Educated ignorance

This is about American foreign policy and foreign policy advisors but it is just as true about economics and economists.

Most of these smart young people really don’t know anything. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they had great SATs and went to top schools and have mastered the art of sounding smart, attaining admirable fluency in that unnatural dialect known as Beltway-speak, but as for any deep knowledge about any particular subject relating to how the world really works, that’s about as rare in this crowd as unicorns and Bigfoot. There should be no surprise that Chekists are winning handily these days.

That said, it’s important to note that the ignorance of reality found among our Bright Young Things in DC is hardly their own fault. It can be attributed to their deformed education, especially among those who have studied International Relations, memorizing Game Theory and related unreality when what they needed to be doing was studying languages and history and getting out of the Beltway more.

Experts in game theory, clueless about history and the actual dynamics of the real world. Everything comes back to first principles which are never checked against reality. It is astonishing just how impervious the American foreign policy establishment is to the events of the past few years in the same way that the economic establishment has been impervious to its own disasters of the past few years.

There is then the media who come from the same cohort of over-educated highly intelligent ignoramuses. This is from Rush Limbaugh where I’ve quoted only his first and last lines. You can go to the original to see what comes in between:

I think the mainstream media is pig-ignorant of practically every discipline except party discipline. . . . We talk about low-information voters. We’ve got low-information media, and they are not aware of what they don’t know. They are so arrogant about their all-knowingness that they can’t conceive that they don’t know anything — and, when they encounter it, they’re just flummoxed.

But really, there’s so much going wrong all at once that it’s hard to know either what the problem is or what anyone could do to fix it.

First link via Small Dead Animals