Academia teaches only Cunning — not wisdom, not truth, and certainly not morality. Cunning favors complexity. Think about that next your phd friend explains their incomprehensible thesis.
CUNNING VS MORAL
–“education makes one cunning, not wise, and not moral”–
I was kind of ‘moved’ by Michael Philip’s post today on the motives of members of the academy. It’s been bothering me all day because not only is it true, but I think it qualifies as a bias, and a formal bias at that. Or rather, I think status-biases are probably a category of cognitive bias that I (we) should investigate, document, expand upon, and communicate with some frequency. Because most of the progressive status signals are constructed of cognitive biases (falsehoods).
Cunning favors complexity. Dishonesty favors complexity. Speaking truthfully is in fact laborious – it requires a lot of effort. Speaking the truth however, is a very simple strategy, that requires very little cunning – maybe none at all. Because prohibiting the imposition of costs is a very simple rule. Voluntary exchange is a very simple rule. The rule of law under Propertarian Property Rights (Property-in-toto), is a very simple rule. That demand for the state will increase if their is a lag in the development of property rights, is a very simple rule. These are all very simple rules.
If all moral propositions are decidable, (under propertarian logic, they are), then there is no room for cunning, except to lie. I fact, cunning is a contrary indicator of truth, and of morality.
Yet cunning is such an attractive means of dominance display. For those of us trying to eliminate cunning, we can temporarily display dominance, but only in the art of refuting loading, framing, overloading and suggestion. And since I have no illusions that the incentives to construct complex lies via cunning verbalisms will ever disappear, then I suspect that the defense against cunning will always require wisdom and cunning.
So I have a new to-do, which is to enumerate the cognitive biases we fall victim to in the pursuit of status signals.