It’s rather amusing that today’s conservatives are reminiscing about the good old days of 1985, when in 1985 conservatives were lamenting the passing of the good old days of 1955.
By the Zman, Taki’s Mag
The old adage about there being a fine line between genius and madness is popular mostly because it allows average people to accept being average. They may not be smart, but they are not wrestling with their sanity. The image of the mad scientist flatters average people, so it remains popular even in an age where most people need to believe they are the smartest person in the room.
As is the case with all stereotypes and clichés, there is a kernel of truth locked away in that old adage about genius and madness. Just because someone is very intelligent, it does not follow that he is immune from crazy ideas. J.B.S. Haldane, the father of population genetics, was a communist. This was a man with an unusual degree of insight into the human condition, but he embraced the lunacy of Marxism.
Some people think that the reason so many brilliant people also embrace nutty social fads is they invest all of their mental energy into a narrow field. Population genetics is not as mathematically challenging as theoretical physics, but it is so contrary to popular belief that it requires enormous mental energy to accept. That does not leave time or cognitive resources to know that The New York Times is fiction.
Categories: Culture Wars/Current Controversies