Links to Consider, 10/4
Balaji Book Discussion; Samuel Hammond on Mormonism; Lawrence Newport prefers Quakerism; Jonathan Haidt balks at a diversity oath
Here is a recording of me leading a discussion of Balaji Srinivasan’s Network State. I recommend 1.5x speed, maybe faster when I am talking. I think that the discussion picks up around half way through, when John Nye makes comments.
In a series of posts, I plan to explore these aspects of the LDS church in historical context. My goals are twofold. First, as a student of “the economics of religion,” I have a personal interest in understanding the functional origin of religious institutions. And second, given the malaise of modernity, I see a growing need to reconcile the procedural efficacy of religion with our contemporary inability to accept its propositional contents.
He has a follow-up post.
Lawrence Newport prefers Quakerism.
Quakers believe that no individual has a privileged access to the word of God and thus everyone is to be listened to, heard and able to speak.
“There is that of God in everyone” is the way they put it at the Quaker high school where we enrolled our oldest daughter. She had a somewhat contrarian personality (wonder where that could have come from?), which the Quaker approach easily absorbed. Note that my other two daughters went all the way through in public school. Pointer from Tyler Cowen.
Jonathan Haidt. . .announced that he would resign at the end of the year from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, his primary professional association, because of a newly adopted requirement that everybody presenting research at the group's conferences explain how their submission advances "equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals." It was the sort of litmus test against which he has warned, and which he sees as corroding institutions of higher learning.
Haidt seems pretty good, but like the pretty good Rauch, blind to the huge multi-decade problem in academia.
Discrimination against Republicans.
Republicans in Congress should require gov't colleges to NOT discriminate based on politics - and end all gov't support to those private colleges that do. Including tax-exempt status for Harvard, the huge hedge fund that also has a college (like Yale, Princeton & Stanford, the Big 4 HYPS).
Hammond: “If I could find the Will to Believe, I’d probably be Mormon.” Is William James making a 21st century comeback?
I love the idea of emulating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (obviously I am a member, or I would have written “Mormons”). My recommendation would be to start by examining the Fast Offerings program for helping needy church members. Would be amazing if this sort of ultra-efficient global program could be replicated or scaled to impact more of the community outside of the church itself.
But in the end I don’t think you get the rewards of a religious society without the sacrifices of a religious faith.