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Reason Won’t Save Us
Robert A. Burton, Nautilus, 2019/11/05


"I have come to feel that conscious reasoning, the commonly believed remedy for our social ills, is an illusion, an epiphenomenon supported by age-old mythology rather than convincing scientific evidence," writes neurologist Robert A. Burton. "There is no compelling evidence to suggest that public debate on virtually any subject can ever be resolved through reason. We migrate toward what we feel is best." Understanding what actually motivates our thoughts and beliefs is a necessary first step in understanding how to improve them.

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What if we get things right? Visions for 2030
Ceri Parker, World Economic Forum, 2019/11/05


I generally don't think much of the World Economic Forum and therefore of its vision of a future world (as a glorious capitalist utopia). That said, there are some worthwhile objectives outlined in this position paper - a reversal of climate change, an end to needless suffering, education for all, cities built around people instead of cars. Some of the measures needed to get there are also sound - moving beyond GPD, entrenchment of rights for contract workers, an end to corruption and violence. And we need to address the outsized roles wealth and power play in our society, problems not addressed in this report. However, I see no evidence that corporations and industry will move in this direction of their own accord - there's just too much money to be made. Will the World Economic Forum embrace the intervention of government on behalf of the people? That is the question of our times.

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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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