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does Left = Postmodern?
Posted: 20 September 2007 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Gal-durn it!  Both of my 10-D sized feet are planted far left of center.

But the strong headwinds of rationality buffet my body politic with gale-force winds sufficient to tip me about 45-degrees toward the right. 

I suspect the whole “left-right” spectrum of political philosophy is more of a logarithmic than a linear scale, the further away you get from center, the more quickly you get into a rationally inscruitable terra incognita - and thence there be monsters.

There are crazy ill-informed zealots toward either end of the political spectrum, and the post-modernists are clearly affected by a utopianism and anti-rational philosophy of vacuuous banality and paralytic anarchy.  On the other end, the ultra-conservatives would have us live in a paternalistic dystopia whering the less fortunate are left to writhe and wither.

Seriously, I am perplexed how any rational proponent of the scientific method could be terribly far from the center in any case.

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Posted: 20 September 2007 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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tscott - 20 September 2007 03:10 AM

I suspect the whole “left-right” spectrum of political philosophy is more of a logarithmic than a linear scale, the further away you get from center, the more quickly you get into a rationally inscruitable terra incognita - and thence there be monsters.

I don’t look at the political spectrum as a linear scale.  I think it is much more accurate to visualize it as a diamond.  Some of you may have seen this diagram before.  This is a short quiz that plots your political affiliation including Democrat, Republican, Libertarian & Populist (ick).  It also offers the political views of the presidential candidates.

http://www.speakout.com/VoteMatch/senate2006.asp?quiz=2008

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Posted: 20 September 2007 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Thanks for the link.  I’ve seen something like that before - something that wants to separate financial political philosophy from social.  It reminds me of a two-dimensional representation of sexuality I like more than the “hetero/homosexual” line.  In any case, I get a little concerned about these more complicated representations, not because they don’t present a more informative model, but because I find myself asking “where do we stop”?  With the sexuality model, the two perpendicular degrees of freedom are “orientation” and “sexual drive”.  I suppose a good case can be made that these to are in some sense “linearly independent”, meaning one does not relate to the other.

My concern about multi-dimensional poltical “space” representations is it’s much harder to find independent variables with which to measure a disposition.  For example, one’s view on social issues will tend to color one’s views on economics, and vis-versa.  There are many many issues about which a person may maintain an opinion, and regarding which collective opinion varies widely (or wildly) - but which two, or three, or seven, or fifty-two of them should we try to measure to uniquely characterize a person’s philosophy?  And of those two or fifty-two, how many can we predict with confidence based on dispositions vis-a-vis other issues?

Anyway, I think what you say is very useful, and that’s probably the determining factor of value in this case.  Sometimes utility trumps rigor (for example the persistent but horribly wrong “solar-system” model of the atom).

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Posted: 20 September 2007 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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That model isn’t the best 2D model of politics there is. There is a very strong correlation between the economic and social score. Plotting people’s Political Compass results shows a thick main sequence running from the bottom left to the top right.

One website, called Political Survey, instead asked questions and tried based on the responses to them to map two axes. It turns out one is something like left-right, including both some social and economic ideas, and the other is pragmatic-idealist, where pragmaticism is defined by secularism and utilitarianism.

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Posted: 20 September 2007 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I think Left = Postmodern is kind of like coffee = cancer.  It’s more so that educated/informed = postmodern & smoking = cancer.

People who smoke are more likely to drink coffee and thus a correlation.
People who are educated/informed are more likely to be left and thus a correlation.

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Posted: 20 September 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Do you mean educated/informed = left (not = postmodernism)?

grin

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Posted: 20 September 2007 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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tscott - 20 September 2007 03:08 PM

Do you mean educated/informed = left (not = postmodernism)?

grin

it depends on what youre educated in…

typically - not always, but generally speaking - being informed or educated in “business management” means you are a neo-fascist, right-wing scum who reads The Wallstreet Journal. Whereas being infromed and educated in any of the “liberal arts” means you are a bleeding heart liberal who sympathizes with the under dog and you drink lattes.

but, I am a raging leftist (of a particular sort!) and aggressively opposed to post-modernism. so who is right since truth isnt relative? well, obviously its ME!!!  LOL

Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatistas poetically said it this way:

“Humanity lives in the chest of us all and, like the heart, it prefers to be on the left side.”

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