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6 articles to recommend: Social collapse (!); Elite competition; Why people use jargon

How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart? [NYT]
Social complexity, he argues, is inevitably subject to diminishing marginal returns. It costs more and more, in other words, while producing smaller and smaller profits. “It’s a classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ situation,” Tainter says. You’re “running faster and faster to stay in the same place.”
Animal Ethics and Evolutionary Psychology – 10 ideas [source]
Dogs aren’t just cuter to us; they’re also cuter to wolves themselves! In one study a wolf mother was given two different litters to foster, one with wolf puppies and one with dog puppies: The foster-mother wolf was… more nurturant with the Malamute pups than with the wolf pups.
For Learners: 50 Beautiful Japanese Words & Phrases Pt. 7 [source]
Natsukashii = Nostalgia/Nostalgic
Literally, this word means “nostalgic” and is an adjective. But, this carries a lot more meaning and emotion to the Japanese. People don’t normally blurt out “oh, how nostalgic” in English, because no-one likes nostalgia. It’s seen as negative. For the Japanese, it’s something that brings back memories and warms the heart.
Intra-Elite Competition: A Key Concept for Understanding the Dynamics of Complex Societies [source]
A great expansion in the numbers of elite aspirants means that increasingly large numbers of them are frustrated, and some of those, the more ambitious and ruthless ones, turn into counter-elites. In other words, masses of frustrated elite aspirants become breeding grounds for radical groups and revolutionary movements.
10 ideas from Good Reasons for Bad Feelings – Insights from the Frontier of Evolutionary Psychiatry [source]
The German psychologist Jutta Heckhausen… studied a group of childless middle-aged women who were still hoping to have a baby. As they approached menopause, their emotional distress became more and more intense. But after menopause those who gave up their hope for pregnancy lost their depression symptoms. The irony is deep: hope is often at the root of depression.
People Use Jargon To Make Up For Their Low Standing In A Group [source]
Overall then, the work suggests that jargon use is “a novel form of status compensation”, allowing people to make up for their low status through their language choices. It’s obviously not the only reason that people use jargon, but is one that hadn’t previously been considered.

An indirect yet very clear explanation of MMT
Tuesday November 10, 2020

Emerging markets have reasons to be wary of MMT. They don’t strictly meet its preconditions. While every country does print a legal tender and collects taxes in its own currency, not all can borrow in them. Nor can they allow their exchange rates to float freely, especially if they import vital commodities like food or […]

Romania 2020. The best selling cars ranking
Friday October 02, 2020

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