Monday, June 20, 2011

Independents, Libertarians, Philosophers, and Pomplamoose

The last time Gerry Ohrstrom organized a book-launch party in NYC, it was for Incognito by David Eagleman, which delves into the countless impressive, even disturbing things that the brain does unconsciously.  At the event, I talked to another prominent science writer who’s studying personality types – and that led me to a misanthropic thought, not that it takes much.

With a country of religious people, left-liberal big-government fans, moderates, greens, and capitalists, I think you’re basically looking at a population made up of – respectively – the delusional, the destructive, the unthinking, the anti-human, and the shallow.  Given those five horrible choices, I side with shallow, and you should too, even if I don’t necessarily want to hang around with some of them. 

(This thought does not qualify as my foray into neuroscience, the subject area into which so many political writers seem to be moving lately, from David Brooks and Will Wilkinson to Ryan Sager and Ken Silber.  It’s a neural pattern – ha!  I just hope that if the statist Brooks develops telepathic powers as a result of his research, the libertarianish other three will join forces to combat him.)

Gerry’s latest event is for the co-authors of a volume arguing that the moderates aren’t as confused and clueless as I have made them out to be above, though.  My fellow libertarians Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch argue in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America that a growing number of self-declared independents are people who are not just apathetic but rightly fed up with the Republican/Democrat Punch and Judy show (and the right/left spectrum imported from Europe to justify those parties’ loosely-held principles).  A fine article adapted from the book appeared in the Wall Street Journal, and the book itself hits shelves Tuesday next week. 

This week is shaping up to be a perfect Seavey tetralogy, actually – that always requiring doses, roughly speaking, of politics, fantasy, skepticism, and music.  Well:

•in addition to the aforementioned political event,
•I’m seeing the extended version of the second Lord of the Rings movie tomorrow (Kip’s Bay 7pm),
•a Brick Theater stage version of the historical comic book Action Philosophers on Thursday (original art from which I was given by Nybakken and Malice, by the way),
•and the band Pomplamoose on Friday (making it two nights in Williamsburg in a row).

And just so I don’t leave out science (which I tend to lump under “skepticism” in my brain), let me put in a word for biotech, which idiot Luddites in Belgium have been impeding by destroying genetically-modified plants (as Chuck Blake pointed out to me).  People in Belgium apparently hate plants being different as much as the British hate visiting magicians such as David Blaine making spectacles of themselves.  In England, they cruelly taunted and heckled Blaine during one of his stunts simply because they thought he was being pretentious.  Here, we’d applaud him, strive to outdo him, or ignore him.  Outside of politics, we don’t always demand that extreme behavior be moderated.  

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