Larry Summers and Sheep
Rick Perlstein quotes Dan Davies' best sentence:
If there were such a thing as an innate, inborn, inherent quantum of cognitive ability, and we could agree on who possessed it, why should we grant it moral value? After all, every child knows you don’t judge someone’s worth by their appearance. Why should we just because they’re “smart”?
The experience of history suggests we shouldn’t even grant intelligence much in the way of utilitarian value. In a 2007 Guardian essay, Daniel Davies writes, “as far as I can tell, the career trajectories of nearly everyone commonly regarded as a ‘genius’ seem to be marked by one boneheaded blunder after another.” He cites former Harvard president and economics wizard Lawrence Summers, and observes, “Being extremely intelligent is rather like fucking sheep—once you’ve got a reputation for either, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of it.”
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