Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Seriously critical

Here's a confusing article: "How the credit crunch and recession helped Britons discover the joy of being serious."

It reminds me of an article I've been thinking of writing recently. I wanted to point out that the credit crunch shows us the need to think critically instead of simply going with the herd.

This is not the same point made in the article above, which seems to confuse being serious with being critical. The need to think is not the same as 'reading stuff' and not smiling. I mean, lots of crackpots push out books, and some of them are quite serious indeed.

Meanwhile, there are some truly critical thinkers out there, and they are usually quite easy to spot.

They are often highly critical of the media, sometimes obsessively, like Nassim Nicolas Taleb or Ben Goldacre. Or they might know how to profit from understanding uncertainty, like John Kay. Others are simply odd, like Hugh Hendry, or fiercesomely learned, like Fred Halliday.

I'd like to go on. I need more to add to this list. Anyone?

(Edited to add: this discussion between Hendry and a conventional analyst.)

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