THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2021
...but it has Lithwick confused: This site was converted to a center for anthropological findings several years ago.
In essence, we pass on the work of top major experts. Their central anthropological finding is this:
We human beings don't even resemble the species we claim to be. The ways we function don't even resemble the ways we say we perform.
That doesn't make us bad people. Consider Dahlia Lithwick, who seems to be, and probably is, the nicest person there is.
Lithwick is more than just a nice person; as these things are computed, she's also "highly educated." She went to the finest schools, and yet she's confused. Today, she starts with this:
LITHWICK (4/1/21): I have been attempting to understand the Matt Gaetz sex trafficking/teen prostitute/deep state/DOJ extortion/Newsmax/Tucker Carlson interview scandal for many hours now. I confess that I am largely lost, beyond the fact that it has vaulted me back to an all-too-familiar recent past: One in which many scandalous things happen all at once, all the time, and one’s job is to Scooby-Doo the way to truth. A time in which the alleged perpetrator responds to serious allegations by flooding the zone with improbable counteraccusations, which in this case include incriminating and deeply specific inadvertent confessions about the lack of photographic evidence of himself with child prostitutes, and then also a predictable flood of bizarre QAnon gibberish claiming that all this proves some larger QAnon gibberish plan for eventual world dominion.
The part of me that must waste brain cells on elected officials who commit alleged criminal acts of grotesque predation, then turn around and throw around deranged counterclaims and distractions was legit hoping for a break in 2021. But while Donald Trump is no longer here to flood the zone with shit, as Steve Bannon famously characterized the totality of the era’s media strategy, it appears that we will be mucking out the stables for the rest of our journalistic lives. (For what it’s worth, and if you feel like braving the rabbit hole, the Washington Post’s Philip Bump explains the Gaetz mayhem here.)
Bump might help you figure it out. Otherwise, Lithwick will have you confused.
Lithwick went to the finest schools, then to Stanford Law School. But as you can see in that opening sentence, she finds herself badly confused by the current "Matt Gaetz...scandal."
Citizens, can we talk?
The Matt Gaetz scandal isn't confusing. It may not even be a scandal. The situation is amazingly simple. In fact, it's as simple as this:
It's been reported that Gaetz is being investigated for a possible crime. As of now, he hasn't been charged with a crime. It's possible that he'll never be charged with a crime. At present, there's no way to know if he's actually committed a crime.
It's hard to know why that's confusing, and everything else is something different. But the major experts with whom we consult offer this as one of their basic findings:
As a species, we humans just aren't especially sharp. Our reasoning skills are very few. "Education" doesn't seem to help.
The Matt Gaetz scandal just isn't confusing—unless you choose to "labor under a mistake." That mistake is quite common, these highly credentialed experts say. We're told the mistake is this:
We humans are inclined to try to settle situations we can't possibly hope to resolve. We're disinclined to wait for evidence. We want to decide right now.
Also, we tend to write things like this:
"The part of me that must waste brain cells on elected officials who commit alleged criminal acts of grotesque predation, then turn around and throw around deranged counterclaims and distractions, was legit hoping for a break in 2021."
Note to the highly educated:
Elected officials can't "commit alleged criminal acts" in the way Lithwick seems to mean. Elected officials can "allegedly commit criminal acts," but the logic of that is quite different.
Matt Gaetz hasn't been charged with a crime. At this time, no one has made that allegation. There's no way to know, at this time, if he's even committed a crime.
We're going to have to wait to find out. It may be that we'll never know.
There's nothing "confusing" about that state of affairs, but we humans are disinclined to abide uncertainty. We want to finish our story right now. "Education" isn't likely to help, or so we're reliably told.
At present, no one knows if Gaetz has committed a crime. But Our Own Rhodes Scholar can't stop talking about it, and Yale/Stanford tells us she's lost.