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Thread: What is happening to society?

  1. #1 What is happening to society? 
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    More and more i see opinions of people suppressed. Dialogue is being avoided. Scientific data is ignored in order to avoid hurting people's feelings. People are fired from speaking the truth. People are fired for having an opinion.

    I believed myself to be left leaning from the center. With a strong sense of the necessity for freedom for everyone. But why do people from the extreme left, seem like police state enforcers nowadays. Silencing free speech. And being borderline terrorists.

    Major corporations are now following suit by suppressing any opposition to this, as to stop people from discussing this fall of our freedom.

    There are quota's on everything, except for the ones deemed deeply privileged. (Somehow this doesn't include rich people, famous people, family of nobility or seats of power, nor those who are healthy)

    But why isn't it necessary to provide evidence for these privileges in order to do this "power shift"? As in all walks of science, evidence is the most important factor for everything. Why isn't evidence important when it comes onto society?

    I am strongly trying not to have any opinion about any of this, but the reasoning is quite obvious. Social media is destroying logic and free speech. It is too easy for people to oppose singular peoples opinions, and to silence them, and churn away at them bit by bit, up until there are no more oppositions.

    Can we restore tolerance and peace, without going into extremes and tolerating terrorists, pedophiles and racists.


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  3. #2  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Extremists screw it up for everyone...no matter which group they come from. What I find interesting is than in most cases, the moderates of a particular group generally denounce the extremists in their group, and don't wish to be associated with them. Moderate Muslims denounce extremists like ISIS. Moderate conservatives denounce extremists like the white supremacists or KKK. What I don't see a lot of is members of the moderate left denouncing the extreme viewpoints of the extreme left. It's one reason that I have began to move away from the left.

    As a centerist with some left-leaning beliefs, I am appalled by some of the viewpoints that I hear from the far left. IMHO, these viewpoints directly contradict what I believe are the core components of liberalism...Freedom, equality and tolerance. Because of this, I no longer consider the far left to be liberal anymore...it's something more akin to Marxism or even Fascism. When I hear members of the far left say things like "all white people are racists and evil" and "people of color can't be racist", to me, that's straight up racist and should be "called" for the bullshit it is. Another problem I have with the far left is the absolute lack of tolerance for anyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do. If a person holds different beliefs, they are immediately labeled as a racist, sexist, white supremacist, Nazi or fascist...even if that person is none of those things.

    I believe that this tactic is used to attempt to shut down or discredit alternate opinions by labeling them with universally hated terms, even if those terms don't apply. This, to me, goes against core tenets of free speech. It seems to me that the far left wants to take a giant step backwards when it comes to civil rights, and I think the only solution is for moderate liberals and leftist to stand up and denounce the more radical viewpoints that violate their core values. You can't fight for equality with racism. You can't fight for tolerance by being intolerant of others. You can't fight for freedom by limiting other people's freedom.

    ETA: Holy crap! Mac just posted a political opinion....that's rarer than a virgin in a whorehouse!


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    Think it's equally bad on the right. There's a lot of good people, effectively bitting their tongue as they watch what's possibly the worst president in US history screw up day after day, but aren't' calling him out for fear of political retaliation that would hurt their constituents or label them a RINO and risk their next election.

    "Social media is destroying logic and free speech. " I'm not sure logic and free speech ever strongly went together, but tend to agree, the wholesale privatisation of all common communications (to include this forum for example) has done a lot of damage to free speech. Speech isn't made in a town square anymore--it's done through private communication forums and social media sites where "free speech" doesn't exist at all. Twitter just might be the one strong exception. I have no solution.
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  5. #4  
    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    As a centerist with some left-leaning beliefs, I am appalled by some of the viewpoints that I hear from the far left. IMHO, these viewpoints directly contradict what I believe are the core components of liberalism...Freedom, equality and tolerance. Because of this, I no longer consider the far left to be liberal anymore...it's something more akin to Marxism or even Fascism. When I hear members of the far left say things like "all white people are racists and evil" and "people of color can't be racist", to me, that's straight up racist and should be "called" for the bullshit it is. Another problem I have with the far left is the absolute lack of tolerance for anyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do. If a person holds different beliefs, they are immediately labeled as a racist, sexist, white supremacist, Nazi or fascist...even if that person is none of those things.
    As a moderate liberal I am in total agreement with you on these points. And anytime I bring these points up to the far left they call me a shill or go on a rant about how I'm not a true liberal. I hate their attitude that if you don't agree completely with them then you are the opposition. And Lynx is right, there is a lot of similar behavior on the far right. We have good people on both sides biting their tongues and enabling these extremists.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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  6. #5  
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    One of the problems I see is the very attempt to frame something so complex as an individuals political tendencies in a one dimensional model like "left/right". This model is wholly insufficient to it's task, and leads to a false dichotomy, but is still referenced by media and the general populace. Although it is likely an apocryphal work, please reference the Willie Lynch speech.
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  7. #6  
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    Observing the wider community at large, there appears a change that is driving people apart, forcing them to take polarised and more extremist views. This change doesn't, thankfully, appear to have been replicated here on our online science community. I'm referring to a shift away from focusing on shared common viewpoints towards placing a much stronger emphasis on the areas where we might disagree. For this, I blame a shift in politics. Society, in general, has moved away from wanting to discuss things in a civilised manner, thus reaching amicable compromises, towards a more aggressive adversarial, confrontational emotion based extremism that just doesn't leave any room for compromise. No shades of grey, you're either with me or against me kind of mentality, gone are the notions of - well actually I'd like to consider what you've said and decide for myself on the specifics.

    Just from reading the previous posts I think this point was illustrated so well by recognition Falconer gave towards Lynx's comment regarding Liberal/Centrist views, recognising what they shared in common. I have repeatedly observed how we all strive to find the things we agree on, just by doing this we then have enough respect for each to have civilised debates and discussions over areas where we might differ. We can thus, avoid the necessity of having to take extremist positions, that would too often be governed by emotion rather than reason, discussing issues in a more factual manner.

    Given the current political climate it would seem reasonable that for free speech to be effective it needs to be supported by the courage of one's convictions, saying something that others might strongly disagree with is likely to provoke a fierce reaction, this certainly shouldn't prevent people from speaking their minds - they just need to be aware and mentally prepared for the reactions.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Left and right used to mean, more policies (left), and fewer policies (right). But this changed into, hyper apologetic and enforcing opinions (left), and well the right voted for an unstable guy in the white house.

    While growing up, i had about 50% male/50% female teachers. Which gave me a good balance of the world. Nowadays the young and unemployed (loads of free time), grew up with 97% female/3% male teachers. I have always wanted to be a teacher myself, but in the end didn't, in favor of science. I wonder if i could have a positive effect on logic in those new generation of kids.

    Few weeks ago, our rail services changed from ladies and gentlemen, into travelers, because ladies and gentlemen wouldn't be inclusive to everyone. I studied molecular biology, so this didn't make sense to me. This makes me feel less included, as the change was in favor of 0,1% of people who don't assign themselves to any gender.

    What happened in your countries/cities lately?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  9. #8  
    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    While growing up, i had about 50% male/50% female teachers. Which gave me a good balance of the world. Nowadays the young and unemployed (loads of free time), grew up with 97% female/3% male teachers. I have always wanted to be a teacher myself, but in the end didn't, in favor of science. I wonder if i could have a positive effect on logic in those new generation of kids.
    I graduated less than ten years ago (barely) and I had about 90% male teachers/10% female. I don't think the sex of the teachers really matters in the shifting of politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Few weeks ago, our rail services changed from ladies and gentlemen, into travelers, because ladies and gentlemen wouldn't be inclusive to everyone. I studied molecular biology, so this didn't make sense to me. This makes me feel less included, as the change was in favor of 0,1% of people who don't assign themselves to any gender.
    What's wrong with trying to include everyone? It's just a simple change in wording, your dislike for this change sounds more like a dislike of change in general. But this is off topic of the increase in political extremism.

    I think a big component of why political extremism is growing with everyone becoming polarized is due to how we consume our news. A little over 20 years ago, we were very limited in how we got our news. We got most of it from newspapers, and from a select few television stations. Then Fox News and MSNBC came into existence. Then in the early 2000s internet journalism took off and people started being able to choose from even more diverse places to consume their news. This increase in choice led people to seeking out news sources with which they agreed and to avoid the ones that they disagreed with. This effectively cut them off from seeing opposing views or getting a more balanced view of things.

    Sorry if that was a little rambling. Basically an increasing number of people nowadays only get their news, and therefore politics, from sources they agree with. Which leads to them not trusting opposing views and closing themselves off from the possibility that those views may have some merits.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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  10. #9  
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    Looking at the most recent examples where the polling got it wrong and we ended up with seemingly extreme results at the polls, suggests to me, a reaction against ideas and personalities provided the real motivation for voters actively seeking out groups or people promoting even the most extreme versions of their, for the most part, more moderate viewpoints. Here in the UK the Leave Campaigners whipped up a frenzy of near hatred towards the European Union, rather than a sudden love of the major Eurosceptic Party UKIP, or its then leader Nigel Farage. Equally, the rather shocking result in the US Presidential Election just appeared to be a case of who do you dislike the least. It's hard to believe many of the Bernie Sanders supporters had a great love for Hillary Clinton, however, when faced with a binary choice between her or Donald Trump they chose Hillary. Whilst Hillary is a Democrat, I think many will freely acknowledge she wasn't/isn't nearly as liberal or progressive as Sanders - though, so many true believers in the Sanders cause were driven into her corner, almost by default because she isn't Trump.

    Changes in technology have definitely influenced how we access news content, you make a valid point relevant to the far greater choice we now have in selecting our news sources and being able to seek out specifically, those which reinforce our preconceptions. Politicians now appear to exploit this phenomenon to polarise voters - given the interactive nature of modern sources, pointedly social media, they are even able to get the public to make their case for them, thus driving people further apart as they themselves find ever more extreme ways to disagree without the normal political restraints of acceptable political etiquette.

    Advancements in communications technology dictate that choice and interactivity in our news consumption is here to stay - If a change is to occur in our rejection of experts and facts if we are to become less adversarial then change is required to come from our politicians setting us a higher standard than we have at present.
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  11. #10  
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    What's wrong with trying to include everyone? It's just a simple change in wording, your dislike for this change sounds more like a dislike of change in general. But this is off topic of the increase in political extremism.
    Nothing is wrong with including everyone. But what about people who aren't travelling, but are working in the shops, or those picking up or waving goodbye. There are a lot more of those. It may not be what the announcement for delays was intended for, but this doesn't include more people. They should just not name anyone. They should say. "Announcements everyone".. This includes everyone.. But i am very nitpicky right now, because every minor change will somehow lead to a big one.


    I think a big component of why political extremism is growing with everyone becoming polarized is due to how we consume our news. A little over 20 years ago, we were very limited in how we got our news.
    People consume the news they want.. In stead of everyone getting the same news.. This shifts opinions and divides people.. You say a propaganda machine without intended purpose will drive a wedge in society?

    I found this video from 1940 that kind of made me think of the same issues we have now. (its a cartoon, and about communism)
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    More and more i see opinions of people suppressed. Dialogue is being avoided...
    Um.

    I think that's the trend talking. The trend is for ever-expanding individual expression and opinion. Of course to participate one must have something to say - that is contrary or at least nuanced from the mainstream.

    Technology enabled it. Media thrives on it, because it is - we are - the media. It plays up counter-argument. So even a no-brainer like is Trump a viable president invites counter argument. We're doing this to ourselves. We can't help second-guessing and ultimately outsmarting ourselves.

    After the Brexit thing I predicted (here) the next US election would be a super tight race regardless of the candidates or campaign. Then likewise "down to the wire" for my provincial election. It's no conspiracy. We're doing this to ourselves. Test my prediction on your next local election or referendum!

    If I'm right, it'll take a few election cycles for mass consciousness to perceive/talk about this phenomenon. Then of course half the population must rise to deny it!
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  13. #12  
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    quota's on everything?
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    Social media is destroying logic and free speech.?is this forum social media?i hate facebook and twitter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Think it's equally bad on the right. There's a lot of good people, effectively bitting their tongue as they watch what's possibly the worst president in US history screw up day after day, but aren't' calling him out for fear of political retaliation that would hurt their constituents or label them a RINO and risk their next election.

    "Social media is destroying logic and free speech. " I'm not sure logic and free speech ever strongly went together, but tend to agree, the wholesale privatisation of all common communications (to include this forum for example) has done a lot of damage to free speech. Speech isn't made in a town square anymore--it's done through private communication forums and social media sites where "free speech" doesn't exist at all. Twitter just might be the one strong exception. I have no solution.

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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHolmes View Post
    quota's on everything?
    Watch it: nasty case of "greengrocer's apostrophe" you have there!
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SHolmes View Post
    quota's on everything?
    Watch it: nasty case of "greengrocer's apostrophe" you have there!
    i dont get the joke
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    More and more i see opinions of people suppressed. Dialogue is being avoided. Scientific data is ignored in order to avoid hurting people's feelings. People are fired from speaking the truth. People are fired for having an opinion.
    Agreed - but that's nothing new. In many ways we have been getting better, not worse.

    Whistleblower laws now protect people from being fired when they speak up about injustice and crime.
    Kids are no longer taught creationism in schools, for the most part.
    Anyone can express their opinion on-line and be pretty sure that _someone_ will see it.
    There are quota's on everything, except for the ones deemed deeply privileged. (Somehow this doesn't include rich people, famous people, family of nobility or seats of power, nor those who are healthy)
    Can you give an example of this?
    I am strongly trying not to have any opinion about any of this, but the reasoning is quite obvious. Social media is destroying logic and free speech.
    Huh. I see exactly the opposite. Anyone - and I do mean anyone - can create a blog and start posting their opinions.
    Can we restore tolerance and peace, without going into extremes and tolerating terrorists, pedophiles and racists.
    Well, there's the balance right there. If you want to ban people who express racist opinions, then the racists have a good argument to ban people who spread "lies" about how the climate is warming up. I say let them both express their opinions via forums and the like, and let readers figure out which are valid.
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