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Prevalence-induced concept change in humans: a reality check.

On the website of the Guardian an article was posted that makes sense. [1]

Author Oliver Burkeman brings up a fascinating experiment in which people were presented with a range of dots in various colors along a spectrum including unambiguous blue dots and asked to identify which dots were blue and which were not. [2]

The researchers found that subjects ascribed blueness gradually more and more widely as more and more of the near-pure blue dots were removed in successive iterations of the experiment. Effectively the subjects were moving the goalposts of what constituted blueness in their own heads.

Burkeman points out that on an objective scale pretty much everything is getting better for pretty much everybody these days, making the case that the perception to the contrary is a result of the goalpost-moving described above, referred to in the research as "prevalence-induced concept change".

[1] 'Are things getting worse - or does it just feel that way?' by Oliver Bur…
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Comments on Bryan Caplan's interview with Dave Rubin...

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Cool interview, huh? Below is an argument over a comment made by Caplan with regard to arbitration. [1]


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Some cool posts on r/badeconomics

The subreddit called Badeconomics is a great place to go if, like me, you are trying to nudge your way towards being serviceably knowledgeable about economics. So I decided to share a few links to posts that recently pleased me...

Badecon posts re often so-called R1s in which an article, book, video or other piece is savaged for its economic illiteracy. The links that kick off each paragraph below are R1s added in the last two months.

Socialism is astonishing... Apparently economic growth over the past two centuries has not also led to growth in leisure time... despite clear data showing that it has.

Most Americans don't understand basic economics and r/Socialism thinks that's great... This R1 is attacking this post wherein some silly sausages get all confused over the significance of the opinions expressed in the survey, and over the consequences of actually implementing those policies.

Economists... a piece critical of economics using the matter of causes of the financial cris… link dump again

The Grauniad Needs to Die Soon

George Monbiot is shilling for the glorious red future again. This isn't the first time he's written about neoliberalism this year, so I guess this is on his mind a fair bit. He even did a video for Verso on the subject. Having read David Harvey's book on the same subject I am disinclined to humor any nonsense about neoliberalism anymore than I am about cultural Marxism.

~ a. neoliberal laundry ~
1. Monetarism in central bank policy
2. Privatization of lots of government organisations
3. Deregulation of many or all industries
4. Tax decreases as absolute quantities
5. Re-balancing of labor laws to be more than 50% in favor of employers
6. Decrease in funding for or abolition of state welfare benefits

Did I miss anything?

To what extent have the countries of the world implemented these policy changes since 1970? Well, Chile managed all six but went back to a 50/50 split in labour law when Pinochet was ousted. So that's one country.

The USA did 1 and 4 from the late 70&#…