Aug 31, 2010

Why I don't like Megan McArdle

Observe:
The people who were right can (and will) rewrite their memories of what they believed to show themselves in the most attractive light; they will come to honestly believe that they were more prescient than they were. This is not some attack on people who were against the war: I was wrong, they were right... They will also quite possibly simply be wrong about how they got it right; correct analysis often operates at a subconscious as well as a conscious level.

Unlike the people who were right, there is a central fact stopping [those who were wrong] from flattering themselves too much: things are blowing up in Iraq and people are dying. Thus they will have to look for some coherent explanation. To be sure, many of those explanations are wan and self-serving--"I trusted too much." But others of them aren't. And the honest ones are vastly more interesting than listening to a parade of people say "Well, obviously, I'm a genius, and also, not mean."
Me:
What's more, the reasons I opposed the war back then had very little to do with any recognizable thought process. I hated Bush and so did most of my friends, and trusted him about as far as I could throw him. An extremely wise position, as it turns out, but something of a coincidence. My parents had more reasonable arguments, but I don't think they influenced me much.
What a chump.

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