Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Willful Blindness

As we read the morning headlines, we are offered one surprise after another. The 2008 economic crisis seemed to come out of nowhere. The rampant fraud at Enron and MCI caught us off guard. BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was like a freak accident.

The truth is that there are very few surprise in life. Most of what’s happening, whether it’s corporate misbehavior or government coverups or relationship gone awry, are visible but we cast a blind eye to the truth. This phenomena of not seeing what’s right before our eyes is called willful blindness. We chose to ignore what we can see because we don’t want what we see to be true.

Thomas White interviews Margaret Heffernan, author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril, and myself.


John Weber said...

Posted May 6 - with bibliography

Willful Blindness, Willful Hypocrisy, You first.
What’s your spin?

Here’s the deal. Research reveals that we lie to ourselves. Not you and I of course, but others do prolifically. Willful Blindness is one of various books and research papers that verify this. We seem to fool ourselves for a variety of reasons. Two of the main reasons, one is self protective and the other is social protective.
Along with the bibliography at the end of the essay, here is another excellent source on denial.
Cohen, Stanley. 2001. State of Denial. Polity. Cambridge.

John Weber
Rising Rock Orchard
Northern Minnesota

parkslopegigilo said...

I thought the list would be interested in this article...after the collapse I don't foresee as great a need for data havens and offshore banks though.

Jonathan Versen said...

This slate article re sailing ships is not very detailed, but it still may interest you:

Black said...

Michael burrow who predicted and profited off the 2008 bank default fraud, gave the commencement speech at Ucla a short time ago. The phrase he used when describing central authorities towards the end of the speech was willfulness ignorance.

Willfulness ignorance. Sounds like marriage.