I turned off a movie (“Wrong Turn”) today because the level of stupidity exceeded my tolerance with a speed that surprised even myself. The last movie I recall doing that to was “The Ring 2”. Fortunately I was spending the time with much more interesting reading material.
I will admit to watching bad movies. Just because the movie is bad, does not mean it can’t be enjoyable; MST3K proved that. However, there is a difference between watching a video of a cat discovering how to flush a toilet (and now earnestly engaged in driving up its humans’ water bill), and watching a human displaying roughly the same level of reasoning ability. Especially over two hours.
The site of Steven Dutch, Professor in the College of Environmental Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, made an appearance in a certain newsgroup and was shortly thereafter added to my bookmarks. Of particular interest to me is the section on “science, pseudoscience, and irrationalism”, in which he espouses views perfectly in line with my own, and therefore eminently correct. (Yes, I did just do that.)
It is refreshing to find signs of rational thought, especially when so many of our faith-based neighbors at the other end of the logical spectrum are busy providing funny-yet-disturbing entries for Fark. His section on “Why is Spock Such a Threat?” concludes with a nice summary:
The nagging question to me is why Vulcan rationality is treated like such a threat. We live in a society full of people who buy blindly into beliefs that would embarrass a Cro-Magnon shaman, and a world full of people who can’t let go of defeats that happened centuries ago. It’s not like rationality is an overpowering force in the world. The problem in our society is not that people are out of touch with their emotions. The problem in our society is precisely that people need to get out of touch with their emotions for a while.
I suspect, in fact, the problem is an inferiority complex. People who can’t deal rationally with life need constant reassurance that their way is better. The reassurance has to be constant because it rests solely on emotion and can’t be sustained in the face of uncertainty like rational beliefs can. Folks, you don’t have an inferiority complex. You’re really inferior.