Vaclav Havel on learning to wait

Found this quote by Vaclav Havel (famed for his role in the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia) hidden in Thinking in Systems:

I realize with fright that my impatience for the re-establishment of democracy had something almost communist in it; or, more generally, something rationalist. I had wanted to make history move ahead in the same way that a child pulls on a plant to make it grow more quickly.

I believe we must learn to wait as we learn to create. We have to patiently sow the seeds, assiduously water the earth where they are sown and give the plants the time that is their own. One cannot fool a plant any more than one can fool history.

More random links

Why a Government Lawyer Argued Against Giving Immigrant Kids Toothbrushes
Was a bit surprised to learn that the case that's recently been in the news was filed in the Obama-era, something that I don't think many people are likely to be aware of from the event's media coverage. And then there's using locations formerly used as Japanese internment camps ... also used in the Obama-era. There are many reasons to dislike Trump, but the inaccurate conclusions that people are likely to draw from a lot of media coverage are a great way to rally support for Trump and enable him to get away with other things.
A New Trial Of An Ancient Rhetorical Trick Finds It Can Make You Wiser
Have gotten flack for this sort of thing before: "you should adopt an ancient rhetorical method favoured by the likes of Julius Caesar and known as “illeism” – or speaking about yourself in the third person ... A bulk of research has already shown that this kind of third-person thinking can temporarily improve decision making. Now a preprint at PsyArxiv finds that it can also bring long-term benefits to thinking and emotional regulation."
World Publics Welcome Global Trade — But Not Immigration
From 2007: "In both affluent countries in the West and in the developing world, people are concerned about immigration. Large majorities in nearly every country surveyed express the view that there should be greater restriction of immigration and tighter control of their country’s borders."

Random links

Can People Distinguish Pâté from Dog Food?
Asking the important questions. The conclusion: "Although 72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste (Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than random at correctly identifying the dog food."
Outside the US, it's pretty hard to infer someone's left/right position from their views on abortion!
A plot
A shocking share of the public thinks randomized trials are immoral
"Across the different studies conducted with different subgroups, an overwhelming majority was okay with either doing the badge or doing the poster. A much smaller majority was okay with testing which worked better: 40-50% thought that randomization was inappropriate. Even if each policy would be okay with them, people felt that it was unethical to conduct a study to learn which one worked better. People don’t only feel this way about hospital policies. ... In all ... cases except the last one, people felt the same way. Option 1? Fine. Option 2? Fine. Random assignment between Option 1 and Option 2, for the sake of learning which works better? Not fine."

The influence of your ancestors' lives

An earlier tweet in the series mentions Markowicz's great-grandfather dying in a Soviet gulag for the crime of owning a bakery. The rest of the twitter thread winds up discussing the sort of context that doesn't wind up in places like the The Daily Show.


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