MICHAEL SHERMER ~ THE SCIENCE OF GOOD & EVIL ~ 2004 ~ 999

~ TBA-FFMA-OCPAMPHDBF-MP-R-MR ~ To Be A – Fully Functioning Moral Agent – One Cannot Passively Accept Moral Principles Handed Down By Fiat – Moral Principles – Require – Moral Reasoning
~ M:RAW-TAB-ITCOTROASG ~ Morality: Right And Wrong – Thoughts And Behaviors – In The Context Of The Rules Of A Social Group
~ E:T-SS-O-A-TA-M-TAB-ITCOTROASG ~ Ethics: The – Scientific Study – Of – And – Theories About – Moral – Thoughts And Behaviors – In The Context Of The Rules Of A Social Group
~ LBTW-S-ECR-FT-POBF-HDVMO-BC-T-FG-A-T-A-EX-A-A-OV ~ Long Before There Were – State-Enforced Constitutional Rights – For The – Protection Of Basic Freedoms – Humans Devised Various Mechanisms Of – Behavioral Control – To – Facilitate Goodwill – And – To – Attenuate – Excessive Greed – Avarice – And – Other Vices
~ T-RF-O-H-VAV-SAS-IF-IA-COAIP-O-MAI-B ~ The – Religious Foundation – Of – Human – Virtues And Vices – Saints And Sinners – In Fact – Is A – Codification Of An Informal Psychology – Of – Moral And Immoral – Behavior
~ HAA-HS-PS-AAS-RAM-AA-SS-T-ET ~ Humans Are A – Hierarchical Social – Primate Species – And As Such – We Need – Rules And Morals – And A – Social Structure – To – Enforce Them
~ RMS-SATEI-J/C/I-A-MO-EMS-SATEBIP(TMROOPS)A-TOMO~ Religious Moral Systems – Such As Those Expressed In – Judaism / Christianity / Islam – Are – Millennia Old – Evolutionary Moral Systems – Such As Those Expressed By Indigenous Peoples (The Modern Remnants Of Paleolithic Societies) Are – Tens Of Millennia Old
~ W-Q-ADF-H-Q ~ Why – Questions – Are Different From – How – Questions
~ AHSACH ~ All Humans Share A Common Humanity
~ WCCA-MS-TIN-DA-N-IR-A-PM-FAAOS-TP-EE-A-A-RBFB-SASOM-SAM-UAY-E-AETW-ET-W-BAS-O-MOTS-A-O-AS ~ We Can Construct A – Moral System – That Is Neither –Dogmatically Absolute – Nor – Irrationally Relative – A – Provisional Morality – For An Age Of Science – That Provides – Empirical Evidence – And – A – Rational Basis For Belief – Such A System Of Morality – Suggests A More – Universal And Tolerant – Ethic – An Ethic That Will – Ensure The – Well-Being And Survival – Of – All Members Of The Species – And – Of – All Species
~ M-ITEDO-HS ~ Morality – Is The Exclusive Domain Of – Homo Sapiens
~ AA-I-HA-A-JTTS-A-ITOT-CIAGS ~ All Animals – Including – Human Animals – Are – Just Trying To Survive – And – It Turns Out That – Cooperation Is A Good Strategy
~ IATTSOPP-R-HASAAIO-SO-A-BC-TROPMS-A-TPONO-BACRO-R-L-O;T-C-S-SAM-N-A-WT-IOW-L-C-T-I-S-SAT ~ In Addition To The Sanction Of Political Power – Religion – Has Also Served As An Institution Of – Social Order – And – Behavior Control – The Reinforcement Of Positive Moral Sentiments – And – The Punishment Of Negative Ones – Became A Central Role Of – Religious – Leaders – And – Organizations; They – Codified – Subjective – Social And Moral – Norms – And – With The – Invention Of Writing – Literally – Canonized – Them – In – Sacred – Scrolls And Texts
~ TWO-GAM ~ The Wedding Of – God And Mammon
~ B-SS-‘LTN’-M-O-IF/EF/C-‘O-G’-WTBDWC-TWT-CWF-DBWWC ~ Before State – Societies – “Love The Neighbor” – Meant – One’s – Immediate Family / Extended Family / Community – “Out-Groupers” – Were To Be Dealt With Cautiously – Trust Was Tentative – Conflict Was Frequent – Death By War Was Common
~ M-A-T-MN-150 ~ Morality – And – The – Magic Number – 150
~ LO-SGS-A-RTTCCO-HM-AT-HADEB-ITOT-150-IRTNOLD-C/G/GC-A-PC-WPIFG-AT-B-O-H-G-P ~ ~ Limits On – Social Group Size – Are – Related To The Carrying Capacity Of – Human Memory – And Thus – Have A Deep Evolutionary Basis – It Turns Out That – 150 – Is Roughly The Number Of Living Descendants – Children / Grandchildren / Great-Grandchildren – A – Paleolithic Couple – Would Produce In Four Generations – At The – Birthrate – Of – Hunter-Gather – Peoples
~ WGGL-TSISG-W?-TAI-MD-A-BC-OGE-200P-A-HS-INT-ETROC-A-TDWO-WITSGCBDWT-IPC-A-SP ~ When Groups Get Large – They Split Into Smaller Groups – Why? – The Answer Is – Moral Discipline – And – Behavior Control – Once Groups Exceed – 200 People – A – Hierarchical Structure – Is Needed To – Enforce The Rules Of Cooperation – And – To Deal With Offenders – Who In The Smaller Group Could Be Dealt With Through – Informal Personal Contracts – And – Social Pressure
~ IOTPTGO-R-YNTK-WBNS-A-WYWTTSY-TIIGTTSAOP-MCKA-G-ATO-SC-TC-CN ~ In Order To Play The Game Of – Reciprocation – You Need To Know – Whose Back Needs Scratching – And – Who You Will Trust To Scratch Yours – This Information Is Gathered Through Telling Stories About Other People – More Commonly Known As – Gossip – A Tool Of – Social Control – Through Communicating – Cultural Norms
~ M-S-A-B-WI-CI-ES-B-R-REAT-SS-T-ETROHI ~ Moral – Sentiments – And – Behaviors – Were Initially – Codified Into – Ethical Systems – By – Religion – Religion Emerged As The – Social Structure – To – Enforce The Rules Of Human Interactions
~ W-BAT-GWT-CAS-RDATP-SI-TF-CAG-ITSB-EAAS-D-EGAS-P-COC-A-RTLOCTTGT-SE-S-RR ~ ~ When – Bands And Tribes – Gave Way To – Chiefdoms And States – Religion Developed As The Principal – Social Institution – To Facilitate – Cooperation And Goodwill – It Di So By – Encouraging – Altruism And Selflessness – Discouraging – Excessive Greed And Selfishness – Promoting – Cooperation Over Competition – And – Revealing The Level Of Commitment To The Group Through – Social Events – And – Religious Rituals
~ PC-WPMB-NS-NC-A-MS-WAA-PSB-CS ~ Paleolithic Communities – Were Primarily Molded By – Natural Selection – Neolithic Communities – And – Modern Societies – Were And Are – Primarily Shaped By – Cultural Selection
~ IIAMAPO-HN-TBMAIITB-H/H/J/IL ~ It Is As Much A Part Of – Human Nature – To Be Moral As It Is To Be – Hungry / Horny / Jealous / In Love
~ TNCWGOWWAATDO-ALLTBEIYABTDY-LANLITBTL ~ The Normal Cues We Give Off When We Are Attempting To Deceive Others – Are Less Likely To Be Expressed If You Actually Believe The Deception Yourself – Liars Are Not Liars If They Believe The Lie
~ T-COMP-EAAFO-SC-TE-TSOIWG-A-TSOHGT ~ The – Codification Of Moral Principles – Evolved As A Form Of – Social Control – To Ensure – The Survival Of Individuals Within Groups – And – The Survival Of Human Groups Themselves
~ TM-O-PE ~ The Myth – Of – Pure Evil
~ TIN-SF-OOTRO-T-KL-O-N-A-HB-TWCC-E ~ There Is No – Supernatural Force – Operating Outside The Realm Of – The – Known Laws – Of – Nature – And – Human Behavior – That We Can Call – Evil
~ TCS-‘E’-DNLUTADUOTCOEB ~ To Call Something – “Evil” – Does Not Lead Us To A Deeper Understanding Of The Cause Of Evil Behavior
~ ITWNH-TWBNE ~ If There Were No Humans – There Would Be No Evil
~ WETB-M-B-HTCTB-I-SOTT-ISC-WSP-WDAOOUTIAGS-WDOA-CAOV ~ We Evolved To Be – Moral – But – Have The Capacity To Be – Immoral – Some Of The Time – In Some Circumstances – With Some People – Which Direction Any One Of Us Takes In Any Given Situation – Will Depend On A – Complex Array Of Variables
~ FW-HUA-A-FW-IFO-D-A-MC-FOTCW ~ Free Will – Holds Us Accountable – Abandon – Free Will – In Favor Of – Determinism – And – Moral Culpability – Flies Out The Courtroom Window
~ FW-AA-UF-WNAAIYDH-FW-GT-EG-A-SB-TGAWI? ~ Free Will – As A – Useful Fiction – Why Not Act As If You Do Have – Free Will – Gaining The – Emotional Gratification – And – Social Benefits – That Go Along With It?
~ CWCAESWR? ~ Can We Construct An Ethical System Without Religion?
~ IIAHLOM-TB-GFIOS-T-FTCIMB ~ It Is A Higher Level Of Morality – To Be – Good For Its Own Sake – Than – For The Consequences It May Bring
~ PMP:AFMPIMCMOTT-Y-FETAFTWDOH-B/C/C ~ Provisional Moral Principles: Applicable For Most People In Most Circumstances Most Of The Time – Yet – Flexible Enough To Account For The Wide Diversity Of Human – Behavior / Culture / Circumstances
~ B-CMBAS? ~ But – Can Morality Become A Science?
~ EUSCSAU ~ Even Unattended Stimuli Can Subtly Affect Us
~MJ-IN-CR-II-IE ~ Moral Judgment – Is Not – Calculatingly Rational – It Is – Intuitively Emotional
~ CB-PAPRIO-MI ~ Cognitive Biases – Play A Powerful Role In Our – Moral Intuitions
~ PE-A-PJ-ATBWCD-ALAHC-STWM-PTIMB ~ Provisional Ethics – And – Provisional Justice – Are The Best We Can Do – As Long As Humanity Continues – So Too Will Morality – Provisional Though It May Be
~ WCAPBM ~ We Can Also Practice Being Moral

GWYNNE DYER ~ THE SHORTEST HISTORY OF WAR ~ 2022

~ TIAAWTA ~ There Is Always Another War To Analyze
~ TBIFD-OOT-CBO-EPG-A-MI-A-WWFIVHTP ~ The Bill Is Falling Due – On Our Two-Century Binge Of – Eightfold Population Growth – And – Mass Industrialization – And – We Will Find It Very Hard To Pay
~ WBTGP-TKOWTKITM-IND-IOS-A-R-IHBTAB ~ War Between The Great Powers – The Kind Of War That Kills In The Millions – Is Not Dead – It’s Only Sleeping – And – Recently – It Has Been Twitching A Bit
~ HBDNIW-TII-OMDAPI-ADSOOPN-RDTTD ~ Human Beings Did Not Invent War – They Inherited It – Our Most Distant Ancestors Practised It – As Do Some Of Our Primate Near-Relatives Down To This Day
~ TWWNE-A-FHABL-W-D/J/S/S-P/P-WTTBUTTCCOTE-A-ABBI ~ The World Was Never Empty – And – Food Has Always Been Limited – Wether – Desert / Jungle / Seashore / Savannah – Predator / Prey – Will Tend To Breed Up To The Carrying Capacity Of The Environment – And – A Bit Beyond It
~ H-G-EABIIFS-WCAIC-B-YB-M-HTOO-SCTAMPOTNB-A-TOTFR-TGYTTC ~ Hunter-Gathers – Even A Brief Interruption In Food Supply – Will Create An Instant Crisis – But – Your Band – May – Have The Option Of – Systematically Culling The Adult Male Population Of The Neighbouring Band – And – Taking Over Their Food Resources – To Get You Through The Crisis
~ E-H-G-B-TAHHTOTSW-FE ~ Every – Hunter-Gather – Band – That Anthropologists Have Had The Opportunity To Study Was – Fiercely Egalitarian
~ TH-GOTLP-W-PIV-WFFWWNB-TER-DNETW-TWBF-A-EC-W-NQE-WR ~ The Hunter-Gathers Of The Long Past – Were – Proficient In Violence – Who Fought Frequent Wars With Neighbouring Bands – The Egalitarian Revolution – Did Not Eliminate The Wars – Then We Became Farmers – And – Everything Changed – Well – Not Quite Everything – War Remained
~ RN-AAMIVDTTFT-ER-TT-OC-T-O/ER-D-HIRITPASSOADPW-NCACO-B-E-RES-NAI-IHTBP-B-IITDOOTESLIOTATPOTS-OAMOV-S-T/P/L-A-FBA-PT-A-ADDNTD-TCTIA-P-SM-ITBTJAB ~ Rank Necessity – All Armies Make It Very Difficult To Transfer From The – Enlisted Ranks– To The – Officer Caste – The – Officer / Enlisted Ranks – Distinction – Has Its Roots In The Political And Social Structures Of A Distant Past When – Nobles Commanded And Commoners Obeyed – But – Even – Radically Egalitarian States – Never Abolished It – It Had To Be Preserved – Because – It Is The Duty Of Officers To Expend Their Soldiers’ Lives In Order To Accomplish The Purposes Of The State – Officers Are Managers Of Violence – Soldiers – Training / Pride / Loyalty – Are – Finely Balanced Against – Physical Terror – And – A Desperate Desire Not To Die – They Can Turn Into A – Panic -Stricken Mob – If That Balance Tilts Just A Bit
~ TDAWIAM-P-T-C-B-OAT-40O50%-OTME ~ The Dead And Wounded In A Major – Pre-Twentieth-Century – Battle – Often Amounted To – 40 Or 50 Percent – Of The Men Engaged
~ BCNCFW-A-BFEOIQS-‘CF’-MUIPCIMW-AAUMO-SGAUR-SV(MOWANB)-A-ALG-TBTB-WASITF-‘G’-T-BO ~ Battles Can Now Continue For Weeks – And – Battles Follow Each Other In Quick Succession – “Combat Fatigue” – Most Units In Prolonged Combat In Modern War – Are An Uneasy Mixture Of – Some Green And Unsure Replacements – Some Veterans (Many Of Whom Are Nearing Breakdown) – And – A Large Group – The Bigger The Better – Who Are Still In Transition From – “Green” – To – Burned Out
~ T-GAROD-I-NANT ~ The – Giving And Receiving Of Death – Is – Not A Normal Transaction
~ NBK? ~ Natural-Born Killers?
~ TRTKAHBIU-IILETL-HETCBTIDIA-B-SEPC-A-T ~ The Reluctance To Kill Another Human Being Is Universal – It Is Less Encouraging To Learn – How Easily They Can Be Tricked Into Doing It Anyway – By – Some Elementary Psychological Conditioning – And – Training
~ ASMOM-DNFTURTK-WTCMI-N/P ~ A Small Minority Of Men – Do Not Feel The Usual Reluctance To Kill – When The Circumstances Make It – Necessary / Praiseworthy
~ AT-DB-TTF-A-TTI-I-DA-FHM-WDI ~ As The – Distance Between – The Trigger Finger – And – The Target Increase – Inhibitions – Drop Away – Five Hundred Metres – Will Do It
~ DA-DOTSHOEDOTDLOTT-STTCFCTIWC-AT-FA-TAP-WTCBHWETLOO-TITT-TPISLD-O-GTP-A-MO-TTIL-TMABRTLITA-TSITTWK-TSNOT-O-D-‘D-T’-ATTOT-RA/OM-MDOSFPERTWTHSAD-‘PD’-‘MI’-TMTWTT-GD/PWTK-TGT-‘ROMI’ ~ Drone Attack – Drone Operators Typically Spend Hours Or Even Days Observing The Daily Lives Of Their Targets – So That They Can First Confirm Their Identities With Confidence – And Then – Find A – Time And Place – Where They Can Be Hit Without Endangering The Lives Of Others – That Is The Theory – The Practice Is Sometimes Less Diligent – Occasionally – Great Time Pressure – And – Mistakes Occur – That Take Innocent Lives – They May Also Be Required To Loiter In The Area – To See If The Target Was Killed – To Say Nothing Of The – Oft-Denied – “Double-Tap” – Attacks That Take Out The – Rescuers And/Or Mourners – Many Drone Operators Suffer From Powerful Emotional Reactions To What They Have Seen And Done – “Psychological Distress” – “Moral Injury” – The More They Watched Their Targets – Getting Dressed / Playing With Their Kids – The Greater Their – “Risk Of Moral Injury”
~ IWCNTRWP-R-K/DKD-NTBTIASS-‘LAWS’-FTMTOKD ~ It’s What Comes Next That Really Worries People – Robots – Kill / Don’t Kill Decisions – Need To Be Taken In A Split Second – “Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems” – Free To Make Their Own Killing Decisions
~ AL-90%-OTSTEE-HB-DBW ~ At Least – 90 Percent – Of – The States That Ever Existed – Have Been – Destroyed By War
~ AS-B-2000BCE-TOMOHBWF-A-AALISTW-EU-W-SK-ATT-A-AMOS/S-ATB-PF-WNTKATNTHOTH-GIL-M/T-BAU ~ Anthill Society – By – 2000 BCE – The Overwhelming Majority Of Human Beings Were Farmers – And – Almost All Lived In States That Were – Extravagantly Unequal – With – Semidivine Kings – At The Top – And – A Mass Of Serfs / Slaves – At The Bottom – Physical Force – Was Needed To Keep All These Newly Tamed Heirs Of The Hunter-Gathers In Line – Militarization / Tyranny – Became Almost Universal
~ P-E-BKA-N-G-WPIIWW ~ Pseudo-Egalitarianism – Better Known As – Nationalism – Get – Whole Populations Involved In Waging War
~ T-WOA-I-NOS-B-C ~ The – War Of Attrition – Involved – Not Only Soldiers – But – Civilians
~ LARM-A-N-BTM-B-BG ~ Labour And Raw Materials – Allocated – Not – By The Market – But – By Government
~ ‘HF’ ~ “Home Front”
~ TW ~ Total War
~WTB-HL-KU-B-HP-T-PTWA-AMCAAE ~ Willingness To Bear – Huge Losses – Kept Up – By – Hate Propaganda – That – Paints The War As – A Moral Crusade Against Absolute Evil
~ P-HCTS-W-A-G-A-HI-CTSIA-AHP ~ People – Have Ceased To See – War – As – Glorious – And – Have Instead – Come To See It As – A Huge Problem
~ NW-HDST-Y-WKPNAHTWAWIW-T-P/E/C-E ~ Nuclear Weapons – Have Dominated Strategic Thinking – Yet – We Know Practically Nothing About How They Would Actually Work In War – The – Psychological / Electromagnetic / Climate – Effects
~ NASD-T-TNHBESII-JAFGTIS ~ Nukes Are So Destructive – That – The Number Held By Each Side Is Irrelevant – Just A Few Getting Through Is Sufficient
~TFO-LNW ~ The Fallacy Of – Limited Nuclear War
~ EOS? ~ Engineers Or Soldiers?
~ TCW-NQTH-ICHBJFYODL-FICCTTAUONWST-A-NTCUNIITS ~ The Cold War – Never Quite Turned Hot – It Could Have Been Just Forty Years Of Dumb Luck – For It Came Close To The Actual Use Of Nuclear Weapons Several Times – And – New Technologies Continually Unleashed New Instabilities Into The System
~ ‘NW’ ~ “Nuclear Winter”
~ ‘RIMA’ ~ “Revolution In Military Affairs”
~ UGW’ ~ “Urban Guerrilla Warfare”
~ WWHTS-TPOW-WTCO-TESS ~ We Will Have To Solve – The Problem Of War – Within The Context Of – The Existing State System
~ MPARTAT-WANSAIL-A-TTBROO-TMGUMOTO-TVMOIBSTTONSHCI ~ Most People Are Reluctant To Accept That – War And National Sovereignty Are Indissolubly Linked – And – That To Be Rid Of One – They Must Give Up Much Of The Other – The Vast Majority Of Individuals Believe Strongly That Their Own Nation Should Have Complete Independence
~ ‘CW’ ~ “Cyberwar”

AMARTYA SEN ~ THE IDEA OF JUSTICE ~ 2009

~ MAON-ACB-PWAD ~ Many Acts Of Nastiness – Are Committed By – People Who Are Deluded

~ OOTMPIFO-R-ITIHUT-SI-A-BB ~ One Of The Main Points In Favour Of – Reason – Is That It Helps Us To – Scrutinize Ideology – And – Blind Belief

~ R-CBCW-TRWO-V-A-T-OP/OC/OC-A-W-EDGFRAT-WCARA-OOM-A-TTLNTRT ~ Reasoning – Can Be Concerned With – The Right Way Of – Viewing – And – Treating – Other People / Other Cultures / Other Claims – And – With – Examining Different Grounds For Respect And Tolerance – We Can Also Reason About – Our Own Mistakes – And – Try To Learn Not To Repeat Them

~ M-CD-F-CI-RF-UF-MAC-BO-R-A-CS ~ Millions – Can Die – From – Calamitous Inaction – Resulting From – Unreasoned Fatalism – Masquerading As Composure – Based On – Realism – And – Common Sense

~ T-N-A-D-OT-NE-AHSP ~ The – Neglect – And – Deterioration – Of The – Natural Environment – A Hugely Serious Problem

~ TPC-CB-H-N-O-CO-WN-CS-NJ-GWTO ~ To Prevent Catastrophes – Caused By – Human – Negligence – Or – Callous Obduracy – We Need – Critical Scrutiny – Not Just – Good Will Towards Others

~ NGO-UI-A-UFS ~ Not Giving Or – Unscrutinized Instincts – An – Unconditional Final Say

~ JAF-B-WIF?-ICBSAADFI ~ Justice As Fairness – But – What Is Fairness? – It Can Broadly Be Seen As A Demand For Impartiality

~ HTTNO-DATM-A-TAA-OSOPOJFTTEG ~ How To Take Note Of – Diversities Among The Members – And – To Arrive At – One Set Of Principles Of Justice Fair To The Entire Group

~ LCBRTBOAFTCOF ~ Liberty Cannot Be Reduced To Being Only A Facility That Complements Other Facilities

~ T-IR-O-AB ~ The – Inescapable Relevance – Of – Actual Behaviour

~ WRHTP-CBB-ACCOATOJ ~ What Really Happens To People – Cannot But Be – A Central Concern Of A Theory Of Justice

~ TROGP ~ The Relevance Of Global Perspectives

~ TCNOIC ~ The Contingent Nature Of Institutional Choice

~ TNIOUP-BB-IB-IVIFS-BA-B-PC ~ The Negative Influence Of Unchecked Power – Both Because – Institutional Balance – Is Very Important For Society – But Also – Because – Power Corrupts

~ IAF-ATOJ-HTGAIPTTROI-H-ITPJRTTTITMOJ-TBUONBCSTWAHITW-NMHETIATTB ~ Institutions As Foundations – Any Theory Of Justice – Has To Give An Important Place To The Role Of Institutions – However – Institutions That Promote Justice Rather Than Treating The Institutions Themselves Manifestations Of Justice – The Basic Unreliability Of Not Being Constantly Sensitive To What Actually Happens In The World – No Matter How Excellent The Institution Are Taken To Be

~ NOA-DAC-POTSMOTTOJ-IIATCT-TN-R-A-R-OTT-DOCF-DAD ~ Not Only Are – Dialogue And Communication – Part Of The Subject Matter Of The Theory Of Justice – It Is Also The Case That – The Nature – Robustness – And – Reach – Of The Theories – Depend On Contributions From – Discussion And Discourse

~ IIU-THADOTFOHB-TSSPWLM-FONTBIITFC ~ It Is Unsustainable – To Have A Defence Of The Freedom Of Human Beings – That Separates Some People Whose Liberties Matter – From Others Not To Be Included In That Favoured Category

~ JOJ-CBAEPA-TIUTO ~ Judgements Of Justice – Cannot Be An Entirely Private Affair – That Is Unfathomable To Others

~ TICAII-ITNOT-IAP-OTWANPTTSCOAP-B-WBSOTCODT ~ There Is Clearly An Important Issue – In The Neglect Of The – Interests And Perspectives – Of Those Who Are Not Parties To The Social Contract Of A Polity – But – Who Bear Some Of The Consequence Of Decisions Taken

~ TLRO-OP-ADTO-UAU-P-TBBIC-A-EUTBF-TITCF-DS-IS ~ The Liberating Role Of – Open Impartiality – Allows Different Types Of – Unprejudiced And Unbiased – Perspectives – To Be Brought Into Consideration – And – Encourages Us To Benefit From – The Insights That Come From – Differently Situated – Impartial Spectators

~ WWCS-I-NIOWWSIRTWWATTS ~ What We Can See – Is – Not Independent Of Where We Stand In Relation To What We Are Trying To See

~ WION?-TQOODTONHAHPITHOEIITW-WAIL-TAFN-NLITWT ~ Who Is Our Neighbour? – The Question Of One’s Duty To One’s Neighbours Has A Huge Place In The History Of Ethical Ideas In The World – We Are Increasingly Linked – There Are Few Non-Neighbours Left In The World Today

~ TAO-TCEHBHCTDMOMET-WMOTGPOTDHAETSDATVOTA-TDHN-H-ABPIE-TEAOEM-TEAAIPOUHB-TGEPIRIBRIS ~ The Assumption Of – The Completely Egoistic Human Being – Has Come To Dominate Much Of Mainstream Economic Theory – While Many Of The Great Practitioners Of The Discipline Have Also Expressed Their Serious Doubts About The Veracity Of That Assumption – This Dichotomy Has Not – However – Always Been Present In Economics – The Early Authors On Economic Matters – Took Ethics As An Important Part Of Understanding Human Behaviour – They Gave Ethical Principles Important Roles In Behavioural Relations In Society

~ BCOTDAPOO-NNBSAAVOR ~ Being Considerate Of The Desires And Pursuits Of Others – Need Not Be Seen As A Violation Of Rationality

~ TATGWOBATAO-MBTC-N-AC-TCBE-A-SN-TMWVITD ~ There Are Two Grand Ways Of Bringing About The Attainment Of – Mutual Benefits Through Cooperation – Namely – Agreed Contracts – That Can Be Enforced – And – Social Norms – That May Work Voluntarily In That Direction

~ PACD ~ Poverty As Capability Deprivation

~ MCBD-NOT-DTPOD-B-A-TRII ~ Much Can Be Done – Not Only To – Diminish The Penalty Of Disability – But – Also – To – Reduce Its Incidence

~ WHTCBT-FOA-A-TNOT-CAO-THAA-UOL ~ We Have To Consider Both The – Freedom Of Action – And – The Nature Of The – Consequences And Outcomes – To Have An Adequate – Understanding Of Liberty

~ COD-NMHVTMBITR-MFSWOATDAO-PG ~ Critics Of Democracy – No Matter How Vigorous They May Be In Their Rejection – Must Find Some Way Of Addressing The Deep Attraction Of – Participatory Governance

~ TVT-D-IBSA-‘GBD’-HG-WS ~ The View That – Democracy – Is Best Seen As – “Government By Discussion” – Has Gained – Widespread Support

~ WDNHTBBIACWALDH-T-CTPT ~ We Do Not Have To Be Born In A Country With A Long Democratic History – To – Choose That Path Today

~ IAU-FOV-R-O-O-CAA-T-FOTP-I-CTTP ~ Informed And Unregimented – Formation Of Values – Requires – Openness – Of – Communication And Argument – The – Freedom Of The Press – Is – Crucial To This Process

~ I-AMIRTS-TROM-AEO-DOD-I-T-LCBGWHTRMR ~ If – A Majority Is Ready To Support – The Rights Of Minorities – And Even Of – Dissenting Or Discordant – Individuals – Then – Liberty Can Be Guaranteed Without Having To Restrain Majority Rule

~ O-MEIPR-I-QCT-TPOJ ~ Open-Minded Engagement In Public Reasoning – Is – Quite Central To – The Pursuit Of Justice

~ JBSTBD ~ Justice Being Seen To Be Done

~ N-P-A-RFJ ~ Non-Parochialism – A – Requirement Or Justice

EVGENY MOROZOV ~ THE NET DELUSION ~ 2011

~ TDSOIF ~ The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom

~ CU:ANBITENOOCTROASRTAID ~ Cyber-Utopianism: A Naive Belief In The Emancipatory Nature Of Online Communication That Rests On A Stubborn Refusal To Acknowledge Its Downside

~ TDSOIF ~ The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom

~ EL-‘FR’-HBTBOOT-TTC-A-ET-PC ~ Expressions Like – “Freedom Recession” – Have Begun To Break Out Of The – Think-Tank Circuit – And – Enter The – Public Conversation

~ FTA-H-AG-WRTTI-C-U-DNPHUIWPFPP-HMDWLTUIFS-A-HS-MSOIC-WB ~ Failing To Anticipate How – Authoritarian Governments – Would Respond To The Internet – Cyber-Utopians – Did Not Predict How Useful It Would Prove For Propaganda Purposes – How Masterfully Dictators Would Learn To Use It For Surveillance – And – How Sophisticated – Modern Systems Of Internet Censorship – Would Become

~ P-ITRTSTDOTNDE-C-U-EUBTROTI-RTSTIPARAWOPL-NJTOCTD ~ Paradoxically – In Their Refusal To See The Downside Of The New Digital Environment – Cyber-Utopians – Ended Up Belittling The Role Of The Internet – Refusing To See That It Penetrates And Reshaped All Walks Of Political Life – Not Just The Ones Conducive To Democratization

~ IMWIW-C-U-UR ~ I Myself Was Intoxicated With – Cyber-Utopianism – Until Recently

~ ATITOAEGRITPOBAADS-TPTFTC-A-SWWTIAWOG ~ As The Internet Takes On An Even Greater Role In The Politics Of Both Authoritarian And Democratic States – The Pressure To Forget The Context – And – Start With What The Internet Allows Will Only Grow

~ TSAAITIOABTFWAVIH-EITHAUTPWTLFG ~ The Struggle Agaisnt Authoritarianism Is Too Important Of A Battle To Fight With A Voluntary Intellectual Handicap – Even If That Handicap Allows Us To Play With The Latest Fancy Gadgets

~ TUCOAIR ~ The Unimaginable Consequences Of An Imagined Revolution

~ TBB-C-U-A-C-NIABO ~ The Border Between – Cyber-Utopianism – And – Cyber-Naivete – Is A Blurry One

~ TRWSMPAJBITPOTIIBTHNGTSMT ~ The Reason Why So Many Politicians And Journalists Believe In The Power Of The Internet Is Because They Have Not Given This Subject Much Thought

~ TIHAETSPTSAP-O-AMAR ~ The Internet Has Also Empowered: The Secret Police / The Censors / The Propaganda

~ RTATTWCAS-RTU-AR-I-EI ~ Refusing To Acknowledge That The Web Can Actually Strengthen – Rather Than Undermine – Authoritarian Regimes – Is – Extremely Irresponsible

~ MAR-HLTFIAEMBTAOI ~ Modern Authoritarian Regimes – Have Learned To Function In An Environment Marked By The Abundance Of Information

~ OD-A-T-CI ~ Online Discontents – And – Their – Content Intellectuals

~ CPTEICADIAMB-FMET-24/7P-TIHMTEEOTLUA-A-TLIAD-MA ~ Controlling People Through Entertainment Is Cheaper And Doesn’t Involve As Much Brutality – Far More Effective Than – 24/7 Policing – The Internet Has Made The Entertainment Experiences Of Those Living Under Authoritarianism – And – Those Living In A Democracy – Much Alike

~ ACTUSTAFOUV ~ A Call To Use Strategies That Are Free Of Utopian Visions

~ C-A-S ~ Censors – And – Sensibilities

~ UO-ILT-IAP ~ Unwarranted Optimism – Inevitably Leads To – Inaction And Paralysis

~ CS-AA-DAF-T-TTI-NOTU-A-T-BA-WEED ~ Censorship-Systems – Are As – Detailed And Fine-Tuned – To – The Information-Needs Of Their Users – As – The – Behavioral Advertising – We Encounter Every Day

~ TTU ~ Time To Unfriend

~ TBTTIITBTCIDN ~ The Belief That The Internet Is Too Big To Censor Is Dangerously Naive

~ WDC;WO! ~ We Don’t Censor; We Outsource!

~ WC-UC ~ Wise Crowds – Unwise Causes

~ METI-DNBI-DSFAG ~ Mere Exposure To Information – Does Not By Itself – Decrease Support For Authoritarian Governments

~ TH-THHBAMEWTETPTAS-TT-BDAI ~ Throughout History – There Has Hardly Been A More Effective Way To Ensure That People Talk About Something – Than To – Ban Discussions About It

~ MP-DNDBP-EP-TM/CG/BP-A-MR-RT ~ Modern Propaganda – Does Not Discriminate Between Platforms – Easily Penetrating – Text Messages / Computer Games / Blog Posts – And – Most Recently – Ringback Tones

~ TUO-TM-F-PP-‘RT’ ~ The Use Of – Text Messaging – For – Propaganda Purposes – “Red-Texting”

~ TIINGTUTPFOMA ~ The Internet Is Not Going To Undermine The Propaganda Foundations Of Modern Authoritarianism

~ TIROT-B-IDOTAOUNV ~ The Internet Runs On Trust –But – Its Dependence On Trust Also Opens Up Numerous Vulnerabilities

~ TWIYTMADTCOIC ~ The World Is Yet To Meet A Database That Cried Over Its Contents

~ SS-TC-AAACOWIS ~ Surveillance Software – That Can – Automatically Annotate And Comment On What It Sees

~ BTAO-SM-ITALOEF-RG-T-LATP-DAAW ~ Before The Advent Of – Social Media – It Took A Lot Of Effort For – Repressive Governments – To – Learn About The People – Dissidents Are Associated With

~ TC-DTCIWMOTUO-WSUTCOGTW ~ Technology Companies – Utterly Disregard The Contexts In Which Many Of Their Users Operate – While Significantly Underestimating The Consequences Of Getting Things Wrong

~ T-IV-O-SE-INLO-T-IG-C-AG ~ The – Intelligence Value – Of – Search Engines – Is Not Lost On – The – Internet Gurus – Consulting – Authoritarian Governments

~ FAF-ACSDM-N-WTFIPE ~ First And Foremost – Authorities Can Shut Down Mobile-Networks – Whenever They Find It Politically Expedient

~ NOHY-TAAG-B-ATPOAC-A-CJATG ~ No One Has Yet – Toppled An Authoritarian Government – By – Assuming The Posture Of A Clown – And – Cracking Jokes About The Guillotine

~ P-H-N-ACBTUO-SN-A-N ~ Psychologists – Have – Noticed – A Correlation Between The Use Of – Social Networking – And – Narcissism

~ DWD ~ Dissidents Without Dissent

~ MO-DA-IMB-CI-WOO-KP ~ Much Of – Digital Activism – Is Mediated By – Commercial Intermediaries – Who Operate On – Kafkaesque Principles

~ DI ~ Dangerous Intermediaries

~ ‘IS’TIT-G-H-LC-OT-NAA-O-TWMTIM ~ “Information Sovereignty” – The Idea That – Governments – Have – Legitimate Concerns – Over The – Nationalities And Allegiances – Of – Those Who Mediate Their Information Markets

~ IF-A-TC ~ Internet Freedoms – And – Their Consequences

~ TOTWAAASIAFO ~ The Only Thing Worse Than An Authoritarian State Is A Failed One

~ NMT-PVAACA-FRC ~ Nothing More Than – Poorly Veiled Attempts At Creating A – Favorable Regulatory Climate

~ A-UT-ITHO-OP-I-ARFD ~ An – Unruly Tool – In The Hands Of – Overconfident People – Is – A Recipe For Disaster

~ H-C-W-SOL-P-EP-TWMUPAOHESTRA ~ Hidden-Costs – Will – Sooner Or Later – Produce – Environmental Problems – That Will Make Us Painfully Aware Of How Expensive Such Technologies Really Are

~ TFTWCYCATCOAGT-F/M/E-DNMTICF ~ The Fact That We Cannot Yet Calculate All The Costs Of A Given Technology – Financial / Moral / Environmental – Does Not Mean That It Comes Free

~ J-AOP-B-CT-TIWSIHA-I-ETKOCTSBST-MAP-NJ-T-S ~ Justifying – Assault On Privacy – By – Clamming That – This Is Where Society Is Heading Anyway – Is – Exactly The Kind Of Claim That Should Be Subject To – Moral And Political – Not Just – Technological – Scrutiny

~ WI-MD-A-ST-TD-ITIHOAO-TS-A-TP ~ What Is – Most Dangerous – About – Succumbing To – Technological Determinism – Is That It Hinders Our Awareness Of – The Social – And – The Political

~ TMWLA-T-TLIMSTFOIA-IIFOF ~ The More We Learn About – Technology – The Less It Makes Sense To Focus On It Alone – In Isolation From Other Factors

~ UNC-SWBGT-AFPOE ~ Under No Circumstances – Should We Be Giving Technologies – A Free Pass On Ethics

~ TWF ~ The Wicked Fix

~ E-WP-CBCASO-AH-LP-AT-SBTOTHPL ~ Every – Wicked Problem – Can Be Considered A Symptom Of – Another Higher-Level Problem – And Thus – Should Be Tackled On The Highest Possible Level

~ TUIOTMW-WIMDOTTE-IT-ATBEMII-P-A-S-L-LALAIP-TSAP-DOTI ~ The Ultimate Irony Of The Modern World – Which Is More Dependent On Technology Than Ever – Is That – As Technology Becomes Ever More Integrated Into – Political – And – Social – Life – Less And Less Attention Is Paid – To The – Social And Political – Dimensions Of Technology Itself

ELLEN MEIKSINS WOOD ~ THE ORIGIN OF CAPITALISM ~ 1999

~ ITP-C-HAPOOI-RC-B-NWLAFF-N-A-EW-O ~ In The Past – Capitalism – Has Always Pulled Out Of Its – Recurrent Crises – But – Never Without Laying A Foundation For – New – And – Even Worse – Ones

~ AAIIASIWTBOSWIDB-PL-WAOTSTL-PIEFAW-IOTGATTMOLAOLI ~ Above All It Is A System In Which The Bulk Of Society’s Work Is Done By – Propertyless Labourers – Who Are Obliged To Sell Their Labour-Power In Exchange For A Wage – In Order To Gain Access To The Means Of Life And Of Labour Itself

~ TBOOT-CS-ITPAS-EOC-TDWOSTMNOHB-SVDFAPWO-OML-A-SR-HEFAVST-BAFOHEOE-ETWMEIO-TSRIHN-A-INCWA-OHP-WNCTIREB-TEMP-A-TOI-WE ~ The Basic Objective Of The – Capitalist System – Is The Production And Self-Expansion Of Capital – This Distinctive Way Of Supplying The Material Needs Of Human Beings – So Very Different From All Preceding Ways Of – Organizing Material Life – And – Social Reproduction – Has Existed For A Very Short Time – Barely A Fraction Of Humanity’s Existence On Earth – Even Those Who Most Emphatically Insist On – The System’s Roots In Human Nature – And – Its Natural Continuity With Age-Old Human Practices – Would Not Claim That It Really Existed Before – The Early Modern Period – And – Then Only In – Western Europe

~ IMAOCAIO-TRINO-CSATBT-S-AIONTBRFIC-FIFTFOF-TBATGAM-TTFAP:TPPOLOTROAAS-STACOI:PTWR-TEOTEITSTCBN-CACS-A-TDOD-TSOC-CTTCAOHACA-EOI-A-HN-A-AHHBWBIOGTC ~ In Most Accounts Of Capitalism And Its Origin – There Really Is No Origin – Capitalism Seems Always To Be There – Somewhere – And It Only Needs To Be Released From Its Chains – For Instance From The Fetters Of Feudalism – To Be Allowed To Grow And Mature – Typically These Fetters Are Political: The Parasitic Power Of Lordship Or The Restriction Of An Autocratic State – Sometimes They Are Cultural Or Ideological: Perhaps The Wrong Religion – The Effect Of These Explanation Is To Stress The Continuity Between Non-Capitalist And Capitalist Societies – And – To Deny Or Disguise – The Specificity Of Capitalism – Central To These Conventional Accounts Of History Are Certain Assumptions – Explicit Or Implicit – About – Human Nature – And – About How Human Beings Will Behave If Only Given The Chance

~ I-CI-TMI-NCBF-B-WMNABSC-ITTDADCOTCM-INOOC-B-OTC-C-AIM-IOWOA-EI-MR-IOTGATT-MOL-TUSO-M-D-MTTDOTCM-IIO-C/A/P-M-A-I-L-P-R-NOA-ET-B-SR-IG ~ In – Capitalist Ideology – The Market Implies – Not Compulsion But Freedom – But – What May Not Always Be So Clear – Is That The Distinctive And Dominant Characteristic Of The Capitalist Market – Is Not Opportunity Or Choice – But – On The Contrary – Compulsion – All Individuals Must – In One Way Or Another – Enter Into – Market Relations – In Order To Gain Access To The – Means Of Life – This Unique System Of – Market-Dependence – Means That The Dictates Of The Capitalist Market – Its Imperatives Of – Competition / Accumulation / Profit-Maximization – And – Increasing – Labour-Productivity – Regulate – Not Only All – Economic Transactions – But – Social Relations – In General

~ C-RA-HS-SF-A-A-HR-W-EF-TNOC-WDI-S-A-TLAPHPTBIIB-LOUOTP-ATST-IROHAEFTF ~ Capitalism – Represents A – Historically Specific – Social Form – And – A – Historic Rupture – With – Earlier Forms – The – Naturalization Of Capitalism – Which Denies Its – Specificity – And – The Long And Painful Historical Processes That Brought It Into Being – Limits Our Understanding Of The Past – At The Same Time – It Restricts Our Hopes And Expectations For The Future

~ TQO-TOOC-MSA-B-IGTTHOA-DRIOC-WAD-I-AT-S-C-‘F-M’A-IBTH-ICW-D-SJ-A-ES ~ The Question Of – The Origin Of Capitalism – May Seem Arcane – But – It Goes To The Heart Of Assumptions – Deeply Rooted In Our Culture – Widespread And Dangerous – Illusions – About The – So-Called – “Free Market” – And – Its Benefits To Humanity – Its Compatibility With – Democracy – Social Justice – And – Ecological Sustainability

~ TMCWOETOOC-ITPTIDI-TNOOHPAAOATSI-WROTROEOTHIR-FFRTTMBCWIBC-TASTCEWTMWLFA-OC ~ The Most Common Way Of Explaining The Origin Of Capitalism – Is To Presuppose That Its Development Is – The Natural Outcome Of Human Practices Almost As Old As The Species Itself – Which Required Only The Removal Of External Obstacles That Hindered Its Realization – Far From Recognizing That The Market Became Capitalist When It Became Compulsory – These Accounts Suggest That Capitalism Emerged When The Market Was Liberated From Age-Old Constraints

~ T-NOTM-A-IL-INRQ ~ The – Nature Of The Market – And – Its Laws – Is Never Really Questioned

~ I-A-ES-‘E’-R-A-P-W-‘E’-O-S-I-N-E-K/C/R/P-R-THBOMDEAT-TP-‘E’-M-O-PAMG-SA-TAOSAP-O-TMOCS-THBOWOOELTTTMO-ME-IP-‘R’-A-‘R’-IG-C-W-DE-BITTDT ~ In – All – Earlier Societies – “Economic’ – Relations – And – Practices – Were – “Embedded” – Or – Submerged – In – Non-Economic – Kinship / Communal / Religious / Political – Relationships – There Have Been Other Motives Driving Economic Activity Than – The Purely – “Economic” – Motives – Of – Profit And Material Gain – Such As – The Achievement Of Status And Prestige – Or – The Maintenance Of Communal Solidarity – There Have Been Other Ways Of Organizing Economic Life Than Through The Mechanisms Of – Market Exchange – In Particular – “Reciprocity” – And – “Redistribution” – In General – Competition – Was – Deliberately Eliminated – Because It Tended To Disorganize Trade

~ T-IR-R-SI-T-PTSF ~ The – Industrial Revolution – Required – State Intervention – To – Preserve The Social Fabric

~ WCAT-CAC-AOATS-O-TOPITOBASPOG ~ We Cannot Assume That – Commerce And Capitalism – Are One And The Same – Or – That One Passed Into The Other By A Simple Process Of Growth

~ TDOFHMTOO ~ The Dissolution Of Feudalism Had More Than One Outcome

~ TDDOC-CIP-WPBM-D-A-T-STTIOC ~ The Distinctive Dynamics Of Capitalism – Come Into Play – When Producers Become Market-Dependent – And – Therefore – Subject To The Imperatives Of Competition

~ TNIO-PE-I-NCOP-A-TEOP-WIEB-SR-CBTS-WRTI-TCOTM ~ The New Ideology Of – Political Economy – Including – New Conceptions Of Property – And – The Ethic Of Profit – Was Increasingly Enforced By – State Repression – Coercion By The State – Was Required To Impose – The Coercion Of The Market

~ TDB-TMAO-A-TMAAI ~ The Difference Between – The Market As Opportunity – And – The Market As An Imperative

~ F-W-D-A-IPSDO-OOOWWC ~ Feudalism – Was – Diverse – And – It Produced Several Different Outcomes – Only One Of Which Was Capitalism

~ TCFITDOCFAOFO-CS-WTDOC-S-PR-TG-MI-A-C-‘LOM’-WITOP ~ The Critical Factor In The Divergence Of Capitalism From All Other Forms Of – Commercial Society – Was The Development Of Certain – Social Property Relationships – That Generated – Market Imperatives – And – Capitalist – “Laws Of Motion” – Which Imposed Themselves On Production

~ ELTT-SC-MOTW-W-FOMI-TDPOTE-WN-SVDFP-B-‘BCASD’ ~ Even Later Than The – Seventeenth Century – Most Of The World – Was – Free Of Market Imperatives – The Dominant Principle Of Trade Everywhere – Was Not – Surplus Value Derived From Production – But – “Buying Cheap And Selling Dear

~ C-R-NA-SEOE-O-BAE-B-ACTIT-MB-H-RAP-A-RIA-OP-O-HIWN ~ Capitalism – Required – Not A – Simple Extension Or Expansion – Of – Barter And Exchange – But – A Complete Transformation In The – Most Basic – Human – Relations And Practices – And – Rupture In Age-Old Patterns – Of – Human Interaction With Nature

~ VEICSIAC-PRTM ~ Virtually Everything In Capitalist Society Is A Commodity – Produced For The Market

~ TUSOMDHSSRACSBNOMOP:TIO:C/A/P-M-A-H-A-C-SN-T-A/SONM/III ~ This Unique System Of Market Dependence Has Specific Systemic Requirements And Compulsions Shared By No Other Mode Of Production: The Imperatives Of: Competition / Accumulation / Profit-Maximization – And – Hence – A – Constant – Systemic Need – To – Accumulate / Search Out New Markets / Impose Its Imperatives

~ EP-I-BARF-EOR ~ Enhancing Productivity – Itself – Became A Reason For – Excluding Other Rights

~ NDOCHEOWSKOVHR ~ No Development Of Capitalism Has Ever Occurred Without Some Kind Of Violent Historic Rupture

~ TVSLTDTSF-MIIST-EI-WR-C-‘E-E’-I-TCFTDE ~ The Very Same Logic That Drives The System Forward – Makes It Inevitably Susceptible To – Economic Instabilities – Which Require – Constant – “Extra-Economic” – Interventions – To Compensate For Their Destructive Effects

~ HOAA-H-TD-A-ES-C-IB-TU ~ Hope Of Achieving A – Humane – Truly Democratic – And – Ecologically Sustainable – Capitalism – Is Becoming – Transparently Unrealistic

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