Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Probably the stupidest person in professional pundtry is Gregg Easterbrook. He's exhibit A for "too stupid to know he's stupid" and more than that he's too stupid to understand that there are people who know things that he doesn't, and more than that he's so stupid that he sets himself up as an authority about things he has absolutely zero comprehension of. It'd be comical except he's helping to make even more people as stupid as he is and what we don't need right now is even more stupid people.

The fact that something appears in an elite peer reviewed academic journal doesn't mean that it's necessarily flawless, or beyond criticism. Academic research is a process, and few things are ever definitive. And valid criticisms of a study do not necessarily invalidate a study, they just suggest further improvements. They may cast some doubt on the findings, and suggest further research is needed, but methodological imperfections are inevitable. Again, it's a process. No study, especially ones involving survey data, can be perfect. But it's fair to assume that the authors of such a study are not as stupid as Gregg Easterbrook is, that they have some vague understanding of basic statistics. Or, you know, maybe even an advanced degree requiring a lot of knowledge of such things.