Thursday, July 15, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong...won't do any good...but go ahead

Heard an interesting story on Talk of The Nation the other day.  In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don't Matter

It was based on a paper written by two researchers asking the question:
Can false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected?
Brendan Nyhan amd ason Reifler in their paper "When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions" conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. They also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.
Political beliefs about controversial factual questions in politics are often closely linked with one’s ideological preferences or partisan beliefs. [E]xtensive literature in psychology shows humans are goal-directed information processors who tend to evaluate information with a directional bias toward reinforcing their pre-existing views. Specifically, people tend to display bias in evaluating political arguments and evidence, favoring those that reinforce their existing views and disparaging those that contradict their views.
So basically my attempt to shed light on misconceptions and idiotic beliefs with my blog that is read by up to three people will fall on deaf ears.  I just don't get conservatives, and the reason is that they are not conservative in their views and thinking in as much as they are ideologues.  Diversity of thought and ideas brings forward a much better method for governing.  Period.

I have been very disappointed in guys, like John McCain, that I thought were smart, intelligent, reasoned, and logical. Apparently they find it necessary to pander to the ideologues that now control the Republican party. So what happens is they pass on information and mimic behavior that appeals to these ideologues, ignoring the moderate or enlightened conservative voices.

It may win votes, but orthodoxy demands more orthodoxy.  It will never be enough to placate them.  But what I fear, and it's the reason I write, is that misconception of what is happening and who is to blame will lead to action.  Kristallnacht was the beginning a long simmering misconception.
From its inception, Hitler's regime moved quickly to introduce anti-Jewish policies. The 500,000 Jews in Germany, who accounted for only 0.76% of the overall population, were singled out by the Nazi propaganda machine as an enemy within who were responsible for Germany's defeat in the First World War, and for her subsequent economic difficulties, such as the 1920s hyperinflation and Great Depression. Beginning in 1933, the German government enacted a series of anti-Jewish laws restricting the rights of German Jews to earn a living, to enjoy full citizenship and to educate themselves, including the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which forbade Jews to work in the civil service. The subsequent 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans.
If you don't treat the wound it will fester and take the whole appendage with it.  I hope I'm wrong on what I see transpiring....God I hope I'm wrong.

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