Monday, July 31, 2023

Having fun with.............................


. . . And what I found truthfully shocked me because I saw our society well on the road to crisis. Of course, our society is quite different from ancient Rome or medieval France and even pre-Civil War United States. But at a more abstract level, the drivers of instability were already working full throttle. So that was one of the reasons why I decided to publish this forecast. And I just want to emphasize that I’m not a prophet. This was a scientific prediction. 

BW: What was the reaction when you predicted that? 

PT: There was, frankly, disbelief, and it was tinged with a desire to think that I must be wrong because nobody wants to believe in bad predictions. People like Steven Pinker and Max Rosen were making all of these rosy predictions right around the same time. Those predictions were very popular because everybody wants to think there is going to be a happy ending to this story. So, the reaction to my prediction was negative, but it was fine because I had tenure at that point. One of the advantages of American academics is that once you have tenure, you can actually try dangerous, risky, intellectual strategies. And it was really quite remarkable. It was thrilling. 

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