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The central conceit of journalism is that all it takes to get at the truth is having smart people asking smart questions. I've been wondering if that central conceit is flawed. There are many of times where what sounds like a good smart question turns out to be foolish. This could be for a number of reasons. Maybe the intuitive thought leads you down the wrong path, with you none the wiser. Maybe the questionee, knowing the trap will use it against you to confuse the hell out of you, or even worse, have you understand something completely and fully and absolutely wrongly. It took astronomers hundreds of years to pull themself out of the trap that the Earth is the absolute immobile center of the universe. Maybe you can't put someone who can write quickly right into the business beat without teaching them economics, or to covering health without some sort of medical learning.

Brad DeLong has been thinking long about this.