Category Archives: Social Progress

Passages from Pinker

As a palette cleanser from my last post, here are some thoughts from my ongoing reading of Steven Pinker’s THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, a history of the world with focus on violence, that summarizes that history through phases: … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: On believing; Waking up; Health care fantasies

Here’s a long, multi-panel cartoon from The Oatmeal called Believe, which illustrates how readily or not we take in new information that conflicts with our previous assumptions, or foundational beliefs. (Via We Should Celebrate New Information Even When It Means … Continue reading

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Two Interviews about Current Books, about Reproductive Technologies and Social Cohesion

Two radio interviews this week worth noting, in part just for the pleasure of listening to smart people, in contrast to what we dutifully hear every day from our politicians. First, this KQED forum interview in which Bioethicist Hank Greely … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Trump; Democrats v Republicans; American exceptionalism; government regulations

As Donald Trump seems to be on the path to claiming the Republican nomination for president, Republicans who are appalled by him are increasingly expressing misgivings. Salon has this fascinating article about how some Republican pundits admit that the crude … Continue reading

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Review of David Silverman

The book is FIGHTING GOD: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, just published in December 2015, and I’m not linking it with a cover image as I often do with books I review, since I can’t especially approve of … Continue reading

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Links and Comments from Sunday’s New York Times

I’m finishing up a book by Chris Mooney that explores motivated reasoning and how we are all subject to seeking out evidence that confirms our pre-existing views, and disputing evidence that challenges those views. And that nevertheless claims that conservatives/Republicans … Continue reading

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We Are in a Post-Reality [Science-Fictional!] World

I saw (part of) the Republican debate this past week, and the responses, and saw how the obvious lies and misrepresentations did not seem to matter to the crowd; it was how the candidates played to the crowd. This seems … Continue reading

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The Irish Need Not Apply

» New York Times, Timothy Egan: Not Like Us Donald Trump is attracting quite a following with his comments about Mexican immigrants: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Human Progress, Morality, Social Progress | Leave a comment