Links to Consider, 3/19
Rob Henderson on Robin Dunbar on friendship; Accusations by Naomi Wolf, Matt Taibbi, and Scott Atlas; Torenberg vs. de Waal on moral nature;
It takes about 200 hours of face-to-face contact to become a good friend with someone. [It takes 50 hours of socializing to go from an acquaintance to a casual friend; 40 additional hours to become a ‘real’ friend, and a total of 200 hours to be a close friend.]
Henderson is taking notes on a podcast featuring Robin Dunbar. Another excerpt:
Most adults make most of their friends at work with their colleagues.
For this reason, Dunbar thinks hybrid work will recede and people will return full-time to their workplace.
…Our meaningful social world is composed of 150 people; the famous Dunbar number.
The 50 people closest to us are relatively “strong ties” and the 100 people outside of that are our “weak ties.” Several lines of evidence indicate that our “weak ties” are valuable for professional advancement and finding profitable opportunities.
You don’t have to agree with Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to notice the latest hypocrisy by the Left. My acquaintance and personal hero Daniel Ellsberg was rightly lionized by the Left for having illegally leaked the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times was rightly applauded for having run this leaked material in 1971. [https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1435/daniel-ellsberg].
I do not see how Mr Carlson’s airing of video material of national significance that the current government would prefer to keep hidden, or Fox News’ support for its disclosure to the public, is any different from that famous case of disclosure of inside information of public importance.
These days, it takes courage to criticize your own team, as Ms. Wolf does here. I should note that Mike Pence, the Republican who served as VP under President Trump, is quite angry with the demonstrators and with Trump. Courage on both sides? Possibility of lion lying down with the lamb? Or with the Wolf?
Michael and I were trying to describe a system that wants to bypass proof and proceed to punishment, a radical idea that this new breed of Democrat embraces. I think they justify this using the Sam Harris argument, that in pursuit of suppressing Trump, anything is justified. But by removing or disrespecting the rights to which Americans are accustomed, you make opposition movements like Trump’s, you don’t stop them.
Yesterday was memorable for other reasons, but a depressing eye-opener as well, forcing me to see up close the intellectual desert that’s spread all the way to the edges within the party I once supported. There are no more pockets of Wellstones and Kuciniches who were once tolerated and whose job it is to uphold a constitutionalist position within the larger whole. That crucial little pocket of principle is gone, and I don’t think it’s coming back.
In a democracy, indeed in any ethical and free society, the truth is essential. The American people need to hear the truth—the facts, free from the political distortions, misrepresentations, and censorship. The first step is to clearly state the harsh truth in the starkest possible terms. Lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology.
I have had it with narratives. I want Republicans to drop the narrative of a stolen election. I want Democrats to drop their narrative of January 6. I want Democrats to drop whatever narrative they believe that allows them to tolerate government agencies using social media companies as censors. I want the mainstream media to drop its narrative that Fauci and other officials were implementing science and dissenters were spreading misinformation.
For Master Morality, the evidence was self-evident. The stronger were better than the weak because they could defeat them. QED. We’re naturally drawn to better people and better ways of doing things, so master morality was largely in sync with our existing instincts and inclinations.
Now, slave morality is a great inversion of master morality. It’s not something new, it’s just the exact opposite of master morality. But, unlike master morality, slave morality isn’t self-evident and thus doesn’t occur as naturally, so we needed to invent a whole new metaphysics to justify it. This would be known as the two-worlds mythology, or otherwise known as religion.
I’m guessing that Frans de Waal, interviewed by Yascha Mounk, would disagree.
I got interested in the evolution of morality because I worked on empathy in primates. The first studies of empathy were mostly about what you would call reactions to the distress of others: you see a child crying, you console them and you help them if necessary. That's an act of empathy. Chimpanzees and bonobos do exactly the same thing. If one of them has lost a fight, or has fallen out of a tree, or whatever it is that distresses them, others come over and embrace and kiss them and try to calm them down. So I got interested in acts of empathy, and very soon I discovered that, for many people, empathy is very close to morality. … David Hume assumed that the moral emotions, what he called the moral sentiments, are the basis of human morality. I think that's exactly the case and it is built on a primate morality and a primate empathy—primate psychology, basically. Human morality is not some sort of invention that is independent of biology. I do think it goes beyond what chimps or bonobos do, it's more complex than what they do, but it's clearly related to what they do.
Substacks referenced above:
Arnold wrote: "I should note that Mike Pence, the Republican who served as VP under President Trump, is quite angry with the demonstrators and with Trump." Pence is too simple-minded. There were four groups involved in January 6: 1) honest Trump-supporting legitimate protestors who did nothing wrong (the overwhelming majority; 2) a handful of disorderly Trump supporters; 3) Antifa radicals masquerading as Trump supporters to bring obloquy on them (as they had done at 2016 Trump campaign rallies); and 4) government undercover agents, some of them disguised as Trump supporters, who encouraged and facilitated the disorder.
Unfortunately, the many legitimate protestors have been tarred with the brush of the disorders, thus obscuring that there are reasonable concerns about the integrity of the election, and smearing those who have them.
Some of group 1 appear to have been entrapped into entering the Capitol through encouragement and facilitation by government agents.
Totally agree with Scott Atlas that society needs to be told the harsh truth in the starkest possible terms. American society is living a multilayered cake of lies and it is dying as a consequence.
My 2 cents on "stolen elections" is the harsh truth is American elections are easily manipulated and government/ political parties are resistant to changes that would improve voting integrity. The consequence is political parties are in a race to optimize voting manipulations. The result is diminishing confidence in election results.
I'll add that one of the freshly baked lies we have in America is that a filled out ballot invariably reflects the distinct will of a legal, interested voter. The system only assumes that is the case.