Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

The Hidden Sexism of How We Think About Risk

A very convincing argument that risk-taking is more cultural than biological.

The Hidden Sexism of How We Think About Risk

If men take more risks than women, it’s not because of biology.

By Cordelia Fine | May 18, 2017 | Nautilus

June 11, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

A must-read.  It will change how you look at poverty and meritocracy.

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

Emerging science is putting the lie to American meritocracy

By Christian H. Cooper | April 20, 2017 | Nautilus

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May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, psychology, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

The more you know someone, the more you dislike them

Combine that with our tendency to reveal more about ourselves digitally, and the implication is that digital connectedness brings conflict:

How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

By Nicholas Carr  | April 21, 2017 | Boston Globe

Welcome to the global village. It’s a nasty place.

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April 29, 2017 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, psychology, sociology | , , , | 1 Comment

Social Status Affects Immune Health

Chronic social stress can affect your health:

Who’s Top Monkey? How Social Status Affects Immune Health

Social hierarchies among rhesus macaques give rise to differences in their ability to respond to bacterial and viral invaders

Catherine Caruso | November 24, 2016| Scientific American

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December 15, 2016 Posted by | health, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, I’d lie to you

Scary. Really scary. A must-read.

Yes, I’d lie to you

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

The Economist | Sep 10th 2016

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October 9, 2016 Posted by | information, politics, sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Masculinity

Are mass shootings  temper tantrums of low self-esteem, sexually frustrated males rather than a result of religious or political ideology ? This article makes a good case for it.  Check out the “conversation” on the original page for some thought-provoking counterpoints.

The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma | aeon | 27 June, 2016

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July 9, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology, terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Majority Illusion in Social Networks

You think everyone does/know/be it?  Maybe it’s just an illusion.

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind

June 30, 2015 | MIT Technology Review

Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.
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December 25, 2015 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Your friends really are better than you

I never thought there would be a mathematical explanation for any aspect of the “grass is greener” idiom — but here it is:  compared to your friends, you really do suck. From MIT Technology Review, January 14, 2014:

How the Friendship Paradox Makes Your Friends Better Than You Are

The friendship paradox is the empirical observation that your friends have more friends than you do. Now network scientists say your friends are probably wealthier and happier, too.

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January 18, 2014 Posted by | sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Testicle size ‘link to father role’

Ladies, if you are looking for good father/husband material, go for small-balled men. At least if you believe the study described in this article from BBC:

Testicle size ‘link to father role’

9 September 2013

A link between the size of a father’s testicles and how active he is in bringing up his children has been suggested by scientists.

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September 10, 2013 Posted by | evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

Interesting research reported: the wider a man’s face, the more aggressive and the more likely to lie and cheat.  Doesn’t apply to women.  But a good-looking man will produce more orgasms in women.  From The Economist, July 9th, 2011:

Physiognomy: Facing the truth

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

August 28, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment