Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Groupthink and smugness

Dan Klein and Charlotta Stern theorize about Groupthink in Academia.

But why not? Academics are not terribly different from the rest of humanity. And a knack for moderately fancy footwork has its perils.

Everyone in Lake Wobegone is above average and everyone in academia (and journalism and entertainment, etc.) is "in the mainstream." And anyone too dim to get it is an "idiologue".

Deep thinkers (thank you, Tom Sowell) go on and on about "social justice" as though it had a clear meaning. But the presumption of shared assumptions is the ultimate smugness.


Russ Roberts and Robin Hanson discuss how often any of us actually examine and reject our priors.