I haven’t been commenting as much at Overcoming Bias as I used to. By the time I get the chance to go through my RSS feed the comments have already clogged up, and I’m uninterested in Eliezer’s scifi kick. I was surprised to find posts on the frontpage from a person going by “Kip” without any link to a website or a last name. Later there were comments by a Kip Werking, and googling it I found his page at William & Mary. One page of interest was The Inevitability of a Medicalized Society (UPDATE: Now hosted here). A good sign is that it starts out by citing a paper I frequently link to, Greene & Cohen’s For the law, neuroscience changes nothing and everything. For my own part, I hope that for consequentialist reasons (as described by Greene & Cohen) people will demand that others be held responsible for their actions, but I cannot say I am confident that Dennet’s prediction will bear out merely because I hope so. Thomas Szasz and others have documented the increasing medicalization of society, and I was very surprised that Werking never mentioned Szasz. Finally, as long as we’re talking OB, I recently stumped for artistocracy/apartheid over there.

On a completely unrelated note, Dennis Mangan has a post on the decline of Christianity and decline in homicide. It backs up a point I’ve been trying to make to Moldbug and other reactionary declinists (some of the few people for whom aristocracy and perhaps apartheid is not a dirty word). Every generation seems to think the kids these days are sending everything to hell, and with very little evidence. Agnostic has debunked a lot of that stuff before, and as long as we’re talking homicide he has also debunked Steve Sailer’s theory about the causal role of cellphones in homicide’s decline. I don’t know if Mangan’s posts and his are coincidences. Agnostic was reacting to this post by Steve Sailer on the rise in homicide by black youths. Steve’s post draws on some recent stuff by Alan Fox. Steve Levitt has also taken notice, as Fox was listed as among the foolish pundits on crime in Freakonomics. Levitt points out that there isn’t much of a rise in the rate of homicide among any age-race groups, but mostly an increase in the population of young black males.