior because you can't create, invent or build anything?

If so, then you need to earn a PhD at FU University. At FU, you’ll realize the psychological security you so desperately seek. With a PhD from FU, you can feel superior without having really accomplished anything.

Here at FU, we’ll give you the tools to enable you to engage in hours of meaningless and truly unproductive intellectual masturbation. So, why are you waiting? Call FU right now! Your insatiable ego demands it.

Anonymous Teenage Jail July 28, 2013 7:55 PM  

"But there’s something even more precious to be gained if we do the right thing. The climate crisis offers us the chance to experience what few generations in history have had the privilege of experiencing: a generational mission; a compelling moral purpose; a shared cause; and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge."

Eric Hoffer, who didn't have so much as an elementary school diploma, wrote all about this mentality in "The True Believer". There's more truth in that little book than in thousands of PhD theses.

Anonymous Godfrey July 28, 2013 8:04 PM  

@Teenage Jail July 28, 2013 7:55 PM
"Eric Hoffer... wrote all about this mentality in "The True Believer". There's more truth in that little book than in thousands of PhD theses."



Agreed. That's was one of the most influential books I ever read. It was a powerful read.

Anonymous Harsh July 28, 2013 8:16 PM  

Semi OT and this may have been posted her before:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/find-by-topic/


I've watched a few of the computer science videos and they're pretty good. I definitely recommend them to anyone wanting to pursue that field of study.

Blogger El Borak July 28, 2013 8:25 PM  

I have no faith in credentials at all.

The best professor I ever had broke us of our innate fear of credentialism in my first graduate history class. The assignment was to take a history book by a Harvard professor,* published by Oxford University Press, and find and correct 5 errors. My paper was 35 pages long and did not correct 5 errors, but 5 categories of errors. Mine was not the longest paper in the class. Nor did any of us share the same 5 errors.

A PhD in history does not mean you know history. You probably know one little piece of it very well. You probably know quite a bit of it pretty well. But it does not mean that you know anything close to all of it; it does not even mean you can discuss most of it intelligently. I suspect most PhDs are the same.

But the worst part of our little credentialism exercise was the revelation that not only was this particular PhD ignorant of large swaths of history, she was blatantly dishonest in the areas she did understand, dishonest to the point that she was expunging parts of Vasco De Gama's letters and then claiming there was no evidence for exactly what he saw. She parlayed her credentials into a leftist rant that resembled what actually happened in the New World that The Hobbit resembled what happened at Little Big Horn.

Relying on a PhD for expertise can mean you are relying on someone who knows something, but it can also mean you're relying on someone who is a very, very good liar. And it's very, very hard to tell the difference sometimes.

*"Encounters in the New Word," by Jill Lepore. You might recognize her as NYT's favorite Tea Party "historian."

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 8:31 PM  

Other women like to whack me around with credentials quite often. What irks me the most is that many of them have never worked a day in their lives. Can you really call yourself a "Harvard educated lawyer" if you've never actually practiced law? Never earned a dime? Never even had to pay your own bills? Ironically, they're often feminists who also like to brag about how independent they are with the education their FATHER bought for them and the HUSBAND who now pays the bills.

I'm there because ironically they can't do anything for themselves because...credentials. Nobody really wants a "Harvard educated lawyer" fixing the garbage disposal because...disaster!

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 8:33 PM  

Epidemiology is at best soft science - statistics. It can do measurements but conclusions are not part of it.

@Phony - Vox understands the "science" as science, better than PZ, which is why he won't debate even with a several day audio delay.

But tell me, how can you equate someone with TWO X chromosomes with someone with one X and one Y chromosome?

X+Y=2X? Even when X is not even close to equal to Y? Colorblindness. Hemophilia?

Are you THAT [insert vulgar adjective of choice] stupid?

Are you incapable of math, logic, or both? Assuming you are capable of a coherent answer, as it would require some of both.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 8:48 PM  

Vox -are your opponents really this stupid, or are paying them under the table?

They are really this stupid. The remarkable thing is that all of them, Orac, McRapey, Myers, and Phony, genuinely believe that they are not only smarter than I am, but so much smarter that I am not even worth debating.

Meanwhile, my monthly traffic...


Monthly traffic is a credential.

Agreed. Dumb is in the intellect and not willed. Stupid requires full consent of the will. Much as putting your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and shouting at the top of your lungs "Lalalala".

Though I'm not sure they genuinely believe they are smarter so much that they cower in some dank, dark corner fearing that they might not be able to even debate to a draw.

Nate did, and I think I will call it a draw until the future becomes the present.

When one fears even a draw, they fear losing.

Anonymous kh123 July 28, 2013 8:56 PM  

From the link Phony provides:

"Also never mind that, contrary to what Vox says, namely that the website claims that Jenny McCarthy is responsible for all the deaths listed on the site, the Jenny McCarthy Body Count site is very careful not to say that. In fact, what the JMBC site says in response to a question asking whether Jenny McCarthy is directly responsible for every vaccine-preventable illness and death listed, “No.” Rather, the claim is that, by promoting antivaccine views, Jenny McCarthy is arguably responsible for some of these illnesses, a far less radical claim." ~Orac

Which is why they use a body count meter, not to impart that she's responsible for those deaths, but rather to imply that she's a contributory factor. You see the difference? Because science. And also, because anonymous corpses are useful for political purposes.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 9:16 PM  

Does Gamma Globulin confer immunity to common sense?

Anonymous kh123, BS in Camp(us) Trusty Arts July 28, 2013 9:19 PM  

...Continuing on with the Orac article.

In effect, Orac argues that Vox is wrong about clinical equipoise while essentially agreeing with him: The lack of having a proper control group (unvaccinated) to test against a vaccinated group, because it would be unethical to *not* vaccinate (to use Palestinian terminology) the childrens.

We can't do science, because ethics.

Nevermind the purse strings involved.

Orac might as well have said that we can't risk the possibility of studying the effects of Iron Maiden on teenagers or young adults, because demons. We can't not stuff their ears with wadding in order to protect them from indolence and trailer residency.

I'm also wondering if, as per Orac's example, cigarettes were ever manufactured by big pharma, coercively administered to kids, or if there ever was a fear that not smoking would lead to the inevitable onset of stress related illnesses and death.

Anonymous zen0 July 28, 2013 9:24 PM  

Big OT

I find this hard to believe because no massive unrest has developed:

Whites get short stick

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 9:28 PM  

@kh123

Because (insert name) has accepted funds from "oil companies", but is unbiased, we can ignore what they say.

But those who are in bed and except for their contraceptives would be impregnated by Big Pharma somehow aren't affected by it.

There might be a few vaccines worth the cost-benefit trade-off, but too often we vaccinate a million with hundreds of often deadly side-effects to protect against a handful of deaths of those unprotected.

Blogger tz July 28, 2013 9:30 PM  

@zen0

What is the logic of biting the hand they are asking to feed them?

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 9:37 PM  

Hey I'm an Iron Maiden fan and I don't live in a trailer park or practice indolence.

Blogger El Borak July 28, 2013 9:39 PM  

I'm an Iron Maiden fan and I'm so indolent I don't even have to practice.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 9:47 PM  

Damn...

Anonymous Teenage Jail July 28, 2013 9:50 PM  

El Borak (regarding your 8:25 PM comment) -- now that's education! I'll have to remember that one. I certainly remember how much it meant to me the first time I realized that something I was being taught was wrong and I could prove it, and that no one in the world could force me to believe otherwise, because I *knew* -- and I knew that if they tried, they were either ignorant or liars too. (I can't remember exactly what it was.)

Anonymous zen0 July 28, 2013 10:00 PM  

civil servant retreats:

Very well. The habitat.

Very well. Slimeball.

Very Well. Scumbag.

Very well. Douche.

Very well. Popinjay.

Anonymous kh123 July 28, 2013 10:01 PM  

But wait, clinical equidistance! Or was it poise?

Anyhow, I can't accept two random results, because Orac already pointed out that even VAERS is fairly unreliable when entering information (eg, vaccination turned my child into the Hulk) - that's why "it’s designed only as an early warning system for reporting adverse events thought to be due to vaccines." (~Orac) You could have typed any of the above from a trailer park while claiming to be at the Bradbury Towers for all the database knows.

So you see, we already know there are adverse effects with Piece of Mind (look at the cover for Godsakes); not so much other albums from years on down. Except indolence. You need to be more specific with your Maiden diagnoses in order for us to reassure you scientifically that there's nothing to it, because even though we don't know, we already know. Correlation is not cauterization after all.

Anonymous zen0 July 28, 2013 10:06 PM  

@ tz

What is the logic of biting the hand they are asking to feed them?

Man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one.

Once they realize their bowl is half empty......

Anonymous Hyperphrenius July 28, 2013 10:10 PM  

Iron Maiden has the effect on teenagers of teaching them that metal sounds much better when the bass is actually audible in the mix. It's a lesson we all should learn.

Blogger El Borak July 28, 2013 10:11 PM  

Teenage Jail: I certainly remember how much it meant to me the first time I realized that something I was being taught was wrong and I could prove it...

It only gets worse the longer you stay in school, because you move from learning the vagaries to the specifics. The more little things you learn, the more you realize that no one really knows anything for sure.

But it's not just the little things. I actually had a college text, titled "Market Research," that misdefined the word "Research." Absolutely, completely, and stupidly screwed up the meaning of the single most important word in the book. It was outrageous. It was also a $120 textbook written by best friend and writing partner of the man standing in front of the room. That was a fun class.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 10:31 PM  

Hyperphrenius is correct. Iron Maiden's only fault is a lack of bass.

Blogger El Borak July 28, 2013 10:34 PM  

The sands of time for me running low.

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 10:54 PM  

tzJuly 28, 2013 8:48 PM
Monthly traffic is a credential.


TZ this is not aimed at you specifically but why all the hate on credentials? I'm pretty sure credentials are an indispensable necessity in a modern civilization. Everything from what water heater you buy to who's your backup tight end on your fantasy football team is established using credentials.

Why reinvent the wheel? The fallacious argument is called "appeal to authority." Using credentials to make a decision is called "not being an idiot."

- Azimus

Anonymous Anonymous July 28, 2013 10:55 PM  

No mention of Alice Cooper? Pshaw...

- Mr. Nice Guy

Anonymous kh123 July 28, 2013 11:31 PM  

"There might be a few vaccines worth the cost-benefit trade-off, but too often we vaccinate a million with hundreds of often deadly side-effects to protect against a handful of deaths of those unprotected."

The trade-off point to medicine is spot on - maybe Orac addressed it while trying to ward Vox off with his credential plumage; didn't see it otherwise - but what I gather is that it's akin to sniping via carpet bombing.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 28, 2013 11:37 PM  

Sure, it should be clear that the gambit "I win the argument because diploma" is absurd, but it's also sort of a Frosty the Snowman gambit, he's gonna melt tomorrow. The bigger thing is, from what I'm reading here, I think it's important not to get all Luddite about education, and turn anti-education per se simply because education has been co-opted by the left. That's the real problem: there's no point in pillorying the soft sciences in and of themselves -- we do actually need philosophy (and always will), and psychology, sociology etc are capable of telling us useful things, if only we will practice them with integrity. Freud for instance had a right to be wrong, as it were; his great sin against human knowledge is that he viewed his studies as a cult and a power base, viz., he practiced without integrity. Even feminism is worth exploring, if only as a branch of epistemology and anthropology to discover exactly how and why they're wrong. The problem is these disciplines are all infested with leftists, who use them as weapons in their insane struggle against all that is good, rather than using them as platforms for expanding human understanding. Purge the leftists (if you can!) and you will discover that the soft sciences, while by definition not as reliable as the hard ones, do have something useful to say to humanity.

btw I'm no controversialist on the vaccine question (don't know enough to comment with a strong opinion), but I will remind you that there are two very prominent bits of historical data worth pondering:
a) within living human memory, polio was a terrible, monstrous scourge; and in the wake of vaccine development, it is all but forgotten -- polio didn't just burn itself out the way the Black Plague did, it was consciously eradicated via vaccination.
b) ditto smallpox, IIRC.

Worth pondering.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 28, 2013 11:44 PM  

"No mention of Alice Cooper? Pshaw..."

That's amateur hour. THIS is what you *really* want!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev_Ezgxk5og

Anonymous kh123, BS in Camp(us) Trusty Arts July 28, 2013 11:55 PM  

In order to diagnose more effectively beyond reports of deja vu, feelings of being caught in time, or children turning into their favorite Marvel characters - since VAERS is crazy but accurate like that - I need to ask: Lack of bass, as in the drums, or of the four string variety?

Science and indolology need your help.

Anonymous Mudz July 28, 2013 11:59 PM  

@ scoobious

Or maybe people stopped uh, analingusing. Or drinking poo water. It was all but unknown before then, too.

I don't know about the efficacy of the vaccine, but this is interesting:

If poliovirus is isolated from a patient experiencing acute flaccid paralysis, it is further tested through oligonucleotide mapping (genetic fingerprinting), or more recently by PCR amplification, to determine whether it is "wild type" (that is, the virus encountered in nature) or "vaccine type" (derived from a strain of poliovirus used to produce polio vaccine).[42] It is important to determine the source of the virus because for each reported case of paralytic polio caused by wild poliovirus, an estimated 200 to 3,000 other contagious asymptomatic carriers exist.[43]

'Vaccine type'?

200 - 3000 non-natural ways of infection?


A quick google gives me this:

http://www.infowars.com/polio-vaccines-now-the-1-cause-of-polio-paralysis/

Anonymous Anonymous July 29, 2013 12:00 AM  

"That's amateur hour. THIS is what you *really* want!"

No pros around around these parts. Already got what I want. Yes, both:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hk0sGep1bc

- Mr. Nice Guy

Anonymous Mudz July 29, 2013 12:01 AM  

200 - 3000 non-natural ways of infection?

For each reported case caused by wild poliovirus?

I know 'asymptomatic carriers' is typically people, but why are they only 'vaccine type'?

Anonymous dh July 29, 2013 12:03 AM  

In effect, Orac argues that Vox is wrong about clinical equipoise while essentially agreeing with him: The lack of having a proper control group (unvaccinated) to test against a vaccinated group, because it would be unethical to *not* vaccinate (to use Palestinian terminology) the childrens.

We can't do science, because ethics.


This is just scientists taking a valid argument, useful in some cases, and twisting it.

It COULD be unethical to create a control group where the kids think they are vacinatted, but really are not, when done in large scale.

But, "double blind" is not the only valid method to do a study. It is considered the "gold standard", but it is not the only way to perform a useful, accurate, useful study. Given there are many thousands of kids whose parents elect to not vaccinate them, it would not be difficult to find a correctly representative set of patients who are opting to not vaccinate, for the study.

The scientists will try to portray this type of study as very bad, but the reality is that an open study, or single blind (i.e. the doctors are the blind ones) are often as useful as double-blind studies.

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 12:08 AM  

Dubious: I think it's important not to get all Luddite about education, and turn anti-education per se simply because education has been co-opted by the left.

Quite right. What needs to be done is closer to vaccination: I am immune to your educational blandishments because I am myself educated (about whatever).

I remember being in an online argument about some OWS whiner who had a history degree from The Ohio State University and who was all butthurt because she didn't have a corner office yet. So I mocked her: seriously, what the hell kind of job do you think you're going to get with a BA in history?*

The "education for the sake of education" leftists came out of the woodwork to patiently explain to me that if I just knew what they knew about the true value of a history degree,** I would never so despise an intelligent, independent woman as colossally educated as Jenna Q. History-Major with her BA from The Ohio State University. People, they said, should not simply go to school to get a job, but to get an education.

"So people," I politely inquired, "should pursue their educational goals regardless of whether that education leads to a job?"

"In fact," I continued,"it seems to me that you are arguing that the better an education is, the less it will lead to an actual real job."

"That is correct," they said. "True education is more valuable than whatever employers are looking for at the moment. One's goals should never be sublimated merely for the sake of employment."

"That's fine," I said, but I was confused, and told them so: "If Jenna Q. History-Major is perfectly happy with her education, then why is she stinking up my streets complaining that she doesn't have a JOB?"

"Because," they answered, "Capitalism."

You don’t have to despise education to despise education’s cheerleaders.

* when I was a teeny little history undergrad, one of our assignments was to find a job for which our BA in History qualified us. It was a cruel joke, as it came in our last class. But I understand why they do that: were it the first assignment for a new history major, there would be no history majors.
** I actually have 2 of them, with dean's academic honors, Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Kappa Phi, 2 department honors for research, a research scholarship, and a distinguished thesis nomination. But whatevs.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 29, 2013 12:20 AM  

@El Borak --

If I recall, in William Goldman's novel "Marathon Man" on which the movie is based (or maybe it was a novelization of the film, I'm not sure) Dustin Hoffman's character Babe was a grad student in history, and early in the book one of his professors gives a hilarious diatribe on the economic stupidity of being a history grad student.

But unless you're in an actual pre-professional program, like pre-med or computer science, it's silly to think you're going to get a job in the actual departmental field you studied. By and large, as Sailer notes, a liberal-arts BA (and its source school, importantly) are proxies for a combination of intelligence, diligence, and conscientiousness, and sometimes original thinking, the combination of which is useful to many types of employers under many circumstances. Investment banks hire anthropologists, pharmaceutical companies hire history majors, linguistics majors start their own businesses. Poor Jenna Q was unsuccessful not because her history degree was useless (it wasn't; oh, wait, Ohio State, maybe it was), but because she was lazy and unimaginative. And as Beckett said, There's no cure for *that*!

Anonymous Beau July 29, 2013 12:25 AM  

This past Thursday the president of our local junior college told me, "There's lots of jobs in town. _____ will hire all the A&P mechanics we can produce this year and next year. A history major? Not so much."

Anonymous dh July 29, 2013 12:33 AM  

* when I was a teeny little history undergrad, one of our assignments was to find a job for which our BA in History qualified us. It was a cruel joke, as it came in our last class. But I understand why they do that: were it the first assignment for a new history major, there would be no history majors.

A little later in life, because I quite enjoy it, I started (and have continued) to take university level history classes. As a hobby. Between work and kids and whatever, it's something I do, in place of some physical things I can't do as often as I would like.

These are typically classes that are taught at the 4th year or graduate level, in smaller groups, with really dedicated professors. Because it's not for credit, I can be picky.

Almost every class has involved me defending the fact that these kids are entirely delusional about their career prospects. I am often hiring interns for various positions within my company and I have often had to tell 8-10 generally nice kids, who have down what they are told, that they are utterly unqualified to even intern in the accounting, human resources, or administrative assistant level, let alone the professional level. Let alone be actually hired. Our internship program results in about 1/3 of the interns being offered positions.

Almost every class devolves at some point into an explanation of how a business works. I do enjoy telling the story about how we did have a project once which called for a historian, and we did have to actually hire one for six months, but we elected to train a software engineer in history than vice-versa.

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 12:33 AM  

Dubious: it wasn't; oh, wait, Ohio State, maybe it was

Actually, I was wrong. It was not The Ohio State University, but Ohio University:

[CLAUDIO] SANCHEZ: Greg says he's only $4,000 in debt but that's because he's only been in college one year, unlike his friend, Kait Legers from Ohio. What did you get a degree in?

KAIT LEGERS: History, from Ohio University.

SANCHEZ: What do you do with a degree in history?

LEGERS: With a Bachelor's? Nothing. I can't do anything with this.

SANCHEZ: Kate is over $22,000 in debt, which is close to the average debt burden nationally for graduates with a four-year degree from a public institution. But are Wall Street, the banks and corporate greed the blame for your not having a job, I ask. Yes, says Kate, and lots more. The way she and Greg see it, colleges are nothing more than training and recruiting grounds for the Wall Street banks and hedge funds that caused the financial crisis and are to blame for the growing inequality in the United States. And that, says Kate, is why she's here demonstrating.

LEGERS: This is our movement. We're fighting for something here, and this is your fight as well. My mom just keeps telling me don't get arrested again.

SANCHEZ: Kate and Greg say they'll both be here until the first snow falls, then it's back to school. Claudio Sanchez, NPR News.

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 12:45 AM  

dh: A little later in life, because I quite enjoy it, I started (and have continued) to take university level history classes. As a hobby...

Lulz. I followed something of the same path: MA in history in 2012, but a BS in CIS in 1988. I pursued history because I liked it, not because I was under any delusion that there were a lot of jobs for people who could make Power Point presentations of the Battle of Lake Champlain.*

Colleges are surely partly to blame for the fact that they are selling $25k tickets to Nowheresville. But parents are surely more to blame for buying them. On credit no less.

* Mine freaking RULED, I'm tellin' ya.

Anonymous Beau July 29, 2013 12:57 AM  

Maybe its because I live in a sparsely populated area, but my local junior college talks to regional employers and offers education in needed fields. Medical techs of all stripes, nurses, mechanics, welders, air traffic controllers. There just aren't enough people to fill these positions - but, again, it's a rural area. Go ENMU-R!

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 1:08 AM  

Beau: my local junior college talks to regional employers and offers education in needed fields...

Ditto, my local junior college* works with both John Deere and Harley Davidson - both companies support off-campus facilities where students get hands-on experience - to do pretty much the same. Living in BFE, FTW.

* from which three of my homeschooled children and my wife have graduated. #4, who just turned 16, is a sophomore there. Not bragging on homeschooling, but... hell, who am I kidding?

Anonymous rubberducky July 29, 2013 1:22 AM  

Historians are invaluable. We're talking about the realm of Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy, Tacitus, etc.

History is a bonafide discipline of great worth.

Arguments based on history are found in every corner of public debate. Pick a topic. Race. Religion. Economics. The rarefied debates in science, when you find them, do not even escape the past.

Vox Day is on trial by the SFWA due to his history.

Students of history are asked to consult source material and build up an understanding of the players, their environments, their motivations, their actions, etc. That's an excellent task. Refer to sources, not to spin.

The trick is to do it honestly. That's what historians these days no longer do. My God, Ambrose, Bellesiles, Kearns-Goodwin, Thernstrom, Fox-Genovese, Ellis, ..... ZINN!

modern historians are a JOKE! History is a veritable field of charlatans!

Jared Diamond is one not caught up in obvious, outright scholastic fraud unlike everyone mentioned above, yet his writings remain a crime!

What has happened?

History has become politicized. Lenin's first or second move.

Today's historians aren't interested in the past. Truth. They seek to influence the future.

By virtue of their credentials.

They have become the very worst of the lot at leveraging credentials.

It is an embarrassment to be a history major today, because you might as well major in outright fraud.

Anonymous Robert in Arabia July 29, 2013 1:28 AM  

Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe the fanatical believers in the Holocaust Cult are people who are simply incapable of being reached by reason.

Anonymous kh123 July 29, 2013 1:30 AM  

"Given there are many thousands of kids whose parents elect to not vaccinate them, it would not be difficult to find a correctly representative set of patients who are opting to not vaccinate, for the study."

Exactly. Is not as if these kids are halfway around the world in the Sudan. Even then, if you could separate the organizations from the politics, I'd suspect that MSF or MDM would have some info on this front.

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 1:46 AM  

Rubberducky: History has become politicized. Lenin's first or second move.

Oh, without a doubt. It was funny.* I was recently asked to help induct a number of history students into Phi Alpha Theta (an honor society for future Battle of Lake Champlain power-point makers). Imagine Animal House - Thank you, Sir, may I have another? - and vanquish it. This is serious group - or at least as serious as people who have never worked a real job can be.

We were to do readings like, "I am the classical period," etc., illustrating how each advancement in human society led us closer to some historians' Nirvana. but the last one reminded future historians of the historians' need to respect diversity and equality.

WTF? When did 21st century political correctness become the plumb line for historical relevance? Actually, about 5 minutes before I swore off ever doing anything for Phi Alpha Theta again.**

History is not about 21st century political correctness. In fact, it will survive everything modern credentialist idiocy throws at it. It will not emerge unscathed, perhaps, but I suspect few disciplines will. It will emerge, however. And I, for one, will be happy to help it find its roots once our modern insanity dissolves into its deserved nothingness.

* not.
** Other than using what little credibility they have left to make myself look awesome, that is.

Anonymous Beau July 29, 2013 1:49 AM  

Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe the fanatical believers in the Holocaust Cult are people who are simply incapable of being reached by reason.

Southrons can scarcely be persuaded, if at all, about guns or football - let alone the virtues of Bar-B-Que. It's best left to rest.

Anonymous Feh July 29, 2013 2:34 AM  

A PhD in history does not mean you know history. You probably know one little piece of it very well. You probably know quite a bit of it pretty well. But it does not mean that you know anything close to all of it; it does not even mean you can discuss most of it intelligently. I suspect most PhDs are the same.

It has been a long time since anyone, with or without a PhD, can claim to "know history" (as in, all of it). Given that there are more primary source documents available than a single human could read in a lifetime, it is not even reasonable to expect anyone, PhD or not, to know "all of it". It is not unreasonable to expect historians to specialize in some subfield of history.

In any case, these days, anyone who gets a PhD in American History is very definitely studying its falsification in order to become a professional falsifier. I would not recommend taking university courses in history in your spare time - why pay to be lied to? Better and cheaper to do some reading on your own.

Anonymous Hyperphrenius July 29, 2013 2:34 AM  

Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 10:31 PM

Hyperphrenius is correct. Iron Maiden's only fault is a lack of bass.


I never implied Maiden lack bass, but just the opposite. Understand what you've read before responding with your snark.

Blogger El Borak July 29, 2013 2:45 AM  

I never implied Maiden lack bass, but just the opposite.

There is that bass riff in Wasted Years @ ~3:30 and following where the bass is descending and the guitar is ascending. If that arrangement doesn't have name, well, it ought to.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 29, 2013 8:55 AM  

Stg58/Animal Mother July 28, 2013 10:31 PM

Hyperphrenius is correct. Iron Maiden's only fault is a lack of bass.

I never implied Maiden lack bass, but just the opposite. Understand what you've read before responding with your snark.


Slow down,, Turbo. I wasn't being sarcastic. I love Iron Maiden but they have never had enough bass for me.

Anonymous Writers Gawking At Vox July 29, 2013 10:18 AM  

"The freethinkers have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth"

"It makes no difference if one calls them rabbits, r-selected, freethinkers, scientists, credentialists, or "people whom one cannot instruct". What they are, in their core, are lovers of lies. They are haters of truth"

I don't think I've ever seen such well-constructed, air tight, logical and reasonable arguments as these.

Bravo!!

I can't wait for he next formulation of brilliance. Perhaps:

"But of course they are witches. Regard the small welts on their legs!"

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 29, 2013 10:26 AM  

WGAV just jumped the shark. Now he is indirectly ridiculing Leonard Euler. Who's next, Copernicus and Kepler?

Anonymous Writers Gawking At Vox and Stg58 July 29, 2013 10:29 AM  

"WGAV just jumped the shark. Now he is indirectly ridiculing Leonard Euler. Who's next, Copernicus and Kepler?"

Indirectly? I thought it was a pretty direct ridiculing of Euler and Vox!

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 29, 2013 10:37 AM  

I didn't want to assume anything. Just to have you on record ridiculing Leonard Euler. Tell me, does the shark skin chafe on the thighs? I have always heard it is sandpapery.

Looking forward to your evaluation of Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, etc...

Anonymous VD July 29, 2013 12:08 PM  

I don't think I've ever seen such well-constructed, air tight, logical and reasonable arguments as these.

Those are not arguments, they are observations. You love lies. You hate the truth. We have all observed that during the time that you have commented here.

And you are not alone in this. Aristotle identified your kind. Euler identified your kind. I have identified your kind. And your kind is contemptible, in both moral and intellectual terms.

There is no point in presenting you with airtight, factually based rational arguments. You will ignore them just as you have done every time you are presented with one.

I would ban you because you add nothing to the discourse were it not for the fact that you are an important illustration of what people can expect to see from similar people they will meet in their daily lives. You are nothing more than an intellectual corpse that is here for the purposes of being dissected.

Anonymous Ann Morgan July 29, 2013 1:48 PM  

Vox Day wrote: **the brilliant mathematician Leonhard Euler observed that there are people who are simply incapable of being reached by reason**

It depends. The likelihood of reaching someone with reason tends to increase, depending on their state of desperation. The more desperate they are, the greater the likelihood of reaching them with reason. Case in point, I was once on an Islamic forum. Another poster there (from an Islamic country) was asking for help with his grandmother, who was behaving in a rather odd fashion. The symptoms he described, mainly short term memory loss along the lines of believing her children to be far younger than they actually were, and failing to recognize her daughters-in-law or grandchildren were consistent with what I know about Alzheimer's disease. I advised him to take his grandmother to a doctor, or a neurologist, and that there was little that could be done to cure her, but some things that could be done to make her more comfortable.

Unfortunately, the other posters there insisted on telling him that his grandmother was possessed by evil spirits, and that he should take her to a mullah. He did follow this advice for a few months, it was only when it failed to have the desired results (his grandmother's symptoms did not improve) that he became desperate enough to listen to reason and follow my advice instead.

Of course, some people can't be reasoned with no matter how desperate they get. I know of one case where a woman was advised (by commenters on her blog) not to have a particular medical procedure performed on her premature infant until it was stronger, but in an attempt to prove 'how well' her infant was doing, she had it done anyways. The infant then died. The woman still did not see reason at this point, but instead removed the blog containing the posts advising her not to have the medical procedure done, and left nothing on the blog except a nasty little note saying that said procedure had absolutely nothing to do with her infant's death.

Anyone who will not see reason, to save the life of their child, when they claim to value the life of their child, pretty much is immune to reason. I've serious doubts whether such people would see reason even to save their own lives.

Anonymous Anonymous July 29, 2013 2:54 PM  

He also refuses to answer simple questions

R7 Rocket

Anonymous Writers Gawking At Vox July 29, 2013 3:50 PM  

"You love lies. You hate the truth."

Can you identify the lies I love and the truths I hate? Or is this "observation" without merit and just a feeeeeeling?


" I have identified your kind. And your kind is contemptible, in both moral and intellectual terms"

And yet you have made no effort at all to identify examples of my moral contemptibility. Does it boil down merely to "he doesn't agree with me, he is therefore contemptible?"


"There is no point in presenting you with airtight, factually based rational arguments"

This conclusion really can't be tested until you present me with an airtight, factually based rational argument.


"You are nothing more than an intellectual corpse that is here for the purposes of being dissected."

Oh, please. I'm much more than that. At least grant me the status of being the person that notices when certain observations are baseless.

Anonymous Writers Gawking At Vox and Stg58 July 29, 2013 3:53 PM  

"Looking forward to your evaluation of Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, etc.."

Did they also suggest that free thinkers are "haters of truth"? Because if they did, I offer a simple evaluation of these thinkers too.

Anonymous Zartan July 29, 2013 6:13 PM  

@David of One

Barnaby Jack previously showed how Insulin pumps could be ordered to dump all the insulin remotely.

His presentation this year was supposed to be on Pacemakers and that they could be ordered to deliver lethal voltage jolts to the heart.

Rumor has it Medtronic is already going into damage control mode.

Anonymous Mudz July 29, 2013 10:17 PM  

Can you identify the lies I love and the truths I hate?

Sure.

A) The lies you tell, affirm, support, and imply in knowledge of their falsehood.

B) The truths you deny or reject, knowing that they are truth.

There's the id. Go get 'em, tiger.

Anonymous kh123 July 30, 2013 2:53 AM  

"You are nothing more than an intellectual corpse that is here for the purposes of being dissected."

Indeed.

Anonymous VD July 30, 2013 4:21 AM  

Can you identify the lies I love and the truths I hate? Or is this "observation" without merit and just a feeeeeeling?

Yes. No.

And yet you have made no effort at all to identify examples of my moral contemptibility. Does it boil down merely to "he doesn't agree with me, he is therefore contemptible?"

No, there is no need to so so. No, obviously not. Many people here don't agree with me and are not morally or intellectually contemptible.

This conclusion really can't be tested until you present me with an airtight, factually based rational argument.

I have done so. You failed the test. Repeatedly.

At least grant me the status of being the person that notices when certain observations are baseless.

I can't. You don't. You assert that certain observations are baseless without any legitimate grounds for doing so. The fact that the evidence has not been cited in concert with the assertion does not mean that it does not exist. Every assertion here does not exist in a vaccuum; there are thousands of posts and tens of thousands of comments here.

You'd had various things conclusively demonstrated to you and still you refused to admit that you were wrong or to modify your position in the slightest. Therefore, no one is obligated to direct anything towards you but rhetoric because you are not honest and you are observably incapable of being instructed by knowledge.

Anonymous Dan July 30, 2013 12:35 PM  

New-ish reader, here. I hope I find myself in good company.

Vox: In an article decrying "credentialism" you provide a couple of examples where credentials themselves were used to quash a supposed "credentialist".

This doesn't pass my sniff test. Do I just have a cold, or am I missing something?

Like many here, I've done my time in academia (although I'm going to avoid the irony of advertising my specific credentials), so I can certainly relate to the notion that some extra letters behind a name often mean very little. Certainly, they don't say a great deal about whether someone can truly think and reason on their feet.

The David Friedman example is particularly puzzling for me. Other than theatrical effect (That's no law professor! That's a Physics PhD!), what rhetorical victory is actually won by revealing that he has a degree somewhat relevant to the subject at hand, when the grander argument is that any twit can fumble his way to a more expensive tombstone?

What was Friedman's field of specialization? Did he go on to do post-doctoral work in that field? Has he contributed to the literature? Has he actually delved, formally, in climate science, atmospheric physics, planetary science or some other line of direct research that has some bearing on the truth or falsehood of AGW-related conclusions?

Or, on the subject of climate change, is he just a more advanced version of Mr. Drive-By with his few college courses? I certainly hope his arguments against were somewhat more sophisticated than "I took thermodynamics in my third year, therefore Manbearpig."

Maybe I'm not seeing the forest for the trees. It seems that "credentialism" is OK as long as you're just using it to win a forum argument. But this is a bit circular, for reasons I hope I don't have to explain in detail.

Help?

Blogger Markku July 30, 2013 4:08 PM  

what rhetorical victory is actually won by revealing that he has a degree somewhat relevant to the subject at hand

It is because he won by the very standard set by the challenger, which was "I took some physics courses in college and I can tell you that XYZ."

The challenger could have just debated the facts of the matter instead, in which case credentials wouldn't have even been mentioned.

Anonymous Dan July 30, 2013 4:50 PM  

I covered that: "It seems that "credentialism" is OK as long as you're just using it to win a forum argument."

I guess I was looking for some kind of grander point. Thanks for clearing it up.

Anonymous David of One July 31, 2013 2:31 AM  

It appears to be official ... some of our number have been breastfed till they were 4 or maybe 5 years old. Heck maybe longer. One of the more important metrics isn't a credential but instead a badge of intelligence and honor ...

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/30/breastfeeding-linked-to-childs-intelligence-later-in-life/?intcmp=obnetwork

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