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  #1  
Old 09-11-2011, 01:38 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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  #2  
Old 09-11-2011, 01:42 AM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

John McWhorter and Glenn Loury each appearing twice in one week. Let this be a model for all weeks to come.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2011, 03:29 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
John McWhorter and Glenn Loury each appearing twice in one week. Let this be a model for all weeks to come.
Yeah, really. Even once a week would be good.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2011, 03:06 AM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

Glenn kinda thinking people are stupid

Is it really that hard to delineate between an experts knowledge base and personal preferences? I happen to value* James Hansens' opinion on the implications of the limitations of monte carlo simulations and the arakawa operator regarding climate models. I don't care at all what Hansens' thinks about the proposed keystone pipeline. Why is this a problem?

*but only a little!
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2011, 04:48 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
Glenn kinda thinking people are stupid

Is it really that hard to delineate between an experts knowledge base and personal preferences? I happen to value* James Hansens' opinion on the implications of the limitations of monte carlo simulations and the arakawa operator regarding climate models. I don't care at all what Hansens' thinks about the proposed keystone pipeline. Why is this a problem?

*but only a little!
Because when the man says 'its game over for the climate if the keystone pipeline is built', it makes everything he says suspect.
Not because he said something that seems ridiculous; many people can get away with that without raising significant suspicion about their statements in their area of expertise.
It's when the ridiculous statement is intimately connected with their area of expertise that makes one suspicious.
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2011, 05:07 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Because when the man says 'its game over for the climate if the keystone pipeline is built', it makes everything he says suspect.
Not because he said something that seems ridiculous; many people can get away with that without raising significant suspicion about their statements in their area of expertise.
It's when the ridiculous statement is intimately connected with their area of expertise that makes one suspicious.
The delineation I spoke of must be harder then I thought as you clearly aren't doing it. On the question of the climatological importance of the keystone pipeline, the main areas of relevant expertise does not include Climate Science. It's ...

Geophysics. Tar sands importance & by extension the proposed pipeline, in terms of how it could alter our carbon emissions profile, is tightly coupled with when conventional oil production peaks, how and if future conventional oil production grows pre-peak, & how steeply the conventional oil production curve falls post peak. If conventionally produced oil regains it's past abundance, or even if the ratio of importance between conventionally and unconventionally produced oil remains constant, then the importance of this proposed pipeline ranges from zero to small. Carbon emissions as a result of unconventionally produced oil will remain small (On a global scale). This is not intimately related to Hansens' expertise.

Economics and Politics. How elastic is oil to different pressures? If one envisions a future where the elasticity of oil to price increases is low and absent large increases in unconventional produced oil demand outstrips supply then this proposed pipeline, for the climate, doesn't matter. Absent state action people will still buy this oil. They will just do so at a higher price. If one envisions a future where the elasticity of oil is high in regard to fears of future impacts of consuming oil not rolled into today's prices then again this pipeline, with certain caveats mentioned in the next paragraph, doesn't matter. Higher emissions now will be compensated by lower emissions later forced by state actions. This is not intimately related to Hansens' expertise.

International trade and foreign relations. One example of state action would be a carbon tax. Business' relocating to other state's outside this carbon tax jurisdiction and then exporting to the original host country would hamper the efficacy of the carbon tax. A tariff system may be needed to be erected that's closely intertwined to other state's carbon emission profiles. Can international trade flourish aside such a system? Would the host country of this tariff system international standing be hurt such that intra-state relationships are soured so that other multinational joint efforts would be impeded? This is not intimately related to Hansens' expertise.

I could go on, but that should suffice for that point.

Finally; I disagree with Hansens on the importance of this pipeline. It is not a ridiculous statement though. There is alot of unconventional oil out there. More then enough to with a certain reasonable set of assumptions take humanity's cumulative carbon emissions far past the point that with another reasonable set of assumptions where societies start to collapse.
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2011, 05:30 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
The delineation I spoke of must be harder then I thought as you clearly aren't doing it. On the question of the climatological importance of the keystone pipeline, the main areas of relevant expertise does not include Climate Science. It's ...

Geophysics. Tar sands importance & by extension the proposed pipeline, in terms of how it could alter our carbon emissions profile, is tightly coupled with when conventional oil production peaks, how and if future conventional oil production grows pre-peak, & how steeply the conventional oil production curve falls post peak. If conventionally produced oil regains it's past abundance, or even if the ratio of importance between conventionally and unconventionally produced oil remains constant, then the importance of this proposed pipeline ranges from zero to small. Carbon emissions as a result of unconventionally produced oil will remain small (On a global scale). This is not intimately related to Hansens' expertise.
It sounds like the Canadians aren't waiting for peak oil.

You say that Hansen's predictions don't relate to his expertise? I thought he was talking about the amount of carbon which would be released into the atmosphere if the tar sands are exploited to their potential. This seems well within his area of expertise.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:19 AM
Hal Morris Hal Morris is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
It sounds like the Canadians aren't waiting for peak oil.

You say that Hansen's predictions don't relate to his expertise? I thought he was talking about the amount of carbon which would be released into the atmosphere if the tar sands are exploited to their potential. This seems well within his area of expertise.
So the question becomes "What is the potential for oil production of the tar sands?" - a question for a geologist, assuming anyone can really answer it. If you know that, probably anyone with a general science background willing to look some things up and do some computation could calculate the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Hansen's expertise, for those willing to grant it, would be in what happens subsequently after the carbon is released.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2011, 11:05 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn; The ultimate dirty elitist?

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Originally Posted by Hal Morris View Post
So the question becomes "What is the potential for oil production of the tar sands?" - a question for a geologist, assuming anyone can really answer it. If you know that, probably anyone with a general science background willing to look some things up and do some computation could calculate the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Hansen's expertise, for those willing to grant it, would be in what happens subsequently after the carbon is released.
point taken
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2011, 07:15 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Both of these guys are the best; I'm always glad to see either one of them.

Some points I want to comment on.



In my opinion, Paul Krugman is not the problem.

Most people are not reading Paul Krugman. The people who read him are not people who can be influenced either way by his tone; his audience are thinkers who are interested in the content he has to say.

The people who are influenced by tone, and that is most people who vote, particularly people in the middle who don't have much of an ideology, are influenced by the political tone in the popular culture. They hear people such as Bill Maher, Rosie Odonald, Jeneane Geroffalo, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Michael Moore, etc. and are alienated. There are characters on the right who do the same, but they are not as ubiquitous as people on the left in those areas where the people we are talking about happen to flip the channel to. People whose minds are up for grabs are not listening to AM radio and hearing Limbaugh; they are flipping over to HBO just in time to hear Bill Maher ranting again about how stupid Americans are to audience applause and a panel of degenerates saying weird stuff like how they'd like to hate-f*ck Michelle Bachman--to more cheers. They are flipping through channels and stopping on the entertainment news channel to listen the latest gossip on their favorite movie star just in time to hear another drug addled rock star who has been in out of rehab 17 times talking about how GWB is 'the biggest terrorist in the world'.


Arrogant experts versus ignorant masses

Glenns exposition on experts versus the masses is excellent. This depth of thinking is the reason I come to this site. I want to make a point that is a little bit beside the point Glenn was making, but I think it's still connected. The point he does make is excellent and I have no further comment on it except to say he is right on target. Except I think he is a little off when he juxtaposes the expert community against the masses. Actually, the masses respect experts and do not regard them with suspicion. The only people they regard with suspicion are those who come to them saying "I'm right, you're wrong, and I have the experts on my side".

This is why Perry doesn't say "The experts (Scientists) are wrong about this". He knows this wouldn't fly with anyone. What he says is "We have some experts on our side as well". Thats all he needs. For the other side to say "But we have more experts on our side" only makes the experts on Perry's side more interesting, perhaps underdogs even. Everyone likes underdogs, particularly if they are perceived to be subject to unfair treatment by the refs in the MSM who act as if what they have to say doesn't matter.

This dilemma is compounded when Perry and others are treated with contempt because they don't go with the 'consensus'. Americans may be stupid in some ways--but in some ways they aren't; they know those minority of scientists who aren't part of the consensus are experts as well. They figure if an expert can go against the consensus and still be an expert then surely a non-expert shouldn't feel any shame in doing so as well. To call them stupid is to call the experts on their side stupid -- and only an idiot would call an expert stupid instead of simply disagreeing with them. Particularly when the idiot calling the expert stupid is not themselves an expert.

This why those who truly take an alarmist view of climate change will NOT see people like Perry as the biggest threat to their cause. They will see people who use climate change as a political issue to paint Republicans as idiots, anti-science, etc. as the biggest threat to their cause.



Tax credits for vets in combat

I had a little difficulty understanding this one.
Preferring vets in the job queue may not be 'obviously correct' in the sense that it would be incorrect to not do it, but it is certainly 'morally defensible.'

I strongly disagree that the monetary payments and health benefits we give Vets in combat are compensation for putting their life on the line. There is no compensation for that. We pay them because they and their families need food, shelter, etc. They are not mercenaries. They are patriots fighting for their country.

We don't have to subsidize their preferential treatment in hiring in order to honor them. And if he is saying that doing so in some way denigrates their service by equating material benefit with honor, then I see his point.

But he seems to be saying that it is inappropriate to honor them in a way that shows them preference over those who don't serve because they've already been paid, and this just amounts to discrimination. I find that rather disagreeable.

Last edited by whburgess; 09-11-2011 at 07:51 AM..
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  #11  
Old 09-11-2011, 11:11 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Quote:
Quoting whburgess: The people who are influenced by tone, and that is most people who vote, particularly people in the middle who don't have much of an ideology, are influenced by the political tone in the popular culture. They hear people such as Bill Maher, Rosie Odonald, Jeneane Geroffalo, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Michael Moore, etc. and are alienated.
I Haven't listened to the diavlog yet but I would say that not everyone is alienated by the people you mention. Besides that, is alienated really the word you were looking for. I think some people are encouraged by the courage (or what they perceive to the the courage) of people like that, telling it like it is, speaking truth to power.

On the other hand I think there are people who are nauseated.

Quote:
There are characters on the right who do the same, but they are not as ubiquitous as people on the left in those areas where the people we are talking about happen to flip the channel to. People whose minds are up for grabs are not listening to AM radio and hearing Limbaugh; they are flipping over to HBO just in time to hear Bill Maher ranting again about how stupid Americans are to audience applause and a panel of degenerates saying weird stuff like how they'd like to hate-f*ck Michelle Bachman--to more cheers. They are flipping through channels and stopping on the entertainment news channel to listen the latest gossip on their favorite movie star just in time to hear another drug addled rock star who has been in out of rehab 17 times talking about how GWB is 'the biggest terrorist in the world'.
Now I'm getting really confused. Who are the viewers in this case? You seem to be talking about the undecideds and you think they are being influenced by snarky types like Maher? They come for the humor. They leave with a stomach ache.


Quote:
This is why Perry doesn't say "The experts (Scientists) are wrong about this". He knows this wouldn't fly with anyone. What he says is "We have some experts on our side as well". Thats all he needs. For the other side to say "But we have more experts on our side" only makes the experts on Perry's side more interesting, perhaps underdogs even. Everyone likes underdogs, particularly if they are perceived to be subject to unfair treatment by the refs in the MSM who act as if what they have to say doesn't matter.
Did anyone ever say the scientists are wrong? It seems the most skeptical thing folks have been saying is that the scientists haven't looked at everything before they have made their alarmist pronouncements. Perry needs to become far more versed in this. He needs to understand at a layman's level where the controversy lies.This is going to come up time and again.

Quote:
This dilemma is compounded when Perry and others are treated with contempt because they don't go with the 'consensus'. Americans may be stupid in some ways--but in some ways they aren't; they know those minority of scientists who aren't part of the consensus are experts as well. They figure if an expert can go against the consensus and still be an expert then surely a non-expert shouldn't feel any shame in doing so as well. To call them stupid is to call the experts on their side stupid -- and only an idiot would call an expert stupid instead of simply disagreeing with them. Particularly when the idiot calling the expert stupid is not themselves an expert.
I would say that there are not as few as you seem to think. Besides the terms of the argument are so vague as to be almost meaningless. There is nothing sophisticated in the questions which were posed that yielded the results of the 97% survey and yet they have been repeated and repeated as though they are written on stone tablets.

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
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Last edited by badhatharry; 09-11-2011 at 11:36 AM..
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  #12  
Old 09-11-2011, 04:06 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I Haven't listened to the diavlog yet but I would say that not everyone is alienated by the people you mention. Besides that, is alienated really the word you were looking for. I think some people are encouraged by the courage (or what they perceive to the the courage) of people like that, telling it like it is, speaking truth to power.

On the other hand I think there are people who are nauseated.

Now I'm getting really confused. Who are the viewers in this case? You seem to be talking about the undecideds and you think they are being influenced by snarky types like Maher? They come for the humor. They leave with a stomach ache.
I should have been more clear. Hopefully folks who have listened to the diavlog will understand who I am talking about. They were talking about arrogant liberals turning people off with their attitudes.

Quote:
Did anyone ever say the scientists are wrong? It seems the most skeptical thing folks have been saying is that the scientists haven't looked at everything before they have made their alarmist pronouncements. Perry needs to become far more versed in this. He needs to understand at a layman's level where the controversy lies.This is going to come up time and again.
I agree he needs to frame the controversy better. I'd say he needs to say something like "Climate Change has always happened, no one is disputing that, what is under dispute by scientists is the level to which human beings are contributing to it and whether we should be so alarmed by it as to destroy the economy over it"

Quote:
I would say that there are not as few as you seem to think. Besides the terms of the argument are so vague as to be almost meaningless. There is nothing sophisticated in the questions which were posed that yielded the results of the 97% survey and yet they have been repeated and repeated as though they are written on stone tablets.

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
Interesting. I don't think Perry needs to get to far in the weeds on this. I don't think politicians are winning when they are trying to explain themselves.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:22 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Interesting. I don't think Perry needs to get to far in the weeds on this. I don't think politicians are winning when they are trying to explain themselves.
I guess the best they can do is avoid stepping in it with a stupid soundbite.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:52 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Tax credits for vets in combat

I had a little difficulty understanding this one.
Preferring vets in the job queue may not be 'obviously correct' in the sense that it would be incorrect to not do it, but it is certainly 'morally defensible.'
arguments on both sides, sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
I strongly disagree that the monetary payments and health benefits we give Vets in combat are compensation for putting their life on the line. There is no compensation for that. We pay them because they and their families need food, shelter, etc. They are not mercenaries. They are patriots fighting for their country.
if we are not paying them for doing their job, then why doesn't every patriotic american get the exact same pay and benefits from their patriotism? socialism for all self-identified patriots? "we pay them because they need food..."


Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
We don't have to subsidize their preferential treatment in hiring in order to honor them.
we agree here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
But he seems to be saying that it is inappropriate to honor them in a way that shows them preference over those who don't serve because they've already been paid, and this just amounts to discrimination. I find that rather disagreeable.
why? you just said above that we don't have to subsidize preferential hiring. If service is about becoming a "first class citizen" that has all the opportunities while the dregs are left for the rest of the country, then yes, service will have been uncoupled from honor and patriotism.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:21 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
if we are not paying them for doing their job, then why doesn't every patriotic american get the exact same pay and benefits from their patriotism? socialism for all self-identified patriots? "we pay them because they need food..."
There is a substantial difference between simply being patriotic and actually serving in the military. I'm a little surprised that would have to be pointed out to anyone.

Quote:
why? you just said above that we don't have to subsidize preferential hiring. If service is about becoming a "first class citizen" that has all the opportunities while the dregs are left for the rest of the country, then yes, service will have been uncoupled from honor and patriotism.
Subsidizing the preferential hiring of combat vets does not make them a first class citizen, their service to their country did that; risking their lives in combat is what makes them first class citizens. This program would simply recognize their status and is another way we say 'Thanks'.

Recognizing that we can say thanks without doing this does not make doing it inappropriate.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:13 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
There is a substantial difference between simply being patriotic and actually serving in the military. I'm a little surprised that would have to be pointed out to anyone.
I'm a little surprised that you take my words completely out of context to try and score a cheap point. you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
I strongly disagree that the monetary payments and health benefits we give Vets in combat are compensation for putting their life on the line. There is no compensation for that. We pay them because they and their families need food, shelter, etc.
clearly they are in fact being compensated for their service - and not "because they and their families need food, shelter, etc.", because if that were the case you would be supporting providing these benefits to anyone with a family that, you know, gets hungry and wants shelter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Subsidizing the preferential hiring of combat vets does not make them a first class citizen, their service to their country did that;
your military fetishism is a bit disgusting. I think all americans are equal citizens. some are not more equal than others, regardless of whether they are willing to kill people half-way around the world.


Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Recognizing that we can say thanks without doing this does not make doing it inappropriate.
what makes it inappropriate is that we are all equal as citizens and making laws to discriminate for or against certain classes is anti-american by its nature.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:11 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
I'm a little surprised that you take my words completely out of context to try and score a cheap point. you said:

clearly they are in fact being compensated for their service - and not "because they and their families need food, shelter, etc.", because if that were the case you would be supporting providing these benefits to anyone with a family that, you know, gets hungry and wants shelter.
I wasn't trying to score any points, I'm sorry it seemed that way to you. I honestly didn't understand what you were saying.

The word compensation implies that someone is getting paid their market worth. According to your definition, a slave family, or someone working a concentration camp, provided with a hovel and some bare survival sustenance, is being 'compensated'.

Quote:
your military fetishism is a bit disgusting. I think all americans are equal citizens. some are not more equal than others, regardless of whether they are willing to kill people half-way around the world.
Shameful of you. Maybe we'll talk later on another subject, this I don't have the stomach for.
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2011, 03:45 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
The word compensation implies that someone is getting paid their market worth. According to your definition, a slave family, or someone working a concentration camp, provided with a hovel and some bare survival sustenance, is being 'compensated'.
The argument here seems to be that the material compensation awarded to soldiers is not equal to the task of rewarding those soldiers service to the country. If it were not for an exogenous factor, their patriotism making them think being a soldier is a worthwhile endeavor, there would be far fewer soldiers. Ergo soldiers are under-compensated. This is counter to traditional labor market theory. LMT states that total compensation, in the case of voluntary employment, must be greater (POV; worker) then the labor. Otherwise the worker would go somewhere else.

What matters is total compensation. Not material compensation. One can't say soldiers are under-compensated because of the exogenous factor of their patriotism then one can say teachers are underpaid because of the exogenous factor of their love of children. Whatever gap exists between the service they provide and their material compensation is made up for by their good feelings about their chosen profession. Times when one wants more or higher quality of soldiers/teachers is the only time to talk about adjusting compensation.

Edit: Just watched your link. The "already compensated" remark seem to be congruent with my post. Which makes sense this is how Glenn would see it as he is an economist.
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2011, 07:37 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
The argument here seems to be that the material compensation awarded to soldiers is not equal to the task of rewarding those soldiers service to the country. If it were not for an exogenous factor, their patriotism making them think being a soldier is a worthwhile endeavor, there would be far fewer soldiers. Ergo soldiers are under-compensated. This is counter to traditional labor market theory. LMT states that total compensation, in the case of voluntary employment, must be greater (POV; worker) then the labor. Otherwise the worker would go somewhere else.

What matters is total compensation. Not material compensation. One can't say soldiers are under-compensated because of the exogenous factor of their patriotism then one can say teachers are underpaid because of the exogenous factor of their love of children. Whatever gap exists between the service they provide and their material compensation is made up for by their good feelings about their chosen profession. Times when one wants more or higher quality of soldiers/teachers is the only time to talk about adjusting compensation.

Edit: Just watched your link. The "already compensated" remark seem to be congruent with my post. Which makes sense this is how Glenn would see it as he is an economist.
Good elaboration, I think. I'll just add that soldiers in combat (its my understanding to qualify for the presidents program they have to have been in combat) have risked their lives.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:03 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Responding in no particular order;

Quote:
Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
This why those who truly take an alarmist view of climate change will NOT see people like Perry as the biggest threat to their cause. They will see people who use climate change as a political issue to paint Republicans as idiots, anti-science, etc. as the biggest threat to their cause.
The implicit assumption above is that Conservatives would act reasonable, from the point of view of an Alarmist or Lukewarmer, in the absence of scorn from Liberals regarding Conservatives stance on Climate Change and other sustainability issues. I don't agree with this assumption. Nor do I agree that it is primarily alarmists and leftists that have made this a culture war issue. Finally; Depending on the relative likelihood one reasons for the Democrats gaining control of the House, Presidency, & a Filibuster proofed Senate and Conservatives acting reasonably in the absence of Liberal scorn, it can make sense for Alarmists and Lukewarmers, when proposing legislation regarding Climate Change, to use Climate Change as a bludgeon against Conservatives. Even at the expense of making Conservatives less reasonable.

You've stated before one reason you're skeptical is that the above strategy is being pursued. That if it was a serious problem people sincere in that there is a problem here would not use this aforementioned strategy. As I laid out above, this is not a good reason to be skeptical.

I don't agree with this strategy, but this doesn't make me skeptical of my interlocutors good-faith. I just don't want the prestige of science to be so linked to a few contentious fields.

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Glenns exposition on experts versus the masses is excellent. This depth of thinking is the reason I come to this site.
I found that whole section to be "meh". Both regarding my original post in this thread and also his point about the reliability of experts to groups that don't share those experts values. If a group doesn't like the findings of some experts that group doesn't get to opt out of that field and then question that group of experts based on that they don't have representation among the experts. Regardless, absent data, I'm not predisposed to admit that scientists are skewed towards Liberalism anyways.

Responding more specifically to your post once again ...

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I want to make a point that is a little bit beside the point Glenn was making, but I think it's still connected. The point he does make is excellent and I have no further comment on it except to say he is right on target. Except I think he is a little off when he juxtaposes the expert community against the masses. Actually, the masses respect experts and do not regard them with suspicion. The only people they regard with suspicion are those who come to them saying "I'm right, you're wrong, and I have the experts on my side".
I guess I don't see your point here. I don't see what's wrong with saying "I'm right, you're wrong, & I have the experts on my side.". Assuming the experts are on their side.

Getting into a conversation related to exactly what can be said about the weight of support amongst various groups for various things is potentially interesting. BadHatHarry seems to have been focusing on this lately, though perhaps she weights the perceived deficiencies in a particular study's importance to the overall question too highly. I myself haven't looked very closely at this issue. The wikipedia consensus post is, for now, good enough for me. Link found here.

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This is why Perry doesn't say "The experts (Scientists) are wrong about this". He knows this wouldn't fly with anyone. What he says is "We have some experts on our side as well". Thats all he needs. For the other side to say "But we have more experts on our side" only makes the experts on Perry's side more interesting, perhaps underdogs even. Everyone likes underdogs, particularly if they are perceived to be subject to unfair treatment by the refs in the MSM who act as if what they have to say doesn't matter.
As a matter of political analysis may be correct. On the matter of substance ...

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This dilemma is compounded when Perry and others are treated with contempt because they don't go with the 'consensus'. Americans may be stupid in some ways--but in some ways they aren't; they know those minority of scientists who aren't part of the consensus are experts as well. They figure if an expert can go against the consensus and still be an expert then surely a non-expert shouldn't feel any shame in doing so as well. To call them stupid is to call the experts on their side stupid -- and only an idiot would call an expert stupid instead of simply disagreeing with them. Particularly when the idiot calling the expert stupid is not themselves an expert.
... this is sophistry. Liberals, Conservatives, Alarmists, Self-Proclaimed Skeptics, Peakers, Cornucopians, Libertarians, & Authoritarians ... Almost none of these people take any experts side. They can't. They don't understand the disagreements between different experts. Nor can they judge the relative reliability of different experts. Enter; Consensus. The only real way for people who can't parse the relevant knowledge to weight the support for alternating hypothesis.

Some backstory and a point; Since the very beginning physicians when treating cancer have used a mixture of surgery and chemotherapy. A few decades ago the mixture pursued by most physicians when treating breast cancer was far more weighted towards surgery. Something called "radical mastectomy" was very popular. This is where the knife is viewed as the main treatment option. As time passed and knowledge accrued this treatment fell out of popularity. Imagine you or your wife has breast cancer and you get 20 oncologists opinions. 19 of them favor something called the "modified radical mastectomy" and a vigorous chemotherapy regiment. 1 of them, because of peculiarities specific to the patient opts for a radical mastectomy instead. What do you do?

These philosophical arguments against consensus itself are bunk. Totally so.

The only interesting question here is how society measures different groups of experts reliability, which it must do. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Engineers telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Economists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Economists telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Astrologists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Where should Climatologists fall on this spectrum? This isn't an easy question.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:45 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
The implicit assumption above is that Conservatives would act reasonable, from the point of view of an Alarmist or Lukewarmer, in the absence of scorn from Liberals regarding Conservatives stance on Climate Change and other sustainability issues. I don't agree with this assumption.
Ask yourself this question. Who is more likely to get climate change legislation passed in a closely divided congress, Mitt Romney or Barak Obama?

I think the answer is obviously Mitt Romney. Obama has largely been reduced to rhetoric on the issue, and he's had to tone that down because he's been on shaky political ground. Obama, in a decision completely his own has, for what seems to me political reasons, gone against, and infuriated, environmentalists on the recent smog standards issue. A President McCain, who does believe in AGW, would not have had to consider politics in this. A president McCain would have had much more leverage to pursue some sort of real action on AGW.

A good historical example is Clinton's welfare reform act--which a Republican could have never gotten passed because of the lack of trust toward Republicans on the issue.


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Nor do I agree that it is primarily alarmists and leftists that have made this a culture war issue.
Of course not. Right wingers are as guilty as leftists in this. This is how politics work. My point is that alarmists, to the degree that this is their primary concern, should be working hard to not be perceived as either left or right wing, Dem or Rep.

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Finally; Depending on the relative likelihood one reasons for the Democrats gaining control of the House, Presidency, & a Filibuster proofed Senate and Conservatives acting reasonably in the absence of Liberal scorn, it can make sense for Alarmists and Lukewarmers, when proposing legislation regarding Climate Change, to use Climate Change as a bludgeon against Conservatives. Even at the expense of making Conservatives less reasonable.
Even if, on rare occasion when a president is so unpopular that his successors party takes power, they exercise their power to pass something bitterly divisive, it can be overturned as soon as power shifts. Obamacare is a good example of this. If the economy continues to tank, Republicans will gain enough power to repeal it, and they will.

It seems common sense to me that the primary goal of the alarmist community would be not to ask, "How can we help make Dems a permanent majority?" , but the question is "How can we make the AGW cause non-political to the degree that issues like free market capitalism, law and order, safety net welfarism like medicare and SS, and hugely disproportionate military spending, have become non-political."?


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You've stated before one reason you're skeptical is that the above strategy is being pursued. That if it was a serious problem people sincere in that there is a problem here would not use this aforementioned strategy. As I laid out above, this is not a good reason to be skeptical.
I think many alarmists, who are well informed on the issue of AGW, are either not political thinkers or they are stupid if they pursue the strategy of allying with one party in hopes of helping to make that party a permanent majority. On the other hand, I do think a lot of lefties are less concerned with global warming then they are in having another partisan weapon in their arsenal.

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I found that whole section to be "meh". Both regarding my original post in this thread and also his point about the reliability of experts to groups that don't share those experts values. If a group doesn't like the findings of some experts that group doesn't get to opt out of that field and then question that group of experts based on that they don't have representation among the experts. Regardless, absent data, I'm not predisposed to admit that scientists are skewed towards Liberalism anyways.
I don't think scientists are predisposed toward liberalism either. Certainly science itself is not predisposed toward liberalism, and right wingers are as likely as lefties to believe that science supports their positions.

People believe their political views are based in reality. This is why they hold them. They also believe science is based in reality, whether they are left or right wingers. So when one side is giving the impression that scientists are liberals, the reaction is not, well ok then, science isn't based in reality. The reaction is that scientists are human and to the degree that they are liberal have let liberal politics corrupt either the practice or the presentation of their science. And equally important, there remain scientists who, being either conservative or non-political, have not allowed this to happen.

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I guess I don't see your point here. I don't see what's wrong with saying "I'm right, you're wrong, & I have the experts on my side.". Assuming the experts are on their side.
If this states the case accurately it is certainly not factually or morally wrong. Its just a very bad way to get anything done. This is human relations 101. If you want to get something done in a group, you can either divide and conquer or you can make most people in the group also feel ownership in your project. Our political system is not set up to make dividing and conquering easy; it is set up for building consensus.

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... this is sophistry. Liberals, Conservatives, Alarmists, Self-Proclaimed Skeptics, Peakers, Cornucopians, Libertarians, & Authoritarians ... Almost none of these people take any experts side. They can't. They don't understand the disagreements between different experts. Nor can they judge the relative reliability of different experts. Enter; Consensus. The only real way for people who can't parse the relevant knowledge to weight the support for alternating hypothesis.
Here I was describing what I believe to be peoples thought processes. You can call those thought processes whatever you like.

If you expect the body politic to be rational, you're simply expecting too much. If you are an alarmist on AGW, you're not going to wait around for everyone to get rational. You're going to start doing what you can to build a consensus on both sides by whatever means necessary.

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Some backstory and a point; Since the very beginning physicians when treating cancer have used a mixture of surgery and chemotherapy. A few decades ago the mixture pursued by most physicians when treating breast cancer was far more weighted towards surgery. Something called "radical mastectomy" was very popular. This is where the knife is viewed as the main treatment option. As time passed and knowledge accrued this treatment fell out of popularity. Imagine you or your wife has breast cancer and you get 20 oncologists opinions. 19 of them favor something called the "modified radical mastectomy" and a vigorous chemotherapy regiment. 1 of them, because of peculiarities specific to the patient opts for a radical mastectomy instead. What do you do?

These philosophical arguments against consensus itself are bunk. Totally so.
YOu are asking of course, what would most people do, not what would *I* do. I'm not sure what most people would do. Some people think the whole medical industry is involved in getting rich selling unneeded drugs and procedures and that the clerk down at the local vitamin store is more to be trusted. A lot of people are more easily convinced by persuasive words or personalities then a 'consensus', so if the one doctor is more charismatic in his presentation, his methods will be an easy choice for them. People cannot be depended on to employ the same rational methods for making decisions that you think they should.

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The only interesting question here is how society measures different groups of experts reliability, which it must do. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Engineers telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Economists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Economists telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Astrologists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Where should Climatologists fall on this spectrum? This isn't an easy question.
My post, (and I think Glenn's comments) were not meant as a proscription for optimizing rational decision making. I'm talking about how people think, not how the should think. Anyone who wants and needs political action on an issue, will immediately drop the whole question of how people should think, and will ask how they actually do think.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:47 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Glenn's talk seemed more aligned with that the aforementioned thought processes were justified then him merely describing what he perceived the thought processes to be. To each their own. I'm not arguing Alarmists political calculus is correct. I'm not particularly interested in how things are sold. I'm arguing you can't draw your stated implications from their particular conclusions on what's the best way to sell it, as explained in my previous post.

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Even if, on rare occasion when a president is so unpopular that his successors party takes power, they exercise their power to pass something bitterly divisive, it can be overturned as soon as power shifts. Obamacare is a good example of this. If the economy continues to tank, Republicans will gain enough power to repeal it, and they will.
Bitterly divisive policies are enacted all the time. Sometimes they stick because by the time the other side has the power to repeal it it becomes clear to the general public that it was a good idea after all. In the case of a carbon tax; It would be the realization that it doesn't have to break the economy and that it's not redistribution. It would in most forms be a regressive tax.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:39 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Arrogant experts versus ignorant masses
This is some kind of 3 dimensional academic guilt thing.

The problem has nothing to do with experts. Quick, average voter - name five experts!

No, I think it's what John said, and goes back I don't know how far. I grew up with very hippy/liberal parents and the sense of antiauthoritarianism and anti-science was palpable. To this day, my mother is convinced diet soda causes cancer. But get this: she'll drink diet Hansens (old all-natural soda) made with splenda.

It's completely cultural and reactionary. You either understand and respect the scientific process or you don't. You realize that peer-reviewed consensus isn't law, but it is as good as it gets, unless you have the expert chops yourself to disprove it. Otherwise you're out there blowing in the wind with whatever the latest charismatic pundit is peddling to your ideological fashion.

John is right: in a modern civilization you simply can't know everything. Most of us aren't experts in much, let alone anything at all. But when culture ties itself to something that is at all an empirical question, accepting uneasy truths can feel awfully disconcerting.

Who knows where this fragility comes from. Maybe the angst of modern life. Maybe the increasing feeling that life is just too complicated. I wonder if there hasn't been a grand totaling of sixties counterculture (the "man") and rural American malaise ("real" Americans) that's essentially become a rot at the core of institutional trust and objectivity.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:08 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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This is some kind of 3 dimensional academic guilt thing.

The problem has nothing to do with experts. Quick, average voter - name five experts!

No, I think it's what John said, and goes back I don't know how far. I grew up with very hippy/liberal parents and the sense of antiauthoritarianism and anti-science was palpable. To this day, my mother is convinced diet soda causes cancer. But get this: she'll drink diet Hansens (old all-natural soda) made with splenda.

It's completely cultural and reactionary. You either understand and respect the scientific process or you don't. You realize that peer-reviewed consensus isn't law, but it is as good as it gets, unless you have the expert chops yourself to disprove it. Otherwise you're out there blowing in the wind with whatever the latest charismatic pundit is peddling to your ideological fashion.

John is right: in a modern civilization you simply can't know everything. Most of us aren't experts in much, let alone anything at all. But when culture ties itself to something that is at all an empirical question, accepting uneasy truths can feel awfully disconcerting.

Who knows where this fragility comes from. Maybe the angst of modern life. Maybe the increasing feeling that life is just too complicated. I wonder if there hasn't been a grand totaling of sixties counterculture (the "man") and rural American malaise ("real" Americans) that's essentially become a rot at the core of institutional trust and objectivity.
I think you've isolated a very real phenomena both on left and right side of the spectrum. A paranoia that authorities can't be trusted. I think your mother fits my description, she thinks she has a correct version of the science. I'd bet she thinks there are honest scientists out there who have studied the issue and know that diet soda causes cancer and that those scientists who disagree either haven't studied the issue closely enough or are in the tank for Coca Cola. So it isn't scientists as such that she distrusts, it is corrupt scientists, corrupt authorities, and corrupt media who are distrusted.

A certain level of skepticism regarding the authorities and conventional wisdom is a good thing, but too much of it can lead to paranoia. There is a broad spectrum from such skepticism to paranoia that exists on the left, with genetically modified foods, for example, and on the right with AGW. I think to the degree that there are respected, articulate, intelligent, experts in the field who hold a minority view, the less you can ascribe paranoia to the non-experts who hold them forth as supporting their own view, or accuse them of not believing in experts.

Believing in 2% of qualified experts, recognized as such by their peers, as opposed to 98% of them does not make one less of a believer in experts. Does it?
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:51 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Believing in 2% of qualified experts, recognized as such by their peers, as opposed to 98% of them does not make one less of a believer in experts. Does it?
That's a good point. They are being claimed as experts. But this still seems to miss a key aspect of what expertise means. And I think you're right that the distrust is not of individual expertise, but of institutional expertise, and its legitimacy.

What worries me is that institutional authority is all we really have to go on. By discounting its structural integrity, you're essentially opening the door for factual relativism. To use another lefty example, "alternative medicine" is a direct outgrowth of this. You can literally sell snake oil in a natural foods store, find some quack doctor to recommend it, and people will buy it. Why? Because they no longer have a factual compass - a way of objectively squaring science with reality. It simply "feels" right. One of the favorite buzzwords among these folks is "toxins", and there are myriad "treatments" which claims to remove "toxins". But what that word really represents is a sense of the unclean, impure, artificial. There's almost a religious aspect to its embrace.

And much of its strength comes from the feeling that institutions - "Western Medicine" - have failed. So entire alternative institutions of supposed "expertise" have arisen - doctors of naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. Yet these institutions have none of the legitimacy of traditional institutions - clinical trials, peer review, biology, etc. So maybe it isn't expertise so much as its meaning - in what context does expertise arise and become substantive?
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:48 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Coincidentally, I happened across this radio show on conspiracy theorists, specifically Truthers. I think conspiracy theories tell us a lot about the ways in which people can be selective with their facts. Again, by deligitimizing traditional authority in favor of "what makes sense to them". So, a few random people can present what appear to be very serious arguments, yet in their field, they are laughed at. Traditional structures of authority beinganels of scientists or doctors, themselves selected as authoritative among their peers, or the process of peer review in weeding out good science from bad, or just journalists who work particular beats and get inside information, working together with editors with the institutional authority of their papers, fact checkers, etc.

All of this is swept away. How? What has happened so that ignorance and inappropriate skepticism prevail?
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:11 PM
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Coincidentally, I happened across this radio show on conspiracy theorists, specifically Truthers. I think conspiracy theories tell us a lot about the ways in which people can be selective with their facts. Again, by deligitimizing traditional authority in favor of "what makes sense to them". So, a few random people can present what appear to be very serious arguments, yet in their field, they are laughed at. Traditional structures of authority beinganels of scientists or doctors, themselves selected as authoritative among their peers, or the process of peer review in weeding out good science from bad, or just journalists who work particular beats and get inside information, working together with editors with the institutional authority of their papers, fact checkers, etc.
I think you are making good points.

The anti-vax people are good examples, too. I've had friends try to engage in discussions with them, and the ways in which science is dismissed by people who are convinced they have researched the issues and uncovered the truth is both amazing and impossible to dispute in any effective way. They've made themselves basically fact-proof, while being convinced that those who disagree must have some corrupt stake in it or be taken in by those who do. But this seems to me related to a weird way to see the world, so comparing the climate "skeptics" with these people doesn't really help me feel safe that it's just a view on a scientific issue, not something more fundamental.

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All of this is swept away. How? What has happened so that ignorance and inappropriate skepticism prevail?
Is this any different than ever before? I'd be curious for some attempted historical comparisons within the modern era, and especially within the politics of western democracies.

I'm wondering if the real issue is simply democraticization, somewhat like how the US keeps the DP and other countries do not, despite populations that at the time didn't have much different view of it. The difference is that in the US it is a political issue, not one for experts. Similarly, as these issues are political and not ones we acknowledge are for experts -- and as we as a population increasingly think that it's anti democratic -- or "elitist" or "arrogant" or "egghead" (okay, that one's outdated) -- to suggest that experts exist and can be trusted.

The attitudes expressed above clearly aren't new, but I think the political climate was such that they didn't really effect anything until recently. This was in large part due to different ideas about how democracy should work, but also more regionalism, less direct communications (i.e., local papers vs. national, then radio, then TV, then TV all the time, then the internet). Also, the smaller educated class in the past, more stratified society, smaller population in urban centers (esp the few ones where decisionmakers tend to be and congregate), slower communications, and less open knowledge, among other things.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:42 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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That's a good point. They are being claimed as experts. But this still seems to miss a key aspect of what expertise means. And I think you're right that the distrust is not of individual expertise, but of institutional expertise, and its legitimacy.
These 2-3% are more then 'claimed' as experts. They are experts in the same way the other 98% are experts. The survey is an interview of experts.

Now, it does seem to me that the certainty of a non-expert persons view on AGW should correlate with the number of experts that represent that view. So I don't blame someone for being so certain that AGW is something to be alarmed about that they are ready for action on it now. This is a very reasonable position. I think they are in a much 'saner' position then a non-expert who is so certain it isn't happening that they would be fine if no more research on it was funded. I don't think the latter position of complete denialism is reasonable at all.

On the other hand, I do think skepticism is a reasonable position, and think it unreasonable to accuse those who are skeptical of being in the same boat with truthers, birthers, holocausts deniers, flat earthers, etc. In fact, to do so seems another form of nuttiness.


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What worries me is that institutional authority is all we really have to go on. By discounting its structural integrity, you're essentially opening the door for factual relativism. To use another lefty example, "alternative medicine" is a direct outgrowth of this. You can literally sell snake oil in a natural foods store, find some quack doctor to recommend it, and people will buy it. Why? Because they no longer have a factual compass - a way of objectively squaring science with reality. It simply "feels" right. One of the favorite buzzwords among these folks is "toxins", and there are myriad "treatments" which claims to remove "toxins". But what that word really represents is a sense of the unclean, impure, artificial. There's almost a religious aspect to its embrace.

And much of its strength comes from the feeling that institutions - "Western Medicine" - have failed. So entire alternative institutions of supposed "expertise" have arisen - doctors of naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. Yet these institutions have none of the legitimacy of traditional institutions - clinical trials, peer review, biology, etc. So maybe it isn't expertise so much as its meaning - in what context does expertise arise and become substantive?
But these expertise are alternative experts. The appeal to experts by AGW skeptics are appeals to experts who are themselves in the established institutions. This is an important difference.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:50 PM
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On the other hand, I do think skepticism is a reasonable position, and think it unreasonable to accuse those who are skeptical of being in the same boat with truthers, birthers, holocausts deniers, flat earthers, etc. In fact, to do so seems another form of nuttiness.
Skepticism is one thing. The stated notion that the 98% of experts who are on one side are part of a massive conspiracy with the goal of forcing everyone to live in yurts and eliminate all of the benefits of the industrial age is another.

There's a reason, not completely partisan, why there's something people refer to as denialism.

There's also the question of what the appropriate response to such skepticism is and whether we'd react similarly in other similarly weighted situations.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:18 PM
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Skepticism is one thing. The stated notion that the 98% of experts who are on one side are part of a massive conspiracy with the goal of forcing everyone to live in yurts and eliminate all of the benefits of the industrial age is another.

There's a reason, not completely partisan, why there's something people refer to as denialism.
I think it's less to do with denial and a lot more to do with credibility. Michael Dougherty's signaling theory makes a lot of sense when looking at this data from a Yale survey -- one of the better one's I've seen. On page 17, only 8% of Americans are very sure that AGW is not happening.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:22 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Skepticism is one thing. The stated notion that the 98% of experts who are on one side are part of a massive conspiracy with the goal of forcing everyone to live in yurts and eliminate all of the benefits of the industrial age is another.
I agree. But hyperbole is a very odd political tool more expressive of the emotional state rather then the mental state of the user.

In fact, I would imagine these words of yours being used to unfairly characterize the position of a skeptic much more often then actually representing the position of skeptic themselves. Maybe some denialists would fit your characterization, but I'd guess no skeptics would.

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There's a reason, not completely partisan, why there's something people refer to as denialism.
Sure

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There's also the question of what the appropriate response to such skepticism is and whether we'd react similarly in other similarly weighted situations.
It's a great question. I think it's going to depend on factors external to the actual debate.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:19 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
I agree. But hyperbole is a very odd political tool more expressive of the emotional state rather then the mental state of the user.
I guess. On the other hand, when one is a politician and making public, prepared speeches, not spontaneous utterances- I am not sure it's fair to just write it off as being emotional. It's something that they said and planned to say. James Inhofe is a denialist.

This emotional vs. mental state stuff strikes me as "not intended as a factual statement" territory.


And, of course, what I said would be true of denialists, not skeptics. I said skepticism was understandable and denialism wasn't.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:58 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
These 2-3% are more then 'claimed' as experts. They are experts in the same way the other 98% are experts. The survey is an interview of experts.
Right. They are experts. Michael Behe is an expert. But again, their position within the consensus should be as important as their credentials, to a non-expert.

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On the other hand, I do think skepticism is a reasonable position, and think it unreasonable to accuse those who are skeptical of being in the same boat with truthers, birthers, holocausts deniers, flat earthers, etc. In fact, to do so seems another form of nuttiness.
Well, as I typed, I wondered if there wasn't something of a spectrum to it all. We aren't dealing with something that is certain, such as whether 2 + 2 = 4, or whether evolution is a fact or that the towers were not the result of controlled demolitions. Although there is a pretty serious level of certitude - especially for science.

But I think some of the nuts and bolts, our framework for assessing the verity of facts, is similar. I think a lot of climate skeptics are probably reasonable and knowledgeable at least of their own limitations. And many more are hopelessly deluded.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:44 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

WH Burgess asked:

Quote:
Believing in 2% of qualified experts, recognized as such by their peers, as opposed to 98% of them does not make one less of a believer in experts. Does it?
Yes, it does, according to this expert in common sense logic

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/on-experts-and-global-warming/

I thought this column was relevant to the diavlog and had looked it up.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:14 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
WH Burgess asked:

Yes, it does, according to this expert in common sense logic
I much prefer logic to common sense or common sense logic.


Quote:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/on-experts-and-global-warming/

I thought this column was relevant to the diavlog and had looked it up.
Great link on this fascinating topic.

I agree with what seemed to me the main conclusion of the article: that a non-expert has no basis for rejecting the expert consensus.

I don't think being skeptical of the consensus is the same as rejecting it though.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:41 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Yes, well, thoroughgoing Pyrrhonian skepticism would be inconsistent with affirming or denying any dogma, including any consensus of experts. But no one actually lives his life as a thoroughgoing skeptic. It's a cop-out. The skepticism is selective, adduced for reasons that have nothing to do with epistemology. In the case of AGW, the "skepticism" is about not wanting to give up some economic goods now in favor of the future. Everyone knows that this is what is at issue. At least Jim Manzi has the good faith to concede that point.

The only odd thing here is that some of the same people who will pay for insurance against a catastrophe in their own lives, or the lives of their immediate family, are very reluctant to pay for insurance against a catastrophe to future human generations. In other words, humanity as an idea does not have that much purchase. What motivates people is their immediate family and successors. Still, one might have thought that the desire for the kind of immortality that children bestow and which seems to motivate a lot of human behavior would extend to a broader conception of bequeathing a world to one's successors that is tolerable, or of not making it more likely that one's successors will be engaged in a Hobbesian war of survival.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:00 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Yes, well, thoroughgoing Pyrrhonian skepticism would be inconsistent with affirming or denying any dogma, including any consensus of experts. But no one actually lives his life as a thoroughgoing skeptic. It's a cop-out. The skepticism is selective, adduced for reasons that have nothing to do with epistemology.
I'm not using the word 'skeptic' in the philosophical sense.
So of course, in the sense I use it, skepticism will be based on a circumstantial position rather then a philosophical one.

Quote:
In the case of AGW, the "skepticism" is about not wanting to give up some economic goods now in favor of the future. Everyone knows that this is what is at issue. At least Jim Manzi has the good faith to concede that point.
Yes, I think this is true of non-expert skeptics. I don't think any of them would actually deny this. In fact, their expressions of skepticism is full of the sort of language that affirms it.

As for the expert skeptics, I think this not true of some of them. I'd guess its not true of most of them; they are scientists.


Quote:

The only odd thing here is that some of the same people who will pay for insurance against a catastrophe in their own lives, or the lives of their immediate family, are very reluctant to pay for insurance against a catastrophe to future human generations. In other words, humanity as an idea does not have that much purchase. What motivates people is their immediate family and successors.
I agree that this is true of most people.

Quote:

Still, one might have thought that the desire for the kind of immortality that children bestow and which seems to motivate a lot of human behavior would extend to a broader conception of bequeathing a world to one's successors that is tolerable, or of not making it more likely that one's successors will be engaged in a Hobbesian war of survival.
I don't think people care for their children because they want some sort of 'immortality' in them. I know its more dramatic to see it that way, but I think the fact is they simply love their children and want the best for them. I don't think its possible to have this kind of love for non-existent great-grandchildren.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:13 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Yes, well, thoroughgoing Pyrrhonian skepticism would be inconsistent with affirming or denying any dogma, including any consensus of experts. But no one actually lives his life as a thoroughgoing skeptic. It's a cop-out. The skepticism is selective, adduced for reasons that have nothing to do with epistemology. In the case of AGW, the "skepticism" is about not wanting to give up some economic goods now in favor of the future. Everyone knows that this is what is at issue. At least Jim Manzi has the good faith to concede that point.
I don't think it's that at all. I believe if Conservatives thought it was merely an issue of the responsibilities one generation has to the next Conservatives would support policies aimed at mitigating AGW. Isn't this why we should care about the debt? Instead it's that Conservatives have a deep faith in the free market. That is to say Conservatives believe that once the State acts as an enforcer of contracts then everyone competing against each other for personal gain gives the greatest overall utility for society. Issues relating to AGW seem to contradict this. Therefore the science must be wrong.

*Anytime one talks about groups that compromise millions of people let's all assume that one was talking in generalities.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:29 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I don't think it's that at all. I believe if Conservatives thought it was merely an issue of the responsibilities one generation has to the next Conservatives would support policies aimed at mitigating AGW. Isn't this why we should care about the debt? Instead it's that Conservatives have a deep faith in the free markets. That is to say Conservatives believe that once the State acts as an enforcer of contracts then everyone competing against each other for personal gain gives the greatest overall utility for society. Issues relating to AGW seem to contradict this. Therefore the science must be wrong.
You've confused conservatives with libertarians. Understandable, since there is considerable overlap in some areas. However, conservatives, AGW skeptics included, do find more role for government then do libertarians. Most cons wouldn't be for privatizing police, military, etc. Most cons do not believe pollution management should be left up to the market anymore then they believe what their upstream neighbor dumps in the river is a problem for free markets to solve.

I've told you several times why most cons are skeptical. Its because AGW advocates have either chosen, or allowed, AGW advocacy to be a Democratic party issue. The fact that the Democratic party is the natural home of most of those who would embrace such advocacy is no excuse for the irresponsibility of such tactics as supporting Al Gore as the primary spokesman for the cause.

The republican party has been the traditional home of wall street folks and other rich business capitalists. This has not prevented them from infiltrating the Democratic party at the highest levels of power. This is an example of people who are serious about their cause rather then their politics.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:11 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

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I've told you several times why most cons are skeptical. Its because AGW advocates have either chosen, or allowed, AGW advocacy to be a Democratic party issue.
So there's nothing inherent in conservatism that is skeptical of environmental science and regulation, which might have led the movement to deny the science from day one? Splitting hairs between libertarians and conservatives on pollution is a fragile task. The former is always going to be bit crazier, but in both the bias is just cooked right in.

I mean, libs are biased towards over-regulation, right? I'm just not sure at this point there's any regulation out there threatening the globe like global warming is. And the past few decades have shown just how welcoming movement liberalism has become to business. That animosity peaked over half a century ago, whereas the right is currently at the zenith of its own hysterical demogoguery, anti-governmentism. For so long, the rhetoric has been this big government bogeyman, such that any problem requiring a government solution is pretty much out of the question prima fascia among mainstream conservatives today. Hence, broad denialism.
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