Despite the low resolution arguments against meritocracy, hierarchies have served humans very well over our evolution. Indeed, Nicholas Christakis includes preference for mild hierarchy in his social suite, the blueprint for how it is humans are evolutionary predisposed to create good societies.Read More
This theory states that there are two paths through which a person's mind can be changed. There is the harder route which requires evidence, reason, and extended exposure to opposing evidence - elaboration.
Then there is the far easier route which only require that certain cues be present when presented with the opinion. The cues influence the likelihood in the subject's mind that the opinion is worth adopting and are usually things which makes the source of the information more attractive to the subject.
Recently an overpowering cue has become people's group signalling which informs the members of the group which beliefs are to be adopted - these tribal cues can overpower the more traditional cues, such as expertise.
The suffering of conscious creatures should be a guiding principle in assessing the morality of a system, and as such we should regard the factory farming of animals to be an abhorrent industry.
I would argue however that the actual humane *killing* of animals poses no such concern…Read More
Psychological planned obsolescence is far more interesting than the conspiratorial “planned obsolescence” often attributed to Apple in their development of the iPhone, not least because it’s irrefutably real. Why make a new phone every year? Honestly asking that question inevitably leads one to the conclusion that it is because Apple’s wants more money, and it is only in the customers interest as a result of having been psychologically primed to want the newer, shinier thing.
It started with the manufacture of cars wherein suddenly it was necessary to develop vehicles in new colours and with minor improvements just to keep getting money from the customer, and once these consumables had become more akin to fashion we have never looked back. Progress is obviously a net good, but why is infinite progress good? Why is the current frequency good? Better to ask perhaps if it is even “progress” as much as it is a move towards whatever will next illicit desire.
Progress necessarily means moving forward, and in cases like a faster iPhone this is true, but when we’re talking about a slightly faster iPhone in a new colour it becomes less clear as to why we needed that minor improvement right now rather than in 3 or 4 years when it is no longer slightly faster, but truly a product of half a decade of innovation.