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
China's massive and rapid investments in Africa have been criticized by some as a form of economic colonialism. Others are just wondering why the West is missing out on the opportunity.
"For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means."
Twenty-five years after Oslo, Israeli-Palestinian peace remains elusive. A mix of Leftist idealism and PLO rejectionism are to blame for taking the "process" out of the Peace Process.
"In recounting the life of alleged Mossad agent Ashraf Marwan, Ariel Vromen's disappointing film leaves the most interesting parts of the story off screen."
The tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump will add to the national debt. But they did succeed in one area: making rich people even richer.
"As Seen On TV" gadgets like the "sock slider" or a banana peeler are often mocked for being useless wastes of plastic. But for some individuals with disabilities, these gadgets make all the difference.
If SJWs often resemble religious fundamentalists, bell hooks is their highest prophet. Her work on gender and intersectionality have redefined American campuses, and her ideas are being put into action with religious fervor.
"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."
Parents see it all the time. Young girls, confident and full of joy, become timid and shy around their tween and early teen years. A new book explores the sociological explanations for the loss in confidence.
How did a Chinese citrus fruit become the central symbol of one of Judaism's most important holidays? According to a new book by Rabbi David Moster, the Etrog wasn't always so important. For ancient Jews, any old fruit would do.
If IQ tests are any indication, Americans are getting stupider. Some think environmental factors could be to blame. Others say that it's our culture which is to blame for making us stupider.
According to a new book from Jack Wertheimer, American Judaism is embracing universalism in an effort to stay relevant. But this focus on universalism may threaten to undermine the vitality of the Jewish faith.