tl;dr – how do you convince people of your worldview when „facts“ based on yours only tend to reinforce their own? Are you open-minded enough to accept challenges to your own worldview? I’ve been thinking more and more recently about something psychologists call the „Backfire Effect.“ Both with respect to recent elections, and with respect […]

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Leider schafft es Justus Benders in der FAZ erschienene Artikel zum Thema Männerbild der AfD nicht, zu den fundamentalen Fragen vorzustoßen, die sich in der Thematik verbergen. Vor einigen Jahren schrieb der Rechtsintellektuelle Götz Kubitschek einen kurzen Text namens „Provokation“, in dem er auch auf das Thema des hier verlinkten FAZ-Artikels Bezug nahm, die Frage von […]

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Is there a versioning effect in elections?

Over at Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell is wondering why Obama’s lead over McCain is bigger in polls where more left-wing Presidential candidates are included – A puzzle about the polls. Comment #1 by a certain Cryptic Ned is proposing an interesting theory: versioning also works in elections.

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Agency costs and competition.

Dani Rodrik with an Asian update of Robert Putnam’s theory about Italian democracy – what states are for, and why a monopoly of power is a good idea when it comes to governance structures. “When the state does not enforce property rights… the Mafia–or, as happens in this case, the Taliban–will.”

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This is winning.

Via netzpolitik.org, I find a commentary by Rop Conggris about the new fundamental right to “privacy and integrity of information processing systems” which was defined last Wednesday by the German Constitutional Court – Today, we’re all Germans.

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Politicaltheory daily.

By the way, the wonderful policitaltheory.daily „weblog“ is now really published in blog format (and has a new home). I liked the old one (google cached version, might expire at some point, link hat tip orgtheory.net) better, but at least there’s a RSS feed now. The previous lack thereof and the consequential lack of the […]

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Patches of War.

I don’t know how many black sheep there are in the US army in Iraq today. But I suppose there are a lot who never imagined their fur would even feature a single black patch, because, probably, given normal circumstances, they’d likely have remained white all their lives.

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Osama BinLaden wins.

We lose. America certainly no longer is the Land Of The Free. It may be telling that the German term „Rechtsstaat“ doesn’t really have a useful translation in English, but, alas, at least in the US, there may no longer be the need for one. President Bush now ordered the special tribunals, or military commissions, […]

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CEOcracy: A CEO’s marginal contribution to welfare.

Most people stopped believing that superstars simply earn their marginal contribution to welfare. Moreover, most people believe the fact that they do usually earn more than their marginal contribution is a consequence of a specific market setup, or, simply put – a kind of „market failure“. However, John Snow, the US Treasury Secretary, when asked […]

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What’s Left On the Left?

Joschka Fischer has suggests that ten years after the end of the Cold War, a renewed debate about the meaning of „left“ policies, is „important, and overdue„. He’s right. The victory of Ronald Coase over Karl Marx (in battle not very m any people ever identified as such) has only grudgingly accepted by many whom […]

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Trading Bush-Shares.

Ever wanted to short sell a few Condis and find out what the price for three-month Colin-Caps is? Spiegel Online reports that Paris-based American expat Andrew Geiger has initiated the American Action Market, a trading platform that will (intentionally) provide insights into the actions and decisions of the US government. The idea is modeled after […]

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A New Kind Of Democracy.

Look what I found on „ciao.com“ while looking for credibilty ratings of an ebay pro-seller. Now that’s what I call „political marketplace“. For those not literate in German, the image below is a screen capture from ciao.com, a website where people can leave their opinions on everything from white laces to, well, globalisation. The latter, […]

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It’s Been A Hard Day’s

and I’m having trouble with my computer. So I won’t be exactly long winded for a change ;-). There are many reasons for people to pursue a particular lifestyle or live in a particular culture. Some do it by choice [disregarding for practical reasons that any discussion about „choice“ will sooner or later approach the […]

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Stupid, stupid, stupid idiots!

Lillimarleen links to „pro-gun“ tirade by Rachel Lucas called just like this entry. Rachel furiously tries to point out why previous cases of civil strife, ethnic persecution, or class warfare are valid arguments in favour of uninhibited gun ownership in general, and specifically in the USA – „If you make self-defense illegal, or even problematic, […]

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Democracy is a tricky thing. That is true not only for the Middle East, where the current US government claims to be implementing it. That is apparently also true for the current US president’s home state of Texas, where the Parliamentary opposition, more than 50 Democratic politicians, has turned into extra-Parliamentarian opposition by fleeing the […]

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Homeowner.

I am sure, that you, my gentle readers, will be thrilled to hear that this little page from now on has a second home. One with its very own diskspace and domain. Ladies & gentlemen, „tschwarz.blogspot.com“ is now also „www.almostadiary.de„. You don’t have to update your links yet as I will continue using blogspot for […]

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De-Merging Patriotism

Last year, Michael Wolf, a director in McKinsey�s New York office, published an article in the WSJ (here via McKinseyQuarterly) explaing that market forces – especially a sluggish advertising market and the general trend to digital distribution – would continue to pressure media companies to merge into ever larger entities. Mr Wolf’s article was triggered […]

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A Tale of Perle and Pirls

So Baghdad sort of fell today. The Iraqi regime seems to have disappeared overnight. This is clearly a very good thing. I still believe that this war was unnecessary as well as unwise and I still believe that it is going to be far more costly – monetarily as well as in lives and in […]

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Desperately Seeking Simplicity

Somehow, I hate to restate something as obvious as this – the world we are living in is an extremely complex system. A system far too complicated for any individual to understand. That’s why we tend to categorize and model the world in order to reduce complexity and gain a little insight into the „underlying […]

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Stalinism.

Andrew Northrup is concerned with the distorted reality that mass media is constructing in our heads, specifcally by the notion that the western public is more and more appalled even by small numbers of wartime casualties, citing an article by Greg Easterbrook who seems to hold this opinion – „[a]s we weep for the Iraqi […]

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Brad DeLong. And Georg Büchner.

I’m ill, I know. But this was just too good to not to tell you about – Ladies and Gentlemen, from the man who sometimes uses some of J. M. Keynes wise words as list-email signature – „The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are […]

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Famous Words.

Not that I think the current international crisis is even slightly reminiscent of the danger posed by the Cuba Missile Crisis in 1962, the words JFK used in his speech to the American people are worth remembering in these days. „Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right-not peace at […]

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