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Politics makes bastards of us all: Why moral judgment is politically situational

Kyle Hull, Clarisse Warren, Kevin Smith. Politics makes bastards of us all: Why moral judgment is politically situational [full text free to read]. Political Psychology, 2024; DOI: 10.1111/pops.12954 – “Moral judgment is politically situational—people are more forgiving of transgressive copartisans and more likely to behave punitively and unethically toward political opponents. Such differences are widely observed, but not fully explained. If moral values are nonnegotiable first-principle beliefs about right and wrong, why do similar transgressions elicit different moral judgment in the personal and political realm? We argue this pattern arises from the same forces intuitionist frameworks of moral psychology use to explain the origins of morality: the adaptive need to suppress individual behavior to ensure ingroup success. We hypothesize ingroups serve as moral boundaries, that the relative tight constraints morality exerts over ingroup relations loosen in competitive group environments because doing so also serves ingroup interests. We find support for this hypothesis in four independent samples and also find that group antipathy—internalized dislike of the outgroup—pushes personal and political moral boundaries farther apart.”

See also Fast Company: “Science reveals how politics turns us all into our worst selves. A recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln sheds light on how political affiliation, on either side, can lead to loosened morals and tolerance of bad behavior.”

Is Google Getting Worse?

Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines. Janek Bevendorff, Matti Wiegmann, Martin Potthast, and Benno Stein.”Many users of web search engines have been complaining in recent years about the supposedly decreasing quality of search results. This is often attributed to an increasing amount of search-engine-optimized but low-quality content. Evidence… Continue Reading

US Census Bureau purposely fudges location data in census to protect people’s privacy

Via Kottke – The U.S. Census Is Wrong on Purpose: “…Full census data is only made available 72 years after the census takes place, in accordance with the creatively-named “72 year rule.” Until then, it is only available as aggregated data with individual identifiers removed. Still, if the population of a town is small enough,… Continue Reading

Does anyone even want an AI search engine?

Fast Company: “You’ve probably already noticed your search engines are starting to evolve. Google and Bing have already added both AI-generated results and conversational chatbots to their respective search engines. The Browser Company, a startup that made a big early splash thanks to its mission statement of building a better internet browser, has launched an… Continue Reading

The National Wetlands Inventory

Data is Plural: “The National Wetlands Inventory, maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, provides interactive maps and bulk data containing “geospatially referenced information on the status, extent, characteristics and functions of wetland, riparian, deepwater, and related aquatic habitats.” With contributions from 160+ organizations, coordinated through a dedicated national standard, the inventory represents “more… Continue Reading

The Dignity Index is designed to prevent violence, ease divisions, and solve problems

“The Dignity Index scores distinct phrases along an eight-point scale from contempt to dignity. Lower scores (1-4) reflect divisive language while higher scores (5-8) reflect language grounded in dignity. In its pilot season, a trained group of students supported by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and the Hinckley Institute of Politics… Continue Reading

This Tiny Website Is Google’s First Line of Defense in the Patent Wars

Wired: “TDCommons is a free space for inventors to lay claim to breakthroughs without having to file a patent. Why is it so off the radar? A trio of Google engineers recently came up with a futuristic way to help anyone who stumbles through presentations on video calls. They propose that when algorithms detect a… Continue Reading


Remember the search engine Altavista? (I sure do). Via Wikipedia: “AltaVista was a Web search engine established in 1995. It became one of the most-used early search engines, but lost ground to Google and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, which retained the brand, but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine. On… Continue Reading

Misleading Food Labels

Consumer Reports – “When it comes to filling your grocery cart with the healthiest foods, careful label reading is critical. Yet even the savviest shoppers can be fooled by some of the claims found on the front of food packages. And that is intentional. “If the marketing is done well, it slips through the radar… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024

Via LLRX –  Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024 -Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading