Tag Archives: psychology

Sharing our Marbles

How to Get the Rich to Share The Marbles is the title of an article by Johnathan Haidt, psychology professor, printed in the New York Times in February. It explains the psychology around “sharing the spoils” behavior. I’m jumping right to the punch with this quote from the article, then I’ll work backward explaining how we got here:

If the Democrats really want to get moral psychology working for them, I suggest that they focus less on distributive fairness — which is about whether everyone got what they deserved — and more on procedural fairness—which is about whether honest, open and impartial procedures were used to decide who got what. If there’s a problem with the ultra-rich, it’s not that they have too much wealth, it’s that they bought laws that made it easy for them to gain and keep so much more wealth in recent decades. Continue reading

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Conservatives of Late, Liberals Underestimate

For those of you who missed it, George Lakoff wrote a new article about Republican strategy – not just Republican strategy but the extreme social conservatives. This strategy is personified in Rick Santorum but is mimicked by the other candidates in trying to out-do each other with more and more socially regressive rhetoric. I am re-posting because it is a great point made by a guy who studies brains and language, and who is passionately progressive.

He really does knock it out of the park so I won’t go into his article fully here, but the ideas are worth repeating (and repeating and repeating). Progressives must stop being self congratulatory and stop lampooning the social conservatives; they are serious contenders to rule this country. To a progressive, many of the phrases, ideas, and supporters for the Republican primary are laughable. The ideas seem backwards and unpopular, the gaffes are unforgiveable, the facts are often non-existent. Progressive love using facts to make their arguments and tend to act as if everyone has the same level of interest and respect for their version of the facts. This attitude is fatal to connecting with an electorate. Continue reading

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We’re all at least a little Bi

Labels are problematic, sometimes they do more harm than good. The fact is that we begin our labeling as babies as we sort our world into categories. As language is introduced, literal labels get attached along with our new experiences and sounds. We can’t help but organize and categorize everything that falls into our realm. Trying to talk about our social, fiscal, and political culture can be tricky because there are so many aspects and none of them neatly organized. This is how we’ve come up with the political labels of “progressive” or “conservative”.

They are totally inadequate. Continue reading

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Pillow Fight!

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Around these parts, we have a new tradition for the holiday, we beat the heck out of each other with pillows; it’s so fun. The news is cycling through what is now the same old stories – Republican jockeying for position, Obama trying to please the majority, and a tangled ball of religion, birth control, women’s issues, and gay rights.  It does seem like control over women and traditional family roles are central to much of the discussions. One side wants to fight to preserve a traditional nuclear family where the man of the house calls the shots, the other wants to live in the present where the head of household can be of any gender and is free to make choices for themselves. It is easy to understand why we all sometimes want to lash out or beat our head against the wall. Sometimes the other side seems so far away that talking to them is impossible. I call for a national pillow fight. Continue reading

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The Right Fears, The Left Loves

The Left are lovers, the right are scared; that’s the short story from new study came out recently from the Political Science Dept. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A test group of established conservative and liberal subject were hooked up to machines that measured physiological responses and found that conservatives fixated on images they found fearful and liberals were relatively unfazed.  Continue reading

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