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May 25, 2021

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition

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My first experience with Thomas Sowell's work was in college, and I suspected that he was chosen for his color and not his intellect.

Boy was I wrong.

Everything I have read by him has been thought provoking, rational, and based on the real world. In this age of "consensus" and group-think and newspeak, it is refreshing to return to a man who is not so enthralled by his own ideas that he rejects facts and experience that may be at odds with them.

If anyone can lift economics out of the miasma of politics and mushy-headed thinking, and into a discipline that values the Scientific method, It is Thomas Sowell.

The triumph of Thomas Sowell

At first he attended night classes at the historically black Howard University. There, his professors noted his remarkable intellect and capacity for hard work and helped him transfer to Harvard the next year. He thrived there intellectually and graduated at the age of twenty-eight magna cum laude.

But he was less enamored of the social atmosphere in Cambridge. Sowell noted that he “resented attempts by some thoughtless Harvardians to assimilate me, based on the assumption that the supreme honor they could bestow was to allow me to become like them.”


(Read the article...it's a review of a new biography of Sowell, and is filled with interesting little tidbits)

What fascinates me about Sowell's journey from Marxist to free-market conservative is that it was based entirely on reality. As his reality and perception of the world expanded, he changed to accommodate the new data, rather than rejecting it as so many supposed scholars do today. Just look at Global WarmingTM as an example of political expedience destroying rational analysis of the facts.

But as much of an important force he is in economics, Thomas Sowell may be even more valuable as an observer of hilariously irrational social elites, and their curious hold on the media and the popular narrative. His skewering of the conventional wisdom is always on target, and worthy of the great social observers of history.

Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.

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posted by CBD at 11:00 AM

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