Sometimes two people watching the same video see it as supporting opposite points of view. We seem to be quick to pick up on elements that support our biases but sometimes miss elements that can be interpreted to oppose them. This is a phenomenon I have written on before. Recently, I encountered another example.
I recently read Create Your Own Economy by Tyler Cowen. It is an interesting book touching on many subjects, including how the internet might be changing the culture, and on the neurological roots of aesthetic opinions. In it are two interesting quotes about autism-spectrum disorders on page thirty-three.
After every election, the questions I usually hear from half of the electorate are: What is wrong with people? How can there be so many idiots? With everything that was going on, how was it not a landslide? There is a lot of mystery not only of what drives voting behavior, but how people think in the most basic ways. There is a huge lack of understanding between different groups of people. Not only do people not understand why more people don’t think like them, they find time and time again that predictions based on how they think others think are spectacularly wrong. The truth is none of us even knows how others think, let alone why. Unfortunately, I’m still working on the answers myself, but in this post I describe several theories I have heard. Discussing them ought to help point us in the right direction.
Sometimes the arguments people make cut both ways. What is especially amusing is when they seem completely oblivious to the irony of it.
I have a question today that I think boils down into the simplest terms most of the issues we face as a nation this century. To explain, I will use an analogy.
During the Republican primary of 2007, shortly before Christmas, candidate Mike Huckabee released what on the surface appeared to be a campaign ad.
I have long heard people of all political persuasions decry the increase of sex and violence in the entertainment media, openly wondering if it was changing us for the worse. It seems to be one of the few bipartisan issues.
Everybody is talking about the new soda rules in New York. It seems you are no longer allowed to serve sodas of more than sixteen ounces, though you may serve more than one soda at a time. The reported aim of this rule is to decrease soda consumption, which theoretically will decrease the incidence of certain health problems. Unfortunately, I believe this rule will actually cause an increase in consumption.
One thing I have long had a hard time understanding is how two people of differing political persuasion can look at the same article and find it supporting their own point of view. Sometimes pundits that seem to clearly lean one way are accused of leaning the other way by others. When it comes to comedy, where the message is less explicit, and nothing is to be taken literally, this phenomenon is even more pronounced.
A few weeks ago I heard yet another way to classify people as either liberal or conservative. The person I was listening to said that liberals are those who worry too much what others think about their actions, whereas conservatives are those that do what needs to be done no matter how upset people get.
It has been asked why liberals are angrier than conservatives. I’m not sure if the premise of the question is completely true, but conservatives have been quick to offer up theories.
Sometimes the theories people come up with to explain how others think only leaves me with more questions than before.
Check it out.
I wasn’t aware of any disagreement between my peers. I thought that everyone had the same sense of fairness; it was just that some people were jerks or bullies. Even if there may have been some disagreement over what our rights were, I assumed that everyone knew what a “right” was. Then I grew up and was exposed to the world of politics.
“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” Barack Obama once said about John McCain’s policies, claiming they were basically the same old Republican ideas just dressed up to look new and centrist. Could he also have been hinting about the way McCain “dressed up” his campaign by choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate? It’s not necessarily wrong to think so, but does that mean that Obama was also calling Palin a pig?
I recently read this article about why simply properly informing the misinformed often backfires, leaving things in a worse state than before.
According to this article, partisanship sells. This makes me wonder; to promote civility movements (like this blog), should we form a new party just as partisan as the ones we already have? Can non-partisanship be a partisan issue?
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.