Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Three Recent Facts

Before the potato was commonly grown in Ireland, the country's population was 3 million (1779). Six decades later, just before the potato famine began, the population was 8 million (1841). (From Surviving the Future, page 149, by David Fleming)


I've discussed the famous Robbers Cave experiment before, but here's something I didn't know about it. While it started with watching two groups of similar boys become enemies only because of their separation from each other, it ended by finding they could become one group again by solving cooperative tasks together. They went from burning each others' flags or trashing their cabins toworking together to pull a broken-down truck and similar tasks. Afterward, their division ended. The research finding was broader than I had previously known: "competition for limited resources breeds prejudice and cooperation toward superordinate goals breeds intergroup harmony." (Source: "Combating Racism Through Shared Goals," Skeptical Inquirer, January/February 2018)


There's lots of evidence that overt voter suppression caused Trump's 2016 victory in Wisconsin. Read all about it in Ari Berman's article for Mother Jones, called "Rigged."

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