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06/12/2012

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Paul

Bollocks, excuse me.
They do it because they can, it's easy and they stand to gain massively with little, if any, risk.
Cognitive filters and unconscious rationalisation, my arse!

Dave Cohen

@Paul

Yes, your reasoning is simple. Even primitive, as I said.

You are not psychological. You can not see it, therefore it does not exist, despite massive evidence to the contrary. You could be Paul Krugman denying the existence of limits to growth.

Here we have a perfect example of why our species is doomed.

-- Dave

sharonsj

And they'll keep on doing it because the system is now so corrupt that the guys at the top never go to jail.

Angelo Mozillo of Countrywide Mortgage got to keep 80% of his money while an underling went to jail. Corzine, who used investor money illegally, is still walking around. JPMorgan gambled away billions and is not held to account.

Some of these banks are leveraged 45 to 1. The stock market consists of 50-70% flash trading. And commodity futures are controlled by speculators. Why anyone would trust the financial system is a mystery to me.

spynetkilla

Oh, Dave, you really hit on my key issue today. As of a few years ago, many of us were fairly certain that widespread fraud and criminality was the common way of doing business in finance. At this point, the proof is there, yet even the POTUS tells us that this was the (legal) work of clever businessmen. For anyone paying attention, it is a clear message from the TOP that the rule of law is done.

It's a very important point that the motivations behind these acts involved self-deception by all involved. The bad actors truly believe they are in a position of power because they are good and smart and deserve it.

For those who read or seek other sources of information beyond their TV, it is a relatively recent idea that our actions are not mostly driven by our conscious mind. So much of what we all believe we choose to do is actually a reaction to a subconscious impulse.

I would welcome commenters on this blog who can challenge any of Dave's thoughts with a well-reasoned response. One doesn't have to agree; but at least read carefully and consider before going troll on us.

Perhaps D's finally getting enough attention where someone's paying a temp to annoy him? Just like the big boys, HUFFPO et al.

(Still thinking about the chimps grooming each other. That was GOLD).

mike

@Dave

Thanks for this article. I've been doing a lot of reading on psychology recently, particularly on the excellent barking up the wrong tree blog and a number of books by Oliver James, and so your link on psychological defence mechanisms was very informative.

When faced with the frequent horror of our society and the unthinking mindlessness of human beings I've found that focusing on the good things(yes they are some) and using humor helps me cope.

Simply I refuse to take seriously a world in which media coverage of tv reality show stars dwarfs that on ocean acidification, or on the 28% of 3rd world children that are underweight or stunted while the West faces an obesity epidemic.

This is my way of coping, and this has frequently led me into trouble at times. I'm often implored by people I know and/or meet to stop being so laidback and behave in a more appropriate manner.

Often these are people who it seems have no idea of the larger forces shaping the world in which they live, and would I am certain never visit a site like this.

Anywhere But Here Is Better

Greed and psychopathology go hand in hand, and no doubt always have. What would be interesting would be to map the prevalence of psychopaths in financial services and political office alongside the boom and now final bust of the American model of free marketeering (buccaneering by another name).

While we await the stats, my hypothesis is that the decline of 'civilization' directly correlates to the increasing concentration of psychopaths controlling the levers of power/wealth.

I have pressed biologists on my other hypothesis that psychopaths are a separate sub-species, and we could possibly learn how to identify them at birth, or at least by the age of majority. I haven't so far been able to elicit scientific agreement. But just imagine if we could detect psychopaths BEFORE they were let loose to prey on the rest of us via Wall Street, Washington DC, etc. Then it would be a matter of deciding if such creatures should be 'encouraged' to take a long walk on a short pier.

Alas, these suppositions are rather late in the day. We are now spinning round the edge of the final plughole, and will the last greed-meister rabidly counting his ill-gotten loot kindly switch off the light that is annoying the moths trying to navigate by moonlight.

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