Jack Shafer writes a mostly fair-minded piece on the latest McCarthyism.
Like everyone else he misses basic scientific questions. Shafer is trying to show that "ignorance" is widespread:
Gallup tells us that 18 percent believe the sun revolves around the earth. (The kicker is that 3 percent had no opinion. How can you have no opinion?!)
Well, actual science
has no opinion on that question because it's a meaningless question.
there is no center. The sun does not revolve around the earth, and the earth does not revolve around the sun. Both are infinitely small participants in an infinitely large set of motions and ellipses and circles.
You can write formulas that treat the sun as the relative center. You can write formulas that treat the earth as the relative center. Both formulas are approximate, both leave out an infinite number of minor influences from other stars and galaxies. Pick the one that is simpler for your desired purpose.
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The question of revolving around Russia is similar. My absolute locus is Natural Law, a permanent and experimentally determined 'transfer function' for human behavior. We've known this function for thousands of years. When we see input X, we can safely predict output Y.
Sharia law is the best practical implementation of NL, but I don't see any Muslim country practicing all sides of sharia, so it's a moot point at the moment.
In recent years I've been treating Russia as a relative locus because Putin is closer to Natural Law than the bizarre dysgovernments of EU/US/UK. Putin undoubtedly has his own self-serving reasons for sticking with NL, but that doesn't concern me. I'm only monitoring his actions, not his motives.
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Later: The point I wanted to make at the start but lost in my stupid math analogy.... Russia doesn't NEED to 'hack' or 'interfere' with EU/US/UK. All it has to do is passively provide an alternate way of thinking.
In 1960 when USA offered reasonable prosperity and opportunity, Russia had to work a lot harder to attract people. USSR had to pay and honeytrap its supporters in the West. USA didn't have to pay or honeytrap people in Hungary or Latvia; we just sent out VOA with a fairly accurate picture of our prosperity and opportunity and let the Latvians observe the difference. Now, after the Switchover, the situation is reversed. We can't even attract foreigners by paying them, and Russia simply shows us a sane country that supports its own people and outlaws Soros fronts. We observe the difference and choose accordingly.
Labels: Natural law = Sharia law, switchover