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Start your review of The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror Write a review Oct 09, Louis Lapides rated it it was ok It was shocking to read how George Soros has no compunction about using his billions to create political global change.
I respect him for having passion for his causes and putting his money where his mouth is. However, I have serious issues with how much power one human being can have by using his money. In Soros spent millions to make sure George Bush was not re-elected.
There should be It was shocking to read how George Soros has no compunction about using his billions to create political global change. There should be laws against this kind of financial megalomania. The book was helpful in giving me insight into the thinking of George Soros.
His thought processes are unnecessarily cumbersome to understand. Not impressed. The editorial piqued my interest and so I looked him up and discovered this book. The Age of Fallibility is very well written and presents very complicated theories in an easy to grasp from.
Soros writes with the mentality of someone that really wants to get his point across: He tells you what he is going to talk about, talks about it, and then tells you what he just talked about. This has the affect of seeming a bit repetitive, but at the same time, you realize that the ideas are actually sinking in. The idea of an open society is one that accepts that we will never reach a "perfect" solution to anything and so we must always work together to improve what we are doing, understanding that each improvement we make will require additional improvements.
The second half of the book is geared towards asking what is currently wrong with America, what is wrong with the world, and what we can do to fix it.
Soros gives an in depth look into all three topics and makes some very good points. To say that George Soros is anti-American is just silly. He merely points out the ways in which Americans can improve in our domestic and foreign policies.
This is part of the open society model. There is always room for improvement. Pointing out that something can be improved is not the same as being against it. The book got over my head a bit towards the end.
Overall, this is a great book for someone who is interested in what is currently happening in this country and the world and would like to know more. But it is a good way to gain some understanding of what makes such a man tick! What really caught me by surprise appears on page With so much money on hand, why not meddle with the world and get involved in regulatory overreach. Here is what he says The network consists of local foundations whose board and staff are preponderantly local citizens and they take responsibility for the actions of the foundations.
But this time it happens to be one powerful US citizen manipulating the levers of multiple US based environmental organizations with foreign branches and all based on a false premise The most severe example is the myriad of US based environmental and associated social agencies who are ripping Canadian government sovereignty apart by the seams both at the federal and provincial levels and using Canadian aboriginal groups as a proxy for this dangerously misguided effort What a dangerous gain this man is playing The closed society is characterized by traditional modes of thought while the open society is characterized by critical thought.
Traditional thinking is unchanging. The past is like the present which is like the future. We think the way our fathers thought and their fathers before them. Knowledge is based on authority. In the open society change is constant. Knowledge is based on the scientific method which yields facts that are always subject to change.
In the closed society knowledge is certain and absolute. In the open society knowledge is never certain and always subject to new discoveries. Yet ironically in the open society the European Union, the United States, et al. Bertrand Russell discovered after Godel that self-referencing systems lead eventually to paradox. What Soros is arguing is that because our perception of the world is self-referential to some extent--that is, how we think about the world colors our perception of the world--we can never see the world "as it really is," and so our view is fallible.
In fact, in most aspects of life, especially in the social, economic and political spheres, our perception actually changes reality, and so reality is a "moving target" and as such can never be captured. He calls this "reflexivity. Soros goes on to argue that all cultures are built upon what he calls "fertile fallacies.
People believe that tulips have great intrinsic value, ergo, tulips have great intrinsic value and become worth more than gold. For a while. Eventually "reality" kicks in and the bust comes. So it is with cultures.
Nazi Germany boomed magnificently compared to the immediate aftermath of WWI , but soon went bust because it was built on fallacies. Ditto the Soviet Union. All this Soros explains carefully and at some length. Then comes the important point: open societies can better avoid the boom and bust syndrome because unlike closed societies they are not built on some fallacious idea of eternal truth.
Instead, like science they are always open to falsification and change, whereas close societies resist falsification and change. In all of this I think Soros is making a brilliant argument. As he himself says, the argument is not original with him--he acknowledges a deep debt to Karl Popper the philosopher of science who wrote The Open Society and Its Enemies and was a mentor to Soros.
But what I think Soros is doing here that is original is presenting the argument in a compelling political and social context. There is so much of a non-philosophic nature that I would like to quote from this book.
He is one of the deep thinkers of our time and a man who expresses himself fearlessly. Because of his great material success in the world and the activist stance he has taken internationally, he is a man that many people listen to, even those who find his views disagreeable.
Here are a few of his thoughts: "The idea of death is not the same as the fact of death. The idea of death is the denial of consciousness, and the fact of death is not the denial of life but its natural conclusion. But in the next chapter, "The Feel-Good Society," he really nails it. Quite simply the American people have become gluttons of consumption who can barely get off their couches, who do about as much critical thinking as cows chewing their cuds. His expression is less graphic.
Soros writes, "Since the war on terror is counterproductive, it is liable to generate more terrorists or insurgents than it can liquidate. As a result, we are facing a permanent state of war and the end of the United States as an open society. He touches on the nuclear threat which he sees as now more menacing than during the Cold War.
The Age of Fallibility
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