But maybe, just maybe, it’s not worth it: maybe the neat little points you make that way aren’t intellectually substantive enough to justify the risks you take on their behalf. There could be a better way to go about this business of trying to understand human behavior and explain it to others. That other way will require more patience, more research, possibly more education (Lehrer has two bachelor’s degrees); and it will probably result in books that don’t sell as well, so the lifestyle will take a hit. But if you can make a real and lasting contribution to the human understanding of ourselves, the tradeoffs are more than worth it. I hope Jonah Lehrer finds that better path.
Alan Jacobs on how Jonah Lehrer’s fall from wunderkind grace might, might just rescue him from “the Gladwellian intellectual cosmos [in which] immensely complex ideas and experiences get boiled down to simplistic binary oppositions or are run through a single interpretative filter.”