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September 06, 2013

MSNBC, The Place for Smart Takes on Warmongering

I like Erika Johnson's short post.

As you probably know, I think this is a useful (Alinskyesque) manner of attacking the left: Hitting them where it hurts, in their Vanity.

Their overweening, unwarranted vanity.

If they want to Play Smart, let's make them Live Up to Their Own Rulebook and actually Be Smart.

If you check out the video, which you probably shouldn't because it puts coin in MSNBC's warmongering pockets, you'll see Ed Schultz, Professor of Cirrhosis, claiming:

1, that Obama can't build an international coalition Because Bush;

2, that Republicans only oppose this war (the first war we've ever opposed... except for Kosovo, Haiti, taking it to China in the Korean War, etc.) due to "spite" by which he of course means "racism."

But the most embarrassing part of this comes during his Shock Jock Morning Zoo style clip package that proceeds his drunken rage. In that, he plays Wacky Sound Effects as he plays Donald Rumsfeld's Known Unknowns soundbite.

Now, Rumsfeld's Known Unknown analysis of the nature of uncertainty is actually a cute and helpful template for thinking about all the things you don't know -- and, especially, the things you don't know that you don't even know you don't know. The difference between a Known Unknown and an Unknown Unknown is that one understands the former and can, in Risk Management terms, assign it a Risk Factor and intelligently analyze it.

But you can't do that with Unknown Unknowns. As to those, you're ignorant even of your own ignorance. (Caveat: By naming them Unknown Unknowns you gain psychological power and dominion over them, as Adam gained dominion over the animals by naming them, and thus this framework might actually wind up suggesting you know more than you know, as you've created a Defined Category of Things You Don't Know and, having so defined it, are now the master of it. But this nuanced thought would be lost on Red Ed so let's ignore this for the moment.)

Now, how does Ed Schultz, Mensa Chapter President, handle this interesting epistemological (Ed: that means "concerning the theory of knowledge and knowing") framework?

Like this: When Rumsfeld says "Known Unknowns," he plays a Wacky Morning Zoo Sound Effect of a spring going Booiinnnnggg (most commonly used to indicate an audibly-registering erection) and flashes the words "SAY WHAT?" in big red letters because Strong Primary Colors appeal to imbeciles.

Well actually they appeal to everybody but forget it, I'm rolling.

Funny, anyone of average intelligence (or even a bit below) understood what Rumsfeld meant about Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns.

But apparently MSNBC Viewers are not up to the level of "slightly below average intelligence." That's so far outside their grasp it's not even a dream to them. It's an Undreamt Dream.

So sorry, MSNBC People. I know you think you're Apple Jacks Kids and Muesli Munchers but you're really just dirty subliterate Kaboom Folk.

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posted by Ace at 01:43 PM

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