Category Archives: Culture

Links and Comments, 6 April 2021: Sciencey Things

When life began in the universe; how or whether civilizations die; why people like closed-captioning

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Links and Comments: Things Change, 1

Will MAGA panic subside with an old white man back in the presidency? How American political parties have disintegrated in the past, and the Republican party may now be doing. How Britain has become the dumbest society in the world, … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Bobby Duffy, WHY WE’RE WRONG ABOUT NEARLY EVERYTHING

Bobby Duffy, Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything: A Theory of Human Misunderstanding (2018) (US edition Nov 2019) Here’s another book on a seemingly familiar theme: why people so frequently misunderstand the world, and what we can do to correct … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Trying to Be Smarter; Faith vs Fact

NYT: How Do We Get to Herd Immunity for Fake News?, subtitled, “We need to match our focus on the supply of misinformation with a focus on the demand for it.” Yet the chorus of angst over misinformation has focused … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Pandemic Responses and Routines

The Atlantic, 24 Nov: Your Individually Rational Choice Is Collectively Disastrous, subtitled “Stopping the virus from spreading requires us to override our basic intuitions.” This isn’t about haywire individual thinking (cognitive biases, the appeal of simplistic stories to explain the … Continue reading

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This Week’s Facebook Memes

Quoted without comment. Opinions, not claims of fact; From Gloria Steinem: How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion — mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Science, Reality Bubbles, and Stories

The most interesting one is at the bottom. \\ Scientific American: To Understand How Science Denial Works, Look to History, subtitled, “The same tactics used to cast doubt on the dangers of smoking and climate change are now being used … Continue reading

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The Issues that Divide Us (in the US at least)

I commented somewhere that the “issues” that divide the electorate today become more and more trivial the farther one zooms out to take a broader perspective of time and space. Issues so important at one time in history are irrelevant … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Bubbles and B.S.

Trump’s performance at the second vice-presidential debate indicated to numerous people that all he knows about the world are conspiracy-mongering talking points from Fox News and other right wing sites. In some cases all you have to do is read … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Religion and Government; Sophisticated Believers; Religious Indoctrination of Children

NY Times, Wajahat Ali: If Amy Coney Barrett Were Muslim, subtitled “It’s not hard to imagine how conservatives would smear her religious beliefs.” For all that Christians complain that they are oppressed or victimized, in fact their religion so saturates … Continue reading

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