19 Burst results for "Steven Pinker"
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast
"Adversarial proceedings and government with checks and balances and free speech. And by letting one person's bias thinking bump up against another person's bias thinking, then no one gets to impose their crazy beliefs on everyone else. But the community as a whole is playing a game that will move them all toward truth. When it works, although of course it's always imperfect and it's always being corroded. Yeah, I mean, a few of your life like a scientist like 24 7, then don't you never have a belief, right? Well, that word doesn't really. I wouldn't put it by way. I mean, you could have a degree of Crete. So you could be a Bayesian and say, I put .9 out of in a scale of zero to one credence on that belief. So I believe it I might even going back to signal detection theory, I'm going to act on it, even though I'm uncertain because the costs being wrong and not acting on it are worse than the costs of acting on it if I'm wrong that it's not really true. And you assume that the truth that there is a truth and that you don't know it, you try the community tries, you try to get as close as possible, always leading open the possibility that you might be mistaken. Right. So I think it makes sense to believe that there's a certain high probability that something is true. In terms of probabilities, but that seems like a different state. That's right. I believe the certain. Exactly, and that's the Bayesian approach is to treat degree of credence as a probability. I remember between zero, but it is but you're right that it's part of the commitment to epistemic humility to fallibility to considering the possibility that you might be mistaken that is inherent to science, it's inherent to democracy, it's inherent to liberalism. It's inherent to humanism. Here here, you know, you make this point, you say, I love this. I'm actually going to I think I'm going to tweet this quote of yours after our conversation. Each of us has a motive to prefer our truth, but together we're better off with the truth. I'm just going to conclude this interview by saying in an era in which rationality seems both more threatened and more essential than ever. I do agree that your book is in affirmation of the urgency of rationality. So congratulations on the publication of the book Steven. Thanks so much. As always, it's been stimulating and enjoyable to speak with you. I feel the same way..
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast
"Again, subject to Phil Ted locks point that sometimes people don't like to think about tradeoffs, they might even think it's immoral to think about tradeoffs. We're going to trade one thing off instant others such as should they be? Should people be allowed to sell their kidneys on eBay? There is an argument there that everyone wins, no one's the worse off, but there's a lot of moral opposition to anything that smacks have quid pro quo when it comes to that sacred commodity namely organs. For sure, I mean, there's lots of examples. We could bring up a prostitution. There's a contemporary exam sex work as we now call it, where there's a debate that's been revived. In older times, we forget that there was this debate that people were able to buy their way out of jury duty or out of military service. They were able to sell their votes. So these things do change with the world evolution of societies. I do feel like, in general, though, utilitarian reasoning is uncool, is not as cool. Well, yes. You don't have a heart if you hear of utility. Well, I think we're often divided. I think you're right. I think my colleague Joshua Greene calls it nerd morality. And it is a cost benefit analysis. On the other hand, a lot of what we credit as our most glorious milestones of moral progress came from utilitarian reasoning, like the decriminalization of homosexuality. It's a straightforward utilitarian argument. No one's harmed. No harm, no foul. Or and animal rights movement that suffering is bad. It doesn't matter how smart you are. It's a question of how much you can suffer. The decriminalizing decriminalization of heresy, no one's as Thomas Jefferson put it. Doesn't matter to me whether my neighbor believes in one God or ten gods that neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. That's a utilitarian argument. And argument for women's equality, there are many, many arguments that, in fact, appeal to the notion that ain't no one's business if I do. If no one gets hurt and what consenting adults do in private, these are all utilitarian arguments. So paradoxically, they're cool in the sense that they often are on the progressive side of things. And they do overall tend to win today. But if you lay about as calculations then you're right. They seem tragically on hip. Yeah, it's just the word utilitarian doesn't stop being a bad branding. This guy was just going to say it's got an image problem. Well, I think we have reached the point of our interview where we can finally discuss the pandemic of poppycock. Indeed. And I could not get away without a chapter that I call what's wrong with people, knowing that if you bring up the topic of rationality, the first question you get is, why is the world losing its mind? And there isn't just simple a single answer to that, because there's a single kind of poppycock. But I think it's in part, it comes from the fact that we partly motivated reasoning, namely, because rationality is always in service of a goal. That goal needn't always be universal objective truth. It can be my own reputation, esteem, respect deference. It can be the glory of my sect, my tribe, my coalition, my party. The so called my side bias, which our friend Keith stanovich is recently written a book about. So that's a major component. People care more about glorifying their political coalition than achieving universal objective truth. So that's one. Now there is that we're all as humans vulnerable to certain kinds of deep seated intuitions. We're dualists as Paul bloom has argued that we quickly people have a body and a mind and from that that it's a short step to imagining minds that aren't attached to bodies, namely souls and ghosts and spirits and hence ESP and psychic powers. We are all essentialists as Susan gelman and others have argued. We think the living things have an internal invisible essence that gives them their form and their powers. And so we're subject to homeopathy, we're skeptical about vaccines, we're open to bloodletting and genetics and detoxification. Things that intuitively feel like ridding the body of poisons. You go mercier has shown that bloodletting is found in many, many cultures as a kind of quack here. We're all teleologists. Deb kelemen has emphasized this so that we know that our own tools and plans and artifacts who designed with a purpose. And it's a short step to think that the world was designed for a purpose. The universe, everything happens for a reason. So we become it's usually become creationists. So these are all implanted in us because of our evolutionary history. The question isn't why people believe these things, but why some of us don't believe them. Why do we actually believe that the mind is a product or the brain? Why do we believe that signs of design and living world come from evolution? Well, it's because some of us not only have a scientific education, but we trust the scientists. There are people what they say is good enough for us. If you aren't in that social sphere of influence, then you're liable to fall back either on your own intuitions or on communities that ratify those intuitions that might want to foul of the scientific census, but the scientific consensus, you think of as just another another clinic in other tribes, they're not likely my tribe. Finally, I think there is a sense that why people believe weird things, it depends on what you mean by belief. And there's a category of belief that isn't the same as literal belief that there's milk in the fridge or gas in the car, where it's probably true or false. Robert ables of the great social psychologist differentiated between distal beliefs and testable beliefs. What is a whole realm of things like does God exist? What's the origin of the universe? What are the bankers and presidents that act and powerful people actually doing in secret where you can't find out if you're an ordinary person and you don't really care because you can never find out anyway, and so you believe things that are socially uplifting that are making your site look good make your side look bad that are entertaining. And we all to some extent, swallow these, not quite true, not quite false. Beliefs in religion in historical fiction in national mythology, where, you know, whether they're literally true or false, well, we just don't care that much, but we do know that they are inspiring uplifting entertaining. And when it comes to beliefs outside of people's personal fear of day to day living, they whether they believe it is not a matter of whether they can show that they're true or false, but whether it is morally empowering to believe them. And I think a lot of crazy things was Barack Obama a Muslim. Did Hillary Clinton run a pedophile ring out of the basement of a pizzeria. If you say you believe it, it isn't so much that you have grounds for believing it, but it's a way of saying, boo Hillary, namely, that's the kind of thing that she could be capable of. She's such a bad person. Well, there was a phrase that I thought was really interesting. It's called expressive recipe. Exactly. Yeah, that's a good way of playing exactly right. Yeah. Yeah, I think that really resonated with me and the distinction between these two realms as you put it in the district between reality and mythology. Mythology is very powerful. It can have a very powerful effect as many cult leaders over the years have discovered and religious leaders and political leaders. That's all the same thing. And this is played out very convincingly by Jonathan rauch in his new book, the constitution of knowledge. So we almost shouldn't ask the question why do people why do people believe weird things as much as some people, some of the time, believe two things? And the answer to that is it's not because they are particularly rational they have better brains or it's because they have a better themselves in a community with norms and rules and institutions that are explicitly designed to weed out falsehoods and to steer the entire community towards truth institutions like science with empirical testing and scholarship with peer review and journalism with fact checking and the court system with.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"Having a club for rationality kind of misses the point. It's like everyone should be rational. It shouldn't be a niche like stamp collecting or cosplay. Of course, I think they'd be the first to agree. And I give them credit for trying to put it on the radar as something that is at least potentially cool. And that ought to be cooler. Yeah, it shouldn't be geeky. Exactly. I agree. And look, I think that part of the blame is the Spock character. But the more that I read your book and really understand what you're saying. I feel like Spock was more logical than rational. You know, because to be rational, there's this, what is a person want? There's a very human dimension of it in the way that you describe that perhaps. Indeed and of course warmth love friendship our being social animals and emotional animals. There's nothing irrational about that. Except when we conflicts with other goals or it conflicts with someone else's goals for laughing pleasure and warmth and social connection. Yeah. Yeah, agreed, agreed. While there's so much rich content in your book, I'm trying to think through okay, where do I want to go next? Let's talk about the tragic tragic tradeoff between hits and false alarms. Oh, yes. Or misses and correct rejections. What's a rational observatory today? Right. One of the motivations for writing this book is an intuition that I think many people in our field sometimes have. Namely, they just some tools that we use to understand phenomena that really ought to be part of conventional wisdom. And one of them is the tool that you and I and our students and fellows academics learned in perception class. Let's call it a signal detection theory. Originally applied at least in our field, applied to the human subject in the booth with a headphones pressing a button whenever he was a sound and has he heard it hasn't he?.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"And indeed different constituencies do make different moral arguments, such as the argument against pornography or against sexualized violence against women where someone who the genre itself may be deemed dangerous and the people who do think those thoughts might be morally condemned. But anyway, it's maybe there's a PhD thesis for some brilliant English literature student in that. For sure, Sony needs to analyze American Horror Story the TV series because that is as extreme as can be. But I don't think the writers of it get in trouble. Be interesting to someone to go over the history of popular fiction and I think they're probably at every historical error that probably are debates and moral condemnation at the boundaries. And then the culture itself can sometimes change the boundaries. I guess this is just another one of the examples where context is everything. If you're on a date and you share the fact that you have fantasies and have conjured up ideas of a serial killer and in a small town with Supernatural elements, your date's going to run for the hills. But if you're at a sci-fi convention, you talk about your new plot for a story. People are like, oh, that's really clever and creative. So this is indeed one of those cases of context. Yeah. Yeah. So why is rationality so and cool? Yeah, people do, first of all, there is the confusion that we talked about before between rationality and coldness, joyousness, dourness. That just if you expression, that's just the irrational. It's a non sequitur. There is, and there always has been always since the since the 19th century. There has been a romantic movement that valorizes spontaneity, authenticity, and of course, the romantics have all the great art. So that has led to the cool connection. Yeah. Well, do you think you're making it cool? I would love to. I think it's probably beyond my powers, but if I were an outcome, I would be delighted. I think and by the way, I do think you are to a certain extent. But I think that you need to, if your book launch, you know, you need to pair it with Snoop Dogg and I'm not serious and get him like, I love this new book, you know, on rationality and why it matters. You know, while we smoking a joint or something and I feel like there is I mean, there are certain comedians who are working that Bill Maher. Also, there is, there is this kind of eccentric culture called the rationality community that I think probably unsuccessfully tries to make rationality cool. Although they at least they make it a thing. And you know, as I say, and there are people who are associated with it, Scott Alexander, Julia Gaelic, Eliot Kowski, to some extent, Robin Hanson's Scott aaronson the problem being, they're a couple of problems. One of them is like any community, clubs develop their own internal culture very quickly as we know as psychologists throw a bunch of 11 year olds together and pretty soon they have their own lingo, their own their own habits and that's true of any community. The other thing,.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast
"Was the third type of tradeoff is the. Critical counterfactual that you trade off and the forbidden base rate if you are actually we even touched on this earlier in the conversation. If you're screening at the airport for terrorists, are you allowed to consider the statistics of whether Buddhist Catholics Jews, Muslims and protestants, their base rate of committing terrorism? If you're a good Bayesian reasoner, that's exactly what you should do. In admitting someone to university in judging them in a criminal courtroom, if you wanted the statistically cutting edge state of the art, most accurate possible prediction of how well they would do, then you should throw into the equation. They're gender and their race and their religion. And but that is to say that's kind of emotionally icky would be an understatement to say nothing at politically inflammatory. And so certain base rates, we consider to be a kind of immoral to think about. Now, and as ten log emphasizes, this is not completely irrational, because in our social lives, we pick our friends and our allies, not just by what they do, but by who they are. Namely, has this potential friend not just has he treated me well so far. But if the chips were down, and if he would have attempted to stab me in the back when my back was turned, or to somebody down the river, would he? And of course, when we pick our allies, our Friends, we want to peer into their soul and know what they're capable of, not just what they've done so far. And which thoughts there capable of thinking is very much relevant to that judgment. You know, if you were if someone said, for how much money would you sell your child or betray your spouse or be unfaithful to your spouses in the movie indecent proposal? The correct answer is not, well, what are you offering? The correct answer is I'm offended. You ask that question. That is your indicating that there's certain relationships that are sacred. The problem being that what's rational in the realm of choosing our friends and allies is not so rational when we are setting policy for an entire society, when we're doing science, where we might really want to have the most accurate calculation of costs and benefits and not project our friendships and our romantic relationships onto running a government or doing science. But why do in our heads we let off the hook fiction writers? I don't like anyone looks at Stephen King. You read his books, you see what he's capable of thinking. But I don't feel like we project that onto him. We like Stephen King. We're like, oh, he's probably a good guy. I don't think people do. It's a great question. And actually, I mean, I don't know if anyone would love to see someone explore this, so I'll just toss off some ideas. Now it's not totally innocent innocuous as in the case of Salman Rushdie. I mean, it worked with Stephen King, and it did not it didn't work a lot for solid and rushdie. And even in the case of our culture, there have been novelists who have been condemned. I think it was Brett Easton Ellis, who depicted scenes of female sexual torture and mutilation that were a little too close for comfort. And there was at least at the time some of this lack of forgiveness that we do, you're right. Extensive. Stephen King. It partly it's going to riff here. Because I don't know the answer to that. I think it's a fascinating question. How do they maybe certain conventions where because the convention already exists? Some working within that convention is given a pass. And the murder mystery is a classic example. The Agatha Christie and the all the other genre of are ones where we as a culture have anointed it as an acceptable cultural form. And we don't think the worst for the writers who operate within that genre. And it may be that for certain genres of horror, there can be changing mores so that we do conventionalized them as an acceptable as an acceptable genre or form. Although there are sometimes tensions at the boundaries, like the where you do have some guardians, bluenoses, saying that violent entertainment, Quentin Tarantino, comics in the 1950s, certain kinds of violent movies. And indeed different constituencies do make different moral arguments, such as the argument against pornography or against sexualized violence against women where someone who the genre itself may be deemed dangerous and the people who do think those thoughts might be morally condemned. But anyway, it's maybe there's a PhD thesis for some brilliant English literature student in that. For sure, Sony needs to analyze American Horror Story the TV series because that is as extreme as can be. But I don't think the writers of it get in trouble. Be interesting to someone to go over the history of popular fiction and I think they're probably at every historical error that probably are debates and moral condemnation at the boundaries. And then the culture itself can sometimes change the boundaries. I guess this is just another one of the examples where context is everything. If you're on a date and you share the fact that you have fantasies and have conjured up ideas of a serial killer and in a small town with Supernatural elements, your date's going to run for the hills. But if you're at a sci-fi convention, you talk about your new plot for a story. People are like, oh, that's really clever and creative. So this is indeed one of those cases of context. Yeah. Yeah. So why is rationality so and cool? Yeah, people do, first of all, there is the confusion that we talked about before between rationality and coldness, joyousness, dourness. That just if you expression, that's just the irrational. It's a non sequitur. There is, and there always has been always since the since the 19th century. There has been a romantic movement that valorizes spontaneity, authenticity, and of course, the romantics have all the great art. So that has led to the cool connection. Yeah. Well, do you think you're making it cool? I would love to. I think it's probably beyond my powers, but if I were an outcome, I would be delighted. I think and by the way, I do think you are to a certain extent..
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"It seems kind of dirty to put a price on these things. In a sense, we don't have a choice. And often it's done kind of in the shadows so that we do it, but we don't talk about it. Or another example is the heretical counterfactual. This is what got Salman Rushdie into trouble for merely depicting an alternative life history of Muhammad in which he was tempted by the devil instead of by God and he nearly paid with his life when a fight while was imposed on him by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Or that sounded a little exotic, so actually came up with a real life example that's that affects all of us. This is a true story that I heard of a party game that people played after dinner where they said the game was, of course, none of us around this table are the least bit racist or bigoted or prejudiced. But let's just say hypothetically that you were, which ethnic group would you be printers against? Now that's kind of a game you really don't want to play. Even though you're not confessing to racism, there's something about confessing to hypothetical racism, this almost as bad as confessing to the real thing. If you're even allowing to go there, I saw a movie where they did that. And the wife broke up with the guy based on his answer. She said, you would? Really? Maybe that's what came from. There was a movie. I'm gonna try to remember what the movie was. Remember my family doctor boyfriend when he answered Jews? And then there's the. What.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"Themselves to the tracks, then the engineers got to stop the train. Likewise, the suicide terrorist who has the explosives attached to his body to go off with the slightest jostling out of his control, he can't be persuaded to run away. It can't be. It can't be attacked. And they're also cases in which irrationality can be a strategic advantage, namely, if someone can't be threatened if they if their own self interest means nothing to them, then you can't incredibly threaten them because they can threaten you right back by refusing to comply. In fact, they don't even have to threaten you. They just have to be so crazy that it's there's no point. I mean, this is sometimes called the context of international relations, the madman theory named after the alleged tactic that Richard Nixon deployed during the Vietnam War flying nuclear armed bombers, alarmingly close to the Soviet border allegedly to make the Soviets think that he was so unbalanced that they better not mess with them. And if they knew what was good with them, they did better pressure their North Vietnamese clients to make concessions. Like, that guy's crazy. Don't deal with him. Or don't do this, don't try to push him, because who knows what he might do. He might even do something that's crazy for himself. And you know, in our interpersonal relations, we've many of us had experience with high maintenance romantic partners and hotheads and borderlines. And people who kind of get what they want because there is no reasoning with them. So now the problem, of course, with these paradoxical tactics, is that since you have taken yourself out of the game of persuasion and reason, you've kind of left the other guy no choice but to kind of take you out if they ever have that opportunity because there's no reasoning with you..
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"So let's get that on the record. Let's get that on the record. A lot of academics and intellectuals live a hypothetical place that I call the left pole. So when you're at the North Pole, all directions are south. When you're at the left pole, all directions are right. And if you when you're sitting at a left pole, anything that diverges from a pretty rigid set of orthodoxies is considered on the right, I consider that to be a pathology of some of the leftism in academia and journalism. That there's it is so rigid. It's such a catechism. Like religious character, because there's just no room for dissent. And just like anyone who doubts the Trinity is a heretic, anyone who doubts certain sets of axioms on the hard left is considered to be on the right. But no, there's certainly the right doesn't consider me. To be on the right. Yeah. You know, it is interesting because it does seem like something has changed in the last ten years or so, 5, ten years, where maybe 20 years ago, if you published something a scientific finding and the finding had like it, it wasn't automatically politicized. It didn't automatically make you think the author must be on a certain political view because they're presenting a certain form of knowledge. But there's something these days about where knowledge is. So the knowledge that you present is so intricately intertwined with perceptions of your political personal political stance. I just haven't seen that so tied together in my past. But it's so interesting. You know, you could just make a point about something where you think the evidence is suggesting. I think there might be some progress. When you look at data and then be like, oh, he's on the far right. You know, because I feel like this is something new. Do you start brand new? And I can recall, you know, strange so that way back when I was a college student, when there was the Marxist Leninist social socialist united Workers Party and among real popular among students, you're right to have perceived a change. And I think things got really took a lurch around three, three, four years ago. And John hate is written about this as well..
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast
"So it's sometimes when it's actually good that we're not so that we can turn off the totality of our rationality and apply rules exactly. Another example is there is a dolphin Fisher enamel. Well, if we apply everything we know, well, fish, they swim their streamlined, you know, they live in the ocean. You'd say, yeah, a dolphin is a fish. When we apply the strict logic of science, namely, a fish belongs to one class and mammals to another. And if you warm blooded and suffocated, you're young and have further than you're a mammal, even if you look like a fish, well, there have been, again, we're turning off our knowledge, applying strict definitions and rules in a more logical mode of thinking. And that's what makes science possible. You know, does that contradict your idea that rationally ought to be the world star for everything we think and do? Didn't that just contradict that? Well, there's a kind of it's a good question. And there's a kind of meta rationality where we can decide depending on our goals. Tools of rationality to apply and which ones to sideline. So if I go logic as our goal is justice, that's not the same goal as say efficiency or the best actuarial statistics. And we might decide, well, justice is more important. Let's turn off our statistical reasoning. Let's apply this ironclad rule. And if you're higher level goal is justice, then again, since rationality is always in pursuit of a goal, you might decide that one kind of rational thinking must be disabled. And another kind deployed. You make a point in your book that there can be no tradeoff between rationality and social justice or any other moral or political cause. That's a heavy statement I really want to unpack that for our listeners because I think that people's intuitions is that it's not that I don't think a lot of people, yeah. So can you unpack what you mean by that and maybe we can get into the essential features of morality as you do in your book? Yeah, and if you believe in social justice can be itself be justified, there are reasons to pursue it. It's not just a battle between our side and the bad guys. Now, admittedly, a lot of people who claim to pursue social justice are doing that, but in which case they've got to live with the possibility that the other side might be stronger than them and crash them. But if they are hoping to persuade open minded third parties, if they're hoping to have reasons for what they do, then you've got to follow the loss of reason. Including factual accuracy isn't the case that, for example, African Americans are disadvantaged, relative to white people. There are a lot of people on the right who would say, no, it's the other way around. It's the white people who are oppressed. We're working class people. Well, if you think they're wrong, you better have reasons to show why they're wrong. If you think that particular measures, such as reparations, such as compensatory policies, are morally justified. Well, either they are they aren't. If they are, they should be able to provide those reasons. If you can't, then well, maybe you should rethink them, but you're certainly not going to recruit others, or at least not who to others who are open minded aren't just joining them up for the fun of being part of a mob. You could concede that it's all about Marlborough, our mob is bigger than their mom. But again, if you do that, then say goodbye to recruiting hitherto an affiliated people. And say goodbye to claiming that you're right when the other side happens to be stronger than you are. Do you feel like you're ever misunderstood? No, you might say that. And the answer is honestly, yes. I read an article. This comes up in my head because I read an article, a criticism of you, but it was framed in like, why is Steven pinker or far right now all of a sudden? And now I don't get the sense that you've suddenly become a far right in terms of politics. I'm on record as the second largest contributor to the Democratic Party among Harvard faculty. So let's get that on the record. Let's get that on the record. A lot of academics and intellectuals live a hypothetical place that I call the left pole. So when you're at the North Pole, all directions are south. When you're at the left pole, all directions are right. And if you when you're sitting at a left pole, anything that diverges from a pretty rigid set of orthodoxies is considered on the right, I consider that to be a pathology of some of the leftism in academia and journalism. That there's it is so rigid. It's such a catechism. Like religious character, because there's just no room for dissent. And just like anyone who doubts the Trinity is a heretic, anyone who doubts certain sets of axioms on the hard left is considered to be on the right. But no, there's certainly the right doesn't consider me. To be on the right. Yeah. You know, it is interesting because it does seem like something has changed in the last ten years or so, 5, ten years, where maybe 20 years ago, if you published something a scientific finding and the finding had like it, it wasn't automatically politicized. It didn't automatically make you think the author must be on a certain political view because they're presenting a certain form of knowledge. But there's something these days about where knowledge is. So the knowledge that you present is so intricately intertwined with perceptions of your political personal political stance. I just haven't seen that so tied together in my past. But it's so interesting. You know, you could just make a point about something where you think the evidence is suggesting. I think there might be some progress. When you look at data and then be like, oh, he's on the far right. You know, because I feel like this is something new. Do you start brand new? And I can recall, you know, strange so that way back when I was a college student, when there was the Marxist Leninist social socialist united Workers Party and among real popular among students, you're right to have perceived a change. And I think things got really took a lurch around three, three, four years ago. And John hate is written about this as well. But I think he figured 2016 as the turning point. Now, I don't know if it's that Donald Trump suddenly polarized the whole country. I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know if it's social media, led to mutually reinforcing claques and cheerleading squads. Or if there was just sometimes there are social trends that for chaotic and unpredictable reasons gain momentum that have a energy of their own it's a good.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
"Famous definition of truth from tarski is that to say that X is true is to say X now that for many people that's not particularly satisfying or truth is what is the case. But it's like reason. It doesn't submit to a conventional definition. Because it's deeper than that. You can't have a definition of reason unless you know how to reason. You can't talk about truth unless you already are grounded in some tacit commitment to truth. Otherwise nothing that you say would be in a sense worth saying. If you want to take it or leave it, I'm just making noise with my mouth. I'm not making any claim to anything that is actually accurate or worthy of your belief. So it kind of committed to truth even when we start to persuade explain. And I think one way of parsing this somewhat enigmatic definition of truth that to say X is true is to say X is that it's just kind of what we mean when we say stuff in the first place. And so there is something almost superfluous about saying differentiating between the world is around is true and the world is around. I mean, this just raises the question, can it be rational in certain instances to be completely diluted? Delusional, as well about something. But in a way, that delusion in if it in itself is what gets you to attain your goal, then would that be the more rational thing to have incorrect knowledge? Well, could be what they say there'd be relative is it and say that it is a rational way to attain a particular goal. I don't think we would call it again, especially as someone who is very interested in words. I know that it's not up to me to legislate the meaning of words when I answer a question of does the word apply..
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Psychology Podcast
"World. Expanding our knowledge base, we have goals for which truths we prioritize. So that's why I merged them, but you're right that one could say that there is a logical distinction between them. And edits based rationality helps you get the things that you want. And it's very interesting. The goal conflict thing, I'm not over that yet because I think that I think about that all the time because we can have two long-term goals that conflict within ourselves. It's not always like a goal conflict is some short term one weighing it against a long term. It can be, you know, we can have two long-term goals. And what is there like a system in the brain like a meta rationality system that can help us adjudicate too rational potential avenues we could take be taking. That makes a great complete sense for the way I would put it as rationality is itself better. That is, you know, if you had a matter rationality, then you say, well, you do, we have yet another part of the brain for the meta mata rationality. But taking a leaf turtle. Turtles all the way down all the way up. But taking a leaf from the field of linguistics and cognitive science, which going back at least to known Chomsky in George Miller, emphasize the power of recursive computation and recursive representation. Namely, an idea can contain an idea, including an example of itself a reasoning process can step back and consider its own shortcomings or flaws. And we could then in turn step up a level and criticize the criticism of our reasoning. And there's as long as you have the computational power to embed a proposition in a proposition or have a routine call an instance of itself, that automatically makes it meta for as many levels as you want, until you, of course, you have the mind boggles because it just gets too complicated to keep track of them. But it is essential and I'm glad you mentioned this that not only when it comes to adjudicating among long-term goals, much harder. We all of course are faced with tension between immediate gratification and longer term satisfaction. I mean, that's just kind of the stuff of self control of maturity. But you're right, that we often have long term goals that come into conflict. And I love to consider in talking about reasoning about goals I think of adjudicating among goals within a person to be kind of what we mean when we talk about wisdom. And adjudicating among goals from different people, kind of what we mean when we talk about ethics and morality. But yeah, there's no obviously correct answer to how should I trade off creating my masterpiece with spending time with my kids. Both of them are long-term goals at least without building a satisfying relationship with your kids. And it is part of the agony of being a mature adult that one has to grapple with these conflicts and there's no single correct answer. Yeah. There's a question I want to ask you. And it's opening up a can of worms. What is true? Because I've heard other very smart people attempt to discuss such a topic and it can go in a very long conversation direction. But I feel like that's kind of the elephant in the room. We took a rationality. Truth is a very important part of rationality. You want to use correct knowledge to tingles. You don't want to use your definition the ability to use knowledge to take goals. The inference there is that the ability to use correct knowledge. There's a lot of knowledge going around these days. According to one fairly well known characterization of knowledge, borrowed from the filter philosophy, acknowledges sometimes defined as justified true belief. So by definition, knowledge is true. If it isn't, we don't call it knowledge, we call it belief. We don't say John knows the moon is made of cheese, although we could say, John believes the group has made a cheese when you use no and knowledge. You kind of committing yourself to truth behind the scenes. Then you're right, it does raise the question of what do we mean by truth? And again, this is a question much discussed in the field of philosophy and in many ways above my pay grade. A famous definition of truth from tarski is that to say that X is true is to say X now that for many people that's not particularly satisfying or truth is what is the case. But it's like reason. It doesn't submit to a conventional definition. Because it's deeper than that. You can't have a definition of reason unless you know how to reason. You can't talk about truth unless you already are grounded in some tacit commitment to truth. Otherwise nothing that you say would be in a sense worth saying. If you want to take it or leave it, I'm just making noise with my mouth. I'm not making any claim to anything that is actually accurate or worthy of your belief. So it kind of committed to truth even when we start to persuade explain. And I think one way of parsing this somewhat enigmatic definition of truth that to say X is true is to say X is that it's just kind of what we mean when we say stuff in the first place. And so there is something almost superfluous about saying differentiating between the world is around is true and the world is around. I mean, this just raises the question, can it be rational in certain instances to be completely diluted? Delusional, as well about something. But in a way, that delusion in if it in itself is what gets you to attain your goal, then would that be the more rational thing to have incorrect knowledge? Well, could be what they say there'd be relative is it and say that it is a rational way to attain a particular goal. I don't think we would call it again, especially as someone who is very interested in words. I know that it's not up to me to legislate the meaning of words when I answer a question of does the word apply. I'm kind of Tapping into our communities intuitions of when it's natural to use the word. So the word means what people understand the word to me. And I think most so the answer to your question is it rational is really would most people use the word rational in describing that. I think most people would not. Unless you narrow it and say, is this a rational way of doing what everyone wants to do. But is it rational to believe things that we standing outside that person know to be false? I think no. The answer is no. And my own admittedly somewhat makeshift definition of rationality may be the use of knowledge to obtain goals. While packed into that as knowledge and as we spoke about just a couple of minutes ago, the conventional understanding of knowledge is justified true belief. And so true is packed into that..
"steven pinker" Discussed on Dr. Drew Podcast
"But here's all this horrible stuff, that goes wrong when, when it's on checked, I think it was all colored by narcissism, which we are so pervasively influenced by today. Yeah. And a lot of his rations were sort of color by that. And so he pulled that malignant envy as this destructive. Yeah, that's the liability of narcissism. That's it. How about Steven pinker interest talking to you, because you've spoken all my favorite people? Yeah. So, so we had Stephen figure on recently short my co-host interviewed him. And I interviewed him a couple years ago at the triple A S meeting, and, you know, he's, he's really interesting in terms of how he thinks about the evolution of the brain and how languages such a central part of what shapes our thinking and educated in that era. Yeah. That was his, his. Yeah. Linguist linguistic roots. But then, you know he started talking about how the world is not as bad as we think it is right? And his, his more more recent books, and I think that there there's so much room for that. And, and I think that the argument that he makes to me are pretty compelling people have poked holes, especially in his last book. But, you know, sort of just just saying that it doesn't doesn't quite have the depth of, of the, you know, the argument isn't isn't quite as strong, but, you know, I still think that there is room for trying to understand violence and negativity in the grand scheme of human history. And how we are. Living in an unprecedentedly peaceful time was if I remember some of the holes being parked poked, in that argument was the flares of violence in the twentieth century, sort of outweighed, his, his sense that violence was going down, right? Yeah. Yeah. I think that's that's part of it. I also just think that yeah, there's sort of this economic argument to where like, you know, we might not be killing people, but we are certainly harming people all over the world, and we don't care. So even if we're not actively going out and committing genocide..
Understanding Australia's Political Narcissism
"Have you often thought that are major political parties don't offer a choice? They just offer an Tweedle dum Tweedle day. Well, that's more or less been the case since the mid nineties when both labor and the coalition champion what's called the economic reform agenda, or as some of the critics deride the neoliberal consensus deregulation privatize -ation tariff cuts tax cuts leban- microphone all that. Well, my guess says those days are over the may eighteen election. He says could represent an audio logical shift in Australian politics, and that's a good thing. To teams palmesano is professor of practice at the university of Sydney, he's a former rice discrimination Commissioner he's worked as a library vase, and is the author of book called on height. Published by 'em UP, get item welcome to between the lines on now. In your recent Sydney Morning Herald column. Mm USA just quote out political Nassim of monitor Frances that could be coming to an end house. Oh, we're saying perhaps the most ideologically significant election for quite some time here. And it's because we have the lay the pioneer Bill shorten offering a forthright progressive social democratic platform. It hasn't gone about presenting itself as a small target in this election. It's put a quality registered bution back on the Genda. You say this in the fact that it's pushed for capital gains tax reform, negative, gearing reform pushed for higher wages, the childcare policy announcement during this election is another example. So what you're seeing here in some is a muscular rejection of market liberalism assigned that the state is back at least on the lie beside and that you'll you'll saying challenge to the idea that a marketing. Clemmie must also mean a market society. So long gone are the days when you had a lie bellator running for office. Kevin rod describing the stalling himself as an economic conservative precisely and that has been the template in many respects full libero position. Now who's reflect the thinking of a lot of people in the community just how has the power of market liberalism. How is that filed? Let's just look survey at from the global perspective with still saying the effects of the global financial crisis with seeing here. What is a transitional transformation from stable managed capitalism to speculative financial capitalism. And the legacy of this committee described as follows when not saying global growth in in any significant way, you might even say the global economy is in naming with saying ultra-low interest rates with seeing quantitative easing by many central banks, huge jumps in public indebtedness. Also significant increases in inequality and on top of that when not necessarily saying the market operate in the perfectly competitive foam that you would expect of market liberalism, think of the concentration of market power in the new digital Konami the enormous size and influence of organization such as. Google or Facebook, or Amazon, I think these are all signs that market liberalism is not working the way that and that exit Bill shorten is championing this notion of famous, but is income inequality really Rausing in this country. I'll turn to a productivity commission report last g got the quotes. He it found that sustained growth has delivered significantly improved living standards full the average Australian in every income group that the economic mobility is high and quote movements in inequality indexes a slot rather than series in other words, Australia. According to productivity commission is not locked US where we have seen real income inequality Nora, we lock Europe where growth has stagnated for decades. How would you respond to the productivity commission all the productivity commission report still acknowledges that income? Inequality has risen of the past three decades. It's suggest. And here is that they may be a question about the degree to which income inequality has risen. But also, the productivity commission is also clear that when you look at the ends of the distribution on income, it's become in their woods stickier. So you seeing less mobility in some pockets of distribution, and as they put it stickiness is indicative, some entrenched inequality. So thought wholesale repudiation of the rising inequality in some of this is also that up in methodology. So the methodology that the productivity commission us was to look at surveys conducted as part of the Hilda exercise, the household income and labour dynamics in Austria study that is very well regarded, but if you look at other methods of measuring inequality, for example, looking at national accounts, dotterel taxation statistics drawing on the methodology that people Thomas Pickety have developed measuring income inequality. Then does appear that income inequalities at historically high levels going back to nineteen forties or the mid twentieth century. We've not had income inequality at such levels in it straight. And that's based on research done by Andrew Lee. Mentioned Thomas Pickety who Thomas Pickety fringe economists? I think climbed to find on this issue of inequality, but opportune to people have been on this show over the last few Yee's team. Keisha Mahbubani from Singapore. Johan Norberg from Sweden Steven pinker from Harvard met really from London victim Putin in Melvin and nisi that market liberalism, including free. Tried has delivered the single greatest reduction in extreme poverty in human history effect, isn't it? Yes, it is. And imagine if the distribution will equal even see more people having been liberated from poverty or enjoying a rise out of hardship. There's no question about the absolute gains that come from market, liberalism and not rejecting the idea of market economy. We know that the market distributes resources in a much more efficient way than a centrally planned economy does. This is the lesson of the twentieth century in the listen of the failure of of communism. The point here is about whether we want to be a market society is will that we have the logic of the market being applied to conduct government and to add relations between between people see Mahbubani, nog- and Pinkett, they'd respond inside that government policies lie policies, if you like to force inequality down that would incur a cost in lower economic growth, and that would argue low living standards, not just in Australia, but across the world. Well, that would argue that and it's an it's an idea that I believe should be contested. I'm not arguing for a perfect equal distribution of resources. But if we believe, for example, when the idea of Aaquil opportunity, I believe you need to have some redistribution of resources for that to become realizable. No question that socialism is having some sort of resurgence. And you mentioned that in your recent Sydney Morning Herald article, certainly if you look in the United States, you see Bernie Sanders doing very well, politically, Jeremy Corbyn later of the party, and there have been plenty of polls. And we've had guests on this program talking about how socialism is becoming very popular, especially among millennials. Now, you say, quote, what those on the right to cry as the evils of socialism, a good number of us regard as decent common sense. But what about the terrible atrocities committed in the name of socialism in the twentieth century team. What about the? Abject failure of socialism everywhere has been implemented. Let's not get too blunt Tomei to when when when our third to run I refer to those on the right decrying was socially. I was referring specifically to the education minister Dantin criticising. The labour party's announcement recently on childcare policy as an example of socialism, if not communist or words that affects and I think that's a bit of blown somewhat exaggerated when I'm talking about social democracy. I'm talking about an ideology that still exists within the limits of multi-party, democracy, individually Berty and the rule of law that what social democracy means is that the state has a role in regulating markets and in redistributing resources, it's about elevating the value of community and the value of quality beside the value of freedom. Young people who are attracted to socialism. They also distrust government regulations, and they mar on Pinerolo and small businesses. They're disconnected between the two. No, this is this is precisely and it will strike of the point. I'm making about a mock economy. This is a market society. Millennia was understand perfectly. Well, the power of entrepreneurialism and the benefits of of the market what they don't accept is that the market must govern everything in society. What I don't accept his that the distribution thrown up by the market is is something that is necessarily desirable in all cases. So if you look at how millennials are experiencing, the housing market and housing affordability. If you're looking at how they experiencing work and the diminishing job security that they experience all the precarious nature gig economy that many of them are engaged in their frankly, not saying the benefits of of market liberalism market. But you tackling dance. You can't tax a loss. You can only tax prophet and
"steven pinker" Discussed on Serious Inquiries Only
"You may remember if you've been listening the show, I think back during the eighth Theus glee. Speaking days toward the end of that was when I had fill on Phil has written a couple books. He studies global catastrophic risks. So he's all about which ways humans are going to end up dead, basically, or maybe which ways the the planet will be fundamentally altered or just anything catastrophic anything extreme ending existential any those sort of problems. So, you know, a global warming super volcanoes all kinds of fun stuff disease. You know, the the classics. Fun, topics. We talked mainly about that last time so feel free to check that out. But this time it's been long enough. We may rehash some of that territory. But also he's recently been involved in a little bit of a back and forth because he did some proof. Reading of a chapter of Steven pinker latest book that dealt with existential risk AI threat, some other stuff like that. And he found what he views what Phil views as some poorer scholarship wrote an article about it wrote a long long article, and then wrote like a shorter version that got picked up by salon and went somewhat viral. So that'll be the second half of the show. If you're just looking for that part go about halfway through we get to that topic. But I we have plenty to talk about. I mean after all the the guy studies global catastrophic risks and we elected one president since then. So there's lots of talk about all right with that said, let's get on over to the interview..
"steven pinker" Discussed on Kickass News
"But once you have that if it just happens that different the two sexes different in statistical distributions that doesn't say the district the discrimination is okay discriminations. Not okay. No matter what the findings are. And in fact, I think that protects the principle of non-discrimination because it says that no matter what which way the science comes out. We still should not keep women out of the workplace. Whereas if you say, well, it the the reason that women should do what they want. Is that men and women are exactly the same woman? Get some evidence. Maybe they're not the same. You're almost conceding. Okay. Well, we can discriminate against women after all. Yeah. I think that's a big mistake. Now. Now before we go one of the most fascinating things that I've ever read from. You was actually also in the blank slate, which is this data that said that genetics may play a role in our political beliefs on our political affiliations, I found that just fascinating. Could you talk a little about those findings? Yeah. It is. Mind boggling, there's an old Gallup, Gilbert and Sullivan song. It says every every little bit eighty baby is born a little liberal or conservative. That's an exaggeration. But there's there is a grain of truth in that in that people's political beliefs are partly influenced by by their genes that how does that work, which is to say understand what the data are say what what that means. Let's say you have identical twins who are share all their DNA. Let's say they're separated at birth. And they're brought up in different parts of the country different parts of the world. Turns out their political beliefs are often correlated, they're not identical. And conversely, if you look at adopted siblings who have the same parents say neighborhood, but they are unrelated then it turns out their political beliefs aren't correlated at all now except by virtue of being in a particular neighborhood, but they're no closer than entirely fascinating. So how how your opinion on a border wall big German by DNA and. Of course, it isn't. It's more a certain personality traits tend to go with okay being receptive to more left wing right wing positions in general people who are I tend to lean conservative. Also are more more fearful more easily disgusted. They really are conservative in the small see sense of okay. Be more resistant to change and more comfortable with the status quo. Liberals tend to be a little less driven by fear. A little more open to trying out new things. Okay. So it's all tied into larger psychological traits that can be passed down genetically then. Yes, again into like all the facts genes. These are these are just they tweak the odds that Eugene's determine what your beliefs are. Because we know that I even identical twins can vote differently. But it just it shifts the probabilities. Fascinating staff, or once again, Dr Steven pinker book is called enlightenment. Now, the case for reason science humanism and progress, and it's now available in paperback as well as e book and audiobook form Dr Steven pinker, thanks so much for talking with me. Thank you..
"steven pinker" Discussed on Kickass News
"The world's leading authorities on language in the mind, the recipient of several major awards for his teaching books and scientific research. Pinker is Harvard college professor and Johnstone family, professor of psychology at Harvard University, his popular and highly praised books include the stuff of thought the blank slate words and rules, how the mind works the language instinct, the better angels of our nature and enlightenment. Now, the case for reason science humanism and progress which is now available in paperback. Steven pinker, thanks so much for coming back. Thanks for having me back. Well, it's almost a year since enlightenment now was published and the book has received tons of praise including from people like Bill Gates who said, of course, that it was his new favourite book of all time his first favorite book of all time being your previous book, the better angels of our nature. But you've also. Also gotten some criticism since then ranging from speculation that you might have cherry picked your data to accusations that you were maybe callously ignoring the plight of those who are suffering in the world. You're no stranger to controversy you've gotten some controversy around previous books, but were you prepared for how motion some of the backlashes been well, one one friend wrote to me from Oxford philosopher said you've made people's heads explode. You wouldn't think that a defensive reason science and humanism would be all that controversial in an era where most people think they need all the help can get right? Yeah. It was controversial for for a number of reasons. And and I even wrote a piece just went up on the on the web day before yesterday called enlightenment wars. On the controversies that enlightenment now on the controversies that enlightenment. Now aroused in the years since it came out the starting with a bunch of people who quibble with what actually is the enlightenment. The least interesting question that you could ask because the actual enlightenment movement. Well, they've people say well, not everyone the enlightenment was in favor of of humanism and individual rights that us Russo who was in favor of the general will which could impose policies on now. Individuals and he didn't believe in progress. He believed in everything's gone downhill since we were we left one hundred gatherer lifestyle. But the the thing that I wrote the book knowing that the linemen it's not just like an alternative religion with its own creed and its own prophets and it sacred texts. That's not what the Lightman is in the first place, and I wasn't defending a bunch of guys who wrote in the second half of the eighteenth century. I was defending reason science and humanism and progress I chose the word enlightenment because many people understand it to refer to the use of knowledge to enhance human wellbeing. But yeah, no one knows exactly when it began or ended. It wasn't like the Olympics that where they're opening and closing ceremonies. There's no like creed or bible of the Enlightenment's. There's no correct answers to the question. What was the enlightenment?.
"steven pinker" Discussed on Kickass News
"The podcast the Harvard, professor renowned cognitive scientists in leading intellectual who's also known as Bill Gates favourite author. Dr Steven pinker, I had him on the show last year to discuss his most recent book enlightenment. Now, the case for reason science humanism and progress which presented hard data that proves that. Despite the doom and gloom in the media. People are living longer healthier freer and happier lives. Now, you might think this would be welcome news for public besieged with negativity from the Russian investigation to the government shutdown, but you would be surprised at how many people just didn't want to believe his findings or worse accused. Dr Steven pinker of ignoring the problems of those who are still suffering now a year after the publication of his important book, Dr pinker, addresses the criticism pointing to hard evidence that proves that the way. World as a whole just keeps getting better he reviews fifteen metrics of societal progress that continued to show improvement and discusses to areas that give him particular cause for concern. Steven pinker, ponders weather. Trump's trade war might lead to a hot war whether the retreat of liberal democracy in Europe could signal a resurgence of authoritarianism, and whether the immigration debate might actually be a turning point for the better as polls show that Americans are rejecting alternative facts and alarmism he reveals how genetics may play a part in our political preferences and explores how linguistics can make for more productive political discussions. Dr pinker, recalls the turbulent sixties in his hometown of Montreal. And how he went from a teenage anarchist to a leading proponent of science reason humanism in progress plus an update on his ongoing fight against political correctness. Why we need to stop giving words too much power. And why he says those baby boomers who hate on Molyneaux. Heels as a generation of snowflakes have no one but themselves to blame for it. Coming up with the brilliant. Dr Steven pinker in just a moment. Dr Steven pinker is one of.
"steven pinker" Discussed on The Savvy Psychologist's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Mental Health
"What makes us click more than conflict divisiveness and tragedy? Everybody loves a good train wreck. But as cognitive psychologist, Steven pinker points out in his Ted talk, no newspaper ever reported one hundred thirty seven thousand people escape from extreme poverty yesterday. No news analyst ever reported live from a city where there was no terrorist attack. And pinker goes on to make the case that the world is getting better on metrics as diverse as file ins- literacy, poverty and even the probability of being killed by a lightning strike now. Good news doesn't give us the same cheap thrill as bad news. But in times like these search out a good new site. There are. Dozens like upper the or good to restore your faith in humanity. Tip number three, take a break from social media. Now social media has become not only a way to see our high school classmates. Most recent Hawaiian vacation photos and videos of that raccoon in Minnesota. But also the best or maybe we should say worst sources of news both real and fake. So a study out of the university of Copenhagen asked half of a group of over a thousand participants to quit Facebook for a week while the other half carried on as usual and those on a Facebook fast reported after a week better life satisfaction, and notably they felt more positive emotion. So this makes sense because reprieve from social media not only gives us a break from the envy of the highlight reel. But also a break from the whip sign that comes from the.
Bombay Blood Group or HH Blood Group — The rarest blood Group
"Ever knowing it allows for life saving blood transfusions before the discovery doctors had tried blood transfusions but unless they just happen to matchup donor with a receiver by chance or if the donor had universal typo the patient would die that's because your immune system knows your blood type and recognizes another blood type as an invader in nineteen fifty two some people were discovered to have no blood type at all it's called the bomb bay phenotype because bombay was where the first people with this were discovered it is very rare and people with no blood type must get transfusions from other people with no blood type even the universal type oh can kill them and that is something you should know if you think there are a lot of problems and dangers and horrors in the world you're right of course there are there always are but does that mean the world is falling apart as some people seem to think it is if you watch cable news you would think that things are getting worse and worse in that we just go from one horrible thing to the next and we're on the road to self destruction and it creates this cynicism the sense of dread i know i felt it but then along comes steven pinker one of my favorite writers stephen is an experimental cognitive scientists he's a professor of psychology at harvard and he has written some great books his brand new one which has already zipped up the bestseller list is called enlightenment now became for reason science humanism and progress and he brings a very different message i stephen so you have good news which is always wealth.