A theory: French Revolution stopped after they instituted a draft that took young people out of Paris. Not sure if this is true. Didn’t read the link.
Voter turnout in the United States trails most other countries. Pew Results.
Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, predicted the Rise of Trump in August 2015. He’s posted extensively (here’s his list of posts) not because he likes him, but because he appreciates his skills as a “master persuader” and as a “Clown Genius.” In the latter post Adams, as a trained hypnotist deconstructs some of Trump’s techniques and how they work.
For starters, the visceral reaction that makes so many people dislike Trump has a lot to do with his New York style. I grew up in upstate New York and his style registers with me in a completely different way than it does with my California friends who can’t stand him. What I see is bluntness, honesty, some risk-taking, and a competitive nature. I don’t hate any of that. In fact, I kind of like it.
I have blogged about making the transition from my New York personality to my California personality. New Yorkers tend to say whatever they think is true to whoever is standing nearby. Not much filter. Californians say what they think will make you feel good. The California way would feel like lying if it were not so well-meaning.
I certainly understand that Trump comes off as arrogant, obnoxious, and lots of other bad stuff. But over time, and compared to the liars on stage with him, you might get hooked on hearing his honest opinions. That’s how the New York style works. At first you hate it because it seems so harsh. In time you start to appreciate the honesty. And when you realize the harshness is not a signal of real evil – just a style – you tend to get over it. He won’t win over all of his haters, but I predict that his New York style will grow on people more than you would expect. You could say his style is his biggest problem, but it might be self-solving with time and exposure. He is getting both.
Study Hillary gets the most negative media.
Media will build Trump up and Hillary down in order to create the idea that there is a an exciting election story worth spending your time on.
Propublica report on “requirements” for home schooling. Mostly “none.”
About half of the white immigrants to the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries were indentured
Charleston, SC is a cultural outlier. Form the history of the Jews in Charleston, South Carolina:
By 1800 there were about 2,000 Jews in South Carolina (overwhelmingly Sephardic and settled in Charleston), which was more than in any other U.S. state at that time, and more than any other town, city, or place in North America
I never knew that. And if you’d asked me for a guess, I would have said that it was almost certainly false.
Simplifying the tax code: I think Scott said: “A randomly chosen person’s taxes would be unchanged” Sounded wrong when I heard it. I think it must be wrong, and only could be true if the deductions made by the “average person” whatever that might mean, were exactly offset by the reduction in tax rates for their bracket. Since deductions are very unevenly distributed across any given income bracket (some people have big houses and get big deductions, others making the same amount of money rent and get no deduction) this is unlikely to be true.
Daniel Gilbert, (et al) wrote this paper called “You Can’t Not Believe Everything You Read.” It addresses the following proposition: supposing you are an open minded person and someone tells you something. If you understand the claim and don’t reject it right away as false, and you don’t accept it right away as true. Do you stick it in your brain as “understood pending verification” or do you stick it in your brain as true?
For a practical example: you’ve heard a bunch of negative things about, say, Hillary Clinton, some of which you might have rejected out of hand, and some you might have accept out of hand. But as an open-minded person you might judge, in some of those cases that you just don’t know, and you assume she is innocent until proven guilty.
Gilbert’s research argues that if you don’t outright reject a claim about Crooked Hillary, then it’s filed in your brain as true, and you have to do If you are told that it is false (by a source that you would rely on) and your mind is sufficiently occupied, then you will not do the cognitive work needed to reclassify it, and continue to believe that it is true.
For example, according to Gilbert’s research, merely hearing the term “Crooked Hillary” without entirely rejecting it (Saint Hillary, anyone) causes your belief to tilt against her.
Less Wrong Article “Do we believe everything we read” elaborates and points to some other resources.
Web site to help Americans who might want to move to Canada if Trump wins. He’s gotten millions of hits.
Great book on understanding American politics: Colin Woodard’s American Nations.