Interesting article from The Economist on debates about economic models and theories. The author notes a return to evolutionary economics compared to the neoclassical approach built around equilibrium models.

The article from MIT Technology Review mentioned in my previous post referenced a paper from Nick Yee & Jeremy Bailenson titled “The Proteus Effect: The Effect of Transformed Self-Representation on Behavior”. The researchers found that appearance of avatars shapes the behaviour of users:

[…] self-representations have a significant and instantaneous impact on our behavior. The appearances of our avatars shape how we interact with others. As we choose our self-representations in virtual environments, our self-representations shape our behaviors in turn. These changes happen not over hours or weeks but within minutes.

A copy of the paper can be found here.

Eva Modebadze wrote an interesting article in relation to the current protests for abortion rights in Poland. The following is a quote from her article on foucaultblog, in which she recaps the argument on the interlinkages between the construction of gender, sexuality and the nation state:

Gender, sexuality and nationalism are all socially and culturally constructed in oppositions, sometimes not necessarily binary. The nation consists of sexed subjects who are part of culturally constructed hierarchies, and these relationships always involve power. By the control over sexuality and reproduction, the authority to define what is right and what is bad for the nation lies mainly within patriarchal notions of nationalism. Since nationalism is about difference, it is equally exclusive where hierarchies are constructed along the lines of gender, class, race or sexuality. The rise of nationalism enhances the politics of exclusion and takes different configurations in different settings.

Christien Klaufus writes at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research blog on burial places of large metropolises in Latin America:

What have we learned from the examples of burial place policy in Latin American metropolises? Poorly regulated logistics for burial plot allocation can result not only in emotional suffering, but also in public health risks. Many large burial places in cities all over the world were built in response to a disaster or epidemic. In some cases, these then became the cause of more deaths. By carefully monitoring the existing capacity, combined with tight logistics and behavioural regulations, we can prevent burial places from becoming another risk factor during the crisis.

Read the full article here.