Friday, August 29, 2014

The Culture that is Germany: The compassion gap

This is a old, but thanks to Emily Skarbek, I just saw it and I love it.

Each of the Euro countries polled think that their own country is the most compassionate in the EU, but 6 out of the 8 can agree on the least compassionate country.

Take a bow Angela, you even edged out France as "most arrogant"!



Also kudos to the Poles for apparently not understanding the first question.


Is Kim Williams in bed with Big Vegan?

Well he's the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.

And he's a vegan.

So naturally, "some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,”"

Ah yes, he must be in the pocket of the notorious Big Vegan cartel!

Is this a great country or what?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dan Drezner's vocabulary problem

We all like to use big words and look cool, but we need to be sure we know what they mean or we can make some serious funny.

Take this doozy from Dan Drezner in the WAPO:


"Most political scientists are prodigious researchers"


Clearly Dan has no idea what at least one of the following three words mean, "most" "prodigious" or "researchers".

Let's help him out by making a more coherent and less inaccurate statement:


__________ political scientists are ___________    ______________ .

Give me your preferred styling in the comments.

By the way Polifacts has already rated Dan's statement as "Pants on Fire".



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will Choose Free Will


Free will is about choosing: The link between choice and the belief in free will 

Gilad Feldman, Roy Baumeister & Kin Fai Ellick Wong
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2014, Pages 239–245

Abstract: Expert opinions have yielded a wide and controversial assortment of conceptions of free will, but laypersons seem to associate free will more simply with making choices. We found that the more strongly people believed in free will, the more they liked making choices, the higher they rated their ability to make decisions (Study 1), the less difficult they perceived making decisions, and the more satisfied they were with their decisions (Study 2). High free will belief was also associated with more spontaneous associating of choice with freedom, and with the perception of actions as choices. Recalling choices (Study 3) and making choices (Study 4) led to a stronger endorsement of the belief in free will, and an additional effect of the level of choice involved in the choice. These findings suggest that the everyday social reality of beliefs about free will is a matter of how people think and feel about choice.

Monday, August 25, 2014

At Keith Gaddie's House

Here's what happens every fall at Keith Gaddie's house. 

His wife has to get him out from under the bed.  He makes a "fort" under there, with cushions...

Monday's Child

1.  Old guy, still working.  At 101.  It's not causal, in the sense that people who work longer live longer for that reason.  But it is true that people who live longer and feel better may enjoy working longer.

2.  I bet Mike Peterson is saying, "See!  SEE!"  About this.

3.  So, Dick Morris got in all sorts of trouble for toe-sucking.  But this marmot can go around lens-licking and there is no reaction?  Why do we even have a highly militarized local police force if marmots think nothing of lens-licking?

4.  Patents that kill...

5.  An interesting perspective.  If this is right, then it is the LIBERTARIAN part of the left that is prospering, and the statist part that is foundering.  I'd kind of like to believe that's true.

moremoremoremore!