Rauch to Stevens to Goat.

CO. Hoosier

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Stevens and goat linked to an interview with Jonathan Rauch that didn’t get much play here. The subject deserves a thread. The interview is a good way to spend an hour. Rauch is asked about his book called a Constitution of Knowledge. He generally describes the problems of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and what to do about all of it. Despite picking a few nits, I generally agree with Rauch’s set up where he describes the problem and how we got here. That’s good stuff.

Rauch comes down strongly on the side of freedom of expression and the role it plays in finding reality and truth. Without mentioning it in so many words, Rauch exposes the tension between free expression and allowing free expression that advocates against free expression—or in these terms, expression that is propaganda.

I understand Rauch to believe that truth and reality have strong elements objectivity and we need “guardrails, institutions and rules“ to support determining truth and reality. I hear Rauch as saying substantial agreement about truth and reality is the goal and that will reduce our disagreements to manageable proportions. I think just the opposite. When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

Rauch didn’t mention what I believe the real antidote to the problems of disinformation and propaganda, and that is better education focused on real critical thinking. The objective is not to have social norms to determine for us the illusion of truth and reality. The objective should be for us to know how to think about those things and be unrestricted in our ability to discuss them.
 

hoot1

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Stevens and goat linked to an interview with Jonathan Rauch that didn’t get much play here. The subject deserves a thread. The interview is a good way to spend an hour. Rauch is asked about his book called a Constitution of Knowledge. He generally describes the problems of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and what to do about all of it. Despite picking a few nits, I generally agree with Rauch’s set up where he describes the problem and how we got here. That’s good stuff.

Rauch comes down strongly on the side of freedom of expression and the role it plays in finding reality and truth. Without mentioning it in so many words, Rauch exposes the tension between free expression and allowing free expression that advocates against free expression—or in these terms, expression that is propaganda.

I understand Rauch to believe that truth and reality have strong elements objectivity and we need “guardrails, institutions and rules“ to support determining truth and reality. I hear Rauch as saying substantial agreement about truth and reality is the goal and that will reduce our disagreements to manageable proportions. I think just the opposite. When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

Rauch didn’t mention what I believe the real antidote to the problems of disinformation and propaganda, and that is better education focused on real critical thinking. The objective is not to have social norms to determine for us the illusion of truth and reality. The objective should be for us to know how to think about those things and be unrestricted in our ability to discuss them.
CoH, appreciate your bringing this back to The Cooler

The part of your comments above which raised a question for me goes as follows....

When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

My question is, "Isn't Rauch suggesting that truth and reality should be the basis of our ideas, politics, art, and culture. Thus truth and reality are the tools which we must use in our pursuit of building a well functioning society ?

So truth and reality are part of the process, and not a destination.
 

CO. Hoosier

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CoH, appreciate your bringing this back to The Cooler

The part of your comments above which raised a question for me goes as follows....

When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

My question is, "Isn't Rauch suggesting that truth and reality should be the basis of our ideas, politics, art, and culture. Thus truth and reality are the tools which we must use in our pursuit of building a well functioning society ?

So truth and reality are part of the process, and not a destination.
I think you are correct and that is what I take issue with. Rauch uses agreement about truth and reality as a condition precedent to a well functioning society. That’s asking a lot. Rush Limbaugh used to say he was the Mayor of Realville. Determining universal truth is the problem, not the solution. Better is the free market place of ideas without prejudgment. The process in that will produce universal truths as necessary.

When we think of flourishing societies throughout history, they flourished not because of political systems and the “reality“ that accompanied them. Instead they flourished because of the freedom of the minds of the members. At the risk of being melodramatic, I’d suggest the lessons of the trial and death of Socrates is relevant to this discussion. That was the beginning of the end for Athens. It didn’t strengthen Athenian society. Yet the Athenians believed Socrates was a departure from truth and reality.
 

NPT

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Stevens and goat linked to an interview with Jonathan Rauch that didn’t get much play here. The subject deserves a thread. The interview is a good way to spend an hour. Rauch is asked about his book called a Constitution of Knowledge. He generally describes the problems of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and what to do about all of it. Despite picking a few nits, I generally agree with Rauch’s set up where he describes the problem and how we got here. That’s good stuff.

Rauch comes down strongly on the side of freedom of expression and the role it plays in finding reality and truth. Without mentioning it in so many words, Rauch exposes the tension between free expression and allowing free expression that advocates against free expression—or in these terms, expression that is propaganda.

I understand Rauch to believe that truth and reality have strong elements objectivity and we need “guardrails, institutions and rules“ to support determining truth and reality. I hear Rauch as saying substantial agreement about truth and reality is the goal and that will reduce our disagreements to manageable proportions. I think just the opposite. When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

Rauch didn’t mention what I believe the real antidote to the problems of disinformation and propaganda, and that is better education focused on real critical thinking. The objective is not to have social norms to determine for us the illusion of truth and reality. The objective should be for us to know how to think about those things and be unrestricted in our ability to discuss them.
CoH do you think most people want to hear the truth? I don't... I think they want to hear stuff that supports how they believe about a subject.
 

CO. Hoosier

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CoH do you think most people want to hear the truth? I don't... I think they want to hear stuff that supports how they believe about a subject.
I think part of the issue is the concept of truth when it comes to politics and other social issues. Too many people believe their version of race, immigration, taxes, etc etc is based on reality and is provably true. We need to disabuse ourselves of that. The important thing is free, open and unrestricted discussion about that; not a dogmatic suppression of ideas. Particularly disturbing, and hinted at by Rauch, is the claim that some ideas are undemocratic and have less value or shouldn’t be spoken or heard at all. Think about the ramifications of that POV.
 

hoot1

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I think you are correct and that is what I take issue with. Rauch uses agreement about truth and reality as a condition precedent to a well functioning society. That’s asking a lot. Rush Limbaugh used to say he was the Mayor of Realville. Determining universal truth is the problem, not the solution. Better is the free market place of ideas without prejudgment. The process in that will produce universal truths as necessary.

When we think of flourishing societies throughout history, they flourished not because of political systems and the “reality“ that accompanied them. Instead they flourished because of the freedom of the minds of the members. At the risk of being melodramatic, I’d suggest the lessons of the trial and death of Socrates is relevant to this discussion. That was the beginning of the end for Athens. It didn’t strengthen Athenian society. Yet the Athenians believed Socrates was a departure from truth and reality.
CoH, focus on Rauch's third major point about the people ("members" as you call them) being ten feet tall. Ten feet tall meaning they question all information no matter the sources. IMO he is agreeing your statement below when you say the following,

When we think of flourishing societies throughout history, they flourished not because of political systems and the “reality“ that accompanied them. Instead they flourished because of the freedom of the minds of the members.

CoH, isn't Rauch saying it is about time the members of our society questioned what the politicians of both parties are telling us while demanding truth and reality from all sources of information including the politicians.

He further declares the politicians of today are prone to using what he calls fire hose information as can be seen in Russian style propaganda. In other words, truth and reality are not as important as self serving propaganda.
 
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NPT

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I think part of the issue is the concept of truth when it comes to politics and other social issues. Too many people believe their version of race, immigration, taxes, etc etc is based on reality and is provably true. We need to disabuse ourselves of that. The important thing is free, open and unrestricted discussion about that; not a dogmatic suppression of ideas. Particularly disturbing, and hinted at by Rauch, is the claim that some ideas are undemocratic and have less value or shouldn’t be spoken or heard at all. Think about the ramifications of that POV.
A lot of people define truth different from how I define it, When Obama was running I said that he lied like all other politicians and someone said that he didn't so I pointed out one and they said it was just an embellishment of the truth and to me that is a lie.
 

CO. Hoosier

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CoH, focus on Rauch's third major point about the people ("members" as you call them) being ten feet tall. Ten feet tall meaning they question all information no matter the sources. IMO he is agreeing your statement below when you say the following,

When we think of flourishing societies throughout history, they flourished not because of political systems and the “reality“ that accompanied them. Instead they flourished because of the freedom of the minds of the members.

CoH, isn't Rauch saying it is about time the members of our society questioned what the politicians of both parties are telling us while demanding truth and reality from all sources of information including the politicians.

He further declares the politicians of today are prone to using what he calls fire hose information as can be seen in Russian style propaganda. In other words, truth and reality are not as important as self serving propaganda.
i won’t listen again to the interview. But I noted that he spoke in terms of having a system to determine what is true and what is false. I disagree with such a systematic approach as I believe it leads to despots advancing dogma. The important thing is free and unrestricted speech, not just in politics but in all aspects of culture.
 

hoot1

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A lot of people define truth different from how I define it, When Obama was running I said that he lied like all other politicians and someone said that he didn't so I pointed out one and they said it was just an embellishment of the truth and to me that is a lie.
NPT, got a question.

if I say something which is not factually true, but I believe it. Am I telling a lie, or am I just uniformed ?
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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Stevens and goat linked to an interview with Jonathan Rauch that didn’t get much play here. The subject deserves a thread. The interview is a good way to spend an hour. Rauch is asked about his book called a Constitution of Knowledge. He generally describes the problems of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and what to do about all of it. Despite picking a few nits, I generally agree with Rauch’s set up where he describes the problem and how we got here. That’s good stuff.

Rauch comes down strongly on the side of freedom of expression and the role it plays in finding reality and truth. Without mentioning it in so many words, Rauch exposes the tension between free expression and allowing free expression that advocates against free expression—or in these terms, expression that is propaganda.

I understand Rauch to believe that truth and reality have strong elements objectivity and we need “guardrails, institutions and rules“ to support determining truth and reality. I hear Rauch as saying substantial agreement about truth and reality is the goal and that will reduce our disagreements to manageable proportions. I think just the opposite. When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

Rauch didn’t mention what I believe the real antidote to the problems of disinformation and propaganda, and that is better education focused on real critical thinking. The objective is not to have social norms to determine for us the illusion of truth and reality. The objective should be for us to know how to think about those things and be unrestricted in our ability to discuss them.
CoH, appreciate your bringing this back to The Cooler

The part of your comments above which raised a question for me goes as follows....

When it comes to ideas, politics, art, and culture, all of which are necessary for a well functioning society, seeking truth and reality is a process, not a destination. It’s an aspiration. Institutionalizing the process and burdening it with rules is what leads to dogma and dogma isn’t good even if we all agree with it.

My question is, "Isn't Rauch suggesting that truth and reality should be the basis of our ideas, politics, art, and culture. Thus truth and reality are the tools which we must use in our pursuit of building a well functioning society ?

So truth and reality are part of the process, and not a destination.
I think CO.H here is slightly misinterpreting Rauch, to focus more on free expression than accuracy. Rauch's primary argument in this interview is against what he calls "Russian-style propaganda." He describes this type of propaganda as the wholesale creation of entirely false narratives in massive quantity and flooding of said narratives through media outlets and political speech. He accurately names the right - specifically, the Trumpist wing of the conservative movement - as the first major player in American politics to attempt - and succeed - at using this propaganda technique, and he finds this extremely dangerous.

He further argues - and I imagine this is the key component of his book, which I plan on reading - that we have a method to battle this propaganda. Namely, society over the past few hundred years has developed a way to distinguish fact from fiction, and while that method comes in many different shapes and sizes, it might most simply be summed up as the scientific method. In short, Rauch is arguing for an objectivist approach to fact-finding.

Where he gets more into those who would suppress free expression, he's not talking about propaganda as much as bullying. He's asked about the role of the left in all this, and while he does not think this particular problem with fake news propaganda infects the left as it infects the right (the MSM and liberal outlets do have their problems with bias, he argues, but they are quantitatively different than this particular problem on the right), he thinks the left does have its own particular problem with bullying, or cancel culture, which he distinguishes from simple failure of speech in the free marketplace of ideas in several ways, primarily in that cancel culture is punitive against the person who thinks or speaks wrongly without making any effort to engage them. He thinks this is wrong on free expression grounds, but also for more pragmatic reasons: he doesn't think it ultimately works. He mentions both the Civil Rights movement and the fight for marriage equality as examples of positive change being made by people engaging and critiquing bad ideas, sometimes aggressively, but always with the intent to change minds, rather than simply punish the minds that are oriented in a way seen as incorrect.

He also stresses several times that there is nothing inherently conservative about being a propagandist or inherently liberal about being a bully; he just thinks these are the problems that happen to exist on each wing at this moment in time.
 
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BradStevens

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I think CO.H here is slightly misinterpreting Rauch, to focus more on free expression than accuracy. Rauch's primary argument in this interview is against what he calls "Russian-style propaganda." He describes this type of propaganda as the wholesale creation of entirely false narratives in massive quantity and flooding of said narratives through media outlets and political speech. He accurately names the right - specifically, the Trumpist wing of the conservative movement - as the first major player in American politics to attempt - and succeed - at using this propaganda technique, and he finds this extremely dangerous.

He further argues - and I imagine this is the key component of his book, which I plan on reading - that we have a method to battle this propaganda. Namely, society over the past few hundred years has developed a way to distinguish fact from fiction, and while that method comes in many different shapes and sizes, it might most simply be summed up as the scientific method. In short, Rauch is arguing for an objectivist approach to fact-finding.

Where he gets more into those who would suppress free expression, he's not talking about propaganda as much as bullying. He's asked about the role of the left in all this, and while he does not think this particular problem with fake news propaganda infects the left as it infects the right (the MSM and liberal outlets do have their problems with bias, he argues, but they are quantitatively different than this particular problem on the right), he thinks the left does have its own particular problem with bullying, or cancel culture, which he distinguishes from simple failure of speech in the free marketplace of ideas in several ways, primarily in that cancel culture is punitive against the person who thinks or speaks wrongly without making any effort to engage them. He thinks this is wrong on free expression grounds, but also for more pragmatic reasons: he doesn't think it ultimately works. He mentions both the Civil Rights movement and the fight for marriage equality as examples of positive change being made by people engaging and critiquing bad ideas, sometimes aggressively, but always with the intent to change minds, rather than simply punish the minds that are oriented in a way seen as incorrect.

He also stresses several times that there is nothing inherently conservative about being a propagandist or inherently liberal about being a bully; he just thinks these are the problems that happen to exist on each wing at this moment in time.
This is a pretty accurate summary of the interview.

I think Rausch undersells the degree of liberal bias in MSM through much subtler degrees of propaganda, but agree that the wholesale whopping lies invented by Trump and then reiterated via social media are something new in American politics and very analogous to Russian propaganda.

I think his diagnosis of bullying and "cancel culture" without engaging in argument on substantive terms is spot on as it relates to the fights over trans issues and what we are referring to as CRT.
 
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CO. Hoosier

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I think CO.H here is slightly misinterpreting Rauch, to focus more on free expression than accuracy. Rauch's primary argument in this interview is against what he calls "Russian-style propaganda." He describes this type of propaganda as the wholesale creation of entirely false narratives in massive quantity and flooding of said narratives through media outlets and political speech. He accurately names the right - specifically, the Trumpist wing of the conservative movement - as the first major player in American politics to attempt - and succeed - at using this propaganda technique, and he finds this extremely dangerous.

He further argues - and I imagine this is the key component of his book, which I plan on reading - that we have a method to battle this propaganda. Namely, society over the past few hundred years has developed a way to distinguish fact from fiction, and while that method comes in many different shapes and sizes, it might most simply be summed up as the scientific method. In short, Rauch is arguing for an objectivist approach to fact-finding.

Where he gets more into those who would suppress free expression, he's not talking about propaganda as much as bullying. He's asked about the role of the left in all this, and while he does not think this particular problem with fake news propaganda infects the left as it infects the right (the MSM and liberal outlets do have their problems with bias, he argues, but they are quantitatively different than this particular problem on the right), he thinks the left does have its own particular problem with bullying, or cancel culture, which he distinguishes from simple failure of speech in the free marketplace of ideas in several ways, primarily in that cancel culture is punitive against the person who thinks or speaks wrongly without making any effort to engage them. He thinks this is wrong on free expression grounds, but also for more pragmatic reasons: he doesn't think it ultimately works. He mentions both the Civil Rights movement and the fight for marriage equality as examples of positive change being made by people engaging and critiquing bad ideas, sometimes aggressively, but always with the intent to change minds, rather than simply punish the minds that are oriented in a way seen as incorrect.

He also stresses several times that there is nothing inherently conservative about being a propagandist or inherently liberal about being a bully; he just thinks these are the problems that happen to exist on each wing at this moment in time.
This is a pretty accurate summary of the interview.

I think Rauch undersells the degree of liberal bias in MSM through much subtler degrees of propaganda, but agree that the wholesale whopping lies invented by Trump and then reiterated via social media are something new in American politics and very analogous to Russian propaganda.

I think his diagnosis of bullying and "cancel culture" without engaging in argument on substantive terms is spot on as it relates to the fights over trans issues and what we are referring to as CRT.
I understand Rauch's argument pretty much as you both state it. I simply don't agree with his emphasis on either how important it is to determine truth, or the mechanism for doing that. FWIW, I agree with goat's comment that Rauch proposes a sorta scientific method for separating fact from fiction.

The biggest problem is figuring out what is truth. Once we depart from mathematics, or observed events, truth is rather elusive. Some might say truth are those facts that are consistent with reality. That sounds good, but reality is not objective.

Let's take the statement that "the most significant threat the the security of the United States is climate change"*. That is reality for some people, and statements that are inconsistent with that will be seen as not true. Yet there is nowhere near agreement about that. Truth cannot be determined by some "scientific method," but can only be baed on making and considering arguments and evidence, which more often that not, fall on both sides of "truth".

So while I heartily agree with Rauch's statement of the problems, I disagree with his take on what we do with the problems. I think the answer lies in more dialog, the free market place of ideas, and being able to engage in both without threats, name calling, or adverse consequence.

*There are scores of similar examples put forth by people of all ideologies. For another example, goat, I don't believe there is a "Trumpist" wing of the conservative movement. Whether there is such a wing is subject to evidence and argument, not something similar to the scientific method.
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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I understand Rauch's argument pretty much as you both state it. I simply don't agree with his emphasis on either how important it is to determine truth, or the mechanism for doing that. FWIW, I agree with goat's comment that Rauch proposes a sorta scientific method for separating fact from fiction.

The biggest problem is figuring out what is truth. Once we depart from mathematics, or observed events, truth is rather elusive. Some might say truth are those facts that are consistent with reality. That sounds good, but reality is not objective.

Let's take the statement that "the most significant threat the the security of the United States is climate change"*. That is reality for some people, and statements that are inconsistent with that will be seen as not true. Yet there is nowhere near agreement about that. Truth cannot be determined by some "scientific method," but can only be baed on making and considering arguments and evidence, which more often that not, fall on both sides of "truth".

So while I heartily agree with Rauch's statement of the problems, I disagree with his take on what we do with the problems. I think the answer lies in more dialog, the free market place of ideas, and being able to engage in both without threats, name calling, or adverse consequence.

*There are scores of similar examples put forth by people of all ideologies. For another example, goat, I don't believe there is a "Trumpist" wing of the conservative movement. Whether there is such a wing is subject to evidence and argument, not something similar to the scientific method.
I think you are dancing around an important distinction, but maybe not quite nailing it: the one between fact and truth. Facts can be known and are subject to discovery through objectivist methodology. I think this is undeniable. Truth, however, may not be, because, as you astutely point out, "reality is not objective." But Rauch isn't talking about grander truths when he is lamenting the propaganda of the right - he is talking about objective facts, even mundane ones, such as Trump's blatant lies about the size and weather context of his inauguration.

I'm not sure what your last paragraph means. Whether there is such a wing is subject to evidence and argument, I agree, and I think it's pretty clear the evidence and argument says there is one. I don't see how you can possibly deny that. But regardless, I really don't understand how you can describe something as "subject to evidence and argument" and simultaneously not subject to "something similar to the scientific method."
 

i'vegotwinners

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Particularly disturbing, and hinted at by Rauch, is the claim that some ideas are undemocratic and have less value or shouldn’t be spoken or heard at all.

that sounds like one of them, but then that's self contradicting is it not.
 
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CO. Hoosier

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I think you are dancing around an important distinction, but maybe not quite nailing it: the one between fact and truth. Facts can be known and are subject to discovery through objectivist methodology. I think this is undeniable. Truth, however, may not be, because, as you astutely point out, "reality is not objective." But Rauch isn't talking about grander truths when he is lamenting the propaganda of the right - he is talking about objective facts, even mundane ones, such as Trump's blatant lies about the size and weather context of his inauguration.

I'm not sure what your last paragraph means. Whether there is such a wing is subject to evidence and argument, I agree, and I think it's pretty clear the evidence and argument says there is one. I don't see how you can possibly deny that. But regardless, I really don't understand how you can describe something as "subject to evidence and argument" and simultaneously not subject to "something similar to the scientific method."
The more objectivist the fact is, the more irrelevant it is. Trump's crowd-size comment is irrelevant to anything that is important. The real issues that cause the divisions and incivility among us are not those kinds of "facts".
 

i'vegotwinners

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i got through 13 mins of the video, and it was like pulling teeth for me.

i'm impatient, and pretty much a "get to the point" guy. .

as for truth, it isn't always about just truth, but which truths are portrayed and which ones aren't.

one can take any subject or issue and give ten truths about that subject or issue that lead to one conclusion, and another ten truths that could lead to the opposite conclusion.

as for free speech, either you have it or you don't.

it can't be parsed out, no matter how noble the intention or the parser.
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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The more objectivist the fact is, the more irrelevant it is. Trump's crowd-size comment is irrelevant to anything that is important. The real issues that cause the divisions and incivility among us are not those kinds of "facts".
I'm not so sure about that. Two reasons:

First, refusal to accept mundane facts undermines trust in authorities in all matters, including in bigger, more important issues. If you, for example, believe that CNN is lying about Trump's inaugural crowd size to make him look bad, you might assume they are lying about more important things, too.

Second, and perhaps more directly, mundane facts can be extremely important. Look at how many discussions we've had on this very forum about racial discrimination in policing that revolve around whether or not there is even a measurable difference between how police respond to black and white citizens. We're talking about things that are measurable objective facts*, and our inability to agree on them has been one of the driving sources of our disagreement about how to fix the problem, or indeed, if there even is one.

*In theory. Just because something is measurable doesn't mean we have the capability of actually measuring it.
 

CO. Hoosier

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First, refusal to accept mundane facts undermines trust in authorities in all matters, including in bigger, more important issues. If you, for example, believe that CNN is lying about Trump's inaugural crowd size to make him look bad, you might assume they are lying about more important things, too.
I understand the point. But I don’t think the arguments and evidence most often used depends on individual credibility. That said, others are mote willing to accept argument from and by authority than I am.
Second, and perhaps more directly, mundane facts can be extremely important. Look at how many discussions we've had on this very forum about racial discrimination in policing that revolve around whether or not there is even a measurable difference between how police respond to black and white citizens. We're talking about things that are measurable objective facts*, and our inability to agree on them has been one of the driving sources of our disagreement about how to fix the problem, or indeed, if there even is one.

This is an issue. But I think it’s more about cherry picking data than it is about questionable data.
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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I understand the point. But I don’t think the arguments and evidence most often used depends on individual credibility. That said, others are mote willing to accept argument from and by authority than I am.


This is an issue. But I think it’s more about cherry picking data than it is about questionable data.
As to your second point, in some cases, it may be cherry picking, and in some cases it may be questionable data, and in other cases, it may be very good data that some people simply refuse to accept (which is ultimately the heart of Rauch's concern). Either way, I do think it highlights that these mundane, objectively verifiable facts can, in fact, be very consequential.
 

UncleMark

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The more objectivist the fact is, the more irrelevant it is. Trump's crowd-size comment is irrelevant to anything that is important. The real issues that cause the divisions and incivility among us are not those kinds of "facts".
Perhaps. But it would have been a good starting point. Instead we were dealing with bald faced lies out of the gate. It's understandable that division and incivility followed.
 

Bulk VanderHuge

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Ha. You otta try reading some of your posts.
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