academics

A Quote by Michael Ignatieff on politics, academics, election, war, philosophy, and responsibility

In academic life, false ideas are merely false and useless ones can be fun to play with. In political life, false ideas can ruin the lives of millions and useless ones can waste precious resources. An intellectual's responsibility for his ideas is to follow their consequences wherever they may lead. A politician's responsibility is to master those consequences and prevent them from doing harm.


Michael Ignatieff, a former professor at Harvard and contributing writer for the magazine, is a member of Canada's Parliament and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

Michael Ignatieff

Source: NY Times 08.05.07 Michael Ignatieff, a former professor at Harvard and contributing writer for the magazine, is a member of Canada's Parliament and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

Contributed by: Digital Ghost

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy and academics

When academics claim a topic is obsolete, they mean merely they are tired of flogging it with their cliches.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Michael on prediction markets, prediction, wisdom of crowds, experts, and academics

The idea behind prediction markets is simple: People who claim to have any foresight or expertise into a social or political issue bet on specific empirical predictions concerning what will happen in the future. James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds has popularized research showing that under certain conditions "crowds" outperform experts. Well-designed prediction markets fulfill those conditions: The Iowa prediction markets outperform exit polls in predicting elections; and Florida orange futures markets outperform weather forecasters in predicting Florida weather. When we give large numbers of people an opportunity to discover the truth about the world, in a situation in which there are financial pay-offs for accuracy, on balance they outperform experts. More recently, Philip Tetlock conducted a large-scale analysis of expert political judgment and discovered that the better known an "expert," the worse his judgment as measured against predictive accuracy.[4]

Michael Strong

Source: TCS Daily: Put Your Money Where Your Theory Is

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Michael on paul ehrlich, julian simon, natural resources, scarcity, academics, and academia

Paul Ehrlich's bet with Julian Simon concerning his belief that natural resources were becoming scarce -- which he famously lost -- has not completely undermined Ehrlich's reputation. But what if, instead of one controversial academic betting against another, there were thousands of ordinary people working to make a buck off of the foolishness of academics? Insofar as ordinary people often have much greater insight into social and economic systems than do many academics, the most egregious foolishnesses of academia would rapidly be exposed.

Michael Strong

Source: TCS Daily: Put Your Money Where Your Theory Is

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

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