She thinks she’s so smart

Attack on expertise, on intelligence. Genna Buck interviews Tom Nichols: No one listens to experts anymore, Ottawa Metro, March 23, 2017.

What he says, what he says

People don’t want to talk about it [anti-intellectualism], but it’s because of the growth of narcissism in our society. We really have become so acclimated to thinking that our views on everything are as important and as worthwhile as everyone else’s.

College is no longer a good discriminator for who knows what they’re [sic] talking about.

We believe in the common sense of the common person. So there’s always been fertile ground for questioning experts. What’s different is the phenomenon of everyone turning into insufferable know-it-alls.

The death of expertise is a disease of affluence.

Ignorant populism sooner or later will either decay into authoritarianism or–the bigger danger–experts will simply disengage and start running things without arguing with the public.

And then what evidence; how much of his heavily-promoted book, The Death of Expertise (2017), is limited fact-based or fact-absent opinion? The “children of the 1960s” could be regarded as fairly narcissistic, where many had university degrees that were no discriminator (if ever a discriminator) for who knows what he or she is talking about.

Influential opinion, but not necessarily expertise, in its own right. Compare Allan Bloom and The Closing of The American Mind.

Minds so indiscriminately open that there’s nothing in them.

What he said, what he said, when introducing The Closing

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the
proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4 . These are things you don’t think about. The students’ backgrounds are as various as America can provide. Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral intention. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it…

The recent education of openness…pays no attention to natural rights or the historical origins of our regime, which are now thought to have been essentially flawed and regressive. It is progressive and forward-looking. It does not demand fundamental agreement or the abandonment of old or new beliefs in favor of the natural ones. It is open to all kinds of men, all kinds of life-styles, all ideologies.
There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything. But when there are no shared goals or vision of the public good, is the social contract any longer possible?

About brucelarochelle
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