July 24th, 2003



Researchers help define what makes a political conservative.

Somewhat flailing, especially in associating "conservative" with "right-wing", but none the less interesting.

The defining characteristics were:

  • Fear and aggression

  • Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

  • Uncertainty avoidance

  • Need for cognitive closure

  • Terror management

The dislike of ambiguity, uncertainty and the need for cognitive closure leads to a latching on to simple answers to questions and a dislike for answers that don't go anywhere. This tends to lead to black and white worldviews, where things are either 'right' or 'wrong'.

For instance, this Bush quote: "I know what I believe and I believe what I believe is right."

"For a variety of psychological reasons, then, right-wing populism may have more consistent appeal than left-wing populism, especially in times of potential crisis and instability," he said.

Glaser acknowledged that the team's exclusive assessment of the psychological motivations of political conservatism might be viewed as a partisan exercise. However, he said, there is a host of information available about conservatism, but not about liberalism.

Diet Update

Well, since dropping the carbohydrates again and getting more sleep, I now feel far, far better. In fact, despite havign a slight cold I feel better than I have in weeks.

Note to self: stop being an idiot and thinking that you can have "just one sweet thing". You can't. The occasional higher-carb savoury thing won't kill you, but sweet things are just death.

Rise of the Robots

A Slashdot article asks "Will Humanoid Robots Take All the Jobs by 2050?"

The answer, of course, being 'no'. But it looks like they'll be taking on a lot more.

Which of course means we'll all be able to take longer holidays and work shorter hours.

Of course.