The very first time we’re asked to write a paper, we’re told to appeal to authority figures. Supposedly, we guarantee the information’s truth by doing so.
Of course, it’s not always guaranteed that the information is true. In light of that, we’re told to cite relevant authority figures — people who have spent a lot of time studying the subject we’re writing about. Statements from relevant sources are taken to be more likely true.
This makes a certain amount of sense. Experts have mastered a particular subject’s reasoning, techniques, background information, etc. It, therefore, seems likely that the expert’s statements are true. Hence, our claims appear to be on solid grounds when we appeal to an expert.
I’m not entirely convinced that appealing to relevant authority is good reasoning.
I recently read an article from Investor’s Business Daily that can be summed up thusly: Bernie Sanders isn’t qualified to be president because he hasn’t lived up to the American Dream.
If you’re inclined to be charitable, you’d say he has struggled all his life.
If you’re notinclined to be charitable, you’d say “haha he’s a fucking loser derp derp look at Trump’s golden tower derp derp”. Also, if you’re not inclined to be charitable, you’re paying attention to the wrong issues.
I recently read an article from Shakesville, a feminist blog, entitled “The Inherent Misogyny of Sanders’ Anti-Establishmentarianism”. The main point is that Sanders displays misogyny by accusing Clinton of being part of the establishment, thereby upholding, reinforcing, and ultimately misunderstanding the white-male essence of the establishment.
That won’t be my main focus, though. My focus will be on something else that was said in the article.
[T]he very existence of a black president convey[s] a possibility to young nonwhite people with a concreteness that can serve as the foundation of an achievable dream. Paths littered with obstacles are always easier to traverse if someone has tread them before. In this way, President Obama’s presidency has changed the establishment forever. A Hillary Clinton presidency would change the establishment forever, too.
Here’s the idea up for discussion: does the mere presence of a minority in a position in power automatically change the way the establishment works, such that it becomes at least a little bit easier for minority groups to enter positions of power?
As a freelance writer, I find I’m faking it ’til I make it quite a bit. I don’t mean that retarded thing where you pretend to be stupid-rich until you actually are stupid-rich. Because let’s face it, pretending to be stupid-rich likely involves wearing expensive clothes and spending lots of money. In which case, faking it ’til you make it just leads to being stupid poor. That’s not so much immoral as it is dumb.