What is your view on nudges?

Not the slightly pervy ones on the tube... ...behavioural nudges.

Does it annoy you that someone is trying to encourage you to make a decision that THEY think is best for you?

Whilst irritatingly they are better than someone directly telling me i am just wrong.  Much easier to ignore.

The authoritarian social credit system repackaged for consumption by those who live in liberal democracies. Insufferable. 

Thaler's ideas? Nassim Taleb is not a fan. Basically calls him a fraud. I don't quite understand Taleb's reasoning yet, but despite being eminently punchable, Taleb is usually spot on about stuff

The book was mildly interesting but full of deeply irritating phrases like "To be sure".


I’ve just pulled my version of Nudge off the shelf... ...the last sentence of the postscript is this:

“We will not be able to protect against future [financial] crises if we rail against greed, corruption and wrongdoing without looking in the mirror and understanding the potentially devastating effects of bounded rationality, self-control problems and social influences”.

Thaler and Sunstein can fuck right off... ... neither my judgment and decision making nor my social interactions caused the financial crash. The whole book is about a manipulation of the individual to compensate for the ineffectiveness of government and the sickening avarice of the 1%.


It is an interesting one tho fluffster.  One example I recall from the book is the pension opt in.  if people have to opt in, the majority wont.  if they have to opt out, the majority wont.  If i remember rightly the book suggests that the default should therefore be opt out on the assumption that it is "good" for people to have a pension.  (Indeed, I think Cameron and Clegg implemented something along these lines.)

The counter argument is of course that people should be allowed to wipe their own arses rather than have some sort of Orwellian ministry of bottom inspectors do it for them for the greater "good".  and frankly that argument has some appeal, my last "managed" work pension scheme managed to lose 30% between 2005 and 2006.wNkers.


Yeah, they call that ‘libertarian paternalism’... ...basically pretending to the great unwashed that we have a choice but if you don’t go with ours then you are thick, which will be explained to you in a supremely condescending way by two professors who have never experienced the life they are trying direct.

Solve the root cause you khunts.

Change triggers grief like emotions in the brain, therefore saying that things can stay the same is soothing. Arguably government can't change anything without nudging or force because otherwise all the vested interests throw their toys out of the pram, so it's a bit chicken and egg to say that ineffective government is to blame if you don't condone nudging - unless you prefer force. A government would be unelectable if they told the truth i.e. everyone has to pay, you need to take steps to improve your own health etc etc. Look at all the wailing and gnashing over policies from the "bedroom tax" to NI on rich contractors to the "dementia tax". Nobody in the affected groups will accept that something has to give (unless it is the usual "tax the rich", though usually unearned housing wealth doesn't seem to qualify in these debates and everyone above a certain age seems to have met the magical "paid in" threshold to be beyond reproach). I bet if they put a £5 annual tax on the use of Google, or a £5 home delivery tax to fund govt spending people would be up in arms despite moaning that Google, Amazon et al are destroying privacy, high streets etc. 

That's why off balance sheet govt funding was so popular - nothing to see here, all taxes still at the same rates but look -new schools, new hospitals. TBH everyone was complicit in debt fuelled false "productivity" that caused the financial crash to some extent unless they were living in a mortgage free house and had no investments. 

Re pensions, people that take zero interest in where £1000s of their money actually is complain that it is all a con and that they have lost a fortune (despite it normally being the case that they would not have had 50% of the money anyway as it is a matched contribution, and 20-25% of the rest would have gone to the Exchequer). Even then it's still better than them spending their last days in penury when there is no cash to pay the state promissory notes of public sector and state pensions. 

Isn't the root cause that humans are basically slightly clever sheep?

Is there a problem with objecting to the manipulation of the individual whilst also complaining about the avarice of the 1%?

Aren't the 1% just the ones who ignored the manipulation, in favour of manipulating?

If the 1% have to accept boundaries on their avarice, don't the 1% at the other end also have to accept limits on their indolence?

Wouldn't it all just be better if I was in charge of everything?