Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Stephen Hawking and Some Other Public Intellectual Dumb-assesI

 "If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good."--- Ezra Pound

Sometimes both are true, Mr. Pound.  Love your poetry, but I would take a pass on a pub crawl with you.
I have a weird social code.

If I get on someones nerves, I try avoid social contact with them; why put the poor suffering SOB with time spent with me?  Likewise, if I find another person to repellent, phony, self-absorbed, mean-spirited, or just bone-stupid, I tend to decline invitations to share thoughts.

I love a good debate and like to have my opinions challenged with spirited, thoughtful and good natured vigor. I learn from people that way.   There is so much that I do not know, that I can not allow my inclinations and prejudices to get in the way.  If more people thought the way I do . . . we'd eat pretty damn good.

Ignorance is no crime, but stupid is a life sentence.

I have know off-charts IQs who happened to be the most petty, cheap-tipping, half-baked, bigoted arrogant dumb asses this side of a Columbia University faculty May Day picnic.

Stupid people do not share anything, unless it is forcibly pried out of the pink digits.  Want to measure the worth of a Mensa Member, or Phi Beta Kappan Rhodes Scholar?  Watch her tip a bartender, or him a waitress.  Stupid people delight in taking any wildly contrarian point of view in order to clutch the attention of one all gathered - ' America and Third Reich planned to impose Christianity on the free-thinking indigenous Unitarians of New Guinea by introducing 'cargo cultism' during WWII and conducting genocide on the Great East Asian Co-Prosperity Activists of Port Morseby, Weewak and Owen Stanley Mountain folk."

Thank you Oliver Stone; now go load up that pipe of yours and get back to us on ShoTime.

Today, another beauty surfaced.

Stephen Hawking boycotted a conference in Israel to 'protest' Jews demanding that Palestinian fascists stop blowing up pizza parlors full of kids, showering rockets on neighborhoods and calling for a New Holocaust.

Hawking is the much afflicted physicist who operates from a wheel chair command center and who knows the exact quants in quantum mechanics.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - British cosmologist Stephen Hawking has pulled out of an Israeli conference, joining an academic boycott of Israel to protest against its occupation of Palestinian lands, Cambridge University said on Wednesday.
The wheelchair-bound Hawking, who has won international recognition for his work on black holes, had been due to speak at a prestigious conference in June organized by Israeli President Shimon Peres that draws hundreds of leading world figures.
However, his name was quietly dropped from the list of participants earlier this week, giving a major boost to supporters of pro-Palestinian groups that want to isolate Israel on the international stage over the continued occupation.
"This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there," the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine said on its website.

Hawking has joined the company of other public intellectuals and artists who proved to be absolute dumb-asses in world events, politics and living within the columns that make up history's personal pagination - Poets Ezra Pound and William Butler Yeats were tickled by fascism's trinkets -soaring rhetoric and mythopoeic imagery.  Pound became radio traitor for Mussolini and Yeats formed his own Celto-fascist political party.

Semiotic totalitarian Noam Chomsky leads the pack as a dumb-ass, with all of hate of a Bill Ayers and all of gravity of MSNBC.  The old clown is pathetic and no more of a public prophet than the now forgotten mope Ward Churchill.

First, Chomsky is an absolutely shameless liar. A master of the argument in bad faith. He will say anything in order to get people to believe him. Even worse, he will say anything in order to shut people up who disagree with him. And I’m not necessarily talking about his public critics. If you've ever seen how he acts with ordinary students who question what he says, it's quite horrifying. He simply abuses them in a manner I can only describe as sadistic. That is, he clearly enjoys doing it. I don't think anyone ought to be allowed to get away with that kind of behavior.
Second, Chomsky is immensely important to the radical left. When it comes to American foreign policy he isn't just influential, he's basically all they have. Almost any argument made about foreign affairs by the radical left can be traced back to him. That wasn't the case when he started out back in the late '60s, but it is now.

Third, he is essentially the last totalitarian. Despite his claims otherwise, he's more or less the last survivor of a group of intellectuals who thought systemic political violence and totalitarian control were essentially good things. He babbles about human rights all the time, but when you look at the regimes and groups he's supported, it’s a very bloody list indeed.
Communism and fascism are obviously dead as the proverbial doornail, but I doubt the totalitarian temptation will ever go away. The desire for unity and a kind of beautiful tyranny seems to spring from somewhere deep in the human psyche.
Fourth—and this may be most important—he makes people stupid. In this sense, he's more like a cult leader or a New Age guru than an intellectual. He allows people to be comfortable with their prejudices and their hatreds, and he undercuts their ability to think in a critical manner. To an extent, this has to do with his use of emotional and moral blackmail. Since he portrays everyone who disagrees with him as evil, if you do agree with him you must be on the side of good and right. This is essentially a kind of secular puritanism, and it's very appealing to many people, for obvious reasons, I think. We all want to think well of ourselves, whether we deserve it or not.There is an intellectual side to this, as well. You see it clearly in his famous debate with Michel Foucault. Chomsky says at one point that there is a moral and ethical order that is hardwired into human beings. And Foucault basically asks him, why? How do you know this hardwired morality exists? And even if it exists, how can we know that it is, in fact, moral in the first place? We may feel it to be moral, but that doesn't make it true.Chomsky's answer is essentially: Because I believe it to be so. Now, whatever that is, it isn't thinking. In fact, it's an excuse for not thinking. Ironically, Chomsky later said that Foucault was the most amoral man he ever met, whereas I would argue that Foucault was simply pointing out that Chomsky's “morality” is in fact a form of nihilism. (emphases my own)

I have read this clown.  There are people who do important work in linguistics, like Northwestern University's Tolstoy scholar Gary Saul Morson, there work makes sense to people who want to present texts to their students in manner that will broaden conversation, not diminish talk.  Noam don't play that way; hence his appeal to loud mouths and phonies.

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