Archive for January 11th, 2012
Chris Mooney has presented “seven recent scientific studies showing that liberals and conservatives differ in ways that go far beyond their philosophies or views on politics. We’re talking about things like physiological responses when shown different kinds of words or images, and performance in neuroscience tests.”
I applaud these efforts. I hope we will see many more studies to come, and that they will shed substantial additional light on why liberals and conservatives see the world so differently. Mooney aptly sums up the promise of this scientific effort:
[T]he next time a Republican denies global warming, liberals ought to be better able to check the impulse to say “what an idiot!” and instead say something like, “I can understand why they have that kind of a response.”
Amen to that, based on the long sad track record of what happens when one group of people barks that out group members are “idiots.” We’ve been intensely doing that for at least the past decade, and that strategy only gets us increasingly pissed off at each other. It doesn’t lead to any fruitful understanding. It doesn’t allow us to work with each other to achieve the many common goals we can agree on.
Here is an earlier post I had written on this topic of applying science to understand differences between conservatives and liberals, concerning a study by Jay Dixit, Frank Sulloway et al.
In this 2009 interview with Bill Moyers, William Black, a former bank examiner and now a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, discusses the cause of economic collapse. Some have suggested that the banks were merely incompetent. Black argues that many players in the financial industry purposely engaged in a Ponzi scheme that was so big as to make Bernie Madoff look like a “piker.” He argues that the banks and the loan raters purposely refused to engage in responsible lending practices. Government officials (under the Clinton administration) destroyed Glass-Steagall. Congress intentionally circumvented the warnings of regulator Brooksely Born in deciding the make CDS derivatives legal.
Congress refused to fund adequate staff staffing of law enforcement so as to prosecute ongoing bank fraud beginning in 2001. Under this set of doomed-to-fail policies, a single financial enterprise, IndyMac made more bad loans than were made during the entire Savings and Loan Crisis. The game now is to maintain a coverup–Black points fingers at Timothy Geithner and others.
Bill Moyers conducted this interview on his PBS show. He is now active as a journalist at his own website.
Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Electronics Association, gave the keynote of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, which included the following:
Alluding to the upcoming Orwellian “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) (H.R. 3261), a visibly furious Mr. Shapiro commented, “[SOPA is championed by] politicians who are proudly unfamiliar with how the internet works, but who are well familiar with favors from well-heeled copyright extremists.”