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orbat  ·  60 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.
ilex  ·  57 days ago  ·  link  ·  

While it's certainly true that there is some level of correlation between conservatism and intelligence, the picture is certainly more complicated:

1) measures of intelligence are all flawed and some are very much so. See all the work done debunking that aspect of "race realism"/"scientific racism". I'd be inclined to say that these studies overstate the relationship.

2) this relationship doesn't explain everything -- there are plenty of unintelligent liberal/left folks and plenty of very smart conservatives. Also, plenty of intelligent liberals who hold bigoted views! It's honestly very comforting to think that better education will solve these kinds of problems -- and it certainly will help -- but there's more to it than that.

3) You don't have to be smart to be powerful, and dismissing conservatives as unintelligent ignores how much power they hold over marginalized folks.

I'm not quite critical of the studies you posted -- or the relationship between conservatism and intelligence -- as I am of conclusions people are fond of drawing from those results. Not trying to say you're wrong; just trying to add some context around what you said!

orbat  ·  57 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.

kleinbl00  ·  57 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I wonder what the repercussions of US starting an all-out war with Iran would be

- Beirut barracks bombing of 1982

- Kidnapping of CIA station chief William Buckley

- Proliferation of Hamas, Hezbollah and other Iranian-funded proxies throughout south Asia

People ask "what's our beef with Iran anyway" and the answer is that as soon as they decided they were independent and kicked the British out, we installed a puppet regime. And then when the Iranians kicked out that puppet regime, they took advantage of our lack of useful intelligence in the region to kick our asses in proxy battles for about a decade and a half. And while the US is great at flying drones overhead 24-7 and pissing off the populace of entire nations at a time, Iran is great at giving those pissed-off populaces a mission and enough money and weapons to carry it out.

applewood  ·  57 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Has anyone here run into any honest analyses?

A few years back, during the early days of Trump's presidency, the issue came up and the general sentiment was that Iran was too big geographically, too rich, and too well armed to make things easy. So I'd pretty much doubt anyone saying that a conflict with them would be a cinch.

    I wonder what the repercussions of US starting an all-out war with Iran would be.

The same repercussions for any war. Death, for starters. Also, the destruction of infrastructure and the ruining of a regional economy, as well as the risk of further destabilizing an already unstable part of the world. There's the disruption of lives through the creation of poverty, displacement, and social distress. Hunger and disease will spread, as will fear, resentment, and hatred. People will suffer and that suffering will linger, sometimes for lifetimes, and it will take significantly more effort to set things right again than it would ever take to keep things from going sideways to begin with and we'll all have to live with the fact that some damage caused can never, ever be undone.

The first question we should always ask when it comes to war is "What do we know, without any doubt, what will happen if we let war breakout?" The answer always is, "Guaranteed misery."

kingmudsy  ·  57 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My guess is that a war with the sovereign nation of Iran would be different than a war against guerilla fighters. It feels like having clear military targets would, at the very least, compress the timeline a bit compared to wars against the Taliban/Al Queda/ISIS.

I'm obviously no expert, but a clear goal of "Get this nation's government to capitulate" would probably be more doable. Who knows, though

orbat  ·  181 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature’

I'm honestly not sure there's much hope of humanity collectively looking in the mirror and really try to fix this. It'd require drastic and far-reaching changes more or less now if we want to stick to the "1.5C" handwavy goal we've been globally discussing. And it's not just about insects, it's everything; ocean acidification, overfishing, logging, mining, meat production, electronics production, energy production methods and so on.

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)

kleinbl00  ·  71 days ago  ·  link  ·  

From a larceny standpoint they didn't screw anything up - they take your money and keep it. As a tax it's fine. As an incentive to recycle, closing down the places you can get your deposit back limits the incentive to hold onto your bottles.

It doesn't help that Waste Management, the company that gets the recycling contract, is mafia-owned.

orbat  ·  109 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)

KapteinB  ·  109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There used to be a Firefox extension named BATify that added BAT micropaymtes to Firefox, but it appears to have been discontinued. The GitHub repo is still up though, so maybe someone will continue development of it. I'm not very fond of the idea of abandoning Firefox either. Let's fight that windmill together!

orbat  ·  110 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.

kleinbl00  ·  110 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm no economist, either. What I will say is that neoliberal hit pieces must outnumber honest reflections at least 50:1 because I've probably read 50 articles hating on MMT and not a single one in its defense. Like I said - the pundits are losing their shit more than they did over Bitcoin.

Venezuela's problems have a lot more to do with cronyism than economics; when you fire everyone who knows how to do something and hire someone who's loyal, you end up with a bunch of loyalists who don't know how to accomplish anything. The Soviet Union had similar issues where one's predictability and loyalty to the party had more impact on one's hiring than one's ability to actually, you know, do the job. The printing of currency is more of an effect than a cause. It's not like Venezuela started printing money because things were fine.

What entertains me is the exact same pundits who think MMT is anthrax lollipops or some shit are totally 100% AOK with "inflating away the debt" or "declaring a debt jubilee." After all, Argentina did this and things are fine now. Just fine. Meanwhile they're mostly white Republicans in their 60s who sorta go "yeah you know fixed income? It's kinda fucked. And since I make so much more money than I'll ever get out of social security, let's just flush that shit. Inflate it away. Solve the pension problem by making a dollar worth a fifth of a dollar. Then our imports will be great there will be lots of foreign investment and all the old people will be dead sooner rather than later because they won't be able to afford cat food and things will be fine. But say "modern monetary theory" and suddenly they're clutching their pearls about Venezuela.

Forbes is apparently kinda serious about a reasonable discussion of MMT. I don't see any real differences between MMT and FDR's New Deal. If people need jobs, make work. End of story. The problem I see is that economies were a lot less entangled back then and a domestic make-work project is very different from injecting cash into the economy, which is about the only prism Republicans can see monetary theory through.

I mostly linked to the article because of the observation that whenever the currency is manipulated, those closest to the manipulation benefit while those furthest away tend to get fucked. Wage inflation is going to clobber everyone who can't work, and the 'boomers are in the process of retiring, thanks much.

orbat  ·  110 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The sound of Martian wind.

It just blows my mind that I'm actually listening to the wind on another planet. I just love stuff like this, it somehow gives me perspective, if that makes any sense. Also why I enjoy pictures like this

orbat  ·  110 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Drug Distributor And Former Execs Face First Criminal Charges In Opioid Crisis

Interesting. I wonder if corporate responsibility is starting to catch on in the US as well? I'm sort of hoping that the global neoliberal fever dream has seen its zenith

orbat  ·  110 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Brave browser launches ads that reward users for viewing

You know, I'm not all that enthusiastic about the idea of "advertising" Hubski on reddit. That place is an absolute cesspool, and I'd rather not have spillover

    Some people better go to jail for this one.

Even if that does happen (and I'm not exactly convinced it will), they'll likely throw some mid-level engineering manager under the bus, somewhat similarly to what happened with VW (although one of their execs did eventually get jail time as well.)

orbat  ·  121 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 40: A Colder War Discussion

    I had some hard time getting through the beginning : I don't like 20 minutes into the future setting.

    And having famous president (and Saddam!) making an appearance, dont help with immersion. At least, we dont see a "Megacomputer with more than 500 Mo of memory!" , that tend to appear in those settings written 20year ago.

The story's not based in the future, though: it's an alternate history version of the 60's – 80's, which is also why Saddam or "old man Ruhollah" et al make appearances. Why'd period-accurate politicians break your immersion?

ooli  ·  121 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Because If a read sci-fi, and it talk about Kennedy, and Saddam, it doesn't quite feel like a fiction anymore... But as I said, I dont like all those alternate reality setting (or it's just the use of famous figure that despise me) nothing specific with these one, just personal taste

I like my sci-fi being out there. And I like my James Ellroy books set in the 60' joking about the Kennedy.. I'm a simple mind

orbat  ·  123 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 40: A Colder War

I know that feeling (I'll give you a guess as to where I got this nick from.) I originally read it in Dozois' yearly anthology around 2000-ish, and it's definitely one of my all-time favorite short stories. I love the "banality of evil" feeling it has to it, plus I like that it's more serious in tone than the Laundry Files books, makes it more, uh, effective somehow.


The description of the Nazi Moon base in the dead parallel universe really had the same sort of despondent and slightly terrifying feeling to it, so there's parallels there

orbat  ·  337 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

I'm frankly somewhat convinced we're going to see multiple authoritarian dictatorships in Europe in the coming decades. Poland and Hungary are already fairly far down that path, Germany has AfD gaining popularity, hard-right parties are gaining popularity in all the Nordics, and similar stuff's happening down South as well.

Here in Finland our nationalist right-wing party just had an internal schism due to the original leadership not being racist enough, we spawned the whole Soldiers of Odin shit, national socialist "resistance movements" are gaining popularity and so on.

orbat  ·  555 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cloverfield Paradox. A review in the form of questions.

I watched about half; I'm never getting that 50min of my life back. This has to honestly be one of the worst movies I've seen, and that's saying a lot considering Battlefield Earth exists. It's like the plot is so fantastically stupid just so people can feel smart watching it.

And I'm not necessarily all that discerning: I thought Soldier was great.

orbat  ·  142 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 27th Quotes Thread - OB finally gets around to reading The Laundry

Have you or johnnyFive read A Colder War, the novelette that seems to have started Stross down the path to the Laundry Files? I can heartily recommend checking it out; it's much darker in tone, and I frankly like it much more than the Laundry Files series (although I really did like the first couple of books.) A Colder War is definitely one of my favorite short stories.

(As a side note, the version of the novelette that's in one of the yearly scifi anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois is slightly better than the one I linked to

johnnyFive  ·  141 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh cool. I haven't read this, but am excited to now!

OftenBen  ·  142 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mama mia, that was something else.

Definitely Laundry-Like.

Thanks for the recommendation!

zebra2 I would even go so far as to recommend this for sci-fi club.

zebra2  ·  141 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Totally down to make this the next one. Thanks both of you!