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orbat's profile

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orbat's recent comments, posts, and shares:

The climate pooch is so thoroughly screwed that I'm glad to be 40; I may not have to see the worst of what's likely coming up. It's no wonder just about everyone I know who's my age or younger has some level of climate anxiety. I personally feel pretty hopeless about our chances: we're just smart enough to be able to fuck things up at scale, but not smart enough to do anything about it once it's become apparent

orbat  ·  52 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: United by feelings

This subject is really endlessly fascinating. Peoples' propensity towards thinking that rationality and emotion are somehow separate, that emotions are something that need to be suppressed because they make you less rational is something of a pet peeve of mine, so this ties into that in interesting ways

orbat  ·  123 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump Approves [Missile] Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

I wonder what the repercussions of US starting an all-out war with Iran would be. All the newspaper/magazine articles analysing a potential US-Iran war I've seen have been in either American or Israeli media, and they don't seem to be very objective to say the least. Many acknowledge that Iran would not want to fight a symmetrical war, but all of them have concluded that the US would have "no trouble" winning any conflict with Iran.

Considering that the US is still stuck in the omnifucks that are the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and how much less developed they are when compared to Iran, I'm not exactly convinced. Has anyone here run into any honest analyses? I'd love ("love") to read some.

orbat  ·  126 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The magical thinking of guys who love logic

Well, I mean…

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact

    Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

Cognitive ability, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation: a five-year longitudinal study amongst adolescents

    We report longitudinal data in which we assessed the relationships between intelligence and support for two constructs that shape ideological frameworks, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). Participants (N = 375) were assessed in Grade 7 and again in Grade 12. Verbal and numerical ability were assessed when students entered high school in Grade 7. RWA and SDO were assessed before school graduation in Grade 12. After controlling for the possible confounding effects of personality and religious values in Grade 12, RWA was predicted by low g (β = -.16) and low verbal intelligence (β = -.18). SDO was predicted by low verbal intelligence only (β = -.13). These results are discussed with reference to the role of verbal intelligence in predicting support for such ideological frameworks and some comments are offered regarding the cognitive distinctions between RWA and SDO.

Conservatism and cognitive ability

    Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.

Wait, how did they manage to screw up bottle deposits? Us Europeans have been doing those for ages and they seem to work fine. Here in Finland all glass and plastic beverage bottles have deposits, so the recycling rate is really high (and we actually recycle them, not just offload them to some poorer country)

orbat  ·  175 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Credit card donations don't seem to work

Roger that! I'll take a look at Brave. I actually do have the browser installed, I just don't use it all that much and tend to favor Firefox (I don't like the near-monopoly that Chromium/Webkit have. Fighting windmills, but at least it's my windmill)

orbat  ·  176 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Modern Monetary Theory in Revolutionary France

I'm absolutely no economist and I only have a passing familiarity with MMT, but this really does seem more like a neoliberal hit piece than an honest reflection on what MMT's downsides are, right down to the Santa Claus analogy and the example countries. Soooo, I went digging around a bit, and found this article that takes an opposing viewpoint. I'll just paste a relevant section here:

    Venezuela’s problems are not the result of the government issuing money and using it to hire people to build infrastructure, provide essential services and expand economic development. If it were, unemployment would not be at 33 percent and climbing. Venezuela has a problem the U.S. does not, and will never have: It owes massive debts in a currency it cannot print itself, namely, U.S. dollars. When oil (its principal resource) was booming, Venezuela was able to meet its repayment schedule. But when the price of oil plummeted, the government was reduced to printing Venezuelan bolivars and selling them for U.S. dollars on international currency exchanges. As speculators drove up the price of dollars, more and more printing was required by the government, massively deflating the national currency.

    It was the same problem suffered by Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe, the two classic examples of hyperinflation typically raised to silence proponents of government expansion of the money supply before Venezuela suffered the same fate. Professor Michael Hudson, an actual economic rock star who supports MMT principles, has studied the hyperinflation question extensively. He confirms that those disasters were not due to governments issuing money to stimulate the economy. Rather, he writes, “Every hyperinflation in history has been caused by foreign debt service collapsing the exchange rate. The problem almost always has resulted from wartime foreign currency strains, not domestic spending.”

"Rock star" monikers aside, this does make sense.