Mailvox: thought of the day

A Nameless Reader has an observation:

Random thought: The fact that people who are skeptical of one “consensus” tend to be skeptical of other consensuses suggests there’s a correlation in mental capacity – since one has to have a very high level of intellectual self-confidence and an ability to do independent research and thinking in order to sustain an argument against, e.g., evolution, global warming, Austrian investing, or vaccination, when there is enormous “consensus” pressure to adopt the other opinion, it would make sense that such iconoclastic beliefs would bundle.

I don’t think there is any question about this. I have zero regard for consensus on the grounds of MPAI. In fact, if someone who I otherwise consider to be intelligent falls for an observably incorrect consensus position, I tend to keep a skeptical eye on his future assertions and conclusions.

Everyone makes mistakes, but falling for the appeal to authority, or worse, the appeal to popularity, simply is not indicative of an functioning and intelligent mind. Consensus is another word for “lowest common denominator”.

But keep in mind I’m not talking about skepticism and iconoclasm for their own sake, I’m talking about maintaining an open mind when there are obvious holes, if not outright flaws, in the consensus position.