On: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 21:29:26 -0600, Paul Raulerson
> On Nov 5, 2008, at 5:32 PM, Matthew Perdue wrote:
>> You're understating the situation there, Kent. Not only high inflation
>> (21%+) but sky high interest rates - also 21%+. Also let us not
>> forget the Arab oil embargo which for the first time in U.S.
>> history brought us gas lines and purchasing gas on alternate days
>> according to the last digit of your license plate. Remember that?
>> I do, and I remember waiting hours in those gas lines, and in the
>> area where we lived then (Arlington, VA) you were limited in the
>> amount of gas you could buy too.

> Minor quibble - that was in 1973-1974, when Gerald Ford was President,
> after six+ years of RIchard M. Nixon. Jimmy Carter had yet to appear
> on the scene.

Minor quibble perhaps, but a major point about "memory" and its utter
worthlessness in reconstructing the past. I recently read a book on human
behaviour, written by two eminent psychologists, which discussed the
overriding influence of "cognitive dissonance" on human memory.

Essentially, any person will reconstruct their memory of the past to
conform with their present dominant beliefs, regardless of how much this
reconstruction conflicts with objectively verifiable evidence. The
magnitude of this effect is directly proportional to the intensity of the
emotional attachment that the individual feels towards a specific belief.

Those people that feel intense emotion about specific forms of religion,
politics, social order, personal habits, or anything else, will always act
to bring their surroundings and social contacts into harmony with their
beliefs. They will repudiate, often with an intensity completely
disproportionate to the issue, any evidence that contradicts their views.
Memory is so elastic and so firmly under ones own control that it is the
first thing to accommodate ones desires regarding the world around us.

As for: who won the U.S. Presidential Election? Well, most of us suspect
that it was Madison Avenue and the Beltway Bandits.

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