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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • interviews with tenants, industry executives and fire safety engineers point to a gross failure of government oversight, a refusal to heed warnings from inside Britain and around the world and a drive by successive governments from both major political parties to free businesses from the burden of safety regulations.

    Promising to cut “red tape,” business-friendly politicians evidently judged that cost concerns outweighed the risks of allowing flammable materials to be used in facades. Builders in Britain were allowed to wrap residential apartment towers — perhaps several hundred of them — from top to bottom in highly flammable materials, a practice forbidden in the United States and many European countries. And companies did not hesitate to supply the British market…

    For years, members of Parliament had written letters requesting new restrictions on cladding, especially as the same flammable facades were blamed for fires in Britain, France, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and elsewhere. Yet British authorities resisted new rules. A top building regulator explained to a coroner in 2013 that requiring only noncombustible exteriors in residential towers “limits your choice of materials quite significantly.”

    tags: London fire safety regulation corruption casestudy publicinterest policy risk crime

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  • Dr Kreps and her colleagues tested three ideas. First, they wondered if a leader who had changed his mind after adopting a moral position would seem more hypocritical, and less effective, than one who had justified his initial position on purely pragmatic grounds. Changing a moral view, after all, might seem like breaking a promise. Second, and conversely, perhaps changing one’s mind in such circumstances would be seen as morally courageous, and therefore boost support among the public. Last, they investigated whether ratings depended on a participant’s own beliefs. A leader coming around to one’s own view might be viewed with more indulgence than one who had travelled in the opposite direction…

    The data showed strong support for the first hypothesis—moralisers who later changed their mind were indeed seen as more hypocritical and, therefore, less worthy of support. There was no evidence for the idea that changing one’s position on an ethical matter would be seen as morally courageous. And there was only slight support for the partisanship hypothesis—a result that suggests people are, perhaps, more fair-minded than is often assumed…

    The data did, however, suggest two tactics that might soften the reputational impact of changing one’s mind on a moral issue. The first was to attribute the change to a transformational personal experience. (“I spent some time with a death-row inmate and saw what a truly unjust system we have.”) Respondents seemed to appreciate the apparent honesty inherent in such a confession. The other was simply to deny that a true change of opinion had taken place, and instead explain the situation away by citing factors beyond one’s control. (“My colleagues in the legislature have refused to put this issue on our agenda.”) Moralising leaders who used such tactics still seemed like hypocrites. But they were rated as being slightly more courageous than those who did not.

    tags: morality politics reputation perception publicopinion policy change conviction psychology research

  • tags: exoplanet planetary science astronomy Kepler classification solarsystem

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  • Education is the best form of counteracting extremism, she says. She is not in favour of the “safe spaces” that have crept into UK universities. Students should be exposed to extreme views, even those of radical imams, in a space where orthodoxies can be challenged. “We are educating students to go into the real world where you are not protected from views you don’t like.”

    tags: terrorism Oxford LouiseRichardson Ireland IRA UK Brexit

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.