Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stupid or not?....

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Ezra Klein writes a blog at the website www.vox.com, and his April 6 entry "How Politics Makes Us Stupid" is worth reading. Just make sure that it is not the only article you read on this topic.  You can find it here. In it he addresses the interface between the "more information hypothesis" and politics.

I must admit that I had never heard of Ezra Klein until this morning. A little blurb at the top of the Perspective section of today's Albany Times Union makes mention of him and the above-mentioned blog, although not mentioning the vox.com site, so finding Klein'a actual blog took a bit of searching.

Having read Klein's blog entry, some things seemed a bit unsettling, so I did my usual further search, and came across an entry at thefederalist.com called  "How Vox makes us stupid". In this article, David Harsanyi makes mention of author Caleb Crain's analysis of Kahan's column. Crain's work is titled "who's Wonking Who", and it, too, is worth reading. Find Crain's work here.

This whole debate just keeps bringing me back to the distinction between that which we know and can do without deep thought and that which we know and can do only because of deep thought. Notice I do not refer to what we "believe".  I consider beliefs and knowledge as distinct, even if only distinct insofar as they are different places on a continuum, far enough apart to be considered unique. (We seem to accept that with the naming of Europe and Asia as two continents.)

With all this debate going on, I cannot help but wonder what we would all think about global warming if there were no such things as huge power and oil companies and automakers. Could our opinions on the science be effected by our feelings about the economics?

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