Friday, April 8, 2016

Fred Has a Realization and We All Evolve Just a Little

Evolution and Refrigerators: New Insights


Steven Satak said...

My son and I talked about this one. He took most of it to pieces. My son John admires Fred, but feels he spent the column erecting a giant man of straw. John knows evolutionary biologists, studies the subject at school, believes less than half of what is said and agrees with Fred on most of his past points on evolutionism.

But on this one, Fred either doesn't know what's actually thought out there, or was content not to use actual examples. Which would have helped - as it was, we love his curmudgeonly moments along with the rest of him and I am afraid that as much as I want to cheerlead Fred on this one, I am gonna have to side with my son and sit this one out.

Better aim next time, Fred. The field of evolutionary psychology has enough real holes. Find some of them and poke hell out of 'em.

Stan said...

I think that Fred was poking fun at the "correlation = causation" premise that underlies all evolution thinking. By using it himself in obviously absurd ways, he illustrates the futility of gaining valid objective knowledge that way. On the other hand, Fred does also use absurdity as pure humor, and advertises himself as absurd, too.

One of the best comedians was Jack Benny, whose humor was always jokes on himself. Kelsey Grammer studied Benny right down to his slow takes, and became another successful and loved comedian whose jokes are on himself.

Today's comedians are mostly Leftists who act superior to the common man, and make deprecating jokes intended to be moral opinions showing their own moral superiority (Stewart/Mahr). Big Difference.

Steven Satak said...

I just finished George Burns' book "All My Best Friends", and agree with you on Jack Benny. It's incredible, but the book made me miss a man I never met.

On today's comedians: George Carlin gradually turned into that over the years, and it was a shame, too. His ego blinded him to what he didn't want to see or hear - try to explain something to him and you'd get a cross between sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting "LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU", and sticking both his middle fingers into your chest and shouting "FUCK YOU VERY MUCH, THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT".

I told my son I thought Fred was caricaturing what people wrote in the fantasyland known as the Internet, as opposed to what they themselves actually practiced in life. For example, people who go about writing that men don't actually have free will, still get hung up deciding the menu at Red Robin. I also pointed out that Fred is *jhighly* intelligent and if this appeared to be an instance of him slipping into his 'redneck persona', perhaps it was to drive a point home.

I also mentioned that Fred deprecates himself along with everyone else, so ego's not a motivator here, nor Luddite leanings. Fred tends to call 'em like he sees them. I disagree strongly with him about national defense - I don't think he can see past his own cynicism in that respect, or he refuses to admit that people are people and have been fighting for a very long time. The Pentagon has not invented any new ways to send young men to their deaths, nor middle-aged men, nor old men for that matter. That things should have radically changed since Vietnam is... well, silly.

But we're all human. My son (and I) think that Fred chose a method so hyperbolic that his original message got lost on those of us who could not (or did not) follow the script closely enough. I stress that *we* are the yokels here. We have everything to learn from Fred and only the occasional raised eyebrow to return.

As Burns noted, Jack Benny was a man who made a very successful career out of saying nothing. It was the silences that got the laughs.

"Your money or your life!"