The Wages Of Contrarianism

Ezra on overestimating the value of being counterintuitive:

Speaking of bizarrely counterintuitive articles, and with the ostentatious contrarianism of Super Freakonomics still on everybody's mind, it's worth saying that there's nothing contrarian about being contrarian in elite intellectual circles. Indeed, the really contrarian move would be to try to make your way as a thinker without taking aim at somebody's sacred cows, or at least making it seem like you're taking aim at somebody's sacred cows. There's a reason the book "Everything You Know Is Wrong" is not titled "Most of The Things You Know Are Right."

Word up. I'm always suspicious when people use contrarianism as a selling point. I avoid writers who salute themselves as "bold truth tellers." That's the point of writing. Moreover, the counterintuitive is just as subject to hackery as conventional wisdom. Atheism can be religion too.