Hmm, I don't entirely see it that way. I think in the vast majority of cases, the talent-attracting effect of more money overpowers the benefits offered by competence signalling. That's why I think public defenders should be paid more both as a matter of justice and because it would increase average performance on net
All very valid points. To be sure, my model is only valid when there is good reason to expect competence and motivation to correlate and when firing is relatively difficult. My only (possible?) disagreement is that I think "lawyers with no serious option at better than $61K/yr" wouldn't generally become public defenders unless they also happen to be very motivated by the position itself, because other law positions paying $61k have a lower workload, stress, etc.
It's true that government jobs tend to be more secure, but I don't think this fully explains the low salaries of public defenders (though this is just an intuition).
Good points. I certainly don't know how any individual conservative would justify any of their positions. The Fijian example is admittedly a little silly to work with, but based on my experience of contemporary American politics I would bet that the strong majority of Fijian conservatives would not cite Chesterton's Fence-esque reasons for their position. True, the "thoughtful" or intellectual elite conservatives might, but these individuals are often deemed "thoughtful" and survive in academia or other elite liberal institutions because their style of thinking is at least a little more appealing to their more numerous liberal colleagues.
I'm frequently surprised that my parents will spend effort on something or ask another person for help without Googling; both are well-educated and comfortable using the internet, but it just isn't their first instinct like it is with me. Perhaps there's a correlation with age, where older people weren't trained to use Google as a first-line troubleshooting device.
Strongly seconded. Keeping my phone out of reach, out of sight, and on silent is both trivially easy and amazingly effective at reducing distraction. I think that all of those three things (sight, sound, reach) are necessary for me, and I suspect others as well.
Regarding "Magic Pills," I would note that Wellbutrin is know as the first-line antidepressant that tends to aid in focus, energy, and productivity. SSRIs (which wellbutrin is not) have a reputation for sedation and sometimes an emotional numbing effect, though this very well may be what one needs or desires to deal with depression or anxiety. Additionally, Wellbutrin is "lower risk" than SSRIs in the sense that uncomfortable withdrawal effects are quite rare. The source for this is research for a personal decision regarding whether to try antidepressnts in the past. All this said, there seems to be very large variation in personal satisfaction with different antidepressants, and there are surely some people who would indeed benefit from SSRIs, not only in terms of depression itself but also productivity as a secondary effect.