The Knowledge Problem

Cassandra has a lovely post about the problem of not knowing, and not being able to know, and having to make decisions knowing that.

Just the topic for tea on a hot September afternoon under the watchful gaze of M. Sphinx.

I know for which presidential candidate I’m going to vote this November, and I feel quite strongly about it. Even so, when I talk to my friends who are voting for the other fellow, it becomes clear that the decision is not nearly so obvious as I take it to be. I cannot seem to convince them, and they cannot seem to convince me.

It would be mere hubris (sheer hubris?) to simply assume they are blind but my vision is perfect. So, how do we solve this conundrum?

Likely, we won’t. There is no neutral arbiter of knowledge to ask, very few people that both I and my friends trust to provide us with the relevant knowledge, and little else we can do without dropping everything and spending decades studying history, economics, sociology, etc., etc., etc., ourselves. And so, come the penultimate month of the year, we will vote for different men.

In the long duration, I don’t have the solution, but I think that if the government were required to be far more transparent, and if agencies such as the CBO were required simply to do a good job and not to follow the breadcrumb trails of devious politicians through labyrinthine mazes of questionable data, the problem wouldn’t be quite so severe.

P.S. Apropos the ‘Experiments in WordPress’ category, I should note that the reblog feature only seems to work with WordPress blogs, and the trackback feature doesn’t work for Villainous Company from here.

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