July 18, 2004


This, via Greyhawk, is one of the funniest things I've heard in a while:

I had to pull radio watch in the War Room last night, and somebody left a copy of the April edition of People Magazine there. So on radio watch, I read how Survivors Rob and Amber are in Love, Kelly Osborne is in Rehab, Omaarosa has a suprising past, and how Reese Witherspoon and hubby Ryan Phillippe bought a house in Los Angeles for 4.9 million. And you know what, after reading that magazine, for a split second, I was glad I was here in Iraq, and not back in America.

Hawk talks in the same post about the lore that people spout off as fact, namely that no one is interested in joining the military anymore because of the deployments. I understand that to not be true, even though I've heard several of my students say the same thing. We talk often in our class about avoiding "lore", like Americans are the fattest people on the planet or more black men are in prison than in college. These common-knowledge bullcrap statements are thrown around all the time because people think they could be true and never bother to research them. Same with the enlistment: it seems plausible that people would no longer want to join the military knowing the dangers involved, but it seems that recruitment and retention rates are steady. That article took me ten seconds to find; why don't most people bother to take those ten seconds before they propagate lore?

Posted by: Sarah at 04:16 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 Maybe it's a failure of rigorous and critical thinking, with a variety of logical fallacies related to the enumeration of favorable events bolstering deeply held convictions and perceptions that are never examined objectively?

Posted by: Jason at July 18, 2004 09:00 AM (JC8d4)

2 It's my experience that what you are kindly calling "lore", Sarah, is really crap. It's crap that is true for them based on their core values--ergo their ego does not allow a reason to research to even "fly by." Often when presented with the real facts ie "Wilson Lied" they still don't get it ie Cleland going ballistic on Bush today--after all he spent hours talking to the man and his opinion is the most important!

Posted by: Pamela Husted at July 20, 2004 04:45 PM (9Clmh)

3 uh, if you take a look at your link, the numbers do say that there are more black men in jail than in college.

Posted by: andrew at July 20, 2004 06:38 PM (/VCKQ)

4 Andrew, by strict numbers, yes. But comparing the normal age at which men go to college (early 20s) vs the normal age when men are in jail (any possible age) is an unfair comparison...it's skewed.

Posted by: Sarah at July 21, 2004 02:42 AM (CONVd)

5 The college population isn't stagnant, there is a lot of turnover, but the same thing is true, especially for drug related crimes, of the prison system. Furthermore, I expect that the vast majority of black men in jail are young, in their 20's. If you want statistics I'll find them. At any rate Sarah, we can break these stats down any way we want, but there is no way around it: that statistic is disturbing as it stands.

Posted by: Andrew at July 21, 2004 05:49 PM (PUFM9)

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