How Can We Get More Virtue and Less ‘Virtue Signaling’? (NSQ Ep. 17)

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Also: is it better to be a thinker, a doer, or a charmer?

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Relevant Research & References

Question #1: What’s the problem with virtue signaling?

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Question #2: Are you a thinker, a doer, or a charmer?

  • Angela shares that her father greatly admired Edgar S. Woolard, the former C.E.O. of American chemical company Dupont.
  • Angela references this 1957 study on productivity outliers by physicist William Shockley. It should be noted that later in his career, Shockley supported racist genetic practices like eugenics. To learn more about Shockley’s personal history, we recommend checking out this 2017 piece from Wired.
  • Angela says modern psychological research concludes that “thinkers” tend to be less likely to be “doers.” She was referencing the work of University of Maryland psychologist Arie Kruglanski.
  • Stephen mentions theoretical physicist Richard Feynman’s assertion that knowing the name of something is useless if you don’t know how it actually works. To learn more about Feynman, we recommend reading James Gleick’s Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman.