Listening to NPR in the car the other day (don’t panic…it was Sarah’s car and within a few minutes those pussies had me ready to jump out of my skin), and there was a great term being thrown around: Information cascade. According to Wikipedia, an information cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals. Because it is usually sensible to do what other people are doing, the phenomenon is assumed to be the result of rational choice. Now, admittedly I am at best somewhat dim, I had never heard the term before. But what better way to describe some of these finger pointing judgmental types. Naturally I couldn’t wait to pass it off as my own, so I went looking for a fight. The venue: Deep sea news and their refute of Roger Berkowitz’s suggestion that blacklisted fish may be unnecessarily labeled. Keep an eye on the comments…lets see how I do.
My first response:
However, I wonder how many of you sustainable folks have fallen victim to the information cascade created by like minded independent ‘researchers’? Does anyone else think that the idea of using population modeling to make assumptions about cod populations from 1852 is just a little retarded? I am a fisherman, and while I can’t speak to the tiger shrimp, I have seen first hand the ‘scientists’ responsible for projecting the cod populations. And correct me if I am out of line, but is it so far fetched to suggest that some of you really need to question your sources of information? Fishermen are an easy scapegoat…and with everyone wanting to do what is ‘right’ U.S. fishermen will surely suffer at the hands of different media outlets with the money to market their suggestions. And when the most responsible, highly regulated fishermen in the world suffer, it opens the market to foreign product which is all caught (by my understanding) using cyanide and dynamite.