1. Barry Schwartz, ”Consumption Makes Us Sad?” at The Daily Beast.
2. Henry Harpending on class and meritocracy (via Reihan Salam). My dumbed down version: it wouldn’t take all that long for something similar to castes to form within societies where people were able to assortively mate on the basis of IQ. The question is, if higher-IQ individuals (the cognitive elite) tend to cluster and cluster and cluster, what will be the outcome for those left at the other end of the spectrum? If we are thinking about social policy and if we want to address, say, income inequality, how can we expect to use old statistics or trends to inform the policies we craft today?
hbd* chick writes on the subject too.
3. A self-described feminist and wannabe anthropologist that I know in real life wrote this on her Facebook page:
Dear whores in xxxxxx, put some clothes on. It’s fucking cold outside so unless you are getting bent over in an alley and need easy access, it is not necessary.
Pretty crude, even for my taste. ’Skank’ would have been a better word to use. I replied with a simple “don’t hate” comment to which this chick replied in a condescending manner that she understood that I wouldn’t resist a free show. This is a subtle hamster. She discredits my pointing out that she’s a hater – bitter and jealous – by chalking my comment up to my desire to check out half-naked chicks in public. Therefore I’m just being the pig that I was always meant to be which means that any criticism from me doesn’t sting as hard. If I’m biased then, in the feminist’s eyes, there is nothing wrong with her hostility.
Gyms make most of their money from two sorts of people: 1) Absentee members and 2) super-users who pay not only the monthly fee but also for the add-ons, like trainers and classes, all the way down to the whey smoothies.
5. Steven Pinker’s interview with Reason for his new book. There’s a longish discussion about the role that capitalism played in helping diminish violence over time.
6. Razib Khan on sex ratio imbalances. Sex selective abortion – given that most aborted fetuses are female – creates a scenario where the overflow of men in a given society seek mates from another. Women of less prosperous societies would be brought in thereby leaving an imbalance in an even less prosperous society. Khan uses Korea-China/Asia and the Punjab region of India as an example.