Saturday, October 17, 2020

Safe Space Where to Imagine Futures

Safe Space Where to Imagine Futures

0  Why this group

Members of this group are sick of polarization and efforts to convert us to others' worldview. With the aim of making life better for others and for ourselves, we are trying to build a place where to discuss anything and everything with respect for all political leanings, cultural trends, etc., without pressures of any kind. We tolerate ideas, expressions, relationship modes, customs that are not of our liking.


.1  I may think that feminism is an opportunistic trend, or I may think that feminism should be mandatory... Even so, I do not attack feminism or feminists at our meetings, nor do I attack patriarchy or traditionalists.

.2  I may think that the Earth is in grave danger, or I may think that ecoconscious people are a bore. But I do not push scares at the meetings, nor do I make criticism of ecological worries.

.3  I may think that capitalism is the best invention since sliced bread, or I may think that it is the worst scourge. But I do not invite others to repent and convert to capitalism, nor do I tell others to have a soul, be humane, and things like that, and abandon the defense of capitalism.

.4  I may think that the powers that be our poisoning the population with 5G cell phones or plotting to control our minds with chips, or I may think that those who say so defend junk science or are crazy. But I do not mention these ideas at the meetings unless it is possible to do so in a calm and moderate way, without attacking the other side. Which is to say that maybe it is better not to mention any of this. Ditto for face masks and epidemics.

To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks

We need public spaces, built in the spirit of Walt Whitman, that allow us to gather, communicate, and share in something bigger than ourselves.

1  Further thoughts

Initially, we thought of having a non-denominational, non-partisan, group. On a second thought, we now prefer a multipartisan, multidenominational, non-nationalistic, multinational (English and other languages are equally valid) group.

When restrictions like the non-denominational label were used, in the end what we got was an exclusion of religious people.

We should also have a rationalistic focus WITH humanistic checks to prevent the excesses of the "only Reason" extremists. Excesses of the past: New calendar with new names for the months, new anti-religious State religions (a "civil religion" with a Goddess Reason is a good example), elimination of the mentally ill, etc.

We put a great emphasis in technological tools for our group's ends. Examples are AI, blockchain, robotics, traditional computing.

2  Some rules

We follow the laws.

Common sense. Civil dicussions. Respecting time limits. We keep a good personal hygiene. We park well when going to meetings. We don't litter (food wrapping, cigarettes, etc.). We don't harass others (politicians, others). We don't trespass. We don't block the streets or prevent others' rights of movement.

We have got ethical limits: Even when doing something is legal, we should try to make things easier for others, in the group of out of it, and to follow moral/ethical limits.

Writing must be clear, sentences not too long, spelling almost perfect. Examples of how not to write:

Cosmic hierarchy of Omniinterrationally-phased, Nuclear-centered, Convergently-divergently Intertransformable Systems [...] This is the synergenetics isometric view of the isotropic vector matrix and its omnirational, low-order whole number, equilibrious state of the micro-macro cosmic limits of the nuclearly unique, symmetrical morphological relativity and its interquantative, intertransformative, intertransactive, expansive-conteractive, axially rotative, operational field. (R. Buckminster Fuller)

3  Technologies

3.1  Blockchain

Users of blockchain ledgers:

-  notary public systems (Dept. of Justice)

-  small investment companies

-  NGOs

3.2  AI

Building an AI-based interface that searches in several languages court opinions, laws, regulations, academic journals, extracting from them condensed argumentation lines for our moderate, progressive (not leftist, but old plain progressive) positions.

Current searches do not follow reasoning or motivation, just a relevance score system.



3.3  [...]

4  Politicized areas in which to work

4.1  Microeconomy

Many people don't trust big companies, and, inter alia, try to create pools of consumers that manage resources like power, water, payment services.

The Microeconomy Study Group would learn to build intelligent systems to help with practical issues that arise from non-coordinated, independent, disconnected users.

4.2  Housing/cities/urban studies

Help is needed to extend the use of systems that save energy and make cities visually more agreeable, like vertical or roof gardens.

4.3  Violence in the home, the family

To make things more general, the Violence Study Group should work to add protections to some categories that are forgotten in the current political fight, like children or the elderly.

4.4  Law

4.4.1  Let's say that a political party in power wishes to make abortion more accessible or to restrict access. The Law Study Group should strive to help with common sense issues, to incorporate objections of the other side that make the legal changes more palatable for everybody, and the law less capricious or imperfect.

4.4.2  Let's say that the death penalty returns. The Law Study Group would try to find technical measures to make it more limited, humane, etc.; or to contemplate the addition of life imprisonment to the legal framework to prevent the return of the penalty.

4.4.3  Let's say that a political party's platform has a proposal to open the borders without limits, or to deport illegal immigrants en masse. The Group would help with economic and legal analysis that would show to the party leadership that their proposals are not feasible in the way they are currently written.

5  Third rails, limitations of our approach, etc.

Drugs, prostitution, ........more here......, are out of scope. If we wish to work pro bono publico there are some areas in which progress (as understood by each other) is really difficult and to pay time to them would make progress in the other areas much more difficult to reach.

A clear problem with our line of work is certain blandness, like an orientation to the minimum common denominator. But, remember, we are sick of polarization and conversion efforts, we are not here to start very polite and end uncivil. We are here to discuss about everything and try to make changes in life around us to make things easier for all.

6  Meeting Venues

6.1  Physical

[MAT]: Enquire cost of meeting rooms, Wi-Fi and other computing resources.


6.2  Virtual

Google Docs

7  Dissemination of efforts

7.1  Physical presence

PR efforst at colleges, residencies, hospitals.

7.2  Virtual world


Initial version, Oct 13 2020

Idea: Dino75

Implementation to text: Bipartisan Alliance

Psychological targeting as an effective approach to mass persuasion—the adaptation of persuasive appeals to the psychological characteristics of large groups of individuals with the goal of influencing their behavior

Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion. S. C. Matz,  View ORCID ProfileM. Kosinski, G. Nave, and D. J. Stillwell. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 28, 2017 114 (48) 12714-12719.

Significance: Building on recent advancements in the assessment of psychological traits from digital footprints, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of psychological mass persuasion—that is, the adaptation of persuasive appeals to the psychological characteristics of large groups of individuals with the goal of influencing their behavior. On the one hand, this form of psychological mass persuasion could be used to help people make better decisions and lead healthier and happier lives. On the other hand, it could be used to covertly exploit weaknesses in their character and persuade them to take action against their own best interest, highlighting the potential need for policy interventions.

Abstract: People are exposed to persuasive communication across many different contexts: Governments, companies, and political parties use persuasive appeals to encourage people to eat healthier, purchase a particular product, or vote for a specific candidate. Laboratory studies show that such persuasive appeals are more effective in influencing behavior when they are tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics. However, the investigation of large-scale psychological persuasion in the real world has been hindered by the questionnaire-based nature of psychological assessment. Recent research, however, shows that people’s psychological characteristics can be accurately predicted from their digital footprints, such as their Facebook Likes or Tweets. Capitalizing on this form of psychological assessment from digital footprints, we test the effects of psychological persuasion on people’s actual behavior in an ecologically valid setting. In three field experiments that reached over 3.5 million individuals with psychologically tailored advertising, we find that matching the content of persuasive appeals to individuals’ psychological characteristics significantly altered their behavior as measured by clicks and purchases. Persuasive appeals that were matched to people’s extraversion or openness-to-experience level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counterparts. Our findings suggest that the application of psychological targeting makes it possible to influence the behavior of large groups of people by tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological needs of the target audiences. We discuss both the potential benefits of this method for helping individuals make better decisions and the potential pitfalls related to manipulation and privacy.

Keywords: persuasiondigital mass communicationpsychological targetingpersonalitytargeted marketing


The results of the three studies provide converging evidence for the effectiveness of psychological targeting in the context of real-life digital mass persuasion; tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological profiles of large groups of people allowed us to influence their actual behaviors and choices. Given that we approximated people’s psychological profiles using a single Like per person—instead of predicting individual profiles using people’s full history of digital footprints (e.g., refs. 10 and 14)—our findings represent a conservative estimate of the potential effectiveness of psychological mass persuasion in the field.

The effectiveness of large-scale psychological persuasion in the digital environment heavily depends on the accuracy of predicting psychological profiles from people’s digital footprints (whether in the form of machine learning predictions from a user’s behavioral history or single target Likes), and therefore, this approach is not without limitations. First, the psychological meaning of certain digital footprints might change over time, making it necessary to continuously calibrate and update the algorithm to sustain high accuracy. For example, liking the fantasy TV show “Game of Thrones” might have been highly predictive of introversion when the series was first launched in 2011, but its growing popularity might have made it less predictive over time as its audience became more mainstream. As a rule of thumb, one can say that the higher the face validity of the relationships between individual digital footprints and specific psychological traits, the less likely it is that they will change (e.g., it is unlikely that “socializing” will become any less predictive of extraversion over time). Second, while the psychological assessment from digital footprints makes it possible to profile large groups of people without requiring them to complete a questionnaire, most algorithms are developed with questionnaires as the gold standard and therefore retain some of the problems associated with self-report measures (e.g., social desirability bias; ref. 22).

Additionally, our study has limitations that provide promising avenues for future research. First, we focused on the two personality traits of extraversion and openness-to-experience. Building on existing laboratory studies, future research should empirically investigate whether and in which contexts other psychological traits might prove to be more effective [e.g., need for cognition (2) or regulatory focus (23)]. Second, we conducted extreme group comparisons where we targeted people scoring high or low on a given personality trait using a relatively narrow and extreme set of Likes. While the additional analyses reported in SI Appendix suggest that less extreme Likes still enable accurate personality targeting, future research should establish whether matching effects are linear throughout the scale and, if not, where the boundaries of effective targeting lie.

The capacity to implement psychological mass persuasion in the real world carries both opportunities and ethical challenges. On the one hand, psychological persuasion could be used to help individuals make better decisions and alleviate many of today’s societal ills. For example, psychologically tailored health communication is effective in changing behaviors among patients and groups that are at risk (2425). Hence, targeting highly neurotic individuals who display early signs of depression with materials that offer them professional advice or guide them to self-help literature might have a positive preventive impact on the well-being of vulnerable members of society. On the other hand, psychological persuasion might be used to exploit “weaknesses” in a person’s character. It could, for instance, be applied to target online casino advertisements at individuals who have psychological traits associated with pathological gambling (26). In fact, recent media reports suggest that one of the 2016 US presidential campaigns used psychological profiles of millions of US citizens to suppress their votes and keep them away from the ballots on election day (27). The veracity of this news story is uncertain (28). However, it illustrates clearly how psychological mass persuasion could be abused to manipulate people to behave in ways that are neither in their best interest nor in the best interest of society.

Similarly, the psychological targeting procedure described in this manuscript challenges the extent to which existing and proposed legislation can protect individual privacy in the digital age. While previous research shows that having direct access to an individual’s digital footprint makes it possible to accurately predict intimate traits (10), the current study demonstrates that such inferences can be made even without having direct access to individuals’ data. Although we used indirect group-level targeting in a way that was anonymous at the individual level and thus preserved—rather than invaded—participants’ privacy, the same approach could also be used to reveal individuals’ intimate traits without their awareness. For example, a company could advertise a link to a product or a questionnaire on Facebook, targeting people who follow a Facebook Like that is highly predictive of introversion. Simply following such a link reveals the trait to the advertiser, without the individuals being aware that they have exposed this information. To date, legislative approaches in the US and Europe have focused on increasing the transparency of how information is gathered and ensuring that consumers have a mechanism to “opt out” of tracking (29). Crucially, none of the measures currently in place or in discussion address the techniques described in this paper: Our empirical experiments were performed without collecting any individual-level information whatsoever on our subjects yet revealed personal information that many would consider deeply private. Consequently, current approaches are ill equipped to address the potential abuse of online information in the context of psychological targeting.

As more behavioral data are collected in real time, it will become possible to put people’s stable psychological traits in a situational context. For example, people’s mood and emotions have been successfully assessed from spoken and written language (30), video (31), or wearable devices and smartphone sensor data (32). Given that people who are in a positive mood use more heuristic—rather than systematic—information processing and report more positive evaluations of people and products (33), mood could indicate a critical time period for psychological persuasion. Hence, extrapolating from what one does to who one is is likely just the first step in a continuous development of psychological mass persuasion.

We present an integrative framework for mental disorders built on concepts from life history theory, and describe a taxonomy of mental disorders based on its principles, the Fast-Slow-Defense model

Del Giudice, Marco, and John D. Haltigan. 2020. “An Integrative Evolutionary Framework for Psychopathology.” PsyArXiv. October 2. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: The field of psychopathology is in a transformative phase, and is witnessing a renewed surge of interest in theoretical models of mental disorders. While many interesting proposals are competing for attention in the literature, they tend to focus narrowly on the proximate level of analysis and lack a broader understanding of biological function. In this paper, we present an integrative framework for mental disorders built on concepts from life history theory, and describe a taxonomy of mental disorders based on its principles, the Fast-Slow-Defense model (FSD). The FSD integrates psychopathology with normative individual differences in personality and behavior, and allows researchers to draw principled distinctions between broad clusters of disorders, as well as identify functional subtypes within current diagnostic categories. Simulation work demonstrates that the model can explain the large-scale structure of comorbidity, including the apparent emergence of a general “p factor” of psychopathology. A life history approach also provides novel integrative insights into the role of environmental risk/protective factors and the developmental trajectories of various disorders. After describing the main features of the FSD model and illustrating its application to the classification of autism and schizophrenia, we juxtapose it with the recent Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). We highlight points of difference and similarity, and show how a functional approach helps resolve inconsistencies within a parsimonious account. The FSD model has great potential to further understanding of the development and expression of psychopathology across the lifespan.

Below a certain point, feeling younger than one’s chronological age may be psychologically beneficial; beyond such point, it may be harmful

An optimal margin of subjective age bias: Feeling younger to a certain degree, but no more, is beneficial for life satisfaction. Maria Blöchl, Steffen Nestler, David Weiss. Psychology & Aging, forthcoming, DOI: 10.1037/pag0000578. Ungated: PsyArXiv, August 2020.

Abstract: The majority of adults feels considerably younger than their chronological age. Numerous studies suggest that maintaining a younger subjective age is linked to greater life satisfaction. However, whether there is a limit beyond which feeling younger becomes detrimental is not well understood. Here, we use response surface analysis to examine the relationships between subjective age, chronological age, and life satisfaction in in a large sample spanning adulthood (N= 7,356; 36 –89 years). We find that there is a limit to feeling younger: People who feel younger by a certain amount, but not more, have the highest levels of life satisfaction. In addition, our findings suggest that the discrepancy between subjective and chronological age at which life satisfaction is highest increases across the adult age span. Taken together, these findings reveal that beyond a certain point, feeling younger than one’s chronological age may be psychologically harmful.

Discrimination at large, public colleges: Findings are inconsistent with the dispersed discrimination account but support the Pareto principle (roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the guys)

Campbell, M. R., & Brauer, M. (2020). Is discrimination widespread? Testing assumptions about bias on a university campus. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Oct 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Discrimination has persisted in our society despite steady improvements in explicit attitudes toward marginalized social groups. The most common explanation for this apparent paradox is that due to implicit biases, most individuals behave in slightly discriminatory ways outside of their own awareness (the dispersed discrimination account). Another explanation holds that a numerical minority of individuals who are moderately or highly biased are responsible for most observed discriminatory behaviors (the concentrated discrimination account). We tested these 2 accounts against each other in a series of studies at a large, public university (total N = 16,600). In 4 large-scale surveys, students from marginalized groups reported that they generally felt welcome and respected on campus (albeit less so than nonmarginalized students) and that a numerical minority of their peers (around 20%) engage in subtle or explicit forms of discrimination. In 5 field experiments with 8 different samples, we manipulated the social group membership of trained confederates and measured the behaviors of naïve bystanders. The results showed that between 5% and 20% of the participants treated the confederates belonging to marginalized groups more negatively than nonmarginalized confederates. Our findings are inconsistent with the dispersed discrimination account but support the concentrated discrimination account. The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Our results suggest that the Pareto principle also applies to discrimination, at least at the large, public university where the studies were conducted. We discuss implications for prodiversity initiatives.

How intelligence and related cognitive abilities are assessed in humans and animals and suggests a different way of devising test batteries for maximizing between-species comparisons

Flaim, M., & Blaisdell, A. P. (2020). The comparative analysis of intelligence. Psychological Bulletin, Oct 2020.

Abstract: The study of intelligence in humans has been ongoing for over 100 years, including the underlying structure, predictive validity, related cognitive measures, and source of differences. One of the key findings in intelligence research is the uniform positive correlations among cognitive tasks. This has been replicated with every cognitive test battery in humans. Nevertheless, many other aspects of intelligence research have revealed contradictory lines of evidence. Recently, cognitive test batteries have been developed for animals to examine similarities to humans in cognitive structure. The results are inconsistent, but there is evidence for some similarities. This article reviews the way intelligence and related cognitive abilities are assessed in humans and animals and suggests a different way of devising test batteries for maximizing between-species comparisons.