02 September 2010

Thomas Sowell on "Experts"

If you want to understand intellectuals, academic elites, and the current ruling class, watch this very interesting interview with Dr. Thomas Sowell. He shares keen insight into the mindset, arrogance and, ironically, the stupidity of many modern intellectuals. Sowell also discusses a concept which many intellectuals seem to be ignorant of - "consequential knowledge." The brief discussion about Harry Truman's (who had no college degree) and Ronald Reagan's (who did have a college degree, yet was not encumbered with what Sowell refers to as "the nonsense he would have been taught in a very prestigious institution") educational backgrounds and how their respective administrations bracketed the demise of the Soviet Union is worth more consideration and thought.

If you are at all interested in this debate and how academia and intellectuals view themselves, as well as what often motivates them, this is a must see. Sowell is brilliant and rather witty at times as well. Of course, Sowell's criticisms are at a "general pattern" in academia and we realize there are exceptions. The discussion is, nonetheless, quite fascinating and damning.

Here's a teaser quote that contradicts what some academic history bloggers are saying:

"We're becoming a nation of people who are propagandized from elementary school right on through to graduate school in a certain vision of the world."

Yes, this video will also dovetail very nicely into an upcoming post on how many intellectuals ("experts"), often have no idea what they're talking about and should never be given the benefit of the doubt.


13thBama said...

I love this quote that I found on Thomas Sowell's website:

"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false."

--Paul Johnson

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B - yes, that's one I've read before. One of the defining differences between intellectuals like Sowell and Johnson is their respect and admiration for what I refer to as "the wisdom of the ancients." In reading the writings of many moderns, one quickly detects a disdain for just about everything that proceeded their own birth.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Correction - that should have been:

"preceded", not "proceeded."