Monday, August 25, 2008


No, no Rachel, it isn't. It isn't "post-rational," it's irrational. Or, you might say that it's arational, though that wouldn't be exactly right. But one thing it pretty clearly isn't is post-rational. Though, since it isn't at all clear WTF it would mean to say that something was post-rational, I guess there's a little vagueness-based wiggle room.

Look, lots of trouble is caused because people like the sounds of certain words, and so can't resist saying them, even if they don't know what they mean, or (worse) even if the words don't mean what the speaker wants them to mean. Witness 'deconstruction.'

Maddow's pretty damn good, I think, for a talking head, and she just dropped a bomb by revealing that the woman in the I-was-for-Hillary-and-now-I'm-for-McSame ad thought that McCain was pro-choice. But, despite the viral nature of 'post-rational' among the talking heads, it's not an apt term in this context--if, indeed, it ever is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a start, to be post-rational, there has to have been a period of rationality. The highest standards of rationality have never existed outside small circles, even within the elite. However, ordinary people, having to deal with everyday problems are usually more uniformly rational than, say, much of the political or religious elites. What I think Maddow and others mean is that such rationality is diminished: a more correct and less hyperbolic term would be "less rational".

6:32 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Sure, that seems in the ballpark.

But certainly not 'post-rational.'

8:03 AM  

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