Samir’s Selection 03/25/2015 (p.m.)

  • THIS has been a mixed week for freedom of speech in Britain. On one hand, a sharp-tongued street preacher has been found guilty and punished, albeit quite mildly,…

    Mr Overd was prosecuted under a 1986 Act, which outlaws “threatening, insulting or abusive” language, and can carry severe penalties—up to seven years in jail—if the offence is deemed to be racially or religiously aggravated. Thanks to a campaign by the NSS and others, the law has been amended so that “insulting” language no longer incurs prosecution merely because the police think it has the potential to offend; it has to be shown that an insult was directed at a particular person or a group, and that offence was taken. But libertarians would like to see the law further amended, so to end completely the bar on “insulting” speech and take away the reference to religious aggravation.

    Peter Tatchell: “Being spared offence is not a human right. Many of the most important thinkers in history have caused great offence: Galileo, Darwin, Freud and Marx. In a free, democratic society, the criminalisation of unpleasant opinions is a step too far. People should only be prosecuted if they threaten, harass or incite violence. “

    tags: freeexpression religion insult offence UK law PeterTatchell quote

  • Matthew Rognlie … Just how inconvenient Mr Rognlie’s argument is for Mr Piketty’s overarching narrative is a matter of perspective. The latter certainly did not make housing wealth the central theme of his bestselling book. But a story in which a privileged elite uses its political power (albeit through the planning system) to create economic rents for the few fits Mr Piketty’s argument to a tee. Well-off homeowners may for the moment be more responsible for rising wealth inequality than top-hatted capitalists or famous hedge-fund managers. But their NIMBYism is a very Piketty-like phenomenon.

    tags: ThomasPiketty wealth inequality capitalism publicpolicy contrarian evidence

  • tags: materialism happiness parenting children possession research psychology behaviouraleconomics

    • Adults who had received more material rewards and punishments as children were more likely than others to use possessions to define and express who they are. 
        Parents should be cautious about using material goods to express their love and reward their children for good behavior. An overemphasis on material possessions during childhood can have long-lasting effects. Adults who received many material rewards as children are likely to continue rewarding themselves with material goods and defining themselves through their possessions. 
        “Parents don’t want their children to use possessions to define their self-worth or judge others, yet loving and supportive parents can also use material goods to express their love, paving the way for their children to grow up to be more likely than others to admire people with expensive possessions and judge success by the kinds of things people own,” the authors conclude.

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


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