Link Roundup: July 2018

The Lifespan of a Lie – Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most famous experiments in psychology.  I knew it was questionable in methodology and ethics, but this exposé gathers all the details in a more shocking picture than I had imagined.  Zimbardo is a crook.  He repeatedly lied about key aspects of his experiment, persuaded subjects to also lie after the fact.  And when other researchers failed to replicate, he accused them of being frauds.  It is a disgrace that people in psychology still respect him.

I know that people still like to cite the Stanford Prison Experiment, because it “proves” something they already know to be true, but have you tried instead just… making assertions without proof, because at least then we’re honest?

The World’s Highest Paid Musicians vs Average Salaries – This is an infographic showing how long it takes for popular music artists to earn as much as people with other jobs make in a year.  It’s based on a Forbes list.  That just makes me think of when I asked my brother how much money he made being a rock star (although “star” is rather overstating it), and the answer was basically nothing.  So, this is your reminder that capitalism doesn’t produce anything remotely resembling “fair”.

What’s interesting to me, is that this is easily explainable.  I honestly don’t understand why CEOs get paid so much–it kinda seems like companies just overvalue CEOs, or there are principal-agent problems–but it’s easy to see why top artists get paid so much.  The popularity of music follows a power law distribution, so artist’s salaries follow that too.  I think it would be an interesting exercise to think up a more utopian system of art monetization.

Do algorithms reveal sexual orientation or just expose our stereotypes? – I’ve always found “gaydar” research to be disappointing, because it’s fixated on what you can determine from facial features alone.  In reality, when I can guess someone is queer, that’s based entirely on cultural markers.  So I would say “gaydar” research isn’t really about gaydars at all, and is about some loosely related concept that really ought to be given a different name.

This article I’m linking is a detailed critique of a “gaydar” study that built an AI that can purportedly guess people’s orientation from their faces.  The critique is that the AI is clearly basing its guesses on cultural markers and grooming habits.  And to me, the cultural differences are the more interesting ones.  I would not have guessed that same-sex attracted men in the US are more likely to wear glasses, or that they take selfies from higher angles.

Whisper Networks, Callout Posts, and Expulsion: Three Imperfect Ways of Dealing With Abuse – Like it says in the title, this short article explains the advantages and disadvantages of three common ways that communities deal with abuse.  Some people think that the problem with these is that they lead to false accusations and disproportionate punishment.  And that can happen, but there’s also the flip side that you don’t see, where abusers can get away with it.

Travel ban ruling: Supreme Court finally condemns 1944 decision that allowed Japanese internment during World War II – Korematsu v. United States was the Supreme Court decision that allowed the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II (also some German and Italian citizens, I’ve just learned).  The good news is that the Supreme Court finally repudiated Korematsu v. United States.  The bad news is that they felt the need to, because the comparison to Trump’s travel ban was too obvious for it to go unremarked.  Anyway, this is your reminder that you don’t need to go to Nazi Germany for historical examples of concentration camps, you can find them in US history too.

Why I Quit Academia (video)- This is an old ContraPoints video, but it came up in my recommendations.  If you liked my series on why grad school sucks, you may appreciate this perspective from a former philosophy student.  If you’ve ever heard about the rampant progressiveness and “cultural marxism” in academia, and thought, “I oughta get a piece of that!” you might be rather disappointed.  PhD work is always extremely narrow, and usually isn’t of much help to the working class.

Take it from a sex-favorable ace: you don’t need to have sex – This final link is a self-plug, an article I wrote for The Asexual Agenda.  Okay, but the article might be hard to understand if you’re an outsider to the ace community.  It’s about affirming aces who try or like sex, while also talking about risky behavior and sexual violence.

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