Gene Expression

Category archives for Psychology

The Black Swan

Tyler Cowen has a nice review in Slate (actually, a slice & summation) of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s most recent book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Taleb’s discursive and meandering narrative delves mostly into the domains of economics, statistics and psychology, so Cowen is in a good place to tackle his argument.…

The season needs no reason

Below I spoke of historical perspective, while earlier I referred to Christmas as “universal pagan wine poured into a particular Christian chalice.” I thought I might elaborate upon this. First, the cultural and historical origins of Christmas are multi-textured. Though Christians assert “Jesus is the reason for the season,” a more precise formulation might be…

Pinker vs. Lakoff

Update: OK, a pro is in the house. Chris of Mixing Memory starts: I don’t really know where to start on this. Lakoff’s reply is one of the most intellectually dishonest pieces of writing I’ve seen from a cognitive scientist, and if anyone other than Lakoff had written it, I’d probably just ignore it. But…

Culture naturally

Back in August AlphaPsy had series of posts on ‘naturalism’ in the context of culture. Check them out! (links below) I strongly believe it is important to discuss human affairs with a multi-disciplinary lens, too often the public discourse is presupposed on naive psychology, while elite models tend to fixate on one dimension (e.g., the…

Means vs. Ends & morality

A few days ago Alex Palazzo posted about Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. The title is pretty self-explanatory. The author has a Moral Sense Test that you can take. I took it. If you plan on taking the Moral Sense Test, please

I believe it is so….

What people believe, what they say they believe and what they do may be wholly unrelated, but are never perfectly correlated. The only reason I note this is that I meet so many intelligent people who seem to assume a deep correlation between these distinct vectors.

Q & A with Judith Rich Harris

Judith Rich Harris is author of The Nurture Assumption and the forthcoming No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. Her controversial thesis is that parents don’t matter, genes and peers do, in making you who you are as a person. You can read my Q & A with her over at my other website.…