CATHY O’NEIL ~ WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION ~ 2016

~ TC-MIATCT-M-WNODEITWP-BAFMOT-THC-TCOMFI/TROU-AHBAAAB-MWMF ~ The Crash – Made It All Too Clear That – Mathematics – Was Not Only Deeply Entangled In The World’s Problems – But Also Fueling Many Of Them – The Housing Crisis / The Collapse Of Major Financial Institutions / The Rise Of Unemployment – All Had Been Aided And Abetted By – Mathematicians Wielding Magic Formulas

~ IWHBC-H-WAWHTASBATPTFOHMHBM-A-HWC-PASCITF-B-I-ITWOTC-NMT-WHTE-A-EISMD-MAS-W-SO-D/M/SP-TWPOT-A-COPA-S/W/L/C ~ If We Had Been Clear-Headed – We All Would Have Taken A Step Back At This Point To Figure Out How Math Had Been Misused – And – How We Could – Prevent A Similar Catastrophe In The Future – But – Instead – In The Wake Of The Crisis – New Mathematical Techniques – Were Hotter Than Ever – And – Expanding Into Still More Domains – Mathematicians And Statisticians – Were – Studying Our – Desires / Movements / Spending Power – They Were Predicting Our Trustworthiness – And –Calculating Our Potential As – Students / Workers / Lovers / Criminals

~ T-T-M-PA-PTDE-WBO-CMBFHB-SOTCWNDMWTBI-N-MOTME-H-P/M/B-IT-SS-TIMOL ~ Trouble – The – Math-Powered Applications – Powering The Data Economy – Were Based On – Choices Made By Fallible Human Beings – Some Of These Choices Were No Doubt Made With The Best Intentions – Nevertheless – Many Of These Models Encoded – Human – Prejudice / Misunderstanding / Bias – Into The – Software Systems – That Increasingly Managed Our Lives

LG-T-MM-W-O-TWITABTHPITD-TV-EW-WOH-W-BDOA-A-TTTPTPATOIOS-WMTRR ~ Like Gods – These – Mathematical Models – Were – Opaque – Their Workings Invisible To All But The Highest Priests In Their Domain – Their Verdicts – Even When – Wrong Or Harmful – Were – Beyond Dispute Or Appeal – And – They Tended To Punish The Poor And The Oppressed In Our Society – While Making The Rich Richer

~ ATR-H-B/P/P-T-A-I-NEJ Attempting To Reduce – Human – Behaviour / Performance / Potential – To – Algorithms – Is – No Easy Job

~ A-BD-C-R-RCT-MTOV ~ At – Big Data – Companies – Researchers – Run Constant Tests – And – Monitor Thousands Of Variables

~ WF-A-SE-CCSOFADA-WNLFIM ~ Without Feedback – A – Statistical Engine – Can Continue Spinning Out Faulty And Damaging Analysis – While Never Learning From Its Mistakes

~ DTOR-A-UITJTR-TTOM-I-S-P-HD-A-VC ~ Define Their Own Reality – And – Use It To Justify Their Results – This Type Of Model – Is – Self-Perpetuating – Highly Destructive – And – Very Common

~ P-DIAS-WCTSLUD-A-T-HV-AHTAFHSOETTAT ~ Probability – Distilled Into A Score – Which Can Turn Someone’s Life Upside Down – And – The – Human Victims – Are Held To A Far Higher Standard Of Evidence Than The Algorithms Themselves

~ TTIT-PEUSAA-SI-O-P-F-T-WSTDCCUAAA-THB-DS-ATOLSOTFOTREOTT ~ The Trouble Is That – Profits End Up Serving As A – Stand-In – Or – Proxy – For – Truth – We’ll See This Dangerous Confusion Crop Up Again And Again – This Happens Because – Data Scientists – All Too Often Lose Sight Of The Folks On The Receiving End Of The Transaction

~ BD-HPOE ~ Big Data – Has Plenty Of Evangelists

~ TCAM-WMCAWIETI-STWIA-TV-TCBEU-A-FWWCI-I-FAA ~ To Create A Model – We Make Choices About What’s Important Enough To Include – Simplifying The World Into A – Toy Version – That Can Be Easily Understood – And – From Which We Can Infer – Important – Facts And Actions

~ AM-BS-RT-JAP-OI-C ~ A Model’s – Blind Spots – Reflect The – Judgments And Priorities – Of Its – Creators

~ AMBFT-WWABWT-IWGSIINCU ~ A Model Built For Today – Will Work A Bit Worse Tomorrow – It Will Grow Stale If It’s Not Constantly Updated

~ R-I-TMSOPM-IIPB-HDG-A-SC-RB-II-A-PB-CB ~ Racism – Is – The Most Slovenly Of Predictive Models – It Is Powered By – Haphazard Data Gathering – And – Spurious Correlations – Reinforced By – Institutional Inequities – And – Polluted By – Confirmation Bias

~ T-PFL-T-DL-GRAR-A-ITP-TMBMAMU ~ The – Pernicious Feedback Loop – This – Destructive Loop – Goes Round And Round – And – In The Process – The Model Becomes More And More Unfair

~ B-TPINW-SPB-IT-SMS-TMPBA-SDITFOMOP-OFTFOR-A-ONA-TU ~ But – The Point Is Not Whether – Some People Benefit – It’s That – So Many Suffer – These Models Powered By Algorithms – Slam Doors In The Face Of Millions Of People – Often For The Flimsiest Of Reasons – And – Offer No Appeal – They’re Unfair

~ A-HOMTAA:TCL-FOFTTN-A-TOD ~ And – Here’s One More Thing About Algorithms: They Can Leap – From One Field To The Next – And – They Often Do

~ BA-TVSS-TTSTC ~ Bet Against – The Very Same Securities – That They’d Sold To Customers

~ TBWMAPWRWABS-UC-EA-U-TWTC ~ The Bonds Were Marketed As Products Whose Risk Was Assessed By Specialists – Using Cutting-Edge Algorithms – Unfortunately – This Wasn’t The Case

~ TMWDATCAASS ~ The Math Was Directed Against The Consumer As A Smoke Screen

~ B-O-T-O-U-IOU ~ Billions – Or – Trillions – Of – Unpayable – IOUs

~ VFPHT-EATIR-TKWWAGOS-A-MOTPWD-LTITSU ~ Very Few People Had The – Expertise And The Information Required – To Know What Was Actually Going On – And – Most Of The People Who Did – Lacked The Integrity To Speak Up

~ T-F-A-NMPWDATST-WBOT-T-STBD-T-DWL-RAU

~ The – False – Assumption – Not Many People Would Default At The Same Time – Was Based On The – Theory – Soon To Be Disproven – That – Defaults Were Largely – Random And Unrelated

~ TPO-MC-FF-AASUIH ~ The Power Of – Modern Computing – Fueled Fraud – At A Scale Unequalled In History

~ TWE-FSTPOTOSOTA ~ That’s When Everyone – Finally Saw The People On The Other Side Of The Algorithms

~ B-2009-IWCTTLOTMCHBNNDTTWOFAHINNV-TLS-FTMP-A-TGRTS:TRIDM-EFAFRTAAFHTJT ~ By – 2009 – It Was Clear That The Lessons Of The Market Collapse Had Brought No New Direction To The World Of Finance And Had Instilled No New Values – The Lobbyists Succeed – For The Most Part – And – *The Game Remained The Same: To Rope In Dumb Money – Except For A Few Regulations That Added A Few Hoops To Jump Through

~ TRTAR-RDIF ~ The Refusal To Acknowledge Risk – Runs Deep In – Finance

~ TAWMST-TD-L-WRTW ~ The Algorithms Would Make Sure That – Those Deemed – Losers – Would Remain That Way

~ ALM-WGEMCOT-DE-TI-OF-A-CTATW-TTDI ~ A Lucky Minority – Would Gain Ever More Control Over The – Data Economy – Taking In – Outrageous Fortunes – And – Convincing Themselves All The While – That They Deserved It

~ H-WUCAMFP-IIFST-GI-B-PAETMTTCRTR ~ However – When You Create A Model From Proxies – It Is Far Simpler To – Game It – Because – Proxies Are Easier To Manipulate Than The Complicated Reality They Represent

~ W-CP-BATW-TO-T-ANO-S-B-F ~ We – Criminalize Poverty – Believing All The While – That Our – Tools – Are Not Only – Scientific – But – Fair

~ J-CJBSTOPOSIUTO ~ Justice – Cannot Just Be Something That One Part Of Society Inflicts Upon The Other

~ OR ~ Operations Research

~ B-ITWFI ~ Bogus – Is The Word For It

~ C-GT ~ Computer-Generated Terrorism

~ B-AOTATP-HOMOP-F-TODS-IGTGALOTFW ~ But – Any Operation That Attempts To Profile – Hundreds Of Millions Of People – From – Thousands Of Different Sources – Is Going To Get A Lot Of The Facts Wrong

~ M-A-LO-ALA-TSRFOTE ~ Mistakes – Are – Learning Opportunities – As Long As – The System Receives Feedback On The Error

~ R-ISWU-TI-FMSF ~ Redlining – Is Still With Us – Though In – Far More Subtle Forms

~ IWGTB-EBTL-O-TEAV-WCSF-STDUIDC-A-TUD ~ If We’re Going To Be – Equal Before The Law – Or – Treated Equally As Voters – We Cannot Stand For – Systems That Drop Us Into Different Castes – And – Treat Us Differently

~ TG-OC-HAP-RR-TP ~ The Government – Of Course – Has A Powerful – Regulatory Role – To Play

~ MAC-NFD-B-FTCWM-A-WDTPAT-A-WTLO-TCANJA-L/P/E-TA-FM ~ Models Are Constructed – Not Just From Data – But – From The Choices We Make – About – Which Data To Pay Attention To – And – Which To Leave Out – Those Choices Are Not Just About – Logistics / Profits / Efficiency – They Are – Fundamentally Moral

ROBERT CIALDINI ~ INFLUENCE ~ 1984

~ TPOP ~ The Psychology Of Persuasion

~ PHUANOMSWEIMOEJ-JH-S-AFSTTWWMOTT-B-LUUT-OCM ~ Psychologists Have Uncovered A Number Of Mental Shortcuts We Employ In Making Our Everyday Judgments – Judgmental Heuristics – Shortcuts – Allowing For Simplified Thinking That Works Well Most Of The Time – But – Leaves Us Upon To – Occasional Costly Mistakes

~ TIAUTIOSTAUTSADOIWATBAOAT-TI-RTTAAEAABC(ON)-WFITAAAOTBCJBTESA-‘E’ ~ There Is An Unsettling Tendency In Our Society To Accept Unthinkingly The Statements And Directions Of Individuals Who Appear To Be Authorities On A Topic – That Is – Rather Than Thinking About An Expert’s Arguments And Being Convinced (Or Not) – We Frequently Ignore The Arguments And Allow Ourselves To Be Convinced Just By The Expert’s Status As – “Expert”

~ MOUKVLAO-ABP-PTISPBOT-M-U-M-IWTO ~ Most Of Us Know Very Little About Our – Automatic Behavior Patterns – Perhaps That Is So Precisely Because Of The – Mechanistic – Unthinking – Manner – In Which They Occur

~ SJAIIPTMTSBOWATBHOCDOTTOPPBOW-IIPTMTPOTSISHOLDOTPOAPPI ~ So Just As It Is Possible To Make The Same Bucket Of Water Appear To Be Hotter Or Colder Depending On The Temperature Of Previously Presented Buckets Of Water – It Is Possible To Make The Price Of The Same Item Seem Higher Or Lower Depending On The Price Of A Previously Presented Item

~ A-BP-TTBTBASFOTRIITS-T-SF-O-TF-COPVBAAITDOACCOAWHTACACEOTOPOIITS ~ Automatic-Behavior Patterns – Tend To Be Triggered By A Single Feature Of The Relevant Information In The Situation – This – Single Feature – Or – Trigger Feature – Can Often Prove Valuable By Allowing An Individual To Decide On A Correct Course Of Action Without Having To Analyze Carefully And Completely Each Of The Other Pieces Of Information In The Situation

~ R:TO-GAT ~ Reciprocation: The Old – Give And Take

~ OOTMPOTLOIAU-TROR ~ One Of The Most Potent Of The Levers Of Influence Around Us – The Rule Of Reciprocation

~ TPORCBBLAL ~ The Pull Of Reciprocity Can Be Both Lifesaving And Lifelong

~ LTANALNWTLTBROL-SA-R ~ Little Things Are Not Always Little – Not When They Link To Big Rules Of Life – Such As – Reciprocity

~ BTIAGDFTWTAMNETGIR-WWOGTGLTABCAF ~ Because There Is A General Distaste For Those Who Take And Make No Effort To Give In Return – We Will Often Go To Great Lengths To Avoid Being Considered A Freeloader

~ P-F-MNFAGTPA-P-F ~ Problem-Free – May Not Feel As Good To People As – Problem-Freed

~ SFF-OS-LRF ~ Small First Favors – Often Stimulate – Larger Return Favors

~ BRAASVIHSS-WHBCTFUWB ~ Because Reciprocal Arrangements Are So Vital In Human Social Systems – We Have Been Conditioned To Feel Uncomfortable When Beholden

~ T-R-T-R-O-D-I-T-F-T-RHOTPTRC-BSWAERSTBR-ARCTPRTASR9TODAA) ~ The – Rejection-Then-Retreat – Or – Door-In-The-Face – Technique – Relies Heavily On The Pressure To Reciprocate Concessions – By Starting With An Extreme Request Sure To Be Rejected – A Requester Can Then Profitably Retreat To A Smaller Request (The One Desired All Along)

~ APIAREOC-PFMRF-A-M-SWTO ~ After Participating In A Reciprocal Exchange Of Concessions – People Feel More Responsible For – And – More – Satisfied With The Outcome

~ OBDATUORPTGOCINSROTIOOO-R-WSAIFOCIGF-B-BRTRTATSTLBPAS-OTARITW-WSNLFANTRWAFOCOOO ~ Our Best Defense Agaisnt The Use Of Reciprocity Pressures To Gain Our Compliance Is Not Systematic Rejection Of The Initial Offers Of Others – Rather – We Should Accept Initial Favors Or Concessions In Good Faith – But – Be Ready To Redefine Them As Tricks Should They Later Be Proved As Such – Once They Are Redefined In This Way – We Should No Longer Feel A Need To Respond With A Favor Or Concession Of Our Own

~ L:TFT ~ Liking: The Friendly Thief

~ LFP ~ Liking For Profit

~ HE-WOPCOAPDTWHOSIVIMOR-PA-IOSAC ~ Halo Effect – When One Positive Characteristic Of A Person Dominates The Way He Or She Is Viewed In Most Other Respects – Physical Attractiveness – Is Often Such A Characteristic

~ WLPWALU ~ We Like People Who Are Like Us

~ WAMLTHTWWCATO ~ We Are More Likely To Help Those Who Wear Clothing Akin To Ours

~ W-BC-O-SS-A-LTWGTTU-WAPSFF ~ We – Believe Compliments – Of – Sundry Sorts – And – Like Those Who Give Them To Us – We Are Phenomenal Suckers For Flattery

~ PC-JAMLFTF-W-U-AW-T ~ Positive Comments – Just As Much Liking For The Flatterer – When – Untrue – As When – True

~ FAG-GC-YWTRTLUT ~ Find And Give – Genuine Compliments – You Want The Recipient To Live Up To

~ C-NJ-OTB-B-OTT-YPSMOI ~ Compliment – Not Just – On The Behavior – But – On The Trait – You’ll Probably See More Of It

~ WLTFTU ~ We Like Things Familiar To Us

~ E-F-FC-B-MBWR ~ Even – Far-Fetched Claims – Become – More Believable With Repetition

~ CETAPOO-UUC-LTLL ~ Continued Exposure To A Person Or Object – Under Unpleasant Conditions – Leads To Less Liking

~ GC/BC-BT-GC-HIROTSB-T-RR-PFARF-TMRTTIE-T-ITIGTSTITTISOH[/H]S ~ Good Cop / Bad Cop – Because The – Good Cop – Has Intervened Repeatedly On The Suspect’s Behalf – The – Reciprocity Rule – Pressures For A Return Favor – The Main Reason The Technique Is Effective – Though – Is That It Gives The Suspect The Idea That There Is Someone On His[/Her] Side

~ TIANHTTDAPWBUUI-EWTPDNCTBN-HE ~ There Is A Natural Human Tendency To Dislike A Person Who Brings Us Unpleasant Information – Even When That Person Did Not Cause The Bad News – Horns Effect

~ AIA-WEBTOGT-WIHPFAU ~ An Innocent Association – With Either Bad Things Or Good Things – Will Influence How People Feel About Us

~ O-SSTTECA-CSBI ~ Odors – So Slight That They Escape Conscious Awareness – Can Still Be Influential

~ SP:TAU ~ Social Proof: Truths Are Us

~ TDBMPBOTP ~ The Dishes Became More Popular Because Of Their Popularity

~ SP-WDWICBFOWOPTIC-WBWTPIPB-MOP ~ Social Proof – We Determine What Is Correct By Finding Out What Other People Think Is Correct – Works Best When The Proof Is Provided By – Many Other People

~ OAE-INOAE ~ Often An Emergency – Is Not Obviously An Emergency

~ ETDOMLISTDNDT ~ Explaining The Dangers Of Modern Life In Scientific Terms Does Not Dispel Them

~ WTACOTRFI-IACE-PAER ~ When They Are Confident Of Their Responsibilities For Intervening – In A Clear Emergency – People Are Exceedingly Responsive

~ BAPAPAYNFA ~ Be As Precise As Possible About Your Need For Aid

~ TUO-FM-LATLMFAL-AWATRHMF ~ The Use Of – Fabricated Merriment – Leads Audiences To Laugh More Frequently And Longer – As Well As To Rate Humorous Material Funnier

~ UF-RC-B-A ~ Unbounded Fears – Rendered Contagious – By – Algorithms

~ TWAWC-PB-DP-WALBA-CF ~ The World Abounds With Cults – Populated By – Dependent People – Who Are Led By A – Charismatic Figure

~ A:DD ~ Authority: Directed Deference

~ T-OS-O-PAA-MBC-WTFOM ~ The – Outward Signs – Of – Power And Authority – May Be Counterfeited – With The Flimsiest Of Materials

~ ITATAE?-TCPOI:TACATROTCTTTAH ~ Is This Authority Truly An Expert? – Two Crucial Pieces Of Information: The Authority’s Credentials And The Relevance Of Those Credentials To The Topic At Hand

– And – How Truthful Can We Expect This Expert To Be?

~ S:TROTF ~ Scarcity: The Rule Of The Few

~ UCORAU-TTOPL-PAEPRIHD-M ~ Under Conditions Of Risk And Uncertainty – The Threat Of Potential Loss – Plays An Especially Powerful Role In Human Decision-Making

~ CAC:HOTM ~ Commitment And Consistency: Hobgoblins Of The Mind

~ TMETGIAC-TGIATITAAAOTPWMI ~ The More Effort That Goes Into A Commitment – The Greater Its Ability To Influence The Attitudes And Actions Of The Person Who Made It

~ WBNSTUCWHCOT ~ We Build New Struts To Undergird Choices We Have Committed Ourselves To

~ U:T-‘W’-ITS-M ~ Unity: The – “We” – Is The Shared – Me

~ AFA-IGA ~ Asking For Advice – Is Good Advice

LINDA MCQUAIG ~ THE SPORT & PREY OF CAPITALISTS ~ 2019

~ ATCAPHF-RC-IDOCPTOACKAO-OE-OC-A-OL-TSODCAAN-TSCHBUTITWBOIWLOEAOLITHOTPM-AIBFNHBTWCNLATWMTADA-ETWAAVRCT-IR-WHMTCBOTISOTMODTFN-R-WMTBOTPEBPFIWHBKTTOLPOOPDSTCOTAMTFP ~ All This Cutting And Privatizing Has Far-Reaching Consequences – It Diminishes Our Collective Power To Own And Control Key Aspects Of – Our Economy – Our Country – And – Our Lives – Thereby Shrinking Our Democratic Capacity As A Nation – These Sweeping Changes Have Been Made Under The Illusion That We’re Better Off If We Leave Our Economy And Our Lives In The Hands Of The Private Marketplace – Another Influential But False Notion Has Been That We Can No Longer Afford Things We Managed To Afford Decades Ago – Even Though We Are A Vastly Richer Country Today – In Reality – We Haven’t Made These Changes Because Of The Inherent Superiority Of The Marketplace Or Due To Financial Necessity – Rather – We’ve Made Them Because Of The Pressure Exerted By Powerful Financial Interests Who Have Been Keen To Take Over Lucrative Parts Of Our Public Domain So They Can Own Them And Milk Them For Profits

~ TCWHSUWIATEOPEWDGAIAI ~ The Corporate World Has Saturated Us With Ideas About The Effectiveness Of Private Enterprise While Depicting Government As Inefficient And Intrusive

~ TMDAOONITWASA ~ The Most Dominant Aspect Of Our Nature Is That We Are Social Animals

~ TAOMPHB-FTMPTH-CALIMODASTTDOOT-SA-L/H/D/B/S/DOD ~ The Attainment Of Material Possessions Has Been – For The Most Part Throughout History – Considered A Less Important Mark Of Distinction And Status Than The Demonstration Of Other Traits – Such As – Loyalty / Honour / Devotion / Bravery / Service / Dedication Of Duty

~ IWAA-AA-SA-TSWNTSOSBAOCABOCTDTADF-ICGAR-OFSCBOBA-S-MF-A-MISO-RTOUASIA ~ If We Are Actually – Above All – Social Animals – Then Surely We Need To Strengthen Our Social Bonds And Our Communities And Bolster Our Capacity To Defend Them Agaisnt Disrupting Forces – Including Corporate Greed And Rapaciousness – Our Focus Should Clearly Be On Building A – Stronger – More Functional – And – More Inclusive Social Order – Rather Than On Unleashing And Stimulating Individual Acquisitiveness

~ FWSA-PO-HSRV-CAIDWBAASITC ~ For We Social Animals – Public Ownership – Has Some Real Virtues – Coming As It Does With Benefits And A Stake In The Community

~ TOIAIS-ASPURT-GETWUOC ~ The Oil Industry And Its Supporters – Are Still Putting Up Resistance To – Global Efforts To Wean Us Off Carbon

~ PO-IAPPTVFND ~ Public Ownership – Is A Potentially Powerful Transformative Vehicle For National Development

~ TNTTWSBATBPTTTILATHO-PCT ~ The Notion That The Wealthy Should Be Able To Block Policies That Threaten Their Interests Lies At The Heart Of – Public Choice Theory

~ MOEHTFOI-‘MF’-TDHGICCSP ~ Much Of Economics Has Traditionally Focused On Identifying – “Market Failure” – To Determine How Government Intervention Could Correct Such Problems

~ MO-PCT-DJWOOOHN-B-APCTSIW-IPUBC-TPTPSDFAPAA-MOTN-PSTLTD-TCECIOS ~ Much Of – Public Choice Theory – Doesn’t Jibe With Our Observation Of Human Nature – But – Although Public Choice Theory Seems Intellectually Weak – Its Political Usefulness Became Clear – The Push To Privatize Seems Disconnected From Any Practical Advantage Achieved – More Often Than Not – Privatization Seems To Lead To Disadvantage – To Considerable Extra Costs Imposed On Society

~ AOT-OWITWPP-EBWTSATSOTPSS-OITMBDT-SS-I-TIAGDO-MTBM-IPFTWEU-OOO-CPI-AWAFTIIDUTC-P-PP-D-O-PR-F/L/A-A ~ Among Other Things – One Wonders If Those Who Promote Privatization – Even Believe What They Say About The Superiority Of The Private Sector – Or If Their Motivation Boils Down To – Simple Self-Interest – There Is A Great Deal Of – Money To Be Made – In Privatization For Those Who End Up – Owning Or Operating – Crucial Public Infrastructure – As Well As For Those Involved In Drawing Up The Complex – Public-Private Partnership – Deals – Or – Providing Related – Financial / Legal / Accounting – Advice

~ TTOTC-HCCMTUOSR-B-CR-A-HDSTH ~ The Triumph Of The Commons – Humans Can Collectively Manage Their Use Of Shared Resources – By– Creating Rules – And – Have Done So Throughout History

~ TSCAPOWBD-‘TN-LA’-ASOPBO-FP-T-TBDTTSNT-TPSIIHATPSIIB-TRHBAMTOSRFOPTASSOWIAC ~ These Substantial Changes Are Part Of What’s Been Dubbed – “The Neo-Liberal Agenda” – A Set Of Polices Based On – Flimsy Pseudo-Theories – That Boil Down To The Simplistic Notion That – The Private Sector Is Inherently Good And The Public Sector Is Inherently Bad – The Result Has Been A Massive Transfer Of Society’s Resources From Ordinary People To A Small Set Of Wealthy Individuals And Corporations

~ TR-P-B-M-ORY-HBUFPUAAIOI-WSFOTTBAWIRIOI-A-NBIIOCDFWTCF-TBC-WDPD ~ The Rigid – Pro-Business – Mindset – Of Recent Years – Has Blocked Us From Properly Understanding And Acting In Our Own Interests – We Should Free Ourselves To Think Boldly About What Is Really In Our Interest – And – Not Be Intimidated If Our Conclusions Don’t Fit With Those Coming From – The Business Commentators – Who Dominate Public Debate

CHARLES SEIFE ~ PROOFINESS ~ 2010

~ NCBPW-I-SH-PD-BS-A-BM-CM-TMFD-TMOF-ST-TCBUT-BE-T-DC-AT-SD ~ Numbers Can Be Powerful Weapons – In – Skilful Hands – Phony Data – Bogus Statistics – And – Bad Mathematics – Can Make – The Most Fanciful Data – The Most Outrageous Falsehood – Seem True – They Can Be Used To – Bludgeon Enemies – To – Destroy Critics – And To – Squelch Debate

~ P:TAO-UBMATPS-T-YKIYHIT-EWIN ~ Proofiness: The Art Of – Using Bogus Mathematical Arguments To Prove Something – That – You Know In Your Heart Is True – Even When It’s Not

~ OS-IN-AIP-TINLTHAPCB ~ Our Society – Is Now – Awash In Proofiness – There Is No Limit To How Absurd Proofiness Can Be

~ OYKTMPUTTNIF-TAPAY-WYLTSPOOTW-SOTMCTBSAS ~ Once You Know The Methods People Use To Turn Numbers Into Falsehoods – They Are Powerless Against You – When You Learn To Shovel Proofiness Out Of The Way – Some Of The Most Controversial Topics Become Simple And Straightforward

~ IYWTGPTB-S-R-R-S-JSANOI-ETSASPTMTTEINT ~ If You Want To Get People To Believe – Something – Really – Really – Stupid – Just Stick A Number On It – Even The Silliest Absurdities Seem Plausible The Moment That They’re Expressed In Numerical Terms

~ NMH-I-HU-AII-NCGIC ~ No Matter How – Idiotic – How Unbelievable – An Idea Is – Numbers Can Give It Credibility

~ BTANATAN ~ But There Are Numbers And There Are Numbers

~ ORF-IW-AMATGSTI-D-FE-IHTM-POH-TINSTAA-POAH-TCGYADARRAWASIF-PAJ-A-SE

~ One Red Flag – Is When – A Measurement Attempts To Gauge Something That’s Ill-Defined – For Example – It’s Hard To Measure – Pain Or Happiness – There Is No Such Thing As A – Painometer Or A Happyscope – That Can Give You A Direct And Repeatable Reading About What A Subject Is Feeling – Pain And Joy – Are – Subjective Experiences

~ NMHRAI-PIINFMISR-EITIMITA ~ No Matter How Ridiculous An Idea – Putting It Into Numerical Form Makes It Sound Respectable – Even If The Implied Measurement Is Transparently Absurd

~ LADUILC ~ Like Actors Dressed Up In Lab Coats

~ PN-ATMEO-PV-TNFTLLRD-ALI-ETABOOANM-O-TNTTAGMAA-SFFFFAFH ~ Potemkin Numbers – Are The Mathematical Equivalent Of – Potemkin Villages – They’re Numerical Facades That Look Like Real Data – At Least Implicitly – Either They Are Born Out Of A Nonsensical Measurement – Or – They’re Not Tied To A Genuine Measurement At All – Springing Forth Fully Formed From A Fabricator’s Head

~ CP: TCSOD-CTTSTAYWTM-W-UOIDTUI ~ Cherry-Picking: The Careful Selection Of Data – Choosing Those That Support The Argument You Wish To Make – While – Underplaying Or Ignoring Data That Undermine It

~ CATO-WYCTNTSWOBTTO-IITETTUATS-OTCIM-A-OCCBRTTS-BUCBFC-SOTCTMOT ~ Comparing Apples To Oranges – When You Compare Two Numbers To See Which One’s Bigger Than The Other – It’s Important To Ensure That The Units Are The Same – Otherwise The Comparison Is Meaningless – Apple-Orange Comparisons Can Be Really Tough To Spot – Because Units Can Be Fluid Creatures – Some Of Them Change Their Meaning Over Time

~ A-P:TPTFTOD-MTSTAMFTTAA ~ Apple-Polishing: To Put The Finishing Touches On Data – Manipulating Them So They Appear More Favorable Than They Actually Are

~ WHA-IARP-TDTTSP-MA-IT-WGOSPEWTNT ~ We Humans Are – Incredible At Recognizing Patterns – The Downside To This Spectacular Pattern-Matching Ability – Is That – We Go Overboard Seeing Patterns Even When They’re Not There

~ ACIDCCLJLAE ~ A Change In Diagnostic Criteria Can Look Just Like An Epidemic

~ ATWSTTTACISW-OB-LTTCTOTMCTO-IONS-SWMCFEAVV-STHFNAR-JOO-SRC-ITOCTWHHAHTU-I-R ~ Any Time We See Two Things That Are Correlated In Some Way – Our Brains – Leap To The Conclusion That One Thing Must Cause The Other – It’s Often Not So – Sometimes We Mistake Cause For Effect And Vice Versa – Sometimes Things Happen For No Apparent Reason – Just Out Of – Sheer Random Chance – If There’s One Concept That We Humans Have A Hard Time Understanding – It’s – Randomness

~ R:ITTIOWTIOC-CAPWTIN ~ Randumbness: Insisting That There Is Order Where There Is Only Chaos – Creating A Pattern Where There Is None

~ IYT-ARCOD-A-SHE-YSAPOSS ~ If You Take – Any – Random Collection Of Data – And – Squint Hard Enough – You’ll See A Pattern Of Some Sort

~ RAT-WPBAET-WDHAIGOWBATDAWA ~ Risks Are Tricky – We’re Pretty Bad At Estimating Them – We Don’t Have An Internal Gauge Of What Behaviors Are Truly Dangerous And What Aren’t

~ MCIW-CE-MAHRSWT-O-AIRSD ~ Minor Changes In Wording – Can Easily – Make A Huge Risk Seem Worth Taking – Or – An Insignificant Risk Seem Dangerous

~ TSTS-TBTA ~ The Scarier The Story – The Bigger The Audience

~ ER-A-TFTRC-IAPT-STAITMTSBTTA ~ Exaggerating Risk – And – The Fear These Risks Cause – Is A Potent Tool – So There’s An Incentive To Make Threats Seem Bigger Than They Are

~ TGHTSITST-ATCOTOTD-YMOTBMWWUITPOTWCTCITFP-MH-WFGIDFTRIIMTG-VBTH ~ The Government Had To Step In To Save Them – At The Cost Of Trillions Of Taxpayer Dollars – Yet Much Of That Bailout Money Would Wind Up In The Pockets Of Those Who Caused The Crisis In The First Place – Moral Hazard – When Financial Gain Is Divorced From The Risks Involved In Making That Gain – Very Bad Things Happen

~ RW-IA-LON ~ Random Weirdness – Is A – Law Of Nature

~ APCBA-QD-B-TWOTQITS-TCOWIETMN-SP-SSSASTAIAPW ~ A Poll Can Be Affected – Quite Dramatically – By – The Wording Of The Questions In The Survey – The Choice Of Words In Even The Most Neutral-Sounding Phrase – Sometimes Subtly Steers A Subject To Answer In A Particular Way

~ AM-W-A-NO-PSTIKIF-O-AWRDFTT ~ Absolute Malice – When – A – News Organization – Publishes Something That It Knows Is False – Or – Acts With Reckless Disregard For The Truth

~ IP-A-W-Y-SPRMTN ~ Internet Polls – Are – Worthless – Yet – Such Polls Regularly Make The News

~ MAM-PSTBSONOTRTBWCT-WNLHTCITFUTROP-I-WCOLTTOWAAW-WCWIOM-UBTIOD ~ More And More – People Seem To Be Seeking Out News Outlets That Reinforce Their Beliefs Without Challenging Them – We No Longer Have To Confront Ideas That Force Us To Reevaluate Our Positions – Instead – We Can Only Listen To The Ones We Already Agree With – We Can Wallow In Our Myths – Undisturbed By The Inconvenience Of Doubt

~ P-I-T-TA-D-BNHAHOU-TAP-AM-B-WTNRT-IHFUTITANCBMTL ~ Proofiness – Is – Toxic – To A – Democracy – Because Numbers Have A Hold On Us – They Are Powerful – Almost Mystical – Because – We Think That Numbers Represent Truth – It’s Hard For Us To Imagine That A Number Can Be Made To Lie

~ MS-ITOAT-P-A-ODOKWDWWSTPOFAI-IMTMR;ODMWROFBTN ~ Mathematical Sophistication – Is The Only Antidote To – Proofiness – And – Our Degree Of Knowledge Will Determine Whether We Succumb To Proofiness Or Fight Against It – It’s More Than Mere Rhetoric; Our Democracy May Well Rise Or Fall By The Numbers

DONALD PROTHERO ~ REALITY CHECK ~ 2013

~ A-S-IS-WDNBTJBSPT-B-TTAE-ITEIS-T-TSMATTCIR ~ A – Skeptic – Is Someone – Who Does Not Believe Things Just Because Someone Proclaims Them – But – Tests Them Against Evidence – If The Evidence Is Solid – Then – The Skeptic Must Acknowledge That The Claim Is Real

~ A-D-I-IC-T-AAOV-A-NAOEWCTM ~ A – Denier – Is – Ideologically Committed – To – Attacking An Opposing Viewpoint – And – No Amount Of Evidence Will Change Their Minds

~ CI-H-NC ~ Crazy Ideas – Have – Negative Consequences

~ JB-TEOT-DNM-TAROCC ~ Just Because – Two Events Occurred Together – Does Not Mean – They Are Related Or Causally Connected

~ CB-HTTSWTETS-A-FWTDNME-WHETATSOEBS-A-IOTTDETSWMBW ~ Confirmation Bias – Humans Tend To See What They Expect To See – And – Forget When Things Do Not Match Expectations – We Hear Evidence That Appears To Support Our Existing Belief Systems – And – Ignore Or Try To Discount Evidence That Suggests We Might Be Wrong

~ OSCTSITQOAAINTOOC-A-UTMTOOWIAI ~ One Should Check To See If The Quotation Of An Authority Is Not Taken Out Of Context – And – Used To Mean The Opposite Of What Its Author Intended

~ YPY-OTSOY-DAA-NB-FYD ~ You Prove Yourself – On The Strength Of Your – Data And Arguments – Not By – Flaunting Your Degree

~ EITAT ~ Expertise In The Appropriate Topic

~ COI ~ Conflict Of Interest

~ BOP-WSCHBR-A-ALAOESAPEOAP-T-TBOP-FOTDWSTOTC-IINE-TPOOSPOCD-O-T-NOLI-TMSTTPOTESTV ~ Burden Of Proof – When Scientific Consensus Has Been Reached – And – A Large Amount Of Evidence Supports A Particular Explanation Of A Phenomenon – Then – The Burden Of Proof – Falls On The Dissenter Who Seeks To Overthrow The Consensus – It Is Not Enough – To Point Out One Small Piece Of Contrary Data – Or – To – Nitpick One Little Inconsistency – They Must Show That The Preponderance Of The Evidence Supports Their View

~ CINC-IIHNTTTLTETCITAATOCTO-BWSTTEAR-WNTEMCOTEOOAOA-WMPSTTDWTCBTTEIR-O-JDTRC ~ Correlation Is Not Causation – It Is Human Nature To Try To Link Two Events That Coincide In Time And Assume That One Causes The Other – Before We Say That Two Events Are Related – We Need To Examine Many Cases Of These Events Occurring Over And Over Again – We Must Perform Statistical Tests To Determine Whether The Connection Between The Two Events Is Real – Or – Just Due To Random Chance

~ ADNMS ~ Anecdotes Do Not Make Science

~ B-PAEATTCI-A-WNGTUNMWEGAT ~ But – Pseudoscientists Are Emotionally Attached To Their Cherished Ideas – And – Will Not Give Them Up No Matter What Evidence Goes Against Them

~ LATTROTE ~ Look At The Track Record Of The Expert

~ OFPPDTC? ~ Our Fellow Planetary Passengers Do They Count?

~ BAP-RTTPFCAT-SE-BTRO-E-O-SOTP-I-TOTHTOAAOTPOT-BFME-OTP-600MY-BNETIT-TC-A-B-20,000-AA-M-S-W-E-TIEFTARSITGP-B-WRDNKHMCBLBT-EPE-C ~ Biologists And Paleontologists – Refer To The Past Few Centuries As The – Sixth Extinction – Because The Rate Of – Extinction – Of – Species On This Planet – Is – Thousands Of Times Higher Than Occurred At Any Of The Previous Of The – Big Five Mass Extinctions – Of The Past – 600 Million Years – Biologists Now Estimate That In The – Twentieth Century – Alone – Between – 20,000 – And A – Million – Species – Went – Extinct – This Is Enormously Faster Than Any Rate Seen In The Geologic Past – But – We Really Do Not Know How Many Can Be Lost Before The – Entire Planetary Ecosystem – Collapses

~ TDOS-TUA ~ The – Denial Of Science – Threatens Us All

~ ME-CE:ACGNTCATBANEADPOVOAORTFTSTROTIOHOSNS ~ Media Echo-Chamber Effect: Anyone Can Get News That Confirms All Their Biases And Never Encounter A Different Point Of View Or An Outside Reality That Falsifies The Stuff They Read On The Internet Or Hear On Some News Sources

~ ‘SI’-PWA-AEIAA-WE-A-SBASM-B-WH-SBWTHL-STC-AAR-IIIITDTCABS ~ “Smart Idiots” – People Who Are – Actively Engaged In An Argument – Well Educated – And – Smart By Any Standard Measure – But – Who Have – Selectively Biased What They Have Learned – So They Can – Argue Against Reality – If It Is Important To Defending Their Community And Belief System

JOHN FREEMAN ~ THE TYRANNY OF E-MAIL ~ 2009

~ WLTIWTWBMO;NODWNTSOPTUTMEBOMLHTMOLAMSOTWBMTAOO ~ We Lean To Interact With The World By Mirroring Others; Not Only Do We Need To See Other People To Understand Them Most Effectively – Our Mind Learns How To Move Our Limbs And Make Sense Of The World By Mirroring The Actions Of Others

~ T-CS-H-IAENRE-RTBDOAS-LISDIOE-IIBRIOP ~ The – Computer Screen – However – Is An Entirely New Reading Experience – Rather Than Bouncing Down Off A Surface – Light Is Shot Directly Into Our Eyes – It Is Beamed Right Into Our Pupils

~ EHDWTA-B-IHTALLBDTCADTTFTPSBCOTDFOASTITFIFOTF ~ Eyesight Has Deteriorated With The Ages – But – It Has Taken A Large Leap Back During The Computer Age Due To The Fact That People Spend Big Chunks Of Their Day Focusing On A Screen That Is Two Feet In Front Of Their Faces

~ BDOOFEATTFOPC-WAFATLOMIIL ~ By Depriving Ourselves Of Facial Expressions And The Tangible Frisson Of Physical Contact – We Are Facing A Terrible Loss Of Meaning In Individual Life

~ SB-P/P/C-OBHAIMOSMN ~ Surrounded By – Plastics / Polystyrenes / Chemicals – Our Bodies Have An Instinctual Memory Of Something More Natural

~ ECBHEI-WETNOTCBTTON ~ Each Communication Breakthrough Has Encouraged Individuality – While Expanding The Notion Of The Commons Beyond The Tangible Or Nearby

~ T-EA-O-NMOC-AO-TEI-IOUA-WBGBBAOTC ~ The – Earliest Adopters – Of – New Modes Of Communication – Are Often – Those Engaged In – Illegal Or Unethical Activity – Who Benefit Greatly By Being Ahead Of The Curve

~ IO-IBTCA-F-FA ~ Information Overload – Is Beginning To Create A – Free-Floating Anxiety

~ WNSAEAOTIFOOM ~ We Now Spend An Enormous Amount Of Time In Front Of Our Machines

~ HMATOE-B-WARAATAW ~ Humans May Adapt To Our Environment – But – We Also Rebel Against Adaptions That Aren’t Working

~ L-OT-E-MT ~ Life – On The – E-Mail Treadmill

~ TTIT-T-R-IE-CETROA-F-T-F-CI-S-D-IDNC-NG/VT/I/FE-TWATFBT-EAD-WLT-CWOB ~ The Truth Is That – Text – Rarely – If Ever – Can Equal The Richness Of A – Face-To-Face – Conversation – It’s – Static – Disembodied – It Does Not Convey – Hand Gestures / Verbal Tone / Inflection / Facial Expressions – Things We Are Taught From Birth To – Encode And Decode – We Learn To – Communicate With Our Bodies

~ SB ~ Sensory Brownout

~ WSAPBGTW-A-CIBGTB ~ We Sneak A Peak Before Going To Work – And – Clock In Before Going To Bed

~ COFS ~ Culture Of Forwarding Stuff

~ E-MVN-IC-BEF-P/R/C ~ E-Mail’s Viral Nature – Is Clearly – Being Exploited For – Payback / Revenge / Comeuppance

~ TGBWOPAACP-MT-AAMCBF-WCLT-DPE ~ The Gap Between What One Person And Another Considers Private – Means That – Almost Any Message Can Be Forwarded – Which Can Lead To – Devastating Personal Experiences

~ OH ~ Online Humiliation

~ C-B-S-A-W-A-V-P-TTTWND ~ Connectedness – Both – Strength – And – Weakness – A – Virus – Potential – To Take The Whole Network Down

~ 85-95-P-OA-E-I-S ~ 85-95 – Percent – Of All – Email – Is – Spam

~ PLANTBL-NS-MSPSMSNS ~ People Love And Need To Be Loved – Not Surprisingly – Most Successful Phishing Schemes Mimic Social Networking Sites

~ TTTWSTSUFTWFA-TCIACOOOOT-HNB-TLELEI-B-WCSTLO ~ The Technology That Was Supposed To Set Us Free To Work From Anywhere – To Check In And Clock Out On Our Own Time – Has Now Become – The Longest Employee Leash Ever Invented – Because – We Can’t Seem To Log Off

~ ‘VIRS’ ~ “Variable Interval Reinforcement Schedule”

~ AWAV-IADWYTEA-EIFOAFH ~ As With Any Vice – It’s A Disaster When You Take E-Mail Away – Even If For Only A Few Hours

~ ‘IA’ ~ “Internet Addition”

~ OUOTHBTAOAS;WSREOBF-S-AOT-M ~ Our Use Of Technology Has Begun To Alter Our Attention Span; We’ve Started Reverse Engineering Our Brains For – Speed – As Opposed To – Mindfulness

~ DJ-FTS-CC-GD ~ Disinhibted Jeering – From The Sidelines – Can Cause – Grave Damage

~ T-TATTTLOTPW-M-STCOIUE ~ Technology – That Appears To Transcend The Limits Of The Physical World – Merely – Shifts The Cost Of Its Use Elsewhere

~ T-I-WSTAUT-WFA-A-SWD-F-O-V/H/POW-IWMT-LU-FTT-DAO-IIHLUT-WATT-TINASWTL-B-CO-C-EAPB-WM-A-U ~ The – Internet – Was Supposed To Allow Us To – Work From Anywhere – And – So We Do – From – Our – Vacations / Homes / Places Of Worship – It Was Meant To – Liberate Us – From Ties To – Desk And Office – Instead It Has Led Us To – Work All The Time – This Is Not A Sustainable Way To Live – Being – Constantly On – Causes – Emotional And Physical Burnout – Workplace Meltdowns – And – Unhappiness

~ S-M-TSAWWDS-A-COEOI-WACANITTFT ~ Speed – Matters – The Speed At Which We Do Something – Anything – Changes Our Experience Of It – Words And Communication Are Not Immune To This Fundamental Truth

~ WNTPTFWOOAIWCAOR ~ We Need To Protect The Finite Well Of Our Attention If We Care About Our Relationships

~ WNTIOTPCTEOWWSUO-WNTTGTPAPROOTC-WNTTSADAFOWSTWSEWWM ~ We Need Time In Order To Properly Consider The Effect Of What We Say Upon Others – We Need Time In Order To Grasp The Political And Professional Ramifications Of Our Typed Correspondence – We Need Time To Shape And Design And Filer Our Words So That We Say Exactly What We Mean

~ CAGH-HOUDT-IAI-TUNHBHBOCMC ~ Communicating At Great Haste – Hones Our Utterances Down To – Instincts And Impulses – That Until Now Have Been Held Back Or Channelled More Carefully

~ A-IOOTMVMR-IWWIO-FC-WWHNLWWRNI ~ Attention – Is One Of The Most Valuable Modern Resources – If We Waste It On – Frivolous Communication – We Will Have Nothing Left When We Really Need It

~ T-PW-M ~ The – Physical World – Matters

~ C-M-WNCIOTL-A-ITEOECHSPI-WSSOFAS-B-TBTTRWASD ~ Context – Matters – We Need Context In Order To Live – And – If The Environment Of Electronic Communication Has Stopped Providing It – We Shouldn’t Search Online For A Solution – But – Turn Back To The Real World And Slow Down

HA-JOON CHANG ~ SCHOOLS OF ECONOMICS ~ ECONOMICS — THE USER’S GUIDE ~ 2014

~ C:TMKAPATC-SLIA ~ Classical: The Market Keeps All Producers Alert Through Competition – So Leave It Alone

~ N-C:IKWTAD~ Neo-Classical: Individuals Know What They Are Doing – So Leave Them Alone – Except When Markets Malfunction

~ M: CIAPVFEP-B-IWC-APPOBAOTFP ~ Marxist: Capitalism Is A Powerful Vehicle For Economic Progress – But – It Will Collapse – As Private Property Ownership Becomes An Obstacle To Further Progress

~ DT:BECDITLTETTM ~ Developmentalist Tradition: Backward Economies Can’t Develop If They Leave Things Entirely To The Market

~ A:NOKE-SLEA ~ Austrian: No One Knows Enough – So Leave Everyone Alone

~ (N)-S:CIAPVOEP-B-IWA-AFBLAMB ~ (Neo)-Schumpeterian: Capitalism Is A Powerful Vehicle Of Economic Progress – But – It Will Atrophy – As Firms Become Larger And More Bureaucratic

~ K:WIGFIMNBGFTWE ~ Keynesian: What Is Good For Individuals May Not Be Good For The Whole Economy

~ I:OAN?:IAPOTS-ETTMCIR ~ Institutionalist – Old And New?: Individuals Are Products Of Their Society – Even Though They May Change Its Rules

~ B:WANSE-SWNTDCOOFOCT-R ~ Behaviouralist: We Are Not Smart Enough – So We Need To Deliberately Constrain Our Own Freedom Of Choice Through – Rules

HA-JOON CHANG ~ ECONOMICS — THE USER’S GUIDE ~ 2014

~ 95%-O-E-I-CS-MTLD-WTUOJAM ~ 95 Per Cent – Of – Economics – Is – Common Sense – Made To Look Difficult – With The Use Of Jargons And Mathematics

~ ECNBASITSTPOCI ~ Economics Can Never Be A Science In The Sense That Physics Or Chemistry Is

~ NEHYCTECETU ~ No Economist Has Yet Claimed That Economics Can Explain The Universe

~ HGAETMB-IISTITAS ~ However Great An Economic Theory May Be – It Is Specific To Its Time And Space

~ TMW:CWTBWAGI ~ The Middle Way: Capitalism Works The Best With Appropriate Government Interventions

~ TM-I-IA-C-RT-S-O-IIBO-DD-RAR-T-PCT-DO-A-ESO-TBOTMHBRDART-DPD-MOLOOME-S/CL/CN-HBWFTM-ATST-MFUTHBMDT-PD ~ The Market – Itself – Is A – Constructed – Rather Than – Spontaneous – Order – It Is Based On – Deliberately Designed – Rules And Regulations – That – Prohibit Certain Things – Discourage Others – And – Encourage Still Others – The Boundaries Of The Market Have Been Repeatedly Drawn And Redrawn Through – Deliberate Political Decisions – Many Once-Legal Objects Of Market Exchange – Slaves / Child Labour / Certain Narcotics – Have Been Withdrawn From The Market – At The Same Time – Many Formerly Unmarketable Things Have Become Marketable Due To – Political Decisions

~ TIAHGITWMATSCACAWC-IT-‘SS’-E-WWHTKOD ~ There Is A Huge Gradation In The Ways Markets And The State Combine Across Countries And Within Countries – If The – “Slippery Slope” – Existed – We Wouldn’t Have These Kinds Of Diversity

~ ‘BR’-OTMCOOD-MINTLOIBOLCTPTIWH ~ “Bounded Rationality” – Often The Main Constraint On Our Decision-Making Is Not The Lack Of Information But Our Limited Capability To Process The Information We Have

~ HTMEB-PEDAEC-FOI ~ How To Make Economics Better – Preserving Intellectual Diversity And Encouraging Cross-Fertilization Of Ideas

~ TFI-WANTKSADATEIWANTBPVOSED-BEEPACATAOL-LSETTEHITA-O-MF-IPJOWTIPWTDA ~ The Fact Is – We All Need To Know Something About Diverse Approaches To Economics If We Are Not To Become Passive Victims Of Someone Else’s Decision – Behind Every Economic Policy And Corporate Action That Affects Our Lives – Lies Some Economic Theory That Either Has Inspired Those Actions – Or – More Frequently – Is Providing Justification Of What Those In Power Want To Do Anyway

~ OWWKTTADETWWBATTTPTTAWTTUT-‘TINA’-NWLT-DETSDTPBTBODEAPV-WWHTCTDEFWIRI-A-PA-ANA-‘S’-IWTICRAW ~ Only When We Know That There Are Different Economic Theories Will We Be Able To Tell Those In Power That They Are Wrong To Tell Us That – “There Is No Alternative” – Once We Learn That – Different Economic Theories Say Different Things Partly Because They’re Based On Different Ethical And Political Values – We Will Have The Confidence To Discuss Economics For What It Really Is – A – Political Argument – And Not A – “Science” – In Which There Is Clear Right And Wrong

~ MBIT-IV-WRSPFTDEFR-SAA-F-TWHPAM-IGSSBITTUSSAG-N-QTSQ

~ Many Believers In The – Individualist View – Would Rather Sacrifice Political Freedom To Defend Economic Freedom – Support And Approval – From – Those Who Have Power And Money – It Gets Such Support Because It Takes The Underling Social Structure – As Given – Not – Questioning The Status Quo

~ P-AP:A(PM)MPBPTPTOIRTTOTP(S) ~ Principle-Agent Problem: Agents (Professional Managers) May Pursue Business Practices That Promote Their Own Interests Rather Than Those Of Their Principals (Shareholders)

~ GOOSIPSCIMMWTPT ~ Government Ownership Of Shares In Private-Sector Companies Is Much More Widespread Than People Think

~ ISC-TU-AC-C-P-BTNCITAWO-IO-TASANPIAB ~ In Some Countries – Trade Unions – Are Considered – Counter-Productive – Blocking The Necessary Changes In Technologies And Work Organization – In Others – They Are Seen As Natural Partners In Any Business

~ OPPAPTTPITOF-TWHMALOMMDI-A-TTTCBRITTHE-LBEFTR-TP-OATOI-BTD-FRT-LWS-LROB-A-FWR ~ Once Poor People Are Persuaded That Their Poverty Is Their Own Fault – That Whoever Has Made A Lot Of Money Must Deserve It – And – That They Too Could Become Rich If They Tried Hard Enough – Life Becomes Easier For The Rich – The Poor – Often Against Their Own Interest – Begin To Demand – Fewer Redistribute Taxes – Less Welfare Spending – Less Regulation On Business – And – Fewer Worker Rights

~ Y-MPAS-SMOTT-B-TAAMB-P/CS/A/SOF(J)/H/CTAI/SOD/V/F/L/POB/IC-A-MEB

~ Yes – Most People Are Self-Seeking Much Of The Time – But – They Are Also Moved By – Patriotism / Class Solidarity / Altruism / Sense Of Fairness (Or Justice) / Honesty / Commitment To An Ideology / Sense Of Duty / Vicariousness / Friendship / Love / Pursuit Of Beauty / Idle Curiosity – And – Much Else Besides

~ WAGTROOTP-STS-IWDNFWTCTIOOEAOTE ~ We Are Going To Run Out Of The Planet – So To Speak – If We Do Not Find Ways To Control The Impacts Of Our Economic Activities On The Environment

~ TD-CB-S-AWA-C-O-EP ~ Technological Developments – Can Be – Solutions – As Well As – Causes – Of – Environmental Problems

~ TPTTNFIMBTCTBHSWBA ~ The Possibility That These New Financial Instruments Might Be Too Complicated To Be Handled Safely Was Brushed Away

~ IC-HMT-FS-M-IAU-II-HA-HTI-OT-FS ~ Increasing Complexity – Has Made The – Financial System – More – Inefficient And Unstable – Increasing Interconnectedness – Has Also – Heightened The Instability – Of The – Financial System

~ THBAVIITFOFC ~ There Has Been A Vast Increase In The Frequency Of Financial Crises

~ TROT-‘SVM’-M-ITEO-NF-H-DRTRAF-L-TI-I-N-FC ~ The Rise Of The – “Shareholder Value Maximization” – Model – In The Era Of – New Finance – Has – Dramatically Reduced The Resources Available For – Long-Term Investments – In – Non-Financial Corporations

~ N-FC-HBIDOTFAFTP ~ Non-Financial Companies – Have Become Increasingly Dependent On Their Financial Activities For Their Profits

~ F-NTBSREBIIS-P ~ Finance – Needs To Be Strictly Regulated Exactly Because It Is So – Powerful

~ CL-WCWIAJ-TMAPDAA-T-B-WFAYA-IMNFTPTTF ~ Child Labour – When Children Work In Adult Jobs – Their Mental And Physical Developments Are Arrested – Thus – By – Working From A Young Age – Individuals May Not Fulfill Their Potential To The Full

~ TWS-WITMDAOLFTMOP-EWTAOCA-‘NW’-DAT-IM-ED-PAMCA-C-RT-W-TRITWHAWAWI-ATDL-WSWWA ~ Taking Work Seriously – Work Is The Most Dominant Aspect Of Life For The Majority Of People – Even When They Are Officially Classified As – “Not Working” – Despite All This – In Most – Economic Discussions – People Are Mainly Conceptualized As – Consumers – Rather Than – Workers – The Reality Is That What Happens At Work Affects Workers Immeasurably – At The Deepest Level – Work Shapes Who We Are

~ F-E-OTMI-A-OA-PGITACC-ICTBSU-A-T-I-THCOU-EH/D/H/S-AHR ~ Full Employment – Once The Most Important – And – Often Achieved – Policy Goal In The Advanced Capitalist Countries – Is Considered To Be Something Unachievable – And – Thus – Irrelevant – The Human Costs Of Unemployment – Economic Hardship / Depression / Humiliation / Suicide – Are Hardly Recognized

~ W-TWMS-WCBAMBEAAMFS ~ Without – Taking Work More Seriously – We Cannot Build A More Balanced Economy And A More Fulfilled Society

~ PE:AM-‘H’-N ~ Political Economy: A More – “Honest” – Name

~ S-A-O-F-N-CTEOTTISDMBTTMOD-TONO-E-TSOPMOTE ~ Sometimes – An – Old – Forgotten – Name – Conveys The Essence Of The Thing It Is Describing Much Better Than The Modern One Does – The Old Name Of – Economics – The Study Of Political Management Of The Economy

~ TIAHSOOO-TAROTS-OWDF-EV-TPPOE-WTGSOSND-BM-BN ~ There Is A Huge Spectrum Of Opinion On – The Appropriate Role Of The State – Once We Depart From – Extreme Views – The Possible Permutations Of Exactly – What The Government Should Or Should Not Do – Become Mind-Bogglingly Numerous

~ TINS-‘S’-W-TDTBBMAP ~ There Isn’t A Single – “Scientific” – Way – To Draw The Boundary Between Market And Politics

~ EIAPA-YMATA-OQ-WB? ~ Economics Is A Political Argument – You Must Ask The Age-Old Question – Who Benefits?

CHARLES MACKAY ~ WITCH MANIA ~ EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS ~ 1841

~ E-FAPO-TCAAH-BUTI-NOT-PSWTETMITAOM-B-TMH-PTSESTTATWWUTF-AETSUTN-ECTB-ATAW-NVO-P-B-TWOSNH-W-WOI-CTITRTFAPAHAAW-TWWOET-TUTOUPFVTTCAAD ~ Europe – For A Period Of – Two Centuries And A Half – Brooded Upon The Idea – Not Only That – Parted Spirits Walked The Earth To Meddle In The Affairs Of Men – But – That Men Had – Power To Summon Evil Spirits To Their Aid To Work Woe Upon Their Fellows – An Epidemic Terror Seized Upon The Nations – Every Calamity That Befell – Attributed To A Witch – Not Visitations Of – Providence – But – The Works Of Some Neighbouring Hag – Whose – Wretchedness Or Insanity – Caused The Ignorant To Raise Their Finger And Point At Her As A Witch – The Word Was One Everybody’s Tongue – Thousands Upon Thousands Of Unhappy Persons Fell Victims To This Cruel And Absurd Delusion

~ PFW-IWACIWSME-A-RWSMD-T-TP-WTWT-RTW-A-CFNOIUT-HOTATOWTETD-TCWMTPFTMVP-BOIAOC-WROWP-POR ~ Prosecutions For Witchcraft – It Was A Crime Imputed With So Much Ease – And – Repelled With So Much Difficulty – That – The Powerful – Whenever They Wanted To – Ruin The Weak – And – Could Fix No Other Imputation Upon Them – Had Only To Accuse Them Of Witchcraft To Ensure Their Destruction – This Crime Was Made The Pretext For The Most Violent Persecution – Both Of Individuals And Of Communities – Whose Real Offences Were Purely – Political Or Religious

~ TTCOTFABOTFC-MWWB-IDPO-E ~ Towards The Close Of The Fourteenth And Beginning Of The Fifteenth Century – Many Witches Were Burned – In Different Parts Of – Europe

~ AANCOTSP-TCOTPTI-I-TWFTAATWTP-ITHTBPOABAMD-WTHTPITT-TTMBRUTP ~ As A Natural Consequence Of The Severe Persecution – The Crime Or The Pretenders To It – Increased – Those Who Found Themselves Accused And Threatened With The Penalties – If They Happened To Be Persons Of A Bad And Malicious Disposition – Wished They Had The Power Imputed To Them – That They Might Be Revenged Upon Their Persecutors

~ W-RAL-A-RTC-IINWT-TWIRATSII-EWTWOANT-FTEWT-TP-OWATWWS ~ When – Religion And Law – Alike – Recognized The Crime – It Is No Wonder That – The Weak In Reason And The Strong In Imagination – Especially When They Were Of A Nervous Temperament – Fancied Themselves Endued With The – Terrible Powers – Of Which All The World Was Speaking

~ TR-TCIF-MTA-CA ~ The Rack – That Convenient Instrument For – Making The Accused – Confess Anything

~ UT-C-JWP:T-POW-AUISC-W-HABITM-P;TM-WD-WATE-UPOLS ~ Upon These – Confessions – Judgment Was Pronounced: The – Poor Old Women – As Usual In Such Cases – Were – Hanged And Burned In The Market-Place; The More – Wealthy Delinquents – Were Allowed To Escape – Upon Payment Of Large Sums

~ TMTB-TMTFTB-UIBA-CP-W-WITHWOL-TTMNLTGO-IWSTB-A-P-A-I-T-TE-DATSOTS ~ The More They Burned – The More They Found To Burn – Until It Became A – Common Prayer – With – Women In The Humbler Walks Of Life – That They Might Never Live To Grow Old – It Was Sufficient To Be – Aged – Poor – And – Ill-Tempered – To Ensure – Death At The Stake Or The Scaffold

~ ‘CEC’ ~ “Convicta Et Combusta”

~ I-ACOM-SUIE-WMITSBOTL-T-DABW ~ Immediately – A Class Of Men – Sprang Up In Europe – Who Made It The Sole Business Of Their Lives – To – Discover And Burn The Witches

~ T-NF-TETARBTI ~ Torture – Never Failed – To Educe The Answer Require By The Inquisitor

~ TTI-T-PWD-FIWTNOCHCOTSOAWWWNAADITA:THWFATWHITS ~ The Truth Is – That – Pity Was Dangerous – For It Was Thought No One Could Have Compassion On The Sufferings Of A Witch Who Was Not A Dabbler In The Art: To Have Wept For A Witch Would Have Insured The Stake

~ ITMOTE-RWTGOM;FIAUR-OA-A-TP-WTCWW ~ In The Midst Of These Executions – Rare Were The Gleams Of Mercy; Few Instances Are Upon Record – Of Any – Acquittal – Taking Place – When The Charge Was Witchcraft

~ W-F-O-W-P-BAT-A-ASOMVRATCPW-LP-T-RITFOSC-SS-DOF-NUT-I-AP-WDNB-WPUI-WDTTD ~ Witch-Finding – Or – Witch-Pricking – Became A Trade – And – A Set Of Mercenary Vagabonds Roamed About The Country Provided With – Long Pins – To – Run Into The Flesh Of Supposed Criminals – Some Spot – Devoid Of Feeling – No Unusual Thing – In – Aged Persons – Who Did Not Bleed – When Pricked Upon It – Was Doomed To The Death

~ TPWWIGAOTC-W-P-I-MAW-WDNUTNOTA-A-WMTOSFFW ~ The Persons Who Were In General Accused Of This Crime – Were – Poor – Ignorant – Men And Women – Who Did Not Understand The Nature Of The Accusation – And – Who Mistook Their Own Superstitious Fears For Witchcraft

~ SDRASETACRT-S-IICTT-T-TDHPA-T-TRMHGPTAMF-AT-WMNCBUTVOAS-WIFA-NIVBTTAIVBM ~ So Deeply Rooted Are Some Errors That Ages Cannot Remove Them – Still – It Is Consoling To Think – That – The Delirium Has Passed Away – That – The Raging Madness Has Given Place To A Milder Folly – And That – We May Now Count By Units The Votaries Of A Superstition – Which In Former Ages – Numbered Its Victims By The Thousands And Its Votaries By Millions

BARBARA EHRENREICH ~ BRIGHT-SIDED ~ 2009

~ P-INSMOCOOMAIIPOOI-TWWETWATWOTFWI ~ Positivity – Is Not So Much Our Condition Or Our Mood As It Is Part Of Our Ideology – The Way We Explain The World And Think We Ought To Function Within It

~ H-IAE-AY-TEOWINEWOC-O-IA-CS-ACE-WPACDTP ~ Hope – Is An Emotion – A Yearning – The Experience Of Which Is Not Entirely Within Our Control – Optimism – Is A – Cognitive Stance – A Conscious Expectation – Which Presumably Anyone Can Develop Through Practice

~ ITRETMPWOT-O-I-H-PE-C-A-R-MIEFUTAOG-AFLRTARR-TITOTCISMW-DATPW-NT-SP-NO-W-PT-RTITFO-H-P-A-S-FBRAMR-T-TEO-PT-ISTBWWOTAA ~ In The Rational Explanation That Many Psychologists Would Offer Today – Optimism – Improves – Health – Personal Efficacy – Confidence – And – Resilience – Making It Easier For Us To Accomplish Our Goals – A Far Less Rational Theory Also Runs Rampant – The Idea That Our Thoughts Can In Some Mysterious Way – Directly Affect The Physical World – Negative Thoughts – Somehow Produce – Negative Outcomes – While – Positive Thoughts – Realize Themselves In The Form Of – Health – Prosperity – And – Success – For Both Rational And Mystical Reasons – Then – The Effort Of – Positive Thinking – Is Said To Be Well Worth Our Time And Attention

~ ITG-‘PT’-IC-A-TARGB-ITAOTUTTHAA-TWBWTMEOPT?-O-B-WDFBTTWGBOTO ~ If The Generic – “Positive Thought” – Is Correct – And – Things Are Really Getting Better – If The Arc Of The Universe Tends Toward Happiness And Abundance – Then Why Bother With The Mental Effort Of Positive Thinking? – Obviously – Because – We Don’t Fully Believe That Things Will Get Better On Their Own

~ WWTPIAOBSATAOR-A-WBWADLODAETPD-WAGTCTTWAOETET? ~ What Was The Point In Agonizing Over Balance Sheets And Tedious Analyses Of Risks – And – Why Bother Worrying About Dizzying Levels Of Debt And Exposure To Potential Defaults – When All Good Things Come To Those Who Are Optimistic Enough To Expect Them?

~ TD-H-DNSFR ~ The Dogma – However – Did Not Survive Further Research

~ TFT-TP-CWOACPLASD ~ The Failure To – Think Positively – Can Weigh On A Cancer Patient Like A Second Disease

~ IYA-‘N’-PWBMITLY-TIYAC-G/C/OOS ~ If You Are – “Nice” – People Will Be More Inclined To Like You – Than If You Are Chronically – Grumpy / Critical / Out Of Sorts

~ B-ITWO-PT-OP-ANT-TBN-O-TPURC-TAT-OT-N/P/A ~ But – In The World Of – Positive Thinking – Other People – Are Not There – To Be Nurtured – Or – To Provide Unwelcome Reality Checks – They Are There – Only To – Nourish / Praise / Affirm

~ WTGA-D-‘N’-P-TAAIAW:SABA-GWTF-O-PTBO-OC-I-T-POM-WT-‘I’-OWNHTENPFOLE-OC-FE-S-CTITBIAPW ~ When The Gurus Advise – Dropping – “Negative” – People – They Are Also Issuing A Warning: Smile And Be Agreeable – Go With The Flow – Or – Prepare To Be Ostracized – Of Course – If – The – Powers Of Mind – Were Truly – “Infinite” – One Would Not Have To Eliminate Negative People From One’s Life Either – One Could – For Example – Simply – Choose To Interpret Their Behavior In A Positive Way

~ TFTVSTL-EAP-CALB-WAP-DNMTTAFTDA-O-OC-T-W-C-MIWAP-N-DT-UP-MT-‘TMISTVTTIBP’-OT-TALTWWCEFOA-A-Q-LP ~ The Fact That Very Small Things Like – Electrons And Photons – Can Act Like Both – Waves And Particles – Does Not Mean That They Are Free To Do Anything – Or – Of Course – That – We – Can – Morph Into Waves And Particles – Nor – Does The – Uncertainty Principle – Mean That – “The Mind Is Shaping The Very Thing That Is Being Perceived” – Only That There Are Limits To What We Can Ever Find Out About – A – Quantum-Level Particle

~ ‘YMIDWFY’ ~ “You Mean It Doesn’t Work For You”

~ TSDSAS;IREO-O-TCBSWARBO-B-IAWW-‘E-YDIT-IT’-WKOCBPCTB? ~ There’s Something Deeply Sociable About Science; It Rests Entirely On – Observations – That Can Be Shared With And Repeated By Others – But – In A World Where – “Everything – You Decide Is True – Is True” – What Kind Of Connection Between People Can There Be?

~ TT-PT-ERS-A-OILMBSTRM ~ To The – Positive Thinker – Emotions Remain Suspect – And – One’s Inner Life Must Be Subjected To Relentless Monitoring

~ WSSMTWOO-W-TISMRWTBD? ~ Why Spend So Much Time Working On Oneself – When – There Is So Much Real Work To Be Done?

~ T-O-S-CEO-HRFWTROTC-MEAOTBBATTT;T-NO-WLTHBHFH-CSITBW-EIIWDFTULOB ~ The – Old-Style – CEO – Had Risen From Within The Ranks Of The Company – Mastering Every Aspect Of The Business Before Ascending To The Top; The – New One – Was Likely To Have Been Hired For His – Celebrity Status In The Business World – Even If It Was Derived From Totally Unrelated Lines Of Businesses

~ YCJA-SM-WTCAASNOTBAMHCP-B-TEMTAL-FN-YCOCY-POR-F-NAB-T-PAA-TWTCWGGTIL-OEATOS-PT ~ You Could Join A – Social Movement – Working To Create An Adequate Safety Net Or To Bring About More Humane Corporate Polices – But – Those Efforts Might Take A Lifetime – For Now – You Can Only Change Your – Perception Of Reality – From – Negative And Bitter – To – Positive And Accepting – This Was The Corporate World’s Great Gift To Its Laid-Off Employees And The Overworked Survivors – Positive Thinking

~ B-TMPTFMT-SOD-W-‘TB’-AESMTIHSA-‘T-BI’-OTMI-JALWMAMOTTC-EWUTFCAASOCPATMOT-‘T’- ~ But – The Most Popular Technique For Motivating The – Survivors Of Downsizing – Was – “Team Building” – An Effort So Massive That It Has Spawned A – “Team-Building Industry” – Overlapping The Motivation Industry – Just As Layoffs Were Making A Mockery Of The Team Concept – Employees Were Urged To Find Camaraderie And A Sense Of Collective Purpose At The Microlevel Of The – “Team”

~ PT-P-A-SOC-IAWW-T-‘C’-WAM-TMHH-LALPTCTOF-B-THBGA-W-A-BS-AA-R-TCTWIF-IP-IOTC-MTOM ~ Positive Thinking – Promised – A – Sense Of Control – In A World Where – The – “Cheese” – Was Always Moving – They May Have Had – Less And Less Power To Chart Their Own Futures – But – They Had Been Given A – Worldview – A – Belief System – Almost A – Religion – That Claimed They Were In Fact – Infinitely Powerful – If Only They Could – Master Their Own Minds

~ FM-ITM-SM-ETMOIMB-A-YWBLM ~ Follow Me – Is The Message – Send Money – Employ The Methods Outlined In My Books – And – You Will Become Like Me

~ E-TSM-YCHATSITM-I-O-YBTYC-B-A-IAHU-TIT-DM-TIYDHATYW-IYF:S/D/D-YHOYTB ~ Everywhere – The Same Message – You Can Have All That Stuff In The Mall – If – Only – You Believe That You Can – But – Always – In A Hissed Undertone – There Is The – Darker Message – That If You Don’t Have All That You Want – If You Feel: Sick / Discouraged / Defeated – You Have Only Yourself To Blame

~ TA-‘IAE’-HOCBUAAEPR ~ This Argument – “Impractical And Expensive” – Has Of Course Been Used Against Almost Every Progressive Reform

~ HS-ITFO-MT-DO-OATLIG-B-TIOM-GC-CSO-RACS-MUHTCTCOBTBOBN ~ Human Survival – In The Face Of – Multiple Threats – Depended On – Our Ability To Live In Groups – But – The Imperative Of Maintaining – Group Cohesion – Can Sometimes Override – Realism And Common Sense – Making Us Hesitate To Challenge The Consensus Or Be The Bearer Of Bad News

~ PT-DNATNF-CV-IOTTVI ~ Positive Thinking – Did Not Abolish The Need For – Constant Vigilance – It Only Turned That Vigilance Inward

~ S-WNTHOFANT-A-AAT-WNTBATTWOO-EWTI-ABN-A-ETVO-‘N’P ~ Sometimes – We Need To Heed Our Fears And Negative Thoughts – And – At All Times – We Need To Be Alert To The World Outside Ourselves – Even When That Includes – Absorbing Bad News – And – Entertaining The Views Of – “Negative” People

~ A-VR-DNFTPOH-IF-IMIP-HCWET-IOS-WA-TACWFOI? ~ A – Vigilant Realism – Does Not Foreclose The Pursuit Of Happiness – In Fact – It Makes It Possible – How Can We Expect To – Improve Our Situation – Without Addressing – The Actual Circumstances We Find Ourselves In?