Saturday, November 19, 2016


From a link to a link, when I should have been doing more useful things... Daniel Ellsberg said that esoteric knowledge corrupts.

Not always--not if you can and want to share it that's another matter. But I see his point; tangentially seconded by a good authority that "knowledge puffs up."

1 comment:

Retriever said...

In particular I like the last bit about how it leads to one becoming incapable of truly listening to, let alone learning from those without the super secret, double extra soy latte clearances. This is demonstrated time and again when we act on bad intelligence that the ones with super secret clearances decide about, and people in the field or academics or friendly experts of other kinds are screaming warnings/advice about but those isolated by superior clearance ignore them. To some extent it is no different, despite Ellsberg's ponderous tone (perhaps necessary, given how seriously Kissinger has always taken himself) than being in the Cool Kids club and being unwilling to pay the slightest attention to that Loser warning about something.

Near where I live there is a perhaps apocryphal story that might illustrate this kind of dynamic. When a local bridge collapsed into the river, a car stopped in time to avoid going over. The people got out to look at what had happened to the collapsed road and bridge going into the water below. Then they heard it. The car coming the same way they just had, towards the bridge. The guy began waving, trying to flag the oncoming car, to warn him.

But the oncoming car just saw some cruddy car stopped by the side of the road and a guy waving for help. He didnt realize he was waving for him to STOP. Damned if he was going to waste his time on some jerk with his broken down car. So he drove on and went over the broken bridge to his death.