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Both Parties Ignore the Facts

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-surprise-here dept.

Politics 803

An anonymous reader writes "Any democrat will tell you the republicans ignore the facts. Any republican will tell you the democrats ignore the facts. Turns out they're right. A new study monitored brain activity of partisans; they shun logic and use emotional processing centers to justify their candidate's contradictory statements. 'With their minds made up, brain activity ceased in the areas that deal with negative emotions such as disgust. But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix.'"

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Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (0, Troll)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557186)

The definition of authoritarian is, at its most basic, one who ignores the facts. History repeatedly shows that the more government tries to get involved, the worse things get. Even in US history we see how politicians have led to death, poverty and addictions. When alcohol was illegal, the mob became the new provider. When cocaine was made illegal, the gangs created crack and cocaine blends for what used to be a positive medicinal product (ask any european dentist).

I have to call shens on this article though. I see a few problems:

A new study monitored brain activity of partisans

Since when do supporters of either party have brains?

they shun logic and use emotional processing centers to justify their candidate's contradictory statements.

Emotions? Taking hard earned wealth from people you don't know with the threat of a gun or jail is not what I consider emotionally-stable or even emotionally-available. Supporting either party offers just that -- free money by forcing others to part with it against their will.

Be Democrat locally. Be Republican locally. Join communities that accept your views and were you can truly vote with your feet if you disagree -- maybe moving a few miles. When you bring your authoritarian mandates to the federal government, you force your will on people who don't accept your authority. Even though I am an anarcho-capitalist, I do see value in the Constitution. Uphold it, stop worrying about the rest of the country or the rest of the world or even the rest of your state. Focus on your community and not only will these studies not matter, but there won't be any facts to ignore as long as you're living with those you agree with.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (4, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557214)

Uphold it, stop worrying about the rest of the country or the rest of the world or even the rest of your state.

If you can, more power to you. The problem is, the rest of the country/world/state won't stop worrying about you.

Take the Jihad on Smoking, for example.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557333)

Take the Jihad on Smoking, for example.

Actually, I blogged about smoking [blogspot.com] yesterday. The town my church is in is thinking of banning the SALE of cigarettes at all stores. They'll watch their convenience stores go bankrupt as many of them make a decent profit on cigarettes.

Yet I'd rather see cigarettes banned by stupid towns (people will drive a town over) than banned at the state or federal level. The same is true of cocaine, alcohol, porn, whatever -- if you want to ban it, just do it at the local level and I'll avoid your town if it is a product I support.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (4, Informative)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557248)

Definition of authoritarian adj 1: characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty; "an authoritarian regime"; "autocratic government"; "despotic rulers"; "a dictatorial rule that lasted for the duration of the war"; "a tyrannical government" [syn: autocratic, dictatorial, despotic, tyrannical] 2: likened to a dictator in severity [syn: dictatorial] 3: expecting unquestioning obedience; "he was imperious and dictatorial"; "the timid child of authoritarian parents"; "insufferably overbearing behavior toward the waiter" [syn: dictatorial, overbearing] n : a person behaves in an tyrannical manner; "my boss is a dictator who makes everyone work overtime" [syn: dictator]

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (2, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557267)

Please share your dictionary. It is not the same as mine, which defines authoritarian as favoring blind submission to authority and/or favoring centralized monarchy or oligarchy with no limits on their power.

To be perfectly fair, authoritarianism comes in many forms, some of which are blind to the facts (Nero) and others of which are not (Stalin). The common thread is lack of any check on power, which is what we're working our way towards the more people rely on the federal government. And, by "people," I mostly mean entitlement-mentality asshats.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (1, Flamebait)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557297)

Change your dictionary.

Both parties are to blame for the rise in power of the central government. These politicians are mandated by the Constitution to take an oath to uphold the Constitution and they've failed that. I have a solution for [blogspot.com] those that violate the law they promise to abide by or create.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (4, Insightful)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557372)

History repeatedly shows that the more government tries to get involved, the worse things get.

This really depends. If you are talking about issues on personally morality then you are correct. The alcohol and drug wars are a great example of the government trying to legislate morals. Government can not help a person find inner peace, only the individual can do that.

However, the government is generally succesful when implementing a communities infrastructure. Examples would be TVA and the Highway system. These infrastructures are the foundation of our modern economy. We can thank the government for that.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557529)

However, the government is generally succesful when implementing a communities infrastructure. Examples would be TVA and the Highway system. These infrastructures are the foundation of our modern economy. We can thank the government for that.

Government projects are generally extremely wasteful. Anything good the government would do will be done more efficiantly when the people involved are not coerced. And besides, if free individuals won't work together to make their own roads, why should they be forced to?

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557434)

Even in US history we see how politicians have led to death, poverty and addictions. When alcohol was illegal, the mob became the new provider.
Politicians, mob: would that the distinction were sharper.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557440)

they shun logic and use emotional processing centers to justify their candidate's contradictory statements.

Emotions? Taking hard earned wealth from people you don't know with the threat of a gun or jail is not what I consider emotionally-stable or even emotionally-available. Supporting either party offers just that -- free money by forcing others to part with it against their will.


Very clever!

Your response is a pretty good example on how logic is shunned and emotional processing centers are used to justify political statements. You appeal to strong emotions such as anger and fear when you start talking about threats, guns, jail and force. There is no logic involved, just emotion.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557472)

That was sort of the point -- to be funny :) Unfortunately the emotions of anger come first, I guess.

I think slashdot needs a "post a photo of your face right now" feature, hah.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557473)

You should think about this article a little harder. It's not just the parties in power that ignore the facts, but any of us with very strong convictions. That's as true for the revolutionaries as those currently in power.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (0, Flamebait)

Ours (596171) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557498)

top worrying about the rest of the country or the rest of the world or even the rest of your state
Yeah sure, what the World needs is the US ignoring even more what's happening elsewhere. I would have rather said "stop trying to fix the rest of the State/Country/World". But keeping in touch with what happens in our World while working to improve our close communities is probably more positive.
Some communities kind mind their own business when their business is influenced by a very close-by neighbour. They have to work together in common interest. But sure, I guess that in the US there are plenty of far-and-away communities who just have to take care of themselves and not worry about the rest. They just need to keep in touch with what's happening.

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557506)

Do you consider it Authoritarian to Buy first post every single article with your * * * * * * * * ?????

Re:Ignoring the Facts: defining "authoritarian" (5, Insightful)

SirTwitchALot (576315) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557544)

Since when do supporters of either party have brains?
That's a loaded response. Such a statement makes me question whether the poster is thinking logically, or just ignoring facts to reward his particular ideology. I'd be willing to bet a brain scan of the original poster while reading this article would show many of the responses he is trying to deride.

Partisan (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557546)

Concering the federal level, it would probably be best to make it non-partisan. One, it would force voters to really research their candidates instead of checking the boxes on their ballots that says Democrat or Republican. Sure, parties can still support candidates and candidates can be part of parties, just leave the party name off the ticket. Require a certain number of signatures to be placed onto the ballot.

They really should stick to the federal constitution. States, which are nations onto themselves, should be doing a lot of the stuff the federal government is doing.

Acknowledge the other side (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557194)

I think one of the biggest problems facing our society is not being willing to acknowledge when the other group is correct or when we are wrong. Everyone is too convinced that they are correct that they are blind to the other person's point of view and opinions. This is spread all across the spectrum, not just in politics. Acknowledging when someone else is correct is good for you and good for relations. The person that you are discussing with will acknowledge that you are seeing their side and can listen to what they consider to be "reason" and they are more likely to listen to your point of view. Its just like here on Slashdot. Often times I get replies to my comments from people who have a different opinion or just have some smart ass remark. I understand, people have different opinions, and they are just as human as I am.

You can still acknowledge the other side and remain strong.

Enemies are people too. [suso.org]

In Other News... (5, Funny)

ChristianNerds.com (949201) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557389)

Another study was done by a group of Republicans, and it seems that this particular study had been mistaken. Their findings were that only Democrats ignore facts, while Republicans do actually use the logic parts of their brains.

Guess which kind this is. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557391)

Often times I get replies to my comments from people who have a different opinion or just have some smart ass remark.

I banged your ugly mom last night!

Re:Acknowledge the other side (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557432)

I think one of the biggest problems facing our society is not being willing to acknowledge when the other group is correct or when we are wrong. Everyone is too convinced that they are correct that they are blind to the other person's point of view and opinions.

I don't think it can be pinned to the idea of "one side is correct and the other is not." Both sides often have convincing arguments but these are overwhelmed by "politics." Partisan bickering has replaced thoughtful discourse. The idea is to build consensus, to winnow out the good from the ideas of both sides and merge them into a coherent, mutually satisfying compromise. This retreat-to-the-castle-and-raise-the-drawbridge mentality that seems to pervade Congress is the reason that elections are so hotly contested and have led to the detestable "red state/blue state" school of politics.

Re:Acknowledge the other side (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557448)

The key problem with this argument is that our society has roughly split down the middle on some pretty key issues. The things that are makeing Republicans hate Democrats and vice-versa just aren't going to see one side acknowledging the other as right.

Abortion, preemptive war, tax the rich vs tax the poor, social welfare programs, socialized medicine, environment preservation: people who hold strong beliefs about these things are relatively unlikely to find themselves acknowledging the other side as right or themselves wrong on these issues.

With other, relatively less inflammatory issues, I think you'll find that people are open to debate. But as long as there are issues like these that are considered 'unsettled', the parties will continue to be able to divide us on them quite effectively, and calm debate about less divisive issues will essentially be buried under the weight of these more dramatic ones. So long as we have so many things where it seems like the position of one side or the other can be taken as evil it is going to be hard to get people to take things calmly. And frankly, they shouldn't. You shouldn't sit quietly debating when your opponent is evil, you should be making a loud noise to make sure people are attending!

In Roman times ... (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557201)

Used to be in Roman times that the greatest senators of the republic were those who were the most stoic.

Now, it seems the most desired senators are those most likely to be on Jerry Springer.

My how the burning of Alexandria [umn.edu] set us back much further than we could have thought.

Re:In Roman times ... (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557408)

What if Jerry Springer was the senator? [cbsnews.com]

He abandoned the senate race shortly thereafter. But Wikipedia reports that he has had quite the political career: 1968, campaign aide to RFK; 1970, ran for congress and lost; 1971, elected to Cincinnati city council; 1977, elected mayor of Cincinnati; 1982, lost the Dem primary for Ohio governor; 2004, member of the Ohio delegation to the DNC.

Problems with Politics (1)

PlayCleverFully (947815) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557204)

There are a few problems with politics, the main one of being forced to use such a everything this way.. I am an independent and that is how I vote.

However, "democrats" could never vote for a "republican" based on the fact that they are "republican" alone.

Hopefully there will be a change in how the U.S.A. citizens vote, but I do not see that happening in the forseeable future.

Applies to sponsors (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557456)

Of course, each side says they are being totally logical, and the other insane. You also see this in distro flame wars, religious debates, and other arguments about folks that provoke strong emotions. (thinking of the profound visceral reaction certain religious groups provoke in certain forums)

This probably also applies to the corporate sponsors of bills like the proposed law regarding analog hole [technewsworld.com] who seem to be employing curious tactics [p2pnet.net] , which if you think of it is merely an effort to protect the intellectgual property. With typical bad results. And which will provoke a strong reaction in some quarters once it becomes well known.

I know we should try to be rational. Sometimes this is hard to do.

Re:Problems with Politics (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557499)

I disagree with your assertion that "democrats" could never vote for a "republican" simply because they're a republican. I am a registered democrat, and I often think some of the things my party does are moronic [most of their attempts at gun control are not only ineffective they're just plain stupid is a prime example]. I could vote for a republican if said republican showed respect for the constitution, minorities (racial and religious), had a well thought out platform, etc. A republican i could vote for would be viciously attacked by their own party for being "RINO" as said republican would also have to be pro-choice, respectful of the 1st and 4th ammendments, put good economics ahead of loyalty to reaganomics [aka "trickle down"/"supply side" - a proven failure], etc.

-----------------------

I do not doubt that the study is valid for certain segments of all politicial persuations - however i point out that this studies scope is much more limited than people are trying to apply it to - they were shown videobites that contradicted each other and measured reaction to that, they didn't give us numbers on what proportion of each group did this because it is certainly not 100%, they did not test this in relation to things other than candidate-reaction. This study has a much more limited scope that peolpe are trying to give it.

Seen in brain scans of prayers too. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557220)


With their minds made up, brain activity ceased in the areas that deal with negative emotions such as disgust. But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix.

This is what happens in the brain of religious people when praying. They go into a semi-trancelike state when they get their "god-fix". Rambling incoherently in 'tongues' while writhing on the floor is not a sign of omnipotent intelligence.

Re:Seen in brain scans of prayers too. (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557299)

You can show me all the brain scans you want. I know you're wrong. I just know it. Yeah! Go God!

Re:Seen in brain scans of prayers too. (1, Troll)

ClaudeVMS (637469) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557345)

You are confusing your response to faith with your rabid Godless hippie behaviour. The difference is that your brain is suffering from all the methane your metabolizing when your head is up your ass.

Re:Seen in brain scans of prayers too. (4, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557374)

You are confusing your response to faith with your rabid Godless hippie behaviour. The difference is that your brain is suffering from all the methane your metabolizing when your head is up your ass.
Excellent demonstration of using the emotional processing centers of your brain! Quick, can you show us more?

Interesting to know (1, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557222)

It'd be interesting to know how many politicians are smokers, or how likely they are to be extremely addicted to smoking or other drugs, since those adictions also require a lapse of logic to take them up and continue them while they kill the addict.

Re:Interesting to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557357)

Hey fellas - this is fun! It's like off-topic Mad Libs!

It'd be interesting to know how many politicians are _______, or how likely they are to be extremely addicted to _______, since those adictions also require a lapse of logic to take them up and continue them while they kill the addict.

Right away, I can insert: eating fatty foods, drinking, cheating on their wives ...

Re:Interesting to know (1)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557388)

Are you being ironic? Your statement invokes a complete lack of logic. What are your qualifications to express such sentiments about addiction? Logic and addiction have nothing to do with each other. Sheesh.

Okay, I'll take it a step further -- since you're a Godless athiest anyway, it's obvious that you're simply addicted to living, otherwise you'd recognize the pointlessness and lack of meaning in your own existance, and you'd stop worrying about other people willingly and knowingly contributing to their own demise. Logically, you should be committing genocide against the whole human race.

No, I'm not trolling, or I'd post anonymously.

Facts (5, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557223)

But yeah, you can prove anything with facts...

Re:Facts (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557550)

http://results.about.com/simpsons/#1 [about.com]
"Pfft...You can use facts to prove anything that's even REMOTELY true!"

One of the evils of political parties... (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557229)

They allow you to join a club and make club membership more important in decision making than whether or not someone really represents you.

My biggest frustration with many republicans is the fact that they claim to be for small government, and this administration has been anything but small government.

My biggest frustration with democrats is that they claim to be all for civil liberties yet silently let pass things like Clinton's support of the clipper chip or Hilary's closed door meetings with insurance companies to hammer out a health care plan that benefitted them.

Parties are entities of word, not deed. (3, Interesting)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557314)

You often witnesses a party acting more like their "opponent" because a very effective tactic of late has been to steal your opponent's position. There are dozens of very recent examples, but two glaring ones are Clinton's welfare reform and Bush's Medicare prescription drug coverage. This really helps swing voters to think that you're not an idealogue for one side or the other. Of course, it does nothing to sway radicals but then nothing would sway them.

The sorry fact though is that this has gone on long enough that there aren't very many differences between the two parties today.

Re:One of the evils of political parties... (4, Funny)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557399)

Both parties have perverted what they had claimed to stand for.

But this maxim still does apply: The Democratic Party is the stupid party, the Republican Party is the selfish party. So if anything is bipartisan it must be both stupid and selfish.

Re:One of the evils of political parties... (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557562)

I'm not a huge Ayn Rand fan, but I still prefer her designations... The crooks (Republicans) and the closet suicides (Democrats).

and this is why (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557237)

This makes no claim about which party distorts the facts most, and this is why we have to have independant fact checkers watching political debates to prove that Republicans can't speak without 2-3 significant lies a minute.

Re:and this is why (2, Interesting)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557500)

Of course, but liberals can be guilty of the behavior the article discusses. The Neocons, for example, are not Nazis, they're fascists. Nazis were members of a 20th century German political party. Fascism is a government structure. One label is namecalling. The other can be rationally discussed. Confusing the two blunts liberal response.

D'oh! (1)

adam.skinner (721432) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557244)

{insert obligatory "This is your brain on politics" joke here}

Thankfully, we have swing voters. (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557253)

I couldn't imagine the hell that America would be without swing voters. As much as the radicals from both sides think the world is coming to an end when "the other side" comes to power, they just need to realize the pendulum will eventually swing a little more in their direction.

I hated the way staunch conservatives acted during the Clinton years and I loathe the way mega liberals are acting now.

Amen, brother! (1)

scolby (838499) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557304)

The swing voters did such an awesome job making sure the last election turned out correctly.

Oh, wait a minute...

I wonder which radical side you belong to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557488)

Didn't you just prove his point?

Re:Thankfully, we have swing voters. (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557310)

I hated the way staunch conservatives acted during the Clinton years and I loathe the way mega liberals are acting now


Agreed! I also hate the way mega liberals overlooked Clinton's many flaws, and the way staunch conservatives worship the Shrub!

Re:Thankfully, we have swing voters. (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557381)

...except that the vast majority of swing voters in America are uninformed consumers who pick whichever candidate has the better smile, slogan, and/or smear campaign. The number of voters who rationally compare the viewpoints of each candidate, and select the one most likely to help the country, is most likely smaller than the number of active posters on Slashdot.

Think about the disturbingly large percentage of "undecided" voters who thought that Bush supported gun control, or Kerry wanted lower taxes, or many many other examples.

If only we could bust them for that.... (1)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557257)

"But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix."

I'd love to see a cops episode where they burst in on someone with their pants down then pan down to reveal a senator compromising himself for a hit of that sweet, sweet legislation.

Heh (5, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557259)

But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix.

Instead of a War on Drugs, we have a War, on drugs.

Re:Heh (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557284)

That's the best thing I ever heard

Re:Heh (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557331)

oh. how a comma can change things, drug induced or not.

True in other arenas as well... (3, Interesting)

xusr (947781) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557260)

this sort of "turning off" of logic happens to all people, not just politicians. Start a conversation about religion, and you'll see what I mean. I don't just mean fundamentalist Christians, either; atheists, agnostics, muslims (mac users?) are just as likely to get defensive if you start criticizing something they hold to be true. The key here is to place more value on the person that you're talking to than on yourself. If the other person knows/feels that, your conversation has the potential to be the civil, enlightening discourse that we really want.

Re:True in other arenas as well... (1)

xusr (947781) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557342)

I meant to add 'et cetera' to that list of religions; of course, all people are subject to that kind of defensive behavior. It's interesting, though, that the concept of giving preference to the other person is a central teaching of Jesus Christ. I wish more Christians (I myself as one) would live that out more often. Things would be different around here if that were the case.

You needed an EEG to figure that out? (1)

caffeineboy (44704) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557263)

Doesn't the content of their argument more surely show that the arguments of zealots are emotional?

When people present obvious results like this, do they really feel that it is moving their field forward?

I have to wonder...

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557268)

I just wish that the folks in Congress would act intelligent. Seriously. I don't care what party you support, when you have two judges up for election to the supreme court and every single democrat on the election committe says something to the effect of "He's a loser and will not be a good judge" who are we kidding? Is this really the sad state of politics in America? This just examplifies what all political situations are like in Congress. And I'd say the same thing if it were a democratic backed nomination and all the republicans called the guy a loser. Most of the nominations have been on the bench for years doing a great job and continuously were re-elected (remember, only the United States Supreme Court is for life) so give me a break.

So why do politicans turn off their brains when they talk? I think it all comes down to asskissing. If Senator A of Party X agrees in some way with Senator B of Party Y, then all the other guys in Party X won't scratch A's back when it comes time for Senator A to promote his program. Blah, I could rant for hours about this. And don't even get me started on how pissed off I am about the perks Congressmen/women are given in return for political favors.

Re: Well (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557410)

> I don't care what party you support, when you have two judges up for election to the supreme court and every single democrat on the election committe says something to the effect of "He's a loser and will not be a good judge" who are we kidding? Is this really the sad state of politics in America?

Yes. It's a sign that abortion has become the touchstone of American politics, and that the Supreme Court has come to be seen as a "higher legislature" that will vote your way if you can seat a majority.

This isn't limited to politics (5, Interesting)

Nugget (7382) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557273)

This is certainly worth keeping in mind the next time we have to endure another "Linux versus Microsoft" argument here on Slashdot, too. Why should our own dogma be any different? Personally, I knew this years ago. The only way a person could seriously advocate MySQL would be if their brain was turned off. It's perfectly obvious!

Re:This isn't limited to politics (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557349)

Well said. You see so much of that here. Someone could develop a cure for cancer but if it turned out the researcher used Microsoft software in the process half the people in this place would bitch.

Re:This isn't limited to politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557425)

Why should our own dogma be any different? Personally, I knew this years ago.

That was my first thought, too. I'd even say that selective perception [wikipedia.org] isn't limited to humans. It's rather like the brain's implementation of a spam filter.

WTF, science journalism? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557281)

Why is it that science journalism is always confirming what we already know and reinforcing common sense? Does science never reveal anything new, unknown, and counter-intuitive? According to journalism, apparently not.

My question is: Why? I think some investigation would reveal some juicy info on the true purpose of mainstream science journalism.

I expect this hunch to be proven within the next 24 months by a scientific story that gets covered by the AP or Reuters.

Who on Earth would want to be a Politician? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557290)

they shun logic and use emotional processing centers to justify their candidate's contradictory statements.

Wow, people's brains must be working overtime in today's sorry state of politics. The hypocritical statements I have been reading lately about everything from domestic spying, voting recounts by unaccountable electronic voting machines to SCOTUS nominations, it just makes your brain short circuit. The country is more divided than ever and logic rarely gets used in the decisionmaking.

Any other Slashdotters feel that politics today is just for the highest bidders and the most convincing liars? What happens when you are in a permanent state of picking the lesser of two evils in a political race? Is it now the time for meaningful political reform?

Re: Who on Earth would want to be a Politician? (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557368)

> Any other Slashdotters feel that politics today is just for the highest bidders and the most convincing liars

Yes, though I don't know why you specify 'today'.

fuc4eR (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557292)

volume of NetBSD was af(ter a long

Just Like Junior High (4, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557303)

One of the newest members of congress and the youngest man in congress recently said that congress is like Junior High. What would you do if you were picked by the people to have a high paying job with a bunch of authority? (talk about ego) Then, on top of that, now that you are picked by a bunch of people for this you have all of these lobbying parties trying to buy you off by offering you all the stuff your heart desires. How would any of us react? I am not a good enough man to say I could fight that off. Then, because of the system, even the most well intended person doesn't get anywhere. But, they want to keep the power, popularity and especially all the perks. So, they, like a drug addict, will do what ever it takes to keep their fix. I don't think I would be any better. George Washington said a 2 party system would be bad. Could he have been right? Could it not be that one party is worse than the other but this is just a product of 2 parties? Could a 3rd powerful party help remedy this situation?

Re:Just Like Junior High (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557481)

Could it not be that one party is worse than the other but this is just a product of 2 parties? Could a 3rd powerful party help remedy this situation?

The problem is that our electoral system as structured will always end up being a two party system, no matter how many you start out with.

Re:Just Like Junior High (2, Interesting)

durkster (936310) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557528)

If an amendment was passed to allow the voting in of a house made up of members based on party vote %, then this may enable three or more parties to get busy.

You would need to reduce the number of local house seats and award the balance of the seats to the party percentage % with a minimum threshold of say 5% before you get a single representative.

I think putting some restrictive limits on the campaign spend would also be in the nations interest as it would allow self financed candidates to enter and campaign and get a chance to their policies out to the voters without breaking the bank.

Set some decent term limits for the house and senate so as to prevent 'camping'.

Clear out the deadwood !

Bah. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557317)

How do we know this conclusion is based on facts rather than the researchers' emotional responses?

Re:Bah. (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557427)

This is why to be scientifically credible, results of studies must be reproducible.

Both Parties Ignore the Constitution (1)

Feneric (765069) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557334)

I've always personally said that the two big parties differ only in which portions of the Constitution they choose to ignore. For some fun examples, try talking about the independence of Church and State to a staunch Republican or the right to bear arms to a staunch Democrat...

Ah ha! (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557336)

But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix.

Ah, so it's an addiction, kind of like video games (note: sarcasm) is it?

We must setup clinics to help these people! We can call them Reeducation Centers!

Re:Ah ha! (2, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557377)

We can get Jack Thompson in the express line...

This goes for religion too... (1)

Pao|o (92817) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557354)

This isnt just isolated to politics as religious people suffer from this as well. Why else would people insist on Intelligent Design & creationism when all facts & logic point to something else?

One word (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557358)

Duh

Finally! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557361)

Now that science has finally proven this beyond a doubt, partisans can no longer ignore these facts and... wait... uhm...

Vote for Tom Hanks? (1)

RuiFerreira (791654) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557364)

Well, I guess Tom Hanks is better actor than "The Governator"... But, Chaplin was also better actor than Regan and that didn't make him President.

As Bill Hicks would say... (1)

kinkadius (882692) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557383)

"Here's politics in america: 'i like the puppet on the left' 'well i think the puppet on the right is suits more to my needs...' hey! they're both coming from the same person! 'GO BACK TO SLEEP AMERICA YOUR GOVERNMENT IS UNDER CONTROL'"
-Bill Hicks

Died in 1994, still speaks truth today.

Surprise? (3, Interesting)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557393)

Does this come as a surprise?

Personally I'm embarrassed at how ineffective our government has become. Sure they all tout that they act in a bi-partisan manner, but that is nothing more than the politically correct verbiage buzz word that they pretty much have to use.

Truth is that if you check just about any vote that has occurred over the last several years, you'll see that the votes are broken straight down the party lines -- except for a few that probably hit the wrong key during the vote.

Perfect example is the vote that happened yesterday for the new proposed Supreme Court Justice Alito. The vote was divided 100% down the party lines.

These people should be ashamed. We elected them to represent the beliefs of the state in which they represent, but it seems to always turn out that they cannot think for themselves. Rather they just follow their party's guidance.

Pathetic...

Really? (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557419)

Really? You don't say.

Maybe it's because they're the same party. They make such a big deal over their commitments, but when it comes down to it, they all vote together. Patriot Act? REAL ID? To me the issues barely matter. Just don't be corrupt and make serving the people more important than your political career or the special favors lobbies want to do for you and I don't really care what your stance is on ridiculous issues you will have no control over. Just do the right thing. Everything else pales in comparison.

Memo to self: (0, Troll)

cyberbian (897119) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557420)

Who are you?

and what have you done with my brain?

signed, GWB.

It's ideology (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557446)

I've been saying for years now that ideology is a mental illness. Sadly, it afflicts 99% of the population.

BS! (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557452)

Republicans have brain activity? I don't think so.

BOTH parties? (3, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557460)

That's probably the worst thing about USA politics. There's this fantasy that there are only two parties to choose from. Since they agree on so many things, the voters who believe this fantasy get absolutely no say whatsoever on many topics. Because the people who realise the truth are vastly outnumbered by the people in fantasy land, they don't get any say in many topics.

So basically, the voting public have no control over anything the Democrats and the Republicans agree on. That's not how democracies are supposed to work. Stop voting for Kodos!

Fox (0, Troll)

M-G (44998) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557461)

So Fox News acts like a drug to the right-wingers. Crafty way to get ratings.

To quote Bill Hicks... (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557463)

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. 'I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.' 'Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!' 'Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons.'"

How else do you justify the similarity? (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557477)

Both parties appeal to their voters based on emotion, not logic. Take the Republicans for example, they have yet to make any serious attempts to:

1) Restore the RTKB to its 2nd amendment definition
2) Overturn Roe v. Wade by appointing justices to the SCOTUS that care more about the US Constitution than precedent
3) Provide viable reforms to the tax code
4) Tangibly reduce the regulation on business, especially small business, at the federal level which often strangles business in its infancy
5) Defend our country. Sorry country club boys, but it ain't just Mexicans coming across the border so either you hire legal grounds keepers and nannies, or you deal with a Muslim terrorist carrying a backpack nuke into your cushy suburb thanks to our lax border security. It's impossible to call them tough on national defense given the state of our immigration policy which shows no signs of being influenced by national security issues

Yet they still get voters based on:
1) A fear that gays will get married if they're not in control of the body politic
2) A fear that the hippies will take over ""
3) A fear that our kids will be corrupted by drugs || sex || alcohol ""
4) A few more terrorists will blow up a building or two "" (ironic in light of #5)
5) The democrats will win and make us Super Duper MegaBolshevik Uber-Communist (Bush's domestic spending is rather socialist when compared to a real conservative platform)

The democrats:
1) Appeal to their female base on fear: your right to abortion WILL go away and you'll be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen for life if we aren't totally in control of the body politic.
2) Appeal to their minority base on racism fears
3) Appeal to their homosexual base on anti-homosexual fears
4) Appeal to their white middle class base on white guilt issues

So in short, if the politics of fear don't appeal to you, vote 3rd party. Any one of them will do.

Pseudoscience hogwash (4, Insightful)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557483)

People find similar results when studying brain activity of people playing chess - when considering a good move vs. considering a bad move. Does this mean that people ignore reason when playing chess?

  We don't understand the brain, we don't understand how people reason and we don't understand how people make decisions. Anyone who claims otherwise is an idiot, a fraud or both. It is an interesting finding that certain particular areas of the brain "light up" when this particular sample of people are shown a particular sort of information in a particular way - but you can conclude nothing from this.

  For myself, the part of my brain that handles emotional responses to complete bullshit is lit up like a XMas tree. Am I, as I type, ignoring reason?

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557485)

Nuh-uh!

Vote Libertarian (2, Informative)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557487)



There are other choices. http://lp.org/ [lp.org]

Politics 101 (3, Insightful)

David Greene (463) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557491)

Look, here's the first thing to understand. In a political debate, facts don't matter. Read that again. Facts don't matter. This has been shown over and over again. People respond to values, not facts. Progressives lose because they argue the facts. They argue about the facts of global climate change. They wax wonkish on the merits of instant runoff voting.

Nobody cares.

As the right-wing Republicans have demonstrated so clearly, the way to political power is through values. Instead of citing world temparature statistics, ask people what they value. Do they value fresh air, abundant foliage, clean cities? Or do they value pollution, subsidies for big oil and murky rivers?

Look at the values of society today. They can be summarized by fear, isolation and scarcity. Everything we hear out of the far right can be reduced down to this. We're told to be afraid of terrorists, of immigrants, of gays and lesbians. We're told to lock our doors and make sure we keep as much of "our" money as we can, because we certainly don't have enough wealth in this country to go around. We're told to work as hard as we can to get our own, because no one's got our back. Hyper-individualism is the rule of the day.

If there's going to be change in this country, it's going to have to come as a result of a change in the conversation. We need to be talking about how we actually have abundance in this country and there is enough to build the kind of community we want to live in. There's enough to go around when we accept that each of us has a responsibility to contribute to the common good. There's enough to go around when we realize that we live in a connected community, not in isolated cabins on the frontier. There's enough to go around when we stop living in fear and start living in hope; when we realize that we support each other and we don't have to make it on our own.

This is the kind of political power that progressives need. Unfortunately, they're too damn busy being geeks, wonks and nerds to get it.

one more description to add (1)

JohnnyDoesLinux (19195) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557497)

to fat, stupid, lazy, corrupt, ugly, repugnant, self indulgant.

Now not only do they not listen, but they make up emotional responses to questions and issues not actually raised.

Politicians need to find new careers, period.

Who else gets to make up all the rules, and raise their own salaries, and get to keep their jobs despite being found with a live child, or a dead woman (Ted Kennedy - at least the dead woman part).

AAARRRGGGGHHHHH!

the only thing (1)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557514)

the only thing I don't like about partisan politics is party line voting (which is basically the same as what everyone else has been saying).

Representatives need to either vote for what their local constituants want, or vote for what they believe is right, not what their party says.

It's probably the entire reason why George Washington didn't want parties.

I think if libs and conservs just acknowledged that the others weren't complete idiots, as most talk shows do, it would be better for all of us. There are a very select few talk shows who actually look at facts and try not to bash the other people personally.

Well... (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557519)

Obviously the story is biased.



____________________
(It's a joke for those who are slow)

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557524)

Politicians get high when

* listening to themselves talk
* "preaching to the choir"
* they convince themselves they are right, regardless of the facts.

This is news? :-)

Make them read the legislation they sign! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14557525)

It's so simple:

http://www.downsizedc.org/read_the_laws.shtml [downsizedc.org]

Everyone ignores facts (4, Interesting)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557530)

It's nothing new ... my grandfather has written a few books on the human thought processes, and I typically cite his 'The Eight Common Errors in the Thinking Process [carlrpacifico.com] ' (pdf).

The quick summary (from the intro)

  1. Your brain uncritically accepts the first information it gets in any new subject area as correct, whether it is or not.
  2. Subsequent information that is in keeping with the information already present in your brain is uncritically accepted as correct, whether it is or not.
  3. A new item that is contradictory to the information present in your brain is automatically rejected as incorrect, whether it is or not.
  4. Your brain considers every item that is compatible with the majority of its information in a given subject area to be correct and every item that is contradictory to its information to be incorrect. As a result, the brain has no internal way to know which items of its information are correct representations of the real world and which are not.
  5. Your brain has no way to know whether or not it has all the information required to respond appropriately to a given stimulus.
  6. Unless your brain has additional information to the contrary, it interprets similar items as being identical.
  7. Your brain cannot measure anything directly. All measurements must be made by comparison against an appropriate standard, which is often done incorrectly.
  8. Your brain continues to interpret the external world as it was when the last sensory signal about a given subject area was received. As a result, the brain is not aware that some of its formerly correct information is now incorrect.

All this new research has done is support #2-4.

It's not about emotions (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557534)

Meet The Monkey Sphere [pointlesswasteoftime.com]

In short, the Monkey Sphere is the very reason why they take it from the people they don't know, instead of who they know and care about.

Nice to see proven what should be common knowledge (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557549)

The most dangerous thing in the world is finding someone you agree with. If say a TV station news is saying exactly what you think is right BE BEWARE! You are very likely only reinforcing your believes and not being supplied with new information. A newssource that says the exact opposite of what you believe to be true will cause you to either outright deny it (bad) or search for the real truth.

Con men always work with this, they tell you what you want to hear so that you will end up trusting them and then they can scam you.

Linux fans, don't trust claims by say IBM on linux performance blindly, Mac fans doubt every single thing Steve Jobs tells you and MS fans.... well there is no helping some people.

That people like to have their ideas reinforced is pretty clear with the current world events involving armed conflicts between various factions. Why do I not say "war" or something like that? Because even that means taking sides. Call it war on terror and it becomes clear that america is the one fighting terrorists. I am pretty sure the other side claims however that it is america who is the one dealing in terror.

Some americans who are against their goverments actions happily claim that european media, the BBC especially is so much more un-biased then their own networks. Is it? Or does the BBC simply say what they want to hear? Same of course the other way around. Is all the european press simply anti-american or are they only guilty of saying something you don't want to hear?

Not to long ago I had an argument with an american about the race riots in france and the american claimed that in the US such things could not happen because immigrants were integrated into society better. Any recent immigrants in america want to reply on this? Apparently the riots in LA were not related to race.

It is intresting to see this article take on it. I hadn't suspected it ran so deeply. Then again it may be related to how we defend any decision we made wich later turns out to be bad. Wether we find out that the car we bought is considered bad by everyone else or the partner we choose turns out to be abusive. People like to stick with their decisions because we hate to admit we were wrong.

Linux zealots, mac slaves and MS apologists, all firmly believe their own myths and deny the enemies truths. Doesn't help at all when 99% of the time your in fact right. It makes it all the easier to think that 1 truth is a lie as well.

In dutch politics we had a few years a go a new person on the political scene who really upset the current balance as he was neither left nor right wing. The left claimed he was extreme right and the right claimed he was to left. He was for instance against continued immigration (far right) but also wanted to stop buying american fighter aircraft (far left). He was killed and dutch politics went back to the total crap it has always been but perhaps that is the only way forward. A party that is neither left nor right but simply does what is best for the country without being hunted by dogmatic views from some political ideologie.

A sort of enlighten socialism. Oh and before I get all the americans over me, remember that america is a socialist country as well. A true capatalist nation would have NO social security whatsoever. As long as tax money from the rich goes to those who are poor you are socialist. Take that you bunch of pinkos.

If you agree with what I said, BE AWARE! Am I only saying what you wanna hear? If you disagree, are you just in denial ignoring the facts?

In a way, all the responses to this article should be unmodded. Modding is after all only a way to reward those who say what you wanta hear and punish those who do not. If you don't believe me spend some real time meta-moderating.

The polititians.... (1)

Gadgycough (937773) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557560)


I don't know about where you guys are from but in my country they are mostly all GOOD people who strive to do the right thing, even though they have an uphill struggle. That's something to be proud of when you take a look at what is happening in some parts of this World.

Be on notice commenters in Canada and Europe... (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557564)

...Before the string of comments suggesting that this is indicative of the stupidity of the American people is allowed to take hold, remind yourselves that this would no doubt be true of all strongly ideological individuals, in all nations, including your own.

What did you expect? (1)

MrSoundAndVision (836415) | more than 7 years ago | (#14557566)

I expect nothing less from the supporters of the two parties of big business.
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