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A pervasive trend in political discussions (and hoping to move forward)


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I wish this post could be helpful in closing some of the gaps in our political discussions. If you have liberal views, please take a moment to read and think about this post.

 

This is the trend I noticed:

In general, liberals does not admit important fundamental premises that could help us move forward in political debates

 

For example:

1) In the global warming debate, the liberals fail to admit that it is almost impossible to come up with a scientifically rigorous predictive model that confirms that global warming is caused by man made CO2

 

2) In the sexism debates, the (some) liberals fail to admit that there are biological differences between men and women that contribute to the population disparity in a particular industry.

 

3) In the racism debates, the liberals fail to admit that a few left-wing organizations such as Black Live Matters and Antifa have hate and racist elements as its doctrines.

 

Why am I pointing these out? Because by failing to admit these fundament premises, we cannot agree on a common starting point to come up with viable solutions to resolve these issues. In fact if you admit the premises pointed out above, we could address the problem as follows:

 

1) Don't use science as the iron fist to convince people of the significance of global warming, but use other economical / political / moral / ethical / religious arguments to convince different groups of people, whichever that resonates the most with that group.

 

2) Educate people that even if differences are found between people at population levels, they cannot be projected to individual basis. Focus on creating work place environments that those differences can be highlighted and flourished to create diverse values.

 

3) Eliminate hate / racism on the left so that hate / racism on the right has no counter-part and no purpose to stand on.

 

I don't know the actual efficacy of these solutions... but notice that these solutions are non-starters unless you admit the underlying premises. So by not looking at the truth and admitting some fundamental premises that we can agree on, the debates never go anywhere and are rarely productive.

 

I understand why you could be avoiding the truth. It's likely because it undermines whatever belief you've been holding so far. But realize that by confronting the truth, some of your current false beliefs could die, so they could be reborn as better ideas.

 

Now, I'm sure people on the conservatives could have just as significant faults as what the current thesis points out, which are also preventing us from moving forward. Please feel free to point them out in a constructive manner.

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Another thing I'd like to add to your global warming points which could apply to both liberals and conservatives, and other topics as well, is that it is a valid position to say "I don't know" or  "I'm not sure".  I think too many people hold their liberalism or conservatism as a self identity and they have to believe x,y, and z because they are a liberal or a,b, and c, because they are a conservative.  Sure you find the rare liberal who supports gun rights or the rare conservative who supports abortion rights, but for the most part people tend to tow the line that they are supposed to on every issue.  I have a number of issues that are hot button for me and I am very sure my opinions on, but there are some that I go back and forth on and that I will admit that I am not sure.  Some of these are late term abortion, global warming, the death penalty.  I've been on both sides of all of those and still haven't fully convinced myself one way or the other.  At the moment I lean towards absolute abortion rights right up until the moment of birth; that anthropogenic global warming is probably happening, but that there is nothing governments can or should do about it at this time; and that the state probably shouldn't have the legal power to kill people in cold blood.  But I am not truly happy with my position on any of those.  Just because you lean one way or the other politically doesn't mean you have to fit yourself into the liberal or conservative box on every issue.

 

Also the practice I see often of what I call "labeling and dismissing", mostly by those on the left, but others do it too, isn't productive.  People look for a key word or phrase in their opponent's argument then decide that they can give a label to the person himself (such as racist, sexist, fascist, socialist, capitalist, white male, homophobic, nazi, etc), then once said label is applied they can ignore all nuance or facts in the persons argument and just dismiss that person and everything that person says wholesale.  I'm not saying that you should spend a lot of time talking to self avowed nazis, but the vast majority of the time, the labels people apply to others with the purpose of dismissing them and not having to think about anything they have to say are not completely justified.  I think it is a defensive measure usually applied when something someone says starts to make a person uncomfortable with their own cognitive dissonance, but it is something that we can try to notice when we do it.

 

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Also the practice I see often of what I call "labeling and dismissing", mostly by those on the left, but others do it too, isn't productive.  People look for a key word or phrase in their opponent's argument then decide that they can give a label to the person himself (such as racist, sexist, fascist, socialist, capitalist, white male, homophobic, nazi, etc), then once said label is applied they can ignore all nuance or facts in the persons argument and just dismiss that person and everything that person says wholesale.  I'm not saying that you should spend a lot of time talking to self avowed nazis, but the vast majority of the time, the labels people apply to others with the purpose of dismissing them and not having to think about anything they have to say are not completely justified.  I think it is a defensive measure usually applied when something someone says starts to make a person uncomfortable with their own cognitive dissonance, but it is something that we can try to notice when we do it.

 

I also think it is a defensive measure... but in a difference sense.

 

Evil and hate are in all of us. And I think we all consciously or subconsciously recognize this. Now, you could confront it straight on and try to resolve / prevent it. But another way is to dismiss it and believe that it's not true in your case. Consequently, by identifying and labeling someone who seems worse than you are, you get that instant self-satisfaction and feeling of superiority. It's almost the same mechanism as bulling, but disguised in as a seemingly innocent form.

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What if I told you that the liberal folks that set policy and effect change do understand these (obvious) assumptions and they assume you also understand them?

 

What if I told you that when either the law or and individual says equal, they understand that it is not always literally equal? Equal is meant to mean equally treated.

 

What if I made the same list about stereotypes of conservatives, would that be "toxic"?

 

Since the last idea is clearly unhelpful, what if we all practiced decency and tried to identify and correct our own flaws instead of focusing on what is wrong or what we don't like about others?

 

This is a stupid thread

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I think the most important fundamental issue is separating the truth from the agenda. It's especially similar to the investment process. Do I want to get to the bottom of things, find the truth, or do I want to back fill everything so that I end up believing what I want to believe.

 

It's unbelievable what lengths people will go to in order to avoid their bubble bursting. Check the other threads we've seen going back 12 months. Most people are either value based, or agenda based. Truth vs narrative.

Racism is either right or wrong. It's not ok when it's BLM, but not ok when it's KKK. It is impossible, if you are principle based person to support racism from one group, but denounce it with another. IMO, it's cut and dry wrong, period. Women and men are either different or they are not. But they aren't "only different when I want them to be but otherwise the same". Global warming is an unknown. I think it is real, but it is practically impossible to conclusively prove, and even if they do, what exactly can be done to solve it? I can't tell you anything else other than that I'd prefer the government stop blowing tons of money on things that arent even certainly solvable and that have always been a huge money pit/money grab for their buddies like Al Gore. I think abortion is wrong. Treating an unborn child worse than a farm raised salmon is unacceptable to me. But I respect your right to disagree and won't hold it against you.

 

Once you have the truth, you can begin to work on addressing the issue. An agenda does nothing but divide. Rkbabang is 100% spot on. Too many people are sheep. They have to be this or that. I'm a liberal/conservative, so I must take the stances that a liberal/conservative should. Seek the truth. Who cares what others think. It's hard to find true individuals these days. People who think entirely for themselves. But it's refreshing when you do.

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Another thing I'd like to add to your global warming points which could apply to both liberals and conservatives, and other topics as well, is that it is a valid position to say "I don't know" or  "I'm not sure". 

 

The only thing intelligent people can say is I don't know. There simply isn't enough data to draw any sort of of conclusion.

 

I believe humans don't significantly contribute to climate change through CO2 produced by industrial endeavor. I can't know or proof it though, just like Al Gore and his buddies cannot know or proof the opposite.

 

I think too many people hold their liberalism or conservatism as a self identity and they have to believe x,y, and z because they are a liberal or a,b, and c, because they are a conservative. 

 

I cannot identify with either side. In my opinion they are both short sides. Conservatives limit personal liberties such as abortion, euthanasia, freedom to marry who you like (so they restrict freedom there) and liberals don't allow you to be an individual by not allowing you to take care of yourself only through forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech, forcing of treating everyone the same etc. (so restricting your freedom there).

 

If people could just stop restricting my freedom because of their ideology that would be great.

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Since the last idea is clearly unhelpful, what if we all practiced decency and tried to identify and correct our own flaws instead of focusing on what is wrong or what we don't like about others?

 

This is a stupid thread

 

Because often you can't identify your own flaws.

 

I assume that you have pointed out flaws in my frame of approaching this problem. I will take them and think about them. Thanks.

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Another thing I'd like to add to your global warming points which could apply to both liberals and conservatives, and other topics as well, is that it is a valid position to say "I don't know" or  "I'm not sure". 

 

The only thing intelligent people can say is I don't know. There simply isn't enough data to draw any sort of of conclusion.

 

I believe humans don't significantly contribute to climate change through CO2 produced by industrial endeavor. I can't know or proof it though, just like Al Gore and his buddies cannot know or proof the opposite.

How can you be so sure that the only conclusion is that intelligent people say that they don't know? You have read all the research? You are a climate change expert?

 

I think too many people hold their liberalism or conservatism as a self identity and they have to believe x,y, and z because they are a liberal or a,b, and c, because they are a conservative. 

 

I cannot identify with either side. In my opinion they are both short sides. Conservatives limit personal liberties such as abortion, euthanasia, freedom to marry who you like (so they restrict freedom there) and liberals don't allow you to be an individual by not allowing you to take care of yourself only through forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech, forcing of treating everyone the same etc. (so restricting your freedom there).

 

If people could just stop restricting my freedom because of their ideology that would be great.

Since when do liberals want forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech? It might be me, but I though it was sort of by definition that liberals want individuals to have as much freedom as possible, which means stuff like free markets and a limited government and no limitation of free speech....

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"Since when do liberals want forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech? It might be me, but I though it was sort of by definition that liberals want individuals to have as much freedom as possible, which means stuff like free markets and a limited government and no limitation of free speech...."

 

In which country do you live in??? You seem to mix liberals and the others. Then when you combine liberals with a mainstream media which is trying to shut up anything opposed to its beliefs then yes, they are also opposed to free speech.

 

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Since when do liberals want forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech? It might be me, but I though it was sort of by definition that liberals want individuals to have as much freedom as possible, which means stuff like free markets and a limited government and no limitation of free speech....

 

That is what classical liberals stood for, it is that very liberal thinking which ushered in the enlightenment and brought us out of the dark ages. 

Unfortunately that was only until the progressive era around the turn of the century (the 19th to 20th centuries) where the progressives appropriated the term "liberal".  Classical liberalism is more what we call libertarianism today.  Modern day liberalism (the people who call themselves liberals) are the intellectual descendants of the early 20th century progressives with their collectivism, support of high taxation and wealth distribution, supporting only speech they agree with, elitism, racism (the early progressives were unapologetically racists with full support of eugenics and segregation, the modern progressives are still elitists and racists treating minority groups like children which need to be taken care of by whites because they don't consider them to be fully human), and war supporting (the 20th-21st century liberals only dislike war when republicans are in power.  Think about most of the major wars of the 20th century it was progressives that got us into them).  Sure there are exceptions to what I said above in individual people and even with large grass roots movements like the anti-war left of the 60's, but the leftist ruling elite is almost never anti war.

 

So yes the word "liberal" comes from the Latin "libertus" meaning "free man", and it used to be used in that way prior to about 100 years ago or so, but no longer.

 

Note that this is US politics I am talking about, liberal still has close to its original meaning in parts of Europe if I understand it correctly.

 

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1) In the global warming debate, the liberals fail to admit that it is almost impossible to come up with a scientifically rigorous predictive model that confirms that global warming is caused by man made CO2

 

2) In the sexism debates, the (some) liberals fail to admit that there are biological differences between men and women that contribute to the population disparity in a particular industry.

 

3) In the racism debates, the liberals fail to admit that a few left-wing organizations such as Black Live Matters and Antifa have hate and racist elements as its doctrines.

 

I mean, I would consider myself socially liberal and I admit all these things. But frankly I think they are used as red herrings by "conservatives" to dismiss the arguments being made.

 

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My belief is that the political divide is hard to bridge because events get instantaneously filtered between drastically different news and media lenses for liberals and conservatives. I would be curious if people were willing to share what news sources they follow and believe to be credible.

 

I'll start. I get most of my political news from the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg Politics, and The New Yorker. The political reporters that I follow on twitter are Maggie Haberman, Robert Costa, Alex Burns, Katy Tur, John Harwood, Andrew Kaczynski, and Jonathan Swan.

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The trend I notice is that people engage in far more thoughtful intelligent argument on the investment threads than the political threads with some exceptions. In fact our political threads very much resemble our worst investment threads (e.g. Valeant).

 

The only person I have ever seen who is respected by both left and right on Global Warming is the blog Science of Doom. Lately however he has been becoming more and more skeptical of AGW. Anyways there was this magical moment when he somehow was immensely respected by both sides of the debate.

 

I have been thinking a lot about how he managed to accomplish this incredible magic and I would say he mostly did it by sticking closely to the facts and avoiding judgement that could not be supported by facts or numbers.

 

Saying: "AGW is bullshit" vs "Currently Estimates of warming from models are showing greater warming than what is actually observed, especially in the mid-Troposphere."

 

To me the most interesting thing is how intelligent posters on investment threads somehow appear to become much less thoughtful on political threads. I pretty sure I'm guilty of this but I have difficulty in observing myself. The one exception to this is Packer who appears relatively thoughtful on both threads. But some posters are literally completely different people.

 

 

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My belief is that the political divide is hard to bridge because events get instantaneously filtered between drastically different news and media lenses for liberals and conservatives. I would be curious if people were willing to share what news sources they follow and believe to be credible.

 

I'll start. I get most of my political news from the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg Politics, and The New Yorker. The political reporters that I follow on twitter are Maggie Haberman, Robert Costa, Alex Burns, Katy Tur, John Harwood, Andrew Kaczynski, and Jonathan Swan.

 

I get my news from all over the place: NYT, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA times, I read my local paper The Union Leader, bloomberg, forbes, CNN, FOX NEWS, .....

 

The problem is that I don't like any of them.  They are all biased one way or the other and none of them share my biases.  I tend to get angry reading/watching all of them and I don't fully trust any of them.

 

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"Since when do liberals want forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech? It might be me, but I though it was sort of by definition that liberals want individuals to have as much freedom as possible, which means stuff like free markets and a limited government and no limitation of free speech...."

 

In which country do you live in??? You seem to mix liberals and the others. Then when you combine liberals with a mainstream media which is trying to shut up anything opposed to its beliefs then yes, they are also opposed to free speech.

 

Cardboard

 

Hey Cardboard,

I think Hielko is German. We have it the other way around in Germany, meaning liberal = republican and vice versa. I know that the comparison is somewhat flawed when you really want to have a deep discussion about the differences, but I think that at least explains the confusion!

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The problem is that I don't like any of them.  They are all biased one way or the other and none of them share my biases.  I tend to get angry reading/watching all of them and I don't fully trust any of them.

 

 

+1  The media is 100% agenda driven.  The joke is watching them try to act like evenhanded purveyors of truth.

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+1  The media is 100% agenda driven.  The joke is watching them try to act like evenhanded purveyors of truth.

 

Where do you get your news from if it's not the media? You can't possibly be traveling across the country at the scene of each breaking event.

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+1  The media is 100% agenda driven.  The joke is watching them try to act like evenhanded purveyors of truth.

 

Where do you get your news from if it's not the media? You can't possibly be traveling across the country at the scene of each breaking event.

 

 

Fox, MSNBC, WSJ, Yahoo, and Drudge Report links to scores of media sites.  CNN for the eye-roll or a laugh.  All require an active agenda bias filter.

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Guest Schwab711

What would unbiased media look like? Is it even sustainable for a single outlet?

 

The editorial stuff is how you differentiate yourself. Honestly, that's the value-added portion of a media outlet. Listening to folks who immerse themselves in news and provide some opinion. If you find yourself upset about some journalist or news anchor that doesn't seem to base their opinion on facts then factually prove them wrong to yourself. It will only make you better. The other option is to just ignore them. They are generally free services.

 

As a thought experiment, lets pretend that all editorial comments within an article are removed and only facts are listed. Then there would still be room for bias based on the order of the facts, the sentence structure, the adjectives/nouns used, and so on.

* People predictably retain listed information (first fact, last fact, and middle fact - generally)

* Sentence structure can influence how facts are internally interpreted

* Adjectives, while maybe technically correct, can also predictably influence interpretation

 

For more info, ask Scott Hall how to get people to click on or respond to some message at a higher rate than other people saying the same exact thing in a different way.

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What would unbiased media look like? Is it even sustainable for a single outlet?

 

The WSJ with the exception of the editorial and opinion sections.

 

The problem is that I don't like any of them.  They are all biased one way or the other and none of them share my biases.  I tend to get angry reading/watching all of them and I don't fully trust any of them.

 

I rarely find that with WSJ. My bigger concern with them is that the quality of their news coverage appears to be declining...especially the in-depth articles.

 

I also like the Economist. The National Post (Canadian) is fairly right wing but intelligent. My bigger problem is not bias, its thoughtlessness, limited investigation etc. I wouldn't have a problem with an extremely biased paper as long as they were smart and I learned something. For instance, Rolling Stone is often excellent but definitely liberal.

 

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+1  The media is 100% agenda driven.  The joke is watching them try to act like evenhanded purveyors of truth.

 

Where do you get your news from if it's not the media? You can't possibly be traveling across the country at the scene of each breaking event.

 

Exactly, that isn't possible.  To stay as informed as you can, you need to try to use multiple sources, but understand what the biases of each of the sources you are using are.  They report what happened while putting their own spin on it. You can usually be 99% sure the event happened (unless you are watching Alex Jones or something), but you just can't be entirely sure that it happened in exactly the way they are reporting it.

 

 

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What would unbiased media look like? Is it even sustainable for a single outlet?

 

The editorial stuff is how you differentiate yourself. Honestly, that's the value-added portion of a media outlet. Listening to folks who immerse themselves in news and provide some opinion. If you find yourself upset about some journalist or news anchor that doesn't seem to base their opinion on facts then factually prove them wrong to yourself. It will only make you better. The other option is to just ignore them. They are generally free services.

 

As a thought experiment, lets pretend that all editorial comments within an article are removed and only facts are listed. Then there would still be room for bias based on the order of the facts, the sentence structure, the adjectives/nouns used, and so on.

* People predictably retain listed information (first fact, last fact, and middle fact - generally)

* Sentence structure can influence how facts are internally interpreted

* Adjectives, while maybe technically correct, can also predictably influence interpretation

 

For more info, ask Scott Hall how to get people to click on or respond to some message at a higher rate than other people saying the same exact thing in a different way.

 

I personally don't think unbiased news is possible.  What bothers me is that they don't admit that.  You watch fox news and they advertise "we report you decide".  I call BS on that.  You watch CNN or read the NYT and they claim to be legitimate unbiased news organizations.  I call BS on that too.

 

I'd rather everyone admit their biases up front.

 

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The trend I notice is that people engage in far more thoughtful intelligent argument on the investment threads than the political threads with some exceptions. In fact our political threads very much resemble our worst investment threads (e.g. Valeant).

Two issues I've seen with this:

 

1. Many political topics are not so cut-and-dry. Investments can be quantified and are easier to put in a box and try and figure out. Plus there is more incentive ($$$s) to do so, and you're more thoughtful when it's your skin in the game. There's a real risk to being wrong.

 

2. Even when people do try and bring some analysis to the political threads, it's very difficult for the point to land. I've had to explain the same thing 3x over at some point, literally bolding the increasing the font size so the other poster got clarity. It's so easy to talk past one another because the frame of discussion isn't contained on an 8"x11" income statement.

 

So these threads can turn into an opinion-dump (or maybe a garbage dump). But I can tolerate them for that, because we're all human, we have thoughts and we want to vent them.

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How can you be so sure that the only conclusion is that intelligent people say that they don't know? You have read all the research? You are a climate change expert?

 

Because, unless one of the researchers invented a time machine, there simply hasn't been enough time (by many centuries) to develop a sufficient dataset to draw any sort of statistically significant conclusion. I've read some of the research yes. Statistically they are extremely weak (otherwise they couldn't draw conclusions and would not get published)

 

Since when do liberals want forced sharing of resources (heavy taxation), restricting gun laws, strong limitation of free speech? It might be me, but I though it was sort of by definition that liberals want individuals to have as much freedom as possible, which means stuff like free markets and a limited government and no limitation of free speech....

 

Yes, as rkbabang  explains liberalism has been hijacked and the term is actually a misnomer now, as the liberals want more  restrictions of freedoms than even the conservatists with all their social dogma. Also the term is the Netherlands (where you are from) is used differently then in the US. The Dutch word 'Liberaal' generally refers to neo-liberalism which advocates some economic freedoms but with much more government control and a far larger government than classical liberalism (true liberalism) ever would. The VVD are neo-liberals. The Libertarian party (extremely small in the Netherlands) comes closest to classical-liberalism.

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One thing that is now amazing is the amount of brainwashing that has occurred due to the mainstream media or the difficulty for some to even recognize what is left and what is right nowadays.

 

They have done such a good job that the Nazis in Germany are considered as a right wing party while all their social and economic programs were clearly heavy left or socialism. It is convenient for the media to associate the right with racists to discredit any of their agenda. 

 

I have had discussions with many who now believe that a party proposing a tax cut or any form of government spending cut is automatically center-right while all their policies are around socialism or obviously left from the center.

 

Then all of a sudden that party which is clearly liberal and pro-social programs of all kinds is now conservative and getting awfully dangerous and close to the extreme right which means the Nazis!

 

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