Hey, at least when I dissed Stephen Hawking I was kidding! (Actually, I was making fun of those in the Bush White House and the antiwar left who consider changing one’s mind a sign of weakness. Apparently, either no one got it or no one cared.)
But Gregg Easterbrook appears to be serious. Has he gone completely off the rails? Doesn’t someone at the New Republic read the stuff before it’s printed?
I’m with Brad DeLong on this one: TNR should fire Easterbrook and get someone who isn’t a complete fool to write that column. Anyone who thinks physics ought to track common sense must have slept through the past three centuries. Not that Easterbrook isn’t in good company; H.L. Mencken, toward the end of his life, wrote similar nonsense about “curved space,” though in Mencken’s case no doubt anti-Semitism played a role.
It appears virtually impossible for people who write commentary for a living to grasp the idea that, while ordinary political lies are reasonably easy to deconstruct, some topics cannot be understood by those who haven’t studied them seriously, and that expressing dogmatic opinions on those topics just makes you look stupid.