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ES NetSight Atlas
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ES NetSight Atlas
Question: 62
Which of the following statements describes the benefit to the network administrator of
archiving device configurations?
A. To reconfigure a device from a BOOTP state
B. To reconfigure device access properties after a device reset
C. To isolate the source of network problems due to changes in configuration files
D. All of the above
E. A and C
Answer: E
Question: 63
Which of the following actions can Atlas Console initiate when certain alarms, events or
traps occur on the network?
A. Send an e-mail notification and then shut down Atlas Console
B. Send an e-mail notification or run a program
C. Write the event log to an HTML file for web-based viewing
D. Run a program or shut down Atlas Console
E. A and C only
Answer: B
Question: 64
Which of the following network components is represented by a network object?
A. Range of IP addresses
B. Subnets
C. Dynamic objects
D. Hosts
E. All of the above
F. A, B and D
Answer: E
Question: 65
Console displays VLAN device and model settings in a side-by-side manner for which
of the following VLAN tab views??
A. Basic Port View
B. Advanced Port View
C. Device View
D. All of the above
E. B and C only
Answer: E
Question: 66
How is it possible to protect a map from accidental editing?
A. It is not possible to protect a map from accidental editing.
B. Edit the map properties to remove write privileges.
C. Click the Edit button to hide the Placement Panel.
D. None of the above
Answer: C
Question: 67
What is the purpose of the Packet Evaluation Tool?
A. To verify that the packet will hit selected ACLs based on other router configurations
B. To test whether a defined packet will be denied or allowed based on selected ACL
C. To evaluate packet syntax
D. All of the above
Answer: B
Question: 68
With SNMPv3, message integrity is checked
A. to prevent disclosure of sensitive information while en route
B. to make sure the user has permission to access the device
C. to verify the message was not modified en route
D. to read or to modify subsets of the target data
E. Both A and B
Answer: C
Question: 69
The Packet Evaluation Tool can be used as a troubleshooting aid to exclude an ACL as
the source of routing issues.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 70
Which version uses IP address-based access lists and community strings for
D. A and B
E. All of the above
Answer: D
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Enterasys NetSight thinking - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/2B0-020 Search results Enterasys NetSight thinking - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/2B0-020 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Enterasys The problem of thinking in straight lines

By Kit YatesFeatures correspondent

Special offers on the produce we buy are one of the ways linear thinking breaks down in the real world (Credit: Getty Images)

As we grow up we are trained to think about things in a linear way. But it can leave us ill-equipped in our complex, fast moving modern world, harm our finances and even cause problems with artificial intelligence.

This is how the problem often starts: "If Jane pays £5 for 10 grapefruits, how many grapefruits does she get for £50?"

Answering the question, it transpires that the idealised world of mathematics is the only place you can buy 100 grapefruits and no-one bats an eyelid.

To find the answer to the question, many of us have been conditioned to use linear reasoning to assume that for 10 times as much money, Jane gets herself 10 times as many grapefruits.

The word "linear" describes a special relationship between two variables – an input and an output. If a relationship is linear, a change in one quantity by a fixed amount will always produce a fixed change in the other quantity. This is a good model for all sorts of real-world relationships. With a fixed exchange-rate, a pound Sterling might be worth two New Zealand dollars, £10 would be worth NZ$20 and £100 would be worth NZ$200. This is a special type of linear relationship. As you increase the pounds you want to exchange, the number of dollars you get back increases in direct proportion – if I double the input I also double the output.

If I can buy three chocolate bars for £2, then surely, I can buy six chocolate bars for £4. The number of bars I can purchase scales linearly with the money I'm prepared to spend. Linearity assumes there are no three-for-two offers on the table. (And of course, in reality exchange rates vary wildly with the changing fortunes of the financial market.)

Not all linear relationships are in direct proportion though. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit you need to multiply the Celsius temperature by 1.8 and add 32. Doubling the input doesn't double the output in this relationship, but because it is linear a fixed change in the input always corresponds to a fixed change in the output. A rise of 5C is always a rise of 9F no matter what temperature you start from. These relationships can be represented as straight lines, which is why we call them linear.

The relationship between the temperature scales Fahrenheit and Celsius is a linear one, if not directly proportional (Credit: Getty Images)

Perhaps I have laboured the point a little about these linear relationships, especially since linearity is such a familiar idea. But herein lies the problem: we are so familiar with the concept of linearity that we impose our linear frame of reference on data we observe in the real world.

This is linearity bias in its simplest form. As I explore in my new book How to Expect the Unexpected, many systems do not obey these simple linear relationships. For example, if I leave money in my bank account or forget to pay off a debt then that sum of money will grow non-linearly (specifically it will grow exponentially) – interest accruing on the interest. The more money I have (or owe) the faster it will grow. Because many of us are subject to linearity bias we underestimate how quickly these sums of money will grow, which makes saving for the future seem less attractive, but also makes taking on debt seem more attractive. Individuals with higher levels of linearity bias have been found to have higher debt-to-income ratios (the amount of debt they take on relative to their income).


It seems that the most important explanation for our over-reliance on linearity comes from the mathematics classroom itself. Investigations into the origins of this bias have shown that our propensity to assume linearity is present long before we leave school. These studies pose students questions in which linearity is not the right tool to use in order to see how they respond. These so-called pseudo-linearity problems might take the form:

"Laura is a sprinter. Her best time to run 100m (328ft) is 13 seconds, how long will it take her to run 1km (3,280ft)?"

It is not possible to ascertain the correct answer from the information in the problem. However, most students still reach for the linear solution, without any concern for the unrealistic nature of their underlying assumptions. They scale up the time to run 100m by a factor of 10, to account for the distance being 10 times longer, giving a time of 130 seconds to run 1km. Clearly this can only ever be a lower bound on the true answer since it neglects to take into account the fact that no athlete can sustain their best 100m pace over the course of 1km. Indeed, the linear answer would see Laura utterly destroying the world record for running 1km – two minutes and 11 seconds.

To propose this should hold true of every phenomenon in our world would be to deny the existence and the magic of emergent phenomena

A compounding factor is the lack of acknowledgement in maths classes that the real world is usually not as simple as a maths problem. Even artificial intelligence is picking up these mistakes: ChatGPT, a chatbot designed to mimic human interactions, has learned these same biases. When I asked it "It takes three towels three hours to dry on the line, how long does it take nine towels to dry?" it responded with the answer "nine hours" reasoning that if you triple the number of towels, you triple the amount of time it takes for them to dry. Really, if your drying line is long enough, it shouldn't take any longer for nine towels to dry in parallel than three.

A non-linear world

I'm baking with the kids and we want to make twice as many cupcakes as the recipe suggests then we need to use twice as much of each of the ingredients. The ingredients combine linearly to make twice as much mixture. This seems only right. But to propose this should hold true of every phenomenon in our world would be to deny the existence and the magic of emergent phenomena – for example, that no single molecule of H20 is wet or the unique fractals that snowflakes form, not by adding individual crystals together, but as one complex superstructure. Even our own lives are so much more than the simple sum of atoms and molecules which comprise our physical embodiments.

Running a 10,000m race requires a very different approach from sprinting 100m, so linear thinking does not help us estimate finish times (Credit: Getty Images)

Although most of the time we are unaware of them, many of the most important relationships that we experience every day are nonlinear. But we have the idea of linearity drilled into us so early on and so often that sometimes we forget that other relationships can even exist. Our overfamiliarity with linear relationships means that, when something occurs that is nonlinear, it can catch us off-guard and confound our expectations.

By making the implicit assumption that inputs scale linearly with outputs, we are liable to find that our predictions can be way off the mark and that our plans can blow up in our faces. We live in a nonlinear world, but we are so used to thinking in straight lines that we often don't even notice it.


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Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 -0600 text/html https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20231229-the-problem-of-thinking-in-straight-lines Introduction to Systems Thinking in Chemistry

This module serves as a foundation and introduction to systems thinking in chemistry classes, introducing key terminology and concepts in systems thinking with specific ties to green and sustainable chemistry concepts and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The authors created this module to be useful for both instructors and students who may be new to systems thinking in chemistry

The units in this module can be used in any semester of general or organic chemistry, with suggested use prior to introducing other systems thinking content and can be broken up into smaller pieces and used as appropriate within a systems thinking unit. The module uses a mix of traditional slide-based lectures, in-class small group or think-pair-share activities, out-of-class guided exercises, and simple hands-on computer simulations; instructors can also adapt the material for other modalities.

Wed, 06 Dec 2023 18:52:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.acs.org/greenchemistry/students-educators/learning-modules/systems-thinking.html
Design Thinking

The world around us is largely shaped by design–the products, services, infrastructures, and systems that form our experience are all designed. At Smith, we question gender, race, ethnicity, power and ability as dynamics that shape who gets to participate in creating the worlds in which we live. Human-made mass now exceeds all living biomass. As makers we challenge obsolescence, explore alternative resources,  and hold a longview when thinking about the impacts of what we make. Within a Women’s Liberal Arts College we critically engage with design and making in order to advance these practices in service of broad social issues.

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 10:45:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.smith.edu/academics/design-thinking
Thinking Probabilistically

Crossref Citations

This Book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by Crossref.

Abril Valenzuela, Roberto Hanakata, Paul Z. and Bowick, Mark J. 2023. Geometric control of tilt transition dynamics in single-clamped thermalized elastic sheets. Physical Review E, Vol. 108, Issue. 4,

Afek, Gadi Davidson, Nir Kessler, David A. and Barkai, Eli 2023. Colloquium : Anomalous statistics of laser-cooled atoms in dissipative optical lattices. Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol. 95, Issue. 3,

Heckenthaler, Tabea Holder, Tobias Amir, Ariel Feinerman, Ofer and Fonio, Ehud 2023. Connecting cooperative transport by ants with the physics of self-propelled particles. PRX Life, Vol. 1, Issue. 2,

Lahini, Yoav Rubinstein, Shmuel M. and Amir, Ariel 2023. Crackling Noise during Slow Relaxations in Crumpled Sheets. Physical Review Letters, Vol. 130, Issue. 25,

Wed, 27 Dec 2023 20:10:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/thinking-probabilistically/4715E96F0FC041FC0C3EEB5EF8002C8F
Thinking CAP Podcast

‘Here We Are Again’: On Gun Violence, White Nationalism, and the Scapegoating of Mental Illness

In the wake of two mass shootings in a single weekend, Daniella sits down with CAP colleagues Chelsea Parsons, vice president for Gun Violence Prevention, and Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative, to try to make sense of it all.

Thu, 14 Dec 2023 02:15:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.americanprogress.org/projects/thinking-cap-podcast/
1. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty '; } else { var sFallBack = 'Click here to subscribe'; } $('#lee-services-list .loading').hide(); $('#lee-services-list').html('


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Sun, 10 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.stltoday.com/1-crazy-aaron-s-thinking-putty/image_c0f5b821-c1b8-5714-82c5-80a13c38c6c3.html
Do You Believe in Monetary Magic?

Three weeks ago Argentina elected Javier Milei as its new president. Milei ran on a radical libertarian platform, whose most notable proposal called for eliminating Argentina’s currency, the peso, and replacing it with the U.S. dollar.

At this point it’s unclear whether Milei will actually follow through on that promise, or how radical a break he will actually make with previous policies in general; I don’t pretend to understand what’s currently happening in Argentine politics. But the fact that many people apparently believed that dollarization would solve Argentina’s problems was just the latest example of the enduring power of magical monetary thinking.

To be fair, money — and monetary policy — can sometimes seem like magic. Even before the rise of information technology, it was fairly amazing that people could persuade other people to supply them goods and services in return for green pieces of paper with no intrinsic value. Now we can do business with smartphones and contactless debit cards that offer nothing but digital representations of worthless green paper.

Yet money exists, and it works; indeed, it tends to emerge in some form even without any kind of official support. Sam Bankman-Fried temporarily convinced investors that elaborate math could conjure an alternative to dollars out of thin air; now he’s confined to a prison, and that prison has reportedly evolved a rudimentary internal economy based on the exchange of packets of mackerel. (Consider all jokes about there being something fishy about this already made.)

In a way, then, it’s not surprising that people often imagine that introducing a new currency and reciting the correct incantations can solve a nation’s economic problems. It’s a bit more surprising that Argentines would buy into this kind of thinking. After all, they’ve been here before.

True, Argentina has never fully dollarized. But in 1991 it tried to tame inflation with a law that was supposed to establish a permanent exchange rate of one peso for one dollar, a commitment backed by a “currency board” that was advertised as holding a dollar in reserves for every peso in circulation. The truth was that pesos were never 100 percent dollar-backed, but this incomplete backing wasn’t the reason the system collapsed. The problem, instead, was that having eliminated the possibility of using monetary policy to boost the economy when necessary, Argentina found itself stuck in a prolonged, grueling recession. Also, the currency board didn’t solve the nation’s persistent problem of budget deficits.

And there was one more problem: Why peg to the dollar? Argentina is a long way from the United States. It actually does more trade with both China and the European Union than it does with America. Yet when the dollar went up and down, for reasons that had nothing to do with Argentina, Argentina’s currency followed its fluctuations. There was a big run-up in the value of the dollar during the late 1990s, probably reflecting optimism over the technology boom of the time:

And Argentina, having pegged itself to the dollar, found its currency rising in value on world markets, making its exports increasingly uncompetitive and deepening its recession. And of course, abandoning the peso entirely for dollars would have the same problem: Argentina would, in effect, tie its economic policy to that of a nation that has very different issues and isn’t even its main trading partner.

By the way, if El Salvador — which has been trying to promote the use of Bitcoin — were to succeed in, um, Bitcoinizing its economy, it would have the same kind of problem but on a much greater scale, effectively tying its economic policy to an asset with wildly fluctuating value. Fortunately, even with government promotion, Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be getting much traction as actual money.

Anyway, Argentina’s currency board collapsed, messily, at the beginning of 2002. The government eventually declared that many debts specified in dollars would be declared after the fact to really be in pesos, which was more or less necessary to avoid a catastrophic wave of bankruptcies. The Argentine economy, freed from the dollar peg, boomed for a while:

Unfortunately, the old problem of intractable budget deficits never went away, and inflation eventually came roaring back.

But wait. Argentina’s first attempt to control inflation using monetary magic goes even farther back. In the late 1970s the military regime that ruled the country at the time tried to use a pre-announced series of gradually slowing mini-devaluations — the tablita — to slow inflation. (You probably don’t want to know the details.) As in later episodes, this monetary strategy wasn’t backed by adequate reform of other policies and ended up in a balance of payments crisis and resurgent inflation. At that point there was nothing left to do besides invade the Falkland Islands.

Does this mean that monetary reform never works? No, it can succeed if backed by major reforms elsewhere. In the early 1990s, Brazil, which has also had its problems with inflation, replaced its old currency, the cruzeiro, with the real. Now, you may not be used to thinking of Brazil as an economic role model, but the Brazilians did manage to fix enough of their underlying problems that the nation did bring inflation way down, durably:

So introducing a new currency can successfully curb inflation if accompanied by other policy reforms, although in that case it’s unclear how much the currency mattered. To quote Voltaire, which we do all too rarely in economics, “certain words and ceremonies will effectually destroy a flock of sheep, if administered with a sufficient portion of arsenic.”

Anyway, the important thing to realize is that while there is something a bit magical about monetary economics, changing your currency rarely has magical effects. And it’s especially important, given the enthusiasms of cryptocurrency types and others, that while America has many problems, there’s basically nothing wrong with our money. Yes, we recently had a bout of inflation, but it wasn’t caused by problems with our currency, and we seem to have more or less ended that inflation bump without paying any major price in unemployment. Lots of things are problematic these days, but the dollar is doing OK.

Normalizing inflation expectations.

Real wages continue to rise.

The limits of fiscal space.

How Israel ended its hyperinflation.

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/12/opinion/argentina-dollar-milei.html
What Are Palestinians Thinking?

Last week’s wartime survey of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research contains some interesting findings. The polling shows a dramatic rise in support for Hamas, particularly in the West Bank, and an overwhelming rejection of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. According to the report, 72% of respondents believe Hamas was “correct” to launch its Oct. 7 attack, and a whopping 88% of respondents believe that the PA’s Abbas must resign.

The PSR survey was conducted from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2 (during the temporary pause in the Hamas war) among 1,231 people in the West Bank and Gaza. The poll’s findings — particularly as they relate to support for Hamas and lack of support for Abbas — point to potential problems for the Biden administration’s postwar vision for Gaza and raise questions about Israel’s ability to realize its war goal of eradicating Hamas.

The Biden administration has called for the PA to eventually assume control of Gaza and run both the West Bank and Gaza as a precursor to statehood. Although U.S. officials have said that the PA must be “revitalized,” they haven’t said whether that means replacing the elderly Abbas, who has presided over an administration that is widely seen as corrupt, autocratic and ineffective. At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly rejected any role for the PA in Gaza and insists that Israel must retain some level of independent security control in Gaza following the war.

According to the poll, the most popular Palestinian politician is Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in Abbas’ Fatah movement who is serving multiple life terms in an Israeli prison for his role in several deadly terror attacks during the Second Intifada. In a two-way presidential race, Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas who lives in Qatar, would beat Abbas by a large margin, while in a three-way race Barghouti would come out slightly ahead.

The survey also presented interesting insights about Palestinian views of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in southern Israel and the mounting death and destruction in the ensuing war. Despite the devastation — currently estimated to involve more than 18,000 Palestinian deaths, countless injured and most of the Gaza population now homeless and in need of humanitarian aid — 57% of respondents in Gaza and 82% in the West Bank (72% overall) believe Hamas was correct and justified in launching the Oct. 7 attacks. Moreover, a large majority believe Hamas’ claim that it acted only to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem against Jewish extremists and win the release of Palestinian prisoners. Only 10% believe Hamas committed war crimes, with most saying they had not seen videos showing terrorists committing atrocities.

Consistent with those views, the survey reports that support for Hamas in the West Bank has risen from 12% in September to 44% and has risen in Gaza from 38% in September to 42%. Support for the PA continues to fall, with nearly 60% saying it should be dissolved. The dramatic disconnect between the facts as we know them and as they are known in the West Bank and Gaza is troubling. But the resulting increased support among traumatized Palestinians for Hamas and its deadly terror agenda makes us worry.

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.jewishexponent.com/what-are-palestinians-thinking/
Thinking Like a State

Essence of Decision Making

John J. Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato

Surprisingly, for an article assessing the prevalence of rationality in international politics (“Why Smart Leaders Do Stupid Things,” November/December 2023), Keren Yarhi-Milo’s review of our book, How States Think, never offers its own definition of the term. Yarhi-Milo does, however, argue that irrational leaders resort to mental shortcuts, otherwise known as heuristics, or succumb to their emotions. But even this description of irrationality is wanting because it focuses on individuals and says nothing about irrationality at the collective or state level.

For us, rationality has both an individual and a collective dimension. Rational leaders are homo theoreticus. They employ credible theories about the workings of the international system and use them to understand their situation and determine how best to navigate it. Rational states aggregate the views of key policymakers through a deliberative process, one marked by vigorous and uninhibited debate.

Yarhi-Milo suggests that we think realism is the only credible theory out there. Thus, if leaders act on the basis of theories other than realism, they are not acting rationally. But that is simply wrong. Our book is not a brief for realism. We emphasize that there are several credible realist and liberal theories and that leaders acting on the basis of any of them are rational. Indeed, Yarhi-Milo notes that our inventory of credible theories includes the various liberal theories underpinning NATO expansion and the U.S. grand strategy of liberal hegemony, which sought to expand membership in international institutions, foster an open world economy, and spread democracy around the globe.

Ultimately, Yarhi-Milo commends our definition of rationality. In her opinion, our book proves that “leaders rely on theories, both credible and not, to help them make decisions” and “proves the importance of process, something overlooked by scholars, in determining whether a leader or a state made a rational decision.” Moreover, she employs our definition to assess the rationality of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s decision to appease Nazi Germany at Munich in 1938, the George W. Bush administration’s decision to attack Iraq in 2003, and Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine in 2022. In essence, she recognizes that credible theories and deliberation are the hallmarks of rationality. That said, she disagrees with us about the facts of each of those cases, which leads to the vital issue of evidence.


To back our claim that states are routinely rational, we carefully examined ten cases of foreign policy decision-making—five grand-strategic decisions and five crisis decisions. They included imperial Germany’s strategy before World War I and its behavior during the July Crisis of 1914, Japan’s strategy before World War II and its decision to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the United States’ decisions to expand NATO and pursue liberal hegemony after the Cold War.

All the states we examined were rational in the sense that their policymakers were guided by credible theories and that the choices made emerged from a deliberative decision-making process. This is a particularly significant finding given that each of the cases is commonly cited as an instance of irrational decision-making and thus would usually be thought to undermine rather than support our claim that states tend to act rationally.

It is striking that Yarhi-Milo does not challenge our interpretation of any of these supporting cases. She does, however, maintain that we “ignore vast primary and archival data,” a flaw she contends undermines our claims. Given that she does not mention any specific evidence we fail to cite in our cases, it is hard to know what to make of this assertion. Regardless, we scrutinized a copious and sophisticated amount of secondary literature, which clearly reflects the primary record and supports our arguments.

This is not to say that all states are rational all the time. In fact, we identified four cases in which leaders were not rational, embracing noncredible theories and failing to deliberate. Yarhi-Milo challenges our interpretation of two of those cases. In the first, Chamberlain’s decision to appease Adolf Hitler at Munich, she simply misrepresents our argument. According to her, we argue that the United Kingdom appeased Germany based on the belief “that Hitler’s expansionist intentions were limited and that Berlin wanted to avoid war.” In fact, we explain that the British cabinet opted for appeasement because it had decided earlier—irrationally—to gut the British Army, leaving it unfit for a continental war.

Sadly, rationality is no ensure of peace.

In the second case, the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, Yarhi-Milo maintains that the Bush administration in fact based its policy on a credible theory and engaged in a deliberative process. “Bush and his team had real conversations,” she writes, adding that “the administration followed a clear theory: that it needed a preventive war to stop Iraq from acquiring nuclear weapons.” She is wrong. Two of the key theories underpinning the decision to invade—forcible democracy promotion and the domino theory—had been discredited before 2003. And it is widely agreed that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shut down the deliberative process—for example, by refusing to engage in meaningful discussion about what would happen in Iraq and the surrounding countries after Baghdad fell and pressuring the intelligence community to support their views.

Yarhi-Milo clearly disagrees with our core claim that most states are rational most of the time. Rather, she maintains that there is abundant evidence of leaders resorting to heuristics, succumbing to their emotions, and failing to deliberate. One might have expected her to point to such evidence in our ten cases. After all, these decisions are often said to be exemplars of irrationality. But she does not. We are not surprised, since our analysis of those cases reveals no evidence of leaders employing mental shortcuts, being overwhelmed by their emotions, or failing to engage in robust and uninhibited debate.

In the absence of evidence from these cases of states acting irrationally, Yarhi-Milo points to the Russian decision to invade Ukraine as a clear example. She asserts that Russian President Vladimir Putin had an “emotional fixation” with controlling Ukraine and speculates that he may have acted the way he did “because he perceived himself as being in a domain of losses, making him less risk averse.” But she provides no supporting evidence for either conclusion.

Yarhi-Milo also claims that Putin shut down the deliberative process in the run-up to war, writing, “Dissenting ministers and military officers were shown the door, went into exile, or disappeared.” There is no evidence to support this assertion: not a single minister or top general was fired, let alone forced to leave the country. Yarhi-Milo’s claim is also starkly at odds with what William Burns wrote in a 2008 message to the State Department when he was the U.S. ambassador to Moscow: “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin).”

Putin attending a meeting in the Krasnodar region, Russia, November 2023

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters

Yarhi-Milo seeks to buttress her claim about the ubiquity of irrationality by arguing that it is supported by an impressive body of literature “that draws from psychology and behavioral economics, uses primary source materials, and features experimental data on elites. We do not dispute that many political psychologists, including Yarhi-Milo, have produced careful historical studies on how leaders think and especially on how they form their beliefs and how those beliefs affect their behavior. But those studies do not directly address the question on the table: whether states are rational in formulating grand strategy and navigating crises.

To be sure, some political psychologists do speak to the question at hand, but they merely rely on anecdotes. They do not offer systematic evidence that mental shortcuts were at work even in their canonical cases of supposed irrationality: Germany’s decision to go to war in 1914, the United Kingdom’s decision to appease the Nazis at Munich, Germany’s decision to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, and Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor that same year.

As for experimental data, political psychologists themselves acknowledge that there are fundamental differences between how subjects behave in low-stakes experiments and how leaders behave in the real world when faced with truly consequential decisions. Individuals answering survey questions for a small reward will act more blithely than state leaders making life-and-death choices for their country. Such data are a poor substitute for historical evidence.


Given her conclusions about the pervasiveness of irrationality, Yarhi-Milo unsurprisingly predicts that the United States and China will be irrational in their dealings with each other. Washington will use “mental shortcuts” to navigate the relationship, while Beijing’s “mercurial leaders may miscalculate or act in irrational and neurotic ways,” with tragic consequences.

Clearly, we disagree, as we expect both sides to behave rationally, like other great powers before them. Nevertheless, as history shows, rational states invariably compete for security and sometimes go to war with each other. Sadly, rationality is no ensure of peace. That is the real tragedy of great-power politics.

JOHN J. MEARSHEIMER is R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

SEBASTIAN ROSATO is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.

They are the authors of How States Think: The Rationality of Foreign Policy.

Yarhi-Milo Replies

Keren Yarhi-Milo

Mearsheimer and Rosato illuminate a point in their rebuttal that I admittedly did not fully contend with in my review: that they differentiate between the rationality of individuals and that of the state. Mearsheimer and Rosato argue that through the presence of “credible theories” and a “deliberative process,” the noise of bias is removed—as well as the noise of emotions, heuristics, and updated beliefs based on those credible theories—leading to collective rationality at the state level. But the authors never empirically test any of their assumptions. Rather, they merely assume that any biases are canceled out when individual views are put through the machinery of the state. Even in the cases they identify, the authors do not offer a compelling set of mechanisms for how the aggregation of opinions eliminates individual bias.

Perhaps that’s because there are no foolproof mechanisms. By itself, the presence of deliberation will not eliminate biases—and under some conditions, it may even reinforce them, as scholars of political psychology have demonstrated. There is ample evidence that deliberation can, in fact, lead to groupthink (greater conformity) or even group polarization (whereby individual beliefs are intensified).

In a study published in International Organization, the political scientist Joshua Kertzer and his colleagues conducted experiments in which online respondents were asked to make foreign policy decisions individually or in groups. The study found that groups are not less biased or more rational than their individual members. It also found that groups are just as susceptible as individuals to classic biases, that the structure of groups does not significantly change the magnitude of the bias, and that diverse groups perform similarly to more homogeneous ones. In other words, the mere presence of deliberation does not necessarily lead to greater rationality.


Mearsheimer and Rosato’s second main criticism is that scholars in my field of political psychology “rely on anecdotes” to substantiate our claims. This is simply not true. Other scholars—among them Janice Gross Stein, Elizabeth Saunders, Rose McDermott, and Jack Levy—and I have studied thousands of primary documents and used them to illustrate patterns of biases across time and space. We look at how policymakers selectively attend to different types of signals and fail to update beliefs in response to new information. And we examine how these psychological biases and dispositions, in turn, shape the decisions leaders make during crises.

Political psychology is in fact an exceptionally sophisticated discipline. A exact wave of scholarship in the psychology of decision-making was able to show not just the systematic presence of biases in how policymakers assess information but also the foundations of such biases. For example, in research published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Kertzer, Jonathan Renshon, and I used a survey experiment of 89 current and former members of the Israeli Knesset to discover systematic differences in how decision-makers assign credibility to various kinds of signals during crises. Leaders vary significantly in their perceptions of the credibility of signals, and the variability depends on their foreign policy dispositions rather than their levels of military or political experience.

This kind of evidence can back up careful archival research on the decision-making process. And it is only through this kind of nuanced research that we can understand the sources of biases and misperceptions, and test these and other hypotheses.

By itself, deliberation will not eliminate biases.

In their response, Mearsheimer and Rosato say the review did not offer an alternative definition of rationality. Although many different definitions of rationality exist in the political science literature, it is safe to say that any good definition must be, at a minimum, falsifiable. And Mearsheimer and Rosato’s is not. More specifically, it cannot differentiate between meaningful deliberation and the performative ritual of deliberation. There are certainly some cases in which decision-makers clearly do not follow a “deliberative process,” such as when leaders actively shut down debate, and there are certainly some cases in which people speak truth to power, and analysts can observe leaders shifting their views. But most cases of deliberation fall in between, so it is typically very hard to falsify claims that a debate is both vigorous and unconstrained.

Dictators serve as prime examples. Authoritarian leaders often hold events that appear to be deliberative but that actually come after a decision has already been made. They may host discussions, but they are not searching for new information or alternative viewpoints that contradict their theories so much as looking for evidence that they are right. They are creating an echo chamber instead of a team of rivals. Such a process cannot be described as rational in any true sense of the word.

Consider Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and the United States’ to invade Iraq. Mearsheimer and Rosato deem the former rational because it entailed deliberation and yet deem the latter irrational because it lacked such a process. This claim defies common sense. On February 21, 2022—just days before the invasion of Ukraine—Putin did convene a meeting of his Security Council. But that meeting was simply for show, a fact clear to anyone watching. And many people watched: Moscow had the meeting televised. During it, every member of Putin’s council declared they agreed with his policy. No one voiced even an ounce of dissent.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting in Woodside, California, November 2023

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

As I stated in my review, the disastrous policymaking process of U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration in Iraq really did involve deliberation and bureaucratic infighting. For example, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki debated whether to invade Iraq and, if they did, what would be the appropriate force size. But this process did not eliminate biases. It may have actually reinforced them because biases were so entrenched in every decision-maker’s mind. As numerous postmortems revealed, Bush’s advisers failed to consider all competing explanations for Saddam Hussein’s refusal to allow UN inspectors to verify that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction program. And it was not just the advisers who became overly convinced that Saddam had these weapons. As the political scientist Robert Jervis noted, the intelligence community “did try to see the world as Saddam did and so believed that he had great incentives to get WMD.”

I fail to see how the deliberation in the Iraq case represents irrational decision-making whereas deliberation in the Russia case does not. If Putin’s deliberative style is uninhibited and vigorous, as the authors suggest, it is unclear what constrained deliberation would ever look like in practice. If the authors think there was more deliberation based on credible theories in the prelude to war in Ukraine than in the prelude to war in Iraq—and that is what makes the former rational and the latter irrational—then the whole purpose of assigning rationality based on the author’s criteria should be called into question. It is impossible to know where they draw the line—and therefore where readers should draw the line, as well.

To see why, consider the case of current U.S.-Chinese relations. Why do Mearsheimer and Rosato believe that the United States will “behave rationally” this time, when they believe the United States did not in the case of the Iraq war? What is it in their theory that should lead us to expect that leaders in Washington and Beijing will not be victims of the biases or misperceptions that characterized the decision-making process in Washington and Baghdad in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion?


To assume in the absence of strong theory and evidence that level-headed rationality will prevail is dangerously naive. At the very least, experts should be skeptical of the idea that the Chinese Politburo will base any decision on credible theories and engage in uninhibited deliberation when it comes to Taiwan. Any serious analysis of the U.S.-Chinese interaction that ignores how both countries could unintentionally misperceive each other’s signals, miss windows of opportunity, pay selective attention to information in times of stress, and act on heightened emotion would be, at best, incomplete. At worst, it would be dangerously misleading.

Political scientists and policymakers still have much to learn from Mearsheimer and Rosato’s new book. Our points of disagreement are genuine theoretical and disciplinary debates that deserve further investigation. And I firmly believe that rationalists and political psychologists can and should work together on these issues.

As scholars, we must approach world events and leaders with humility given how much we do not know. Only through careful theory building and rigorous analysis of primary sources can we make sense of how leaders—and states—think.

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.foreignaffairs.com/responses/thinking-state-mearsheimer
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