2 Day with 2 Cents (Oct 20, 2018)

This week’s news wrap-up features Elizabeth Warren’s bogus claims to Native American ancestry, President Trump’s tweeting wars with Stormy Daniels, the U.S. response to the Saudi Arabian’s killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and Hillary Clinton’s remarks regarding her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. The weekly hottie is former Miss Florida 2014, Brittany Oldehoff.

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Cherokee Nation Calls out Elizabeth Warren: https://youtu.be/0t0D-4TNZXE

Michael Avenatti Calls out President Trump: https://twitter.com/MichaelAvenatti/status/1052294024961372162

President Trump Responds to Jamal Khashoggi Murder: https://youtu.be/YX4C_gcBsEI

Hillary Clinton Comments on Her Husband’s Affair: https://youtu.be/B7pnYiNgP6s

Brittany Oldehoff Zalful Haul: https://youtu.be/Nn-UzGM5ri4

Genetic Literacy Project on Elizabeth Warren: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/10/16/claims-that-us-is-a-genetic-melting-pot-appear-overblown-if-youre-white/

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My 2 Cents Interviews A Lady of Reason

ladyofreason

A Lady of Reason Writes as a Secular Woman with Conservative Values

While reading through other blog posts, I recently discovered the blog of a woman who goes by the name A Lady of Reason. Taking a look at the about section of her blog, it says the following:

A Lady of Reason is a blog for women who are in the secular community as atheists, agnostics and non-religious but have socially conservative values. This might seem like a contradiction to some, as many who do hold more conservative views tend to do so from a religious standpoint. However, here at A Lady of Reason, we believe that beliefs in conservative values do not need religion to be justified.

I’ve since been following her blog and am very impressed with her content. I’ve been discouraged by the horrible advice that is being given to so many young women on a regular basis, especially by so called “women’s ministries” that profess to be giving advice from a conservative, Christian perspective (i.e. Allyson Rowe, Katie Emmerson, Girl Defined, etc.). While there are in fact some Christian/religious ministries that are giving good advice to young women, A Lady of Reason avoids much of the pseudo-spiritual sounding, emotional nonsense that typically accompanies Christian women’s ministries.

I invited A Lady of Reason to have a discussion about some of her views and the result was the below interview. I encourage all my viewers/readers to check out her blog.

***

My 2 Cents: Can you quickly introduce yourself to my subscribers? Briefly explain who you are and how you got into blogging.

A Lady of Reason: I go under the Pseudonym “A Lady of Reason” because due to the current Leftist vitriol, I must remain anonymous. I’ve been blogging on A Lady of Reason since Last December, so almost approaching a year now! I chose the name “A Lady of Reason” because I wanted to start a blog for women on conservative issues, especially women’s issues such as radical feminism and hook up culture. I thought the term “Lady” evokes a sense of the lost elegance and grace, as I often say, that women no longer seem to posses; that is, the manners and refined decorum of ladies in past eras. In this day and age of the “Nasty Woman”, I sought to create a place to advocate for women who don’t subscribe to radical feminism and want to be more like the ladies of past eras, who defined themselves as traditionally feminine. I chose “Reason” to describe them, as in my blog, I also wanted to touch upon deep and nuanced issues. I have a very intellectual personality, and feel that women can also embrace being deeply intellectual and can tackle big issues, all while being a traditional feminine woman in dress, values and behavior.

A reason why I started blogging about political and cultural issues geared toward fellow women was I already tried to start a more general blog on conservative issues, and have A Lady of Reason as a sister side blog, but I ultimately preferred to focus on this blog as my main blog. I thought there was a gap that I could fill, as many conservative blogs are for and written by people of faith, but I wanted to reach out to conservatives in the secular community and talk about conservative issues facing women in a non-religious way. Since launching my blog, many people of faith have followed and liked it, so now I can say my blog is geared towards all conservative women secular and religious. Also, since I’ve branched out to general conservative issues too, not just women’s, I welcome men as well as a demographic for my blog. I am amazed by how many views, likes, comments and wonderful networking I’ve made by like minded people who too, are fed up with the radical liberal climate of America.

My 2 Cents: Your blog states that you are blogging for secular women with conservative values. What led you to adopt the values that you currently hold?

A Lady of Reason: I never had much of a political identity until after Trump got elected. From a very young age, my parents and I talked about liberal bias in schools and in the media and society, and for that, I am ever so grateful and I’d probably be a snowflake now if they hadn’t been proactive in countering the brainwashing! However, politics never interested me that much. Even during the Obama years. I think what truly led to my own true political awakening, was watching the Left melt down over Trump during the campaign, and after he got in office, I saw how he is changing the nation for the better, and how the Left has gone into unprecedented meltdowns, vitriol and histrionics. Since this new atmosphere of hysteria has begun, I honestly was amused by their antics, and thus, follow them more closely. I’ve also been frustrated and angered at their vitriol and my eyes have opened more fully to how they are undermining the country with their so called “tolerance”!

For my social values, as I am predominantly a social conservative, I think I’ve just chose to adopt them. I’ve valued modesty since my teen years, and embraced traditionally feminine clothing from a young age. I’ve talked about with my dad especially, and studied on my own all the detriments of hook up culture and “any family is a real family” divorce culture. From personal experience, it shocked me how brainwashed many of my fellow classmates were in these issues, coming from broken homes and had hook ups, and how they reacted as if any opposing view point was anathema to them! As a secular person, see, I do not have a deity to fall back on, or holy text to tell me what to think in terms of values. No god is telling me my skirt must be X long, or I have to wait until marriage to have sex. However, I chose such values based on what I feel are objective, observable benefits to modesty, such as good, solid guys respecting and wanting women who dress modestly and don’t “advertise” themselves, or all the detriments of promiscuity, such as STD’s, unwanted assault, unwanted pregnancies etc… Better to wait until choosing a life partner for my two examples. In essence, I choose my values, which happen to be conservative based on their effectiveness in running a smooth society and wholesome lifestyle. Many of my conservative values agree with many people of faith, I just justify them in a different way. It’s funny to see my Leftist haters get confused, as they stereotype all conservatives as fundamentalist zealots with arbitrary morals! Like, a secular conservative literally does not compute in their brainwashed programming systems…

My 2 Cents: Do you think there are any legitimate aspects to feminism, or has the whole enterprise become a social justice nightmare?

A Lady of Reason:  I think feminism, what it should be at least, is about gender EQUALITY, in the sense that both genders are equal in their dignity as human beings. The fallacy the feminists today fall into, is that women must be able to do everything a man can do to be “equal”. Which in reality, is actually an extremely sexist view! Modern feminism strongly implies women must be like men in order to be worth something. She must have a career, and wear pants, and act like a man such as being assertive in her nature in order to be “empowered”. The traditional feminine roles of gentleness, nurturing, care giving etc… are devalued, along with being a wife and mother and caring for family in the private sphere of life. A dress is oppressive and inconvenient, children are holding you back from being a “career woman”, a woman who is a homemaker is a domestic slave are messages of the radical feminist movement. A woman is empowered by having a more masculine sexuality, she must be able to sleep with as many guys as she pleases, and dress as provocatively as she wants, in order to be “empowered”. Gone are the days of women waiting for sex to be a milestone, instead of a handshake, or acting lady like in manner and values. The male is the ultimate standard women are now held to. Whatever he can do, she must do in order to be valued as an autonomous, empowered person. I’d say feminism has become the SJW nightmare! It also condescends women, as I’ll note further in your next question by making them into helpless victims in the event their new “empowered” stance requires personal responsibility for their unbridled actions.

My 2 Cents: It’s been my experience that too many women today believe they can make whatever decisions they want and not have to worry about consequences. Would you agree or disagree, and why do you think that is?

A Lady of Reason: I absolutely agree!!! MeToo is the perfect example! Women now want more sexual freedom, for example, but are unwilling to pay the price if it doesn’t go their way. Now, if they regret a hook up, they can blame it on the man, and say he raped her even if it was consensual, and everyone will believe her. The feminists can play up their feminine vulnerability stereotype when they want to and it suites them, while decrying it when it doesn’t. They can just cry “MeToo” and play victim for their fake allegations, as I’ve noted in detail on my blog in several articles. Also, women get away with casting themselves as victims of assaults when they did nothing to lessen their risk of victimization and everything to heighten it, such as sleazy clothes and unsafe behavior sending off signals you want sexual attention. Men aren’t mind readers, ladies! Don’t send off signals you want sexual attention if you don’t! Another example is divorce culture and broken families. The empowered woman now feels free to just divorce someone, without even thinking about her children’s well being! No! It’s all about her, and always the guy’s fault too! The radical feminist puts her own happiness in reliving being a young teen dating again after, without any thought to how she tore the very foundation of a stable childhood from her children, then treat them like the 3rd wheel from her trashed marriage. She then absolves herself of guilt by making her children feel guilty for wishing they had an intact family and their REAL father, not live in boyfriend #56… Feminism, on a related note, also excuses sub par parenting in this vein too. Mommy puts herself first now, not her kids, and avoids guilt over parenting mistakes at all costs, or else she’s oppressed in actually holding herself to high standards! Then again, motherhood is devalued as enslaving in the eyes of radical feminists! Personal responsibility has no place in their “don’t judge me” attitude, they can just play the poor oppressed woman card to get out of every mistake they make, in family matters, careers, parenting, sex, you name it! Casting women as little children, and helpless victims, while the antithesis of TRUE female empowerment, is done all the time to get out of the sticky situations they put themselves in by their own behavioral anarchy such as hook up culture for instance. As a side note, they demonize men, as someone has to be the perpetrator for them to be the victim! It’s the man’s fault I’m divorced, he coerced me, he assaulted me, he’s oppressing me by wanting a feminine woman etc.. etc… Saddest thing is: we as a society are buying into this con-job! So yes, they ARE getting away with it!

My 2 Cents: If you had to quickly summarize the best piece of advice you could give to young women and young men in the age of feminism what would it be?

A Lady of Reason: Don’t buy into the feminist lies!!! You are empowered, capable and strong women in your traditional feminine role! Don’t let anyone tell you you need to act like, dress like, and be a man in all but name in order to be worth something in life. You are just as needed in this world as a wife and a mother as in any job that could replace you. You also, are fully capable of being responsible for your actions. You are not a helpless victim, at the mercy of the “patriarchy”. You CAN say “NO!”. You can stand up for yourself. You are empowered to make choices such as preventative measures to lessen your chance of victimization, such as dressing modestly, not going down secluded spots, etc… Is this fair that women have to take extra precautions in life? NO! Is it fair we can’t just dress as sleazy as we like and still be safe? NO! But that’s reality. We must live with it and acknowledge it. Women can be ladies of elegance and grace in this culture of vulgarity, hook ups, and hysteria! The modern woman is not the “Nasty Woman”, she is one who is empowered to make her own choices, and empowered to take responsibility for the outcome of her choices. She is autonomous, and used her freedom wisely and responsibly. She is not under the thumb of a man, but freely chooses to love, cherish, value and serve the men in her life freely and out of love, not obligation. A true empowered woman, ladies, is one who takes pride in her womanhood, not in trying to be a copy of what a man is. Another important point: Speak up for fellow women who are pressured by the radical feminist agenda and show them it’s okay to be a feminine woman. Also, speak up for the men as in this culture of identity politics, a woman’s voice is far more powerful than a man’s on the subject of the flaws of feminism. Lastly, my strongest piece of advice is to THINK FOR YOURSELF! Don’t let the Left brainwash you into their sexist lies of what empowerment looks like…

 
And to young men: Stay strong!!!! I can’t emphasize this enough! You will be attacked, derided, even threatened for speaking the truth about how feminism hurts women, and of course, men! You will be called every vile thing, be accused of oppressing women, even being labeled a rape apologist! However, still speak out! Your opinions are not invalidated just because of your biological sex. A valid opinion is valid no matter who says it. It is not a “sin” to want a virtuous wife, who values elegance and grace, and is devoted to you, as you ought to be to her. You are not the servant in a relationship any more than the lady you date or marry is. You get to make choices, set boundaries, speak your mind as much as she does. I also advise you to embrace your manhood. It’s NOT toxic to be a man, despite the radical feminist propaganda! You should be the rock she leans on, to whom she looks to for protection, the guide for your future daughters in what to expect from men and how to treat men. You should cherish, honor, love and protect the women in your lives, and honor their feminine role as of equal worth, and they, equal in their dignity as human beings to you. Don’t be the “soyboy” we often hear about and the Left embraces. However, also realize women are human too, not just virtuous angles…. Women can, have and do lie about what happened “that night”. The advice to wait for sex in marriage is not just for the ladies mind you! You may not get pregnant, but you may get some one pregnant then be forced to pay child support, or be accused of a false assault! BE CAREFUL. Don’t ever doubt that it could happen to you! Make sure every liability is covered. Your life will be completely destroyed if you’re accused, even if proven innocent! Choose your women wisely… No matter how much the Left vilifies the traditional man though through radical feminism, keep staying strong, and stand up for your manhood as well!!!

Lastly to both: THINK FOR YOURSELVES!!!!

My 2 Cents: Excellent words of advice and thank you for agreeing to chat.

***

Again, I encourage everyone to check out A Lady of Reason. As I’ve noted in all discussions I’ve been involved in, the fact that I endorse her blog does not necessarily mean I always agree with everything she says, but I can say with confidence that she is giving good advice that will lead to successful living if followed, especially for young women.

I’d like to thank her again for having this discussion, and that is My 2 Cents. So take it for what it’s worth.

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Why Wealth Inequality is Awesome (Vox Debunked)

Vox put out a short video explaining how dangerous wealth inequality, and its little brother income inequality, are to society. Putting aside the fact that income inequality decreases the more economically free a country is, people often forget that wealth inequality is a good thing. Wealth inequality is what allows the market to take the luxuries of today and turn them into the necessities of tomorrow.

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Citations/Further Reading:

Economic Freedom Graphs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanedk/sets/72157646459874723/

Economic Freedom and Inequality: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2012.00343.x?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false&

70% of Lottery Winners Go Bankrupt: https://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/01/why_do_70_percent_of_lottery_w.html

Ludwig von Mises, Economic Freedom and Interventionism (FULL TEXT): https://mises.org/library/economic-freedom-and-interventionism/html

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Are Libertarians “Holding the Door Open for the RADICAL and RABID Left?” A Response to Black Pigeon Speaks

antifa rioters

Members of Antifa Plan to Silence Opposition by Force

We’ve all seen it coming for a long time. First there was the Adpocalypse of 2017. We all cringed when we saw Alex Jones kicked off just about every social media platform within a matter of days. Now Google has been caught red-handed. In a leaked document, Google admitted that they are moving away from a platform of free speech and towards one of active censorship.

This is truly disturbing, especially to those of us on the political right who know all too well that big tech firms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook are actively collaborating with the left to censor opinions that conflict with the progressive agenda. Many commentators have made a living using these platforms, and the fear that their primary methods for content distribution and income could disappear at a moment’s notice is daunting.

For a long time, conservatives and libertarians were largely in agreement about the right of private businesses to do business or not do business with whoever they pleased. However, many conservatives and even some libertarians are now saying that big tech has gone too far. We tried to play fair and let market competition work, but big tech is simply too powerful. Unless we want to be silenced forever, we need to abandon free market principles and fight for direct government regulation in order to save our place in public discourse.

In particular, the YouTube commentator Black Pigeon Speaks (BPS), with a following of nearly 400,000 subscribers, released a video this past week calling for the government to begin regulating social media as publishers. In doing so, such platforms would lose their legal immunity regarding content posted by their users and then bare liability for any and all content that appears on their platforms. If platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are going to censor some content, they might as well be held liable for what they censor and fail to censor just like CNN, Fox News, or any other publisher. At least, this is how the argument goes.

Other commentators such as Styxhexenhammer666 and Paul Joseph Watson have likewise called for an internet bill of rights to provide for free speech on big tech platforms. Their message is clear. Libertarians are simply naïve and will be promptly done away with by progressive elites unless they stand up and utilize the power of government to fight back. As BPS stated in his video, libertarians are, “Holding the door open for the RADICAL and RABID left.”

bps tweet

Tweet from BPS’s Twitter Account @navyhato

Before I explain why this response is misguided, I’d like to say that I have a great deal of respect for BPS. While I have a number of significant disagreements with him, I enjoy his content very much, and no one can deny that his videos are well researched and very informative. None the less, I believe that he, and everyone else advocating for government intervention to save online free speech, fails to recognize why this type of government intervention will give the left exactly what it wants in the long run.

All the arguments for government intervention in big tech boil down to some variation of the arguments for so called “natural monopolies.” There are certain utilities such as water, electricity, and now the internet that are simply more profitable and efficient when everyone is using one centralized delivery system, or so we’re told. As a result, one large monopoly inevitably forms due to convenience for the users and profitability for the owners. However, once that monopoly has had an opportunity to function free of competition, they realize that they now have significant sway over society in that they have the power to double prices at will, or deny service to certain citizens in order to manipulate them. As a result, these natural monopolies must be allowed to exist, but only under heavy regulation from the state to protect the citizens.

This argument has led to the rise of many so called “public utilities.” Be it water, electricity, or the internet, we are told that the market simply cannot stop these powerhouses from forming and gaining control over society once their services become a necessity to live day to day. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the big tech world have become de facto public utilities, and now the only way we can save right wing speech is to introduce the same sorts of government regulations that prevent the electric companies from turning the lights off in homes with the wrong political views.

However, the evidence from history simply does not demonstrate that natural monopolies are the result of the market. After thoroughly examining the history of the electric, telephone, and cable television industries, author Thomas Dilorenzo concludes,

“The theory of natural monopoly is an economic fiction. No such thing as a ‘natural’ monopoly has ever existed. The history of the so-called public utility concept is that the late 19th and early 20th century ‘utilities’ competed vigorously and, like all other industries, they did not like competition. They first secured government-sanctioned monopolies, and then, with the help of a few influential economists, constructed an ex post rationalization for their monopoly power” (DiLorenzo, 1996, p. 58).

Does the evidence suggest that big tech resulted solely from free market forces, or like DiLorenzo suggests, did it result from government intervention, thereby resulting in ex post facto calls for legal status as a public utility? The evidence would suggest the latter.

It’s well documented that Google and other big tech firms benefit from generous tax credits and government subsidies not available to their competitors. While providing tax credits is not necessarily the same as direct subsidies, the government choosing to tax certain industries more heavily while drastically cutting the tax rates for corporations like Google ends up tipping the scales heavily in the favor of those corporations and not allowing market competition to function as it normally would. Combine this with the receipt of lavish government contracts, and big tech firms become confident that they will be considered “essential” by the government. If they ever cease to be profitable, they can rest easy knowing that the government will keep them afloat as they did with Chrysler and General Motors between 2008 and 2014.

It’s also worth noting that big tech firms were some of the biggest proponents of net neutrality and other FCC regulations. As with other regulations pertaining to so called natural monopolies, the American public was told that net neutrality was for their own safety and to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from having control over what they could and could not view on the internet. However, it went virtually unnoticed by masses of people as to just how much big tech stood to gain from net neutrality. See articles here and here to learn more.

This isn’t to say that big tech firms became the powerhouses they are solely because of government intervention. Obviously, millions of people use these services because such services are useful and were found to be more effective than other competitors (i.e. Bing, Yahoo, AOL, MySpace, etc.). It is to say, however, that unlike industries in a free market where even the most successful businesses must constantly be wary of the threat of losses, these big tech firms are significantly more likely to be swayed by political pressure and not by the sentiments of their user base.

Take for example the ban of Alex Jones from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Jones had more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube with annual earnings of up to $68,200. Since the YouTube Partner Program allows YouTube to pocket 40% of all earnings from participating channels, it is ridiculous to think that YouTube would’ve banned one of their highest earning channels if they were operating solely from a standpoint of trying to ensure profits instead of losses. In fact, YouTube would stand to make far more profits if they allowed advertisements to be played on a higher volume of videos without demonetizing “controversial” content.

Consider also a sort of reverse scenario. What if a committed white nationalist restaurant owner decided to act on his convictions and ban all non-whites from his restaurant even though some of the most regular and highest paying customers weren’t white? Even assuming the government took no action, ridding himself of paying customers could only result in a restaurant with lower profits, even if there were no ensuing boycotts from the white customers. The restaurant owner may feel better about himself, but he is none the less worse off.

To be clear, I am not saying that big tech firms are not profitable or were never profitable. It may be the case that they currently remain profitable even without people like Alex Jones. I’m saying only that ridding oneself of paying customers and partners only makes sense if a business has more to gain from doing so than will be lost in profits. In the case of big tech, there is definitely something more to gain.

Predictably, as with every other discussion of natural monopolies in history, the drama of internet censorship has led to calls for the internet being regulated for the safety of the people. Content creators like BPS are understandably concerned about losing their primary sources of income. However, economist Greg Jarrell’s research has suggested that the actual results of these types of regulations will be higher prices for consumers and guaranteed profits for the regulated industries (Jarrell, 1978).

Even if an internet bill of rights is passed and big tech is forced to allow right wing voices back onto their platforms, this will only give credence to the idea that big tech firms are “essential” services and must be guaranteed by government as a public utility. This will finally give government the complete control of the internet that they crave, and leave big tech firms without any incentive to do things in the best interest of their customers. In the short term, commentators like BPS may see their income saved, but they stand to lose far more in the long term. As the saying goes, “The same government that has the power to give you everything you want is a government that has the power to take everything that you have.”

As a final point, it is simply wrong to say that competition cannot mitigate this problem. After Alex Jones was banned from big tech, he reported that traffic to his website and number of subscribers hit record highs. In addition, the user base of the alternative platform BitChute nearly doubled overnight, with more and more users agreeing to donate to their platform. Even if someone like BPS was kicked off YouTube, I seriously doubt that his 400,000 subscribers would simply say, “Oh well,” and move on as though he never existed. If they truly enjoyed his content, the loyal fans would follow him to a new platform and support him with crowd-funding.

It’s also worth noting that in their current form, big tech is not in fact immune from going under. Ironically, one day after publishing the video that this article is a response to, BPS posted another video noting that big tech firms are now on the decline.

The bottom line is that libertarians are not holding the door open to be run over by the left. We are simply trying to avoid solving a problem by invoking the very entity that made this problem possible. That entity is of course the government. It always is. We don’t need an internet bill of rights or any other form of government regulation for big tech. We need to get the government to remove its dirty fingers from the industry entirely.

I hope that more people will come to see the state for what is, a cancer that destroys everything it touches.

And that is my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

Citations:

Dilorenzo, T. J. (1996). The myth of natural monopoly. The Review of Austrian Economics, 9(2), 43-58.

Jarrell, A. G. (1978). The demand for state regulation of the electric utility industry. Journal of Law and Economics, 21(2), 269-275.

Note: It is worth noting that websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are not entirely in the clear simply because they are private corporations. In many cases, they have defrauded their users by banning them for “hate speech” even though they have failed to offer a consistent definition of hate speech. These platforms also defraud their customers by not being forthright about their explicit banning of right leaning content. As such, I believe banned users may in fact be able to bring civil suits against these platforms.

2 Day with 2 Cents (Oct 13, 2018)

This week’s news wrap-up featuring Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation protests, Hillary Clinton’s call to end civility, Google’s leaked document regarding internet censorship, and Kaitlin Bennett of Liberty Hangout being threatened by a liberal man. Christina Khalil has earned yet another place as the weekly hottie.

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Ariana Grande’s Feminist Fail

Ariana Grande is famous for her radio hits about getting pounded so hard that she’s walking side to side, yet she objects when fans sexually objectify her. Now she’s released a song titled, “God is a Woman,” in an effort to broadcast her absurd feminist views. Myself and my elite level patron Nightshift10000, respond to her interview on the Zach Sang show regarding the song.

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You Don’t Get It! Or Do You?

angry professor

If you’re a follower of my content, you’re probably someone who loves to study topics that other people find boring and over complicated. I know I’m such a person. I can spend hours reading through books on philosophy, economics, or religion; and afterwards I’m all too eager to share what I’ve learned with my friends and family.

Of course, one thing I’ve always found I have to be careful of is to make sure I don’t overestimate how knowledgeable I am when making the case for something I’ve only just begun to study. Unfortunately, this is something most everyone falls victim to at some point and has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect (Dunning, 2011). A victim of the Dunning-Krueger effect is someone who is not only ignorant of the topic on which he speaks, but is also ignorant of his own ignorance. As Sam Harris has stated, “the less competent a person is in a given domain, the more he will tend to overestimate his abilities. This often produces an ugly marriage of confidence and ignorance that is very difficult to correct for” (Harris, 2010, p. 123).

However, the point of this post is not to warn you about the Dunning-Kruger Effect itself but rather to help you recognize when you are erroneously accused of being an example of it. While the Dunning-Kruger Effect is certainly real, I’ve found that erroneous accusations of it may be even more common than the Dunning-Kruger effect itself.

For example, you’ve probably been in a discussion or debate of some sort and encountered a person who, in apparent frustration, simply told you, “You just don’t get it.” They then launch into a short tirade about how you need to pick up a book and start doing research, after which they laugh loudly, stick their nose in the air with an aura of condescension, and walk away. They may even explicitly tell you that you are a victim of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

However, what’s interesting is that seldom have I encountered a person who makes this kind of claim and also proceeds to explain what part of the other person’s view was incorrect. They’re willing to tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, but they’re completely unwilling to educate you so that you don’t make the same mistake in the future. Granted, it may be the case that they simply don’t have the time to do so, but I doubt that this is the case in the vast majority of circumstances.

If someone tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about in the course of discussion, I try my best to always pause. After all, if I can’t even acknowledge the possibility that I’m wrong, what is the point of having a discussion? However, there’s something I feel should be very obvious to anyone who actually understands what it means to be knowledgeable.

If the person making the accusation of ignorance actually understands the topic in question, it should be very easy for them to explain it in a way that even laypeople can understand.

I took Chemistry in college, and I hated every second of it. I don’t pretend for a moment that I could describe the intricacies of Chemistry with any specificity or detail. However, what convinced me that my professor could, was the fact that when she explained something, she was able to take a complex idea and put it into terms than anyone in the class could grasp. The same thing is true when considering an expert in any topic, not just chemistry.

When debating adherents of Marxism, I’m often accused of not knowing what socialism really is. However, when I challenge my opponent to set me straight, I’m almost never met by an attempt to do so. They simply say, “I’m not going to do the work for you. Go read The Communist Manifesto.” When I explain that I have a digital copy on my phone and laptop and have read it many times, they simply laugh at me and claim that I must be too stupid to understand it and walk away.

I’ll never be impressed with these kinds of dismissive statements and neither should you. Regardless of what topic you’re debating, the person making the positive claim always bears the burden of proof. Claiming your opponent doesn’t understand what he’s talking about is a claim that needs to be defended like any other. They shouldn’t be impressed if you make statements you don’t back up, but by the same token, you shouldn’t be impressed if they accuse you of ignorance but then refuse to back up that assertion.

Simply put, if the person accusing you of ignorance really understood the topic in question, they should be able to summarize it in a way that is easy to understand. Hiding behind statements like, “Go read this book,” or “You just need to do more research,” only inclines me to believe that they are the one suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

And that is my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

Citations:

Dunning, D. (2011). The Dunning-Kruger Effect: On being ignorant of one’s own ignorance. Advances in Experimental Psychology, 44, 247-296.

Harris, S. (2010). The Moral Landscape. New York: Free Press.

2 Day with 2 Cents (Oct 6, 2018)

This weeks news wrap-up featuring Brett Kavanaugh’s impending ascension to the Supreme Court, Christine Blasey Ford’s increasingly debunked allegations, Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski’s arrest, and a Toronto soy boy kicking a pro-life woman in the face.

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Why Capitalism is Awesome (Non-Compete Debunked)

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The Link Between Lack of Economic Freedom and Wealth Inequality: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2012.00343.x?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false&

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Links and Citations for Why Capitalism is Awesome (Non-Compete Debunked)

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Economic Freedom Graphs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanedk/sets/72157646459874723/

The Link Between Lack of Economic Freedom and Wealth Inequality: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2012.00343.x?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false&

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