"Unless we are changing minds we are losing."

“Unless we are changing minds we are losing.”

What does that even mean?

Basically, it’s an observation of the obvious.

Unless we are enticing people to reevaluate their own assumptions, we are going to continue propagating the same mistakes, leading to the same destruction humans are so famous for.

For the most part people haven’t a clue what’s going on in the greater world around them, it simply doesn’t matter to them. That state of mind needs to change before any constructive changes are possible.

A desire for fact based understanding that’s rational enough - to accept new data, recognize and own mistakes and to learn from those mistakes.

My personal litany would look something like this, of course others have their own perspective, and theoretically in the end we balance each other out, at least in a healthy pluralistic society it would look like that.

A deeper appreciation for the seasons and flow of Earth’s deep time and our evolutionary roots.

The need for a deep down profound appreciation for the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide, and its cascading implications.

A deeper appreciation of the fact that we are evolved biological animals, kin to all other creatures that ever lived upon this planet.

I Am, Therefore I Think.

The fact that it’s Earth that created us,
and we who create our gods.

Challenge Jesus the “Savior” with the appreciation for Jesus the prophet (and life coach).

Enrich our imaginations with the appreciation that the Bible is a creation of our own human drama, processed through our own hearts, minds, & souls.

Enunciate a woman’s Right to Self Defense, and sovereignty over her own body.

Acknowledge that sad truth that, when push comes to shove, a woman’s life is more important than the unborn Potential Person forming within her.

A living fetus, that is a human potentiality, takes on the mantel of personhood during its first breaths of life.

Abortion and earlier infanticide are sad but unavoidable facts of human history.

Seriously confronting our climate & resources problems requires an internal appreciation that we must learn to accept doing with less.

We can’t fool mother nature.

But that’s me, what about others? Here’s where my suggestion for a
Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum. comes into play. :wink:

Unfortunately seems like less and less people are into discussing ideas, so there’s that.

Oh and I did notice today that some poll finally showed trump’s 35% diehards gang has cracked, and slipped to 25% - that’s really big & promising, that’s why it’s double important for Democrats to try doubly hard to engage with right wing citizens who’ve been fed way too much KoolAid.
They literally are the product of strategic brainwashing and ought be tried with a certain compassion. Even as some of their ideas are absolutely reprehensible and objectionable and destructive.

I think the lists of beliefs are out there. I don’t like political platforms for the reason that it can appear I support the whole platform because I voted for one person. That’s why I emphasize getting to know people who think differently, and growing some mutual respect, then listening can begin, and change can happen.

It’s not about the lists, it’s about people actually discussing them.

We can’t ignore that the political system rules our lives on many levels,
because it isn’t perfect or neat enough for polite company is a poor excuse to abandon and ignore it.

I’m all for all the nice discussion groups you can form, nothing wrong with that, except that it simply isn’t enough.

Heck the formula is as simple and straight forward as making compost*, nothing has changed in ages:
A healthy democracy demands an informed and engaged electorate.

The Democratic Party needs to grow cohesion within the Democratic Party, every bit as much as it needs to figure out how to reach out and better explain themselves.

(~40%green, ~40%brown, ~20%food stuff - keep moist, aerate )

Says the proud owner of a beautiful compost harvest.

It’s not an excuse or abandoning. It’s finding ways that will actually change minds.

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Beyond that,
Okay let’s talk about them, I sure been coming up snake eyes, I’m all ears.

You know what they say, hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times.

I’ll get back to you on this, but here’s some eye opening stats to check out


I wasn’t enjoying the first 14 minutes of this, so I set it aside, but didn’t have anything else handy this morning, and it got really good. So skip to 14. It builds up to some even better stuff at 45 or so. He talks about how Bayesian logic is based on our natural thinking, but also have illogic in our nature, and how to encourage the one over the other.

MN is in the news today because we have record high temps, with snow still on the ground. So, I’ll get back to this when it’s cold and rainy in a couple of days.

It’s a Q&A format, with the questions in detailed description

(Before this point, he very delicately critiques academia for cancelling right-wing thinking out of the universities.)

37:23 How can narrative thinking skew our perception of the world?

We like stories, but we shouldn’t fall back on them for the big questions, from origins of the universe to secret meetings of the rich. The Enlightenment era gave us a lot of tools to figure this out. But it’s not how humans intuitively act. He gives two right-wing narratives, I like to remember how the Left was the primary driver of voting machine conspiracies and rigged elections. Granted, there was more data to back up their story, but anyway.

39 - Cognitive illusions
He lists biases and fallacies, that all humans are susceptible to. He relates them to QAnon, but notes how we need other tools to understand that. It’s a different meaning to the word “belief”. They aren’t going act on it like if they believed a robber was at their door, instead, it’s a way of stating your thoughts about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, that they are capable of something like that.

50:34 When do people neglect Bayesian reasoning?
You might need to listen some of the earlier stuff to get this, but when you get here, try to test yourself. Stop the video after he gives the correct answer to the medical diagnosis. Note that he says medical students and even doctors get this wrong, so don’t feel bad if you can’t explain the error.

The problem is not irrationality, it’s that our minds are not geared to thinking through this much data and formulas when we are testing for whether or not we have cancer. It’s the same for AGW science, all the data adds up to a 1.5C increase which doesn’t sound like much, but using formulas leads to your house either burning down or flooding.

It’s somewhat of a compassion issue, since one way of looking at the data skews the odds to just you, and the correct formula looks at the entire population.

It’s remarkable that where Republican come into power, crime and violence increase exponentially.

I should like to see some statistics on that peculiar social phenomenon.

I don’t know about exponentially, but I have looked at the correlation between states with high regulation compared to low and the violence within them. It’s pretty clear that more is safer. The opposite of what they say.

They (pro-gun folks) will point to a place like Chicago and talk about crime going up. They almost always use counts instead of percentages, ignoring population growth as the more likely factor. And, they’ll be quiet about it when that one city has crime rates go down. It’s always going up somewhere.

Okay, one more. At about 27 minutes. He talks about universities. The Right has made a spectacle of incidences of people losing their jobs over a word used in a class, or an incident from their past. Pinker doesn’t go over stats, he just states that academia is skewing Left.

My reaction to this critique is that what aligns with liberalism happens to be true a lot of the time. But, take that too far, and you move away from science. If you believe the Left has the truth, then you should be checking an expert’s credentials for their political alignment, not their expertise on the topic they are commenting on.

Pinker passes this problem off to organizations that are working on it, like Heterodox Academy. It’s too much to cover in this short presentation.

The other side of this problem is the claim by conservatives that academia is in fact aligned with politics and has voted out conservative faculty and research for some ideological reason. It’s the same problem of checking politics to determine truth.

In the next section, he addresses Cancel Culture, the way we have eliminated the boy who points out the Emperor has no clothes by punishing him. People, and this is reported anonymously by faculty, are choosing to stay silent about their views to avoid punishment. This is something the Left needs to work on, to stop eating its own. We risk becoming the oppressors, as is common in history, for the revolution to take place, then the revolutionaries become the establishment.

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Another great video on this topic. It was posted on my Braver Angels facebook, so it fits with that too. Plus, he talks about changing how we define transcendence, taking away the belief parts of religion.

Skip to 28 minutes. There’s about 5 minutes, ending with some comments on evolution I think you’ll like, He says it’s not a quest for some final form, rather a continuing adaptation to fit the environment. We should make that connection sacred instead of some impossible utopia.

Has anyone tried this yet?

It’s worth a try. It shows how the mind works. The woman in his example has a positive outcome to her googling, when she questions her doctor. The flip side of that, the story he doesn’t tell, is all the people who get or hear of a diagnosis, then go looking to fact-check it, and find something that is extremely rare, or not even true. They use that information to claim that all doctors are liars, that they “did their own research”, and they might go further down the rabbit hole and find alternative cures that are worse than the disease.

The amount of effort is about the same either way. The results might be just a few web hits in both cases. It can appear that there is equal evidence. The difference is, one person throws their hands up and says, “Nobody really knows, so I’m going with my gut feelings and what my friends agree”, and the other says, “It is possible to calculate a probability of a diagnosis being correct.”

A couple days ago I finally started Pinker, first ten minutes were downright infuriating to listen to - the cherry picking is appalling, nothing about Earth systems, or disparity trends amongst peoples and groups, or the condition and future of population centers, or environmental cycles we depend on, and their current state of health, etc… Now it’ll probably take a few more days before I’m ZEN enough to take it on again. I’m sure I’ll give John Vervaeke a try before that. I’ll take your advice, jump to 28:00 then going back to the beginning. :wink:

Just another cranky old guy i am. :cowboy_hat_face:

I almost quit at that point too. Same old same old from Pinker. I got more interested with the Bayesian stuff, but it’s not for everyone. You still might not accept his thoughts on how to use it speak to people on the right.

Maybe the Vervaeke will be more to your liking.

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Here’s my summary, bringing in a little bit from some of my other studies, and filtering out some of the “noise” that inevitably arises in an interview. I’m glad I found this one first for Vervaeke, it gives several references. They riff on Greek myths for a few minutes, makes me wish I’d paid more attention in school.

When the Carter Presidential Center opened in 1986, President Carter invited all living Presidents and ex-Presidents to attend. Nixon and Ford declined; Ronald Reagan accepted and gave one of the speeches at the opening ceremony. In that speech, he said:

None of us today need feel any urge, in the name of good will, to downplay our differences. On the contrary, in a certain sense we can be proud of our differences, because they arise from good will itself—for love of country; for concern for the challenges of our time; from respect for, and yes, even outright enjoyment of, the democratic processes of disagreement and debate. Today our very differences attest to the greatness of our nation. For I can think of no country on Earth where two political leaders could disagree so widely yet come together in mutual respect. To paraphrase Mr. Jefferson: We are all Democrats, we are all Republicans, because we are all Americans.

Reagan then went on to praise the accomplishments of the Carter Administration, focusing on race relations, science policy, and Carter’s emphasis on human rights. He concluded:

For myself, I can pay you no higher honor than to simply say this: You gave yourself to your country, gracing the White House with your passionate intellect and commitment. Now you have become a permanent part of that grand old house, so right in tradition, that belongs to us all.

And when President Reagan died, President Carter made this statement:

Rosalynn and I join millions of people around the world who mourn the loss of President Reagan. He was a formidable political campaigner, who provided an inspirational voice to America when our people were searching for a clear message of hope and confidence. He had unshakeable beliefs and was able to express them effectively, both in America and abroad. During the past 10 years, Rosalynn and I have often conveyed to Nancy Reagan our friendship and admiration for her own great service, not only to her husband but to our nation. We extend our condolences to the entire Reagan family during this time of grief.

In the age of Trump, it is hard to remember a time when our political leaders disagreed vehemently but maintained relationships of friendship and mutual respect. Carter and Reagan respected and admired each other; George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton became close friends; and George W. Bush and Barack Obama remain quite close. Friendship across the aisle was the norm not so very long ago; I hope we get back to that.


I hated Reagan. But i miss that era.

I couldn’t stand Reagan either and I miss that era too. I don’t know if it’s for the same reasons though. lol