Other people think like you

I've been talking a lot lately about how other people often don't think like you. What I wanted to emphasize here instead are ways in which other people probably do think like you but which are often underestimated. Here are two examples:

Random links

Cheap illumination’s benefits in remote areas may be limited
"When it came to social benefits from the use of solar power, though, Dr Aklin and his colleagues found little or no evidence of their existence. People did not work longer hours, did not start new businesses and did not study more."
On Leaving the SJW Cult and Finding Myself
"How easy is it for ordinary humans to commit atrocious acts? History teaches us it’s pretty damn easy when you are blinded to your own hypocrisy. When you believe you are morally superior, when you have dehumanized those you disagree with, you can justify almost anything."
The Politics of the Gene: Social Status and Beliefs about Genetics for Individual Outcomes
"Contrary to expectations, however, we find little evidence that it is more common for whites, the socioeconomically advantaged, or political conservatives to believe that genetics are important for health and social outcomes."

An Indian-American philosopher on not quite fitting in

I found this interview with Bharath Vallabha at Free Range Philosophers rather interesting. The following section of it stuck out to me (highlights mine):

The professors as people were nice, but they were generally complicit in the deeply ingrained institutional arrogance of academia. It was as if my father as both a non-academic and an Indian philosopher had to bow to them without debate, as if debate itself – a rational dialogue – was only possible from within the Western texts I was being taught in classes.

Often in philosophy classes I would sit in the back rows, or in the corner in seminar rooms. During classes or talks I hesitated to speak out, unsure of how to participate. When I did participate, there was often a kind of frantic, desperate energy to talk about many things at once. All this my professors seemed to chalk up to my “personality”: that I could be withdrawn, combative, not fully at ease. But it was not a matter of personality, but of institutional structures. I was always trying to connect the philosophy I was doing at home with the philosophy in the classrooms, and in this the professors were no help at all. They were giving an ultimatum at every turn: our way or the highway. Most of the time in my classes I was trying to figure out how to respond to that ultimatum.

It seems to me that a lot of this parallels the rhetoric around political correctness, wherein certain activist academics insist that things can only be spoken about one certain way (with a lot of their most-vocal opponents doing the same but from the opposite side of the political spectrum).

I think that the pressures from such groups also lend themselves to the style of very verbose communication when aiming to speak out about sensitive topics - i.e. When I did participate, there was often a kind of frantic, desperate energy to talk about many things at once - as often the most sane positions require a lot of nuance. This, and my belief in inattentional blindness, are two of the key reasons why I look at denunciations of various forms of -splaining to be one of the most toxic movements in politics of the past few decades.

It feels like it's been a running refrain around here the past while but once again: not everyone thinks like you.

More random links

Wipe or Wash? Do Bidets Save Forest and Water Resources?
"those who say that bidets waste water, advocates counter that the amount is trivial compared to how much water we use to produce toilet paper in the first place. ... the amount of water used by a typical bidet is about 1/8th of a gallon, with the average toilet using about four gallons per flush. ... making a single roll of toilet paper requires 37 gallons of water"
Do Jobs Follow People or Do People Follow Jobs?
"When it comes to the entire economy, it seems, people follow jobs, not the other way around. ... But when it comes to high-paying knowledge, professional, and creative jobs—the ones that drive the economy and innovation—the opposite is true: Jobs follow people."
Uber Is Using AI to Charge People as Much as Possible for a Ride
Shouldn't be too surprising - the only question seems to be what if anything could or should be done about this.


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