“I saw a study once that proves my point. I shall never forget that study. Other studies that deprecate its implications, methods or very findings I shall not consult. Further studies that back up the original study I shall relentlessly reference. I shall call all other people who have read other studies ideologues. I shall boast of my scientific standing. I shall talk knowingly of other people’s confirmation biases, and never my own.

“My ideas and intentions are beyond reproach. Any others’ that contradict mine are disreputable. I shall forever and relentlessly use the word ‘discredited’ to designate ideas I do not agree with.

“I am a good person. I am the living embodiment of my ideals.

“Always insist that your agreement with me is the result of crystal-clear reasoning and not a herd instinct, an in-group/out-group prejudice, or some other bias that psychologists have been studying for years.

“We are the elite. All others are scum who, if risen to our level, are explained not by their acumen but by the chthonian undercurrents of bigotry and prejudice that raise them out of the dark, heathen depths. (But we mustn’t say that when around them. We are classy, too, like that.) We transcend the folly of our age.

“We are progressives. We read and even write for the major papers, never for the nasty promoters of ‘fake news.’

“Our funding comes from only reputable sources. Corporate funding is always suspect; funds extracted from taxpayers, or financed by government debt, are never suspect. We are not tainted; we are the untainted.

“We know things. Trust us.”

Advertisements