Why do people hold particular political beliefs? Why is there such a large and persistent divide, at least in the USA, on the same set of core issues? And why is communication so difficult between people holding opposing views? In the mid-1990s – soon after the publication of Newt Gringrich’s Contract With America … Continue reading One Big, Happy Family
Why are people drawn to authoritarian leaders? At first glance, support for authoritarianism seems counterintuitive. Common sense suggests that people like to be in control of their lives, and almost by definition, life under an authoritarian regime involves some ceding of personal freedom to the regime. So why do so many people willingly – gladly, … Continue reading The Tide of Authoritarianism
Imagine you’re at a new friend’s house for dinner, and the house is stiflingly hot. You feel uncomfortable turning on the AC yourself, so instead, you casually remark: “Boy, it sure is warm in here!” Your friend will probably infer your intentions, and will turn on the AC or open a window. Now imagine that … Continue reading When will machines understand our intentions?