I wish there was a way to convey to readers the difference between informed and uninformed opinions; between legitimate news organizations (The New York Times) who tries to describe a world that corresponds to reality and those (Fox News) whose goal is propaganda; between those who understand and have studied epistemology (the study of the nature and limits of knowledge) and logic and critical thinking and those who never had the opportunity to benefit from such studies; between those who were lucky enough to have studied science and thereby recognize the difference between science and pseudoscience, between scientific experts like Dr. Fauci who graduated first in his class at Cornell Medical School, who has spent a lifetime studying, and who is one of the world’s leading infectious disease experts and ignorant charlatans like Trump; between those who want to help educate them and those who seek only to control them.
But no matter how you say all this you will simply strike others as arrogant. Who are you to say you know more about logic and science and reasoning than I do? The reason you get this response is that people are just so insecure. They believe they have an informed opinion about everything even though it’s obvious that we’re not experts about almost anything. I’m not an expert—in fact, a complete novice—about auto mechanics, playing musical instruments, and a billion other things. But I do know something about logic and critical thinking and I’m scientifically literate.
Anyway, the world is an imperfect place (a definite understatement) and the Dunning-Kruger hypothesis explains so much. In the end, as I’ve said many times over the years to generations of students, most people don’t want to know they want to believe.
Still, I hold out hope that somehow, someway, someday … the future will be better than the past. I hope my grandchildren get to live in such a world.
With this preface out of the way, here are some great op-eds about the US Election that appeared in legitimate publications today.
“Does Joe Biden Really Want This Job?” Frank Bruni, New York Times
“The War on Truth Reaches Its Climax” Paul Krugman, New York Times
“If you can’t think of anything worse than the other side winning, imagine this”
Eric H. Holder Jr. and Michael B. Mukasey, The Washington Post
“Be Ready for a Lengthy, Vicious Struggle” Thomas Edsall, New York Times