Watch Out UK--"Nudging" is on the Way!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. While(st) I continue to adhere to my general rule about not commenting in detail on UK political matters, I was interested to learn that the new UK government under Cameron is taking an important page from the "playbook" of our current masters. That is, one of the main underlying concepts advocated by our rulers to "have their way" with us is to "nudge" us to accept and obey their (much more enlightened and indubitably correct---after all they are the "elite"--if you doubt it just ask them) views.

    David Cameron seeks to 'Nudge' people in right direction - Telegraph

    I strongly recommend you study this concept as it has the potential to be quite diabolical--not that any of our public "servants" would ever be so inclined.
  2. Oh yes; we have a halfway-decent radio station round these parts which relies heavily on trendy-lefty-type advertising to stay afloat. The adverts constantly exhort us by "helping you to make the right choice". To which I relieve my feelings by screaming FCUK OFF at the radio (when the other half is not around). If it weren't for the music, which is sixties-to-eighties easy listening, I'd switch to another station, but I hate this sort of quasi-subliminial "advertising" that is patronising and elitist left-wingery at the same time.

    If I was ever arrested for duffing a DJ or politician, I would claim these adverts as the main provocation...
  3. 'jumpinjarhead' you comment on our political affairs as much and as often as you like.
  4. Ah but they also provided a wink to let you know they were nudging you. This new version is a bit more "sophisticated." Note what the authors have said (I helped --nudged even--with some underlining) and see if you too can find the inherent circularity:

    These people are just too far above me--I am so thankful they are the elite who will care for us.
  5. This is about as close to Montgomery's definition of leadership as you can get. I don't recall the exact wording, but it was something like; "The ability to get soldiers to do willingly, something they would not do if left to their own devices".

    'Nudging' is one thing, however manipulating the choices by making the alternatives impossible is another.


    Having just read this

    "Leadership: The capacity and will to rally people to a common purpose together with the character that inspires confidence and trust" – Field Marshal Montgomery

    Maybe it wasn't Monty after all, but I read or heard it honest, I did!
  6. It sounds very similar to what I used to do at work. I'd offer him three choices, one which was always too expensive, or impractical, and two of which were both of the surface were practical solid ideas. One would be flawed, that he would spot, and then he'd pick the only final choice, under the illusion that he had managed me, and helped me made a valuable decision.

    *Sigh* why hire experts if you're not going to listen to their expert advice?
  7. I think the context is critical here as well--there is a world of difference between leading military personnel and running a government in general. There is also the small matter of leading by example--if we can learn anything from our current and former masters in America over the last 50 years, they can hardly be said to do anything by way of example, instead seeking special treatment at every turn---after all, they are "elite."
  8. JJH, you're paranoid to the point of hysteria.
  9. Stonker

    Stonker On ROPs

    One part of me wants to respond with " . . . this is just marketing . . .". Then, thinking further about the triumph of VHS over BETAMAX, and Windows over the Mac, I begin to think that "just marketing", done systematically, by smart people with a big budget, regularly trumps the limited capacity of the average Joe to make good decisions - but then , as soon as I hit the bit about the average Joe, I start to sound like one of the 'nudgers'.

    Kind of a "Catch 22" for free will and individual self-determination :-(

    I have some sympathy for the view that it is the responsibility of a leader to shift the opinions of, and to motivate, the led.

    Somehow, though, it is the responsibility of the democratic electorate not to simply swallow what they are told - even if they are hearing it from the very same 'mister nice guy' that they voted for . . . .
  10. I feel your pain.

    I was fortunate to learn this type of technique from reading the Dilbert creator, Scott Adam's book "The Joy Of Work".

    His advice was always present a report with a sacraficial flaw, defend it valiantly then agree with the boss to remove it. That way your real recommendation survives, your boss feels he has earned his money and sees you as reasonable not a hot head.
  11. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Cameron 'nudging' - this is the Blair Lite come true, the idea that the leader's pet ideas (in this case fencing off overseas squandermania from cuts while undermining the defence of the United Kingdom) must supported by carefully manipulated 'public opinion'.
  12. I have some sympathy with this approach as most of the TCU's out there (Tax Collection Units a.k.a. People) should not be trusted with a dog licence.

    But it is business management practice aimed at society in general.

    FFS governments should have enough to worry about without managing people (or their expectations).

    Obesity blah blah blah biggest killer blah blah blah give my head peace.

    Do gooders please Foxtrot Oscar Alpha Delta
  13. "Among its tasks will be to encourage people to quit smoking and eat more healthily without the need for formal rules."

    I'm not sure what is so controversial about this. I would much rather people were encouraged down a perfectly rational course of action, than forced down it by law.

    If enough people don't like the courses of action being encouraged they can vote them out. If there aren't enough then they simply ignore it. I think as long as it is financial incentives instead of penalties I don't think there can be much to complain about.
  14. It is not as straightforward as that--that is the entire point of "nudging" when done by the government. It controls the choices for each issue and what is to stop the government from going beyond something health related to policy related? It is even worse if the media as here is in bed with the government so that it is quite difficult if not impossible to get accurate information on which to choose a "perfectly rational course of action."