Lessig’s Plan To Fix the Government

I went to see Lawrence Lessig as Long Now last week and I was a little disappointed by his proposed solution to government corruption in the US.
  1. Amend the constitution
  2. Public campaign financing

He gave a rousing talk however and at the end offered this challenge.  Though it may seem hopeless for us to curb the influence of money on public policy, consider this thought experiment:  Suppose a doctor told you that your child had brain cancer and that there was nothing you could do.  Would you really do nothing?

The problem is that partisans are not really focused on the question of campaign financing and are too busy fighting one another.  And the rest of us are frozen with apathy or hopelessness.

For me, it’s simply a matter of style: http://rootstrikers.org/.

Self-Actualization Not Happiness

I am reading “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, and he suggests that happiness or a good mood might actually impair logic:

“…when in a good mood, people become more intuitive and more creative but also less vigilant and more prone to logical errors.” (p.68)

He provides other examples where even being forced to smile by holding a pencil horizontally in their mouth makes people more impressionable.

Increasing happiness too much arguably produces less dynamic cognition depending on your current balance of intuitive or logical thinking. Though people focused heavily on logic could probably benefit by being intuitive more often.

Self-actualization or fulfilling one’s potential, though more ambiguous, is a richer goal than happiness.