Quickies

Skepchick Quickies, 6.3

  • Charles P. Pierce talks about his new book, Idiot America and the rise of American anti-intellectualism. (Thanks to bibliotequetress.)
  • The odd spiritualism of Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • A response to Pat Robertson’s claim that gay marriage will lead to sex with ducks. (Thanks to Emory.)
  • From Simulated comic Product: Null hypothesis. (Thanks to Autotroph and Carl.)

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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10 Comments

  1. @QuestionAuthority: F–k, f–k, f–k a duck,
    screw a kangaroo
    fingerbang an orangatun
    orgy at the zoo!

    I read the American Idiot pice, and I think he’s right. We no longer have information, we have infotainment. We have 24-hr news. We have political commentary passing as real news. No one knows what’s real anymore, we just know what everyone really thinks.

  2. RE: American Idiot
    Charlie Pierce seems to be focusing on “the media” as leading the charge towards a dumber America. But he’s stopping one step short of the driving force.
    It is my opinion that our consumerist/capitalist society provides a cultural impetus towards ignorance and gullibility as a way of expanding market and increasing profit.
    Fearful, superstituous, and ignorant people can be seperated from their cash more easily than skeptical, sane people.
    I’m not suggesting a “conspiracy”. I believe this is simply the outgrowth of market forces.
    It risks less capital to create products that appeal to people’s emotions because we have all evolved the same basic set of emotional baggage. We come ready-made into the world ready to believe the most outlandish claims.
    Only a subset of society wants the high end, intellectual stuff. There’s very little call in our society for home chemistry sets compared to Xbox’s. There’s very little market in our society for copies of Cosmos compared to porn.
    Even the most skeptical and intellectual of us is influenced by the siren call of pop-culture and marketing. It takes a conscious effort to be skeptic but no effort at all to be an H. Sapien.
    Our economic system is simply geared to exploit that fact.

  3. @SkepLit:

    I think you are absolutely right. Throw in the social control of advertising and professional marketers, whose raison d’etre is to invent need and emotional uncertainty, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

    Or is that a recipe for profits?

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