Category Archives: Pop-Culture

UPDATED (9/7): Lara Logan, Tucker Carlson’s Kissinger, Discovers Occam’s Razor And Misapplies The Theory of Simple

America, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Neoconservatism, Politics, Pop-Culture, Pseudo-intellectualism, South-Africa

Were it possible to “lose face,” in this day-and-age, I’d say Fox New persona Tucker Carlson is embarrassing himself having crowned Lara Logan as his go-to Henry Kissinger on Afghanistan. That’s an indictment right there.

Carlson is also in thrall to Logan’s ersatz “philosophical” observations, treating this shamelessly confident woman as a Delphic oracle of sort.

You might have heard Logan claim recently and repetitively that everything in the world is very simple.  “Everything is simple,” she keeps intoning in her appearances on the nepotistic Fox News. Logan’s “simple” premise being that America is omnipotent. Whatever occurs under its watch is all planned.

Ridiculous and wrong, yet Tucker giggles in delight.

They want you to believe Afghanistan is complicated. Because if you complicate it, it is a tactic in information warfare called ‘ambiguity increasing.’ So now we’re talking about all the corruption and this and that… But at its heart, every single thing in the world… always comes down to one or two things …”

Ridiculous and wrong why? Primarily because Logan’s explanation for America’s defeat in Afghanistan is not even the simplest explanation, despite her claim that it is. The simplest explanation, based on as much information as possible, would be that the US was outsmarted and outmaneuvered, and that the mission was impossible in the first place. Here:

Unlike Lara Kissinger Logan of Fox News, who “thinks” America could have won a war that other superpowers have lost—the Chinese and the Iranians are hip to what just happened. This was “probably one of the best conceived and planned guerrilla campaigns ever,” says Mike Martin, a former British army officer in Helmand province, now at King’s College London. “The Taliban went into every district and flipped all the local militias by doing deals along tribal lines.”

It would appear that our new Roger Scruton of philosophy likely read up recently on Occam’s Razor, which is a broad principle—hardly a philosophy—and she is currently applying it to everything under the sun, with little evidence or geopolitical and historic understanding in support of her Theory of Simple.

Occam’s Razor via the Browser’s first-page search:

What is an example of Occam’s razor?
For example, if a doctor is examining a patient with a high fever and cough, they may settle on the simplest explanation: the patient has a cold. … Occam’s razor is a good rule of thumb if you remember that it depends on making fewer assumptions based on as much evidence as possible.

A nifty principle, and certainly not a philosophy—Occam’s razor was not meant to apply to everything in the world.

RELATED: “Lara Logan: ‘Conservative’ Media’s Latest Blond Ambition

IMPORTANT:

Platitudes are what media, liberal and con, offer about their own drab homogeneity. A fellow South African expat, the well-to-do Lara Logan has not used her influenceto expose the horrors unfolding in our homeland of South Africa. Had Logan done so in 2011, she’d have been authentically heroic.
It’s certainly too late for Logan, who’s been mum about the systematic murder of whites in the country of our birth, to be a hero to South Africans.

UPDATE (9/7): What do you know? The Economist did not ask foxette Lara Logan for her “analysis” of “why America failed in Afghanistan.” The august magazine asked Henry Kissinger, a statesman, for his analysis. Kissinger says what this writer said over a decade back in columns like these. Read:

To Pee Or Not To Pee is Not the Question”

‘JUST WAR’ FOR DUMMIES

Grunts, Get In Touch With Your Inner-Muslim

Afghanistan: A War Obama Can Call His Own

Excerpts from “Henry Kissinger on why America failed in Afghanistan” to follow.

UPDATED (8/8/021): ‘American Children Came Top At Thinking They Were Good At Math, But Bottom At Math’

America, Canada, Education, Kids, Pop-Culture, Pop-Psychology

On average, Canadian schools, primary and secondary, are better than American schools. When we arrived in Canada from Cape Town, South Africa (in the good old days of high standards), my daughter had to be bumped up two years. Had we emigrated straight to the USA, it would have been three years, easily. A 12-year old South African would have been in class with 15 year-old Americans.

A US-based correspondent for The Economist confirms that, “After two years of school in England, our six-year-old was so far ahead of his American peers that he had to be bumped up a year, where he was also ahead.” And his child was in a “good” American school!

In fact, as our author notes, “At 15, children in Massachusetts, where education standards are higher than in most states, are so far behind their counterparts in Shanghai at math that it would take them more than two years of regular education to catch up.” UPDATE: (8/9/021): This last fact is enormously telling. Our best schools are un-competitive with the best in the world. 

He writes,

At the heart of the problem is an educational ethos that prizes building self-esteem over academic attainment. This is based on a theory that self-confidence leads to all manner of other virtues, including academic achievement, because children who feel good about themselves will love learning – right? Not entirely.

American children came top at thinking they were good at maths, but bottom at maths.

I covered the self-esteem cult for kids as far back as the year 2000, when I had reviewed the book of a brilliant Canadian professor by the name of Marilyn Bowman.

In a 1997 monograph, Bowman forewarned that, while “every kind of social problem is analyzed as the outgrowth of low self esteem,” and while “treatment programs to teach people how to love themselves are put forward as the means of raising self-esteem,” not only is “the relationship between emotion and well being not robust, causal or meaningful,” but, on the contrary, there is a dark side to self-esteem. “The prototype aggressor,” explains Bowman, “is a man whose self-appraisal is unrealistically positive.”

American kids have dangerously elevated self-esteems. Drumming up feel-good ignorance can be risky business.

Concludes the Economist in 2016:

American children came top at thinking they were good at maths, but bottom at maths. For Korean children, the inverse was true: they considered themselves poorer at maths than the children of any other country, but were the best. The OECD study, similarly, found that American children believe they are good at maths and, indeed, are adept at very simple sums; but give them something halfway tricky and they struggle.

This is perverse. The self-esteem movement is drenched in the language of mutual respect; yet encouraging in children an inflated idea of their accomplishments is not respectful at all. It is delusional.

READING:

New York Times:

On the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) two-thirds of American children were not proficient readers.

The most recent PISA test was given in 2018 to 600,000 15-year-olds in 79 education systems around the world, and included both public and private school students. In the United States, a demographically representative sample of 4,800 students from 215 schools took the test, which is given every three years.

Although math and science were also tested, about half of the questions were devoted to reading, the focus of the 2018 exam. Students were asked to determine when written evidence supported a particular claim and to distinguish between fact and opinion, among other tasks.

The top performers in reading were four provinces of China — Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Also outperforming the United States were Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Finland and Ireland. The United Kingdom, Japan and Australia performed similarly to the United States.

WATCH: Bearded Men Breast Feeding In Public: Paternal Or Kinky?

Argument, Etiquette, Family, Gender, Homosexuality, Individual Rights, Kids, Pop-Culture, Sex, The Zeitgeist

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Bearded Men Breast Feeding In Public: Paternal Or Kinky?”

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Caitlyn Jenner’s Greatest Achievement

Aesthetics, Celebrity, Pop-Culture, Relatives, Sex

Caitlyn Jenner, as the Idiocracy in which we are mired is currently broadcasting, aims to become California’s next governor. Shrug.

What is her biggest achievement? Jenner, post gender-reassignment, still loves women.

Given the women who surrounded her—the Kardashians, in all their venom, vulgarity, vainglory and vacuity (my involuntary alliterative tic really got going there)—that is indeed a true achievement.