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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The wisdom of crowds - politicians stampede to right side of history on gay marriage

Politicians stampeding to the right side of history on gay marriage in Chan Lowe's political cartoon Oregonian Apr. 7, 2013, p. B9

PHOTO: An example of the "wisdom of crowds" stampeding to support gay marriage and be on the "right side of history," as seen in a political cartoon by Chan Lowe, "Congress and gay marriage," posted Apr. 3, 2013 and printed in the Oregonian, April, 7, 2013, p. B9. An unrelated book review also said, "'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' is a book by the late physicist Richard Feynman, who cared at least a little. If one of the most independent minds of the 20th century was swayed by others' impressions, it's no surprise the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are, too." (See Editorial, "Bloomberg View, Bloomberg View: Gay Marriage and the Wisdom of Crowds," Bloomberg BusinessWeek, April 1-7, 2013, p. 12, posted online Mar. 28, 2013)

I've always enjoyed hearing about both the practical and theoretical theories of crowds as analyzed by Richard Feynman. At the risk of sounding too negative or cynical, I have also learned over the years that the wisdom of crowds can be very wrong and it can also take decades to change a crowd's mind, but when a crowd actually changes opinion it can appear to be very quick to an unobservant viewer. Of course, gay marriage has been being discussed for more than half a century and so from my perspective, any changes in the "wisdom of crowds" concerning gay marriage will have been a long time in coming. See my previous posts:

In the last few weeks my muscles and vision have deteriorated further and so it has become even harder for me to do anything quickly, including what disability specialists, lawyers and doctors like to call the "activities of daily living." However, I continue to be grateful for all of the help I am receiving and I am also happy to report that I do not need anything more at this time, except of course a miracle cure, which I hope doesn't sound too greedy of me!