The Merits of Being Dumb

October 25, 2011

To be dumb also has its merits. In economics, where central decisions affects the lives of all, the discipline’s technical side must be explained to the lay people. Definitely not on par with physics but one needs talent to be able to communicate the essentials to the average Joe.


Not much of a challenge for most disciplines, where there’s not much technical information to be relayed. The problem becomes apparent in economics where most seem to have rather an opinion of the matter – sometimes a very strong one. A useful exchange of ideas thus requires one to understand where their opinions are rooted and the logic behind them.


Their opinions must not have possibly sprung from thin air so an investigative mind must see the logic behind the wrong ideas. This process requires one to be sufficiently dumb to gauge the others perspective and their conclusive operation that formed their position. The reasoning for this is explained through the notion that an extremely intelligent person may have never entertained those ideas and/or have considered them unworthy of lengthy analysis.


Contrarily, you must be smart enough to see where and why the other’s logic is incomplete. Albeit, that’s usually isn’t so challenging. The challenging part comes when you must do both; you must be sufficiently dumb and smart enough to explain to the regular person and the smart people on the other side.