Thursday, November 16, 2006

What's More Dangerous--a Little Bit or a Lot Of Learning?

"A little bit of learning is a dangerous thing" generally is taken to mean that an insufficient amount of information can and sometimes does lead to a disasterous decision.

What happens if we substitute a lot for a little bit? We get something like Victor Davis Hanson's piece in Real Clear Politics.

Mr. Hanson is very well educated, and he is a master spokesperson for conservative issues, primarily the recent discussion on immigration. He wrote about "Mexifornia," for instance.

In today's piece he has this phraseology: "Can it be that [Democrats] are seeing that the only choices we have had after Sept. 11 have been mostly either bad or worse..?"

Now here's where the lot of learning comes in. Selectively choosing a date, the date which has numbed us to anything rational, Mr. Hanson cleverly misleads the reader this way: Since Sept. 11, the choice to invade Iraq was not an only choice. It was a choice made deliberately in the face of odds against a successful conclusion. It was a choice, we now know, that was made in spite of adequate preparation.

Had Mr. Hanson used, say March 19, 2003, as his date after which we had only "bad or worse" choices, his point would have been more valid.

A lot of education can be a bad thing for people who have to put their trust in those educated people, if the educated people use their education for dubious purposes.

You can do better, Mr. Hanson. Scholarly integrity. Please.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment