Viis artiklit: petmisest ja dopingust sotsdemide tulevikuni Euroopas

Mehest, kes suudab leida inimeste nõrkused ja neid ära kasutada, kas mõne pettuse realiseerimiseks või lihtsalt meelelahutuseks. Kuidas mõistab mees inimpsühholoogiat ja miks lõpuks teiste petmisest loobus:

“I could sell shit at an anti-scat party,” he says, “you have to figure out someone’s wants and needs and convince them what you have will fill their emotional void.” A con man is essentially a salesman–a remarkably good one–who excels at making people feel special and understood. A con man validates the victim’s desire to believe he has an edge on other people.

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Üks mees arutleb sotsiaaldemokraatia allakäigu üle Euroopas ja näeb lootust (üllatus, üllatus) Euroopa Liidus ja kui täpsem olla, siis Euroopa Komisjonis tegevuse mõjutamises. Et kui valimistel enam ei saa, siis läheme sellest sotsiaaldemokraate mitte valivast pööblist mööda:

The more cogent and influential remains the Brussels-based European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). Under the social democratic leadership of its British general secretary, John Monks, the organization has begun to mobilize to do battle for a renewal of social Europe and against what are increasingly seen as flawed neoliberal tendencies. The social dialogues and partnerships that used to exist in many European countries in the macromanagement of their political economies may no longer be as strong and effective as they used to be, but the ETUC under Monks continues to enjoy a distinctive advantage. It can still exercise a genuine influence over the direction and content of public policy as it is made through the European Commission. Its full-time officials continue to play an important part in the labyrinthine Brussels decision-making process The ETUC may enjoy less clout than before when compared with the European employers, but the trade union presence means organized labor can continue to make a real impact on detailed legislation and macroeconomic strategies. 

Väärib lugemist ainuüksi sellepärast, et mõista sotsiaaldemokraatliku mõtteviisi, mis vähemalt selles artiklis näib olevat üllatavalt enesekeskne ja läbi imbunud “meie teame paremini” mentaliteedist.

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Mehest, kes otsustas Mao võimule tulekul Hiinasse kolida ja elab seal siiani. Mida arvab ta minevikust, olevikust, tulevikust ja kuidas suhtub enda elu vastuoludesse:

Almost six decades later, Shapiro is still here – a robust 92-year-old Chinese citizen with white hair, a strong handshake, and an exceptionally well-preserved Brooklyn accent. Part of a wave of westerners who settled in Beijing in the early Mao years to sign up for the “socialist experiment,” Shapiro is one of a tiny few who lasted long enough to experience the entire, ongoing era of Communist rule – and to see China stage an Olympic opening ceremony last Friday night that gave almost no acknowledgement to Mao’s legacy.

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Kaks meest väitlevad käitumsuliku (behavioral) majandusteaduse revolutsioonilisuse üle. Minu jaoks väljus debatist võtjana Tim Harford – paremad ja veenvamad argumendid, vähem ühekülgseid lihtsustusi:

More realistic models of human behaviour may give us more insight into how economies work, but they also may not. If I was having this debate with Prospect’s science columnist Philip Ball, he would be arguing that economists do not have a good understanding of complex systems or the dynamics of networks. He would trumpet the potential of techniques developed by physicists and mathematical sociologists. And these techniques depend on even simpler, less realistic models of human behaviour than economists typically use. It is naive to think that psychological realism is the acid test of economic analysis.

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Üks mees leiab, et mitte päris kõik keelatud ained ei tohiks spordis olla keelatud ja küsib, kas head tulemust takistavat närvilisust ei võiks leevendada medikamentidega:

Beta blockers are banned in certain sports, like archery and pistol shooting, because they’re seen as unfairly improving a user’s skills. But there is another way to see beta blockers—not asimproving someone’s skills, but as preventing the effects of anxiety from interfering with their skills. Taking a beta blocker, in other words, won’t turn you into a better violinist, but it will prevent your anxiety from interfering with your public performance. In a music competition, then, a beta blocker can arguably help the best player win.

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