Jonah Lehrer Explains How Being a Journalist rose out of his Lack of Discipline in Scientific and Logical Thinking
By Jay Dixit on July 21, 2009
By Jay Dixit on July 21, 2009
Psychology Today: How did you become a journalist?
Jonah Lehrer: I was working as a technician in a neuroscience lab, Eric Kandel's. And it slowly dawned on me that I [am] a terrible scientist. The post-doc I worked for, who remains one of my closest friends, used to always joke—although he really wasn't joking—that I excelled at experimental failure, that I found new ways of making experiments not work. You know, mixing up buffers in every PCR I did. In every Northern, Western, Southern, every kind of experiment, I found new and innovative ways to make stupid mistakes.
As much as I loved the ideas of science, I slowly realized I didn't have the discipline, cast of mind, the ability to take very big questions and break them down into testable, empirical chunks.
So I slowly realized that as much as I loved hanging out with scientists, talking in acronyms, the ideas and theories of science, I wasn't cut out for the scientific process. So that's when I started thinking about how can I write about this?
Dear JONAH LEHRER:
A response to Jonah's 'Article' http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/author/jonah_lehrer/
Which section of the brain anatomy is responsible for the flaw that causes some relatively intelligent individuals to imagine that every other person is of inferior intelligence? Is it in the general area of the brain that makes some imagine they can accurately mass diagnose not only mental aberration but actual pathology based upon cursory reviews of unproven theory bolstered by an incredible megalomania brought on by an overinflated opinion of their own intellectual capacity?
As you are aware, individuals with superior intelligence usually find it quite easy gauge other inferior intellects. As this level approaches their own it becomes much more difficult. Unfortunately in your case although you have a substantial intellect it is by no means particularly impressive. You are quite young and as such your arrogance is
is magnified by youthful exuberance. Pico della Mirandola syndrome.
Although it is entertaining to follow your escapades you would do well to temper your intellectual arrogance as I can certainly assure you that there are others in this world much more intelligent than you.
You could use a little work on your rhetoric. The religion of psychology similar to other religious beliefs such as those espoused by Galton and Darwin, which ultimately drive these sort of debates over the promotion of national socialism and the science state, are merely an aberration of intellectual mediocrity.
To deny that capital is partnership with government and uses science to pursue their dream of ultimate power is disingenuous. To attack an individual such as Alex Jones in the manner you have is similar to theorizing and speculating about conducting war compared to the reality of pursuing it on the front lines. I am certain that in spite of your hubris, you would not be anyone’s first pick as a brother in the trenches. This is a fundamental weakness in the governance of your intellectual capacity which although slightly superior than average is still very minor league.
The haughty demeanor you have adopted is nauseating to all honest men of lesser and far greater intelligence than you posses. The intellectual peacock who spreads his tail feathers in the hope that the eagle will take note and approve. Your entire IQ is merely a snack compared to the true banquet enjoyed by genuine intellects, and all of the fancy certificates you can gather will never alter this state of affairs. You are an excellent candidate for “smart pills” but sadly even a 20% improvement in capacity would still leave you well short of the major leagues.
Your true insecurity is very much on display for those who can see it. Indulging in intellectual punksterism will not save you from that growing sense of inadequacy and fear of losing your edge, youth and ultimately your grip on the fantasy that you are intellectually significant."
Posted by: swatch | 08/5/10 | 1:18 pm