Empathy’s not all it’s cracked up to be

How Empathic Concern Fuels Political Polarization:

Over the past two decades, there has been a marked increase in partisan social polarization, leaving scholars in search of solutions to partisan conflict. The psychology of intergroup relations identifies empathy as one of the key mechanisms that reduces intergroup conflict, and some have suggested that a lack of empathy has contributed to partisan polarization. Yet, empathy may not always live up to this promise. We argue that, in practice, the experience of empathy is biased toward one’s ingroup and can actually exacerbate political polarization. First, using a large, national sample, we demonstrate that higher levels of dispositional empathic concern are associated with higher levels of affective polarization. Second, using an experimental design, we show that individuals high in empathic concern show greater partisan bias in evaluating contentious political events. Taken together, our results suggest that, contrary to popular views, higher levels of dispositional empathy actually facilitate partisan polarization.

Vandals target Trump lawyer

But remember, we’re the bad guys. From ABC America:

Vandals targeted the home of one of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers, spray-painting the word “TRAITOR” in red on his driveway in suburban Philadelphia, police said.

The vandalism occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday at attorney Michael van der Veen’s residence in West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, according to police.

No arrests have been made, Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township Police Department told ABC News on Sunday afternoon. Pezick said private security has since been hired by the homeowner to protect the residence, and police presence has been beefed up in van der Veen’s neighborhood.

Prediction: they’ll never find the culprits.

Shut up, nerd

Bill Gates says ‘all rich nations should move to 100% synthetic beef’ to combat climate change.

The Microsoft co-founder insists ‘you can get used to the taste difference’.

Let’s put this in terms you can understand, nerd: synthetic beef is to real beef as Bing is to Google.

Rich nerd.

This is how you deal with tech tyrants

And why you should never mess with Poland.

A new law is due to be passed in Poland that would fine Big Tech firms a staggering $2.2 million every time they unconstitutionally censor lawful free speech online.

While liberal governments in western nations seek to fine social media giants Facebook and Twitter for failing to remove so-called “hate speech,” Poland is taking a refreshingly different approach.

“Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if the content on them does not break Polish law.”

Lovely.

FEATURE IMAGE: Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash.