In Taleb's discussion of IQ, and the continuing repeated discussions of intelligence and testing it over at Quora, there is a constant undercurrent of "But intelligent people are often jerks. And they don't get important things right. Possibly, in their arrogance, they get even more things wrong that the average person, and create more damage when they do." That is very much so. The assumptions that anyone starts from may be more important than their actual intelligence. Thus, the many brilliant people in the CIA, NSA, military intelligence, and the State Department can get things very badly wrong, even if they are much smarter and more knowledgeable than you or I. Their track record is not good - yet they clearly wildly outpace us in knowledge of the abilities of Croatian hackers, or the power of unions in Germany versus France, or the history of communist movements in Indonesian since 1970. We could not stand five minutes against them in debate. And yet they have proved indisputably wrong, repeatedly. I think it is their assumptions. If you think you are in Chicago and headed for Denver, but you really started from New Orleans...you aren't making it to Denver, no matter how well you have memorised the route.
I say this because Daniel Mallory Ortberg is simply brilliant when she, now he, starts from the right assumptions. His/her understanding of literature is excellent, and the treatment of it uproarious, as with this short essay on Keats. I am convinced. On other issues, where feelings triumph over facts, because they are like feelings, I am unconvinced. Yet that is another story.