Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reasoning and Ideologically-Based Reasoning

Last year I wrote a post criticizing an article by Yale Law School professor Bruce Ackerman in which he argued that a third year in law school was more or less essential to any hope one might have to function as an intelligent citizen.  In compensation, I heartily recommend this article from a different Yale Law School blog to everyone. The author is Dan M. Kahan, and if only all law school faculty were of this mind.

It became clear to me a few years ago, as a 30+ year reader of the Times, that the Times had chosen, as a survival measure, in the secularly declining conventional media environment, to follow the Fox News strategy and make sure to forge a tight bond with its audience by consistently telling them what they want to hear and making them feel superior to the rest of the citizenry.  Getting a Nobel Prize holder to do that makes Times Nation feel smart and honorable every time they read him, because Krugman tells them pretty much daily that the people they dislike, Republicans, are stupid and mean.  That is a psychologically enjoyable sentiment, like a massage of one's ego, and makes Times Nation come back for more, which enables the Times to stay in business.  That's all that is going on, and I am not surprised an economist would be in its vanguard.  He is probably paid enormously well!

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