European produced culture

This is a break from the usual technical sciency stuff! I talked with John Fuerst about how weird it is that people all over the Western world were watching the same American produced cartoons as a child. A kind of pan-Western world environmental effect, if there are any long term effects of watching these, aside…

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Comments on Marty Nemko’s “12 Predictions for 2050”

A reader asked me to comment on the predictions/musings by Marty Nemko at his blog. I had never heard of him before, but he’s some kind of coach, radio host and columnist popular in the Bay Area. The decline in good jobs. My optimistic side predicts that improved education and gene editing to improve intelligence…

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Organ donation consent vs. actual rates

There is a famous paper arguing the case for libertarian paternalism by using organ donation consent rates. Johnson, E. J., & Goldstein, D. (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339. The main result is this: So having opt-out drastically increases consent rates compared with opt-in. These countries have various other differences between them, but…

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Another political bias test

See also: Rationality and bias test results I stumbled upon another political bias test: http://econturingtest.com/ Basically, you will be given 10 questions: 5 about why US-style conservatives favor/oppose a given policy, and 5 why US-style liberals favor/oppose, the same policy. It is a multiple-choice format. Your score is then calculated simply after comparison with the…

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Rationality and bias test results

I’ve always considered myself a very rational and fairly unbiased person. Being aware of the general tendency for people to overestimate themselves (see also visualization of the Dunning-Kruger effect), this of course reduces my confidence in my own estimates of these. So what better to do than take some actual tests? I have previously taken…

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Review: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Jonathan Haidt)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11324722-the-righteous-mind I had heard good things about this book, sort of. It has been cited a lot. Enough that I would be wiling to read it, given that the author has written at least one interesting paper (Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science). Generally, it is written in popsci style, very few statistics making…

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Attitude towards nuclear energy and correlates: educational attainment, gender, age, self-rated knowledge, experience, etc.

Nuclear energy often gets bad press. However, journalists are mostly very leftist, scientifically ill-educated women, so perhaps they are not quite the right demographic to tell us about this issue. So far I have not found any published studies about the relationship between attitudes towards nuclear energy and general intelligence, however there is good reason…

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Freedom of expression and Facebook: Shall local FoE laws prevent Facebook from blocking content?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/03/french-court-says-french-freedom-of-speech-may-trump-facebooks-censorship/ This is not so straight forward as could be thought. On the one hand one might argue: Facebook is a private company. They offer a service to users (free of charge but with ads), and since they own it, they should be able to control it as they see fit. If users don’t like…

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