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Old 09-02-2019, 10:35   #361
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Slate. They run to a higher journalistic standard than DC, but their Trump Derangement Syndrome has been a bit much; it's skewed their coverage of some important stories. I don't visit them as much.

But, in the spirit of Gord's, uh, admonishment, I'll desist.

If someone is genuinely concerned about partisanship and polarization... there is a responsibility to recognise the bias, particularly the degree, and its presence in the mandate of the sources one chooses. I think we're all in agreement there.

But it's not about the accuracy or bias around ONE story. If someone knows that a given source or site has significant bias and a less than stellar reputation for honesty and good reporting, yet they stay with it day after day... that's pretty much supporting the status quo, isn't it?
I suppose, but bias doesn't lend itself to objective measurement and is often in the eye of the beholder. Besides, what about the other 20M people who will continue subscribing to DC because they don't agree with your assessment? By adopting your "remedy," your ability to understand where they're coming from (e.g. where they're getting what you believe may be their erroneous facts) will be compromised. Choosing where to get your information in our age of dumbed down, severely polarized "entertainment" media is not akin to simply boycotting one big box store over another because you don't approve of their sale of certain types of controversial products. If you are serious about reform and advancing public policy that actually has a chance of adoption, it seems to me you cannot afford to avoid media outlets which you personally disapprove of. Then you wind up getting ridiculed like AOC, not because your ultimate policy goals are bogus, but because you're seemingly incapable of seeing let alone factoring in the inevitable downsides. As transmitterdan pointed out, the only realistic option these days is to try and round out your reading as much as possible.

I found the article Gord and I were bandying about earlier (Colombia School of Journalism) to be pretty insightful on some of the complexities involved in attempting to objectively measure media bias. Fwiw . . .

https://www.cjr.org/innovations/meas...s-partisan.php
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:37   #362
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Google non biased?...
... Don't think for a second that Google is not left leaning.
And that's a good thing.
As Stephen Colbert has observed, reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Google does have ideological biases. The primary one is right there in its mission statement; Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Is making information universally accessible and useful is a good thing? It seems likely to me that it is, but it’s a lot harder to prove, and disprove, than other ideological positions, like “tax cuts improve investment and promote general prosperity,” which are provably false.

The political analysis firm, Crowdpac, released a report determining the political bias of different professions, based on campaign contribution data from individual donors dating back to the '80s. The resulting analysis lets us see where various industries fall on the political spectrum:
Much more ➥ https://mic.com/articles/103600/how-...rts#.W5ayMlfEl

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Old 09-02-2019, 10:43   #363
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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...Problem is, if.you just stop watching, you can miss some serious world event or natural disaster .
Damn… are we at war (again)? biggrin:

I rarely watch TV news since I don’t own a TV (haven’t for must be over 20 years now). I mostly get my news from CBC Radio and reading various online sources. I frequent BBC & ABC international news. For American-centric stuff I go to CNN, NPR and Fox.

But truth be told, I do sometimes miss big news stories.

This is an absolutely true story. I missed the terrorist attack on New York — 9/11. I was off sailing Lake Superior on that fateful day. I didn’t know anything had happened until three days after the event.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:48   #364
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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If you are serious about reform and advancing public policy that actually has a chance of adoption, it seems to me you cannot afford to avoid media outlets which you personally disapprove of.
... and I don't avoid them. How could I 'disapprove' if I haven't tasted the soup?

My problem is when people marinate in them, even when they know the bias. It's of course worse when people marinate in them and deny the bias. And they aren't doing the looking around that some of us do.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:03   #365
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Damn… are we at war (again)? biggrin:

I rarely watch TV news since I don’t own a TV (haven’t for must be over 20 years now). I mostly get my news from CBC Radio and reading various online sources. I frequent BBC & ABC international news. For American-centric stuff I go to CNN, NPR and Fox.

But truth be told, I do sometimes miss big news stories.

This is an absolutely true story. I missed the terrorist attack on New York — 9/11. I was off sailing Lake Superior on that fateful day. I didn’t know anything had happened until three days after the event.
Given our era of immediate internet access & 24/7 news, it's actually quite refreshing to hear that it's even possible to miss the news of 9/11 (living where we do). Another plus for the sailing lifestyle.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:08   #366
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Liberal thinking is more like reality? Really?

http://reason.com/blog/2019/02/07/al...green-new-deal
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:14   #367
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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My problem is when people marinate in them, even when they know the bias. It's of course worse when people marinate in them and deny the bias. And they aren't doing the looking around that some of us do.
This gets back to the real danger. More and more people getting their “news” delivered to them via algorithms that are designed to give people what they already like.

People are increasingly enclosed in information bubbles, and they may not even know it. In the distant past (say more than 10 years ago ) you had to actively choose to ignore non-confirming information. You had to actively choose to go to Fox, or MSNBC or Breitbart or the Newyorker etc.

These days, it takes effort NOT to be spoon fed sources that only agree with our views. And most of us won’t even notice because the algorithms that drive Facebook and Google (and all the others) are designed this way.

As I’ve said before, this is confirmation bias on steroids.

I don’t believe there is ideological bias built into FB or Google. I think there is economic bias. Ultimately their real purpose is to extract more money from each of us. The best way to do this is to keep us happy and placated.

I re-read Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman recently. Even though it was written in 1985, its warnings seem even more pertinent today.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:15   #368
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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... and I don't avoid them. How could I 'disapprove' if I haven't tasted the soup?

My problem is when people marinate in them, even when they know the bias. It's of course worse when people marinate in them and deny the bias. And they aren't doing the looking around that some of us do.
You mean like "marinating" in the overt bias of CNN in every airport terminal in the U.S. and elsewhere I'm sure?

If your response to claims that Google may be skewing their search results is to justify it in part by suggesting they're simply filtering out white supremacy sites, then I'd have to conclude you're not "looking around" as much as you think you are.

I don't know how provable the claims of search bias are, but they have definitely been deleting or de-monetizing youTube channels that promote opinions or activities they apparently don't approve of. If you don't believe me, just Google it look around a bit more.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:29   #369
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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You mean like "marinating" in the overt bias of CNN in every airport terminal in the U.S. and elsewhere I'm sure?
I guess I don't fly as often as some. Still... I have no problem avoiding those sorts of public exposure. (can anyone actually hear those, anyway?). And I would assert that CNN isn't as biased as the Daily Caller, for example. Avoid the CNN editorials, and the straight news is fairly reliable.

Quote:

If your response to claims that Google may be skewing their search results is to justify it in part by suggesting they're simply filtering out white supremacy sites, then I'd have to conclude you're not "looking around" as much as you think you are.
Well, that wasn't quite what I said, so I guess this doesn't apply.

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I don't know how provable the claims of search bias are, but they have definitely been deleting or de-monetizing youTube channels that promote opinions or activities they apparently don't approve of. If you don't believe me, just Google it look around a bit more.

As I understand it, the few deletions have mainly been edge cases - sites that promote hate, or have content that people have complained about, or that have made factual claims that are false and possibly dangerous.


Social media are all victims of their own success; our understanding, and where necessary, regulations, have not kept up. This will continue to change, and be contentious.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:39   #370
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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People are increasingly enclosed in information bubbles, and they may not even know it.
The not even knowing it part is most troubling, imo. If you're aware of the bias then there's much less harm in dealing with it/discounting it appropriately.

This goes back to your experience interacting with students in your classes, and how disagreement on opinions leads to such personal discomfort, emotion, and even violence. What is it about merely reading, watching, or debating contrary opinions that is so difficult for people to handle these days? Are they concerned that their own opinions might actually be influenced, or changed (god forbid )? It all seems quite personal nowadays, with people not only entrenched, but having opinions that are more part of their personal identity. And it's not just politics (although that's clearly the worst), but we see it in much more seemingly benign areas. Why are people so quick to see the remedy as suppression of speech, ideas, media outlets they disagree with, as opposed to the age-old remedies of transparency, debate, and the education that necessarily follows? I have no problem with anyone else holding views contrary to mine, and if they can articulate them persuasively then I'm often anxious to engage with them if, for no other reason, then to test the validity of my own views. But the intolerance I see for other peoples' views -- to the point of wanting to suppress them -- is a very troubling development.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:58   #371
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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I guess I don't fly as often as some. Still... I have no problem avoiding those sorts of public exposure. (can anyone actually hear those, anyway?). And I would assert that CNN isn't as biased as the Daily Caller, for example. Avoid the CNN editorials, and the straight news is fairly reliable.

This is exactly what I mean. Why would you want to avoid the exposure to media sources you don't like? The DC has no ability to reach down & hit you over the head. Just be aware of their bias (which you obviously are) and discount it accordingly. Yes, you can hear the airport monitors tuned to CNN, yes people are marinating in it, but no it doesn't "bother" me. But given CNN's well known, largely one-way bias (like Fox), it would certainly be healthier to have other mainstream outlets showing as well.

Well, that wasn't quite what I said, so I guess this doesn't apply.

Then why did you say it? To imply that those with opinions more conservative than yours are tolerant of internet platforms for white supremacists? Whatever the reason, it doesn't sound relevant -- nor friendly or civil for that matter -- with regard to this discussion.

As I understand it, the few deletions have mainly been edge cases - sites that promote hate, or have content that people have complained about, or that have made factual claims that are false and possibly dangerous.
Not true. A good example are popular gun channels on youTube that promote nothing but lawful & responsible gun ownership and practices. They have wide appeal to the 99.9% of Americans and others who are law-abiding gun owners who use their firearms purely for recreational, sporting & hunting purposes. Like I said, it seems you need to look around more.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:08   #372
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Here's another one from Bloomberg.com. The last time I looked, they weren't exactly a conservative publication.


https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...s-unaffordable


It states a guaranteed income for those unable or unwilling to work.

Later versions have said that was never mentioned, and accuse conservatives for inserting it as fake news !
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:46   #373
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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The not even knowing it part is most troubling, imo. If you're aware of the bias then there's much less harm in dealing with it/discounting it appropriately.
Yes, that’s why I characterize this development as putting our collective confirmation bias on steroids. It now takes active effort NOT to have our biases constantly confirmed. Or put another way, we are increasingly becoming unaware that there even are other options, or other ways of viewing things.

It’s very dangerous to any democracy. It’s perfect for totalitarian forms of government though.

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This goes back to your experience interacting with students in your classes, and how disagreement on opinions leads to such personal discomfort, emotion, and even violence. What is it about merely reading, watching, or debating contrary opinions that is so difficult for people to handle these days? Are they concerned that their own opinions might actually be influenced, or changed (god forbid )?
I see this as a symptom of the above. If our entire world merely reflects what we already know (or think we know), then a sudden confrontation with alternative facts or views is bound to be scary.

In reading Haidt’s latest book, one thing he zeros in on tightly is the radical shift in parenting. He calls it the rise of “safetyism” where parents are constantly trying to protect their kids from both physical and emotional harm. It’s summarized in the notion that parenting has shifted from ‘preparing the kids for the road’ to now where the dominant approach is to ‘prepare the road for the kids.’

This is part of his thesis in Coddling of the American Mind. He claims it is most dominant in middle and upper classes in the USA, with reference to Canada, the UK and Oz data as well.

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Why are people so quick to see the remedy as suppression of speech, ideas, media outlets they disagree with, as opposed to the age-old remedies of transparency, debate, and the education that necessarily follows? I have no problem with anyone else holding views contrary to mine, and if they can articulate them persuasively then I'm often anxious to engage with them if, for no other reason, then to test the validity of my own views. But the intolerance I see for other peoples' views -- to the point of wanting to suppress them -- is a very troubling development.
Completely agree. In fact, I suspect all the voices here of late would also agree. We’re all traditional liberals in the sense of John Locke (Liberal … another term Americans have weirdly distorted). It’s one of the founding principles of democracy; that ideas should be open for exchange and challenge. That ideas should be constantly tested.

With the rise of safetyism (to use Haidt’s term), we’re training ourselves to avoid alternative ideas. And when we are faced with different ideas, like when Republicans hear from Democrats (or vice versa), we react with fear, disgust and dismissal. Not, as in the past, seeing it as a challenge to engage, listen, and possibly be persuaded.
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Old 09-02-2019, 13:00   #374
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

On the issue of news sources, as was said earlier, the problem is the bleed of “opinion” into what was excluslvely the “news” sections. It used to be that these two areas of the editorial departments were slickly separated. That’s why we had the Op-Ed pages clearly delineated from the News sections. We had the front roll of news on the TV broadcast, and then some Andy Rooneyish commentator to bring up the rear.

These days the actual news is hard to find and discern from the babblers. They’re all interwoven. Drives me absolutely bonkers to see editorial, or worse “opinion” or “commentary” or “analysis,” on the front page or the top stack of news casts. And I have no interest in the stupid ‘panel discussion’ format that now dominates most “news” TV coverage. These are simple bun fights used to trigger emotional responses. They feed all of our worst tendencies.

With this growth of impervious information bubbles, along with this bleed of editorial into news, it’s no wonder more and more of us are living in our own little worlds. It’s not good. Not good for society. Not good for democracy.
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Old 09-02-2019, 13:16   #375
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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This is exactly what I mean. Why would you want to avoid the exposure to media sources you don't like?

The more appropriate words are trust, believe... not "like". Other than the occasional look, no I'm not going to spend much time with a source I don't trust. Not when there are more trustworthy sources for the same info.
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....To imply that those with opinions more conservative than yours are tolerant of internet platforms for white supremacists?
... I was just giving one example of the sort of sites which I understand were banned/blocked.
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A good example [of deleted Youtube sites] are popular gun channels on youTube that promote nothing but lawful & responsible gun ownership and practices. They have wide appeal to the 99.9% of Americans and others who are law-abiding gun owners who use their firearms purely for recreational, sporting & hunting purposes.
The only way to respond to these two... is to ask for examples. Got any examples of what's been deleted or blocked - assuming they were later unblocked or hosted elsewhere? Or articles discussing these?


There's nothing that appeals to 99.9% of Americans, btw, except for maybe aerosol cheese.
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