Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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Social Neuroscience in Context: Narrative Practices, Niche Construction and Neural Patterns

A familiar, ‘standard approach’ to social neuroscience sees its job as determining “where in the brain mentalizing resides” (Mahy et al. 2014, p. 69, emphasis original). This quest is framed by three central assumptions, that: (1) Folk Psychology
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Conspiracy Theories by Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN

Conspiracy Theories by Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract:      
Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined. Such theories typically spread as a result of identifiable cognitive blunders, operating in conjunction with informational and reputational influences. A distinctive feature of conspiracy theories is their self-sealing quality. Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy. Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Increases Sensitivity to Long Term Losses among Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Increases Sensitivity to Long Term Losses among Patients with Major Depressive Disorder | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Decisions under risk and with outcomes that are delayed in time are ubiquitous in real life and can have a significant impact on the health and wealth of the decision-maker. Despite its potential relevance for real-world choices, the degree of aberrant risky and intertemporal decision-making in patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has received little attention to date.
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Cognitive Psychology of Moral Intuitions by Daniel Kahneman, Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN

Cognitive Psychology of Moral Intuitions by Daniel Kahneman, Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract:     
Moral intuitions operate in much the same way as other intuitions do; what makes the moral domain so distinctive is its foundations in the emotions, beliefs, and response tendencies that define indignation. The intuitive system of cognition, System I, is typically responsible for indignation; the more reflective system, System II, may or may not provide an override. Moral dumbfounding and moral numbness are often a product of moral intuitions that people are unable to justify. An understanding of indignation helps to explain the operation of many phenomena of interest to law and politics: the outrage heuristic, the centrality of harm, the role of reference states, moral framing, and the act-omission distinction. Because of the operation of indignation, it is extremely difficult for people to achieve coherence in their moral intuitions. Legal and political institutions usually aspire to be deliberative, and to pay close attention to System II; but even in deliberative institutions, System I can make some compelling demands.
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Evidence of market manipulation in the financial crisis

Evidence of market manipulation in the financial crisis | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract

We provide direct evidence of market manipulation at the beginning of the financial crisis in November 2007. The type of market manipulation, a "bear raid," would have been prevented by a regulation that was repealed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2007. The regulation, the uptick rule, was designed to prevent market manipulation and promote stability and was in force from 1938 as a key part of the government response to the 1929 market crash and its aftermath. On November 1, 2007, Citigroup experienced an unusual increase in trading volume and decrease in price. Our analysis of financial industry data shows that this decline coincided with an anomalous increase in borrowed shares, the selling of which would be a large fraction of the total trading volume. The selling of borrowed shares cannot be explained by news events as there is no corresponding increase in selling by share owners. A similar number of shares were returned on a single day six days later. The magnitude and coincidence of borrowing and returning of shares is evidence of a concerted effort to drive down Citigroup's stock price and achieve a profit, i.e., a bear raid. Interpretations and analyses of financial markets should consider the possibility that the intentional actions of individual actors or coordinated groups can impact market behavior. Markets are not sufficiently transparent to reveal or prevent even major market manipulation events. Our results point to the need for regulations that prevent intentional actions that cause markets to deviate from equilibrium value and contribute to market crashes. Enforcement actions, even if they take place, cannot reverse severe damage to the economic system. The current "alternative" uptick rule which is only in effect for stocks dropping by over 10% in a single day is insufficient. Improved availability of market data and reinstatement of either the original uptick rule or other transaction limitations may help prevent market instability.

 
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Avoiding the Agony of a 'Bogey': Loss Aversion in Golf - and Business - Knowledge@Wharton

In a working paper titled, “Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes,”  (PDF) Wharton operations and information management professors Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer examine putts during pro golf tournaments and determine that even the best golfers systematically miss the opportunity to score a “birdie” — when a player sinks a ball in one stroke less than the number of expected strokes for a given hole — out of fear of having a “bogey” — or taking one stroke more than what is expected. According to the researchers, for many, the agony of a bogey seems to outweigh the thrill of a birdie.

The researchers calculate that this type of decision-making bias costs the average professional golfer about one stroke during a 72-hole tournament. For the top 20 golfers, that translates to a combined loss of about $1.2 million in prize money a year. According to the paper, golfers frame their approach to putting based on the risk of coming in worse than “par” — or the number of strokes a professional golfer would be expected to take to complete a given hole. The researchers’ analysis shows that golfers avoid the possibility of loss by playing conservatively when they have the opportunity to do better than par, but will try harder if they are at risk of coming in worse than par.

#Loss_Aversion #neuroeconomy 

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A New Basis in the Brain for Democracy, Law, and Science

A New Basis in the Brain for Democracy, Law, and Science | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Look at it this way: dictatorial government or inquisitorial courts of law might be defensible if there was indeed one truth, a single brain system to discover it, and people you could trust to know what it was. But how much more natural do adversarial, government-versus-opposition, or prosecution-versus-defence institutions seem by comparison if we accept the diametric model of the mind? Indeed, could this be the fundamental reason why such adversarial systems of law and government have proved so successful for those fortunate enough to live under them? Could it be that truth and freedom are the products of not simply human dispute, but of a profoundly natural adversarial cognitive system, built into the brain? And could the two sides correspond to mentalistic, top-down, culturally determined cloud-cognition versus mechanistic, bottom-up, individualistic and factually validated skepticism?

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Simplified approval mechanism for social dilemmas

Abstract: We develop the simplified approval mechanism (SAM) for n-player public good provision with binary choice. The SAM provides each cooperator a chance to revise his choice when players’ choices are not unanimous. Hence, players can easily retaliate against defection as widely proposed in repeated game theory or conditionally cooperate as observed in voluntary contribution game experiments. The SAM implements the cooperative outcome in backward elimination of weakly dominated strategies (BEWDS). The implementation result also holds in limit logit agent quantal response equilibrium (LAQRE). The average cooperation rate in the SAM experiment is 86.6% across 15 periods, which increases to 96.0% after period 5. Analyzing choice data and responses to the pre-play questionnaires reveals that subjects defect because of free-riding motivations or feelings of uncertainty in others’ cooperation. After observing defections, cooperators switch to defection, which decreases cooperation rates between the first and second stages of each period. 
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Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil - YouTube

http://www.ted.com Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu ...
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Stanford Prison Experiment - ORIGINAL FOOTAGE - YouTube

historical documents #neuroeconomy #neuropolicy
How to Turn Good People Abusive - In Less Than a Week.
More info: www.prisonexp.org
Law, facts & documentation on Obama / Bush crimes: http://komigen.tripod.com/lawnotwar/h...

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Old documents on trials for mind control - Unclassified/Commericial Mind Control Technology

Old documents on trials for mind control - Unclassified/Commericial Mind Control Technology | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

From Old documents on trials for mind control - "We need a program of psychosurgery and political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. 
"The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. This lacks historical perspective. 
"Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Some day armies and generals will be controlled by electrical stimulation of the brain."

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Networks of Economic Market Interdependence and Systemic Risk

The financial crisis that began in 2008 crippled the whole economy. But why did a crisis in the financial sector have such devastating effects on other industries? According to a new paper from the New England Complex Systems Institute, increasing interdependence between finance and other sectors rendered the whole economy fragile. By modeling the network of relationships between companies in finance and other critical areas over time, the researchers were able to track mounting correlation among industries. As relationships tightened, vulnerability rose. The work deepens our understanding of how interdependence relates to systemic risk, and has the potential to inform future regulation.

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Scientists Demonstrate Brain-to-Brain Communication | MIT Technology Review

Scientists Demonstrate Brain-to-Brain Communication | MIT Technology Review | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Scientists have established direct communication between two human brains, but is it more than a stunt?

Two scientific teams this year patched together some well-known technologies to directly exchange information between human brains.

The projects, in the U.S. and Europe, appear to represent the first occasions in history that any two people have transmitted information without either of them speaking or moving any muscle. For now, however, the “telepathy” technology remains so crude that it’s unlikely to have any practical impact.

In a paper published last week in the journal PLOS One, neuroscientists and computer engineers at the University of Washington in Seattle described a brain-to-brain interface they built that lets two people coöperatively play a simple video game. Earlier this year, a company in Barcelona called Starlab described transmitting short words like “ciao,” encoded as binary digits, between the brains of individuals on different continents.

 
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The Storrs Lectures: Behavioral Economics and Paternalism by Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN

The Storrs Lectures: Behavioral Economics and Paternalism by Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract:      
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that in some contexts and for identifiable reasons, people make choices that are not in their interest, even when the stakes are high. Policymakers in a number of nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have used the underlying evidence to inform regulatory initiatives and choice architecture in a number of domains. Both the resulting actions and the relevant findings have raised the question whether an understanding of human errors opens greater space for paternalism. Behavioral market failures, which occur as a result of such errors, are an important supplement to the standard account of market failures; if promoting welfare is the guide, then behavioral market failures should be taken into consideration, even if the resulting actions are paternalistic. A general principle of behaviorally informed regulation – its first law – is that the appropriate responses to behavioral market failures usually consist of nudges, generally in the form of disclosure, warnings, and default rules. While some people invoke autonomy as an objection to paternalism, the strongest objections are welfarist in character. Official action may fail to respect heterogeneity, may diminish learning and self-help, may be subject to pressures from self-interested private groups (the problem of “behavioral public choice”), and may reflect the same errors that ordinary people make. The welfarist arguments against paternalism have considerable force, but choice architecture, and sometimes a form of paternalism, are inevitable, and to that extent the welfarist objections cannot get off the ground. Where paternalism is optional, the objections, though reasonable, depend on empirical assumptions that may not hold in identifiable contexts. There are many opportunities for improving human welfare through improved choice architecture. 

 

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Algorithmic complexity for psychology: A user-friendly implementation of the coding theorem method

Kolmogorov-Chaitin complexity has long been believed to be unapproachable when it comes to short sequences (e.g. of length 5-50). However, with the newly developed coding theorem method the complexity of strings of length 2-11 can now be numerically estimated. We present the theoretical basis of algorithmic complexity for short strings (ACSS) and describe an R-package providing functions based on ACSS that will cover psychologists' needs and improve upon previous methods in three ways: (1) ACSS is now available not only for binary strings, but for strings based on up to 9 different symbols, (2) ACSS no longer requires time-consuming computing, and (3) a new approach based on ACSS gives access to an estimation of the complexity of strings of any length. Finally, three illustrative examples show how these tools can be applied to psychology.

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Alessandro Silvestri's curator insight, December 10, 2014 2:40 PM

It is what I was searching, it's very interesting!

 

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Social and Natural Sciences Differ in Their Research Strategies, Adapted to Work for Different Knowledge Landscapes

Social and Natural Sciences Differ in Their Research Strategies, Adapted to Work for Different Knowledge Landscapes | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract

Do different fields of knowledge require different research strategies? A numerical model exploring different virtual knowledge landscapes, revealed two diverging optimal search strategies. Trend following is maximized when the popularity of new discoveries determine the number of individuals researching it. This strategy works best when many researchers explore few large areas of knowledge. In contrast, individuals or small groups of researchers are better in discovering small bits of information in dispersed knowledge landscapes. Bibliometric data of scientific publications showed a continuous bipolar distribution of these strategies, ranging from natural sciences, with highly cited publications in journals containing a large number of articles, to the social sciences, with rarely cited publications in many journals containing a small number of articles. The natural sciences seem to adapt their research strategies to landscapes with large concentrated knowledge clusters, whereas social sciences seem to have adapted to search in landscapes with many small isolated knowledge clusters. Similar bipolar distributions were obtained when comparing levels of insularity estimated by indicators of international collaboration and levels of country-self citations: researchers in academic areas with many journals such as social sciences, arts and humanities, were the most isolated, and that was true in different regions of the world. The work shows that quantitative measures estimating differences between academic disciplines improve our understanding of different research strategies, eventually helping interdisciplinary research and may be also help improve science policies worldwide.
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Corporate Competition: A Self-Organized Network | NECSI

Abstract
A substantial number of studies have extended the work on universal properties in physical systems to complex networks in social, biological, and technological systems. In this paper, we present a complex networks perspective on interfirm organizational networks by mapping, analyzing and modeling the spatial structure of a large interfirm competition network across a variety of sectors and industries within the United States. We propose a model that is able to reproduce experimentally observed characteristics of competition networks as a natural outcome of a minimal set of general mechanisms governing the evolution of competition networks. The model suggests that macro dynamical processes determine to a large extent the ecology of industry structure. There is an asymmetry between companies that are considered competitors, and companies that consider others as their competitors. All companies only consider a small number of other companies as competitors, however there are a few companies that are considered as competitors by many others. Geographically, the density of corporate headquarters strongly correlates with local population density, and the probability two firms are competitors declines with geographic distance. We construct these properties by growing a corporate network with competitive links using random incorporations modulated by population density and geographic distance. Despite randomness, the historical order of incorporation matters to network structure. Our new analysis, methodology and empirical results are relevant to various phenomena of organizational behavior, and have implications to research fields such as economic geography, economic sociology, and regional economic development.
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The Catastrophic Harm Precautionary Principle by Cass R. Sunstein

The Catastrophic Harm Precautionary Principle by Cass R. Sunstein | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Abstract:      

When catastrophic outcomes are possible, it makes sense to take precautions against the worst-case scenarios — the Catastrophic Harm Precautionary Principle. This principle is based on three foundations: an emphasis on people’s occasional failure to appreciate the expected value of truly catastrophic losses; a recognition that political actors may engage in unjustifiable delay when the costs of precautions would be incurred immediately and when the benefits would not be enjoyed until the distant future; and an understanding of the distinction between risk and uncertainty. The normative arguments are illustrated throughout with reference to the problem of climate change; other applications include avian flu, genetic modification of food, protection of endangered species, and terrorism.

#precautionary_principle #catastrophe #availability #heuristic

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15 Psychological Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing

15 Psychological Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
How does your audience decide what it wants to click, share, favorite, and purchase?

Understanding a bit of behavioral psychology can go a long ways toward a better understanding of your audience and why they do the things they do on social media and on your website.

There’s tons here for marketers to discover, and the psychology of human interaction can lead to some quick wins in the way you compose your social media updates and communicate online. I’ve collected 15 of my favorite psychological studies and how they might relate to what we all do online. I’d love for you to take a look and let me know what you think!
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Astensionismo, tecniche di comunicazione per portare gli elettori alle urne - Il Fatto Quotidiano

Astensionismo, tecniche di comunicazione per portare gli elettori alle urne - Il Fatto Quotidiano | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Il mezzo più efficace per riattivare gli elettori si è rivelato essere  il porta a porta. Obama ne ha fatto una scienza, anche Hollande in Francia ne ha fatto largo uso. Mandare degli attivisti di casa in casa può aumentare l’affluenza fino al 9%. Per capire l’importanza di questo numero possiamo confrontarlo coi volantini, i quali attivano solo un elettore su centomila e l’invio di cartoline che mobilita lo 0,6%; ancora peggio sono le telefonate, si rivelano inefficaci, in Italia perfino controproducenti.

Il porta a porta permette un contatto personale, fondamentale per svolgere alcune operazioni efficaci come le seguenti.
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media's use of propaganda to persuade people's attitude, beliefs and behaviors

Attitudes, Belief's and Behaviors

The previous picture and poem is a clear example of propaganda which is a form of persuasion used to influence people's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. A working definition of propaganda is

the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. While propaganda has been around for almost a thousand years, only recently (last 100 years) with the advent of technologies that allow us to spread information to a mass group has it evolved to a scientific process capable of influencing a whole nation of people. While propaganda is most evident in times of war as in the poster, it is constantly being used as a political and social means in even less obvious ways to influence peoples attitudes. This is currently evident with all the election commercials on TV, where the candidates are using propaganda techniques to elevate themselves above their competitor. Another place propaganda is being exploited is by the use of the media in its portrayal of countries that have nuclear technology.

Modern propaganda uses all the media available to spread its message, including: press, radio, television, film, computers, fax machines, posters, meetings, door-to-door canvassing, handbills,

buttons, billboards, speeches, flags, street names, monuments, coins, stamps, books, plays, comic strips, poetry, music, sporting events, cultural events, company reports, libraries, and awards and

prizes. It is most likely that some of these media uses are surprising, but that only serves to show how easy it is to not even recognize propaganda as such. For the purpose of our paper we will focus on mainly the usage of the press in their tactics of shaping people's opinions. The press (newspapers and magazines) is important because the most current news and issues are spread every day through them. The Dune affect is a term we coined--after the movie Dune--which explains that those who control and have access to media have access to and potential control of public opinion.

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Evolutionary dynamics of time-resolved social interactions

Cooperation among unrelated individuals is frequently observed in social groups when their members combine efforts and resources to obtain a shared benefit that is unachievable by an individual alone. However, understanding why cooperation arises despite the natural tendency of individuals toward selfish behavior is still an open problem and represents one of the most fascinating challenges in evolutionary dynamics. Recently, the structural characterization of the networks in which social interactions take place has shed some light on the mechanisms by which cooperative behavior emerges and eventually overcomes the natural temptation to defect. In particular, it has been found that the heterogeneity in the number of social ties and the presence of tightly knit communities lead to a significant increase in cooperation as compared with the unstructured and homogeneous connection patterns considered in classical evolutionary dynamics. Here, we investigate the role of social-ties dynamics for the emergence of cooperation in a family of social dilemmas. Social interactions are in fact intrinsically dynamic, fluctuating, and intermittent over time, and they can be represented by time-varying networks. By considering two experimental data sets of human interactions with detailed time information, we show that the temporal dynamics of social ties has a dramatic impact on the evolution of cooperation: the dynamics of pairwise interactions favors selfish behavior.

 

Evolutionary dynamics of time-resolved social interactions
Phys. Rev. E 90, 052825 – Published 25 November 2014
Alessio Cardillo, Giovanni Petri, Vincenzo Nicosia, Roberta Sinatra, Jesús Gómez-Gardeñes, and Vito Latora

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.90.052825


Via Complexity Digest
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The Psychological Reasons Why American Soldiers Would Fire On American Citizens | Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show

The Psychological Reasons Why American Soldiers Would Fire On American Citizens | Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

From historical documents

We live in chaotic times. Many feel that our fragile economy could come crashing down at any time. One devastating terrorist attack, false flag attack or natural disaster could lead to an unprecedented disaster and martial law would be declared. Some Americans would take to the streets and the only remaining question is whether or not American soldiers, called to the scene, would restore order by firing upon American citizens when ordered to do so?

This scenario and the resulting public execution of American citizens for engaging in protesting has happened many times in our past. For those old enough to remember, the 1970 Kent State massacre should come to mind as the Ohio National Guard opened fire on protesting college students on the campus of Kent State University. But for those who believe that this was merely an anomaly, let’s examine what the field of psychology has discovered about the answer to this question.

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The European debt crisis: Defaults and market equilibrium | NECSI

The European debt crisis: Defaults and market equilibrium | NECSI | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

CAMBRIDGE (Sept. 27) — As the European Central Bank prepares to dig deeper for the billions of Euros to bail out Spain and Italy if necessary, scientists at the New England Complex Systems Institute have asked whether the Eurozone’s debt crisis was actually the result of flawed fiscal policies or blind panic in the markets. Their answer is: yes, the debt crisis is real, but that market overreactions made it much worse by driving interest rates higher at a critical time, leading policy-makers to over-react. The repercussions include the halving of Greek debt a year earlier than necessary had the markets been in equilibrium.

For the first time, NECSI’s study quantitatively demonstrates how interest rates implicitly behave according to sovereign debt. The bond market effectively has a pre-set debt threshold it expects a given country to default at. For each country, this value is always present in interest rates, even when default is unlikely. As sovereign debt approaches the threshold, however, interest rates rise until mounting pressure triggers a default. This is the pressure which forced Greece, Ireland, and Portugal to accept bailouts and adopt austerity measures, and which is currently mounting on Italy and Spain.

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Response to review by Trevor Charles re: Precautionary Principle | NECSI

Abstract

A few days ago, Trevor Charles posted a review of our paper entitled “The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetic Modification of Organisms)”. Here we provide a response.

Thank you for the review of our paper. We will provide a point by point response below to your comments. Since you have focused on biological questions it is important for us to emphasize that we did not perform a ``statistical analysis” (which is inherently evidentiary and data based and anchored in biological experiments). Instead we are engaged in a rigorous analysis of risk as it is derived from mathematical probability theory. Many of the citations you are asking for fall within the ``carpenter fallacy” that we present in the text, i.e. that discussions about carpentry are not relevant to and distract from identifying the risks associated with gambling even though the construction of a roulette wheel involves carpentry. Mathematical probability-related arguments do not require biological citations. At the same time we have striven to explain how the biological context maps onto the risk analysis so that the connection between the two is more apparent to those who are focused on biology. For this reason we are providing the responses below. As a general comment, it would be very helpful for biologists who are contemplating or engaging in engineering strategies to read about the failures of systems engineering discussed in the text (Section VIII). This should lead to a better understanding about why the issue is not biology per se, but about the nature of engineering of complex systems in cases that carry high potential harm, for example as has been found in modernization of the Air Traffic Control system. Reading that discussion should establish a better context for a conversation about the risks in biological engineering.

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