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Friday, October 9, 2009

The President wins the peace prize...

So President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

huh.

At first I thought I missed something; some major accomplishment that slid under my study-occluded radar. But no, no, it seems the prize has been awarded preemptively: the prize committee said they gave it to him to help him build momentum and credibility in arms reduction. I suppose its their prerogative to award it however they see fit (though I think Alfred had some preferences on that front) but it seems like such an action will do more to damage their own credibility than boost the president's.

In reading the Black Swan, one of its more cognitive-dissonance inducing eccentricities was Taleb's total contempt for everything and everyone (excluding Hayek) surrounding the Nobel prize. I had only ever heard it mentioned with reverence; the highest honor someone could hope to achieve. Taleb was of a very contrary opinion, and I'm beginning to see why.

It would seem that the Nobel committee has become so convinced of their own good judgment that they believe they can bring new good things to be merely by exercising their judgment. There must be a name for that fallacy.

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