Emerging Irrationality, Politics & Science.

“One thing we have lost, that we had in the past, is a sense of progress, that things are getting better. There is a sense of volatility”

 “It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.”- Daniel Kahnemanut not of progress.
– Daniel Kahneman
Our world is changing in ways we probably never imagined. Modernism was replaced by the Nouveau Vague ‘post modernism’ which allowed for Neo Liberalism to displace progressive societal policy. When the team at the Oxford English Dictionary chooses “post-truth” for its word of the year, it ripples through the solidity of our world.
Our pluralism and diversity used to be a cause of celebration. Now it feels slightly dangerous, divisive to many. Author Michael Lewis recently said, “the world is a far less certain place than our mind is prepared to be in.” 
Quoting Amos Tversky, Lewis adds “Reality is not a point; it’s a cloud of possibilities.”. Our clouds have suddenly shifted into unexpected patterns, where certainty established amongst the less capable intellects is used to ridicule the etablished ideas which were once radical and liberating. All that was Liberal in politics and Neo Liberal economics is rejected because it created too much uncertainty and crisis of idenitity for the proletariat caught up or left behind by these self same earlier, once novel winds of change. There is truth in the lie-factories of Trump and Brexit, and anti Scottish Independence. The truth that the last epoch of these liberalisms created nothing but a void to be filled with demagogues.

New eras are born when the old certainties die, and the collective imagination goes into overdrive. People seize on new myths that help us deal with uncertainty. Yesterday’s win in the ‘best truth” levers today’s excuse to grasp politicial power without transparency. Last week’s mistaken ‘best truth’ is thrown away in favour of the latest spin.

Theresa May on Brexit: Then and now – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38653681

Immigration, net or not ? Who is a worker and who is a tourist

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-19646459

Let us see more on Tversky and Kahneman:

( Their) concept of systematic irrationality is the description of errors people make according to some predictable rules, governed it seems by survival psycology we evolved. This applies to individuals, but rather than being levelled out or duilutes by market mechanisms, the whole market can behave irrationally as a sum of these irrational behaviours. 12 years after his untimely demise, the finance crash of 2008 is testimony to his ideas.

“Whenever there is a simple error that most laymen fall for, there is always a slightly more sophisticated version of the same problem that experts fall for.”

– Amos Tversky
“We are not deciding based on facts and things,but on the description of facts and things. We are more interested in the vividness of the stories we tell ourselves, than the actual facts.”

– Amos Tversky

Essentially their studies were on phenomena around the “gambler fallacy”  Tversky argued, is nothing more than the standard laws of chance, observed through the imperfect lens of human cognition. 

Specifically, he noted, people have a tendency to expect the overall odds of a chance process to apply to each and every segment of the process. (say, the 50 percent distribution of heads on a flipped coin, or the 46 percent accuracy of Toney’s field-goal shooting) 

For instance, when flipping a coin 20 times, it’s not uncommon to see a string of four heads in a row. Yet when people are paying attention to a shorter sequence of the 20 coin flips, they are inclined to regard a string of four heads as nonrandom – as a hot streak – even though a strict back-and-forth of heads and tails throughout the 20 flips would be far less likely. ( In roulette ) the confusion arises from an impulse to see the overall odds of the wheel reflected in any given sequence of spins.

———

The world is inherently probabilistic. Reality is Not a point it is a cloud of possibilities’  Amos Tversky
Pessimism is a stupid strategy and waste of energy, because you live it twice- once in anticipation and then again if it actually happens to go that way.

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On Science and ‘Truth’ and Progress 

Richard Fineman on science – a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance. …being humble in science, we know little. 

You can’t direct people to do good, original and ground breaking science. It is a creative and playful process. You cannot push people down a route and expect results in fundamental science.

Andre Giem in manchester graphene nobel prize acceptance speech. 

” I have met many promising researchers who later failed to live up to their promise because they wasted their time on searching literature, instead of spending It on searching for new phenomena.

What’s more, after months of literature search, they inevitably came to the same conclusion: Everything they planned had been done before. Therefore, they saw no reason to try their own ideas And, consequently, began a new literature search. 

One should realise that Ideas are never new. However brilliant, every idea is always based on previous knowledge and, with so many smart people around, the odds are that some- one somewhere had already thought of something similar before…….

………This should not be used as an excuse for not trying because local circumstances vary and, moreover, facilities change with time. New technologies offer a Reasonable chance that old failed ideas may work unpredictably well the next time round. ”

( Re… ‘Friday sessions’ refer to something that you’re not paid for and not supposed to do during your professional life……)

(On experimenting, like a child almost ) “.…you are not supposed…. to do… curiosity-driven research. Something random, simple, maybe a bit weird – even ridiculous. Without it, there are no discoveries. ”
Ernest Rutherford’s 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry wasn’t given for the nuclear power station – he wouldn’t have survived that long 

– it was given for showing how interesting atomic physics could be.”

– Andre Geim
“The last decades were relatively peaceful and quiet for the planet. But with no obvious danger from outside, we are facing another danger, from inside. Instant information about everything and everyone often allows an individual opinion to compete with consensus, and paranoia with evidence….. Science is not immune from such pressures. ”

–  A  Giem.

The world emerging in front of our eyes is one many of us could not have imagined.  Progress is grinding to a hault collectively. Free thinking becomes something suspicisious when it is intellectual but hailed when it is banal. 

When the team at the Oxford English Dictionary chooses “post-truth” for its word of the year, it ripples through the solidity of our world. Our pluralism used to be a cause of celebration. Now it feels slightly dangerous, divisive to many. Author Michael Lewis recently said, “the world is a far less certain place than our mind is prepared to be in.” Quoting Amos Tversky, he adds “Reality is not a point; it’s a cloud of possibilities.” Our clouds have suddenly shifted into unexpected patterns.
New eras are born when the old certainties die, and the collective imagination goes into overdrive. We seize on new myths that help us deal with uncertainty.

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