As usual, I bring you a collection of articles from the past month that I found particularly interesting.
Effective Altruism is logical, but too unnatural to catch on | Psyche – Alan Jern discusses why Effective Altruism is psychologically and morally counterintuitive. This is very different from my own discussion of Effective Altruism, where I am most critical of the realities of the community and its priorities. While Effective Altruism makes counterintuitive decisions in trolley problems, I don’t really consider that a problem with Effective Altruism, rather our flawed moral intuition is the problem, and Effective Altruism addresses that problem by offering community support and discussion. In any case, I feel like it’s rarely a choice between altruism and family; the majority of one’s resources are usually spent on oneself, so altruism tends to come at one’s own expense first.
Inside Foxconn’s empty buildings, empty factories, and empty promises | The Verge – A bit late for this story, but this was just engrossing. In 2017, republicans gave huge subsidies to bring a Taiwanese manufacturer into Wisconsin, and it was a huge scam and corporate nightmare. As recently as last month, Trump was still claiming that Foxconn would keep its promises.
India’s engineers have thrived in Silicon Valley. So has its caste system. | The Washington Post – An article about discrimination against lower castes in US tech companies. Casteism is unfamiliar to most people in the US so it’s a blind spot for protection against discrimination.
Why So Many Esports Pros Come From South Korea | Wired – South Korea is widely known to produce the top players in the world in many Esports. Unsurprisingly this is not because of any innate racial superiority, but has to do with economic conditions in South Korea, where working class kids have access to cheap gaming cafes, but not career options. It sounds similar to how many sports in the US seem to be dominated by Black athletes. It’s as if innate racial differences are a completely unnecessary hypothesis.
What Happens if the Supreme Court Overturns Obamacare | FiveThirtyEight – Naturally I had been looking at 538 lately, and I saw this article which has a succinct explanation of the current Supreme Court case against Obamacare (which I mentioned in an earlier post). In an earlier case, SCOTUS ruled that Obamacare was constitutional on the grounds that the individual mandate was a tax. Republicans ammended the tax to $0, and are now arguing that it no longer qualifies as a tax and is therefore unconstitutional. They further argue that the individual mandate is essential to the law, and therefore the whole law is unconstitutional. This is a disingenous attempt to repeal Obamacare while pretending they didn’t want to. I have some hope that even a conservative SCOTUS would reject this absurdity.