I got an e-mail about that posting...
Loved the piece about DDT. Even my vet makes me feel guilty when I put the needs of my elderly mother ahead of her dogs. We've all gone nuts.
Here's my reply:
You can call it going nuts, but another way to look at it is the nearly complete erosion of critical thinking skills. The DDT story is quite similar to the cholesterol story, whereby virtually all the science extant disproves the conventional wisdom, but since it has become a cultural meme, none of this matters. There is simply no amount of information that can be put forward--EVER--to change the public perception on such topics.
Related to this is the kiss-ass A-student in high school who has some limited "mastery" of a particular subject, but never expands on this understanding--for his entire life. A current example is prevalent thinking (especially in the North) of our Civil War, now celebrating its 150th anniversary.
What we are facing these days also is the breakdown of many models, applicable to various facets of our lives. Some of these served us well enough in the past, I suppose, but are now completely outmoded.
One especially bitter example is the way many parents cling to the pathetic notion that a "good education" will guarantee some sort of bright future for their child. There's nothing wrong, of course, with getting that education, but it provides precious little in the way of improving career opportunities. Ask any 4.0 Ivy grad who is unemployed or underemployed.
Indeed, even law and medicine do not provide anywhere near the rewards they once did.
Sadly, I think that it will only get worse.