A (liberal) friend emailed me some recent silliness from Krugman:
What is it about Al Gore that drives right-wingers insane? The worst thing about him, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right.My response was as follows:
Mr. Krugman has this completely backwards. It's from the leftist point of view that Mr. Gore keeps being right. From the conservative point of view, Mr. Gore is almost always wrong.It's disappointing that Krugman doesn't understand (or wish to acknowledge) human information processing and subjective decisions under uncertainty. My friend, who apparently has the same lack of understanding as Krugman, responded by asking how could conservatives consider Gore to not be right since he won an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize. Here's how it works:
If conservatives are driven insane by Mr. Gore, it's apparently for a different reason.
- There are numerous articles, posts, etc. (tens of thousands) both supporting and refuting the accuracy of various portions of Gore's documentary (An Inconvenient Truth) and other works available on the Internet.
- Every sentient being has a political agenda, even film makers, nobel prize committees, scientists, politicians, etc., so there is no choice when aggregating information but to estimate the bias of all people and the entities they create and subjectively discount the information that is generated by those sources. This applies to every topic. Gore's documentary is only one example of such a topic.
- For Gore's documentary, the lines are drawn pretty clearly. Liberal sources tend to support it and conservative sources tend to disagree with at least parts of it. This is caused by the subjective application of point (2) to the sources of the documentary and those debating it.
- Liberals tend to read and be exposed to mostly liberal sources and conservatives tend to read and be exposed to mostly conservative sources. Thus, on average, each reaches a different, but rational yet subjective conclusion regarding the "rightness" of Al Gore.
1 I call him "America's most disappointing columnist" because his work in economics was so innovative that I simply expect far more of him in his columns and he continually disappoints me.