Putting Tribe Before Truth

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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05 December 2018 21:23
 

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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06 December 2018 10:04
 

This is part of a larger phenomenon, that smart people are hardly more likely than morons to arrive at conclusions rationally. They’re just better at rationalizing their intuitive conclusions. Where intuitive conclusions are heavily influenced—and reinforced—by one’s “tribe.”

Which is why I say anyone who’s really interested in seeing reality more objectively will abandon their political party. That’s obviously not the entire answer, but it’s a good start.

 
 
GAD
 
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06 December 2018 10:25
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 06 December 2018 10:04 AM

This is part of a larger phenomenon, that smart people are hardly more likely than morons to arrive at conclusions rationally. They’re just better at rationalizing their intuitive conclusions. Where intuitive conclusions are heavily influenced—and reinforced—by one’s “tribe.”

Which is why I say anyone who’s really interested in seeing reality more objectively will abandon their political party. That’s obviously not the entire answer, but it’s a good start.

Well I have no “political party” but I get is grief from both sides.

 
 
icehorse
 
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06 December 2018 13:02
 
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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06 December 2018 14:40
 
icehorse - 06 December 2018 01:02 PM
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

My impression is Harris lands on the low end of the curiosity spectrum and on the high end of the tribalism of ideas spectrum.  And by his own account he is high on the suggestibility spectrum, so he’s probably a fairly gullible tribesman as well (meaning he’s easily wedded to ideas that confirm his theoretical commitments and not very good at exploring possibilities that challenge them).  That’s my take, at least, on why he holds on so tightly to scientifically simplistic reasoning in the face of obvious counter arguments and falsifying examples.  It also explains why he gives some fellow travelers for his pet ideas a free pass on the same ideas he attacks in others who don’t share those pet ideas.  Douglas Murray, for instance, gets a free pass on finding positive meaning in religion (for Murray it is foundational for values) because Murray is a fellow traveler against Islam and Muslim immigration, two of Harris pet peeves, but despite “90% agreement” with Peterson on “just about everything else” (Harris own characterization), Harris does nothing but attack Peterson for finding positive value in religion.  Alas, Peterson is “dangerous” because he is not a fellow tribesman like Murray.  In any case, Harris have never would have made it as a neuroscientist or as a peer-reviewed academic, which is why, I think, he played his cards as a public intellectual.  “Joy of discovery” for him (and those like him) sure looks more like the conviction of being right after mustering up yet another counter-argument in defense of an entrenched position.  But that is not science in any meaningful sense.  It’s the opposite, in fact….

[ Edited: 06 December 2018 15:24 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
icehorse
 
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06 December 2018 14:45
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 02:40 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 01:02 PM
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

My impression is Harris lands on the low end of the curiosity spectrum and on the high end of the scientific tribe spectrum.  And by his own account he is high on the suggestibility spectrum, so he’s probably a fairly gullible tribesman as well (meaning he’s easily wedded to ideas that confirm his theoretical commitments and not very good at exploring possibilities that challenge them).  That’s my take, at least, on why he holds on so tightly to scientifically simplistic reasoning in the face of obvious counter arguments and falsifying examples.  He’d have never made it as a neuroscientist or as a peer-reviewed academic, which is why, I think, he played his hand as a public intellectual and not as a working scientist or a teaching professional.  “Joy of discovery” for him sure looks more like the conviction of being right after mustering up yet another counter-argument in defense of an entrenched position.  But that is not science in any meaningful sense.

This isn’t about Harris.

You either agree or disagree that curiosity is an important scientific value.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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06 December 2018 15:03
 
icehorse - 06 December 2018 02:45 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 02:40 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 01:02 PM
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

My impression is Harris lands on the low end of the curiosity spectrum and on the high end of the scientific tribe spectrum.  And by his own account he is high on the suggestibility spectrum, so he’s probably a fairly gullible tribesman as well (meaning he’s easily wedded to ideas that confirm his theoretical commitments and not very good at exploring possibilities that challenge them).  That’s my take, at least, on why he holds on so tightly to scientifically simplistic reasoning in the face of obvious counter arguments and falsifying examples.  He’d have never made it as a neuroscientist or as a peer-reviewed academic, which is why, I think, he played his hand as a public intellectual and not as a working scientist or a teaching professional.  “Joy of discovery” for him sure looks more like the conviction of being right after mustering up yet another counter-argument in defense of an entrenched position.  But that is not science in any meaningful sense.

This isn’t about Harris.

You either agree or disagree that curiosity is an important scientific value.

You brought up Harris, not me, and if bringing him up is not about him in some way, then why bring up his TED talk and his short list instead of just asserting the obvious, to wit, that curiosity is an important scientific value?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen in print that it’s not, but there sure are a lot like Harris who preach that it is without actually practicing it.  Like Dawkins, deGrasse Tyson, Krauss—virtually all the New Rationalistas…Michael Shermer being a refreshing exception.  He seems genuinely curious and open minded, not just a tribal partisan preaching the virtues of science and pimping their credentials to do it.

[ Edited: 06 December 2018 15:22 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
icehorse
 
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06 December 2018 15:24
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 03:03 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 02:45 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 02:40 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 01:02 PM
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

My impression is Harris lands on the low end of the curiosity spectrum and on the high end of the scientific tribe spectrum.  And by his own account he is high on the suggestibility spectrum, so he’s probably a fairly gullible tribesman as well (meaning he’s easily wedded to ideas that confirm his theoretical commitments and not very good at exploring possibilities that challenge them).  That’s my take, at least, on why he holds on so tightly to scientifically simplistic reasoning in the face of obvious counter arguments and falsifying examples.  He’d have never made it as a neuroscientist or as a peer-reviewed academic, which is why, I think, he played his hand as a public intellectual and not as a working scientist or a teaching professional.  “Joy of discovery” for him sure looks more like the conviction of being right after mustering up yet another counter-argument in defense of an entrenched position.  But that is not science in any meaningful sense.

This isn’t about Harris.

You either agree or disagree that curiosity is an important scientific value.

You brought up Harris, not me, and if bringing him up is not about him in some way, then why bring up his TED talk and his short list instead of just asserting the obvious, to wit, that curiosity is an important scientific value?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen in print that it’s not, but there sure are a lot like Harris who preach that it is without actually practicing it.  Like Dawkins, deGrasse Tyson, Krauss—virtually all the New Rationalistas…Michael Shermer being a refreshing exception.  He seems genuinely curious and open minded, not just a tribal partisan preaching the virtues of science and pimping their credentials to do it.

I brought up a claim and provided the citation. But the claim ought to stand or fall on its own merits, correct?

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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06 December 2018 17:59
 
icehorse - 06 December 2018 03:24 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 03:03 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 02:45 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 06 December 2018 02:40 PM
icehorse - 06 December 2018 01:02 PM
GAD - 05 December 2018 09:23 PM

Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of “science curiosity,” it can lead us astray

In Harris’ TED talk he talks about scientific values, and on his short list is joy of discovery, which I think is about the same as curiosity. FWIW, when I’m hiring professionals, one of the key characteristics I try to tease out is how much curiosity the candidate has.

My impression is Harris lands on the low end of the curiosity spectrum and on the high end of the scientific tribe spectrum.  And by his own account he is high on the suggestibility spectrum, so he’s probably a fairly gullible tribesman as well (meaning he’s easily wedded to ideas that confirm his theoretical commitments and not very good at exploring possibilities that challenge them).  That’s my take, at least, on why he holds on so tightly to scientifically simplistic reasoning in the face of obvious counter arguments and falsifying examples.  He’d have never made it as a neuroscientist or as a peer-reviewed academic, which is why, I think, he played his hand as a public intellectual and not as a working scientist or a teaching professional.  “Joy of discovery” for him sure looks more like the conviction of being right after mustering up yet another counter-argument in defense of an entrenched position.  But that is not science in any meaningful sense.

This isn’t about Harris.

You either agree or disagree that curiosity is an important scientific value.

You brought up Harris, not me, and if bringing him up is not about him in some way, then why bring up his TED talk and his short list instead of just asserting the obvious, to wit, that curiosity is an important scientific value?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen in print that it’s not, but there sure are a lot like Harris who preach that it is without actually practicing it.  Like Dawkins, deGrasse Tyson, Krauss—virtually all the New Rationalistas…Michael Shermer being a refreshing exception.  He seems genuinely curious and open minded, not just a tribal partisan preaching the virtues of science and pimping their credentials to do it.

I brought up a claim and provided the citation. But the claim ought to stand or fall on its own merits, correct?

Yes, the claim does stand on its own merits, but a citation that curiosity is a scientific virtue is like, to my mind, a citation for the heliocentric theory of the solar system.  If you think one is useful, so be it.  But how is Harris a reliable citation for the virtue, as he doesn’t appear to practice it—at least in my opinion, he doesn’t, which is all I was saying.  If I were looking for an example of the virtues of being a vegetarian, for instance, I wouldn’t pick Hitler, who was one.  That sort of thing.

In any case, a citation implies a certain credibility to the source, and Harris appears to have no credibility on something he preaches but doesn’t practice.  So in that respect he’s a bad citation. 

 

 
nonverbal
 
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07 December 2018 08:14
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 06 December 2018 10:04 AM

This is part of a larger phenomenon, that smart people are hardly more likely than morons to arrive at conclusions rationally. They’re just better at rationalizing their intuitive conclusions. Where intuitive conclusions are heavily influenced—and reinforced—by one’s “tribe.”

Which is why I say anyone who’s really interested in seeing reality more objectively will abandon their political party. That’s obviously not the entire answer, but it’s a good start.

How are you defining moron? If it’s the historical definition, it wouldn’t take much to argue against your above point. Maybe your idea of a moron is something different, since that word has evolved pretty drastically. Who precisely are your morons?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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07 December 2018 12:35
 

Casting someone as part of a tribe is mostly something we do to each other. How many of us would put ourselves in the same tribal designation as other cast us? Does that suggest that others can see our point of view more clearly than we can?

How does it happen that some posters can see someone’s flawed point of view (as expressed) in plain sight while its owner cannot? Does that make the owner a moron? Or have they merely succumbed to so-called emotion-driven system 1 thinking? How easy is it to put anyone into that tribe?

Tribe-casting makes great sport. I would cast many of our forum lads into a tribe that is frustrated and stymied by the complexities of the situation that historical religion has placed us in. A distrust of curiosity and a lack of imagination has left little but a wall of anger and pomposity as a line drawn in the sand. Others are dared to crossed it but why? There is nothing on the other side but a prickly personality founded on a bluff. Now, who wants to own a description like that?

I cannot think of a social-political tribe that I belong to. I’m sure others can clarify what I am overlooking. Seeing tribes happens when we reach the limits of our perception. However our emotions affect our reasoning, they mostly impact our view by making us want to stop looking and see something. Curiosity, sciencie or otherwise, is a capacity to push beyond that limitation. It pits one emotion against another.

 
 
icehorse
 
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07 December 2018 14:32
 

Much of our important decision making happens on a statistical level, no way around it. We MUST sometimes generalize and categorize in order to get anything done. From a statistical or policy perspective, tribe categories are sometimes not only useful, but essential.