CASS SUNSTEIN ~ LAWS OF FEAR ~ 2005

~ SPAFWTONTB-A-STAFWTSBF-IDN-TLRTPF-AAR-TLCBLIUAEDD ~ Sometimes People Are Fearful When They Ought Not To Be – And – Sometimes They Are Fearless When They Should Be Frightened – In Democratic Nations – The Law Responds To People’s Fears – As A Result – The Law Can Be Led In Unfortunate And Even Dangerous Directions

~ ‘RP’-PALRI-G-C-E-N ~ “Risk Panics” – Play A Large Role In – Groups – Cities – Even – Nations

~ W-FS-MIPFPTAAWAIN-A-UFTTAAWAII ~ Well-Functioning Societies – Make It Possible For People To Achieve Agreement When Agreement Is Necessary – And – Unnecessary For Them To Achieve Agreement When Agreement Is Impossible

~ DD-DBITAFTLQATTOACFPWDO-O-AUA-HTRTQ-ITCOF-IIOPTOJSAC ~ Deliberative Democracies Do Best If They Abstract From The Largest Questions And Try To Obtain A Consensus From People Who Disagree On – Or – Are Unsure About – How To Resolve Those Questions – In The Context Of Fear – It Is Often Possible To Obtain Just Such A Consensus

~ T-PP-TMF-B-IAOT-TAIITRSTSTPAPH-EICCAUAEIWDNKTTHWCTF ~ The – Precautionary Principle – Takes Many Forms – But – In All Of Them – The Animating Idea Is That Regulators Should Take Steps To Protect Against Potential Harms – Even If Causal Chains Are Unclear And Even If We Do Not Know That Those Harms Will Come To Fruition

~ HB-C-A-N-OSOOOAFSRA-‘S’-A-IO ~ Human Beings – Cultures – And – Nations – Often Single Out One Or A Few Social Risks As – “Salient” – And – Ignore The Others

~ T-AH-WPLSK-TCRTBSITCETOIIWTRCTF ~ The – Availability Heuristic – When People Lack Statistical Knowledge – They Consider Risks To Be Significant If They Can Easily Think Of Instances In Which Those Risks Came To Fruition

~ T-PP-MWBRAA-A-CP-DFSCIWIINPTAPTPCR ~ The – Precautionary Principle – Might Well Be Reformulated As An – Anti-Catastrophe Principle – Designed For Special Circumstances In Which It Is Not Possible To Assign Probabilities To Potentially Catastrophic Risks

~ EWEAIE-WC-TTCOAIOTASOTR ~ Especially When Emotions Are Intensely Engaged – Worst Cases – Tend To Crowd Out An Investigation Of The Actual Size Of The Risk

~ ‘LP’-AATSPIDTWPTW-WFTOC ~ “Libertarian Paternalism” – An Approach That Steers People In Directions That Will Promote Their Welfare – Without Foreclosing Their Own Choices

~ EE-ATSPEP-AMBT-‘WTP’ ~ Economic Efficiency – Attempts To Satisfy People’s Existing Preference –As Measured By Their – “Willingness To Pay”

~ HMPITRAOP? ~ How Much Precaution Is The Right Amount Of Precaution?

~ AGDOE-STPT-A-ER-CH-AEOLAH-PPAEVTTE-TBS-BTPATUMAD ~ A Great Deal Of Evidence – Suggests The Possibility That – An – Expensive Regulation – Can Have – Adverse Effects On Life And Health – Poor People Are Especially Vulnerable To This Effect – To Be Sure – Both The Phenomenon And The Underling Mechanism Are Disputed

~ T-AH-W-P-ATMORBAWECRCTM-IPCETOSE-TAFMLTBFTITC-TPI-T-AH-CLTSE-ITOB-EF-A-N ~ The – Availability Heuristic – When – People – Assess The Magnitude Of Risks By Asking Whether Examples Can Readily Come To Mind – If People Can Easily Think Of Such Examples – They Are Far More Likely To Be Frightened Than If They Cannot – The Problem Is – The – Availability Heuristic – Can Lead To Serious Errors – In Terms Of Both – Excessive Fear – And – Neglect

~ PN-B-S-PWALAOPAA-EWSEAI ~ Probability Neglect – But – Sometimes – People Will Attempt Little Assessment Of Probability At All – Especially When Strong Emotions Are Involved

~ LA-PTTB-LA-WMT-ALFT-SQ-ISA-MU-TAGISAD ~ Loss Aversion – People Tend To Be – Loss Averse – Which Means That – A Loss From The – Status Quo – Is Seen As – More Undesirable – Than A Gain Is Seen As Desirable

~ SQB-T-SQ-MTBAWGALAM-A-AL-FT-SQ-SMMBTAGFT-SQ-SG ~ Status Quo Bias – The – Status Quo – Marks The Baseline Against Which Gains And Losses Are Measured – And – A Loss – From The – Status Quo – Seems Much More Bad Than A Gain From The – Status Quo – Seems Good

~ PAFMWTT-FR-T-UO-EITA-SE ~ People Are Far More Willing To Tolerate – Familiar Risks – Than – Unfamiliar Ones – Even If They Are – Statistically Equivalent

~ A-RA-ONA-EH-INASGF-DC-EWABFAECAWAB ~ A – Risk Assessment – Offering Numbers About – Expected Harms – Is Not A Sufficient Ground For – Democratic Choice – Even When Accompanied By Figures About Expected Costs As Well As Benefits

~ WEKARTIO-B-DNPTTAPTE-IISTFT-MP:CTPWT-B-WC-O ~ When Existing Knowledge Allows Regulators To Identify Outcomes – But – Does Not Permit Them To Assign Probabilities To Each – It Is Standard To Follow The – Maximin Principle: Choose The Policy With The – Best – Worst-Case – Outcome

~ SSAR-B-MAN-W-AE-O-AS-I-‘R’-CBDITA-IAC-RIAMOD-EDOTF-T-‘RP’-SBUAAH-OTFIITFOPDTC-LMH-T-RP-WWWIMC-B-ICALTSAEDE ~ Some Systems Are Resilient – But – Many Are Not – Whether – An Ecosystem – Or – A Society – Is – “Resilient” – Cannot Be Decided In The Abstract – In Any Case – Resilience Is A Matter Of Degree – Everything Depends On The Facts – The – “Resilience Principle” – Should Be Understood As A Heuristic – One That Favors Inaction In The Face Of Possibly Damaging Technological Change – Like Most Heuristics – The – Resilience Principle – Will Work Well In Many Circumstances – But – It Can Also Lead To Systematic And Even Deadly Errors

~ ABAWATAWVOAEMCF-I-R-A-EB-ASAWAT-C-RTT-E-TVCLTPFITAR-AETPAFAOTUODSAHTDTDO-I-GM ~ A Better Approach Would Acknowledge That A Wide Variety Of Averse Effects May Come From – Inaction – Regulation – And – Everything Between – A Sensible Approach Would Attempt To – Counteract – Rather Than To – Embody – The Various Cognitive Limitations That People Face In Thinking About Risks – An Effort To Produce A Fair Accounting Of The Universe Of Dangers Should Also Help To Diminish The Dangers Of – Interest-Group Manipulation

~ PA-IIII-IIAH-A-IILTLTAH-‘RE’ ~ Public Alarm – Even If Ill Informed – Is Itself A Harm – And – It Is Likely To Lead To Additional Harms – “Ripple Effects”

~ WTP ~ Willingness To Pay

~ PA-ITVALP-A-IA-MOTT-WTAITDOT-‘S’-O-T-‘U’ ~ People Are – Insensitive To Variations Among Low Probabilities – And – Instead Ask – Much Of The Time – Whether They Are In The Domain Of The – “Safe” – Or – The – “Unsafe”

~ W-CSHTP ~ Worst-Case Scenarios Have Tremendous Power

~ C-S-AAS-ST-SB-O-C-IW-ARAAGE-MRFOPTA-U-C-CLPIMD-WAF-‘EM’-S-SFTDNMR ~ Cascades – Sometimes – Availability And Salience – Spread Through – Social Bandwagons – Or – Cascades – In Which – Apparently Representative Anecdotes And Gripping Examples – Move Rapidly From One Person To Another – Unfortunately – Cascades – Can Lead People In Mistaken Directions – With A Few – “Early Movers” – Spurring – Social Fear That Does Not Match Reality

~ F-IA-W-HEV-A-ELTS ~ Fear-Inducing Accounts – With – High Emotional Valence – Are – Especially Likely To Spread

~ GP-WIOITCO-F ~ Group Polarization – Will Inevitably Occur In The Context Of – Fear

~ B-IAS-MB-FONOTR-A-S-NRD ~ Both – Individuals And Societies – May Be – Fearful Of Nonexistent Or Trivial Risks – And – Simultaneously – Neglect Real Dangers

~ WCF-CRTWPCBA-IMSFTTA-A-CP ~ When Citizens Face – Catastrophic Risks To Which Probabilities Cannot Be Assigned – It Makes Sense For Them To Adopt An – Anti-Catastrophe Principle

~ WTW-CSITC-A-WPCBA-AL-MOS-MAGDOS ~ Where The Worst-Case Scenario Its Truly Catastrophic – And – When Probabilities Cannot Be Assigned – A Large – Margin Of Safety – Makes A Great Deal Of Sense

~ MOS ~ Margins Of Safety

~ IG-IIBTTPATDTTF-WTLOH? ~ In General – Isn’t It Best To Tell People About The Dangers That They Face – Whatever The Likelihood Of Harm?

~ AAOCAB-IAIIIT-AOR ~ An Accounting Of – Costs And Benefits – Is An Important Ingredient In The – Analysis Of Risks

~ W-F-LS-MWPFTITI ~ Well-Functioning – Legal Systems – Make Wrongdoers Pay For The Injuries They Inflict

~ TPE ~ Third Party Effects

~ T-OPS-A-U-W-TBIBLANWS ~ The – Ordinary Political Safeguards – Are – Unreliable – When – The Burdens Imposed By Law Are Not Widely Shared

~ ITCO-TTNS-IIPT-GWIOCLWAJ-HOCE ~ In The Context Of – Threats To National Security – It Is Predictable That – Governments Will Infringe On Civil Liberties Without Adequate Justification – History Offers Countless Examples

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