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armchair experts
by Paul Riesz
12 March 2002 14:57 UTC
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Referring to a recent polemic between Adam Starr and David Smith
I should like to make the following comments:
Starr criticized the fact that armchair experts gave opinions on the
State without having had the opportunity of personally knowing the
of such countries  He then recounted his experiences with "development
from the 1st world, who recommend useless technologies, while spending
funds intended to reduce poverty on luxury items for themselves.

It appears to me that both observations are quite to the point and raise
important issue, that academic training and theoretic knowledge, though
extremely useful, might often not be sufficient for addressing the grave
afflicting our societies.

As to wasteful use of development funds I personally have witnessed such

occurrences in several Latin American countries, where millions are
being squandered
without achieving their intended purpose where and studies are conducted
air-conditioned offices without the needed and often essential

Smith’s answer did not refute these reasonable arguments, but only made
deprecatory observations on Starr's "undergraduate" standing, which is
not a
good example for the high level of this groups discussions.

Regards           Paul Riesz

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