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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relationship Types as a Window to Political Affiliation, October 12, 2007
This review is from: The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (Hardcover)
Previous reviewers have already commented that the book is well written, in a manner available to both the layman and professional, with little of the normal academic speak and bias. I concur. One thought occurs to me, which seemed alluded to by at least one of the other reviewers, that is seeing the materials presented here as a model for all of human behaviiour. Late in the book there is a discussion of four relationship types, their origins in human evolution and their exhibition by specific behaviours and language. It is interesting to compare the Market Pricing example to the other three, and ask if the ability / comfort of an individual with Market Pricing relationship-language, abstract models, mathematics, etc. might explain individual's preference for a specific political framework?

Read the book. Gets a bit long in the middle, but worthwhile for the layman.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 14, 2007 4:37:57 PM PDT
I haven't read Pinker's book yet, but I believe you are talking about AP Fiske's social relations model. If this is the case, then there is empirical data to answer your question, i.e.is political orientation correlated with willingness to engage in market-calculations? The answer is Yes. Conservatives are slightly more comfortable than Liberals with market-pricing certain relationships, but the huge difference is with libertarians. They are much, much more comfortable with market-pricing virtually every type of human relationship (even those normally considered taboo, such as prostitution) than both liberals and conservatives. A lot of the work in this area has been done by the psychologist Philip Tetlock and his collegues.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2007 6:15:51 PM PST
Gio says:
Benny - More interesting choice of reading, ergo more successful review. I'm not buying your disclaimer on the Hate O'Reilly book; you are what you read, as much as you are what you watch.
By the way, I distrust O'Reilly enough to read and review one of his books some day, but hardly enough to cull someone else's reasons for hating him.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2007 12:39:19 PM PST
Ben Franklin says:
GB-

What you decide to believe is largely your personal choice. My reading for the last year has included the following:

The God of Small Things
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
Angle of Repose
Gracie, A Love Story
Lincoln at Cooper Union
The University Wine Course
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook ( a reread)
Toward Sustainable Communities
Deck Designs
The Dance of Change
Sustainable Residential Interiors
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (another reread)

These are the titles I have in my bookcases now--the rest of my last year's reading has been given to others or returned to the library.

Have a happy holiday season!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2007 12:32:28 PM PST
Ben Franklin says:
David-

Thank you for your references to Fiske and Tetlock--might take a look in the new year. I was more interested in understanding if there is a correlation between abstract modelling abilities, numeracy, correlations and political affiliation. Not quite on the mark with your comment but nonetheless helpful.
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