Vaguely interesting (Mar 25)

(1)  You know that cool thing about how oxytocin is a big deal in affiliation or approach behaviors or whatever? Yeah, ummm, that’s probably not a real thing. (There’s a blog post about it here.)

(2)  “Democratic lawmakers representing substantial black district populations are more opposed to restrictive voter ID laws, whereas Republican legislators with substantial black district populations are more supportive.”

(3)  “[The political] parties are increasingly divided on a growing range of issues that pit their less-educated, lower-income voters who feel left behind by the current political-economic system against their better-educated, higher-income voter who don’t want to mess too much with the status quo. … The demand for campaign money made the parties more dependent on wealthy donors, which made them less responsive to their voters.”

(4)  “[W]hile Christian women are on the whole more religious than Christian men, Muslim women and Muslim men have similar levels of religious commitment. And when it comes to attendance at worship services, Muslim men are more active than Muslim women.”

(5)  “The … Nixon White House … had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. … We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Vaguely interesting (Mar 16)

(1)  “[S]enators’ preferences reflect the preferences of the average donor better than any other group. … [S]enators’ preferences diverge dramatically from the preference of the average voter in their state. The degree of divergence is nearly as large as if voters were randomly assigned to a senator.”

(2)  “I’ve been coming to this conference, the Faith Angle Forum, for years. I’ve never seen anything like this mood. These people—evangelicals, Bible-believing reporters, conservative media stars—detest Trump.”

(3)  “Party realignment isn’t so much rare as it is glacial. Parties are constantly reorganizing themselves to build winning coalitions.”

(4)  Hispanic Republicans like Hillary more than Trump.

(5)  Most men want to legalize prostitution; most women want to keep it illegal.

Vaguely interesting (Mar 7)

(1)  “If there’s one takeaway from the ASA statement, it’s that p-values are … simply one piece of a puzzle that should be considered in the context of other evidence.”

(2)  “‘At this point we have to start over and say, This is Year One,’ says Inzlicht, referring not just to the sum total of ego depletion research, but to the entire field of social psychology.” (Kurzban has been pointing out for years now that ego depletion research doesn’t hold up.)

(3)  “As [evidence-based medicine] became more influential, it was also hijacked to serve agendas different from what it originally aimed for. Influential randomized trials are largely done by and for the benefit of the industry. Meta-analyses and guidelines have become a factory, mostly also serving vested interests. National and federal research funds are funneled almost exclusively to research with little relevance to health outcomes. We have supported the growth of principal investigators who excel primarily as managers absorbing more money. Diagnosis and prognosis research and efforts to individualize treatment have fueled recurrent spurious promises. Risk factor epidemiology has excelled in salami-sliced data-dredged papers with gift authorship and has become adept to dictating policy from spurious evidence. Under market pressure, clinical medicine has been transformed to finance-based medicine. In many places, medicine and health care are wasting societal resources and becoming a threat to human well-being. Science denialism and quacks are also flourishing and leading more people astray in their life choices, including health.”

(4)  “By making race and nationalism the text rather than the subtext of Republican politics, Trump threatens not only the party’s agenda but the self-conception of its intellectual class.”

(5)  “With the rise of Donald Trump, most of the media attention during this primary season has focused on the wide rifts within the Republican Party. But that’s obscured the extent to which the 2016 presidential primary is also exposing important divisions in the Democratic Party.”

Vaguely interesting (Mar 2)

(1) “[A]ll political coalitions in American politics have limited life spans. Issues and problems change. Demographics change. And both parties are locked in a perpetual struggle for an ephemeral majority …”

(2) “[W]hite Republican college graduates and white Republicans who do not have a degree [have] clear differences in their views on immigration, racial issues, politics and government, and business.”

(3) “The parties converged on a favorite candidate early in eight of nine contested nominations from 1980 to 2000, with that selected candidate winning all eight. Since then, in only two out of six races has the favored candidate won.”

(4) “[T]he average age of first-time mothers in 2014 was 26.3, up from 24.9 in 2000.”

(5) “Oklahoma’s middle-class, white Democrats changing party affiliation to vote for Trump could foreshadow what voters of comparable demographics in states like Michigan and Ohio might do.”