I stumbled on this phrase today.
“Whatever you think of Thomas Sowell’s arguments – you will think.”
This phrase slapped me up the side of the head. What a powerful concept communicated in this statement. It was a book review I stumbled on.
I have never heard of Thomas Sowell, didn’t know a thing about him, and my writing today has nothing to do with him.
It was the “IDEA” that resonated with me. I like researched and well spoken people who reference history, human nature, worldviews, and then analyze the patterns trending in culture today. Right, Left, or wrong!
Semantic writers (people who play with words and vague meanings) and speakers bore me to death. Anyone that will not reference history, or who will not lay out the worldview (or possible ones) for the readers mind to process and understand waste my time. So many journalists and writes want to do the processing for us, and we do not get to analyze the ideas, the history, or worldview that got them there, because they will not open the door to the various threads of information. I often feel like the goal is not understanding, but adoption.
This is the enemy of us all!
The phrase I quoted made me realize why I am drawn to certain speakers and writers,and not others. I know progressive liberals love to trash on Jordan Petterson. I could care less about defending him. However, I am drawn to this fact about him, his willingness to probe history, philosophy, and clearly map ideas, where they “Might” lead, or are, in fact, leading. He talks about where each peice of information comes from, who found it. Jung said……
“No matter what you think of ________________(insert any name in here, for example, Jordan Peterson) – You will think”
I love authors who make me think, even if I disagree. This is a rare today. I loath and despise speakers who speak in generalities, but who reveal their worldviews in code. No one can truly hide their driving worldview assumptions, because if you know what a worldview is, you can see the hints inmost things. Speakers and writers can veil those reality assumptions, soft speak them, downplay them, but they do come through to the keen mind. I do not have the time of day for people telling half their story, or obviously holding back their full story.
I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to a speaker, read the news articles about them, or the short articles published by the person themselves for public media consumption, over five to ten years in some cases, who speak in this code. I can see the clues indicating their driving worldview, and reality, as they speak and write, so I can find the key assumptions driving them, in a general way, but I am never introduced into the depths of what their vision for, or hoped for version for the world actually is.
What exactly is it you are hoping for?
Then, eventually, I stumble on a YouTube video, or podcast, where the Author or speaker thinks they are speaking to their “like minded” “in crowd”, so they begin to let their guard down much more, revealing the depths their worldview takes them into in their real personal beliefs, values, living patterns, view of human nature, ethics, economics, or political ideology. It takes years, sometimes a decade, and no small amount of luck to stumble on these little gems of insights from their own mouths that get past the code talk.
Then you discover, they speak one way to the general masses, and say other things to their in crowd. Then, when I get a much larger piece of their story, from listening to or read their “in crowd” materials (interestingly, it usually, 80% of the time, a university lecture on a subject they were asked to speak about, but is not media covered or well publicized) and I end up saying holy crap…….. You actually believe that? I sit back and say to myself, “You cunning, deceiving turd!
This is when you get into trouble. Because, if you share this information with people who never stumbled on it also, they think you are off into some conspiracy theory, seeing demons around every corner.
This had happened many dozens of times with various well known speakers.
There is so much we don’t know about the ideological end game of some intellectuals, because they won’t come right out and say it.
I want to understand socialism, but lets be honest, the western socialists are the worst as veiling their end game. Yet, with socialists, the end game can be the most disastrous of all, as history shows us. So you better show me your end game. Show me in specifics, not generalities, how you are better human beings. Explain to me in specifics how you see education, economics, or law being used, or changed, and why. I want specifics about how you can guarantee us there is no “Top” elite in your socialism, like every other. I hear nothing. Veiled mambo jumbo for the most part. Little desire to answer hard questions.
Look I read the Communist Manifesto, and about Lenin and Stalin and Mao. What I am afraid of; this little thing I am suspicious of is that in fact no assurances are provable at all, nothing guarantees it won’t go wrong, again. Socialists seem to have an evangelical belief in their superior heart, because we are better, they were bad people. But socialist theology is not saying much about why this is so.
This might be the second insight about who I am drawn too. I am drawn to people who live consistently, and speak consistently with what they have learned (from history, economics, philosophy, or theology) regardless of their audience.
I know what they are about, it is plain to see, we see the depths and direction their understanding takes them, like a coffee mug sitting on the table.
They are honest. They are not veiled.
Our society is tired of drivel, hidden or veiled agendas. We want to think. I want to think. I want to evaluate the evidence you used to get there, for myself. I resent an indoctrination process, be it theological, socialist, Neo-leftist, or from the right.
So I went a digging this morning to find out who this Thomas Sowell guy might be. Here I am once again, confronted with another man the Left hates. I got to reading, and listening to a few speeches, and read a few articles to get a handle on who he is, and what his worldview might be.
Once again, here I am, captivated yet again by what media would call a Right Winger.
Because he is honest. I know his end game. He writes from his worldview. He is the same person and the same speaker with the in crowd, or with the mass public, or even in a hostile crowd. He is not hiding his assumptions, and he is not afraid to lay IT ALL on the table. I see how the world might look when he speaks. How the government will run, economies will build, how human relations will proceed, how law will be used. He is what he says he is, and more importantly, he says what he is. He does not speak in a veiled manner. And I might disagree with what he says, be offended even, but I have claims to go and examine, sources to dig into, historical points to go verify, ideologies to decide if I agree with or not.
What ever I think about ____________ I will think.
I exit many podcasts and videos the moment I face a mask. It is not about me listening to only what affirms me, it is about people telling their full story, honest people putting all that they are and believe on the table.
Humans have a lot of repeating behaviors, because we have the same worldview assumption palate to draw from since our ancient neanderthal times, and these assumptions keep bringing us back to similar behaviors, similar outcomes, similar solutions, similar problems.
Here are a few “Thomas” things I ran across in the candlelight hours. They made me think (I know because I said “But”, or, “what about……” many times)
“There has never been a shortage of people eager to draw up blueprints for running other people’s lives.” – Thomas Sowell
“One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans—anything except reason.” – Thomas Sowell
“When people are presented with the alternatives of hating themselves for their failures or hating others for their success, they seldom choose to hate themselves.” – Thomas Sowell
“What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.” Thomas Sowell
“There has now been created a world in which the success of others is a grievance, rather than an example.”
How about a final interesting piece of information?
Remember, what conclusions we draw from it may vary, but it highlights the complexity we face when we dig, study, research. Our problems are complex, with many variables to consider. Some may very well be hard to face. The IQ gap is one of them….Who want’s to talk about complex things like IQ and how it might affect poverty, economics, education strategy, Etc?
Difficult things to discuss, certainly insulting, sometimes bigoted, because IQ does vary racially in a general way too. Our culture won’t let us discuss this kind of evidence in public, and most social science professionals are totally fearful to discuss it in public also. But I can’t think of any subject more critical to structuring educational practices in schools. These evidences and indicators are out there, and who gets to present, or dismiss certain parts of the information to the public? (We all cant be experts in the subject or have time to read every field of experiences) Whoever controls that flow, has the power over us.
Take this following information i read this morning. (See the quote below)
Doesn’t matter what you think about______________, you will think.
I need comments like this, as they shock me, wake me up to the fact that there might be more information to be had about a subject or issue than we are lulled into thinking. Its more complex! (More to the story than I am lead to believe).
It is quotes like the following that send be off to dig into things asking, “Is this for real?”
Following these trails is where I learn the most. The quote cracks one eye, but it is rarely the quote I read that opens both eyes. It’s what I discover after the snippet drives me to do more reading. The line, phrase, or paragraph is the spring (the crack in the platitude stupor) that launches me out to do more digging.
Unfortunately, too may speakers send me off wanting to dig further into very little. They haven’t given enough threads for me to pull on anything. It seems they want me to accept their version, their presentation as is, too afraid to expose complexities we might wish to follow, as if we masses are too dumb. Or is it that they are afraid, afraid that if they put their evidence up for examination, and we actually go looking, that we might come to different conclusions, and they will not have that, or certainly not like it very much?
“Conservatives like to think there’s a job for everyone if people would just get off their asses, and liberals think that you can train anyone to do anything. No, there isn’t a job for everyone, and no, you can’t train everyone to do everything. The armed forces has done a lot of work on IQ and they started back in 1919. A law was passed as a consequence of that analysis that it was illegal to induct anyone into the armed forces who had an IQ of less than 83. Why? All of that effort put in by the armed forces indicated that if you had an IQ of 83 or less, there wasn’t anything that you could be trained to do in the military that wasn’t positively counterproductive. So how many people have an IQ of 83 or less? Ten percent of us. Now, if that doesn’t hurt you to hear, then you didn’t hear it properly. Because what it implies is that, in a complex society like ours, there isn’t anything for 10% of the population to do.”
– Jordan Petterson