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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesnt the graph show that there has been a greater move from the median right to the extreme right .. that looks slightly greater than the move from the median .. on the left to the extreme left?
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
Doesnt the graph show that there has been a greater move from the median right to the extreme right .. that looks slightly greater than the move from the median .. on the left to the extreme left?


As I said to Nan, it does not. There is no Center defined, it is just the relative distance between the two medians. We do not know exactly the process and whether or not it's indicative that either side is becoming "more extreme".

I was confused because I was certain I had seen a study that did show a further rightward shift among Republicans, but could not find it.

I did find it eventually, and it had to do with the members of Congress. Republican members of Congress are and have been shifting to rightward extremes while Democratic members of Congress tend to stick around the center with much fewer extreme leftists.

Which is a different thing from what Nano posted.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only fact which may be determined from examining those two charts is that the medians are drifting apart; anything else is speculation. That is not news, though--we have known that the median positions of "center left" and "center right" have been moving apart for a while now.

The extent of social media saturation these days does set up a chicken/egg scenario, though: have we always been this divided and we just didn't know it because not enough of us knew how everyone else thought or are we more divided now because we know how everyone else thinks?

Social media gives some people the illusion of importance because they think that everyone cares about their opinions. Since the goal is to attract attention then the views presented become more extreme in order to generate more clicks or likes.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The attention economy is as real as it is fragile. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
The extent of social media saturation these days does set up a chicken/egg scenario, though: have we always been this divided and we just didn't know it because not enough of us knew how everyone else thought or are we more divided now because we know how everyone else thinks?


I'd argue that since these interactions happened face to face, people were a lot more likely to consider another point of view in an attempt to not be rude to the other person. Because of the anonymity of the internet, people say more of their jerkier and less thought out ideas which pushes people on the opposite side of the debate further away. And because people tend to ally themselves with like-minded people, it helps solidify the more extremist viewpoints. It's much easier to do that on the internet and social media than in real life.
But that is just one way this shift occurred. I think the death of the Fairness Doctrine had a heap to do with it, and the plethora of news sites out that. When I was growing up, you had 3 channels, and they were supposed to keep unbiased (yet people argued they didn't). But the attempt was there because if they didn't, they'd hear crap about it. Now, you find your biases, and with both sides not always being truthful and spreading conspiracy theories instead of facts, that doesn't help things.
And what's worse - I don't see how anything is going to get any better. It's building to a major conflict at some point, and I fear the worst.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the worst?

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree largely with Cag, but will say it this way:

1. People are bombarded with political propaganda all day (rather than just when they read the paper or turn on the TV.)

2. Diversity of media channels creates a Bubble Effect where you too easily only hear propaganda you already agree with. (All day!)

3. Propaganda delivered all day in a bubble receives no critical scrutiny, and so it's purveyors are no longer tethered to facts, bounded by propriety, or balanced by counter-argument. This is the post-Truth world.

4. New technology rooted in psychology (such as addiction theory), informed by digital espionage, and delivered straight to your hand, can too successfully leverage the all-day, bubble-protected, post-truth media to instill opinion and modify behavior over large populations.

5. The people with the money to use this technology are merciless, ambitious, and are largely unchecked by the government over which they hold undue sway.

In short, we are more divided because we are pawns in a scheme to swing votes which has become more powerful.
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what do you know? Look who decided to drop by for a quick visit.
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree Wayfriend .. and great to have your input. Big Grin

I think youve hit on the key issues .. and indeed modern technology is a two edged sword.

And I think as humans once aware that our access is significantly contrived and not fact or evidenced based .. we as responsible information recipients must drive criticism.

Its so easy not to question and simply accept whats delivered to our hands. But I guess there is the rise of fact checkers and fact checking.
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I agree largely with Cag, but will say it this way:


Thanks, yeah, that was much more succinct and better stated than I managed.

Oh, and Av - "the worst" is that I feel we are quickly moving toward another form of Civil War. I don't know what form it will take, but we are definitely seeing some lines being drawn from the state abortion laws to Colorado recently passing a heap of "liberal" laws. I definitely hope I am wrong, and even a decade or two I never would have guessed anything like that was even possible, but the last couple of years have completely blown my expectations out of the window. This "us vs. them" type of shit going around these days makes me very uncomfortable; dehumanizing talk presenting the other side as empty-headed animals is usually the start of many types of conflict, particularly violent ones. I guess that is what has got me jumpy these days.
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not think you are alone in that concern Cags. I think that social media is used and is a perfect vehicle for contriving this divisive positioning. We are fed a diet of hate imv. And the narrative we are bombarded with on a daily basis is I think is contrived to cement our confirmation bias.

Which is why I think it must be challenged, reviewed, considered rather than just rolled with.

In all honesty I am one of the worst at this. Something comes into my newsfeed that gets my goat up and I run with it. Often it is here that I see more alternate view points. Not that those alternate viewpoints are always correct 😉 Razz but sometimes challenging your POV is just what is needed to see an issue in better balance. Or alternatively confirm ones thinking.
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps if people would taking everything, including politics, so personally then much of this "us vs them" attitude would subside. However, as long as one side is claiming "war on Christmas" and "they want to take your guns" while the other side claims "they hate brown people" or "they want to control our bodies" then this crap won't stop.

In all truthfulness, there are some days where I *want* the shit to hit the fan.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really wouldnt want anything like that to happen.

I see little value in the shit hitting the fan ever. And the sort of shit Cag alludes to ... would likely result in fatalities.
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social media isn't the problem. As Hashi says, the people with money (to quote WF) don't make us believe that Trump supporters are "deplorables." That's a knee-jerk reaction from people already predisposed to believe that saying anything bad about illegal immigration means you're a racist. And the people with money don't make us believe that abortion is killing a baby. That's the default position of people who think that life is sacred.

This conspiracy mindset does nothing but relieve us, individually, of our own responsibility. Social media just makes it easier to see divisions that were already there, for hundreds of years. It doesn't create them. The polarization has always existed. It's not getting worse. It's just that for the last 30 years or so, conservative media has arisen to counter the "mainstream" myth, and those who are losing power over the minds of Americans are freaking out. For the rest of us, it's awesome. Debate and fact-checking has never been so ubiquitous. The idea that diversity of outlets and opinions is harmful is nothing short of fearing freedom of speech and that with which you don't agree.

We're not on the verge of civil war, no more than we were on the verge of a "vast wave of conservative violence," as WF predicted at the rise of the Tea Party. This is just hyperbole. Why don't we base our world view in facts? Why don't we look back and see that our doom-and-gloom world views hardly ever come true, except in extreme circumstances (as always--then we bounce back)?

This is just another version of the liberal myth that the world sucks. You guys are nothing if not consistent. No matter what new technology emerges, or how much society progresses, you can always see the cloud rather than the silver lining. What a gloomy world view you have. What is it about you all that compels you to see the worst in everything?
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Social media isn't the problem. As Hashi says, the people with money (to quote WF) don't make us believe that Trump supporters are "deplorables." That's a knee-jerk reaction from people already predisposed to believe that saying anything bad about illegal immigration means you're a racist. And the people with money don't make us believe that abortion is killing a baby. That's the default position of people who think that life is sacred.

This conspiracy mindset does nothing but relieve us, individually, of our own responsibility. Social media just makes it easier to see divisions that were already there, for hundreds of years. It doesn't create them. The polarization has always existed. It's not getting worse. It's just that for the last 30 years or so, conservative media has arisen to counter the "mainstream" myth, and those who are losing power over the minds of Americans are freaking out. For the rest of us, it's awesome. Debate and fact-checking has never been so ubiquitous. The idea that diversity of outlets and opinions is harmful is nothing short of fearing freedom of speech and that with which you don't agree.

We're not on the verge of civil war, no more than we were on the verge of a "vast wave of conservative violence," as WF predicted at the rise of the Tea Party. This is just hyperbole. Why don't we base our world view in facts? Why don't we look back and see that our doom-and-gloom world views hardly ever come true, except in extreme circumstances (as always--then we bounce back)?

This is just another version of the liberal myth that the world sucks. You guys are nothing if not consistent. No matter what new technology emerges, or how much society progresses, you can always see the cloud rather than the silver lining. What a gloomy world view you have. What is it about you all that compels you to see the worst in everything?


Liberals make fun of conservatives for "conspiracy theories" all the while they are spreading conspiracy theories of their own.

Here's a gem from Vox News: You're all watching Fox News and you don't even know it.
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta agree with Z that I don't think you're really approaching a civil war. In today's world, things need to get really bad before you're even close to that, particularly in countries like the US, and it's so much easier to complain on social media than to actually do something.

That said, I tend to agree with WF that a large part of the polarisation is driven externally, and yes, to try and get votes.

And the results thereof are probably more widespread than the people trying to drive it realise, or care about.

The real question is indeed what will happen as it gets ever more vehement on both sides. I'm not sure what it will be, but civil war, or even widespread violence (and I mean widespread, not isolated incidents) is probably somewhere near the bottom of my expectations.

At the top...is probably just more of the same as the pendulum swings, forward and back...

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

The irony 😉 but I am sure it seems that way to some.

Again its worth challenging the stereotypes. All liberals arent doomsayers .. all conservatives dont prescribe to conspiracy theories. All conservatives arent religious .. or anti vaccers. All liberals arent hippies or idealists etc.

Such constitutes the contrived narrative. Sure there will inevitably be SOME similarities and overlaps .. but to my mind there is still more to that unites humans in both interests and priorities than divides them.

At the end of the day, most people want to be safe, have financial security, have a home or shelter from the elements etc.

I agree that it is all about personal responsibility and that especially in a world of contrived outcomes and agendas.

Seeing silver linings has way less to do with where a person sits on the political spectrum and more to do with the way they view the world. If youre a cup half empty person youre more prone to caution, possibly... but you can never disregard individual differences .... if youre a cup half full person you may be more prone to seeing value in outcomes.
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
All liberals arent doomsayers


I challenge you to name a single left-wing position that affirms the greatness of this country, our society, our economic system, our technological world, and this life.

The liberal platform, i.e. "America needs to be radically transformed because it sucks":

* Capitalism sucks and is unfair; we should have more socialism.
* Success in the capitalist system is unfair and bad; we should take rich people's money and redistribute it to ourselves.
* America is "imperialist" and should be reined in, economically and militarily.
* Loving America, wanting to protect its border and control who comes here is "white supremist nationalism."
* Life isn't all that sacred, it's okay to kill unborn humans.
* Our entire energy infrastructure is morally wrong and will lead to the destruction of the planet; we should radically change it.
* Our society is racist/sexist/xenophobic/islamophobic/homophobic; we should radically change our society to make it more "fair."
* AI should be feared; it will take our jobs.
* Social media should be feared; it polarizes us; polarization has never been worse; we're heading to civil war.
* Freedom of speech isn't all that great; differences in opinion should be feared; a plethora of news outlets is a bad thing; some opinions shouldn't be allowed to be voiced. We need things like hate speech laws and "fairness doctrines" to control speech.
* Our gun rights are bad, we should limit them because there is an "epidemic" of violence.
* Our police are bad, we should do something about them because there's a "war on black people."
* It is morally wrong to think we are born a man or a woman; we should change our concepts so people can deny reality and pretend to be whatever they want.
*Americans can't succeed on their own; we need Big Government to help us.
* Corporations are bad; we should demonize them and demand ever more from them.

Right-wing positions:

* America is the greatest country in history; we should not be ashamed of being the strongest, richest civilization on earth (which means there's nothing wrong with spreading our ideals, our corporations, and our military around the globe).
* America is awesome; we should be able to choose who comes here based on merit, i.e. people who contribute to the greatness of our country, instead of allowing unfettered, illegal immigration from vastly inferior 3rd world countries to dilute our greatness.
* Capitalism is the greatest force for prosperity in human history; we should not limit it unnecessarily.
* Humans are awesome; we shouldn't kill unborn babies.
* America's uniquely enshrined gun rights are awesome; we shouldn't limit our power to protect ourselves like the rest of the world does.
* The natural, biological differences between men and women are not only facts, they are awesome; we shouldn't blur the lines that nature drew merely because a few people are confused.
* Corporations employ millions of people and increase our quality of life by producing literally everything around us. We shouldn't treat them like enemies.
* Technology is awesome; fearing it is ignorant.
* "People with money" are awesome; they move the world and create this society. Without them, we'd all be farmers.

It is not a caricature to say that liberals are negative doomsayers who want to radically change our country, while conservatives love their country and are fighting to hold on to the things that make it great. There isn't a single aspect of our Founding Principles that the liberals want to protect, and which they aren't attacking.

THIS is the source of the polarization! The starting positions of the two sides are diametrically opposed. Each side stands in the way of the other's goals. There is no common ground here, no middle ground. Rich people don't make us polarized. It is the fact that one side wants to demonize rich people, while the other side values their accomplishments/contributions, that makes us polarized (among other reasons, listed above). One side has members who (for instance) wears the accusation of "white nationalism" like a fucking badge of honor, and then disingenuously bitches about polarization as if it's not coming from himself! No, rich people made him do it, I suppose. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Z. Modern day liberals are too focused on changing social ills, both perceived and imagined, that they are just dividing society.

I mean, let's take immigration policy as an example. The US is pretty generous with its immigration policy. An immigrant can come here from, say, China and become "one of us" once they become a citizen. Whereas in many other countries, you can become a citizen and never get accepted as one of them (e.g. Japan) and even your children will be eternal foreigners no matter how many generations you go.

So yeah, I don't buy the whole idea that America is evil and xenophobic or anything. Go to fuck.
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ur-Nanothnir wrote:
I agree with Z. Modern day liberals are too focused on changing social ills, both perceived and imagined, that they are just dividing society.
I'd say it another way: one side loves their country, while the other side calls this love, "white nationalism." What do you expect expect to happen in that situation? Of COURSE you will get polarization!

If the Left would stop calling people racists and/or nationalists for loving their country, they might just decrease polarization. If they stopped pretending that people who disagree with them on are evil, and they might just decrease polarization. Blaming this on "people with money" when they invented the whole, "You're a [ fill in the blank -ist ]" schtick is the height of irony.

It would be like someone praising god, and then someone else responding, "Who? You mean that virgin rapist who knocked up some innocent girl with his ghost-seed and then started a death cult and convinced his followers to wear a symbol of human sacrifice around their necks?" You can't insult someone's deepest beliefs and then complain about the situation you created being polarizing.

With that said, I think that politics without polarization is ultimately impossible. It is impossible to take a stand against something without being polarizing. There is no way to call out things I disagree with without simultaneously defining the conceptual distance between what I think ought to be the case and what is the case. The ought/is divide *is* polarization.

I think that people who bemoan polarization really just want everyone to agree with them, or else shut the hell up, because if they honestly valued the absence of polarization above their own beliefs, they could end polarization tomorrow by stop being polarizing! Or in other words, just agree with the other side. Like this childish wish for Congress to "work together," what people actually mean is for the opposition party to stop opposing. They don't intend for their side to give ground. Thus, complaints about "not working together" and "polarization" are whiny, disingenuous ways to advocate for your own side's victory.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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