Wednesday 12th of December 2018

on a shake-the-ordinary-people's-hand tour...



The citizenship crisis is politics at its worst, has been unresolved far too long, and is a distraction from much more important issues.

That's the view from the real world, reflected by voters in focus groups this week.

As Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten play politics over a disclosure motion to be put to Parliament, these ordinary people are baffled and impatient with the whole affair.

While the four groups of "soft" voters (two each in Brisbane and Townsville) were part of a Queensland election study for the Institute for Governance's research at the University of Canberra, the dual citizenship imbroglio was raised unprompted and the comments give an insight into ordinary Australians' thinking about the fiasco engulfing the Parliament in general and the Turnbull Government in particular.

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cash in paradise...

CANBERRA – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offloaded his stake in some of his hands-off mega investments in overseas tax havens where he has kept his millions while in office.

While legal, these financial arrangements have been attacked by the Labor oppositionover appearances that Turnbull -- who is estimated to have a net worth of about $200 million -- is out touch and potentially soft on the tax dealings of the top end of town.

In a fresh update to the Register of Members' Interest, Turnbull has revealed he has divested himself of interests in the Delaware (U.S.) based double leveraged equity fund, Seven Locks Enhanced fund.

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if humans are so smart, why are we so dumb?...

Humans have put men on the moon and split the atom. We calculate the tides and eclipses. We have smartphones... We build bridges, railways... 


With facts in hand, humans can use reasoning to arrive at new knowledge and make good decisions. Yet, in everyday life, we show poor logical skills, we overlook or willfully ignore established facts, we yield to biases and gut feelings. This may be explained by a model of human thinking in which two systems coexist: One system delivers intuitions, fast, while a second system is slow and more unwieldy but can be trusted for deliberate, conscious, calculated thought. In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot explores the tension in this relationship, creating a picture in which modern logic is compromised by a much older, biased, heuristic system.

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The question asks "if humans are so smart, why are we so dumb?" The heuristic system is mostly based on ignoring a cascade of facts in order to quickly solve an immediate problem. This usually creates more problem down the track — or imbue further quests for knowledge with ignorance and uneducated guesses as a solution. This has been the methods of religions and of belief systems.