Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

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BRUTE
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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:27 am

@jacob

it seems brute and jacob are operating on different definitions of the word "fact".

in the context of this discussion, brute has been thinking of "facts" as something that an individual has personally, objectively measured. jacob measuring a star's position or the speed of sound in a gas.

for "belief", brute has been thinking about anything that an individual holds as true that he has not personally measured, i.e. a "factoid" or "bit of information" that has been acquired via social means.

jacob seems to define "fact" as something that is "held as true" (to avoid the word belief) and that is actually objectively true.

maybe the term "indirect fact" can be used to determine things "held as true" that were learned from others instead of from personal observation. so there are "direct facts", "indirect facts", and "falsehoods".

brute agrees with the frameworks-framework. his whole point is that while direct facts can be learned about reality, and many scientists learn very many direct facts about reality, as soon as they tell these direct facts to another human, that human will acquire them as indirect facts. and without the effort to convert the indirect fact into a direct fact by reproducing the experiment, it is very hard for the learner to tell if the teacher was objectively right or not.

there might be some granularity to the type of relationship, and there's probably a game of telephone going on. jacob can probably tell if what his physicist colleague is talking about makes sense. this is because jacob has spent 10+ years working in the field. brute could not. brute can mostly tell if humans are full of shit with regards to certain sub fields of computer programming, diet, or exercise. this is because brute has spent 10+ years in each of these fields.

if knowledge (the sum of known facts) were limited to direct facts, society would likely never rise above a very low level. after a certain amount of complexity, humans HAVE to rely on indirect facts, via the aforementioned frameworks and what not.

unfortunately, this introduces all the disadvantages of networking. maybe brute is equipped with above average understanding of networking problems because of his software background and interest in bitcoin, but uncertainty, fragmentation, and difficulty of settling on any specific result are typical. this is not exceptional, it's the rule. in fact the genius of bitcoin was that for the first time, decentralization, certainty, and unification could be combined. (it's easy to have a decentralized network, but it's hard to prevent fragmentation or settle on a certain state among participants).

said yet another way: the perceived problem seems to be that most humans are very distant from the objective source of facts, reality. they acquire almost all of their facts indirectly, and are therefore vulnerable to charlatans, demagogues, liars, the incompetent, biases.. but this is to be expected. relying on social, indirect facts is the only way a society of this complexity can exist. if humans only relied on facts they acquired directly, they would still sit in caves and marvel about fire. the social effect of spreading knowledge comes at a price.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Ego » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:37 am

BRUTE wrote: said yet another way: the perceived problem seems to be that most humans are very distant from the objective source of facts, reality. they acquire almost all of their facts indirectly, and are therefore vulnerable to charlatans, demagogues, liars, the incompetent, biases.. but this is to be expected. relying on social, indirect facts is the only way a society of this complexity can exist. if humans only relied on facts they acquired directly, they would still sit in caves and marvel about fire. the social effect of spreading knowledge comes at a price.
Brute channeling Zizek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SQpczc8mGg

Can anyone think of ways we might deal with unknown-knowns?

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Campitor » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:40 am

@Brute

You arrived at the essence of what we are talking about. It is difficult as you state, for anyone to come to a correct conclusion or define what the relevant facts should be about any complex issue when they aren't experts or spent years studying the field. Essentially they don't know what they don't know. That doesn't mean we can't have opinions. But we must acknowledge that we could be wrong since we lack the pre-requisite experience and training to make a truly informed decision. I'm very impressed at how eloquently and precisely you outlined the problem.
Ego wrote:
Can anyone think of ways we might deal with unknown-knowns?
Maybe constant self-auditing? Why do I believe this? What are my motivations? Is my bias selectively ignoring valid arguments that disprove my assumptions? Why am I pursuing this specific activity? What do I want and why?

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by jacob » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:14 am

@Ego - What do you mean by unknown-unknowns?

Do you mean black swans? Are you referring to the problem of induction (e.g. if I drop an apple 100 times and observe that it falls to the ground, how can I be sure that it also falls when I drop it for the 101st time?)

Or---since it's rather pertinent to where this thread has been going so far---do you mean unknown-unknown on a personal level (like brute's direct and indirect facts)? See diagram here: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-o ... world.html

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:52 am

@jacob:

A few observations related to your analogy.

1) Young children may or may not be intelligent individuals. Cultures may or may not be anti-intellectual. The expansion of intellectual faculties as the brain develops in a child only rather weakly resembles the emergence of intelligence in a species, the achievement of mastery in a field of study by an adult with a mature brain, or the development of a culture where intellect and its achievements are particularly appreciated.

2) Even in the earliest phases of learning, part of the process is the necessity to release or "destroy" previous strategy or paradigm before new one can be adopted. For instance, learning to multiply is partially "destructive" of addition. Bobby has 6 apples, Sally has 6 apples, Pedro has 6 apples. How many apples are there altogether? We must, maybe for just a moment, let go of the grip we previously had on the problem in order to proceed with better tool or strategy.

3) It is very easy to underestimate that which we take for granted in our human intellectual heritage. When we teach our children to multiply, we are first gifting them with the useful tool of the Hindu numeric system which was promoted by Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi who was a Director of the House of Wisdom during the golden age of Islamic mathematics in the 9th century (while the lights were dimmed in the realm of the severely melanin deprived.) In spite of their much vaunted contributions to realms such as geometry, the Greeks couldn't multiply or divide for sh*t with their lame-azz numeric system. So, when we present our children with this system, it is really not that different than allowing them the use of an abacus or a calculator.

4) Maybe I have two groups of students. One group consists of adults with an average IQ of 90. One group consists of 8 year old children with an average IQ of 130. It is my job to teach both groups that Base 10 is arbitrary. With which group am I more likely to succeed? Why do humans persist in the arbitrary use of an archaic Base 10 numeric system when teaching children rather than the Factorial Number System, which it seems to me would be much more elegant and useful?

Oh my, I have really gone off on a wild tangent now. How shall I conclude? My point is that I believe that the problem you perceive is due to the fear of letting go of the good enough for the better, and the humans who are to blame are overly introverted scientists who spend too much time in the laboratory* or library and not enough time in the classroom ;)

*And those who have zero memory of ever measuring charge/mass ratio of an electron in high school physics class, perhaps due to fact that they shared a joint in the back of a potato chip truck with a guy who looked like Hutch (not Starsky) the night before such an experiment was performed, shall forever be held blameless!!!

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Ego » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:10 pm

jacob wrote:@Ego - What do you mean by unknown-unknowns?
Unknown-knowns. Things we don't know we know. Subconscious. Biases and whatnot. Watch that short Zizek video.

As I see it, Brute is making two points:

1)
BRUTE wrote:it is very hard for the learner to tell if the teacher was objectively right or not.
and

2)
BRUTE wrote:...they acquire almost all of their facts indirectly, and are therefore vulnerable to charlatans, demagogues, liars, the incompetent, biases.. but this is to be expected. ....
Brute's nihilism is shining through - or - darkening the argument, depending on how you look at it.

1) Just because something is hard, does not mean it is impossible. Yes, it is challenging to figure out what sources of information to trust. For important things..... try.

2) At the end of the spectrum we have two types.
a) A person shaped by a world where they have never learned to distinguish fact from fiction but can still learn.
b) A person shaped by a world where they were indoctrinated to distinguish fiction as fact. They are wired to see fiction as fact and to actively ignore evidence of facts.

The realization I am coming to is that (to my surprise) unlimited access to information has not shifted people from b) to a) as I expected. It has done the opposite. In some places the number of b)s has now reached critical mass.

How do we teach critical thinking to those who place a high value on ignorance and are proud that they trust their heart over their mind when making important decisions? How do we encourage people to see the value in critical thinking?

Consequences.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:31 pm

Consequences..?


Image

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by steveo73 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:30 pm

Campitor wrote:@Brute

You arrived at the essence of what we are talking about. It is difficult as you state, for anyone to come to a correct conclusion or define what the relevant facts should be about any complex issue when they aren't experts or spent years studying the field. Essentially they don't know what they don't know. That doesn't mean we can't have opinions. But we must acknowledge that we could be wrong since we lack the pre-requisite experience and training to make a truly informed decision. I'm very impressed at how eloquently and precisely you outlined the problem.
Ego wrote:
Can anyone think of ways we might deal with unknown-knowns?
Maybe constant self-auditing? Why do I believe this? What are my motivations? Is my bias selectively ignoring valid arguments that disprove my assumptions? Why am I pursuing this specific activity? What do I want and why?
I agree with these comments or at least the conclusion.

I don't agree with we have to be experts. There are plenty of experts who are wrong. In some areas I think it's harder for experts because they need funding to keep their jobs. We should never rely completely on the letters beside someone's name.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Campitor » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:34 pm

steveo73 wrote:
I don't agree with we have to be experts. There are plenty of experts who are wrong. In some areas I think it's harder for experts because they need funding to keep their jobs. We should never rely completely on the letters beside someone's name.
I completely agree that there are plenty of experts who are wrong. But we have to entertain that if an expert can be wrong, whatever the reason (bias, ineptitude, greed), non-experts can also be wrong. This doesn't mean we toss our reason and logic into the infinite abyss of indifference. It only means that we must admit, if we are going to be faithful in our quest for logic/truth, that we may be drawing incorrect conclusions. Either we must conduct our own research, tempered by rigorous training and peer review, or acknowledge we are just taking an educated guess.

Please take my aforementioned comments in context. I'm not talking about simple topics but more complex issues with variable inputs that require a rigorous application of scientific reasoning and peer review. :D

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by steveo73 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:07 pm

Campitor wrote:
steveo73 wrote:
I don't agree with we have to be experts. There are plenty of experts who are wrong. In some areas I think it's harder for experts because they need funding to keep their jobs. We should never rely completely on the letters beside someone's name.
I completely agree that there are plenty of experts who are wrong. But we have to entertain that if an expert can be wrong, whatever the reason (bias, ineptitude, greed), non-experts can also be wrong. This doesn't mean we toss our reason and logic into the infinite abyss of indifference. It only means that we must admit, if we are going to be faithful in our quest for logic/truth, that we may be drawing incorrect conclusions. Either we must conduct our own research, tempered by rigorous training and peer review, or acknowledge we are just taking an educated guess.

Please take my aforementioned comments in context. I'm not talking about simple topics but more complex issues with variable inputs that require a rigorous application of scientific reasoning and peer review. :D
I completely agree with the statement non-experts can be wrong. Anyone can be wrong unless we have proven facts. We also can't be over the top when it comes to proving something. If you have good hypothesis that are backed up by empirical data and the research is at a good level of maturity then we have to concur with the science or facts.

I agree with you as well. When it comes to complex issues we need to accept that complexity. I have stated this multiple times within this thread. People that deny the complexity of a topic are clearly part of the idiocracy as per this thread. They deny the facts.

We should also be prepared to change our assessments of the data/facts based upon better quality data/facts.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:30 pm

Jacob wrote: "Forsooth, even in high school we measured the charge/mass ratio of an electron (Lorentz force) and showed how the electron charge was quantized (Milikan oil drop). If anyone seriously tells me that they've never done that, I'll believe them but I'll also believe that this is because HS education has been dumbed down further over the past 20 years, because I didn't go to a fancy private school. This was normal HS/standard part of the physics curriculum back in 1994."

That was normal high school, but not in the United States. I graduated HS in 1982, taking all the chemistry and physics (and math, for that matter) they had, and didn't do that. I guess I might not remember it. I went to a rural high school so that may have made a difference. Never did it in college either.

Oh: and I guess I can't blame you for the invention of dark matter and energy. That exasperates me even more than the invention (and worse, the later observation!) of the neutrino.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by jacob » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:41 pm

@enigma120 - https://www.pasco.com/prodCatalog/AP/AP ... apparatus/ (you'd be staring at a bunch of brightly illuminated dots (tiny droplets that carry a finite (quantized) number of charges through the scope). According to the sales page, this is now undergraduate physics.

Here's the one for the Lorentz force: http://www.spectrum-scientifics.com/Lor ... p/2480.htm (you'd basically just measure how the electron beam curves in the magnetic field from the dual coils. This is determined by the strength of the B-field and the voltage between the plates in the "accelerator". Apparently, this is also considered college physics now: http://demoweb.physics.ucla.edu/content ... o-electron.)

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by jennypenny » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:51 am

@jacob (or anyone not in the US) -- What kind of other classes did you take in high school? Did you have to take history and gym and such every year?

I'm wondering whether other school systems require so many classes outside of core classes (language, math and science). Where we are, the kids have to take 4 years of math, english (language/literature), gym/health, and history (2 years US, 2 years other). They are also required to take 2 years of a foreign language and one year of art/music. Electives include more music if you're in the band or choir, continuing with language studies for all 4 years, computer science (still sadly an elective), or extra social science classes like psychology or maybe probability and statistics. Kids usually take 7 classes per year in a normal setting, or 8 (4 per semester) if they use block scheduling similar to colleges.

Does that look similar to what others take? Or do you focus more on STEM classes? Does everyone get the same type of high school education? Is the difference not just the quality of the education but also the curriculum?

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:08 am

@jp - Systems keep changing all the time even inside a country, but as far as I can tell, the Danish system was quite different from the US system back then though it's converging. I went from 1991 to 1994. Everybody goes to the same public school (here public really means public, so Brits be aware) and follow each other all the way to the 9th grade regardless of skill or whether they learned anything. Here people split up and in my time about 50% went to vocational school (2-4 years + apprenticeship) to become electricians, plumbers, cooks, etc. If your teachers believe you're sufficiently "intellectually mature", you go to one of the high schools. Back then there was HF (a two-year short version of HS which got no respect), Gymnasiet (HS which was split into a mathematical line(me) and a language-line, and generally considered to be the toughest in terms of load and difficulty), handelsskolen (business high school), or HTX (like HF but with more shopclass and science) which had just been introduced.

Gymnasiet took about 2/3s of 50% of the public school "graduates"(*)... so about 1/3 of the population went to gymnasiet.

(*) Not sure it's practically possible to not graduate public school as long as you can spell your own name.

Gymnasiet was meant to prepare people to go to university. The core curriculum has Danish and History all three years. Otherwise a lot of classes were mandatory for 1 or 2 years but you could elect to boost them from that to 2 or 3 years. Lets call them A, B, and C levels. Most university studies would require relevant A levels + a given GPA to get in. E.g. physics at the university would require A levels in math and physics and B in chemistry.

Otherwise, the mandatory courses was nothing fancy or exotic. Two foreign languages(*) (for me it was English and German) (three if you're on the language line+latin), math, physics, chemistry (less of these three if you were on the language line), history, litterature, biology, music (no kidding), art (no kidding), and ancient history.

(*) These would build on top of the public school system. So in total I've taken 8 years worth of English and 5 years worth of German. Someone on the language line might have had 8 years worth of English, 7 years of German, 3 years of French, and 2 years of Spanish.

Most electives in my time was spent on boosting useful classes (taken B-levels to A-levels). The only fancy electives I remember was polisci (a popular one) and compsci. No courses in psychology or botanical gardening or such ... and stat (up to slightly below the CFA certification... so graduates would generally be prepared for most university directions(*) except more hardcore STEM fields already) would be part of math classes.

(*) Business high school was intended for business school (which was separate from the rest of the university system) and HTX was directed at engineering schools (ditto). It was possible to cross-over (from gymnasiet to business school) and people did do that. Maybe 10-20% of the time.

The number of class hours per week (45 minutes/hour) was about 28-32. You'd usually have to turn in an essay in Danish, German, or English once a month (=> you'd be written one almost every week). These would be about 800 words (half-assed) to 1600 words (solid). STEM classes would require a lab report (2-3 pages) or something akin to the question on half of a written final exam every two weeks.

Indeed, a lot of that work was simply doing final exams (usually you'd be allocated 4 hours for that) but taking them home and getting 2-3 weeks to do them.

In conclusion, everyone on the mathematical line were 90% the same. The overlap with the language line was maybe 60% ... same as the overlap with business school, I'm guessing here... It's also my impression that every high school had about the same quality. Point being ... the main purpose of highschool was to act as a feeder system for the universities.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by enigmaT120 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:02 pm

As I said I went to a rural school, but how the heck is the U.S. even remotely competitive in the world?

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by subgard » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:23 pm

Confirmation bias addiction.
Having one's biases confirmed is probably about as addictive as internet porn.
Prior to the internet, both porn and bias confirmation was in hard copy and was simply too much trouble to keep up a daily habit.
But the internet now delivers massive amounts of both porn and bias confirming "facts" directly to the brain's reward center 24/7.
The whole post-modern "That's just your opinion" is simply an after-the-fact rationalization, similar to the excuses an alcoholic uses to justify drinking.

So, the problem is not some complicated logical fallacy about facts, but an addictive habit for consuming information that makes one feel good.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Ego » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:39 pm

@subgard, a novel and interesting idea! I believe it is original thinking as well because I googled confirmation bias addiction and found nothing.

So, an alcoholic will face the consequences of their addiction but then turn around the next evening and drink themselves blind once again. Does a confirmation-bias addict do the same by following the directions of their delusional road map smack dab into reality wall, but then reverting to the same road map the next day? If so, what's the solution?

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by subgard » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:53 pm

@Ego, That might be the big problem. There is no big or obvious problems for the addicted individual. But, it causes bigger problems in society that don't seem connected to the individual's clicking on "news" links.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by steveo73 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:32 am

I also read subgard's post and I think there is some real truth there. At the same time I think that some people simply lack the ability to think critically. So they have an inability to logically look at the facts. What can you do in that situation.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:36 am

@jennypenny: If the problem is due to some flaw in the educational system, I don't think it will be solved by pushing more kids into more STEM classes because these debates are not primarily being held between people with advanced degrees in art history vs. people with advanced degrees in physics. They are being fought at the divide between those with more than the average amount of STEM education and those with WAAAAAY more than the average amount of STEM education. IMO, the antidote, which is not very popular on this forum, although Jacob by no means precludes it in his book, is a more liberal well-rounded education, rather than the opposite. If we tell kids that the purpose of an education is mostly to obtain a job that pays good money, then we are not promoting a society that values erudition. IOW, the tendency to dismiss a paper on the topic of the Ethnobotany of Palm Management in Pre-Colonial Peru as useless, is an example of not seeing the forest for the trees, that is likely to lead to a widening spread of anti-intellectual posturing. IOW, if we are a society that values efficient production because we value a high level of consumption, and there are individuals in our society that can earn 6-figures or achieve a net-worth of 50 million, with the bare minimum practical education necessary to obtain a job in engineering/finance/tech, then this is the manner by which we will end up hoisted upon our own petard.

OTOH, as after-the fact analysis of recent debacles such as the sub-prime mortgage crisis reveal, there are instances when Fat Tony does seem to be better informed than the Expert with letters after name. BUT, I think identity of the "tinkerer" who should also be respected is not that easy to ferret out. For instance, I think some amateur hobbyist aquarium enthusiast might be worth listening to on the topic of global climate change, but not somebody writing contrarian op-ed articles published by Forbes.

However, I will note for the record that my background is that I am somebody who was accepted into the physics program at a very high-ranking university after my sophomore year in college, and then flunked out (not a new experience for me, I first flunked my way out of school when I was 14, so that I could have more free time to read and pursue good-looking ski bums, my own dear INTJ daughter was much better behaved during her teen years.) My appeal to be readmitted on the basis of "didn't know I was too stupid" was denied on the basis of my SAT scores being too high. Therefore, I occasionally still suffer from the complex guilt/ego matrix of the chronic underachiever in this realm, and my posts should be read with grain-of salt due to possibility of projected emotional reactivity.





subgard said: So, the problem is not some complicated logical fallacy about facts, but an addictive habit for consuming information that makes one feel good.
Yes! In fact, one of the primary reasons I joined this forum was that I wanted confirmation of my biased opinion that an individual could survive and be happy on less than $10,000/year, because I was embroiled in a debate with my BF-at-the-time who believed that income/spending at the level of $40,000/year was necessary. I felt it was important to gather some evidence and social support for my position because if I accepted his opinion then I would also have to accept that I was a "kept" woman who was being financially supported by her arrogant BF, who also believed that he was more intelligent than her, which would obviously be an intolerable situation.

So, the solution to this problem as it applies to issues such as global climate change and peak copper, would be to change everything about our society that would cause anybody to have any inherent self-interest in the further exploitation of natural resources, or at least change the balance to some very large degree. For instance, Jill Stein had a 401k plan that held some investments in companies that profit from the exploitation of natural resources, but the sum of a variety of other factors were more relevant in determining her political stance on these matters.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:59 am

"But, it causes bigger problems in society that don't seem connected to the individual's clicking on "news" links."

Problems like believing Trump won because of Russia, or going along with decades of war in the middle east, etc.

No, seriously, I like this cognitive bias addiction theory precisely because it is agnostic as to the truth content of any particular news source. From where I'm standing, the legacy media provides plenty of stimulation for those whose cognitive bias is of the center/center-right neoliberal bent. Just because it's mainstream doesn't mean it's not supporting a cognitive bias addiction. Any news (or concept or fact) that doesn't support one's own bias is seen as wrong, fake, or biased itself.

The only solution IMO is to recognize that ALL news is necessarily and inherently biased if only for the fact that the primary motive is profit, not truth. It can't be taken at face value. The problem appears to be that most people's framework for distinguishing truth amounts to little more than: "Believe without question the narratives that best fit my cognitive bias."

No matter where you're going for news, that's going to lead you astray.

My problem with the fake news hype is that it is not advocating for deeper thought or questioning of every source, but the opposite--more complicit trust in the legacy media that has revealed its own untrustworthiness a bit too much in the last year alone. Now we have censorship bills in Congress seeking to establish a Ministry of Truth to determine what is and isn't "foreign propaganda" and Facebook stepping in to censor "fake news" based on Snopes, which is a couple of Californians with Google.* Sorry, but that is absolutely wrong as well... and if legacy media followers get to claim that "calling out bias in the legacy media opens the door to Russian disinformation", then I get to claim "blindly following the legacy media opens the door to American disinformation... and a totalitarian propaganda state."

*No need to comment on the sources, feel free to find your own sources** for both stories if these don't satisfy your CB craving... If you can't find any CNN, MSNBC, or other legacy media reporting on it, I can only laugh and say, "Hmm, how strange." ;)

**Actually, here is the House bill so you can hear it from the horse's ass, er, mouth: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/ ... 93/summary See sec. 501.

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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by Ego » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:49 am

Spartan_Warrior wrote: The only solution IMO is to recognize that ALL news is necessarily and inherently biased if only for the fact that the primary motive is profit, not truth. It can't be taken at face value. The problem appears to be that most people's framework for distinguishing truth amounts to little more than: "Believe without question the narratives that best fit my cognitive bias."
I think you are close. Yes, all news is biased. Yes, at the core most is designed to manipulate the reader/watcher to buy products. Even NPR has, to a much smaller extent, an editorial consciousness geared to the mindset of potential large donors.

It is similar to the problem faced by the helmsman of a ship in fog under the influence of a slight wind, moderate swell and a subtle current. Think of those influences as media bias. When we are out to sea with no other landmarks or tools to judge the effects of the bias, a good helmsman accurately counteracts the almost imperceptible movement. With no gps and a sun blotted by fog, it is easy to get mixed up. For some, the risk is in failing to recognize the bias and not compensating at all. Other inexperienced sailors have the a-ha moment when they realize the bias exists and then suffer the helmsman's second deadly sin. Overcompensation. Both end up on the same rocks.

Recognizing both our own biases and those of the media, then compensating correctly is the key. Right now, we've got a country full of people who believe they are the only ones on the boat to have had the a-ha moment. They think they are the only people who realize the true influence the wind, swell and current have on the ship. Consequently they shift from no compensation to overcompensation.

The thing I am trying to figure out is why such a large number of those people are almost gleeful in their knowledge and can't wait for the boat to crash. It seems that those who should have a reasonable concern for the danger presented by the rocks, feel nothing at all. They do not worry about the very real consequences of over compensation.

I just recently read that 1 in 6 Americans is now taking some form of psychiatric medication and most of those who are medicated come from the insured middle and upper classes. These people are more influential than those who cannot afford to drug their anxiety. Add to that the (increasing) numbers who use marijuana, alcohol and other non-prescription drugs to deaden anxiety.

For millions of years our level of anxiety helped us to calibrate the proper compensation when dealing with unknowns. It helps us to steer away from the rocks. Now we've got a significant portion of the population taking drugs to deaden it.

Coming full circle, it has been reported that 70% of television news ad revenue during non-election years comes from big pharma.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:11 pm

Ego said: The thing I am trying to figure out is why such a large number of those people are almost gleeful in their knowledge and can't wait for the boat to crash.
Same reason a lot of male fantasy fiction involves everybody on the planet dying except the protagonist and 3 attractive females.

enigmaT120
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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by enigmaT120 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:59 pm

Some of us are already standing on the rocks watching the boat come in to crash.

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BRUTE
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Re: Post-factualism: Goodbye Enlightenment--Hello Idiocracy?

Post by BRUTE » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:10 pm

Ego wrote:The thing I am trying to figure out is why such a large number of those people are almost gleeful in their knowledge and can't wait for the boat to crash.
why is this so surprising? it seems typical for humans. brute has this himself, and he thinks it stems from the fact that most individuals are not particularly attached to abstract positive outcomes, but to a narrative. if brute's narrative isn't playing out, why should he root for anyone else's? burn this mother fucker to the ground.

@7Wannabe5

technically, that sounds like post-apocalyptic fiction, which brute would classify more under scifi than fantasy. fantasy has elves and shit. in general, most fantasy tries to create/recreate a "good old time", whereas scifi explores more of a "what if (all humans expect brute and 3 hotties died)". exceptions with both obviously exist.

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