Random links

Regulation and Distrust
"regulation is greater in societies where people do not trust one another. ... causality flows both ways on the regulation-distrust nexus. Distrust makes people turn to government but in a society with a lot of distrust government is often corrupt and this makes people distrust even more."
Three labs just failed to replicate the finding that a quick read of literary fiction boosts your empathy
And the failed replications keep on coming. I'd guess my reading has been probably about 80% non-fiction, 20% pulp fiction - very little literary fiction.
The economics of faith: using an apocalyptic prophecy to elicit religious beliefs in the field
An odd yet interesting study. By using members of a cult predicting a certain fixed date for the end of the world as a study population, the results of the members change in willingness to bet on outcomes before/after the hypothesized end of the world seems to demonstrate that the group's beliefs were indeed sincere.
This guy lost 47 pounds in 9 months by pretending to be a wizard
Would a workout inspired by something like Lord of the Rings make you more likely to work out? (It's a niche demographic I guess, so probable sensible to be less concerned about any that this might repel).