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View Diary: Right-Wing Propaganda Masquerades as a High School Economics Curriculum (160 comments)

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  •  It's insulting, and an extraordinary claim. (0+ / 0-)

    My contention is that it is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.

    Of which, none is available.

    Replace 'liberal' and 'conservative' with 'female' and 'male' in these types of articles, and see how differently it reads.  Would our snap judgement to be to accept such an idea, or to reject it?

    Not only do these sorts of claims appear unfounded, but spreading acceptance of the idea when there's no basis for it is incredibly offensive.

    •  so, it's not possible for someone to be a liberal (0+ / 0-)

      then change to a conservative, & back again?

      your claim seems extraordinary to me, as i have personal knowledge of someone who did exactly that.

      maybe we're talking past each other, but you're reaction seems disproportionate to my comment.

      •  It's not science and also harmful to our culture. (0+ / 0-)

        The claim is that brains are hard-wired at birth to be liberal or conservative.

        These kinds of claims seem to come from one-shot studies with bad methodology, lack of peer review, and presented to the public by media writers that often don't know what they're looking at.

        For one, correlation is not causation, and that is something that almost none of these articles ever discuss.  So the 'hard-wired' claim is completely unsupported.

        Also, consider this.  Some people actually are smarter than others.  Liberals hurt everyone by trying to force everyone to be equal, and thus deny reality and end up harming everyone in society by holding smart people down to the standard of the dumbest.  Liberals are mushy-minded fools who will destroy modern society.

        How is that any more insulting or unfair to liberals than some of the 'conservatives focus on the negative', 'conservatives have a larger fear center' or similar ideas floating around about conservatives?  I don't really see much distinction.

        The only difference is that one claim is flattering to conservatives and one claim is flattering to liberals.  Beware those claims that flatter and reaffirm those things you already know.  The peer-review process exists for a reason.

        Lastly, such ideas harm our ability to talk to one another.  By reducing legitimate disagreements with one another to fundamental sources that are inescapable.  It makes discussion pointless, and compromise ridiculous.  Our differences are in the brain, so there's no point trying to convince people of things.

        Conservatives have the same destructive ideas about us.  Only to them we're Marxist extremists who seek to take from others and undermine the American system.  Any compromise would be capitulating to Evil forces.

        •  i was responding to your comment about how (0+ / 0-)

          independents' brains are hard-wired, or not, as the case may be.  nothing is absolute.  no situation is 100% one thing or the other, & that is true of political persuasions, too.  that was the point i was (inarticulately as it turns out) trying to make.

          i must take exception to the paragraph in which you assert that liberals are "mushy-minded fools . . . trying to force everyone to be equal . . . " -- that is vintage glenn beck if i ever heard it.  

          i don't know which liberals you've been hanging out with but i can assure you nothing could be further from the truth as far as the ones i associate with.  the only thing the liberals i know have contempt for where conservatives are concerned, is their obstinacy to consider any pov that doesn't agree with their preconceived notions -- which is the main difference (imo) between libs & cons.

          the research is what it is.  you can pick it apart & disagree with it all you want, but  for me, in my personal life experiences -- which includes an entire family of deeply conservative members -- it explains a whole lot.

          •  I'll wait until there's more definitive evidence. (0+ / 0-)

            The idea looks exactly like mythology to me.  Keep in mind that the reason a myth exists at all is that it sounds like a reasonable explanation.

            As far as I can tell, those ideas don't have any credible evidence in their favor.  It's very easy to screw up science, and as I pointed out elsewhere in the thread, these things seem to come from one-shot studies that have questionable methodology, reasoning, conclusions or are just flat out misinterpreted by the journalist reporting them.

            When passing through peer-review isn't seen as an important step, people are quick to publish and show their conclusions to the world.  Peer-review is how we can tell whether or not a study and its conclusions are credible, since it means other experts in the field will have a chance to criticize the work and point out any flaws they might see.

            Things that didn't pass through peer review aren't necessarily false, but it is almost always a bad sign.

            Some people actually are smarter than others.  Liberals hurt everyone by trying to force everyone to be equal, and thus deny reality and end up harming everyone in society by holding smart people down to the standard of the dumbest.  Liberals are mushy-minded fools who will destroy modern society.
            The point of that paragraph is that it is a myth that many conservatives believe about liberals.  It explains to the believer what is 'wrong' with liberals, just like many of the brain-scan stories explain what is 'wrong' with conservatives.

            Is there evidence of that?  Absolutely, cherry-pick any conservative's experience of a misunderstanding of a liberal's explanation for a viewpoint (or a liberal who can't adequately explain their viewpoint).  Definitive proof.

            It's poor reasoning to say that explanation applies to any liberal.  The very idea of it harms our ability to talk to one another.  It means that the liberal is either an idiot who rejects things which are obviously true, or an Evil person trying to hold back smart people from success.

            Ever had a conversation with a conservative where they bafflingly express the notion that, "Wow, you sound like a conservative!  I'm confused as to why you think you're a liberal."?

            I have.  That happens when the conservative mythology explaining a liberal is being broken by experience.  Actually talking to someone that doesn't fit into the mythology can be legitimately confusing.

            All I want is for our ideas about each other to be held to a higher standard of evidence.  I don't want us to accept our personal suspicions and biases as being a scientific Truth.

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