Ooh! Shiny! (a reason why we have the government we do)
This thread over at Making Light explains a lot to me. It starts with a very small post. The comment thread, like all comment threads at ML, is very long. It includes many thoughtful posts by apparently bright people. But. Well... staying on topic doesn't seem to be one of their strongest suits. The issues implied by the link and comment have nothing directly to do with the majority of comments, because frankly, all it took was one commentator to wave a conspiracy flag and they were off to look at the shiny. It reminds me a little of the beginning of Marc Bloch's Strange Defeat, where he talks about one of the fatal flaws in France's tactical approach to war in 1940 -- the French were still fighting the last war, when the Germans were fighting a new one with entirely new rules. I think many people are justifiably outraged by some of the (many of the, most of the) actions of the present US government. Hell, my father, a dyed-in-the-wool SoCal Republican and a regular listener to Rush Limbaugh is outraged by the way the Constitution has been treated. But sometimes, I just get really effing tired of listening to smart people getting such a rush from how smart they are in hindsight that they wont get off their asses and do anything about it, 'it' being the topic they forgot because they were busy showing how smart they are. And no, world, blogging about it is preaching to the choir. It doesn't count.