Dumbing Down, Smartening Up

22 03 2009

What I’m listening to this Sunday morning, rather than — or as? — my weekly sermon.

I’ve read a couple of the featured books and already admire most of the authors being interviewed, starting with:

Susan Jacoby is the author of “The Age of American Unreason.” She talks with Steve Paulson and gives several frightening examples of the way American culture is dumbing itself down, and how poorly educated many American college graduates are.

Now near the end of the hour, internet critic Andrew Keen is making the case that our culture must reevaluate our bias against expertise, to get comfortable with knowledge and reason again, and embrace the reality that professionals who spend 20 years training and practicing do generally know more about that field than if they hadn’t done!

I liked some of these ideas about Reason better than others but all are worth thinking about, particularly a funny discussion about unreasoning persuasion with the author of “Bear v Shark” (haven’t read it yet) about how the “non sequiter” has become our culture’s new “sequiter”. . .