“Some people will be alarmed to discover that, underneath the surface, nothing much has changed in human conduct; but for my own part, I find it more consolatory than alarming. In the first place, I rather like the imperfections of human nature: I find the prospect of a world in which everyone is good, and holds his opinions with precisely the strength that the evidence for them justifies, supposing that justification could be calibrated with such precision, to be very intimidating. And a world in which everyone were beautiful would be a world in which no one were beautiful.”
Cindy Sherman takes a MEdia Dragon Selfie like No other ...
Airbnb dominated by professional landlords Deutsche Welle
Checking Facebook and liking a post critical of the Government could be enough to see public servants facing disciplinary action, under new guidelines that also say employees may be held accountable for comments other people make on their Facebook pages ABC on APS Rules...
Dear veteran journalists, you deserve better
The biggest political story most journalists are missing
Approximately seventy-five percent of the world’s population lives in countries where asset exchange upon marriage is obligatory. Rising brideprice—money or gifts provided to a woman’s family by the groom and his family as part of marriage arrangements—is a common if overlooked catalyst of violent conflict. In patrilineal (and some matrilineal) societies where brideprice is practiced, a man’s social status is directly connected to his marital status. Brideprice acts as a flat tax that is prone to sudden and swift increases. As a result, rising brideprice can create serious marriage market distortions that prevent young men, especially those who are poor or otherwise marginalized, from marrying. This phenomenon is especially evident in polygamous societies, where wealthy men can afford more than one bride. These distortions incentivize extra-legal asset accumulation, whether through ad hoc raiding or organized violence. In such situations, rebel and terror groups may offer to pay brideprice—or even provide brides—to recruit new members. Descriptive case studies of Boko Haram in Nigeria and various armed groups in South Sudan demonstrate these linkages, while an examination of Saudi Arabia’s cap on brideprice and its efforts to arrange low-cost mass weddings illustrates the ways in which governments can intervene in marriage markets to help prevent brideprice-related instability. The trajectory of brideprice is an important but neglected early indicator of societal instability and violent conflict, underscoring that the situation and security of women tangibly affect national security.
An Interview with Richard Rodriguez
From boyhood, particularly my lower-middle-class childhood in Sacramento, I was transported by religion into the realm of mystery. Consider this: The Irish nun excused me from arithmetic class so that I could serve as an altar boy at a funeral mass. Along with the priest and the other altar boy, I would welcome Death at the doors of the church. We escorted Death up the main aisle. I later went with the cortege to the cemetery. There was a fresh pile of soil piled high at the edge of the grave site, discreetly, if unsuccessfully, covered by an AstroTurf rug that was as unconvincing a denial of the hardness of time as a cheap toupee. I wondered at the mourners’ faces—the melting grief, the hard stoicism. Thirty minutes from the grave, I was back within the soft green walls of Sacred Heart Parish School. It was almost lunchtime. I resumed my impersonation of an American kid.Last week the day I lost a wallet on the Mercedes bus Richard was 73rd birthday. May he have many years ahead of him.
Tax haven’ moves south of border Herald Scotland. A piece co-authored by our Richard Smith
Ten Ways to Organize Your Bookshelf The Millions
In diverse societies, individuals tend to trust coethnics more than non-coethnics. I argue that identification with a territorially-defined nation, common to all ethnic groups, reduces the degree to which trust is ethnically bounded. I conduct a “lab-in-the-field” experiment at the intersection of national and ethnic boundaries in Malawi, which measures strength of national identification, experimentally manipulates national identity salience, and measures trust behaviorally. I find that shared nationality is a robust predictor of trust, equal in magnitude to the impact of shared ethnicity. Furthermore, national identification moderates the degree to which trust is limited to coethnics: while weak national identifiers trust coethnics more than non-coethnics, strong national identifiers are blind to ethnicity. Experimentally increasing national identity salience also eliminates the co-ethnic trust advantage among weak nationalists. These results offer micro-level evidence that a strong and salient national identity can diminish ethnic barriers to trust in diverse societies.
In 1985, when Americans were asked how many close friends they had, the most common answer was "three". In 2004, the most common answer was "zero". We now have fewer friends across class, racial, economic, and political lines, because we have fewer friends -- period. And as you just discovered for yourself, the fewer "repeat interactions" there are, the more distrust will spread.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", may be not just a moral truth, but also a mathematical truth.
Despite strict orders not to chillax with the enemy, British and German soldiers left their trenches, crossed No Man's Land,
and gathered to bury their dead, exchange gifts, and play games.
Meanwhile: it's 2017, the West has been at peace for decades, and
wow, we suck at trust. Surveys show that, over the past forty years, fewer and fewer people say they trust each other. So here's our puzzle: Why, even in peacetime, do friends become enemies? And why, even in wartime, do enemies become friends? I think game theory can help explain our epidemic of distrust –and how we can fix it! So, to understand all this...
So, in the long run, you were right - Copycat wins! Always Cheat may have won in the short run, but its exploitativeness was its downfall. This reminds me of a quote:
"We are punished by our sins, not for them."
~ Elbert Hubbard
What the game is, defines what the players do. Our problem today isn't just that people are losing trust,
it's that our environment acts against the evolution of trust.
That may seem cynical or naive -- that we're "merely" products of our environment -- but as game theory reminds us, we are each others' environment. In the short run, the game defines the players. But in the long run, it's us players who define the game.
So, do what you can do, to create the conditions necessary to evolve trust. Build relationships. Find win-wins. Communicate clearly. Maybe then, we can stop firing at each other, get out of our own trenches, cross No Man's Land to come together...
Game about Evolution of Trust...
Nick Bilton's 'American Kingpin': The first great Internet manhunt
Informal Inquiries: "An author's pen must write of the acts of God"
Tom Stoppard’s heartfelt high jinks | Prospect Magazine
It is sometimes said of Stoppard’s work that it is all head and no heart; that his fascination with verbal high jinks and conceptual fireworks doesn’t mine the deepest truths about human existence. Yet few writers have engaged so passionately with the big issues of our time—faith, politics, revolution—or pushed the boundaries of theatre so far. And in a period of nervy global uncertainty, perhaps a few high jinks are what we needDaniel Silva's eerily prescient 'House of Spies': Quest for ISIS
How the riots of 50 years ago changed Detroit: The city’s decline began before 1967, but the violence then made it worse. “Sadly, by most measures black Detroiters are considerably worse off today than they were in 1967.” The rioters were presented as the vanguard of social justice, even though the consequences of their actions fell on the poorest and weakest.
Academic writing is obscure. More problematic, it's vague. Why? The vaguer you are, the less you can be held accountable for anything you say. See: Slavoj Zizek
7 mighty benefits of writing by hand Treehugger
A book can change the world. Can a book review? In 1967, Norman Mailer reviewed a memoir by his friend Norman Podhoretz. American politics has never quite been the same