THUNK – 132. On Understanding Others

“I will *never* understand why people X.” Oh really? Let’s turn that dial up to 11 and see what happens.

-Links for the Curious-

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t include a reference to the Netflix show “Mindhunter” (a fictional drama based on the origins of FBI profiling & forensic psychology of serial killers), there’s a growing body of criticism regarding the methods & rigor of those techniques, & I didn’t want to get bogged down hashing out details. Pretty much all of the criminal psychology used in law enforcement today assumes the central premise of this video (that even horrifyingly divergent minds can be simulated & understood to some degree), but it’s possible that the FBI’s whole classification system is pseudoscience – www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/11/12/dangerous-minds

Psychopathology of terrorists (Piccinni et al, 2017) – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28931447

Patterns of Thinking in Militant Extremism (Saucier et al, 2009) – pages.uoregon.edu/gsaucier/Saucier_et_al_Patterns_of_Thinking.pdf

Inside the Terrorist Mind (Schaefer, 2007) – www.scientificamerican.com/article/inside-the-terrorist-mind/

Psychology of Terrorism (Borum, 2004) – scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1570&context=mhlp_facpub

Psychological Vulnerabilities and Propensities for Involvement in Violent Extremism (Borum, 2014) – onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bsl.2110/full

Genesis of Suicide Terrorism (Atran, 2003) – science.sciencemag.org/content/299/5612/1534.full

 

THUNK – 131. Puzzles of Epistemology

Gettier problems, extreme skepticism, the closure principle – “knowledge” is one hell of a rabbit hole. Thus: epistemology!

-Links for the Curious-

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s (SEP) fantastic article on epistemology – plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/

The SEP on epistemic closure (& academic skepticism) – plato.stanford.edu/entries/closure-epistemic/

Philosophytube’s “Knowledge Explained” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlqJvHxVdM

Crash Course’s “The Meaning of Knowledge” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXhJ3hHK9hQ

“On Certainty” (Wittgenstein, 1969) – prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/wittgenstein-on-certainty.pdf

“Debating Scientific Epistemology” (Dougherty, 2016) – www.nas.org/articles/debating_scientific_epistemology

The Epistemology of Democracy (Anderson, 2006) – www.cambridge.org/core/journals/episteme/article/epistemology-of-democracy/F86F1D124D2E081116611043BD54CBD9

 

THUNK – 129. Immortality

Coping with the knowledge of our own mortality is often tricky – what if we just tried a different angle? #YOLO

If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation or depression call the national suicide prevention hotline right now: 1-800-273-8255
Also see: suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

-Links for the Curious-

Terror Management Theory Overview (Wikipedia) – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_management_theory#Criticisms

Is Death Always a Misfortune? (SEP, 2014) – plato.stanford.edu/entries/death/#DeaAlwMis

Descartes projected that his newfound rationalist version of medicine would result in people living a thousand years. Let’s just say he was optimistic. (Shapin, 2000) – dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3219884

Scientists up stakes in bet on whether humans will live to 150 (Fleming, 2016) – www.nature.com/news/scientists-up-stakes-in-bet-on-whether-humans-will-live-to-150-1.20818

Some history of hype regarding the human genome project and genomics (Eisen, 2014) – phylogenomics.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/some-history-of-hype-regarding-human.html

Evidence for a limit to human lifespan (Dong et al, 2016) – www.nature.com/nature/journal/v538/n7624/full/nature19793.html

Human age limit claim sparks debate (Geddes, 2016) – www.nature.com/news/human-age-limit-claim-sparks-debate-1.20750

Many possible maximum lifespan trajectories (Hughes & Hekimi, 2017) – www.nature.com/nature/journal/v546/n7660/full/nature22786.html?foxtrotcallback=true

Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging: Roles of infection, inflammation, and nutrition (Finch, 2009) – www.pnas.org/content/107/suppl_1/1718.full

Lust for life: breaking the 120-year barrier in human ageing (Roy, 2013) – theconversation.com/lust-for-life-breaking-the-120-year-barrier-in-human-ageing-14911

THUNK – 128. Boredom

 

Boredom isn’t just murderously frustrating, it’s a psychological trait with surprisingly far-reaching effects.

-Links for the Curious-

Boredom Proneness Test, by Science of Us – nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/09/how-easily-bored-are-you-take-this-quiz-to-find-out.html

Boredom Proneness – The Development & Correlates of a New Scale (Farmer & Sundburg, 1986) – static1.squarespace.com/static/53a79084e4b01786c921de45/t/53a85547e4b0cd712a48205b/1403540807167/Boredeom+Proneness+-+The+Development+and+Correlates+of+a+New+Scale+%28Farmer+%26+Sundberg%2C+1986%29.pdf

Why boredom is anything but boring (Koerth-Baker, 2016) – www.nature.com/news/why-boredom-is-anything-but-boring-1.19140

The History of Boredom (McRobbie, 2012) – www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-history-of-boredom-138176427/

Relations between brain chemistry and problem-solving among rats raised in enriched and impoverished environments (Rosenzweig & Bennett, 1962) – psycnet.apa.org/record/1964-03801-001

Relationships between boredom proneness, mindfulness, anxiety, depression, and substance use (LePera, 2011) –
www.nspb.net/index.php/nspb/article/download/159/88

The Relationships Between Need for Cognition, Boredom Proneness, Task Engagement, and Test Performance (Diehl & Wyrick, 2015) – journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2158244015585606

Cognitive Correlates of Boredom Proneness: The Role of Private Self-Consciousness and Absorption (Seib & Vodanovich, 2010) – www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00223989809599295

The Bright Side of Boredom (Elpidorou, 2014) – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4217352/

THUNK – 127. Overfitting & Reference Class Forecasting

Predicting the future is hard. Weirdly enough, you can sometimes do better with *less* information!

-Links for the Curious-

Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) –
www.princeton.edu/~kahneman/docs/Publications/prospect_theory.pdf

“Curbing Optimism Bias and Strategic Misrepresentation in Planning: Reference Class Forecasting in Practice” (Flyvbjerg, 2008) – www.researchgate.net/publication/233258056_Curbing_Optimism_Bias_and_Strategic_Misrepresentation_in_Planning_Reference_Class_Forecasting_in_Practice

“The accuracy of hybrid estimating approaches? Case study of an Australian state road & traffic authority” (Liu, Wehbe, & Sisovic, 2010) – www.pmi.org/learning/library/accuracy-hybrid-reference-class-forecasting-6456

THUNK – 126. Debiasing: How to Change Your Mind

Critical thinking is well and good, but it only really helps if you’re willing & able to change your mind!

-Links for the Curious-

Giving Debiasing Away: Can Psychological Research on Correcting Cognitive Errors Promote Human Welfare? (Lilienfeld et al, 2009) – www3.nd.edu/~ghaeffel/Lilienfeld2009%20Perspectives%20on%20Psychological%20Science.pdf

Debiasing (Larrick, 2004) – psych.colorado.edu/~vanboven/teaching/p7536_heurbias/p7536_readings/larrick_debias.pdf

A User’s Guide to Debiasing (Soll et al, 2013) – opim.wharton.upenn.edu/~kmilkman/Soll_et_al_2013.pdf

The Polarizing Impact of Science Literacy and Numeracy on Perceived Climate Change Risks (Braman et al, 2012) – scholarship.law.gwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1298&context=faculty_publications

Considering the opposite: a corrective strategy for social judgment (Lord et al, 1984) – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6527215

Overcoming Intuition: Metacognitive Difficulty Activates Analytic Reasoning (Alter et al, 2007) – pdfs.semanticscholar.org/526d/fb9f8715d48fa79d0f766caa5cd9151cf074.pdf

The Foreign-Language Effect: Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases (Keysar et al, 2012) – mdl.uchicago.edu/sites/keysarlab.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/Keysar%202012.pdf

Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence (Kaplan et al, 2016) – www.nature.com/articles/srep39589

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the PreMortem Technique on Plan Confidence (Veinott et al, 2010) – idl.iscram.org/files/veinott/2010/1049_Veinott_etal2010.pdf

A Scientist-Practitioner Model of Psychological Assessment: Implications for Training, Practice and Research (Spengler et al, 1995) – journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0011000095233009

The effects of perspective-taking on prejudice: the moderating role of self-evaluation (Galinsky & Ku, 2004) – citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.588.9179&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Debiasing Decisions: Improved Decision Making With a Single Training Intervention (Morwedge et al, 2015) – careymorewedge.com/papers/Morewedgeetal2015DebiasingwithTraining.pdf

LessWrong, an online community & blog archive for fans of debiasing & rationality – lesswrong.com/

The Center for Applied Rationality – rationality.org/

THUNK – 125. What Is Consciousness?

There’s much ado about “consciousness,” but what even is it? What’s the big deal? How hard could it be? @_@

-Links for the Curious-

If you are *at all* interested in this topic, please please please read the SEP entry on consciousness, it’s just fantastic – plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/

What It Is Like to Be a Bat (Nagel, 1974) – organizations.utep.edu/portals/1475/nagel_bat.pdf

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness (Chalmers, 1995) – consc.net/papers/facing.html

A summary of Paul Churchland’s “Matter and Consciousness,” specifically oriented at summarizing common positions about the mind/body problem (Blackman) – reidblackman.com/pdf/reidBlackman.churchland.pdf

Continuity, Consciousness, and Identity in Hume’s Philosophy (Yandell) – www.humesociety.org/hs/issues/v18n2/yandell/yandell–v18n2.pdf

Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977) – people.virginia.edu/~tdw/nisbett&wilson.pdf

Introspection and verbal reports on cognitive processes—Two approaches to the study of thinking: A response to Howe (Ericsson & Crutcher, 1991) –
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0732118X9190041J

For a contrasting opinion: “When Does Introspection Bear Fruit? Self-Reflection, Self-Insight, and Interpersonal Choices” (Hixon & Swann, 1993) – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8421251

What is Consciousness? (Vsauce, 2012) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjfaoe847qQ

 

THUNK – 124. Play Theory

All work & no play make Jack not only dull, but also less productive, healthy, neurologically developed…

QUICK NOTE: The most commonly-cited explanation for animal play (practicing direct analogs of survival behavior) doesn’t square with all the evidence. Check out this paper: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163104780924565

-Links for the Curious-

“Taking Play Seriously,” by Robin Marantz Henig – www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/magazine/17play.html?pagewanted=all

Juvenile peer play experience and the development of the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices (Bell, Pellis, & Kolb 2009) – www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432809005609

“More Play, Please – The Perspective of Kindergarten Teachers on Play in the Classroom” (Lynch 2015) – www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/7-3-article-more-play-please.pdf

“Vygotsky Meets Neuroscience – The Cerebellum and the Rise of Culture through Play” (Vandervert 2015)
www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/9-2-article-3-vygotsky-meets-neuroscience.pdf

“Plans Unveiled for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World,” by Jennifer Fickley-Baker – disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/07/plans-unveiled-for-star-wars-inspired-themed-resort-at-walt-disney-world/

The National Institute for Play, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating play for adults & children – www.nifplay.org/science/pattern-play/

“Symbolic Play: The Development of Social Understanding” (Bretherton 1984) – goo.gl/J1hMxe

“The Ambiguity of Play” (Sutton-Smith, 1987) – goo.gl/H7oZNz

“How Play Makes for a More Adaptable Brain, a Comparative & Neural Perspective” (Pellis, Pellis, & Himmler 2015) – files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1043959.pdf

“The Nature of Play – An Overview” (Henricks 2008) –
www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/1-2-article-the-nature-of-play.pdf

“Animal Play: Evolutionary, Comparative, and Ecological Perspectives” (Summary by Bekoff & Beyers, 1998) – cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Bekoff_Byers_98.html

“Examining playfulness in adults: Testing its correlates with personality, positive psychological functioning, goal aspirations, and multi-methodically assessed ingenuity” (Proyer 2012) – www.psychologie-aktuell.com/fileadmin/download/ptam/2-2012_20120628/01_proyer.pdf

 

THUNK – 123. Personal Identity & the Transporter Paradox

What makes me “me?” How can I still be me, even though I change over time? Is Starfleet taking applications yet?

-Links for the Curious-

CGP Grey’s amazing “The Trouble with Transporters” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQHBAdShgYI

PhilosophyTube’s very thorough (& speedy!) coverage of personal identity – www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYVFep0xFYs

The SEP’s brilliant article on personal identity (including major problems & possible solutions) – plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/#ProPerIde

“Teletransportation Paradox,” via Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletransportation_paradox

Thomas Reid’s scathing letter to Lord Kames regarding the Resurrection (the OG transporter paradox) – goo.gl/KREL2F

A brief summary of Hume’s work on personal identity (aka bundle theory) – www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses/2006-7/20208/hume-personal-identity.html

THUNK – 121. Teleological Bias

Teleology: explaining things via their intended purpose. Turns out we’ve a tendency to use it *everywhere.*

-Links for the Curious-

“Why Are Rocks Pointy? Children’s Preference for Teleological
Explanations of the Natural World” (Kelemen, 1999) – www.bu.edu/cdl/files/2013/08/1999_Kelemen_PointyRocks.pdf

“Intuitions About Origins: Purpose and Intelligent Design in Children’s Reasoning About Nature” (Kelemen & DiYanni, 2005) – www.bu.edu/cdl/files/2013/08/2005_KelemenDiYanni.pdf

“The Human Function Compunction: Teleological explanation in adults” (Kelemen 2009)

Students’ preconceptions in introductory mechanics (Clement, 1981) –
www.physics.utoronto.ca/~key/PHY1600/PER%20Papers/Student%20Preconceptions%20-%20Clement.pdf

“Why we evolved the urge to explain,” via the Rationally Speaking Podcast – rationallyspeakingpodcast.org/show/rs-186-tania-lombrozo-on-why-we-evolved-the-urge-to-explain.html

“Explanada,” Tania Lombrozo’s Blog- www.psychologytoday.com/blog/explananda

THUNK – 120. Business Networking

Networking is an essential part of career advancement in business today, but should it be?

-Links for the Curious-

Networking, Corruption, and Subversion (Ned Dobos, 2015) – papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2771599

A general summary by Dobos on his paper – www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/just-what-are-you-trying-to-pull-20130928-2ul2m.html

Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of “Blind” Auditions on Female Musicians (Goldin & Rouse, 1997) – www.nber.org/papers/w5903

Do informal contacts increase labor market inequality? Social ties, job access and wages for the unemployed (Oesch & von Ow, 2015) – www.lives-nccr.ch/sites/default/files/pdf/publication/38_lives_wp_oesch_informalcontacts_ip4.pdf

The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes (Granovetter, 2005) – web.stanford.edu/group/scspi/_media/pdf/Reference%20Media/Granovetter_2005_Social%20Networks.pdf

Sifting and Sorting: Personal Contacts and Hiring in a Retail Bank (Fernandez & Weinberg, 1997) – www.jstor.org/stable/2657345?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Three quarters of whites don’t have any non-white friends (WSJ, Christopher Ingraham, 2014) – www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/25/three-quarters-of-whites-dont-have-any-non-white-friends/

Manager Race and the Race of New Hires (Giuliano, Levine, & Leonard, 2006) – irle.berkeley.edu/files/2006/Manager-Race-and-the-Race-of-New-Hires.pdf

Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity (BLS Reports, 2012) – www.bls.gov/opub/reports/race-and-ethnicity/archive/race_ethnicity_2012.pdf

41 CFR 60-300.5 – Equal opportunity clause (Via Cornell Law School) – www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/41/60-300.5

Structured Interviewing: Avoiding Selection Problems (Pursell, Camplon, & Gaylord, 1980) – www.krannert.purdue.edu/faculty/campionm/Structured_Interviewing_Avoiding.pdf

Summary of Research on the Selection Interview Since 1964 (Wright Jr., 1969) – onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1969.tb00340.x/abstract

How AI Is Changing Your Job Hunt (Fortune, Alsever, 2017) – fortune.com/2017/05/19/ai-changing-jobs-hiring-recruiting/

THUNK – 119. The Limits of Order & Harmony

Un/satisfying gif albums are scratching a very human itch. Where does it come from, & does it mean anything?

-Links for the Curious-

Perception of Symmetry in Infancy, Bornstein et al – www.princeton.edu/~cggross/Dev_Psych_1981.pdf

Bilateral symmetry & sexual selection: a meta-analysis, Møller & Thornhill www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18811416

Sorting preference in children with autism: the dominance of concrete features, Ropar & Peebles – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16897382

The Existential Satisfaction of Things Fitting Perfectly Into Other Things, Julie Beck – www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/the-existential-satisfaction-of-things-fitting-perfectly-into-other-things/401213/

The Dollar Auction Game: A Paradox in Noncooperative Behavior & Escalation, Martin Shubik – www.math.toronto.edu/mpugh/Teaching/Sci199_03/dollar_auction_1.pdf

What is Godel’s Theorem?, Melvin Henriksen – www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-godels-theorem/

Pythagorean Tuning – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehmXCaJ8-Ts

The Square Root of Two, Numberphile – www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sKah3pJnHI

Creepy Out of Tune Piano – www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv2my4a331A

THUNK – 117. SETI & Dyson Spheres

Why are so many smart people interested in finding alien intelligence…and where should we look for them?

*Links for the Curious*

“Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation,” by Freeman Dyson – science.sciencemag.org/content/131/3414/1667

“How Japan Plans to Build an Orbital Solar Farm,” by Susumu Sasaki – spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/how-japan-plans-to-build-an-orbital-solar-farm

The SETI Institute YouTube Channel (Very Highly Recommended!) – www.youtube.com/user/setiinstitute

“Frontiers in Artifact SETI: Waste Heat, Alien Megastructures & Tabbys Star,” by Jason Wright – www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEDR-G2EDRM

THUNK – 116. The War on Science

The so-called “War on Science” isn’t about hostility, it’s a simple case of forgetting how science is different.

-Links for the Curious-

The March for Science Website – www.marchforscience.com/

“The War on Science,” by Shawn Otto, a very thorough analysis of the history & causes of the political & social efforts to deliberately undermine scientific authority – www.amazon.com/War-Science-Waging-Matters-About/dp/1571313532

Scientific American: “Is There Really a War on Science?” – www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-really-a-war-on-science/

Slate: “The war on science is a trap. The science march should step carefully.” – www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/02/the_war_on_science_is_a_trap.html

91. Spanking & Anecdotal Evidence – www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hlGKudCCnc

88. Hume’s Guillotine & Rational Morality – www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwkSA8nqmdI

90. Science vs. Philosophy, an Ancient (Non-)Debate – www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CGQrt_5n60

79. Science, Pseudoscience, & the Demarcation Problem – www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dmOmprI0v4

Some great examples of how bias can cause us to wander away from the scientific method (thanks Your2ndPlanB!):

Gender bias in research: how does it affect evidence based medicine? by Anita Holdcroft – journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/014107680710000102

A framework to analyse gender bias in epidemiological research – jech.bmj.com/content/61/Suppl_2/ii46.short

THUNK – 115. The Motte & Bailey Fallacy

Motte & Bailey Arguments: because defending your actual position is *way* harder than defending a trivial one.

-Links for the Curious-

“The Vacuity of Postmodernist Methodology,” by Nicholas Shackel – philpapers.org/archive/SHATVO-2.pdf

“Archaeology of Knowledge,” by Michel Foucault, Shackel’s ur-punching bag for Motte-and-Bailey-ing – monoskop.org/images/9/90/Foucault_Michel_Archaeology_of_Knowledge.pdf

“The Social Construction of Reality,” by Berger & Luckmann – perflensburg.se/Berger%20social-construction-of-reality.pdf

“All in All, Another Brick in the Motte,” by Scott Alexander – slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/03/all-in-all-another-brick-in-the-motte/

“Motte & Baileys Explained,” by Lagan History – www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxANUa0XHkA

THUNK – 114. Shades of Skepticism

Skepticism is an essential tool for rational thought, but knowing when & how to use it is hard…I think???

(NOTE: the form of skepticism described here is sometimes known as “radical skepticism.”)

-Links for the Curious-

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Skepticism – plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism/

Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing, Kahan et al, 2017 – onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pops.12396/full

Skepticism on RationalWiki (a resourse of the “skeptic” community, essentially advocates of scientific primacy) – rationalwiki.org/wiki/Skepticism

THUNK 18 – Skepticism & Empiricism (where I cover an alternate version of skepticism called Pyrrhonian skepticism) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y78EScMnTsk

THUNK 86 – Cognitive Biases & the Socratic Method – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO-CGN78gdY

THUNK 58 – The Problem of Induction – www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu6kkLJ58Z0

THUNK – 113. Memetics & Punching Nazis


In the constant struggle between memes, the punching of Nazis barely scratches the surface of the conflict.

CW: Physical assault

-Links for the Curious-

Spencer punched while explaining his Pepe the Frog pin – www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rh1dhur4aI

Dawkins on Memes – www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BVpEoQ4T2M

CGP Grey on Complementary Outrage – www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE3j_RHkqJc

PBS Idea Channel on Pepe the Frog – www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uXYIdvV1CU

Dan Dennett on Dangerous Memes – www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzGjEkp772s

“On Liberty,” by John Stuart Mill, an important building block of our current understanding of free speech & harm – www.gutenberg.org/files/34901/34901-h/34901-h.htm

The SEP’s fantastic summary of the nuances of freedom of speech – plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/

THUNK – 111. Populism


Donald Trump’s election is another victory for a worldwide trend of populism…what is it & why is it happening?

QUICK NOTE: I really gloss over the identity component of populist rhetoric here – the “purity” of the groups in question (be they red-blooded ‘Muricans or blonde blue-eyed “Aryans”) is a critical component of a lot of this rhetoric. I didn’t want to invoke tribal sensitivity to accusations of racism – race frequently serves this role, but it’s a broader effect than that.

*Links for the Curious*

Foreign Affairs, “The Power of Populism,” a collection of neat articles highlighting some of the potential causes of the global populist trend – www.foreignaffairs.com/issues/2016/95/6

The Economist Explains: What is Populism? – www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/12/economist-explains-18

“Right-wing vs. progressive populism: How to win in these populist Trump times” by Jonathan Matthew Smucker – www.salon.com/2016/11/13/right-wing-vs-progressive-populism-how-to-win-in-these-populist-trump-times_partner/