Thursday, February 23, 2017

- The Case For Alt-Incrementalism Part: 2

Just one more quick addition regarding this really great post which got pushed down the queue by someone else's really great post from another blog.

The role of Academia can't be understated here. I don't think most people appreciate just how serious the problem is there. Everyone gets that the internal problems in academia are huge - just look at Triggly-prof. But I don't think they truly appreciate how easily that kind of thinking flows down to the rest of the culture, particularly to the liberal media.

Liberals by nature, are followers not leaders. To be a dissident you need to have a measure of independence and courage. It's not an easy thing to look at a loud angry mob and say "you're all wrong" and I'm right. If you think about that a little you'll see that the 'leaders' that rise on the liberal side more often than not, are much more cynical than the liberal rank and file. They're opportunists who use liberal emotional reasoning to transform their own positions into whatever they have to, in order to gain power (not unlike a recent presidential candidate).

But the true believers, they're screaming for someone to follow. They crave leadership and only feel their most comfortable when they're part of a big crowd. That's why they believe in the rule of the mob. The mob is big and loud and angry, so the mob must be right.

In academia, it's the same thing only more so. If they were really experts in their fields they'd be out in the private sector, but they lack the risk tolerance for that. They prefer a world where being wrong has fewer consequences, like a nice cushy tenured professorship.

But they are still thought of by the liberal followers in the media as being 'the smart ones' none the less. If they want an expert to interview they've learned not to go to private sector executives. They're busy, have their own goals, and might be reluctant for commercial reasons to talk up a big political storm only to bring down the commercial wrath of whoever disagrees with them. But the private sector always (ALWAYS) knows more than academia, because if they do it wrong there is a big price to pay. That refines your thinking and makes you a better decision maker.

So the best minds the media has ready access to are all in academia. But if the right were to replace some portion of our present pool of academics with more serious thinkers who lean right, then that's at least part of who the Media would be talking to when they want new expertise. This is what Milton Friedman meant when he talked about the how “We are all a product of the thinking of the day”.

Change that, change the political cross section of academia, and I think the media will fall back in line very quickly.

1 comment:

Tony Lawless said...

Good post. I felt the wrath of an academic historian today. He has ALL the accepted beliefs and is not fazed by evidence.