Comment Of The Day: The 87th And 88th Rationalizations: The Reverse 15 And The Psychic Historian

Jeff H. (aka King Kool), Glenn Logan and Tim Levier are, I believe, the longest-serving contributors here, all of them getting extra credit for following me from the days of the Ethics Scoreboard (still dead in cyberspace, but it will rise again!). Jeff has the extra distinction of being the blog’s resident cartoonist, and his contribution to “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,” a teddy bear, can occasionally be glimpsed in the Ethics Alarms header.

This is not his first Comment of the Day. This time, he reflects on the folly of ever trying to guess where history is going, not to mention assuming that it will validate contemporary conduct.

Here is Jeff H’s Comment of the Day on the post, The 87th And 88th Rationalizations: The Reverse 15 And The Psychic Historian.

Is there anyone so young or devoid of baseball lore that they don’t get the Ted Williams reference? Jeff probably should have given a heads up…

I’ve had a complicated history of feelings about the anthem protests. I start from a place where I dislike most celebrity protests. But when Trump shot his mouth off about it, whether he was factually right about that they could lose their jobs over it… I suddenly became a lot less comfortable with my opposition. I probably would’ve done it myself just to say, “hey, I have this right to toss my job away for something stupid and inane, but I’m not going to have anyone say that I didn’t do it because YOU said not to.” Just like Obama talking about the Zimmerman-Martin incident, right or wrong, the President talking about something like this never seems to make it better. This is adding to the knot, not cutting it.

I’ve got more to say about this, but I really only bring this up to give this statement context: I’ve seen people say that Kaepernick’s contributions will be seen as a landmark in civil rights. And I think they are absolute loony fortune tellers. I’m not saying their prediction is right or wrong. I just think they’re fools for trying to make it.

There’s lots of stuff that I think will be seen as incredibly old-fashioned within a few years, like how long the eventual acceptance of gay marriage took. Nevertheless, trying to emphasize this by saying you’re ‘on the right side of history’ is the sign of someone farting way higher than their ass.

Nobody ever wonders what particular opinions they treasure will be considered unacceptable and barbarous when they say they’re on the right side of history. I personally am fully in support of essentially all issues involving trans-rights. But maybe my acceptance of this will be seen as barbaric by later societies who will either choose to treat is as a mental illness OR simply re-sequence someone’s genome to make them the gender they wish, rather than slicing them up on an operating table. Maybe they’ll think we should’ve done more to ‘shake them out’ of it. I don’t agree with this from my primitive 2017 perspective, but… who knows what the future holds.

Think of how different the world was a mere ten years ago. Facebook was a sliver of its current prominence, the iPhone was brand new, and the word Twitter would still get you confused for a defunct electronics store brand. The world changes faster than ever, in ways we can scarcely predict. The future might hold the end of social media, if enough people decide that they realize it’s making them miserable and they’re tired of seeing pictures of Fran’s damn baby.

I don’t care what people think will be important in the future, outside of science fiction. I care what people think about what’s important now. I’ll learn about what’s important in the future when I get there. And like most of us… I’m taking the long way.

(don’t make a Ted Williams joke… don’t make a Ted Williams joke…)

3 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: The 87th And 88th Rationalizations: The Reverse 15 And The Psychic Historian

  1. “[S]aying you’re ‘on the right side of history’ is the sign of someone farting way higher than their ass.”

    That’s a keeper! (“Don’t make a colostomy joke…”)

    Truly, a great comment. I have to say, I do care about what people of the future will think is important – but I do tend to care more about what people of the present think is important.

  2. There’s a very convincing school of thought that says that civilization is now on the downswing. The “right side of history” crowd are almost all critical theorists, concerned with deconstructing institutions, with no intelligent plan for building anything lasting in their place.

    If I ran down all the flaws and downsides within modern science, religion, capitalism, and politics, condemning them in the most childish and obvious ways, it would be nauseating hippy drivel to some of you…but also impossible to really disagree with. Like, people dying in wars is bad, man. That’s why Marxists keep winning. They find out where the most gullible and eager-to-be-cool kids are are and scoop them up like pelicans with cliches about love and revolutions.

    At the same time if you asked me to explain what I could do to FIX all of the flaws and downsides within modern science, religion, capitalism and politics, and I told you my solution was to BURN THEM ALL DOWN and replace them with my own utopia powered by weed smoke and unicorn farts, you would find that easier to rebut. That’s why Marxists, after they win, eventually lose their followers. But by that time millions of people are dead.

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