Browsing All posts tagged under »social change«

Murals versus Flags: A Symbolically Dense Landscape, continued

July 21, 2014 by


As I said in my previous blog, the Catholic areas in Belfast tend to be symbolically demarcated primarily with murals, while the Protestant ones are festooned with flags. The distinction is not absolute, and you can see the Irish Tricolor (green-white-orange) in two photographs in the previous blog. Still, they are mostly found in the […]

Ideology Is Heritable Yet Societies Can Change Their Views Quickly. A guest blog by Jonathan Haidt.

December 16, 2013 by


Bernard Winograd has written an intriguing post, summarizing the findings one must grapple with when thinking about how attitudes can change within a single generation. The rapid change in the USA on gay marriage has caught many people’s attention, coming at a time when many popular books are saying that political attitudes are to some […]

We Really Have no Idea Why Political Attitudes Change (or Not). A Guest Blog by Bernard Winograd

December 14, 2013 by


At the risk of oversimplification, consider a few key findings of researchers into human beliefs and their evolutionary foundations. Human belief systems are rooted in biologically evolved senses of morality. While beliefs about many matters differ widely from culture to culture, there are certain underlying belief systems that are virtually universal in human culture, such […]

Sticking My Neck Out

August 31, 2013 by


When 15 years ago I started working within the scientific discipline that eventually became Cliodynamics, my initial plan was to concentrate entirely on past societies. Of course, history doesn’t end in, say, 1800. But there are dangers in pushing a historical analysis all the way to the present day. First, we are too close to […]

An Imperfect Time Machine

August 20, 2013 by


In the previous blog, I asked why some nations are wealthy, stable, and happy, and others are not. Many theories have tried to provide an answer to this question. How do we decide which of the competing theories is true? So far, economists have not done a compelling job addressing this issue. Let’s take Why […]

Greedy Publishers III: Oxford University Press

August 5, 2013 by


I did not mean to write another installment in this series, but Oxford University Press recently published a volume on War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views, which got me really incensed. It’s another example of a ridiculous pricing policy of another greedy publisher, even though it’s a university press. […]

The Impending Demise of Greedy For-Profit Scientific Publishers (Part II)

August 1, 2013 by


Part I here In the previous blog I related how I almost signed up with Elsevier to write an article for their Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, but was deterred by the draconian contract that they sent me. I told Elsevier that I would only participate in the project if I could retain […]


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