Sir Winston Said It Best

…”to quote Winston Churchill, whom Mr Trump believes he emulates, jaw-jaw is better than war-war.”
–From an unsigned editorial in The Guardian (UK)


The Opposite of Addiction isn’t Sobriety. It is Connection

Even cocaine-addicted rats will reduce or stop using available cocaine if they have other rats and lots of interesting things to do in their cage. It’s the same for people. All the scientific details are in the book referred to in the Huffington Post article: Hari’s book is “Chasing the Scream,” 2015, re-published 2016. Want to kick a difficult habit? We will work to put you in an environment of people who care, and get you into activities that are enjoyable, productive and that help you connect with more and more people. Cravings for alcohol, drugs, food, gambling can collapse in such an environment.

The Danger of Being Silent

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

–A poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller, who died in 1984, reflecting on the silence of so-called “German Intellectuals” as Hitler took over Germany in the 1930’s as so many just looked on….

Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of those of low ability to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their ability accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.[1]
Dunning and Kruger have postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in those of low ability, and external misperception in those of high ability: “The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”

This 1999 discovery about people’s judgments and decisions seems to be true in the arena of political judgment and prediction. So, if you are a poor judge of outcome of political contests, you are probably a poor judge of your own abiity to make those judgments. I immediately get a picture in my head of Wolf Blitzer, followed quickly by that of George Stephanopoulos. They seem confident and competent, eh? Now, will you reconsider my old warning to “kill your television”?