Trust vs. Mistrust is Stage 1 of Erik Erikson's 8 stages of psychosocial development

-If child develops trust with parents, they go on to believe that the world is basically trustworthy

-If child is mistreated, they go on to become suspicious/mistrustful of others later in life
"Millennials are also more likely than older generations to report that they have no acquaintances (25% of Millennials say this is the case), no friends (22%), no close friends (27%), and no best friends (30%)."
"When adults let their children down, kids learn to make choices that let themselves down. Our disappointment with adults led us to believe that rules weren’t actually legitimate. They were invented by adults...Why should we listen?" city-journal.org/family-instabi…

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More from @robkhenderson

26 Aug
People don't have genes, genes have people

People don't have ideas (memes), memes have people
Memes are “units of culture: ideas, beliefs, practices, and anything else that can be passed on via social learning.”

Read The Selfish Gene by @RichardDawkins and The Ape that Understood the Universe by @SteveStuWill to learn more
Memes are analogous to genes. Just as some genes are more likely to survive and replicate, so it is with memes. Some ideas and practices are more likely to survive than others
Read 17 tweets
7 Jul
"the Communist revolutionary Pol Pot ordered his followers, the Khmer Rouge, to kill intellectuals, clear out cities and eradicate religion. By the time the Pol Pot regime collapsed in 1979, nearly a quarter of the country's 7 million people had died" nytimes.com/2000/03/26/nyr…
"The Khmer Rouge said that the Communist revolution could be successful with only two people. Our lives had no significance to their great Communist nation, and they told us, 'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'" archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.co…
"They accomplished all of this by promoting and encouraging villagers, farmers, and the uneducated. They were the most violent and ignorant people. They took orders without question. The Khmer Rouge built animosity and jealousy into them so the killings could be justified"
Read 6 tweets
20 Jun
A common mistake is to view elites as a unified block. A group of people who look out for one another. They are not. Elites are constantly trying to get ahead of one another /1
This is the idea of intra-elite competition. You can learn about this from books and articles by
@Peter_Turchin /2
The key idea of intra-elite competition is that competing “elite aspirants” are vying to obtain powerful positions.

Turchin notes that there are more wealthy people today as a proportion of the population today, relative to decades past /3
Read 18 tweets
12 Jun
Explaining Postmodernism excerpts

"postmodernism holds that it is impossible to speak about an independently existing reality..substitutes instead a social-linguistic,constructionist account..denies that reason is a means of acquiring objective knowledge" amzn.to/3fkeMNb
"Postmodern accounts of human nature are consistently collectivist...consistently emphasize relations of conflict...postmodern accounts hold that those conflicts are resolved primarily by the use of force, whether masked or naked" amzn.to/2C2tl9O
"objectivity is replaced by the view that an author’s race, sex, or other group membership most deeply shapes the author’s views and feelings. The task of the literary critic, accordingly, is to deconstruct the text to reveal the author’s race, sex, or class interests."
Read 20 tweets
4 Jun
"convinced that the working people would never become a reliable force for revolutionary purposes, Lenin developed the 'vanguard' concept. A party of professional revolutionaries was essential to lead the people through any successful revolution" jstor.org/stable/1408333
"in order for the proletariat to acquire revolutionary consciousness, such consciousness must be 'instilled' in them by the elitist Communist Party 'from the outside.' Russian workers and poor peasants cannot on their own 'spontaneously' develop such consciousness"
"As professional revolutionaries, party members must make their commitment to the Marxist socialist revolution their life’s primary activity above all other considerations, including undertaking illegal underground activity"
Read 6 tweets
22 May
Thread with excerpts from one of my favorite Isaiah Berlin essays, "The Originality of Machiavelli"

Or, as Paulie from The Sopranos calls him, "Prince Matchabelli"

berlin.wolf.ox.ac.uk/published_work…
"What other writer has caused his readers to disagree about his purposes so deeply and so widely? Yet, I must repeat, Machiavelli does not write obscurely; nearly all his interpreters praise him for his terse, dry, clear prose." berlin.wolf.ox.ac.uk/published_work…
Machiavelli makes no reference to God or Nature or Ideal Order in his work. His focus is on what works. Very unusual for his time
Read 61 tweets

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