Collection of papers and articles that I’ve spotted since my previous links post (in November) that seem interesting.
- Working paper: Political party in power in the US has no effect on individual well-being.
- Are cultural and economic conservatism correlated? The usual story is that people naturally sort into conservative (morally traditional free marketeers) and progressives (morally progressive interventionists). This paper shows this is not true, the opposite is more usually the case.
Accounting for waiting lists, publicly funded healthcare is more expensie than it seems.
Banking deregulation is not bad, a historical perspective
Why societies cooperate. Nothing new if one has read Garett Jones.
- Why smart people make stupid arguments in the context of politics. One new reason is that we overestimate how gullible people are, even in fact we are not very gullible. So it's not hard to believe that others believe weird stuff that sounds preposterous to one.
- Study claims that the negative relations between religiosity and a range of cognitive metrics are not due to reduced general intelligence (That effect exists, but is small). Instead, it is due to biased reasoning.
- Contrary to predictions, musical understanding (What a song is used for, perceived complexity, etc) seems to be a human universal.
- Human beings are animals, but are special animals. A recent example: thinking about the far future and how to change it is a uniquely human ability.
- Even after knowing that experts (in an experiment) don't do better than random, people still trust experts. This is explained by confirmation bias and prior beliefs about experts.
- Brain synapses change more than previously thought, and they seem to do so randomly, not in response to any given signal. Is the brain engaging in a form of biological dropout?
- Systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on sex differences in children's toy preferences.
- Transfer learning - learning about X and using those skills in unrelated field Y - doesn't seem to work that well, as noted by Bryan Caplan in his last book.
- Evolutionary psychology: A how to guide
- Morality is about cooperation, say some. It is not, say others.
- Should peer reviewed be abolished?
- Minarchism on seasteads
- Machine translation still has some improvements to do
Comments from WordPress
- Georgian 2018-02-04T23:36:18Z
RE: Morality as Cooperation
My big beef with the moral philosophers is that they have not figured out morality much in the last 100 years let alone half century. As you've previously pointed out by asking where are all the Rawlsians? The study of morality is IMO immensely impoverished by artificially restricting morality as something that only reason can discover and support. As has been the case traditionally (for a modern example see Sam Harris' attempt). Nearly all of the interesting action in the morality space is being produced at the edges of psychology, sociology, anthropology and game theory/evolutionary dynamics.
My favorite leading theory in these directions is from Oliver Scott Curry: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281585949_Morality_as_Cooperation_A_Problem-Centred_Approach
I'm currently writing an article along these lines.
- Artir 2018-02-05T22:40:53Z
Thank you for your comment.
On the moral philosophers, I would not have such a big beef with moral philosophers! Moral philosophy can exist together with moral psychology, they deal with completely separate questions.
On Oliver S. Curry's proposal, I read about it a while ago, but there are some things that seem central to morality that don't seem to fit with the schema:
*Donations to overseas recipients (That will never reciprocate). These are widely regarded as good, yet they are not a form of cooperation unless one defines cooperation as any other-interests-promoting activities.
*The anticooperative act of war that is declaring war of Nazi germany is generally thought of as a bad thing
- Some moral philosophies -virtue ethics- and religions judge things as good/bad that don't have to do with interpersonal relations (e.g. prohibitions on masturbation, or a duty to excel and maintain health, etc)
*Stopping a criminal from committing a crime is seen as good. Helping him is seen as bad.
Yet I concede that the theory seems compelling. The reason for this is that is that if one limits morality to interpersonal relations, and one looks only for social situations (excluding the overseas donation case) and one has in mind cooperation in a virtuous sense (e.g. a bunch of mobsters cooperating is a bad thing), then almost by tautology it follows that morality is cooperation. But that's not an interesting result.
Please keep me informed when you post your article, I'll read it!
- Rational Feed – deluks917 2018-02-04T14:44:15Z
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