Mr. Gore’s central argument is that “reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions” and that the country’s public discourse has become “less focused and clear, less reasoned.” This “assault on reason,” he suggests, is personified by the way the Bush White House operates. Echoing many reporters and former administration insiders, Mr. Gore says that the administration tends to ignore expert advice (be it on troop levels, global warming or the deficit), to circumvent the usual policy-making machinery of analysis and debate, and frequently to suppress or disdain the best evidence available on a given subject so it can promote predetermined, ideologically driven policies.Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? The role of higher education in a society being run like this, on these values, requires little additional comment, though Gore probably has plenty on that. Anybody read this book yet?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Michiko Kakutani has a review of Al Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, in today's NYT. I'm hardly a big Gore fan, though I have voted for him, and I'm not sure quite what to make of his recent public moves. But assuming that Kakutani gets his views right, he's making a really important point: