Things I’ve Enjoyed #27

Each Sunday I compose a list of the most worthwhile content I’ve consumed during the past week. Primarily as a way to keep inventory of material that influenced me and my way of thinking.


Ideological Differences In the Expanse of the Moral Circle (2019) by Adam Waytz, Ravi Iyer, Liane Young, Jonathan Haidt & Jesse Graham.

”Do clashes between ideologies reflect policy differences or something more fundamental? The present research suggests they reflect core psychological differences such that liberals express compassion toward less structured and more encompassing entities (i.e., universalism), whereas conservatives express compassion toward more well-defined and less encompassing entities (i.e., parochialism).”

I’m not ”comfortable” with survey data. Surveys run the risk of maximizing differences as a result of prescriptivity. It’s impossible to parse if the answers reflect sincere feelings or are merely parroting a particular ideological doctrine. In some instances the questions might even yield answers which are inverse to what the subject actually experience (xenophobia/oikophobia). Although, the proclivity towards a particular ideological superstructure obviously is prior to succumbing to it … My unwillingness to accept the results might just be cognitive dissonance as a consequences of not being able to fathom some of the liberal answers. This interview with Michele Gelfand on Tight and Loose Cultures allows for further inquiry.

Mental Illness and the Left (2020) by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard.

It has been claimed that left-wingers or liberals (US sense) tend to more often suffer from mental illness than right-wingers or conservatives. This potential link was investigated using the General Social Survey cumulative cross-sectional dataset (1972-2018). A search of the available variables resulted in 5 items measuring one’s own mental illness (e.g., ‘Do you have any emotional or mental disability?’). All of these items were weakly associated with left-wing political ideology as measured by self-report, with especially high rates seen for the ‘extremely liberal’ group.

”One reason to believe there might be measurement bias is that left-wing political views are on the whole more friendly disposed towards people with mental illness (Gonzales et al., 2017; Parcesepe & Cabassa, 2013), and thus may be more willing to seek help, get diagnosed, get treatment, and even admit their problems to themselves (Alexander, 2020).”

The author is well aware of the limitations of the paper and I second the idea that it might just be the case that people on the left feel more comfortable acknowledging their mental illness. In some leftist quarters suffering from mental illness might even be seen as a badge of honor in the sense of ”if you are not suffering from mental illness in a sick society you are part of the problem”, and an expression of all things non conforming. The relative willingness (per incentive) to pathologize that which the conservative wouldn’t pathologize could also be influencing the results.


Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930) by John Maynard Keynes.

For the moment the very rapidity of these changes is hurting us and bringing difficult problems to solve. Those countries are suffering relatively which are not in the vanguard of progress. We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come–namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.

Would You Agree to Sex with a Total Stranger? by David P. Schmitt.

”Despite this wealth of confirmatory evidence, some scholars have deemed the notion that men are more eager than women are for sex with complete strangers as a total “myth” (Rudman, 2017). Like the most extreme climate change deniers, such scholars focus on a few contrived studies, torture the findings into a false narrative, and then claim, mistakenly, that a few upstart studies have totally refuted a mountain of well-established scientific evidence.”

Is this one of them #BigLies that I see trending on twitter ever now and then? ^^ Somebody please @ Timothy Snyder. This is fairly straightforward and anyone who isn’t familiar with this particular field of research would likely reach similar conclusions utilizing common sense. Even the most contrived, unscientific and ideologically-informed drivel/research yields results predicted by evolutionary psychological theory.

When Will China Rule the World? Maybe Never by Eric Zhu & Tom Orlik.

”The nightmare scenario for Xi is that China could follow the same trajectory as Japan, also touted as a potential challenger to the U.S. before it crashed three decades ago. A combination of reform failure, international isolation and financial crisis could halt China before it reaches the top.”

Special Report: China’s Gene Giant Harvests Data from Millions of Women by Kirsty Needham & Clare Baldwin.

”U.S. government advisors warned in March that a vast bank of genomic data that the company, BGI Group, is amassing and analysing with artificial intelligence could give China a path to economic and military advantage. As science pinpoints new links between genes and human traits, access to the biggest, most diverse set of human genomes is a strategic edge. The technology could propel China to dominate global pharmaceuticals, and also potentially lead to genetically enhanced soldiers, or engineered pathogens to target the U.S. population or food supply, the advisors said.”

Laughter Is Vital by Emily Herring.

How to Build a Small Town in Texas – Part I: The Place by Wrath Of Gnon.


W. Brian Arthur on The History of Complexity Economics, Complexity by the Santa Fe Institute Part 1 & Part 2.

The Kid Who Kaptures Kurtosis with Kris Sidial of Ambrus Group, The Derivative.

Claudia Hauer on War, Education, and Strategic Humanism, EconTalk.

Viktor Shvets: The Inflation-Deflation Pendulum, MacroVoices.

David Epstein Knows Something About Almost Everything, People I Mostly Admire.

Publicerad av Olof Palme d'Or

filosofie magister i analytisk filosofi. optionshandel. risk. autodidakt.

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