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Entries Tagged as 'Sociology'

The Boundaries of Science

June 7th, 2010 · 24 Comments

Quondam colleague John Timmer at Ars Technica writes up a recent study on how people cling to cherished beliefs in the face of countervailing scientific evidence.  The conclusion—they fall back on the idea that the question is somehow outside the domain of science—seems plausible enough, and it’s certainly not hard to think of bogus moves […]

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Tags: Science · Sociology

Asking and Guessing

May 10th, 2010 · 9 Comments

Amber Taylor links to a column on “ask cultures” and “guess cultures,” playing with a notion that seems to have debuted in a 2007 comment on Metafilter: In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · Sociology

Frum & Greenwald on Epistemic Closure

May 6th, 2010 · 10 Comments

They’re both a little sick of the term—and believe me, at this point, I empathize—but this is as good a summary of what I was trying to talk about as I’ve seen. The whole discussion is pretty interesting and on point. Greenwald is right, incidentally, that technology hasn’t cloistered partisans—research shows online news consumers are […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

A Coda on Closure

April 22nd, 2010 · 131 Comments

Over the past couple of weeks, a pair of posts I wrote about what I dubbed “epistemic closure” on the right kicked off a surprisingly broad set of conversations and debates—mostly, I suspect, because it slapped a name on a phenomenon that a lot of people already recognized, and which many conservatives were themselves feeling […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Vegetarians of the World, Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your GVP!

April 7th, 2010 · 41 Comments

Anyone who’s been a vegetarian for any length of time nodded along in recognition with Ezra Klein’s post about the dreaded Grilled Vegetable Platter, or GVP.  It’s usually encountered at big group events where one or two proper dishes have been assembled, with the GVP tacked on as an afterthought for the vegetarians, who (it’s […]

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Tags: Sociology

Epistemic Closure, Technology, and the End of Distance

April 7th, 2010 · 118 Comments

I’ve written a bit lately about what I see as a systematic trend toward “epistemic closure” in the modern conservative movement. As commenters have been quick to point out, of course, groupthink and confirmation bias are cognitive failings that we’re all susceptible to as human beings, and scarcely the exclusive province of the right. I […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Wow.

October 14th, 2009 · 17 Comments

Via Spencer and Lindsay Beyerstein, apparently Double-X has hired some kind of sociopath as a “friendship advice” columnist. And by “sociopath,” I mean the sort of person who thinks that it’s too much to ask that putative friends (a) not ditch another friend who mysteriously vanishes in a state of obvious distress on a night […]

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Tags: Sociology

The Perils of the Op-Ed Column and Suicide Girl Conservatism

October 14th, 2009 · 9 Comments

I feel like you don’t see quite so many good old fashioned blog rants anymore, so it’s sort of nice to see Freddie DeBoer let one rip over at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. The first part is a long criticism of what Ross Douthat’s been up to since taking his gig at the New […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Oppositional Moralities and Nobel Revisionism

October 12th, 2009 · 15 Comments

According to the narrative that appears to have been in place by Saturday, reactions to the news that Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize were sharply split on partisan lines: Democrats celebrating and conservative Republicans reacting with “outrage.”  Now, between Twitter and my RSS feed, I woke up to a whole slew […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Arugula Akbar?

September 15th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Thoreau over at Unqualified Offerings writes: In a report on Indonesia, the Economist makes the interesting point that urban Muslims in Indonesia are actually more likely to be drawn to more austere, fundamentalist versions of Islam than their rural counterparts.  The rural Muslims prefer religious practices that blend Islam with elements of Hinduism and indigenous […]

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Tags: Religion · Sociology