'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrity

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

Postby Braininvat on April 16th, 2017, 3:06 pm 

The branch of Democrats that call themselves "Progressives" are certainly as much followers as a lot of Tea-baggers on the Right, and IMO just as prey to unexamined assumptions and bad science. Anyone who followed the so-called Progressives who aligned themselves against child vaccinations can recognize this. The outbreaks of various diseases in elementary and middle schools that have happened in California and elsewhere - you can thank mindless uncritical followers for that. And don't get me started on the "progressive" raw milk movement and the serious illness and death that has resulted from it. When people start to label themselves and make that label their identity, they sacrifice some of their power to reason and think critically - and to recognize evidence contrary to their dogma.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 17th, 2017, 11:50 am 

[quote="wolfhnd » April 8th, 2017, 3:34 pm"
There seems to be a growing consensus that agrees with you. Freedom of speech is an issue that both liberal and conservative intellectuals our publicly promoting while the media seems obsessed with fake news. It kind of insults the intelligence of the general population to suggest they are unable to determine what is fake news which is the unavoidable consequence of free speech. It would be better if the media educated the public about alternative media than just promoting their corporate interests.[/quote]

I think we need to update our understanding of media. More forums like this one would be a good thing because we do need informed moderators to edit what is posted. Brainvat and I have had some pretty bad moments, but I do appreciate his efforts to distinguish between good science and all the ideas floating out there are not good science.

Mossling's post based on what Dawkins and Axelrod said is excellent. I am just beginning to understand how prone I am to believing false things because it feels good to believe them. Our drive to feel good is much stronger in most of us than a desire to know truth. Only through a lot of learning and experience and determination, do we ween ourselves from the sugar of feel good information and follow the path of logic and long term thinking. The kind of thinking Jefferson spoke of when he wrote of the pursuit of happiness.

We need Brainvats to keep us honest and need forums like this one so we can go through the process that is essential to our learning and correcting each other. Just watching the news or reading about it, does not fulfill the process of thinking that is necessary for a healthy lifestyle or a healthy democracy. We need to communicate and get feedback and we need to think about what we think. Democracy is thinking with many points of view and it will always be better than following a Lion King.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 17th, 2017, 12:43 pm 

Paul Anthony » April 16th, 2017, 12:04 pm wrote:
I agree with the essence of your message, but take exception to your inference that supporters of Trump are followers but those who support Democrats are not. Both parties rely on followers - people who parrot what they are told without thinking too much about it. "Social Justice", "Living wage", "Women's health", "Save the planet" are cute catch-phrases that few can actually define. They are just as useful and as inane as "Make America great again".


Huh? I think I said we become followers. If I said Democrats are different I am sorry. Sometimes I read my post and wonder what in blazes I meant to say. I mean to edit every post carefully, but somehow I still miss the errors. It is a little scary. I don't do drugs, but when I read my post, sometimes I wonder why they are so messed up.

I want to stress the importance of being taught how to think because being taught how to think is what I believe is vitally important and there doesn't seem to be good understanding of this. However, Texas Republicans do understand and the 2012 agenda was to prevent education for the higher order thinking skills. They took a stand against such education because it causes children to question their parents. Yeah, it also causes us all to question authority. It seems Christians have a difficult time with this. Democracy depends on questioning authority, but the history of a mass that questions authority has a very dark history, as well as a very enlightened and progressive history. Sigh, a nation of independent thinkers is a risky thing and our challenge is to have a democracy without being self-destructive.

I love the saying "Make America great again", but to me, that means returning to education for democracy, and bringing an end to education for the Military Industrial Complex. Thinking making American great again is having a powerful Military Industrial Complex is being what we defended our democracy against. The difference is understanding making American great again means being well informed, and being well informed depends on a strong education for independent thinking and good moral judgment. That is not education for technology, that is producing products for industry or parts for the Borg that are ruled by men like Cheney and Trump, or who may be behind men like Reagan. Texas was behind the nomination of these men and Eisenhower. That is oil money and control of oil has meant military force and a CIA influencing things like rebellions and political decisions in other countries.

Democrats have ties to the power people because of the power structure, but I think there is a basic difference in agenda?

Statistically, people have been dropping out of both parties, and the mass of "undecided" is growing. There is something to work with, because unlike the past Germany, the US comes the Military Industrial Complex/New World Order, with a history of independent thinking or questioning authority. However, both the Germans and the US come to the Military Industrial Complex with a history of Christian domination. I think dropping education for democracy in favor of education for technology for industrial and military purpose, should be labeled treason.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 20th, 2017, 3:22 am 

Athena » April 17th, 2017, 2:42 am wrote:We have become followers instead of leaders, and this time we chose a very bad leader. We could be in serious trouble, not simply because we could be headed for economic and environmental disaster and possible war, but because so many people think the biggest bully on the block is the best choice for a leader. We have had education for this, education for the "worker/consumers" since 1958, and know cares enough about education for children, to investigate for themselves what I am saying. The Military Industrial Complex requires followers. The democracy we had required leaders.

I get your sentiment, but I must stress again that this "we" you speak of would probably not be accepted by the democratic majority who elected Trump. What is your intention - to force this "we'-ness onto them somehow? They do not apparently agree with you, and so are not in a social collective with you beyond the fact that they share a passport with you - a mere beaurocratic relic of a time now passed.

The "we" you speak of seems a somewhat loftier perception than what has ever existed, in fact. We (on the forum) discussed this over on my 'The Enlightenment was a veneer?' thread recently. I concluded there that the Enlightened state of the military commanders (and one could probably include the police to some degree) is the key to the future - anything else does not matter as much because a pen can be mightier than a sword, and yet a sword can only fight one person at a time. Automatic rifles, drones, and so on are another ballpark entirely. And who knows whether even the most Enlightened US military commander would join you in your "we".
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 20th, 2017, 3:35 am 

Donald Trump's North Korea 'armada' gaffe was dangerous buffoonery
The Guardian, 19 April 2017
Machiavelli argued that it is better to be feared than loved. It’s also better to look like something other than a fool.

Because that’s what you look like when you misstate the mission and location of an entire aircraft carrier group: specifically, the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz class, nuclear-powered beast of the seas, accompanied by a strike force of two destroyers and a cruiser.
[...]
The only problem is that the Carl Vinson armada wasn’t sailing towards North Korea. It was sailing away from Pyongyang. A long, long way away: more than 3,500 miles away to the Indian Ocean for a joint exercise with the Australian navy.
[...]
Now we know that the era of strategic impatience needs to wait a little longer for the aircraft carrier to sail 3,500 miles back to the hot zone. Do not test Donald Trump’s resolve or, for that matter, his naval knowledge.

The problem with this kind of chest-thumping is that it spills across the whole team of once professional adults. Defense secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser HR McMaster played their own part in leaving the impression that the aircraft carrier was steaming towards Korea. Serving a clueless boss, their reputations are growing tarnished on a daily basis, like that of the United States itself.
[...]
“So what happens is I said, ‘We’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this.’ And he was eating his cake. And he was silent.”

If you were the Chinese president sitting opposite a nuclear-armed president who couldn’t tell Iraq from Syria, you too might remain silent and savor every bite of the last chocolate cake you might encounter on this planet.

The news was full of "imminent war between US fleet and N Korea" - what a waste of journalism. Another abuse of executive power to try to distract people from the Russia investigations perhaps?

So there goes the 'Enlightened military commanders' hopes...
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 20th, 2017, 10:53 am 

Mossling » April 20th, 2017, 1:22 am wrote:
Athena » April 17th, 2017, 2:42 am wrote:We have become followers instead of leaders, and this time we chose a very bad leader. We could be in serious trouble, not simply because we could be headed for economic and environmental disaster and possible war, but because so many people think the biggest bully on the block is the best choice for a leader. We have had education for this, education for the "worker/consumers" since 1958, and know cares enough about education for children, to investigate for themselves what I am saying. The Military Industrial Complex requires followers. The democracy we had required leaders.

I get your sentiment, but I must stress again that this "we" you speak of would probably not be accepted by the democratic majority who elected Trump. What is your intention - to force this "we'-ness onto them somehow?


The intention is to raise awareness about the importance of education and awareness that education can result in a mass of independent thinkers or a mass of followers. We had education that made us different from Germany and since 1958 we have had the same education for technology that brought Germany to the Nazi situation.

They do not apparently agree with you, and so are not in a social collective with you beyond the fact that they share a passport with you - a mere beaurocratic relic of a time now passed.


No one agrees with me because I have a different point of reference, a collection of old books that reveals something about the histories of education of which others are not aware.

The "we" you speak of seems a somewhat loftier perception than what has ever existed, in fact. We (on the forum) discussed this over on my 'The Enlightenment was a veneer?' thread recently. I concluded there that the Enlightened state of the military commanders (and one could probably include the police to some degree) is the key to the future - anything else does not matter as much because a pen can be mightier than a sword, and yet a sword can only fight one person at a time. Automatic rifles, drones, and so on are another ballpark entirely. And who knows whether even the most Enlightened US military commander would join you in your "we".


I would be surprised if anyone in the military had much of an understanding of the Military Industrial Complex and what education has to do with it. This is not part of their education, nor is it in the media. However, past President Eisenhower did warn us of the dangers, but no one seems to be paying attention to what he said, even though he was a highly respected military man in his day. I think the problem is, in general people don't pay attention the social, economic and political ramifications of education. Also in the US people don't study German history. Although, it is obvious some have studied important aspects of German organization and things like how the Nazis came to power, but not so much the Prussians and how they came to control Germany. That would be more the interest of a political person, than a military person.

Normally people do not understand bureaucratic order, unless is it military bureaucracy, and that the US replaced its bureaucratic order with the German [Prussian] model and that the change in US education goes with the change in the bureaucratic organization, shifting power from the individual to the state. This change is the New World Order, and it is poorly understood, but people like Bush and Cheney understood it. It is not the family order that organized human societies for thousands of years.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 20th, 2017, 11:30 am 

Mossling » April 20th, 2017, 1:35 am wrote:[...]

The news was full of "imminent war between US fleet and N Korea" - what a waste of journalism. Another abuse of executive power to try to distract people from the Russia investigations perhaps?

So there goes the 'Enlightened military commanders' hopes...


I don't think we should ignore the very tense political situation the world is in right now. Japan is threatened by North Korea and the US is aligned with South Korea and Japan, while China is aligned with North Korea and wants to claim South Korea. In North Korea, a Philippine ship was impounded because of the new sanctions intended to stop North Korea's nuclear program. This is not wasted chatter. It is serious. It is very similar to why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, bringing the US into the second world war. The US had embargoed oil to Japan with the intention of getting Japan to stop invading China.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/05/asia/nort ... ilippines/
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on April 20th, 2017, 5:33 pm 

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

Postby Mossling on April 21st, 2017, 1:00 am 

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

Postby Mossling on April 21st, 2017, 2:05 am 

Athena » April 20th, 2017, 11:53 pm wrote:No one agrees with me because I have a different point of reference, a collection of old books that reveals something about the histories of education of which others are not aware.

Do you really think the masses that matter would care about the information that you have in those books? I don't think that they disagree with your books, rather it is about your philosophy - you have a post-Enlightenment outlook, while the democratic majority have a pre-Enlightenment outlook - racism; white supremacy, 'might makes right', and so on. And as I referenced on the 'Enlightenment was a veneer?' thread, even the Enlightenment has had its barbaric side, and so the idea of rational thought overcoming visceral tribalism has never apparently been an ideal that has delivered proper long-term economic advantages to a Western society in general. It could, and has been, easily argued to be a mere blinkered liberalist pipe dream.

past President Eisenhower did warn us of the dangers, but no one seems to be paying attention to what he said, even though he was a highly respected military man in his day.

Maybe his ideas would be ignored today by the masses because he comes across as akin to too many of the modern 'establishment elite' - still not enough brawn, not enough 'raw'straight-talkin' ballsiness'.

All of what I am saying is based on the idea that the majority of modern Americans like The Truth no more than the ancient Athenians back in the days of Socrates did. The patron saint of Western philosophy was put to death for his benevolent efforts to educate his fellow citizens regarding wisdom, and today peoples' appetites for proper philosophy do not appear to be much different.

Here is a quote from Plato's Socrates speaking in Republic (496c5-e2):
Some rare souls have tasted how sweet and blessed a possession philosophy is, and at the same time they’ve also seen the madness of the majority and realized, in a word, that hardly anyone acts sanely in public affairs and that there is no ally with whom they might go to the aid of justice and survive, that instead they’d perish before they could profit either their city or their friends and be useless both to themselves and to others, just like a man who has fallen among wild animals and is neither willing to join them in doing injustice nor sufficiently strong to oppose the general savagery alone. Taking all this into account, they lead a quiet life and do their own work. Thus, like someone who takes refuge under a little wall from a storm of dust or hail driven by the wind, the philosopher – seeing others filled with lawlessness – is satisfi ed if he can somehow lead his present life free from injustice and impious acts and depart from it with good hope, blameless and content.

Returning to Axelrod's fundamentals for biologically-driven cooperation and thus politics (which I am glad that you are receptive to :) ), any Truth needs to become translated into significant economic gains for a population to - literally - "see it's worth" - like the truth of engines and bicycles, for example. If it requires asceticism (of Socrates' sort), however, then it is not going to be popular (unless there are heavenly virgins promised after death, or whatever). Any would-be radical politician, social engineer, or 'currency-changer' (as the Athenians would call a radical socially-engaged philosopher) needs to have demonstrable economic rewards in store for those that they wish to recognise The Truth. Otherwise, what is the point, really? Without economic advantages, truth is useless, and if one is presently living in the most affluent country on the planet - where all the basic necessities are available to anyone who is willing to do a regular job, then The Truth may not seem attractive at all - especially if that would require recognising any ill-gotten gains; slave-worked plantations, land-grabs, war-mongering, and so on.

There is apparently a time for truth, however - when it comes to sensitive important political decisions. But then again, that does not involve the masses in-between elections. So Truth becomes more of a high-level elite concern, not a major factor in the everyday lives of the poorly educated. As I have mentioned a number of times already on this thread - the raw economics that emerge from Trump's behaviours will be 'the truth' beyond any words spoken by politicians. Already he has insulted Australia by hanging up on them, refused to shake Germany's hand, jabbed a stick into the N Korea hornet nest, and has just recently now called Canada "a disgrace" regarding its protectionism over its dairy industry (even though Trump is a fan of protectionism for US industries). As time goes on, fewer and fewer countries will want to fund these kinds of global insults coming from the US. This is going to be the real Truth - beyond books, concepts, opinions on history, and spin. Just money, food, shelter, bullets, and medicine.

Now how can you demonstrate those benefits being delivered significantly more efficiently to everyone in your nation than they are arriving at present, while remaining within the ethics that you enjoy living by? This is the key to making a radical positive change, in my view - and yes, one must "be the change" - one must advertise the economic benefits, just like riding a bicycle and saving time, or accumulating capital to invest in future gains - people need to say: "She's on to something, you know?"

If you say: "I have a book", the masses will just laugh, unless your book promises heavenly virgins, of course ;P .
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 22nd, 2017, 3:15 am 

The following video is a bit long, but I found it very interesting that Trump attempted to justify the recent tomahawk strike to the Russians through a statement released to the mainstream press, to which the Russians responded: "But Trump says the mainstream press is 'fake news'!"

The snake is eating its own tail.

The big difference between Russia and America is the free press, but Trump has devalued that 'card' much to his political detriment. If he wants to retaliate against war crimes with liberal outrage, then he needs to be in favour of the liberal press. Instead, he thinks Putin is fine being a killer, and that the free press is a nuisance. How, then, does he explain anger at Assad being a killer while citing reasons delivered through the mainstream 'liberal' press?

What a mess he's in with all this post-truth shenanigans.

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

Postby Athena on April 22nd, 2017, 11:44 am 

Mossling, I very much like your post. Now I will point out, despite the unpleasant reality of his day Plato wrote and what he had to say influenced many people over many centuries. The woman who wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Harriet Beecher Stowe, influenced opinions about slavery and so did Mark Twain. I firmly believe writing is a way to change things and that citizens of the US are well prepared to read about what it means to be citizens of the US and how this is different from being a citizen in Nazi Germany. That is the main drive of my book.

The book is the result of studying the history of education, and it is about what education has to do with being the democracy we defended in two world wars or what we defended our democracy against. I think plenty of people will find that interesting. If not, oh well. I can only do my best and no more. What would be worse than failing is to have never tried. No one wants to live wondering if they had tried, could they have made a difference? Not when making a difference is really important, and for the generations that follow, that difference could be very important!

Realistically our way of life is not materially sustainable. But idealistically the democracy we defended in two world wars can be sustained and absolutely nothing would be more important than that. For thousands of years, humanity lived with very little. The US did not have the abundance it has gained since the second world war, and yet people were reasonably happy, not because they might achieve great wealth, but because they could be virtuous and feel good about themselves, and be respected in their communities. I am not writing for money but because I really care about the what kind of lives my great grandchildren and their children will have. This is all the motivation I need to do my best, and take good care of myself so I live long enough to publish. I passionately care about what I am saying, and what is better than living with a sense of meaning? I believe we all can live with such passion and make a difference. Christians have lived with passion for a couple of thousands of years, and money as a motivating factor didn't come until Calvin and the spread of Calvinism. That was the inspiration for many moving to the New Land to create heaven on earth. The motivating factor was only partly in what heaven would provide, and very much a passion for what can be achieved with the right effort. In the beginning, these people believed they were making history, and that was good enough to drive them to risk everything and do their best. The United States was about the passion for what might be achieved through human effort and I want to reawaken that passion. If I fail, I fail, but our history is different from Germany's and I hope that makes an important difference.

Thank you so much for helping me be more solidly aware of the motivation I must focus on, and in this thread may I say, the generation that thought they were saving our democracy by being reporters and journalist is dying. The shift in values we have experienced in my lifetime is very destructive! This shift in values began with a change in education, and I just have to make it possible for people to be aware of that! The meaning of being American was not getting rich. It was creating a healthy democracy with liberty and justice for all and defending it not only in war but very much so, defending it in the classroom, and through journalism and protecting our liberty and social justice by having good moral judgment.

My local paper is called the Register-Guard. It began when journalist believed that is what they were doing, guarding truth and our democracy so people could act and vote with good moral judgment. I have watched these people die. If what I have to say is not said, there will be no record of what the change in education had to do with the shift in values, and there might not be a realized connection between the news people and teachers and the generations who lived to make our nation strong through virtues, not through military force. I think people want to know that.

PS. I can hardly wait for Monday. This has raised my desire to search the Register-Guard achieves for the mission statement and related information and to make those working at the Register-Guard aware of the past, and hopefully, inspire them to write about it. The paper is dying because of lost interest in paper newspapers and a shift to other forms of media. Older folks understand why our privately owned newspaper needs to be supported, but I question if the young staff working for the paper know this is about more than money? I spoke with one of the staff about the importance of being a reporter and he denied his potential for making an important difference. That is sad. What is his motivation if it is not to help us be good citizens armed with information to make good decisions?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 22nd, 2017, 1:10 pm 

Eisenhower’s desire to communicate his views and policies directly to the public governed many of the media initiatives that were a legacy of his administration and are still in use today.

Eisenhower, the only president to win an Emmy, held the first televised news conference, held almost weekly press conferences and utilized other new techniques to communicate his message and policies.

http://www.press.org/news-multimedia/ne ... ts-and-his


Now here is an issue...

As of August 2016, the US has already appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security (2001 through fiscal year 2016). To this total should be added the approximately $65 billion in dedicated war spending the Department of Defense and State Department have requested for the next fiscal year, 2017, along with an additional nearly $32 billion requested for the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, and estimated spending on veterans in future years. When those are included, the total US budgetary cost of the wars reaches $4.79 trillion
http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/file ... l%20v2.pdf


My point is who is newsworthy and what is newsworthy? This is a decision journalist must make and they can base their decision on the ideology of the free press, and the reason to do this is expressed well in the link Mossling gave us, or the decision can be based on what is popular and what might attract viewers and increase revenue?

When I was trying to call attention to the homeless problem in the 1980's I learned the media ignores the issues. The media was not interested in what the oil embargo had to do with the recession that increased unemployment and homelessness. I don't remember much excitement over the mills replacing machinery and eliminating many jobs. However, if we were socially disobedient the media was interested. I lead the social disobedience until I realized, the public was getting the wrong impression of us. No one was learning about the causes of our social problems, only that homeless folks were acting up. Fortunately, we got good results, but still, my concern about issues not being news bothers me. Trump is getting a lot of news coverage. The cost of war is not, and the result of actions that spread the wars is not. Good judgment depends on knowing cause and effect but this is not what news is about.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 23rd, 2017, 4:02 am 

Athena » April 23rd, 2017, 12:44 am wrote:Mossling, I very much like your post.

Thank you Athena, I think this topic is perhaps the most important one of our time.

Now I will point out, despite the unpleasant reality of his day Plato wrote and what he had to say influenced many people over many centuries.

I would also counter that Plato's recorded belief in mystical forms undermined the glittering wisdom Socrates wished to hand down, and set the scene for the medieval dark ages where theology and philosophy were pretty much one and the same.

The woman who wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Harriet Beecher Stowe, influenced opinions about slavery and so did Mark Twain. I firmly believe writing is a way to change things and that citizens of the US are well prepared to read about what it means to be citizens of the US and how this is different from being a citizen in Nazi Germany. That is the main drive of my book.

Indeed. Yet again, however, it seems that any good idea needs to be economically attractive, and as Axelrod points out; traditional 'upright' morality (honesty, forgiveness, non-envy) lies at the core of the most efficient and rewarding long-term (non-zero-sum, open-ended) cooperative agreements.

I find it very interesting that Socrates dropped the physical investigations and instead turned towards Ethics (the more moral questions regarding virtue, for example), and he, like Jesus, Buddha, et al, did not write anything at all. They intended to pass on physical practices that were more akin to riding a bicycle. For why write several volumes describing what the feeling of riding a bicycle is like, when readers can learn to ride themselves instead? Human economics are just what we experience in daily life, and as the saying goes, the proof of the wholesome or unwholesomeness is in the eating, not in the describing.

It seems that Axelrod even answered Socrates' question; "What is virtue?" when he pointed out the human behaviours that emerge out of the most economically beneficial human interaction strategy (Tit-for -Tat) - something like: "Treating others how one wishes to be treated on the first intereaction, and reciprocating their behaviour to them in kind thereafter." Axelrod even suggests upping the moral edge by only reciprocating 90% of an antisocial economic interaction, which would demonstrate and encourage forgiveness more, and get the 'virtue ball' rolling once again.

The shift in values we have experienced in my lifetime is very destructive! This shift in values began with a change in education, and I just have to make it possible for people to be aware of that! The meaning of being American was not getting rich. It was creating a healthy democracy with liberty and justice for all and defending it not only in war but very much so, defending it in the classroom, and through journalism and protecting our liberty and social justice by having good moral judgment.

Again, I would be weary about assuming that so many of the Europeans who flocked to the New World had workable utopian visions they wished to realise. I see a lot of schadenfreude in the West, actually - people propping themselves up with ideas like "At least I'm not living like those people in that country that my government has helped destabilise", "They should beg us for help", "If I went to that country I could live like a king", or "They just need to believe in our God (and associated nepotistic industries) and they will benefit too". I don't really recognise a change in human moral values in this respect. As long as one's neighbour is worse-off, then at least one has something to feel happy about. This kind of behaviour has even been witnessed in chimps.

Returning to the influence of scholars (via the Enlightenment) on the abolition of slavery, I think there was also the case of the owners seeing the potential for the slaves to become more skilled and thus more able to bring higher profits. But in order for them to do that, the slaves would have had to have been educated properlyand they would have become nearly identical to their owners, and thus the owners would have to find some justification for their clearly immoral behaviour based on skin colour and physical features that was better than the so-called 'science' that they had in their days. So economics (Axelrod's foundation to human cooperative ethics) - through competing plantations - could be said to have apparently purged slave culture from the Americas. And that slave culture "meme" had not even been invented by New World pioneers - there was a lot of native African slavery in existence before the Europeans got involved, so it's not like it was ever their own 'precious invention' that they had figured out all by themselves.


The proof of slaverys deeply immoral foundations came out in the economic 'pudding eating', and as I have maintained on this thread throughout - Trump's immorality; if there is indeed any there, will also be revealed by the 'natural laws' of efficiency-hungry humans.

The proof - The Truth - is in the living. It will all come out in 'the wash' of getting on with human life. Have no fear :) your descendants will be fine - as long as they get wise to the tangible taste of economic virtue and go wherever that 'dish' is being served, of course ;P
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 23rd, 2017, 4:46 am 

'Evidence not arrogance': UK supporters join global March for Science
The Guardian, 22 April 2017
Thousands of scientists, academics and celebrities have marched in cities across the UK to protest at the rise of a “post-truth” era and its threat to academia.

The marches, taking place on Earth Day, were part of a global movement that has seen tens of thousands of people around the world march in support of science and evidence-based research.

Organisers of the UK marches said they were concerned that rhetoric about academics threatened to override research, citing claims made by the former cabinet minister Michael Gove during the EU referendum campaign that the public “have had enough of experts”.
[...]
Anna Krystalli, a research software engineer who helps scientists make better use of their code and data, said: “I’m marching for science because despite its imperfections, it remains our most effective way of getting to any commonly shared truth.

“I’m also fed up of efforts to improve reproducibility in science being used to discredit science as a whole. I work with a lot of people pushing to improve standards and transparency in research. We should be championing these efforts.”
[...]
Mark Wilson, the chief executive of Cochrane, a global non-profit group that reviews all the evidence on healthcare interventions, said: “We are marching because evidenced-based decision-making saves money and lives.”

Bless their cotton socks -_-
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Athena on April 24th, 2017, 1:13 pm 

Mossling » April 23rd, 2017, 2:02 am wrote:
I would also counter that Plato's recorded belief in mystical forms undermined the glittering wisdom Socrates wished to hand down, and set the scene for the medieval dark ages where theology and philosophy were pretty much one and the same.


I would swear I already replied to your post but I don't see the reply? Sometimes I have so much trouble with my connection, really strange things happen.

I also have a problem with Plato's mystical forms, but they could come up again with quantum physics and a notion of perfection that treats deviation from this perfection as less than real, like math and the unchangeable is more of a reality than unchangeable, tangible arrangements of elements.

Indeed. Yet again, however, it seems that any good idea needs to be economically attractive, and as Axelrod points out; traditional 'upright' morality (honesty, forgiveness, non-envy) lies at the core of the most efficient and rewarding long-term (non-zero-sum, open-ended) cooperative agreements.


I find it very interesting that Socrates dropped the physical investigations and instead turned towards Ethics (the more moral questions regarding virtue, for example), and he, like Jesus, Buddha, et al, did not write anything at all. They intended to pass on physical practices that were more akin to riding a bicycle. For why write several volumes describing what the feeling of riding a bicycle is like, when readers can learn to ride themselves instead? Human economics are just what we experience in daily life, and as the saying goes, the proof of the wholesome or unwholesomeness is in the eating, not in the describing.


Ah, some people would argue science is doing the work of Satan. I am sure Zeus was right to believe with the technology of fire, man would learn all other technologies and turn their backs on the gods. This is to have technology, but not the wisdom to use it. When it comes to nuclear technology that is exactly our greatest fear, that men will have the technology for nuclear warfare and not the wisdom to manage it well. This fear is the foundation of the justification for the Military Industrial Complex and the education that goes with it. It makes Pakistan and North Korea serious threats.

Socrates fought against Persians and again against Sparta and Sparta won that war. Ethics was a serious matter to Socrates and with global warming, environmental destruction, and the threat of nuclear war, there needs to be a focus on ethics. And I need to take a break from the forum because I spent over an hour working on a reply yesterday, and I am devastated to find it completely disappeared. I had internet connection problems, that made editing a problem, but I don't think that is what caused my posts to disappear. There is a collapse in information whenever those in power are biased.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on April 24th, 2017, 4:02 pm 

And I need to take a break from the forum because I spent over an hour working on a reply yesterday, and I am devastated to find it completely disappeared. I had internet connection problems, that made editing a problem, but I don't think that is what caused my posts to disappear. There is a collapse in information whenever those in power are biased.


No one has removed or altered your posts here. The server keeps logs of all activity, so I would know. Off-topic posts from the Math thread on Random Oracles were removed, after a moderator request, totally in keeping with forum rules. Nothing was removed from here, and your mention of internet connection problems points to a possible explanation. Asking for you to respect forum rules is not a bias, I hope that is clearly understood. Implied accusations against moderators are also disrespectful. Please remove them from your postings. AGAIN, for the umpteenth time, if you have a complaint, it goes to the Feedback thread. Thanks.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 25th, 2017, 7:34 am 

Interesting investigation of this idea that some people spout - that "science is just another religion or faith"...



It seems like science is becoming more akin to a neglible process of arriving at some consumable product - like Christianity can be to James Brown's music, for example. Just give us the benefits of something novel, but don't ask us to be interested in the mechanisms that lead to it's engineering.

I was watching a documentary about why Japan is in so much debt recently - one major reason was that they no longer have any decent innovation. The masses want to work for established brands and not start new companies. If innovative scientists and engineers are not appreciated in America, I am pretty sure countries like China and Japan would be happy to employ them...

...or they could campaign based on the merits of science as a fundamental 'stance':
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on April 25th, 2017, 3:59 pm 

Defining the role of a free press:

"As originally understood by our founders and the enlightenment thinkers who preceded them, the freedom of the press had a two-fold aim.

First, the press would serve to promote the discovery and dissemination of truth, in philosophy, science, and politics, to the benefit of society and the individual. It would serve both by defending republicanism, which is founded on rational truths discoverable by the mind, against various kinds of dogmatism.

Second, our Founders understood that a free press would serve as a bulwark to protect citizens’ rights against government’s abuses. That is, the press would expose government corruption, ensuring that government itself abides by the law and serves the public good".

(excerpt from this article: http://dailysignal.com/2017/04/12/a-free-press-should-liberate-minds-not-enslave-them/?utm_source=TDS_Email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningBell&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWVRjeFpHWTBNMlEyTm1aaiIsInQiOiJjdWNwKzhHSEtQT0ZmbFJvSjZRR3RYQk1ITUtvWGtXNzBReWxGSHB1V1RUWHF1VWEzR0NRVU0zT2xkOTZvXC9cL0ErMTNvUWhsaE5FWGlHV05ZelpIbVE1SEhFOXc1T09yOXZYMk8zZWVRUm0rU1VWZUZQZThDSllid2ZSNmlKdVhkIn0%3D

Is the current media living up to its purpose?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 26th, 2017, 1:41 am 

Paul Anthony » April 26th, 2017, 4:59 am wrote:Is the current media living up to its purpose?

Indeed, we have been discussing this already - generally it is not apparently living up to its purpose. Again; breaking the situation down into its fundamental economics - if one follows the money then the trails lead back to the special interests - the people with personal political agendas and money to burn on propaganda disseminated through pimped-off media networks. And when the wealthiest 1% continue to swallow up, year on year, larger and larger percentages of global household wealth, then it is no wonder that personal ethics of media leaders are broken in favour of 'the good life'.

As I heard one French working class lady say on a documentary recently when questioned about the upcoming French election - "there used to be upper class, middle class, and lower class, but now there are only really two - upper and lower." It's a desperate game for those clever and 'well-bred' people who want the life they dreamt of or aimed for in their teenage years - there's no space left for 'truth' or basic professional ethics. But they have the contacts and intelligence to make what qualifications and office they do have 'work for them', albeit in a rotten, corrupted form, so that they can enjoy a scarcer and scarcer form of comfort, unfortunately at the expense of the masses and the truth that they are supposed to be reporting.

It is probably a topic for a new thread, but as everyone knows, capital grows capital, and it is apparently out of control. At some point there will have to be a readjustment, but until then I am expecting this stuff to get worse. I see it as a product of greed, but it is not as simple as saying "don't be greedy", for if one is caught up in a perceived 'arms race' with one's wealthy neighbours - something like that shown in the movie American Psycho with the famous businesscard showdown, then greed tied in with one-upmanship can become a runaway feedback process - a whirlwind - that is so emotionally charged that all rationality - the core human 'equaliser' - gets smashed up and thrown out the window. I believe this is what is happening in Trump's world, for example - he's got to be seen to be a winner, but not over poor people who he never interacts with on equal terms (and likely doesn't really care about) - instead he wants to be a winner over the other rich people he plays golf with.

The greed+oneupmanship whirlwind is trashing his popularity more and more now though, of course - he has backed off trying to get the funding for his racist wall for now, which has angered Rush Limbaugh's supporters and thus Rush himself:



Rush: "Every delay is another nail in the coffin".

It looks like Humpty Trumpy's great fall has begun ....

But this will not apparently affect the 1% grabbing more and more year on year. This is just a tiny blip, and thus the media will still be at that greater whirlwind's mercy until it burns itself out. Who knows when that will happen...

I think the best thing would be a president who has his/her feet firmly on the ground - not a rich elite socialite, but someone who is more concerned with the basics of human community values. It seems strange to have to wish for such a thing in this day and age, but it makes sense that such a person easily gets chewed up and spat out by the wealth whirlwind 'machine' promoting one person over another with spare cash here and there, to make their wishes so - like gods or regal emperors determining the destinies of their subjects.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on April 26th, 2017, 2:49 pm 

Mossling » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:41 pm wrote:

I think the best thing would be a president who has his/her feet firmly on the ground - not a rich elite socialite, but someone who is more concerned with the basics of human community values. It seems strange to have to wish for such a thing in this day and age, but it makes sense that such a person easily gets chewed up and spat out by the wealth whirlwind 'machine' promoting one person over another with spare cash here and there, to make their wishes so - like gods or regal emperors determining the destinies of their subjects.


I hope you can admit - if not publicly, then at least to yourself - that Clinton would not be any closer to what you are looking for. But, I'll leave that to your conscience. :)

We will never have the opportunity to vote for a candidate such as you desire. It takes billions of $$ to run for office today. I was bombarded with requests for donations for congressional candidates in Kansas, Kentucky and other states. I wondered, why would I give financial support to someone claiming to represent the people of another state? Why is it even legal for me to influence an election in another state? And, who will that candidate be beholden to if elected?

I've even been asked to contribute to the efforts to elect County Sheriffs in other counties. Shouldn't that decision be up to the people who live there?

We live in a "Post-democratic" democracy.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on April 27th, 2017, 5:08 am 

Paul Anthony » April 27th, 2017, 3:49 am wrote:I hope you can admit - if not publicly, then at least to yourself - that Clinton would not be any closer to what you are looking for. But, I'll leave that to your conscience. :)

The scientific truth is that we just do not know what Clinton would be like, because she is not the president. And Trump supporters were sure that Trump would get the Wall funded within 100 days and so on, but that hasn't happened. However, yes, Clinton is not the kind of 'down to earth' person I was talking about. She is far too elitist and wealthy. I think Bernie would have come closer, but who knows.

We live in a "Post-democratic" democracy.

Ha, I like it :D

It will be interesting to see how much fresh evidence regarding the Russia interference in US Democracy and Brexit turns up, also. Maybe no more than has already been reported on, but the modern social networking technology aspect seems to have a big role to play in all this too.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on May 1st, 2017, 3:11 pm 

It's official: "sheeple" is a word.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/01/526349470/merriam-webster-adds-sheeple-as-an-official-word

This may seem off-topic, but I think it explains why so many accept what the media, government, their college professors and social media tell them to believe.

The Daily Sheeple has never been considered main-stream media, but they are entertaining. I especially like their slogan: "Wake the flock up!". :)
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on May 1st, 2017, 4:15 pm 

How about, "Cry 'bah!', not 'baa-aa'!"
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on May 2nd, 2017, 1:12 am 

Paul Anthony » May 2nd, 2017, 4:11 am wrote:This may seem off-topic, but I think it explains why so many accept what the media, government, their college professors and social media tell them to believe.

A stable society requires trust, otherwise no long-term investments can be made. That trust revolves around the concept of virtue - honest initial cooperation with the outlook to forgive and forget the acts of a past cheater if there is a safety deposit put down in advance before any further cooperation is pursued (see Axelrod: 'The Evolution of Cooperative Behaviour').

So one could say that to be a citizen is to have qualities of a sheep to some extent - to go with the flow of the social contract and to thus trust one's fellow members to have enough virtue to make cooperating long-term worthwhile. This can change as soon as one is cheated, of course, but until that time one must trust, like a child trust it's parents because it is dependent. Similarly the vast majority of people are dependent on their modern technologically-developed societies - I doubt, for example, an accomplished building engineer would be good at heart surgery. He can choose to live off the grid and make his family stay home all day, but when his grandma needs that essential surgery does he just let her die? The movie The Village highlights the potentially hypocritical outcome of this kind of situation.

So, Paul, I would say that even you have to trust - have to follow the other sheep. That is the demand of the social contract. Americans should hope, rather, that their leader - the POTUS - the central brain, is not a sheep following, say, the Russian president's lead......

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

Postby Paul Anthony on May 2nd, 2017, 1:47 am 

Mossling » Mon May 01, 2017 10:12 pm wrote:

So, Paul, I would say that even you have to trust - have to follow the other sheep. That is the demand of the social contract. Americans should hope, rather, that their leader - the POTUS - the central brain, is not a sheep following, say, the Russian president's lead......


I was with you most of the way, until...

Trump's actions of late have upset Putin even more than the Democrats, so when are you going to give up the Democrat's tired old Russian connection?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on May 2nd, 2017, 8:07 am 

Paul Anthony » May 2nd, 2017, 2:47 pm wrote:
Mossling » Mon May 01, 2017 10:12 pm wrote:

So, Paul, I would say that even you have to trust - have to follow the other sheep. That is the demand of the social contract. Americans should hope, rather, that their leader - the POTUS - the central brain, is not a sheep following, say, the Russian president's lead......


I was with you most of the way, until...

Trump's actions of late have upset Putin even more than the Democrats, so when are you going to give up the Democrat's tired old Russian connection?

Maybe when someone like Shepard Smith does ;P

And Putin was warned before the Syria strike, so everything is apparently fine between Trump and Putin. Trump has verbally attacked practically everyone else except for Putin. There's something fishy going on. He can warn Putin and then fire a few missiles onto Putin's ally's territory, but he can't say any bad words about him? C'mon, there's no bad political blood there. Canada "is a disgrace", along with Trudeau, but Putin is a great guy. Lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k7rxaL2LuY
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on May 2nd, 2017, 10:07 am 

A fair point. Trump's actions seem nothing more than striking Putin with a nerf bat, for show. If they do have a covert relationship, the airstrike that seemed amazingly ineffectual would be a nice smokescreen for both.

The reason I personally doubt the Russia connection is simply because I don't think Trump is bright enough to have actually forged one. I mean, I've read some of his tweets. He's a petulant 8 year old.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on May 2nd, 2017, 2:13 pm 

I more than half agree with BiV but I think Putin interferred on his own because he thought Trump would be easily manipulated although at least someone on Trump's team was probably very much aware of that interference. The problem was that Trump appears to be so unstable and fickle that he changes his mind and tactics so erratically, based on, as they say, the last person to get to him that no body realized how untrustworthy Trump is. Ultimately that is the real danger with Trump - you can't trust him to hold a thought beyond what the last advisor said that nobody, not other countries, not his alt-right (former?) supporters, not the business community and not even the GOP can trust him to stick to any kind of agenda.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on May 2nd, 2017, 2:41 pm 

Forest_Dump » Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am wrote:The problem was that Trump appears to be so unstable and fickle that he changes his mind and tactics so erratically, based on, as they say, the last person to get to him that no body realized how untrustworthy Trump is. Ultimately that is the real danger with Trump - you can't trust him to hold a thought beyond what the last advisor said that nobody, not other countries, not his alt-right (former?) supporters, not the business community and not even the GOP can trust him to stick to any kind of agenda.


That's what his enemies tell us (and he has many enemies). His Tweets would seem to confirm that, but his actions do not. Consider his campaign promises:

He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but his alleged allies in Congress produced such a flawed alternative that failure was guaranteed.

He promised to build a wall, but can't without funding authorized by Congress.

He promised to defund Planned Parenthood, but, again, Congress.

No President is omnipotent.

Now consider his executive orders: He attempted to temporarily banned immigration from 7 countries that Obama had declared dangerous, but the media cleverly labeled them "majority-Muslim nations" and liberal judges blocked the action. He ordered a freeze on government hiring, but bureaucrats ignored the order.

He fired some missiles and dropped a bomb to scare North Korea and Iran, but has sought diplomatic solutions through the UN and even negotiated with China for assistance.

His words give the impression that he is erratic but actions speak louder than words.
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