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> On The Spectrum, We all are?
Julian
post Sep 11 2018, 05:43 PM
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OK this isn't really political debate at all, hence putting it here.

This has been chafing at me for a while, but I've ruminated on it long enough and want to run it past some people who aren't going to immediately chew me out (like pretty much any other debate or news website, or Twitter) or just leave an emoticon and an inane comment that amounts to little more than "Hi!" (Facebook).

My wife Liz (yes, we got married!) has recently changed jobs from being a mainstream secondary teacher (equivalent of US high school/lower levels of college; she was teaching 11-18 year olds) to being a special needs teacher for the same age group, for kids with 'mild' learning disabilities which means they at about the same level as 5-6 year olds, academically.

There's a lot of talk about such-and-such kid being 'on the spectrum', almost always meaning Autistic Spectrum Disorders*, which neither of us really understood beyond the ken of an interested lay person who takes some kind of interest. At one 'end' of the spectrum, you get almost no learning disability at all.

*Interestingly enough, the occasions where we've heard it used outside that is in (usually good-natured) pejoratives like "oh, don't pay attention to <insert name of foolish work colleague>, he's on the spectrum", usually followed by a half-hearted snigger. Presumably, language creep being what it is, we're about 40-50 years away from being forbidden to use the term because of how much offence will be taken... but I digress. (Nothing new there.)

Another discussion I had was with regard to dyslexia. People talked about having degrees of dyslexia, on a spectrum, from some who occasionally mistook 'b' for 'd' or 'p' for 'q' etc., to those who got migraines at the mere sight of printed text and couldn't make out anything recognisable. I chipped in to say that I didn't think there was a 'DYSlexia' spectrum at all, or if there was, it was merely a small span of a much wider one (in the same way we only see a small window of the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum, as light). I reckoned that 'dyslexics' were at one end of this 'LEXIA' (i.e. reading and writing) spectrum and, digging out memories of schoolboy Greek, that there must be people at the other end who we might call 'EUlexic' who found reading and writing very easy and enjoyable.

That got a fair bit of agreement; dyslexic people liked the idea of being included in the human race again, and people at the 'other end' thought that it was quite good to have a name for themselves.

So I got to thinking, what if pretty much every human parameter is like that? It's a long-standing truth (a truism, maybe) that physical characteristics follow a 'normal' or 'Gaussian' distribution - the so-called 'bell curve' - where most people are around the mean, 68% of everyone is within two standard deviations of the mean, and it's more or less symmetrical. So there are about as many very very tall people as there are very very short ones, but most of us are within about five inches either way of being average height. Hardly anyone is more than 12 inches higher or lower than average. If the mean male height is 5'10", there aren't many adult men at all that are 4'10" or below, or 6'10" or above, but almost every adult you or I know is between 5'5" and 6'5". The same goes for women within 8 inches either way of 5'5".

Fairly uncontroversial. The same is true for most other physical parameters (with the notable exception of weigh, where there doesn't seem to be any upper limit, so i'ts more of a Poisson curve, like income). It's also the traditional way of expressing and measuring IQ.

So why does the autism spectrum get sectioned off all by itself? If the characterising features to be on it are disorders of verbal and non-verbal communication, and social interactivity (I know it's more complex than that, but bear with me) then surely they are all just at one end of the verbal & non-verbal communication & social interactivity spectrum, with 'normal' or 'neurotypical' people in the middle and, at the other end.

Logically, there is another group of people at the other end of the bell curve who are much better than average at verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction, no? To the point where it might even become a pathology - people who cannot function on their own, without any interaction, for more than a short period, or whose incessant reading of actual intentions and real meanings into even the most casual conversation annoys or disturbs people closer to the middle of this particular spectrum?

Learned skills don't work - that comes down to practice as much as aptitude - though aptitude itself, and willingness to practice, may be 'spectra' of their own.

Politics itself is like this; maybe with more than just one parameter, but certainly I can envisage a left-right distribution and an authoritarian/libertarian distribution. Maybe also a bell curve with 'likes to hang out exclusively with people like them, and deeply dislikes people who are not like them' and 'likes to hang out exclusively with people unlike them, and deeply dislikes people who are like them'. Most people will be somewhere in the middle most of the time on most issues.

It strikes me that it's useful in psychiatric practice to define things as disorders (practitioners get paid to treat or cure disorders, after all); hence the DSM in its successive editions. It's also human nature to use generalisations and patterns to make sense of the world, which drives (among other things) the urge to classify people. It's easier than actually talking to them, after all...

Am I barking up the wrong tree here? If so, how should I think about it instead, and why?


BONUS QUESTION:
Is the problem with politics that the people within two standard deviations of the mean have no voice in the current discourse, and or no interest in it?











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Hobbes
post Sep 11 2018, 07:00 PM
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Good topic!

The short answer to your bonus question, I think, is that the political spectrums are not a typical bell curve anymore. They are skewed towards the extremes, and narrower. Making the distinction, and probably even more importantly the perceived distinction, between the groups more pronounced. This would create a greater sense of 'you're one of them' if you're not in their more narrow band.

Creating the problem shown in this video:

As for dyslexia, I was part of a group at college that delt with people with any sort of disability, which included people with dyslexia. There was indeed quite an extreme...one of the reasons so many with it were never diagnosed. I would imagine autism is very similar.

Not to belittle it, but think of how we view 'crazy' people. You can be a little bit crazy (quirky?), or you can be totally nuts, and likely many places in between.
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AuthorMusician
post Sep 11 2018, 08:24 PM
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Am I barking up the wrong tree here? If so, how should I think about it instead, and why?

Statistically speaking, bell curves rarely exist in actual sets of data. There's usually skewing going on that makes the curves look distinctively not like a bell shape.

Another thing to consider are the influences of things that the research has not measured but still effect the distribution.

In computer science the use of stats goes only so far due to the many things happening at once in our present systems/networks. Modeling works better to figure out, most commonly, what went wrong. Next in line would be when do we have to upgrade? Performance and capacity are the two big issues. The former seeks out root causes, while the other tries to identify trends.

Computer systems/networks are far less complex than human beings living within societies that are somehow governed. My only caution about using stats for understanding humans is that the math is inherently too simple. Conclusions based on stats should always be treated as just one step above guesswork -- puzzle pieces, not the whole thing.

BONUS QUESTION:
Is the problem with politics that the people within two standard deviations of the mean have no voice in the current discourse, and or no interest in it?


I would expect this group to actually have more influence in democratic republics, since membership would be more common. But then you have the skewing, and what's up with that? Why is there skewing -- what else is impacting the distribution?

For example, say an electorate abruptly moves from point A to point Z. What caused that movement? Well, maybe they just got tired of the same old stuff. Or maybe they got all hopeful over something(s). Could have been natural or man-made disasters. Maybe a particular candidate got more breaks, had fewer discovered faults, said something that stuck . . . and just what was going on with the cast bones, chicken guts, tea leaves, planets, that damned butterfly flapping its wings in China?

Anyway, complex systems aren't very good subjects for statistical analyses, mostly because too much is happening/interacting at any particular moment -- and it all changes in what appears to be a chaotic fashion. Chaos math tries to explain what complex systems are and predict what they'll do, but even that can't be depended upon all the time. Look at how a relatively simple system as a hurricane has so many routes predicted from modeling, which probably includes chaos math in the engine.

And then there's all that stuff we don't know, some of which we might never discover.

So . . . we muddle through the best we can, eh?
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Julian
post Sep 12 2018, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Sep 11 2018, 08:00 PM) *
Good topic!

The short answer to your bonus question, I think, is that the political spectrums are not a typical bell curve anymore. They are skewed towards the extremes, and narrower. Making the distinction, and probably even more importantly the perceived distinction, between the groups more pronounced. This would create a greater sense of 'you're one of them' if you're not in their more narrow band.

Creating the problem shown in this video:

As for dyslexia, I was part of a group at college that delt with people with any sort of disability, which included people with dyslexia. There was indeed quite an extreme...one of the reasons so many with it were never diagnosed. I would imagine autism is very similar.

Not to belittle it, but think of how we view 'crazy' people. You can be a little bit crazy (quirky?), or you can be totally nuts, and likely many places in between.


I both disagree and agree. I think that 40+ years of modern media coverage, which is human and therefore tends to be lazy, attempts balance by presenting two opposing views and letting them argue the toss. This is only amplified and accelerated within the internet and social media, since another human trait is confirmation bias, so people seek media outlets that fit and reinforce their existing worldview. (Just as they always did with Ye Olde Worlde Newspaperes...)

'Balance' itself is un-tethered because big business owns the media and scents a dollar in skewing coverage. Skewed coverage skews the debate, and the Johari window moves towards the extremes (with a distinct rightward or leftward bias, depending on the outlet. In the UK it has been mostly rightward, but not entirely.) When the coverage is at the other end of the spectrum to yourself, not only does it not reinforce your worldview, but your worldview doesn't let you accept anything it says or does, and you can get away with calling it 'Fake News' when it is, for the most part, just telling you things you don't want to hear.

Where I disagree, is that I think the people in the middle are still there. They just don't bring in ratings, they don't really participate at all, except maybe at election time (and sometimes not even then). Nobody they see or hear puts forward a view that could say it was ok to have free markets AND stiff regulations, freedom of speech AND limits on what can legally be said (the famous 'yelling fire in a crowded theatre'), the right to bear arms AND the right not to HAVE to bear them and the right to expect that people bearing them legally are sane, etc. Because they don't hear that anywhere, they stop believing it's possible and watch American Idol instead. Politics becomes something that is non-participatory, something done to them by the enthusiasts on the extremes.

In truth it probably has always been that way, but we did have a run of a couple of centuries where the drift was in the other direction, and it would be lovely to think that someday some kind of consensus and shared endeavour could return.

Maybe not just yet, though, it seems...
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Sep 13 2018, 12:52 PM
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Yes, I think most people are "on the spectrum" and most are toward the middle.
But mundane things don't tend to make anyone's radar. Crime didn't happen is a daily event that gets no coverage. This is true of pretty much everything related to media and social media.
To make the point I'll use a non-political example that came to mind recently:

The garbage company. Yes, the garbage company.
I just moved and I love this garbage company.
They take a little truck up these rural mountain roads and I’m able to pack up to 30 bags of junk and set it out and they’ll pick it up once a week.
Also, they’ll haul large stuff I just have to pay them extra.
I got on the page for the garbage company and it’s all complaints and low ratings.

So my internal monologue was something like this:
QUOTE(internal monologue)
I’m going to write a nice letter and give them 5 stars!
This is the problem with the internet!!
People are very squawky with complaints, but if something works as it should there’s crickets.
Makes it seem like everything sucks.
I have to admit, I never think about my toilet bowl either….
until it doesn’t work.
Then I think about it a lot...

So, let’s hear it for those mountain garbage guys!
Without them, we’d be swimming in our own filth!
I’m going to write a nice note right now…
er, unless I don’t have time or forget about it….
pretty busy at the moment actually…
maybe later….


(still haven't got to writing that letter)
Discussion takes thought and time, and unless one is very het up about something they're unlikely to get the word out.
So, we're left with the het up groups.
Everyone else is just going about their day to day business.

Just to add,
Imagine a world where every time you said something in anger it was recorded for all time, but most of the good times weren't.
Over the years, reading back, it would look like a very angry life.

That's the modern day, social media equivalent of political dialogue in a nutshell, basically.
No wonder it appears the outliers are running things...those are the voices we hear and read about.
And what we are surrounded by, we become.
Humans are natural mimics.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Sep 13 2018, 12:53 PM
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droop224
post Sep 14 2018, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Sep 11 2018, 01:00 PM) *
Good topic!

The short answer to your bonus question, I think, is that the political spectrums are not a typical bell curve anymore. They are skewed towards the extremes, and narrower. Making the distinction, and probably even more importantly the perceived distinction, between the groups more pronounced. This would create a greater sense of 'you're one of them' if you're not in their more narrow band.

Creating the problem shown in this video:

As for dyslexia, I was part of a group at college that delt with people with any sort of disability, which included people with dyslexia. There was indeed quite an extreme...one of the reasons so many with it were never diagnosed. I would imagine autism is very similar.

Not to belittle it, but think of how we view 'crazy' people. You can be a little bit crazy (quirky?), or you can be totally nuts, and likely many places in between.

LOL Your not going to believe this Hobbes but I'm the "White guy" in that video with my co-workers. I know... "no way". I stray away from political sides in work debates because the level of miseducation is vast. You spend more time just getting facts straight just to assert an opinion. So plenty of people have accused me of being a Trump supporter... me.. Droop. w00t.gif If only they knew huh. Which brings me to the bonus question.

Is the problem with politics that the people within two standard deviations of the mean have no voice in the current discourse, and or no interest in it?

The problem is a lack of education. I'm not sure about British Public education, but take a look at one of the counties in America for High School requirements\

[/size]Subject Area

Specific Credit Requirements

Maryland high school assessments

English

4 credits

Students must meet the Maryland State Department of Education’s end of course requirements.

Mathematics

*see statement below

4 credits

  • • 1 in algebra/data analysis
  • • 1 in geometry
  • • 2 other
Science

Entered HS 2012-2016

3 credits

  • • 1 in biology
  • 2 that must include laboratory experience in any or all of the following areas: earth science, life science, physical science
Entered HS 2017 and beyond

3 Credits of NGSS* Science

  • • Life Science
  • • Physical Science
  • • Earth Science
Social Studies

3 credits

  • • 1 in U.S. history
  • • 1 in local, state, national government
  • • 1 in world history
Other Requirements

Fine Arts

1 credit

Physical Education

½ credit

Health

½ credit

Technology Education

1 credit

Financial Literacy

[size="2"]½ credit

In a Capitalist society, in a Democratic republic, what field of studies do you think would be necessary to get you in a position to thrive, not just function in society. Geometry? Earth Science? Four freaking years of your native language?!?! We currently have a President that speaks at a 4th grade level. His predecessor spoke at a 9/10th grade and everyone told him how eloquent he was. School requirements differ from county to county from State to State. But the bottom line is the same.

Asking a populace to be informed about the nuances of politics, political history, the various possibilities off how we can use government. After one year or 1/2 a semester of Civics Class is as likely to make you educated on politics as half a semester of Health Class equips you to understand modern medicine. You are in a capitalist society and the majority of the populist doesn't have financial literacy. We are in a democratic society where most of the populist doesn't have political literacy.

We make ALL this education mandatory, but the most important and critical things we need to teach our children... voluntary. "That's up to the individual ... hahaha" I mean it so important that you don't use the word "then" when you should use the word "than"! Have you not found a use for knowing the Sine or Cosine of a triangle yet in your adult life?!? I know i have.... not. (sarcasm) I don't want to go off on a "tangent" (clever)... again What happens when you are undereducated or mis-educated on any topic? Well how better to capitalize on your fellow man?

Well next thing you know... You don't understand the different political philosophies, you're getting your political arguments from PragerU! You don't understand money so you are in massive debt. More than half the country think "oh that individual fault" because their not educated on all the social engineering and how it works.

Its like the prison system and justice system in America. Sometimes i ask myself is it really broken if it is working how it is supposed to? You can ask yourself the same question when it comes to politics. We are supposed to be uninterested. We are supposed to lack a voice in our discourse. But both of those just come from a lack of education.

QUOTE(Julian)
It strikes me that it's useful in psychiatric practice to define things as disorders (practitioners get paid to treat or cure disorders, after all); hence the DSM in its successive editions. It's also human nature to use generalisations and patterns to make sense of the world, which drives (among other things) the urge to classify people. It's easier than actually talking to them, after all...

Am I barking up the wrong tree here? If so, how should I think about it instead, and why?


Well, i can't tell what tree you are barking up. The money tree, I think... If so, I agree. Only problem... people always seem to bark up the 100k money tree of people trying to make a living and seem to ignore that multi-million\billion dollar money tree. If you categorize them.. you get to drug'em.











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Hobbes
post Sep 15 2018, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Sep 14 2018, 11:31 AM) *
[
LOL Your not going to believe this Hobbes but I'm the "White guy" in that video with my co-workers. I know... "no way". I stray away from political sides in work debates because the level of miseducation is vast. You spend more time just getting facts straight just to assert an opinion. So plenty of people have accused me of being a Trump supporter... me.. Droop. w00t.gif If only they knew huh. Which brings me to the bonus question.


Hey, droop, actually I DO find that believable, and yes very funny!

QUOTE
The problem is a lack of education.... Asking a populace to be informed about the nuances of politics, political history, the various possibilities off how we can use government. After one year or 1/2 a semester of Civics Class is as likely to make you educated on politics as half a semester of Health Class equips you to understand modern medicine. You are in a capitalist society and the majority of the populist doesn't have financial literacy. We are in a democratic society where most of the populist doesn't have political literacy.


Yes, this is mostly true. People often don't want to be politically educated (cognitive dissonance...and it's just easier), and politicians really don't want to change that. It's much easier to manipulate ill informed people.

My daughter is studying political science in college. She's entering her junior year. I was surprised to hear that they really hadn't studied the past Presidential election. I get that actually having a course on that is probably too soon, but, wow...you'd think there would be all sorts of examples of whatever they were studying that came out in that election.

She is pretty liberal. Some of my friends are surprised that I haven't 'set her right'. But she seems to have thought about why she has the positions she has, and can back them up in a discussion, and that's really all I want her to be able to do. So many people can't do that. And if she's thought about something, and decided that the liberal perspective fits her concept of things better...that's fine. I never wanted to 'indoctrinate' her any more than I would have wanted someone to indoctrinate her in more liberal views. If only more people really thought about their positions, we'd all be better off...regardless of what conclusions they came to.

This does get to the issue I have with the media, though. Rather than provide objective information for people to base their own decisions on, most of it is based on one perspective or another, and relays the 'news' that fits that perspective. I get how this probably is more profitable, but it does NOT fit the role of the media in our democracy. They are supposed to either be objective relayers of news, or offer views that might run counter to common opinion, to get people to think about things. That genie isn't going to go back in the bottle, so that puts even more of an onus on the populace to educate themselves. With all the misinformation out there, this is harder and harder to do. Which, I think, makes things more and more polarized, especially if (as) those in the middle get treated like the guy in the video more often.
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AuthorMusician
post Sep 15 2018, 09:18 AM
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Seems to me that it's pretty darn hard to determine what most people think, do, are. The problem has to do with population sizes, where it's just physically impossible to sample each and every member of a large population.

Another problem has to do with human beings, and that's inherent subjectivity. We all are at the centers of our universes, so what person A experiences is different from person B. Even when an experience is objectively the same, interpretations of that experience differ.

In poly sci, this has been obvious since the days of ancient Greece and probably long before.

Another part has to do with certain truths being relearned with each generation because archetype memory (Jung), if it indeed exists, isn't very detailed or even accurate. That leaves writing and reading to move information from one generation to another, along with storytelling, all of which has subjectivity shot through and through. Mathematics has a lot less subjectivity, which has enabled humans to advance in technology if not wisdom.

We can fly to the Moon, but our reasons for doing so might be questionable or downright evil.

Anyway, if it's a matter of being heard within a large population, then there are ways of dealing with that. What did labor do to be heard? What did women do? Minorities? How about rich people with unsung ideas? There are a lot of strategies that can be used to be heard and a lot of history to study on the subject.

Related to this is how to get rich while pushing XYZ set of ideas. Seems to have been a popular means to the end in the 20th century and what has unfolded in the 21st.

Regarding social media, it has become a big deal for some pundits trying to gain and/or maintain their wealth. I suppose it's a medium that's here to stay, but I doubt it's going to be that important once the novelty wears off.

Take for instance product/service reviews -- people have become skeptical of them because of so much shilling going on or attacking. Seems that some are getting good at spotting the shills and attacks, and I expect it to go like TV ads went: still useful, just not so much.

Meanwhile, it's obvious that even getting people to vote is a big undertaking. So those with voices are often not interested in saying anything. Well, except for complaining about stuff.
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CruisingRam
post Sep 17 2018, 03:33 AM
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Julian- funny you should bring this up. I worked in a psych hospital for 25 years, or rather, two in two different US states. Autism and dyslexia have become popular in the lexicon of US health system during that time. I am surprised to see you dealing with this in the UK, because the real change was really for US health insurance. I worked on the adolescent unit of the hospital when this came about, can't remember if it was the DSMR IV or V. There was little to no change in treatment of those kids during that time that were suddenly labeled "autistic" but there was a brand new billing code!


So it became a catch all for diagnosis of a huge range of mental issues lumped into one thing "Autism". Before that, maladaptive coping mechanism, schizoaffective early adolescent onset etc stopping being used and it became "autism".

So it was more of a change in billing for me, as I was there when it happened.

So for me, I think you may be asking the wrong questions. You know, when someone says "is the glass half empty or half full"- I would answer "someone used the wrong size glass. thumbsup.gif

I think it is not about standard deviations in our political landscape, but the increase in population, the change in demographics, and the fear of losing power by the white majority in America.

Conservatism generally, anywhere in the world, is the power demographic clinging to power despite a changing society. There is no difference between the ideology of the Taliban or the US republican. They agree on 90% of issues. They both want to keep a certain type of culture as the dominant culture in thier society despite the will of the majority wanting something different, and will do pretty much anything to keep it. They use the tools at hand, in our case, social media, Faux news etc.

The "MSM" here is just fine, thanks. Yeah, they may have slant and bias, can't get away from it, but it is not monolithic, and it has standards, The right wing media have no such standard, and, like shown with the Sinclair debacle, is monolithic.

And, to win, conservatives play to the deepest fears of the endangered demographic. In America, racists are all against Kaep "taking a knee" and are ready to do violence if they could get away with it. In Conservative Islamic circles, making fun of Mohamed creates the same reaction. In first world countries, there are some checks on that kind of behavior, though not always.

Mostly, I think that population pressures will increase extremism from conservatives globally. Conservatives in general don't do well with other large populations, as seen in the US. The population centers tend liberal, the more sparsely populated, the more conservative.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Sep 17 2018, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Sep 16 2018, 10:33 PM) *
There is no difference between the ideology of the Taliban or the US republican.


See, this is an example of a person on the far end of the outrage spectrum.
I don't believe this is the norm though. Fortunately.

Definitely works to make the meter rise though, and is a very persuasive tactic (for the opposition).
For example, I am tempted to change my political affiliation to Republican as a response to this message.
I'm not really a Republican, but I don't want to identify with this.

It should be mentioned that up until the election, Trump was a Democrat.
Guess he caught that Taliban virus only a couple of years back. Up until then he was a great guy, being in the right tribe and all.

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Hobbes
post Sep 17 2018, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Sep 17 2018, 06:44 AM) *
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Sep 16 2018, 10:33 PM) *
There is no difference between the ideology of the Taliban or the US republican.


See, this is an example of a person on the far end of the outrage spectrum.
I don't believe this is the norm though. Fortunately.


I think you'd be surprised, Mrs. P. Very surprised. This is the prevalent view of those on the left. Has been for quite a while. And it extends beyond just the voters, into the media. Recall that there were prearranged comparisons with Hitler put forward in the MSM during Trump's inaugural address (ie, before he'd actually done anything warrarnting any comparison to Hitler,or anyone else). They wouldn't do this if first, they didn't believe it themselves and second, they didn't beleive it would resonate with the majority of their viewers.

I personally have found it present not just in the media but in any general discussion forum. It's why conservatives don't bother, for the most part, even engaging in discourse any more (or even liberals who actually have an objective view, but find themselves cast into the Trump supporter group simply because they are objective). It also shows a complete lack of awareness of the fact that they same claims could me made the other way.
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Trouble
post Sep 19 2018, 05:14 AM
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Am I barking up the wrong tree here? If so, how should I think about it instead, and why?

It sounds to me like you are over thinking it. However given the rise of the SJW phenomenon your observations of the mind's ability to group may be increasingly relevant with time.

At the risk of being a tad pedantic, if I had to take a stab as to why autism is classed out at the end of the spectrum. The symptoms likely it did not fit into a concise pathology back when it was classified by the psychiatric association. I mean the historical definition is all over the place. To myself autistic pathology seems to be treated like a specimen of a taxonomic-like path. Just like a specimen, as science advanced DNA reclassifications followed. I bet something similar will happen for autism. My belief is as science better understands the processes of the gut and its effects on hormone balance, autism and how the medical community approaches it will change as well. All you did was you notice a discrepancy. The point is Julian reclassification happens within the scientific community all the time.

BONUS QUESTION:
Is the problem with politics that the people within two standard deviations of the mean have no voice in the current discourse, and or no interest in it?


As I've stated with 'Net in the other thread, I'm affiliated with central political thoughts. If centralism is dropped faster than a bag of hammers one feels rather out of place. The question then becomes what changed? This can get rather philosophical in a hurry because the question is if you feel a change in the political weather as the two standard deviations people begin to outnumber you, and I suspect by posing the question you've felt it too Julian, is it wise to call for unity? What factor united people before and what factor is tearing them apart now?


I don't think it is a problem with politics so much as it is a problem with people. The further apart the views the more different the priorities become. If the priorities are too different the approaches to a common problem will vary as well. In a scientific sense, coming at a problem from a multitude of angles is probably a good thing. At the very least it would demonstrate careful consideration of the given problem.

But modern politics is about distillation. It is making sense out of the cacophony. It is about narrowing the demands into coherence and keeping the coherence as agreeable as possible for as wide array of people while holding the moment as long as one can. To bridge views which are completely different, one must walk the well traveled path of realpolitik. A political appointee will function as a referee with completely divergent groups. As much as it pains me to say this managing completely different priorities is less about what is right or best but more about what is possible. So we get into competitive carrot dangling which usually expands the state in some way as the state tries to be all things to all people.

I'm starting to think societies naturally bifurcate once they hit a particular size. To keep them together the state must engage more aggressively with micromanagwment which then expands the state etc. I don't think Libertarians on the whole fully grasp this. Every problem is taken in isolation and to be kept a full distance from the state. An overly distilled concept quickly finds its flaws once in reality.

Yet if we follow this line of thinking through the fact the state had to intervene in the first place suggests that local initiatives either can't or won't take responsibility for taking on a problem without Federal help. This is itself evidence of disassociation. In a highly populated world variation or two standard deviations from your view becomes ever more likely if the uniting factor begins to dissolve. Do you pathologize this realization or do you accept it as the new normal?

This post has been edited by Trouble: Sep 19 2018, 05:25 AM
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Hobbes
post Oct 5 2018, 05:01 PM
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Had a friend send me a chart indicating exactly what I had talked about above. The spectrum has indeed shifted. We seem so divided now...because we are.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 5 2018, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 5 2018, 12:01 PM) *
Had a friend send me a chart indicating exactly what I had talked about above. The spectrum has indeed shifted. We seem so divided now...because we are.


Since this is casual I'll just say. Daymn that is a sobering chart, Hobbes.
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 6 2018, 02:21 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 5 2018, 02:38 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 5 2018, 12:01 PM) *
Had a friend send me a chart indicating exactly what I had talked about above. The spectrum has indeed shifted. We seem so divided now...because we are.


Since this is casual I'll just say. Daymn that is a sobering chart, Hobbes.


Stats based on polling have problems, which I've written about earlier in this thread. However, there are other reasons I don't believe there's such a big, or more accurately, bigger split among conservative and liberal viewpoints:

1) It depends on how conservative and liberal are defined

2) It depends on how the polling was performed.

These two points become especially relevant when the stats are collected over several years. Were the polling techniques consistent, such as having very similar samples taken from the population under study, and has that population changed while being studied? Had the questions in the sampling changed?

I find it interesting how the Kavanaugh sex issue parallels Thomas. Looks almost exactly the same, and I'm expecting the outcome to be the same too, with Judge K getting his SCOTUS seat.

Vietnam split the country into hawks (conservative) and doves (liberal), so from my perspective of a boomer guy who was up for the draft in 1971, politics have always been split. It seems to me that finding this out now simply reflects how each generation has to make its own discoveries, and a lot of them are actually old news.

History shows this to be true. It's the human condition due to how we are born pretty ignorant, grow up with various indoctrination schemes, get skeptical along the way, maybe find some wisdom, and BANG! Death comes by to wipe that out.

So write stuff down, eh? Maybe write about stats? Sure, why not. Thing is though, there are a lot of better ways to figure out reality than the relatively simple math of statistics.

Politics is far too complex for statistics to describe, being that the math tends to fall apart when more than two variables are involved. Then the Black Swans show up, and people get entirely blindsided by what should not have happened.

So life remains unpredictable AND interesting. thumbsup.gif
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Hobbes
post Oct 13 2018, 05:40 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Oct 6 2018, 08:21 AM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 5 2018, 02:38 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 5 2018, 12:01 PM) *
Had a friend send me a chart indicating exactly what I had talked about above. The spectrum has indeed shifted. We seem so divided now...because we are.


Since this is casual I'll just say. Daymn that is a sobering chart, Hobbes.


Stats based on polling have problems, which I've written about earlier in this thread. However, there are other reasons I don't believe there's such a big, or more accurately, bigger split among conservative and liberal viewpoints:

1) It depends on how conservative and liberal are defined

2) It depends on how the polling was performed.



Yes, but if you look at the same polls, and see a trend, those issues mostly go away, because they are factored in throughout, and you're just left with the trend. They also go away if you look at multiple polls, as the biases are then balanced out.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Oct 13 2018, 05:41 PM
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