Magazine November 30, 2020, Issue

The Suicide of Expertise

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

Americans live in a truly interconnected world. And, honestly, getting to know everyone has been quite unpleasant.

“With democracy, all the dirt comes out,” the poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger once noted. Never has this been more apparent than in the age of democratized media. The real crisis of Twitter isn’t, as so many pundits have contended, that Americans confuse social media with the “real world.” Rather, it’s that all the people spouting off on Twitter actually reside in the real world. And often not just anywhere, but in some of our nation’s most important institutions.

Few things corrode public confidence more than

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