This gets to a point I tried to make last night on Special Report (scroll to around 9:05 for the video). My friend Mollie Hemingway is absolutely right when she says there are double standards at work here. The Obama administration got away with things — inappropriately sharing intelligence, influencing investigations, attacking the media — without a fraction of the gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth we’ve seen from the mainstream media, and without inviting a special counsel.
But the essential reason we got a special counsel and a media feeding frenzy is that Trump seems determined to do everything he can to invite chaos and hysteria to his administration.
The idea that the media or some shadowy cabal of “Never Trumpers” forced the president to fire James Comey in a comically incompetent manner is ludicrous. No one was holding Ivanka Trump hostage in a Motel 6 when Donald Trump confessed to Lester Holt that his administration’s explanation for why Comey was fired was a lie or forced Trump to admit that he fired Comey for his handling of the Russia investigation.
If Trump could simply hold a tune — about jobs, tax reform, etc. — for a few months, his poll numbers would creep up, some good policy might get enacted, and, crucially for Trump, he would earn some political capital that might take the bite out of whatever Mueller finds, if he finds anything at all. Alternatively, keeping his fan base loyal but alienating everyone else is a recipe for staying in the mid 30s for the rest of his term and taking down the GOP majority in the House.
.. In Western mathematics, our ways of knowing include formalized reasoning or proof, decontextualization, and algorithmic thinking, leaving little room for those having non-Western mathematical skills and thinking processes.
.. Mathematics tells us that individual is intellectually lacking. Mathematics formulae also differentiate between the classification of a war or a genocide and have been used to trick indigenous peoples out of land and property.
.. It was Rousseau who first, or at least most famously, leveled the indictment against the tyranny of science in his First Discourse.
.. All of this prattle about “algorithmic thinking” is just Romanticism with a fresh coat of paint.
..The model we came up with for distinguishing between war and genocide involves this mysterious craft called “counting.” But it also involves other things such as motives, means, and other aspects of what serious people call historical context. These criteria do not come from math, they come from politics, morality, and reason. All math does is count the dead. It takes human intelligence to place the dead in context. The Spanish Flu killed millions. It wasn’t genocide.
.. Blaming math for what people do with it should disqualify you from teaching math.
It’s also immoral, self-indulgent, and dangerous nonsense. We use math to make vaccines and model how to get them to indigenous peoples. We use math to feed the hungry. Teaching children that Western math is pernicious is the very essence of perniciousness. It is also incandescently stupid. Do Chinese computers use Confucian math?
.. How much head-popping hysteria have we had to put up with about the evils of teaching “creationism”?