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17 April 2015
   On Bottom Up and Top Down Thinking - Part 18
   Neil Lock

To put all this another way. Users of the economic means have to do a decent job. For if they don’t, they will lose customers. So, the economic means is a bottom up approach. You have to give something in order to get something back. It’s a self-correcting approach, too: for the discipline of market competition will eventually weed out the lazy and the dishonest. And thus, the bottom up approach encourages economic progress and increasing prosperity.

But for users of the political means, there is no such discipline. Nothing beyond social pressure – and even this is frequently lacking – obliges them to be diligent or honest. Having reduced or eliminated competition, they can get away with delivering services wastefully, at low quality and often in a dishonest, politicized way. Theirs is a top down approach. The customers have no come-back, so they’ll just have to be happy with what they get.

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16 April 2015
   What Evidence Would Persuade You That Man-Made Climate Change Is Real?
   William M. Briggs

Everybody out of love with any scientific theory should be prepared to say what it would take for amour to flourish. Just as everybody infatuated with a hypothesis should be able to state what would dim their ardor.

This does not only go for skeptics of global-warming-of-doom, but also for proponents. Tell us, if you dare, what would convince you that you’re wrong. I’m answering the question below, but I also insist you answer it, too. If your answer is of the form “Shut up”, “I don’t have to answer”, or “Your answer, Briggs, wasn’t to my liking, and here’s why”, as it is expected to be for many progressives, congratulations. You’re a True Believer. (Appell, I’ll even let you answer.)

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15 April 2015
   On Bottom Up and Top Down Thinking - Part 17
   Neil Lock

The bottom up thinker comes to recognize that many of the moral rules passed down from ancient times are good and valid. For example, Confucius’ Golden Rule: don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like done to you. It’s also possible to derive some core rules from the Judaeo-Christian Ten Commandments. For example: Don’t commit aggressions. Keep your freely made promises. Don’t steal. Don’t lie or mislead.

But he recognizes, also, that many customs (mores) or traditions of particular cultures or religions – not eating pork, or not drinking alcohol, for example – are not part of the core ethics of civilized behaviour. For anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the religion or culture, these moral rules are optional.

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14 April 2015
   The Law Is Not What It Says
   Timothy J. Taylor

In the final analysis then the law is what the Supreme Court of the United States says, except for the fact that it can change its interpretation of the law anytime it likes; the vote tally can, and often does, change from case to case. So the law still is not necessarily what it says. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The law is a crapshoot. Lawyers can argue and courts can decide that white is black and black is white.
more more» 

13 April 2015
   On Bottom Up and Top Down Thinking - Parts 15/16
   Neil Lock

The top down thinker, on the other hand, sees education, at best, as a process of preparing an individual for life in a particular culture. So, like the look-say trainer, the top down educator looks to stuff his pupils’ minds with information. He seeks to impart top down rote knowledge, rather than the tools which enable bottom up learning. And so, he is likely to turn his pupils into top down thinkers like him.
more more» 

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