Just finished Stephen Hicks’ absolutely brilliant Explaining Postmodernism more of which anon. In the meantime, a true life adventure on the way to work just today.
The mechanisms used by the left to shut down counter arguments are at every turn, which is a large part of what Stephen Hicks discusses and explains. And there I was just having finished the book, sitting on the train exchanging points of view with a trio of school girls on their way to the demo on global warming – they were carrying their protest signs which is why I even got into this conversation since I don’t normally talk to anyone on public transport. My only point to them was that they have never read anything by someone who is critical of their beliefs, that they have only read people on their own side who mis-represent our arguments. (They tried the riff on me that how could I know what they read, but you know what, in this case I absolutely do know.)
So who should we read? they asked, in their typically insincere snooty and scornful public-school-arrogant way. So I said, Ian Plimer, who was naturally an unknown to them. An Australian, I added. So who have you read? they asked. So I replied, Al Gore. And they said, who is he? You do have to laugh.
And then, on top of everything else, they accused me of being “an old man”. I would have pushed the alarm bell and called the anti-ageist thought police but they had to get off anyway. A good time was had by all, specially me. And let me add that there was an Asian woman I was sitting with – half my age but twice the age of those young maidens – who laughed with me at them when they got off.
It was the absolute closed-mindedness of the three that in the end got me. I suggested to each individually that they might be the type of person who was open to testing other arguments just to see how well their own stand up, but each of them denied absolutely they were that kind of person. Perhaps one of them is, although I will never know. Depressing that they may be right about how absolutely invincible their ignorance is, and how determined they are to remain that way. At least now, however, they are aware that some people might think their opinions are empty and ignorant, even if I am old and past it, and they could not care less.
The picture, by the way, is from The Spectator: How the school student strike reduces kids to puppets.