Harvard Study: An Epidemic of Loneliness Is Spreading Across America

Loneliness among Americans has been growing in recent years, but the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically exacerbated the problem. A new report by Harvard University researchers finds that 36 percent of Americans are experiencing “serious loneliness,” and some groups, such as young adults and mothers with small children, are especially isolated.

Entrepreneurship Is Accelerating at the Fastest Rate in Decades During This Pandemic

This week, the Wall Street Journal reports that entrepreneurship during the pandemic is accelerating. Several metrics point to this growth, including the number of people applying for tax identification numbers. The Journal cites US Census Bureau data revealing that applications by small businesses rose nearly one-third between January and September, compared to the previous year. In particular, applications skyrocketed between July and September, rising 77 percent from the previous quarter—the biggest quarterly increase in 16 years of tracking this data.

Impasse

I’ve spent over 30 years arguing about ideas.  During those decades, I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve changed minds. Normally, however, arguing about ideas is fruitless.  Tempers fray.  Discussion goes in circles.  Each and every mental corruption that Philip Tetlock has explored rears its ugly epistemic head.  You even lose friends.

Silence is Stupid, Argument is Foolish

Public debates aside, I now only engage in intellectual arguments with thinkers who play by the rules.  What rules?  For starters: remain calm, take nothing personally, use probabilities, face hypotheticals head-on, and spurn Social Desirability Bias like the plague.  If I hear someone talking about ideas who ignores these rules, I take evasive action.  If cornered, I change the subject. Why?  Because I now realize that arguing with unreasonable people is foolish.