Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Friday, May 18, 2007

AAAAIIIIEEEE!!!!

Rumor has it that Bryan Caplan is advocating imitating one of the most annoying habits of env!ronment@lists:

When the media spotlight gives other experts a few seconds to speak their mind, they usually strive to forcefully communicate one or two simplified conclusions. ... But economists are reluctant to use this strategy.  Though the forum demands it, they think it unseemly to express a definite judgment.  This is a recipe for being utterly ignored.  If you are one voice in a sea of self-promotion, you had better speak up clearly when you finally get your chance to talk. ... professional humility is dangerous ... there are two kinds of errors.  Hubris is one; self-abasement is the other. 

I'm reminded of the well-known Stephen Schneider quote:
This double ethical bind we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.
… but it's apparently okay if “we must compete with the other simplifiers.” How about criticizing propaganda in general?

On the other hand, maybe I'm looking at this as a mathematician.

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