Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dumb is not a character flaw, and smart is not a virtue.

Now that it's clear that almost everybody hates the U.A.E. running our ports, Bush goes with the "I was ignorant and misinformed" excuse. Again. And he will most likely get away with it. Why? Because far too many people sympathize with ignorance. "I didn't know that the U.A.E. was taking over those ports, either! Bush is just like me, a regular guy!"

I despise this change in our culture: The buck stops nowhere. Everyone's opinion is equally valid, no matter how ignorant or misinformed. Feelings are more important than facts. Dumb is not a character flaw, and smart is not a virtue.

Esquire magzine sums it up perfectly: Greetings From Idiot America.
The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It’s not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today represents, for profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power, the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they’re talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.
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