watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor ([personal profile] watervole) wrote2016-12-31 04:34 pm

Modern Politcs

Are modern politics caused by modern media?

We live in a world of instant media. Instead of reading a daily paper, we are now surrounded by more information than we can ever absorb.  I think this forces a lot of shallow study instead of study in depth.
Short pitches like: "Keep out the Immigrants" are easier to peruse than long economic articles about how immigrants pay your pension. 

too much data means confirmation bias gets worse as we skim articles looking for the bits that agree with what we believe and never consciously notice the rest.
pensnest: Cartoon Lady Catherine de Bourgh saying "I am most seriously displeased" (Lady Catherine is seriously displeased)

[personal profile] pensnest 2016-12-31 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I think it's absolutely true. Plus, the internet has been training us to have really short attention spans.

I'm sure it's why Donald Trump won the US election.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

[personal profile] igenlode 2017-01-01 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
Hmmm... I read a daily broadsheet and don't get news off the Internet (unless I happen to come across a reference to some celebrity death or other in someone's fandom blog), and I'm just as conscious of confirmation bias in myself as in anyone else. :-(
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

[personal profile] igenlode 2017-01-01 03:41 pm (UTC)(link)

Very true. I don't know if I should have noticed it if it hadn't been pointed out to me (I gave up making a conscious attempt to believe the morally 'correct' line on various different social issues back in my twenties, when I discovered it was easier to accept that I was a vile unreconstructed bigot than to keep struggling to meet the latest demands) -- but I am very aware of my own knee-jerk rejection of any set of opinions that don't reinforce my own, and uncritical espousal of anything that tends to back them up. And this despite a conscious attempt to engage my intellect and disengage my emotions, and to understand that it is salutary to be exposed from time to time to the viewpoint of someone who doesn't share your bias, and that the possibility should at least be considered that they might be unappealingly right in some things and your cherished fluffy certainties might be wrong.

So the amount of mental effort that is required just to to entertain the awareness, let alone to do anything about it (you can't change human nature, as the Reluctant Cannibal put it), is tremendous.