Author Topic: America's Epistemic Crisis  (Read 1397 times)

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Offline SirJohn

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #120 on: March 31, 2018, 03:29:56 pm »
Just read the article in the OP. An epistemic crisis about sums things up. Unfortunately, I think the crisis is even force than the article describes. It focuses on how the far right is descending into "tribal epistemology". Unfortunately, it seems quite clear that the far left is doing the same thing, and that the portion of each side that falls into the "far" category is increasing, due to the effects of social media echo chambers (as well as targetted psy ops as discussed in the other thread). The middle is increasingly being hollowed out and the fraction of people who care about understanding reality rather than defending their tribal beliefs is dwindling.

I have noticed this about myself. My core beliefs haven't really shifted rightward but the more I interact with leftist assholes the more I'm willing to tolerate from those further on the right.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline MH

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #121 on: April 01, 2018, 09:18:27 am »
I have noticed this about myself. My core beliefs haven't really shifted rightward but the more I interact with leftist assholes the more I'm willing to tolerate from those further on the right.

From the debates I have participated in over almost 20 years, I feel that left/right tribalism is preventing us from identifying people who can work on problems. 

SJ has posted an interesting video by someone who identifies the core values of left/right, which ostensibly could be a starting point for a post right-left discussion.

Offline kimmy

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #122 on: April 01, 2018, 09:47:33 pm »
A viral video going around shows local news TV teams from all over America reading a prepared statement condemning "fake news".  The stations are affiliates of all of the major networks, but the one thing the stations have in common is that they are owned by Sinclair Broadcasting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI

Sinclair is not exactly a well known name here in Canada, but they are a very large media group and Trump supporter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtNyOzGogc

Given its enthusiastic support for the Trump administration, it's no surprise that the Trump administration is equally supportive of Sinclair:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/15/17016286/fcc-ajit-pai-sinclair-broadcast-group-inspector-general-investigation

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Offline kimmy

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #123 on: April 02, 2018, 09:15:01 pm »
More on the cozy relationship between Trump, Kuschner, and the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

https://www.gq.com/story/sinclair-white-house-ties

Quote
Trump has good reason to stick up for Sinclair. He has few safe spaces in legit news media, places where he can be relatively sure that his policies or scandals won't be pressed too hard. So far, Sinclair stations have been one of those safe spaces. That's all the more insidious because people expect that kind of contortionist support for Trump when they tune in to something like Fox News, but probably have some assumption of objectivity from their local news. And as Politico reports, last December Jared Kushner was openly bragging about striking a deal between Sinclair and the Trump campaign.

The Politico report indicates that the deal between Trump and Sinclair Broadcasting gave Sinclair special access to Trump in exchange for airing Trump interviews without commentary (which I assume means no fact-checking or tough questions.)

Quote
Kushner said the agreement with Sinclair, which owns television stations across the country in many swing states and often packages news for their affiliates to run, gave them more access to Trump and the campaign, according to six people who heard his remarks.

In exchange, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said.

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-campaign-sinclair-broadcasting-jared-kushner-232764


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Offline MH

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2018, 06:07:07 am »
More on the cozy relationship between Trump, Kuschner, and the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
 

This makes me wonder if his success is more TV based than we have realized.

Offline MH

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Offline SirJohn

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #126 on: November 11, 2018, 07:53:23 pm »
Wasn't sure whether to post this. It seems logical and truthful, but it's probably a longer read than most people with typical short attention spans would be interested in so I will post what I consider the most pertinent segments.

Here’s the secret about modern political tribalism: it has little to with policy or ideology. In fact, research suggests that political identities are weak predictors of policy preferences with Americans routinely overestimating the policy preferences of Republicans and Democrats.

In reality, modern political tribalism appears to be a vehicle for more conventional forms of tribalism. It is driven by differences of race, religion, geography, gender, and class, but is conveniently housed within the confines of a political contest. The reason for this is that our social identities have coalesced, aligning with our political identities. Put differently, our political preferences are becoming strong indicators of our race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.

....

Along the same lines, 63% of Republicans and 49% of Democrats report being friends primarily with those sharing their political views. Another nationally representative study found that 20% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans believe that their country would be better off if large numbers of people in the other party died. We’ve traded one prejudice for another.

Part of these changes is due to the reduction of “cross-cutting cleavages.” These are shared identities that are present in one social group but also in others. For example, rival fan bases will support their hometown team, but will also unite to support their nation’s Olympic team.

Political scientists have long held that the effects of partisanship are dampened by cross-cutting cleavages. Mutual social ties provide a sort of common ground from which political rivals can collaborate. A wealthy Republican can find common ground with a working-class Democrat if they both attend the same church.

But the sorting of American social groups into two political tribes has reduced our cross-cutting ties. When we identify most with our political parties, our shared identities fade into the background. Under these conditions, communication collapses, trust dissipates, and hostilities intensify.

...

But without a tribe we run the risk of social isolation and a loss of self. As sociobiologist E. O. Wilson writes, “to be kept in solitude is to be kept in pain…a person’s membership in his group—his tribe—is a large part of his identity.”

...
We think ourselves too busy or too important to attend religious services, volunteer, or participate in community organizations. As a result, cross-cutting cleavages have evaporated. Without civic engagement, shared identities and common interests atrophy or fail to develop. We lose track of unifying elements.
For people to coexist, trust is required. And cross-cutting cleavages are essential for this. Without them, we will seek out other measures of trust. Archaic forms of tribalism may emerge.

...
The Republican and Democratic mega-identities are a consequence of our return to an archaic tribalism which prioritizes salient features over political or civic values. Political observers have referred to this as “identity politics,” a seemingly new phenomenon. But that’s not actually true. As Jonah Goldberg contends, “‘Identity politics’ may be a modern term, but it is an ancient idea. Embracing it is not a step forward but a retreat to the past.”



https://quillette.com/2018/11/06/blame-modern-life-for-political-strife/
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline MH

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #127 on: November 11, 2018, 08:02:33 pm »
Yes.

Offline Rue

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Re: America's Epistemic Crisis
« Reply #128 on: November 20, 2018, 11:26:58 am »
Sounds familiar. I asked for an alternative to tax records when determining who would be affected by tax changes because Tim didn't think CRA's books were good enough. He still hasn't provided that alternative.

I don't want to change the subject of this thread and you know I agree with you on the climate issue, but with due respect, have you ever tried to get an explanation out of the CRA how they determine their assessments?  With due respect the CRA is a nightmare. They have an open ended warrant to do whatever they want to you or I and they do. Why you would trust them or any  government bureaucracy I do not know but its naïve.

I have dealt as a lawyer with numerous errors and mistakes by government bureaucrats. The extent of their waste and incompetence is not to be under-stated and I think Tim G's point is that and its not a right or left wing issue. Distrust or suspicion of the size of government and its functions is a non partisan issue and will always exist if for no other reason, the inherent nature of any institution that gets too big and is not accountable and gets too complex  to understand or be able to talk to sparks this distrust and so it should. Unaccountable power corrupts.

Now relating that to Trump and the US crisis, the US has always had a "crisis". All societies do and we will always have them. They don't suddenly appear.  They are continuations of unresolved past issues that morph into new ones.  If  we properly examine their historical context we can get a more accurate understanding where these issues arose from and therefore how to resolve them.

Sor for example, the election of Trump was a response to Obama. The pendelum swung from one direction for Obama, to the other direction for Trump and that pendelum will continue to swing back and forth no different than market corrections on the stock market or say with medical issues where we take a drug to deal with one issue but then create another from the side effect.

Of course the US has a collective  distrust of authority. It  started with its founders rebelling against King George. That lack of trust over government and taxes has never ended. Its an inherent feature of its identity and we Canadians don't get that because our country was founded on welcoming and being loyal to the same King.

 People like Trump exploit fear of authoritty and other fears. They mirror the collective fears of the day to get themselves empowered and elected. The thing is that is not hard to do. People like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, showed its not that hard to do. You don't need any intelligence, just brutal force and hatred.

Leaders like say Ghandi, MLK, RFK,  die, precisely because their messages are threatening to people who can't deal with possibilities and instead  need to dwell in the here and now material world of immediate needs.

Spirtual messages from politicians is not a part of Western traditiional politics-appealing to material (anti-spiritual) values like jobs, wealth, lack of taxesr is.

Spiritual messages don't get you elected.  Appealing to you being over taxed or not having a job does. People want immediate needs addressed.A guy like Trump knows he can't address those needs so he distracts his followers by delivering them here and now attacks against perceived enemies.

It provides the illusion Trump is in control when he's not, and simply serves as a smoke screen... a distraction.... a circus act....a  cover to deflect attention away from  the actual networks of power who do their thing without any attention brought to them by the media.

Trump is just a puppet bafoon on a string like most politicians. The problem is when people like Putin and Trump go off script and become a liability to their handlers  is hard to read.

You would think by now Trump had burned any support for himself but he seems to chug along just fine. He's a Teflon man. Then again there was a Teflon Don in New York City and he eventually got it.

All these puppets go down sooner or later. Obama seems to have played it shrewdly. and survived....but was that him who did it or was it  the powers that be allowing it. ....who knows. I don't get too conspiratorial about who is behind the scenes pulling the strings so whether you want to call it the Zionist Mason Illuminati Satan worshippings hape shifting Lizard cannibal eater cabal, or anything else, be my guest...but come on... does anyone really think Trump could do what he does if it was not enabled? Think about it. Sure there is chaos, corruption, sheer mismanagement, wh ich I believe is inherent in all institutions......but someone in that mess is manipulating it as well. Some if its planned, some of it totally accidental and therein lies the problem, trying to decipher the difference between intelligently planned policies or organized interest grous  or sheer chaos and greedy people simply exploiting that chaos in any given moment  is hard to decipher and differentiate  because its all inter-linked.

Do we have a war with China? Well people said there was gong to be one with Russia and North Korea but Trump's head I s for far up both Kim's and Putin's buttockses that is hard to see happening. If he were to pull his head out at this point Putin would seriously hemmorage.

So China? Please. You think China and the US can afford to have a military war or need one? Come on. All China or anyone has to do is detonate a now radiation bomb in the skies over their enemy and it will shut down the energy and internet grid. Why shoot a missile to cripple a nation when a cybr attack can do that without immediate blood?

Nuclear weapons my ass. An idiot shows every day all you need is a virus in a tube, an assault rifle, a dirty bomb, to cause mass havoc.

Conventional war has gone the way of the do do bird. Today's wars are about contained war zones with non uniformed abstract terrorist enemies being supposedly attacked. China, Russia, the US, we all pick and choose one of the pit-bills in the ring and cheer it on.



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