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Why Facts Fail - Brendan Nyhan
Posted: 23 December 2010 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I’m just a newbie here (and an always suspect Kanuck at that) but I’m confused at how we got from the well-known phenomenon of cognitive dissonance (which is inherently interesting ) to polarized politics in a city second. Am I missing something?

The former occurs in many situations in life, the latter appears in the U.S. and has to do with how people from a two-party system stereotype those not of their political stripe.

Hmmm.

Pelagic

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Posted: 23 December 2010 11:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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pelagic - 23 December 2010 09:04 PM

I’m just a newbie here (and an always suspect Kanuck at that) but I’m confused at how we got from the well-known phenomenon of cognitive dissonance (which is inherently interesting ) to polarized politics in a city second. Am I missing something?

The former occurs in many situations in life, the latter appears in the U.S. and has to do with how people from a two-party system stereotype those not of their political stripe.

Hmmm.

Pelagic

Perhaps cognitive dissonance might be found in the different interpretations by the ruling parties in the US, on what is good for a country (or a city).
In the US, the Republicans traditionally “were” the party on the economic side of our social/economic system. The Democrats traditionally are more socially progressive.
Thus there can be a socio/economic problem in a nation and each political side views this problem from a different perspective.

[ Edited: 23 December 2010 11:13 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 December 2010 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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pelagic - 23 December 2010 09:04 PM

I’m just a newbie here (and an always suspect Kanuck at that) but I’m confused at how we got from the well-known phenomenon of cognitive dissonance (which is inherently interesting ) to polarized politics in a city second. Am I missing something?

The former occurs in many situations in life, the latter appears in the U.S. and has to do with how people from a two-party system stereotype those not of their political stripe.

Hmmm.

Pelagic

Quoted from Wikipedia….

Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

I think the US two party political system is a prime example of this.

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Posted: 24 December 2010 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Gnostikosis - 24 December 2010 12:13 AM
pelagic - 23 December 2010 09:04 PM

I’m just a newbie here (and an always suspect Kanuck at that) but I’m confused at how we got from the well-known phenomenon of cognitive dissonance (which is inherently interesting ) to polarized politics in a city second. Am I missing something?

The former occurs in many situations in life, the latter appears in the U.S. and has to do with how people from a two-party system stereotype those not of their political stripe.

Hmmm.

Pelagic

Quoted from Wikipedia….

Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

I think the US two party political system is a prime example of this.

For the past 2 years, true. But if you see what the Obama government actually has accomplished despite the rancor, it gives one hope that eventually our democratic system will correct itself.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/rulings/promise-kept/

[ Edited: 24 December 2010 01:39 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 December 2010 02:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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This will probably sound off the wall but isn’t the definition of a democracy a government *by* the people? If this is truly the case, then what I’m reading is more like…two countries, if you see what I mean. If there are such diametrically opposed veiw points, than the government ( i.e. the people of the country) is not *one* democracy and country -  but two.

(just trying to understand, here)

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Mihi, quanto plura recentium seu veterum revolvo, tanto magis ludibria rerum mortalium cunctis in negotiis observantur - Tacitus

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Posted: 24 December 2010 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Yes, but we are actually a Republic… tongue wink

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Posted: 24 December 2010 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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pelagic - 24 December 2010 02:25 AM

This will probably sound off the wall but isn’t the definition of a democracy a government *by* the people? If this is truly the case, then what I’m reading is more like…two countries, if you see what I mean. If there are such diametrically opposed veiw points, than the government ( i.e. the people of the country) is not *one* democracy and country -  but two.

(just trying to understand, here)

Opposed viewpoints by who? You mentioned the government (i.e. the people of the country), but who is the opposing group? Also the country?

It is part of the overall democratic operating system of “checks and balances”.
Actually the lawmaking and enforcement mechanism in the US is a very sophisticated system with many build-in safe guards. A federal law must pass 4 tests, which may involve vigorous debate. But if a law is just and good for the country as a whole it is almost always adopted with bipartisan support. But as with many very large and complicated organizations and services, there is opportunity for abuse of government powers. But few can avoid public exposure and possible legal action when that occurs.
Most politicians (from either party) are indeed honest and effective representatives of their state and local constituents. Many remain honest and continue to be examples of democratic representation. Then there are some who forget their oath of service.

Nationally, there is a natural ebb and flow of focus on economic or social or constitunional problems which require adjustments. It is a constant back and forth of priorities. This is what makes our system so flexible and dynamic (at a “measured” pace).

But there can certainly be dissonance of viewpoints. Freedom of speech is best method for bringing things out into the daylight.
And daylight is a powerful incentive to resolve those cognitive dissonances…. cheese

[ Edited: 24 December 2010 03:25 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 December 2010 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Yes, I agree. That is why I don’t understand when I read the depiction of Democrats by Republicans and visa versa how these very opposed ideas of what kind of people should be the ‘stuff’ of the U.S. can exist at the same time yet rule effectively for all. I do understand that I am at the mercy of various U.S. and world news media and the people I personally know for my view points, but it seems there exist some very unpassable bridges.

I DO hope that what you say about ‘checks and balances’ is so yet it seems hard to reconcile such things as religion ruling government versus seperation of church and state .

Or the car dealership in Florida that was giving away AKA47 assault rifles with every truck sold. Thank you lord.

Please understand I come from a different culture and I *don’t* want to believe the things I read and hear. Yet someone from the U.S. told me the other day that the reason the Canadians have a medicare system is that all medical facilities and doctors just book off for two months a year. And she really…believed that. I just laughed and said well yeah, we cull the population that way - it’s cheaper. But they took me seriously.

It’s difficult to say just what I mean ( piss off, T.S., I’m posting here!) . I was greatly heartened when Obama was elected. Yet I was listening to a ‘Birther’ - and he was a Senator! who would not believe your president was born there. It’s difficult for me to understand when such respectable representatives speak for large numbers of people.

Ebb and flow I understand. Two groups talking about the other as if they were from another planet and depict everyone who doesn’t believe what they do to be dark traitors is another thing.

It just seems like two different worlds. Again, I do hope what you say is true. It was heartening to see the bills that have been passed down there in the last week and I hope it can continue.  For surely a decomcracy which represents the very best interests of it’s people will proceed to tend to their well-being. 

Thanks for your answers.

Pelagic

[ Edited: 24 December 2010 03:33 AM by pelagic ]
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Posted: 24 December 2010 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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pelagic - 24 December 2010 03:30 AM

Yes, I agree. It just seems like two different worlds. Again, I do hope what you say is true. It was heartening to see the bills that have been passed down there in the last week and I hope it can continue.  For surely a decomcracy which represents the very best interests of it’s people will proceed to tend to their well-being. 

Thanks for your answers.

Pelagic

You are welcome pelagic.

I can point to an issue which is truly controversial. Strangely it is a disagreement between the country (people) and the Supreme Court. It recently ruled that corporations can contribute unlimited funds to a candidate’s campaign. It ruled that a corporation has equal status as a person and “money” (campaign donation) is a form of speech and as such cannot be restricted.
Personally, I have a great cognitive dissonance with the Court on that. That may well pose a great danger to a true democracy.
I’d hate to see the US become a plutocracy.

[ Edited: 24 December 2010 07:46 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 January 2011 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Way back in the 80’s one of my first online discussions related to the idea the US was founded as a Christian country.  I pointed to the Treaty of Tripoli, to letters by the founding fathers, to memoirs of the people who were involved in the process, and none of that seemed to matter.

Nearly thirty years later I still hear the same arguments, sometimes made by famous pundits on TV.  Now, I can excuse “regular” people for sometimes not taking the time to look up stuff.  But those guys have vast research departments at their disposal (or maybe it’s just Mildred, down on the third floor).  Heck, these days it takes less than 10 seconds to pull up quotes, scans of actual letters, etc. etc.  In these cases I don’t think people are “resisting” so much as out-right lying. 

I believe they operate under the idea that if you repeat something long enough, it will gain merit, import, and slowly turn into the truth. 

Sadly, I gave up arguing the matter of a Christian Nation.  Now I am arguing against the very people who, according to what I hear on the show, are not prone to the same denyalism as them lousy conservatives.

I argue about gun ownership, or more specific, carry permits.  In the past 10 years or so all but a few states went from “may issue” to “shall issue” laws.  In every instance, as the proposed change in laws were debated, dire predictions of bloodbaths, and people running amok, floated in the media by organizations and people who are adamantly against my right to carry a gun (I do, in case anyone wonders).  None of those predictions have come true.  As a rule, people who carry have very few brushes with the law, much less than the national average (probably because they are screened and vetted, and have to pass tests, etc).  Here in El Paso county, Colorado, 6 people had their licenses revoked . . . out of 16,772 (0.034%), (http://www.gazette.com/news/permits-110591-concealed-carry.html) most only because they were drunk while a gun was in the car; they did not actually use it.  By the way, in Colorado it’s legal to have a loaded weapon in the car, even without a permit. 

Mooney asks what one can do when facts will not sway people from their erroneous beliefs.  I sure would like to know, because mountains of data apparently have no effect on either the Right or Left when it comes to their own “Darling Issues”.

Although some people seem adamant in wanting to paint only one side with the “stupid” brush.

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Posted: 06 January 2011 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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ejdalise - 06 January 2011 09:23 PM

Sadly, I gave up arguing the matter of a Christian Nation.  Now I am arguing against the very people who, according to what I hear on the show, are not prone to the same denyalism as them lousy conservatives.

I argue about gun ownership, or more specific, carry permits.  In the past 10 years or so all but a few states went from “may issue” to “shall issue” laws.  In every instance, as the proposed change in laws were debated, dire predictions of bloodbaths, and people running amok, floated in the media by organizations and people who are adamantly against my right to carry a gun (I do, in case anyone wonders).  None of those predictions have come true.  As a rule, people who carry have very few brushes with the law, much less than the national average (probably because they are screened and vetted, and have to pass tests, etc).  Here in El Paso county, Colorado, 6 people had their licenses revoked . . . out of 16,772 (0.034%), (http://www.gazette.com/news/permits-110591-concealed-carry.html) most only because they were drunk while a gun was in the car; they did not actually use it.  By the way, in Colorado it’s legal to have a loaded weapon in the car, even without a permit. 

Mooney asks what one can do when facts will not sway people from their erroneous beliefs.  I sure would like to know, because mountains of data apparently have no effect on either the Right or Left when it comes to their own “Darling Issues”.

Although some people seem adamant in wanting to paint only one side with the “stupid” brush.

I understand your point. Allow me a few observations.
First, I consider myself a social liberal, but a fiscal conservative. Thus I am a little of this and a little of that. When I debate a specific idea, I try not to label the other party conservative or liberal, but address the issue as a concerned human being exploring the merits of the ideas presented by another concerned human being. I wager, most here are of the same stripe in that regard.
I have heard many adjectives in discussions, but never got the impression that “conservatism” is a dirty word in and of itself.
Science is a very conservative endeavor, not subject to liberal interpretations.
btw. I live in Idaho, also a very “conservative” state with very “liberal” gun laws. I can see justification for owning and carrying a gun in states where you may wake up and find a grizzly in your back yard, trying to come through a window as was the case with a friend of mine. I have had to kill several skunks which tried to make their home under my log cabin or were raiding the chicken coop. The necessity of protection from natural predators is accepted by most all reasonable people.
However when a person, instead of a shotgun, buys a assault weapon which is designed to kill people, and is not very practical on the “farm”, it worries me. I wager, as a responsible person, the gun you carry is not an assault rifle.
But when we get to large metropolitan areas, it is a different situation. People there carry guns for protection from human predators. As a result we do have what may be called a blood bath in the cities. I believe the US is ranked high in violent crime. Strangely most deaths occur from accidental or emotional shootings. This is to be expected when you have millions of guns floating around.
So we have a cunundrum, protect yourself from crime by having a gun, or reducing the availability of guns to minimize accidental or emotional shootings.
IMO, a happy medium can be arrived at. First, I agree with the concept of a permit, which registers the gun and owner. Second, outlaw assault weapons or any weapon which has a specific military use, other than hunting or self protection. Third, pass a test in gun safety and care, similar to a driver’s test. Fourth, severe penalties for crimes involving guns. Fifth, if you belong to a (well regulated) militia and wish to buy a military weapon; signing a declaration of the organization’s name, purpose and by-laws.
I hope we have common ground on those issues, without having to resort to terms like “conservative’ or “liberal”.

[ Edited: 07 January 2011 12:29 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 07 January 2011 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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My intent was to point out the propensity for ignoring data on both sides of the political spectrum, not necessary to engage a gun debate.

That said, the bloodbath you point to is mainly drug and gang related.  And I might mention that swords can be assault weapons if used in such a way. 

But you can also look at raw and filtered FBI statistics related to “assault weapon” usage in the commission of crimes, and determine if they are indeed as severe a problem as you seem to think they are.  Then you might consider the definition of assault weapon itself. 

The point I am trying to make is that at the root of it it boils down to your perception versus mine as to what constitutes something the public should be allowed to have access to.  If we were to sit down and debate the issue, which will not happen here, you would have to come up with data to 1) back up what you say, and 2) counter my arguments. 

I can tell you that like arguing against religion, debating against arguments to ban guns comes down to arguing against an ideological belief, and consequently it does not matter how much data you bring to bear on the discussion.  The unfortunate result is that at the end it boils down to people telling me what I can and cannot do not based on what I might do, or have actually done, but rather on their fear of what I might do.

To me, that is the antithesis of a free society.  Apparently not all agree.

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