Friday, March 26, 2010

Experts are idiots

Why, in the last 4 years, have 18% more Americans decided that the climate crisis is exaggerated? Why is America rated 33rd out of 34 developed countries in the percentage of adults who believe evolution is true? Sharon Begley of Newsweek shares some thoughts:

* Scientists are horrible at Public Relations and lousy communicators. They don't appeal to the heart (which Creationists excel at). This is the truth we're talking about so if you don't understand it, it's your fault. Nah, not condescending at all.

* We Americans don't bow to authority. If you tell us we have to think a certain way there will be a backlash. We're populated with European emigrants fed up with hierarchy.

* Americans have latched strongly onto the Protestant Reformation idea that there need to be no intermediaries between us and God. Translation: we (and our handy Internet) can know just as much about the climate as the scientists.

* We've come to rely on the wisdom of crowds (which is what Wikipedia is) and no expertise is needed to pick apart scientific arguments.

* The Great Recession was caused by the smartest guys in the room (trust us on these credit default swaps).

No wonder experts are seen as idiots.

Yeah, I know that crowds can be pretty stupid and they layman does not know as much about the scientists. Not that we'll be able to convince the layman of that.

Alas, the Newsweek site won't bring up this article so that I can link to it.

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