I’ll be at NatCon in London this week (May 15-17). Really looking forward to this event. If you’re around and see me, feel free to come say hi.
From the archives:
I watched a lot of TV as a kid—this inadvertently taught me a lot about social class in America.
Links and recommendations:
The Reformers, a fascinating new documentary series by Mike Nayna about how ideologies born in universities have changed the broader cultural landscape
Incredible Shrinking Men by Mary Harrington
Schopenhauer for Millennials by Ted Gioia
Interracial Crime and “Perspective” by Richard Hanania
Beware a Culture of Busyness by Adam Waltz
Homeless at Christmas by Vince Evans
Follow me on Instagram here. The platform is less volatile and more chill than Twitter, so I post some spicier excerpts from my readings on my IG stories
Three interesting findings:
1. Percentage of U.S. adults who support a photo ID requirement to vote (source):
Non-college graduates: 85%
College graduates: 69%
Income less than $50K: 81%
Income more than $100K: 76%
2. People who increased their quantity of sleep over a four-year period got the equivalent happiness increase as they would have from 8 weeks of therapy, or from winning up to $280,000 in a lottery. (source).
3. Childhood instability is associated with higher Dark Triad personality traits (psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism) in adulthood. Childhood instability is associated with lower Light Triad traits (faith in humanity, humanism, Kantianism—associated with trust, kindness, and integrity) in adulthood. Interestingly, childhood poverty had no association with either Dark Triad or Light Triad traits. (source). Being poor doesn't have the same effect as living in chaos.
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Two more Soviet-era prison jokes for you.
A prisoner turns to another and asks, "What are you in for?" "Twenty years, for murder. And you?" "Twenty years--for nothing." "You lie! For nothing they only give ten."
A prisoner asks a new arrival what he is in for. "For laziness." "Laziness? How so?" "My friend and I were up late drinking last weekend and we started telling jokes about Brezhnev. He got up early to denounce me to the police and I slept in. Like I said, laziness. He got there first."
As a charter member of the childhood-instability-but-not-poverty club, I'd like to point out that people overcompensate for the stuff they didn't have as children, both materially and psychologically. I discovered, then adopted deontology in order to compensate for the vicious utilitarianism of my upbringing; it turns out that playing utilitarian ethics against deontological ethics is like playing scissors against rock. Kantianism is more or less purpose-built for wrecking utilitarian arguments.
Also: Benzodiazepine withdrawal, which I've written about, deprives you of sleep. Three hours of sleep a night for a year is like filing for bankruptcy while being prosecuted for violations of the Espionage Act in terms of what it does to your happiness.
Great information, as always, and thought-provoking.