Oprah Winfrey's promotion of "magical thinking"

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Courtesy of the Daily Grail, here's a Slate article expressing qualms about the prospect of Oprah Winfrey seeking the US presidency, because "Perhaps more than any other single American, she is responsible for giving national platforms and legitimacy to all sorts of magical thinking, from pseudoscientific to purely mystical, fantasies about extraterrestrials, paranormal experience, satanic cults, and more":
https://slate.com/health-and-science/201...yland.html

(I was tempted to entitle this thread "Oprah Woo-nfrey". I put that down to having glanced at a copy of the Sun at the barber's last week.)
Summary: Kurt Andersen is a moron.
(2018-01-17, 08:21 PM)Pssst Wrote: Summary: Kurt Andersen is a moron.

Seems over qualified for the presidency himself then.,.
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  • laborde
Much as I despise the use of pejoratives like "magical thinking" to sneer at people who happen to have a different worldview, I would not like to see Oprah let all the hype get her fired up for a run at the presidency. She seems to be a good, well meaning lady who has genuine concerns for people and she's very successful at what she does in the entertainment industry. But it should take more than fame and good intentions to qualify a candidate. 

The cult of celebrity needs to be put into perspective once and for all. I had hoped that Trump would bury it but outrage follows outrage and his supporters lap it up. If it were just the USA I would sit back smugly and pronounce "they get what they crave and they deserve what they get" but this affects us all and we in the rest of the world don't get to vote. Perhaps Trump's election has broken the mould of self-serving politics under the guise of public service (his self-serving policies are in plain sight) but he needs to be gone - and not replaced by another TV reality star.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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  • Doppelgänger, Pssst
(2018-01-18, 02:18 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Much as I despise the use of pejoratives like "magical thinking" to sneer at people who happen to have a different worldview, I would not like to see Oprah let all the hype get her fired up for a run at the presidency. She seems to be a good, well meaning lady who has genuine concerns for people and she's very successful at what she does in the entertainment industry. But it should take more than fame and good intentions to qualify a candidate. 

The cult of celebrity needs to be put into perspective once and for all. I had hoped that Trump would bury it but outrage follows outrage and his supporters lap it up. If it were just the USA I would sit back smugly and pronounce "they get what they crave and they deserve what they get" but this affects us all and we in the rest of the world don't get to vote. Perhaps Trump's election has broken the mould of self-serving politics under the guise of public service (his self-serving policies are in plain sight) but he needs to be gone - and not replaced by another TV reality star.

Personally I think we should abolish professional politicians altogether and turn to sortition instead. The trouble is that to do that we have to persuade professional politicians to vote for their abolition.  Sad
(2018-01-18, 06:36 PM)Chris Wrote: Personally I think we should abolish professional politicians altogether and turn to sortition instead. The trouble is that to do that we have to persuade professional politicians to vote for their abolition.  Sad

It is surely a sad commentary on human nature to have to resort to what you suggest. And who's to say that, once selected, the power the selected candidate has at his or her disposal won't corrupt? If we have so little faith in human nature then surely it must?
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(2018-01-18, 07:20 PM)Kamarling Wrote: It is surely a sad commentary on human nature to have to resort to what you suggest. And who's to say that, once selected, the power the selected candidate has at his or her disposal won't corrupt? If we have so little faith in human nature then surely it must?

I think the idea is that the power would be only temporary, so it wouldn't matter so much.
(2018-01-18, 07:25 PM)Chris Wrote: I think the idea is that the power would be only temporary, so it wouldn't matter so much.

We might also consider that the real power is in the hands of those who would manipulate the politician. Today that would probably be the multi-national corporates and, perhaps, criminal gangs. So the politician being temporary is irrelevant assuming she or he does the bidding of those with that power.

Aside from that, some kind of arbitrary selection might bypass those with real talent for leadership or those with vision. It is a difficult conundrum because the electorate are generally not sophisticated enough to recognise real talent or vision. I don't know the answer to that one.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(2018-01-17, 08:41 AM)Chris Wrote: Courtesy of the Daily Grail, here's a Slate article expressing qualms about the prospect of Oprah Winfrey seeking the US presidency, because "Perhaps more than any other single American, she is responsible for giving national platforms and legitimacy to all sorts of magical thinking, from pseudoscientific to purely mystical, fantasies about extraterrestrials, paranormal experience, satanic cults, and more":
https://slate.com/health-and-science/201...yland.html

(I was tempted to entitle this thread "Oprah Woo-nfrey". I put that down to having glanced at a copy of the Sun at the barber's last week.)

Certainly not a good idea and she's not qualified. Politics is a serious business sometimes gravely so. Being the president requires rational thinking. Former first lady Nancy Reagan was criticized for consulting a psychic after disclosure.

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