Post-persuasion America

Jeff Deist on 1/1/2021 wrote Welcome to Post-persuation America

Here are some excerpts

… the information age makes us less curious and willing to consider worldviews unlike our own. We have access to virtually all of humanity’s accumulated knowledge and history on devices in our pockets, but the sheer information overload causes us to dig in rather than open up. Anyone who wants to change their mind can find a whole universe of alternative viewpoints online, but very few people do…

Because we can always find media sources which confirm our perspective and biases—and dismiss those which don’t—the notion of politics by argument or consensus is almost entirely lost. And no matter what our political or cultural perspective, there is someone creating content tailored to suit us as stratified consumers. Thus liberals, conservatives, and people of every other ideological stripe live in vastly different digital media worlds, even when they live in close physical proximity.

But because information is so abundant and readily available, it becomes worth less and less. Information is cheap, literally.

For our grandparents, knowledge was analog and came with a price. Gatekeepers, in the form of media, universities, libraries, and bookstores, acted as editors and filters. Walter Cronkite, the most trusted propagandist in America, delivered one version of the news every night. The local newspaper did the same every morning. Even just thirty years ago it was often no easy task, and there was no small cost, to obtain books and literature not easily found in local or university libraries. 

Local Solutions

from the Wall Street Journal 12/23/2020

Local Solutions Are Better Than Bureaucracy in D.C.

How very refreshing to read Gerald Seib’s “Far From Washington,
Americans Are Finding Solutions”
(Review, Dec. 12). It is preposterous
to believe the large, sclerotic, bureaucratic government in Washington can understand, let alone solve,
the problems of 330 million citizens,
50 states and countless counties, cities and towns therein. Many will remember Ronald Reagan’s rousing
declaration: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language
are: I’m from the government, and
I’m here to help.”
Farmington Hills, Mich.

Rulers by Chance

Would people demand that the government have less power if its leaders were selected by chance? If the President, and Congress members were selected by lot the public would never know who would be in charge. It is the power that we have given to the government that is the problem. Most people think that if we could only elect the right people we would have good government.

Sortition – Wikipedia

There is no free lunch

Recently our chief news scout, Barbara Scolnick, forwarded a link to The Commonwealth Fund report How the Biden Administration Can Act to Strengthen Medicaid | Commonwealth Fund

Reviewing their suggestions for the Biden Administration, we didn’t see any policy recommendations that would reduce federal government spending.

Whenever more spending is recommended, the protagonists should either indicate where spending should be reduced, or what taxes should be raised or if they support growing the federal government debt.

Setting priorities and using them to live within your means is what grown-ups are supposed to do.

About the TPI

This site was previously titled “From the Desk of Ben Bachrach”. On December 19, 2020, the name was changed to Tranquility Policy Institute.

This change was made to recognize that in today’s culture, individual’s are mostly no longer significant – everyone needs an organization or better yet be considered an institution.

The Tranquility Policy Institute’s mission is to promote policies that will increase both domestic and worldwide tranquility.

Staff and Contacts


Understanding Others

Tom Woods posted on Facebook

“Ever notice that progressives think you “hate the poor” or you “hate the environment” or you “want people to die”?

And they genuinely have no idea what you believe and why you believe it?

Jonathan Haidt of NYU has found that in general, progressives don’t understand conservatives (or libertarians, for that matter) nearly as well as conservatives understand them.

That’s pretty obvious.

I can explain the entire progressive worldview to you without snark or dismissiveness, and I can explain precisely why progressives favor each plank.

Can progressives do the same for my views?

In my experience, they’re barely able to concede that their opponents are even human.

So they tend not to spend much time figuring out what the other side is saying.

The other side, after all, is a bunch of “racists” and “sexists” who don’t deserve to exist, and whose economic views show them to be lackeys of the so-called idle rich.”