Comments: My Rule Of Thumb For Understanding Countries

Well, that sounds right. But what brought this thought about?

Posted by A Different Matt at January 23, 2009 09:41 PM

Two questions:

1. Israel always claims they want to kill the crazies in Gaza. Is it so that, by the Schwarzian rule, there then won't be enough of them to form a country?

2. Does your rule apply to blogs or only countries?

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at January 23, 2009 09:50 PM

50.7% in the USA

Posted by par4 at January 23, 2009 10:38 PM

I can get behind that: I think homeopathic remedies are not complete crap. Maybe 33% crap tho...

Posted by Quentin Crain at January 23, 2009 10:41 PM

The traction theory of sanity

Everyone agrees sanity is good. People who drive cars agree that good traction is good. So you might say the more traction the better. But there would be a point where if you had too much traction the resulting force on the car would cause the drive train to fail because it isn’t designed to take that kind of force. The same thing is true for sanity. If we were to achieve total sanity we would go insane.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 23, 2009 11:11 PM

i like the traction theory.

and yes, absolutely, 33% of any population is pretty close to, if not actually batshit insane.

then there's that other 20-25% who, most of the time, might as well be qualified for the 33% group.

another 20-25% who have spasms of insanity, or are insane only around some subjects

that leaves 18-27% who are actually capable of clear thinking.

i'm really glad we have a president who seems to be pretty firmly in that last group.

Posted by karen marie at January 24, 2009 01:41 AM

We are not so much crazy as ...I dunno... gullible? No, not exactly 'gullible'. The world is complex, hard to comprehend; we need to get ourselves grounded in some simple concepts - and we do.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are several main popular doctrines, highly incompatible with each other.

That's why we perceive others as 'crazy': their doctrines don't make sense, clearly.

And that's why we sometimes perceive ourselves (or, rather, our comrades) as being slightly crazy as well: our own doctrines don't make perfect sense either; after all they are just grossly simplified models.

Posted by abb1 at January 24, 2009 04:42 AM

how does the old saying go? "Everybody's mad save me n' thee-- and I'm not so sure about thee."

But the US is a special case, where a whole population has to stay crazy to cope with all the Native and African and Japanese and Vietnamese...etc, blood on our hands.

Maybe the Romans only found their sanity when the Goths and sundry other barbarians started kicking their asses-- or maybe they just found a new revamped type of crazy to help them cope.

On th' other hand, maybe the US isn't a special case, just a pretty extreme, nuclear-powered example of a larger trend, and my being brainwashed by exceptionalism influenced me to say we were a special case. Maybe humans are just no damn good.

Posted by Tthe Occasionally morose Versen at January 24, 2009 06:26 AM

Why do you think the Romans were insane? They were doing great for many centuries, that doesn't sound insane.

It's all in the basic premises, there are many different and yet coherent models. Euclid says Lobachevsky is crazy, Lobachevsky says Euclid is crazy.

Posted by abb1 at January 24, 2009 08:34 AM

I thought one had to be crazy to survive in this "crazy world"!

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 24, 2009 10:12 AM

Israel is lying, they like Hamas. They need Hamas, like the US needs the 'evil empire' or 'axis of evil' or some such shit. When you run a militant tribe, you need a good enemy to motivate your fellow tribesmen and tribes-women, otherwise they tend to fall into complacency and the tribe will suffer.

Posted by abb1 at January 24, 2009 10:23 AM

Klan comparisons are better than Nazi comparisons, from a patriotic perspective anyway. It shows a deplorable, almost rootless cosmopolitan attitude to think you have to import examples of ultimate evil when we've got perfectly good scumbags in the US you can use for insulting war criminals.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 24, 2009 01:06 PM

Well, the Klan is what Zionist deadenders will become after they lose the regional superpower they control. The Klan is fine, I have no problem with the Klan; meetings, speeches, parades, brochures - all legitimate forms of expression.

Posted by abb1 at January 24, 2009 01:50 PM

I'm thinking that JOOOZ are barred from joining the Klan.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 24, 2009 02:22 PM

SteveB - I hope you collect all the samples you can and then they get posted as a blog post.

Posted by Susan at January 24, 2009 02:57 PM

karen marie: "i'm really glad we have a president who seems to be pretty firmly in that last group."

You mean the same president who insists that Iran is building nuclear weapons, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and that only Israel has a right to defend itself? And who said that the bailout he supported was not just a plan to throw money at the banks?

Incidentally, you're not obligated to accept Jon's figures, but he did say that 100% of the people are at least 33% crazy. That, I'd say, describes Obama to a T. And the longer he stays in the Oval Office surrounded by neoliberal blooddrinkers, the crazier he's going to get.

Posted by Duncan at January 24, 2009 04:28 PM

Who are JOOOZ?

Posted by Seth at January 24, 2009 05:56 PM

Seth: Folks NOT allow to join the Klan. Just ask ANY member.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 24, 2009 07:06 PM

I hear the Klan began letting Catholics in a few years ago. So much for high standards! They don't make bigots like they used to.

Posted by Duncan at January 24, 2009 07:15 PM