Red, White, and Blue

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I was almost eight years old when the American Bicentennial Hit, and I remember it well. It was all over children’s television and especially, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Schoolhouse Rock. The latter devoted an entire season to American history and government for the bicentennial, with the “I’m Just... Continue Reading →

Evolution, belief, and manipulation: A discussion with Hugo Mercier

by Robert Gressis ____ In this dialogue, Hugo Mercier (French National Center for Scientific Research, Not Born Yesterday) and I discuss how human belief and manipulation work, and Hugo's research about why people aren't as manipulable as we sometimes think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NcMWlU6jzA&list=PLFBaXJ7yNOYERObvjSkJfoDOgtMWVhWse&index=2&ab_channel=ElectricAgora 01:24​ Hugo’s thesis: When it comes to communication, people are not easily manipulated, but... Continue Reading →

New Year Musings

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ 2020 will be remembered in the US for three things: the Covid-19 pandemic; racial unrest, rioting, looting, and vandalism across a number of American cities; and the defeat of Donald Trump by Joe Biden in the US presidential race. Beyond their qualities as spectacle, notable enough in their own right,... Continue Reading →

Basket of Deplorables: Crisis in American Federalism

by E. John Winner ___ The presidency of Donald Trump has revealed two truths, not merely inconvenient but tragic. These truths are only hinted at by pundits on the contemporary political scene, for they violate long inculcated beliefs and assumed norms that allow us to communicate and share living space – however uncomfortably – with... Continue Reading →

The New Abnormal

by Robert Gressis ___ I suspect that there’s a displaced desire for conflict animating a lot of political junkies: we can’t very well go and raid another tribe anymore, so we settle for destroying them in discourse. This is a rather preferable arrangement: both sides can leave a political debate telling themselves they have destroyed... Continue Reading →

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