Friday, February 23, 2007

John Kenneth Galbraith on Conventional Wisdom

"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."

And the conventional view is rarely, if ever, right., I might add. It's like an executive being on the cover of TIME or another big national mag, it usually means the man or company has already peaked and on the downhill slide. So it goes with the rise of conventional, often hysterical thinking---like global warming. Or the population bomb or global freezing of yesteryear.

Whenever conventional views reach such a crescendo as we see today, with people everywhere jumping on the bandwagon of "truth," the smart money and people have long since moved on from the hype.

Learning to think for oneself, outside the buzz of "undisputable" wisdom, has got to be one of life's greatest but worthwhile challenges.

I believe the latest mass group-think--global warming--will prove to be the shibboleth of the century and will never come to pass. But not, unfortunately, before Al Gore is crowned king of the mythical One World Kingdom. Stay tuned for his extended coronation...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well said. After WW II, the Defense Department created an assessment group to evaluate the impact of the ETO strategic bombing program. FG was part of the assessment group. Except for the destruction of the coal-to-petroleum conversion industry, KG negatively assessed the impact of the strategic bombing program, given that weapons production of Nazi Germany reached a high point in September 1944, two years after the strategic bombing was started. Needless to say, the Air Force was not pleased by KG's judgments and spent some years looking for evidence to refute it. The Air Force hit upon the idea that without the strategic bombing program German war production would have been between thirty and forty percent greater than it was; and the corresponding reduction of German war production was worth the horrendous loss of men and machines. Original thinking all the way around.