It is a persistent question that is ever becoming more relevant. We have ruled out privileged hereditary or divinity as exclusive bearers of ideas and sources of knowledge, but where is the line truly drawn?
I would argue that it shouldn’t matter if someone like myself, Mr. Long-aristocratic-nose-Monckton or even if my son was the author. An idea stands for what it is; an idea based upon whatever reason and evidence the author provides.
If fault is inherent, this needs to be exposed and dealt with. If the opponent to the idea cannot fault it, either the idea holds some truth or the opponent fails to have the capacity to provide a meaningful evaluation. This is independent of authorship.
In an age where an idea travels around the world at the speed of light, the authority behind authorship is rendered even more enfeebled. One need only look at many of the more devoted misinformers to see just how little authority plays a role to the general person compared to what is popular or consistent to one’s perception. Chris Monckton; Merilyn Haines; Anthony Watts; such people are the experts to their fans, regardless of their shortcomings and abstract reality. One can be a genius to whomever is receptive to “the message”.
For that reason, the focus must be – as it always has be on NewAnthro – on critical thinking and analysis of ideas. Nothing can be held above criticism and all matters must be open to discussion.
The onus, therefore, must be shifted to the reader to avoid credulously accepting an idea without review. We would all prosper if we were not so easily lead up the garden path.
It is the receiver, not the transmitter, whom wields the power and momentum of an idea.