> On Sep 18, 2016, at 5:29 AM, Anish Mohammed <anish.moham...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 18 Sep 2016, at 07:42, Sriram Karra <karra....@gmail.com 
>> <mailto:karra....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>> https://medium.com/@nntaleb/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577 
>> <https://medium.com/@nntaleb/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577>
>> Found this funny.  But just to question the opening statement (for the rest
>> are mostly his delightful opinions)... are we seeing the 'rebellion"
>> anywhere? In particular in India?
>> ===
>> The Intellectual Yet Idiot
>> What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the
>> rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking
>> “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic
>> semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or
>> similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to
>> do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote
>> for.
> Hi Sriram,
> Have to admit, the pattern described by Taleb is quite easily recognised in 
> UK. 

I thought Taleb’s essay was a boring destruction of the flimsiest of straw men. 
In fact, it was worse than that; it was an apologia for anti-intellectualism 
and anti-science. He cites a few failures of science & policy (for example, 
nutritional advice to avoid fat), which he asserts (without proof) came out of 
“elite” institutions, without citing any of the near-miraculous successes that 
have come out of these same institutions. Reasoning like Taleb’s is exactly why 
we have an anti-vaccination movement, which exposes hundreds of thousands of 
children to needless suffering, permanent impairment, even death. After all, if 
all those Harvard egg-heads can be wrong about fat, why should we believe 
they’re right about vaccination? Or Climate Change?

I know plenty of people who attended Ivy League schools, and, while some of 
them may be shallow or aloof (i.e. human), none of them conform to Taleb's 
obnoxious stereotype. I also know lots of people from the “heartland” states, 
and people with no formal post-secondary education, people who earn their 
living (as I do) with their hands and backs, not their intellects, and in my 
experience they conform more closely to the “bigoted redneck” stereotype than 
Ivy Leaguers conform to theirs. Which is not, I would like to make clear, an 
endorsement of the redneck stereotype. We don’t need either of them.

And furthermore, Taleb is hypocritical. I mean, what is Taleb if not a “public 
intellectual”? What kind of “skin” does he have in the “game”.

I think it’s stuff and nonsense.

Here endeth my anti-rant rant.


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