Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 207 - Alison Gopnik on “The wrong way to think about parenting, plus the downsides of modernity”

The New York Times

Feb. 28, 2018Steven Pinker Wants You to Know Humanity Is Doing Fine. Just Don’t Ask About Individual Humans."But he seems surprisingly blind to how he fuels such fatalism by playing to the worst stereotype of the enlightened cosmopolitan: disdainful and condescending — sympathetic to humanity in the abstract but impervious to the suffering of actual human beings."Ray Dalio Published

October 23, 2017The Two Economies: The Top 40% and the Bottom 60%To understand what’s going on in “the economy,” it is a serious mistake to look at average statistics. This is because the wealth and income skews are so great that average statistics no longer reflect the conditions of the average man. For example, as shown in the chart below, the wealth of the top one-tenth of 1% of the population is about equal to that of the bottom 90% of the population, which is the same sort of wealth gap that existed during the 1935-40 period.Death rates are rising and mental and physical health is deteriorating for those in the bottom 60%. For those in the bottom 60%, premature deaths are up by about 20% since 2000. The biggest contributors to that change are an increase in deaths by drugs/poisoning (up two times since 2000) and an increase in suicides (up over 50% since 2000). The odds of premature death for those in the bottom 60% between the ages of 35 and 64 are more than two times higher, compared to those in the top 40%Seattle Times

published April 17, 2018Our Loneliness Epidemic"…Robert Hall, drew out the lesson in his book “This Land of Strangers,” noting: “The truth is, relationships are the most valuable and value-creating resource of any society. They are our lifelines to survive, grow and thrive.”"There’s a mountain of evidence suggesting that the quality of our relationships has been in steady decline for decades. In the 1980s, 20 percent of Americans said they were often lonely. Now it’s 40 percent. Suicide rates are now at a 30-year high. Depression rates have increased tenfold since 1960, which is not only a result of greater reporting. Most children born to mothers under 30 are born outside marriage. There’s been a steady 30-year decline in Americans’ satisfaction with the peer-to-peer relationships at work."CNN

April 17, 2018More than 95% of world's population breathing unhealthy air, says new report"The report says exposure to air pollution led to strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic lung disease, causing many of those premature deaths."The New Yorker

April 30, 2018 Issue

Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry"In this light, transference, a key element of Freudian psychotherapy, may be viewed as a process by which the therapist becomes the patient’s rental relative—as Freud put it, “the reincarnation of some important figure out of his childhood or past.”Thinking about transference, I found myself wondering who the masseuse was a substitute for. The swordsman who didn’t succeed in making me cry? The psychotherapist whom I hadn’t been able to see that week? The parents whose relationship to my childhood self I had presumably hired the therapist to replay? "