March 9, 2008

GIVEN WHO MANUFACTURES IT...:

A Scorecard on Conventional Wisdom (MARK LEIBOVICH, 3/09/08, NY Times)

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith coined the term “conventional wisdom” in “The Affluent Society,” his 1958 book. He was describing expectations commonly ascribed to an omniscient “public sentiment.” In that time, a small, powerful class of broadcasters, columnists, thinkers and political leaders trafficked in such assumptions, often faulty (e.g., “a Catholic will never become president”).

Today, new swarms of self-styled pundits can formulate conventional wisdom, or merely advance it, in any number of forums — e-mail, cable, blogs, talk radio. Conventional wisdom now just seems to bubble up, fatherless, with minimal brain work or reflection behind it. Its life cycle — the creation, debunking and subsequent hand-wringing of “old” conventional wisdom — has been radically compressed.

“The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events,” Mr. Galbraith wrote, and never has the march of events trampled so harshly upon conventional wisdom as it has in this election.


...how can the CW help but always be wrong?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2008 10:26 AM
Comments

Hence the name, coined by my Dad on 9/11

Posted by: Bruno at March 9, 2008 6:02 PM
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