Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Terrapin Station »

Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:46 am
Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:40 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:35 am
In the real world, mud sticks . . . People's lives can be ruined by loose slander.
Right, which is exacerbated by the fact that slander and libel are illegal. Again, this contributes to a culture where people believe things simply because they're claimed. That's what we need to move past.
Mud has always stuck. Is there a society anywhere or anywhen whose masses have outgrown gullibility?
I don't think there's ever been a society with completely free speech, for one. That's something we were moving towards, but it's a struggle to get there and there are frequent pushbacks. The pushbacks have been on the upswing lately. There's also never been a society that was better off as speech restrictions increased. But sometimes we have a tendency to barrel towards some sort of social disaster or another, and it unfortunately seems to require a disaster to tweak things in the right direction again . . . until it falls out of memory and we start barreling towards disaster again. If you graphed it it would be a sine wave that we hope is asymptotically approaching an ideal.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:54 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:46 am
Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:40 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:35 am
In the real world, mud sticks . . . People's lives can be ruined by loose slander.
Right, which is exacerbated by the fact that slander and libel are illegal. Again, this contributes to a culture where people believe things simply because they're claimed. That's what we need to move past.
Mud has always stuck. Is there a society anywhere or anywhen whose masses have outgrown gullibility?
I don't think there's ever been a society with completely free speech, for one. That's something we were moving towards, but it's a struggle to get there and there are frequent pushbacks. The pushbacks have been on the upswing lately. There's also never been a society that was better off as speech restrictions increased. But sometimes we have a tendency to barrel towards some sort of social disaster or another, and it unfortunately seems to require a disaster to tweak things in the right direction again . . . until it falls out of memory and we start barreling towards disaster again. If you graphed it it would be a sine wave that we hope is asymptotically approaching an ideal.
That's the point, there's generally not been a good reason to curtail free speech; the balance of free speech v responsible speech in times of prosperity was probably about right.

However, this is the "Information Age" and the potency of rumours is far greater. The greater the power, the greater the risk and need for regulation. For example, there was never any reason to regulate pushbikes, but once cars became widely available, regulations restriction their ownership and use were needed for public safety and infrastructure protection. Just as transportation has become more powerful and influential, so has speech.

In America, I expect, laws restricting free speech will be slow to adapt, just as their gun laws have failed to take into account that the blunderbusses and simple guns used when the Constitution was drafted have been replaced by AK47s in modernity. Latency is on your side.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Greta wrote:Mud has always stuck. Is there a society anywhere or anywhen whose masses have outgrown gullibility?
More generally, I think a lot of ideals, like free speech absolutism, would require humanity to outgrow human nature in order to achieve the desired result. That's why I prefer to try to work with the way people are in practice rather than just express my aspirations as to how I wish they were.

It would be great if all adult people, in all circumstances, could manage to be super skilled at using their critical faculties, and in possession of all the required factual information, and be immune from the pressures of life, to be able to ignore misinformation and refuse to carry out orders to perform unethical acts. In that ideal world, the speech used by such people as despots and mafia bosses would indeed be just sound and fury, signifying nothing. But I don't think that ideal world will ever arrive. I don't think Terrapin Station's sinusoidal damped pendulum will ever come to rest at that ideal. So I prefer the technique of trying to work with human nature as it is.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:12 am However, this is the "Information Age" and the potency of rumours is far greater. The greater the power, the greater the risk and need for regulation.
The more regulation, the more power you give rumors. That's the wrong move to make in my opinion. The goal is to get people to not accept any claim, at least about anything important, solely on the claim.

I'm a minarchist libertarian (though combined with a socialist when it comes to economic structure). In general I want us to be decreasing regulations and legislation, not increasing them. I'd reward legislators for working to reduce laws not for increasing them.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Terrapin Station wrote: February 1st, 2021, 7:47 pm

It depends on whether we're talking about a causal chain of events versus not talking about that, because we're positing people making decisions to do something as an intermediate step.

I made all of this explicit already. Why am I having to type it again? Did you not read it the first time? Did you not understand it?

No, because It depends on whether we're talking about a causal chain of events versus not talking about that, because we're positing people making DECISIONS to do something as an intermediate step.
The man who builds the tiger trap is also depending on people making decisions as an intermediate step. The victim must decide to walk down the path, as he does most days.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Ecurb wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 12:33 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: February 1st, 2021, 7:47 pm

It depends on whether we're talking about a causal chain of events versus not talking about that, because we're positing people making decisions to do something as an intermediate step.

I made all of this explicit already. Why am I having to type it again? Did you not read it the first time? Did you not understand it?

No, because It depends on whether we're talking about a causal chain of events versus not talking about that, because we're positing people making DECISIONS to do something as an intermediate step.
The man who builds the tiger trap is also depending on people making decisions as an intermediate step. The victim must decide to walk down the path, as he does most days.
lol -- the decision isn't about the victim making a decision to do something. In the scenario with the tiger trap, there's a straight causal chain from building the trap to the victim being nonconsensually hurt.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 8:29 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:12 am However, this is the "Information Age" and the potency of rumours is far greater. The greater the power, the greater the risk and need for regulation.
The more regulation, the more power you give rumors. That's the wrong move to make in my opinion. The goal is to get people to not accept any claim, at least about anything important, solely on the claim.

I'm a minarchist libertarian (though combined with a socialist when it comes to economic structure). In general I want us to be decreasing regulations and legislation, not increasing them. I'd reward legislators for working to reduce laws not for increasing them.
False rumours and smears already have power, and that's always been the case.

So what you advocate is a sudden release of regulation, a complete free-for-all of legally sanctioned lies, rumours, smears and accusations at all levels of society. Those who are queer, dark skinned, Muslim, Jewish would be living in ever greater fear of violence incited by unrestrained hate speech. On the other hand, the least ethical media moguls would be the biggest winners under such a system.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Steve3007 wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:40 am
Greta wrote:Mud has always stuck. Is there a society anywhere or anywhen whose masses have outgrown gullibility?
More generally, I think a lot of ideals, like free speech absolutism, would require humanity to outgrow human nature in order to achieve the desired result. That's why I prefer to try to work with the way people are in practice rather than just express my aspirations as to how I wish they were.

It would be great if all adult people, in all circumstances, could manage to be super skilled at using their critical faculties, and in possession of all the required factual information, and be immune from the pressures of life, to be able to ignore misinformation and refuse to carry out orders to perform unethical acts. In that ideal world, the speech used by such people as despots and mafia bosses would indeed be just sound and fury, signifying nothing. But I don't think that ideal world will ever arrive. I don't think Terrapin Station's sinusoidal damped pendulum will ever come to rest at that ideal. So I prefer the technique of trying to work with human nature as it is.
Yes, that's a deeper resonance behind the issues I just outlined to TP. Like you, I am not a fan of idealism. The aspirations are fine and worthy, but implementation of policy means balancing ideals and human frailty.

That's why economist projections are as notorious for inaccuracy as weather forecasts before meteorologists could access satellite data. The problem was looking at large, chaotic systems in part and extrapolating, when an overview in necessary to gain a workable understanding. Thus, free speech policies need to take into account the broader environment in which speech occurs. In a competitive culture that rewards exploitation, free speech needs to be kept in check to maintain at least approximate reliability of information in the public sphere. As you say, if more people were capable of seeing through the gaslighting of the corrupt, no problem.

TP's argument can be summed up as conditioning, like an athlete. Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen. Toss 'em in the jungle and see how they cope, treating dead minorities (by suicide and murder) as collateral damage in what he figures will grow to be a greater good. He thinks that, if people are allowed to be more exposed to memetic toxins, they would build better cognitive defences. But this exposure to toxic lies is clearly - and famously - already happening aplenty under current legal regimes. The process of desensitising from lies is under way, although seemingly more slowly than TP would like.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Terrapin Station »

Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:01 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 8:29 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:12 am However, this is the "Information Age" and the potency of rumours is far greater. The greater the power, the greater the risk and need for regulation.
The more regulation, the more power you give rumors. That's the wrong move to make in my opinion. The goal is to get people to not accept any claim, at least about anything important, solely on the claim.

I'm a minarchist libertarian (though combined with a socialist when it comes to economic structure). In general I want us to be decreasing regulations and legislation, not increasing them. I'd reward legislators for working to reduce laws not for increasing them.
False rumours and smears already have power, and that's always been the case.

So what you advocate is a sudden release of regulation, a complete free-for-all of legally sanctioned lies, rumours, smears and accusations at all levels of society. Those who are queer, dark skinned, Muslim, Jewish would be living in ever greater fear of violence incited by unrestrained hate speech. On the other hand, the least ethical media moguls would be the biggest winners under such a system.
First, if no speech is illegal, then for anything anyone says, no one is going to think, "This must be true, otherwise it wouldn't be allowed to be said," right?
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 8:33 pm
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:01 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 8:29 am
Greta wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:12 am However, this is the "Information Age" and the potency of rumours is far greater. The greater the power, the greater the risk and need for regulation.
The more regulation, the more power you give rumors. That's the wrong move to make in my opinion. The goal is to get people to not accept any claim, at least about anything important, solely on the claim.

I'm a minarchist libertarian (though combined with a socialist when it comes to economic structure). In general I want us to be decreasing regulations and legislation, not increasing them. I'd reward legislators for working to reduce laws not for increasing them.
False rumours and smears already have power, and that's always been the case.

So what you advocate is a sudden release of regulation, a complete free-for-all of legally sanctioned lies, rumours, smears and accusations at all levels of society. Those who are queer, dark skinned, Muslim, Jewish would be living in ever greater fear of violence incited by unrestrained hate speech. On the other hand, the least ethical media moguls would be the biggest winners under such a system.
First, if no speech is illegal, then for anything anyone says, no one is going to think, "This must be true, otherwise it wouldn't be allowed to be said," right?
History suggests the opposite. Again, you keep treating people like an economist, erroneously assuming that most are rational actors.

People tend to believe whatever they are told, especially when the message is stated with conviction and repeated often. Look at how easy it was fro Trump and co to convince half of the US that electoral fraud has been perpetrated - without even the slightest shred of evidence, and even after sixty courts dismissed the cases.

The breadth and degree of stupidity needed for such transparent lies be believed may be hard for you to imagine (and me too) but we have to accept that this is the situation.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Greta wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 1:19 am
History suggests the opposite.
If no speech is illegal, what would they suppose disallows things from being said?
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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Terrapin Station wrote:First, if no speech is illegal, then for anything anyone says, no one is going to think, "This must be true, otherwise it wouldn't be allowed to be said," right?
Greta wrote:History suggests the opposite. Again, you keep treating people like an economist, erroneously assuming that most are rational actors.

People tend to believe whatever they are told, especially when the message is stated with conviction and repeated often. Look at how easy it was fro Trump and co to convince half of the US that electoral fraud has been perpetrated - without even the slightest shred of evidence, and even after sixty courts dismissed the cases.

The breadth and degree of stupidity needed for such transparent lies be believed may be hard for you to imagine (and me too) but we have to accept that this is the situation.
So, if it wasn't already, this now develops into a debate about consequences: "If we arrange society like this, and human nature is like this, then how does that play out? Does it play out in a way that I like?". The debate becomes about the question of how it plays out, and that hinges largely on how past behaviour suggests that human beings tend to behave in a given set of circumstances.

Terrapin Station says that we (people in general) tend to think that if a particular claim is supressed that in itself makes us tend to think it might be true, and that keeping an inconvenient truth from being heard (as opposed to controlling the spread of misinformation) is widely suspected to be the true motivation for the suppression. That well known pro-free-speech argument says that the best cure for misinformation is to "give it enough rope to hang itself" as the saying goes. Let it stand or fall in the free market of ideas. Forceful suppression of some ideas would be seen as distorting that free market in a way that is somewhat analogous to the way that public funding by governments is seen by some others as distorting commercial free markets.

Greta's response is in some ways similar to the response that is often given to those who argue against government/public funding in commercial free markets. That is to say that the notion that there is a truly free market (in either ideas or goods/services) is hopeless idealism. In the context of goods/services (commercial free markets) it's often pointed out that the flaw in the ideal of free markets is that people aren't actually free for all kinds of reasons, one of which is that most people aren't free to treat their own labour like an asset that they can sell to the highest bidder. In the context of speech (the free market of ideas) the ideal that the truth will out in a free competition of ideas doesn't work in practice for reasons such as those given by Greta.


This is why the whole Trump phenomenon, with its denouement being the storming of the Capitol, is so interesting, because it happened in a modern, industrialized, open, well educated country which can be examined relatively closely, particularly by others in the English speaking world (because the lack of a language barrier and general cultural familiarity allows subtleties not to be lost). One of the most striking things for me about that is that it re-affirmed just how strong the urge is in many of us to follow a great leader. During the Capitol storming I was struck by the fact that one protestor held up a radio broadcasting Trump's voice and said something like "Listen! your commander in chief is speaking! He orders you to stand down!" or something like that. Obviously this desire to do or die - to advance or retreat - at the command of some great commander in chief occurs time and time again throughout history in many different societies. It's not specific to any one time or human culture. We're all prone to it, as we are to the psychological tricks that those leaders are often naturally, instinctively good at using.
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

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So I suppose the question boils down to this: Would a real life Brian be able to persuade the crowd that they're all individuals who ought to think for themselves and not blindly follow their perception of what the commander in chief has ordered them to do?
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Terrapin Station wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 5:44 am
Greta wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 1:19 am
History suggests the opposite.
If no speech is illegal, what would they suppose disallows things from being said?
Back then, illegality was less an issue than natural consequences, ie. tell the wrong person what they don't want to hear and pain will follow.

Ultimately, lack of regulation of speech favours the strong and condemns the marginalised to free-for-all demonisation. It's ironic, but you need to restrict free speech to some extent to retain any freedom of speech. Without such limits, the door is open for charismatic extremists to take over, which can result in the quashing of free speech altogether.

Ideally, the masses would wise up to these antics but, if so many people haven't learned by now (and the lies and stunts of King Don's reign were laughably transparent) it will be some time before they can parse sense from nonsense. Perhaps completely free speech could work with a radical transformation of the education system, such as has never been seen before. Otherwise, I think it better strategy in the long haul to keep a lid on things (while working to greatly improve the education system so it is more relevant to modernity).
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Re: Does Trump Want To Be President?

Post by Sy Borg »

Steve3007 wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 5:51 amThis is why the whole Trump phenomenon, with its denouement being the storming of the Capitol, is so interesting, because it happened in a modern, industrialized, open, well educated country which can be examined relatively closely, particularly by others in the English speaking world (because the lack of a language barrier and general cultural familiarity allows subtleties not to be lost). One of the most striking things for me about that is that it re-affirmed just how strong the urge is in many of us to follow a great leader. During the Capitol storming I was struck by the fact that one protestor held up a radio broadcasting Trump's voice and said something like "Listen! your commander in chief is speaking! He orders you to stand down!" or something like that. Obviously this desire to do or die - to advance or retreat - at the command of some great commander in chief occurs time and time again throughout history in many different societies. It's not specific to any one time or human culture. We're all prone to it, as we are to the psychological tricks that those leaders are often naturally, instinctively good at using.
Yes, I find this desire for a great leader odd, but I understand that many will gravitate to a "strongman" leader in times of trouble. It's inevitably a blusterer making simplistic promises to solves complex situations. The "magic bullet" fix inevitably ends in disaster.

All I want are solid administrators in charge who give more thought to the future than the demands of donors and their lobbyists. For the most part, the public service runs itself quite effectively without politicians, and tends to largely run into trouble when they are infiltrated by political staffers pressing for unethical policies.

Ironic to have followers of a so-called free speech advocate who hang off his every word, and who brook no disagreement. So much for all being individuals. It seems, with the homogenisation within information bubbles, that humans are becoming more formuliac, more mentally algorithmic, locked into formulae - ideals, creeds, cults and political doctrines. You know where I think all this is eventually heading :)
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