Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives, by Michael Specter   2 comments

Posted at 11:17 pm in Book review

At a party the other day, a volunteer for the National Museum of Natural History described a visitor to the Hall of Human Origins. The young woman looked at a male skeleton and noted that the rib cage narrows as it moves downward.  She pointed to a particular spot and asked if that was where the rib was removed to form woman. She was not joking.

Would that this kind of ignorance, of even the most basic facts of science, were an anomaly. As Skeptics Society founder Michael Shermer has observed, the world is decidedly more rational than it used to be: many fewer people believe in witches, for instance.  But pseudoscience persists.

In Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives, Michael Specter examines five examples of this way of thinking. Leaving aside  the more common bugbears of skeptics–creationism, global warming denial, alien abduction claims and their ilk, which have been amply documented elsewhere–Specter discusses the fear of science and its disastrous intersection with vaccines, genetic engineering, alternative remedies, race and human origins, and synthetic biology.

The most infuriating, and strongest, section of the book concerns vaccines, and the very determined and deeply misguided people who oppose them.  Their beliefs originated with a journal article which linked vaccines to autism, and which has since been thoroughly discredited. Last year, I found myself in conversation with a woman–an EPA employee, no less–who said that clearly it could be no coincidence that she knew of several children who had been diagnosed with autism soon after being innoculated. I barely responded, being horror-struck but insufficiently informed.  Had I read Specter’s book, I would have pointed out that vaccinations and autism diagnoses tend to take place at the same age (between one and two), as well, of course, as that even a non-scientist EPA employee should know the difference between correlation and causation.  (Of course, that assumes that these parents remember the timing correctly. Specter is sympathetic to the leagues of desperate and confused parents of autistic children, who want an explanation, any explanation, for the plight of their children.)

Denialism is one of a number of interesting current books that allude to the great difficulties we have in gauging risk. Vaccine deniers, while giving entirely fictitious warnings about vaccines, do not tend to consider what happens in their absence. As Specter demonstrates, the pre-vaccine world was far from a naturalistic paradise. (In the developing and often still pre-vaccine world, around 200,000 children died of the measles in 2007. This represented a significant decline in measles deaths–from c. 750,000 in 2000–which of course will not continue if the anti-vaccine lobby has its way.) Specter does not deny that caution is necessary and important, and that scientists can be wrong and even occasionally criminal.  But he depicts a world in which the pendulum has swung so far onto the side of caution that the joys of scientific discovery have practically been forgotten, and the truth is almost incidental.

The world of natural remedies is no less filled with fraudulent claims, and many of these (largely unregulated) substances are not only ineffective, but can actually be harmful. I know this from my own experience: working at a health food store, I regularly saw people looking for “natural” remedies to treat what were clearly real health problems requiring real medicine.  In South Africa, the Mbeki government denied a connection between HIV and AIDS, refusing to provide antiviral drugs and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths in the process.

Pseudoscience can be merely irritating, the realm of UFO nuts and astrologers. But as the families of South Africans killed by AIDS, as the parents of any unvaccinated child who has succumbed to a preventable disease know, it can be deadly. In Denialism, Specter issues a clarion call for a rational world view.

Written by Lorin on July 2nd, 2010

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Solar, by Ian McEwan   no comments

Posted at 3:06 pm in Book review

Ian McEwan has long been concerned with climate change, but had never found a way to put it into a novel–sensibly wanting to avoid the polemic- disguised-as-fiction problem–until he was invited to a gathering of Nobel Prize winners. At a recent reading at the Folger Theatre, he described the people he met there. “You know how you’re shaking a politician’s hand, but he’s already looking past you to see if someone more important has arrived? These men–and they were all men–were like that, but by a factor of twenty.” And McEwan realized that he had his novel.

Solar is the story of Michael Beard, a piggish, serially philandering physicist, who decades previously did the work (on Einstein’s photovoltaics) that led to his Nobel Prize. Nobel prizes in physics are always won for breakthroughs by young scientists, and in Beard’s case this seems to have had roughly the effect that early stardom often has on child actors. Ever since, Beard’s life has been a round of speeches, honorary degrees, chairmanships of committees, and teaching posts that involve no teaching, all full of glory, but devoid of real work or meaning. The novel is told entirely from Beard’s point of view: selfish, irresponsible and immoral (much like the attitudes that have ushered in this crisis) but often very funny.

Beard has just become titular head of the National Center for Renewable Energy, notwithstanding his skepticism on climate change and fundamental disinterest in world-saving activities. To his dismay, his fifth wife Patrice, in unwelcome contrast to all of his previous wives, has responded to his most recent infidelity by taking a lover. To his even deeper chagrin, this has made her more, not less, attractive to him. At the Center, he finds himself unable to follow the explanations of the young physicists working there; even worse, in an idle comment, he committed most of the Center’s resources to a valueless project.

Even a trip to the Arctic, where he is in stark contrast to his idealistic  ship-mates, does not stir his his environmental conscience. The trip is hilarious, with Beard narrowly escaping being eaten by a polar bear, and the ship’s uncontrollably untidy boot room evoking both humanity’s failure to control nature and the very messy id beneath Michael Beard’s ego. A comic high point arrives when Beard takes aim at an artist who carelessly invokes Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, furiously striking out at what Murray Gell-Mann so felicitously called quantum flapdoodle.

But when a brilliant young colleague accidentally dies in Beard’s living room, he sees the chance to begin anew. After framing his wife’s lover for murder, Beard steals his colleague’s plan to create energy through artificial photosynthesis. Finally convinced of climate change, he begins working furiously to save the planet. He is no more palatable a human being than before, all of his moral inclinations (assuming he has any) channeled into his work. He is a familiar type–if a heavily exaggerated version thereof–in the environmental world, which raises the interesting question of just what part altruism and what part messianic drive underlie this work.

There is little to admire about Beard, dishonest, self-centered, mostly devoid of morals or decency, prone to extreme overeating, his early genius seemingly exhausted in his Nobel prize calculations. But he is not a caricature. There are aspects of Beard that everyone can relate to, in particular his tendency to eat too much. Beard is difficult to sympathize with, but not impossible to understand.

People can always redeem themselves, but don’t tend to do so in response to any particular thing or on any particular schedule.  It is to McEwan’s credit that he allows Beard not to grow, not to draw any human lessons from these events. But though Solar ends bleakly, it is a deeply funny and altogether admirable novel.

Written by Lorin on June 19th, 2010

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Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average, by Joseph T. Hallinan   1 comment

Posted at 6:05 pm in Book review

Human beings have an interesting dilemma.  Sanity, I suspect, hinges to some degree on believing ourselves to be right more often than not, on believing that what we see is actually there, and that what we remember actually happened.  Unfortunately, we are very often wrong, about almost everything. In Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average,  Joseph T. Hallinan fascinatingly plumbs the depths of our errors.

In a style familiar to readers of Freakonomics and Outliers, he gives a plethora of examples, from medicine to criminal justice to the military. We are never safe from mistakes, though this is due less to problems of intelligence and organization, and more to the inherent flaws of our approach to the world.

One facet of this approach is efficiency. For instance, if we are looking for something and conclude that it is unlikely to be there, we tend to stop looking. This has unfortunate implications for radiologists and airport screeners: in one 2002 study, TSA officers missed one in four guns.  (Screeners have a literally one-in-a-million chance of seeing a gun.)

Equally, if we believe that we know what will be there, we don’t look very closely: we skim.  Hallinan describes a misprint in a piece of music that had gone unnoticed for decades, and was not detected until an unskilled pianist played the piece. All other pianists had simply automatically substituted the correct note.  This suggests, counterintuitively, that the best proof-readers may not be experts.

And we see what we expect to see. I read of a study in which wine experts were given white wine that had been colored to make it appear red. Many of the experts failed to notice that it was white, and gave detailed evaluations of a red wine.  I explained this to a delighted waiter at Cookshop once; I wonder if he ever tried it out on the sommelier.

The list of things that we get wrong goes on and on, often driven by just the sorts of devices that have advantages in other situations. We often have trouble drawing a penny from memory or reciting the national anthem (I failed the penny test, but recited the anthem without error), we are terrible at judging risk, and we tend heavily toward overconfidence–think, for instance, of the millions of unused gym memberships we pay for every year. We also think that we can multi-task. We can’t.

Fortunately, Hallinan does not regard these problems as unsolvable, and the last few chapters of the book describe ways in which we can attempt to overcome them. Forewarned is forearmed, at least some of the time.

Readers of  Jonah Lehrer, Atul Gawande, and Malcolm Gladwell will recognize both Hallinan’s style and a number of the examples he gives, but for anyone interested in the disjoint between what we believe and what is  true–and how to tell the difference–this book provides a fascinating account.

Written by Lorin on June 13th, 2010

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A pseudoscience bookshelf   3 comments

Posted at 5:46 pm in Book review

All of these books discuss and in various ways combat pseudoscience, and I’ve found each of them instructive and enlightening–if not a little disturbing.

Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, Susan Clancy

There has never been a shred of evidence for any visit to our planet by aliens, but this does not prevent a surprisingly large number of people from believing they have not only seen but been kidnapped by aliens. Clancy fascinatingly describes why this might be.

Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays, Frederick Crews

These book reviews and essays are not all about pseudoscience–there is an excellent piece on the death of post-structuralism–but the largest section of the book is devoted to its varied manifestations in psychology, as part of a devastating critique of Freud. Crews is an immensely lucid and intelligent writer, and is a pleasure to read on any topic.

Weird Water and Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher, Martin Gardner

Gardner, much-lamented grandfather to the skeptics’ movement, holds forth in his wonderfully lucid and entertaining way on good science, bad science, and the people who practice each. (His collection The Night is Large is also marvelous.)

Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, And Sexual Hysteria, Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters

Victims of Memory: Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives, Mark Pendergrast

Few topics in pseudoscience are as compelling as the the memory wars of the 1990s, when a large number of women were convinced by irresponsible therapists (who were often under the influence of the execrable book The Courage To Heal) that in spite of the fact that they had no memory of it, they had been abused throughout their childhoods. They were guided by these therapists into developing false memories of abuse, destroying families and lives in the process. Needless to say, the therapists had no understanding of how memory works. Making Monsters stomach-churningly tracks these events and clearly describes the real science of memory.

Pendergrast, whose own daughters falsely accused him of abuse, lays out in heartbreaking detail the tragedy of both his own family and the larger “recovered memory” movement.

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, James Randi

Randi famously demonstrated that Uri Geller’s spoon-bending was a hoax, and has made a career out of debunking other false claims.  Here, he provides a delightful list of all manner of lunatic ideas through the ages.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle In the Dark, Carl Sagan

This is the book that first introduced me to pseudoscience and the skeptics’ movement. It is still one of the best books on the topic, with Sagan at his most brilliant and engaging.

Searching For Memory, The Brain, The Mind, and The Past, Daniel L. Schacter

This is a riveting account of how memory works, how it doesn’t, what the common misconceptions of memory are, and of what can result when those misconceptions intersect with the judicial system.

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, And Other Confusions Of Our Time, Michael Shermer

Shermer, the impressively clever founder and director of the Skeptics Society, explains–as well as anyone can–why superstition and pseudoscience are so widespread, and describes some of their odder and more unsettling manifestations, from creationism to Holocaust denial.

Written by Lorin on June 7th, 2010

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The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys Into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing, by Daniel Bergner   2 comments

Posted at 1:12 pm in Book review

Even very good progressives tend to assume that some topics do not merit  discussion, that there is only one side to the story. That side is often described as evil. Evil has always struck me as a not entirely useful idea: all human behavior is part of a spectrum–even if at the outer limits thereof–and to deny that is to remove the possibility of an explanation, and with it, the possibility of a solution.

Human carnality very definitely occupies this spectrum, and in The Other Side of Desire:  Four Journeys Into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing, Daniel Bergner explores some of its further outposts, examining foot fetishists, sadists, pedophiles and amputee fetishes.

While making no excuses for criminal or harmful behavior, he demonstrates that these “devotees” are often driven by extreme and nigh-uncontrollable  impulses.  Bergner manages to show the humanity of people to whom it is often denied, never simplifying or demonizing. Of the paraphiliacs he depicts, only the sadistic fashion designer (of strikingly ugly latex clothes) comes off as wholly unsympathetic.

At the harmless, foot fetish end of the spectrum, he suggests there may be real advantages: people whose desire is intensely focused in one area may have a capacity for a kind of joy that eludes most people. This does not prevent the foot fetishist described in the book from being utterly tormented by his desires. Curiously (and unnecessarily) he appears no less tormented than the pedophiles depicted in a later chapter.

Bergner makes clear that even harmful behavior can be disturbingly close to the normal part of the spectrum. He cites a study in which twenty-one percent of participating men described an attraction to small children, and seven percent said that they would abuse a child if assured of not being caught. This is clearly a far higher percentage of the population than just those convicted of crimes against children.

The definition of perversion has shifted a great deal over the centuries.  Many practices once considered barbaric are now entirely accepted, and vice versa. (Bergner observes that until the late nineteenth century, the legal age of consent was ten.) Bergner believes pedophilia to be harmful, but does not otherwise take a position on the morality of these practices.  The sadistic designer claims that her services to her clients–including, in one extreme case, roasting a man over hot coals–are therapeutic;  Bergner leaves it to the reader to decide whether she is dangerous or merely eccentric. (Either way, she is highly unusual: most paraphiliacs are men.)

Of the four categories, I found amputee fetishes, unexpectedly, the most unsettling.  The ethicist Gilbert Mailaender describes the sense we have of the body as something whole and sacred (Larissa MacFarquhar discussed this in the New Yorker, with reference to the horror many feel at voluntary kidney donation), and I think that this is true. So the paraphiliacs’ explanations don’t quite convince: a preference for amputees does not to me appear equivalent to another man’s preference for blond hair. Bergner’s attempts  to humanize his subjects would have succeeded better here, had he explained–if it is possible to explain–what it is that deadens this instinct in some people.

While occasionally harrowing, and not for the faint of heart, this is a fascinating and enlightening tour of the netherworlds of sexuality–which ultimately suggests that we may all have more in common than we think.

Note: Why is this not more detailed?  Oh please.  My parents might read it!

Written by Lorin on May 28th, 2010

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Double Negative, by David Carkeet   1 comment

Posted at 9:24 pm in Book review

Academia has long been excellent fodder for fiction, from David Lodge to Amanda Cross.  In Double Negative, David Carkeet–somewhere in between these two writers, though less gifted than Lodge and, happily, less cerebral than Cross–draws a highly entertaining picture of a quarrelsome group of linguists who study language development in children. They work at an institute that doubles as a day care center, where they record every utterance of their small charges.

The resident social misfit genius is Jeremy Cook, eternally irritated by his colleagues and convinced that the feeling is mutual.  The colleague who is his chief rival with the female graduate students who arrive every summer draws his particular ire.  Nerdy in the extreme, Cook subsists off revolting but efficient “grunt meals” so as not to lose any research time.

The institute’s uneasy peace is shattered when a linguist dies under suspicious circumstances, and Cook is framed for the murder. As he tries to extricate himself–even occasionally interrupting his studies of toddlers’ use of made-up words–he is distracted by a beautiful graduate student, his irritating colleagues (who appreciate him more than he imagines), and an idiosyncratic police detective.

By the end, Cook–an interesting and likable, if flaky, character–has learned something about relationships, and, mercifully, food. The solution to the mystery is truly original and clever, as is the entire novel.  It’s also laugh-out-loud funny. Double Negative is the first volume in a trilogy: I am looking forward to reading the other two.

Written by Lorin on May 26th, 2010

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Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett   no comments

Posted at 9:13 pm in Book review

Bel Canto–which means “beautiful singing” in Italian–takes place in the grand house of the Vice President of an unnamed South American country. An illustrious and international set of guests has been enticed there by the host country, which has hopes of foreign investment. The guests have ostensibly come to celebrate the birthday of a successful Japanese businessman, but really want to hear Roxane Coss, the most celebrated soprano in the world, sing. (She is strikingly, though apparently accidentally, like Renee Fleming.)

The house is taken over by terrorists, who, frustrated in their attempts to kidnap the President, take the guests hostage instead. Thus begins a long process of terrorists and hostages trying to live together in the same house–and in some cases, coming to respect and like each other. This constitutes what I suspect is a very good depiction of Stockholm syndrome*.

The characters–the Vice President, who comes into his element serving as host to his fellow hostages, terrorists (mostly but not entirely male), a clutch of international businessmen and diplomats, the opera singer, who sings daily, casting a kind of spell over the house, a laconic Swiss Red Cross officer, and a brilliant young Japanese translator, who in admirable-Crichton fashion becomes the most useful and sought-after person in the group–are credibly and fascinatingly drawn, with no one wholly admirable or not. Bel Canto ends in the same vein: not all good and not entirely bad; with opera and tragedy closely intertwined.

*The novel’s events are loosely based on an actual terrorist takeover of the Japanese embassy in Lima in 1996. The term “Lima syndrome,” which describes abductors being fond of their hostages, was coined from it.

Written by Lorin on May 26th, 2010

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Deaf Sentence, by David Lodge   2 comments

Posted at 4:24 pm in Book review

Desmond Bates is, on the face of it, a recognizable David Lodge character–a hapless retired professor of linguistics at a fictional northern university–but both he and Deaf Sentence, Lodge’s fourteenth novel in which he stars, are, while still funny, more melancholy than Lodge’s previous work.

Desmond left the university when a departmental reorganization, along with his increasing deafness (which mirrors Lodge’s own hearing loss), made retirement appear to be a good idea. Four years later, he is increasingly restless and plagued by physical problems. By contrast, his wife Fred is running a successful interior design shop; and having updated her appearance to befit an upscale shop owner, she now looks younger and more beautiful than ever. To Desmond, the eight-year gap between their ages–which hadn’t seemed very large–appears to be an ever-widening chasm, exacerbated by the fact that he finds it more and more difficult to hear his wife.

Into this rather fraught situation comes Alex Loom, a graduate student working on the linguistics of suicide notes, whom Desmond has unwittingly agreed to meet. (The novel opens on Desmond pretending to follow what Alex is saying at a noisy and crowded party.) As Desmond becomes her unofficial thesis adviser, she is gradually revealed to be both mendacious and unstable, in a way that threatens to unravel Desmond’s quiet existence.

As the pun of the title suggests, Deaf Sentence makes much of the humor of deafness. Blindness is tragic and deafness comic, Desmond explains, and there are a number of deeply funny situations in which he misunderstands what he is hearing. Milton’s lament: “Oh dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon/Irrecoverably dark, without all hope of day” doesn’t have quite the same pathos when applied to deafness, he notes: “Oh deaf, deaf, deaf, amid the noise of noon…”

But deafness is in fact tragic. Desmond speaks movingly of Beethoven and Philip Larkin’s loss of hearing, and often refers to the similarity between the words ‘deaf’ and ‘dead’, in both wordplay and more serious allusions to the eternal silence that looms over him. Gradually, Desmond achieves a kind of acceptance of both.

Deaf Sentence is not all it could be: the Alex Loom story peters out rather than being resolved more effectively. But it is funny and profound and full of lovely and fascinating allusions to linguistics and art and literature; to my mind, it is Lodge’s most successful novel since Small World.

Written by Lorin on May 17th, 2010

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Some extremely good books that not enough people have read   no comments

Posted at 1:02 pm in Book review

Banvard’s Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn’t Change the World*, by Paul Collins

Paul Collins, whom I first encountered in Believer Magazine, writing about Anna Sewell and Lucy Grealy, here tells a wonderful story of thirteen people who appeared destined for greatness but ended up entirely forgotten.  “Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books,” his account of a year that he and his wife spent in a book-mad Welsh town, is also delightful.

*There’s a longer description here.

Eccentric Islands: Travels Real and Imaginary, by Bill Holm

This is a magical series of essays on islands real and imaginary that Holm, a Minnesota poet, has visited. “Call Me Island. Or call me Holm. Same thing,” he begins, in one of the most beguiling introductions to an author I have ever read. Eccentric Islands is a wise, funny, warm-hearted masterpiece.

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, by Paco Underhill

Underhill is a kind of anthropologist of shopping, and this book is both an explanation of how we behave in stores, and an account of his decades investigating consumer behavior.  Deeply fascinating.



Written by Lorin on May 3rd, 2010

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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis   1 comment

Posted at 11:41 am in Book review

Remember that point, in recent years, when we all started to notice something strange? Houses were more and more expensive, interest rates were lower and lower, and most of us knew someone who had no money, but was still given a large mortgage. And then there were all the stories of people buying houses with no money down, and interest-only payments for three years. How exactly were these people expecting to make principal payments in three years? And why was anyone lending them money?

In The Big Short, Michael Lewis explains that all of this was just the tip of an iceberg: an iceberg floating in exceedingly murky water. There were reasons for all of the bad mortgages. The people making the mortgages were selling them, so they didn’t care how bad they were. The mortgages were being bought by companies that bundled them and turned them into bonds—which they were able to sell, so they didn’t care how bad the mortgages were either.

In order to be sold, the bonds had to be rated by one of three rating agencies. In a reasonable financial system, the most ambitious business students would aspire to be rating agency analysts. As it is, these analysts are some of the lowest-paid and least-respected employees in the financial world. The smartest and most talented people on Wall Street are never at the rating agencies. (They tend to become bond traders.) These agencies are paid to rate bonds by the very companies that produce the bonds. As mortgage bonds were a new kind of bond, they needed help understanding them. So the same companies also explained the bonds to the rating agencies. None of this was illegal: in fact, it is standard procedure.

Not surprisingly under the circumstances, a great many of these bonds (which increasingly consisted of utterly worthless mortgages) were rated triple A, the highest possible rating. Bonds consisting of the very worst mortgages received a triple B rating. But financial companies soon realized that triple B-rated mortgage bonds could in turn be bundled into another financial product, a collateralized debt obligation (CDO). Presented with CDOs, the rating agencies tended to give them triple A ratings—which suggested that they were as safe an investment as U.S. Treasury bonds. Shockingly, very few people, at any level of the financial world or U.S. government, understood that the ratings—and the bonds they described—were worthless.

This is a book about many things, but it is particularly a story of incentives, and the calamitous effects of incentivizing irresponsible behavior. In a system in which virtually everyone had an incentive to do the wrong thing, almost everyone did: and almost everyone, from mortgage lenders to the Fed, failed to understand that disaster was imminent. The Big Short describes the very small—and very eccentric—group of people who saw it coming.

The cast of characters begins with Steve Eisman, a socially inept hedge fund manager who turned cynic after witnessing a flagrant case of fraud on which the government refused to take action. Mike Burry is a brilliant hedge fund manager who is virtually incapable of human relationships, a problem which he blamed on his glass eye but turned out to be undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. Charlie Ledley and Ben Hockett were two rather aimless friends who proved to have an uncanny ability to work the financial markets. Greg Lippmann was a cynical Deutsche Bank bond trader who realized that the market was unsustainable.

They shared a key insight: that the market was going to collapse, and therefore the only safe bet was a bet against it. (To short a bond is to bet that it will lose value.) Michael Lewis rivetingly describes how they first made, and then won, this bet, becoming extremely rich in the process.

Recently–at Politics & Prose Bookstore, at an entertaining event with Michael Lewis–Joel Achenbach said that this book had undermined his belief in capitalism, and asked if we should all become socialists. It was a joke, but it’s also a fair question. Lewis depicts a system in utter disarray, where financial products are too complex to be understood by either buyers or sellers; the agencies in charge of evaluating these products are both under-valued and embroiled in a serious conflict of interest; and there are no incentives to encourage responsible behavior. All of this links the health of the U.S. economy to a large gamble in which virtually no one has any idea what he is doing. It is to be hoped that this book will help foster a movement toward a sane financial system.

Written by Lorin on May 3rd, 2010

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