Friday, December 16, 2005

Greetings from Idiot America

Charlie Pierce of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me writes an article in Esquire on Idiot America-- our national culture of trusting our gut instinct and being suspicious of learning, fact, and reason.

...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.

Pierce explains why intellectually dubious enterprises, such as intelligent design, the invasion of Iraq, and the Federal Government's response to Hurricane Katrina, are shrugged off if and when they are seen to be mistakes. We're now a nation with a collective gut, instead of a collective mind.

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