CRANKS AND CULTS
Liberal friendly quotes:
"A crank, in [Martin] Gardner's definition, is someone
who challenges scientific orthodoxy -- but not in a sensible,
well-informed way. Instead, he is an outsider who fails to understand
what the orthodoxy is about, and/or is determined to refute the
current wisdom for personal or political rather than scientific
Gardner identifies two defining features of a crank.
'He does not send his findings to the recognized journals
He speaks before organizations he himself has founded, contributes
to journals he himself may edit
' The other characteristic
of a crank
is the belief that failure of the establishment
to accept his ideas necessarily represents stupidity, dishonesty
-- Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity
"Despite its centrality to political debate, economic
research is a very low-budget affair. The entire annual economics
budget at the National Science foundation is less than $20 million.
What this means is that even a handful of wealthy cranks can support
an impressive-looking array of think tanks, research institutes,
foundations, and so on devoted to promoting an economic doctrine
they like. (The role of a few key funders, like the Coors and
Olin foundations, in building an intellectual facade for late
20th-century conservatism is a story that somebody needs to write.)
The economists these institutions can attract are not exactly
the best and the brightest. Supply-side troubadour Jude Wanniski
has lately been reduced to employing followers of Lyndon LaRouche.
But who needs brilliant, or even competent, researchers when you
already know all the answers?"
-- Paul Krugman, Slate
"There is always an easy solution to every human problem --
neat, plausible and wrong."
-- H.L. Mencken
there is an irrational, cultish tendency in many
intellectual movements, and Objectivism, alas, is no exception.
Ayn Rand's personal obsession with loyalty did little to discourage
Rand had often protested, 'Protect me from my
-- Nathanial Branden, in a review of "Therapist" by
"'Libertarian UberMensch smites devolved, parasitic, running-dog,
statist lackies that want our women!' Atlas Shrugged in a nutshell."
-- Mike Huben
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