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News Link • Government

Rats Steering the Ship of State

• By Craig Cantoni

No, this isn't a metaphor for Trump's presidency.  It's a metaphor for all presidencies, all politicians, all leaders in every endeavor, and all humans who believe that they are more rational and logical than the average person.  This is especially true for yours truly, Mr. Rat Brain.

Where did I get such a stupid metaphor?  From none other than Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist who spent a lifetime studying how people actually think and make decisions, including well-educated people with high IQs.

Only after spending a lot of time studying his studies did I realize that my 18 years of formal education and nearly a half-century of informal education were highly deficient, because none of it taught me how I actually think—or don't think.  I would have avoided a lot of mistakes and embarrassment and a bad first marriage if I had learned this as a freshman in high school.

Kahneman would frequently give a talk titled, "Cognitive Limitations and Public Decision Making."  He expressed dismay in the talk that "an organism equipped with an affective and hormonal system not much different from that of the jungle rat being given the ability to destroy every living thing by pushing a few buttons."

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