Friday Food Posts: 10 Tips on Cooking for One: McArdle read an article discussing American and European snacking habits. It seems that Europeans snack on fruit and vegetable mainly while Americans snack on highly processed foods crammed with fat and sugar. Naturally McArdle's take on the superiority of European eating habits was to ignore the issue altogether and quote someone who says that Americans snack because cooking is too hard. She then repeats the same eating advice she has given in many other posts. Ka-ching!
McArdle wrote a couple of posts about Donald Trump, much to her commentariat's displeasure. They mostly like the Trump's trumpeting and do not look kindly on her scathing dismissal of the 25%'s hero. Because Both Sides Do It, we learn that the Republicans want to magically solve their intractable problems but so do the liberals. Her entire liberal argument:
But I don't want to pick on conservatives especially; the debt ceiling mess was certainly debacletacular, but I've had similar versions of this conversation with innumerable liberals over the years.
Devastating! We all remember the times the Democrats tried to shut down the government, don't we?
McArdle "discusses" the Ashley Madison hack with a few trite observations that somehow prove liberals are losers.
And the Ashley Madison scam in which the company lied about the number of women members proves that:
The information age could end the age of individual privacy -- and the liberal revolution that came with it.
Women are not interested in casual sex. Because vagina.
[...E]ither that many more men than women want to cheat (or at least see what their options are for doing so), or that more men than women are willing to have no-strings affairs with married people. This may be innate, or it may be culturally conditioned, but either way, it seems to be pretty powerful. It's definitely not evidence for feminists who wanted to show equality in casual sex drive.
McArdle has taken a lot of swipes at liberals recently. The blatant idiocy of Trumpmania seems to be wearing on her nerves.
I'm an enormous fan of Jonathan Haidt's work. Nonetheless, I've always had two outstanding questions about it (and would note that these are not exactly questions of which Professor Haidt is unaware). The first is simply whether his surveys capture the actual moral reasoning that people do, or represent people pretending to do the sort of moral reasoning they think they ought to do. Take two of the questions he asks about purity. One involves brother-sister incest in which every precaution is taken to prevent pregnancy, and leaves both parties feeling pretty good about the experience with no long-term side effects on the family. The other involves a man having carnal knowledge of his poultry before he cooks it and eats it for dinner.
When asked if these two things are morally wrong, American liberals and libertarians would tend to answer no. (Or try to get around the hypothetical by positing undetected harm from the incest, or the potential dangers of salmonella and/or freezer burn from the chicken.) And yet, I submit that if those people found out that a stranger exhibited such behavior, most would probably be less interested in becoming friends with that stranger. That's a moral judgement, but cultural norms among the secular educated elite don't give people any vocabulary to express it, and so they say that it's not wrong in the first place -- even though in the actual situation, they would probably still make a moralizing judgement about it. As I wrote last year, "It is clearly true that liberals profess a moral code that excludes concerns about loyalty, honor, purity and obedience -- but over the millennia, man has professed many ideals that are mostly honored in the breach."
The second issue is a simply a perennial problem for surveys that look at political and moral reason: What questions did you ask? If you give people a quiz on global warming, conservatives may look more ignorant and ideologically motivated than liberals. On the other hand, if you ask that same group how many prisoners are in jail for non-violent drug offenses, you may "prove" that liberals ignorantly and/or willfully underestimate the number. Another way of saying that is that liberals may indeed resort to reasoning from sanctity, group loyalty, and authority -- but the questions Haidt has asked simply may not capture that tendency.
This proves that "Liberals Can't Admit To Thinking Like Conservatives." You have to do some work to find out that:
Haidt, Koller, and Dias (1993) found evidence for such an intuitionist interpretation. They examined American and Brazilian responses to actions that were offensive yet harmless, such as eating one’s dead pet dog, cleaning one’s toilet with the national flag, or eating a chicken carcass one has just used for masturbation. The stories were carefully constructed so that no plausible harm could be found, and most participants directly stated that nobody was hurt by the actions in question. Yet participants still usually said the actions were wrong, and universally wrong. They frequently made statements such as “it’s just wrong to have sex with a chicken.” Furthermore, their affective reactions to the stories (statements that it would bother them to witness the action) were better predictors of their moral judgment than were their claims about harmful consequences. Haidt and Hersh (in press) found the same thing when they interviewed conservatives and liberals about sexual morality issues, including homosexuality, incest, and unusual forms of masturbation. For both groups, affective reactions were good predictors of judgment, while perceptions of harmfulness were not. Haidt and Hersh also found that participants were often “morally dumbfounded”(Haidt, Bjorklund, Murphy, 2000), that is, they would stutter, laugh, and express surprise at their inability to find supporting reasons, yet they would not change their initial judgments of condemnation. It seems, then, that for affectively charged events such as incest and other taboo violations, an intuitionist model may be more plausible than a rationalist model. [my bolding]
So the venomous bitca lied about liberals' morality to feel better about herself. Good luck with that.