17 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Terrorism of Obscurantism

With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that’s not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by th...
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28 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 President-Elect Trump has a Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio

What a president says is typically allotted a ton of news value, by default, and rightly so. But it has been assigned news value because it traditionally has had a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Presidential remarks are normally so considered, vetted, poll-tested, etc. They usually are a somewhat reliable guide to the policies a president will pursue, how they’ll pursue them, etc. But Trump isn’t like that. He throws a ton of stuff out there, on Twitter and off. The signal-to-noise rati...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
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17 AUG 2016 by ideonexus

 How Political Parties Strive to be Something Greater

Political parties strive to be something greater than the human beings they’re comprised of; they enshrine values and ideologies for the ages. The practical implications of this pursuit are often discussions of tax policy or judicial stances, but these debates are driven by what a certain group believes to be the best, most virtuous way to live life on earth. “The underlying unity of Whig-Republican ideology from Whiggism to Reaganisam,” Gerring writes, “can be found in three interrel...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric ideology
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric ideology
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Repressive Desublimation

It refers to the kind of soft authoritarianism preferred by wealthy, consumer culture societies that want to repress political dissent. In such societies, pop culture encourages people to desublimate or express their desires, whether those are for sex, drugs or violent video games. At the same time, they’re discouraged from questioning corporate and government authorities. As a result, people feel as if they live in a free society even though they may be under constant surveillance and forc...
Folksonomies: rhetoric oppression
Folksonomies: rhetoric oppression
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10 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Change Requires Listening

...change requires more than just speaking out -- it requires listening, as well. In particular, it requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise... you need allies in a democracy. That's just the way it is. It can be frustrating and it can be slow. But history teaches us that the alternative to democracy is always worse. That's not just true in this country. It’s not a black or white thing. Go to any country where the give and take of democracy...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric debate
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric debate
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06 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Cognitive Framing Differences Between Liberals and Conser...

I work in the cognitive and brain sciences. In the 1990's, I undertook to answer a question in my field: How do the various policy positions of conservatives and progressives hang together? Take conservatism: What does being against abortion have to do with being for owning guns? What does owning guns have to do with denying the reality of global warming? How does being anti-government fit with wanting a stronger military? How can you be pro-life and for the death penalty? Progressives have t...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric framing
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric framing
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Donald Trump's Candidacy is the Natural Outcome of Cognit...

Let’s be clear: Trump is no fluke. Nor is he hijacking the Republican Party or the conservative movement, if there is such a thing. He is, rather, the party’s creation, its Frankenstein monster, brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker. Was it not the party’s wild obstructionism — the repeated threats to shut down the government over policy and legislative disagreements; the persistent call for nullification of Supreme Court decisi...
Folksonomies: rhetoric cognitive bias
Folksonomies: rhetoric cognitive bias
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25 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 Habits for Depolarization

1. Criticize from within. In other words, criticize the other—whether person, group, or society—on the basis of something you have in common. The political philosopher Michael Walzer describes this approach as “internal criticism.” He writes: “We criticize our society just as we criticize our friends, on the assumption that the terms of the critique, the moral references, are common.” As Walzer and many others have observed, besides being depolarizing, criticizing from within is ...
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19 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Reza Aslan's Eloquent Dismissal of Generalizations

REZA ASLAN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE: Well, I like Bill Maher. I have been on his show a bunch of times. He's a comedian. But, you know, frankly, when it comes to the topic of religion, he's not very sophisticated in the way that he thinks. I mean, the argument about the female genital mutilation being an Islamic problem is a perfect example of that. It's not an Islamic problem. It's an African problem. (CROSSTALK) CAMEROTA: Well, wait, wait, wait. (CROSSTALK) CAMEROTA: Hol...
Folksonomies: rhetoric prejudice bigotry
Folksonomies: rhetoric prejudice bigotry
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 The Extremist Rhetoric is Self-Reinforcing

This aide and other Republicans describe a recurring chicken-and-egg question: Who came first to these hardline, no-compromise stands – conservative media or their audiences? Are media celebrities and outlets simply reflecting their audiences, or shaping the views of readers, listeners and viewers? “I think they just feed off each other” in “a pact from hell,” the Senate aide said. “In a way we’re our own worst enemies, not the Democrats. It’s the conservative media pushing us...
Folksonomies: rhetoric cognitive bias
Folksonomies: rhetoric cognitive bias
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