The Fatuous Nonsense

IN THIS ARTICLE in the New York Times reminds me once again why so-called experts should not be allowed anywhere near sharp objects, heavy machinery, or the voting booth.

That is, unless you think your “betters” have an innate authority to be exercised over your preferences. That, in short, they are better suited to rule you than you are yourself.

Me, I think they’re a bunch of idiots who oughtn’t be allowed out of the house. And their contention that their belief that one technology is superior to another in every way should trump the rendered verdict of the market.

One response to “The Fatuous Nonsense

  1. With all due respect, I wish that article was merely fatuous nonsense, but it’s so much more than that. It’s tendentious, pernicious, fatuous nonsense. I added the first two adjectives since its purpose is to soften up the public and justify government meddling that will tax and torment owners of gas-powered vehicles, while subsidizing and favoring electric vehicles at public expense and inconvenience.

    This rubbish was written by one Maggie Koerth-Baker, a woman who probably lives in Manhattan and is incapable of fathoming why Nebraskans or Montanans don’t simply hail a cab or take a subway when they need to go from Omaha to North Platte or Billings to Missoula. Or fathoming why an electric car with a 60- or 100-mile range won’t work too well in such places. Anyway, who cares? That’s just flyover country.

    Perhaps the most fatuous of the typical logical fallacies is simply assuming the conclusion (“begging the question”). Ms Koerth-Baker begins by asking: “Why do we end up embracing one technology while another, better one struggles or fails?”

    Well, now. That is indeed an interesting question–but only after you’ve established that a clearly superior technology has been defeated by an inferior one. And to do that you need to provide facts and reasons why one technology, like the electric car, is clearly superior to another, like the gas-powered car. But Ms Koerth-Baker does not provide facts and reasoned arguments, preferring instead mushy blah-blah about the sociological effects of culture on business/technology and vice-versa. She quotes historians of technology and business but no real scientists, engineers, inventors or business people.

    Without even attempting to make her argument, Ms Koerth-Baker concludes: “In fact, the tools we choose are often deeply flawed. They just happened to meet our particular social needs at a particular time and then became embedded in our culture.”

    Golly. Maybe the government ought to step in and “nudge” the witless public into using better tools than the “deeply flawed” ones that, through some random convergence of social minutia peculiar to a specific time and place, have become unjustly lodged in a dominant position of preference in the marketplace.

    Pay no attention to the Solyndra man behind the curtain! Government excels at investing and regulating the marketplace towards deserving though neglected technologies in favor of the “deeply flawed” ones that people actually choose to buy and use.