The lesser minds problem

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We think our enemies are idiots, and that’s a problem

Political disagreements take a predictable form. When the White House traded for Bowe Bergdahl’s release, for instance, conservatives decried National Security Adviser Susan Rice as mindless (“She appears to have again repeated whatever crude, poorly informed talking points were put in front of her”) and President Obama as “irrational, erratic and perhaps not exactly what we might want to deem sane.” Liberals painted the conservative responses as ignorant and lacking in empathy. Another example is Thomas Piketty’s claims about income inequality to climate change. His champions who believe in rising income inequality and his detractors who see little cause for concern both say the other side is biased. Climate change believers and skeptics alike see their opponents as mistaken and lacking in basic analytical skills. ….[READ]

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