Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mob Wisdom?

John Stossel's latest article at The Atlasphere "Government Stifles the Wisdom of Crowds" isn't quite up to his usual five-star standard. He fails to mention that the "wisdom of crowds" applies only to matters of information, not to matters of morality. Of course the crowd know who they're going to vote for.

That, however, doesn't apply to non-trivial questions. It doesn't mean that a majority decision is always right. In fact, the semi-free condition and semi-rational laws of all existing democracies show that a majority decision has only about a fifty-fifty chance of being right.

"When I think of crowds, I think of mobs." With that, Stossel was closer to the mark.

At the same time they predict the future by betting on it, mobs elect politicians to keep those fascist gambling laws on the books. Those gambling laws are based on commandments handed down by religious fanatics. As the majority in America (about 85%) is to some degree religious, it's gonna be a cold day in hell before that mob is wise enough to elect politicians wise enough to abolish gambling laws and other victimless crime laws. The only gambling legalization that has been happening has been fueled by politicians' greed for gambling tax dollars and the power they buy.

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