Category Archives: Society

Whose Welfare Counts, and How Much?

This blog post isn’t about what you’ll at first think it’s about. So bear with me. The United Kingdom’s National Trust was established in 1895 to showcase and protect  Britain’s national heritage. Among other things, it gives tours of historic … Continue reading

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Coping with Clickbait

Call me naïve (“You’re naïve!” “Thank you.”), but I believe that most people want to be good. That doesn’t mean that all people want to be good, or that most people are good all the time. Obviously, they’re not. But … Continue reading

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Three Ways to Understand People

If you want to understand why people believe and act as they do, three ideas will get you a long way: People want the world to make sense They make sense of the world in various ways, based on different … Continue reading

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Remain Calm, Even If All Isn’t Well

It’s easy to remain calm when everything is going well. But it’s more important to remain calm when everything isn’t going so well. One way I’m lucky is that I have friends and family members who disagree with me about … Continue reading

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They’re Not Lying

Do you have friends who say things that are obviously wrong? Maybe it’s politics, religion, gender, or some other touchy subject. This might help: Your friends aren’t lying. And they’re not evil, either, unless you have very bad judgment about … Continue reading

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Can We Measure the Quality of Debates?

As an undergraduate mathematics major, I had to take three semesters of statistics. I’m pretty good at mathematics, but statistics is a different animal. To adapt the famous last words of English actor Edmund Gwenn, “Mathematics is easy. Statistics is … Continue reading

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Why My Father Was Never Sick

In “Unbreakable” (2000), Bruce Willis played a middle-aged man who discovered that he was an invulnerable superhero. Obviously, superhero movies require our suspension of disbelief. In “Unbreakable,” the hardest thing to believe was not that Willis’s character was invulnerable, or … Continue reading

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