There are a number of recent news items and comments to this site that don’t merit a full blog post, so today is a “potpourri” of several unrelated observations.
First of all, kudos to the College Board, which is evidently preparing to remove the AP label from classes in states that prohibit the accurate teaching of history or otherwise restrict what can be taught in the classroom. In a letter to participants in the AP Program, the Board reiterated its commitment to the intellectual integrity of AP classes and the principles upon which the AP Program is built. As the Indianapolis Star article reported, those principles include
“an unflinching encounter with evidence,” opposition to censorship and indoctrination and “an open-minded approach to the histories and cultures of different peoples.”
Should schools, presumably on their own at the behest of state or local government, violate these principles, the letter says they could lose their AP Program designation. It gives as an example the concepts of evolution.
In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 13,000 Hoosier students took and passed at least one AP exam.
Next, a recent report may explain why so many of our fellow Americans are receptive to propaganda, conspiracy theories–including Trump’s “Big Lie”– and various other simple-minded explanations of complicated realities. Okay, this is snark–but the Guardian recently focused on a study showing that over 170 million Americans who were adults in 2015 had been exposed to harmful levels of lead as children. That might explain it…
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, they estimated that half the US adult population in 2015 had been exposed to lead levels surpassing five micrograms per deciliter – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention threshold for harmful lead exposure at the time.
The scientists from Florida State University and Duke University also found that 90% of children born in the US between 1950 and 1981 had blood-lead levels higher than the CDC threshold. And the researchers found significant impact on cognitive development: on average, early childhood exposure to lead resulted in a 2.6-point drop in IQ.
And that leads me to Item #3, my response to a question posed recently by several people who are regular readers and commenters to this blog: why have I not blocked a couple of recent trolls, or Todd’s increasingly unhinged posts?
Let me explain.
WhenI first began this blog, I established a very simple rule for commenters: civility. No ad hominem attacks. So long as regular commenters and the various trolls who visit here from time to time refrain from personal nastiness (or repeated efforts to dominate the discussion), I don’t block them, no matter how looney-tunes I may personally regard their various theories and accusations.
One of the significant downsides of the Internet is its enabling of “bubbles.” Blogs with a definite point of view–a category into which this one certainly falls–are especially likely to “preach to the choir.” That preaching has some value–it may illuminate issues in new ways, enable thoughtful discussions, and/or reassure people that others see the world the way they do.
But bubbles can also be blinders.
Most of us agree in the abstract that we should listen more carefully to those with whom we disagree. That’s in the abstract, however. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone–I tend to pay much more attention to people who express opinions and take positions with which I broadly agree–or at least regard as reasonably evidence-based– and dismiss the opinions of those I’ve categorized as ideologically rigid and/or irrational. It’s called confirmation bias, and most of us are guilty of engaging in it.
That said, it really is important that we recognize the extent to which many people on both the Right and Left desperately need to see the world in black and white, need to identify the “bad guys” who are responsible for their troubles and disappointments, and need to impose conceptual order of some sort on a complicated, shades-of-gray world. For many of those people on the Right, the “bad guys” are all people of color and/or non-Christians; for those on the Left, the “bad guys” are all rich people and corporate actors, a/k/a nefarious Oligarchs.
Reasonable people can have productive debates with folks who occupy a different place on the political spectrum, but who live in the real, shades of gray world. We need to recognize the difference between those people–with whom we can have principled and even heated disagreements– and those whose anger, fears and inability to tolerate ambiguity have permanently warped their world-views.
We can’t make those distinctions if we wall ourselves off and refuse to acknowledge their existence, or the distinct nature of the challenges they represent.
40 thoughts on “Potpourri”
Another unrelated recent event:
“Mitch McConnell is on a mission to end expanded free school lunches”
This evil turtle has found a new crusade: Take LUNCH away from poor kids
The Republicans must be SO PROUD of their leaders. Good grief.
I like this post, thank you. I especially appreciate the explanation of why you don’t block certain regulars who post replies to your blog. I, for one, enjoy reading those replies, and from time to time I find a reasonable argument to my own position on various subjects. And I always appreciate the tone of civility that prevails among the replies.
If I hang around like-minded people, I stop learning. As for those who’ve been bit by the war propaganda bug coming mainly from our TV media, I read this article last night which is probably the most accurate article I’ve read thus far on the happenings in Ukraine.
It’s full of chronicled facts and noted links to references. Those with open minds may enjoy this perspective:
Todd, you’re not “learning.” You’re reading Putin’s propaganda and simply regurgitating it. No independent thought whatsoever. It’s every bit as bad (no actually worse) than those who simply repeat Trump talking points that are devoid from the facts.
Nonetheless, I agree with Sheila’s approach to debate on her website and her decision not taking down Todd’s “unhinged” posts. I’ve dealt with the same issue on my blog. It’s tought.
I’m more than half way through the book “The 1619 Project” and have hated it and loved it about the same as Howard Zion’s book “The Peoples History of the US.” It’s taught me many things about the black history and experience in the states since they arrived shackled for slavery. Professor if you’ve read it, I’d love your take on it. I do say, that some of the events in the book I’ve read first here so I appreciate your efforts to continue to educate us for free I might add. Thank you.
If you’ve read the book, say so. Thanks.
They won’t identify themselves??? And have engaged in conspiracy theories? Yeah, no thanks.
Zinn, not Zion, dang auto correct
Aging Girl @ 7:03: Yes, I’ve read it. It was–so far as I can assess–accurate. It was also uniformly depressing, unlike histories like LePore’s “These Truths,” which included the “dark side” of our history but within a larger context that also included the positives. (I am preparing to re-read Zinn; it has been over 50 years since I first read his “People’s History.”
From my research, it is not clear who is behind the “Swiss Policy Research” anonymous website cited by Todd. Wikipedia has a section on the subject:
“Stephan Russ-Mohl, professor of journalism and media management at the Università della Svizzera italiana, considers the articles on the SPRS to themselves serve as propaganda, rather than being serious research on the subject. He has noted that the anonymity of the website creates doubts over the reliability and authenticity of its research, particularly in a country such as Switzerland, which has full freedom of its press.”
The article goes on to doubt the supposed “Swiss” links of “Swiss Policy Research.”
The website not only is pro-Putin, but it’s taken crackpot positions regarding the Covid-19 virus. Also, from Wikipedia.
“As recently as April 2021, Swiss Policy Research recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 despite neither ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine showing clear evidence of efficacy in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”
The website doesn’t identify anyone associated with Swiss Policy Research, but the website does provide a list of “Swiss Policy Research” articles that would make Alex Jones proud:
Professor, maybe if our “school” history books were written like those two mentioned, I would have had an interest in history. I hated learning school taught history because it was forcing me to remember dates and names of dead people that had nothing substantial about their lives. I’m not sure though as my brain cells have probably died since themselves.
Thanks for responding and my last question was for the rest of the readers here. Get that book!
Copied and pasted from Googling “Voice of Muncie?” “Todd Smekens
Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.”
Todd’s qualifications included he is the founder of “Middletown Media” which touts 50,000 “global” subscribers. As founder, he can pass along his views as fact on his publication; I wonder if there is an Op Ed opportunity offered?
Of course his “voice” should be heard due to his freedom of speech just as the rest of us; but knowing his qualifications on this blog are vital in deciding how much value to give his views and to research the sources of some of the information he posts here.
Thanks to Sheila these past few years for providing information and sources to research further for facts rather than fiction and propaganda such as the Russian people are subjected to and now face 15 years in a Russian prison for using the term “war” regarding his “military occupation” of Ukraine. That law applies to Russian citizens as well as the media. The Constitution provides freedom of speech for all but sadly doesn’t require truth; fortunately it does not prevent truth from being spoken or written.
The First Amendment gives all of us the right to make fools of ourselves. Way too many humans do that on a daily basis including this writer. In a perverse way, it’s kind of humbling to learn that you are not perfect.
For me, as a retired scientist and now an author of novels, I have become increasingly sensitive to the veracity of my prose so that the plots and stories remain plausible. I do NOT write science fiction. I’m not sure I’d be any good at it. I lack the ability to unfasten my seatbelt from truth, facts and reality roller-coaster cars.
If Russia doesn’t decide to blow the world away next week, I’m glad to see that the sane people in education are addressing the psychosis from the right-wing luddites. Many parts of my novels deal with that topic as does my non-fiction, “Saving the Seed Corn…” (Amazon.com)
“on the Right, the “bad guys” are all people of color and/or non-Christians; for those on the Left, the “bad guys” are all rich people and corporate actors, a/k/a nefarious Oligarchs.”
One which is easily falsifiable. The other which is an exaggeration (not ALL, but a significant number) of documented history and currently observed in Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Davos man.
I think we really need to stop creating false equivalencies, especially those of us in the knowledge industry.
Yes, I was disappointed with today’s blog.
Tens of millions of Americans whose lives are not working for them are sick and tired of playing by the rules and getting nowhere. That is why they became attached to America’s rule breaker in chief Donald Trump. The only fulfilment these folks get is Trump’s dismantlement of rules and conventions. If Trump’s demolition includes poisoned air and water and less cash in their jeans, it’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of sticking it to the man even if they don’t know who that is.
I agree with sheila!
She’s fussed me out a few times, lol! Then again I’m used to getting fussed out, my mother still does it!
I have not read Howard Zinn s book! Then again, I’m aware of what happened in the early days of slavery all the way until the civil war. And the Jim Crow era which continued the discrimination as the government watched.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a picture of a postcard out of oklahoma, a smartly dressed woman with a head wrap long flower dress flat shoes and a very shiny wedding band on her left hand. Hanging from a bridge! Her crime? They were looking for her husband, for some sort of misdeed in their mind anyway, they raped her and then hung her from the bridge. And they killed her child!
I had four great uncles that were killed by white folks!
It’s funny how hunger will actually allow people to put aside their bigotries for a meal. Which happened during the Great depression! And, my wife’s people down in Knoxville tennessee, would talk about white folks coming to their door out on the farm, and asking for a meal if they did chores. So they always kept a plate, cup, knife and fork on a table underneath the awning of the porch.
The mob mentality will always rule over rationality. And yes, I’m sure there’s plenty of brain damage from lead, fortunately I grew up in the country from 8 years old until today. We had a deep well and steel pipes. Folks in the cities were drinking water from lead pipes and breathing in lead from all the gasoline being burned. And, not to mention fuel oil and coal.
As far as Todd goes, I don’t see anything wrong with him expressing viewpoints, it actually stimulates the conversation! And, I don’t disagree with some of the stuff he says. I also enjoy Vern’s viewpoints and, I’m an avid reader of his books. A lot of his stuff is quite forward looking!
Do some folks wear their feelings on their shirt sleeve? Absolutely. Do some folks make judgments based on hearsay and innuendo? Absolutely. Investigate, research, create your own supposition, and formulate your discussion. Folks will agree or disagree, then you go about your business.
Shiela and James speak for me. Civility goes a long way to tolerate differences of opinion, especially if the one who posts cites references to make available further inquiry for deeper understanding.
And here is where I express deep appreciation for the imaginative classroom teachers in West Texas of tge 50’s dedicated to their craft to teach the truth in ways that did not conflict with school board ‘dogma’ and allowed us as students to discern truth on our own.
I am currently reading “The 1619 Project”. I’m not reading anything I didn’t expect from the book.
I personally like to take the long view of history. That gives me sort of an equanimity when it comes to the Todd’s of this world. I remember Allende, the Perons and Lumumba. All were democratically elected leaders that we overthrew. This was long before our supposed nation building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don’t have a pretty past. That being said, we also have some good things on our ledger. Those include such things as the bloody Civil War, our engagement in WWII, even the Voting Rights act. We are only a group of humans, so I never expect perfection. I just want us to keep trying to get it right.
Remove the apostrophe from Todd’s. Autocorrect strikes again!
AgingLGirl – When Mitch Daniels was governor he created quite an uproar over Zinn’s book because he attempted to ban The People’s History book from classrooms.
Sheila – how is your “banned book” project coming along?
Todd, please. SPR’s editor is “unknown”. You have a strange way of demonstrating your belief and commitment to transparency.
I do appreciate the civility of the discussion on this blog. It seems like it is somewhat of an echo chamber, but it seems when we do get dissenting opinions they degenerate very quickly into incivility or if not, they drift into the realm of conspiracy theories.
Over the course of the several years I have been reading this blog, I have changed my position on school vouchers, but the idea that the goal of the pro-voucher camp is to abolish free public education in this country is way out there into the tin-foil hat zone too.
Education is a good place to push for long term societal change. Reading about the introduction of cars, the AAA made “safety education” a primary goal in the early 20th century and in the course of 40 years convinced the entire US population that streets, towns and cites should be designed almost exclusively for cars. I can see why people who are convinced that their belief systems are being attacked, are making education part of their culture wars.
May I take this opportunity on today’s “potpourri” blog to recommend a book just out that history buffs will find most interesting? It is Aftermath / Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945 – 1955 by Harald Jahner.
Mr. Jahner beautifully and intelligently writes ” a revelatory history of the transformational decade that followed World War II, when Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat, turned away from fascism, and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust”. I am early into the book and will tease with this bit of perspective about just the cleanup of the rubble left there after the war. Pictures of the destroyed cities of Germany remind me of what we are seeing of Ukraine these days. After WWII it took the entire surviving adult population of Germany, then later work by contractors, thirty two YEARS to clean up the mess!
Larry Shapiro – hands clapping for a concise explanation of both Trumpianism and “all about me” wrapped neatly in a package. Get ready for ’24…
Those of you quoting Wikipedia to nullify the credibility of Swiss Policy Research should know that the CIA scrubs Wikipedia often.
In fact, the Neo-Nazi uprising in 2014 funded by Omidyar in Ukraine is now referred to the “Revolution of Dignity.”
If you don’t think Wikipedia gets whitewashed to reflect pro-State Department propaganda like our history books, you’re rather naive or closed-minded:
We live swimming in propaganda like fish in the sea. Some of it supports liberal democracy but the majority of it is authoritarian. All but the most extreme requires knowledge to filter, to discriminate, to sort.
It works most effectively on your heart, your spirit, those things that you wish were either true or would go away. Your head has become like the gills of a fish, a survival organ to extract what is necessary to survive from the water of lies.
We chose this environment because we were promised “free entertainment”. It turns out that we got neither.
Sorry Dan. You must have slept through the Betsy DeVos era. Replacing public schools with private schools was her mission in life. Read about her time as an activist in Michigan before she donated a couple million bucks to the Trump horror show, thus buying her position as SecEd.
Buy and read my book, “Saving the Seed Corn…” to learn about a documented case history of vouchers and the right-wing idiocy about killing public education. It’s available on Amazon.com.
“For many of those people on the Right, the “bad guys” are all people of color and/or non-Christians; for those on the Left, the “bad guys” are all rich people and corporate actors, a/k/a nefarious Oligarchs.” Yes, this is a false equivalence.
It is, obviously, not all rich people, nor all corporate actors, but, were it not for some of those corporate actors, we might be so
much more closer to a green economy, and Big tobacco would not have been able to sicken and, kill, so many of us.
The issue of lead contamination is a fascinating angle to consider. But, of course, that does not explain the “thickness” of mind
of people like a cousin and her husband, who love them some Trump so much that they had to go to Trump tower, and take a selfie eating Trump ice cream in the lobby, after his “election.” They both grew up in middle class areas of New York, and I lived in the cousin’s home from
’57 to ’62. To my knowledge, New York City has had a good, safe, water supply for ages.
Anxiety, which has been reported to be rampant among Americans, had been reported so long before the anxiety producing CoVid
era, may play a part in the need for so many people to recoil from the shades of gray reality of the world. I’ll risk going out on a bit of a limb, and say that what I see as major value of religion is it’s apparent ability to allay anxiety, by providing ABSOLUTE answers to the question “What’s it all about Alfie?”
Opinions that confront our confirmation biases are worth considering, and I have complimented Todd more than once, though
I disagree with him much more of the time.
I read Zinn’s book, some years ago, and thought it to be quite fine. I just finished Lepore’s book, from which I have quoted, here,
I do appreciate the civility demonstrated here, and I hereby thank you, Sheila, for today’s exposition.
For those who want more insight into the Jim Crow era, I suggest a reading of “The Warmth of Other Suns, The Epic Story of America’s Mass Migration,”
by Isabel Wilkerson..
RE: Mitch the Turtle, and school lunches: That whole program was begun after the our armed forces saw that many of the WWII draftees suffered from
malnutrition, which did not augur well for the strength of a fighting force. But, then McTurtle does not give a hoot about background, only about scoring points.
Yes, TS should be allowed to spout his paranoid, unevidenced theories (e.g., CIA scrubbing Wikipedia–not saying it doesn’t happen, but where’s the evidence?) of this and that. The world would be duller, if more intelligible and intelligent, without his un-nuanced thoughts about the CIA, media (of which he’s a part), oligarchs, elites, Assange, Einstein, MIC, IC, etc. The Swiss thing is a classic example of crap in the guise of scholarly research, something TS seems to swallow unquestionably. Anyhoo, a good, timely post today and good comments; thanks to Sheila and all, even windy John S and he who must not be named.
truckin today.. we see the patchwork of the so-called freedom convoy. im a memeber,life/ of the OOIDA a trucker org dedicated to news and action on various issues with trucking. many who never set foot near a semi, wouldnt believe the issues. forget the freetobedumb convoy. I have 44 years in various industries of trucking. that is, diffrent types of freight. first off id like to start with so called clearing houses like, hire-rite who, keeps a private folder from employers who,pay them to make former employees they,and mind you, many of these claims are lies. employers of this industry,most are former drivers, many are investors thinking about the bottom line over needs of the ones who,do the work. hire-rite is a paid for membership. you fire a driver for whatever motivations.and you can say whatever you want about him,lies and all. then this membership get your signed wavier(if you wont sign it,you get the gray filing next to the desk,or sold to someone who buys the applications from you) to research his background thru private sources and of course what his former employer thinks of him. time line,for such info, indefinate. under federal law, this is illegal,and in many cases, though hire-right would say,we have limits of time to hold it,but you,the driver must submit a challenge to that info,and time it was held. unless a driver would hire a lawyer ,i called afew over such damaging lies, cost,start $5000.00. and were in a poverty class..dont be fooled by the ads,if you make over 45K in a year,you spent 15K + on living expenses on the road.signing a wavier like this,and other waviers such as paying the employer to for any screw ups related to your operations,when dispatched by him..it happens everyday!
the supply chain issue..cool, you voted for it!.. the docks owned by china that serve the west coast container frieghtm, have little storage room. its moved by rail and parked, and then broken into..end of that, insurance now covers the cost of,well deal dash has endless items as well as e bay etc..the electronic logging device.. again you voted for it. it ends any need for the driver to make a few extra miles to set up for the following work day,gone. this alone would get a driver ready to load. instead hes now waking up and driving in rush hour AM and in your way..hehehhe..
and your needs are delayed,because he spent all day loading instead of being there. industrial parks designed to warehouse and supply and pad ones butt,they dont allow in 90% of them ,to allow a driver to park for the night,though theres mega room in many of them to do so,p.s. using the restroom where your loading/unloading is most times,off limits,to drivers,imagine that.now sit for 6/8 hours while getting loaded..now your clock ran out,and guess what,no parking..
parking: truckstops get tax breaks for developing parking in their truckstops. instead truckstops such as loves,flyingJ/pilot etc, build a small truckstop in needed areas and reap the rewards. in south texas,theres alot of cross border freight coming in,theres small loves truckstops, in the middle 0f nowhere,with land bare and dry for miles in everydirection. and few places to park. but im sure they reaped a tax reward for a new profit margine over parking. hey dallas tx, still charging trucker to park in your lots? its a crime to do that, but TSA/pilot etc, do it.only in hexas..
port drivers: get ready.. i lived in L.A. thru the 70s and started my driving career in poverty. the port drivers were small buisness people,most i would say,minorities with one truck. when calif decided to require the trucks be bought up to a CARB standard, air pollution stuff, they required a newer truck now its 2017 i believe. great, a new truck costs min,$150K, now imagine that minority driver seeking a bank loan for one..i have a 760 credit rating my wite 800 and no bank will touch me. so hense, the investors moved in and swamped out the independants,and cut hauling rates to the barley operating bone. but hell, investor owned,they get discounts for big purchases,like tires and fuel.truck tires start at $450 if ya want a good one that lasts..PS>in the container port its usually you wait for hours to load,amd you dont get paid for it. and if your logging device runs outta hours,your now in violation. usually there is nowhere to park within 40 miles of most ports and you have massive traffic issues when your in and out of that area..
so enjoy the added quagmire of waiting. no one wants to drive a truck anymore. no one wants to be turned off and on like a switch 70 hours a week,in places and traffic no one wants to be.and the pay,well, the ad said,.50/60/70 cents a mile every mile,if your clock is running,and not paid parked,waiting to load/unload,or, no freight and the company wont send ya where there is some(some times for days you dont move,and dont get paid),instead keeping the owner and investor pocket full as yours is spent living at a truckstop waiting to be dispatched. that .50/60/70 cent a mile computed to 1984, is the same per mile earnings. now take the people who have a issue with us everyday,anyone!..
trump may have lost the election,but he gained 84% of the drivers who believe his BS. if we were to raise the pay to a living wage,and get paid for being on the road away,while waiting and sitting in said truck, and paid to baby sit your asspadding,then maybe it will change. but even getting paid by any company you haul for as a small buisness owner,is a crime. the law states paid in 15 buisness days. few compaines pay in less than 30/60/90 days. especially transport brokers!!and thats a federal reg that is ignored,,and why banks, dont give loans on trucks. i work a niche in my field. its pays well, but the majority never find one,and will leave trucking. in my field and like it,theres no driver shortage. only in investor owned companies like,swift/england and prime, the ones who get OJT and tax breaks. the fact isthe industry there,has a 99% turnover rate.and thats for decades. of course the investor demands thier pocket first over the driver. scam alert, the ATA American trucking assoc, has been active for a long time,demanding what investors want,and acting like ALEC to get them for the investor owned companies. ill never say the OOIDA is the best org ,but they focus on the small owner,and less on the company driver as they claim they support..all i can say is drive one,and see how far you will go before you start seeing how it works.. 44 years driving,8 years workin on them. order before ya need it, its a whole new world thanks to wall street.
We should not be surprised at the ups and downs of history we humans have amassed. Our historical record faithfully describes our civic ups and downs as individuals. I once did a bit of a study of the Aristotle/King Philip/Alexander the Great era which demonstrates just such an up and down movement in human history. The following is a thumbnail sketch of such effort.
Thus King Philip of Macedon was the first Greek to bring the Greek city states together (i.e., conquer all of them). He had a youngster named Alexander and he wanted an Athenian (Aristotle) to mentor his and other rich kids up in Macedon. Aristotle drove a hard bargain in return for establishing such an academy.
Since conquering a city state meant that all residents became slaves and Aristotle lived in a suburb of Athens, he told Philip he would mentor Alexander and others only if Philip released all those who lived in his suburb from slavery. Philip agreed, and Aristotle performed his end of the bargain up in Macedon. Alexander then went on to conquer the then known world and having afterwards nothing else to do, and (I strongly suspect but cannot prove) at his old mentor’s urging, built one of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Great Library of Alexandria, in Egypt’s Nile delta.
All of the foregoing happened many years before either Plato or Christ, so we had an early start in going from indiscriminate killings from the Indus River Valley in present day India to a repose of knowledge in the Nile River delta region in Egypt, from the ridiculous to the sublime in a real sense as demonstrated by the life experience of Alexander who, depending upon which historian you believe, died at the young age of either 32 or 33, and again upon which historian you believe, died of either war wounds or untreated syphilis (though in such a pre-penicillin age I didn’t know there was a “treatment” for this condition to which one could be considered “untreated.”)
Perhaps there’s a saint and a sinner embedded in all of us, ranging from ancient generals to psychotic Putins, though subdued by the Gandhis and Christs. Perhaps, philosophically speaking, our conduct or lack thereof is not a matter of whether we are afflicted with such yin and yang but rather how we subdue such inner urges, all of which is beyond my pay grade and which I leave to those trained to make such conclusions.
P.S.: I just came across the PNAS study about the lead exposure, should anyone be interested:
jack smith … I read every word you wrote to describe what it is like to be a long haul freight driver. I for one appreciate you and your colleagues. On a freezing miserable night in West Texas many moons ago a truck driver stopped to give me a warm ride to the next truck stop so that I could summon help. Some things you just never want to forget. Thank you, Jack, for your part in the supply chain to make access to goods easier for all of us. As long as we are all moving in the same direction at 70 mph on the Interstate, I’m good. 🇺🇸😊🇨🇦
Christopher Aune, I think you may be approaching the post with the exact type of confirmation bias being described. Your quotes leave out some key words, like where Sheila says only that “many” approach the world in the way described, which doesn’t even imply “most”. By leaving out that aspect, you make it seem like she is saying ALL are that way, which you argue is false. But of course, she’s not.
I’m curious. Did you just misread it, possibly partly due to confirmation bias? Or did you misrepresent it on purpose?
As an AP Literature teacher, I applaud the decision of the College Board. If teachers are forbidden to teach historical truth in their classes, the classes do not deserve the AP designation.
I think, from following some hints, that Todd reads from https://www.unz.com/masthead/. I suggest the “about” tab.
Ron Unz sounds interesting. He’s an aggregator of non-major-media
sites. Some are cuckoo, some are not. Unz is quite conservative, with twists.
Jack Smith: my son is a contract driver/owner operator with a rare
freight company out of Logan UT. Twenty years. No accidents, but
one bull moose @ $7k. Your post rings true to me.
Sheila: good post. I think the major media do a good job considering.
@ Theresa Bowers : Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve put it on my reading list. Have you read Savage Continent by Keith Lowe? It covers the same 10 year period after the official conclusion of the war in Europe. The violence and ugliness of the war did not end in 1945 – civil wars, crime, ethnic cleansing, starvation, torture continued, but usually with new victims. The book is excellent and quite disturbing.
Thank you for this post, Sheila.
I completely agree with your criteria of civility for those who post regardless of their points of view.
As for confirmation bias, not reading some comments (or outlets, etc.) is, to me, quite rational.
The young are known for impatience; with age comes the wisdom of patience; with more age comes the realization that you’ve already wasted too much time and you don’t know how much time you have left.
If I discern that the basic premises of a poster allows me to predict what they will say, I don’t bother to read them. If I discern that they are irrational, I don’t read them. I don’t consider that a narrowing of my views (neither is avoiding trolls).
However, if I disagree with a rational person, one whose background may differ from mine, who has a different take, then I want to read what they say. I might learn something from that person. That is my form of avoiding living in an information bubble.
Sheila and her readers provide a lot of that here.
Comments are closed.