Sunday, September 7, 2008


Consilient: the concurrence of multiple inductions drawn from different data sets.

Induction: the process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances.

Concurrence: agreement.

OK reader (assuming that someone is reading this). you must be thinking "wow this guy must be pretty smart to use these big words in such a seemingly meaningful and profound way. Truth is, and it is always about truth is it not, that this blog's name came from a book I am reading "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson. I wanted to call it "boiling frogs" but that was taken, so, I settled on this name.

I am in Minneapolis this week at a CHMM conference. I just paid $9.95 to use the internet which is free in hotels half the price of this one. Go figure. I did not pay $19.95 for breakfast opting to walk downtown to find a coffee shop. It is Sunday - so sitting outside in high 60's with my "robust" coffee and the big ol' paper seemed a fun thing to occupy some time. You got to love big cities with their unique mixture of people like me and people who have nothing better to do than hang out downtown. Right across the street two of them got in a fight - lots of "F" bombs and bravado - then it started to look like it was getting ugly. Let me tell you that by the time the police got there one could have murdered half the block.

So while reading the Minneapolis Star Tribune I come across a story called " The Evangelicals' New Crusader" about Sarah Palin, McCain's choice for his VP.

Yikes! Scary stuff.

So it got me to thinking about how good things, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are slowly taken away from us. Slowly enough so that we don't notice it, slowly enough so that we don't feel uncomfortable while it take place, slowly enough that when we finally understand what is going on we are too far into it to get out. Just like the adage about boiling frogs.

It is not about Sarah Palin, Evangelicals, Republicans, Conservatives, or the Right. It is all about what this religious ideology can lead them to do, has the propensity to do, and has shown itself more than willing to do, once it achieves power.

If we, as a Nation, "hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." then why would we ever willingly give anyone the power to take them away? We do it not so much through apathy but by not paying attention to the message they convey through their words and deeds.

We need to pay attention to the facts......

"The consilience of inductions takes place when one class of facts coincides with an induction obtained from another different class." Cambridge Philosopher William Whewell circa 1840s.

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