Friday, October 26, 2012

Wittiest Sentence I've Read This Year

Steve Pinker attempts to explain the difference between Red and Blue states, and also why gays, guns, and taxes are correlated policy positions. In the process he notes that conservatives tend to have a pessimistic vision of human nature, liberals, a more optimistic notion:
The metaphors may be corollaries of the tragic and utopian visions, since different parenting practices are called for depending on whether you think of children as noble savages or as nasty, brutish and short.

5 comments:

Mercury said...


Actually, in my experience nasty, brutish and short is more likely to characterize the offspring of utopian-minded parents.

It's telling that Pinker has to explain ABC history to NYT readers like he's teaching a Martian about sailboat racing.

And the Democrats are the party of science now - who knew?

Robert Johnson said...

I always thought that not trusting private citizens to use guns responsibly, and feeling that a large welfare state is necessary to make up for a lack of private savings reflected a pessimistic view of human nature.

Anonymous said...

The "America is more violent" canard is largely debunked once different demographics have been taken into account. European-Americans, with all of their guns, are hardly more violent than Europeans residing in Europe. Funny, but this same issue is usually ignored when discussing our "failing" school system. Most white Americans are doing as well or better than their genetic kin in Europe, if I remember correctly.

Anonymous said...

It's witty. It's also stolen from The Onion. See here from 1999: http://www.theonion.com/articles/trying-children-as-adults,14614/

Doug said...

I think that you and Pinker are almost onto something. Perhaps in the red states you have a stronger memory of a Judeo-Christian worldview, where men are made in God's image, yet are ruined sinners only God can reclaim, vs. a blue state worldview where men somehow vainly fancy they, like the men of Babel, can build themselves utopias.