Home » Culture, Intelligent Design, Media » He said it: Jonah Goldberg on why media promote failed experts

He said it: Jonah Goldberg on why media promote failed experts

Jonah Goldberg

Oft said before but bears repeating: Jonah Goldberg on the media role in the bunkum cult of the expert:

There are no more devout members of the cult of expertise than mainstream journalists. They rely on experts for guidance about what is “mainstream” and accurate and what is not. Sometimes that’s fine. Surgeons are extremely reliable sources to explain how a heart attack happens. They’re not as reliable at telling you who will have one, save in a statistical sense, and even less reliable at telling you when a specific person will have one.

That’s because prediction is hard. Experts — in politics, economics, climate — are very, very bad at telling people what will happen tomorrow, let alone next year or next century. How many of the economists who tell us what to do now failed to see the mortgage debt crisis coming? Nearly all of them.

Philip Tetlock’s 2005 book, “Expert Political Judgment,” , documents that the predictions of even the most credentialed and experienced experts are often worse and very rarely better than random guessing. “In this age of academic hyperspecialization,” he writes, “there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals — distinguished political scientists, area study specialists, economists, and so on — are any better than journalists or attentive readers of the New York Times in ‘reading’ emerging situations.”


See also: Major media are not written or broadcast for their traditional audience any more. (The new audience is government.)

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One Response to He said it: Jonah Goldberg on why media promote failed experts

  1. Of related note: What was the Punishment for failed predictions from Old Testament Prophets? Death!!! I wonder what how more careful the ‘experts’ would be if that were the case today, or the Harold Campings, or the astrologers, or the palm readers???

    The Problem with Numerology
    Excerpt: If I’m not mistaken (and, granted, I live in a later time zone), the End of Days has not occurred today, May 21, 2011. Therefore, Harold Camping’s prediction–based on his biblical calculations using numerology and other forms of esoteric interpretation–is wrong.

    Last time this happened for Camping (1994), I pastored a congregation just up the hill from his church. I recall gathering shortly afterwards with local clergy for our monthly prayer meeting and one of them reminded us of the sober fate Camping would’ve faced if his failed prediction had occurred in Old Testament times (Scripture at that point mandated capital punishment for false prophets–see Deuteronomy 18:20-22!).
    http://www.carlhofmann.com/201.....ology.html

    Astrology Fails the Test of Science (2)
    Excerpt 5. Test by Culver & Ianna. The astronomers Rogers Culver and Philip Ianna checked the outcome of 3,011 specific predictions made during the past decade by well-known astrologers and astrological organizations. Ten percent came to pass.
    http://www.truthmagazine.com/a.....34263.html

    Whereas on the other hand here is a accurately fulfilled Bible prophecy that was fulfilled within our time. Moreover, it took World War II to fulfill it:

    The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041241

    Bible Prophecy Fulfilled – Israel 1948 – article
    Excerpt: Although July 15, 537 B.C. can not be verified by outside sources as the exact day of Cyrus’s proclamation, we do know that 537 B.C. was the year in which he made it. As such, we can know for certain that the Bible, in one of the most remarkable prophecies in history, accurately foresaw the year of Israel’s restoration as an independent nation some two thousand five hundred years before the event occurred.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Bibl.....;id=449317

    The preceding start date, used in the prophecy calculation, is confirmed by the archaeological record (at least as precisely as can be confirmed by the archaeological record):

    SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
    Excerpt “In late years several cuneiform tablets have been discovered pertaining to the fall of Babylon which peg both Biblical and secular historic dates. The one tablet known as the “Nabunaid Chronicle” gives the date for the fall of Babylon which specialists have ascertained as being October 12-13, 539 B.C., Julian Calendar, or October 6-7, 539 B.C., according to our present Gregorian Calendar. This tablet also says that Cyrus made his triumphant entry into Babylon 16 days after its fall to his army. Thus his accession year commenced in October, 539 B.C. However, in another cuneiform tablet called “Strassmaier, Cyrus No. 11″ Cyrus’ first regnal year is mentioned and was determined to have begun March 17-18, 538 B.C., and to have concluded March 4-5, 537 B.C. It was in this first regnal year of Cyrus that he issued his decree to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 1:1) The decree may have been made in late 538 B.C. or before March 4-5, 537 B.C.
    In either case this would have given sufficient time for the large party of 49,897 Jews to organize their expedition and to make their long four-month journey from Babylon to Jerusalem to get there by September 29-30, 537 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month, to build their altar to Jehovah as recorded at Ezra 3:1-3. Inasmuch as September 29-30, 537 B.C., officially ends the seventy years of desolation as recorded at 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21, so the beginning of the desolation of the land must have officially begun to be counted after September 21-22, 607 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month in 607 B.C., which is the beginning point for the counting of the 2,520 years.”
    http://onlytruegod.org/jwstrs/537vs539.htm

    further note:

    The Bible: The Word of God? Extraordinary Claims Demand Extraordinary Evidence – video
    http://vimeo.com/22684022

    The Prophesied Second Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Yyhb0EH6KaMTeX5bYuLD2fRFgEYJC2RKsjiTcqgEbII

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    Christy Nockels – Waiting Here For You (Live) – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3OEGnH5x8g

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