Nine categories of self-deception

We begin with simple cases of self-inflation and derogation of others. We consider the effects of in-group feelings, a sense of power, and the illusion of control. Then we imagine false social theories, false internal narratives, and unconscious modules as additional sources of self-deception.

Metaphors We Kill By


Stretching back at least to that faux pas about the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, various branches of Abrahamic religions have had a thing about graven images. Which has given us aniconism, the banning of icons, and iconoclasts, who destroy offensive images on religious grounds. Orthodox Judaism has been into that at times; ditto for Calvinists, especially when it came to those idolatrous Catholics. Currently it’s branches of Sunni Islam that deploy literal graven-image police and consider the height of offense to be images of Allah and Muhammad.

Continuar leyendo «Metaphors We Kill By»

Your Vote Doesn’t Count

ChristakisPoliticians frequently tell their supporters “every vote counts,” and people usually say they vote in order to help their candidate win. But under what circumstances will a vote actually do that? This basic question has led to a series of investigations by brilliant social scientists, each building on the work of previous thinkers, but all leading, alas, to the same conclusion. Rationally speaking, each vote doesn’t count. The reason we vote, it turns out, has a lot to do with our embeddedness in groups and with the power of our social networks.

Continuar leyendo «Your Vote Doesn’t Count»