clever new arguments are beside the point: they do not work or they do not matter
climate denialists: people who deny that climate change is happening
liberals: people with liberal views
to find just the right argument: the find the exact argument
periodic flurries of headlines: 'headlines' refers to news article headlines; 'periodic' means 'appearing at intervals'; 'flurries' means 'a sudden surge of excitement' or 'a sudden surge in numbers'; every now and then, there will be a series of news articles on which argument can finally persuade conservatives
journosphere: this is a made-up word, it is a combination of 'journalism' and 'sphere'; it refers to the circle of journalists
to finally crack the nut: when a nut has a hard shell, it is difficult to crack open
with all these easy ways to change their minds floating around = with all these easy ways (to change their minds) floating around
bridged the political divide: if there is a divide, there is a gap; bridging the divide means to bridge the gap or to find common ground so both sides can come to an agreement
untouched form: pure, unpolluted form
opens up a promising avenue: avenue is a large road; to open up a promising avenue means to find a new way to discuss an issue
for reasons I'll get into: because of reasons I will later on talk about
the research was hyped beyond all reason: people got very excited about the research and this excitement was unreasonable
Individualism has misled many areas of inquiry in the West (someday I’ll write about how it has screwed up ethics), but among the victims is epistemology. = Individualism has misled many academic disciplines. One of these disciplines is ethics. The author will write about how individualism has screwed up ethics later. Among the many victims of how individualism has misled academic disciplines is epistemology.
epistemology: the study of what constitutes knowledge, truth, fact, belief, etc.
We imagine people coming to know things inside their heads, using their own thoughts and sense data.: come to know something means 'eventually knowing something; sense here refers to the five senses such as seeing, hearing, and feeling
brains in vats: vats are large tubs that are usually used in scientific experiments
we take on faith: we accept based on faith
heuristic: this word is used as a noun here; a heuristic method, or a method that enables a person to discover or learn something for themselves
Having an understanding of the world and your place in it — an understanding shared by your tribe — feels like safety. It feels like control. Questions that unsettle that understanding are instinctively treated with skepticism or outright hostility. = Questions that challenge one's understanding of the world are seen as being suspicious.
motivated reasoning: this is an academic term; it means that our reasoning are motivated by other concerns such as what our peers think
bits and bobs: pieces (of information or objects)
They certainly don’t have enough invested in issues to warrant risking their tribal ties on behalf of particular beliefs.: to be invested in something means to be emotionally, economically, or in other ways concerned about something; 'to warrant doing something' means 'to be worth doing something'
settle for their parochial, inherited tribal beliefs: 'settle for' 通常是指接受，而且是附尊紆貴的接受，或是在找不到更好的代換品的狀況下，接受現有的; parochial means 'related to the parish church' or the local church, here it means 'with a limited scope' or 'narrow-minded'
humans gonna human: humans are going to be just like what human beings are like; humans is a noun but human is a verb, this is a made-up verb meaning 'to do what human beings are expected to do'
an exalted state: an advanced state
matters of social import: 'import' is a noun, it means 'importance' or 'significance'
will tend to yield conflict: 'yield' is a verb, it means 'to produce'
tend to reinforce myth and retard economic and technological progress: 'reinforce' means 'to make something stronger' where as 'retard' is a verb which means 'to slow down'
We imbue these institutions with an authority that extends across various tribal lines. = imbue means 'to give'; across various tribal lines, a tribe here means a social group, across various tribal lines means the same authority spans across social groups, various social groups respect the same authority
short-term interests: 'interests' means (N) 'benefits'
institutional architecture: architecture means structure
demagogue: a populist leader
schmo (pl. schmoes): a stupid person
first-order: primary, main
When it comes to climate change, leaders of the conservative movement have waged a decades-long war to weaken the authority of scientific institutions, to cast them as tools of the liberal tribe, distorting truth for political ends. = 'wage a war' means 'to declare a war'; to cast them = to cast liberals; the liberal tribe = the liberal group of people; conservatives think that liberals distort truth to achieve their political goals
Sunspots. Natural variation. Milankovitch cycles.: together, they mean a natural cycle of things; the Milankovitch cycle refers to the earths orbit around the sun
affective reactions: emotional reactions
the conservative reverts from isolated cognition unit to human being, i.e., social creature embedded in overlapping tribes = reverts from A to B = changes back from A to B
“Ha ha you got pwned by a libtard!”: 這裡有拼錯字，pwned應該是owned，you got owned意思就是「被騙」，libtard沒有這個英文字，這是兩個字組合出來的 liberal + retard，意思就是（從共和黨的角度來看）a retard with liberal values
deference to: respect for
Dr Fiona Hu