kitchen table math, the sequel: Speaking of pundits

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Speaking of pundits

You may have to be a subscriber to the Times to find this funny, but here goes.

I've been reading the papers on my iPad for a couple of years now, but Ed still gets the Sunday Times. In June, two weeks before the Egyptian coup, he sat down at the kitchen table, opened up his paper, and saw Tom Friedman's weekend column:

He read the tag line out loud in a tone of pronounced indignation (What is this doing in my paper?), and then sat there, glaring at the page and waiting for my reaction.

It took me a good three or four seconds to absorb "Egypt is a mess but there is hope in the young environmentalists" (What?) ---- and then we both burst into horselaughs.

I think that's the loudest I've ever heard Ed laugh.


TerriW said...

Once I really absorbed the meaning of the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect (and I kept seeing it happen), I had to just stop reading the paper. (Thank God for the Internet.) On the other hand, now I have to be especially careful to not just constantly indulge confirmation bias.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, now I have to be especially careful to not just constantly indulge confirmation bias."

I try to read news from "the other" side. The trick is to find a *good* "other side" new source, because otherwise they look like nit-wits and this serves as confirmation bias.

Liberal/progressive sorts might find the Wall Street Journal op-ed page useful.

Conservative sorts might want to go for The Atlantic.

Al-jazeera is a lot better than the *name* might suggest.

-Mark Roulo

Catherine Johnson said...

Terri! Thank you for posting that! I always forget the name -- and the thing itself!

Tom Friedman is, at this point, neither left nor right. He is beyond the pale & off-topic in a manner that verges on the psychotic.

Young environmentalists in Egypt.


How exactly are young environmentalists in Egypt going to win the day in the middle of a coup?

Unless these are heavily armed and well organized young environmentalists in Egypt, they're not.

Catherine Johnson said...

This post is filed under "March of the Pundits."

Catherine Johnson said...

I desperately miss The Daily.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the joke about the New York Times reporting the end of the world:


Independent George said...

My evolving views on Friedman are pretty much defined by the Gell-Mann effect. He gives a great interview, and is easy to read; I was a huge fan through college.

Then I got into the working world, and started experiencing first-hand some of the things he wrote about, and realized how far-off he was, while still enjoying his columns on things I knew nothing about.

Then as I started reading outside sources more extensively, I kind of gave up on Friedman.