Thursday assorted links

by on September 17, 2015 at 11:41 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Morgan Warstler September 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

Perhaps the right tack for conservative academics, is that they are needed… to oversee / overwhelm behavioral psychology departments in order to keep SLW crowds in other departments from promoting mental illness on campus (neurotic micro aggression trigger bullshit).

2 Jan September 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Conservative academics? Don’t they all get together for a party at Chuck E Cheese once a year? I hear they don’t even fill the room.

3 JWatts September 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Well usually they partner up with the Honest Liberal academics to split the cost better. But, yeah, they still don’t fill the room. 😉

4 Tarrou September 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Fill the room? They can’t fill the restroom!

5 collin September 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

6. Let us have Karen Hill Goodfellas character answer “It was more like Henry was enterprising, and that he and the guys were making a few bucks hustling, while all the other guys were sitting on their asses, waiting for handouts. Our husbands weren’t brain surgeons, they were blue-collar guys. The only way they could make extra money, real extra money, was to go out and cut a few corners.”

6 agorabum September 17, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Also basic hierarchical conditioning – in the parallel government of the underworld, the mobsters are on top. They call the shots. And receive money and power. Humanity is conditioned to admire and give deference to those with power (since giving them that deference often keeps them alive).
And then there is the general admiration for someone who makes it to the top in a tough business.

7 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

#6 I find this article very interesting, because I had previously assumed that psychologists must lean right.

After reading this bit, I wonder whether most people who become psychologists have some preference, whether misguided or not, to be in a “helping profession”. They want to help people. (Most psychologists are practicing as “doctors”, not as research scientists in universities, as the article seems to imply.)

Also, perhaps people who come from right wing families would face a lot of opposition to going into a “useless humanities field” like psychology, even though the trend away from psychology-as-philosophy and towards psychology-as-neuroscience is increasingly pertinent.

Perhaps it is difficult to attract “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” type of right wingers into becoming psychologists in the helping professions?

Perhaps de-classifying homosexuality as a mental illness drove some particular subgroups of right wingers away from the field?

What would a “right wing psychologist” want to study? I imagine some would be attracted to analysis of crime and recidivism, while other would deal with questions relating to self-discipline, hard working attitudes, or perhaps even inventiveness/entrepreneurship.

Finally, I suggest that if official party doctrine of the right wing (particularly in America) were to become less anti-science, perhaps more self identifying right wingers would self-select into areas of hard and soft sciences which might be more amenable to bias for reasons of ideological or political preference.

8 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Perhaps de-classifying homosexuality as a mental illness drove some particular subgroups of right wingers away from the field?

Amazing how faddish obsessions induce people to say silly things.

9 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Perhaps among the weaker of the guesses …

10 Jamie_NYC September 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

“if official party doctrine of the right wind (particularly in America) were to become less anti-science…”

Ha, ha, ha! Question for you, science fan: do you know what is the standard deviation of the IQ distribution of the female part of the population compared to male?

11 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Nathan recycles Chris Mooney’s talking points and Arjun recycles Lori Berenson’s.

12 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

And Art Deco just bores. Pro tip: stop posting in every thread as if your opinions on every thing discussed are so obviously correct. They are far from it.

13 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm

I commonly have something to say about an issue at hand, rather than chase around other commenters and offer girlish jabs. Yes I usually think my opinions are correct. It’s baked in the cake of having an opinion.

14 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

And that’s your right, but the effect of your self-centered blinders is to pretty much alienate everyone on the forums you like to so actively contribute to. If you present yourself as someone who is always so obviously right about everything, as if there is no other side to an issue worth even engaging with argument rather than vague, densly worded dismissals, then you are what scientists call an ‘asshole’.

And that may be just fine with you. This is the internet after all. To most, you are a crashing bore. And you’ll hear about it from time to time.

15 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 4:49 pm

If you present yourself as someone who is always so obviously right about everything, as if there is no other side to an issue worth even engaging with argument rather than vague, densly worded dismissals, then you are what scientists call an ‘asshole’.

There’s the presenter, and then there’s the receiver. I have no control over the receiver, who has her own issues.

And that may be just fine with you. This is the internet after all. To most, you are a crashing bore. And you’ll hear about it from time to time.

I’ve been slagged in recent days on these boards as a crypto-Nazi, an amoral thug, and other things I cannot recall right now, so my remarks really are soporific.

16 HL September 18, 2015 at 1:01 am

“I’ve been slagged in recent days on these boards as a crypto-Nazi, an amoral thug, and other things I cannot recall right now, so my remarks really are soporific.”

Art is an enigma, criticized for crypto fascism AND being philo semitic. i for one respect his pugnaciousness

17 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Who’s Chris Mooney?

If I was “recycling talking points” I would give credit to the person who guided me, if I could remember who they were.

18 Harun September 18, 2015 at 12:50 am

Probably just an echo you have heard so many times you can’t tell who first said it.

19 ad*m September 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm

It seems there is a new prior_approval but worse because longer.

1) “because I had previously assumed that psychologists must lean right.” You should go out more. Pauline Kael famously commented, after the 1972 Presidential election, ‘I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.” https://www.commentarymagazine.com/culture-civilization/the-actual-pauline-kael-quote%e2%80%94not-as-bad-and-worse/

2) Do you actually believe that wanting to help people is a left-wing thing? How old are you, really?

3) “if official party doctrine of the right wing (particularly in America) were to become less anti-science ” So you are left wing? You sure you are pro-science? Racial differences in IQ exist are heritable. Differences in IQ between ethnic and racial groups are the result of recent human evolution.

https://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25383866

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16756442

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22139438

20 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm

1) ““because I had previously assumed that psychologists must lean right.” You should go out more.”

What on earth does knowledge of psychologists political leanings have to do with “going out”. This is nothing but a gratuitous insult.

2) It’s a jab, because “right wingers” seem to steadfastly oppose help for the poor.

3) Racist emphasis based on simplistic snapshots at a deiscrete period in socioeconomic development. Come back to us in 1000 years when we have the genetic determinants of “intelligence” pinned down.

21 Harun September 18, 2015 at 12:52 am

So show me the data where left wingers donate more of their own money to charity than the right.

22 Nathan W September 19, 2015 at 7:42 am

I suspect that if you excluded money given to in-clubs (churches) things would look different. Yes, churches do a lot of good charitable works so I don’t want to knock on them too badly, but the vast majority of church budgets is dedicated to paying the staff, building upkeep and marketing for this in-club.

2) should have mentioned as a matter of public policy. I suggest that right wingers prefer to choose which poor people “deserve” help (surely not ex-cons, drug users or minorities), while left wingers prefer policies which are less discriminatory in their income support.

23 guest September 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm

“#6 I find this article very interesting, because I had previously assumed that psychologists must lean right.”
Kid, you have really just fallen off the turkey wagon . . .

24 guest September 17, 2015 at 6:00 pm

bobbing around, looking for a check in the mail. Your teachers have brutalized your intellect.

25 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Anything other than gratuitous insults?

26 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm

#1 As a bit of a story, from a person who did half hard sciences and half social sciences in undergrad, I recall discussions with fellow science students where they tried to convince me that the scientific mode of questioning is inherently UN-biased, and no amount of my effort could persuade them to seriously consider the possibility that their personal ideological/political views could introduce bias into scientific methodologies.

In the social sciences, it is exceedingly obvious to anyone who doesn’t have the blinders on that some particular area of research or another is driven by a pre-determined ideological lens, but in the hard sciences it is less obvious.

I tend to find that exceedingly curious science geeks tend to have very altruistic motives in their drive to be involved in scientific research – they aren’t very concerned about making loads of money (of course a decent salary is expected), but they are very concerned that their work should have broader benefits for humanity. Unless one is to take at face value that right wingers are genuinely concerned about the well-being of future generations and THAT is the reason to prioritize GDP growth (imo this is regularly belied by their almost systematic indifference about environmental questions), this altruistic motive suggests to me that people in the hard sciences will also skew more left. (Of course, the right winger might revert to the cute phrase, not altogether unwarranted, that left wingers like to spend other people’s money, in which case perhaps they aren’t as altruistic as they might like to think …)

27 John September 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm

The implied scale in this paper is left-moderate-right, with libertarians as a sort of intellectual island.

As a scientist (puts on hat) I suggest that this is a premature reduction of the data, that many more axes of belief should be input to any correlation in fields of study.

28 Urstoff September 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Indeed, this whole filed of research that places people on a liberal/conservative axis is pretty maddening.

29 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Yeah. Drives me nuts. Seems to be the world we live in right now.

I remember I a course in undergrad when we were supposed to score survey questions on “right-left” scales to test against party affiliations and various socio-economic controls variables … it often seemed ridiculous to try to force every issue on the planet into binary thinking and I had very little confidence in whatever results we got.

Would be nice if people could think about issues one at a time and more readily reject this left/right thing. Doesn’t seem very likely in a two party system though.

30 gabe September 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm

It is the straussian dialectic method of mind control. It is done on purpose.

31 Dain September 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

People who complain about the left/right spectrum are almost invariably on the right. Or at least that’s how they’re perceived. It’s no coincidence that one often hears this “let’s get beyond left/right” talking point from…libertarians.

32 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:54 pm

The various vectors are strongly correlated with each other, so you get one scale in this country. Libertarians dissent from that, but they’re a small minority. The alt-right does as well, but they’re a coterie. Among politicians there was a generation ago a ‘populist’ strain which tended toward social-democratic and laborist biases conjoined to social-conservatism or nationalism or both, but that’s largely disappeared. It was never much articulated in opinion journalism or academic writings.

33 John September 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

FWIW, I am a moderate who is used to being told I do not exist.

34 Urstoff September 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Libertarians are on the right? Either you are using “libertarian” or “right” incorrectly.

35 John September 17, 2015 at 5:48 pm

We should probably note the difference between a libertarian and a self-identified libertarian.

No joke. There is a difference between someone who leans towards a view of isolated men in the world and those who identify as such.

(a survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute [in 2013] reminds us. “Compared to the general population,” the 7 percent of Americans who identify as libertarian (plus an additional 15 percent with libertarian leanings) “are significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic white, male, and young. Nearly all libertarians are non-Hispanic whites (94%), more than two-thirds (68%) are men, and more than 6-in-10 (62%) are under the age of 50.”)

36 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Very good point.

37 Fizz-Assist September 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm

A recurring observation in CP Snow’s Strangers and Brothers novels is that physicists skew left and engineers skew right.

38 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

#6 Admire mobsters? No way. Admire people who stand up to mobsters.

End the war on drugs – the biggest giveaway to organized crime in all of history.

39 Ray Lopez September 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm

That was supposed to be the underlying theme of the movie “Goodfellas” –that Mobsters are trash, but I’m afraid people actually admired them more after seeing them in action in that movie.

40 Dan in Philly September 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Mobsters are popular because they are powerful and charming – they have to be to do what they do.

So many people don’t care what a person does in larger society – be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you, simple as that (so many of my relatives have this world view). Yes, simple and extremely childish. By such logic, if Hitler is nice to me he’s ok? A nano-second of reflection will blow that philosophy away.

41 aMichael September 17, 2015 at 4:36 pm

I see a parallel here with Trump supporters. The more he behaves in ways that embarrass most people, the more they like him.

42 Harun September 18, 2015 at 12:56 am

If you watch Lillehammer, you can see how the charming, yet powerful mobster slowly undermines and corrupts the state.

Its quite well done…and because the state often cannot deliver justice and in the show, the mob guy sorta can.

43 John September 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

1. Humorous grouping: “Moderate and libertarian students may be suffering the same fate.”

44 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

#6. I think it is for the same reasons we admire the alpha male in any field or occupation, or on the high school swim team. Mobsters are people who are not subordinate to anyone or anything. We all long to be free of social constraints, either by being at the top of the social hierarchy, or by simply disregarding it. Mobsters are the guys who have decided that they are not going to submit to anyone else’s rules. They have opted out of conventional morality and thereby found a different kind of freedom. Instead of the freedom of the rich or the class president, it’s the freedom of the outlaw. That is, until they get busted, but then that’s why we don’t really want them to get caught. We want to imagine that it’s possible to win by opting out of the system, and those are the guys who are proving that it is.

45 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

We all long to be free of social constraints,

Which ‘we’ is that, Hazel?

46 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Don’t most people ? Wouldn’t you love to be able to say or do whatever you wanted without legal or social repercussions?

47 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 1:04 pm

No.

48 Ray Lopez September 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

@Art Deco – why is that? You don’t trust yourself?

49 IVV September 17, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Is it better to have the freedom yourself to do what you like without social repercussion, or to be able to appeal to social mores to force others to act the way you want them to?

There’s power to be had both ways.

50 Jan September 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm

No, you would. But the key here is that you don’t want other people to say or do whatever they want, because that makes you sad or afraid.

51 John September 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Most people want to be supported by a social framework, and most are aware enough to understand that comes with constraints as well.

52 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm

It’s even better if you can be supported by the social framework, and NOT have the constraints.

53 John September 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Never happened in the history of the world. If you have a rebellious in-group, you only need adopt one conventional opinion to out yourself. Or vis-versa.

54 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Of course not. Just because we secretly admire mobsters for breaking the rules, doesn’t mean that we actually personally think breaking the rules is a fantastic idea that we should all run out and do right now.

55 reader September 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

He’s lying. Look at what he does instead of what he says. He spends hours every day polluting the comments section here pseduoanonymously with things he could never say face to face.

56 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 2:49 pm

things he could never say face to face.

I’ll say them face-to-face to anyone who asks, but people generally do not. Strange as it may seem to you, normal people do not have contentious political discussions at work or over dinner. Portside twits start things in selected settings because many of them operate under the illusion that their sectarian opinions are just sweet reason. The worst offender in my social circle is – you guessed it – an academic, and even he is not that rude about it.

57 reader September 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm

No one asked you to unearth ancient racial epithets. You choose to do so for shock value. Do you go around calling people oriental in your day to day life? I think not.

58 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Yes, Art Deco, they don’t have those discussions, because they know there are social repercussions to doing it.
If they COULD force their political views down everyone’s throat without incurring ANY consequence, reality is, most people would do it. The only thing holding people back even when they can get away with it, is that they’ve been raised in a social environment than has trained them to hold back. But if they were raised to be King, it would be a different story.
Everyone wants to be King. It’s good to be the King.

59 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

No one asked you to unearth ancient racial epithets.

Which ones when? (And why is my terminology of such interest that you remember it better than I do?)

60 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Yes, Art Deco, they don’t have those discussions, because they know there are social repercussions to doing it. If they COULD force their political views down everyone’s throat without incurring ANY consequence, reality is, most people would do it.

I think you need to quit extrapolating from your sample-of-one.

I do not know about you, but I have lots else to do when I’m with family and friends than talk politics. I like my most proximate relatives and so I avoid certain topics. They have a general idea of what I think and I know what they think (they’re more valuable). I do not say what I think of their profession, either. They chose it and that’s that.

61 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

“more voluble”

62 The Original D September 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

> I’ll say them face-to-face to anyone who asks

Who asked you to comment here? You just jump in like all the other commenters. Safe to assume you do the same thing in face to face conversations?

63 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Safe to assume you do the same thing in face to face conversations?

You lose.

64 Careless September 17, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Oh my god, he’s still obsessed with “oriental” which wasn’t even a slur.

65 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Yeah, and Kings do other things than talk politics too. For instance, Henry the Eighth got away with bedding an extremely large number of women, despite the fact that this would normally be a socially constrained behavior. When did I say that the ONLY thing that people might want to do that would otherwise be socially constrained would be talking politics?
There are lots and lots of different things that people would prefer to be able to get away with but can’t because they will, ya know, piss other people off.

66 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

No clue how many women Henry Viii bedded. It was at least 5 plus the mother of Henry FitzRoy. I like my domestic life so have no ambition to hop from bed to bed with the frequency of a cheap ham radio, whether or not I’m ‘socially constrained’. No clue how you got the idea that inside every man is lounge lizard yearning to be free bar for ‘social constraints’.

67 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I like my domestic life so have no ambition to hop from bed to bed with the frequency of a cheap ham radio

Exactly. If you did that , you might endure the social consequence of having your domestic life disrupted. You really don’t understand what I am talking about, and you’ve missed the point from the beginning.

68 Art Deco September 18, 2015 at 1:50 am

You really don’t understand what I am talking about, and you’ve missed the point from the beginning.

I understand what you;re talking about, Hazel. The question is, do you? You fancy that people are motivated only by aversives. That’s stupid.

69 honkie please September 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Some people make good Nazis or party-line Republicans. Others value individuality and resent systemic control.

Some root for Winston in “1984”; others get a tingling joy at goose-stepping boots and law & order. It’s fairly easy to tell who’s who.

70 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Some people make good Nazis or party-line Republicans.

Some people are self-generated caricuatures.

71 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

While we’re on the topic, I am currently enjoying watching Narcos, and quietly rooting for Pablo Escobar.
It’s an interesting show in that, although it is narrating from the POV of the DEA agent, and Escobar is clearly violating moral norms, you can’t help but think he’s just not such a bad guy. He’s just the little guy from a small town with big dreams. He’s not doing anything terribly immoral until he’s forced to by the machinery of the state. And then you can see how he’s stuck in this honor culture and every move he makes to retaliate against his enemies just digs him into a bigger hole.

72 honkie please September 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm

@ Art: Sorry, that must’ve hit a little close to home.

@Hazel: You monster. Drugs are bad. (I felt the same toward Johnny Depp’s smuggler in “Blow,” which is a more transparently sympathetic treatment.)

73 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm

honkie – MacDonalds is worse for you than most drugs. Lay off with the Reefer Madness demonization. That was all BS propaganda.

74 honkie please September 18, 2015 at 12:24 am

The joke should be plain in context. More lols and smiley faces next time, I promise.

75 cooper September 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Oh for Pete’s sake. Your statement is as ridiculous as the Tea Party folks calling Obama a communist.

Not every conservative has an inner Nazi yearning to break free just as every Democrat isn’t a closet Trotskyist

76 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 3:35 pm

@ Hazel: that’s a pretty childish world view. Of course we all wish we didn’t have masters, but grown ups don’t really want to be able to do and say every selfish thing that pops in their head. Even the wealthiest, most powerful people generally try to behave in a manner that respects the society in which they live.

77 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm

They respect the society because the society will ultimately punish them in some way if they don’t.
Even Kings have to worry about that in the end, or else they wind up dead.
The fact that on some level we WANT to be able to do whatever we want doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I mean, fact of reality, there really are social consequences we can’t wish away. If you were an all powerful ruler who didn’t have to worry about getting overthrown, you probably wouldn’t give two shits about conventional morality.
But you know, you’re not, nobody is. Enjoying the fantasy of being someone beyond conventional morality isn’t the same as actually thinking it’s a good idea to act that way.

78 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm

They respect the society because the society will ultimately punish them in some way if they don’t.

Hazel, I think you’ve made your point to everyone that you have a somewhat truncated understanding about what motivates people (and demotivates them), and what their ambitions actually are or are likely to be.

79 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Actually, I think you’ve convinced me that I have a deeper understanding of actual human psychology than you do.
I’m sure it makes you much happier to believe that you just naturally automatically want to respect others. But when I say “no social consequences” I mean NO social consequences. If everyone would still love you and adore you as a God, you wouldn’t care. Really. Nobody would.

80 Art Deco September 18, 2015 at 1:49 am

Actually, I think you’ve convinced me that I have a deeper understanding of actual human psychology than you do

Your ‘deep understanding’ is that everyone’s a sociopath.

81 Harun September 18, 2015 at 12:57 am

People may fantasize about that, yes.

82 Harun September 18, 2015 at 12:57 am

I also suspect mobsters aren’t as “free” as we imagine.

83 Dain September 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

“Mobsters are people who are not subordinate to anyone or anything.”

Are we watching same films and reading the same history? Seems they’re completely subordinate to a mob boss. And needless to say it’s not a life you can leave easily.

But yes, they can push around some Joe Blow civilian with impunity. I guess that’s something.

84 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Precisely, those guys have every bit of the constraints we civilians have, probably even more so: codes, rules, bosses, rivals

85 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm

That’s certainly valid, although even in the movies those constraints are more like “guidelines” and the successful mobster generally violates those rules while in the process of murdering his rivals. The boss eventually gets overthrown by some young ambitious upstart. The rivals get wiped out in a mass killing spree.

86 Floccina September 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Then why don’t we admire the crack sellers?

87 Miguel Madeira September 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

#1

I think that studies like this could be more interesting (and solid) if they drop the artificial category of “conservative” and compare “liberals”, “economic libertarians” and “social conservatives”; specially the hypothesis of “ability” and “interest” seems almost impossible to test if they continue to use the category “conservative”.

88 John September 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

If they were really brave they’d go from DNA to field of interest.

89 Ted Craig September 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Did “10%-15% of drug users in the UK, US, and Australia (that) have bought drugs off the net” really use special software to access “the dark web?” Or did most of them just use Craigslist?

90 Michael B Sullivan September 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Tor isn’t really that high a bar. I could easily imagine that 10-15% of the population, with the right motivation, could use it.

91 zz September 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm

The former.

92 John September 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm

5. There has been an interesting transition in recent years, with hiking boots going out, and trail runners coming in. I think it has to do with level of training before the event (hike). If you take someone from the city and put them on a trail, you needed to give them boots, even if the native porter was doing the same trail barefoot. At some point people noticed that juxtaposition. People started shifting down in footwear and up in training.

So, as I read that article about strains I think about the implied back story, and whether the reader has trained into strong ankles, or is starting a harsh regime abruptly.

93 Ben September 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

1- You mean people who think a lot about economics, society, and how people interact would – never in a million years – consider voting for the establishment party? Floored.

And complaining about political discrimination when several of the Austiran schools are the last in American academia to blatantly engage in it is all kinds of fail.

94 Cliff September 17, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Which party is that? Did you ever for a second consider whether the people involved were Democrats before or after entering college/their major/grad school?

What is an “Austiran school” and how does it blatantly engage in political discrimination? How is it “all kinds of fail” to complain about rampant political discrimination at all levels of academia when several “Austiran” schools do the same thing? Isn’t that “even more kinds of win”?

95 Thomas September 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Deny, deny, deny. It’s been established that liberal academics, at least in the field studied, admit that they would discriminate against non-liberals in hiring, peer-review, and tenure.

96 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Any responsible academic would warn you that you’re reading awfully heavy into the results of ONE paper.

97 Zach September 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm

I have a superstitious awe of how efficient German bureaucracy can be.

When I had to renew my Aufenhaltstitel (residency permit) they gave me a list of all the documents, photographs, etc, they would require, and a time to meet with the examiner which was about a month in the future.

Come the appointed time, the office door unlocks, I walk in, and the appointment takes about as long as “Stamp, stamp, stampstampstamp, stampstampstampstamp… Pay 20 euros to the lady at the cash desk, please.” Friendly, cheerful, and efficient all the way.

My friends who have had to deal with the US system laugh bitterly when I tell this story.

98 Zach September 17, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Regarding punctuality, I never really noticed. The expectation is that something will start when it says it will start. I worked at scientific institutes where the only things that were really scheduled were talks — when they were hosting a conference, they would ring a bell to tell everyone to file in for the next session.

99 anon September 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Putin shows up hours late to official state meetings. I cannot think of a better way to troll Germans.

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/02/russo-german-sentences-to-ponder.html

100 RM September 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm

I have always heard that countries that have been in the most wars (or some combination most wars and lost the most people in wars) have the most punctual trains and are strictest about time.

101 jim September 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Admiring mobsters is basically the basis of many religions.
Reverence for the “Strong Man.” No doubt it was evolutionarily advantageous in the past.

102 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm

I can think of descriptors for Confucius, Buddha, and Christ. “Mobster” is not one of them.

103 Urstoff September 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

True, but the Old Testament God is basically running a cosmic protection racket

104 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Only in the mind of adolescents who fancy themselves clever.

105 The Original D September 17, 2015 at 3:26 pm

When the Old Testament was written there were no adolescents.

106 Urstoff September 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Well yes, God can only exist in the mind, I’ll concede that

107 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

Haha. Cosmic protection racket. That’s good.

108 Bob from Ohio September 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm

“Reverence for the “Strong Man.”

Which religions?

109 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Well Islam would probably count. Sure, there’s “Allah” floating out there, but Muslims are always talking about Mohammed and what HE would do. Mohammed was a strong man. Is Islam even really about “Allah” or is it really about “Mohammed”?

110 Harun September 18, 2015 at 1:15 am

I think you would be more on solid grounds with “kings.”

Basically, Kings are mobsters who need to dress up their rule with some rituals.

111 Donald Pretari September 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm

#6…Probably because the mobsters we know are fictional, since most of us, I assume, never have to deal with them in real life.

112 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

This is pretty much the main point. We love mobsters in the movies and on HBO. No one loves actual mobsters.

113 Art Deco September 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Murray Kempton said the gangsters he reported on could be very engaging, especially Carmine Persico. One of the chaps who used to write for National Review grew up ca. 1965 a few doors down from a family whose father was in the Mafia. He said the children of that family were meticulously polite.

114 msgkings September 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm

And the link Tyler provided above shows that Lucky Luciano was a pussycat with his friends and family. What’s the point? When someone claims ‘we’ admire mobsters, they mostly mean we love the Corleones and Sopranos, from the comfort of our living rooms. And the article linked does make the point that if you don’t cross the mob, then perhaps they are just charming, honorable salt of the earth types.

But tell that to the shop owner paying protection money, or the community afflicted by hard drug dealing (mobsters are a big part of this now, even if they aren’t all Italian anymore).

So sure, some of these guys are probably charming and fun people. But the admiration is for the caricatures we see on the screen.

115 honkie please September 17, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I can tell you among many oldsters in Vegas, there’s real nostalgia for the mob era. They experienced it not just in the movies. And note that the mob’s number one lawyer and his wife have controlled the mayor’s office for the last sixteen years.

Not saying these guys were princes, but there’s more to it than just the couch-potatoes-and-movies model.

116 Hazel Meade September 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

I imagine that most successful mobsters – the top bosses, are probably highly intelligent and interesting people. They would have to be because they obviously have the managerial skills to run a covert criminal enterprise. However, they are probably effectively impossible to get to know, because that would involve casual discussions about people they have murdered over the years.

117 Tarrou September 17, 2015 at 5:16 pm

I think it has to do with a “good old days” nostalgia for when even the bad guys were honest, at least to their own code. One wonders if we’ll be treated to paeans to the good ‘ol days of the crack wars anytime soo……oh hey look, “Straight Outta Compton” is out!

118 indisguise September 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

#6 — Because it’s Maria Konnikova, whose “we” is, in its core, “Russians.” Russians love all things prison. They have entire FM radio stations dedicated exclusively to prison songs. Those are not for deviants: that’s what is likely to play in a law-abiding middle-class family’s car with the kids in the back seat. In a cab, pretty much guaranteed. I take it, we have Russian speakers here? That’s everything from “Таганка, я твой бессменный арестант” to “Эй, мусорок, не шей мне срок” to “Маляву отпишу, чтоб шевелились с воли”, and on it goes. Sorry, guys: untranslatable, but in Russia, every kindergartener understands the slang. “Мусорок” is a diminutive form of “мусор,” which means “garbage” in regular language and “cop” in prison-speak, originating from “МУР,” the abbreviation for the Moscow Criminal Investigation Unit, and so on. Russian prison tattoos are an entire semantic system in its own right. Everybody is familiar with the conventions and customs and coping tricks: which obscenities are unacceptable, how to approximate an altered state of mind with what is legally available inside (it’s called “чифирь”: very strong tea, an equivalent of twenty-five standard teabags or more per cup; it is mildly psychoactive, it can be addictive, and there’s no reason why you should know about its existence unless you are in prison and want to get wasted, but in Russia you know it anyway).

The “we” in the title is a mere attempt to fake social proof. And the “mobsters” are there because The New Yorker would be highly unlikely to publish a piece titled “Why do we admire inmates?”. If you grew up in a culture where it’s exciting to have done time or to have escaped it when it was clearly in the cards, of course you are going to feel better about yourself if you get to rationalize those views on the pages of a first-class media outlet using words like “out-groups” and “psychological distance” and a picture of Marlon Brando.

119 John September 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm

4. I actually thought “Behavioral Science Insights Policy Directive, from The White House” would be a hot topic. If I recall correctly MR denizens used to think that any “behavioral insight” was liberalism in disguise.

Has behavioral economics found broader acceptance? Or are you just hoping President Trump will reverse the directive …

120 meets September 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm

#1

Saying leftists just “want to help people” more than right wingers is proving the point of the article.

Conservatives give more to charity.

And read the sub-title to this blog.

121 Cooper September 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm

How much of the obnoxious Left/Right Axis results from the structure of the American (and British, for that matter) political system?

First past the post, plurality rules elections encourage people to bunch together rather than spread their fire power around. We start to identify as members of the polar system because we’re only given two options.

I know lots of Democrats. Many of them have radically different views on dozens of different issues. They all call themselves Democrats because the only other option available to them is to vote for a Republican with whom they would disagree with on even more issues.

If America instant runoff voting, proportional representation, etc., then Donald Trump could have his own political party and Marco Rubio could have his own political party and the two organizations could choose to support or reject legislation on an ad hoc basis.

122 Nathan W September 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Of course, the powers that be would do everything in their powers to prevent the possibility that any upstart with sensible ideas could wade into the mess and steal 10% of the vote and 10% of Congress with it.

123 Harun September 18, 2015 at 1:39 am

and yet, while discussing fancy European politics with its multitude of political parties, there is still discussion of “right or left.”

p.s. left/right of course began during the French revolution!

124 Cooper September 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Yes, they talk about “right” and “left” but there are also plenty of parties that break the mold. Is Marie Le Pen a free market conservative?

There are plenty of left/right coalitions that vote to support or reject certain policies.

125 Bernard Yomtov September 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Admiration of mobsters has its roots, I think, in the notion that some outlaws are really “our guys,” and will look out for us when the law and the government don’t. That’s part of the theme of The Godfather, after all, if you look at how Corleone rose to power initially.

This image of the outlaw is commonplace and has, historically, been exploited by outlaws quite often. Remember the standard bit of urban folklore about how the Italian neighborhood is the safest part of town?

For another example, check out the lyrics to Woody Guthrie’s Pretty Boy Floyd.

126 Harun September 18, 2015 at 1:40 am

Also, if you have ever encountered an injustice where the actual authorities were uninterested in helping, this fantasy tastes a little sweeter.

127 wwebd September 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Some people are irrationally creeped out by clowns. That is how I rationally feel about mobsters (I grew up on Long Island).

128 NeedleFactory September 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm

#1 and #4 on the same day!
Coincidental?
You be the judge.
(from the ED: “(iii) recruit behavioral science experts to join the Federal Government as necessary to achieve the goals of this directive”.)

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