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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Aesthetics, Ethics, Epistemology, Truthers and Birthers
Nate Silver finds some interest in a comparison of a poll on "are you a birther" and a poll on "are you a truther." He is reasonable and to the point (as always). Don't you hate that ? I sure do.

Over at Real Clear Politics, David Paul Kuhn has a pretty good take on the recent Research 2000 / Daily Kos survey revealing that 58 percent of Repulicans either don't believe or aren't certain that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Kuhn points out that in a Rasmussen Reports poll in 2007, 61 percent of Democrats either believed that George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, or weren't certain that he didn't.

I think that David Paul Kuhn is doing a bit of a truther bait and switch. A full metal truther believes that 9/11 was a US government operation. To believe that "Bush knew" one doesn't have to go that far. One must only have a vague knowledge of the August 6th presidential daily brief and forget the details (or confuse tourists with profound problems with aesthetics who think the Suffolk county courthouse is a nice background and terrorists with profound problems with ethics who feel duty bound to kill thousands of innocent people).

Trutherism as defined by David Paul Kuhn is epistemologically quite different from birtherism as one might answer yes based on demonstrated facts, an unwillingness to believe in speculation and a really really tendentious and partisan reading of "Bush Knew" which equates "Bin Laden determined to strike ..." with "Planes flying into the world trade center on 11/9/2001." On the other hand, no degree of partisanship can make people interpret "Hawaii" to mean "Kenya."

(in case you didn't notice once I had typed "aesthetics" and "ethics" I was bound determined and totally too illiterate to type epistemologically).

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