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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #14081
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    He’s making a priori assumptions, no doubt, but I’m hesitant to say that that’s enough to make his worldview ideological. (But I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility.)
    Believing that Pareto improvements in metrics abstracts to an improvement in society is absolutely ideological, but its been the unquestioned political project of western countries for the last 40 years so it’s hard to understand it as an ideology. It is simply our “native” ideology.

    Optimizing for GDP made people elect Trump. How sure are you that the problem here is the GDP part?

  2. #14082
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Believing that Pareto improvements in metrics abstracts to an improvement in society is absolutely ideological, but its been the unquestioned political project of western countries for the last 40 years so it’s hard to understand it as an ideology. It is simply our “native” ideology.

    Optimizing for GDP made people elect Trump. How sure are you that the problem here is the GDP part?
    A good example of a kind of ideology which we don't see as ideology: numerical rankings. Numerical rankings of things are a total 20th century invention. You simply don't see that kind of talk in the 19th century.

    It was scientism which brought about "numberism". People had a false belief in the age of Freud et al that the world was actually completely reducible to scientific fact. Ergo, even things like taste should be ultimately quantifiable. So the very idea that we say a movie is "5/5 stars" has embedded in it certain assumptions about the world. Seriously, old reviews used to be just essays commenting on different aspects of a work. No ranking.

    It doesn't seem like ideology, but it is. And so it can be with any sort of "objective" approach - in fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that nearly any approach which portends to be objective embeds some of the deepest ideology.

  3. #14083
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Is it really? I'm not so sure I agree, in general at least. I admire him for having such an empirical approach to policy. Bracketing whether the data he has is right and whether he arrives as sound conclusions, when it comes to how he reasons about policy, it appears that he defines what the problems are by abstracting (or inferring) them from data, and then he devises solutions as responses to those problems.

    It seems preferable to what many other Democrats are doing, which is devising policy ideas based on ideological commitments, and then using data to develop ex post facto rationalizations the policies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I should add, though, that if by "what he says" you mean specifically about education in the passage I cited above, I may have misunderstood you. If instead you meant his approach to policy in general, then what I wrote above still stands.
    It is nice definitely when people try to take data and use it to structure their policy. All other things being equal I agree that this is a better approach. I don't know Andrew Yang's stances at all, my post was directed at the comment on education specifically.

    Objectivity is a conundrum. It's well-known in psychology that people who believe they're unbiased reflect, interestingly, the most bias. The ideal person for unbiased opinion is a person who desires to be unbiased, but is able to accept the degree of their own instinctual bias. Unfortunately doing so is very psychologically challenging (remember what I said about Christians who fake being sinless, vs zealots who actually recognize the true depths of their own sin? People who believe they are unbiased are the former, they just rationalize away their bias). In other news, people who say they've never had a sexist or racist reflex in their lives are full of ****.

    So if someone is claiming to be data-driven and objective, that may be, but it can also be a facade for some kind of ideological bias. So what I'm saying is, what Andrew Yang seems to be putting up sounds good but may not be so good under the surface. I certainly don't know.

  4. #14084
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The great thing about metrics based management (whether you’re talking about business administration or government policy) is all the money you’ll make in your new consulting firm to help people optimizing metrics without solving the root cause
    There was a fantastic interview with a hedge fund manager who talked about something related to this. In his view, companies which begin worrying about meeting "bottom lines" are heading towards disaster. Metric-based approaches to management in his view are terrible and lead to endemic mismanagement.

    Contrarily, Steve Jobs didn't run Apple with the bottom line in mind - ever. He ran the company to promote the Apple brand and build up the company through good will and reputation. And now Apple is bar none one of the most successful tech companies.

    This is why sometimes just looking at "facts" doesn't do much - principle-guided management is more effective in practice.

  5. #14085
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    One of my friends works for an electronics manufacturer. He works for a local branch of a multistate corporation. The local branch, rumor has it, was run beautifully for a few decades before being sold to this corporation. And corporate from the sound of it seriously mismanages the workplace.

    Corporate, you see, is always worried about the bottom line. Their demands of the local branch are simply to return specific dollar amounts, and the swing down the hammer hard if his branch fails. These productivity measures never seem to satisfy, and have created a high-stress, panicked environment around deadlines. According to my friend, more corners get cut, meaning more products are shipped defective and have to be shipped back. As well, the high-stress crunches they go through has resulted in a high turnover rate, meaning there's constantly new people on the job who are being trained without enough experienced people to train them.

    It would be obvious if managers weren't almost all obviously C or D students that this is not profitable in anything but the short term. Hiring new employees and training them is expensive. Recalls and repairs are expensive. I have no numbers but I'd be shocked if corporate's "productivity" actually helps long term. I'd wager it harms long-term profits.

    In the meantime I gave my friend the advice to casually seek for other jobs. He was already on it, expecting for his job to be canned if they have a couple down quarters.

    In any case, management culture in America is ****ing awful and arbitrary metric goalsetting is part of the problem. Managers are almost all clueless idiots. I guess picking random numbers and yelling at people until the numbers are right makes them feel like they matter.

  6. #14086
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    It is nice definitely when people try to take data and use it to structure their policy. All other things being equal I agree that this is a better approach. I don't know Andrew Yang's stances at all, my post was directed at the comment on education specifically.

    Objectivity is a conundrum. It's well-known in psychology that people who believe they're unbiased reflect, interestingly, the most bias. The ideal person for unbiased opinion is a person who desires to be unbiased, but is able to accept the degree of their own instinctual bias. Unfortunately doing so is very psychologically challenging (remember what I said about Christians who fake being sinless, vs zealots who actually recognize the true depths of their own sin? People who believe they are unbiased are the former, they just rationalize away their bias). In other news, people who say they've never had a sexist or racist reflex in their lives are full of ****.

    So if someone is claiming to be data-driven and objective, that may be, but it can also be a facade for some kind of ideological bias. So what I'm saying is, what Andrew Yang seems to be putting up sounds good but may not be so good under the surface. I certainly don't know.
    Ugh, we’ve been over this ground many times before.

    Just so you know, when I’ve criticized you in the past for, whatever I can’t remember, and you’ve responded by criticizing me for having unrealistic conceptions of objectivity, this is precisely what I have actually been advocating:

    The ideal person for unbiased opinion is a person who desires to be unbiased, but is able to accept the degree of their own instinctual bias.
    That is, I’ve advocated recognition that there’s no such thing as a view from nowhere, as Thomas Nagel put it, and that, in light of that, one should aspire to understand the assumptions that leads one to one’s convictions, even if they aren’t fully knowable, as well as the assumptions of others.

    Anyway, back to Yang: I haven’t seen Yang ever claim to be “objective” and I’d be surprised to see him say that about himself, so I don’t think your point really holds.

    But another thing. I’ll admit that I took a misstep in the conversation. Going back to my original comment about Yang’s manner of arriving at policy positions, it was a bit of a rabbit hole talking about whether there is an ideology undergirding his worldview (if those two things aren’t merely synonymous). The distinction I was making doesn’t really rest on whether his views are ideological or not ideological, because I accept that, defined in a certain way, ideology can simply be any set of assumptions that guides how one interprets and reasons about information. And since nothing is merely “given” to consciousness, that can include literally every aspect of thought, according to a most comprehensive definition. (I suspect, though, that ideology generally has some kind of normative component too, where the assumptions must manipulate information with a view towards some conception of how things ought to be. That is, Ideology is rarely value-neutral, I suspect.)

    But when I said that Yang’s policy prescriptions are more empirical than ideological (can’t see the precise wording now as I’m on my phone), I suppose what I meant, if I could move away from those more abstract ideas about the nature of ideology, is that he, in general, doesn’t begin with either of the two sets of commitments that conventionally define each of the Republican and Democratic parties, (many of which are commitments to policies,) and he’s is willing to rethink them from the ground up, based on a line of argument that is fundamentally empirical, rather than one which is based on a story, or a conception of what it means to be a good Democrat or Republican or American, or on an emotional appeal or on a conception of what’s moral, or on a conception of rights, or whatever else. (Although he also has stories, e.g., the story about automation being instigating a new industrial revolution that will bring social unrest.) As I said, bracketing whether the data is right or the conclusions he arrives at are sound, I just admire that you can reason with him when he gives justifications for his policies, because he has a problem-solution oriented way of reasoning. The result is that Yang’s policy prescriptions are often unconventional, and break with the orthodoxies of the two parties. (Which is not to say that there aren’t ideological commitments governing his thought, just that, at least in certain respects, his thought is unconventional.)

    Not to mention there’s the aspect of politics where politicians are simply fishing around for what’s popular, and that forms the basis of their justification advocating a certain policy (take, for example, the debate about minimum wage in the 2016 primaries.) Of course he’s not entirely immune to that. (I suspect that’s partially behind his support for Medicare for all.) But I suspect the empirical nature of his thought makes him a little more inflexible.
    Last edited by Eversor; 04-16-2019 at 09:54 PM.

  7. #14087
    I’ll add that I’ve cooled off on Yang. (Effectively, I was part of the Yang Gang until there was a Yang Gang, or, in other words, “until he was cool”, then I moved on to Buttigieg). I just admire this one feature of his political style.
    Last edited by Eversor; 04-16-2019 at 09:49 PM.

  8. #14088
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Ugh, we’ve been over this ground many times before.

    Just so you know, when I’ve criticized you in the past for, whatever I can’t remember, and you’ve responded by criticizing me for having unrealistic conceptions of objectivity, this is precisely what I have actually been advocating:

    That is, I’ve advocated recognition that there’s no such thing as a view from nowhere, as Thomas Nagel put it, and that, in light of that, one should aspire to understand the assumptions that leads one to one’s convictions, even if they aren’t fully knowable, as well as the assumptions of others.
    I wasn't criticizing you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Anyway, back to Yang: I haven’t seen Yang ever claim to be “objective” and I’d be surprised to see him say that about himself, so I don’t think your point really holds.

    But another thing. I’ll admit that I took a misstep in the conversation. Going back to my original comment about Yang’s manner of arriving at policy positions, it was a bit of a rabbit hole talking about whether there is an ideology undergirding his worldview (if those two things aren’t merely synonymous). The distinction I was making doesn’t really rest on whether his views are ideological or not ideological, because I accept that, defined in a certain way, ideology can simply be any set of assumptions that guides how one interprets and reasons about information. And since nothing is merely “given” to consciousness, that can include literally every aspect of thought, according to a most comprehensive definition. (I suspect, though, that ideology generally has some kind of normative component too, where the assumptions must manipulate information with a view towards some conception of how things ought to be. That is, Ideology is rarely value-neutral, I suspect.)

    But when I said that Yang’s policy prescriptions are more empirical than ideological (can’t see the precise wording now as I’m on my phone), I suppose what I meant, if I could move away from those more abstract ideas about the nature of ideology, is that he moves away from the conventional two sets of commitments that typify each of the Republican and Democratic parties, many of which are commitments to policies, and he’s is willing to rethink them from the ground up, based on a line of argument that is fundamentally empirical, rather than one which is based on a story, or a conception of what it means to be a good Democrat or Republican or American, or on an emotional appeal or on a conception of what’s moral, or on a conception of rights, or whatever else. (Although he also has stories, e.g., the story about automation being instigating a new industrial revolution that will bring social unrest.) As I said, bracketing whether the data is right or the conclusions he arrives at are sound, I just admire that you can reason with him just justifications for his policies. The result is that Yang’s policy prescriptions are often unconventional, and break with the orthodoxies of the two parties.

    Not to mention there’s the aspect of politics where politicians are simply fishing around for what’s popular, and that forms the basis of their justification advocating a certain policy (take, for example, the debate about minimum wage in the 2016 primaries.) Of course he’s not entirely immune to that. But I suspect the empirical nature of his thought makes him a little more inflexible.
    Sounds reasonable to me.

  9. #14089
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    But another thing. I’ll admit that I took a misstep in the conversation. Going back to my original comment about Yang’s manner of arriving at policy positions, it was a bit of a rabbit hole talking about whether there is an ideology undergirding his worldview (if those two things aren’t merely synonymous). The distinction I was making doesn’t really rest on whether his views are ideological or not ideological, because I accept that, defined in a certain way, ideology can simply be any set of assumptions that guides how one interprets and reasons about information. And since nothing is merely “given” to consciousness, that can include literally every aspect of thought, according to a most comprehensive definition. (I suspect, though, that ideology generally has some kind of normative component too, where the assumptions must manipulate information with a view towards some conception of how things ought to be. That is, Ideology is rarely value-neutral, I suspect.)

    But when I said that Yang’s policy prescriptions are more empirical than ideological (can’t see the precise wording now as I’m on my phone), I suppose what I meant, if I could move away from those more abstract ideas about the nature of ideology, is that he, in general, doesn’t begin with either of the two sets of commitments that conventionally define each of the Republican and Democratic parties, (many of which are commitments to policies,) and he’s is willing to rethink them from the ground up, based on a line of argument that is fundamentally empirical, rather than one which is based on a story, or a conception of what it means to be a good Democrat or Republican or American, or on an emotional appeal or on a conception of what’s moral, or on a conception of rights, or whatever else. (Although he also has stories, e.g., the story about automation being instigating a new industrial revolution that will bring social unrest.) As I said, bracketing whether the data is right or the conclusions he arrives at are sound, I just admire that you can reason with him when he gives justifications for his policies, because he has a problem-solution oriented way of reasoning. The result is that Yang’s policy prescriptions are often unconventional, and break with the orthodoxies of the two parties. (Which is not to say that there aren’t ideological commitments governing his thought, just that, at least in certain respects, his thought is unconventional.)

    Not to mention there’s the aspect of politics where politicians are simply fishing around for what’s popular, and that forms the basis of their justification advocating a certain policy (take, for example, the debate about minimum wage in the 2016 primaries.) Of course he’s not entirely immune to that. (I suspect that’s partially behind his support for Medicare for all.) But I suspect the empirical nature of his thought makes him a little more inflexible.
    You quoted Reid but it seems like you’re also responding to me here, so I’d like to be clear on what I’m saying:

    I didn’t mean “he has an ideology” like that cutesy teenager argument “atheism is a religion too”, I meant it in a positive sense. Believing that you can manage a complex system from sample statistics is incredible. Believing that you’re capable of choosing the right statistics, and that somehow changing the statistic will produce the expected result, is even more incredible. You call it empiricism, but I don’t know what’s empirical about it. It’s certainly no more rigorous than telling stories about what the ideal American should be, although possibly less humane depending on the metrics chosen.

    Unless his platform calls for double blind economics experiments to inform policy, it’s not empiricism. It’s MBA science cosplay.

    Sorry if that was too frank, but I don’t think I was clearly expressing this point before.

  10. #14090
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    Let me put it another way:

    I get how Yang sounds super cool with his promise to use data to inform policy, but really that’s been happening across the whole world for a while now. Politicians are idiots but they’ve also more or less ceded the operation of the state to non-partisan professional public servants. So, yeah. No grand experiments. No real change when you elect someone different. But they are wonks and subject matter experts, so they’re commissioning studies and looking at the data to set policy. This stuff is real. It’s already happening.

    Is it any good?

    Look at 2016. What happened? GDP was up. The US was at full employment. Interest rates were nearly zero, and so was inflation. According to every statistic the economy was ****ing perfect. Then establishment/consensus liberal/New Democrat/whatever Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election because, um, no, the economy was actually terrible, thank you very much. (Note that the statistics also said she’d win.)

    So clearly there’s a problem with this form of “empiricism”, because it’s not only failing to lead us to useful policy outcomes, it’s actually hiding truth. Donald Trump’s unhinged campaign rants were closer to ground truth, and he was talking out of his ass!
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-16-2019 at 11:23 PM.

  11. #14091
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    Speaking of disappointing statistics, looks like the United fascist party has seized a majority government in Alberta again. Looks like we’ll be invading the Sudetenland okanagan soon.

    Edit: the conservatives ran on a platform of pay cuts for teenagers and overtime workers, and somehow that message resonated with the public. Well, I guess they also ran on a platform of restoring our oil industry, but unless they’re going to wage nuclear war against Saudi Arabia and Texas that **** isn’t happening, so I’m not sure it counts.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-17-2019 at 12:07 AM.

  12. #14092
    Seeing that the US has such weak representation of the left in Congress, if we're going to view government policy w.r.t. the economy as an optimization problem (metrics based or otherwise), wouldn't it make sense to see if other countries that have actually elected socialist governments, and then see if they decided to use some of the same solutions? After all, if measuring this or that and then responding accordingly policy-wise beats more traditional leftist solutions, then shouldn't there be at least some left-wing political parties who campaigned on this and have a success story to show?

    If the US government or some business does it, it doesn't prove much, since the status quo is just garbage.

    Edit: Actually, now that I think of it, monetary policy implemented by the Fed (and central banking in general) is by far the most obvious example of what I am talking about. I do wonder what the socialist position is on central banking, actually.

  13. #14093
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    countries that have actually elected socialist governments, and then see if they decided to use some of the same solutions?
    I doubt there are enough survivors to ask, but you could always sift the debris for files if the US didn’t use incendiary bombs.

  14. #14094
    wait, Latin America and the Middle Eastern countries bombed by the US aside, I thought there were some nominally socialist Western countries in the world. Or are those just more broadly "leftist" parties in capitalist countries?

  15. #14095
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Edit: Actually, now that I think of it, monetary policy implemented by the Fed (and central banking in general) is by far the most obvious example of what I am talking about. I do wonder what the socialist position is on central banking, actually.
    There isn’t one.

    Prior to the 1980s both the US and Soviet Union used their central banks for the same purposes: paperwork, spying on people, and capital control. The role of the central bank changed after the godless monetarists seized power during the neoliberal reset / perestroika (which was really the same ****in dumb**** answer to the same ****in problem, but whatever, at least a bunch of libtards got owned 30 years later). So depending on whether you consider the Soviet Union socialist, one answer might be “to control people just like the US does”.

    This is a bit snippy and not completely true. Central banks do have one important basic function, to serve as the lender of last resort. They prevent bank runs and insure deposits. Countries don’t really need this. The US survived for more than a century without a central bank, and depositors lived or died by the ~free market~. So the desire for a bona fide central bank is laden with assumptions: that you have independent banks, that your banks can run out of money, that banks keep fractional reserves, that you care whether bank runs happen, that you care whether people can get wiped out by a bank failure. Most of those assumptions are by definition false under socialism.

  16. #14096
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    wait, Latin America and the Middle Eastern countries bombed by the US aside, I thought there were some nominally socialist Western countries in the world. Or are those just more broadly "leftist" parties in capitalist countries?
    We’ve spent dozens of pages talking about this!

    Americans don’t know what the word “socialism” means. The countries you call socialist are actually capitalist liberal democracies. At best you could describe the people as social democrats, but most often you are just talking about people who receive basic services.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-17-2019 at 12:51 AM.

  17. #14097
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    wait, Latin America and the Middle Eastern countries bombed by the US aside, I thought there were some nominally socialist Western countries in the world. Or are those just more broadly "leftist" parties in capitalist countries?
    You know, now that I think of it, I am probably really confused with my terminology. Probably in part because Bernie Sanders keeps telling us that Europe is socialist.

  18. #14098
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    We’ve spent dozens of pages talking about this!

    Americans don’t know what the world “socialism” means. The countries you call socialist are actually capitalist liberal democracies. At best you could describe the people as social democrats, but most often you are just talking about people who receive basic services.
    Yeah, I just realized this. I actually think I've been brainwashed here, honest to god, just because we Americans use the terminology so blatantly wrongly that I didn't even think about it (even as you said, we've been talking for pages about it).

  19. #14099
    cue Wookie telling us that Obama is socialist

  20. #14100
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    ****in Americans and your poli sci newspeak


    cue wookie or obikwiet telling me that NO, I AM THE WRONG ONE for using words that have actual meanings instead of the purposeless pejoratives that constitute their entire worldview

    edit: I know, sometimes I’m a real liberal socialist nazi

    edit 2: here I will explain that last joke. It’s because both socialism and fascism are illiberal, and because fascism is really authoritarian capitalism it is directly opposed to socialism, which is by definition the absence of capitalism. So I’m using those three terms as a single insult even though they mean completely opposite and incompatible things, but because Americans use all of those words wrong it is actually a typical and seemingly congruent insult from their perspective. Get it? It’s like calling someone a bull cuck, or a compassionate conservative, or intellectual yet idiot. Meaningless!
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-17-2019 at 01:05 AM.

  21. #14101
    Actually, I think the degree of sheer confusion implicit in that phrase aptly captures the level of confusion in the kind of person who would say it.

    Funny, I always just took it as a torrent of insults and mostly meaningless word salad. It's interesting how sometimes words actually mean something

  22. #14102
    tbf, in their mind, the phrase does make sense on some level, if you reduce all thought to GUBMENT BAD (Edit: except for the liberal part, but Americans have also ****ed that word up, so actually the phrase still doesn't really make sense)

  23. #14103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    tbf, in their mind, the phrase does make sense on some level, if you reduce all thought to GUBMENT BAD (Edit: except for the liberal part, but Americans have also ****ed that word up, so actually the phrase still doesn't really make sense)
    Maybe the horseshoe theory is right, Republicans are so liberal that they’ve integer overflowed

  24. #14104
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    We must brutally oppress the people until they accept their freedom

  25. #14105
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    You quoted Reid but it seems like you’re also responding to me here, so I’d like to be clear on what I’m saying:

    I didn’t mean “he has an ideology” like that cutesy teenager argument “atheism is a religion too”, I meant it in a positive sense. Believing that you can manage a complex system from sample statistics is incredible. Believing that you’re capable of choosing the right statistics, and that somehow changing the statistic will produce the expected result, is even more incredible.
    Yeah, I know this is what you meant. There are some definite assumptions that define his worldview and his approach, rather than a mere absence of assumptions; and furthermore, because those assumptions currently constitute the prevalent and dominant ideology, they often seem natural and uncontroversial to us, despite the fact that they are actually extraordinary assertions about how the world works, that at other times nobody would’ve taken for granted. I’m with you there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    You call it empiricism, but I don’t know what’s empirical about it. It’s certainly no more rigorous than telling stories about what the ideal American should be, although possibly less humane depending on the metrics chosen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Let me put it another way:

    I get how Yang sounds super cool with his promise to use data to inform policy, but really that’s been happening across the whole world for a while now. Politicians are idiots but they’ve also more or less ceded the operation of the state to non-partisan professional public servants. So, yeah. No grand experiments. No real change when you elect someone different. But they are wonks and subject matter experts, so they’re commissioning studies and looking at the data to set policy. This stuff is real. It’s already happening.

    Is it any good?

    Look at 2016. What happened? GDP was up. The US was at full employment. Interest rates were nearly zero, and so was inflation. According to every statistic the economy was ****ing perfect. Then establishment/consensus liberal/New Democrat/whatever Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election because, um, no, the economy was actually terrible, thank you very much. (Note that the statistics also said she’d win.)

    So clearly there’s a problem with this form of “empiricism”, because it’s not only failing to lead us to useful policy outcomes, it’s actually hiding truth. Donald Trump’s unhinged campaign rants were closer to ground truth, and he was talking out of his ass!
    Right, but I haven’t been saying that his policy proposals would lead to good outcomes. And I’m certainly not saying he’s the world’s first technocrat, because obviously we’ve had those for a long time. I’m only saying he has a distinctive rhetorical style, based on the fact you can follow the steps in his reasoning. It’s “empirical” merely because he takes data as the beginning point of his arguments.

  26. #14106
    Reid, I do find your skepticism about optimizing the economy according to measurable metrics to be a little at odds with your recent post about Republicans and the social sciences (which presumably is based on the assumption that those disciplines are actually valuable, and Republicans are foolish to ignore them). You have a response to this?

  27. #14107
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I wasn't criticizing you.
    Didn’t say you were. My exasperation came from the fact that you’ve made those claims about psychology and objectivity numerous times by now, so I was peeved that you felt a need to explain it to me again. (Along the lines of, “this is how a woman feels all the time.”)

  28. #14108
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    This conversation made me realize a bit of cognitive dissonance I guess I've had filed away somewhere.


    So, like, I understand and appreciate the desire for evidence-based policy making. Evidence is good, and making policy from unfounded personal belief is wrong and stupid. That pretty much means I believe that bureaucrats are capable of making positive changes to a complex system while working from tremendously incomplete data.

    But I also don't think centrally planned economies can possibly be effective, because, well, I don't believe bureaucrats are capable of making positive changes to a complex system while working from tremendously incomplete data.


    How to reconcile these beliefs? I'm more inclined to give up on the evidence than the markets, quite honestly. But thinking about this has also made me realize that I'm not alone here. There are a lot of pretty mainstream liberals who would support a guy like Yang using the exact same arguments they'd use for why socialism can never work.

  29. #14109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Reid, I do find your skepticism about optimizing the economy according to measurable metrics to be a little at odds with your recent post about Republicans and the social sciences (which presumably is based on the assumption that those disciplines are actually valuable, and Republicans are foolish to ignore them). You have a response to this?
    I suppose they are a bit at odds. My only defense would be that I still highly value attempting to justify one's beliefs with data (or, using the data as the assumptions for which beliefs one ought to hold). I only put asterisks near it because this kind of thinking can be warped into being its opposite: uncritical worship of data without understanding the data well enough to understand its limitations. I made the flat tire metaphor for this purpose: sometimes "data-driven solutions" can sound nice but functionally sidestep other causal issues.

    Per Republicans, I was being a bit sarcastic but generally speaking I find little appeal to data at all when understanding social problems. For instance, when trying to understand poverty: Democrats will argue all day long about the data and what it suggests, and which policies and institutions will help. The Republican angle simply refuses to even address the question in this sense. The problems gets reframed as one of individual responsibility.

    My point is more or less that, while individual responsibility is fantastic individual advice, it's not ultimately a replacement. I made the stadium exit door metaphor for that reason. The "doors opening inward vs outward" analysis, when taking in terms of poverty, drugs, etc, is something Republicans typically just do not do. They instead criticize the individual choices of each person in a crowd.

    They in a way reflect fundamentally different approaches to analyzing human behavior. And this isn't to say the individualist approach has no nook, of course. I just see a gap in reasoning beyond that.

    Ultimately though please don't take me to be a "science-skeptic". It's more "scientism-skepticism".

  30. #14110
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
    Posts
    4,980
    I've seen some of Yang's interviews and he's pretty convincing to a common Krokodile such as myself. I tried to read some of the posts concerning him in this thread and the consensus here appears to be negative toward Yang, but I didn't fully get why. Can someone summarize it into easily digestible bullet points?
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  31. #14111
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Ultimately though please don't take me to be a "science-skeptic". It's more "scientism-skepticism".
    That’s a coherent differentiating principle.

  32. #14112
    There are elements of social science scholarship that I am comfortable saying that I find totally unfulfilling. Ezra Klein has been boring me to death recently. Consider, for example, this:

    Liberals and conservatives have different ideologies, different philosophies, different policies, different parties. But beneath all that is the fact that they have different psychologies.

    In their book Open Versus Closed, Christopher Johnston, Christopher Federico, and Howard Lavine write that “Democrats and Republicans are now sharply distinguished by a set of basic psychological dispositions related to experiential openness — a general dimension of personality tapping tolerance for threat and uncertainty in one’s environment.”

    A similar argument, using slightly different data, can be found in Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler’s Prius or Pickup:

    “Of the many factors that make up your worldview, one is more fundamental than any other in determining which side of the divide you gravitate toward: your perception of how dangerous the world is. Fear is perhaps our most primal instinct, after all, so it’s only logical that people’s level of fearfulness informs their outlook on life.”

    In Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences, John Alford, John Hibbing, and Kevin Smith write:

    “Numerous studies have linked these personality dimensions to differences in the mix of tastes and preferences that seem to reliably separate liberals and conservatives. People who score high on openness, for example, tend to like envelope-pushing music and abstract art. People who score high on conscientiousness are more likely to be organized, faithful, and loyal. One review of this large research literature finds these sorts of differences consistently cropping up across nearly 70 years of studies on personality research. The punch line, of course, is that this same literature also reports a consistent relationship between these dimensions of personality and political temperament. Those open to new experiences are not just hanging Jackson Pollock prints in disorganized bedrooms while listening to techno-pop reinterpretations of Bach by experimental jazz bands. They are also more likely to identify themselves as liberals.”
    I can’t imagine any explanations less satisfying for why people believe what they believe than a reduction of behavior to a totally vacuous metric like “openness”. This political psychology stuff is pretty silly, in my opinion.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2019/4/16/18310769/pete-buttigieg-barack-obama-2020-presidential-announcement-hope-primary-democrats

  33. #14113
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,767
    Quote Originally Posted by Krokodile View Post
    I've seen some of Yang's interviews and he's pretty convincing to a common Krokodile such as myself. I tried to read some of the posts concerning him in this thread and the consensus here appears to be negative toward Yang, but I didn't fully get why. Can someone summarize it into easily digestible bullet points?
    Not towards Yang in particular, I know virtually nothing about him aside from Eversor's comment. I think Eversor's and my conversation took off in another direction.

  34. #14114
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,767


    Apparently 4chan loves Andrew Yang. I'm currently reading up on him.

    Bonus: spot how many white nationalist memes are in that video.

  35. #14115
    Worthwhile to watch his interview with Joe Rogan.

  36. #14116
    Hey, did you guys hear that Adolf Hitler considered himself a Christian? I bet Jesus was a terrible person.

  37. #14117
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C
    cue wookie or obikwiet telling me that NO, I AM THE WRONG ONE for using words that have actual meanings instead of the purposeless pejoratives that constitute their entire worldview
    Actually, I was interested in the answer because I already knew that the countries he was asking about were not socialist. It would have been a more effective question had he just asked for an example of a socialist country that had tried the things he was asking about.

    Democrats stole the term "liberal" years ago and somehow managed to stick their opposition with "conservative". The meanings have changed in contemporary usage here. I really can't fathom why a Canadian socialist gets so bent about it.

  38. #14118
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,118
    Hahahahaha, Newt Gingrich started “democrat = liberal”.

  39. #14119
    So, DPRK-Russia summit next week, DPRK testing a new weapon today. Not good for Trump, I suppose.

  40. #14120
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Hahahahaha, Newt Gingrich started “democrat = liberal”.
    A quick perusal of Wikipedia and a google search suggests this is incredibly doubtful.

    I mean, you can listen to the famous 1964 speech by Reagan where he bemoans his "liberal friends".
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 04-17-2019 at 11:39 PM.

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