Epistemic Closure at the Atlantic

I read the Atlantic blogs, because I’m a glutton for punishment- I even read Andrew Sullivan when I’m feeling strong. It’s generally blather, except for Megan McArdle, but the other day I saw something interesting, or several things linked together.

“Epistemic closure” is a recent meme of the left, describing what they see as their opponents’ inability to process new information and thus accept their point of view. This is typical in that the left is constantly accusing others of the things they do.

Here’s Sullivan’s post-

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/09/the-communal-cyclone-of-death.html

Ants follow others to food, but can end up following each other in a circle, until they die. OK, good metaphor for doing something stupid until you destroy yourself, or at least conformist group behavior to that end. The Wikipedia entry then links to this-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_cascade

So that’s the explicit link to group conformity. Close by Sullivan links to Christopher Buckley, son of William but OK guy due to being an upper class Manhattanite and Obama supporter-

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/09/no-one-likes-a-deficit-bore/63215/

Buckley fils (I’m showing my sophistication here- but I remember reading somewhere long ago a guy saying he stopped reading National Review because of the untranslated French, back when National Review was likely to include untranslated French) is against the deficit, understands it to be a disaster in the making, but isn’t vilified by Sullivan for that- for the previously stated reasons, and because Buckley attributes it to Reagan as well.

Also close by is this link to Reason magazine-

http://reason.com/blog/2010/09/16/andrew-sullivan-defends-tarp-c

Libertarians are allowed to question the conventional wisdom, probably because they don’t represent any meaningful opposition.

S0- effete aesthetes and intellectual jerkoffs can speak up, but middle class white Americans had better SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Real feedback simply cannot be accepted by the system. Sometimes what other people have to say and you don’t like is stupid, but other times it is valuable information that you need to heed.

The system doesn’t have to listen to the people. The Fed can “monetize” the debt, so they don’t even need to listen to the Chinese. But something real bad is going to happen pretty soon, and they will be just like the ants marching in a circle.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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One Response to Epistemic Closure at the Atlantic

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