Human beings have had to guess about almost everything for the past million years or so. The leading characters in our history have been our most enthralling, and sometimes out most terrifying, guessers.

Persuasive guessing has been at the core of leadership for so long, for all of human experience so far, that it is wholly unsurprising that most of the leaders of this planet, in spite of all the information that is suddenly ours, want the guessing to go on. It is now their turn to guess and guess and be listened to. Some of the loudest, most proudly ignorant guessing in the world is going on in Washington today. Our leaders are sick of all the solid information that has been dumped on humanity by research and scholarship and investigative reporting. They think that the whole country is sick of it, and they could be right. It isn’t the gold standard that they want to put us back on. They want something even more basic. They want to put us back on the snake-oil standard.

-Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country

Ed.: K. V. was writing in reference to life in George W. Bush’s America, who he also refers to as a child. K. V. passe away in 2007. You cold say he passed away before the punchline of the joke he himself was telling.

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