“I think you’re emotional dishonest (although you come close to honesty with the “class conflict” line at the end) but I think it’s hard to get around the point that your mind, like mine, is relatively mediocre compared to the best human minds when it comes to determining the expertly designed hard-to-rebutt rules vs. the experts with discretion balance, -and similarly, our notions of what the democratic masses want is also mediated to us by experts.
Regulatory capture of experts is also a problem -but of course once again we’re going to get best of breed analysis of this by the relevant experts.
In other words, I don’t see a way out of microspecialized expert communities and their respective consensuses (consensi?) on any given topic -I think we should efficiently surrender our egos to it and move on.
To be on the side of angels, I think we should develop our own microexpertise according to our comparative advantages -to prey on latent envy is destructive, IMO.
Don’t bother with cognitive class warfare in our hurtle towards information theoretic death. I think if we take a comprehensive look at policing, undeformed by status envy, it would be reasonable to conclude that mass irrationality is a huge priority over quantitative elite capture by financial interests or ego. So as an agent, I think it behooves you to look critically at how you divide up your own policing pie.”
“Writers in the public sphere have two options. They can try to improve outcomes for all of us collectively (increasing the likelihood that H.A will live forever) or they can participate in a tug-of-war over the esteem various groups hold. The latter tends to be a negative-sum activity, which is part of the reason why most people still try to appear as if they are doing the former.
“Policing” means monitoring behavior and responding to infractions with punishment (or possibly rewards for good behavior). We can police for either of the ends mentioned above. In the blogosphere this consists mostly of public criticism. H.A is policing you for engaging in what he thinks is wasteful/harmful discourse.
You are making an argument about the problem of elite experts. In H.A’s view this problem is unavoidable and you should seek better targets (and the irrationality of the masses is such a target). To the extent that elites are a problem, you should seek out an expert (Caplan & Hanson both discuss that sort of thing, though they are more salient than brilliant) that can determine the degree to which it is a problem (relative to something like mass irrationality) and then perhaps use your writing talents to popularize this expert view. What you are currently doing is arguing with Delong over the extent to which experts are a problem, but you do not have any particular competency when it comes to that question. In fact, H.A suggests that you are envious of these experts and this envy both drives you to try to reduce their status and creates an audience happy to read such critiques. This could be viewed as appealing to that audience’s baser aspects rather than spreading truth. Instead you should spend your time trying to correct the misperceptions held by your audience, ultimately making it more likely that our society is functional enough to maintain our perpetual existence.”