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The Curse of Elite Stupid

There’s a problem that’s pretty widespread in typology circles, which I call “elite stupid.” Many typologists are smarter than your average person, but still not part of the academic elite. So they read a couple of books about “big topics” and make conclusions based on those few books that miss the bigger picture.

For example, typologists who are into Sam Harris will sometimes talk about his “deep erudition”, “unparalleled in his conceptual clarity” and so on. But almost the whole class of academic elites who are specialized in his field find him to be unclear in his reasoning and selective/haphazard in his references rather than erudite.

But of course Harris is still much smarter and much more knowledgeable than most of the non-academics he debates with (such as Ben Affleck). So to someone who’s “elite stupid,” i.e. he reads Harris and and is inspired by it, but doesn’t understand why Harris is not taken seriously among the real heavyweights of his field, it might seem as if Harris has “deep erudition”, “unparalleled in his conceptual clarity”, etc. If one then uses the general pop-psych approach to MBTI where INTs are the smartest types, it’s then easy to conclude that Sam Harris must be INTP/INTJ or whatever.

Published in Anonymous