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June 24, 2006

Big Brother? Ungood? That's Absurd!

Last Wednesday in Vienna:

Q: And if I may, to President Bush, you've got Iran's nuclear program, you've got North Korea, yet [according to a recent poll], most Europeans consider the United States the biggest threat to global stability. Do you have any regrets about that?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That's absurd...whoever says that is -- it's an absurd statement.


Q: Mr. President, recently, Amnesty International said you have established "a new gulag" of prisons around the world, beyond the reach of the law and decency. I'd like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this, that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past...the United States these days, under your leadership, is no longer seen as the good guy.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world...It's just an absurd allegation.

"The Principles of Newspeak," appendix to 1984:

It would have been possible, for example, to say Big Brother is ungood. But this statement... to an orthodox ear merely conveyed a self-evident absurdity.
Posted at June 24, 2006 02:35 PM | TrackBack

Good catch.

Posted by: patience at June 24, 2006 05:41 PM

What patience said.

Posted by: spiiderweb at June 24, 2006 05:58 PM

So is it un-ungood to be un-absurd? Or are you just un-un-saying? I hope that is not too non-un-un-abusrd.

Posted by: rob payne at June 24, 2006 07:46 PM

It would be interesting to know just how many folks across the pond are actually tuning in to this charm offensive (buying into it is another matter), as compared with, say, World Cup matches...

Posted by: sk at June 24, 2006 07:48 PM

Somebody learned a new word.

Posted by: BRG at June 24, 2006 09:11 PM

Double-plus ungood. You are all all Oldthinkers who unbellyfeel Ingsoc. Wait till I tell the Ministry of Truth. Hail Big Brother!

PS. I'd write more, but I have to bring Laura her coffee.

Posted by: Henry at June 24, 2006 09:41 PM

As Inigo Montoya says, "You keep using that word...."

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at June 24, 2006 10:01 PM

double-plus unelect 'em. Oh, that's right...

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at June 25, 2006 06:08 AM

Yup. We already did that, Mr. Versen.

And as Kotso pointed out, I don't think they know the meaning of THAT word either.

As a matter of fact, there's a LOT of words this bunch doesn't know... either the meaning of or how to pronounce.

For example:
timely aid...
realistic prevention of disaster...
impeachable offenses...

Oh yeah - and don't forget:

But criticizin' them would be... ungood.
So consider these some... suggestions. ;-D

Posted by: Silversmith at June 25, 2006 10:58 PM

But you didn't include the best part; when he teaches us the definintion of "disassemble:"

THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.

In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, you know -- yes, sir.

I don't know if anyone saw it, but he actually did say "disassemble" not "dissemble"

Posted by: nerpzilla at June 26, 2006 10:21 AM

Big Brother? Ungood? Not absurd but Stupid! I've recently been reading up on stupidity and have found very little on such an important subject. However, Giancarlo Livraghi wrote an article in 1996 citing his and the earlier works of Walter B. Pitkin and Carlo Cipolla on the subject which I found very enlightening. According to Pitkin there are 5 rules to stupidity which are as follows: (1) everyone always underestimates the number of stupid people in circulation, (2) the number of stupid people are independent of any other characteristic (ie you find the same number of stupid persons working as janitors as professors), (3) stupid people cause losses to others while themselves derive no gains and possibly losses, (4) non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid people, and (5) stupid people are the most dangerous of all types of people.

Cipolla defines 4 types of people, (1) intellegent people are those whose actions generate self advantage and gains for others, (2) helpless people generate gains for others while they themselves experience losses, (3) stupid people generate losses for others and usually for themselves, and (4) bandit people's actions generate self advantage for themselves and losses to others. Of the 4 types it is only the stupid people who do not know they are stupid. Because their actions are unpredictable and in groups the damage they can cause grow exponentially they are the most dangerous of all to society and the individual.

Since stupid people do not know they are stupid they either deny that their actions are wrong, o blame their mistakes on others, or rationalize them, never ever admitting to them (Bush was asked once what his biggest mistake was and what he would do differently. He could not think of any mistakes he had made!!) After reading this paper I have found that viewing people in relation to the 4 types is a concise and accurate way of looking at others and their actions, including myself. People do not consistently fall within one category at all times but instead their actions are usually dominated by one type and influenced by another.(ie society can even benefit from an intelligent bandit but not a stupid bandit). However, when stupidity is added into the mix people and society are in for a rough ride. I have been looking at Bush and his administration through these parameters and have found it quite easy to categorize their actions according to these types. Bush bragged about his C average intelligence and received wide support from the populace for this admission. Although the educated can be stupid according to Cipolla and visa versa Bush has demonstrated more often his stupidity than intelligence. His actions can easily be characterized as stupid/helpless, helpless/stupid, stupid/bandit and/or bandit/stupid. Nothing I have seen (and I admit I am not privy to everything in his administration) puts him into the category of intelligent except on those rare occassions where I would give him a helpless/intelligent rating. Anybody's thoughts or feedback on this??

Posted by: Lisa at June 27, 2006 12:22 PM

But you didn't include the best part; when he teaches us the definintion of "disassemble:"

Did too

Dammit Schwarz - you're always one step ahead. sometimes two.

Posted by: nerpzilla at June 27, 2006 04:36 PM