The difference between Articulation and Wisdom
Posted by Mike O on November 1, 2007
An old high school classmate of mine Freddie Kaplan writes frequently for slate.com under a series called ‘War Stories’. This has always amused me, as Freddie has never served in the military and, apparently, never been near an active war zone. Freddie (who hates that version of his name and desperately tries to ignore his early upbringing on the plains of Kansas) is a fairly typical example of a Northeastern literary elitist. His expertise comes primarily from his extensive skills at academic-style research, interview and articulation. However, how often does this actually translate into useful precognitive capabilities, as opposed to after-the-fact analysis and conjecture? About the same as 35 years ago in high school, when he predicted Patton would win no Oscars.
While he seems to avoid making many predictions (with his history for making them, it’s no wonder), he’s slipped a little of late. I think it is primarily a result of the esteemed writer sinking too far into the Bush Derangement Syndrome that has disabled rationality in many of his more extreme colleagues and associates long ago. Here are examples of his earlier writings on the ‘Surge’ in Iraq:
(Freddie completely negleted the availability, use, and effectiveness of Iraqi troops in the link above. Talk about missing one elephant in the room!)
This is actually pretty illustrative of a liberal perspective in general and getting blinded by political hatred in particular. Doesn’t their inability to ever be right about the future ever get around to bothering such people? Haven’t they figured out that the reason that they prove incable of getting elected or- if elected- governing effectively, that the many premises upon which liberal elitism and undiluted anti-Bushism is based on are incorrect?
None of us are perfect at precognitive efforts, but some of us are more willing to recognize and ‘fess up about it than people like Freddie ever will be. I think it’s a function of ‘being comfortable in one’s skin’ and maintaining something of a sense of humore about oneself. Always remember: if you don’t learn to laugh at yourself from time to time, the world will more than make up for your lack of participation.