Category Archives: Psychology

Links and Comments: Coronavirus, Climate Change, Risk Assessment

(updated 9jul20, 11jul20) Salon, Amanda Marcotte: Climate-change denial and the coronavirus “hoax” are the same conspiracy theory. The worldwide conspiracy is vast — so vast that most of the world’s scientists, journalists and political leaders are in on it. Somehow, … Continue reading

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More About Good People vs. Bad, and (Gottschall) the Ubiquity of Conspiracy Theories

Slate, June 26, Jordan Weissman: The GOP’s One Big Excuse for Cutting Off Unemployment Benefits Isn’t Even True This topic echoes comments in recent posts about whether people are generally good or generally bad; conservatives presume the former (in particular, … Continue reading

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About Dreams

Keying off the previous post, I was fascinated by Gottschall’s comments about dreams, how they often focus on important or threatening things in life. I’ve noticed certain themes in my own dreams, in that they invariably involve some problem, a … Continue reading

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About Motivated Reasoning

(rev. 8jul20) This isn’t so much a Notes for the Book post, as a refinement of a portion of my Principles page, which compiles what I think are crucial guidelines for understanding the world, in particular how to evaluate claims … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Visual Illusions and Perception of Reality; Trumpian Gnostic Madness

Vox: Brian Resnick: “Reality” is constructed by your brain. Here’s what that means, and why it matters. Subtitled, What the science of visual illusions can teach us about our polarized world. A long, thorough survey of various topics on one … Continue reading

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Comments and Quotes: Good People vs. Mob-Hysteria

Here’s a curious convergence of ideas — a coincidence. A few days ago I made the comment that individuals don’t think clearly in crowds; crowds can be become mobs, and even peaceful gatherings can lead to group-think in which individuals … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Ezra Klein on the Psychology of Coronavirus Response

Vox: Why are liberals more afraid of the coronavirus than conservatives?: Covid-19 and the complex politics of fear. By Ezra Klein, co-founder and editor-at-large of Vox (and whose recent book, WHY WE’RE POLARIZED, I’ve just begun reading). Good question. You’d … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Conspiracies! Conspiracies!

Over the past several weeks there’s been an outbreak of stories and articles in the various legitimate media (New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, et al) about conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus pandemic. So many articles! … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Socialism, Conspiracy Theories, Religion, Rationality, Liberalism, William Barr, Republicans

First, a David Brooks column from back in December: I Was Once a Socialist. Then I Saw How It Worked. I was a socialist in college. I read magazines like The Nation and old issues of The New Masses. I … Continue reading

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Intuitive Theories about Intuitive Theories

I’m about to read a book (by Andrew Shutlman) about “intuitive theories” and before I do I’m going to write down my take on intuitive theories, since the idea of them has been an occasional theme in these posts, and … Continue reading

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