No One Learns from the Learned


When did we stop believing people who know a lot?

It’s everywhere. People are not dissuaded in the least to learn that 97 percent of scientists believe climate change is a major crisis.

Person at the grocery store (or on Facebook): “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Me: “How much do you know about it?”

PATGS: “Nothing.”

Me: “Then why don’t you listen to what experts say?”

PATGS: “I just don’t believe it. I just don’t.”

Get rid of all the emissions devices. Build more coal plants. Drill, baby, drill.

Fuck the earth.

Sometimes they say people can’t affect the planet. Really? Don’t we live on it? It’s merely God’s will, and that reminds me of a minor-league baseball manager who told me that every time one of his pitchers got battered by the opposition, it didn’t bother him because “it was God’s will.”

“Son,” the manager said, “It ain’t the good Lord’s will for you to get your ass beat.”

This isn’t an innate weakness of the human mind. In other ways, we readily consult experts. No one ever says his doctor is full of shit when he finds out he’s diabetic. No one ever says he doesn’t believe in a tax deduction so he’s not going to take it.

I felt more comfortable with the smart people in charge.

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2 thoughts on “No One Learns from the Learned

  1. Andy

    I agree with you, but a lot of those smart people have directed their intelligence at ways to exploit their position to make more money. It’s not enough to be wealthy, they want you to be less wealthy. Less competition for country club memberships and shorter waits for that Mercedes they ordered.

    It’s not the scientists or the doctors that I’m worried about so much, it’s the people they have to answer to. The people in charge. The politicians, the insurance company CEOs, the heads of the energy companies. It has always been thus and likely always will be.

    Democratic elections can’t help that. It’s going to require revolution and I’m too old to come out ahead. It’s a crap shoot which group will be the one to break ranks and there are people on both sides of the political spectrum that clearly would make things worse.

    PS: I liked your last story – The Furlough. It reached its conclusion a bit rapidly but that’s better than meandering around in order to boost the page count.

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