Friday, November 14, 2008

An anachronism, as always (a.k.a. so the uncool kid was right, after all)

Remember the usual phrase found in narrative-stories of brilliance and heroism--i.e.,when Galileo announced that the earth revolves around the sun, in contradiction to the teachings of the church (that time the church was an unofficial government anyway—but then again that’s another story), and the officials asked that he retract whatever he said? What follows is this phrase as if to rationalise such madness of the institution—‘Because he was a man ahead of his time’, therefore he gets ostracised, threatened to be excommunicated—the blah. We’ve heard lots of stories concerning this ‘state’ of the individual—his or her being ‘someone who lived the wrong time’, someone who bespoke the truth, but no one listened. Im not sure if we should use the term ‘anachronism’, given that I might be guilty of its technical impediments, but just for the sake of simpleton, it is within the context of anachronism because basically, it is (the idea) out of place.

Now, we have Peter Schiff, the economist –probably the only one who tried to warn everyone of the impending US recession, and as early as 2006. Some of his interview and debate clips, if you watch them now, are just darn funny, primarily because he gets laughed at by anyone be debates with. Believe me—you wouldn’t want to be him that time. Very unpopular to the point that you see people (on camera) cringe over his supposedly pessimistic warnings—economists and commentators alike. He gets shot back with phrases like ‘that’s silly..’ or ‘oh my goodness, I’ve never heard many mistakes in my life..’ ‘it’s a bet of every honour in your name at stake..’ ‘ where do you get your figures?’ It’s like your thesis defense on a very very bad day. No—I take that back. Its like secondary school where cliques and bullies were the coolest people ever.

But hey. The uncool kid was right. And he spoke clear and simple. Looking at how the majority reacted makes you realise that many proclaimed or self proclaimed experts, no matter how arrogant they are, how loud their voices can be, how much publicity and influence they take in—may not really know what they’re talking about.

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