Thursday, June 11, 2009

Abducted by Aliens!!!

by the Sandwichman

We're conducting a little informal experiment here at EconoSpeak. Does controversial, sensationalist material that you can do nothing about attract more comment (whether pro or con) than substantive historical analysis that informs crucial policy decisions and could be the basis for building a progressive political bloc?

My bet is on the sensationalism.

9 comments:

hapa said...

is this the control post?

Sandwichman said...

Why? I'm guessing it's a narrative of helplessness. For one thing, if you're helpless (or perceive yourself as such) and morally outraged you can't be blamed for the evil shit that happens. "Blessed be the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." I don't buy it, personally. I think it's a way of not engaging (just like everybody else) but at the same time reserving one's radical credentials. "I would have saved them if I could."

Brenda Rosser said...

"We're conducting a little informal experiment here at EconoSpeak. Does controversial, sensationalist material that you can do nothing about attract more comment (whether pro or con) than substantive historical analysis that informs crucial policy decisions and could be the basis for building a progressive political bloc?"

My immediate reaction to this paragraph was to burst into tears of laughter. LOL :'-))

Then I recovered my senses and realised that your claim, Sandwichman, is considerably wrong!

Explosive material may very well lead to crucial policy decisions by the general public. Like a new policy on how to ensure that government representatives are truly representative and how they are made accountable.

As for the "blessed be the meek" allegation. Well that's very interesting because the same accusation was pointed at Dr Jim Cairns (major leader of the anti-Vietnam movement in Australia). Quoting from a biography of the man:

"But the man who carried these noble ideals like a banner through his public life, and in his private life tried to live up to them, was capable of a vain self-righteousness that did not always match his precepts. While preaching community, he avoided close involvement with people. He believed in mateship as a theory; in practice, he found it almost impossible. He preached honesty: but he persistently blotted from memory unpleasant facts about himself..."

And so on.

Now tell me Mr Sandwichman, how you can be critical of the actions of people in a society and NOT be accused of self-righteousness??

:-) 8 (Dolly Parton)

Brenda Rosser said...

"at the same time reserving one's radical credentials. "I would have saved them if I could."

Who's got 'radical credentials' here??

Sandwichman said...

how [can you] be critical of the actions of people in a society and NOT be accused of self-righteousness??

"God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other."

jamzo said...

sounds like comparing apples and oranges
*
things that i read and perceive as substantive historical analysis i read with a learning frame of mind

things that i read that i percieve as controversial, sensational i read with a critical frame of mind and i will react with a comment if an emotinal/intellectual hot-button is pushed

i would phrase a less or more comments distinction differently

some blogs however are written in a form that invites debate from readers

some blogs are written in a form invites readers to be informed

some blogs are written in a for that invites readers to react

Anonymous said...

What does one do if substantive historical analysis produces the controversial, sensationalist result that it is policy decisions which are the problem, not the solution.

You know, for instance, that economic policy has been designed to generate growth, and that this growth is both economically and environmentally unsustainable, but, that it is driven by the need to create jobs for a heavily indebted population dependent on work.

You also know there is simple elegant solution to this unsustainable growth - reducing hours of work - but this solution is both controversial and explicitly excluded by those who make policy decisions.

Finally, you know the making of economic policy is dominated exclusively by the economics profession, which has been entirely unable to either predict the consequences of its recommendations, and has ignored and rebuffed all attempts to penetrate the shroud of policy councils by those who have predicted it.

So what does one do? Declare war on economics, or, kneel servilely at the feet of pompous oafs like Krugman, Summers, and the entire host of self-involved, delusional idiots?

Please, feel free to make an argument for trying to convince those lunatics, in vain hopes they will convince my lazy ignorant congressman to make some changes in the way society is organized as the economic and environmental time bombs ticks down...

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase: “The economists have only informed the policy decision in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

Sandwichman said...

What does one do if substantive historical analysis produces the controversial, sensationalist result that it is policy decisions which are the problem, not the solution.

I would party all night long if substantive analysis ever became "controversial". Controversy means people are talking about it - even those who don't agree. Maybe the climate change deniers are even doing us a favor by keeping the ball in the air.