• fdrake
    4k
    From time to time someone asks something about math or logic without good math background about an issue that he or she is obviously interested, but doesn't have much knowledge about the subject. Many times, and I would say luckily, there is someone on the Forum who reads thoroughly the OP, shows what is wrong in the thinking if there is indeed something wrong. And again luckily, this response is better than just "You are wrong, learn math." Naturally as this is the internet, the person doesn't understand that he or she is talking to some assistant professor or masters degree student in math who knows the subject, and will likely get angry and not believe he or she has made any mistake and will strawman something to "win" the debate. But that hardly matters. The main point is that the person has gotten a well thought answer as this community would also point out if the counterargument has holes in the argumentation too. Hence if someone puts out an OP about math or logic and gets replies that don't refute it, I can gather then that person has made some valid point. (Of course if there are zero replies, that tells something...)ssu

    The deck is really stacked in mathematics+logics' favour when comparing it to politics. There's a background that fixes the meaning of terms, common associations of concepts and even the flow of argument in mathematics and logic. Even the common errors made are well understood (see @jorndoe's recent thread on 0.999...=1). That shared background which can be presumed given competence makes discussion regarding it more structured, and errors show up as errors upon that background. The discussion is (usually) about one topic with a definite character - the fixity of mathematical meaning (given competence) shows up in the talk about it as a common departure point (given competence).

    Now a topic like politics is surely totally different, yet if someone takes the effort to really show why he or she disagrees with something someone has written, explains just why he or she opposes the view or conclusion, it really isn't futile if the someone doesn't make the other to change their views. The importance is that a counterargument has been made and each member reading the thread can then come to their own conclusions. We won't likely change each others views, but we can show what the issue is about.ssu

    Contrast politics. There's much less shared background like in the above talk. A shared background fixes the meaning of terms and common associations, but the really important contrast (I think) with maths chat above is that the shared background in mathematics talk fixes the distinctions between the terms and concepts, politics doesn't have that. Here's an example.

    If you're one of the forum's hard leftists, you probably don't see much distinction between a conservative (Tory party or Republican) and a liberal (Labour party or Democract), to you the distinction doesn't make too much difference except maybe on cultural issues. They're both centrist ideologies, and get aggregated together as different species of liberal. This isn't a new pattern, Phil Ochs wrote a song about it some time in the 60's or 70's. If you're a centrist, you will see a massive difference between Republican or Tory style policies and Democrat or Labour style policies. Trump's a good contrast case - the hard left recognised his ur-fascist tendencies a long time ago, the liberal left has a similar narrative regarding him ("The extremists are the base now!" and moderate republicans keep supporting him out of party loyalty), but his supporters see him as an emblem that fights corruption ("drain the swamp!") and the deleterious effects of globalisation/immigration on Average Americans. They also believe he will remedy the encroachment of the state since the Obama years. Simultaneously, Make America Great again is a signifier of a return to threatened values (rugged individualism against state encroachment, cultural traditionalism against globalise+integrate).

    But we don't do that if we just stop the discussion and declare someone a troll or if we stop reading if the person references person X. Not to give the reasoned answer is the way the discourse generates. Then the next stage is "Oh God, it's that fdrake again, nope, I won't even read what he says".ssu

    So then I guess we've gotta talk about the polarisation of discourse. I don't actually see it as a "bad thing" (TM), I think social media has made people much more responsive and aware of the structure+function of political ideology. To save you from reading the entire linked paper, here are the key thrusts of it:

    (1) Political ideology is omnipresent.
    (2) Political ideology is correlational/associational rather than syllogistic.
    (3) Political ideology is a population level structure of clusters of opinion havers rather than an individual level one of opinion havers within those clusters.
    (4) Economic opinion and cultural opinion correlate - they are not useful categories to bin opinion into for explanatory purposes when considering ideology.
    (4a) The nature of this correlation is that "fiscally conservative, socially liberal" is not actually a thing on the population level; the desire for an authoritarian state correlates well with the desire for a freer market, the desire for a non-authoritarian state correlates well with a desire for state intervention in markets. If you don't believe me, please read the paper, it's strongly data driven, so it's not a priori speculation. The study was of people in the US, but I do think it generalizes to the UK and even here to Norway (the religious right party is authoritarian and anti-immigrant and wants less tax in the usual ways people on the right want less tax)

    My take on how this relates to engagement in social media (including the forum) is that individuals approximate the value judgements of the population they're in; so when you consume political discussion on these media you're taking a sample of individual values without sampling the reasoning from one point to another. On the population level, what reasons a person has for linking their beliefs+values is simply a force of association between them - another species of correlation between held values in the population. It's not that they don't matter, it's that they matter much less than the association of values that frame someone's worldview, and we both agree that you're not gonna change someone's values through any "intervention of reason", like a forum post. That'd be changing the background. So when you engage you're sampling from the correlation structure of values over people rather than reasons within people. What shows up as "a lack of reasoning" and "the inability to debate" are actually symptoms of ideological differences that our engagement style has adapted to, and what shows up as the alleged inability to attend to anothers' arguments is actually the difference of the individual's views from the population as sampling noise on the background of the structure of ideology which everyone is intimately familiar with. No one is as distinct from their ideological milieu as we believe we are. @Madworld1's values show up as my dogwhistles, my values probably show up as their emotional triggered snowflake virtue signalling (judging by how it usually goes!). That condition is the background we share.

    Edit: I think the ludicrous excesses of cancelling are that feeding back into itself; the expected signal from the background ideology gets propagated with information loss, people see the propagations and propagate with information loss... When it badly misfires, it trends to a outputting statements of that ideology's concept of opposition
    *
    (eg people fearing stalinism in trans employment discrimination protection laws or transforming a bi guy who makes Youtube make up tutorials into a sexual predator on heteros)
    without any signal regarding the target's views.

    So it's not a lack of awareness or skill or willingness, it's a good adaptation to the discursive structure of ideology. That all said, I don't really buy that political discussion is more polarised than it used to be, I think rather that what people attribute to "the polarisation of discourse" is better explained by a greater practical knowledge of the discursive structure of ideology I gestured to above. It isn't about reasons, it's about associations. An individual's political opinions are mostly leaves drifting in ideological streams. "us vs them" and "the degeneration of discourse" are whistles that signal to me naivety regarding the discursive structure of ideology - conflict's never been about reasons, and reasoning has never been enough. Now "us vs them" looks like political correctness to some, jingoism to others.

    We could talk about why it's so bloody angry, but this post is already extremely long. Mark Blyth does a much better job of it than I could.
  • Michael
    9k
    Does he even know that his term ends 20th Jan even if there's no election?
  • fdrake
    4k


    I didn't! I get scared when racist demagogues who've recently sent federal troops to suppress protests start talking about postponing elections...
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    It’s a thing of beauty watching the cats follow the laser.
  • Michael
    9k
    It’s a thing of beauty watching the cats follow the laser.NOS4A2

    What do you mean?
  • Michael
    9k
    I didn't!fdrake

    His and Pence's ends on the 20th. In the House their terms all end on the 3rd. In the Senate 12 Democrats and 23 Republicans have their terms ending on the 3rd. That will give the Democrats a majority in the Senate so they'll elect a new president pro tempore who will take over after Trump until a new election.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    What do you mean?

    Trump can rile up the media and his critics with a single tweet, in this case raising the question about delaying the election. Meanwhile news about the economy falls on deaf ears.
  • Michael
    9k
    Trump can rile up the media and his critics with a single tweet, in this case raising the question about delaying the election.NOS4A2

    So you don't care that Trump is suggesting that the election be delayed?
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    I see nothing wrong with raising the question. Do you?
  • Michael
    9k
    I see nothing wrong with raising the question. Do you?NOS4A2

    Yes. It could lead to a Constitutional crisis if delayed too long. The Twentieth Amendment defines the date that terms end for the President, the House, and the Senate. If an election isn't held and the results confirmed before the 3rd Jan then there will be an empty House and just 65 Senators, and if not held and the results confirmed before the 20th Jan then the next President will default to whoever the Senate (which will be a Democrat majority) elects as president pro tempore.

    Imagine the shitstorm.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    It would be a shitstorm. But the president cannot delay the election, so it’s an absurd idea. The events you describe might also occur with universal mail-in voting.
  • praxis
    2.5k


    Absentee mail-in voting good, universal mail-in voting bad, supposedly because absentee follows a stricter process, but it doesn't.
  • Michael
    9k
    https://www.nytimes.com./2020/07/30/opinion/trump-delay-election-coronavirus.html

    I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.

    But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

    Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society.
  • tim wood
    5k
    Steven Calabresi,Michael
    Nice he woke up. Wa-ay after most people, though.
  • Maw
    2k
    Glad Calabresi realized Trump was a fascist 3 years and 192 days into his presidency.
  • Maw
    2k
    So can we remove those Federalist judges?
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k
    Trolled by the president.


    But it’s in a good way. With one tweet the president revealed the fear in delayed elections. As the New York primaries has shown, the system is not equipped for universal mail in ballots, which would result in delays the likes of which no national election has ever seen. It’s a hilarious move on his part.
  • Benkei
    3.3k
    Iemand praat hier bananen recht...
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Shit, yeah, the population might commit mass voter fraud and elect someone inappropriate for president. Thank God for a stable genius pointing that out.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Does he even know that his term ends 20th Jan even if there's no election?
    I'm sure he doesn't.
    Next he'll be saying that he can enact emergency powers to extend his rule, because if his term ends, who's going to run the country?
  • ssu
    3k
    Trump can rile up the media and his critics with a single tweet, in this case raising the question about delaying the election. Meanwhile news about the economy falls on deaf ears.NOS4A2
    Yeah, he could also tweet out that he's thinking about a pre-emptive nuclear attack on North Korea.

    I promise that would also push aside the bad economic news too.

    So Bravo for that thinking! Great way to get media attention.

    Anyway, you'll all love the shit show this is going to be in the end of the year.
  • StreetlightX
    5.9k
    It's hilarious how fuckwit like NOS thinks Trump is playing some kind of 11D chess when it's clear that Trump just bleets out whatever he shits out of his brain at whatever moment in time. Exactly how stupid does one have to be to buy into the post-hoc rationalization of a compete fucking idiot like Trump? NOS stupid, I guess. No surprise given that Trump's presidency is reliant upon a citizenry of brain-dead morons.
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    Anyway, you'll all love the shit show this is going to be in the end of the year.

    I can’t wait.



    Mass mail-in voting is ripe for voter fraud (ballot harvesting for instance), but given the delays of the NY primary with its own mail-in voting, one is forced to wonder what such a mess would look like on a national scale. I’m not sure what happens if a president isn’t decided by Jan 20th, but the thought of president Pelosi sends shivers down my spine.

    The dem’s HEROES act, which is a coronavirus relief bill, has a lot to do with the elections For some reason.
  • tim wood
    5k
    It's hilarious how fuckwit like NOS thinks Trump is playing some kind of 11D chessStreetlightX
    Hilarious I wouldn't know. Question: do you imagine Trump rows his own boat? I take it that no one person could be as consistently awful in matters great and small he has been. Call it my version of a belief in "intelligent" design. Somewhere, somehow, some way, there's an account of it all that makes sense of most of it. Trump's personal contribution being the parts that simple don't make sense at all.

    Not that he isn't that awful, only that he's not that competently incompetent.
  • ssu
    3k
    Question: do you imagine Trump rows his own boat? I take it that no one person could be as consistently awful in matters great and small he has been. Call it my version of a belief in "intelligent" design. Somewhere, somehow, some way, there's an account of it all that makes sense of most of it. Trump's personal contribution being the parts that simple don't make sense at all.

    Not that he isn't that awful, only that he's not that competently incompetent.
    tim wood
    Completely incompetent at leadership. Talking to his supporters he is good, but that simply isn't leadership.

    The thing is, if you raise the anchor and start the motors of a ship, the ship will surely go somewhere even if nobody is at the helm. It will likely run aground somewhere (if nobody mans the rudder before it happens), but what that somewhere is, who knows.

    That's your Trump presidency. The captain can stay at his quarters and tweet with his phone, you know.

    B2Q47FTCKUI6VC5HMJAQ5XUMOY.jpg
  • tim wood
    5k
    Just for the heck of it. I find consistency. Along with your ship that always goes somewhere, gun instruction tells us that the bullet (itself) never misses. But Trump never seems to miss; that is, his efforts seem non-randomly incident on certain targets in certain ways. Do you attribute that to his marksmanship? Incompetence, it seems to me, could not be so accurate. But Trump isn't that skilled. So who drives him? I think several things. I suspect Russian influence near the top. For more local outrages, there's the synergy of a lot of very bad people. But if Russian hands aren't on the srings somewhere, I'm very surprised. Of course a master like Putin may have decided, once he set this in motion, that letting it play out as his best course to take. In short, I think Vlad's got tape and a paper and financial trial, and has let his desires be known. You?
  • NOS4A2
    3.6k


    That's your Trump presidency. The captain can stay at his quarters and tweet with his phone, you know.

    He can whip up the hostile press while running the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Pretty amazing. One cannot say that about anyone else. But that’s what we should expect of a man of enterprise, as opposed to a lifelong politician and lawyer.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.