Conventional wisdom versus facts

Many of us put a great deal of faith in conventional wisdom, because we assume that it’s a useful distillation of actual facts. If that’s your view, and you draw your conclusions based on CW, rather than on actual facts, you need a reality check and you can get one, absolutely free, here.

By the way, I’m pleased to report that, with the exception of question #7, where I got befuddled by the question’s phrasing and couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to be looking for, I answered all of the questions correctly. Apaprently I’m functioning in a factually rich universe.

UPDATE:  Were you all too kind to point out that I spelled “conventional” wrong in the post caption?  Well, I finally caught it and corrected it.  This always, always happens when I have kids around, or will imminently have kids around (meaning I’m rushing to get things done).

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  • John Hetman

    Great Test! Thanks for posting it. It will sadden many liberals–an emotion that they much need right now.

  • JJ

    No, it won’t sadden them, none of this is new. They simply won’t believe it now, any more than they previously have.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    I missed three. #1, #3, and #7. But I guess by about #5 that all the answers were “d.”

    In #1 and #7, I didn’t know the answer so I had to guess and guessed wrong.

    #3 is a bad question because it uses the qualifier “reported to the IRS.” to describe that income. Doesn’t that answer depend on how honest these rich folk are? LOL

    Lots of fun, Bookworm. I just knew the American Thinker was going to try to say Dubya was “smart.”

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com benning

    I was 10 for 10! I got the idea that all the answers were (d), but I read the questions and went on.

  • Zhombre

    I figured out every answer was (d) but had that not been the case I don’t think I’d have scored 10. Probably 7. And my pre 1995 SAT scores was higher than Dubya’s.

  • JJ

    The American Thinker didn’t say that, Helen. The SATs did. They didn’t “try” to say it, either, the numbers establish it. And like it or not he got better grades at Yale than Kerry did, and went on to collect an MBA from Harvard, whereas Gore flunked out of grad school. Twice. Once Divinty (Rev. Al – a frightening thought) and once Law.

  • Zhombre

    Divinity school? Al Gore is really preaching now, spreading the faith on Global Warming, with theological certainty.

  • Danny Lemieux

    AlGore’s just fate in this world will be to end his life mocked.

  • Marguerite

    BW – We may notice little spelling errors in a posting but I hope we’re gracious enough to allow for them, thankful that you sandwich in your well thought out remarks with more important kid-related duties!!

  • Kurt

    I just knew that Helen was going to jab AT for reporting that Dubya was “smart”. As sure as the sun rises.

    Dubya is incoherant. But as I sit here struggling to figure out the functions of an HP 33s scientific calculator, I’m reminded that Dubya flew the F-102. Now, as Bill Whittle (a man who writes far too infrequently) reminds us, incoherence is far too frequently confused with intelligence.

    I was once a member of Toastmasters and was several times congratulated for speaking with the ease and power of a preacher. Or Bill Clinton.

    But CSS is Greek to me.

    Why is it the left is so beholden to the appearance of ‘smarts’?

    BTW, I took the SAT three times…and never broke 1200. But I speak well.

    Since the left gives little evidence of Dubya’s stupidity outside of his inability to speak well…maybe I ought to run for something as a Democrat?

  • BigAL

    I found it hard to believe that there was not one single known incident of rape/sexual assult with a firearm.

    Besides that, almost all the answers were pretty obvious (in that you could tell what the writer of the question was going for)….except of course the Bush intelligence–i would have figured it to be much lower. I can see that Bush may appear to be more idiot than he actually is. I agree with Kurt that Incoherence is a better way to describe what is wrong with Bush.

    Snap out of it Dubya!

    Whoever wrote that test is a douchebag.

    Conservative thought in this country has gone to the shits.

  • BigAL

    How many of us realize, for instance, that Uncle Sam is spending almost four times as much on paying interest on borrowed money as on education, transportation, and NASA combined?
    –US News and World Report

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    BigAl, how can I say this without sounding insulting? Yours is not a particularly sophisticated analysis. Indeed, last I heard, calling someone a “douchebag” was deemed insufficiently analytical even for the 10 year old crowd, while fecal references are considered useless at any age level (unless you’re 5, when the word “poop” is very, very funny indeed). It’s also not useful to castigate someone as incoherent, and then follow that with a playground personal attack on someone else. Other than that, you are of course entitled to your opinion, although it would be more compelling if you’d make an actual argument to support your position.

  • BigAL

    BW.

    Poop is still a funny word—— and at all ages it makes people smile- Poop. I love that word. Thanks for bringing it into the equation :)

    There are many people who blog at this site and many people say whatever they want to say (along with you) — including people basically accusing other people of being terrorists (or at least in support of the terrorists), negatively stereotyping muslims, homosexuals, feminists, pacifists, and others.

    I’m sorry if the person who wrote that article (Randall) might be offended by what I said if he actually read it(I know he didn’t). I am often offended at so many things that American Thinker and you write about and I rarely complain that you are being offensive.

    While I admit that my comments weren’t my best work of arguing, a little silly, and a little more harsh than usual…
    I think what I wrote was just as compelling (if not more) than many of the hundreds of comments posted here every week. I know you disagree, and that’s all right.

  • BigAL

    It’s also not useful to castigate someone as incoherent, and then follow that with a playground personal attack on someone else.

    P.S. Whoever wrote that test is a douchebag.

    P.S.S. Conservative thought in this country has gone to the shits.

    P.S.S.S. Poop

  • http://Bookwormroom.wordpress.com Bookworm

    I know what you mean, BigAl. It’s totally okay to disagree and, yes, there are silly things here. It was just that I really didn’t understand why you were attacking the article, so the douchebag claim simply made no sense to me. My response was a little bit of a tease, and a little bit of a demand that, if you wholesale reject something, you give reasons why.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Nyah, nyah, nyah, BigAL. My dad can beat up your dad. And you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. So there!

  • Zhombre

    Cooties. You got it.

  • Ymarsakar

    Book’s 13,very funny tome.

  • BigAL

    Ouch, that hurts BW. lol

    The facts are the answers to the questions…the d’s.

    The truth is that educated people can answer those questions, and uneducated people will not know the answers. Has little to do with being liberal and being conservative.

    The conventional wisdom is that YOU believe liberals will answer these questions incorrectly and that will counter Barack Obama saying “The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact.”

    However, according to your readers I am a liberal, and yet I did not answer these questions incorrectly (except for the rape with firearm and GW Bush intelligence question which I think both are understandable–not one rape with firearm?–I chose the answer that was second lowest behind zero).

    It is also conventional wisdom for almost anyone who blogs in the BWRoom to call any anti-Busher’s LIBERAL.

    Liberal has become a purely political label for those who disagree with the GOP.

    Conventional wisdom in the Republican party would say that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility–which is patently false when you look at the National Debt which Republicans have created.

    Conventional wisdom in the Republican party would say that Republicans are pro-free market economy—-which is patently false when you look at the re-distribution of billions in wealth through government (often no-bid) contracts to private corporations with no accountability for services actually provided. And the government subsidies given to the Air-line industries whose business efficiencies never improve and yet they still remain in business year after year on the tax-payer’s bill. Seems like the GOP does not like competition or a real free market economy—they just want to keep everything the same–because they like it the way it is–which goes along with the real definition of conservative in the dictionary.

    Conventional wisdom in the Republican party would say that Republicans are pro-life, and yet the party never brings up banning abortion during election seasons. They seem to be more interested in staying in power than trying to do what they believe (contrary to Conventional wisdom among Republicans).

    Conventional wisdom in the Republican party would say that Republicans are pro-constitution and civil rights. And yet it is the GOP and the Bush Administration that are the ones who have taken away habeus corpus(for people classified as enemy combatants)and continue to fight ever having to go through a judge to get warrants for spying on Americans(when they are the ones doing the spying). And it is also many Republicans who are the ones behind trying to legislate against otherwise legal things that people and businesses can do on private property(smoking bans).

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party of government accountability–and yet $10Billion in reconstruction money goes missing in Iraq–no investigations by the Bush Administration–just keep it hush hush.

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party protecting government intrusion into our personal lives—and yet it is the republican party that continually tries to deny people the same rights as everyone else because of their personal sexual preference at home.

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party of government accountability — yet hundreds of billions in military contracts (usually no-bid) have been awarded and there has been almost no investigations into whether the goods and services (promised) were actually provided by the private company and the actual fair market value of the work double checked. Uhh, I already said that but it’s a big one so I’m glad I said it again.

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party of Heterosexuals and yet their fear of being gay is making them and their leaders the Gay Old Party!  hahaha j/k, kind of

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party that is better on Defense, and yet we are losing this war in Iraq because of the commander in chief’s complete and total failure to listen to his own General’s advice about needing at least 400,000 troops to be successful in Iraq from the beginning

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party of small government, and yet the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the Bush years.

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say they are the party that is better to fight the war on terror, and yet we don’t have enough troops in Afghanistan (General’s have been saying this over and over for years), Osama bin Laden is still at large, Bush Administration admits yesterday that al Qaeda is functioning much better than we thought only a few months ago, and we haven’t prosecuted a single person for the events that happened on 9-11.

    I could keep going on and on about the failed war on terror and the false conventional wisdom that dominates the Republican party.

    I could make a similar test to the one that Randall made, which will ask a bunch of questions, and the educated will know the correct answers, and the uneducated won’t know which answer to choose. I could gear it towards false conventional wisdom among Republicans concerning data provided by the United State’s government which counters the beliefs of uneducated party-line Republicans.

    I don’t necessarily think the test itself is bad, I just think the way Randall and you were using it to try to make a point that somehow liberals are not grounded in fact is laughable.

    False Conventional wisdom is a phenomenon of “Group Think”…especially in regards to groups of individuals that share similar views on life.
    It happens to uneducated liberals and uneducated conservatives alike.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/2007/02/15/almost-a-convert/#comments

    Here you go big, a big ol pile of conventional wisdom from me.

  • BigAL

    Conventional wisdom among Republicans would say that former President George H.W. Bush approved of the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, that he realized the folly of not finishing the job back in 1991, that he and Cheney were wrong back in the early nineties when they said invading Iraq would be a mistake because of the possibilities of long-term and costly urban warefare, that the current President George W. Bush would listen to his father’s advice before making such a drastic move. You would think it to be true.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Bush 43 doesn’t even ask Bush 41 about any advice concerning Presidential decisions. Haven’t you attempted to at least try to infiltrate their family networks and see how it actually works? One of his sisters even a book so that you could do so without needing a spy network.

    You don’t know what is true, Big. You’re trying to insinuate that he didn’t listen to Bush H, when Bush H wasn’t even talking to his son about what he should do. So all your conventional wisdom trap did was to say that the facts prove your scenario wrong. Which it does.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    http://www.operationdoubles.com/blog/2007/02/test.html

    This is an interesting video and comment about tennis that segues nicely into the conventional wisdom topic.

  • BigAL

    OK Y, Bush H was not even talking to his son about what he should do, you’re probably right. After all, Bush W was too busy talking to Rumsfeld about what they were going to do and doing. And we all know Rumsfeld and Bush H were great friends, and I’m also sure Bush H never wonders what could have been if Jeb would have won Florida in 1994. After all, Jeb always was the loser of the family (especially compared to Neil and Dubya). :)

  • Zhombre

    Jeb is leaving the Florida governors mansion still popular after two terms, which is more than his brother can say. I don’t see Jeb as a loser. That was a very thin victory Chiles pulled off over Jeb in 1994. I do not however in any form support Jeb for President. I’m NBC in ’08: no Bush or Clinton. The WH is not a ping pong ball to bounce between two families. A new deck, please.

  • BigAL

    Z, I was being sarcastic, I don’t see Jeb as a loser either. Bush H and Rumsfeld are the opposite of being friends, and all you have to do is watch the video of Bush H crying when speaking about that loss in 1994 at Jeb’s going away banquet in November to know how much he wishes Jeb was the current President (rather than GW). Bush H knows that GW has likely ruined the Bush legacy because of the disaster he started in Iraq, and he knows Jeb wouldn’t have made such a costly mistake.

  • Zhombre

    Well, you may be right.

  • BigAL

    And Neil, well let’s just say it’s good that Neil has never been elected to any major office…would be worse than GW.

  • Zhombre

    Large families play long odds. You never know when the gene pool gets shallow.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    You are hilarious bigA.

    Bush H knows that GW has likely ruined the Bush legacy because of the disaster he started in Iraq, and he knows Jeb wouldn’t have made such a costly mistake.

    I quite remembered when Bush H got teary and broken up about speaking of his pride for his son Jeb.

  • BigAL

    look at it however you want if it you makes you feel better Y

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