I genuinely believe that there are some right answers in policy. I want to believe that there are some things that, no matter your political ideology, we can all agree are “good.” I also think it’s stupid to do anything that effects thousands of lives without knowing exactly how it will impact them or if our policy will even do what we want it to do.
I want to use research to explore the topography of belief and ideology to find common ground, and to discover the most effective policies through empirical analysis. As scary as things seem today, we live in a marvelous reality full of people willing and able to express themselves (yay nearly universal literacy and the internet!) and quantifiable markers of human progress. We can understand the lives and needs of everyone, if we are willing to listen, and take advantage of technological progress to craft truly reforming, forward-thinking policy.
I am aware that I sound naïve. When I have painted that picture for people, I have, not a few times, been greeted with disdain. But I also believe that the naïve are hopeful, inspirational, and visionary, even if the reality ends up bashing them to pieces before they can see their vision through. Cynicism may be more “realistic,” but it doesn’t change anything.
I would rather be self destructively naïve than unimpactfully cynical. So I hope to use this site to put forward ideas and research to try to make the world a better place.
Note: the picture is of an alley in Dublin, Ireland.