Friday, June 4, 2010

"Three Head Scratchers"

I offer today three head scratchers, three stories which, after reading them, make the thoughtful person go…“What?”
Let’s see if there’s a consensus as to which of these three head scratching stories is the head scratchiest of them all?

Head Scratcher Number One

Eschewing prejudice and conjecture, white scientists decide to prove incontrovertibly which race is the best and the smartest. Relying on rigorous standards, they determine with scientific certainty that the best and smartest race is the race which includes amongst its members…

The white scientists.

Head Scratcher Number Two

A conservative Justice of the Supreme Court, claiming to be impartial, reaches decisions that are almost one hundred per cent consistent with the conservative philosophy. The Justice claims that his rulings reflect the original intention of the Constitution. Why they invariably turn out conservative has nothing to do with him.

Head Scratcher Number Three

In their annual school competition, nine year-old Becka Bloom was voted “The Most Adorable Girl In The Third Grade.” Becka’s father was one of the judges. Denying any bias in the decision, Mr. Bloom explained that he was only one of three judges in the contest. The other two were Becka’s mother and her grandmother, who is also named Becka.

Okay, ready to vote?

Can you determine which of the three head scratching stories is the head scratchiest?

I can’t.

Maybe I’m just being cynical, but they all sound fishy to me.
Next week, I’m trying something different. Dr. M is attending a conference in Washington, D.C., and I’m tagging along as, what they call in show business, the “non-pro.” The “something different” is, I’ll be taking a laptop with me – one I have never used before – and if I figure out how to work it, I’ll be publishing daily “Dispatches for the Capital.” (Or the Capitol, if I’m talking about that building.)

If I don’t master the workings of the laptop, readers will be entertained by an entire week of nothing. I’m excited to try this experiment, unless it doesn’t work out, in which case, I’ll be sad. Regular postings will return on Monday, June the 14th, when, if you don’t hear from me before that, I’ll begin by explaining what exactly went wrong. Either way, there’ll be stories.

I’m a little concerned about visiting Washington, since it was Canadians who burned the place down in 1812. I’m anticipating problems with Canadian profiling. Though who knows? They may have forgotten about it by now.

In any case, I’ll talk to you.



growingupartists said...

The third story seems fishiest to me, because parents should know better. Looking forward to your impressions on your trip!

Rich said...

Safe travels, Earl.

Joey said...

Welcome to Washington, Earl! If I can provide any tech support (or buy you a beverage in appreciation for your blog and its insights), let me know.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for the scientists who really should have known better. And I wish there weren't so many examples of this kind of... well, you can't really call it thinking. Justification sounds more like it. But a very amusing post, Earl. Safe travel to you and Dr M.

Anonymous said...

Regarding story number two, most conservatives are also constitutional originalists and hew pretty closely to the constitution as written when making decisions, so maybe not entirely surprising.

Anonymous said...

If find the second one the least head scratching worthy. In fact, it makes sense. Cases that are clear-cut don't reach the supreme court. By corollary, those that do reach it require interpretation from the judges and are thus most influenced by his own view of the law. That's why appointing sepreme judges is such an important affair and only judges that have demonstrated good abilities (even if they're conservative abilities) are ever nominated. At least in theory...

I'll give the scientists the benefice of doubt and suppose they were being naive. The parents though, are really, really, really taking everyone for idiots.