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

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

MICHAEL SANDEL ~ THE TYRANNY OF MERIT ~ 2020

~ WBOTCG? ~ What’s Become Of The Common Good?

~ WNTAWTSTOFP-ITLMFB-TPOM-O-TSACGBTSATS ~ We Need To Ask Whether The Solution To Our Fractious Politics – Is To Live More Faithfully By – The Principle Of Merit – Or – To Seek A Common Good Beyond The Sorting And The Striving

~ B-TRORNRH-ITE-IINETR-MWNERTTMC ~ But – The Rhetoric Of Rising Now Rings Hollow – In Today’s Economy – It Is Not Easy To Rise – Most Will Not Even Rise To The Middle Class

~ T-TCWT-HM-TTBTWT-GE-TATR-IS-DLO-TSOP-TOAT=E=HC-A-OR-TEPTSITWOW ~ Today – The Countries With The – Highest Mobility – Tend To Be Those With The – Greatest Equality – The Ability To Rise – It Seems – Depends Less On – The Spur Of Poverty – Than On Access To – Education – Health Care – And – Other Resources – That Equip People To Succeed In The World Of Work

~ ASRTTGBRAPMRDWIOPAW-RT-RCWTPOHPSUALWRGFAFA ~ Any Serous Response To The Gap Between Rich And Poor Must Reckon Directly With Inequalities Of Power And Wealth – Rather Than – Rest Content With The Project Of Helping People Scramble Up A Ladder Whose Rungs Grow Father And Farther Apart

~ M-IIUWTTDTORTM-DSLOTS-TWCTMI-A-MITCOTPP-OTMQ-TAISMPP:TMAATMEP-ATWAAATL-ATW-IGH-ATL-HAR ~ Morally – It Is Unclear Why The Talented Deserve The Outsize Rewards That Market-Driven Societies Lavish On The Successful – Those Who Celebrate The Meritocratic Ideal – And – Make It The Center Of Their Political Project – Overlook This Moral Question – They Also Ignore Something More Politically Potent: The Morally Attractive Attitudes The Meritocratic Ethic Promotes – Among The Winners And Also Among The Losers – Among The Winners – It Generates Hubris – Among The Losers – Humiliation And Resentment

~ TPCIATTOM-A-TCIJ ~ The Populist Complaint Is About The Tyranny Of Merit – And – The Complaint Is Justified

~ TNT-TSR-TAHW-ETW-TCTSTOD-AMOTV-A-TLDUTLFTT-MH-RTTOWTITDOTS-TFT-CAGF-THTOTW-IIT-SC-OT-WLOT-TTDTF-A-T-TOTB-DTT ~ The Notion That – The System Rewards – Talent And Hard Work – Encourages The Winners – To Consider Their Success Their Own Doing – A Measure Of Their Virtue – And – To Look Down Upon Those Less Fortunate Than Themselves – Meritocratic Hubris – Reflects The Tendency Of Winners To Inhale Too Deeply Of Their Success – To Forget The – Luck And Good Fortune – That Helped Them On Their Way – It Is The – Smug Conviction – Of Those – Who Land On Top – That They Deserve Their Fate – And – That – Those On The Bottom – Deserve Theirs Too

~ T- T-CG-IUMI-ET-IILACSODTBOC-TA-SCP-AMBT-GDP-TMFA-IPD ~ Today – The – Common Good – Is Understood Mainly In – Economic Terms – It Is Less About Cultivating Solidarity Or Deepening The Bonds Of Citizenship – Than About – Satisfying Consumer Preferences – As Measured By The – Gross Domestic Product – This Makes For An – Impoverished Public Discourse

~ WPF-PA-TD-CEO-NMTT-WINO-OE-SM-IWPTPOAWRL-C-ATPS-FT-EPD-FAD-TRSTTAO-RPD-DNMTNPABD-ISMTABDE-OOPV-B-AA(OCBTITR)-B-CBABM-B-CL-W-CC-BIWPO ~ What Passes For – Political Argument – These Days – Consists Either Of – Narrow Managerial Technocratic Talk – Which Inspires No One – Or Else – Shouting Matches – In Which Partisans Talk Past One Another Without Really Listening – Citizens – Across The Political Spectrum – Find This – Empty Public Discourse – Frustrating And Disempowering – They Rightly Sense That The Absence Of – Robust Public Debate – Does Not Mean That No Policies Are Being Decided – It Simply Means They Are Being Decided Elsewhere – Out Of Public View – By – Administrative Agencies (Often Captured By The Industries They Regulate) – By – Central Banks And Bond Markets – By – Corporate Lobbyists – Whose – Campaign Contributions – Buy Influence With Public Officials

~ FD-O-M-DG-H-HOPD-DOC-A-PAPB ~ Four Decades – Of – Market-Driven Globalization – Have – Hollowed Out Public Discourse – Disempowered Ordinary Citizens – And – Prompted A Populist Backlash

~ B-IIOTTHPRFAM;IISETATWA-EOU-WRFOLIL ~ But – It Is One Thing To Hold People Responsible For Acting Morally; It Is Something Else To Assume That We Are – Each Of Us – Wholly Responsible For Our Lot In Life

~ TNTOFROM-RDIT-MI-O-WC-IRTBTTMUIAIAWTAPWMASWW-T-MWOT-GRTHATTWSM-TMATS-TGTSTTVHBIOH[H]~ The Notion That Our Fate Reflects Our Merit – Runs Deep In The – Moral Intuitions – Of – Western Culture – It Reflects The Belief That The Moral Universe Is Arranged In A Way That Aligns Prosperity With Merit And Suffering With Wrongdoing – This – Meritocratic Way Of Thinking – Gives Rise To Harsh Attitudes Toward Those Who Suffer Misfortune – The More Acute The Suffering – The Greater The Suspicion That The Victim Has Brought It On Himself[/Herself]

~ MOTF-TS-WFL-AAFAMPOV ~ Many Of The Factors – That Separate – Winners From Losers – Are Arbitrary From A Moral Point Of View

~ TMWVOAS-MAS-S-TLLWATCFTFOTLFTO-IMSIMOD-TFMBTF-TLMMCOC-TSANOPRFOFMIHTIOIOPS ~ The More We View Ourselves As Self-Made And Self-Sufficient – The Less Likely We Are To Care For The Fate Of Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves – If My Success Is My Own Doing – Their Failure Must Be Their Fault – This Logic Makes Meritocracy Corrosive Of Commonality – Too Strenuous A Notion Of Personal Responsibility For Our Fate Makes It Hard To Imagine Ourselves In Other People’s Shoes

~ TROR ~ The Rhetoric Of Responsibility

~ FD-ME-ITMT-TW-WHAPBTR-CRAFATTWTT-TDNNTFT-SATBOSTSA-T-ROR-WLAPTAT ~ For Decades – Meritocratic Elites – Intoned The Mantra That – Those Who – Work Hard And Play By The Rules – Can Rise As Far As Their Talents Will Take Them – They Did Not Notice That For Those – Stuck At The Bottom Or Struggling To Stay Afloat – The – Rhetoric Of Rising – Was Less A Promise Than A Taunt

~ C:TLAP ~ Credentialism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

~ ‘SVD’- BTD-EOI-C-L-‘JVU’-O-‘RVW’ ~ “Smart Versus Dumb” – Began To Displace – Ethical Or Ideological – Contrasts – Like – “Just Versus Unjust” – Or – “Right Versus Wrong”

~ T-‘STTD’-A-PTA-POS-IR-TDNDO-MC ~ The – “Smart Thing To Do” – Always – Pointed To A – Prudential Or Self-Interested Reason – That Did Not Depend On – Moral Considerations

~ TNT-‘TBATB’-ABAG-TT-L-C-FC-I-AMBOMH ~ The Notion That – “The Best And The Brightest” – Are – Better At Governing – Than Their – Less-Credentialed – Fellow Citizens – Is – A Myth Born Of Meritocratic Hubris

~ P-TO-RW-I-RME ~ Parties – That Once – Represented Workers – Increasingly – Represented Meritocratic Elites

~ WMFAMITEHAECTCTLOS;IHNTSAHFATROTLSB-T-MI-INA-ROI-IIA-JOI ~ What Matters For A Meritocracy Is That Everyone Has An Equal Chance To Climb The Ladder Of Success; It Has Nothing To Say About How Far Apart The Rungs On The Ladder Should Be – The – Meritocratic Ideal – Is Not A – Remedy Of Inequality – It Is A – Justification Of Inequality

~ AT-AOG-BRWTT-W-C-IDNFMOW-PI-B-WRASASSOWTP-W-EASCALS ~ Although The – Age Of Globalization – Brought Rich Rewards To – The Well-Credentialed – It Did Not Nothing For Most Ordinary Workers – Productivity Increased – But – Workers Reaped A Smaller And Smaller Share Of What They Produced – While – Executives And Shareholders Captured A Larger Share

~ OTLSD-TIT-TMWMRTVOOSC-HBDE ~ Over The Last Several Decades – The Idea That – The Money We Make Reflects The Value Of Our Social Contribution – Has Become Deeply Embedded

~ M-FA-HRTP-EG-TDPATEI-SP-MTDOTWEAL-P-U-GAS-IT-RE ~Much – Financial Activity – Hinders Rather Than Promotes – Economic Growth – The Disproportionate Prestige Accorded Those Engaged In – Speculative Pursuits – Mocks The Dignity Of Those Who Earn A Living – Producing – Useful – Goods And Services – In The – Real Economy

~ A-PA-TRT-DOW-WUT-TS-TRTEOEB-DS-A-HPL ~ A – Political Agenda – That Recognizes The – Dignity Of Work – Would Use The – Tax System – To Reconfigure The Economy Of Esteem By – Discouraging Speculation – And – Honoring Productive Labor

MARCEL DANESI ~ THE ART OF THE LIE ~ 2020

~ SLAD-THTATTWIWTCDPAEO ~ Skilful Liars Are Dangerous – They Have The Ability To Twist Words Into Weapons That Can Divide People Against Each Other

~ DPEAIAOTAOAAC? ~ Do Political Expediency And Ideological Agendas Override Truth And Objectivity At Any Cost?

~ TSOLLFUTTD-LIATFITFOAP ~ The Stories Of Legendary Liars Fascinate Us To This Day – Lying Is A Theme Found In The Folklore Of All Peoples

~ TH-DBTALHBACOOPAT ~ Throughout History – Distinguishing Between Truth And Lies Has Been A Central Objective Of Philosophy And Theology

~ P-ANOTIHH-H-M-FSAFG-F-SPAH-AITCWO-SM ~ Perhaps – At Not Other Time In Human History – Has – Mendacity – Found Such A Fertile Ground – For – Stoking Prejudice And Hatred – As In The Contemporary World Of – Social Media

~ TINRWANFI ~ There Is No Reality Without A Name For It

~ TD-ATUO-L-TAMOI-TASTBRTNTT-IT-L ~ Truthful Discourse – And The Use Of – Logic – To Argue Matters Of Importance – These Are Still The Best Remedies To Neutralize The Tactics – In The – Lie

~ SA-UAV-DWFTNM-TSTFL ~ Semantic Ambiguity – Uncertainty And Vagueness – Disconnecting Words From Their Normal Meanings – To Snatch Truth From Language

~ FE ~ False Equivalency

~ WAH-DIB-TCAF-TIWG-F-SI ~ We All Harbor – Deeply Ingrained Beliefs – That Color And Filter – The Information We Glean – From – Social Interactions

~ CN-APTO-MC-STADTS-DEB ~ Conspiracy Narratives – Are Powerful Tools Of – Mind Control – Since They Are Designed To Stoke – Deeply Engrained Beliefs

~ CN-ROTBPO-M-NHBA-NIAIS-EIC ~ Conspiracy Narratives – Rely On Three Basic Principles Of – Mythos – Nothing Happens By Accident – Nothing Is As It Seems – Everything Is Connected

~ CN-WP-BTABO-ASUOM ~ Conspiracy Narratives – Work Psychologically – Because They Are Based On – A Strategic Use Of Metaphor

~ LC-A-I-TAPATWOT-‘E’-ATED ~ Logical Counterarguments – Are – Ineffectual – Because They Are Perceived As The Words Of The – “Enemy” – And Thus Easily Dismissed

~ TIN-MC-W-VC ~ There Is No – Mind Control – Without – Vocabulary Control

~ CS ~ Confabulated Stories

~ OOT-PT-O-PR:TAO-‘O’ ~ One Of The – Primary Tactics – Of – Political Repression: The Attack On – “Otherness”

~ “Enemies From Within”

WAL-STBD-I-TSII-TLIPAI-A-ITUSWSMBHFU ~ We Are All – Susceptible To Being Deceived – If – The Story Is Interesting – The Language Is Persuasive And Immediate – And – It Tells Us Something We Suspect May Be Hidden From Us

~ IAIR ~ Innuendo And Indirect Reference

~ PAMT-ED-B-WAG ~ People Are Much Too – Easily Deceived – By – Words And Gifts

~ S-B-TM-A-ATH-DAKO-A-RM ~ Saying – B – To Mean – A – And Then – Denying Any Knowledge Of – A’s – Real Meaning

~ TGP ~ The Great Pretender

~ B-TDIT-WLTA ~ But – The Danger Is That – Words Lead To Actions

~ CW-CHWP-T ~ Changing Words – Changes How We Perceive – Things

~ AN ~ AttackoNyms

~ HCALCSEAL-P-A/D-DA-TM-ML-IA-MP ~ How Can A Liar Call Someone Else A Liar – Projection – Attack / Defensive – Deflect Attention – The Master – Machiavellian Liar – Is A – Master Projector

~ D/D/D ~ Denial / Deflection / Distraction

~ ‘W’-AODC-B-CT-OO-OTSTOWTAAY-WRTIAODIIAW ~ “Whataboutism” – Attack Or Discredit Critics – By – Charging Them – Or Others – Of The Same Thing Of Which They Are Accusing You – Without Refuting The Initial Attack Or Disproving It In Any Way

~ LCTWWSTIOM ~ Language Conditions The Way We See Things In Our Mind

~ TFO-BD-IS-DE-TIIET-DTF-OE-ETA-IS-S-I-W-TTAT ~ The Feeling Of – Being Duped – Is So – Destructive Emotionally – That It Is Easier To – Deny The Facts – Or Else – Explain Them Away – In Some – Self-Illusory – Way – Than To Accept Them

ANNE APPLEBAUM ~ TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY ~ 2020

~ ‘OA-IITAOT-IOOPH-IWBOOICCTNITMHOH’ ~ “Our Age – Is Indeed The Age Of The – Intellectual Organization Of Political Hatreds – It Will Be One Of Its Chief Claims To Notice In The Moral History Of Humanity” ~ Julien Benda ~ The Betrayal Of The Intellectuals ~ [La Trahson Des Clercs] ~ 1927

~ A-FT-IT-FPAWRO-CT ~ A – Full-Time – Internet Troll – Fanatically Promoting A Whole Range Of – Conspiracy Theories

~ TRIM-MIETE ~ They Repeat Its Mantras – Make Its Enemies Their Enemies

~ GTRCASCTAD-I-IHIATGB-AOOSEW ~ Given The Right Conditions Any Society Can Turn Against Democracy – Indeed – If History Is Anything To Go By – All Of Our Societies Eventually Will

~ APSBOLAR-AARFAOOTI ~ Any Political System Built On Logic And Rationality – Always At Risk From An Outburst Of The Irrational

~ IIH-T-FOLD-IOOT-WNLAIDIT1920SO1930S-B-IWSRA-NE-A-NGOC-TBIA ~ If It Happens – The – Fall Of Liberal Democracy – In Our Own Time – Will Not Look As It Did In The 1920s Or 1930s – But – It Will Still Require A – New Elite – A – New Generation Of Clercs – To Bring It About

~ TATRODSTTNLP ~ To Alter The Rules Of Democracy So That They Never Lose Power

~ HDW ~ How Demagogues Win

~ SD-DNRMVTSIP-IIRUA-COE-TR-TB-TSM-TC-A-ISP-SC ~ Soft Dictatorship – Does Not Require Mass Violence To Stay In Power – Instead – It Relies Upon A – Cadre Of Elites – To Run – The Bureaucracy – The State Media – The Courts – And – In Some Places – State Companies

~ T-M-DC-UTR-WIT-DTL-HDTS-HGTC-A-HDTIOOPAI-IC-TKTTWB-RAA ~ These – Modern-Day Clercs – Understand Their Role – Which Is To – Defend The Leaders – However Dishonest Their Statements – However Great Their Corruption – And – However Disastrous Their Impact On Ordinary People And Institutions – In Change – They Know That They Will Be – Rewarded And Advanced

~ ATW-TAMVOT-IO-PS ~ Around The World – There Are Many Versions Of The – Illiberal One-Party State

~ NATTCDOHMIAA ~ No Acknowledgement That The Constant Drumbeat Of Hatred Might Inspire Another Assassination

~ B-NE-CBF ~ But – New Enemies – Can Be Found

~ TEAOACTIIIS-I-EACP-AFCAA-OTBTSSOHSPATTT ~ The Emotional Appeal Of A Conspiracy Theory Is In Its Simplicity – It – Explains Away Complex Phenomena – Accounts For Chance And Accidents – Offers The Believer The Satisfying Sense Of Having Special Privileged Access To The Truth

~ FTWB-TO-PS-G-TROTCTABAR:P ~ For Those Who Become – The One-Party State’s – Gatekeepers – The Repetition Of These Conspiracy Theories Also Brings Another Reward: Power

~ TFON ~ The Future Of Nostalgia

~ WPHR-A-NLBTLIIAB-NLATTRCIEBG-TAAWGTR-WITE0INO ~ When People Have Rejected – Aristocracy – No Longer Believe That Leadership Is Inherited At Birth – No Longer Assume That The Ruling Class Is Endorsed By God – The Argument About Who Gets To Rule – Who Is The Elite – Is Never Over

~ DAFM-CPUO-EWBROWNTTROWPAETCFVDSP-TLOTCWA-SOL-GTCTVOTCI ~ Democracy And Free Markets – Can Produce Unsatisfying Outcomes – Especially When Badly Regulated Or When Nobody Trusts The Regulators Or When People Are Entering The Contest From Very Different Starting Points – The Losers Of These Competitions Were Always – Sooner Or Later – Going To Challenge The Value Of The Competition Itself

~ TDOST-BTASC-AUC-ASC-CHI-TOAMSDITW ~ The Desire Of Some To – Belong To A Special Community – A Unique Community – A Superior Community – Can Happen In – The Oldest And Most Secure Democracies In The World

~ TIB-NRTR-IWV-515,000-T ~ Though It Bore – No Relation To Reality – It Was Viewed – 515,000 – Times

~ OWBH-EEWSHTA ~ Oligarchs Would Be Happy – Everyone Else Would Simply Have To Adjust

~ COF ~ Cascades Of Falsehood

~ WALTARSITWPTARPI-ETSOCRTHHPPCITP ~ We Now Are Living Through A Rapid Shift In The Way People Transmit And Receive Politic Information – Exactly The Sort Of Communication Revolution That Has Had Profound Political Consequences In The Past

~ TRSIAMTICH-WAD-SDTAOBNABTCAPI ~ The Rapid Shift In Advertising Money To Internet Companies Has – Within A Decade – Severely Damaged The Ability Of Both Newspapers And Broadcasters To Collect And Present Information

~ PHA-HDO-N-THDF ~ People Have Always – Had Different Opinions – Now – They Have Different Facts

~ TSMATEFPOTW-PCOTNTWTH-TARTWUTT-BTHBDTKYO-TAAFE-E-AAF-A-BTSAA-TAPIWTDE-ABAH-DBN-PHMFTOWIR ~ The Social Media Algorithms Themselves Encourage False Perceptions Of The World – People Click On The News They Want To Hear – The Algorithms Radicalize Those Who Use Them Too – Because They Have Been Designed To Keep You Online – The Algorithms Also Favor Emotions – Especially – Anger And Fear – And – Because The Sites Are Addictive – They Affect People In Ways They Don’t Expect – Anger Becomes A Habit – Divisiveness Become Normal – Polarization Has Moved From The Online World Into Reality

~ W-PTB-LNS ~ Websites – Purporting To Be – Local News Sites

~ HIAND?-WGTDI?-AAW?-FALT-WHITSQWS-B-WSTEB? ~ How Is A Nation Defined? – Who Gets To Define It? – Who Are We? – For A Long Time – We Have Imagined That Such Questions Were Settled – But – Why Should They Ever Be?

~ M-NIT-WCT-UC-DPF-A-IP ~ Maybe – New Information Technology – Will Continue To – Undermine Consensus – Divide People Further – And – Increase Polarization

~ B-A-A-D/P/SP-I-WC-TFATR-NC-TWCFBALAL ~ Because – All – Authoritarianisms – Divide / Polarize / Separate People – Into – Warring Camps – The Fight Against Them Requires – New Coalitions – Together We Can Fight Back Against Lies And Liars

TONY JUDT ~ ILL FARES THE LAND ~ 2010

~ SIPWWTWWLT-WKWTCBHNIWTAW-WNLAOAJROALA:IIG?-IIF?-IIR?-WIHBAABSOABW?-TYTB-T-PQ-EITINEA-WMLOATPT-WCGOLLT-AYWSUTCOA-TTISN ~ Something Is Profoundly Wrong With The Way We Live Today – We Know What Things Cost But Have No Idea What They Are Worth – We No Longer Ask Of A Judicial Ruling Or A Legislative Act: Is It Good? – Is If Fair? – Is It Right? – Will It Help Bring About A Better Society Or A Better World? – Those Used To Be – The – Political Questions – Even If They Invited No Easy Answers – We Must Learn Once Again To Pose Them – We Cannot Go On Living Like This – And Yet We Seem Unable To Conceive Of Alternatives – This Too Is Something New

~ TRGIAWATWIITI-B-ATFTIAGSOF-‘BWCWBI?’-‘WSWD?’ ~ The Rising Generation Is Acutely Worried About The World It Is To Inherit – But – Accompanying These Fears There Is A General Sentiment Of Frustration – “But What Can We Believe In?” – “What Should We Do”

~ S-TS-IGTBWUFTFF-WWDWTTAWSOASWW ~ Since – The State – Is Going To Be With Us For The Foreseeable Future – We Would Do Well To Think About What Sort Of A State We Want

~ IBF-A-F-FOC-FOD-FOSAAUW ~ Insecurity Breed Fear – And – Fear – Fear Of Change / Fear Of Decline / Fear Of Strangers And An Unfamiliar World

~ TCAC-THBACIIM-TPSP ~ The Consequences Are Clear – There Has Been A Collapse In Intergenerational Mobility – The Poor Stay Poor

TWTSBTWFATIM-TWTSP-TFRAPCA ~ The Wider The Spread Between The Wealthy Few And The Impoverished Many – The Worse The Social Problems – True For Rich And Poor Countries Alike

~ TY-O-GI-H-C-TTIA-NCOL-AWWCDL ~ Thirty Years – Of – Growing Inequality – Have – Convinced – That This Is A – Natural Condition Of Life – About Which We Can Do Little

~ IIOTTDAIAIP;IIQATRIT ~ It Is One Thing To Dwell Amongst Inequality And Its Pathologies; It Is Quite Another To Revel In Them

~ R-PAS-R-T-SL-WACPITSRTM20CP-TWHOATOBOT ~ Restoring – Pride And Self-Respect – To – Society’s Losers – Was A Central Platform In The Social Reforms That Marked 20th Century Progress – Today We Have Once Again Turned Our Back On Them

~ AWDITLB-AD-‘FM’~ Are We Doomed Indefinitely To Lurch Between – A Dysfunctional – “Free Market” – And – The Much-Advertised Horrors Of – “Socialism”?

~ TD-WTPIBTETIPOO ~ These Days – We Take Pride In Being Tough Enough To Inflict Pain On Others

~ WCCTEOWATCWMIAMV ~ We Cannot Continue To Evaluate Our World And The Choices We Make In A Moral Vacuum

~ MDNAG-T-C-O-CAFTCG-SB-TR-A-TCAOSAEE-C-‘IH’-BFTFITIUCFTMSOIP ~ Markets Do Not Automatically Generate – Trust – Cooperation – Or – Collective Action For The Common Good – Sustained By – Traditional Restraints – And – The Continuing Authority Of Secular And Ecclesiastical Elites – Capitalism’s – “Invisible Hand” – Benefited From The Flattering Illusion That It Unerringly Corrected For The Moral Shortcomings Of Its Practitioners

~ HSWBTMAFRAGOWTPOMWAITSME?-PWMSBROAOCTIWAT-T-‘E’-AWHDNFTY-INITH ~ How Should We Begin To Make Amends For Raising A Generation Obsessed With The Pursuit Of Material Wealth And Indifferent To So Much Else? – Perhaps We Might Start By Reminding Ourselves And Our Children That It Wasn’t Always Thus – Thinking – “Economistically” – As We Have Done Now For Thirty Years – Is Not Intrinsic To Humans

~ NCNLWSVLWOA ~ Neither Capitalism Nor Liberalism Would Survive Very Long Without One Another

~ IWT-FAD-O-T-MC-WHGRTF ~ It Was The – Fear And Disaffection – Of – The – Middle Class – Which Had Given Rise To Fascism

~ ACURT ~ All Collective Undertakings Require Trust

~ TMETS-TGTT ~ The More Equal The Society – The Greater The Trust

~ N-OC-IEQAGAWR ~ Nothing – Of Course – Is Ever Quite As Good As We Remember

~ WWHBWITSSOPROTPSTNDCA-CTETAPM-PII ~ What We Have Been Watching Is The Steady Shift Of Public Responsibility Onto The Private Sector To No Discernible Collective Advantage – Contrary To Economic Theory And Popular Myth – Privatization Is Inefficient

~ ITSR-DCSTIOTC ~ In The Short Run – Democracies Can Survive The Indifference Of Their Citizens

~ PITWYAG-NOHACSORFTTGD-IAKORHAHAEAB ~ Participation In The Way You Are Governed – Not Only Heightens A Collective Sense Of Responsibility For The Things Government Does – It Also Keeps Our Rulers Honest And Holds Authoritarian Excess At Bay

~ IWFEFTMOOCA-WSNBTSUAT-ITC-WSNBSTDTNOILTUU ~ If We Feel Excluded From The Management Of Our Collective Affairs – We Shall Not Bother To Speak Up About Them – In That Case – We Should Not Be Surprised To Discover That No One Is Listening To Us

~ CT-TILTCD-TDL ~ Convinced That – There Is Little They Can Do – They Do Little

~ TOTWTTMGITL;IFS-PSALAMVAIAUAR ~ The Only Thing Worse Than Too Much Government Is Too Little; In Failed States – People Suffer At Least As Much Violence And Injustice As Under Authoritarian Rule

~ A-CCOOOI-IWDOOINA-O-AOWCASL-LICTREOITNC ~ A – Closed Circle Of Opinion Or Ideas – Into Which Discontent Or Opposition Is Never Allowed – Or – Allowed Only Within Circumscribed And Stylized Limits – Loses Its Capacity To Respond Energetically Or Imaginatively To New Challenges

~ WNTR-LHT-CTWGU ~ We Need To Re-Learn How To – Criticize Those Who Govern Us

~ DAD-AO-TWOTY ~ Dissent And Dissidence – Are Overwhelmingly – The Work Of The Young

~ DMRWTLASIGTPC ~ Dissent Must Remain Within The Law And Seek Its Goals Through Political Channels

~ CADAYP:WITBOTIWDNTSTIOGW? ~ Cynicism And Despair Among Young People: What Is To Become Of Them If We Do Not Take Seriously The Implications Of Global Warming?

~ TWBFW-HDOTTWAAW ~ Those Who Benefit From War – Have Different Objectives Than Those Who Are Against War

~ SACACCI-TDDOCOWOI-IJAWTPOSOIAA ~ Societies Are Complex And Contain Conflicting Interests – To Deny Distinctions Of Class Or Wealth Or Influence – Is Just A Way To Promote One Set Of Interests Above Another

~ TPDLTBROTP ~ The Privileged Don’t Like To Be Reminded Of Their Privileges

~ ICFCTEDPR ~ International Capital Flows Continue To Elude Domestic Political Regulation

~ TS-MNBTP-II’-SB-P-I-C-A-U-U-C-O-IA-A-TS-OALT-DS-RAULITEOIC-IAATTATTI ~ The State – May Now Be The Primary – “Intermediate Institution” – Standing Between – Powerless – Insecure – Citizens – And – Unresponsive – Unaccountable – Corporations – Or – International Agencies – And – The State – Or At Least The – Democratic State – Retains A Unique Legitimacy In The Eyes Of Its Citizens – It Alone Answers To Them And They To It

~ F-R-CIR-O-RTDWTSPAEOOOAG-WFOR ~ Freedom – Rather – Consists In Retaining – Our – Right To Disagree With The State’s Purposes And Express Our Own Objections And Goals – Without Fear Of Retribution

~ PG-ITATRP-NTBPAPE ~ Public Goods – If They Are To Remain Public – Need To Be Provided At Public Expense

~ TFT-TROO-TAOT20C-AWTLCOAHRTDT-WTFGT-I/L/S/R-TWHIFTGAO20CR-IITTROTAOTWUIARA-1929-WATFBOATWSAIWU-TIMTD ~ The First Task – To Remind Ourselves Of – The Achievements Of The 20th Century – Along With The Likely Consequences Of A Heedless Rush To Dismantle Them – We Take For Granted The – Institutions / Legislation / Services / Rights – That We Have Inherited From The Great Age Of 20th Century Reform – It Is Time To Remind Ourselves That All Of These Were Utterly Inconceivable As Recently As – 1929 – We Are The Fortunate Beneficiaries Of A Transformation Whose Scale And Impact Was Unprecedented – There Is Much To Defend

~ WAIFWIO-I/U/I/I-WHJFHTTAT ~ We Are Intuitively Familiar With Issues Of – Injustice / Unfairness / Inequality / Immorality – We Have Just Forgotten How To Talk About Them

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

SUN TZU ~ USING SPIES ~ THE ART OF WAR ~ 4??BCE ~ MICHEAL NYLAN [TRANSLATION]

~ L-TECIOE ~ Locals – The Enemy’s Compatriots In Our Employ

~ I-EOIOE ~ Insiders – Enemy Officials In Our Employ

~ DA-ESWRTOSAW ~ Double Agents – Enemy Spies Who Report To Our Side As Well

~ ‘D’-S-PIOEWWID-STTRFITTE ~ “Dead” – Spies – Pawns In Our Employ Whom We Intentionally Deceive – So That They Relay False Information To The Enemy

~ LA-BC-RBTU ~ Live Agents – By Contrast – Report Back To Us

SUN TZU ~ THE FIVE CONSIDERATIONS ~ THE ART OF WAR ~ 4??BCE ~ MICHAEL NYLAN [TRANSLATION]

THE FIVE CONSIDERATIONS

~ TW-WATPATSTBOOW-WTLOD-UBD ~ The Way – Whatever Allows The People And Their Superior To Be Of One Will – Willing To Live Or Die – Undeterred By Danger

~ TH-NAD/HAF ~ The Heavens – Night And Day / Heat And Frost

~ TE-RD/GAOOTT-ISFATMFLOD ~ The Earth – Relative Distance / Gradient And Openness Of The Terrain – In So Far As This Makes For Life Or Death

~ TFC-W/R/H/C/S ~ The Field Commander – Wisdom / Reliability / Humaneness / Courage / Strictness

~ TR-OAM/DOA/DOR ~ The Regulations – Organization And Management / Delegation Of Authority / Deployment Of Resources

GAUGE THE TWO SIDES AND INVESTIGATE THE TRUE CONDITIONS

~ WRHTW ~ Which Ruler Has The Way

~ WCITA ~ Which Commander Is The Abler

~ WSEAHF ~ Whose Side Earth And Heaven Favor

~ WRAOAO ~ Whose Rules And Orders Are Obeyed

~ WTATS ~ Whose Troops Are The Stronger

~ WS-BT ~ Whose Solider – Better Trained

~ WRASAMCO ~ Whose Rewards And Sanctions Are More Clearly Ordained