Thursday, December 28, 2023

the human flaw that prevents preparation for the whole project


The early "deprogammers" would persuade someone to leave a cult, then consider their job done and go on to the next person. But in fact, that was only the beginning of the now ex-cult member's road to recovery. Similarly, many rebellions in countries would depose their lousy dictator, and think that's what needed to be done, so now we can rejoice and relax. Again, that was really only the beginning of repairing the country.
Humans seem to have this flaw where they think that once the first step of something is done, they can sit back and relax. In fact, the task has really just begun.
"Revolution, once its makers pluck up the courage, is the easy part. It is what follows that is so hard... Overnight, people who weren't allowed to decide anything their whole lives have to decide everything. It is not a learning curve, it is a sheer cliff." [The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring, by Paul Danahar, p. 49]

Does war require killing civilians, or is something else going on in Gaza?

 "A secret US diplomatic cable sent in late 2008 said:
Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis... As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza.  Israeli officials have confirmed... on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge." [The New Middle East: The World After The Arab Spring, by Paul Danahar, p. 161]


Israel's modern army CAN avoid more civilian deaths and injuries.  They just don't care.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

More on universal income experiments


"Their findings cover the first two years of the effort and compare the outcomes for about 5,000 people who got the monthly payments to nearly 12,000 others in a control group who got no money. But, just as significantly, the researchers also compared the recipients to people in two other categories: nearly 9,000 who received the monthly income for just two years, without the promise of another decade of payments afterward; and another roughly 9,000 people who got that same two years’ worth of income but in a lump-sum payment."

Conclusions so far: 

1. Giving cash aid in a lump sum has some major advantages over parceling it out.

2. Lump sums are so useful that even those who didn’t get them have banded together to create their own version.

3. Making the benefit ‘universal’ – by paying every adult in the village – seems to have greatly increased the impact.

4. The grants did not seem to fuel inflation

5. The big remaining question is whether the benefits of lump-sum payments actually last.