Do they even listen to themselves?

My husband attended a professional multi-day seminar at an Ivy League university.  One of the classes he attended touched directly upon the work he does day in and day out.  The teacher for this seminar is a professor at the Ivy League institution.  As one of the premier “experts” in his field, he is an advisor to President Obama.  His advice will ultimately affect all of us.

“He’s really brilliant,” said my husband, “but most of what he said was just BS.  That’s not the way things really work.”

When I asked, then, why he was an expert, my husband replied, “Because he really knows his stuff.”

It seemed logical to me, at this point, to note that my husband had just said that the professor didn’t really know his stuff.

“No, you don’t get it,” answered my husband.  “He’s done all sorts of studies, and he’s really brilliant.  He’s an advisor to President Obama.”

I was confused, and I said so:  “I’m confused.  You just told me that what he’s saying doesn’t work in the real world.”

My husband got frustrated.  “Listen to what I’m saying.  He’s an expert.  He’s done lots of studies.  He’s the premier guy on this at [Ivy League University].  He’s an advisor to the President.”

Again, I’m confused:  “But you said he doesn’t make sense when it comes to the practical applications of the subject..”

My husband closed the conversation.  “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • Bill Smith

    “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.”     =
    “I can’t talk to you when you are trying to puncture my liberal bubble filled with warm, fuzzy fantasies of how the world should be. If we all just BELIEVE, then it will be so, and YOU are corrupting my reality.
    “I just spent several days with a group who all feel the same, and I don’t want that group feelie fantasy to end, so, so…. so just stop soiling my world with facts.”

  • David Foster

    Sounds like his definition of  “expert” is something like: “Someone who can talk brilliantly about a subject and get recognition/promotions based on that ability.”

    Whereas your definition of “expert” is probably more like: “Someone who can use knowledge in a field to get practical results in that field.”

    This distinction does not just occur in politics–in business, for example, one sometimes encounters people to whom the BCG 4-box matrix of business positioning (cows, dogs, stars, question marks) is much more real than the details of any particular business, and the ability to talk in a facile manner about such strategic concepts is more important than the ability to actually run a business.

  • JKB

    The professor has the government/university stamp of approval.  That trumps skill any day.  Not to mention, even if what he says it BS, the liberal risks being ostracized should you challenge the government approved status.  This is even more prevalent since the poser must act out aggressively to keep the ruse alive.  
    I’ve had a lot of conversations like you relate, sadly not always with liberals.  I developed faith in my own sanity even in the face of the rabid assertions of illogical beliefs by others, even when they were the majority.  On the upside, you develop a link to reality independent of the thoughts of others.  

  • nathan

    Show your husband this clip, one of my all time favorites.

  • Bill Smith

    Thank you! That says it all!

  • Ymarsakar

    Please read Neo’s link about liberal friends. Very good discussion on the subject of …. the Mr. Bookworms of the world.

  • Ymarsakar
  • Ymarsakar

    Logic for the Left involves taking two or more mutually exclusive beliefs and then believing in them at the same time, at the same place.

  • gpc31

    BW, I am beginning to believe that you are a partner in a vaudeville act:  “Take my husband — please!”

  • Quisp

    I’ve been hoping you’ll blog about his, or your liberal neighbors’,  explanation for California increasing tax withholding. Surely they’re all happy about donating more of their money for a better world?

  • Charles Martel

    Maybe the way to break through Mr. Bookworm’s armor is to use a medical illustration.

    The next time you’re chatting, why not mention Dr. Darrell Isinglass from the University of Cambridge, who has just been named by the Obama administration to help out at HHS?

    Mr. Book: “Who’s he?”

    Book: “Nothing less than the most highly acclaimed expert in his field. He’s been a star at international conferences for almost 30 years and is the first expert the New York Times turns to when it needs a quote about his specialty.”

    Mr. Book: “Wow, a star! How many degrees did you say he has?”

    Book: “Gosh, at least 14 or 15, including diplomas from the University of Heidelberg and Schleswig-Holstein. The New School has honored him, too, as well as Antioch College.”

    Mr. Book: “My kind of guy!”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Mr. Book: “Say, what field did you say he’s in?”

    Book: “Oh, he’s a phrenologist.”

    Mr. Book: “You’re kidding, aren’t you?”

    Book: “No, why?”

    Mr. Book: “Phrenology is a pseudo-science with no practical application in the real world.”

    Book: “So? You’ve already said that doesn’t matter.”

    Mr. Book: “When did I say that?”

    Book: “After you told me about this brilliant guy you heard at an Ivy League conference who gave advice that you said wasn’t usable in the real world. But then you said that didn’t matter because he was billiant and had credentials from all the right places. When I challenged you that your comments contradicted each other, do you remember what you said?”

    Mr. Book: “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.”


    Nathan, thanks for jolting my memory and the clip from the film.
    Very funny on the big screen.
    Damn scary in real life.
    Charles Martel – excellent script.
    I am now thinking of a new career – as a  ‘ magnetician’.  Yes, I’d be happy to explain. You take your handy-dandy magnet, available at your local hardware store,  run it over and around the head to see if any screws are loose.

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