Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
For me, at least, this combined with the financial crisis has turned into a myth-killer on par with 9-11. Intellectually it's nothing new, but emotionally I can no longer deny how modern civilization is chained to narratives that completely exclude the future or the health of the planet in decision making.

I think we're going to have to experience a lot of decomplexification before new narratives can grow.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:14:49 PM EST
But you must admit that documentation of proper new narratives have been proposed and evolved for some time. that they've been given short shrift is part of the disease, but you can't deny the solutions have already been placed before the ill civilization.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 06:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree - there are a lot of people that are on board narrative-wise and emotionally, and there are even some living cultures around as well.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 07:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just today having a conversation with one of my bosses at work, about the complete failure of financial regulation and the fact that the ongoing Global Clusterfuck has exposed the extent to which big business had accumulated political power. At one point he observed that issues of importance have become so technically complex that one cannot expect more than a handful of people to understand their implications, at which point democracy is pretty helpless. Also that much of this complexification is unnecessary obfuscation good only to hide fraud in plain sight.

So, decomplexification is a must. However, that doesn't take place smoothly. What's to be expected is catastrophic decomplexification followed by adaptive radiation.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 07:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one of the most damaging narratives is the one that suggests the most important failures are caused by poor academic modelling and prediction - and not political and psychological failures created by a belief system that is inherently disconnected from modelling and prediction.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 07:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the dominance and continuation of that belief system has been and continues to be bought by self interested elites.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:30:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That and the fact that this belief system is masquerading as academic modelling and prediction.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have scientist who arrive at theories, and do modelling and prediction based on these theories, in all good faith. They may be pretty sure of the validity of their theories, and obviously find great gratification, not to speak of career prospects, when these theories are widely adhered to. If these theories tend to reinforce the prejudices of the deciders and the opinion-makers, a vulgarized, simplified, dumbed-down version will become part of the belief system of these people.

The fact that, in the general case the deciders and opinion makers don't actually understand what underlies the modelling and prediction, is what makes the whole thing religious.

In the case of the nuclear industry, it's not the nuclear scientists who are at fault. The industrials and the politicians are at fault, because of wilfully poor risk assessment. The modelling and prediction can only be as good as the politically-determined parameters permit.

In the case of economics... the theories are bunk anyway, and the deciders and opinion makers have been taken for a ride. They are slowly discovering that there is no Santa Claus, but they are trying to hide that from the kids.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 04:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been watching what lawyers do recently. And it's obvious that it's a key principle of law is that truth is whatever you can get away with.

If you have a court case where your client is responsible for an event that harms people, you use FUD to confuse the jury, you spread the blame around, you use legal precedent to limit the evidence that's presented in court, you find expert witnesses who agree with you, and so on. If you can lie without being caught for perjury, you'll do it.

Truth is irrelevant. Persuading the jury is all that matters.

Many politicians are lawyers. This is how their minds work. The scientific ideal of impartial research and peer reviewed discussion is completely alien to them.

And the financial elites are even less sophisticated. They care about the end of quarter balance sheet.

Meanwhile CEOs and other board level bobble heads care more about their income and personal status than they do the businesses they "lead." Any event, organisation, movement or principle which interferes with their aims is bad.

So you have different groups playing by completely different rules, and they all assume their own rules are the only ones that matter.

No wonder it's a mess.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:12:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been thinking that CEOs and other board level bobble heads in companies that own nuclear reactors should be mandated to report for clean-up duties if a serious incident occurs at one of the plants the company owns. Regardless of if the accident happens during or after their term in office.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:18:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as theyre only allowed to push brooms and shovels. Last thing you want is them interfering in the actual clearup

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can get to hold the dosimeter.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from experience you'd not want them to read the readings off them

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 04:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...the deciders and opinion makers have been taken for a ride.

Charitably, perhaps for the most of them. But there have been and are people who understand what is at stake and pay well to insure that favorable views prevail.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
a belief system that is inherently disconnected from modelling and prediction reality.

fify

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series