Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SlateStar on the Blue Tribe's Crying Wolf

Read SlateStar's post, You are Still Crying Wolf

This gets back to my doubts about “dog whistles”. Dog whistling seems to be the theory that if you want to know what someone really believes, you have to throw away decades of consistent statements supporting the side of an issue that everyone else in the world supports, and instead pay attention only to one weird out-of-character non-statement which implies he supports a totally taboo position which is perhaps literally the most unpopular thing it is possible to think. 
And then you have to imagine some of the most brilliant rhetoricians and persuaders in the world are calculating that it’s worth risking exposure this taboo belief in order to win support from a tiny group with five-digit membership whose support nobody wants, by sending a secret message, which inevitably every single media outlet in the world instantly picks up on and makes the focus of all their coverage for the rest of the election. 
Finally, no, none of this suggests that Donald Trump is courting the white supremacist vote.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Real War on Science

Read The Real War on Science
Conservatives have been variously pathologized as unethical, antisocial, and irrational simply because they don’t share beliefs that seem self-evident to liberals. For instance, one study explored ethical decision making by asking people whether they would formally support a female colleague’s complaint of sexual harassment. There was no way to know if the complaint was justified, but anyone who didn’t automatically side with the woman was put in the unethical category. Another study asked people whether they believed that “in the long run, hard work usually brings a better life”—and then classified a yes answer as a “rationalization of inequality.” Another study asked people if they agreed that “the Earth has plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them”—a view held by many experts in resource economics, but the psychologists pathologized it as a “denial of environmental realities.”
I also recommend Jonathan Haidt's related talk 

Friday, November 18, 2016


Reality has too many pixels, so for practical life we adjust our resolution enough to operate but not get lost in details. For more abstract life we adjust our resolution enough to find community but not feel inconsistent.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Electoral College vs. Popular Vote: Different Game Different Tactics Same Outcome

"If we elected presidents by popular vote, the campaign would change; it isn't obvious that Clinton would have won that way either"

A good point by Gary King

Winning the electoral college game is a lot like winning the popular vote game. They require the same political skills. Trump won the electoral college game we just played so my guess would be that he would win the popular vote game too if it were being played.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Is the Future Dominated by the Blue Tribe

Someone unimportant points out:
This is how the future voted. This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes. We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision.

That's nice, but people become more conservative with age. By the time the future actually comes all those people voting blue will be voting red

Monday, November 14, 2016

Maybe Trump... isn't the devil

After the election, a lot of people are expressing their view that this election was about them vs. bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, and hate. The deeply religious fantasies of these people is hard to believe. They actually think they're the good guys fighting pure evil. Not a difference in point of view. Pure evil.

Do these people ever stop to consider that their feed is deeply biased. If trump said, "black children are raised without dads," they would treat that as racism. But if any social scientist says that (and it's true) it's just a fact. The power of the mind to stretch interpretation against the outgroup is incredible. A conservative cannot say anything about race unless it's explicitly confirming how great all minorities are. Or else they're charged as racist.

It makes me glad I'm not a conservative. But if I don't confirm the liberal delusions, I have to worry about being called one!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Advice for Election 2016

Jonathan Haidt talks tribal politics

Colbert says to get back to your life

Obama: all on one team

Scott Alexander writes the election doesn't tell you anything because it was more likely determined by noise

SlateStar's Thesis on Trump

Jacob tells you to get over your denial