To communicate scientific research, we need to confront motivated ignorance

For link to original article, click here Successful decision-making within a democracy depends on an informed electorate. It is both depressing and alarming, then, that studies of political knowledge among the general population reveal a consistent lesson: The public is often ignorant and misinformed when it comes to basic matters of fact and issues of scientific … Continue reading To communicate scientific research, we need to confront motivated ignorance

Socially Adaptive Minds

Any attempt to understand human psychology must reconcile two characteristics of our species: the extraordinarily adaptive character of human intelligence in some contexts, and the conspicuous manifestations of stupidity and irrationality in others. On the one hand, human beings are remarkable. Not morally or aesthetically remarkable, but remarkable from a quasi-engineering perspective. With astonishing energetic … Continue reading Socially Adaptive Minds

Does politics make us stupid and mean?

Many of us get heavily involved in politics. In addition to voting, we form confident political opinions on highly complex issues that we express—often passionately—in conversations and arguments with others, both in real life and on social media. We watch the news and shout at the tv. We put up stickers advertising our political affiliations. … Continue reading Does politics make us stupid and mean?

The Case for Open Borders

I’ve recently finished Bas van der Vossen and Jason Brennan’s excellent book, “In Defense of Openness: Why Global Freedom Is the Humane Solution to Global Poverty.” Among other things, the book advances the case for open borders. Very roughly, here is how the positive case for that position goes. First, immigration restrictions seem deeply unjust on … Continue reading The Case for Open Borders