Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Welcome From Our Fantasy

I'm sure there's a psychological term for this (help, anyone?). I'm becoming more and more aware of a group's (this nation) ability to wish itself into a desired state.

For years after 9/11, Bush was the Holy One. If you dared disagree with him, you weren't a patriot. You were a traitor. You were one of them.

Now Bush is 29% according to some polls. Even dyed-in-the-wool neocons like Fukuyama has parted ways with him. What has changed?

For years I argued that housing in the SF Bay Area and elsewhere was in a huge bubble. Everyone I spoke with denied it vigorously. "Housing can't go down." Sounded like the Tech Bubble's, "This is the New Economy". The Tech Bubble had the same mindset: things can't go badly... until it did.

Big Picture is reporting that housing and the stock market are headed down. Is this the end for this housing upswing? Maybe. Maybe not.

The stock market's been happy with "No Inflation". Until it isn't.

Why this overwhelming desire to believe things as they are not?

Perhaps I should read more Sagan:

"Such reports persist and proliferate because they sell. And they sell, I think, because there are so many of us who want so badly to be jolted out of our humdrum lives, to rekindle that sense of wonder we remember from childhood, and also, for a few of the stories, to be able, really and truly, to believe-in Someone older, smarter, and wiser who is looking out for us. Faith is clearly not enough for many people. They crave hard evidence, scientific proof. They long for the scientific seal of
approval, but are unwilling to put up with the rigorous standards of evidence that impart credibility to that seal."
-"The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars," The Demon-Haunted World, p. 58.

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