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“Even if that comment was admittedly a little ironic for a guy who seems to get his news almost exclusively from an outlet as far left as The Gaurdian.”

I wrote for the Guardian and they syndicated my blog for years. George Monboint writes for them as well, and man would I love anyone here to get into an argument about climate change with him - the noted “lefty that he obviously is.”

The Guardian broke Snowden - and if you’re of the opinion that the information he leaked was not absolutely quintessential with regards to public knowledge of highly illegal actions - you’re either a fool or too dim witted to understand it. 

But I have subscriptions to The Atlantic and other “intelligent” conservative publications as well. 

My comment on political polarization was dead on. And it’s something I believe in strongly. I am neither a proponent of the left or right. I believe reason is quintessential to properly tune out the nonsense of polarization. Right and wrong exist in this world. What does it matter who reports it if it objectively calls wrongdoing out? 

To say I get my information wholly from the Guardian - as an example of a singular accusation-  is to say that I support its position on what took place in Charlottesville. And I absolutely do. An innocent woman was killed and the night before, in a nation that helped defeat National Socialism, people were marching torches in hand, as if at Nuremberg, chanting “Jews will not replace us.” 

So what wholly “objective” source out there had a better take on those events? Only those that pander to those that support hate - and that is not journalism. 

I don’t agree with all of the paper’s content, there’s been many occasions that I’ve disagreed with OpEds. But, given these ridiculous times, one does not think before using a single publication to paint a entirely one sided picture. And isn’t that just the height of intellect. 

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As someone in America right now I will tell you the saddest thing is there is no more area of gray. Gray is gone. It's either you're left or you're right.  Guys like me who are in the middle or dare I say Independent are screwed. To prove my point I liked a post supporting police officers  (a life long friend is a State Sheriff, my cousin  a State Trooper)  I had 3 people of color all message me telling me I am racist. If I say something supporting the left I get the same backlash.  

The one thing I know about politics now is if I open my mouth I am going to offend 50% of the people who read my post and that to me is infuriatingly sad. No more Gray areas. 

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I was happy to hear you bring up the point of polarization Matt, and thanks Foats for offering your perspective as an American member here.  I have always found it odd that people are staunchly in one corner or another.  People in general are all over the place with their emotions, their ideals, their dreams...it seems utterly counter intuitive to be cornered into one side of the room or another given the dynamic nature of the human psyche.  I have family and friends in the States and I'm always shocked at how many of them are completely unable to do anything but blindly support one side or another.  They ask me regularly what party I Identify with and I find that such a strange notion, because I don't unilaterally agree with any one party on all issues.  This notion that I've always voted ________ or my daddy voted _____ and his daddy voted ______ so I vote ________ is completely ridiculous to me.  What never ceases to amaze me is when I point out the fallacy of such a thing many of them are quite surprised.  An example I always use is Abraham Lincoln as a progressive human rights activist Lincoln would today most likely be a member of the Democratic party, but he was a Republican, and the Democrats openly opposed his efforts to eliminate slavery.  So lets say you were a Democrat today and had always been a democrat and so had your family...then your family at one point in time would have been opposed to the abolition of slavery.  The same party that put the first black president in office was once completely against black people really having any social rights of any kind.  

What I find so interesting about this polarization is how people, without even knowing much about an issue will become aggressive defenders of it because it's their parties angle.  I've seen people screaming in the streets on certain issues, and a quick conversation reveals they actually have almost zero first hand knowledge of the issue at hand, yet they are almost territorially defending it and lashing out against those who don't.  That's a pretty scary reality.  

I recently watched The Social Dilemma, a documentary about the effects of social media on society and particularly young people.  Two things really stood out to me. 1) the horrifying rise in suicide rates among extremely young preteen girls coinciding with the popularity of social media and 2) the polarization of political leanings coinciding with the same time frames.  The documentary makes a case that these learning algorithms slant search results so that you find more of the kind of things you've searched for in the past, meaning you are always going to find articles and people agreeing with your previous viewpoints which helps fuel the fire of polarization because it may legitimately seem like there is no opposing view points even being put forward, and that those that are are filtered through a network of people with similar opinions as you and are trashed as such.  That kind of situation simply does not allow for people to be objective whatsoever and would absolutely result in the polarity we are seeing today.   

Edited by adam_777
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we have an app hear that lets you converse with your neighbors. You can post events, sell items, neighborhood watch, all kinds of things.  The post of the week has been that people are going around stealing Biden signs. It seems someone had the bright idea to go around and steal Biden signs as if the homeowners still wouldn't vote Biden.  So people were debating back and forth and it turned into a shitshow as one would assume, so now the topic of concern is that someone has a sign in their yard that says "open schools now".   Some people want home school 24/7, other parents need their kids to have physical interaction, some kids need the meals.  I have Pakistani neighbors who are having a hard time dealing with not being able to physically go to school.  I went over and helped them set up their tablets and it crushed me as the young boy had looked forward to riding the bus and going to school with his big brother for years and now he is old enough but can't.  

But again it goes back to no gray area. People want schools open or they want them closed, no meeting in the middle.  I am curious to see if things get any better after the election. I sadly have a feeling they are going to get worse.  We are having riots daily over police shooting or police being shot (again you can only support cops or BLM)  imagine the riots if Biden or Trump lose!  One has to lose, what then?

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Adam_777

Read "The coddling of the American mind" by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff!  Talks about that increase in suicide stats.

Edited by Sly Botts
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On 9/14/2020 at 3:59 PM, mfrg said:

“Even if that comment was admittedly a little ironic for a guy who seems to get his news almost exclusively from an outlet as far left as The Gaurdian.”

I wrote for the Guardian and they syndicated my blog for years. George Monboint writes for them as well, and man would I love anyone here to get into an argument about climate change with him - the noted “lefty that he obviously is.”

The Guardian broke Snowden - and if you’re of the opinion that the information he leaked was not absolutely quintessential with regards to public knowledge of highly illegal actions - you’re either a fool or too dim witted to understand it. 

But I have subscriptions to The Atlantic and other “intelligent” conservative publications as well. 

My comment on political polarization was dead on. And it’s something I believe in strongly. I am neither a proponent of the left or right. I believe reason is quintessential to properly tune out the nonsense of polarization. Right and wrong exist in this world. What does it matter who reports it if it objectively calls wrongdoing out? 

To say I get my information wholly from the Guardian - as an example of a singular accusation-  is to say that I support its position on what took place in Charlottesville. And I absolutely do. An innocent woman was killed and the night before, in a nation that helped defeat National Socialism, people were marching torches in hand, as if at Nuremberg, chanting “Jews will not replace us.” 

So what wholly “objective” source out there had a better take on those events? Only those that pander to those that support hate - and that is not journalism. 

I don’t agree with all of the paper’s content, there’s been many occasions that I’ve disagreed with OpEds. But, given these ridiculous times, one does not think before using a single publication to paint a entirely one sided picture. And isn’t that just the height of intellect. 

Matt was kind enough to respond very diplomatically and "Socrates" like to a message I sent him last night in private discussing this topic some more. As as I said yesterday- and I'll say again- I think we all really appreciate getting to hear his thought process on such topics (regardless of whether there is always full agreement or not). So again, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Matt (both in public and private) 🙂 

 

On 9/14/2020 at 4:43 PM, foats said:

As someone in America right now I will tell you the saddest thing is there is no more area of gray. Gray is gone. It's either you're left or you're right.  Guys like me who are in the middle or dare I say Independent are screwed. To prove my point I liked a post supporting police officers  (a life long friend is a State Sheriff, my cousin  a State Trooper)  I had 3 people of color all message me telling me I am racist. If I say something supporting the left I get the same backlash.  

The one thing I know about politics now is if I open my mouth I am going to offend 50% of the people who read my post and that to me is infuriatingly sad. No more Gray areas. 


Keep your chin up, man. While all of us should always be conscious of any possible bias we might have, if someone (regardless of who they are) is resorting to ad hominem attacks without evidence or coherence based on emotion, that says far more about them than it does about you (regardless of how many of them there are). And indeed, ad hominem attacks by themselves are the last resort of someone who has no legitimate arguments in their tool box. The topic of the police in Western societies is an interesting one. Even though Trevor Noah seems to have gone off the deep end this year along with a large pool of other once logical and rational people, he wasn't wrong back in 2015 when he initially said "If you're pro-black lives matter, you're assumed to be anti-police, and if you're pro police, then surely you hate black people....when in reality you can be both pro-cop and pro-black which is what we should all be." That is to get at the point that one can absolutely be against police brutality/making sure people of color don't suffer racist tragedies, while at the same time acknowledging and supporting the fact that there are also countless numbers of good police officers who risk their lives everyday who  should not be maligned or stereotyped in with those who abuse their power.

Likewise- with regards to polarization- even though all of this is probably going to get worse before it gets better given the presidential election coming up, all things do pass and so will this eventually. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 2.19.01 PM.png

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Extremists are usually a vocal minority. In my experience, most people are fair-minded, if not often unsure and afraid - hesitant - of how to apply such ideas on a larger scale. This is especially true if people remain atomized.

Like the blatant concentration of wealth and power by a few, in all strata of human interaction, extremism is just another monopolized bad idea.

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On 9/16/2020 at 9:00 PM, gweeps said:

Extremists are usually a vocal minority. In my experience, most people are fair-minded, if not often unsure and afraid - hesitant - of how to apply such ideas on a larger scale. This is especially true if people remain atomized.

Like the blatant concentration of wealth and power by a few, in all strata of human interaction, extremism is just another monopolized bad idea.

This is incredibly well-stated—I couldn't agree more.

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