Today's post, Ridiculing easily established facts, is interesting because of how often I see the types of arguments he's discussing.
In the latest example, Alexandra Petri, a member of the Washington Post’s editorial page staff, columnized last week that “gold bug” Paul is so wacky he “actually named his son Rand,” and further that he “believes that a silver dime can pay for $3 (worth) of gas.”
“Believes”? Do we generally refer to something being “believed” when its accuracy can be easily ascertained with a few clicks of the keyboard?
Go to http://www.kitcosilver.com. Here you can easily ascertain that silver was selling, when I wrote this column, at $39.68 per ounce. (It had dropped close to $30 in the Sept. 22-23 panic; it will likely be up again this week.)
I see this with increasing frequency. In our modern world where nothing is accepted as True, we've now reached the point where facts which do not support that which is already believed can be discarded, mocked, and ignored. The silver dime can demonstrably purchase $3 worth of gas, but it sounds silly to the uninformed who then belittles what she can't understand.
Which leads to another book suggestion. If I had my druthers, everyone in the country would be forced to get a lesson in basic economics from Uncle Eric's Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? Eldest son and I read through this a few years ago, and I learned from a book geared towards middle school children all those things that the government sponsored high school economics class didn't bother to mention. Not that it's surprising--he who causes the problem is hardly going to point out what he's doing.