We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We need to stop propping up Mexican fascists by importing their excess angst. We need to initiate a policy for illegal alien deportation that involves the importation of first rate American assault weapons. Once that happens the future for the ruling families of Mexico starts to look a little more sketchy than it has been up to now.
A reader nudged us towards a review of Sunstein and Thayer's "Nudge" about "libertarian paternalism, which book we discussed here. A quote from the Chronicle review:
With evident glee, he (Sunstein) notes that Chicago is effectively exploiting — to society's benefit — one of the many ways in which human perception is flawed. Or, as Thaler puts it, drivers are being "nudged" toward safety.
What does a peculiar pattern on the road have to do with fixing the nation's health-care woes, protecting the environment, resolving the thorny issue of gay marriage, and increasing donations to charity? Everything, according to Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, a professor of law and political science at the University of Chicago. They are authors of a new book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale University Press), in which they articulate an approach to designing social and economic policies that incorporates an understanding of people's cognitive limitations.
Bird Dog comments: "Except their own?" More quote:
They call this governing philosophy "libertarian paternalism." That is not an oxymoron, they insist in their book. Rather it is a corrective to the longstanding assumption of policy makers that the average person is capable of thinking like Albert Einstein, storing as much memory as IBM's Big Blue, and exercising the willpower of Mahatma Gandhi. That is simply not how people are, they say. In reality human beings are lazy, busy, impulsive, inert, and irrational creatures highly susceptible to predictable biases and errors. That's why they can be nudged in socially desirable directions.
Raw arrogance and condescension oozing our of their pores. My question: Who the heck do Sunstein and Thayer think they are? I think they hugely underestimate regular people - ie non-professors, and hugely overestimate the wisdom and benevolence of government.
How can we ordinary folks "nudge" academics into reality?
Image: Old Davis racquets. Our outdoor tennis season begins today.
Sunstein and Thayer are part of the 'cult of the expert' community, described in Johan Goldberg's Liberal Fascism: that group of individuals who believe life is 'too complex' for the individual to understand and, thusly, needs 'experts' to do the hard thinking work for them. Of course that should get invested in government, which will support the experts, give them legal legitimacy and authority, and remove the liberty of individuals to reason to their own ends from their poor, ignorant, tired heads. Just like Ultimate Evil from Time Bandits:
Evil: Oh, Benson... Dear Benson, you are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.
Amazing, 36 out of 38 Gitmo scum that were freed outright have taken up arms against us. Should be enough incentive not to release anymore. We shouldn't toture them we should execute them. Save lives in the future. I don't see any Democrats talking about the victims of these released terrorists.
So obama said 57 when he meant 47. So what? If McCain had said the same thing and anyone made an issue of it they would rightly be disregarded, Johnny's old age or not. Making an issue of something so minor and completely understandable is ridiculous and only plays into the hands of the MSM defenders. There's enough media bias out there without having to jump on such silliness just because there's been a slight dry spell...
And I don't think it would be any different if McCain had said it, that's my point. Look, I despise the MSM as much as anyone, and have personally dealt with their obtuseness on similar issues. I just don't think this would be a big deal either way. In fact it wouldn't surprise me at all if JM hasn't said something similar and no one mentioned it. It's wasted attention.
I think the non-left needs to be careful in attacking this guy. People like him. Hell, as a personality, I like him. I just totally disagree with 98.6% of his politics. Raising petty issues like this when there is plenty to disagree with him on substance is far more risk than reward gained can justify. It will only make those whom we need to convince otherwise to ignore the substance on which he can be defeated. The longer this petty nonsense goes on...well, the longer it will go on I guess. It's just old.