Monday, April 5, 2021

Lists of "Bizarre Beliefs" Reveal Difference Between True Belief, and Tribal Team Cheers

You should read Aaron Bergman's review of Fantasyland, a book about American's relationship with conspiracy and magical thinking, today and over the decades. He cites surveys which show, for example, that one in nine Americans believe they have seen the devil driven out of someone. Others he cites are about Obama being born in Kenya, vaccines causing autism, and ghosts. Recognizing that no one is immune to irrational beliefs, Bergman identifies what he thinks are his most "fringe" beliefs. And here I also engage in this exercise, not because I think you're particularly concerned with my fringe beliefs, but because it's interesting to see the differences in his and my list, vs the kinds of things discussed in a book about American conspiracy thinking.*

A few of my own bizarre beliefs:
There are two characeristics to note about these fringe beliefs - one of which Bergman and I share with the conspiracy-believers cited in the book, and one which I think we do not.
  1. We are not good at knowing what will seem strange to others.

  2. These beliefs are not central to identity.
I think if you asked the devil-drivers to name their fringe beliefs, they would (in keeping with #1 above) not necessarily realize that devil-driving is seen by many others as a strange, fringe belief. Similarly, when voluntarily producing a list like this, I probably haven't been able to identify the beliefs I hold that would most shock most readers. This occurs because we're all embedded in communities. Devil-drivers know a lot of other devil-drivers; the belief doesn't seem strange in that context.

As for #2 - I can't speak for Bergman but I know that, if I encounter a strong argument against panpsychism, or data from a probe in the Venus clouds showing a completely mundane abiotic process that produces phosphine, not only would I probably change my mind - I would not become hostile and defensive, as if I were being personally attacked. Resistant, disappointed, a bit embarrassed to have been wrong in public - sure. But not angry. Whereas I think if you were to engage a devil driver and explain why their belief may be wrong, I predict they would become hostile and defensive, as if they were being personally attacked. Same for antivaxxers and birthers.

This underlines the core difference in two types of beliefs. There are actual hypotheses - what a belief ideally always is, able to be updated by new information – and then there are the tribal team cheers of religion, politics, or conspiracy communities.

If we think of beliefs as a good materialist should, we think about what is actually going on in the nervous systems, and how the behavior of the organism differs systematically in a way that can be categorized or at least placed on a spectrum. Notice that it's not merely isolated "trapped priors" we're dealing with here - antivaxxers and devil drivers don't just calmly reject arguments and information and continue to believe what they already believed. There is community, identity, and emotion involved.

I therefore think we should consider whether the "beliefs" of devil-drivers and antivaxxers are truth claims at all, or something else.** At the very least we should consider whether their utility is more as tribal team cheers than as truth claims.

The implication here is that the superficial content of the belief is not the only determinant of whether it is a functional, updateable belief (a hypothesis) or a tribal team cheer. For example: say I learn that there is going to be a meeting of a local club to discuss the phosphine and unknown absorbers in the Venusian atmosphere. Excited to talk about it with like-minded people, I attend. At the meeting I find people talking about how they just know in their hearts there is life on Venus, that NASA is trying to hide the evidence, and that they don't care what additional evidence the probes might find. In fact when I suggest we send more probes they are actively hostile!*** Whereas the club members and I would both say "There is life in the Venusian atmosphere", I have a hypothesis, they have a tribal team cheer, though the superficially the content of the claim is the same. (The hypothesis IS just the content of the claim; the tribal team cheer is a cake of social behaviors with the words of the truth claim as icing.)

In fact, focusing on the process of belief, rather than the content of the belief itself, is what we do in psychiatry. If someone is convinced his wife is cheating on him with absolutely zero evidence, even if she confides "actually I did have a drunken one-night stand ten years ago but he doesn't know about it" - that's still a jealous delusion. He doesn't have a good reason to believe it. The Venus club's stated belief is a community and identity device, not a cognitive tool for explaining the world. Hence bizarre statements, in the rare occasion when they are discussing it with people from outside their community, like "I just feel that it's true", "this is offensive", and "this is a personal attack."

Because it's easy to be confused by tribal team cheers which do indeed look like truth claims, especially when the tribal team cheer-ers are loathe to admit that it's not really a truth claim, it's worth identifying the tribal cheers as something different from hypotheses.

You're probably familiar with the idea of a shibboleth. For me, the belief in Venusian life is a hypothesis; for the club, it's a shibboleth - or at least, much more of a shibboleth than a hypothesis. A belief is like to be more shibboleth than hypothesis, the more of these characteristics it has:
  • Avoidance of any testing
  • Anger at questions, as if somehow being personally attacked
  • Formation of identity around the belief
  • Reason for belief is emotional
  • Association with community around the belief

Devil-driving, birtherism, and antivaxxer-ism are shibboleths. Panpsychism is a hypothesis. In the future of epistemology, people may be amused but charitable that we did not make this distinction, just as we think of people five centuries ago who didn’t understand that dolphins are not fish.


*It's worth pointing out that the types of beliefs we articulate, when asked what our most surprising beliefs are, are generally about the external world, not internal beliefs like "I'm unlovable" or "I can't accomplish important things" - even if we're frequently aware of such beliefs, we guard them closely. I think this is more likely out of fear of the impact on others' opinions of us, rather than a shrewd calculation about what people want to hear about.

**At one point there was a debate in psychiatry as to whether delusions are really beliefs. My argument is that they are indeed something neurologically and behaviorally different, though this is an academic or semantic distinction at this point.

***Compare to eg creationists, who often spend much more time talking about how their enemies are suppressing them than providing actual arguments and data, making predictions or trying to do something pragmatic and useful with their "theory". Where are the creationist biomedical companies?

Friday, March 12, 2021

Patterns of Misperception Between Chapman's Stages of Moral Competence

David Chapman has developed a very interesting framework, elaborating moral psychology developed by Kegan and Kohlberg, to address the differing ability of humans to co-exist in groups at varying levels of complexity, through their ways of finding meaning. This can be seen in their moral competence, a phrase which Chapman often uses.

If you're not already familiar with Chapman's stage, I suggest you first visit his pages, then return here for this additional detail. Part of the interest is that the stages correlate fairly well with modes of civilization over time, including states, religions, and art.

The theory, if that's the right term, is a rich one in that it rewards interrogation with further insights. For example - yes, people do vary in their achievable levels of competence, an uncomfortable realization which Chapman emphasizes less than Kegan.


Another observation Chapman makes is that to a person at level X, level X+1 is indistinguishable from level X-1. (The following will make no sense if you haven't read his work, so if you haven't, please do.) Let's call this misperception pattern A, or "they're all the same."

Example A-1: to a communal level 3 person who cannot function at level 4, the institutional-minded level 4 boss who fires her for constantly missing work due to family obligations just seems like a level 2 psychopath. She can't tell the difference from her stage of moral competence. (Concrete example: think immigrant to Western country living with their family, or J.D. Vance's hillbillies, working for a large corporation.)

Example A-2: to a level 4 institutionalist, the level 5 person just seems like a tribalist/communitarian. Think of that same corporate manager, watching with frustration as their kids participate in a gig economy, maybe program part-time, live in a co-op, have polyamorous relationships - to the corporate manager, this is responsibility-shirking, sloppy living just like the hillbillies.


I'd like to propose another pattern: People at level X can function superficially at level X+2. This is misperception pattern B, or "superficial skipping levels."

Example B-1: a level 1 person (who is dependent on others and cannot even provide the basics of their life) survive in level 3 settings, but are not net contributors and do not truly find meaning through their family or communal settings. Children are level one briefly as infants and toddlers; disabled people may be level 1 throughout their lives.

Example B-2: a level 2 psychopath (my term) can, for a time, survive in an institutional (level 4) setting. Their mechanical transactionalism superficially is a good fit for the rule-based world of the institution. However, in a good (high-functioning, rational, mission-driven) institution, their behavior is not sustainable. (Unfortunately for many of us it is not hard to imagine this. See here for the emergent behavior of institutions - they are neither constellations of individuals, nor collectives.)

Example B-3: a level 3 communalist can seem to fit into a level 5 setting. Ultimately they will find the shifting modes of meaning incomprehensible and frustrating, and split off into an actual communal splinter from the level 5's around them, or return to their level 3 community of origin. Think of the level 5 son. Hey may have met someone who he thought would be an interesting person to start an intentional community with, a guy from Guatemala playing the guitar in a park, and invited him to come out to the desert for a while. The guy tries, but finds it all very weird, and would just rather be with his family.


For an overview of Chapman's stages, start here.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Nkondi - Fetish Dolls

I've long been obsessed with these intimidating objects and I'm not surprised to learn that the design for Pinhead in Hellraiser was strongly influencd by them. They are reservoirs for aggressive spirits meant to defend against would-be harm-doers. A nail is pounded in every time you want to wake up the spirit.











Sunday, September 13, 2020

Is Discounting the Future Due to a Defect in Impulse Control, Or a Rational Adaptation?

Many people are familiar with the Mischel marshmallow experiment. Kids who delayed gratification had better life outcomes.* The concept of varying ability to delay gratification is quite critical to discussions of public policy, since clearly we do not all have identical agency in every situation, by reason of variation of our nervous systems.

The received wisdom in the informed public is that not delaying gratification - that is, discounting the future - is a negative, a deficit in impulse control. The experiment has been run in multiple settings with the discount rate quantified: do you accept a ten dollar payment at the conclusion of your participation, or $11 a month later? (If you take the $10 right now, your future discounting rate is 10% per month.) It's been pointed out repeatedly since then that there are many other plausibly influential factors, including the predictability of the environment. Run this study in Singapore, and you can count on the experimenter being in their office when you go back. In Somalia, after a month, who knows if the building will be there anymore? Whether it's war or just low trust that makes it less likely you'll actually get your payoff, the direction of the impact on your discount rate is going to be the same.

Celeste Kidd created a model of this in children, and sure enough, kids who were disappointed by not receiving a promised reward, later on discounted the future significantly more. This relates to future discount rates in politically unstable parts of the world, as well as in children raised by inconsistent parents. It's a vicious cycle, because increasing your discounting is actual the rational choice.

I would have expected this result to be much better known, so I'm doing my small part in making that happen.

Kidd C, Palmeri H, Aslin RN. Rational snacking: Young children’s decision-making on the marshmallow task is moderated by beliefs about environmental reliability. Cognition. Volume 126, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 109-114.


*It's worth pointing out that, so far as I know, there's no research showing that low future discounting increases happiness - in fact, there's research strongly suggesting that the curve is U-shaped, and beyond a certain point, good impulse control makes us less happy! Isn't that why we care? Essentially longitudinal studies here and here; writeup of both in Washington Post. Of course, your country is affected by the level of impulse control of your countrymen, so the ideal situation might be to be a person with low impulse control in a country of people with high impulse control, a classic free-rider problem.

Classifying Humans Is Not Inherently Bad. In Fact It's Often Good.

When I was a psychiatry resident one of my supervisors told me her classification scheme for her fellow psychiatrists: there are fuzzies, and there are techies. Fuzzies are more the stereotype you might hold of people in the mental health field - people who are innate nurturers and speak in a soothing voice, and enjoy a holistic instinctual approach to helping people. They might have ethnic vases in their office. In contrast, techies are psychiatrists who like to think about neurotransmitters and circuits and diagnostic classifications, and use explicit reasoning processes about those to help patients. They read science fiction and dress like engineers.

I think there is indeed a spectrum of this sort, and I think it exists not just in humans, but in the world at large. And I see an increasing moral disgust on the part of fuzzies against techies.

Classifying humans is not bad. Humans are fascinating. Why wouldn't you pay attention to the endless ways in which they vary? (Have I given myself away as a techie yet?) But to fuzzies, an urge to assign humans to abstract categories of any sort can seem bad - creepy, even - a gateway to dehumanizing and harming them. "You should just care about about people!", they say. "Why is that so hard?"

These two urges - to care and to classify - are not mutually exclusive. In fact are mutually reinforcing to the important outcome, namely, people getting better. They should both be present in any healthy cognitively diverse group of humans. They're just not usually present to the same degree within each individual brain.

There are a lot of us who want to help people, but don't have that innate nurturing instinct. So we make an end run around that, and we think in explicit categories: person #1 has trait A, and might benefit from X (and it doesn't matter whether we're talking about psychiatric treatment, public policy, or understanding why someone is feeling a certain emotion right now.) To a nurturer, this might sound abhorrent. But if it helps, does it matter what cognitive process we use to accomplish it?

Because we humans do vary in this dimension, this ironically means we vary in our ability to understand people at the other end of the spectrum. To us techies, when we encounter fuzzies' offense, it's surprising and baffling. "No no no, you've got it all wrong. I like this person! I find her interesting! She is the first native speaker of a Nilotic language I've met and that makes her cognitively unique among people I know and capable of contributing uniquely!" From many fuzzies' perspectives, this kind of classification seems almost "racism-adjacent" - indeed, a stone's throw from phrenology.

A fair criticism of techies is that classification can be wrong, and can be used for bad purposes, e.g. phrenology (a dead horse which has been dead for a long time but which people love to bring up - until someone can find us a living phrenologist, let's all retire this cliche.) And yes, it is possible that thinking of people only in terms of their abstract traits and membership in various groups can dehumanize them, if it is done with no real interest in the individual, by reducing their identity to membership in collectives.* It can feel intrusive and "script"-reinforcing. On the other hand, a defense of techies is that their interest is a genuine interest in humans, their makeup is generally such that this is the most natural way of relating, and this is all an effort to connect and understand other people. The very abstractness of these categories means that they are universal - to a techie, the fact we can all be classified in along the same dimensions actually feels quite equalizing!

An also-fair criticism of fuzzies is that often, the self-image and need to signal tribal identity with certain kinds of statements overwhelms consideration of others' actual needs. ("Did you actually measure the outcome of your caring act?") And nurturing does not always help. Some people, for example, are indifferent to (or even enjoy) the suffering of others (i.e., antisocial personality disorder) and no amount of nurturing will change that; thus, the blind eye often turned to this population in mental health care, because the cognitive dissonance their existence causes to nurturers is extreme. It should also be pointed out that the neurochemical basis of nurturers' behavior, oxytocin, is not a love hormone so much as an ingroup hormone. All that nurturing ultimately requires an outgroup, and many a techie can tell stories of deliberate censure and exclusion by fuzzies for some poorly understood offense. A defense of fuzzies is that they are more genuinely motivated by the positive affect of the recipients of their caring attention, and therefore, probably better at taking care of people in the short-run.


*Speaking as a techie: intersectionality seems quite deliberately dehumanizing, in that it explicitly argues the most important thing about each of us the various racial and gender groups we're part of - and since our membership in these groups is involuntary, this strips identity of any aspect of agency.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Physical Topography (of the American West) Associated with Human Personality

You can find the paper here. I have only read the abstract since there's a paywall. Questions: how does this correlate with the settlement patterns discussed in Albion's Seed, in this genetic analysis, or the Bad Stripe? (The Bad Stripe roughly correlates with Greater Appalachia in the former article, or the Border Reavers in Albion's Seed.)

Götz, F.M., Stieger, S., Gosling, S.D. et al. Physical topography is associated with human personality. Nat Hum Behav (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0930-x

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Economist Bryan Caplan on 80,000 Hours: Thinking Through Your Real Reasons for Going to College

Caplan is an economist most famous for advancing the theory (held by many) that education in its current instantiation in the US is more about sigaling (in particular, credentialing) than learning. But that's not what I'm including in the large excerpt below - this is more advice for young people who are sacrificing their happiness worrying about/trying to get into college. 

I don't endorse his specific conclusions, but I strongly endorse his way of thinking about it, which broadly comes down to: ask yourself what you actually want out of life, look at the empirical reality of what your choices might get you, and don't just go along with the crowd. The full interview is here. (Previous posts on this here and here.)
Robert Wiblin: Yeah I’m thinking, so now we’re talking to the listeners, and we’re hoping to give them some advice on how they could actually do better in their lives.

Bryan Caplan: Right, right. But selfishly speaking?

Robert Wiblin: Selfishly speaking, yeah-

Bryan Caplan: Yeah. So right, I mean honestly where I always start is gaming the system. I don’t start with learning, because the system doesn’t seem very interested in learning. I would just start with … Right, so what do you want to do and how can you do that with the least suffering to yourself. Basically sort of going through the inventory and finding out which things you can cut corners on and which things you can’t cut corners on. Some obvious things are, if it’s way outside your nature, if you’re just doing it for requirement than just find the easiest person. Most Americans will never use foreign language on the job, so find the easiest foreign language teachers that are around, go and do that.

Like for college actually for most people my advice is just be an econ major. Because I often tell my students economics is the highest paid of all the easy majors. And there’s a lot … Like these aren’t easy. Like come on people it’s not computer science, it’s not engineering. You know you can do really well in econ major and still have a great social life in college. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be like vitamin D deprived, like you would be if you were a CS major.

Economics is not the highest paid major, but it’s not that far from the winner. So winners are usually electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, finance, then econ. But it’s not that big of a difference. A lot of it, as I say, major in econ because it is the highest paid of all the easy majors, so do that. I say, whatever else you’re interested in you can do that to, but the econ major will just get you a better job and open more doors for you. So I advise people to do that.

In terms of other numbers. General result, this I not primarily me, I’m just reporting what the researchers find. Your majors more important than the selectivity of your school. Better to go to a state school and be an engineering major than go to Harvard and be a literature major. For most purposes, at least for your career purposes, maybe not for dating purposes, or for marriage purposes. But in least of terms of your career it seems like a hard major at a low cheap state school better deal than going to a private school.

Then I’ve also got stuff on is it worth going to an expensive private school. Like the marriage … Like improving your marital options, that seems like the best argument for. In terms of your career, what I’m saying is unless they’re giving you a lot of scholarship money, probably don’t go. Or, the only other reason I would consider going to a top school is if you have a special career that is even snobbier than other careers. Like say professor. If your career goal is to be a professor, then I encourage you to go to a top school because graduate schools are super snobby. And then schools hire professors who are super snobby. So even though it may not affect your earnings, it may affect whether you’re allowed to enter in to your desired occupation at all. So I think about that.

And the other big thing to think about, this probably won’t matter very much for your listeners specifically, but maybe for their kids, you should think about whether it’s worth going to college at all. I say there, the main underappreciated variable is just completion probability. There were got this classic saying of the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Best predictor of whether you’re gonna graduate college is whether you did well in high school. If you struggle to get through high school, or if you know someone who is struggling to get through high school. Those are the people it is not at all clear that it’s a good idea for them to go to college even selfishly speaking. Because they’re so unlikely to get that big bag of gold over the finish line.

Robert Wiblin: Yeah. The reason this issue of people who are unlikely to finish, it seems like the very most low hanging fruit here is to convince people who are losing out personally because they go to college for a year or two and spend a bunch of money and time, but are very unlikely to ever actually graduate. Just to convince them to stop going to university, I mean that’s something you can maybe even get the government on. You don’t have to tell anyone to sacrifice for the greater good, you just have to tell them “Well you’re gonna lose yourself.”

Bryan Caplan: Yes, I mean, funny thing, the government used to have a whole program to go do this. It was called guidance counselors. So back in the old days, the guidance counselor would bring you in, and they’d say “You are or you are not college material.” This was hard to hear … And of course sometimes they made mistakes. Sometimes there’s someone who is really good and they told them they’re not college material and they’re late bloomers. But you know better than to put too much weight on that scenario. There’s also a lot of people who were told not to go, they would fail, and so they didn’t go, so they didn’t fail.

There’s been a big change in the United States towards the college role model. Now I think one of the best ways to get fired as a high school guidance counselor is start using, throwing around that phrase “You’re not college material” and I think that will get big complaints from parents. Like, “Do you know what your guidance counselor told my kid, said he’s not college material.” So the government used to do this, now there’s more of, whether you tell them to go to community college or four-year college. It’s sort of the main division right now. And you say well of course college is for everyone, everyone’s college material but you should probably go to community college to get your grades up and then that kind of thing.

Then go and tell about how great community college is for those who do well in it. Without ever giving them any idea if they’re ever statistically likely to do well. But yeah, in terms of what I’m trying to I do actually try to give this advice. Honestly I don’t think the kids that are struggling in high school are going to be listening anything I say. So I do try to direct this to the parents. Who I think are the … They’re sort of the last line of defense of people who won’t get fired as parents if they level with their kid.

It’s really hard, especially parent’s pride is at stake. This is where my best appeal is look, what’s more important your kid’s future or your friend’s pity? Like “Oh my god, your kid isn’t going to college that’s so terrible. Oh my god.” Right, and I mean know parents, I think their pride is so strong they’d rather send their kid on this academic suicide mission rather than endure the pity of their friends, but I think there’s a lot of parents who have mixed motives, and I just like go and give them some moral support for advice to kids to go and try something else. I mean, I try to frame it more positively as can we find something else your kid likes and is good at, other than academics.

Like can you do that, have you tried? Why not try? You know if your kid just really doesn’t like school, why keep assuming they’re gonna turn over a new leaf and blossom in college rather than say here’s ten jobs that give you a good life and don’t require college.

Robert Wiblin: So as you say, most listeners on the show aren’t trying to decide whether to try to do an undergraduate degree or not. But many of them are trying to decide whether to go to grad school. So what do you have for advice for students who did well in undergrad and they’re considering doing an economics PhD or some other PhD? Who should do it and who shouldn’t and what courses should they consider and what courses shouldn’t they consider?

Bryan Caplan: Yeah that’s a great question. Just to preface data on graduate education is much mushier than data on high school or college. So here I’m just building on a much shakier ground, and I just think everyone should know that I’m doing that. The main thing to know is that grad school completion is even lower than regular college graduation. Remember that people go to grad to school are generally well above average for college, for undergraduate. So when you’re thinking about whether to go, again, the best predictor is how good were you as an undergraduate.

So if you were doing very well as an undergraduate, then probably you would be about average for grad school, and remember average doesn’t do that well. So were you stellar for an undergraduate, those are the people where they’re likely to actually gain from graduate education. Furthermore, you have to consider what you’re majoring in. I’m not sure that I found a single paper that measured the payoff for graduate programs as a function of major. It certainly seems that the pattern for undergraduate holds up for graduate as well with CS and engineering and economics paying well. History and philosophy and fine arts paying poorly.

So you gotta factor that in, and again as usual if you know what occupation you’re training for than just see what does the job market for that occupation actually look like. There are many graduate programs where almost the only thing you do with is to become a professor of that subject. Or you just don’t use it. So in that case, well you wanna be an English professor, well look at the jobs prospects for the people who are currently coming out with English PhDs and see how they’re doing.

Don’t ask yourself are you as good as those people. Ask what someone who didn’t know you, only knew what you were like on paper, would think whether you’re better than those people. Because the world doesn’t tell you … We don’t even need to go and get into overconfidence and self-centered bias. Let’s just say the world’s not fair and even if you’re awesome the world rewards being awesome on paper, not intrinsic awesomeness. Just accept this as a flaw in the world, and then consider that when you’re deciding whether or not you wanna try what you’re gonna do.

Another sort of general piece of advice that I offer people is if you wanna do almost anything in social science, and a lot of humanities, and you are dismayed but the crummy job prospects of people that major in the subjects. Then, my question … Can you do math? If so, why not just go and get an econ PhD and call what you’re doing economics X. I’m not even being flippant here. So I am baffled by people who like history and can do math, who do a history PhD. Why not just do econ and become a economic historian?

It is literally true that you will probably have tenure as an economist, before you would have your first assistant professor job as a historian. That’s how the world works. And then, once you have that tenure, you can work on anything you want. You never get another raise in your whole career, you probably have a better income stream than a historian would. So this is of course selfishly speaking. This is the kind of strategy that if everybody did it, it wouldn’t work anymore. But everybody’s not gonna do it are they Rob. So why don’t you go and do it?

Robert Wiblin: Well we’ve got the special tricks for you there. Just not too many of you do it-

Bryan Caplan: Economic philosophy of course. You can either go and try to become a philosophy PhD and try to be a philosophy professor, or you can go in economics and then do economic philosophy. Probably get tenure before you get your first job as a philosophy prof. And then, yes you’ll have to go and do some stuff you don’t like to get tenure probably, but then afterwards it’s clear sailing. So why not?

Robert Wiblin: It’s a shame that the evidence on postgraduate courses isn’t better. I recall one thing you said was that Master’s degrees don’t tend to do very well. Is that right?

Bryan Caplan: Yes. So we … Of course they still do have higher earnings, but basically when you combine the low completion probability with the modest gain and the high opportunity cost, because you know … The opportunity costs of high school is really low. Basically it’s like a high school dropouts wage. The further along you go, the bigger your opportunity cost is. And also, you’re starting to cut off some of your peak earning years too. And this it what winds up giving the bad result. But I’m not gonna say the master’s degree data is any good either, it’s very sparse.

In a way, the good news is the people are studying are putting more into studying decisions that more people face. So I suppose that’s good. But at the same time, given the sheer volume, you think there would be 20 good papers on it, and it’s very hard to find anything that I really thought was compelling
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