When asking the question, “What should be do?”, a valid one, and often noble, we should be aware of the following fallacies:
- “that answers to questions do indeed lead to actions;”
- “that we are the right ones to take up such actions;”
- “that action recommendations are the only way to induce progress.”
These are quoted from the paper by William Easterly, “The Trouble with the Sustainable Development Goals,” in the November 2015 issue of Current History.
A nice line:
“Why wouldn’t action plans produce action? Well, action requires that somebody must at least notice the action plan.”
“The UN is not alone in producing action plans that nobody notices. The World Bank promotes itself as the “Knowledge Bank” for action recommendations. Yet a recent World Bank study found that 31 percent of the World Bank’s “Knowledge products” full of such recommendations have never been downloaded, and 87 percent were never cited.”
“The spread of ideals is a much-underrated way that progress happens… Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech was not called “I Have a Plan”.”
A takeaway message (bold-face mine):
“Global progress has a lot more to do with the advocacy of the ideal of human freedom than with action plans.”
The more members of our species who believe that every human is born with equal rights to freedom — especially when they disagree with you — the better the world will become for all of us.
Now go lift something heavy,