On the changing of minds

“I remember once, it was in a bar, during the 1930s, and there was a drunken debate going on that was trending on towards violence when something so unusual happened that everyone froze in place. The silence was like a soft winter snow falling in the woods. Everyone looked on in wonder. A guy, sitting in the corner and surrounded by empty and half-full glasses of beer, announced that he was persuaded by the logic of his opponent to change his mind on a subject.

It had never happened before. It has never happened since.” (Quoting my grandfather)


Since I put up an ill-conceived piece below, properly dismantled by a commenter, I am making amends. This piece I guarantee to strike a note. It is called How I changed my Mind … About Global Warming. Here is the opening paragraph:

Most, if not all, people would consider themselves to be open-minded. Yet, if you ask someone to name an important belief that they have changed their mind about, in response to evidence and/or logic, most struggle to give even one example.

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Cranky thoughts

The following words are by Alan O. Kelly of Carlsbad, California, printed in the February 1952 issue of Scientific Monthly, without further comment.

“It is our observation that the great majority of people who deliberately decide to be scientists, and so educate themselves, are those who are psychologically unfit it to be real creative thinkers. They go into science because they are afraid to think for themselves. They lack self-confidence; they want to lean on the Orthodox, great authorities. The average scientist never dreams of questioning authority. …

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Dancers and prancers

See PS below

We were watching West Side Story, the 1961 movie, a couple of nights ago, and it had such an other-world feel to it. I had never sat through it before (we only made it to an old-time blockbuster movie concept, “intermission”). What was it like to be alive in 1961 when this soft, homoerotic movie (music by Leonard Bernstein) garnered ten Oscars?

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Impenetrable barriers, us and them

It does not hurt, on our little isolated island here at this blog, to try to walk in the shoes of regular people.

I recently became reacquainted with a man I knew years ago, a newscaster, and became Facebook friends. He knows everyone who is anyone, and his list of friends includes people whose names I recognize as important in the Montana sense. They were or are in news, politics, business. They are each in a cloud, as we all are, a dense smokescreen difficult to penetrate called “me.”

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Alone on a mountaintop

This exchange was enlightening, an honest and skeptical commenter stopped by and offered the following:

“I stumbled onto this site while researching John Denver’s death. While perusing several blog posts here, I noticed that it is common to question the authenticity of song writers. Why is this? Why suggest that ghost writers have more writing talent than the person who made the song famous? Also, don’t you guys realize that people actually do take drugs, abuse alcohol, and then suffer the consequences? Why is every celebrity death a hoax? Frankly, it isn’t possible for the required number of people involved to hide all the evidence of these so-called faked deaths. ‘Two can keep a secret, but only of one is dead.'”

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The New Green Deal and the coming Dark Ages

A while back I offered up what I called “One Last Climate Post“, and indeed I stand by that. My reasoning was that the debate that I was reviewing was very old and that all the players were well known. The “science” was new to me, and I was treading in deep water, not knowing enough about it to be writing about it.

Since that time I have been immersed in the science, and now feel much more comfortable with it. It is accessible to all of us, and not hard to comprehend. All we need do is look around us. For every scary claim by climate scaremongers and doomsayers, there is ample evidence that the planet is doing well. Polar bears are many and healthy, storms, fires, droughts are lessening in number and intensity. Carbon is increasing in the atmosphere, and the positive effects are now coming to fruition with a greener planet. Gradual warming, as has been going on for 400 years now, is a positive thing. Where the Roman Warm Period gave rise to an empire and an explosion in technology, the Little Ice Age brought with it the Dark Ages and Black Death. Our current warm period is yielding more food, more and healthier people and amazing technology.

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The psychology behind thought stopping

CTI have long been intrigued by the power of the term “conspiracy theory,” but not because it contains any useful information. It does not. It is a blunt weapon used to beat people into quiet submission even as they hold views of the world around them at variance with their peers and colleagues. It is a powerful thought control device. Its true content is this:

“STFU.”

I think most who come to this website know or are vaguely remember that the origin of the term is in a 1967 CIA memo circulated to all of its bureaus called “Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report.” That’s rich, as in that document we will find unspoken knowledge within the Deep State that the JFK assassination was a public hoax, making the memo itself a “ riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

In the wake of the memo, newspaper outlets began using the term, and its use has spread. I find it ghastly, as those who mimic the words imagine themselves smarter than those they hurl them at. They do not know how to think. I once devised a response for use against people hurling the epithet, roughly as follows:

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