What I’m Reading: January 2019

Well my best read of the month was the draft manuscript of my brother’s upcoming book Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals About Us . This book came out of an article he wrote about his own opioid addiction, which I blogged about here. I’m super proud of him for this book, so expect more mentions of this as the publication date draws closer. He’s asked me if I’d do some blogging with him about some of the research around this topic, so if anyone had anything in particular they’d be interested on that topic please let me know.

A recent bout of Wikipedia reading led me to this really interesting visual about the Supreme Court.  My dad had mentioned recently the idea that there used to be a “Catholic seat” on the Supreme Court, before the more recent trend of Catholics dominating SCOTUS. Turns out there’s a visual that shows how right he was:

So basically for almost 60 years there was only one Catholic justice, and they seemed to be nominated to replace each other. Then in the late 80s that all changed, and by the late 2000s Catholics would dominate the court. As it stands today the breakdown is 5 Catholics, 3 Jews, and 1 Episcopalian.

I stumbled across an interesting paper a few weeks ago called “Metacognitive Failure as a Feature of Those Holding Radical Beliefs” that found that people who held “radical” beliefs were more likely to be overconfident/less aware of their errors in neutral areas as well. I haven’t read through the full study, but the idea that radical beliefs are due to generalized overconfidence as opposed to attachment to a specific idea is intriguing.

As someone who was raised with a good dose of 90s era environmentalism, I thought this Slate Star Codex post about “What Happened to 90s Environmentalism?” was fascinating. Turns out some of the stuff we were warned about was solved, some was overhyped and some….just stopped being talked about.

On a totally different note, I’ve decided to do a cookbook challenge this year, and am cooking my way through the book 12 Months of Monastery Soups. I sort of started blogging about it, but I’m not sure if I like that format or not. If I end up ditching that, then I’m still going to post pictures on my heretofore neglected Instagram account.

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