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September 03, 2013


Luis Enrique

again, I am cursing myself for not making a note of a great quote I once read to the effect that you can only explain about half of history if you do not allow for the role of character.

you might like these

Ben Jones, leaders and economic growth
Rodrik ideas versus interests


"That's the question raised by pictures of John Kerry and Tony Blair cosying up to Bashar al-Assad."

I would say cosying up to noted war criminal Tony Blair puts Assad in a worse light actually. Maybe Tony was trying to sell him some chemical weapons?




"... the neoclassical claim that people respond to incentives similarly say that circumstances shape what we are."

I am not sure I agree with this bit.

After all, haven't we all heard about the neoclassical/Austrian myth of "personal accountability", the "pulling yourself by your bootstraps"?

The idea implicit by neoclassicals (and most particularly by Austrians) is that personal circumstances are, at best, secondary: what really matters is one's Nietzschean free-will.

Check the link below, by your Pieria colleague, John Aziz:


Torquil Macneil

Whatever the broader truth of this, the Stanford Prison experiment is no evidence. Students were asked to play a game for their professor, everyone was free to leave at any time. Is it surprising that they adopted roles and played them out just like they had seen them played on TV?

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