Category Archives: Psychology

Levitin: A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES

Daniel J. Levitin’s A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES: Critical Thinking in the Information Age (Dutton, 2016) is a nice complement to the book previously reviewed. Levitin an academic at UC Berkeley and has written three previous books, including This Is … Continue reading

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Ariely: PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL

Dan Ariely’s PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Harper 2008) is one of the earliest popular books that summarizes various findings of experimental psychology in recent decades that reveal the biases of human nature. Key point: traditional … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: World Getting Better; Choosing What to Believe; Questions for Atheists; Mathematical Ideas; Trumpian Cruelty

Vox: 23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better. From 2014, but updated this month. These data echo the theme of Steven Pinker’s recent books. File under: human progress, despite conservative paranoia and fears \\ … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Conservative Resistance, Human Progress, Mathematics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Unread Books; Psychology and Logic; GOP Paranoia; Political Extremes

From recent weeks’ NYT. Essay by Kevin Mims: All Those Books You’ve Bought but Haven’t Read? There’s a Word for That. The print title, October 14, was “The Importance of Unread Books” subtitled “Why a personal library should include books … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Psychology and Economics; SF and Fantasy

Several items from Sunday’s NYT. First a review of a new book by Steven Johnson, FARSIGHTED: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most; the review is by Adam Grant: How Do We Make the Long-Term Decisions That Matter?. … Continue reading

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Play and Stranger Danger

From Sunday’s New York Times Book Review: Does Our Cultural Obsession With Safety Spell the Downfall of Democracy?, by Thomas Chatterton Williams, reviews two books, including THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Storytelling; Religious Fundamentalism and Fake News; the Attraction of Conspiracy Theories

Time magazine, December 5, 2017, Jeffrey Kluger: How Telling Stories Makes Us Human [S]torytelling is a powerful means of fostering social cooperation and teaching social norms, and it pays valuable dividends to the storytellers themselves, improving their chances of being … Continue reading

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Arguing with a Flat Earther

Vox: How to argue with flat-earthers, subtitled, “But not necessarily convince them.” People committed to the belief that the Earth is flat (or that the universe was created 6000 years ago) will have answers to all your challenges, all your … Continue reading

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Links from NYT recently, with Comments

Op-ed by Amy Sullivan in the New York Times, April 1 (posted March 31): Trump’s Christian Soldiers The recurring, amazing fact that the self-righteous evangelicals support someone like Trump. You could open a publishing press devoted to the theological and … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: UFOs and Other Fairy Tales

No I don’t “believe” in UFOs, in the sense of believing them to be evidence of extraterrestrial visitors, because I’ve long been too familiar with the many ways human perception can go awry and of the many ways reports of … Continue reading

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