Vaguely interesting (June 26)

(1)  Increasingly liberal Supreme Court decisions can come from two sources: Court members getting more liberal, and cases getting more conservative.

(2)  As of 2013, there were probably around 170,000 same-sex married couples in the U.S.

(3)  A bipartisan move towards evidence-based policymaking.

(4)  Handing over hiring decisions to our Future Algorithmic Robot Overlords.

(5)  Hispanic population growth in the U.S. is slowing.

(6)  “Poor whites tend to live in more affluent neighborhoods than do middle-class blacks and Latinos.”

(7)  Kurzban and I discuss politics with Mary Moss-Coane on Radio Times.

Vaguely interesting (June 24)

(1)  Republican donors are worried that Scott Walker is actually serious about his cultural agenda. (Hint: Enter a standard Republican demographic profile into this political calculator (white, heterosexual, Christian, male, rich, etc.), and then see what happens to social issues when you compare (a) having an MBA (i.e., many Wall Street honchos) with (b) having some college but no Bachelor’s degree (i.e., Scott Walker’s education level).)

(2)  In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, more than half of teens had summer jobs; now it’s about a third.

(3)  Endorsement of explicit racial discrimination has declined in recent decades.

(4)  But on some measures of racial bias, white Millennials aren’t so different from white Gen X and Boomers.

(5)  “We expected to see some differences along racial lines when we asked these questions, but we certainly had not expected a gap that size, a gap that large.”

(6)  Both whites and blacks become more pro-white after thinking about the rise of Hispanics.

(7)  Dan Ariely on polite vs. self-interested lies. (But these categories overlap, right?)

Vaguely interesting (June 22)

(1)  “our current amount of tiny human creation”

(2)  Who thinks there’s no discrimination against blacks? 61% of white Republicans, 32% of white Democrats, and 13% of blacks.

(3)  Smart people are typically socially liberal but economically conservative-to-moderate. (Not because those are the correct answers to factual questions, but because those policies advance the social and redistributive interests of smart people.)

(4)  The ideological diversity of the Democratic coalition.

(5)  Issue opinions influence party affiliations; party affiliations influence issue opinions.

(6)  “We’re spending 7.2 billion dollars on the security theater.”

Vaguely interesting (June 20)

(1)  Rich people are jerks.

(2)  Are not.

(3)  “Mrs. Clinton is targeting the party base, as all primary candidates do.”

(4)  As women wait longer to have children, the percentage of kids born to married mothers has stabilized.

(5)  Do robot dogs attract crazy people, or do they make people crazy?

Vaguely interesting (June 18)

1.  The decline of the public realm.

2.  Same-sex marriage in Europe.

3.  The ancestral population of Europe: Hunter-gatherers, farmers, and sheepherders.

4.  Myths and truths about fertility in the West.

5.  Retractions, self-policing, and data massaging.

6.  The evolution of flowers and bees.

Vaguely interesting (June 8)

1.  The percentage of young adults who aren’t married and aren’t cohabiting increased from 52% in 2004 to 64% in 2014.

2.  Abortions are down 12% since 2010.

3.  How motivated reasoning undermines the notion that informed voters are better voters.

4.  BBS article (and responses) on emotion and cognition.

5.  You know that theory that says that one reason there isn’t a lot of intelligent life in the universe is that these societies get to a point where they destroy themselves with technology? On an unrelated note: This kid built his own laser gun.

Vaguely interesting (June 5)

1.  “A growing number of Americans have been voting against the opposing party rather than for their own party.”

2.  “Yet, by one estimate, the United States spends $500 million per victim of terrorism, and a piddling $10,000 per cancer death.”

3.  Good news on jobs, but there’s still weakness.

4.  Signs that speed date conversations are going well or poorly.

5.  Chimps prefer cooked food.

Vaguely interesting (June 3)

1.  Democratic and Republican campaign contributions, by occupation (here and here).

2.  The demise of moderate House Republicans.

3.  “Laissez-faire may have reached the end of its shelf life, but we don’t yet know what is going to replace it.”

4.  “A low-income college student with top math scores has the same chance of graduating with a bachelor’s degree as a rich student with mediocre scores.”

5.  “The very elite colleges are selling membership to a private club.”

Vaguely interesting (June 1)

1.  “[C]ultural fit has become a new form of discrimination that keeps demographic and cultural diversity down.”

2.  Elderly crime waves in aging societies.

3.  Modern racial discrimination in the mortgage market.

4.  Harry Potter, child soldier.

5.  Democratic members of Congress are increasingly women, but Republican members aren’t.

6.  Population explosion is a nightmare that didn’t come true. (Does the long history of widely shared fears that didn’t end up panning out (nuclear holocaust, population explosion, Y2K, etc.) suggest anything about the current climate disaster predictions? Or is this time different?)