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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adaptive optics 


Correcting the distortion in the fun-house mirrors:

One of the most important challenges of the 21st century will be to find some way to get at the approximate truth. The current crisis is to a large extent a crisis of information. Whether what we wish to know is the value of the liabilities of a financial system; whether carbon-driven AGW exists, whether “reforms” are affordable; or whether the Russians will comply with the proposed drawdowns in nuclear weapons information is so important that gross distortions are impossible to accept. We can live in a world with some funhouse mirrors, but we can’t live in a world where most of them are.

10 Comments:

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Wed Mar 31, 08:12:00 AM:

No shit.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Wed Mar 31, 08:27:00 AM:

I would also wonder if there was any non-biased survey or study regarding whether the right or the left (or someone else..) is responsible for more of the fun house mirror distortions, beyond spin which leaves the facts intact and into distorting invective and the like. The author makes his POV clear (and I can make an educated guess about the opinion of most readers here) but that doesn't make it the approximate truth. Any research?

That may just be deflecting the real issue though; it's an interesting topic.  

By Blogger commoncents, at Wed Mar 31, 08:27:00 AM:

THANK YOU for posting this! I love your blog!!

Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

ps. Link Exchange???  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 31, 10:17:00 AM:

Thanks for that link; Richard Fernandez is always brilliant, but in the cacophony I sometimes miss his essays.

Did you happen to watch Bill O'Reilly last night? He had Alan Colmes on in a discussion with his sister-in-law Monica Crowley. Normally I think Colmes is tolerable, mostly because he's relatively civil, but last night he said something that brought me out of my seat. He claimed that the "greater part" of opposition to the Democrat agenda in the country is driven by racism. That's right: it's because President Obama is black that all of us object to bankrupting the country, destroying our international alliances, and seating (for lifetimes) judges who believe their "personal" interpretations of "justice" should reign superior to the agreed social compact and the Constitution.

According to Colmes, the moral superiority of the Democrats is absolute. If racism motivates opposition, then anyone not a racist would be a supporter. All Democrats are therefore free of racism and all Republicans are guilty-- it's the end of politics as we know it!

What a disgusting person Alan Colmes has become, in spinning for the Democrats. But, as Fernandez would have guessed, I couldn't turn away from the TV, watching as I was the human contortionist shape change into an fun-house image of a member of civil society.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Wed Mar 31, 10:35:00 AM:

The media has long shown us the world through a refracted lens. In recent years they have switched to lenses that intensify the distortion and people have noticed.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Wed Mar 31, 05:03:00 PM:

Today brings another example of media manipulation.

The news of the day is that Obama is "Expanding domestic offshore drilling." He's not, actually. John Boehner has already called him on it: Obama Administration’s Decision Keeps Vast Majority of America’s Offshore Energy Resources Off Limits ... GOP Leader: “Keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’”

Boehner's counter will mostly be ignored by MSM. John Boy needs a bigger soapbox and an even bigger megaphone. After November, he'll have them.

In similar fashion to today's oil drilling announcement, Obama recently generated headlines that he was advancing nuclear power when he actually wasn't. Promising loan guarantees for two nuclear projects that already had sufficient state financial backing isn't exactly going all in -- but with the help of MSM it creates that impression.

Unless you dig on your own, media coverage on today's news gives the impression that Obama is defying his Greenie base to "Drill, Baby Drill!." Instead, this all about the run-up to foisting cap-and-trade on us.

*****

There are signs that the tide is turning. I saw on Instapundit that Dave Letterman interviewed a 66-year old Idaho woman as the face of the Tea Party movement.

Recall that in the immediate aftermath of Healthcare passing, Obama & Co intended to instigate Tea Party ugliness by having members of the Black Caucus and others like Pelosi purposefully walk into Tea Party crowds -- cameras at the ready -- hoping to catch Tea Partiers losing it. It didn't happen.

Joseph Goebbels has nothing on David Axelrod.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 31, 05:43:00 PM:

I don't know if it's so much about cap and trade as preparing for the next election, andtaking away the very effective "drill,baby,drill" speech from GOP candidates.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Wed Mar 31, 07:12:00 PM:

"I don't know if it's so much about cap and trade ..."

You're wrong. Obama is hitting the reset button with an Energy bill in the Senate.

FT today:
"The planned bipartisan bill, to be introduced this month by three leading US senators – John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican – highlights the political dexterity that will be necessary to secure the passage of climate legislation."

New and improved .... with Lemon!

"They plan to take a sectoral approach to cap-and-trade, which would create separate treatment for the power utilities, the refiners and manufacturers. The cap on the utility sector would begin in 2012, and on manufacturers in 2016."  

By Anonymous Just Because I'm Paranoid, at Wed Mar 31, 09:14:00 PM:

On a Friday back in June, the House approved the Energy bill -- despite not having a copy of the final bill physically present in the building at the start of their voting ... this because Van Jones was still busy slipping in the language he needs to get really, really rich. As Queen Nancy had the House Democrats fall into line, John Boehner pulled a masterful impromptu two-hour filibuster by reading from provisions in the bill he had only just been handed. Boehner's off-the-cuff analysis embarrassed the hell out of the House Democrats and led to Obama & Co's putting Energy on the back burner.

As Obama gears up his new Spring offensive on Energy, expect Boehner to be attacked in all sorts of ways over the next few weeks.

Even if you believe in AGW you should still hate Energy -- it's an abomination and won't reduce emissions. I actually think a reasonable deal could be reached that could cut real pollution -- CO2 as well, if you care -- while advancing energy independence. This won't be it.

Energy is a jobs killer. It's effects will hit sooner than anything in Healthcare. If adopted, it will be bad ... real bad. It'll kill new US capital investment exactly when we most need it.

Adopting Energy will turn into a lobbying food fight -- utilities will win because they have the most political clout. Utilities are also cost-plus operators -- their CEOs will do just as well or even better. Ironically, expect our relative dependence on coal to go up, not down.

Boehner & Co will need all the help we can give them. We still have truck-driver Rush listeners who know more about actual climate science than do most college professors.

Begorra, Saints preserve us ...  

By Anonymous Just Because I'm Paranoid, at Wed Mar 31, 09:14:00 PM:

On a Friday back in June, the House approved the Energy bill -- despite not having a copy of the final bill physically present in the building at the start of their voting ... this because Van Jones was still busy slipping in the language he needs to get really, really rich. As Queen Nancy had the House Democrats fall into line, John Boehner pulled a masterful impromptu two-hour filibuster by reading from provisions in the bill he had only just been handed. Boehner's off-the-cuff analysis embarrassed the hell out of the House Democrats and led to Obama & Co's putting Energy on the back burner.

As Obama gears up his new Spring offensive on Energy, expect Boehner to be attacked in all sorts of ways over the next few weeks.

Even if you believe in AGW you should still hate Energy -- it's an abomination and won't reduce emissions. I actually think a reasonable deal could be reached that could cut real pollution -- CO2 as well, if you care -- while advancing energy independence. This won't be it.

Energy is a jobs killer. It's effects will hit sooner than anything in Healthcare. If adopted, it will be bad ... real bad. It'll kill new US capital investment exactly when we most need it.

Adopting Energy will turn into a lobbying food fight -- utilities will win because they have the most political clout. Utilities are also cost-plus operators -- their CEOs will do just as well or even better. Ironically, expect our relative dependence on coal to go up, not down.

Boehner & Co will need all the help we can give them. We still have truck-driver Rush listeners who know more about actual climate science than do most college professors.

Begorra, Saints preserve us ...  

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