Judge Richard Posner

The New Yorker ran a piece on Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner. He sounds barking mad for the most part, but I liked his observation that evolutionary biology deals with the unconscious maximizer, the genome, and economics deals with the conscious maximizer, the person.

They also quote his claim that all men would rape women and molest children if there weren’t laws to prevent it. Huh? I’m assuming it was taken out of context. There are effective mechanisms in most societies to prevent widespread rape—reputation damage, possibility of retribution, shame, future marketability, ‘morality’—that don’t rely on clumsy, written laws. Actual rapists have never been shown to have a finely-developed sense of legal consequences.