[ExI] Cosmopolitanism, collective epistemology and other issues

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 10 23:57:23 UTC 2016

Keith:   If you
want tolerance, then you have to sway the center of the population
away from a view that the future that is worse than the present.

There is an insidious mechanism in our brains called adaptation level.  In
short, we adapt to new circumstances such that we view then as normal
despite their being, for example, much better than what we had been used
to.  As level of reward grows, so do expectations.  Those of us of an age
like Keith and me remember the 50s.  The 50s have been often cited as a
halcyon time that we wish we could go back to.

It will take a very short time for you to think of what we lacked in the
50s and what we have now.  No comparison.  Far better off now.  But people
forget that.   (though there has been little real progress in jobs and
income the last 15-20 years or so - American blame trade agreements).

 There must be some fundamental difference between those who choose to live
their lives thinking about the past and those like me who live for the
future.  Live in the past and you'll start regretting.  Waste of time.

I agree with Anders that Brexit is part of a larger phenomenon nearly
worldwide.  Immigration has clearly caused many to favor isolationism as
the answer.
Cosmopolitanism  is a form of humanism.  As a humanist I feel a connection
with all people, not just my tribe and its beliefs.  Which brings up
patriotism.  Long ago I encountered the idea that intellectuals were more
faithful to ideas than to places or governments or their tribe.  That
means, and studies show, that liberals like me are less patriotic than
conservatives.  Haidt seems to regard this as  moral weakness.  I do not.

I have thought about it a lot:  what wars would I have eagerly joined that
the USA got into?  WWII is the classic one in which there is no doubt but
what we have to fight - all of us.  But how about Viet Nam?  Iraq?  Would I
want to die in such a war?  No way.  I'd emigrate first.  Far too many
people in history have died for stupid causes.  Not me.  Some would call
this cowardice.  I'd call it rational.  I was of an age to serve in Viet
Nam.  Even then I knew it was stupid.

Do I support my country's government?  Depends on what they are up to.

(People who are at Kohlberg's stage 5 or 6 can make difficult citizens, who
don't shut up and do what they are told).

bill w

On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 3:27 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 9 July 2016 at 22:15, Anders  wrote:
> > There are three reasons Brexit disturbs me: (1) it represents a
> rejection of
> > cosmopolitanism, (2) it represents a serious failure of collective
> > cognition, (3) it likely has somewhat bad effects for me.
> >
> Ooooh!  Now we can bore US list members with a month-long argument
> about Brexit!  :)
> I think the most significant factor was that the voting patterns
> showed a London 'bubble' voting to Remain and almost all the rest of
> England voting to Leave the EU. This was England rebelling against
> rule by 'rich' Londoners.
> Outside London feels ignored and disenfranchised. "No Taxation Without
> Representation". (Familiar to Americans?).
> People voted that had never voted in their lives before. This is a
> significant event.
> Many people think that the EU is a dictatorship which is on the verge
> of collapse anyway. I would not be surprised if more countries leave
> the EU within a year or two. The discontent among the 'groundlings' is
> growing.
> BillK
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