And what is the New York Times?: Who is Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura?
Also, what the heck is the New York Times? And what is the Washington Post?
We'll tackle your first question first. De Freytas-Tamura is a reporter for the Times. Even as we type, her company bio says this:
Kimiko de Freytas-TamuraExpanding on that information, de Freytas-Tamura graduated from Penn in the class of 2006. Before her years at Penn, she prepped at Lycee International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, "which is considered to be [France's] best public international school," according to the leading authority.
Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura was previously based in London, where she covered an eclectic beat< ranging from politics to social issues spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Previously, she covered Britain's decision to leave the European Union and its political and economic fallout. She has also covered terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and has written extensively about radicalization and western jihadis. Prior to the Times, she was a business and economics reporter for the BBC. She has also written for the Financial Times.
Born and raised in Paris, she speaks Japanese, French, Spanish and Portuguese. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree in financial journalism from City University in London.
("The school's main campus [is located] at 2 bis Rue du Fer à Cheval (48°53′44″N 2°3′40″E) in Saint-Germain-en-Laye," according to that same authority, which has left few stones unturned.)
Stating the obvious, de Freytras-Tamura is an experienced journalist. She has worked for three major, upper-end news orgs. She isn't straight out of college.
"During her years in London, Kimiko has grown into an indispensable correspondent, writing about an eclectic mix of topics," two New York Times editors wrote last year. Continuing:
"She has written about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, covered the referendum to repeal the abortion ban in Ireland and explored the nation’s complicated history with the Catholic Church in a searing piece about the legacy of abuse there. She has covered terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, including squeezing herself inside a bomb-making 'factory,' and has written extensively about radicalization and western jihadis."
Judged by the lights of our nation's elites, the reporter in question has an impressive resume, educationally as well as professionally.
Based on her year of graduation from Penn, she would seem to be in her mid-30s, and as such at the top of her game. We make these points for a reason:
Despite her impressive resume, de Freytas-Tamura composed a report in Saturday's New York Times which was built around a truly impressive and obvious bit of illogic.
In hard-copy, the report appeared as the featured report on the first page of the Times' New York section. It makes so little sense, and does so in such an obvious way, that it helps us explore a remarkable aspect of the present age.
We refer to the breakdown in logical conduct currently afflicting our floundering nation's major liberal/progressive elites. Anthropologists say that this rolling breakdown offers a window onto what is now being called "ultimate anthropology" (or "ultimate anthro"), though only in the future.
We offer the standard background:
It's widely said that, at the dawn of the west, Aristotle made his famous remark: "Man [sic] is the rational animal."
It's unclear what Aristotle actually meant by whatever it is that he actually said. But we all know what the remark has been taken to mean, at least in the western world.
We humans are just so smart and so bright, especially those who are "educated!" This comically flattering self-portrait has dominated elite western thought—and this portrait is completely mistaken, top academics now tell us.
These scholars say that, at times of stress, the illusion of rational conduct will almost completely disappear. Within our self-impressed liberal tribe, this process is now well under way, or so these top experts have said.
Because today is Labor Day, we'll only provide this tiny nibble, or hint. Starting tomorrow, we'll explore this ongoing breakdown all week, exploring a range of recent examples of tribal intellectual meltdown.
What becomes of rational conduct at times of high cultural stress? Accepting direction from top anthropologists, we'll start with Saturday morning's report, and with the 229 comments posted by actual humans.
Other examples abound, of course. We'll get to as many of them as we can.
Borrowing from President Lincoln, the task before us may be "more difficult than that which devolved upon General Washington." You see, we subscribe to the New York Times and to the Washington Post!
Tomorrow: Can the puzzlement voiced in that report possibly be real?