'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrity

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 18th, 2017, 11:10 pm 

While I obviously take issue with your (IMHO false) dichotomy of philosophy vs. science and a few others in there, perhaps one that struck me as immediately odd was the assumption of a "real history". Obviously when I was in school I learned a "real history" of Canada. Some years later I chatted with an uncle from Quebec and we compared notes about the history of French-English relations and suffice to say we had been taught very different things in history from the Plains of Abraham to the Riel Rebellion and up to the FLQ crisis. I trust it doesn't surprise you that more recently when I read histories of the US written in the US they read very different from those written by Canadians. In fact, by now I doubt that anyone doubts that histories tend to look very different when written by different people and there is absolutely no such thing as a "real history" except the one written in the Bible, (or Torah or Koran, etc.).

And yet you contrst that with multiculturalism. And that written by someone who lives in the US which might be because the US has only been multicultural for about 10,000 years, not that long compared to some other parts of the world.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 19th, 2017, 1:29 am 

Again we have to get into definitions because as I pointed out there is not a truth but many truths. One of the things we learn from science is that all "truths" are approximations each person has a varying ability to perceive a truth and the degree to which their truths reflect reality will also vary. That is why I went to some length to point out how a truth may be internally consistent with a persons world view but not very reflective of external reality. Our truths are relatively accurate but not necessarily relatively relevant to any particular topic. Your internal truths are just as real as external truths but that does not mean they are useful in determining truth in politics, for that we need more than internal consistency and logic.

When you say false dichotomy I assume you mean mutually exclusive but I would say my suggestion was that they should be mutually inclusive or more precisely philosophy needs to adopt some standard of measurement by which statements made by philosophers can be judged to conform to external reality. Philosophy may start where empirical data leave off but it should not wonder to far afield or else it becomes much like other faith based systems that you can find in the Bible, Torah or Koran.

As to multiculturalism you may be referring to the idea of the right to maintain a cultural identity in a modern nation state. Unfortunately that is a complex topic and much written on especially the extent to which a nation benefits from identity politics or is harmed by it. What I was referring to was not the definition of state policies but the expression there of. It is fine for people to hold on to their traditions but when those traditions do not conform with reality then there influence on truth in politics can be disruptive. Society should not be expected to hold that all cultural traditions are equally reflective of reality or that they equally reflect the Western values of human rights and individual freedom. When they do not reflect the Western values of human rights and individual freedom they should be criticized regardless of the emotional attachment people may have for those traditions.

Of course there is no real history anymore than there are absolute truths in anything but the most abstract and anti utilitarian sense. Some however are more accurate than others but many philosophers act as if accuracy can be determined without empirical data. Again we are talking about external truths those that can be verified by some quasi scientific measurement. If we were to discuss the truth of the statement that all men are created equal then we could obviously disprove that statement in it's simplist form to be false using empirical measurements. That of course is simply the problem we have when we have not defined what we are discussing well enough. When we say all men are created equal we do not mean equally strong, smart, ambitious, or even emotionally balanced we mean equal before the law. We could argue about what strong, smart, ambitious or emotionally balanced mean but we can measure if they are equal before the law to some approximate empirically standard.

I'm not opposed to abstractions such as human rights but it's when we forget that they are an idealized version of reality that we start to have problems. Consider this statement for example. No one can have a right that infringes on someone else's rights. Sounds good but it is not in keeping with the human condition. The only people that could achieve this ideal state would be those living alone in an uninhabited place. All rights infringe on someone else's rights and that is why they must be thought of as working within a hierarchy of rights. If we were to take the time to drill down through the convention on human rights this could be demonstrated but I'm going to assume that is not necessary. I'm just going to assert that without dealing with the mundane consequences of physical existence cultural traditions and political truths could all be held as equally valid. That is a dangerous and misguided approach to truth in politics.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 19th, 2017, 2:17 am 

wolfhnd » February 19th, 2017, 2:29 pm wrote:Again we have to get into definitions because as I pointed out there is not a truth but many truths. One of the things we learn from science is that all "truths" are approximations each person has a varying ability to perceive a truth and the degree to which their truths reflect reality will also vary. [...] If we were to discuss the truth of the statement that all men are created equal then we could obviously disprove that statement in it's simplist form to be false using empirical measurements. That of course is simply the problem we have when we have not defined what we are discussing well enough. When we say all men are created equal we do not mean equally strong, smart, ambitious, or even emotionally balanced we mean equal before the law. We could argue about what strong, smart, ambitious or emotionally balanced mean but we can measure if they are equal before the law to some approximate empirically standard.

This is why I posted about Axelrod's work in outlining the basic economics underlying cooperative behaviour - sure there are truths such as a human can live alone; hunting, stealing, whatever, but the raw economic truth - beyond any bias - is that honest cooperation as a survivial strategy is more efficient, and therefore that is an economic 'life or death' truth. It seems to be this truth that lies at the foundation of society.

Athens was not built thinking that the city would be left empty after a year or two - it was an open-ended civic agreement. The optimum economic strategy in all non-zero-sum social activities in Athens was therefore tit-for-tat 'niceness'. This was therefore the truth: virtue benefitted the Athenian civil vision. Such 'nice' virtue required for all cooperators exchanging mutually gained benefits to share equally - therefore, "all men are created equal".

This is not some political bias - it is raw economics that dictate life or death. If you would rather believe that cooperatiing with perceived ghosts will help you just as much economically then go for it - but its likely you'll be working your ass off to stay alive much more than the average Athenian did, not to mention being able to purchase better tools, clothes, and so on.

Underlying the word truth is a communicated symbol - a socially-driven concept, and societies form in order for individuals to gain more benefits than if they were to work alone. Therefore socially communicated truth is fundamentally an economic phenomenon, and it concerns the drive towards efficiency. Thus anything which improves long-term increased practical efficiency can be called wisdom - profound truth. And therefore if truths can not translate into healthy social economics (such as a proposed truth that "people are not equal"), then it is not a relevant truth, because it does not aid virtue, and thus does not aid in honoring the social contracts that gave rise to the ability to even discuss what truth is in the first place!

There is no "oh, so for you, virtue is an aspiration, but you see for me, I am a lone wolf and don't give a crap about others." If that is the case don't even bother with any social cooperation (perhaps beyond your immediate kin) - move to a forest and let us all get on with it. Civil truth is not some abstract metaphysical Platonic form, it is rooted in a broad social vision that stretches beyond kinship - a vision that is only manifested economically when cooperators treat each other nicely.

Have you ever tried economically duping a monkey, for example? I did, and suffered the consequences! I had been handing the monkey some peanuts one at a time, and I thought it would be funny to have nothing in my hand (because I had run out, actually), and when I outstretched my arm and opened my hand in the same ways as I had before, and revealed that it was empty, the monkey went crazy and showed its sharp teeth. That was the simple, fundamental, social TRUTH right there.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 19th, 2017, 2:24 am 

Here are some interesting 'home truths' from Trump's 'post-truth' 'home' - Fox News:



Even Fox has had enough now.

And here is a Trumpist going on "fake news" CNN to tell them he is participating in fake news, but that his message is truth!!! lol. The anchor walks out on it all.



What a mess.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 19th, 2017, 4:19 am 

Mossling » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:17 am wrote:
wolfhnd » February 19th, 2017, 2:29 pm wrote:Again we have to get into definitions because as I pointed out there is not a truth but many truths. One of the things we learn from science is that all "truths" are approximations each person has a varying ability to perceive a truth and the degree to which their truths reflect reality will also vary. [...] If we were to discuss the truth of the statement that all men are created equal then we could obviously disprove that statement in it's simplist form to be false using empirical measurements. That of course is simply the problem we have when we have not defined what we are discussing well enough. When we say all men are created equal we do not mean equally strong, smart, ambitious, or even emotionally balanced we mean equal before the law. We could argue about what strong, smart, ambitious or emotionally balanced mean but we can measure if they are equal before the law to some approximate empirically standard.

This is why I posted about Axelrod's work in outlining the basic economics underlying cooperative behaviour - sure there are truths such as a human can live alone; hunting, stealing, whatever, but the raw economic truth - beyond any bias - is that honest cooperation as a survivial strategy is more efficient, and therefore that is an economic 'life or death' truth. It seems to be this truth that lies at the foundation of society.

Athens was not built thinking that the city would be left empty after a year or two - it was an open-ended civic agreement. The optimum economic strategy in all non-zero-sum social activities in Athens was therefore tit-for-tat 'niceness'. This was therefore the truth: virtue benefitted the Athenian civil vision. Such 'nice' virtue required for all cooperators exchanging mutually gained benefits to share equally - therefore, "all men are created equal".

This is not some political bias - it is raw economics that dictate life or death. If you would rather believe that cooperatiing with perceived ghosts will help you just as much economically then go for it - but its likely you'll be working your ass off to stay alive much more than the average Athenian did, not to mention being able to purchase better tools, clothes, and so on.

Underlying the word truth is a communicated symbol - a socially-driven concept, and societies form in order for individuals to gain more benefits than if they were to work alone. Therefore socially communicated truth is fundamentally an economic phenomenon, and it concerns the drive towards efficiency. Thus anything which improves long-term increased practical efficiency can be called wisdom - profound truth. And therefore if truths can not translate into healthy social economics (such as a proposed truth that "people are not equal"), then it is not a relevant truth, because it does not aid virtue, and thus does not aid in honoring the social contracts that gave rise to the ability to even discuss what truth is in the first place!

There is no "oh, so for you, virtue is an aspiration, but you see for me, I am a lone wolf and don't give a crap about others." If that is the case don't even bother with any social cooperation (perhaps beyond your immediate kin) - move to a forest and let us all get on with it. Civil truth is not some abstract metaphysical Platonic form, it is rooted in a broad social vision that stretches beyond kinship - a vision that is only manifested economically when cooperators treat each other nicely.

Have you ever tried economically duping a monkey, for example? I did, and suffered the consequences! I had been handing the monkey some peanuts one at a time, and I thought it would be funny to have nothing in my hand (because I had run out, actually), and when I outstretched my arm and opened my hand in the same ways as I had before, and revealed that it was empty, the monkey went crazy and showed its sharp teeth. That was the simple, fundamental, social TRUTH right there.


What works for ants doesn't work for apes.

I have always argued that the essence of being human was "swarm intelligence". The human brain evolved because of culture not the other way around. Culture of course requires a culture and cultures are groups not individuals.

Culture evolves somewhat but not entirely independent of physical evolution. Ants do not have a need for an evolving culture their culture is more or less built-in. Humans on the other hand are helpless and do not even develop normally in the absence of culture. Language however is one of several instincts that are required for cultural transmission. In other words humans are not blank slates.

I don't want to do an exhaustive analysis here so let's just take one example of human instincts, jealousy. People tend to think they understand jealousy. They have an empathetic understanding of the conditions that create the physiological expression of the emotion but very little understanding of the evolutionary forces that the emotion serve and no awareness of the biochemical processes in the brain that causes the expression of the emotion. You can suppress the expression but it is unlikely, lacking conscious access to the parts of the brain where the emotion is generated, that you can alter the instinct. It doesn't matter how you later the environment people will still be at some level jealous.

In animals more complex than ants there are more ways for instincts to disrupt cultural patterns. Ants are never lazy nor greedy, they never abuse their young or demand a greater portion of resources, they do not become addicts or thieves, workers don't aspire to being queens.

We have evolved cultural patterns to avoid disruptive behavior for example law and punishment. The closer those laws conform to instinctual norms the more widely and congruently those laws will be obeyed. Experience has shown that the instincts designed for small social groups do not translate well into complex societies.

Even in smaller groups, as witnessed by our closest relatives, social cohesion is no where as strong as it is for ants. Trying to make it so is folly. That is why the most successful societies focus on individual rights not group rights. Individual rights create a disconnect between the negative social instincts, hierarchy, and identity violence. Individuals not groups must conform to the law.

Individuals give up freedom of action but not individuality in a functional complex society. They are free to compete and cooperate as they choose within the constrains of the law. Those with more talent and social skills will out compete others but that is the cost of freedom. Imposing equality is not only unnatural it is the antithesis of our instincts for fair play. Where ever it has been tried social devolution eventually follows.

Equally of opportunity will always be a better choice than actual equality and is the bases for liberal democracy.

Nothing I have said rules out altruism such as universal health care but the laws crafting such altruism must conform to instinctual laws governing fairness. The laws can always be made better but in general change requires preparation and thus patience and foresight.

It is the lack of focus on competency in favor of ideological purity that I most dislike about our current politics. The truth is largely subjective but incompetence is manifest. We have simply not addressed social justice competently and no amount of pathological altruism is going to fix that.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 19th, 2017, 4:41 am 

Before someone takes issue with my use of the term pathological altruism please review this article.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231631/
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 19th, 2017, 6:30 am 

wolfhnd » February 19th, 2017, 5:41 pm wrote:Before someone takes issue with my use of the term pathological altruism please review this article.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231631/

Thanks for this reference wolf. Regarding your stating of other facts - biological 'norms', and so on, please could you reference your theories to established studies.

I have already said Axelrod, and a few times elsewhere on gthis thread - Riachard Dawkins and specifically his book The Selfish Gene. For I am wondering whether it is the same scientific foundation we are using here to extrapolate our ideas - something doesn't seem quite right.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 19th, 2017, 10:10 pm 

Since we have been discussing our ability to access external reality and how instincts may effect that ability and I have mentioned jealousy try this link.

http://www.livescience.com/10986-jealou ... finds.html
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on February 20th, 2017, 12:51 pm 

Truth violently assaulted by Trump with his non-existent Swedish terrorist attack. I see he later backpedaled and said he was talking about the immigrant problem there. Which I have researched. Seems there's a lot of correlation confused with causation stuff out there in the pseudo-press. What's true is that Sweden accepted a (proportionately) large number of immigrants, including Roma people, other Eastern Europeans, and some North Africans. If you look at studies done in Sweden of crime statistics, like this one,

https://www.bra.se/bra/publikationer/arkiv/publikationer/2005-12-14-brottslighet-bland-personer-fodda-i-sverige-och-i-utlandet.html

you find (well, I found, but those who don't speak Swedish can probably find a button somewhere there to convert it to English) that socioeconomic differences were way more significant than immigrant status. And that rates of reporting of certain crimes like rape, increased steadily since 1975 due to the same trend found in the U.S. - namely, more women step forward and report marital rape and date rape. But the blogosphere is full of Arab Menace stories of Sweden, because people are taking some raw numbers and massaging them to fit their preconceived idea.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 20th, 2017, 8:33 pm 

Braininvat » February 21st, 2017, 1:51 am wrote:Truth violently assaulted by Trump with his non-existent Swedish terrorist attack. I see he later backpedaled and said he was talking about the immigrant problem there. Which I have researched. Seems there's a lot of correlation confused with causation stuff out there in the pseudo-press. What's true is that Sweden accepted a (proportionately) large number of immigrants, including Roma people, other Eastern Europeans, and some North Africans. If you look at studies done in Sweden of crime statistics, like this one,

https://www.bra.se/bra/publikationer/arkiv/publikationer/2005-12-14-brottslighet-bland-personer-fodda-i-sverige-och-i-utlandet.html

you find (well, I found, but those who don't speak Swedish can probably find a button somewhere there to convert it to English) that socioeconomic differences were way more significant than immigrant status. And that rates of reporting of certain crimes like rape, increased steadily since 1975 due to the same trend found in the U.S. - namely, more women step forward and report marital rape and date rape. But the blogosphere is full of Arab Menace stories of Sweden, because people are taking some raw numbers and massaging them to fit their preconceived idea.

Yes, I couldn't even be bothered to chase this one when I saw it - there is too much of a pattern emerging now for this to be novel. It now seems to be a direct attack on freedom of speech - and especially politically-driven free speech in the public sphere.

Thus, I have started a new thread to address it here: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?. After watching this Fox News clip, I think it is obvious that the situation is completely out of control at the moment:



But even Fox news knows that its own revenues, never mind the presenters' jobs, are on the line, and so they are not just going to lie down and take this.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 20th, 2017, 8:35 pm 

wolfhnd » February 20th, 2017, 11:10 am wrote:Since we have been discussing our ability to access external reality and how instincts may effect that ability and I have mentioned jealousy try this link.

http://www.livescience.com/10986-jealou ... finds.html

Thanks again, wolf. When I get some extra time I'll get back to you on this stuff.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby zetreque on February 21st, 2017, 6:38 am 

Has this article already been shared...

Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying

By CHARLES J. SYKESFEB. 4, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/opin ... vGate&_r=0
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 21st, 2017, 7:26 am 

zetreque » February 21st, 2017, 7:38 pm wrote:Has this article already been shared...

Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying

By CHARLES J. SYKESFEB. 4, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/opin ... vGate&_r=0

Thanks, a good one. This is a very interesting point:
During his first week in office, Mr. Trump reiterated the unfounded charge that millions of people had voted illegally. When challenged on the evident falsehood, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, seemed to argue that Mr. Trump’s belief that something was true qualified as evidence.

Would Spicer et al be so respectful if Trump bragged and said that he could fly Airforce one single-handedly and told the pilot to step aside? At what point do they see the danger behind wrong beliefs? Or do they know it's just a big exercise in herding badly educated and emotional people through conscious lies?

It seems it is this situation - not actually knowing how much is psychosis and how much is heavy political spin - is what is creating this void where no real action is being taken. It's like when people who are hard of hearing somehow don't hear the details that aren't applicable to their interests. It's difficult to know when it's genuine.

There is already quite a lot of data to suggest now that it is more political game than ignorance, however. Telling lies upon lies always gets too complicated - already Flynn has suffered the fallout, for example.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 21st, 2017, 10:07 am 

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on February 21st, 2017, 12:53 pm 

Speaking of the devil....I noticed Breitbart ran a piece this morning about how Rinkeby, Sweden had turned into a "war zone" as immigrants rioted there. Looking at other sources, it appears a few cars were burned, shops vandalized, and no one was hurt. Hmm, I think war zones are where people get hurt, generally.

Compare/contrast Breitbart's Rinkeby riot story with the Chicago Tribune's.....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati ... ft03a-1gp3

Trib article also has interesting facts about the disparity between Tucker Carlson's Faux News version of immigrant problems in Sweden, and what the Swedish officials actually said. Also, that crime analysis in Sweden found that around 1% of crimes were immigrant related. Funny what happens to Breitbart stories when you look at them closely....
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 21st, 2017, 3:29 pm 

A slight shift in focus, from lies told by the media to lies told by the government.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/our-miserable-21st-century/

There is nothing partisan in this article. The author doesn't point fingers at either Party (refreshing for a change) but I'll include this trigger warning: If you think government is the solution to all our woes and that it would never lie to us, you may be offended. ;)
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 21st, 2017, 5:06 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 21st, 2017, 11:29 am wrote:A slight shift in focus, from lies told by the media to lies told by the government.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/our-miserable-21st-century/

There is nothing partisan in this article. The author doesn't point fingers at either Party (refreshing for a change) but I'll include this trigger warning: If you think government is the solution to all our woes and that it would never lie to us, you may be offended. ;)


re "nothing partisan in this article": How grant that, since according to wikipedia, Commentary, originally left, moved right in the 70s and 80s, until it wound up neo-conservative, apparently to this day, hence one would expect anti-government content (as in "Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentary_(magazine)

E.g., I read much of the Commentary article you link us to here down to the part where, instead of identifying the real causes of massive loss of jobs in the U.S. (automation and offshoring), it goes into a lengthy passage faulting Medicaid for financing the opiod epidemic (evidently one of the consequences of chronic unemployment).
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 21st, 2017, 5:26 pm 

d30 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:06 pm wrote:
re "nothing partisan in this article": How grant that, since according to wikipedia, Commentary, originally left, moved right in the 70s and 80s, until it wound up neo-conservative, apparently to this day, hence one would expect anti-government content (as in "Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentary_(magazine)


*Sigh*

Once again, you are judging the source rather than the content. Did you even read the article?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 21st, 2017, 5:47 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 21st, 2017, 1:26 pm wrote:
d30 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:06 pm wrote:
re "nothing partisan in this article": How grant that, since according to wikipedia, Commentary, originally left, moved right in the 70s and 80s, until it wound up neo-conservative, apparently to this day, hence one would expect anti-government content (as in "Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentary_(magazine)


*Sigh*

Once again, you are judging the source rather than the content. Did you even read the article?

Yes, thinking the very same as you (to judge the article per se), I read much of the Commentary article you linked us to, down to the part where, instead of identifying the causes of massive loss of jobs in the U.S. (automation, offshoring, and abominable neglect by business and government of the many thus long suffering), it pivots instead into a lengthy passage faulting Medicaid for financing the opioid epidemic - something irrelevant to the cause of chronic unemployment and ideas for finally correcting it, for which, see the new thread, "Work hours - #1 issue of our time".
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 21st, 2017, 5:54 pm 

d30 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:47 pm wrote:
Paul Anthony » February 21st, 2017, 1:26 pm wrote:
d30 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:06 pm wrote:
re "nothing partisan in this article": How grant that, since according to wikipedia, Commentary, originally left, moved right in the 70s and 80s, until it wound up neo-conservative, apparently to this day, hence one would expect anti-government content (as in "Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentary_(magazine)


*Sigh*

Once again, you are judging the source rather than the content. Did you even read the article?

Yes, thinking the very same as you (to judge the article per se), I read much of the Commentary article you linked us to, down to the part where, instead of identifying the causes of massive loss of jobs in the U.S. (automation, offshoring, and abominable neglect by business and government of the many thus long suffering), it pivots instead into a lengthy passage faulting Medicaid for financing the opioid epidemic - something irrelevant to the cause of chronic unemployment and ideas for finally correcting it, for which, see the new thread, "Work hours - #1 issue of our time".


Chronic unemployment and its causes was not the subject of the article. He mentions unemployment in his discussion of the false unemployment numbers foisted upon us by the government. He covers many topics, but there is a central theme to it all. Sorry if you missed it.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 21st, 2017, 11:27 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 21st, 2017, 1:54 pm wrote:Chronic unemployment and its causes was not the subject of the article. He mentions unemployment in his discussion of the false unemployment numbers foisted upon us by the government. He covers many topics, but there is a central theme to it all. Sorry if you missed it.

Acknowledged.

I'm with you and the many bothered by the disturbingly long government-and-media practice of presenting, every month, so-called unemployment figures that do not include the huge number of discouraged job seekers no longer even looking, after trying to find work for a long time. They habitually give a false impression of the true state of the union.

Guess we can assume they don't include the discouraged job seekers because since the latter have run out of unemployment-insurance eligibility, there's no longer any record of them to go by.

If that's why, I think it's a copout. They should pro-actively establish means to track discouraged seekers in order to give a true unemployment figure each month to the American people. Otherwise they're open to criticism as presenting fake news, chronically, in their monthly release of unemployment figures, as you, IIRC. said in your first post about the Commentary mag. article.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 22nd, 2017, 1:42 am 

Forest_Dump » February 21st, 2017, 11:07 pm wrote:http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/news-journalism-standards-regulation-neil-macdonald-1.3991443

Relevant to a number of threads

A very nice article - I liked this point:
Journalism is losing the support of rational, intelligent, thoughtful consumers, and that is a serious threat.

Recapturing it probably means a little less snark (millennials, especially, seem to loathe snark and smug, of which I am a foremost practitioner), less blatant clickbait (in some ways, news websites are becoming a collection of bad listicles), more policy and less politics, and less pusillanimous surrender to ratings, something that helped create Trump.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on February 26th, 2017, 1:16 pm 

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 26th, 2017, 6:28 pm 

Just a bit more on that one. Fox faux news.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/fox-news-s ... -1.4000042
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on February 27th, 2017, 1:27 pm 

CBC seems like a good source these days.

My thoughts this morning are on how "alternate truth" can slip in so easily, even with reputable news firms. For example, how many people just read a headline on a story and then move on? If they looked at Reuter's this morning, for example, the headline on the Oscars ceremony said something like: Warren Beatty announced the wrong best picture winner. To a skimmer of news, this might look like he had a moment of senility. Several facts would need to be added to clarify one's understanding. One, that Beatty was handed the wrong envelope, which said "Emma Stone ---- LaLaLand." I.e. he had the card for the Best Actress award, already given earlier. Two, that the cards don't say what the award is for. So that's all that he had to go on. Would anyone, standing in a spotlight and with the world waiting for you to deliver the revelation, stop and work this out...."hmmm, Emma Stone didn't produce this movie did she? I thought the producer's name was what they put under the Best Picture's title...." Beatty looked confused, of course, and then Dunaway simply grabbed the card (thinking perhaps he was having trouble reading it, or was joining the current trend at Oscar ceremonies to clown around....) and read out the name of the title. At this point, Beatty went along with it. Point is, for this thread, how many people will read misleading headlines and go around thinking Beatty and Dunaway are ready for the Alzheimer's wing of the Old Movie Stars Home?

EDIT: I checked later and see now that Reuter's removed that unfortunate headline and replaced it with one pinpointing PriceWaterhouse as the party responsible for the SNAFU. That's good. I like Reuter's.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 27th, 2017, 2:12 pm 

That's my biggest complaint with the media. They rush to be first with the latest breaking news before they've spent enough time researching it.

It is a competitive business, and in today's instant communication era, maybe it can't be helped. When the news was delivered in print once a day, they had time to get it (mostly) right.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby SciameriKen on February 27th, 2017, 2:20 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:27 pm wrote:CBC seems like a good source these days.

My thoughts this morning are on how "alternate truth" can slip in so easily, even with reputable news firms. For example, how many people just read a headline on a story and then move on? If they looked at Reuter's this morning, for example, the headline on the Oscars ceremony said something like: Warren Beatty announced the wrong best picture winner. To a skimmer of news, this might look like he had a moment of senility. Several facts would need to be added to clarify one's understanding. One, that Beatty was handed the wrong envelope, which said "Emma Stone ---- LaLaLand." I.e. he had the card for the Best Actress award, already given earlier. Two, that the cards don't say what the award is for. So that's all that he had to go on. Would anyone, standing in a spotlight and with the world waiting for you to deliver the revelation, stop and work this out...."hmmm, Emma Stone didn't produce this movie did she? I thought the producer's name was what they put under the Best Picture's title...." Beatty looked confused, of course, and then Dunaway simply grabbed the card (thinking perhaps he was having trouble reading it, or was joining the current trend at Oscar ceremonies to clown around....) and read out the name of the title. At this point, Beatty went along with it. Point is, for this thread, how many people will read misleading headlines and go around thinking Beatty and Dunaway are ready for the Alzheimer's wing of the Old Movie Stars Home?

EDIT: I checked later and see now that Reuter's removed that unfortunate headline and replaced it with one pinpointing PriceWaterhouse as the party responsible for the SNAFU. That's good. I like Reuter's.



Maybe we need you Biv to run the media -- this is the clearest explanation of what happened I could find anywhere!
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 28th, 2017, 7:35 am 

SciameriKen » February 28th, 2017, 3:20 am wrote:Maybe we need you Biv to run the media -- this is the clearest explanation of what happened I could find anywhere!

That's an idea - "Science Chat News Corporation" - empirically researched and referenced news - "the future of truth for the post-truth world" .... or something like that ;P
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on March 6th, 2017, 8:57 pm 

And so it continues...

Truth is being walloped by outright lies. We need to fight for it
The Guardian, 6 March 2017
Donald Trump vomited into cyberspace on Saturday, claiming Barack Obama had his “wires tapped” in the month before the election, although he cited no evidence whatsoever. The evidence, in fact, was a Breitbart article, itself citing an article on the website Heat Street, which quoted “unnamed sources”.

Before we get to the truth, we must examine the lies. Because the lies are winning – and new research from academics at Columbia University shows how. Columbia’s researchers analysed 1.3m articles published online in the run-up to the US election. The results show that it is not the internet as a technology that fragments the truth, or favours fake news and outright lies. It is the overt adoption of disinformation and propaganda strategies by politically motivated rightwing outlets that creates this effect.
[...]
Network analysis shows that the huge, established corporate media outlets, ranging from the New York Times and Washington Post to CNN, inhabit an almost completely separate world from the news consumed by rightwing voters. The sun of this “alt-right” solar system is Breitbart, around which numerous other paranoia-vendors orbit.

What’s striking is the lack of overlap. The network graphics show the same kind of picture you get when you juxtapose Palestinian Twitter with Israeli Twitter – parallel universes.

Two other results stand out. First the lack of diversity in the far-right media. While left and centre-left media in the US was diverse and critical in its support for Hillary Clinton, the likes of Breitbart, Zero Hedge and Truthfeed were clustered at the extreme end of pro-Trump partisanship. They are all, basically, in the same business.
[...]
something massive happened between 2008 and 2017: the ideology of the ruling elite fell apart. They kept the global finance system alive with $12tn of printed money and the philosophy of “extend and pretend”. But it’s hard to keep an ideology alive that way. People’s brains demand coherence – and what the liberal conservatism of the Wall Street Journal could not provide, the racist xenophobia of Breitbart did.

We have to learn something profound from this. In an ideological crisis, facts alone do not win arguments: narratives do. The clearest difference between the liberal-democratic newspapers – including this one – and those of the right is that the former have no overarching narrative. They espouse a series of good causes. They partake in stolid investigations hidebound by numerous self-imposed rules, as a result of which nobody gets busted. Having bought the ideological self-justification that “I just report the truth”, many journalists and editors are clueless as to why this “truth” is now being walloped by outright lies.
[...]
Trump’s row with the FBI shows he is a lying fantasist. If the liberal media has any principle left it is not the comment pages but the front page headlines that should say: “President exposed as lying fantasist.”

The new situation is "unnamed sources" vs "unnamed sources". What happens when a nation divided arrives at such a journalistic impasse? Do sources come out and give their names in order to become martyrs to the truth?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on March 6th, 2017, 9:15 pm 

The problem is the liberal media's scruples, which would not let it say that Trump is a lying fantasist when it is uncertain if he is that....or a paranoid fantasist who believes that his paranoid delusions are true. One of those "numerous self-imposed rules" is the one that says you can't make assertions like that without proof. And lying, as we have talked about before, is notoriously hard to prove. It's easy enough to prove that a statement is not true, the real trick is to prove that the speaker's intent was to deceive. Either way, Trump's lack of connection to reality is scary and sad. If he is deliberately lying, then he has lost touch with the sworn duty of, and the honor of, his office and of public service generally. If he is genuinely sharing a paranoid delusion, then...well, the POTUS is crazy and we have a Republican majority that will look the other way and not send in the team with straitjackets.
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