Monday, August 10, 2009

May you be freed of Friedmanism

Most of you suffer from positive illusions, (built on a naive overconfidence in human capabilities and a nearly total disregard for human failings.). This illusionary belief is also known as Friedmanism, after Thomas Friedman the self-appointed cheerleader of the Human Team and whose job it is to make us all feel good about ourselves.

Thomas Friedman is like one of those characters played by actor Alec Baldwin in an episode of Friends. He is so positive that even when his girl friend Phoebe screams at him and throws him out of the house, he knocks the door again and asks her, " Wasn't that the best fight you've ever had?"

Back to the point. Freidmanism makes you all believe that life on this planet will go on as usual. Therefore the responsibility falls on my broad shoulders to disabuse you of this notion. I refer you to this article by Dave Cohen where he explains that we are well on the road to the Sixth Extinction, as the current rate of extinction of amphibians is 25,039–45,474 times the natural rate.

But don’t panic. This won’t happen till the next century. But, oops. This prediction was made in 1998. That means we are already in the next century.

And here’s the real good news. In a few million years after we are gone, the planet will fill up with life again. So, don't fall a prey to needless Cohenism.


Jayan said...


I think the original Friedmanism is attributed to this Friedman (, or is there another one on Thomas Friedman's theory as well ?

Raj said...

Jayan, as the link explains, this one is named after Thomas, not Milton. Call it Friedmanism-2.

Anonymous said...

Jayan was right.