Dan Ariely: Why The Next Market Downturn May Quickly Become A Full-Blown Panic

Clearly then we need behavourists to audit our regulators.
Perhaps there are too few (probably none) of the behavoural specialists and [economic] psychologists in the employ of our governments, accursed institutes and regulatory bodies.

Some people would call it "reductionism" to analyze humanity as if it were a simple animal, to audit policy using the rules of basic behavioural science.  However, it appears, when you put supposedly sophisticated people in a community, they indeed follow some very basic predictable rules of behaviour… quantum consciousness and will of God aside. 

Our 'leaders' are smart people and behaviour is something every human can understand but many people are unable to think clearly or clinically about the why and how of decision making.  The psychologist, behaviourist is trained to think in terms of how we function as animals (God forbid I should use the term "monkey-brain" yet again or mention anything at all about belief systems and culture).

Behaviourists prove that clinical analysis of our policy/everyday decisions is possible and can be learned. I would submit that the science is crucially important and completely under utilised.  We should teach it in schools, but sadly only in the schools where it would be allowed by religious leaders, perhaps the schools where evolution is accepted.

All philosophy aside, the appeal for wisdom and truth (science) through word-war is obviously futile.  Being able to accept futility (death essentially) is probably NOT very typical human behaviour.  It takes a special [disturbed/abnormal but not defeatist] mind but it may only be those minds, freed from emotion, hope/belief and longing that are closest to seeing the truth. 

Those minds might conclude that the human race is screwed, we can plan for a temporary escape, enough to save only our next generation, hope for a reprieve but recurring societal/human misery may be as inevitable as sleep - it cannot be "fixed".  We can philosophise about science and bash the bible to feel good about ourselves or wax lyrically to make some money but once futility takes hold little can change.  The best we can really do is accept and adapt to imminent misery or death.  For most people that will be hard to do, so taking up a "religion" (in the broadest possible sense of the word) is their only recourse.

The problem is that even our remarkable brains (still more powerful than any existing computer) are overwhelmed by the complexity of keeping track of social interactions in groups larger than 100–200 
In this blog by Professor Turchin he dismantles the popular fantasy of anarchism. He also jogs my memory. The maximum number in your group is the famous Dunbar number. 
In short, going back to small-scale societies will mean an apocalypse in which more than 99 percent of people will have to disappear by hunger, war, and disease.
Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person

I thought Dan Ariely did not answer Chris' questions in the context they were asked but Dan's points are well registered.

I notice that the Dunbar number was proposed in 1990 suggesting to me that such behavioral science is still in its infancy. It’s critically important stuff. Without a better approach to the way we “manage” society the human race seems doomed to rely on generalized rule-books for their ethics. That is: Bibles. religious documents and dare I say, constitutional declarations with all of their myriad misinterpretations.

He sounds more like a communist and he is an idiot.