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  1. #111
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    Or is it proof that the idea of individuals supporting homogenous ideological values is a myth? Or that talking about "conservatism" and "liberalism" is often meaningless?
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    You state that as though you think you're saying something deep. Of course conservative and liberal don't mean the same thing in every country. In fact, in some countries what is considered liberal here is conservative there. To me that's just a given.

    The article is clearly about the United States.
    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    I don't understand. How do my comments not apply to the discussion of beliefs of individuals in the USA?
    I'm just not sure, from your comments, that you understand from a practical perspective how polarized the political scene has gotten over here, if you haven't experienced it on a daily basis.

    Of course there is a still a spectrum of political values despite the two binaries operating here, but with issues of national import and/or attention, it's not apparent -- everything gets knocked into one box or the other, either because they believe in a particular side or because they don't believe in the OTHER side and don't want to see it take over.

    (One could probably make a comparison with gender -- there's a wide spectrum of gendered behavior, but cultural influences still try to put everyone in two boxes and approach much of life through it.)

    Do you think the trends of attempting to homogenise beliefs into the aforementioned ideologies has had a healthy or unhealthy effect on politics in the USA?
    Oh, it's unhealthy... but I'm not sure that there's anything to do about it based on the underpinnings of our cultural mentality as well as the saturation of media where the loudest voices (or most entertaining voices) tend to control the frame of discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise
    It's important for people to know that liberals and conservatives aren't just two groups of people who share lots of common traits. The political bases of Dems and Reps include very different socio-economic groups within their own parties.
    All true... and there are personality traits that are typical of our Repubs vs Dems here as well, in terms of the embrace vs suspicion of change; views of the role of authority; willingness to take risks; openness to new ideas; fear of the unknown.

    I'm not sure I'd say liberals are smarter, but I think IQ tests are skewed toward having flexible multi-directional thinking, not more entrenched linear processing. The thread title might easily have been that IQ tests are skewed toward more liberal thought patterns.

    (Although your point about the anti-intellectual streak running through many of the conservative bully-pulpit media heroes is well noted.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #112
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm just not sure, from your comments, that you understand from a practical perspective how polarized the political scene has gotten over here, if you haven't experienced it on a daily basis.
    And you don't think this clearly spills over onto the internet? By the way I have family members who live in the USA, I may consider moving in the future. I do care about what is going on.

    Isn't about time we pointed out the reality? That this polarisation is based on contradictions. We need to stop pretending like it is important.
    The reality is that preferences cannot be plotted on two dimensional spectrum either, nor three, or any other trivial spectrum.

    I don't think 'yay, Liberals are smarter' helps at all as it simply perpetuates the myth.

    Oh, it's unhealthy... but I'm not sure that there's anything to do about it based on the underpinnings of our cultural mentality as well as the saturation of media where the loudest voices (or most entertaining voices) tend to control the frame of discussion.
    Luckily then, the internet is becoming "the media".
    I also thought the underpinnings of the cultural mentality, was based on the respect of the voice of individuals?

  3. #113
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    <snip> generally I would love to endorse the position that liberals are smarter than conservatives. But <snip>
    This is wise but it is where most people have problems. They LIKE the answer so they won't take the time to analyze it. Often they won't even admit they DO like it.

    If you like something too much you should step back and make sure you aren't running with it because you like it.

    Perfect world where are you!

  4. #114
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not sure I'd say liberals are smarter
    Even discounting IQ tests, which many rightly believe are skewed towards this or that (even though I believe IQ is a great starting point, at deciphering one's own level of intelligence) and just talking about actual intelligence.

    Between self-described liberals and conservatives, the average intelligence level between them isn't going to be 50/50 and perfectly even, we all know that, it's practically impossible. So you really wouldn't give the edge to liberals on that one? The reality is it has to be one group or the other, even if the disparity is only mild.

  5. #115
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    The tragic thing to me is that the difference in this country between "conservative" and "liberal" is frequently conflated to be equivalent to our two-party political system... and to quote Gore Vidal, "We only have one political party in the U.S., and that is the property party, which essentially is corporate America, which has two right wings, one called Republican and one called Democrat. I can't say I like either of them."

    If you must apply a label, my leanings are conservative... but on the two-party system I'm with Gore.

  6. #116
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Stop twisting my words. Higher education isn`t brainwashing students. Higher education institutions are brainwashing students. A clear distinction and one that should be obvious had you gone to any of these institutions.
    Nice dodge over a meaningless minute detail. Where is your evidence of coercion?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #117
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Even discounting IQ tests, which many rightly believe are skewed towards this or that (even though I believe IQ is a great starting point, at deciphering one's own level of intelligence) and just talking about actual intelligence.

    Between self-described liberals and conservatives, the average intelligence level between them isn't going to be 50/50 and perfectly even, we all know that, it's practically impossible. So you really wouldn't give the edge to liberals on that one? The reality is it has to be one group or the other, even if the disparity is only mild.
    I don't think this is a case of smart people becoming "liberals", it's that the conservative movement in Amurika is more attractive to uneducated people. Intelligent people are probably relatively evenly distributed between parties/wings/ideologies/etc.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #118
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    That this "study" and its foundations are entirely bogus cannot be overemphasized.

    It is based on:
    1. a tendentious definition of "liberalism" which may or may not correspond to the respondents' definition
    2. reliance on an extremely limited "IQ test" (PPIV) that only covers vocabulary (not even other verbal skills)
    3. uses correlation to make its argument ("correlation" almost always exists between two sets of data)
    4. uses the "mean" which presumes a Gaussian distribution, when a multi-peak distribution is more likely


    The first item alone blows away his hypothesis, because he presumes "liberalism" to be equivalent to a particularly enlightened attitude (in his mind), so even if the rest of his study is 100% reliable, he's said nothing more than "smart people (in my opinion) are smart (in my opinion)."

    The reason I note that a multi-peak distribution is more likely is that I recall several studies/surveys that indicate party affiliation in the US varies with education level, and not in a linear way. Instead, very low (high school dropout) and very high (graduate school) education levels have a higher proportion of liberals, while the mid levels tend to have more conservatives. (Sorry, but I don't have links right now, and I'm not trying to prove the double-peak, just that should a double-peak or multi-peak exist, the mean is, um "mean"-ingless.)

    There are plenty more problems with the study, but most of those are overshadowed by those I've listed, such as why the author happened to choose certain methods and measures over others ... perhaps because they showed little or no correlation at all? If only one method of many shows a significant result, that result, no matter how good the "correlation," is the outlier.

    If you still think the study is valid (never mind useful), imagine a thread about "<insert category here> appears to have a <higher or lower> IQ" and what opinion you would express if it did not conform to your preconceived biases.

    Personally, I think there are intelligent and unintelligent people on both sides of the political spectrum, and that the relative proportions don't have much bearing on political arguments.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  9. #119
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    That this "study" and its foundations are entirely bogus cannot be overemphasized.

    It is based on:
    1. a tendentious definition of "liberalism" which may or may not correspond to the respondents' definition
    2. reliance on an extremely limited "IQ test" (PPIV) that only covers vocabulary (not even other verbal skills)
    3. uses correlation to make its argument ("correlation" almost always exists between two sets of data)
    4. uses the "mean" which presumes a Gaussian distribution, when a multi-peak distribution is more likely


    The first item alone blows away his hypothesis, because he presumes "liberalism" to be equivalent to a particularly enlightened attitude (in his mind), so even if the rest of his study is 100% reliable, he's said nothing more than "smart people (in my opinion) are smart (in my opinion)."

    The reason I note that a multi-peak distribution is more likely is that I recall several studies/surveys that indicate party affiliation in the US varies with education level, and not in a linear way. Instead, very low (high school dropout) and very high (graduate school) education levels have a higher proportion of liberals, while the mid levels tend to have more conservatives. (Sorry, but I don't have links right now, and I'm not trying to prove the double-peak, just that should a double-peak or multi-peak exist, the mean is, um "mean"-ingless.)

    There are plenty more problems with the study, but most of those are overshadowed by those I've listed, such as why the author happened to choose certain methods and measures over others ... perhaps because they showed little or no correlation at all? If only one method of many shows a significant result, that result, no matter how good the "correlation," is the outlier.

    If you still think the study is valid (never mind useful), imagine a thread about "<insert category here> appears to have a <higher or lower> IQ" and what opinion you would express if it did not conform to your preconceived biases.

    Personally, I think there are intelligent and unintelligent people on both sides of the political spectrum, and that the relative proportions don't have much bearing on political arguments.
    This is the best post here. The study is worse than meaningless, it's misleading as well.

    Still, I'm intrigued by the brainwashing idea. I'm curious whether it actually does happen for a non-negligible number of people. It seems unlikely, but interesting.
    -end of thread-

  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think this is a case of smart people becoming "liberals", it's that the conservative movement in Amurika is more attractive to uneducated people. Intelligent people are probably relatively evenly distributed between parties/wings/ideologies/etc.
    I don't think that's necessarily an intuitive idea.

    People are surely attracted to conservative movements for many reasonable reasons that aren't related to education:

    • Support decentralization over centralization
    • Are against substantial redistribution of wealth (caveat: may be viewing that too much is distributed not an outright 'no')
    • Support strong military because they perceive future threats to sovereignty
    • Support less state interference in monitoring
    • Support capital mobility as opposed to giving a hand to failing industries
    • Support self sufficiency of the individual against communal co-dependency

    I may not going to say if they are right or wrong; but I don't really understand how any of those points would show a lack of education.

    If what you are suggesting is that Luddite or Religious = Conservative then I think you may be better just saying 'I think in America that the Luddites and the Religious prefer to vote conservatively and I think they are uneducated'. But I don't necessarily agree that being Luddite - although I profoundly disagree with Luddite regarding state subsidies of uneconomic industries - or that being religious - belief isn't a matter of a lack of eduction, it's a matter of faith - are uneducated.

    Even if these people are expressing an opinion I disagree with, unless the come to me and say 'I base it on nothing' only then would I start to assume a lack of education.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    This is the best post here. The study is worse than meaningless, it's misleading as well.

    Still, I'm intrigued by the brainwashing idea. I'm curious whether it actually does happen for a non-negligible number of people. It seems unlikely, but interesting.
    See my first complaint on the same issues in post #62 and Architectonic in post #96 for agreement with Uumlau.

    I just opened the study and asked 'What is this? Homeopathy for politicians?'

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