...without incident.

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LuckyR
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by LuckyR »

Both BLM and police apologists would benefit from focusing on unconscious bias rather than racism/bigotry. Not that the latter doesn't exist, far from it. But if change is the goal, it is far easier to correct unconscious bias, which is likely responsible for a greater proportion of the atrocities than placard wavers assume, than racism/bigotry.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

... and for heaven's sake, disarm the population as well as the police so that every confrontation doesn't increase the death toll and escalate the hostilities. You know how you can't start repairing an engine until it cools down? That!
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by LuckyR »

Alias wrote: March 27th, 2021, 1:19 pm ... and for heaven's sake, disarm the population as well as the police so that every confrontation doesn't increase the death toll and escalate the hostilities. You know how you can't start repairing an engine until it cools down? That!
I would do it in heartbeat if I possessed a magic wand. As it happens there is no practical way to accomplish that.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

I know.
All the same, there must be some practical steps that can be taken in that general direction. Because, you know that overheating car engine you can't work on? It's going to burn itself out if somebody doesn't fix something pretty damn soon.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire
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Re: ...without incident.

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Alias wrote: March 28th, 2021, 12:04 am I know.
All the same, there must be some practical steps that can be taken in that general direction. Because, you know that overheating car engine you can't work on? It's going to burn itself out if somebody doesn't fix something pretty damn soon.
Rampaging shooters account for a tiny fraction of gun deaths. They have overlarge coverage in the media and in the public consciousness because it isn't limited to the poor parts of the inner city, so Karen Homemaker might be a victim, unlike a driveby.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Alias wrote: March 27th, 2021, 1:19 pm ... and for heaven's sake, disarm the population as well as the police so that every confrontation doesn't increase the death toll and escalate the hostilities. You know how you can't start repairing an engine until it cools down? That!
LuckyR wrote: March 27th, 2021, 10:48 pm I would do it in heartbeat if I possessed a magic wand. As it happens there is no practical way to accomplish that.

I think there is a practical way to accomplish it: by simply doing it. Americans can be weaned away from their culture of violence and retribution. It wouldn't be easy, and the most violent and vengeful of them would find it the most difficult of all, but it could be done, in practice as well as in theory. But I agree, they'll never actually do it. I observe only that it could be done.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by chewybrian »

LuckyR wrote: March 27th, 2021, 12:50 pm Both BLM and police apologists would benefit from focusing on unconscious bias rather than racism/bigotry. Not that the latter doesn't exist, far from it. But if change is the goal, it is far easier to correct unconscious bias, which is likely responsible for a greater proportion of the atrocities than placard wavers assume, than racism/bigotry.
I agree with everything except the notion that it might be easy to correct unconscious bias. The person who has it (everybody!) doesn't think or know or want to believe that they have it. We all know that *other* people are vulnerable to advertising, but not *us*, right?

The two cognitive biases that are virtually universal and very harmful are the objectivity bias and the fundamental attribution error. Pretty much everyone thinks they can look out upon the world and see facts without their preconceptions getting in the way to any extent that would materially affect their judgements. We also tend to think that we can judge the intentions of others most of the time based only upon their actions (though we certainly have our reasons to excuse ourselves when we break the rules).

I think that if you can get someone to recognize these two roadblocks to reason, to acknowledge that they have fallen victim to them in the past and will again, and to be always on guard, you will have created a philosopher. This is no small task.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

It is in the recognition and discussion of unconscious bias that the popular media are instrumental.
We have all seen how certain communication streams have have brought out the hidden hatreds and fears that so many people harboured but were ashamed to admit. Those public figures and their platforms who expressed those sentiments openly, encouraged and supported them in others, were largely responsible for turning personal bigotry to violent group action. (I don't mean the police; that community has its own closed culture.)
What made those bigots ashamed enough to hide their feelings for several decades was also popular media? The images of international, inter-ethnic, inter-gender and interracial cooperation that people saw on television every evening. They didn't go far or deep enough: network executives are very timid in matters of social change; they need a lot of pressure from the audience, and their effect was somewhat mitigated by social media and much hampered by video games. Yet, they made a difference. I know, because I've been monitoring trends in popular programming since about 1965 and watched the changes percolate through the half-conscious attitudes of three generations. Did you see all those pale-skinned youngish people in the BLM marches? They're the product of television from the late 20th century. The millennials, also well represented in the marches, had more complex influences and are less coherent in their convictions.

I believe an important part of changing mind-sets would be well-funded, fearless non-commercial television. Another is open discussion in news media. (Don't just suppress the unaccaptable: turn a search-light on it!)
Of course, it all takes time.
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Re: ...without incident.

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Alias wrote: March 29th, 2021, 4:42 pm It is in the recognition and discussion of unconscious bias that the popular media are instrumental.
We have all seen how certain communication streams have have brought out the hidden hatreds and fears that so many people harboured but were ashamed to admit.

The media are responsible for encouraging those fears; playing on those hatreds.


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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

Is that an accurate cross-section of mainstream news and entertainment media?
Or the specific indictment of a hand-picked sample?
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by LuckyR »

chewybrian wrote: March 29th, 2021, 4:08 pm
LuckyR wrote: March 27th, 2021, 12:50 pm Both BLM and police apologists would benefit from focusing on unconscious bias rather than racism/bigotry. Not that the latter doesn't exist, far from it. But if change is the goal, it is far easier to correct unconscious bias, which is likely responsible for a greater proportion of the atrocities than placard wavers assume, than racism/bigotry.
I agree with everything except the notion that it might be easy to correct unconscious bias. The person who has it (everybody!) doesn't think or know or want to believe that they have it. We all know that *other* people are vulnerable to advertising, but not *us*, right?

The two cognitive biases that are virtually universal and very harmful are the objectivity bias and the fundamental attribution error. Pretty much everyone thinks they can look out upon the world and see facts without their preconceptions getting in the way to any extent that would materially affect their judgements. We also tend to think that we can judge the intentions of others most of the time based only upon their actions (though we certainly have our reasons to excuse ourselves when we break the rules).

I think that if you can get someone to recognize these two roadblocks to reason, to acknowledge that they have fallen victim to them in the past and will again, and to be always on guard, you will have created a philosopher. This is no small task.
I didn't say "easy", I said "easier". Although for some it would be easy, for most it would be a slow, gradual process, perhaps akin to the societal view of gays and gay marriage over about a decade.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by chewybrian »

LuckyR wrote: March 30th, 2021, 2:40 am
chewybrian wrote: March 29th, 2021, 4:08 pm
LuckyR wrote: March 27th, 2021, 12:50 pm Both BLM and police apologists would benefit from focusing on unconscious bias rather than racism/bigotry. Not that the latter doesn't exist, far from it. But if change is the goal, it is far easier to correct unconscious bias, which is likely responsible for a greater proportion of the atrocities than placard wavers assume, than racism/bigotry.
I agree with everything except the notion that it might be easy to correct unconscious bias. The person who has it (everybody!) doesn't think or know or want to believe that they have it. We all know that *other* people are vulnerable to advertising, but not *us*, right?

The two cognitive biases that are virtually universal and very harmful are the objectivity bias and the fundamental attribution error. Pretty much everyone thinks they can look out upon the world and see facts without their preconceptions getting in the way to any extent that would materially affect their judgements. We also tend to think that we can judge the intentions of others most of the time based only upon their actions (though we certainly have our reasons to excuse ourselves when we break the rules).

I think that if you can get someone to recognize these two roadblocks to reason, to acknowledge that they have fallen victim to them in the past and will again, and to be always on guard, you will have created a philosopher. This is no small task.
I didn't say "easy", I said "easier". Although for some it would be easy, for most it would be a slow, gradual process, perhaps akin to the societal view of gays and gay marriage over about a decade.
OK, I was not very direct; I'll try again. It might be very difficult to persuade the hard core racists to change now, but we should not forget that most people have already changed. They already rid themselves of conscious bias and overt, intentional acts of discrimination. It wasn't easy, but it was possible and it happened. Convincing these same people to rid themselves of unconscious bias is a much taller task. There is a great sympathy among whites for MLK's march, but not so much for Kaepernick's kneeling or BLM protests. We recognize that we were outwardly discriminating in the past and that it was wrong. But, we don't even see that we are making unconscious, unfair judgements in the present, so we resent being told we need to change.

My grandparents' generation, and to a lesser extent my parents' generation allowed and experienced overt racism and intolerance of gays. My parents' generation (mostly) made the conscious decision to end overt racial discrimination. They made a change in their lifetimes away from conscious bias toward fairness. But, the unconscious bias remained and it is still there. My generation experienced overt, socially acceptable discrimination based on orientation, and made a conscious decision to be more tolerant, but unconscious bias remains.

You reference a decade or so of change. During this decade, I would say people are moving away from conscious bias, from overt discrimination. But, do they really get rid of the unconscious bias in this time? I think if they were tested, or if they were able to be very honest about their gut feelings, we would see that the unconscious bias lingers on long after they made a conscious decision to change.

Look at BLM as an example. The laws have become much more just, though they are still not perfect. But, the enforcement of the laws arguably still has a long way to go. Are the police or courts making a conscious decision to enforce the law unevenly, or do they have unconscious bias in play (or do people of different races just break they law unevenly)?

In short, if conscious bias is harder to break, then how did we (mostly) break it? If unconscious bias is easier to stop, why does it still remain?
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

We will all, always, have some unconscious biases. We may not be able to change that.
But we can, and do change our behaviour. It maybe doesn't matter so much that you instinctively fear a large man, simply because he is large and a man, while you are a small woman, and how the history of those two types of entity has conditioned you to feel, as long as you can consciously override that prejudice and answer politely, when all he's asking for is directions to the subway.
Once behaviours - legal, societal and interpersonal - change, minds and feeling will follow.
When people encounter hostility, they tend to respond with hostility, which then reinforces whatever motivated the original hostility, and so forth. Don't underestimate the power of the mirror-neuron and the caveman's nose: we do unconsciously reflect whatever we see in others of our kind and unknowingly react to the smell of emotions.

You can see this in the different atmosphere of various work-places. The tone set by management - how people are treated - permeates every interaction, transaction and conversation, every procedure - the very air feels harassed or relaxed, anxious or calm. The same things happens in a nation.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Alias wrote: March 29th, 2021, 7:07 pm Is that an accurate cross-section of mainstream news and entertainment media?
Or the specific indictment of a hand-picked sample?
It's a large number of samples, selected to illustrate the point. It's definitely not an "accurate cross-section", but it does clearly show us the extent to which these billionaire media-bigots (and their lackeys) will go to promote their hateful views.
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Re: ...without incident.

Post by Alias »

Pattern-chaser wrote: March 30th, 2021, 12:36 pm It's a large number of samples, selected to illustrate the point. It's definitely not an "accurate cross-section", but it does clearly show us the extent to which these billionaire media-bigots (and their lackeys) will go to promote their hateful views.
I know about the special-interest publishing and broadcast network, but it's hardly fair to lump all television and magazines and newspapers in with the gutter press. In any case, these billionnaires (who probably don't care which prejudices they promote, as long as it empowers the stupidest voters to elect their political tools and thwart social reform) need to be off-set by the robust, independent public networks I mentioned earlier.
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