"Meaningless rituals" boost self-control

Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (paywalled, no Sci-Hub mirror) describes a fascinating experimental outcome in which subjects were asked to enact "meaningless rituals" ("knocking the table with their knuckles, closing their eyes and counting, among other things") before being confronted with a self-control challenge (eating two carrots, then deciding between a third carrot and a chocolate truffle). Read the rest

The 2020 Census is headed for a "train wreck" thanks to Trump's mismanagement

The once-a-decade census is the "largest civic action undertaken by the entire country," providing data that "affects every corner of America, determining where hundreds of billions of federal dollars flow annually, where businesses open new stores and which states gain—or lose—seats in the House of Representatives." Read the rest