Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's called RESEARCH, retard.

Please read the disclaimer below*

I am confronted daily with comments from folks (not here on THIS blog, of course) who are so painfully uninformed that I seriously wonder about their literacy and have a deep indentation in the middle of my forehead from slamming it against my laptop keyboard. Some people are not just stupid (intellectually and socially) but they are frickin lazy!

I cannot tolerate intellectual laziness. CANNOT. CANNOT. CANNOT.

First let me say:
Wikipedia is not a credible source. ANYONE can go there and edit the entries (that's why it's called a "wiki"). The webmasters cannot possibly keep up with the input of new information; it is not monitored by experts. Please, please, please, do not Wiki for your research.

Second:
Having an opinion about politics is NOT the same as having an INFORMED opinion about politics. "I think he's/she's great" is not an opinion-- it's a PREFERENCE. BIG difference. It's like saying you like sour cream on a baked potato. Not everyone does, but you PREFER to have it with than without. No argument there.

An informed opinion is where the speaker takes an ACTIVE role in gathering facts and information for THEMSELVES from various reliable sources and THEN presents a case for their position in a logical, tasteful, well-constructed manner (for those interested in true Rhetoric, [and no, it's not a four letter word as most would have you think] google the Five Canons or Aristotelian Rhetoric. One of my Ph.D. areas is in Rhetoric and I would consider myself better informed on argument than a few people I have read lately).

Third:
Research requires critical thinking skills. No, just because you read it somewhere does not make something a fact. Heck, the Bible's got lots of "facts". Serpents talk, some guy lived in the belly of a whale for three days, people turn into salt for looking at a city; you get my drift, right? Thinking is the key concept here; not believing. I know, for a fact, that there is a moon in space which orbits our planet. I have not had first hand experience being on it, touching, seeing it up close. But indeed, lots of educated people who study it for a living have published lots of stuff in well-respected places that convince me that that thing I see in the night sky is indeed a moon and without it, life on earth as we know it would likely not exist.

Fourth:
Some of the smartest people I know are also the kindest. Wonder why that is? Well, people who don't know much, who want a president or Vice-president they could "have a beer with" are intellectually retarded, yes, RETARDED. I don't want some monkey with the IQ of 75 running our country's affairs. I want an educated, well-read, well-thought person to be our president (gee, didn't we just elect one?).

Last:
I am sick to death of anti-intellectualism in our culture. As a smart kid, I was kind of ashamed that I did really well in school. Even today, I rarely talk to people outside academia about my dissertation project or the official title of my Ph.D. (the aforementioned is only part of it). I have dedicated the better part of 8 years to getting a Master's degree and completing my doctoral degree. I've earned the right to say (without hesitation: "YOU'RE WRONG, but here's why"). I don't get personal, I don't get nasty (usually) but I will not stand for retards who refuse to research their opinions.

Back 'em up; then we can debate.

*This post is not an attack on people with functional mental disability or otherwise. I am merely talking about functional, run-of-the-mill idiots, who have internet access and sh*t for brains.

4 comments:

Aliceson December 9, 2008 at 11:53 AM  

Seriously, I know people who still maintain that Barack Obama is muslim and that his people don't like Americans.

Dumbasses.

Easier to join in with the Conservative screamers than to have a mind of their own.

Seeing Eye Chick December 9, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

I hear your pain. I will confess I have used Wikipedia to help people understand certain terms. But I do read the entry first to determine its viability, and I always compare that with other sources.

Sometimes you do have to make the concepts accessible. Not because people are stupid, but because their expertise lies in other areas.

For the most part I agree. I understand the shame factor too. Its horrible to make someone feel bad for having an operational brain and the wherewithall to use it.

I find the best way to present complex subjects is with multiple sources. Many people get their news from only one or two places. Even good media news outlets are biased, which is why its so important to cross reference with other sites, other sources so that one can create a more comprehensive picture.

Sidhe December 10, 2008 at 7:37 AM  

At work yesterday the receptionist told me that liberals were liars (and conservative people were honest). I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This is the same lady that told me not to accept the newest dollar coins because they don't say "In God We Trust" on them.

I very tactfully told her that it's on the damn side just like I told her yesterday that political affiliation has nothing to do with honesty. I know she will be yakking about Blagojevich today, proof for her theory...it's maddening!

I have no idea where she gets her facts from or why she feels the need to share them with me. It's irritating but I'm not mad at her, I'm sad for her because her brain has let her down and that is a real shame.

Seeing Eye Chick December 10, 2008 at 9:44 AM  

Sidhe,
Thats not a sign of anything but an immature personality. People who can reduce everything to such simplistic concepts and believe that actually represents reality are beyond help.

I would just ask the receptionist, "Are you calling me a liar?" Or whatever the descriptive insult is today.

Of course she will eventually graduate to , "But not you Sidhe, you're one of the good ones."

Whatever, it will cause her to consider her words more carefully.

She says that crap because she is used to no one calling her on it.

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