You’ll never guess what couple is one of the first out of the gate distorting the Oregon Medicaid study:
I’m sure you are all shocked they are doing what they are paid to do.
At first, I thought this article at Salon was an April Fool’s joke:
But I guess it’s for real. Of course, every cultural product is fair game for critique — even TV shows about the zombie apocalypse — and the author makes some interesting points. On the other hand, it’s a TV show about the fucking zombie apocalypse!
Some of the comments below the article were fascinating:
mikill330399: How do people live based on seeing nothing but classes of people? I dont live that way and therefore this column offends me. I have white/black/asian/indian friends and I dont see or treat them any different. I dont even notice their ethnicity. To me it is racist to classify everyone and see them as different. Needing to be portrayed a certain way means you dont see them as equal. Im surprised the author is not fighting for the Zombies as an opressed class.
Carlos H: If you “don’t even notice their ethnicity,” how do you know you have “white/black/asian/indian friends”? Maybe, they are just all white or all black. Please. The 1970’s called, it wants its “know-nothing” rhetoric about race back.
CitizenRob: It is possible to not notice a person’s race. Oprah and Colin Powell are two people who I didn’t realize were African American until they themselves, or somebody else mentioned. It wasn’t that I didn’t SEE their ethnicity, it was that somehow their personalities never gave me a chance to actually notice their ethnicity until they themselves brought my attention to it, (or in the case of Colin Powell a newscaster mentioned it during a story.) My only wish would be that it were possible to always approach all people this way. (See the person they are before their race/ethnicity.)
I’ve heard people say this before (that they don’t notice race or ethnicity), and honestly, I’ve always found the claim difficult to believe. I suspect humans are hardwired to categorize the people they see on a number of axes, including gender, age and race — despite the fact that the categories are fluid and/or meaningless to some extent. Isn’t the important thing what you do with that information?[X-posted at Rumproast]
Observation: If you want to know what Nate Silver would be like if he decided to use his powers for “soft jazz glibertarian concern trolling of liberals” instead of for good, then the Freakonomics franchise is about as close as you can get. It’s what happens when a Village Centrist and a Chicago school social economist team up for maximum totebagger nonsense.
Every single story there is “Here’s this liberal policy that you probably think is a no brainer. Now here’s our cherry-picked cost/benefit analysis that shows there’s really a massive hidden socioeconomic price of that policy because the evil and stupid federal government gets involved at this point here. It’s okay however, because you’re subconsciously doing the counter-intuitive opposite of this policy on your own personal microeconomic scale. And since so is everybody else, that’s why the policy seems to ‘work’ at the macro level. You’re just a delusional hypocrite, that’s all. Still, enjoy the guilt while you ruminate on the fact that government can never, ever work.”
And if the story isn’t about a liberal policy screwed up by the gubment, it’s “here’s this conservative free-market policy that you would think doesn’t work but…” and then you have to punch somebody. Luckily, hanging around this place long enough has allowed me to recognize the standard McBargle/Reasonoid logic these guys employ and go “But your entire premise is self-serving bullshit that only works as the very definition of confirmation bias. Go stick your head in a goat orifice. Thanks.”
Makes me want to set a Thermomix on fire.
I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once
For now, people are mostly making fun of this idiocy (Sullivan; Chait; Josh Marshall), but I wonder: how long til someone at Slate takes the contrarian position “sure, it’s easy to mock Megan McArdle for saying this but once you get past the conventional wisdom of our hippie overlords you will see the logic, and, empirically, the Finns have a proud tradition of shooter-rushing, which children learn from an early age, and they have a much lower rate of mass shootings blah blah blah”.
Also too, a new feather in McArdle’s cap: “She is a Bernard L. Schwartz fellow at The New America Foundation”. I don’t know who Bernard L. Schwartz is, but if he’s dead, this is much worse than a posthumous conversion to Mormonism.
Part of me hopes the Mayans turn out to be right later this week (that would show Nate Silver!) just to put an end to this kind of thing.
Megan McCardle is still one of the dumbest fucking human beings on the planet.
I’m now longing for the days when she talked about $1000 blenders.
Megan McArdle is a Koch-trained conservative activist working as a business journalist and pundit. She earned her MBA from the University of Chicago, received journalism training at the Kochs’ flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies, and has used her position at The Atlantic and, most recently, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, to run cover for and promote Koch interests and the Republican Party agenda. In early 2009, a GOP outfit backed by the Kochs hailed McArdle for her “leadership role in … re-branding the Republican party.” McArdle continues to conceal the extent of her deeply conflicted relationships with the Koch influence-peddling machine.
Not to toot my own horn but I feel that my take-down of her Iraq War cost estimates was probably my best work.
After a brief gastritis-induced hiatus, Megan McArdle has resumed (via) her reign of terror at her new Daily Beast digs. FDR is a an “economic idiot” because shut up, that’s why. I liked this comment summing up glibertarian economic ideas:
I’ve started to think that the whole point of Libertarian economics is to generate enough science-y sounding “theories” that they can ignore empirical evidence. FDR’s an idiot, we can prove it, no need to look at boring stuff like economic outcomes.
More and more, I subscribe to the honeypot theory of the Daily Beast. Tina Brown is gathering all the empty, inane second-to-third tier pundits together in one place. Fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here.