Friday, January 08, 2010


So as maybe the last person in the blogosphere to actually read the David Brooks column that's caused all the hooraw these last couple days, I just have to make mention of the part that caused me to giggle the most:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise.
As the "indoctrinated educated class" should know from their anthem back in the days when they were still being educated, it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.


Michael said...

It just takes a committee and a consensus.

Beaumont said...

Today, the wind was blowing from the north. Daytime high here in the Knoxville area: 20 at my house.

Average high for this date: 46.

Yeah, I loves me some global warmin'.

Ruzhyo said...

The "educated class" has fallen a long way when the best its self appointed standard bearers can produce reads like a whiny op-ed piece by a freshman co-editor of a lousy college newspaper.

gunfreezone said...

I am guessing that David Brooks belongs to the Educated... although not so much by the way he starts his article:
"The United States opens this decade in a sour mood"
The new decade actually starts in 2011. 2010 is the closing of the first decade of the 21st century.

theirritablearchitect said...

Nice allusion to Dylan, there.

Schmidt said...

Humanities 'educated' people. People who have at least an inkling about the scientific method tend to view most propaganda carefully. I bet that a survey of say, aerospace engineering PhD's would show attitudes markedly different to what that Boob Brooks associates with 'educated' class.

I can't take him seriously, ever since I've read about his books 'Bobos in Paradise' ( He isn't exactly Thomas Friedman, but getting there..

Anonymous said...

The public's not really shifting. It's figuring out that it's been fed a bunch of once-believable BS.

The problem for the educated class is that it's mostly classroom education, with insufficient experience in the "real world". A self-nominated elite might be highly intelligent, sure, but that doesn't mean it understands how things work. It spends too much time preaching to its own choir, and not enough time listening to the congregation.


staghounds said...

Remember, this is the person the NYT gives space to BECAUSE HE IS A CONSERVATIVE.

You know, like Trotsky.

Nathan said...

"Educated" is not the same as "intelligent".

Look at your average college graduate with his (or, in this day and age, more likely her) superficial pastiche of "education"...and remember that most of them voted for Hope and Change.

Tam, you shouldn't have struck out "indoctrinated". That's exactly what they are, and this column is yet another reason why I don't waste my time reading Brooks. Thanks for reading him so I don't have to.

Tam said...

What's odd is that I thought that the educated class had taken to calling it "Climate Change" instead of "Global Warming" some years back.

Perhaps Mr. Brooks needs an education booster shot?

Baddog said...

Once again, we are reminded that education does not, necessarily, equate with wisdom. (Or intelligence).

Timmeehh said...

It wasn't just the column, read the comments for an idea of the vile moon-battery in the NYT readership. Here are some excerpts:

It isn’t just that the tea party movement is anti-intellectual. It’s pro-mythological. They “believe” in some abstract myth of American individualism.

Those who will buy into absurd, if charming, mythological Biblical stories are much more susceptible to mythological “patriotic” yarns. Both the tea party movement and fundamentalism are dependent upon emotion over intellectual thought. It isn’t that tea partiers and fundamentalists are inherently dumb; they just have little experience or incentive to engage their brains when passion is so much more fun.

You forgot to mention the most outstanding feature of the "Tea Party"; it's entirely white. The thing that unites them is their hatred of a black man as president.

Oh, just say it like it is -- it's the educated class versus the morons, and the morons are winning. Is it any wonder that the country is going in the wrong direction?

The so-called "tea party" is in large part a front for large corporations which amazingly can twist angry people into supporting things which are viciously damaging to themselves.

This tea-party movement is composed of a group of right-wing wackos, whose goal is cause as much trouble for decent Americans as they possibly can. They are totally against any meaningful improvements in this country. Since they don't have any idea of how to improve things, they choose to intimidate, harass and threaten anyone who doesn't agree with them.

Self interest and greed are the foundations of the tea party. I am so sad that these people represent America.

Joseph said...

I'm reminded of a quote from G. H. Hardy:

"Have you noticed how the word 'intellectual' is used nowadays? There seems to be a new definition which certainly doesn't include Rutherford or Eddington or Dirac or Adrian or me. It does seem rather odd, don't y'know."

Robert said...

I've had frozen water pipes for over a week. This happens from time to time, even in balmy central Alabama, but usually last no more than a day. Al Gore can kiss my shivering ass, and so can the rest of the edumacated class, of which I am supposedly a member, being a Junior in college with a major in Philosophy.

Justthisguy said...

Timmeehh, I got as far as page 8 of the comments, and what struck me was how dumb the people sounded who claimed that they were smart and that the TP'ers were dumb.

Hell, according to my SAT score from 1967 before they dumbed it down, I'm just barely eligible for Mensa, and I found lots of sharp, knowledgeable people at the Tea Party I attended here, some seemingly smarter,and many better-educated than I.

What was also interesting was that the Christian Constitutionalists and the Randroids were both well represented there. I bought me a nice pocket Constitution from the former and was handed a free (WTF?) sampler of Rand's work by the latter.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. I have finally read the whole comment thread. ( I do this so that the normals don't have to.)

There's some thoughtful rationality toward the end (comments #438, 442, and 443) but in general, the mindless crowdlike name-calling of the "educated" pretty much just goes on to the end.

The Educated Class is most enthusiastically supported by the obviously most mean-spiritedly dumb?

Alright, then.

Tam said...

The thing that kills me is how badly this whole thing can blow up in scientists' faces to their own detriment. With the science horsie having been bribed with a grant carrot into pulling this big ol' political wagon, the wheels will come off big time if they didn't call the ball right.

If we are indeed entering an era of low solar activity and another period of cooling a la the Little Ice Age, then the government-bought scientists have just handed the luddites and flat-earthers the Ultimate Piltdown Man. If this goes down in flames, you won't be able to convince your average surly anti-science type that the sun rises in the east if you're wearing a lab coat when you say it, not even if you point the telescope in the right direction for him and hold his face to the eyepiece.

Justthisguy said...

Yes, hold his face to the eyepiece. Rather you did it at noon, but hey, I'm old and grumpy and have been drinking.

Justthisguy said...

On a less grumpy note: Y'know, if those "Climate Science" guys had been less smug and arrogant and secretive, and acted like scientists are supposed to act, like showing ALL of their data, and ALL of the algorithms they'd used to reduce it, and been like, what's the word? Oh, yeah, TRANSPARENT, we maybe wouldn't distrust them so much.

If they are so sure they're right, why are they being so sneaky?

Schmidt said...

I bought me a nice pocket Constitution from the former and was handed a free (WTF?) sampler of Rand's work by the latter.

It's not free. You'll pay dearly after you've read it..

jselvy said...

Mr. Schmidt,
Not all the humanities are bad. I, myself, have an "education" in history. The winnowing of written history for probable facts is good training for seeking facts in governmental statements. A study of history also teaches you that:

A) The climate changes regularly, without human interference. This particular planet averages a lot warmer than it has been.

B) Always go to the original document. No matter what the "experts" say, always read the original for yourself.

Both of the above are good practice for negotiating the sea of BS that flows from the swamp on the Potomac.