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Showing 6 pages using this property.
<blockquote>I have read the first 3 pages of Beyond Freedom and Dignity to my students for 17 years. It is an amazing passage that justifies the need for a technology of behavior. I read this passage 10 days after Sept 11th. It was relevant and moving. Dr. Skinner was then and continues to be right on the money!</blockquote>(TBA list 12/30/2011) Wendy Williams is right to draw attention to the first few pages of Beyond Freedom and Dignity, but not entirely for the reasons she implies. Skinner’s advocacy of a technology of behavior is a brilliant piece of rhetoric. But it relies on two assumptions, neither entirely correct. First, that we know much more than our predecessors about how to change people’s behavior. And, second, that we are pretty much certain about our ultimate aims.  +
<blockquote>Our Greatest Generation president, FDR, drove unemployment down from 25% to 15% [!] during the ‘30s using this recipe [government spending on infrastructure, etc.]. Some make the point that WW2 ended the Great Depression…That’s true, but only because the war required the government to raise money to build the infrastructure for war...</blockquote> (Frank Hyman, p 1A ''Raleigh News & Observer'', [ December 2011]) This is a common view of the cause and cure of the Great Depression, but it needs a little unpacking. First, the reduction in unemployment from 25% to 15% during FDR’s tenure still leaves it at ludicrously high levels. If FDR prescribed a cure, it was only slightly better than the disease. WW2 did the job, though.  +
Behaviorism was once the major force in American psychology. It participated in great advances in our understanding of reward and punishment, especially in animals. It drove powerful movements in education and social policy. As a self-identified movement, it is today a vigorous but isolated offshoot. But its main ideas have been absorbed into experimental psychology.  +
It is usually thought good for someone who has more than enough to help someone who has less. It is not so obvious that it’s good for one person to take from a second to give to a third who may be in need. Yet that is what government welfare entails: forced taking from one group of people to give to another group. Welfare like this may serve a larger social end, but it rests on uncertain moral ground. I believe that it is also likely to fail on practical grounds. Welfare is another example of what I have called elsewhere [ the malign hand]. Welfare has two effects:  +
It’s time to dump NYT columnist Paul Krugman. He writes reasonably well, but he is so predictable, so partisan, so slyly dishonest. Everything that Donald Trump did is either wrong, or, if right, right by mistake or from a bad motive. Mr. K also omits relevant facts and makes stuff up — and context? What is that?  +
There are thousands of published research studies every year purporting to show a curative effect of some new drug. In a ''[[Wall Street Journal|WSJ]]'' article (12/02/11) entitled “Scientists’ Elusive Goal: Reproducing Study Results”, [[Gautam Naik]] lists a slew of such ‘breakthroughs,’ reported in prestigious [[peer-review]]ed scientific journals like ''Nature'', ''Science'' and ''The Lancet'', that cannot be replicated by others, particularly by pharmaceutical companies that would like to profit from them.  +
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