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View Diary: Running Against Paul Ryan is Exactly What Team Obama Wanted (Updated) (167 comments)

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  •  what i find intriguing is that it took.... (4+ / 0-)

    .... time after the end of the Cold War, for the religious right's anti-science attitudes to become part of the Republican paradigm.  

    Part of this was a factor of growth due to the religious right's organizing ability.  But part of it may have been that the Cold War attitudes of caution and competition against a rational foe took time to wear off, to thereby allow the anti-rationalist attitudes to spread and take hold.  

    In any case, now we are beginning to see a healthy alliance growing between religious progressives and progressive rationalists.  This could become a powerful political force in the decades ahead.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:05:10 AM PDT

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    •  The 60s counterculture was the primary factor, IMO (4+ / 0-)

      The wholesale rejection of reason and science as the creators of The Bomb and the paradigm of The Man, man, bled into the culture as a whole. Suburban/urban/middle class/college kids fled into Hinduism and cults and (eventually) created the "New Age"...while rural, lower educated and lower income people fled into evangelical fundamentalism.

      The hippie generation was every bit as anti-rational as the Christian right.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon

      by Dracowyrm on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:20:56 AM PDT

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      •  Weell Albert Hoffman might disagree w/ that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Only Needs a Beat

        premise. Not to mention lot of people who pioneered new sciences based on countercultural ideals in areas like food, nutrition, neuroscience, fitness, education, etc etc...

        If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

        by DoctorWho on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 02:42:26 AM PDT

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        •  Albert Hofmann (correct spelling) was one of... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquarius40, Beetwasher, Dracowyrm

          .... the intellectual elite of that era, along with people such as Aldous Huxley and various pioneers in other fields that spanned the entire range of the sciences and the humanities.  These were individuals with an extraordinary depth and breadth of intellect and knowledge.

          They were products of an earlier style of education that emphasized generalism prior to specialization, something we are presently on the verge of losing.  In their time it was expected that an educated person would have a broad grasp of knowledge in a wide range of fields.  

          Also in their time, it was the case that leading minds were more highly visible to the culture at-large, because the overall cultural information flow was smaller and specific individuals could stand out more readily.  

          Today the river of information has become a raging flood, to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to recognize specific individuals as making outstanding contributions to the forward progress of the intellectual life of the culture at-large.  If anything, most of our iconic minds today are people who espouse some aggressively pernicious form of cultural backwardness or economic predation.  

          Since history tends to run in cycles, this may be about to change.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 04:48:07 AM PDT

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      •  an effect, not the primary cause. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beetwasher, Dracowyrm

        The 60s counterculture was hardly powerful enough to inspire emulation on the part of people who disliked it as a matter of their ideologies and identities.

        Your generalizations about religion demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the subject.

        The mainstream branches of every major world religion, including Hinduism, stopped engaging in culture wars over basic science long before the 1960s.  

        Lumping together Hinduism, cults, and New Age is "not even wrong."  Each of these is a distinct belief system.  The fact that there were some cross-influences (e.g. Hare Krishna considered itself a sect of Hinduism, the Moonies brought in elements of Abrahamic history and Korean folk beliefs, etc.) does not make them identical any more than Catholicism and Protestantism.  

        Low-income / low-education rural folks were already engaged in culturally right-wing evangelical Christianity but one of its core beliefs was other-worldliness that bred political quietism.  What changed there was that Ralph Reed and others organized them politically and turned them from quietists to activists.  

        There was no "hippie generation" in the sense of an entire generation becoming hippies.  There was a Baby Boomer generation in which a certain percentage of people opted into a counterculture whose members were known as "hippies."  For that matter the hippie mythos continues to this day and there are still individuals who opt into it.

        That said, not all hippies were anti-rational, only a particular subset.  Another subset remained scientifically literate and rationally-based in their beliefs, even if they also adopted some nonrational or irrational beliefs.  The science-inspired branch created a mythos that brought together space exploration with the psychedelic aesthetic: something that was even reflected in the music of the times (there was a Moody Blues album around 1967 that does this in spades in both its lyrics and musical styles; Translator here on DK did a diary about it).  

        The phenomenon of anti-rationalism was "normally distributed" throughout the various subcultures of the time: arising simultaneously among hippies and rural fundamentalists and others, probably as the localized expression of cultural tendencies that are persistent in humans throughout history.

        The harsh reality of nuclear weapons was cited by many at the time as the primary cause of the backlash against rationalism.  This came to a head with the Cuban Missile Crisis, that inflicted a cultural trauma that probably ran as deep as 9/11 due to the risk that everything could become a target for incineration.  That trauma was followed by the trauma of the assassination of JFK, further reinforced by the assassinations of RFK and MLK.   Minus those three assassinations, the culture might have recovered; but the cumulative trauma did much damage.  

        Consider where we would be now, if Al Qaeda had followed 9/11 with additional attacks every couple of years during the 00s, involving mass casualties.

        And contrast to what might happen if the present Mars mission finds evidence of past or present life on Mars, and that evidence is released close enough to the election to swing some undecideds toward Obama.  Evidence of life on Mars would create a new wave of excitement about science, and four more years of Obama will reinforce that with rationalism-based leadership.  This, just in time for climate change to become front & center in the national agenda, where we will absolutely depend upon science & technology to extricate us from the worst of it with little time to spare.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 04:37:23 AM PDT

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