the COGENT PROVOCATEUR
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ... taking an imposing analytic toolkit out of the box, over the wall and into the street ... with callous disregard for accepted wisdom and standard English
reading tea leaves from original angles, we've led with uncannily prescient takes on the federal surplus, the dotcom crash, the "Energy Crisis", the Afghan campaign, the federal deficit.
More where those came from ... stay tuned.
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All "major" articles of older material have now been imported, some with updates worth perusing. We'll keep it all on the main page for a while, will add a few loose pieces of history, will trim the main page and index the archives for convenience later.
the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ...
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?
Some say it's nothing but a train wreck ... roll in the big cranes, clear the track, see what the crew was smoking. If I thought so, I'd not be writing this ... and if they thought so, they'd not be drumming so hard.
OTHER GOOD STUFF:
Many thanks to Tony Adragna and Will Vehrs, still shouting 'cross the Potomac at QuasiPundit. Early Camp Enron material can be found in QP's Dispatches department.
Wednesday, April 03, 2002
--- Welles: UnderstandingOne of CP's recurring themes is the examination of Groupthink in all its wondrous myriad forms. Today's topic: Stupidity ... specifically the James F. Welles theory of stupidity.
Welles identifies collective stupidity (and individual conformity) as an essential aspect of human nature ... part and parcel of our overarching need for group cohesion at the expense of informative feedback.
Stupidity is in evidence -- normally in retrospect or at a distance -- when a language/belief/behavior system (schema) is widely held, when the schema is maladaptive (or "premaladaptive", meaning it sets the home team on the road to a big loss), and when a plausible alternative is clearly indicated by available evidence. A few excerpts from Understanding Stupid
One might reasonably expect ... competition and conflict would weed out stupidity ... it seems that competition merely replaces one stupid system with another.Welles goes on to elaborate the history of stupidity and its proponents, adversaries and victims from Plato to Serpico, in his Story of Stupidity : A History of Western Idiocy from the Days of Greece to the Present (chapter titles include "Medieval Stupidity", "Stupidity Reborn", "Stupidity Reformed", "Reasonable Stupidity", "Enlightened Stupidity" and so on).