An email from a reader

A reader emails about Bill O’Reilly and his comments about Psy and Gangnam Style:

The term “epistemic closure” has emerged as a descriptor of the process by which adherents of a political ideology cut themselves off from other views and create closed systems of deduction, relying only on evidence within their own social network and which systems cannot be affected by empirical evidence derived from outside the social network.

Here is what may be the best simple example of epistemic closure ever. Unaware that languages other than English exist, [and perhaps unable to use Google] Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly discusses “Gangnam Style”.

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  • boristhefrog

    Yep… your reader is right…. Or maybe it is that O’Reilly has dementia – because that what happens to all old people.. right? Am I right?

    • Mitch82

      He’s a nut, as is the psychiatrist he interviewed. From HuffPo:

      “On Tuesday night, he hosted Ablow — who is known for saying that Chaz Bono on “Dancing With the Stars” could make children reconsider their gender and that Newt Gingrich’s infidelity would make him a better president — to explain “the madness.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/bill-oreilly-gangnam-style_n_2203882.html

      I’m nearly positive that Bill O’Reilly is, infact, Redbaiter.

      • Kimbo

        “Or maybe it is that O’Reilly has dementia…”

        “He’s a nut, as is the psychiatrist he interviewed”

        “I’m nearly positive that Bill O’Reilly is, infact, Redbaiter”.

        Hmm.

        If epistemic closure is “relying only on evidence within their own social network and which systems cannot be affected by empirical evidence derived from outside the social network”, then we are all guilty of it from time to time.

        For example, you seem to have over-looked that in this interview O’Reilly ultimately disagreed with Ablow about Psy, and concluded, “there is nothing wrong with it”. But then that empirical evidence would be at variance from the Huffington Post’s epistemological grid that O’Reilly is a close-minded intolerant social conservative.

        Just saying…

        • Mitch82

          Epistemic Closure is nothing more than a new buzz word for the political tactic of plugging your fingers in your ears and yelling “La La La La”.

          I employ a different tactic – I get all my news about right-wing happenings from the left, and vice versa. It’s much easier to dismiss a bit of sensationalism from an opposing view than to figure out what facts are being hidden from a sympathetic view.

          • Kimbo

            “Epistemic Closure is nothing more than a new buzz word for the political
            tactic of plugging your fingers in your ears and yelling “La La La La””

            Yep.

            “I employ a different tactic – I get all my news about right-wing happenings from the left, and vice versa”.

            Uh huh.

            “It’s much easier to dismiss a bit of sensationalism from an opposing
            view than to figure out what facts are being hidden from a sympathetic
            view”.

            The problem with that is that it is unlikely you are actually getting the accurate facts in the first place.

            But each to his own…

  • Michael

    Cam, it seems you have several authors making posts, but all are attributed to “Whaleoil”. I thoroughly enjoy your blog but can the posters identify themselves? A post was made yesterday about this video. I’ve noticed it before where more than one post is made about the same event/incident a few hours or a day apart.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz Whaleoil

      I made both posts, one was my take and then several hours later I received the email, with a different video and some long wanky words, so I thought I’d post again because it is interesting.

      • Michael

        Ah very good, carry on with your Number 1 ranking blog :-)

  • Neil

    You should see the Rolling Stones TV Doco Crossfire Hurricane – they were trying to do the same stuff back in the 1960′s – seems Fox guys are about that era of right wing nonsense still…..

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