Chapter

Gaining Traction to Overcome Obstacles to Farsightedness

William Ascher

in Bringing in the Future

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780226029160
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226029184 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226029184.003.0003
Gaining Traction to Overcome Obstacles to Farsightedness

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This chapter discusses the findings which are most important to overcoming obstacles to farsightedness. Appeals to principle—to do “the right thing”—can have a major impact that goes against gaining the favored result. There is no doubt that certain general conditions are more conducive to farsighted thinking and action. Promoting these conditions is a “farsighted way of promoting farsightedness.” Efforts to reduce impatience directly focus on the fact that patience rests on cultural cues, norms, and habits. Strategies for decreasing selfishness can either attempt to elevate the importance of benefits and costs to others, or to make selfish acts less attractive. Analytic limitations can be addressed by encouraging the use of richer cognitive maps. Vulnerability can be decreased by a range of approaches to buffer decision makers from economic, political, and other risks, whether these decision makers are acting as individuals and family members or leaders of public or private organizations.

Keywords: farsightedness; impatience; selfishness; analytic limitations; vulnerability

Chapter.  6900 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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