Chapter 15

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There was a debate between the Vice-Presidential candidates this week. I listened to it on the audio stream and it was clear that Mr. Biden won. The next day all the media* seemed to agree that Mr. Ryan won. As the day passed and the news developed, it became known that people who watched the debate tended to feel that Mr. Ryan won, and those who listened to it on the radio or whatever, perceived that Mr. Biden won.

That means that Mr. Biden won and Mr. Ryan got the trophy.

If you are listening to the words and the tones, without visual distractions, you are getting the candidates' pure undecorated statements and assertions. You are getting it straight from the candidates' internal computational systems, and whether what they say is true or not doesn't matter because I'm only talking about who wins. You can check the truth afterward.

Here's what the people who watched the debate said: Mr. Biden was icky. He had a silly smile and he gestured and interrupted and he was just icky.

So ask yourself: Should we choose our leaders on the basis of whether they are benevolent and coherent and mentally organized, or should we choose them on the basis of ickiness or non-ickiness?

John Kennedy was the least icky president ever, and he was distinctly unaccomplished. And he was a rat, cheating on his wife the whole time with a whole string of women, up to and including Marilyn Monroe.

President Nixon was the most icky president ever, and if you look at his accomplishments, you might realize that he was one of the greatest presidents ever. But everybody hates him, just because he was icky.


And oh by the way, the same thing happened in 1960 as happened in 2012. The people who saw the debate on TV believed that Mr. Kennedy won. The people who listened to it on radio, uninfluenced by image and focused on the words, thought that Mr. Nixon won.

It happened. You can look it up.


*Except the shamelessly pro-Democrat ones, of course.