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From Matt Steinglass, on the recent spate of proposals to defund funny-sounding research:
The most urgent research priority for American social science is the question of why so many congresspeople are boastful ignoramuses.
But would you use an instrumental variable approach or a natural experiment approach? What kind of scale would you use to measure boastful ignorance? Should you measure separately by gender? And what about other countries? Are their legislators boastful ignoramuses too? If not, what method do they use to keep them safely on talk radio, where they belong?
This is clearly a pretty complex project. Perhaps we should delegate it to the UN.