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How politics makes us stupid

Stashed in: Politics!, Science!, Influence!, Awesome, Psychology!, Stupidity!, Politics, Interesting Tidbits

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This essay did more to explain a lot of irrational political behavior than anything else I've read in a few years... and basically made me realize yet again that humans are not data-consuming machines, they are SOCIAL machines.

This single quote from the researcher explains it all, really:

"Nothing any ordinary member of the public personally believes about the existence, causes, or likely consequences of global warming will affect the risk that climate changes poses to her, or to anyone or anything she cares about," Kahan writes. "However, if she forms the wrong position on climate change relative to the one that people with whom she has a close affinity — and on whose high regard and support she depends on in myriad ways in her daily life — she could suffer extremely unpleasant consequences, from shunning to the loss of employment."

So... this essay is quite depressing for anyone who believes in the power of data and rationality... but rather satisfying for those who secretly believe that human beings are closer to bonobos than robots.

Sounds like herd mentality, so the political winners have the bigger herd?

Also, I think our politics are more polarized than I can ever remember in the past. 

Politics has always been polarized but I think we're more aware of it now thanks to social media. 

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