The 'We're Smart, You're Dumb' Principle

Professors see the world in terms of experts and students: “We are smart; you are dumb.” That’s the Infantile American Principle in a nutshell. Now go play with your toys and don’t bother me. —David GelernterThe ‘We’re Smart, You’re Dumb’ Principle (LA Times (will expire))

The article is really a critique of Democratic philosophy, but I thought I’d post this quote about professors as a reminder that I should stay humble.

I don’t agree that professors should behave this way, but because our job regularly places us in the front of a room of bright people who nod and write down things that we say, it’s important to remember the artificiality of the situation. I mean, if civilization collapses, and we’re all scrambling for food, who’s going to care that there’s a typographical error on the last non-radioactive can of soup? I sure won’t. So let’s keep things in perspective.

Gelernter himself is a professor, so he’s not just lobbing missiles randomly.