Category Archives: Psychology

Links and Comments 19 Feb 2021

Voter suppression; extremist behavior; “people are asking”; lack of predators; just world theory; covid revisionism; QAnon and Book of Revelations; radical women politicians; lousy tippers.

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Nonfiction Notes: Matthew Hutson’s The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

Matthew Hutson, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane (Penguin/Hudson Street Press, 2012) Yet another book about irrational beliefs and cognitive illusions! After the ones by Shermer, Duffy, and Rosenberg just discussed. … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Political Matters This Week: 11 Feb 2021

This is the week Trump is being impeached for inciting a riot and invasion of the Capitol, and Republicans, supposedly the party of personal responsibility, are going to let him get away with it. Nothing to see here, they say. … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Michael Shermer: WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS

Michael Shermer: Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. (W.H. Freeman, 1997) Here’s one of the earliest books that address human irrationality in terms of both the evidence against various pseudoscientific beliefs, and the … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Neil F. Comins, HEAVENLY ERRORS: Misconceptions about the real nature of the universe (2001)

This is a book I’ve had for nearly 20 years, since its publication in 2001, and finally I sat down last year, 2020, and read it. I had thought it would be a book about common misconceptions of the universe … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Changing Minds; GOP Economics; Liars; Taxonomy of Trump Supporters

Items from NYT (Adam Grant); NYT (David Leonhardt); Slate (William Saletan); The Week, NYT, and Salon about Trump and the GOP; and NYT (Michelle Goldberg).

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Links and Comments: True Believers Scorned

The QAnon cult is reeling from the evaporation of the promises Q and a certain former president made about what would happen on inauguration day. It’s like those many examples over past centuries of apocalyptic cults, anticipating the end of … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Farewell to T****, maybe not to his supporters

Marking the occasion: what happened today, for those looking back (including me) from the future. Joseph Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president and, despite threats from right-wing groups, and honest fears from security officials, there was no apparent protesting … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Conspiracy Theorists, Psychology, and Beliefs

What does “belief” even mean? How can people claim to believe things that, to others, are transparent nonsense? Clearly belief has nothing to do with what, based on evidence and reason, is actually real. Belief can simply mean conviction to … Continue reading

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Notes and Quotes: Ezra Klein’s WHY WE’RE POLARIZED (2020)

Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized was published a full year ago, in January 2020. Ezra Klein is a co-founder of the ‘explainer’ website Vox, and writes essays and columns for various other outlets. (And he lives somewhere here in Oakland.) The … Continue reading

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