By Peter Beattie
Crooked trees and the damaged department presents an interesting travel via six fields of technology – social, political, and evolutionary psychology, info idea, political financial system, and comparative media reports – and weaves them jointly in a compelling narrative that may offer solutions to a few very basic questions of curiosity to all who care in regards to the nation of the area and the folk in it.
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Extra info for Crooked Timber and the Broken Branch: The Invisible Hand in the Marketplace of Ideas
They were answers – true or false – that never reached more than a small minority of my fellow citizens. … But why not? Why did this information reach me, and not everyone? More broadly, why does some information spread nearly everywhere (Mickey Mouse), and other information is rare (bin Laden’s stated reasons for the 9/11 attacks)? Why do different people believe such vastly different things, and why should these beliefs vary along with geography? S. S. believed the exact opposite? What kind of truth is this which is true on one side of a mountain and false on the other?
Strangers on the street would actually make eye contact, and daily interactions were gentler, kinder. Strangely, the stress of daily life seemed subdued, not augmented by the recent mass murder. It was as if the toxic smoke from the ruins had produced a soporific effect on the city. 1 That theme was peace. I saw calls for resilience, for understanding, to avoid violent retribution, to remember the dead, and to honor them by putting an end to violence: peace. Not so on television. Watching TV news that week was jarring; it was like entering an alternate universe where mourning and the desire for peace were replaced by rage and the desire for retribution.
There are always extraneous, uncontrolled factors in even the most careful social psychological experiment. And many social questions do not allow for any experimentation, in which case the term “science” refers to its older, broader definition: a systematic study that creates knowledge used to explain or predict aspects of the world. Regardless, as much for chemistry as for sociology: how we interpret science, and what our interpretations tell us about how we might better organize ourselves socially, politically, or economically – this is a matter for open debate.