By | June 29, 2016

Brexit is a complex issue. Like most real-world issues. Pretending there were no valid reasons to vote “Leave” is what the supposedly-smart people are doing now.

I usually agree with John Scalzi in most arenas, but this piece is egregiously condescending and terrible and is in the genre of examining supposedly foreordained consequences without understanding reasons or causes.

Stating that the experts said things would go poorly after a Brexit is a bit disingenuous when it’s those very same experts who will be given the task of punishing the British people for voting “Leave.” Of course it will go poorly! They are the ones making that happen. Pretending that is the only possible turn of events is delusional. No, like most things that occur that are portrayed as the natural way of things, this is a choice. Always a choice.

So many false dichotomies, ridiculous framings, disordered thinking and cult of expertise worship lately — and I largely trust experts! But consider this: it was experts who got us into the Great Recession, and still haven’t really corrected any of the systemic problems that caused it (while telling us that they’re not really problems). It was experts who built nuclear weapons and dropped some of them on Japan.

It’s experts who are likely to wipe out all human life on this planet.

Kind of puts a different spin on “expertise” when you look at all the externalities inherent in that sort of expertise worship.

What will happen to the UK — bad or good — is a choice. Saying that it will mostly be negative because the experts who said so are going to be the ones doling out punishment — well ok, then. Thanks. You’ve revealed your spectacular insight, for sure.

I want to — but don’t have the will or the time — to write a longer piece on the aforementioned framing and false dichotomies as well as cover Big Data, cognitive shortcuts and modeling/statistics. That’d be a book though and I have no interest in doing so now.

And about the Stross piece Scalzi linked, finance leaving the UK might actually be a good thing as high finance drives up housing prices, loots the real economy, and crowds out actual useful investment as well as tends to promote elimination of social programs. (I know personally more than a few people in and around London who will never be able to buy a house anywhere, despite having worked full-time for 20+ years.)

So much of US politics is as a friend of mine pointed all about old people scared of house prices falling. We’re seeing a variant of that here again.