MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Doug Casey on Why People Outsource Their Thinking to “The Experts”

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2021

The people who run the State have control of the money supply, the economy, the education system, and the media. They’ve gotten control of the medical system. They’re replacing traditional religion, as well, with what amounts to new secular religions; that’s an interesting twist.

Christianity is on its way out. It’s already a dead duck in Europe and is hanging on in the US only among the lower classes. The elite no longer believes in traditional religion. It’s being replaced by updated versions of Marxism, which was always a secular religion, even though it claimed to be “scientific”—like Greenism and Wokeism.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-why-most-people-outsource-their-thinking-to-the-experts/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Thanks to the internet and modern technology, the average person can now access information on almost any topic with relative ease.

But it seems people are doing less critical thinking than ever.

Why do you think that is the case?

Doug Casey: Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to critical thinking. It’s paradoxical that something so associated with knowledge and research is often at odds with wisdom. I think that’s partly because today’s technology offers instant answers—no thought required. You can go to Google, and an answer is at your fingertips. It doesn’t require research or thought—the answer just appears. It subtly obviates the need for contemplation.

Let’s first define what critical thinking is. I’d say it’s the process of questioning the validity of the assumptions and the accuracy of the data for everything. A critical thinker never assumes or takes anything for granted.

We can’t always be sure what the quality of a googled answer is, but most people assume it’s honest and correct. However, considering the nature of the people who run Google, Wikipedia, and websites of that nature, I prefer to assume that the quality of many answers is low.

In fact, the volume of data available through computer technology is so great that there’s a tendency to confuse all that quantity with quality. When the world, and the data stream, is moving very quickly, it seems you have less time to contemplate its meaning. You can get lost in it and lose perspective.

It reminds me of a scene out of the original Rollerball movie from the 1970s with James Caan. Books no longer exist. All knowledge is contained in an all-powerful computer. The scientist in charge of the computer is talking to another character and says, “Yeah, for some reason, we’ve lost the 13th century,” and he kicks the machine. It’s the only source of what used to be in millions of books.

We’re almost in a situation where everything comes from one source—basically Google—rather than researching books, getting answers from a dozen points of view, and thinking critically about their meaning. Sure, Google gives you many references. But how many others have been “cancelled?” How many considered politically incorrect are buried as deep as the 13th century in Rollerball?

International Man: Whether it’s finance, economics, politics, and many other areas, it seems almost everywhere you look, people are looking to the so-called “experts” to tell them what they should think about a given topic.

Where does this come from? How did most people come to trust the “experts”?

Doug Casey: As the amount and complexity of data grows, it’s natural to want an expert to sort it out for you. But experts are known for knowing a lot about a little, not for having broad, integrated knowledge. People understandably look to them to make decisions for them. That’s foolish. Better that you go to a philosopher than a technician when the time comes to decide on something important. But philosophers are in short supply today, so people listen to celebrities.

A celebrity is someone who’s famous for being well-known. People automatically assume that famous people must know something they don’t. The public doesn’t know much, but they know more about some celebrities than they do about their own friends, neighbors, and relatives. And that engenders trust. People trust a celebrity who endorses something he knows nothing about because they think they know him. It’s another consequence of mass media. The average person is much more likely to accept Google’s, or Wikipedia’s, or some celebrity’s opinion than to research something themselves. Critical thinking is hard work, and questioning authority doesn’t usually make you any friends.

I see it in the newsletter business all the time. Somebody who’s glib and can present well can be transformed into an instant expert, even though he knows very little—as long as he’s good at presenting and gaining people’s confidence. We see that with the talking heads on TV as well. They’re really just actors who don’t know anything, but they’re good-looking, well-promoted, and have a nice social veneer, so people trust them.

It makes no sense, and neither does the public’s obsession with credentials.

See then rest here

One Response to “Doug Casey on Why People Outsource Their Thinking to “The Experts””

  1. […] Doug Casey on Why People Outsource Their Thinking to “The Experts” — MCViewPoint […]

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