Plus, "the reading wars:" The star of a British reality show recently took her own life. We were struck by a bit of (very familiar) illogic on the part of a British observer.
Can Britain's grisly tabloid press be blamed for this woman's death? In this morning's New York Times, a British media columnist is quoted as he indulges in a very familiar, very obvious type of illogic:
MARSHALL (2/28/20): “This is one of those great hypocrisies of the British public, that they indulge in reading, and often writing, about these celebrities and then when things go wrong, they turn on the media and say it’s all the media’s fault,” Roy Greenslade, a media columnist for The Guardian, said in a telephone interview. Greenslade once worked at The Sun and was also editor of The Daily Mirror, another tabloid.This is an extremely familiar bit of illogic. What reason is there to think that the people complaining about the tabloids are the same people who were gulping the tabloid coverage before this death occurred?
On its face, Greenslade's presentation doesn't make any sense. But it appears in the Times without comment or challenge. We've encountered this familiar type of illogic many, many times.
We humins donnt reezun reel gud! Nor do we devote large chunks of time to learning to reason better. We expect to have much more about this topic in the weeks ahead as we finally start describing our perilous journey, when just 17, into the ultimate Lair of the Rational Animal.
(It's an entertaining tale.)
We humins donnt reezun reel gud, but how we do split into tribes! This fact was brought into stark relief by Dana Goldstein's front-page report about "the reading wars."
Goldstein's report appeared in Saturday's New York Times. Until today, we couldn't force ourselves to read it.
This morning, though, the Times published excerpts of Goldstein's comments on Twitter about her front-page report. These excerpts appear on page A3, in print editions only.
After reading Goldstein's comments, we finally read her report about "the reading wars." Our initial comment would be this:
What tribalists we mortals be!We human beings don't reason real well. We do love to split into tribes.
We split into tribes, then we march off to war. "Aristotle's error" to the side, this is basic anthropology pretty much all the way down.
We'll ponder Goldstein's remarks about these "reading wars" tomorrow. In our view, her Twitter comments are quite instructive, though perhaps unintentionally so.