Arnold Kling reviews Joseph Henrich’s The WEIRDest People In the World. A slice:

At the center of the book are the traits that Henrich describes using the acronym WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, referring to the cultures of certain societies. Over a decade ago, Henrich and colleagues came to the realization that many findings in psychology and behavioral economics that were based on studies of people living in WEIRD cultures did not replicate when attempted in other cultures.

One of Henrich’s central theses is that culture affects psychology, particularly when cultural institutions persist over many generations. For me, this raises a question: What makes a trait a psychological trait, as opposed to a cultural trait? Intuitively, I would say that if it is a trait that you would have regardless of the culture in which you are raised, then it is a psychological trait. But if a trait is mostly determined by the culture in which you are raised, then it is a cultural trait. Still, for me the distinction between psychological traits and cultural traits seems blurry, so I will describe traits as psychological/cultural, or PC.

Alberto Mingardi is inspired by the wisdom of Madame de Staël to ponder the consequences of social media on political discourse.

I agree with Jeffrey Singer: November 3rd, 2020, in the United States was a bad day for drug prohibition. Yay!

Scott Lincicome keeps the historical record straight about the effects of tariffs punitive taxes on fellow citizens who choose to spend their incomes in ways that displease the politically powerful.

Ben Domenech and Emily Jashinsky celebrate journalism’s “new contras” who are helping to pull back the curtain on much that is wrong with legacy media. (HT Betsy Albaugh)

David Henderson agrees with Cyril Morong that Dr. Martin Kuldorff, a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, reasons in a way that would very much please Henry Hazlitt.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board correctly writes about the U.K.’s second lockdown that it is based on “nebulous science and bad economics.”

Joakim Book’s take on the lockdowns – or whatever they’re called – is sober and superb. A slice:

The authoritarian threat of 2020 is very different, and instead of neo-Nazi movements of the early 2000s the culprits are established, well-meaning politicians and technocrats. Much like then, Sweden is depicted as a beacon of light, standing against a world gone mad, the last outpost of sanity and the values underpinning Western Liberal Democracy.

Most everywhere else, different rules apply: no matter the facts, we must squeeze harder. The badly-behaved virus must stop progressing, must cease and desist.


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