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Stuff I Found Interesting in June
1) An article making the case that we all need to stop talking about imposter syndrome [paywalled, FT]:
This misnomer is part of a wider trend that too often pathologises what are very normal human feelings. As Clance told social psychologist Amy Cuddy during the latter’s book research: “If I could do it all over again, I would call it the imposter experience, because it’s not a syndrome or a complex or a mental illness, it’s something almost everyone experiences.”
2) A nice piece on ‘Beneficentrism’, the view that it’s really important to help others.
3) This conversation on the % chance that a random person could win an election against the President was fairly interesting.
4) From MR:
Estimates from the Minnesota Twin Study show that sociopolitical conservatism is extraordinarily heritable (74%) for the most informed fifth of the public – much more so than population-level results (57%) – but with much lower heritability (29%) for the public’s bottom half.
Here is the research article by Nathan P. Kalmoe and Martin Johnson. The reference is from Matt Yglesias, and one possibility is that you are born with inherited values, but you need to be educated to learn where those values ought to put you on the political spectrum.
5) People who read Scott Alexander are disproportionately first-born children (link):
6) This discussion on Veganism on the EA Forum was fairly interesting.
7) Interesting paper - apparently FPTP leads to more pro-immigration policies than PR, because politicians can concentrate the gains from immigration in marginal constituencies:
To be reappointed, the policymaker must distribute the compensation. With respect to proportional systems, plurality systems make it possible to compensate only a few decisive districts and leave after-compensation rents higher, therefore producing higher immigration.
8) Zvi’s review of Talent.
9) Interview with Srinivasan in the FT [Paywalled]:
Srinivasan hopes that “the space for more complex and subtle conversations” may open up as the rights of trans people become less precarious. She makes an analogy with gay rights. In 2012, Sex and the City actor Cynthia Nixon was criticised for saying that being gay was a choice. “It felt like she was giving succour to a homophobic rightwing. But she could say, and many gay and lesbian people do say, things like that now. They want to have much more complex conversations.”
10) The effects of cash + Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seem to be remarkably durable, see here.
11) Many people here are likely aware that giving up eating small animals and the products they produce does much more to prevent animal suffering than giving up eating large animals and their products, but this table from Tomasik’s website makes that very apparent:
So, if you want to reduce the amount of animal suffering you cause, give up eggs and chicken rather than dairy and beef.
12) Are pay toilets good?
13) Interesting study that suggests that going to university (at least in the UK), actually makes you more economically right-wing:
14) I’ve been enjoying Chris Freiman’s posts on Bryan Caplan’s Substack recently.
15) Successful people are also happy and well-adjusted, from MR:
Study 1 tested this hypothesis in three cohorts of 1,826 high-potential, intellectually gifted individuals. Participants with exceptionally successful careers were compared with those of their gender-equivalent intellectual peers with more typical careers on well-known measures of psychological well-being, flourishing, core self-evaluations, and medical maladies.
16) It occurs to me that some of you may not have read this classic piece on ‘Cheems Mindset’, automatically dismissing an idea on the basis that it cannot be done, or would be hard to do.
Instead of reading a chapter a day, where you can’t consolidate the points made in the book due to the distractions of everyday life and the drawn out period of absorption, spend two weeks every few months on a reading retreat. You’ll go through a book a day, and you’ll spend your free time thinking about what you read, allowing you connect all the ideas in the books you’re reading.
18) Here’s Tyler on why you should be rooting for Boris Johnson (I disagree).
19) Nuno Sempere on OpenPhil’s bad bet on criminal justice reform.
20) I liked the movie Hustle on Netflix. If you like basketball or you liked Uncut Gems or you like sports movies in general, give it a try.
21) The worst person you know just had an article written about him in The Guardian:
“He told me not to worry, but that I should google the phrase ‘the worst person you know’,” said García. “I put it in and there I was, everywhere. I scrolled down and it was my face, my face, my face. I thought what is going on?”
22) Paul Simon performing with his near look-alike brother:
23) Are lots of homophobes secretly gay? Stuart Ritchie investigates.
24) More on Veganism - MacAskill on beef and eggs:
If you crunch the numbers on amount of harm done per meal, or per calorie consumed, then by far the strongest argument is to cut out chicken, then (non-free range) eggs, then pork. The argument for cutting out beef, and especially the argument for cutting out milk, is much, much weaker.
Again, eat fewer eggs if you can!
25) Stephen Bush making the case for direct cash transfers in the FT [Paywalled].
26) I still love this old Sam Kriss review of DSM-5:
Here, we have an entire book, something that purports to be a kind of encyclopedia of madness, a Library of Babel for the mind, containing everything that can possibly be wrong with a human being.
27) Owen Jones talks to Peter Hitchens:
28) I enjoyed Erik Hoel’s post on the growth of Substack.
29) The Wikipedia page for Elaine Herzberg, the woman killed by a self-driving car.
30) In the UK, people now say that social class is primarily determined by economic factors rather than cultural factors - from the New Statesman:
31) Nick Whitaker’s post on Tyler Cowen’s ‘lamplight model’ of talent curation.
32) Saloni Dattani’s new Substack covering new scientific research looks like it’s going to be great!
33) I’m pretty sure I linked to this video about Nasubi in one of the first links posts I did, but I watched it again this month so figured I would throw it in the round-up again. Nasubi is a Japanese guy who lived alone and had his life streamed on live television for months:
34) Should kids start school later than they do? I haven’t read the studies here so maybe someone should read them for me and tell me if they’re convincing:
35) Interesting piece in The Times (paywalled) on the women who left her husband for Martin Shkreli.