Random links

Mass–Elite Divides in Aversion to Social Change and Support for Donald Trump
"Aversion to social change is strongly predictive of support for Trump at the mass level, even among racial minorities. But attitudes are far more accepting of social change among elites than the public and aversion to social change is not a factor explaining elite Trump support."
Researchers are keeping pig brains alive outside the body
A step towards Futurama-style head jars?
Creativity at the Knowledge Frontier: The Impact of Specialization in Fast- and Slow-paced Domains
"the pace of change in a knowledge domain shapes the relative return from being a specialist or a generalist. We show that generalist scientists performed best when the pace of change was slower and their ability to draw from diverse knowledge domains was an advantage in the field, but specialists gained advantage when the pace of change increased and their deeper expertise allowed them to use new knowledge created at the knowledge frontier."

The shape of Democratic party

I came across this tweet recently:

It hints that appointing candidates from particular demographic groups might tone down the rhetoric somethwat. It also seems to be that this has a chance to better represent the position of non-white members of the Democratic party. Take a look at these figures:

I find it unsurprising that such individuals might weight relatively heavily the implications as to civil rights / racism when it comes to choosing who to vote for, but in a strange way is seem to suggest a dependency on the existence of racism in order to push forward a particular political agenda. In a sense for a particular subset of the democratic party there seems to be some fairly strong incentives to appear to challenge racism while simultaneously there exist some incentives to ensure that racism actually isn't dealt with. Call me overly cynical if you wish, but I wonder if this might be a semi-reasonable (if not particularly positive) explanation for some of the strategies deployed which seem to have a high likelihood of backfiring.

Random links

The CSI Effect
"The CSI effect posits that exposure to television programs that portray forensic science (e.g., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) can change the way jurors evaluate forensic evidence. ... while legal actors do see the CSI effect as a serious issue, there is virtually no empirical evidence suggesting it is a real phenomenon. Moreover, many of the remedies employed by courts may do no more than introduce bias into juror decision-making or even trigger the CSI effect when it would not normally occur." (via Andrew Gelman
Increased frequency of travel may act to decrease the chance of a global pandemic
Would be nice if this is the case.
Economic Growth from Octavian to Obama
"To get a sense of how recent and unprecedented the Age of Abundance is, consider France. In AD 1, GDP per person in the Roman province of Gaul was $1,050 – and that’s where it remained for the next 13 (yes, thirteen) centuries. During the first half of the 14th century, however, French incomes rose by some 50 percent, reaching a high of $1,553 in 1355."

When should you trust your gut?

It reminded me of the following chunk of the book Superforecasting on how the lack of immediate feedback can lead to overconfidence for police office in their ability to question suspects:

Effective practice also needs to be accompanied by clear and timely feedback. My research collaborator Don Moore points out that police officers spend a lot of time figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying, but research has found they aren’t nearly as good at it as they think they are and they tend not to get better with experience. That’s because experience isn’t enough. It must be accompanied by clear feedback.

When an officer decides that a suspect is or isn’t lying, the officer doesn’t get immediate feedback about the accuracy of her guess (like the suspect saying, “You’re right! I was lying!”). Instead, events proceed. Charges may be laid, a trial held, and a verdict delivered, or there may be a plea bargain down the road. But this can take months or years, and even when there is a resolution, a huge range of factors could have gone into it. So an officer seldom gets clear feedback that tells her, yes, her judgment was right, or no, it was wrong. Predictably, psychologists who test police officers’ ability to spot lies in a controlled setting find a big gap between their confidence and their skill. And that gap grows as officers become more experienced and they assume, not unreasonably, that their experience has made them better lie detectors. As a result, officers grow confident faster than they grow accurate, meaning they grow increasingly overconfident.

Looking at it again I was mildly amused that female pronouns were used in the paragraph above. I've been kind of meaning to write up something on how politically correct assertions re: gender differences don't seem to be fully aligned with the underlying research. The quote above at least gets into some of the situational elements that, regardless of a person's gender, can tend to produce overconfidence.


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