"Intellectual Yet Idiot" Indeed

Though a few others have linked, and in some cases commented upon the “Intellectual Yet Idiot” post, I figured it was time I piled on, too. After all I know far too many of what are now being called IYIs.

What exactly is this IYI thing we all seem to be talking about? This:

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policy-making “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policy-making goons.

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

It seems that far too many of our so-called betters don't have the sense to come in out of the rain. They have no common sense, can't tell the difference between actual science and pseudoscience (or scientism), fall into the “but everyone knows such-and-such” trap of intellectual laziness, believe they know how we should live our lives when theirs are even worse than ours, and seem to think they have better use for our hard earned money than we do.

They cannot connect with us on either a mental or emotional level, meaning they really don't understand anyone who is not them. Yet they expect we'll bow down to their self-anointed 'superiority” and do what they tell us to do. Boy, are they in for a big surprise.

It's as Dana Loesch titled her book Flyover Country: You Can't Run A Country You've Never Been To. Most of the IYIs have never been to anyplace other than the two coasts, and even then not much farther north than New York, rubbing elbows with other IYIs. Even when they do venture outside their usual haunts, it's when they're on vacation and they insulate themselves from those not of the intelligentsia. (I've seen that here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, where their vacation spots are either high-end resorts or multimillion dollar lake cottages. They come to visit, but they never ever interact with anyone outside their circle unless forced into it, and even then they minimize whatever contact there is.)

To put it more succinctly, the IYIs figure they can make decisions for us or about us, but they have absolutely no skin in the game, meaning if they screw it up for us it doesn't affect them in any way. Most of us know that if there were consequences for them for the decisions they feel they should be making about or lives, they would pay more attention and get to know the people whose lives they're screwing with. With no consequences, there's no reason for them to spend the time agonizing over their actions. It's mind over matter – they don't mind because we don't matter.

But it turns out there are consequences for their actions, and they're finding out the hard way that those whose lives they think they should be running have had enough and are showing them by way of the ballot box. That's why Donald Trump is where he is today – the GOP nominee for President of the United States. The so-called “deplorables”, those looked down upon by the IYI, are letting them know in a way they cannot ignore or explain away.

So be it.