Equal Rights Libertarian

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20230409 – Not Born Yesterday




The author explicitly defines his intention in writing this book as rejecting the idea that regular people are too gullible and are an easy mark for cheating and manipulation by politicians, businesses, and other crooks. “The goal of this book is to show this is all wrong. We don’t credulously accept whatever we’re told—even if those views are supported by the majority of the population, or by prestigious, charismatic individuals. On the contrary, we are skilled at figuring out who to trust and what to believe, and, if anything, we’re too hard rather than too easy to influence.”


I think that the majority of people are gullible and often allow others to manipulate them to act against their own interests. There are quite a few reasons for that; the main probably is the cost of resources and attention that are required to resist. It is not the cost per se but a rather typical human inability to compare the cost of paying attention to the cost of not paying it. A typical example would be something like “global warming” manipulated into “climate change” when it became obvious that temperature is not going up that much. The cost of resisting this ideology, such as conflict with its noisy supporters, is very real and immediate.

In contrast, the cost of letting the supporters of this religion have their way in the legislature, culture, and other areas is remote and not obvious. This cost will come in price increases for energy, and consequently everything else, inability to do things that used to be trivial, suppression of speech, and an overall decrease in quality of life. Eventually, with the expansion of these costs, it will become intolerable and inevitably lead to fighting back. In a working democracy, it is a bit less difficult than in a dictatorship, but the price of this gullibility will still be pretty high. 


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