Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baked Alaska

Somebody's got to do it, distasteful as it may be -- and what's she up to now? Same old thing. Presented with the facts, she said "thanks, but no thanks."

We all remember when the song was that Obama was the most liberal legislator -- ever -- and it's fun to remember it and more fun to listen to people try to reconcile that idiocy with the likelihood that he will imitate Bush in giving the 1% who own it all another tax break like the one instrumental in causing the First Great Depression and the more recent Bush Depression Recession. Obama is as liberal as Corporate America allows him to be, and that's to the right of Reagan.

But wait, there's more. Sarah's now slinging the one where Obama is the most pro-abortion president to occupy the White House and slinging it with the same, soggy, snickering spite and scorn for reality. "Obamacare," of course, will fund abortions, said she yesterday at a half-full old Texas vaudeville house, even though it won't, any more than there are death panels trying to kill your grandmother or that the president's trade mission to the far east is using up half the Navy and will cost billions. Behold the power of rumor over a willing audience.

But bullshit in motion tends to stay in motion despite any friction caused by the truth and maybe it's that strange "dark energy" but these days it seems actually to expand at an increasing rate.

People do not process information in a neutral way. Their preconceptions affect their reactions. Biased assimilation refers to the fact that people assimilate new information in a biased fashion; those who have accepted false rumors do not easily give up their beliefs, especially when they have a strong emotional commitment to those beliefs. It can be exceedingly hard to dislodge what people think, even by presenting them with the facts.

Cass Sunstein, "On Rumors."

Exceedingly hard? Understated humor is so refreshing these days.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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