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Old 03-03-2019, 09:02   #676
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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But somehow requiring various types of easily obtainable ID's in order to vote could become "a tactic to disenfranchise certain economically and socially marginal groups?" I think not, although there is always the potential for shenanigans in American elections. More like yet another "wedge issue" used to divide an unwary electorate, and plays nicely into preconceived fears and guilt over disenfranchised voters from an earlier era.
Not my country, but the reporting I have read (one example) suggests that voter fraud is not happening in the US to a significant degree. (another cite) And the state administrations who are implementing more onerous registration are predominantly _ _ _.

There are many little ways to manipulate or supress voting. One of the simplest is long lineups, by not having enough stations. Add to that an onerous and byzantine process for registering and verification, an ID requirement that is hard or slow to get, and election results will be significantly skewed. To a far greater extent than the current low levels of voter fraud. And this is before gerrymandering.

We all want a fair system. Many countries have figured out how to deter fraud in ways that do not burden or discriminate against specific groups. An example, from Canada. In my experience of lifelong voting (federal, provincial, municipal), poll locations were plentiful and convenient, and the wait to vote was never longer than 20 min, with 5 to 10 min being the norm.


[on preview, same link as Gord's]
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:10   #677
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Not directed at any particular person or group (It just showed up in my morning mail):



Useful advice in life; funny advice for a forum.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:25   #678
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Singularity, I think a lot of the discussion we’ve had here orbits around some of the factors you’ve enunciated in your recent post: motivated reasoning, cognitive dissonance, the primacy of in-group identity over reason — as is so aptly demonstrated in so many threads — happy to say, I’ve stayed out of all the ones you identify

(oooooh, ahhh …. I think I just got a dopamine hit for being so right ).

If I can summarize, we are all human. We all — all of us — are susceptible to these kinds of irrational tendencies. But to me, the most important finding of the Kahan study was not that in-group thinking trumps reasoning, but rather than those best able to employ reason, were the MOST susceptible to the lure of rationalization when faced with an out-group conclusion.

The folks engaged in rationalizing, as opposed to reasoning, will change depending on the issue they face — that’s one of key findings of the Kahan study. So the lesson here is that we all must guard against this kind of “predictable irrationality” (Dan Ariely).

It is these very human limitations which the process of science, and to a far lesser extent good journalism, recognizes and attempts to struggle against. Eastern philosophy, and more recently, western thought, is ripe with many other practices and traditions that recognize these human limitations. Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, taking a long walk in the snow … all are efforts to engage our “third eye”.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:28   #679
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Yes, the fact that it is easy to vote fraudulently does not justify tightening ID requirements.

Only if it is the case that there is actually a problem, significant enough to sway results.

Which in fact there is not.

This straw man is **only** raised in order to suppress the votes of the poor.
That's only your opinion, not necessarily FACT.

That's like saying,

"My boat has a hole in it and water's pouring in, but it's OK because I have a big bilge pump running less than 100% of the time."



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Old 03-03-2019, 10:31   #680
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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It is these very human limitations which the process of science, and to a far lesser extent good journalism, recognizes and attempts to struggle against. Eastern philosophy, and more recently, western thought, is ripe with many other practices and traditions that recognize these human limitations. Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, taking a long walk in the snow … all are efforts to engage our “third eye”.

^^^ this.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:39   #681
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Ex, how do you get your name on the list so it can be checked and cross-referenced?

In Canada your name is added to the to the register of eligible voters through various means, most (all?) of which include some sort of ID confirmation. To vote, I still need to show some ID with my name matching that which is on the list. But if I don’t have this ID, I can make a formal Declaration.

If I’m not on the list I need to produce ID with an address. If I can’t produce this, such as if I don’t have a permanent address, then there is yet another process I can go through. And finally, if I can’t meet the other provisions, I can have an eligible voter vouch for me. So we have requirements for identification.

There have been attempts in Canada to make voter ID laws more stringent. So far, they have faced defeat in our courts, or have been reversed by succeeding governments.

Like I said, I am unaware of any evidence that finds there is widespread voter fraud. And as we both know, it has been studied. So whatever systems have been in place do seem to be working. If there is a call to raise the requirements for voter identification, then it is worth questioning what problem it is attempting to solve.

Singularity, your “blanket” connection is interesting. Can you post a few links to the papers that show that. I too have done the poli-sci thing, but I don’t recall being exposed to this notion. I know you said Google will help, but I can’t seem to find what you’re referencing.

It is an adage that high turnout usually means bad things for incumbents. This seems to hold true. But I don’t recall a connection to high voter turnout equating to higher support for more liberal candidates. In my experience, it can and does swing either way.

You’re bang on though about the dangers of casting doubt on the electoral system(s). From my poli-sci days (and my journalism days), this seems to be in the bailiwick of authoritarian rulers. This kind of attack on the institution of elections and voting is indeed a serious danger to democracy.
As Gord already pointed out, in the US voting rights are regulated by the states, but they are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. This is significant since it gives voters who believe they have been denied such rights access to the federal courts to enforce them. In many states, including mine, no ID -- photo or otherwise -- is required to vote, but one is required (or a credible alternative) to register to vote. Nevertheless, you generally only have to register once (unless you change party affiliation), and there is nothing in my state and many others that would prevent someone from simply claiming they were me and citing my easily obtainable address as verification.

With the country so divided, the reality is that there have been some very close elections, with the usual chorus of partisans on both sides accusing the other of all sorts of election chicanery, intimidation & suppression. Although always a feature of American elections going back to its founding (G. Wash. reportedly delivered a bunch of booze to secure votes which first got him elected to the Senate), things heated up with the Bush-Gore election and famous Sup. Ct. ruling which followed. Trump fanned the flames, claiming that the votes which cost him a majority win may have been fraudulently cast. A commission was established to investigate, but after a number of states refused to provide records, it was disbanded. Passions flared again in the recent midterm elections when elections for governor in Florida & Georgia were tight (along with several House seats), and gross incompetence was uncovered from election officials leading to resignations. Due to recounts in a couple of states, there have been House seats that were not finally confirmed for months after the fact.

As seems to be the case more & more nowadays, how much of this dysfunction is attributable to "widespread voter fraud" comes down to what sources you rely on and how you define "widespread." It should be no surprise that a simple Google search mostly reveals the usual left-leaning media outlets claiming that it's all a right-wing fabricated myth, along with a couple of lonely links on page 3 to Fox News and conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation with a headline that says "Voter fraud exists - Even though many in the media claim it doesn't". https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/vote...laim-it-doesnt. Then you have the partisans chiming in with links only to sources which confirm their preconceived rationalizations, accompanied with snippy images making themselves feel how much smarter they are. (All too predictable for L-E, but you too Gord?? ).

Finally, you throw into this already volatile mix not only the politics of immigration but of race, and you have all the ingredients to inflame voters to vote for you rather than the other candidate for reasons that have nothing to do with their respective qualifications or policies, only emotion. Next thing you know there are cries that, because some states & municipalities are declaring themselves "sanctuaries" and granting undocumented/illegal immigrants driver's licenses, you have non-citizens who are casting illegal votes. And then the predictable retort follows, i.e. that any sort of attempt to insure this doesn't happen is unnecessary, and a mere pretext to deter otherwise eligible voters by imposing on them the "burden" of obtaining an ID. The same "burden" they would otherwise need for everything from buying a pack of cigarettes to picking up a can of spray paint to touch up a dent in their car.

Think I'm cynical?

As you say Mike, "[y]ou’re bang on though about the dangers of casting doubt on the electoral system(s)." With the hard fought right to vote now enshrined in every US state and rigorously enforced by the federal courts, we nevertheless still have partisans casting significant doubt. Whether voter fraud is real or myth, isolated or widespread, it seems to me that an easy way to resolve at least some of the divisiveness is a simple, uniform requirement that voters identify who they are and where they live prior to casting their vote (or a suitable alternative). So long as implementing such a requirement doesn't unduly burden the fundamental right, then I think it's a reasonable trade-off if it mitigates some doubts about the system. Yes, it may make it slightly "harder" for a relative few to exercise their voting rights but, as you've also pointed out, "with rights come responsibilities."
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:59   #682
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Some here may consider The Intercept to be a "leftie" medium

however this article is IMO completely neutral politically, and its subject cuts to the heart of many topics being discussed here

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/03/...-martin-gurri/
Completely agree on the article/interview's neutrality John, and very relevant to topics being discussed here.

"We should reject politicians who make claims we know are not deliverable. If I ever hear a politician say, “I was wrong,” that person has my vote."
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:18   #683
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Nevertheless, you generally only have to register once (unless you change party affiliation)
Ok, derail, but how is it possibly a good thing that a voter registers WITH a party affiliation? That essentially cements partisanship...

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As seems to be the case more & more nowadays, how much of this dysfunction is attributable to "widespread voter fraud" comes down to what sources you rely on and how you define "widespread."
I honestly have not seen ONE credible proof that voter fraud is a significant problem in the US.

Your link, an opinion piece, raises a bunch of possibilities, but again there is no accompanying analysis about what fraud actually happened and whether any election outcome can be shown to have been materially affected by fraudulent voting.

Yes I'm sure some vote fraud occurs, but I still believe that voter suppression and gerrymandering currently have much more effect, by orders of magnitude.

Quote:
It seems to me that an easy way to resolve at least some of the divisiveness is a simple, uniform requirement that voters identify who they are and where they live prior to casting their vote (or a suitable alternative). So long as implementing such a requirement doesn't unduly burden the fundamental right, then I think it's a reasonable trade-off if it mitigates some doubts about the system. Yes, it may make it slightly "harder" for a relative few to exercise their voting rights but, as you've also pointed out, "with rights come responsibilities."
I totally agree that a national standard for voter identification is reasonable. (In Canada we have it, I believe) I'd go further and have an arms-length electoral commission to set and administer election standards. Including redistricting.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:31   #684
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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...Whether voter fraud is real or myth, isolated or widespread, it seems to me that an easy way to resolve at least some of the divisiveness is a simple, uniform requirement that voters identify who they are and where they live prior to casting their vote (or a suitable alternative). So long as implementing such a requirement doesn't unduly burden the fundamental right, then I think it's a reasonable trade-off if it mitigates some doubts about the system. Yes, it may make it slightly "harder" for a relative few to exercise their voting rights but, as you've also pointed out, "with rights come responsibilities."
Faith in the credibility of our voting systems is paramount to a functioning democracy. Without this fundamental belief in the system’s fairness, peaceful power transition becomes impossible. So any attack on the credibility of the system needs to be done with the greatest care, and any claims need to be examined critically and skeptically.

I’m in favour of requirements which do not unduly burden the voting system, but who and how “unduly” is defined and measured here is often the problem. There is ample history and evidence of voter eligibility rules being used to disenfranchise certain people, so the suspicion that these calls for tighter ID requirements are really about something else are warranted.

This is especially so when the premise of this behind the call appears false. There is no credible research to suggest voter fraud is a serious concern. Indeed, it is statistically irrelevant in almost every case where it has been examined. Here’s just one summary quote for a report — done in 2004. I could quote from dozens of others:

Quote:
Voter fraud appears to be very rare in the 12 states examined in that report. Legal and news records turned up little evidence of significant fraud in these states or any indication that fraud is more than a minor problem.

Interviews with state officials further confirmed this impression.

• Notable election reforms of the past 10 to 15 years—such as the NVRA, more permissive absentee balloting rules, all mail-in voting in Oregon, and the enactment of Election Day Registration in several more states—have not facilitated voter fraud.
• Analysis of several cases of election fraud that have received significant attention in recent years suggests that some of the most notable allegations of fraud have proved to be baseless.
To me, real or myth do matter, but perception matters even more. So you’re right, if there is a real perception the system is fraudulent, then actions need to be taken. But it is also worth examining where these mythical claims are coming from, and what the motivations may be.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:54   #685
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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We should reject politicians who make claims we know are not deliverable. If I ever hear a politician say, “I was wrong,” that person has my vote.
I agree. What is actually possible is very different from faint-hearted assumptions about what is "affordable" or "politically realistic".

Even the tiny baby steps taken toward our race problems and poverty, much less going to the moon, preventing / curing diseases, development of the personal automobile and our imperial domination of the world would all previously have seemed "impossible".

It takes strong leaders with a radical vision to help humanity progress rather than revert to our "nasty, brutish and short" lives of the past.

With our species' survival at stake, the sort of international effort, ingenuity and sacrifice employed to say win WWII are now called for.

Universal healthcare is certainly an easy target in comparison.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:55   #686
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Ok, derail, but how is it possibly a good thing that a voter registers WITH a party affiliation? That essentially cements partisanship...
You don't have to register with any party affiliation. You do have to state a preference, but it doesn't have to be a party. You can register as a (small "i") independent. In some states it's called "Decline To State." I am personally a proud member of the DTS party!

But you raise a good point. There are plenty of other ways that are used to cement partisanship, including requirements that prohibit those who are registered as independents from voting in primaries. In my state there is currently an effort underway in the courts to eliminate that. I can't see how these sorts of rules help anyone except those already in positions of power.
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Old 03-03-2019, 13:01   #687
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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Ok, derail, but how is it possibly a good thing that a voter registers WITH a party affiliation? That essentially cements partisanship...
For voting in primary elections. Keeps the opposing party members from voting for a weak opposition candidate.
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Old 03-03-2019, 13:07   #688
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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I agree. What is actually possible is very different from faint-hearted assumptions about what is "affordable" or "politically realistic".

Even the tiny baby steps taken toward our race problems and poverty, much less going to the moon, preventing / curing diseases, development of the personal automobile and our imperial domination of the world would all previously have seemed "impossible".

It takes strong leaders with a radical vision to help humanity progress rather than revert to our "nasty, brutish and short" lives of the past.

With our species' survival at stake, the sort of international effort, ingenuity and sacrifice employed to say win WWII are now called for.

Universal healthcare is certainly an easy target in comparison.
Every desirable goal, no matter how humane, virtuous, and sincere, has a corresponding consequence and cost, and it's all too easy to claim the high ground when consequences haven't been considered. Just like I would be more inclined to vote for a politician who admitted he or she was wrong, I'm more likely to reject stated goals of politicians who haven't thought them through. What's seductive in theory all too often turns out disastrous in practice. Your recent article speaks to this, and bemoans a lot of people who loudly decry their outrage while being ignorant of history.
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Old 03-03-2019, 13:13   #689
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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^^^ [that]
This article articulates what I understand/believe to be the optimal work/life balance that a human is biochemically (etc) capable of, as evidenced by what it accomplishes in all spheres of the human existence. But it's pre-industrial. Sailors/cruisers are really in a prime position to actualize it:

Darwin was a slacker and you should be too


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Ok, derail, but how is it possibly a good thing that a voter registers WITH a party affiliation? That essentially cements partisanship...
Two angles:
1) One reason to do this actually makes sense--when you have a system that has primaries first on one date and general elections at a later date. Supposing that Party A has only one candidate in the primary while Party B has two or more candidates; it would be prudent for everyone from Party A to show up on primary day and vote for the candidate from Party B that Party A believes will be easier to beat in the general election. Recall that the Watergate investigation uncovered these types of shenanigans (i.e. undermining primaries) to a serious degree. Certainly both side do this...but Nixon (and/or his backers) in particular did this far out of proportion of others in modern history going back to at least his first senate election.

2) Otherwise divide and conquer politics. When you cement partisanship you cement a two-party system. In a patron-client relationship it's easier to pay off two sides than it is to pay off three.
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Old 03-03-2019, 13:18   #690
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Re: Intellectual Humility & the importance of knowing you might be wrong

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For voting in primary elections. Keeps the opposing party members from voting for a weak opposition candidate.

wow. How can there be anything good about a system where the bipolar, two-party nature is so rigidly baked-in?


In Canada, party affiliation has NOTHING to do with voter registration. If you want a part in selecting a party's leader, you join that party. Totally disconnected from voter registration and government.
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