Penn Jillette's take on the economy - DFWstangs Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
LS1 Fighter
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: DFW,Texas
Posts: 818
Penn Jillette's take on the economy

I thought this was funny...

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/...kid/index.html

Quote:
(CNN) -- Counterintuitive action makes a fellow feel smart. When I first got my driver's license, I took my old Ford Falcon into the Greenfield Public High School parking lot when it was freshly covered with fresh powder on top of wet slippery Western Massachusetts snow and ice. I turned fast, gunned it and lost control of the car in a skid.

I turned into the skid and instantly gained control of my car. Telling someone to turn into a skid, that's crazy talk. It seems so wrong, but my Dad knew it worked. Dad suggested I do it over and over in the parking lot, so I would conquer my intuition to be ready when a real emergency arose on a real road. Counterintuitive actions prove we can trust real knowledge and do the opposite of what we feel makes sense.

I'm a fire-eater. There is some technique to fire-eating, but most of the practice goes into learning that one's mouth is wet enough, most of the heat goes up enough, and cutting the oxygen leg off the fire triangle (it's now a fire tetrahedron, but I learned fire-eating a long time ago) with one's mouth really does put the fire out.

It took watching a professional whom I trusted do it -- a lot of trust and a lot of practice -- before my first reaction, when my mouth started to burn from the lit torch in my mouth, was to put the torch deeper in my mouth, close my mouth around the torch and put it out.

Handling fire seems like a superpower. There are whole seminars and self-help jive centered on fire-walking, which is hustled as "mind over matter," or "empowerment" but is really just counterintuitive physics. As long as the fire walk is set up right and you keep moving, you can even hope and pray to be burned, while yelling counter-self-help slogans such as "I do not have any power to do this" and "universe, please burn my little piggies," and you'll be fine.

Whether it's fire walking or knowing that the Earth is round, everyone seems to dig counterintuitive thinking. Many dig it when our president explains we're going to spend our way out of debt. That's way against all the intuition we've developed in our adult lives. Spending our way out of debt doesn't work often, does it? It's crazy talk. Didn't a lot of people try that spending out of debt thing?

I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they might have tried that spending their way out of debt thing. Or maybe they tried the all too intuitive "crack will make me feel healthy again" thing. I don't know.

Didn't lots of people try piling up debt on credit cards and buying houses they couldn't afford in hopes of solving all their financial problems? I've tried spending more than I was going to earn (remember, I was carny trash, that's why I know how to eat fire), and it way didn't work. Spending more money than I had to spend put me more in debt, just like my silly intuition warned me.

President Obama is so damn smart. He just drips smart. He clearly understands stuff that we could never understand. He's trustworthy. If Obama were teaching fire-eating, we would all learn fast. If he told you that the burns would be minor and the fire would go out when you closed your mouth, you'd believe him. If I weren't twice his weight, I'd fall back with my eyes closed into his caring arms in one of those cheesy '70s church trust exercises. He could talk me into anything.

Obama tells us that we can spend our way out of debt. He tells us that even though the government had control over the banks and did nothing to stop the bad that's going on, if we give them more control over more other bank-like things, then they can make sure bad stuff doesn't happen ever again. He says we can get out of all those big wars President Bush caused by sending more troops into Afghanistan. And I don't know. I really don't know.

I trusted my Dad that turning into a skid would work. I trusted my carny mentor, Doc Swan, that closing my mouth around a burning torch would put it out. They were right. Maybe the United States borrowing more money than I could imagine in a billion years with a billion computers and a billion monkeys typing on them, will get us out of financial trouble. I really don't know. It's certainly true that many counterintuitive things are true, and when you have the guts to do something counterintuitive that works, it's really cool. It's a superpower under our yellow sun.

But there are some things that are just intuitive. Did you know, that if you're going 100 mph, directly at a very, very thick, reinforced concrete wall, and you speed up, so you're accelerating right when you hit the wall that the accident you have is going to be much worse than if you'd jammed on the brakes as soon as you saw the wall at the end of the street? Did you know that? It's exactly what everything you know and feel would tell you, and it's exactly true. Most times when you're driving, or playing with fire, or handling money, the thing that makes sense to you is also true.

I way hope we're turning into a skid and not accelerating into a concrete wall.

Note: Reading this article does not give you the information you need to really eat fire, fire walk or even turn into a skid. Do not try any of it. You really need a trained professional to teach you, and most important you need to sign something that says Penn Jillette and CNN are not in any way responsible for your inevitable injuries.

Can't beat them, Join their message board !!

I m5...

BpuTacoma is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 10:11 PM
DFWS
 
scootro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: none of your fuckin business
Posts: 6,990
Penn Jillette is one nerdy son of bitch

Keepin' The Old School Alive
scootro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the DFWstangs Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome