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March 21, 2017

Gordon Hodson and Michael A. Busseri in an issue of the journal Psychological Science, "Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes

Perhaps you were one of those myriad liberals who, back in 2012, posted on Facebook about a study by Gordon Hodson and Michael A. Busseri in an issue of the journal Psychological Science, "Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact." Its abstract explained:

Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N=15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.

The Great Gatsby finds that sort of cognitive narcissism risible too. In that dialogue in which Tom Buchanan dresses up his racism in scientific raiment, all of us, because we know ourselves to be sophisticated and smart, identify with Daisy Buchanan. Fitzgerald had also figured out something shrewed about such--but how shall we put it--cultural sophisticates? Effete snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals? Elite liberals?

March 19, 2017

Men and computers could co-operate

"Men and computers could co-operate more efficiently . . . if a man could tell the computers how he wanted decisions made, and then let the computers make the decisions for him."

-- 1961