Joe Rogan is just asking questions. He should be criticized for this.
Libertarian economist Donald Boudreaux began a recent blog post with a quote about the dangers of government censorship, and then offered up this comment: “Rogan deserves applause for airing ideas about Covid and vaccines that challenge the official “Science.””
Government censorship is dangerous, but this doesn’t mean Rogan should be applauded for credulously (or deliberately) passing on misinformation to his large audience.
Most people decide what to believe about subjects like politics and health not through direct experience or personal review of the evidence, but by listening to people they trust. This means that responsible gatekeeping by opinion leaders and media organizations is essential. Airing different points of view uncritically is at best naively irresponsible. At worst it’s a cynical effort to profit at the expense of people who are unsophisticated about science and too trusting of people like Rogan. And make no mistake, people are needlessly dying because people like Rogan are “airing ideas” that challenge vaccines.
Criticizing Rogan may backfire if it inadvertently draws attention to him, although I think there is a reasonable chance he will be more cautious in the future. But there is no justification for encouraging him to publicize ideas that challenge vaccines, without making any effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. And clearly there is no threat to democracy from criticizing him, there is no analogy to censorship. In a democracy we all have an obligation to vet information before passing it on, especially those of us with the training, time, and resources to do so. When we fail to live up to this obligation, we open ourselves up to legitimate criticism. This is all perfectly obvious and I doubt that Boudreaux would deny any of it – how could he? But yet here we are. Instead of using his training as an economist to help people understand the evidence, Boudreaux applauds Rogan for recklessly spreading anti-vax propaganda and encourages populist disdain for “official “Science””.
Welcome to America. The pale faces granted the natives ownership of 80% of this land for as long as the wind blows, the grass grows and the sky is blue. Intellectual honesty is not a natural right. It must be worked at. It has needed a lot of work here since the beginning. An ignorant people cannot be free. The press is only free if you own one.
That was not to excuse Joe Rogan nor Donald Boudreaux. Libertarian economist is an oxymoron, but Joe Rogan seems like an idiot although possibly more of a common asshole. Rather it is foolish to expect responsible gatekeeping by opinion leaders and media organizations. We must watch those elites like a hawk. One should pity those people that trust such hacks. It may serve some purpose to examine how that trust were “earned.” It seems like we must be fairly big idiots and assholes ourselves if we are left defending the realm from the likes of these.
Just another example that all libertarians are a**holes. No reason to listen to them at all about anything.
There is no such thing as official science. There’s power, but that’s not science.
There is such a thing as censorship. It’s always bad and usually comes the same said power.
Rogan may or may not be antivax. The term has become an insult, and as such carries no scientific value. It is used to prevent healthy science. And that’s totalitarian. Bad.
One would think it difficult to find someone who brags about fellating himself credible.
Depending on how you look at it, it could be said the schools are succeeding … at turning out drones barely literate enough to do the job without asking why. Who turn to people such as Rogan in a manner that they might be good bad or indifferent misled.
Of course, millions of dollars are incentive … good bad or indifferent
@TB – YEP!
Rogan may or may not believe anything at all, but for enough money he will be happy to host anyone saying anything at all. Maybe the anti-vax crowd pays better or maybe he has a tendency toward that side. He certainly doesn’t have anything close to a balanced number of guests on each side. Maybe truth just doesn’t pay.
People like Joe Rogan are exploiting their access to public to spend disinformation about COVID and vaccines. Far too many people believe that we should listen to “both sides” but if one of those sides is based on nonsense and it is absurd and dangerous to give them a voice and credibility.
I asked Google which said “Freedom of speech came out of the European Enlightenment. England’s Bill of Rights in 1689 granted ‘freedom of speech in Parliament’ and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right.” You may have heard of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. So all voices are protected except where they literally impose a loss of freedom for others, such as hate speech or fire in a crowded theater. OTOH, nothing gives idiots any credibility except for the other idiots that accept idiocy in the place of knowledge. I have it on good authority that one cannot fix stupid.
[Great authority actually – ]
…American stand-up comedian, actor and author Ron White
(no relation to Jim White) nationally popularized “you can’t fix stupid” in 2005 (when he attempted to trademark the term) and 2006 (when it was the title of his book).
Sayings from the phrase include “Even duct tape can’t fix stupid,”
“Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound,” “You can’t fix stupid. Not even with duct tape” and “You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”…
“So all voices are protected except where they literally impose a loss of freedom for others, such as hate speech or fire in a crowded theater.”
Those voices are protected, that does not mean they are of equal value and should be given airtime on popular podcasts.
One cannot fix stupid but one does not have to advertise it to the whole world as well.
Sorry, but I did not even know who Donald Boudreaux was until Eric Kramer began critiquing him. That seems a bit ironic to me.
So, Turtles made me look. Donald Boudreaux co-hosts Cafe Hayek and is professor, and co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His traditions of economics study is Austrian School and Public Choice theory. Exactly what should we realistically expect from someone like that?
If the lunatic fringe has really gotten that popular, then maybe that is something that we should be worried about. Rather I would suspect that the sum of all economics blogs and podcasts combined is insufficient to rate the status of “popular.”