The takedown of manufactured intelligence

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by g8orbill, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    http://www.caintv.com/daniel-greenfields-wonderful-t

    from the article:
    Manufactured intelligence is the smarmy quality that oozes out of a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni and the rest of the gang who tell you nothing meaningful while dazzling you with references to international locations, political events and pop culture, tying together absurdities into one synergistic web of nonsense that feels meaningful.

    There's a reason that there's a Tom Friedman article generator online. But it could just as easily be a New York Times article generator that sums up the hollowness of the buzzword-fed crowd that is always hungry to reaffirm the illusion of its own intelligence.

    We all know that George W. Bush was a moron. And we all know that Obama is a genius. We have been told by Valerie Jarrett, by his media lapdogs and even by the great man himself that he is just too smart to do his job. And it's reasonable that a genius would be bored by the tedious tasks involved in running the most powerful nation on earth.

    But what is "smart" anyway? What makes Obama a genius? It's not his IQ. It's probably not his grades or we would have seen them already. It's that like so many of the thought leaders and TED talkers, he makes his supporters feel smart. The perception of intelligence is really a reflection.
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  2. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    That's a really defensive article that doesn't say much.
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  3. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    you are certainly entitled to your opinion
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  4. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    Well let's be honest: it boils down to mocking someone with whom you have a fundamental, philosophical disagreement. You could well say "I don't agree with their political perspective," but that doesn't resonate as much as "these people are FAKE smart."
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  5. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Agree, it is very defensive and is an argument that comes from a place of insecurity (I also read the link to the other blog about it).

    At the same time, I think there is some legit criticism embedded in it even if I think the author(s) overstate their case. TED talks for instance while be certainly being about ideas do seem to give the impression that they are completely factual, high intellect when many of the ideas in these talks are just that, ideas. They aren't necessarily empirically supported as much as thoughtfully argued and well packaged (TED is a money-making venture after all). And to some degree if folks who attend these events or listen to them on the internets etc...and passively accept what is said as fact rather than ideas to chew over then that can be problematical.

    As for the criticisms of the NYT op-ed writers--personally I have my own problems with them. Although all of them are demonstrably intelligent, Thomas Friedman is a truly horrendous writer who gets high on his own ideas and Maureen Dowd's schtick is often very annoying, she often tries to hard to shoehorn Shakespearean references into her writing. But the problem still comes back to the writers in the op(s) who seem to have found their own "thesis" of sorts that wants to be an intellectual takedown of left leaning writers but comes off as whiny and unbalanced.
  6. MichiGator2002
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    Liberal intelligentsia, such as it is, has been playing that game with conservatives for time out of mind. Turns out, it works, so now everybody plays :)
  7. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to assemble a reasoned criticism of liberalism, that isn't the way to do it. That's simply rah rah backslapping that does nothing to embrace the critical side of conservativism nor implore the more curious side of liberalism.
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  8. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    There seems to be a consensus view among smart people that Bruni, Dowd and Friedman are the worst NYT columnists, the kind of pseudo-intellectual crap that bored people at airports read. They are more self-parody than anything. Doing bad, predictable op-ed writing doesnt say anything about "liberalism."
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  9. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    But you could - these people have been stuck in respective bubbles for decades now. One could probably argue they have as much in common with the average liberal as they do with the average conservative - which is not a lot.
  10. tegator80
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    I have always said I don't mind liberals being in journalism. I want people who are motivated towards uncovering things unholy or malevolent. What I can't tolerate is that they have morphed into intelligentsia who are picking sides and that is, by any and all definitions, unprofessional. We are becoming a nation of propagandists and not one of a free press.
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  11. DaveFla
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    This really targets many of the posters we have in here, although I normally refer to it as 'liberal nuance.'
  12. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    I think they have a lot in common with the "average" liberal/conservative person making 200k+ in East coast suburbs & cities, which is to say they are all in a bubble of sorts.
  13. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Which begs the question, who doesn't swim in their own ideological fishbowl?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
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  14. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    It's true, your critical reasoning is similarly superficial.

    It's what happens when you're more invested in a team mentality than analysis and problem solving.
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  15. DaveFla
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    I'll take your expert word for it...
  16. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    Amen. The newsman is acting as poet; a great disservice to any healthy democracy.

    This is not a new phenomenon, to be clear, but the proliferation of this disservice is. Cable news, blogs, anonymous message board chatter, etc. has intensified the cilo-ed, echo-chamber group think we see so often while allowing simple means for confirmation bias from many sources.
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  17. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with op-ed writers writing about whatever they want, poetically or not (though I think it's legit to criticizing their writing style too). If they want to be rank partisans, so be it. That is what they are paid to do. And polemics of any type don't necessarily undermine democracy, they can enhance. Democracy is messy and such writings help edify the boundaries of acceptable ideas etc...

    At the same time, you nailed it (bolded part)
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  18. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    That's fine. As long as it's "Us versus Them" political arguments will never, ever bear fruit.

    Partisanism is a comfy blanket. I get it.
  19. CHFG8R
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    Unless you take your paycheck from one of the "sides". Convenient how that works.
  20. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    I'm thinking the fruit of which obob was speaking of being borne was a more altruistic fruit.

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