[Paleopsych] extremes

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Dec 4 16:48:40 UTC 2004

My solution to the PR issue is to use
the same techniques to attack the
well-crafted appeals of the right.

Unfortunately, I think the systemic
failure is that the voting computers
have been hacked.

Elections won't mean anything until those
systems have much better security
at all levels.  

I don't have any confidence that the Democrats 
are technical enough to figure it out.

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Michael Christopher [SMTP:anonymous_animus at yahoo.com]
Sent:	Friday, December 03, 2004 11:29 AM
To:	paleopsych at paleopsych.org
Subject:	[Paleopsych] extremes

>>Is there a middle ground, where you can be
soft-hearted and hard-headed, a ground where new
conservatives and new liberals can meet?<<

--There is, when people get tired of demonizing and
stereotyping each other. Right now, the goodness and
rightness of one side is defined in opposition to the
badness and wrongness of the other, such that neither
side has to actually produce results in order to be
seen as right in the eyes of its proponents. It is
assumed by many that since "liberal policies have
failed miserably" that the policies of conservatives
will succeed. Rhetoric and ideology replace
observation and testing as the standard for what works
and what doesn't. If it gets applause, it is assumed
to be right. It will take another round of systemic
failure to produce a swing toward the middle and a
synthesis of the better ideas of both sides.
Ultimately, the system is the problem, not the
personalities in it. We need at least one new party to
offset the two-party oscillation, and we need a better
public understanding of how PR psychology influences
crowds. The standard contrast method, by which one
politician seems to have integrity in contrast to
another's perceived lack of integrity (replace
integrity with morals, common sense, backbone, etc),
still works very well, and it shouldn't. People should
be able to be critical of both sides, without playing
the "liberals are amoral and discredited" or
"conservatives are scheming and manipulative" cards.
It's like falling for the same used car salesman
pitch, over and over, knowing all the cars are lemons.

Added to that problem is that the news media loves
polemics, and has no attention span for deep
discussion. Shows like Crossfire are more popular than
in-depth reporting. Filtering out complexity produces
a system which can only oscillate from one extreme to
the other, with very little in the way of pragmatic


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