The Intellectual Yet Idiot
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
6.2K

I can appreciate your points and they are well taken. The problem I have is that, even though you seem to go to some lengths to differentiate between the “Ph.D. Pseudo-Intellectual”, typified by social scientists, and Ph.D. scientists, the heated rhetoric you employ in the end serves to lump “us” all into one disreputable group. The “average” person who reads this post would come away with the general impression that all intellectual pursuits are equally fraudulent.

Those damn “pointy headed liberals” in their “ivory towers” are a bunch of snobbish assholes. Even worse are the government bureaucrats and the spawn of their unholy union, the dreaded intellectual bureaucrat. He/she not only views themselves as intellectually superior but also wields the vast power of government to lord over the common man. Of course they also think they are morally superior but that is a screed for another post.

As Monty Burns famously said when running for Governor of Springfield “and those bureaucrats in the state capital can stick that in their pipes and smoke it.” Yes this breed of pseudo-intellectual, liberal and/or conservative, archetype does exist. However, I would argue that we actually need more intellectuals, true intellectuals, in positions of power. Pieces like this only discourage persons of genuine intellect, scientists, engineers (fucking programmers/con valley/techno utopians need not apply, but I digress) from actively pursuing careers in government or, heaven forbid, politics, gasp!

I am NOT arguing for a government of technocrats, though I feel this term has been greatly misused and abused. I am arguing for more participation from real, thoughtful persons, who happen to be highly educated and/or have significant expertise in areas outside of economics and law and political “science.” Takedowns like your piece, while clearly popular, and mostly right do not help advance this cause.

More power to you for venting in this forum. Better to get it all out in the open. I just ask that now you are hopefully feeling a little better, a bit more calm perhaps, you take a deep breathe, and move on. Everything sucks, common man getting the shaft, pointy heads, pseudo intellectuals, dodgy “data”, fake arguments, etc. etc. Yep. I’ve heard it all before. My parents have Fox News on all day long for Christ’s sake (apologies God) Yawn. Boring. Not to sound like a naive idiot but it’s time for solutions, constructive arguments, actual proposals, real ideas. I can get the bitch fest in 99% of media out there. I am fuckin sick of it. Even worse I am bored to tears by it.

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