An interesting history lesson

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Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the smartest people to ever hold the office of President. He was a five-star General during WW-II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.  He spent his eight years in office (1953 through 1961) presiding over a time of American prosperity and excellence. We had just won a horrible war but, because we took the challenge to fight it, we had ramped up our industrial capacities to the point where our Nation was prosperous. Much better than the depression of the 1930's and FDR's pitiful attempts to micromanage an incremental recovery (here and here for two good starters - lots more on the web).

On January 17, 1961, he delivered his farewell address (full text here) and it has been remembered for his warnings about the Military Industrial Complex - specifically:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Very wise and very prescient. We need to remember this and dial things back a bit (except for Stark Industries - they are the good guys). K-Street - looking at you.

What people do not remember as much is this:

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Dr's Fauci and Birx, Bill Gates, et. al. - I am looking right at you guys. You are trying to coalesce a nexus of power around your "tribe" and this is not a good thing for America or the World. You may be very smart in a few fields but you do not understand how the world operates and what true public service is. You are here to serve us, not to "guide" us or "nudge" our behavior or to advise simplistic lawmakers to lock our economy down.

You feel that you are competent in what you are doing but there is an established psychological diagnosis for this - the Dunning–Kruger effect:

In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.

As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

Spot on. Disagree? Change my mind.
I like to listen to other opinions. I change mine when new facts present themselves. Do you?

Ike's speech is really well written and worth the ten minutes or so it takes to read.
Again, the full text is here:  Dwight D. Eisenhower - Farewell Address - delivered 17 January 1961

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 21, 2020 7:52 PM.

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