A Default Smart Opinion is an opinion that’s generally considered to be inarguable because it’s repeated ad nauseam by seemingly intelligent individuals. Other examples include ‘Nickelback sucks!,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory sucks!,“ and "Kim Kardashian is dumb and also sucks!’ Now, I’m not necessarily disputing the truth of those takes. But I’m not a fan of Default Smart Opinions as a concept. [It’s] like a pair of pants – you just put it on. No additional thought is required. The usual formula for a regular smart opinion – research plus careful consideration plus nuanced analysis – doesn’t apply. You needn’t actually listen to a Nickelback album or watch The Big Bang Theory or study Kim Kardashian’s collected philosophical scrolls. You merely have to recite recycled bits of conventional wisdom.

Steven Hyden’s great new book Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me