Vaguely interesting (Feb 27)

(1)  “[T]he political divide over same-sex marriage represents a deeper divide between conflicting mating strategies.” (Here’s the media write-up.)

(2)  “[S]hame evolved as a defense against being devalued by others.” (Here’s the media write-up.)

(3)  “[I]t can be advantageous for individuals to punish selfishness in order to signal that they are not selfish themselves.” (Here’s the authors explaining their findings in the New York Times.)

(4)  “His style is reminiscent of populist and fascist leaders who’ve succeeded both in Europe and Latin America during periods of economic stress …. Trump is a post-fascist populist.”

(5)  “With more marriages of equals … the country is becoming more segregated by class.”

Vaguely interesting (Feb 22)

(1)  Gazzaniga reflects on split-brains, collective fictions, and smoking on airplanes with Festinger.

(2)  “Five of the top six candidates from February 2015 have now dropped out of the race.”

(3)  “Cruz’s voters dislike Jeb Bush because he has strayed from conservative orthodoxy. Trump’s voters loathe Jeb Bush because their lives are falling apart, and they blame people like him.”

(4)  What percentage of federal judiciary appointments were white men? For George W. Bush: 67%. For Obama: 38%.  (In related stats: White men are around 31% of the U.S. public, but hold 65% of elected offices.)

(5)  “Trump and Sanders … are articulating the views of groups that feel shut out of the political process.”

Vaguely interesting (Feb 16)

(1)  “When progressivity is high, politics is perceived by income groups as a zero sum game and conflicts over who gets what intensify. When progressivity is low, and tax contributors and benefit recipients overlap, redistributive struggles become politically less salient.”

(2)  You know that thing about how lots of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? Yeah, umm, that’s probably not a real thing. (ht Gary Lewis)

(3)  “The coalition of young idealists and working class left-wingers that propelled Jeremy Corbyn to victory is being repeated in the Democratic nomination battle in the US.”

(4)  Bernie as a more traditional populist: “If poverty is increasing and if wages are going down, I don’t know why we need millions of people to be coming into this country as guest workers who will work for lower wages than American workers and drive wages down even lower than they are now.”

(5)  The religious denominations of U.S. presidents.

Vaguely interesting (Feb 9)

(1)  “[H]umans’ punitive psychology evolved to defend personal interests.”

(2)  Scientific literacy is low among social conservatives, but not economic conservatives.

(3)  “The kids are, frankly, getting screwed. They are graduating (or not) with insane, world-historical levels of student debt; the youth-unemployment rate is sky-high; jobs are scarce; and smarmy politicians are lining up to inform them that they won’t have Social Security or pensions when they get old. And then the older generation that has sucked the national economy dry turns around and calls them spoiled and entitled and lazy.”

(4)  “But I do not believe that if this world were realized, the problem of white supremacy would dissipate, anymore than I believe that if reparations were realized, the problems of economic inequality would dissipate. In either case, the notion that one solution is the answer to the other problem is not serious policy.”

(5)  “Americans are about twice as likely to prefer that their party nominate a candidate who agrees with them on almost all the issues they care about but does not have the best chance of winning, rather than one who has the best chance of winning but doesn’t agree with them on the issues they care about.”

Vaguely interesting (Feb 4)

(1) Naturalized immigrants are more likely to vote for Democrats, but large immigrant flows make natives more likely to vote for Republicans.

(2) “[T]he drop in smoking in recent decades explains 14% of the concurrent rise in obesity.”

(3) In the U.S., people are just a lot more religious in the South than the Northeast and West coast.

(4) “When one ethnic group loses status or its members start feeling that they don’t have the status they deserve, the group can get resentful. Nationalist politicians then swoop in to capitalize on the resentment to capture political power.”

(5) In 2000, 78% of those eligible to vote in the U.S. were white; in 2016, it’s 69%.

Vaguely interesting (Feb 2)

(1)  “Black students in black teachers’ classrooms have almost the same probability of being assigned to gifted services as otherwise similar white students. However, black students in white teachers’ classrooms are identified for gifted services only about a third as often.”

(2)  Watch humans take over the planet.

(3)  “In the U.S., where you come from — where you grow up, how much your parents earn, whether your parents were married — plays a major role in determining where you will end up later in life.”

(4)  Political issue clusters go beyond just liberals and conservatives. (In my own work, I find that the “cultural” category should be split into at least two very distinct pieces, racial and religious.)

(5)  Both Trump and Sanders supporters are rejecting the elite “market liberalism” that gained dominance in the late 20th century.