My politics

Yes, I know, this blog is starting to resemble one long mash note to Ta-Nehisi Coates. I can't help the way I feel.

Anyway, he has a long post on his politics. This made me think about my own. Some random thoughts:

* I think most people think that they have good reasons for believing as they do. It is rare that they are simply malicious.

* I think most people try about as hard as everyone else to be good people.

* I think there is no way to derive a comprehensive moral or legal framework from a few first principles. In some situations, some values will be incommensurable; you need to pick one. And the choice is rarely obvious.

* I think the world would be a vastly better place if people recognized that the right response to disagreement is debate, not rage.

* I think things are usually more complicated than they look.

* I think actions interact in complicated and often unpredictible ways.

* I think incentives matter.

* I think almost no one adequately appreciates how much heavy lifting hidden cultural norms do in our political and economic systems.

* I think that no system is perfect, and the fact that something has gone wrong is not evidence that change is desireable.

* I think people are biased towards affirmation and action, with often unfortunate results.

* I think most people, undoubtedly including me, give themselves too much credit.

* I think the knowledge that you might be wrong is the most valuable asset a human being can have.

* I think that speaking of one culture as "better" than another is a meaningless statement. Culture gives you the preferences by which you evaluate it.

* I think that too many people in political debate are looking for reasons to be angry.

* I think that it is kind of creepy when everyone in a room, or a comment thread, agrees with each other.

* I think that we have a moral obligation to, as the bumper sticker says, be the change we want.