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November 12, 2011



The Times on Cain: Herman bad, Repubs bad, Dem's good.




Hmm, a Times profile. Let's see:

1. Gratuitous slap at Sarah Palin. Check.

2. Inference not based on evidence or logic (that callers to Cain's show were all conservative, making the show an echo chamber). Check.

3. Criticism of a conservative for qualities exemplified by Obama ("unrelenting self-absorption," "battling ... straw men"). Check.

That completes the Times editorial check list.

As for "epstemic closure," I note that the article doesn't mention Cain's famous debate with Clinton about health care. Too inconvenient.


"yet, unlike Sarah Palin, he has done it by unleashing optimism rather than bitterness"

I've seen Sarah be serious, not sure about bitter. She definitely projects optimism.

And, ya gotta love be lectured about “epistemic closure” by NYT.

Benjamin Franklin

"This goes a long way in explaining why Cain has found himself hypothetically negotiating with Al Qaeda or affirming a woman’s right to choose"

Cain is the political equivalent of 'Loose lips sink ships, or loose cannons do not recognize fixed objects.

His intellect is certainly no match for his arrogance. He thinks his independent thoughts are pristine in their originality, and his
confidence is unmatched in any megalomaniac I've seen in public.

What sort of insular world do CEO's inhabit?

That question kind of answers itself, doesn't it?


. He thinks his independent thoughts are pristine in their originality,


Thomas Collins

Not again. I had forgotten about Mr. Sanchez's misuse of epistemic closure, which is a term of art in analytic philosophy (see LUN). I think the one who needs to smell the coffee and increase his sources of information is Mr. Sanchez.


Obviously a far less insular world than Pitzer poli sci profs, to be sure.

Rick Ballard


Personally, I found the almost unwritten contrast to T1000 (able to be reprogrammed with a single key stroke) to be the biggest NYT tell.

I can't imagine why the writer did not provide some stunning contrasts with Obama's magnificent grasp of policy issues coupled with his extraordinary ability to select the proper course of action in every instance.

Lessee - Does Cain = ABO?

I'm for him. Or Perry. Or even T1000 (especially if Ryan is handling the programming).


Absent an opposing point of view, you lose sight of what the battle lines are. If you don’t see the soldiers on the other side of the line, you might just find yourself wandering over it.

Oh, the incivility. (Is that still a thing?)

If I understand that right, the thesis is that one result of "epistemic closure" (was that ever a thing?) is that a person can end up holding positions that a better-informed partisan would know to reject reflexively as belonging to the other side.


HEH, bgates.


If any candidate were able to relate to voters in this way and have a clue what he or she was talking about...that person would be unstoppable.

So the NYT can't think of anybody involved in the upcoming campaign who can eloquently present the nation's fears, project an air of blithe self-confidence, and who also knows what he is doing. Huh.


able to be reprogrammed with a single key stroke

Just don't use the term "brainwashed."

The similarities between Romney pere et fils go well beyond the physical.


My favorite thing about the "conservatives suffer from epistemic closure" fad was it was being talked about by all the journolisters.


Michael Ledeen on the latest accidental explosion in Iran:
"Just outside Tehran. The Guards, as usual in these cases, say it was an accident. Just like the repeated failures of landing gear on their aircraft, and explosions on their trains. I was told in advance to watch for a “big bang,” and I do not believe it was an accident, any more than the fires and explosions in the pipelines are accidents, or the ongoing strikes are accidents. I think it’s part of the ongoing war against the regime waged by the opposition. You know, the one that doesn’t exist. The one that’s been crushed. The one Obama and Hillary dare not support…"


Jeepers, MayBee, picky aren't you?

Jim Ryan

"Epistemic closure" in this context means "I took a philosophy class about six years ago and we had to know this term on the final. I don't remember it now, but I'm going to use it to mean 'closed minded' in order to impress various other snobs, prigs and progs and to attempt to intimidate Republicans who didn't take that class and because if I just said 'closed minded' it would be harder to get much Web traffic at my blog."

Jim Ryan

Prog web site A: "...conservative suffer from closed-mindedness...."
Hit count: 73. Comments: 2. Ads sold: 0.

Prog web site B: "...conservative suffer from epistemic closure...."
Hit count: 5,839. Comments: 27. Ads sold: 2.

Benjamin Franklin

Such humility. I'm surprised he didn't say "I am slow of speech and slow of tongue"

"In a speech Saturday to a national meeting of young Republicans, Cain said the Lord persuaded him after much prayer.

"That's when I prayed and prayed and prayed. I'm a man of faith — I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I've ever done before in my life," Cain said. "And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. 'You've got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'"



My favorite thing about the "conservatives suffer from epistemic closure" fad

was that the journolisters got their news from both the center (for American Progress) and the right (ABC, NBC, etc).


Nexus 6's response, are aggresively more life like, as time goes on. I'm sure the exegisis of Cain, is in contrast to when they ignored
Pelosi's suggestion that her policies were right in line with Church teaching, Is it time for the beatings, ( I mean debates again)

Thomas Collins

Jim Ryan, I think you nailed Sanchez's thinking. Perhaps Sanchez might even have some vague recollection that epistemic closure has nothing to do with what he is asserting, but he figured it would be a catchy term and not many progs would check on its meaning.


narciso, new debate thread.

Danube of Thought

"What sort of insular world do CEO's inhabit?"

If there is a single living human most incapable of answeingr that question, it is surely Dana G. Ward.

Tell us, Dana: what are the fiduciary duties of a CEO? Would your answer depend upon whether his company was privately or piblicly held?

How many CEO's have you known in your life? With how many CEO's have you ever spoken?

How many of your former students have gone on to become CEO's.

(I await the usual results. And I gloat.)

Rob Crawford

T. A. Frank of the NY Times Magazine profiles Herman Cain.

Because when I want to learn about a conservative candidate, I turn to the Duranty Times.

I see Dana's still welcome, and take that to mean I'm still not.

Benjamin Franklin

I cannot deny you your 'gloat'. It's the simpering liberal in me.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

heated right-wing callers

Better than idiot, ignorant, left-wing losers, of which I doubt Cain needs any schooling.

When you live in the real world, you get plenty of diverse points of view.


The poster child for epistemic closure was Ron Suskind in . . . wait for it . . . the New York Times magazine on George Bush making decisions according to his religious beliefs.

"Epistemic closure" is prog for "living in a bubble" which is the projective identification that the Suskinds of the journalistic world practice.

Benjamin Franklin

That dumb nigger doesn't have a chance.

Even if he wasn't running in the party of racists, he's too stupid to be elected.


He's clean and articulate.


And he's not half-white.

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