Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The amazing thing about Kitchengate, Megan McArdle's fact-free foray into kitchen history and corporate worship, is how it reveals the utter disregard so many people have for facts and truth. We already know that they are not and never have been anything but an impediment to McArdle's crusade to support wealthy corporations over poor individuals, but it's jarring to see so many commenters blindly support error for the sheer joy of ganging up on their tribe's enemies. We have been marinating in a stew of fear, war-lust, corruption and greed for so long that people's brains are pickled. They don't even care what the truth is anymore.

As for McArdle, she's licking her wounds with yet another post about those mean, prejudiced people in academia, who don't even want to discuss an alternate reality. There's not much anyone can do about the collective self-delusion in this country except continue to tell the truth, as brutally and often as necessary. It's not about fighting and winning anymore. We lost that battle a long, long time ago. It's about who we are.

We are rational, enlightened creatures and we will not live a lie.


Downpuppy said...

She's really piling up the wordcount.

Tis an ill wind, that blows no sense.

Kathy said...

She claimed to have researched the Kitchen Article, tho that is so obviously not the case. Unless her definition of research is -what? Daydreaming? Trying to remember what the Kitchen was like on I Love Lucy & Leave It to Beaver?

If I did not research something I was writing, I think I'd mention "This is how I remember things", or "That's what I observed watching old TV shows & movies", which seems to be pretty much what ArgleBargle did. Why lie and claim your empty cream-puff-article is a Home Made beef & vegetable stew with dumplings?

Is she convinced that she is a brilliant, well read intellectual, or does she just want others to believe that?

NonyNony said...

Unless her definition of research is -what?

Making shit up.

Actually, no, worse than that. "Assuming that what I know is right without checking on it".

As I said in the other thread - she has a MASTERS degree. Sure it's an MBA, but it's an advanced degree. She shouldn't have been able to get that degree without learning what constitutes "research" versus "uninformed blather to fill wordcount requirement". And yet here we are. I'd say that UC's Booth School of Business should be ashamed, but actually it turnes out that McArdle is among the least of their shames that they've inflicted upon the world.

kth said...

I think the English BA from Penn is more damning. Jive glibertarianism is precisely what I anticipate from MBAs, but I'd expect better taste in ideas and prose from an Ivy humanities major.

Fresh meat up btw: about the dozenth in a continuing series about how wingnuts can't get an even break from academia.

brad said...

You've got to love that one of her examples of bias in academia, buried under mounds of wordshit, is from Ann Althouse, the un-me, on a law professor who felt a need to downplay his gayness while teaching. It almost makes me want to come out of retirement, but it's just too many words to be worth the time.

Substance McGravitas said...

Someone should mention "anecdata" in this thread because it's a great word that encapsulates all her just-so stories.

Comments are abominable.

Anonymous said...

Aimai Says:

To me the funniest thing about reading the thread at Tom Levenson's is the picture I get of Megan's commenters suddenly emerging, blinking, from a cave and demanding to know who all these people are who believe in sunlight? I imagine the whole thing is scripted with that famous voice over voice:

"In a world where Megan McCardle is not a respected, intellectual...they find themselves lost and afraid."

It also makes me think of the BTVS episode where Anya tries to explain the multiple universe theory "Say you don't like Shrimp and *pouff* a world without Shrimp."

For Megan's commentariat emerging from her safe little hell hole at the Atlantic is a very startling experience. The discover, really for the first time, that there are lots of people who read Megan purely for laughs, who think she's an idiot, and who have an equal contempt for her sycophantic readers. Of course they aren't merely bewildered by this they are angered and enraged. Your comment about authoritarians over there (at Tom's place) nailed it. But for them it makes no sense because they don't have the language or the framework to recognize what Megan is doing to them. Or what they insist that Megan be able to do to them.


Downpuppy said...

ooooh! A new victim for librul bias in academia!

What professor doesn't talk about shooting the dean every couple weeks?

Anonymous said...

She's got her usual crazy patterns. She tries to obfuscate the issue by adding more data that doesn't pertain to the original argument (containerization).

Instead of going back to the original wording of Krugman point by point, she just adds more and more nonsense. The lack of reading comprehension she displays is really mindboggling.

Anonymous said...

To add to the above, she has several regular tropes at this point.

Hypocrisy (see 2x4 argument juxtaposed with her usual arguments about liberals being goons.
See: arguments about how bias works without ever applying that knowledge of bias to her own writing..admitting that she barely reads right wing blogs, but reads the strawmen commments of only liberal blogs!


Her ability to elide any complicated issues in economics that would cause problems with her worldview. She rarely ever writes about certain topics like corruption in Wall St. except to say that CEOs deserve competitive pay despite their incentives being misaligned with general economic function. More heat than light. That's our Megan.

More tropes: bad math, making up numbers out of thin air, moving goalposts, strawmen liberals, general lack of specificity, right wing bias while claiming she calls out of her own nuts sometimes (really not true).. her own commenters are a smug impolite bunch in general.

Her mealy-mouthed caveat-filled "apologies" for things like the Iraq War.

Her ability to write she's not a historian/expert on various topics, and then write like she's an expert on said topic.
Her self-proclaimed expertise on topics (obesity, bankruptcy), despite her obesity knowledge being woefully incomplete. What does a self-proclaimed economist (MBA) know about biology? Not much.

Her "research" skills. Ha.

There is so much more, but it just repeats in the same patterns ad nauseum. She is one of those people who is too embarrassed to admit error. Rather than fixing the cause of the problem, she glosses over flaws or lets them float into the memoryhole ether unless it shows up on a big blog like delong or krugman.

It's like pointing out that Andrew Sullivan's emotions and gut feelings getting the better of him rather than logic. Iraq War and his cluelessness on economics.
On the other hand, he doesn't go out of his way to proclaim he's from an intimidating family of academics.

Susan of Texas said...

I think all this criticism is making her more popular. I might be doing something wrong.

Kathy said...

Susan: well, that IS the conservative philosophy: "If it annoys Liberals, it's GOOD!" Megan bugs us, her lies and stupidity and smug attitude of false superiority... so she must be the spiritual twin of Sarah Palin!! That's all it takes,so- Hooray for Megan! the wingers say.

zeppo said...

This post has been up for a few days, but I just saw it. God, what a great summation of where we are today. Great language, Susan. I wish I had said that. Well, I have been saying something like that for quite some time, but never that eloquently. Mine usually ends up with a sound something akin to someone gnawing through a pencil.