13

zdgroff comments on Anti-tribalism and positive mental health as high-value cause areas - Effective Altruism Forum

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (30)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: zdgroff 18 October 2017 08:47:46PM 0 points [-]

I've had this instinct myself for a while and blogged about it today (http://www.zachgroff.com/2017/10/democratic-dysfunction-may-get-in-way). I'm quite sympathetic to Pinker's thesis but becoming less sympathetic with each passing day. (Maybe I just need to reread the book.)

Do you think tribalism is indeed getting better, and even if so, do you think its rate of decrease might be slowing given the rise of far right populism and leftist identity politics? Articles like this make me worried: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/9/5/16227700/hyperpartisanship-identity-american-democracy-problems-solutions-doom-loop

Comment author: DavidNash 19 October 2017 12:40:30PM 4 points [-]

I think most people that write about this subject don't take a step back and look at the historical context and general trends in society, which makes it really hard to work out what's going on.

It's hard to tell from just observing the news how views/public opinion are trending, if the number of the KKK has gone from 3000 to 300, but we only start interviewing and televising them at the 300 level, it will appear as if they are more present in society than in the past.

One study of polarisation (which in some ways is similar to tribalism) shows that polarisation could be increasing the most in older generations, who use the internet least. This might suggest that as people come online, we're hearing more from a more polarised generation, who before the internet, wouldn't be letting people know about their views as much.

https://www.brown.edu/Research/Shapiro/pdfs/age-polars.pdf

Here is another post about how we may start to interpret events in one way even if it doesn't match trends. It seems like a lot of people are now focused on the far right/extremism and tribalism, when they weren't before the election.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/07/tuesday-shouldnt-change-the-narrative/

Comment author: zdgroff 19 October 2017 07:38:08PM 0 points [-]

Wow, the older generation thing is really interesting. Definitely giving that paper a read.

Re: interpretation of events, yeah, that makes sense. I just find it alarming that Trump could get 30%+, or Brexit.

Comment author: DavidNash 20 October 2017 09:01:38AM 2 points [-]

It could be that we are politically engaged and read about every event that happens but the majority of people don't pay much attention to politics. So Trump getting 30%+ is based on a lot of those voters having read 1 or maybe 2 favourable things about him and nothing else, similar with Democrat voters.

For example, Fox news averages 3 million viewers, which is less than 1% of the population.

Comment author: Denkenberger 26 October 2017 05:10:49PM 1 point [-]

I assume this means 3 million viewers at any one time - the total number of people who primarily get their news from Fox would be much larger.

Comment author: DavidNash 27 October 2017 07:51:57AM 0 points [-]

True, looking at this article, it seems that it could be as high as 24 million which is just above 7% of the population, but the political scientist in the post has doubts of how true the figure is and for people who watch, is it 5 minutes or 5 hours.

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0119/Is-watching-Fox-News-the-ultimate-conservative-calling-card