Yet another half-baked theory of the political spectrum

Most political theorising and philosophical discourse happens in the anglosphere. And the anglosphere is mostly, by numbers, the United States. It is no surprise that attempts at explaining political blocs are in one way or another USAcentric. Even in the academic literature, one can find such things as "economic conservatism", meaning "being in favour of less intervention of the government in the economy, lower taxation, etc". Those things are not conservative (in the sense of preservin…

Brief note on Catalonia

This Sunday, with some uncertainties, there will be a referendum for independence in Catalonia. It could potentially be the most important political event in decades. The angle I wanted to briefly touch on here is that of legality, and what the consequences of the referendum could be. The referendum, if their organises deliver on their promises, will mean a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain (UDI). The list of unilaterally declared independence is not long, most likely because it is very diff…

Why numbering should start at one

To understand his reasoning, I think it is important to keep in mind that Dijkstra was a mathematician and that these people have a very special/peculiar sense of aesthetics. Let me explain what I think Dijkstra did not like about b), c) and d). Assume you begin counting at 0, so the natural numbers are the set {0,1,2,3,...} and you want to denote the set {0,1}. If you go with b) you have to write -1 < i <= 1. Note that you have to use the number -1, which is not part of the natural numbers, to descr…

Stereotypes and discrimination against women in STEM

Yes, one more post about the Google memo. Here, I review the evidence that was put forward to support the idea that the gender gap in STEM participation (especially in engineering) is due to stereotypes and discrimination. Admittedly, I haven't discussed much this topic on my previous posts, as I have a strong prior against this hypothesis, and the evidence I have presented points to a strong role for biology (And there are other things I want to read and write about!). But if one thinks that the role of st…

Links (11)

Collection of papers and articles that I’ve spotted since my previous links post that seem interesting. Psychology Précis of Social Perception and Social Reality: Why accuracy dominates bias and self-fulfilling prophecy (Jussim, 2017) Stereotypes are more accurate than you think Reality causes stereotypes in general Sometime, stereotypes causes reality (a self-fulfilling propecy), but this tends to work in a good direction (Pygmalion effect types of things) Imagine of the results went the other way Reg…

Women in STEM: a cross-country view

In my previous articles about the Google memo, I mentioned repeatedly the existence of an international gap in the proportion of women in STEM education. Some people criticised this, citing examples of, for example, United Arab Emirates, India, or Saudi Arabia. I tried to answer some of those critiques in previous posts, but I gather from some reactions that it wasn't very convincing, and I admit it was disorganised. So here is a more structured exploration of that. The conclusion is still the same: Women a…