Your question about the possibility of the internet causing our polarity and contrary opinions caused me to think of a John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach quote. "Competition reveals character it does not build character." My opinion is that the internet reveals our ignorance it does not create it.
Your interview with Calomiris about the questionable value of models, I vote models are worthless, except in the case of nerds versus nerds where the so called facts can be situated in their context and relegated to a sustaining role which adds a degree of credibility. Models are still worthless but the nerd/nerd issues are more accurately articulated.