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The less dramatic name for it is the Social Brain Hypothesis. It was originally proposed by R. A. Dunbar (of Dunbar's number fame).

His reputation as a "bloody minded bastard" aside, Martin has creznaragyl xvyyrq bss n tenaq gbgny bs bar CBI punenpgre va gur ebhtuyl svir gubhfnaq phzhyngvir cntrf bs gur NFbVnS frevrf fb sne (abg pbhagvat cebybthr/rcvybthr punenpgref, jubz ab bar rkcrpgf gb fheivir sbe zber guna bar puncgre). Gur...(read more)

As an aside, can someone please explain what the deal with reactionaries and crabs is? I feel like there's some context here that I'm missing.

kings and patriarchy have been around for 5000+, which implies that they have some selective advantage.

This implies that they represent a stable equilibrium. Stable does not imply optimal (though depending on your time-prefernces and degree of risk-aversion, optimal may imply stable).

Nate Silver's *The Signal And The Noise* has a chapter about this. The short answer is yes,, weather forcasting has gotten better, but comerical forcasts have a known "wet bias" in favor of predicting rain. The reason for this is that people get more upset at forcasters when they say it won't rain a...(read more)

> But then why do these stereotypes remain stable across generations?

Rational expectations equalibria are a thing. To take a somewhat exagerated example, if everyone thinks that girls suck at math, so no one teaches girls to do math, then no one will ever find out whether or not girls actually suc...(read more)

I wouldn't expect such a subsidy to overcome inertia in all cases. I expect it would help on the margins, though.

We can conscript as many as we want if we pay them enough. If we're willing to draft people, then why wouldn't we be willing to raise taxes?

Taxpayers are generally better organized politically than potential conscripts.

In general I agree with this. However, I am also in favor of government subsidy on moving between jurisdictions (though, not a full subsidy, as that would cause moral hazard problems). Uprooting your life and relocating to a new location is costly, in time, money, effort, and social ties. These cost...(read more)

Exit: looks like someone beat me to this .

Worm addresses this in a somewhat round about way: Cnanprn'f srryvatf bs vagrafr thvyg sbe rirel ubhe gung fur fcraqf qbvat guvatf bgure guna hfvat ure cbjref gb urny crbcyr jrer n znwbe pbagevohgbe gb ure zragny oernxqbja naq fhofrdhrag vzcevfbazrag va gu...(read more)