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Thoughts Left Lying Around

January 3, 2013

I’m clearing out my “idea list”, so here are some ideas not good enuf for full posts:
1. Game theory of the Shangri-La diet – It’s not the olive oil that helps, it’s the taming of hyperbolic discounting.

2. By being cynical and focusing on problems, I am personally weakening trust in institutions. When I look at successful societies, they trust their leaders and institutions. Am I doing more harm than good? If eventual reform improves trust, maybe cynical discussion helps. Maybe correlation doesn’t equal causation and high trust societies are better not because of the trust, but because of another variable, like quality institutions themselves.

3. Having children later in life is worse for the child in terms of health than teen pregnancy, yet stigma on the former is less than stigma of the latter. Is that cultural value outdated? Are the material advantages of late motherhood worth more to the child than the biological advantages of longer parental telemeres? How would society have to change to accomodate younger parents?

4. Unintended consequnces are best taught by providing a list of examples.
Texting while driving
Bicycle helmet laws
Cobra effect – lessons for buy back programs?
Reusable grocery bags

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2013 12:58 pm

    I would definitely be more interested in an expansion of #2

    Also, “How would society have to change to accomodate younger parents?”: Would institutionalizing something like a Gap Year ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_year ) for young adults to start a family work?

    • January 4, 2013 2:36 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t have much more to say about any of these, or I would have made them full posts. I don’t know if I can separate out societies which have cynical intellegencia from those which have legitimately bad institutions in a testable way.

      I am most interested in #3 myself, but don’t have much advice. I think people don’t want to start families when they are young, because right now, only low status people do that. High status people use their prime breeding years to go to college and get good jobs.

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