Saturday, February 18, 2012

The hysterical stupidity of the Council of Conservative Citizens

I use the term "hysterical stupidity" to mean those who might otherwise have intelligence, are stupid because some hysteria they have over some topic. The hysterical are not thinking.

This comes to mind with a posting on the Council of Conservative Citizens website at

They are upset that it is asserted that Augustus Jackson was the inventor of ice cream as part of African American history month.

I am focusing on this posting since as an engineer and a person who reads about the history of technological innovation I am better qualified to comment on it.

Most importantly, I am focusing on this, since it is simple and straightforward and clearly shows the credibility of postings in general. I am sure that most of the other postings are of the same nature as this posting.

Before I go forward, for those unfamiliar with the history of science and technology, I would like to explain that many technological innovations are not discrete events, but often the accumulation of many incremental changes leading to a working technology. Often the "inventor" is the person who contributes the critical development which led to the technology either being much more affordable or effective or available. Edison made many lightbulbs, but it wasn't until he figured to use a tungsten filament in an inert atmosphere that they really were practical. This was nice, but until someone figured out how to mass produce the delicate glass envelops blowing them from molten glass and systems to handle them without them breaking would light bulbs be practical.

Many people besides the Wright brothers were making flying machines while they were working on theirs. Did the Wright brothers invent the airplane or were they the first ones to figure out that you needed a gasoline engine to supply the power without excessive weight? Many hands go into technological development and there are many inventors.

So back to the stupidity of the post about ice cream.

First as an argument the CofCC says, "The practice of eating chilled desserts containing flavored ice dates back thousands of years to Mesopotamia royalty." Well that is true, I know Roman emperors had flavored ice. However, flavored ice isn't ice cream any more than oil or pitch is gasoline or polyethylene plastic.

Then further is the argument, "A reference book on the English in 1744 states “it is a chilled dessert made from cream, milk, and fruit.” Matching the modern definition of ice cream." Well modern ice cream is a frozen dessert so it doesn't match. Many things are chilled, but that is very different than frozen.

However, doing some research I found that cream and fruit was being frozen back in the 18th century, I didn't find much about the texture or form of this frozen cream.

Further ice cream isn't merely a frozen block of cream. It isn't a popsicle you make in your freezer. It has a very specific texture with air blended in and the components with small crystals. It has added ingredients to ensure it has this texture.

For ice cream to be commonly consumed it would have to have a practical method of manufacture.

It seems that Augustus Jackson was an innovator in the manufacturing process of ice cream.

It turns out that there is no myth that Jackson invented ice cream, it is understood that he developed a critical improvement in its manufacture. So the Council of Conservative Citizens is debunking a myth they made up. Or they searched the Internet to find some confused website which misrepresented Jackson's accomplishment and seized upon it to be aggrieved.

I found that this is the information you generally find on the Internet.

1832 - African-American, Augustus Jackson, is credited for the modern method of manufacturing, (not discovering) ice cream, and the multiple ice cream recipes he developed around 1832. He uniquely used ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of his special mix of ingredients. Unfortunately he never applied for a patent. He left his position as a cook/chef at the White House, moved to Philadelphia and created several popular ice cream flavors and methods of manufacturing ice cream. He distributed it in tin cans to Philadelphia’s many ice cream parlors. Today Jackson is called the "father of ice cream."

Jackson made the manufacture of ice cream practical and isn't called the inventor but the "father of ice cream."

However, the complexity of technological development isn't of interest to the members of the Council of Conservative Citizens, but instead they are hysterical over the idea that their could be any historical claim that would contradict their racism.

Also, revealing the true facts of the history of ice cream wouldn't be of interest, it would just be a reason to look for and seize upon other rationalizations for their hysterical racism.

I had this blog posting when the Council of Conservative Citizens were calling the Carthaginians Greeks in some pompous historical exposition. They edited the posting after my posting.

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