Very Serious People

From Austin Storm
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Tyler Cowen, after Paul Krugman:

  • Everyone has a mix of beliefs, some of which are right, and some wrong.
  • Everyone co-exists in a social system that tends to value, heavily reinforce and widely disseminate some people’s beliefs while disparaging, heavily discounting, and tending to limit the circulation of certain other people’s beliefs. This bias is not random, but instead reflects and reinforces existing power structures and asymmetries.
  • People whose beliefs are reinforced and widely circulated so that they are socially and politically influential, even when they are manifestly wrong, are Very Serious People. The system provides them with no incentives to admit error or perhaps to understand that they have erred, even when their mistakes have devastating consequences.

That summary from here.

Paul Krugman's dramatically simpler version.