Goddammit!

It takes only a little understanding of the human condition, and what follows on from it about the business condition, to realise that most of the time most of us survive by a thread. The stresses of life seem to be pretty big for many. Whether they really are is irrelevant: perception is what matters here. That is what is actually real, because perceptions relate to how we see the world. And, if most of us, most of the time see the world as stressful then that is what it is.

How do we cope? Through the use of routine. We eliminate as many decisions as we can during days that demand we take more decisions than we might wish for by simply reducing the rest to the level of repetitive action to which little thought need be given. And that’s fine.

Indeed so. This is known as “rational ignorance”. We do not need to, nor do we, calculate every detail of every action every time. We find what works well enough – and we may well calculate pretty hard to find that out – and then satisfact.

OK.

But that then explodes the case against consumer rationality. The very case against that Snippa is so adamant must be true, that consumers are not rational. We rationally worry about the details when we must. Such things as rational expectations, rational calculation, are therefore valid assumptions.

Snippa therefore wants to believe in rational ignorance and yet not in rational consumers.

The same is true of most of the remaining decisions, of course. We reduce them to the point where heuristics can handle most of the required choices. That leaves our energy for what is difficult.

See?

13 thoughts on “Goddammit!”

  1. “to realise that most of the time most of us survive by a thread. The stresses of life seem to be pretty big for many. Whether they really are is irrelevant: perception is what matters here.”

    I’d argue whether they are real or not determines whether you are perceiving that you are surviving only by a thread, or whether you really are just surviving by a thread. In fact that is pretty much the definition of relative vs absolute poverty and why one is actually important to solve, whilst the other should be perceived as less of a concern.

  2. Worth reading more of this absurd peroration – really speaks to why he is one of the most stupid commentators extant in cyberspace. Worth quoting back at him when he embarks on one of his periodic puff pieces around the need for greater state control!

    I take no pleasure from this.

    People will probably die because the government did not understand this.

    Others will suffer considerable hardship.

    And none of those is necessary. Even if Brexit was the right thing to do, and even if the vote was properly held (and neither is true), this could only have been avoided by having a deal agreed before a transition and then having as long a transition as possible before the new rules had to be used. Simultaneous systems would have made sense to the greatest degree possible. But none of that has happened. There has, in effect, been no transition period. There has just been an extended negotiation.

    Who do I blame? It’s not hard to work that one out, is it? The UK government is, of course, responsible. It wanted Brexit. It created the chaos. It created the delay. It has not done the preparation. But most of all, the people in our government have no comprehension of the issues I have noted in this post. The idea that in the real world it takes time to make things work has clearly not occurred to them. And that is why they are to blame and no one else is.

  3. “We reduce them to the point where heuristics can handle most of the required choices. That leaves our energy for what is difficult.”

    Except we’re not allowed to do that at all now either. Heuristics says that thing with a beard and big biceps is in fact a bloke, but we get into terrible trouble if we act on that.

    The crazies are doing their damnedest to ensure that we can’t use heuristics at all for anything, so everything becomes immeasurably more difficult and the simplest thing – that never used to require any decision making effort at all – now takes huge energy.

    for zero – or even negative – return.

  4. It’s amazing watching someone without the necessary intellect and powers of observation and insight trying to recreate the social sciences. It is also incredibly funny

  5. ‘The stresses of life seem to be pretty big for many.’

    ‘realise that most of the time most of us survive by a thread’

    He projects his neurosis on the masses, in the vain hope that he is ‘normal.’

  6. Rational ignorance be damned. If we take decisions we must have had a choice. If decisions are taken for us we have no choice and no liberty.
    As for stress making us hang by a thread. Bollocks. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    And spare us any moralising or policy prescriptions on your way out.

  7. He’s been telling his blog readers with certainty no deal will be the outcome for around 2 years. So while others may be anxious over the uncertainty, Snippa has no excuse.

  8. So Murphy thought we should have a deal before leaving? Me to. Why didn’t we? Because Brussels refused. They are entirely to blame for the whole mess. They are not even looking for a good deal. All they are trying to do is roll out more protectionist policies. Without addressing the inherent contradictions within their own organisation. They don’t want us to succeed. So much for 40 years of co-operation.

    That’s why we are leaving.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    Except we’re not allowed to do that at all now either. Heuristics says that thing with a beard and big biceps is in fact a bloke, but we get into terrible trouble if we act on that.

    Heuristics are useful right up until the point you meet someone then you update them for that individual. In this case when they tell you they’re really a woman the update is “nutter” and you walk away wiser, but still shaking your head in bemusement..

  10. “So Murphy thought we should have a deal before leaving?”

    Perhaps he’s playing to those members of the Sco’tish Neo-fascist Party who favour this strategy. Does he see himself on the porage wogs’ negotiating tesm?

  11. It’s good for us despicable racists to know he’s in our camp. For what else is racism but heuristics?

  12. “most of the time most of us survive by a thread” – how people can try to pass this type of BS astounds. Most of “us” in the West live better than humanity ever dreamed of for millenia.

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