Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just When I Thought I Was Out...

We've been getting complaints about our lack of postings directed along the prevailing winds of this blog's stated purpose. It's true. We've been lazy. Frankly, can you blame us? I mean, Megan's random careening of a blog career is hardly affected by our ineffectual plinking, and how much fun is it to hear us exhaust our supply of "yer dum" jokes on the same person over and over?

Oh, really? You like that sort of thing? Well, alright then. Here, I'll do a nice short easy one then just to make you happy.

Random Thought:

I would find Malcolm Gladwell's responses to Steve Pinker so much more compelling if they didn't rely so heavily on sly, and irrelevant, accusations of racism.
Huh. That's pretty funny. She's ad homineming someone for ad homineming. Good joke there. I'll have to make sure to note the potential humor opportunity. But, first, better do my due diligence and read the link.

Oh, turns out it's a blog post following up on something else. I guess I'd better read that. Wouldn't wanna start in the middle, ya know?

Hey, wait, this is a letter to the editor in response to a New York Times book review. Fuck, well, I guess I'll start at the book review, then. Man, this short post is getting tedious.

OK, read 'em all. What have we got? Well, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book. Steve Pinker said the book had some good parts and some bad parts and mentioned that Gladwell's claim that IQ is irrelevant doesn't seem to be supported. Gladwell writes to the NYT stating this view is an "ice-flow." Pinker replies with various studies and letters from scientists that say this is a mainstream view. Gladwell then points out that some of these studies aren't so cut and dry and, in fact, present a nuanced view of IQ. He also points out that other sources are openly racist and push IQ inheritablility/racial inferiority agendas. Megan cries "fowl!"

Fuck, that took a while. And this post is getting long. Better go trim it down. That's gonna take a while, too. OK, so what's the pith, here? Well, Megan did a few stupid things. Lemme find my notes. I know I already wrote one of those down... AH YES! Here it is! She used an ad hominem attack to refute an argument for being ad hominem. Oh, man, irony IS a classic.

What else? Oh, yeah, she wrote a single sentence about multiple articles and responses which haven't really been widely discussed. That's pretty funny. I mean, it's quite narcissistic to think everyone would just know what you're talking about in that situation. Yeah, narcissism jokes go over well. I'll stick one of those in.

Am I missing anything? Oh, RIGHT! I forgot that Gladwell didn't really make any "sly accusations of racism" so much as pointed out that one of Pinker's sources was OPENLY RACIST and therefor might be tainted by an agenda. That's pretty important. Rather glaring error on her part. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of her post, really. Oh, we can make a self-defeating joke. Another classic.

Hey, wait, she used the word "irrelevant," too, which is also wrong because, hey, those "sly accusations" only kind of undermine entirely the credibility of one of Pinker's sources. That's fairly relevant. That's definitely gotta go in.

OK, so, she contradicts herself, acts narcissistic, and fails to understand the arguments of the people she's "criticizing" (TWICE in the span of TWO WORDS). Shit, I forgot, I have to explain this whole fucking mess because most likely no one has read the book review, or the response to the book review, or the response to the response to the book review. Yeah, so, I gotta do all that. In a short post.

Oh, hey, look at that. 5pm already. Fuck it. Good enough. I'll just punch out. Wife's gonna kill me if I log in any more overtime.

Update: Heh. I tried to be as thorough as possible here in order to illustrate my point and I STILL forgot to mention explicitly in my round up at the end that she fails to link to two of the three things she is discussing. Indeed.

Her stupidity; It takes a genius to keep track of it all.


Susan of Texas said...

Analyzing McArdle's writing should have been one of the Labors of Hercules.

Nathan Bamford said...

That's the irony of this whole enterprise. You guys and Susan put vastly more work and thought into your criticism of Megan than she puts into her posts.

And who writes for the Atlantic? Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

Clever Pseudonym said...

It must be tiring for Megan, being so much better than everybody else all the time, even if it is only in her own mind. What a horrible burden.

Downpuppy said...

I followed the links until
turned up.

There's a serious falloff between #1 draftee QBs & all the rest; beyond that the differences are minor, but real. And neither Gladwell nor Pinker is that much better at math than McMegan that they could hack it on PFR.

Matt Ball said...

I do think that Pinker is right.

NutellaonToast said...

I agree with both to some extent. Arguments about the validity/relevance of IQ take a lot of time and have a lot more nuance than I'd rather get into here.