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Absolutism (or pure symmetry) in dysfunction: not the end of the world, so Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2012

Paul Krugman writes: “Back in the 1950s three social psychologists joined a cult that was predicting the imminent end of the world. Their purpose was to observe the cultists’ response when the world did not, in fact, end on schedule. What they discovered, and described in their classic book, When Prophecy Fails, is that the irrefutable failure of a prophecy does not cause true believers — people who have committed themselves to a belief both emotionally and by their life choices — to reconsider. On the contrary, they become even more fervent, and proselytize even harder …

“Oh, wait a second — did you think I was talking about the Mayan calendar thing?

“Seriously, at every stage of our ongoing economic crisis — and in particular, every time anyone has suggested actually trying to do something about mass unemployment — a chorus of voices has warned that …” More…

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