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Old 14-01-2019, 12:51   #241
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

The problem seems to be that the really gifted manipulators are able to prevent most people from knowing about the manipulation (e.g. Bernie Madoff). So what seems reasonable is that no one should “manipulate” people without saying up front that is their intention. Then we can choose to allow it or not. I am sure the vast majority of FB users are not aware of the extent to which they are being controlled by the FB algorithm. That cannot possibly be a good thing.

For those of you who are sure you aren’t being manipulated reread the title of this thread.
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Old 14-01-2019, 13:12   #242
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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The thing I have been trying to stress is that bias/manipulation isn't a two-state thing; there are degrees to which a source or a story has bias. … So in terms of news, it is important and necessary to seek out sources who have the best track record for honesty and accuracy. That is, if one cares about honesty and accuracy... many do not.
I was specifically referring to the issue of our voluntary forfeiture of privacy and personal data to FB and Google and their like. The broader issue of bias in media is slightly different. I agree with you, we should all seek sources of knowledge that have not been shown to be overly biased, and that put real effort into being accurate and honest.

Conversely, when a source continually utters untruths, we should avoid listening to this person or organization. Of course then we quickly get into issues of confirmation, and run smack into our own issues around confirmation bias. And that’s where the dance begins .

That said, there are ways of examining claims which do tend to reveal how well they conform to reality. Sometimes it takes effort though — more effort than a lot of people (perhaps an increasing number) want to do.

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I totally believe we are being manipulated, whether for good or for our "bad." That's why we have to understand it, not close our eyes and wish it would go away. Every so few years, I pay $2 to a site that makes sure I am not targeted with credit cards and new mortgage refi's in my mail box. Just wish I could get the local Dollar Store to quit sending me trees-worth of ads about their REALLY GOOD CHEAP CRAP! How is this not targeted to our every whims? How is not Christmas and Valentine's day manipulative...? How is not cultural norms manipulative?! Or parents (i.e., recent research that babies pick up all sorts of tics - gesturing with hands while talking, etc. - from their parents). Seriously. Life is one big manipulation. Google et al., just made multi-billions off it.
Agreed. We’re surrounded by manipulation. It’s the issue of degree with tools like FB and Google et al. These new “big data” tools have scaled this ability to manipulate to a whole new level — one we’ve only ever seen before at the state-level.

Neither you nor I have any real idea what FB is doing to manipulate us. I suspect they don’t even know the full extent of their own actions. And the growth trajectory of this kind of big data manipulation is steep and disturbing.

It’s all into unknown unknowns. So just like I wouldn’t hand my house keys to a stranger, I think it unwise to willingly hand over person private data to these companies. The benefits they dangle of easy access to “friends” and free tools, are simply not worth the trade off for me. But they may be for others.

As you say, Eyes Wide Open!

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...For those of you who are sure you aren’t being manipulated reread the title of this thread.
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Old 14-01-2019, 13:36   #243
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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I'm all for healthy debate. Define healthy, though, first.
I suppose "healthy" in my thought is relatively polite and intelligent, without too many hurt feelings and insults, resulting in any degree of increased understanding between two opposing views.

An example would be this debate between the two of us.
I disagree with you about a few things, but I have learned from you as well.
I call that healthy.

I'll add the reason for my different perspective on company secret software, ostensibly created to be "helpful":
Having written AI code next to some pretty weird software types (find me one that's not weird), I am more suspicious than the average person of such things. In my experience, the magic in heuristic algorithms happens when you write in as much subtle experience as you can, but then you get non-deterministic results. That is exactly when the stereotypical socially-challenged uber-logical programmer gets to claim almost artistic results. You don't really KNOW how much of your own biases are in the damn machine, but the outputs can be wonderful and really surprising. That's the thing... you just don't exactly know what will result... but when hundreds of your Che Guevara T-shirted peers are surrounded by their toy characters and working on the same "social" project as one happy force, most of whom just happen to be on one far side of the political spectrum... well, you can place money on which way some of these "surprises" will go.

FB currently has an algorithm crunching on gamayun's affinity for lemon flavored food items to assign certain content to her news feed. A FB algorithm sends her some helpful Lemon Oreo coupons when Nabisco is alerted that she hasn't bought any in 3 weeks, while another algorithm filters out a Vox article that describes how Nabisco is actually using GMO lemons because a different algorithm logged gamayun's apparent disapproval of GMOs as she hovered a few milliseconds longer over anti-GMO articles than sailing articles. Never mind filtering, an occasional PRO-GMO article thrown her way would certainly help Nabisco, and now she is telling her co-workers that GMOs are actually harmless after all, because she has read mostly good things about them.
Multiply these automated decisions by the billions of FB users who are happily manipulated each day.
It's only good business.
Why are people so concerned?

Google has similar programmers as FB.
The irony of "don't be evil" as Google's previous corporate motto is not lost on those of us with a little knowledge of how their growing power actually functions under the hood. This is more of a smirk than "freak out" paranoia. Google's new motto is "do what's right". In the end, you can do what you and your echo chamber THINK is "right", but still end up with a bit of evil.
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Old 14-01-2019, 14:35   #244
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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[snip] Why are people so concerned?

Google has similar programmers as FB.
The irony of "don't be evil" as Google's previous corporate motto is not lost on those of us with a little knowledge of how their growing power actually functions under the hood. This is more of a smirk than "freak out" paranoia. Google's new motto is "do what's right". In the end, you can do what you and your echo chamber THINK is "right", but still end up with a bit of evil.
The irony of mottoes/statements such as, "Don't Be Evil" (Google), "Fair and Balanced News" (Fox), "I have Tremendous Respect for Women" (Trump), I help people" (Madoff), "I am not being manipulated" (all people), is that it reflects inner desires, not actions. I'm convinced we (collectively, both as individuals as well as 'organizations') all do this - we repeatedly say what we want others to think of us that most reflect what we are least likely to actually do. What's yours?
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Old 14-01-2019, 15:10   #245
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

One more thought. I did a literature review into vitamin D a while back because it seemed like such a hyped fad, which (IIRC) the studies bear out and that a simple blood test could confirm the deficiency. Now I am bombarded with all these "news" articles about how everyone is vitamin D deficient and its effects sound HORRIBLE. This made me think I should go back and re-check my thinking. I certainly do see how this affects one's psyche. No doubt about it!

This has significance when considering that pharmaceutical advertising in the U.S. is in the billions of dollars.
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Old 14-01-2019, 15:28   #246
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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The irony of mottoes/statements such as, "Don't Be Evil" (Google), "Fair and Balanced News" (Fox), "I have Tremendous Respect for Women" (Trump), I help people" (Madoff), "I am not being manipulated" (all people), is that it reflects inner desires, not actions. I'm convinced we (collectively, both as individuals as well as 'organizations') all do this - we repeatedly say what we want others to think of us that most reflect what we are least likely to actually do. What's yours?
On your comedy list, I think you missed "the most trusted name in news", (CNN).
My motto?
Hmm.
I can't narrow it down...
"Counterintuitive sayings have to be true."
"If it rhymes it must be true."
"I don't believe in mottos."
"I'm too sexy for my shirt."
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Old 14-01-2019, 15:38   #247
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Most people in the US get their news from Facebook...
^^^Just for people over 50. The younger generations do not - it's not popular at all for people under 30 to even use Facebook. They've moved on to snapchat, instagram as well as twitter. On that note, Twitter is fast becoming a greater source of information, as are most internet sources, then television.
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Old 17-01-2019, 12:43   #248
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Never being wrong isn’t an especially good thing. To the contrary, being wrong is important, because it is the first step on the way to being right. If you’re never wrong, you never learn anything you didn’t already know.
However: No one likes being wrong, but most of us believe that we can be wrong; and that we would revise our beliefs when con-fronted with compelling disconfirmatory evidence.
Samuel Gershman’s paper titled “How to Never Be Wrong” considers the problem of auxiliary hypotheses ( An auxiliary assumption becomes an ad hoc hypothesis when it entails unconfirmed claims that are specifically designed to accommodate disconfirmatory evidence).
The idea is that any given theory comes with a set of undisclosed assumptions, which can protect the core theory from being disproved. For example, the seven-day creation story of Genesis is at odds with the fossil record. So if you accept the fossil record, do you have to forfeit Genesis (or visa versa)?
Nope. All you have to do is note that a “day” doesn’t have to be 24 hours; especially not if God hasn’t created the sun and moon yet. The definition of day is merely an auxiliary hypothesis of the core theory that God created the world.

"How to Never be Wrong"http://gershmanlab.webfactional.com/...verBeWrong.pdf
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Old 17-01-2019, 16:50   #249
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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The irony of mottoes/statements such as, "Don't Be Evil" (Google), "Fair and Balanced News" (Fox), "I have Tremendous Respect for Women" (Trump), I help people" (Madoff), "I am not being manipulated" (all people), is that it reflects inner desires, not actions. I'm convinced we (collectively, both as individuals as well as 'organizations') all do this - we repeatedly say what we want others to think of us that most reflect what we are least likely to actually do. What's yours?
I only read & post on CF for the tech & navigation threads.
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Old 17-01-2019, 19:56   #250
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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And I give my apps permission to follow my every movement. I know they're collecting data and a lot if it makes my life easier. Why should I get paranoid about this? I don't follow fads. I don't make impulse buys. I pull up news from a variety of sources, directly from the sources. I research issues from scientifically valid sites. I pull up FB news about sailing when I have the interest in the subject. I use the grocery store discounts and sometimes use their coupons (especially for Noosa lemon yogurt, yumm) but most go in the garbage. I just don't share the same freak out sense others have about this. I know I'm being ad targeted and I know the news aggregator on my phone leans liberal and outdoorsy (but People Magazine, really?!?). So how exactly am I being manipulated? Because I buy Noosa instead of Dannon and I sometimes look at an article about Jason Momoa? Certainly there are worse things out there such as spending too much spare time arguing a point that changes no one's mind on these forums....? (But healthy debate is fun - gotta fess up to that obsession!)
Yes, agree. I'm not overly concerned about being tracked or data being collected around me, also not much I can do about it. Secondly I have a choice, I could very much limit my Internet use (which I should) and spend my time actually moving and doing.
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Old 17-01-2019, 20:40   #251
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

It's all about sales, whether it's selling you on a political point of view or a new gadget, Google is just great at it. We are all manipulators and are all manipulated.

I owned a gym, we tried to manipulate everyone that came through the door into buying a membership, we understood engaging someone emotionally was the way to sell memberships, we trained people on how to do this, that's what good salesman do, manipulate emotions, we all so understood the social pressure /manipulation that happened via media, including social media that helped direct people to us, and we used it.

I had a mate that grew and sold dope, I often thought how honest his business was, no advertising, no trying to engage his customer emotionally, no setting up dd payment schemes that made the sale easier, just a product, a seller and a transaction.

I was in the wrong business.
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Old 17-01-2019, 23:50   #252
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Very true Dale. But scale and capacity does matter — at least it does to me. The FB’s and Googles of the world are able to take manipulation to a level never before possible.

Sure, it’s the same old thing, just more, bigger and fast. But that’s like saying AkzoNobel from the Volvo Ocean Race is the same as my full keel Rafiki, just bigger and faster. As much as I like that thought, these two boats are only superficially similar. The same goes with comparing what you did selling gym memberships to what FB does.

Given what we know about these companies, and their explicit business model of making money from our personal information, I think it perfectly sensible NOT to willingly assist them. Especially when there are alternatives out there.

In some ways I accept that it’s a near-impossible battle to win. But I don’t believe resistance is ever futile. It will only become futile if we all just accept things as inevitable. It doesn’t have to be this way.
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Old 18-01-2019, 06:12   #253
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Maybe this belongs in the "Quotes" thread, but anyway ...

“When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong*. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”
~ Isaac Asimov

* The earth has an equatorial bulge, and is flattened at the poles: hence is an "oblate spheroid" rather than a sphere.

“The Relativity of Wrong”Asimov - The Relativity of Wrong
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Old 18-01-2019, 06:41   #254
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pirate Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Yes, agree. I'm not overly concerned about being tracked or data being collected around me, also not much I can do about it. Secondly I have a choice, I could very much limit my Internet use (which I should) and spend my time actually moving and doing.
I dont mind the data collection, tracking etc either.. and the occasional Ebay pop up of last boat/bike I viewed is actually welcome..
Hell.. I even tell them when I'll be 'off grid' and give them a Spot link to keep tracking me..
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Old 18-01-2019, 09:52   #255
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

This came to me in my normal "social media" feed called email — everyone remember email? It’s this tool where you can stay connected with actual friends.

People, especially the youngin’s, should give it a try. There’s no hidden costs that are paid in the currency of your personal information. And you don't get targeted and manipulated in unknown, and increasingly unknowable ways.

https://blog.chaddickerson.com/2019/...cing-facebook/
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