Collection of papers and articles that I’ve spotted since my previous links post that seem interesting.
- Nazis as animal welfare pioneers
- Why is pain associated with negative stimuli and pleasure with positive stimuli and not viceversa?
- Is there a universal morality? (Head essay and commentaries)
- More female classmates in school -> Less likely for them to enter STEM fields
- In an Australian sample, high IQ reduces homophobia. This effect is partially mediated by education.
- Impediments to Effective Altruism
- What do you mean what does it all mean?
- Steven Pinker sayid (over a decade ago) that “Ashkenazi Jew have higher IQ than other populations” remains an unproven hypothesis.
- Tyler Cowen debates Amitabh Chandra on healthcare
- Emil Kirkegaard reviews Cognitive Capitalism
- Diane Coyle reviews Radical Markets
CS and AI
- Piketty’s new paper Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right
- He claims leftism is the ideology of the intellectual elite, rightism is the ideology of the merchant elite. Some evidence also in favour of the “realignment” thesis, whereby the nativism vs globalism dimension becomes more salient and polarising, replacing the old left-right axis.
The “sex redistribution” question has gotten internet on fire, after Robin Hanson made some remarks regarding redistributing sex towards sex-deprived individuals (“incels”). Internet’s reaction was quite predictable, an uninteresting. More interesting is seeing this as one more case in the general trend that is people’s rationality going out the window around certain topics that are emotionally charged for them.
When writing, there is a tradeoff to be made between being socially acceptable and saying what you think. In private and among openminded peers, the first concern is not an issue, but in open fora the fear of loss of social reputation can stiffle discussion. Hanson is a tenured professor so he doesn’t really have to worry, but those that are not so shield from public outrage have to think twice about how to say what they say. Being known as “that sexist creepy dude” could conceivably even hamper one’s own career prospects, even when one harbours anything resembling sexist beliefs.
I don’t think there is a solution to this. Feelers gonna feel, so we would probably see the discussion of unusual ideas moving away from public view and into anonymous blogs and private Slack group chats, and we will perhaps also see the rise of some sort of shibboleth to identify in public if someone else is the sort of person with whom you can talk openly, or if on the contrary you have to stick to the mandated canon.
But sex redistribution as an abstract hypothetical is not spicy enough for Nintil, so let’s talk about taking your kidneys and giving them to the kidneyless.
It is my view that relatively widespread moral views – that lead to endorsing income redistribution – do not obviously end where the body begins. Rawlsians should be particularly worried, and likewise for all those that hold the view that “That which is not deserved can be redistributed away unproblematically”. We do not deserve our friends either, should we redistribute friends?
Recently, moral philosopher Cécile Fabre actually made the case -not just mused around- that income redistribution does indeed imply, in that case, organ redistribution. Eric Mack, her opponent in the debate sees this as a reductio of the arguments for income redistribution.