Best Of The Web
“All groups have social norms, or unwritten standards that guide behavior. As children, for example, we learn to not grab things out of other people’s hands; to walk on the right side of the sidewalk (or the left, depending on where you live); to put on clothes each day. These social norms are the glue that keep us together, they give us our identity and help humans to cooperate at such a remarkable degree.
In our study across 33 societies published in Science, we found that cultures vary in the strength of their social norms, with profound consequences for our worldviews, our environments, and our brains. Some cultures are tight, with little tolerance for deviance, while loose cultures have weak norms and are highly permissive.
But this distinctions isn’t just relevant for nations. The U.S. 50 states can be classified in terms of their levels of tightness, as can organizations. Our recent research also shows that the working class is tighter than the upper class. Even our own households vary in terms of how strict or permissive we are. It’s a remarkable to see how similar this pattern is across different scales.”
JJ Best Of The Web
North Korea has committed itself to denuclearization… again. The breakthrough deal between North and South Korea is being celebrated. But why should we trust North Korea this time?
“The Electoral College was a dumb idea when it was first proposed. Today, it's the Constitution's most egregious affront to elementary fairness… It's long past time we abolished it.”
Israel has fought in a number of wars since the Yom Kippur war in 1973. But not a single one of them so deeply threatened the existence of the Jewish State, and the national trauma still remains.
As the first Emmy Awards Ceremony in the post #MeToo era, diversity was supposed to be the theme of the evening. But measuring diversity at an awards show is no easy feat.
“Wall Street's profit-generating machine created a jumble of products (MBS, ABS, CDO...) designed to profit off of the relatively mundane business of mortgage lending… These products are staging a comeback.”
“To be alive and online in our time is to feel at once incensed and stultified by the onrush of information, helpless against the rising tide of bad news and worse opinions.”
Reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance” at school is so common as to be taken for granted in American schools. The truth is, it’s not that common. And we haven’t always done it.
Tolstoy, in addition to literary masterpieces, left behind a legacy as a political and spiritual thinker. His teachings inspired a Kibbutz-like cooperative farming movement. These Tolstoyan communities still exist.
It’s not uncommon today for parents to empower their children with more choices. For the parents of almost-three-year-old Naya, gender is just another thing their letting their kid decide.
“First came the cauliflower steaks, thick vegetal slabs, roasted and served like cruciferous T-bones. Then there was Buffalo cauliflower, breaded and fried and generally chicken-shaped.”
Climate change can be difficult to document. That's why scientists and journalists traveled to Greenland to study the slow transformation of ice. Follow the link to see the stunning photos of a landscape in flux.
Jews have had a state for seventy years. It has been just about as long since the end of the Holocaust. Globally speaking, antisemitism is down. But it doesn’t always feel that way.