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on the character of david cameron, uk conservative opposition leader

As yet I am unsure how David Cameron thinks. I am, however, very content with his progress opposing Gordon Brown the Clown.

Clearly, he is exceedingly bright and he has a strong inclination to gather data before acting. Clearly, he has Brown the Clown on the run, which is his central task.

The Clown’s ‘new’ Labour is struggling to introduce Tory policies. Minge Cambell’s fake Lib-Dems are also running in the same direction.

Cameron and the Tories are now determining the agenda, a thing that has been in abeyance for 10 years under the Socialist coup in the Tory Party.

David Cameron has kept his powder dry until the Clown stepped on a landmine, at which point Cameron blew away Brown’s posture of competance. That is precisely the best policy for dealing with the Clown.

I have watched large numbers of fools trying to write off Cameron. They have all been incorrect.

I prefer to watch Cameron and trust his judgement, rather than run to the barricades with the old fools who have been responsible for Tory failures for more than 10 years.

One complaint is that David Cameron had made a weak press conference answer regarding whether the Conservatives, if returned to power, would still hold a referendum if the European Union ‘Treaty’ had been ratified. David Cameron had responded that there were too many ‘ifs’ to be able to be definitive now. This was because any ratification depended upon

  1. if the opponents of the treaty failed to defeat the Government in the Commons,
  2. if they failed in the Lords,
  3. if the Prime Minister did not change his mind,
  4. if there was not an early election,
  5. if every other country ratified the accord,
  6. and if no other EU state held a referendum on the issue.

Note that as a PPE student, David Cameron’s studies would have included logic. Thus, as well as having teased out several reasons why the Treaty could well not be ratified, David Cameron includes a couple of twists for his last ‘if’.

Ireland, an EU member state, is required by law to have a referendum, thus Cameron’s last ‘if’ is very unlikely to hold. This might be alright had this last ‘if’ been connected to the other five by an ‘or’, but it is not. It is connected to the others by an ‘and’, so if the other five ‘ifs’ are achieved, Cameron’s position depends on Ireland not holding a vote, which is, apparently, impossible as Ireland must by law.

Such a combination of analysis and logic, brought out in a fairly ad lib situation, are indications of a lively and sharp intelligence.

 

end notes

  • David Cameron earned a First class degree in Philosophy,Politics and Economics at Oxford University. For contrast, Brown the Clown took ten years to obtain a PhD, founded on ‘analysis’ of old Socialist pamphlets.
  • Tory is a nickname label for the Conservative Party in Britain.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#david_cameron_261007





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ebay auction: high bid for ‘limbaugh’ letter reaches $2.1 million

The head of the eBay auction page at theauctions's end.
The head of the eBay auction page at the auction’s end.
There is a copy of the letter with signatures further down the page.

“The entire proceeds of this auction.. the entire high bid... will be donated to The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation, a registered charity which provides financial assistance to the children of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers. Rush Limbaugh serves on the Board of this organization and has been active on its behalf. All costs of this auction will be paid by the seller... every dollar of your winning bid will go to this charity, which has to date distributed over $29 million.”

Marker at abelard.org

“Rush is also matching the donation so this will raise 4.2 million dollars. Rush has challenged these politicians to also match the donation but it's unlikely they will even though Harry Reid could come up with that kind of money in a shady land deal any time he wanted too.” [Quoted from sayanythingblog.com]

The highest bidder appears to be the widow of Eugene Casey.

“Casey grew up poor, but married well. By the time her husband of 31 years, famously tight-fisted Maryland speculator and developer Eugene B. Casey, died in 1986, he had accumulated a fortune estimated at more than $200 million. While he was so cheap that he would turn off the Coke machine when he left his office at night to save electricity, she has become one of Washington’s most generous philanthropists. Among her projects: spending millions on the Washington Opera and $50 million to plant trees.”

Forty Democrat senators signed this letter. There are 49 Democrat senators and 49 Republican senators, with 2 independents.

The nascence of the leftist [liberal] senators’ letter

“Last week Rush was discussing the troops and when a caller said something about parading the troops against the war Rush mentioned phony soldiers. He then proceeded to discuss what he meant by referring to Jesse MacBeth, a person who did not make it through basic training but claimed to be a war vet. There are others but this is the one Limbaugh was referring to and anyone with a brain completely understood what he was talking about, and therein lies the problem. Liberals do not have a brain.

“The Liberals jumped on Rush’s comments but took them completely out of context and ignored the fact that he was referring to a phony soldier. This is the "soldier" that ABC did a piece on and it is a fact that the guy is a phony. The liberals and their puppet masters at MoveOn.org (I will not link to them) took a stinging backlash for the smear job done to General Petraeus and this is their chance to try and make things even. It is also part of their plot to silence the conservative hosts before the next election because the voice of talk radio exposes the liberals and this does not bode well for their plans.

“Today, Harry Reid introduced a letter he wrote to the president of Clear Channel Communications demanding that Limbaugh apologize for his remarks about the troops. Reid displayed feigned indignation at Limbaugh’s remarks even though Reid would have to know by now that the remarks are not what he is making them to be. It is especially disturbing that Reid would be the one to introduce the letter. Reid has done nothing but bash our troops and he declared the war as lost. He has never supported the troops and this stunt is nothing more than an attempt to turn the tide of negativity that the Democrats have faced and that intensified with the MoveOn ad. Democrats know that they cannot win an intellectual battle and that their ideas are bad for America so they must attack anyone who stands in their way and who has become a thorn in their sides. Rush Limbaugh is a thorn the size of a railroad spike and he has pierced the hearts of many liberals by exposing them for the anti-American idiots that they are. This is nothing more than a smear campaign designed to silence a very vocal critic. It will not work.”

related material
the difference between slimy irresponsible lying democrats and a real leader - the auroran sunset
‘democrat’s’ and other socialists’ increasing desperation to lose in iraq

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#limbugh_auction_201007

education colorado style, in the country that dominates nobel prizes - “the Leave Every Child Behind Act”

“But in Colorado, all students are required to take the Colorado Student Aptitude Test (CSAP), as part of the Leave Every Child Behind Act. This means that all school year until March, but especially from January to March, my kids are getting immersed in that test. The teachers do NOTHING ELSE but teach that test.

“Then, after March, when the pressure is off, the teachers pretty much coast through April, May and the first part of June. This is the only time when my kids have a real chance at getting a useful education, and it’s wasted because "Whew, we’re done with that test."

“The CSAP is the only thing that is actually measured, so everything else, like the actual education itself, is ignored.

“I simply cannot allow my kids to come out of the education system in Colorado without learning basic science and developing their critical thinking skills. As a parent, I take full responsibility for my kids education, so I’ll do it myself.

“So, every Tuesday and Thursday of the next school year, I’ll be pulling my then 8th grade son out of class for his last period (along with his friend and three other homeschooled students) and teaching them science.

“How can I do this? Why would the school let me take the boys out like that every week? Because so long as the boys are in class for a certain percentage of the school day, the school gets the credit for them and they get paid. The principal told me that’s all they care about: getting paid. I could do whatever I wanted with them in science as long as they met certain minimum knowledge standards.

“Standards they do NOT hold themselves to, by the way.

“No problem though, I can meet those just by spending one hour in front a telescope with them.

“The two days I’ll have them at home will be spent teaching, discussing and working on science topics with assignments to do on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I picked those two days to meet because of the seemingly infinite number of three day weekends the kids get in school for ‘planning days’ and other holidays. This would minimize any missed days due to that bullsh*t.”

 

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#colorado_education_121007

on marriage and commitment

Context: It has been found that, often, children living with two parents do better than those living with a single parent. Last week, David Cameron, the UK Consevative Opposition leader, stated that if returned to power, his party would help financially couples who live in ‘married’ relationships, as opposed to the current socialist policy which financially penalises couples, while helping often uneducated young women, chavs, to become single parents.

“ [...] nearly one in two cohabiting parents split up before their child's fifth birthday compared to one in twelve married parents”

“Seventy per cent of young offenders come from lone-parent families.”

“ [...] children who have suffered family breakdown are 75 per cent more likely to suffer educational failure.” [Quoted from conservatives.com]

There is a (statistical) problem with ‘marriage’ and outcomes. For instance, there have been large numbers of marriages in the UK ending in divorce, but now numbers of divorces are down because less people are marrying in the first place. I do not even know quite why this problem exists (and I study such things!). Much of the problem is certainly amongst those receiving public financial assistance, or it may be a certain ‘childish’ magicalism motivating people to stay in a marriage. On the other hand, it may be culture changes.

I think in terms of commitment, not ‘marriage’. I do not like state interference, but there are also issues of legal convenience.

I want time-defined partnership contracts instead of marriage certificates, with appropriate bespoke break clauses. Partnership contracts exist in France and increasingly in much of the more advanced free world.

I tend to commit strongly to people. My experience is most people like that a very great deal, but tend not commit themselves to quite the same degree! It is, therefore, a good way to get ripped off. I am prepared to carry that cost for deep logical reasons, but most people are neither that logical or sane J. I also abhor the morass of sexual jealousy so common among bags of wet chemicals.

It must be expected that some will ‘marry’ for financial gains. Then the difficulties of breaking up, or some notion of ‘commitment’ will then be enlarged, or some notion of ‘specialness’ (magicalism again), or cultural pressure, may kick in. As a rational person, it makes just about no sense to me.

Those who do go through the cake and white dress farce because of such pressure may be just as irresponsible as before, or may now be tied to staying in the same house as part of a dysfunctional nightmare that would be better for all if terminated with less hassle.

However, those who go through a religious ritual are likely to carry all manner of other baggage inclining them to useful traits like honour and responsibility. This may well be the real reason for the better outcomes associated with marriages, as opposed to cohabiting relationships.

This linked article is of interest, despite the glaringly foolish comment, “Cohabitation is fundamentally adolescent - it’s not what grown-ups do”.

related material
franchise by examination, education and intelligence

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#marriage_commitment_081007

on politicians, with particular reference to the uk

The prime concern of politicians is to garner votes.

Overwhelmingly, the most votes are in the hands of idiots. Most people react with their hormones, not with anything approximating intelligence. Most of those who do anything approximately resembling ‘thought’ are, in fact, parrots. They vaguely remember slogans, but this is not coherent reasoning. Such people, and many others, support football teams - they will vote for a yak if you put the correct colour hat on them.

Very few people understand economics or politics.

Now to the ‘intelligence’ of politicians.
An essential part of a politician’s armory is emotional fluency. You can be emotionally fluent without much intelligence (reasoning ability). Tony Bliar fits right into that box.

Top leaders also have real intelligence - David Cameron appears to fit into that box.

Many politicians are bundles of ego and piggery. Several of the socialist coup in the Conservative party are hardly uncomfortable in that/those boxes. The Brown Clown is also comfortable there.

Consider top chess players. They require to be good at several areas of the ‘game’. They cannot really afford to have serious gaping holes in any area. But they do have ‘tendencies’, ‘emotional’ inclinations. That is, some are very cautious and others very ‘adventurous’.

Gordon Brown the Clown is not really top flight in anything I can detect. He is like a second-rate actor trying to present himself as ‘the great leader’. Richard Burton or Lawrence Olivier could do it better. Even Tony Bliar or Sean Connery can do it better.

Most actors are empty suits. Bliar is such, and Gordon Clown is much worse.

Next - I repeat, a politician must convince idiots who have votes.

Next - most people, when they do not understand things, have an extremely strong ability to ‘fill in the gaps’. That is, they make up stories to fill in the gaps. So, empty politicians tell the children a story. That is what ‘New’ Labour has done. It has told the public simplistic fairy stories.

Politics is no easy skill; neither is being a salesman or a (good) barrister. They all involve selling. Selling is first and foremost psychology, and/or acting.

A psychopathic salesman or barrister will sell any product which will bring them profit. So will similar politicians. That does not stop those people being ‘successful’. Socialism is one of the greatest evils of all time. I see no sign that Brown either knows that, or cares.

Bliar does not know that, but he does care.

When dealing with a player who lies and cheats, you have to be better than they are. And then there are the ‘supporters’ of the cheats and liars. They will cheer just as loudly. Sheep follow crowds and lights.

Elections are in the hands of a very few thinkers. Not all voters are sheep, but even many of those who are not, are more concerned with their own personal advantage - for instance, the rise in their house price at the expense of pensioners and the poor.

Then there is the probability that over 90% of ‘reporters’ are socialists - champagne variety (those are USA figures). Fortunately, socialists are also surprisingly stupid.

further background
more of the clown’s pretend greenery
bubbles, debt, borrowing and inflation in the uk
on money - northern crock
brown the clown true to form over northern rock


end note

champagne socialist:
A socialist who proudly and loudly proclaims their support for socialist policies, but whose private life contradicts their claim. Named after socialists in areas such as Islington, London, where there are many well-heeled socialists who probably drink champagne as they mouth support for action on poverty.

 

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#politican_psychology_061007

modern china: boys for sale - to order, £650 a head

“[...] Around 190 children are snatched every day - stolen from their beds and the streets. This is more than double the average number of abductions recorded in England and Wales over a whole year. If 190 people were dying every day from the same illness, you'd call it an epidemic. And that's exactly what it is, except nobody really wants to talk about it. Especially the Chinese government.

“The government doesn't want to talk about it because it's a short step from fully acknowledging the kidnappings to having to address why they're happening. Which means entering dangerous territory - a root cause of such large numbers of children being snatched is the fact that having a son in China is a necessity. He carries the family name, he is the child who will provide for his parents as they age. A daughter will leave the family to marry into another name, passively obliterating her own family line and leaving her relatives without the assurance of help in old age. The One Child Policy - which Save The Children calls a 'mass, live experiment in family life which is unique in the history of the world' - has resulted in prohibitive family-planning laws in China: prospective parents must have a birth permit before conceiving, and while rural families are allowed a second child if their first is a girl, urban families must pay a fine for flouting the one-child rule. And if you haven't had an abortion to get rid of your female child (although it is now illegal, around 40m girls have been selectively aborted since the One Child Policy was instituted in 1979), how can you be sure to get a son? Sometimes the only choice seems to be to buy a stolen child, gender already determined.”

 

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#china_boys_031007

necessity is the mother of all invention - the auroran sunset

“"The Strowger switch has a rather amusing history. Once upon a time in the Wild West, there was a young man named Alman B. Strowger who wasn't a telecommunications engineer by trade. He was a mortician. As life would have it, he had a competitor in town. During this period, there were no dial pads to use when making a telephone call. Instead, you had to talk with the town telephone operator, who would extend the connection on your behalf. Mr. Strowger's competitor's wife was the town telephone operator. So, needless to say, anytime there was gossip about a gun battle about to brew on Main Street, she let her husband know, and he was there to collect the bodies before Mr.Strowger got a chance. Mr. Strowger decide to use technology to get a competitive advantage, and he invented the Strowger switch. The new switch meant that you could dial a number directly from your phone, bypassing the town telephone operator.”
Telecommunications Essentials: The Complete Global Source, p.89

related material
fibre optics in nature

 

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#direct_dial_phoning_011007

emerging threat to us global dominance!

From Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2007 State of the State Speech.

“California, if a nation, would be the sixth-largest economy in the world. But it goes so much beyond that. According to The Economist magazine, California is home to three of the top six universities in the world. California has more Nobel Laureates, more scientists, more engineers, more researchers, more high-tech companies than any other state. We are responsible for one of every four U.S. patents. We account for one of every five U.S. technology jobs.

“We attract almost half of all U.S. venture capital, which funds the ideas and industries of the future. California leads the nation in biotechnology. We lead the nation in nanotechnology. We lead the nation in medical technology. We lead the nation in information technology. And we will soon be recognized as the leader in clean technology.

“Worldwide, clean-tech investments are up by 50 percent in the first nine months alone of last year. California is spurring clean technology by the environmental standards that we are setting. Our innovation, our science, our knowledge, our creativity is un-equaled on the face of the earth.”

“We must also be good stewards, because we must go back to the people for permission to build more and finish the job. The building has just begun. One year ago, I unveiled the $200 billion plan that prepared California for the next 10 years.”

“Yet we must build not only structures, but accountability and transparency into our education system. As a step toward the day when parents will have real choices in our public education system where to send their children, we should provide parents with relevant, accessible information, not bury it in bureaucracy..”

“I also ask you to work with me on another environmental first. I have proposed that California be the first in the world to develop a low-carbon fuel standard that leads us away from fossil fuel. And let us use the freedom and flexibility of the market to accomplish it. Let us blaze the way, for the U.S., and for China and for the rest of the world. [...] I ask you to encourage the free market to overthrow the old order.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#california_state_280907


the clown’s broken britain - tory investigation into improving citizenship education
[source for all further links]

The quotes below are from five .pdf appendices available from the title link. abelard provides excerpts and comments on these appendices:

  • Appendix 1:

    “Initiate a national debate on whether adult status could be linked to a demonstration of maturity and responsibility”

    This appendix includes historic and international comparisons.

  • Appendix 2:

    Boring.

  • Appendix 3:

    “Youngsters who are empowered as adolescents to take charge of their own futures will make better citizens for the future than did so many of their parents and their grandparents who suffered from being over schooled but undereducated in their own generations.”

  • Appendix 4:

    “1 The cost of youth unemployment
    1.1 Youth unemployment - the facts
    1.2 Youth unemployment - calculating the costs
    1. Youth unemployment - the long term wage penalties
    1.4 Youth unemployment - across the UK
    1.5 Youth unemployment - international perspectives
    1.6 Tackling youth unemployment - The Prince’s Trust

    “2 The cost of youth crime
    2.1 Youth crime - the facts
    2.2 Youth crime - calculating the costs
    2.3 Youth crime - links to unemployment and
    educational underachievement
    2.4 Youth crime - across Great Britain
    2.5 Youth crime - international perspectives
    2.6 Tackling youth crime - The Prince’s Trust

    “3 The cost of educational underachievement
    3.1 Educational underachievement - the facts
    3.2 Educational underachievement - calculating the costs
    3.3 Educational underachievement - across the UK
    3.4 Educational underachievement - international perspectives
    3.5 Educational underachievement - the link to crime
    3.6 Tackling educational underachievement - The Prince’s Trust”

  • Appendix 5:

    In draft form only.

    You may ask why schools cannot do what these short courses can do....

related material
introduction to franchise discussion documents, including
citizenship curriculum

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#conservative_citizenship_100907

selective female abortion continues to rise in india

This is estimated by the United Nations at 2000 every day.

“This has led to skewed sex ratios in regions like Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh as well as the capital, New Delhi, where a census in 2001 showed there are less than 800 girls for every 1,000 boys.”

“In most parts of India, sons are viewed as breadwinners who will look after their parents and carry on the family name, but daughters are viewed as financial liabilities for whom they will have to pay substantial dowries to get married off.”

My calculations suggest this behaviour extends from the Middle East out through China.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#indian_population_selection_090907

on the socialist ‘mess of the soul’

The left are essentially a puritanical, christianist schism. They remain human, and that means they remain with a ‘conscience’ (part of the human herd mentality). However, the left struggle to convince themselves that they are beyond ‘all that bourgeois nonsense’.

At the heart of the puritanical ‘mind’ is a wish to control others. After all, they are vacuous within themselves, and highly contradictory. Much leftist posturing is an attempt to hide from themselves, with a consequent attempt to hide from others. There is even the atavistic fear that they may be ‘zombies’ and the fearful need to hide that feared zombie-ism from others.

In among a morass of this general nature is high paranoia, and paranoia drives them to control, and thence to kill. Hitler puts it thus: “Everlasting peace will come to the world when the last man has slain the last but one ”.

The ‘need’ to control is a driving factor. Thus, you see the UK’s Brown the Clown trying to micro-manage all the details of life in that country and, of course, no amount of control is ever, ‘enough’. So still more control is sought. The same general behaviours lurk behind the common or garden variety of mass murderer.

Being incapable, or horrified, of facing this ‘mess of the soul’, the leftist weaves a pseudo-religious web of justification that they are really acting for the public (notice the vagueness of ‘public’) interest. Hence the leftist wish to claim some ‘moral high ground’.

Lefties do not shed their humanity, lefties are deeply insecure.

Their insecurity is a fear of themselves, a fear of death, a fear of lack of control, a fear of not being ‘thought well of’. The biggest things a lefty will not confront are themselves and reality.

Many other religious carry around such baggage among their dogma, but lefties have no ‘god’ to turn to. Leftism is essentially shallow at the core. The left are always superficial, if they are anything at all.

Each leftist tries to resolve the contradictions as best they may, but socialism is a very shallow, simplistic religion. This leaves less options or sophistication for the dullards who are attracted to this ‘modern’ religion to resolve the problems of ‘the human condition’.

The socialist has another considerable disadvantage. They convince themselves, against some of their monkey instincts, that when they are dead, they are dead. This means they are in an unholy, desperate rush to form their very own pink heaven before they are planted. This is a hopeless task, the pursuit of this idiocy becomes extremely nerve-racking, with obvious logical consequences of ulcers, depression and murder. After all, if this is ‘all there is’.....

Marker at abelard.org

Socialism will fade in proportion to the level of education. Socialism is not defeated by socialism, although persuading two branches to cut themselves to pieces on one another is a temporary pragmatic action.

The best approach is to let the inevitable processes of history work until socialism withers away into its proper place - the dustbin of history.

You do not destroy socialism by more socialism. You do not even necessarily destroy it by suppression, though that may become necessary, as with the Taliban or the national socialist Madsam. You can bleed socialists to death by economic isolation, as with the evil empire or the people’s paradise of North Korea.

But primarily, you destroy socialism by education and growing wealth, just as you destroy any shallow superstition.

In the long run, socialism kills itself. The problem is that it has a strong tendency to wish to evangelise, very often by force and invasion. Thus socialism tends to bring others down with it.

There is not a single silver bullet to kill the socialist disease of the mind, anymore than there is a single road to removing bodily disease, poverty and other forms of human backwardness.

Magic solutions are just more of the shallow responses, of the sort that come from dull minds that are attracted to socialism and other enthusiasms.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#socialist_mind_070907

two books seemingly on optimism, persistence and happiness

On Stumbling on Happiness

This book is written extraordinarily badly and in an immature style. However, it is philosophically more sound than much written in psychology, though it still leaves much to be answered. It is also (if you can stand the irritating immaturity of style) an excellent introduction to the psychophysical underpinning of psychological perception and experience.

Chapters 5 to 8 are well organised sections on areas of brain organisation that can lead to misconstruing reality and ineffective thinking. Chapter 5 deals with problems which people have with things that do not happen, for example Sherlock Holmes’ dog that did not bark (see also Bayes’ theory for conditional and marginal probabilities). Chapters 6 to 8 deal with the precedence the mind gives to immediate reality over imagination (see also Time ) and also talks of rationalisation - rewrting your history and experience.

Marker at abelard.org

From another review:
“Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. Gilbert sets out to figure why that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?” [From a review by Malcolm Gladwell]

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness
by Daniel Gilbert

amazon.co.uk / $16.47 [amazon.com] hbk
Knopf, 2006
ISBN-10: 1400042666 / ISBN-13: 978-1400042661

amazon.co.uk / $10.17 [amazon.com]
pbk, Vintage, 2007
ISBN-10: 1400077427 /ISBN-13: 978-1400077427

Marker at abelard.orgMarker at abelard.orgMarker at abelard.org

On Breaking Murphy’s Law

This book is rambling drivel from a third-rate mind - I abandoned it after 67 pages. There is nothing that an introspective pigeon could not have told you, and with more clarity. Glory knows how this book got into print!

Marker at abelard.org

From another review:
“The essence of the book lies in the investigation into whether optimism is a healthy trait or not. The glib answer may well be that it is obvious that it is. However, the actual results are much more interesting. Given that eighty percent of people are moderately to very optimistic, what does that imply for the daily lives of these people? The author makes it clear that optimism is not simply a positive outlook on life; optimism is also about what one actually does. In other words, optimism is not about wearing rose-tinted spectacles; it is about rolling up one's sleeves and trying to bring into existence the ideals one holds. Putting that into practical terms, the author shows how, when faced with a difficult university course, a sixth of very optimistic students might drop out, a quarter of the moderately optimistic students and a whopping third of the pessimists. So that all looks cut and dried, doesn't it? It is not.

“First of all, the author makes it plain that there are times when giving up is the better option. She uses the example of a man trying to get a date with a woman whom he finds very attractive. If she turns him down the first time, it is most certainly worthwhile for him to persevere and try for a second, third or fourth time. However, if he has a restraining order against him forbidding him to contact the woman, it is time to give up! In other words, there is a formula which balances the possible costs against the possible chance of success. If the woman has taken out a court order against him, the chances of her granting him a date are infinitesimally small while, if he persists in approaching her, his chances of landing up in prison are extremely large. Even an optimist should bow out gracefully at this point.”

Breaking Murphys's Law by Suzanne C. Segerstrom

Breaking Murphy’s Law
by Suzanne C. Segerstrom
Guilford Press, 2006

£14.20 [amazon.co.uk] / $14.96 [amazon.com] hbk
ISBN-10: 1593852096 / ISBN-13: 978-1593852092

£6.56 [amazon.co.uk] / $10.17 [amazon.com] pbk
ISBN-10: 1593855923 / ISBN-13: 978-1593855925

related material
it pays to be an optimist - the auroran sunset
GDP and other quality of life measurements
The tipping point by Macolm Gladwell - a short review Four and a half GoldenYak(tm) award

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0709.php#scathing_reviews_181107


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