[ExI] Are Social Media to blame for USA political hatreds?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 23:08:23 UTC 2020

Well, none of us is unfamiliar with the confirmation bias.  That is the
main result of Facebook's giving people what Facebook thinks they want:
more of the same.

Another factor that should, but seemingly does not play a big role:
skepticism.  The bigger the difference between and among news sources
should cause us to be more skeptical than usual, and maybe that is what
people like us do - people trained in being careful about concluding
anything based on contradictory data.

The more I read about the polarization of opinions, the more I think
epistemology ought to be taught as early as possible in schools.
Scientists think differently.

I wrote on Quora about arrogance the other day:  I mentioned Einstein, who
was very careful, almost timid, about his theories. Tentative.  Just the
way one should be with startling new ideas.  Bohr as well.  Newton said
that he stood on the shoulders of giants.  Scientists, mathematicians and
others close to these fields think in ways that the average person does
not, but should.  Teach ways of thinking and believing in schools.

Spike might enlighten us on how to go to school board meetings, which I
assume are open, and have some influence on what is taught.

     bill w

On Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 5:45 PM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Our social dilemma
> By Bill Hansmann  October 10, 2020
> <https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/10/our_social_dilemma.html>
> Quotes:
> I watched an extremely troubling movie the other night on the
> recommendation of my friend Rich.  It was on Netflix but is also
> available on YouTube and is called The Social Dilemma.
> We wonder why partisan rancor and political division are at an
> unprecedented level in our country.  This film suggests a likely
> answer.
> We spend a lot of time on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter,
> Instagram, and others, but not nearly as much time as they spend on
> us.  It seems that these platforms are populated and are indeed driven
> by algorithms that are individually calibrated to give each user what
> the platform decides that person wants to see, demonstrated by his
> pushing the "LIKE" buttons.  Liberals get items with a liberal slant.
> Conservatives receive stories and items that match their previous
> likes.  Those individuals who exhibit a liking of conspiracies get
> more of the same, as well as ads designed to sell black helicopters.
> ----
> More and more when considering the opinions of people I know, I ask
> myself, How can they think that way?  How can they believe that?  They
> are, in fact, being programmed to feel that way by their interactions
> with their social media.  And unfortunately, I am receiving the same
> treatment, with different modalities resulting in a different mindset.
> ---------------------
> Maybe not the complete answer, but certainly a big contributor to the
> problem.
> (And I would include the news reporting monopolies in social media
> manipulation).
> BillK
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