Thursday, July 29, 2010
Family Security Matters (?) on those fallible intellectuals.
Surely ignorance itself is not a modern phenomenon. An individual might be expert on some subject, but no person is expert on all subjects. And specialized expertise is often dangerous; Dr. Frankenstein of literature and Werner Von Braun, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Einstein of recent memory are famous examples.

When the latter three wandered beyond their niche of expertise, specialized knowledge was of little value, hardly fungible. Von Braun and Heidegger became Nazis and the German refugee Einstein, as a Princeton recluse, was a late arrival as a critic of mid- 20th Century German behavior. Even within his specialty, Einstein was morally ambiguous; he was for nuclear weapons before he was against them.
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