A Minor Criticism

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mikeconley99
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A Minor Criticism

 The course is brilliant. One comment, though. Mr. Martenson attributes hockey-stick-creating causation to several baleful historical events - Nixon slamming the gold window, several major wars, and Bush's tax cuts during two foreign wars - and yet after each bump or distortion of the price levels graph that he uses to illustrate his point, the graph dutifully returns to the hockey stick pattern (revisit Chapter 10 and watch the graph, as he goes over each "war bump".) To me, that lends strength to the argument that the hockey stick would still be formed by exponential growth, despite whatever historical convulsions he may cite as causation. He said that the hockey stick turned the corner shortly after Nixon took us off the gold standard, as if that was the precipitate cause of The Big Turn. And yet he undercut that very contention a few minutes earlier when he said that the flaw in Bretton Woods was that the Fed could print any amount of money it cared to. Printing money is what let the exponential growth genie out of the bottle, causing the inevitable hockey stick upturn down the road, not Bretton Woods, Nixon, or war. My point is that it's likely the upturn would have happened in any case, and Nixon, the wars, etc. were just the convulsive growing pains of that great lumbering beast known as Exponential Growth. They were more likely an expression of change, rather than the cause of it. Not to take anything away from Martenson's analysis, which is brilliant, but his political views do put a bit of a spin on all this. He casts a conspiratorial tinge of blame on Nixon, Bush, and the War Machine, when according to his own theory, exponential growth would inevitably result in substantially the same hockey stick scenario. He's assigning causation, but when you extrapolate his own theory, it's more likely just correlation. I'm no fan of Nixon, Bush, or war, but still... So to a degree, his political perspective is coloring the presentation, although it's not significantly distorting it. I'm reminded of what Noam Chomsky said about conspiracy theories - that there's really no conspiracy necessary. The economic system compels people to act more or less in concert to maximize profits, which results in the apparency of a conspiracy.

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LogansRun
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Re: A Minor Criticism

Mike,

The first time I watched Crash Course I had no idea that this site existed other than FOR the CC.  I watched it twice and then didn't come back to this site until 6 months after watching it.  I didn't pick up a "political bias" in his presentation at all.  What do you perceive as his political affiliation?

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Ready
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Re: A Minor Criticism
mikeconley99 wrote:

Not to take anything away from Martenson's analysis, which is brilliant, but his political views do put a bit of a spin on all this. He casts a conspiratorial tinge of blame on Nixon, Bush, and the War Machine, when according to his own theory, exponential growth would inevitably result in substantially the same hockey stick scenario.

Mike,

I think you might be focused on some, but not all of Dr. Martenson's message. Any time spent here at all will have you quickly understanding Chris is equally concerned about Democrats leadership as he is Republican.

This is not a partisan site due to Chris' leadership. If you look though all the active threads and posts, you will find yours is the only one taking a side.

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Re: A Minor Criticism

TS,

I really don't remember Chris mentioning directly what his political views are?  From what I understand Chris is really not a fan of the current leadship in our government period regardless of whether they're blue or red.

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Re: A Minor Criticism
Kurosawa wrote:

From what I understand Chris is really not a fan of the current leadship in our government period regardless of whether they're blue or red.

I think that's true of most of us who have found our way to this site. I think that we see that current "leadership" either red or blue is, at best, a farce. The American public is convinced that "their" party has all the solutions, and then when the incumbent party fouls things up too bad, the populace switches, and votes in a new party.

I have this vision in my head, that at the end of the day, both the D's and the R's go to the nicest country clubs in MD & VA, and have a good laugh about the little joke they've pulled on the dumb American public.

I wrote a scathing letter to each of my Senators (both R's) not because I believe that it'll do any good, or that I think they have any better solutions than the D's, I just hope they'll vote contrary to the current proposals, for the sake of being contrarian.

I gave up on both parties, and joined the Libertarians.

 

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Re: A Minor Criticism
mikeconley99 wrote:

The economic system compels people to act more or less in concert to maximize profits, which results in the apparency of a conspiracy.

I would very much agree with this statement. But I need to make this point very clear, Dr. M is strictly apolitical, or I would have nothing to do with this site.

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Re: A Minor Criticism
mikeconley99 wrote:

My point is that it's likely the upturn would have happened in any case, and Nixon, the wars, etc. were just the convulsive growing pains of that great lumbering beast known as Exponential Growth. They were more likely an expression of change, rather than the cause of it. Not to take anything away from Martenson's analysis, which is brilliant, but his political views do put a bit of a spin on all this. He casts a conspiratorial tinge of blame on Nixon, Bush, and the War Machine, when according to his own theory, exponential growth would inevitably result in substantially the same hockey stick scenario. He's assigning causation, but when you extrapolate his own theory, it's more likely just correlation. I'm no fan of Nixon, Bush, or war, but still... So to a degree, his political perspective is coloring the presentation, although it's not significantly distorting it.

Hmm, I came away from the Crash Course thinking it was a very objective presentation actually. He presented the wars, the dropping of the gold standard, etc. as important events and influential factors in getting to where we are today.  But never did he say that everything we're facing today is fully attributable to ONLY these events, simply that we can see a relationship in how these events CONTRIBUTE to inflation and debt.  Everything else being equal, without these events we'd still be heading the car off the cliff so to speak... the difference is that these events pushed the accelerator down further so we reach the cliff edge sooner than we otherwise might.  And by knowing how these events affect inflation and so on, we can get a better understanding of where it leads and how fast it gets us there.  For example, in the graphs he presented, the contributing relationship between war and inflation appears in a quite obvious pattern.

Chris seems very deliberate in the Crash Course in not assigning value judgements, even in regards to the very fractional reserve banking system that is at the root of many of the economic issues coming our way (to paraphrase- it's not inherently good or bad, it just is... and has advantages and disadvantages we should recognize).  With all due respect it seems to me your interpretation of political bias on the part of the Crash Course seems an awfully big stretch...

- Nickbert

 

 

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LogansRun
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Re: A Minor Criticism

Mike hasn't posted since this post.  Back to my point on the paid board.

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Re: A Minor Criticism

 As I said, it colors, but does not significantly distort, his message. I don't see this as a partisan website. However, he has asked for input and reaction to his presentation, and it seemed to me upon listening/watching the seminar, that there was a bit of a partisan bias that surfaced a few times. That's all. If he wants to trim/adjust those particular snippets, then I believe it would open his presentation up to an even wider audience. 

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Re: A Minor Criticism

 Certainly not Republican. Probably Libertarian. My comment was a minor criticism, in response to his request to submit reactions to his seminar, to enhance it. I perceived a wee bit of a bias, that's all. Not a deal-breaker by any means.

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Re: A Minor Criticism

 I'm not taking a side, just responding to his request for input. And to me, it seemed as if there was just a wee bit of partisan color to his presentation when it came to War, Nixon, the gold standard, etc. No biggie. As I said, it colored but did not seriously distort the presentation. If no one else feels that way, then great. The entire point is to make the presentation as effective as possible. He asked for input and reactions, and that was my reaction. If it's an outlier, then that's all to the better. I'm not asserting bias, just saying that that's the way it came off when I heard it. It seemed to me as if he had a bias. But if I mis-read his tone of voice, then I mis-read it. Sorry bout that. 

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mikeconley99
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Re: A Minor Criticism

 I've been on the road working to pay the rent. Sorry I haven't been active. My purpose in posting was that Chris asked for input. I emailed my reactions to the site, and it was suggested that I post them instead, and so I did. Not trying to barge in on your party, or be a drive-by, it's just that I cared enough about Chris's work to give my feedback, which he asked for. The man is utterly brilliant. My criticism was, as labeled, a minor one. A perceived (perhaps mis-perceived) tiny flaw in an otherwise flawless, landmark work. He should be on TED, he should be on Bill Moyers, Koppel should do a special on him.

 

 

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cat233
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Re: A Minor Criticism

HI Mike

Welcome to the site!

Thank you for your comments... Some of us, myself included have built in defense mechanisms when it comes to Chris,The Crash Course and this site.  I think you just experienced a little of that...   

We are all harmless,

Cat 

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Re: A Minor Criticism

I don't post often but I read a lot at this site and I have to say I am both amazed and impressed with the skill used by CM in keeping politics out of his posts. I applaud him for the apolitical manner in which he presents such a massive amount of information. That is a reason why I am still a member after a year. Welcome aboard Mike.

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mikeconley99
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Re: A Minor Criticism

 Thanks.

Look, let me explain myself more completely, to one and all on the site and this forum in particular:

My uncle, a retired VP of a national bank, forwarded me the course and asked me for my thoughts. I replied at length, and then I remembered that Chris encouraged feedback, since he wanted to train lots of people to deliver his seminar. So I emailed my comments to the site. The reply was that I should post in one of the forums.

This particular forum seemed like the best place, so I posted my thoughts.

Everyone reading this needs to realize that I have not cruised this forum, and did not know that the site is an apolitical safe harbor (which I think is a great thing.) I was simply told by the site to post, and I posted, thinking that my comments would be digested for what they are -- the first thoughts of a (relatively) educated person who just finished listening to/watching the Course.

Here's my entire point: To my ear and eye, it seemed as if Chris had just a wee tiny little bit of a political bias.

Apparently he does not, but a first-time listener to the seminar may think he does. I did. And that may limit the spread of his seminar.

I'm not contending that he has a bias. My point is that, upon going through his Course, it seemed to me AS IF he did. And since he is intending to train others, he might like to know that that's how one (fairly) literate person perceived (or mis-perceived) his delivery. Perhaps it was his tone of voice when commenting on Nixon. (You should hear mine when I comment on Tyrannus Nix...) 

I would think that he would want such feedback, since his obvious goal is to reach as many people as possible.  I wholeheartedly support that goal, and so I took the time to register, log on, and post, and then reply to the responses.

If this isn't the correct forum to post such feedback, sorry about that, but I was given no guidance other than an encouragement to post in a forum. 

In the interest of furthering Chris's work, would someone please forward my feedback to the correct place, so that it can be folded into whatever honing and tweaking Chris may be doing to his delivery and training.

Are we all cool now?

 :)

Ready's picture
Ready
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Re: A Minor Criticism

Mike,
 

First, the post is in a fine spot.

Second, sorry to have come across as to have killed the messenger.

Third, My advice to Dr. M, should he ever need it (doubtful) would be that it is most likely impossible to discuss the actions of one president, administration, etc. and it's decisions impacts on the 3 Es without someone picking up something.... we all have a slightly different filter. I don't share your same viewpoint, and therefore didn't pick up on what you did. I honestly don't think the time necessary to change the CC would be a good investment, since as you have seen you are in the minority of folks that think there is a political bias here.

Finally, we are all cool, always were.

 

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Re: A Minor Criticism

More to the point Mike,

What's your uncle's view of the course?

From my POV the environmental and peak oil aspects are in line with my previous understanding, but then they are based on science and "facts", which are easy to verify elsewhere. OTOH economics seems far more subjective, *and* I know very little about the subject.

So I'd be very interested to hear what an ex bank VP thinks of the whole thing - including any criticism (minor or otherwise).

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political?

do you assume by a person not stating a political affilation that they are hiding something?

perhaps they are above the mob mentality in which all people who follow politics fail to rise above.

the simple ignorance of you feeling that a persons political views should impact your perception on what the content of their message is weak at best. it is proof that you are unable to make choice without the mob's consent.

 

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