Undervaluing non-celebrity observations cheats us all--but is consistent with other forms of contemporary communication.
As a purely practical matter, our contemporary over-reliance on the opinions of celebrity "experts" causes a narrowing down away from other sources of ideas, information, and analysis that cannot be in our best interests.
At the very least, it should be apparent that the ideas of celebrities cannot always actually be the best, the most original, or the most insightful. Sometimes they are actually quite far off base, particularly when a person who has made a name in one field ventures into another field that is far outside his or her realm of expertise.
In the end, then, how does a celebrity name on an idea benefit us?
It is hard to see it as any different from a brand name on a consumer product, imparting the kind of pseudo-credibility that comes from familiarity via repeated advertising campaigns.
In an age where we are uncertain about the objective, underlying value of just about everything we are expected to choose among, it enables us to employ the same core strategy in evaluating a basketball sneaker, a Senatorial candidate, and an idea.
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.