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Paul Brandon

Mankato, MN
Commenter for
6 years 45 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 11/07/14 at 02:53 pm in response to Minnesota DFL, GOP in day-after event: Nobody’s delighted

Prices go up -slightly- (the markets are still competitive), but so does spending (minimum wage workers spend most of their income. This in turn boosts demand and ultimately tax income, which funds the benefits of people on 'fixed' (see COLAs) incomes, and the public benefits that they use to supplement them.

were said about Social Security and Medicare.
But the people campaigning on a platform of eliminating them never got elected.
Same thing here.
The 'I've got mine, Jack' types will rail against it, but as more people benefit from it, it will be harder for reactionaries to believably claim that it hurts most people.
................
" Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and...

was not on the ballot.
Now that I've said that,
the results may have been the best thing that could have happened to the Democrats.
This was not going to be a good year whatever the conditions; the Democrats were bound to lose some seats.
Now the can is tied to the Republicans' tail for the next two years. If they can't show dramatic improvement (a good trick since in fact things were already improving in many ways) they'll be running a lot of vulnerable seats...

Posted on 11/05/14 at 10:43 am in response to How psychology helps canonize the 'Mona Lisa' and other artwork

Another factor--
Small sized reproductions in a book or a slide projected in an art class are NOT the same thing as viewing the original alive.
Thus a lot of what constitutes 'exposure' is a pale shadow of the real thing, which would be expected to counter the exposure effect.

I experienced this first hand.
I'm quite familiar with Dali's 'Persistence of Time' (the melting watch).
I always thought it was gimmicky kitsch, until I saw the real thing in Madrid....

Posted on 11/04/14 at 05:58 pm in response to Does the field of social psychology have an anti-conservative bias?

a dead horse.

Democrats don't deny that some Muslims are terrorists, just that all of them are, or that something about Islam makes people automatically terrorists (do YOU know any Muslims?).

Many students of political reform would say that Socialism can't be said to have failed since it has never been tried on any but a very small scale (the early Kibbutzes, the Oneida community). Certainly Stalin and Mao were not socialists in any sense that Marx or Bernard Shaw would have...

Posted on 11/04/14 at 06:01 pm in response to Does the field of social psychology have an anti-conservative bias?

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary support".
My own field was behavioral experimental psychology, not social, but we all started with the same basic scientific training.
For anyone who knows the literature in their field, a claim that is inconsistent with what is known in that field is going to take more support than one that is consistent with the known science.

Posted on 11/03/14 at 10:31 am in response to Unpacking the Strib's teacher-eval story — and a puzzling MPS response

also in cities with the poorest students?

Posted on 11/04/14 at 08:20 pm in response to Unpacking the Strib's teacher-eval story — and a puzzling MPS response

that after three years teaching has little effect on teaching effectiveness.
And while standardized test scores are a limited measure of teaching effectiveness, they still are the best we have. Too little is known (as opposed to believed) about what observable actions constitute effective teaching. The bottom line is still whether students learn, and that can be tested.

And claiming that there are some inherently unobservable effects that are the really important outcomes of...

Posted on 11/03/14 at 10:26 am in response to The big question: Is our election system working?

The candidates favored by the plurality of the voters do not always get elected:
1. Bush v. Gore.
2. House of Representatives vs. the will of the people (a majority of the voters favored Democratic candidates).

Posted on 11/04/14 at 09:43 am in response to The big question: Is our election system working?

The genius (if you wish) of our system is that it is inherently conservative (in the true, not reactionary sense). It makes change difficult. Historically, whichever party is in the minority has taken advantage of this to prevent the majority from enacting all of its agenda with narrow majorities.
This is one way in which we have regained some of the checks of a parliamentary system that were lost with the development of a two party system.