Category Archives: MInd

Links and Comments: Political bubbles; Group knowledge; Randall reviews Rovelli

Interesting pieces from Sunday’s New York Times Front page article: How to Escape Your Political Bubble for a Clearer View. About how to overcome the built-in biases in Facebook and other social media to feed you only what you want … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Kolbert on books about the limitations of human reason

In last week’s New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert (author of foundational, Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction The Sixth Extinction; my review) reviews three books about the limitations of human reason. Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds The review/essay describes various psychological experiments — … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Loyalty, Defiance, Imagined Realities

A revealing piece in today’s Slate: The Only Truth Is Trump, in which William Saleton reveals the subtext of Kellyanne Conway’s response to the Flynn debacle. His points: Loyalty within Trump’s circle is more important than loyalty to country. The … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Human Biases and Christian Superstition

Friendly Atheist: What Caused the Oroville Dam Crisis? Some Christians Online Blame CA Liberals for Defying God. Here in California our several years of drought have ended (at least in the northern part of the state) in so much rain … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Facts v Emotions

Slate, Jess Zimmerman: It’s Time to Give Up On Facts — Or at least to temporarily lay them down in favor of a more useful weapon: emotions. Yet another article (by a former fact-checker) about how human mental biases deflect … Continue reading

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Christianity and the Sunk Cost fallacy

In the Christmas Day issue of the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof has a chat with the evangelist Christian pastor and author Timothy Keller, asking Am I a Christian, Pastor Timothy Keller?. Kristof admires the teachings of Jesus but … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Two from Today’s NYT

First, fascinating essay by Michael P. Lynch (author of just-released The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data): Trump, Truth and the Power of Contradiction. How is it Trump can say completely contradictory … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Irrational Voters; Republicans and Gays; Religious Liberty v Progress

Robert Sapolsky in last week’s Los Angeles Times: We’re rarely rational when we vote because we’re rarely rational, period. How various discoveries about mental biases and motivated thinking play out in elections. Probably the most striking thing about any of … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Conspiracy Theories, Cognitive Biases; Changing Minds; All Stories

Catching up on links and comments from this past week. First, a couple book reviews in last Sunday’s NY Times Book Review. First, a review by Adrian Chen of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, by Rob Brotherton. Subtitle: … Continue reading

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Harper’s on Environmentalism, etc.

More from the November Harper’s. Fascinating article by James K. Boyce, Rethinking Extinction, subtitled “Toward a less gloomy environmentalism”. This is best-read in the context of understanding the impact of humanity on the planet, not just in recent decades, but … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, MInd | Comments Off on Harper’s on Environmentalism, etc.