Random links

Self-defense Policy, Justified Homicides, and Race
"the implementation of Stand Your Ground policies lead to an average of 2.75 additional black Alleged Perpetrators of Crimes being killed each month, 2.39 of whom are killed by black citizens. Additionally, I find 0.5 additional white Alleged Perpetrators are killed each month, 0.49 of whom are killed by white citizens."
Scared About North Korea? You Aren't Scared Enough
"I don’t think the North Koreans are going to deliberately start a nuclear war, but I think they might use those weapons if they thought a war was coming and they needed to get a jump on the U.S. and South Korea. And, despite the poor track record of decapitation strikes, the idea really frightens the North Koreans. But instead of making them behave, I suspect it will lead them to do things that I really don’t like, such as releasing nuclear weapons to lower level missile units."
Support for redistribution is shaped by compassion, envy, and self-interest, but not a taste for fairness
"Endorsement of redistribution is independently predicted by dispositional compassion, dispositional envy, and the expectation of personal gain from redistribution. By contrast, a taste for fairness, in the sense of (i) universality in the application of laws and standards, or (ii) low variance in group-level payoffs, fails to predict attitudes about redistribution."

Why might people not believe your tales of tragedy?

Made me think back to Telegraph revealed Nazi gas chambers three years before liberation of Auschwitz:

It was under the headline “Germans murder 700,000 Jews in Poland”, that this newspaper reported the 'greatest massacre in the world’s history' on June 25, 1942. ... Zygielbojm succeeded in revealing the mass murder of Jews. But he was dismayed by the lack of public reaction. ... The Telegraph chose to report the “greatest massacre in the world’s history” on page five of a six-page newspaper. Zygielbojm’s informants were taking immense risks and their reports were meticulously accurate, yet he often encountered indifference, disbelief or even suspicion.

There you had reports of the extermination of 700,000 amidst an environment of wartime propaganda that would seem likely to make people more skeptical of reports1. If you wonder how people might have managed to disregard this, consider the Iraqi case where many fell for reports of the death of half a million children which, if this later analysis is correct, never actually happened.

  1. I think that people also underestimate the level of antisemitism in their societies at the time ... and perhaps how much of that continues to exist today. ↩︎

Random links

Risk taking and information aggregation in groups
"We find that a considerable number of subjects exhibit ‘reverse confirmation bias’: they place less weight on information from others that agrees with their private signal and more weight on conflicting information."
Is 7nm The Last Major Node?
"Fabless chipmakers, in particular, are cautious about adopting expensive new tooling and methodologies because there are fewer high-volume market opportunities at leading-edge nodes. System vendors such as Apple and Samsung have begun building their own chips for mobile phones, and Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have begun designing their own chips for the cloud. The net effect is there are fewer high-volume markets available to recoup development costs for anyone else."
Efforts to Rescue Migrants Caused Deadly, Unexpected Consequences
"Strategies to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and disrupt smuggling networks have had deadly, unexpected consequences, according to aid groups monitoring the crisis. It is part of a wrenching Catch-22: Any effort to lessen the migrant crisis can backfire as smuggling networks devise even more dangerous strategies in response."

Setting time aside for reading

Ponder the following paragraph from The death of reading is threatening the soul:

at an average reading speed of 400 words per minute, it would take 417 hours in a year to read 200 books—less than the 608 hours the average American spends on social media, or the 1,642 hours watching TV. “Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books,” says Quartz: “It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part—the part we all ignore—is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important.” Willpower alone is not enough, he says. We need to construct what he calls “a fortress of habits.”


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