Saturday, April 28, 2012

Optimism: a common non-sequitor

Psychological factors and dispositions such as optimism and pessimism have little to do with public policy, but the typical response to people saying, "these policies are unsustainable" is simply to say, "don't be so pessimistic". This response is nonsense.

For a brilliant discussion of the "this time it's different" syndrome in the financial realm, see the book,
This Time It's Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.

Alas, we are living in times of political, religious and ecological folly as well.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Righteous Mind

Just finished The Righteous Mind, subtitled, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

There is a lot to like in this book, and a lot that I personally found infuriating.

I'd like to become friends with the author, Jonathan Haidt. Making friends on the internet is dicey at best. I'll keep you posted.