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View Diary: Orson Scott Card: What's Mainstream in the Madness (144 comments)

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  •  Very disappointing to hear a (15+ / 0-)

    successful writer speak so ignorantly, so dismissively, and so hatefully.

    Did I say 'disappointing'?  Make that 'appalling.'

    Card knows better and pretends to speak as if he doesn't.  

    •  I don't know if he does (10+ / 0-)

      I get the impression that he live in a Fox New LDS bubble that doesn't let in reality.

      It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic. - WSC

      by Solarian on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

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      •  Interesting. He's an intelligent, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ticorules, caul, kyril

        accomplished writer.  Not the best out there, but certainly good enough to sustain an imaginative narrative for a fairly wide audience.

        It's disturbing to think he can't let much more reality in -- but I can see where you could be exactly right.  In a way, that makes Card even more unsettling than if he were just a shill for the church.

        •  Well, living in the Mormon bubble... (6+ / 0-)

          where you can go years without ever seeing a black person, it's easy to avoid any unpleasant encounters with reality.

          My son is currently living in Utah, and he is just astonished by the near-complete absence of diversity. As in, going months without seeing a person of color.

          •  I ate at a chinese restaurant in SLC (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ralphdog, caul

            that had no visible asian people working in it. Maybe someone was hidden back in the kitchen.

          •  Speaker for the Dead has Black characters (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical, caul, Ahianne, kyril

            portrayed with great sympathy. Card made a point of not identifying the race of any of his Brazilian characters explicitly, but Blacks are unavoidable in Brazilian society today. Ouanda Quenhatta (Wanda Kenyatta) Figueira Mucumbi is an unmistakably Black name. This implies that her mother Bruxinha (Little Witch)/Cleopatra was Black, as suggested by her also African name.

            The situation between the humans, the Piggies/Pequeniños and the Buggers becomes as non-racist as one can well imagine, due to Ender's empathy and insight.

            I gave up on the Ender series when Jane effectively became omnipotent via her magic powers within the philote realm. As for Card nowadays, I have no idea.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:38:59 PM PDT

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        •  It was very disappointing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator, caul

          check the essay at the end of Empire some time (or, read Empire) and see if you can see any sign of tongue in cheekness, or willingness for debate. Everyone in that book who is "liberal" is ultimately evil. The military guy who's doing doctoral work at Brown isn't receiving an education, he's being taught how to infiltrate a bastion of "the enemy."

          It was sickening to me in a way that I can't really compare without doing a full Godwin.

          It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic. - WSC

          by Solarian on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:38:55 PM PDT

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        •  It seems almost impossible doesn't it? But (7+ / 0-)

          that goes to show that it isn't about intelligence...but more about critical thinking and maybe the ability to withstand propaganda or one's own biases.  

          Dollarocracy is not Democracy

          by leema on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:46:34 PM PDT

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          •  Critical thinking isn't a generalized skill. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy

            It's domain-specific. Most people don't actually think critically outside their areas of expertise; they rely on trusted sources and are often easily manipulated by charlatans who play to their audience's preconceptions. That's why we have many examples of people who are highly effective critical thinkers in some fields, but have blind spots in specific areas like vaccines, evolution, and climate change. Card has bought his church's party line on homosexuality.

            Critical thinking can also be context-specific. Someone might be able to think critically about a subject in an abstract or hypothetical context but not in a real one. It's particularly common for critical thinking to be derailed by reality when a subject is emotionally- or politically-charged. In Card's case, his fiction is actually anti-racist (though like Heinlein and other SF writers of the same era, he generally shows it through implication and allegory) - but when he's confronted with real black people, his political views and conditioned emotional reactions cloud his thinking.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:19:50 AM PDT

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            •  Although Critical thinking can be relegated to (0+ / 0-)

              one's area of expertise it is often the very opposite!   Because one tends to form biases around that which one believes one knows.   Even scientists (who one would think would be more able to think critically)  have often gone so far as to actively resist factual, objective info so as not to disturb their biases (case of H. pylori and Barry Marshall springs rapidly to mind).  

              Humans resist critical thinking in areas where they have a vested belief.  Be it their area of "expertise" or their "culture".

              It has been shown in studies that a different area of the brain is used for critical thinking than beliefs...but that the belief area (sort of an easy short cut to an answer) is used more readily  than the critical thinking area.   As I recall (although my memory is not as good as it was) some persons are more apt to use the critical thinking areas of their brain more often than others.

              Dollarocracy is not Democracy

              by leema on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 03:15:12 PM PDT

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              •  Emotional attachment can create blind spots (0+ / 0-)

                in anyone. If an expert gets too attached to his or her theory, s/he might be less likely to think critically about it.

                But it's important to differentiate between the basic capacity to do something and the ability to exercise it under specific circumstances. Our expert, if s/he really is an expert, would be perfectly capable of thinking critically about the theory in question if it weren't his/her own pet theory. The belief problem is a circumstantial limitation, not an absolute limitation.

                The primary absolute limitation on critical thinking is background knowledge. One doesn't necessarily need to be an expert in a field to think critically about a problem - but one does at least need a solid understanding of the field at the level necessary to understand the problem and its context. And it really helps to know the standard ways of approaching similar problems, lest one end up attempting to reinvent the wheel. The deeper one's background knowledge, the more likely it is that one's efforts at critical thinking will actually produce something interesting.

                It may be true that people might be less likely to attempt critical thinking within their specific narrow area of greatest expertise, especially on particular problems to which they believe they already know the answers. But when they do attempt it, they're most likely to come to accurate/interesting/novel conclusions when thinking about their area of expertise and closely related areas, and most likely to come to false/useless/unoriginal conclusions and fall prey to deception and emotional manipulation when thinking about areas about which they know very little.

                "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                by kyril on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:31:10 PM PDT

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