Monday, July 18, 2011

The God Complex

Here is Tim Harford giving a talk on "the God complex", i.e. people who in the face of an incredibly complicated world are absolutely convinced that they understand how the world works. He uses a story of Archie Cochrane to introduce his talk...

Harford is arguing for commonsense, experimentation, and variety. But humans aren't happy with that. They was "authoritative solutions". This leads to the "God complex" where crowds foolishly, slavishly follow "leaders" who claim to know the way forward.

This is a problem of both political left and right, but it is generally a more serious problem with the right which tends to adore authority figures and loves authoritarian systems.

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