Reader B sends along news of David Brooks’ book deal (don’t have a link, he got it via email):
NYT columnist and #1 NYT bestselling author David Brooks’ two new books, the first on humility, looking at the gale force wind of self-preoccupation, self-celebration, and self-enhancement that has come to dominate every aspect of our lives, and at how the idea of humility, defined as the opposite of self-preoccupation, and informed by a new and more accurate view of human nature, can open up new and better foundations for community, commitment, and life purpose in a changing world, again to Will Murphy at Random House, by Glen Hartley at Writers’ Representatives (World).
Atlantic Media recruits for two personal attributes in its candidates. The first is force of intellect – reflected in discipline and rigor of thought as manifested, often, in exceptional academic performance. The second is a personal spirit of generosity – a natural disposition towards service and selfless conduct.
I don’t have time right now to track down all the examples, but if you look at how many freshwater macroeconomists have responded to Keynesian arguments in this crisis, you find over and over again that they resort to assertions of privilege — basically, I am a famous macroeconomic expert and you aren’t — rather than really addressing the issues. And this is so ingrained a response, apparently, that they use it in situations where it’s truly ridiculous: Lucas accusing Christy Romer of not understanding basic macro, then demonstrating that he doesn’t understand Ricardian equivalence; Barro belittling the credentials of yours truly, just after forgetting that there was rationing and investment controls during World War II.
This what American public discourse has devolved into: an undeserving, unbelievably self-absorbed “elite” telling the rest of us bitch better recognize, while lecturing the rest of us about how we should be more humble.