Monday, June 13, 2011

Sex, Lies, Arrogance

Time magazine recently had a woman-written cover story titled, Sex, Lies, Arrogance: What Makes Powerful Men Behave So Badly?. The Dilbert cartoonist calls this misandry, and writes:
A psychic is a person who can read minds. For example, a psychic can look deep into the private thoughts of a Tea Party member and know that the real reason he opposes the President's fiscal policy is racism. A psychic can look at men - millions of them at once - and know that deep down, in their private thoughts, they hate women. Psychics can also know the thoughts and intentions of the rich, using as clues the inaccurate reports of the media, and the out-of-context yammering of pundits who have financial incentives to distort. ...

Watch the news this week and see how many stories involve psychics (pundits) claiming they have the power to read the minds of others and find evil of various sorts. Then watch the media manipulate society into punishing the accused thought-criminals because doing so is good for the news business. It's the modern equivalent of witch hunts. In old Salem, you could identify a witch by a combination of coincidence and the ability to float. Today you can identify a racist and a misogynist and an immoral rich person using quotes taken out of context, guilt by association, and the accusations of psychics. We haven't come far.
Psychics aren't the only one to claim mindreading abilities. Most people do, according to conventional wisdom about the theory of mind. It is a common disease, and of course the mindreading is unreliable.

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