The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jacob » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:17 pm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Righteous-Min ... 307455777/

It's very rare that I come across a book that significantly adds to my "latticework", but this is one of them.

Recommended.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:28 pm

Care to join the book club and put it on the list? Hmmm -- Bueller?

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jacob » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:33 pm

Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever! ;-P

Sorry, but my main interest remains the depletion of strategies resources. You know, the fun stuff!

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:43 pm

I guess I need better psychological trickery. ;-)

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by djc2 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:47 am


George the original one
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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by George the original one » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:52 pm

It's worth reading the negative Amazon reviews of the book.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Dragline » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:05 pm

Yes, that to me is what makes puts it on my list of things to read.

The other thing I wonder is about the title, which refers only to "Good People". What about the "Bad People", and how would we distinguish them? Or is he, like Rousseau, assuming that all people are good when uncorrupted by society? I suppose I'll find out when I read it.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jennypenny » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:03 am

Dragline wrote: The other thing I wonder is about the title, which refers only to "Good People". What about the "Bad People", and how would we distinguish them? Or is he, like Rousseau, assuming that all people are good when uncorrupted by society? I suppose I'll find out when I read it.
Definitely read it. It's different than what you're thinking.


I read it last night. I'm resisting the urge to write another long-winded review. It's certainly worth a read, and it's an easy read.

I spent this morning reading through some of the 'debate' threads like the climate change one, quantum woo, etc. Very interesting re-reading them after reading Haidt's book.
Last edited by jennypenny on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jacob » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:11 pm

Yes, it has now become obvious that most arguing is really talking to some elephant's neurochemistry.

This is why the efficient-me is so keen on cut and paste answers like skepticalscience... if only they split their taxonomy further, e.g. "how to answer objection #43 to someone who is somewhat afraid of change, values loyalty to country, and volunteers at community service".

It's also why I consider a "grand solution to all of humanity's problems forever" (the working title of one of my books) to be an increasingly completely hopeless task.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jennypenny » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:31 pm

jacob wrote:This is why the efficient-me is so keen on cut and paste answers like skepticalscience... if only they split their taxonomy further, e.g. "how to answer objection #43 to someone who is somewhat afraid of change, values loyalty to country, and volunteers at community service".
Funny, I thought of that site while reading the book but as an example of how not to do it. By peppering the splash page with words that deliberately taunt readers who are "somewhat afraid of change, values loyalty to country, and volunteers at community service," they immediately get the elephant leaning the other way. There's no recovery after setting off that instinctual response. The language they use should play to that audience.

If I were doing that website (after reading Haidt's book), I'd call it 'unitedinscience.com" or something like that. I'd talk about promoting "changes we can make together" and include positions from large organizations that show an acceptance of the basic argument (like the one I quoted from Pope John Paul II). Skepticalscience is using the type of language that would convince people who are already convinced. They've got it backwards.

We're exhibit A--you like the site and I don't.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Dragline » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:20 am

Well, I finished it and it is certainly worth reading. I thought the models (rider/elephant and six foundations of morality) were useful, although the former sounds a lot like Kahneman's "System 1 (elephant) and System 2 (rider)" from "Thinking Fast and Slow", and I did not see him reference that work, which he should have done.

I became very interested when he cited some of Simon Baron-Cohen's work, but he did not get to the good stuff -- see http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Evil- ... 0465031420

In my view of the world, those are the "bad people", who have disproportionate negative effects on the rest of us. Haidt recognized that the more sophisticated of these are complete rationalists who lack any connection to his six moral foundations. But then he stopped and focused on "normal" people who just have political disagreements. (But as Taleb says, the most meaningful activity is usually in the tails!)

I thought he seemed a little overeager to apply evolutionary theories to everything under the sun, which also tended to assume history and the future are basically linear, with jumps. His thesis would have been much more powerful if he could have combined it with cyclical views of history like Strauss & Howe or Kondratiev. But it may be that perhaps he knows everything about his niche and nothing about other ways of thinking. And his audience is clearly the "modern liberal atheist", which is a limiting factor. I thought he might learn as much about people outside his milieu by doing a stay in rural Indiana as he did in India.

I thought it led to some dubious conclusions -- like that removing lead from gasoline was the leading factor in reduction of crime in the last 20 years. This is an after-the-fact justification much like the Freakonomics guys' assertion that the real reason was Roe v. Wade. But the only people that predicted lower crime at the time that I am aware of were the cyclical historians. In 1990, almost every social scientist predict that crime was going to get worse -- and they were all wrong. I also thought his fretting about the decline in civility in political discourse was misplaced, because again he assumes its going to continue in some kind of linear fashion. I think that's unlikely to be the case once the bulk of the Baby Boomers are out of politics.

So I think what he has done is very good from a descriptive point of view, but not very predictive. These are much better models, though, that the rational actor/homo economicus models of human behavior that we usually seem to be stuck with. I also appreciated how he incorporated anthropology, which I think is the most under appreciated of the social sciences but has the best data sets for falsifying the theories of the other social sciences.

Excellent suggestion, though -- glad I read it.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by JamesR » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:52 pm

Dragline,

The elephant/rider concept has been around a long time now, I doubt it originates from "Thinking Fast and Slow"

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Ian » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:58 pm

You people are reading this pretty fast. I had it on my list, but if I can find it, I'll move it up.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by pooablo » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:31 pm

It was a great read. It helped me to understand why I lean towards libertarianism and why others lean towards other political belief systems!

I'm a bit odd in that my moral compass relies on a combination of liberty, sanctity, and fairness while authority, loyalty, and care don't work as well for me.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jennypenny » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:33 am

The Righteous Mind is Audible's deal of the day (6/21) today for $3.95. Haidt narrates it.

http://www.audible.com/pd/Science-Techn ... s=center-1

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Ian » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:42 pm

I read and enjoyed the book, but I'd already been introduced to much of Haidt's work. For those who are interested, I would recommend A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain. The interviews are a mixed bag, but they introduces you to the main ideas of multiple interesting researchers, including Haidt, so I think it's a good starting point for those who might not have read this subject much.


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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by jennypenny » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:09 am

About halfway through the podcast, Haidt makes an interesting point about morality contributing to intersubjectivity. Haidt doesn't use the term intersubjectivity, but I might go back and reread Haidt now that I've read Sapiens.

I still think the fact that Sapiens was written in Hebrew and then translated into English is part of the reason that Harari used the term "myth" the way he did; however, looking at it through the lens of Haidt's work, I wonder if Dragline's point about how Harari is using the term is correct if Harari comes from what Haidt would describe as a leftist viewpoint.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:25 am

I completely agree with his idea that ideology gets in the way of effective policy. Specifically, his free market example where the ideology in support of free markets gets in it's own way.

I don't share his same conviction on the nature vs nurture debate.

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Re: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by ...

Post by Ego » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:31 pm

Haidt on the infantilization of students.

JH: Western society has transitioned from an honor culture to a dignity culture and now is shifting into a culture of victimhood. In the culture of honor, each person has to earn honor and, unable to tolerate a slight, takes action himself. The big advance in Western society was to let the law handle serious offenses and ignore the inevitable minor ones—what sociologists call the culture of dignity, which reigned in the 20th century. It allows diversity to flourish because different people can live near each other without killing each other. The past 20-30 years, however, has seen the rise of a victimhood culture, where you're hypersensitive to slights as in the honor culture, but you never take care of it yourself. You always appeal to a third party to punish for you. And here's the big concept—you become morally dependent. Young people are becoming morally dependent; they are also less able to solve problems on their own. An adult has always been there somewhere to protect them or punish for them. This attitude does not begin in college. Students have been raised to be morally dependent.

He also refers to Taleb's Antifragility later in the article.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/na ... s-go-wrong

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