Image Credit: Sam Tsang
”There’s an old Greek proverb. A fish rots from the head down.” – Former Governor Mike Dukakis.
To Derp is to die. It’s really just that simple. The problem is that derps are even more simple. They are typically wonkish technocrats educated far beyond their intelligence or imagination at some overrated PC diploma factory. They typically have a set of beliefs that has been ossified into concrete during their “educational” experience and carry around an officially official answer that forestalls all denialists that would deign to disagree. All they have to do is Voxsplain (inspired by Ezra Klein's laughable parody of a news site) it to those not educated enough to get it. William S. Briggs offers an example of the phenomenon.
We last met Shaun Lovejoy when he claimed that mankind caused global temperatures to increase. At the 99.9% level, of course. He’s now saying that the increase which wasn’t observed wasn’t there because of natural variability.
So this Shaun Lovejoy character has parroted officially scientific science at a 99.9% Level of Confidence.** Reality contradicted him as it often seems to do most Modern Science-Like projections of personal opinion supported by badly warped statistical methodologies. He then proceeds to Voxsplain that we failed to see the truth of his brilliant theory because of natural variability. Briggs goes on to point out the obvious.
If the “pause” wasn’t predicted, then the models are bad and the theories that drive them probably false. It matters not whether such pauses are “natural” or not.
Lovejoy then responds with base moral derpitude about how his brilliance was dismissed by deniers. At the stage where the over-credentialed and basically idiotic Derp dismisses the obvious falseness of their initial, politically correct premises, they have fallen into an Affective Death Spiral. They cannot ascertain the truth because they are too busy messenger-shooting anyone who attempts to tell them uncomfortable facts.
US Secretary of State John F. Kerry gives us another example of an overrated bore who has allowed his meme to become his mission. He recently lectured Israel’s President Netanyahu as follows.
”When I fought in Vietnam, I used to look at the faces of the local population and the looks that they gave us. I’ll Never forget it. It gave me clarity that we saw the situation in completely different ways.”
Mr. Netenyahu responed. “This is not Vietnam! Only Israel understands Israel.”
Mr. Kerry then Voxplained. “No one is saying it’s Vietnam.”
John F. Kerry cannot solve Middle East violence for the same reason that Shaun Lovejoy will never effectively produce a predictive climate model. Both men knew all the answers before they attempted to solve the problem. They had been educated to the point where they no longer even recognized that objective reality was actually objective when it failed to fit their preferred paradigm. They are caught in an Affective Death Spiral because they’ve been told that holding certain sets of conventional wisdom as belief would make them morally superior to others. When the conventional wisdom gets disproved by brutal reality; it’s the world that has been swift-boated, not John F. Kerry.
This is our leadership in America today. They have been told what beliefs confer status differential in their favor and how to Voxsplain these down to people until they shut their ignorant garbage necks and comply. But this is neither leadership nor imaginative thinking. It will never solve any problem that requires more than textbook regurgitation. The fifty shades of Derp leading Post-modern America are truly unqualified to lead most actual Americans to the nearest water fountain. As Mike Dukakis famously implied; America is now a fish rotting from the head down.
*-Voxsplain = Tell anyone who disagrees that they're ignorant and shouldn't question the Progressive Status Quo.
**-He only chose a level less than 100% out of his terrific modesty.