Politics

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Why are transphobes so transphobic?

As a straight, white, middle-aged, college-educated, settled-community, cisgender man, I know that I benefit from more than my fair share of privilege. So if I have found Pride Month somewhat stressful, I can only imagine how others must have felt. Pride Month just isn’t what it used to be. What […]

‘Cancel culture’ paranoia and other right-wing hysterics reveal medical conservatism’s true colours

Historian David Olusoga has been speaking about the ironies of ‘cancel culture’: Olusoga, whose work has explored black Britishness and the legacy of empire and slavery, said that people โ€œfeel perfectly comfortable making these comments about me without being able to point to a single reference or footnote in my […]

Psychology, religion, and public policy

Hello! I hope your Saturday is going well. Here is a talk I gave in November, at the Psychological Society of Ireland’s annual conference. The transcript appears below. Enjoy! * * * * * * Transcript: Psychology, religion, and public policy Now, this particular topic is very wide-ranging. I wouldn’t […]

Who’s more deluded, the conspiracy nuts or the journalists who dismiss them?

Ireland often likes to see itself as a cosmopolitan kind of place, where the world’s tourists, investors, and bohemian artistes are promised the traditional hundred thousand welcomes. As the most recent example of our keenness to globalise, witness our incorporation of the latest intellectual trend: delusional-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-based anarchy! Last weekend’s violence […]

Post-Trump Stress Disorder

Well, that escalated quickly. Or, rather, slowly. Because when democracies start to fray, the corrosion is usually incremental. Few regimes are overthrown overnight. The first few inflammatory statements are dismissed as innocuous, even idiotic, but gradually norms are shifted, tribes moulded, and scapegoats identified. Out-group hostility is the fulcrum of […]