Author Topic: The reason these political forums fail  (Read 278 times)

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Offline cybercoma

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The reason these political forums fail
« on: June 19, 2018, 10:37:30 am »
The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit#Bullshit_asymmetry_principle

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Publicly formulated the first time in January 2013[12] by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, the bullshit asymmetry principle (also known as Brandolini's law[13][14]) states that:

The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

It became especially popular after a picture of a presentation by Brandolini at XP2014 on May 30, 2014, was posted on Twitter.[15] Brandolini was inspired by reading Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow right before watching an Italian political talk show with journalist Marco Travaglio and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attacking each other.[16][17] A similar concept, the "bullshit mountain theory", was formulated by the Italian blogger Uriel Fanelli in 2010, roughly stating the same sentence.[18]

Brandolini's law emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit.[19] In contrast, the faster propagation of bullshit is an old proverb: "a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on".[20]

Eventually, the idiots who buy into the bullshit over-run those who really shouldn't need to address their tedious nonsense with responses. A commenter on reddit explains:

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The reasons many of us refuse to engage in these conversations is a bit more nuanced than just "it takes more time to refute." In many cases, the existence of a debate is itself more damaging than any possible amount of effort could reverse. People are prone to false dichotomies, where if there exist two sides to a conversation, people assume that both sides must be legitimate and/or the truth is somewhere in the middle. The truth, or at least the best and/or nearly incontrovertible estimate of it, is very frequently one sided. This is true for climate change, vaccines, etc.

An excellent example of where this goes wrong is things like Pruitt's Red vs. Blue debates. While it sounds "reasonable" to have such a debate, the only possible result is over-promotion of falsehoods about climate change, despite near certainty in the evidence that climate change is real and man-made.

This is what happened to the other forum and what will eventually happen here, if you ever attract enough new membership. This is what has happened in general on social media. More importantly, this is exploited by malevolent actors looking to disrupt social stability. Namely, Russia uses this for their propaganda campaigns aimed at weakening political discourse in the west, in order to undermine our political and military alliances, especially NATO, so that they can strengthen their own position in the world and enrich the Russian oligarchy.

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Offline SirJohn

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 11:26:14 am »
The other forum has gotten better as most of the crazy people have left or been banned.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum
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Offline Omni

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 11:38:46 am »
The other forum has gotten better as most of the crazy people have left or been banned.

Geez the last time I looked in over there it was still a lot of the same old alt/far right Trump type supporter types and the not bar conspiracy theorists. Luckily the management over here has been able to identify some of those who came up with new handles and tried to bring their crap but got shown the door quickly. Fedup is an obvious case.

Offline TimG

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 12:39:05 pm »
An excellent example of where this goes wrong is things like Pruitt's Red vs. Blue debates. While it sounds "reasonable" to have such a debate, the only possible result is over-promotion of falsehoods about climate change, despite near certainty in the evidence that climate change is real and man-made.
Irony alert. The reason we need the red-blue debate is because the scientific establishment has gotten so arrogant that they demean and ostracize scientists that raise scientifically reasonable objections to alarmist narrative. If there is a concern about scientifically unsound arguments getting aired as part of this exercise then the alarmists scientists only have themselves to blame because they should have respectively engaged their skeptical colleagues instead of driving them out of the field.

We see the same kind of 'lack of nuance' coming from the left all of the time. If someone raises questions about immigration they are a 'nazi'. If someone suggests that woman may have different preferences than men they are a 'misogynist'. It goes on and on.

The use of vicious personal attacks as a way to avoid actually engaging in an nuanced discussion is a common affliction across the political spectrum. Trying to pretend it is only the "other guys" makes you part of the problem.
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Offline Omni

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 12:45:15 pm »
Irony alert. The reason we need the red-blue debate is because the scientific establishment has gotten so arrogant that they demean and ostracize scientists that raise scientifically reasonable objections to alarmist narrative. If there is a concern about scientifically unsound arguments getting aired as part of this exercise then the alarmists scientists only have themselves to blame because they should have respectively engaged their skeptical colleagues instead of driving them out of the field.

We see the same kind of 'lack of nuance' coming from the left all of the time. If someone raises questions about immigration they are a 'nazi'. If someone suggests that woman may have different preferences than men they are a 'misogynist'. It goes on and on.

The use of vicious personal attacks as a way to avoid actually engaging in an nuanced discussion is a common affliction across the political spectrum. Trying to pretend it is only the "other guys" makes you part of the problem.

So once again you attempt to label 97% of qualified environmental scientists as simply "alarmists". tsk, tsk.

Offline waldo

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 12:50:28 pm »
Irony alert. The reason we need the red-blue debate is because the scientific establishment has gotten so arrogant that they demean and ostracize scientists that raise scientifically reasonable objections to alarmist narrative. If there is a concern about scientifically unsound arguments getting aired as part of this exercise then the alarmists scientists only have themselves to blame because they should have respectively engaged their skeptical colleagues instead of driving them out of the field.

wait, what? Are you stating the scientific establishment (your phrasing) is on one side of the referenced red-blue debate? Which side is that wascally scientific establishment on?  ;D
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guest4

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 01:05:31 pm »
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The other forum has gotten better as most of the crazy people have left or been banned.
Fewer people disagreeing with the right-wingers so less arguments ensuing.  Not everyone is alt-right over there, but the ideology is close enough that disagreement is minimized and most everyone gets their bubble strengthened.  Michael still does a great job at presenting dissenting views, but it doesn't make any difference.   The "lefties" still posting mostly troll the stupidity.   A certain American poster is currently ranking "most liked" posts, so that says a lot about the general headspace there.

Thanks to Argus, Goddess, TimG and other sane(ish) RW posters who post here and give us a way out of our bubble too.   

Offline Goddess

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 02:23:41 pm »

Thanks to Argus, Goddess, TimG and other sane(ish) RW posters who post here and give us a way out of our bubble too.

I'll take sane-ish!   :D
"A religion without a Goddess is half-way to atheism."

guest4

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 02:38:26 pm »
I'll take sane-ish!   :D

Glad you saw that I intended that humorously.   :)

Offline Omni

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 02:40:30 pm »
Fewer people disagreeing with the right-wingers so less arguments ensuing.  Not everyone is alt-right over there, but the ideology is close enough that disagreement is minimized and most everyone gets their bubble strengthened.  Michael still does a great job at presenting dissenting views, but it doesn't make any difference.   The "lefties" still posting mostly troll the stupidity.   A certain American poster is currently ranking "most liked" posts, so that says a lot about the general headspace there.

Thanks to Argus, Goddess, TimG and other sane(ish) RW posters who post here and give us a way out of our bubble too.

Yes I have noticed B_C often ranks high. Thankfully he is staying put. Of course why wouldn't he, he likes his sheep.

Offline MH

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 09:06:51 pm »
I don't buy into this principle.  There are cycles everywhere.  It's interesting to discuss why they happen but things don't just fall apart because everything is garbage.  That's too negative.

Look at democracy - it has had its ups and downs over centuries.  Don't look for any easy answers... unless it's in McLuhan :D

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2018, 09:18:49 pm »
I don't buy into this principle.  There are cycles everywhere.  It's interesting to discuss why they happen but things don't just fall apart because everything is garbage.  That's too negative.

Look at democracy - it has had its ups and downs over centuries.  Don't look for any easy answers... unless it's in McLuhan :D
I think you need to look a bit closer at democracy. The democratic revolutions are little more than 200 years old. Youíre sadly mistaken if you think itís historically durable.

Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2018, 11:36:22 pm »
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...it has had its ups and downs over centuries.

Youíll have to provide a cite that democracy, in a form we might actually call fair, has been around for centuries. 

Sure, you can find some democracies older than 300 years, but these were hardly true democracies...   they were for the elite only, which is anathema to a real democracy. 

Women could vote starting in the early 1900ís....   you think there was true democracy before half the population had any sort of say?   I would argue that allowing white men only to run a country is not a democracy.

Offline MH

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 06:42:19 am »
I think you need to look a bit closer at democracy. The democratic revolutions are little more than 200 years old. Youíre sadly mistaken if you think itís historically durable.

I don't think it's necessarily durable, per se.  I said it has had ups and downs, but it can't last forever in its present form any more than it can collapse into autocracy that we have seen in the past. 

Brandolini's theory is fine for social media, for the 2000s, and for what Russia is doing.  If true, then it's just an iteration of human beings getting used to an inevitable technology.  That technology will be suited to our governance systems by the time it all shakes out.  Keep in mind that social media is still pretty new.

In other news:
"Shuffalo" your shoes when you buy them in Buffalo so you don't pay customs for them :D

Offline TimG

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Re: The reason these political forums fail
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2018, 07:32:59 am »
I don't think it's necessarily durable, per se.  I said it has had ups and downs, but it can't last forever in its present form any more than it can collapse into autocracy that we have seen in the past.
Change  is  inevitable. But protecting the freedoms we value is not about protecting democracy per se. It is about protecting free speech and valuing diversity of opinion. Limiting speech or enforcing conformity in the name of 'social good' is the slippery slope into authoritarianism. But free speech and diversity of opinion means raucous public arguments which creates the illusion of weakness when it is actually a strength. I would much rather live in a society that elected Trump (who will eventually be shown the door) than live in a society where I am stuck with president Xi for life and face re-education camp if I buy the wrong books or say the wrong things on twitter.
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