Friday, June 22, 2007

O' Reilly cuts off Swanson... my thoughts

Watch this (if you want) to see the "incident"...

(1) O’ Rilley : Why do you think the far left is disenchanted with Mrs. Clinton?
(1) Swanson : I think that actually Hilary Clinton is articulating a position that most Democrats agree with to get out of Iraq.
(2) O’ Rilley : OK, Mrs. Swanson, it’s very simple, why do you think the far left is disenchanted with her, why?
(2) Swanson : Well, I think that she’s put herself in a position to explain a little too much in terms of her past votes. I think John Edwards, by apologizing, has been able to move on a little easier than Hilary has. It’s easier to move on …
(2) O’ Rilley : …I don’t know what your saying
(2) Swanson : … It’s easier to move on after apologizing, and election are about the future.
(Medea Benjamin clarifies to Bill that the people were booing at Hiliary because that believe that we can’t put the blame on the Iraqi government… we need to have a withdraw plan and timeframe, get the intl community involved, etc. Therefore they were mad at Hilary’s statement that the Iraqi government has failed)
(3) O’ Rilley : Do you agree, Mrs. Swanson, that that is why the far left was disenchanted with Hilary Clinton?
(3) Swanson : I think you’re creating a division that doesn’t exist. I think that the real division exists in the Republican party, when you’ve got no Republican candidates (except for John Meccain) who don’t agree with the President’s policy in Iraq.


(1) The main issue stemmed from the fact that she answered the question about why the Democrats in the crowd were disenchanted, by telling O ‘Riley that the Democrats actually agreed with Hilary’s position to get out of Iraq. No, she said, the Democrats weren’t disenchanted, they were very agreeable with Hilary’s war withdraw plan!!! Unfortunately for Swanson, the fact that the Democrats in the crowd agree with her plan to get out of Iraq has little or nothing to do with their rationale for being audibly disenchanted with her statement that particular day about the Iraqi government being at blame for the entire mess of the war. Swanson (apparently) didn’t realize that Bill was talking about the crowd’s disenchantment with Hilary’s statement at the particular conference, not their level of enchantment with a withdraw plan. This is where she went terribly wrong – wake up Swanson; O’ Riley was talking about something unrelated, that is, the reason why the Democrats were booing at Hilary that day? There had to be some reason, and saying that they agreed with the war plan isn’t going to justify anything at all. The more I think about her statement the more unrelated it appears.

How can you blame O’ Rilley when Swanson wasn’t answering the questing at all? Swanson obviously thought that Bill was talking about the general disapproval with Hilary’s war plan, which she (Swanson) believed didn’t exist. Yet, it was more than clear to viewers that Bill was referring to the disenchantment evident in the audible disapproval of Hilary’s statement in which she blamed the Iraqi government. Swanson must have been sleeping during the playing of that clip, because everybody else knew that Bill was referring to the disenchantment with the video.

(2) No excuse for Swanson on this one. Bill is simply trying to get her another chance to answer a simple question about why the crowd was disenchanted with Hilary that day after she said that damming statement about the Iraqi government, yet, she goes off into a completely unrelated tangent about how Hilary is generally evoking sentiment of disenchantment in people because of her questionable past voting record, and that John Edwards saved himself from this by coming out clean. She is once again blowing Bill’s question out of proportion and thinking big picture. She still hasn’t caught on that Bill is STILL referring to the particular disenchantment sentiments that were evident at the conference in which Hilary was booed! Bill clarifies what he was talking about in (3), only because Swanson is incredibly slow to realize that were talking about once instance here, not the general disapproval with Hilary.

(3) She still doesn’t answer the question here at all. Bill was referring to the DIVISION IN THE DEMOCRATS PRESENT AT THIS ONE CONCFERENCE in which Hilary made the audacious statement about the role of the Iraqi government in the war. There was a division, but only on that one statement (there was clearly a separation in the crowd that day, because some were cheering at Hilary’s statement and some were doing the polar opposite – they were booing her.) Because she still hasn’t caught on, Swanson decided that O’ Rilley is talking about a division in the Democratic party in general, when O’ Rilley is still referring to the disenchantment in the crowd that once day and only on that once statement.

Summary – Swanson was thinking way too big picture the entire time. She was probably stressed or embarrassed about being on National TV, causing her to misinterpret was Bill was referring to.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Defining a human

Every person within humanity can be distinguished and classified by several *relatively* indicative (but nonetheless non-unique) signs, but the truley 100% unique indicator that I find the most appealing is the ability to think abstractly. Instead of defining this term itself, I'll give you a few examples of abstract thinking. One is introspection. Humans alone are capable of introspection, which is essentially the physiological process of self reflection and examining one thoughts and feelings. Regardless of whether we can visibly notice this quality in a person, or it is extremely inconspicuous, all humans are introspective at most points in their life, and this is, as I said before, an entirely unique quality in our species. No other species examines their thoughts. Anyway, even the select individuals within our species that are considered different for one reason or another can be identified by this, if prompted correctly. Some other abstract process we demonstrate very uniquely to our species are self awareness/consciousness. However, these tie in closely with introspection. To clarify on their definitions, though, self awareness is simply our cognizance that we exist, and consciousness is more or less the same thing (I just threw in the word because it might clarify to you more what I'm talking about exactly). This is also unique to all humans and identifies them easily.

It is my duty to note, however, that as I was writing this, I realized that babies might not demonstrate some of these qualities, and after looking that up, I was right. To explicitly label a baby (under the age of 2, specifically) as human would be somewhat harder, then, in my opinion.

There are a few other thing relatively unique to our species, but not everybody shares these qualities. For example, not every human possesses the capabilities to construct complex grammatical sentences using our upper level and highly developed form of communication, or to speak with the aforementioned language, for that matter. Additionally, not everyone is part of the complex human social networks that are so evident to us. Because these qualities are exhibited in either a large number of other species or a minority of species that are decidedly non-human, they cannot be used as crystal clear, lucid signs of the humanness of an animal - although some signs can give us 99% assurance that an individual is human.

So there you go - my opinion is that humans, ALL humans (except babies under the age of two) can be identified, whether it is a difficult process or not, by determining if they have a sense of introspection, self awareness, and consciousness (all under the umbrella of abstract thought). How once can check for the existence of such abstract thought processes is another issue entirely.