Paul Krugman - New York Times
in his youth where relevant documents are said to have disappeared. What if the intelligence service of a country with an ax to grind in the USA (what country doesn't?) had obtained evidence that would destroy Bush, even today, if revealed and had been blackmailing him and simultaneously propitiating his career till this day. Far fetched? Yes, certainly, but could you say that it is more far fetched than his strange behavior? To check out this theory a little farther you'd have to see if any country with a competent intelligence service is especially benefited by Bush's bizarre performance. DS
Why Hawks Win - Foreign Policy Magazine
Option A: A sure loss of $890In this situation, a large majority of decision makers will prefer the gamble in Option B, even though the other choice is statistically superior. People prefer to avoid a certain loss in favor of a potential loss, even if they risk losing significantly more. When things are going badly in a conflict, the aversion to cutting one’s losses, often compounded by wishful thinking, is likely to dominate the calculus of the losing side. This brew of psychological factors tends to cause conflicts to endure long beyond the point where a reasonable observer would see the outcome as a near certainty. Many other factors pull in the same direction, notably the fact that for the leaders who have led their nation to the brink of defeat, the consequences of giving up will usually not be worse if the conflict is prolonged, even if they are worse for the citizens they lead. U.S. policymakers faced this dilemma at many points in Vietnam and today in Iraq. To withdraw now is to accept a sure loss, and that option is deeply unattractive. The option of hanging on will therefore be relatively attractive, even if the chances of success are small and the cost of delaying failure is high.
Option B: A 90 percent chance to lose $1,000 and a 10 percent chance to lose nothing.
Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel laureate in economics and Eugene Higgins professor of psychology and professor of public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.