IDW says...

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Mighty Krug-man vs. Steven Pinker

Wow, what were they thinking with this match-up?

Paul Krugman, one of our most important, best-respected and all-around smartest public intellectuals versus a bullshit artist like Steven Pinker?
Paul Krugman and Steven Pinker, Is Humanity Progressing? Janus Lecture #41
TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2019
5:30PM - 7:00PM
 
We live in a world marred by economic inequality, political polarization and ecological threats leaving many of its citizens to wonder, is humanity progressing? Steven Pinker suggests we draw on 18th-century Enlightenment thinking to move us forward. By contrast, Paul Krugman asserts where old ideas and attitudes have fallen short, new ideas and new techniques are needed. Join us for a bracing conversation about the future of our world.
If this is a debate Krugman will absolutely crush Pinker. Krugman is a disciplined thinker, consistent, coherent and logical and yet will admit whenever he makes a mistake. And Pinker is none of those things.

Although Pinker is so good at having things both ways it's hard to pin him down for being wrong since he often makes two incompatible claims in the same  book. If you accuse him of saying in "The Blank Slate" that environment doesn't impact youthful violence he can honestly point to where he said we don't really know the cause of youth violence. And if you say he believes we don't know the cause of youth violence he can point elsewhere and honestly say he stated that environment matters.

Talking out both sides of his mouth as he often does gives Pinker the stopped-clock guarantee.

And I guarantee Pinker is going to come out of this looking like an even bigger fool than usual.