[FRIAM] Religion and human nature

Owen Densmore owen at backspaces.net
Sat Nov 1 12:56:25 EDT 2008


To which of the 19 emails you forwarded do you refer?

     -- Owen

On Nov 1, 2008, at 10:52 AM, Nicholas Thompson wrote:
> I highly recommend David Wilson's two books, THE DARWINIAN CATHEDRAL  
> and
> EVOLUTION FOR EVERYONE.
>
> The writing is strong and clear (if a little smug) and he has the  
> issues
> nailed down absolutely tight.
>
> Nick
>
> Nicholas S. Thompson
> Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Ethology,
> Clark University (nthompson at clarku.edu)
>
>> [Original Message]
>> From: <friam-request at redfish.com>
>> To: <friam at redfish.com>
>> Date: 11/1/2008 10:00:15 AM
>> Subject: Friam Digest, Vol 65, Issue 1
>>
>> Send Friam mailing list submissions to
>> 	friam at redfish.com
>>
>> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>> 	http://redfish.com/mailman/listinfo/friam_redfish.com
>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>> 	friam-request at redfish.com
>>
>> You can reach the person managing the list at
>> 	friam-owner at redfish.com
>>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of Friam digest..."
>>
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>   1. Re: Election: Why So Close (Tom Carter)
>>   2. Re: Election: Why So Close (qef at aol.com)
>>   3. Re: Election: Why So Close (Douglas Roberts)
>>   4. Re: Election: Why So Close (Marcus G. Daniels)
>>   5. Re: Election: Why So Close (Roger Critchlow)
>>   6. Re: Election: Why So Close (Douglas Roberts)
>>   7. Re: Election: Why So Close (Steve Smith)
>>   8. Re: Election: Why So Close (Jochen Fromm)
>>   9. Re: Election: Why So Close (Russ Abbott)
>>  10. Re: Election: Why So Close (Douglas Roberts)
>>  11. Re: Election: Why So Close (glen e. p. ropella)
>>  12. Re: Election: Why So Close (Douglas Roberts)
>>  13. Re: Election: Why So Close (Douglas Roberts)
>>  14. Re: Election: Why So Close (glen e. p. ropella)
>>  15. Ruth Charney on Modeling with Cubes [Macromedia Flash	Player]
>>      (Tom Johnson)
>>  16. Re: Election: Why So Close (Owen Densmore)
>>  17. Re: Election: Why So Close (Owen Densmore)
>>  18. Re: Election: Why So Close (Steve Smith)
>>  19. Re: Election: Why So Close (John Sadd)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 13:14:28 -0700
>> From: Tom Carter <tom at astarte.csustan.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <D945A810-7ED1-41F4-AB33- 
>> D8AFAFD20A66 at astarte.csustan.edu>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; Format="flowed";
>> 	DelSp="yes"
>>
>> Found in the responses to this article, a wonderful neologism:
>>
>>    "It is always a pleasure to read George Monbiot's inciteful
>> analyses, even from beyond the Pond."
>>
>> inciteful !!!!    Just perfect :-)
>>
>> tom
>>
>> On Oct 31, 2008, at 11:07 AM, Richard Harris wrote:
>>
>>> Saw an interesting article on this topic in the Guardian the other
>>> day.
>>>
>>>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-election-ob
> ama-bush-mccain
>>>
>>> Don't really know what to add.
>>>
>>> Rich
>>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/ced90ca
> b/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:20:16 -0400
>> From: qef at aol.com
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: friam at redfish.com
>> Message-ID: <8CB09AD38EB33B7-D18-575 at webmail-md11.sysops.aol.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>>
>>
>> Greetings, all --
>>
>> The Pauline Kael Syndrome affects all of us to a greater or lesser
> extent, I suppose (you may recall that Ms. Kael, film critic for  
> "The New
> Yorker", famously commented in 1972, "I live in a rather special  
> world. I
> only know one person who voted for
>> Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But
>> sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."). I am a bit of a
> cross-kenner, perhaps, in that as a finance guy who's a social  
> progressive,
> I have sympathies on both sides -- as do most voters, I'd say. At  
> the end
> of the day, however, I'm more confident in the kind of society a  
> Democrat
> can offer than any other party. It's also worth noting that third- 
> parties
> have never been successful in part because we in the US like clear  
> winners
> - no "grand coalitions". The Perot '92 voters are McCain '08 voters,  
> for
> the most part, and the Nader '00 voters are mostly Obama '08.
>>
>> Maybe the distribution really is along the lines that Nassim Nicholas
> Taleb describes -- there's the narrative fallacy (believing in your  
> ability
> to recognize patterns where none exists) and confirmation bias (paying
> attention only to information that strengthens your argument).
>>
>> Our deplorable lack of awareness of the world around us may be a  
>> feature,
> not a bug. We live in such relative peace and prosperity that politics
> doesn't really affect us day in and day out. Indeed, there are many
> economists who argue that there's no need to vote, since your single  
> vote
> is unlikely to affect the outcome of an election. Of course, we in the
> sparsely poplulated West know better, and besides, there's a greater  
> civic
> duty/social contract idea behind being a responsible citizen. That's  
> the
> message of all the ads on MTV to get out the youth vote, and maybe  
> it will
> work this time, but it's hard to force people. Citizens in South  
> Africa and
> Iraq and Gaza have much more to gain, it seems, from participating in
> elections than we do. That neglects, however, the hard-won right to  
> vote
> that our ancestors vouchsafed for us. We owe it to them as much as
> ourselves to make our voices heard.
>>
>> Like Owen and Doug, I'd like voters to be more intelligent, but I'll
> settle for their being less ignorant.
>>
>> - Claiborne -
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Douglas Roberts <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam at redfish.com 
>> >
>> Sent: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 1:35 pm
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> I can't resist:
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:30 PM, Tom Carter <tom at astarte.csustan.edu>
> wrote:
>>
>>
>> [...] Democrats tend to have at least a little trouble flat out  
>> lying . .
> .?
>>
>>
>> Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word "is" is,
> wouldn't it?
>>
>> ;-}
>>
>>
>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.? Its echos are
> still reverberating.
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Doug Roberts, RTI International
>> droberts at rti.org
>> doug at parrot-farm.net
>>
>> 505-455-7333 - Office
>> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ============================================================
>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/13aa6f3
> 8/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 14:37:25 -0600
>> From: "Douglas Roberts" <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<681c54590810311337h45cb8dc5k839309793164bac7 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Nicely said, Claiborne.
>>
>> At some level a certain degree of naivete is charming, perhaps even
>> forgivable.  On the other hand, stubborn attachment to an ivory tower
>> whitewashed notion about the noble human nature, combined with  
>> sympathies
>> for the "poor, downtrodden, uneducated, unwashed masses" is pretty
>> hypocritical.
>>
>> If you have trouble believing that stupidity, racism, and just plain
>> ugliness are not a very large part of the human equation, and in  
>> fact are
>> the major drivers behind much of the flavor of our social network
>> interactions (I just threw that last bit in to appeal to the more  
>> academic
>> amongst us), take a quick glance at politics in the Democratic  
>> Republic of
>> The Congo:
>>
>> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/27472662#27472662
>>
>> What are the similarities between their two-party system and ours?   
>> Tutsi
>> vs. Hutu, Republican vs. Democrat.  A primary strategy employed in  
>> either
>> case is for each party to demonize the other.  The primary difference
>> between their style of politics and ours is that they use real  
>> bullets and
>> machetes to "prove" who's right.
>>
>> Myself, I'd be happy with less ignorance, but I'd settle for more
>> intelligence.
>>
>> --Doug
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:20 PM, <qef at aol.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Greetings, all --
>>>
>>> The Pauline Kael Syndrome affects all of us to a greater or lesser
> extent,
>>> I suppose (you may recall that Ms. Kael, film critic for "The New
> Yorker",
>>> famously commented in 1972, "I live in a rather special world. I  
>>> only
> know
>>> one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're
> outside
>>> my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."). I  
>>> am a
> bit
>>> of a cross-kenner, perhaps, in that as a finance guy who's a social
>>> progressive, I have sympathies on both sides -- as do most voters,  
>>> I'd
> say.
>>> At the end of the day, however, I'm more confident in the kind of
> society a
>>> Democrat can offer than any other party. It's also worth noting that
>>> third-parties have never been successful in part because we in the  
>>> US
> like
>>> clear winners - no "grand coalitions". The Perot '92 voters are  
>>> McCain
> '08
>>> voters, for the most part, and the Nader '00 voters are mostly Obama
> '08.
>>>
>>> Maybe the distribution really is along the lines that Nassim  
>>> Nicholas
> Taleb
>>> describes -- there's the narrative fallacy (believing in your  
>>> ability to
>>> recognize patterns where none exists) and confirmation bias (paying
>>> attention only to information that strengthens your argument).
>>>
>>> Our deplorable lack of awareness of the world around us may be a
> feature,
>>> not a bug. We live in such relative peace and prosperity that  
>>> politics
>>> doesn't really affect us day in and day out. Indeed, there are many
>>> economists who argue that there's no need to vote, since your single
> vote is
>>> unlikely to affect the outcome of an election. Of course, we in the
> sparsely
>>> poplulated West know better, and besides, there's a greater civic
>>> duty/social contract idea behind being a responsible citizen.  
>>> That's the
>>> message of all the ads on MTV to get out the youth vote, and maybe  
>>> it
> will
>>> work this time, but it's hard to force people. Citizens in South  
>>> Africa
> and
>>> Iraq and Gaza have much more to gain, it seems, from participating  
>>> in
>>> elections than we do. That neglects, however, the hard-won right  
>>> to vote
>>> that our ancestors vouchsafed for us. We owe it to them as much as
> ourselves
>>> to make our voices heard.
>>>
>>> Like Owen and Doug, I'd like voters to be more intelligent, but I'll
> settle
>>> for their being less ignorant.
>>>
>>> - Claiborne -
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Douglas Roberts <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
> <friam at redfish.com>
>>> Sent: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 1:35 pm
>>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>>>
>>> I can't resist:
>>>
>>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:30 PM, Tom Carter
> <tom at astarte.csustan.edu>wrote:
>>>
>>>> [...] Democrats tend to have at least a little trouble flat out  
>>>> lying
> . .
>>>> .
>>>
>>>
>>> *Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word "is" is,
>>> wouldn't it?*
>>>
>>> ;-}
>>>
>>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.  Its echos are
> still
>>> reverberating.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Doug Roberts, RTI International
>>> droberts at rti.org
>>> doug at parrot-farm.net
>>> 505-455-7333 - Office
>>> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>>
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>>
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>>
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------
>>> McCain or Obama? Stay up to date on the latest from the campaign  
>>> trail
> with
>>> AOL
> News<http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100000075x1212075880x1200752631/aol?redir
> =http://news.aol.com/elections?ncid=emlcntusnews00000001>.
>>>
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Doug Roberts, RTI International
>> droberts at rti.org
>> doug at parrot-farm.net
>> 505-455-7333 - Office
>> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/510399b
> 2/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 14:47:29 -0600
>> From: "Marcus G. Daniels" <marcus at snoutfarm.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <490B6EE1.3050209 at snoutfarm.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>>
>> Isn't the so-called Flynn Effect still considered true?  Is there  
>> more
>> recent data for the U.S. (besides Bush being elected twice) that says
>> otherwise?
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 5
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 15:04:39 -0600
>> From: "Roger Critchlow" <rec at elf.org>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<66d1c98f0810311404g2bb97c38o254203f70061c78a at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Responding to the original question, I'd say it's close because there
> really
>> isn't that much difference.
>>
>> Yes, the differences are striking when you highlight them and state  
>> them
> as
>> the opposing parties want them stated.  But the similarities far  
>> outweigh
>> the differences.
>>
>> Which is why Palin can pursue socialist policies in Alaska and accuse
> Obama
>> of more socialist leanings without blushing.  Or maybe she does  
>> blush, but
>> her makeup technician has it under control.
>>
>> And while the Republicans did invade Iraq causing untold suffering,  
>> the
>> Democrats were pursuing a regime change policy in the Clinton years
> through
>> blockade and no-fly enforcement which also caused untold suffering,  
>> if I
>> remember what Amy Goodman's guests were saying way back then.
>>
>> As for spying on American citizens, well, J Edgar Hoover served as  
>> FBI
>> director under 6 presidents, 4 democrats and 2 republicans.  But that
> makes
>> it sound too close, it was 11 years under republicans and 26 years  
>> under
>> democrats.  That wasn't all so long ago.  Adding in the 11 years that
> Hoover
>> served as the BI director before the FBI was established (under  
>> FDR), the
>> presidents go to 4 and 4, while the democrats still have the edge  
>> in years
>> 28 to 19.
>>
>> The funny thing I discovered was that Hoover was the technocrat  
>> president:
>> "Hoover deeply believed in the Efficiency
>> Movement<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficiency_Movement>(a major
>> component of the Progressive
>> Era <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Era>), arguing that a
>> technical solution existed for every social and economic problem."   
>> But
> that
>> didn't save him when the bottom fell out of the economy.
>>
>> Which leads to why the Republicrats and the Democans are so similar  
>> --
> there
>> haven't been many "new" ideas in the last century, and they've  
>> converged
> on
>> the consensus view of the "old" issues:  slavery = bad, universal
> suffrage =
>> good, socialism = in moderation, military imperialism = bad, racial
>> segregation = bad, politcal corruption = bad, and so on.
>>
>> So while Glen may worry about being branded, tarred and feathered  
>> for his
>> skepticism of universal healthcare, he will not argue that someone  
>> should
>> thrown out of the hospital to die on the sidewalk for lack of health
>> insurance.  He just wants the bill to get paid without making a  
>> political
>> issue or institution or scandal out of it.  We don't believe in  
>> letting
>> people die for lack of health care, but we're unclear how to make  
>> it so.
>>
>> And I don' t think that either party has any advantage on stupidity  
>> or
>> ignorance, but it wouldn't change anything if one did: stupid,  
>> ignorant
>> people can make brilliant decisions; smart, educated people can make
>> horrible decisions.
>>
>> (The google ads on this thread are impressive, looks like Ron Paul  
>> wants
> to
>> go bimetallic.)
>>
>>
>> -- rec --
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/fb66fb8
> 8/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 6
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 15:05:41 -0600
>> From: "Douglas Roberts" <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<681c54590810311405p372c95ebh493ee459ba4a0ac2 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> It it were a linear effect over time, then back around the year 0  
>> BC the
>> human populace would have all been flaunting IQs of approximately   
>> -500.
>>
>> No wonder Christianity was such an easy sell.
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM, Marcus G. Daniels
> <marcus at snoutfarm.com>wrote:
>>
>>> Isn't the so-called Flynn Effect still considered true?  Is there  
>>> more
>>> recent data for the U.S. (besides Bush being elected twice) that  
>>> says
>>> otherwise?
>>>
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Doug Roberts, RTI International
>> droberts at rti.org
>> doug at parrot-farm.net
>> 505-455-7333 - Office
>> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/708964c
> 8/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 7
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 15:31:38 -0600
>> From: Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <490B793A.6050804 at swcp.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>>
>> Doug
>>>
>>> */Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word "is"  
>>> is,
>>> wouldn't it?/*
>>>
>>> ;-}
>>>
>>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.  Its echos are
>>> still reverberating.
>> Nahhh... that wasn't a /Democratic lie, /that was a horn-dog lie,  
>> caught
>> like a deer in the headlights.
>>
>> I didn't care much for Bill (but compared to George I and George II  
>> even
>> more, he was a saint), but this question (never mind the stupid  
>> answer)
>> was totally inappropriate (but hugely effective).
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 8
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 23:17:06 +0100
>> From: "Jochen Fromm" <jfromm at t-online.de>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <E1184D93DEDF4BBAB9AF8DE2E87EF5CD at Toshiba>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>> 	reply-type=response
>>
>> Maybe it has to be close, because the media wants
>> it to be close. It has to be an exciting event
>> and a big show. The media wants to make lots of
>> money with it. It is like the Formula 1: if the
>> races are not exciting enough, simply the rules
>> are changed or the drivers are exchanged.
>>
>> Why is always a hype in the media about elections,
>> although nobody questions the election system iself
>> (the long-winded two-party presidential election
>> system in the USA, for example)? Why does nobody
>> ask if the candidates need to spend an ridiculous
>> amount of money on campaigning and marketing?
>>
>> One reason is perhaps that the media itself is
>> intricately involved in the process. The media
>> needs to hold up the feedback illusion in the
>> election ritual for the common voter: the
>> satisfying feeling for each single voter that
>> he/she has any real influence. The price for
>> the voter is high: the feeling is only an illusion
>> driven by commercial interests. Think of all the
>> money the media can make with advertising and
>> the high viewer levels during elections.
>>
>> To question the election process would mean to
>> question the role of the media. The media does
>> not only present the result, it also takes part
>> in creating it. The decisions of the people is
>> determined by the collective consciousness: the
>> content of the major newspapers, journals and
>> TV stations. The candidates and the media
>> need each other. The more the candidates appear
>> in the media, the more famous they become, and
>> the more famous they are, the more they appear in
>> the media if they are unusual: a self-reinforcing
>> process.
>>
>> -J.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 9
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:02:47 -0700
>> From: "Russ Abbott" <russ.abbott at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<15fe0a4a0810311602o1eef065ha0a1c52cd84aef2d at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>>
>> This thread (and the reference to the column by George
>>
> Monbio<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-elec
> tion-obama-bush-mccain>t,
>> prompted me to post the following on my
> blog<http://russabbott.blogspot.com/>
>> .
>>
>> *Is religion good or bad?*
>>
>> Obviously that's much too broad a question. And when it is asked,  
>> people
>> usually respond by pointing to the good and bad things people do in  
>> the
> name
>> of religion?e.g., like helping those in need (good) and the crusades
> (bad).
>>
>> But I think there is a real answer. A column by George Monbiot in The
>>
> Guardian<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-el
> ection-obama-bush-mccain>reminded
>> me why, in general, I think religion is bad: at
>> its core religion teaches people to favor faith over reason.
>>
>> One can probably stop there. Is it ever a good idea to encourage  
>> people
> not
>> to think for themselves? I doubt it. Even when people come to  
>> incorrect
>> conclusions by thinking for themselves, one at least has a chance  
>> with
> them
>> if they are open to the idea that one should think things through.
> Religion
>> closes that door by closing people's mind. It encourages a  
>> perspective in
>> which a given opinion is to be accepted no matter what?because it  
>> is God's
>> will or God's word, for example. The point is not whether some  
>> particular
>> position is or is not "God's will" or "God's word." The problem is  
>> with
> the
>> idea that one should decide something by asking whether it is  
>> "God's will"
>> or "God's word." That sort of thinking allows people to let  
>> themselves off
>> the hook of taking responsibility for their own actions and  
>> decisions.
>>
>> It's a lot easier simply to go along with the crowd or to do whatever
> one's
>> religious leader says. That's true whether one is religious or not.  
>> But
> the
>> problem with religion (and any cult) is that it encourages that  
>> sort of
>> behavior. By its very definition, one of the fundamental teachings  
>> of a
>> faith-based religion is mindless faith.
>>
>> I'm finding it difficult to express how deeply angry I feel about  
>> this. A
>> country whose citizens are trained to be meek (and sometimes not so  
>> meek)
>> followers of their religious leaders will inevitably become a  
>> backwater of
>> ignorance and stupidity. That's what religion is doing to this  
>> country,
> and
>> I hate it for that.
>>
>> -- Russ Abbott
>> _____________________________________________
>> Professor, Computer Science
>> California State University, Los Angeles
>> o Check out my blog at http://russabbott.blogspot.com/
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>  
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Doug
>>>
>>>>
>>>> */Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word "is"  
>>>> is,
>>>> wouldn't it?/*
>>>>
>>>> ;-}
>>>>
>>>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.  Its echos  
>>>> are
> still
>>>> reverberating.
>>>>
>>> Nahhh... that wasn't a /Democratic lie, /that was a horn-dog lie,  
>>> caught
>>> like a deer in the headlights.
>>>
>>> I didn't care much for Bill (but compared to George I and George  
>>> II even
>>> more, he was a saint), but this question (never mind the stupid  
>>> answer)
> was
>>> totally inappropriate (but hugely effective).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/3aa9106
> 9/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 10
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:48:26 -0600
>> From: "Douglas Roberts" <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: Russ.Abbott at gmail.com, 	"The Friday Morning Applied Complexity
>> 	Coffee Group" <friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<681c54590810311648u15697c9elbcfd8bda0d2fb5ca at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>>
>> Unfortunately, part of the process of subscribing to a fundamentalist
>> religion entails checking your brain in at the door.  In spite of  
>> this
>> requirement, I've encountered more than one brainwashed  
>> fundamentalist who
>> was damned clever at avoiding logic in favor of dogma.
>>
>> The reality is that as long as people feel the need to use religion  
>> hide
>> from reality, to use ritual and dogma to avoid having to think for
>> themselves, there will be fundamentalist religions and all of the  
>> bigotry,
>> closed-mindedness, and anti-intellectualism that goes with that  
>> particular
>> lifestyle preference.*
>>
>> --Doug
>>
>>
>> **Note that not once did I use the word "stupid" in expressing my  
>> opinions
>> regarding fundamentalism.  Nor, did I attempt to characterize
>> fundamentalists as weak, cowardly, or bigoted.  Oops, I did use  
>> "bigotry".
>> Oh, what the fuck. Fundamentalists *are* stupid. AND weak.  AND  
>> cowardly.
>> And, before the list moderator comes down on me:  It's not my  
>> fault.  THEY
>> started this thread!!*
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 5:02 PM, Russ Abbott <russ.abbott at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>>
>>> This thread (and the reference to the column by George
> Monbio<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-elec
> tion-obama-bush-mccain>t,
>>> prompted me to post the following on my
> blog<http://russabbott.blogspot.com/>
>>> .
>>>
>>> *Is religion good or bad?*
>>>
>>> Obviously that's much too broad a question. And when it is asked,  
>>> people
>>> usually respond by pointing to the good and bad things people do  
>>> in the
> name
>>> of religion?e.g., like helping those in need (good) and the crusades
> (bad).
>>>
>>> But I think there is a real answer. A column by George Monbiot in  
>>> The
>>>
> Guardian<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-el
> ection-obama-bush-mccain>reminded me why, in general, I think  
> religion is
> bad: at
>>> its core religion teaches people to favor faith over reason.
>>>
>>> One can probably stop there. Is it ever a good idea to encourage  
>>> people
> not
>>> to think for themselves? I doubt it. Even when people come to  
>>> incorrect
>>> conclusions by thinking for themselves, one at least has a chance  
>>> with
> them
>>> if they are open to the idea that one should think things through.
> Religion
>>> closes that door by closing people's mind. It encourages a  
>>> perspective
> in
>>> which a given opinion is to be accepted no matter what?because it is
> God's
>>> will or God's word, for example. The point is not whether some
> particular
>>> position is or is not "God's will" or "God's word." The problem is  
>>> with
> the
>>> idea that one should decide something by asking whether it is "God's
> will"
>>> or "God's word." That sort of thinking allows people to let  
>>> themselves
> off
>>> the hook of taking responsibility for their own actions and  
>>> decisions.
>>>
>>> It's a lot easier simply to go along with the crowd or to do  
>>> whatever
> one's
>>> religious leader says. That's true whether one is religious or  
>>> not. But
> the
>>> problem with religion (and any cult) is that it encourages that  
>>> sort of
>>> behavior. By its very definition, one of the fundamental teachings  
>>> of a
>>> faith-based religion is mindless faith.
>>>
>>> I'm finding it difficult to express how deeply angry I feel about  
>>> this.
> A
>>> country whose citizens are trained to be meek (and sometimes not so
> meek)
>>> followers of their religious leaders will inevitably become a  
>>> backwater
> of
>>> ignorance and stupidity. That's what religion is doing to this  
>>> country,
> and
>>> I hate it for that.
>>>
>>> -- Russ Abbott
>>> _____________________________________________
>>> Professor, Computer Science
>>> California State University, Los Angeles
>>> o Check out my blog at http://russabbott.blogspot.com/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>  
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Doug
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> */Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word  
>>>>> "is" is,
>>>>> wouldn't it?/*
>>>>>
>>>>> ;-}
>>>>>
>>>>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.  Its echos  
>>>>> are
>>>>> still reverberating.
>>>>>
>>>> Nahhh... that wasn't a /Democratic lie, /that was a horn-dog lie,
> caught
>>>> like a deer in the headlights.
>>>>
>>>> I didn't care much for Bill (but compared to George I and George II
> even
>>>> more, he was a saint), but this question (never mind the stupid
> answer) was
>>>> totally inappropriate (but hugely effective).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ============================================================
>>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/6841edc
> 5/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 11
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:08:44 -0700
>> From: "glen e. p. ropella" <gepr at tempusdictum.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <490B9E0C.3070108 at tempusdictum.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>>
>> Thus spake Douglas Roberts circa 10/31/2008 04:48 PM:
>>> The reality is that as long as people feel the need to use  
>>> religion hide
>>> from reality, to use ritual and dogma to avoid having to think for
>>> themselves, there will be fundamentalist religions
>>
>> Excellent!  Now we may get closer to the truth.  Humans (and their
>> psychological, biological, sociological, etc. constitution) _causes_
>> fundamentalist religions, not vice versa.  (though there will  
>> obviously
>> be reinforcing global forces when fundamentalism is the dominant  
>> context
>> that feed back onto the causes, but fundamentalism re-emerges so  
>> often
>> that I'd claim the feedback is weaker than the first order causes)
>>
>> Now that we have the directionality of that causal relationship
>> straight, we can begin talking about the constitution of humans, i.e.
>> the causes, rather than religion, which is merely the symptom.
>>
>> What is it about humans and their context that gives rise to the need
>> for habit, ritual, dogma, "instinct", and un/subconscious
>> stimulus-reaction processes?  And when do things like habit prove
>> beneficial versus detrimental?
>>
>> It's quite clear that when, say, riding a bicycle or hitting a  
>> baseball,
>> ritual and habit reign.  But when, say, voting or playing Go, it's
>> better to spend a large amount of time thinking.  Mixed  
>> circumstances,
>> e.g. wielding an automatic rifle in the middle of Iraq, will  
>> obviously
>> present a complex problem that has to be solved with part habit and  
>> part
>> thought.
>>
>> Are there any generic (abstracted) properties of circumstances where
>> habit is clearly best ... or where in-depth analysis is clearly best?
>>
>> -- 
>> glen e. p. ropella, 971-222-9095, http://tempusdictum.com
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 12
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 18:15:30 -0600
>> From: "Douglas Roberts" <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group"
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<681c54590810311715k2759aa86gd142618838826417 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Glen,
>>
>> It is if you are my shill, sitting out there in the audience  
>> amongst all
> the
>> rubes.
>>
>> See my post immediately following...
>>
>> --Doug
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 6:08 PM, glen e. p. ropella
>> <gepr at tempusdictum.com>wrote:
>>
>>> Thus spake Douglas Roberts circa 10/31/2008 04:48 PM:
>>>> The reality is that as long as people feel the need to use religion
> hide
>>>> from reality, to use ritual and dogma to avoid having to think for
>>>> themselves, there will be fundamentalist religions
>>>
>>> Excellent!  Now we may get closer to the truth.  Humans (and their
>>> psychological, biological, sociological, etc. constitution) _causes_
>>> fundamentalist religions, not vice versa.  (though there will  
>>> obviously
>>> be reinforcing global forces when fundamentalism is the dominant  
>>> context
>>> that feed back onto the causes, but fundamentalism re-emerges so  
>>> often
>>> that I'd claim the feedback is weaker than the first order causes)
>>>
>>> Now that we have the directionality of that causal relationship
>>> straight, we can begin talking about the constitution of humans,  
>>> i.e.
>>> the causes, rather than religion, which is merely the symptom.
>>>
>>> What is it about humans and their context that gives rise to the  
>>> need
>>> for habit, ritual, dogma, "instinct", and un/subconscious
>>> stimulus-reaction processes?  And when do things like habit prove
>>> beneficial versus detrimental?
>>>
>>> It's quite clear that when, say, riding a bicycle or hitting a  
>>> baseball,
>>> ritual and habit reign.  But when, say, voting or playing Go, it's
>>> better to spend a large amount of time thinking.  Mixed  
>>> circumstances,
>>> e.g. wielding an automatic rifle in the middle of Iraq, will  
>>> obviously
>>> present a complex problem that has to be solved with part habit  
>>> and part
>>> thought.
>>>
>>> Are there any generic (abstracted) properties of circumstances where
>>> habit is clearly best ... or where in-depth analysis is clearly  
>>> best?
>>>
>>> --
>>> glen e. p. ropella, 971-222-9095, http://tempusdictum.com
>>>
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Doug Roberts, RTI International
>> droberts at rti.org
>> doug at parrot-farm.net
>> 505-455-7333 - Office
>> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/8a1485a
> c/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 13
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 18:16:44 -0600
>> From: "Douglas Roberts" <doug at parrot-farm.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: Russ.Abbott at gmail.com, 	"The Friday Morning Applied Complexity
>> 	Coffee Group" <friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<681c54590810311716x65493895l3ebeb8a363e6ea02 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>>
>> Like a dog returning his own vomit, I can't seem to distance myself  
>> from
>> this thread.  One last contribution (hopefully).  In one my circles  
>> of
>> friends -- using the term somewhat loosely -- there is a cluster of
>> Democrats and one lonely, besieged Republican.  Naturally, the
> conversations
>> between us have frequently devolved, using words like "stupid", and
>> "DemoCRAP", and "ReFUCKINGPublican".  After one particularly heated
>> conversation where the lone Republican admitted, after incessant  
>> badgering
>> from the rest of us (ok, from me), that he still *liked* Bush.  I
>> contemplated his admission for a day or two, and then responded  
>> with the
>> following:
>>
>> *I had a small epiphany Friday evening.  There was a Los Alamos Hill
>> Topper's home football game this last Friday, and the LA high  
>> school band
>> was out of town at some kind of competition.  Because of this, the  
>> high
>> school had asked one of the bands that I'm in, the "HillStompers"  
>> to play
> at
>> the game instead.  We said, "Sure."
>>
>> So, at 6:30pm we ambled in, and took our seats in the Sullivan Field
> stadium
>> where the HS band usually sits.  Immediately, a Down's Syndrome boy  
>> came
>> over and told us we had to leave, because that is where the high  
>> school
> band
>> sat.  Our band leader tried to explain that we were the substitute  
>> band
> for
>> the evening.
>>
>> He remained unconvinced for the entire evening.
>>
>> The epiphany:  Stupid people don't recognize that they are stupid.
>> Seemingly, this applies to any level of stupidity.  Bush's level,  
>> Palin's
>> level, XXXXX's* level, Down's Syndrome, your level, my level -- it  
>> doesn't
>> matter.  Stupid people are convinced that no matter who says  
>> differently,
>> they are right.  You can waste your breath trying to convince them
> otherwise
>> if you so choose, but you will have succeeded in exactly that:  
>> wasting
> your
>> breath.
>>
>> Which in itself is a pretty stupid thing to do.*
>>
>> * XXXXX is, of course, the beseiged Republican
>>
>> --Doug
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 5:02 PM, Russ Abbott <russ.abbott at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>>
>>> This thread (and the reference to the column by George
> Monbio<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-elec
> tion-obama-bush-mccain>t,
>>> prompted me to post the following on my
> blog<http://russabbott.blogspot.com/>
>>> .
>>>
>>> *Is religion good or bad?*
>>>
>>> Obviously that's much too broad a question. And when it is asked,  
>>> people
>>> usually respond by pointing to the good and bad things people do  
>>> in the
> name
>>> of religion?e.g., like helping those in need (good) and the crusades
> (bad).
>>>
>>> But I think there is a real answer. A column by George Monbiot in  
>>> The
>>>
> Guardian<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-el
> ection-obama-bush-mccain>reminded me why, in general, I think  
> religion is
> bad: at
>>> its core religion teaches people to favor faith over reason.
>>>
>>> One can probably stop there. Is it ever a good idea to encourage  
>>> people
> not
>>> to think for themselves? I doubt it. Even when people come to  
>>> incorrect
>>> conclusions by thinking for themselves, one at least has a chance  
>>> with
> them
>>> if they are open to the idea that one should think things through.
> Religion
>>> closes that door by closing people's mind. It encourages a  
>>> perspective
> in
>>> which a given opinion is to be accepted no matter what?because it is
> God's
>>> will or God's word, for example. The point is not whether some
> particular
>>> position is or is not "God's will" or "God's word." The problem is  
>>> with
> the
>>> idea that one should decide something by asking whether it is "God's
> will"
>>> or "God's word." That sort of thinking allows people to let  
>>> themselves
> off
>>> the hook of taking responsibility for their own actions and  
>>> decisions.
>>>
>>> It's a lot easier simply to go along with the crowd or to do  
>>> whatever
> one's
>>> religious leader says. That's true whether one is religious or  
>>> not. But
> the
>>> problem with religion (and any cult) is that it encourages that  
>>> sort of
>>> behavior. By its very definition, one of the fundamental teachings  
>>> of a
>>> faith-based religion is mindless faith.
>>>
>>> I'm finding it difficult to express how deeply angry I feel about  
>>> this.
> A
>>> country whose citizens are trained to be meek (and sometimes not so
> meek)
>>> followers of their religious leaders will inevitably become a  
>>> backwater
> of
>>> ignorance and stupidity. That's what religion is doing to this  
>>> country,
> and
>>> I hate it for that.
>>>
>>> -- Russ Abbott
>>> _____________________________________________
>>> Professor, Computer Science
>>> California State University, Los Angeles
>>> o Check out my blog at http://russabbott.blogspot.com/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>  
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Doug
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> */Well, that would depend on what the definition of the word  
>>>>> "is" is,
>>>>> wouldn't it?/*
>>>>>
>>>>> ;-}
>>>>>
>>>>> One of the more blatant Democratic lies ever uttered.  Its echos  
>>>>> are
>>>>> still reverberating.
>>>>>
>>>> Nahhh... that wasn't a /Democratic lie, /that was a horn-dog lie,
> caught
>>>> like a deer in the headlights.
>>>>
>>>> I didn't care much for Bill (but compared to George I and George II
> even
>>>> more, he was a saint), but this question (never mind the stupid
> answer) was
>>>> totally inappropriate (but hugely effective).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/281b5cc
> 3/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 14
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:59:27 -0700
>> From: "glen e. p. ropella" <gepr at tempusdictum.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <490BA9EF.1050504 at tempusdictum.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>>
>> Thus spake Douglas Roberts circa 10/31/2008 05:15 PM:
>>> It is if you are my shill, sitting out there in the audience amongst
> all the
>>> rubes.
>>
>> I live to serve!
>>
>> -- 
>> glen e. p. ropella, 971-222-9095, http://tempusdictum.com
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 15
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 22:10:10 -0600
>> From: "Tom Johnson" <tom at jtjohnson.com>
>> Subject: [FRIAM] Ruth Charney on Modeling with Cubes [Macromedia  
>> Flash
>> 	Player]
>> To: "Friam at redfish. com" <friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<e04090490810312110wb0d1601nc00a9bbaa9014596 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>>> From the Internet Scout....
>>
>>
>>
>> *Ruth Charney on Modeling with Cubes [Macromedia Flash Player]*
>>
>> http://www.maa.org/news/102308charney.html
>>
>> The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) continues to build on  
>> their
>> already solid online presence with the addition of this lecture by  
>> noted
>> mathematician and scholar Professor Ruth Charney. This particular  
>> lecture
>> was given at the MAA's Carriage House Conference Center in the fall  
>> of
> 2008
>> and it deals with how cubes can be used to represent a variety of  
>> systems.
>> As Charney notes, "The geometry of these spaces is strange,  
>> complicated,
> and
>> a lot of fun to study." Visitors to the site can watch several
> particularly
>> lucid examples from Charney's talk, read her biography, and also  
>> read a
>> detailed interview with her conducted by Michael Pearson.
>>
> [KMG]<https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1&view=page&name=gp&ver=sh3fib53pgpk 
> #
> 11d532fd493691f2_team>
>>
>> tj
>> ==========================================
>> J. T. Johnson
>> Institute for Analytic Journalism -- Santa Fe, NM USA
>> www.analyticjournalism.com
>> 505.577.6482(c)                                    505.473.9646(h)
>> http://www.jtjohnson.com                 tom at jtjohnson.com
>>
>> "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
>> To change something, build a new model that makes the
>> existing model obsolete."
>> -- Buckminster Fuller
>> ==========================================
>> -------------- next part --------------
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081031/0570cae
> 0/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 16
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 22:30:43 -0600
>> From: Owen Densmore <owen at backspaces.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <04E170CA-4619-4FC8-AEA1-659914BCDCE1 at backspaces.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>>
>> People: I'm thinking Freakonomics here.  Statistics.  Human behavior
>> patterns.  You know, Science!
>>
>> Thus far I've heard only rants on religion, stupidity, and probably
>> bad spelling.
>>
>> Is there *any* reason for the close vote (especially in the 2000 2004
>> 2008 elections).
>>
>> Here are a few possibilities:
>> - Parties form attractors.
>> - Classism.
>> - Single Issue voters.
>> - Marketing to a tie.
>> - The Central Limit Theorem.
>>
>> This is especially interesting seeing how the rest of the world is so
>> *hugely* for Obama.  What's different about us?  And don't tell me
>> Europeans are smarter than us, they aren't.  Different, yes.  But  
>> they
>> elect assholes as often as we do.
>>
>> I heard an interesting talk about how historians look at this:
>> http://radioopensource.org/a-longer-view-of-2008-historian-gordon-wood/
>> One of his points is that: "I think that all of these candidates will
>> find that they have been carried along by forces that they can
>> scarcely understand."
>>
>>     -- Owen
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 17
>> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 22:50:18 -0600
>> From: Owen Densmore <owen at backspaces.net>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <21BCFD8B-A49C-471F-ACFA-1D03F724E82D at backspaces.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>>
>> Hmm..this may be spot-on.
>>
>>     -- Owen
>>
>>
>> On Oct 31, 2008, at 12:07 PM, Richard Harris wrote:
>>
>>> Saw an interesting article on this topic in the Guardian the other
>>> day.
>>>
>>>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-election-ob
> ama-bush-mccain
>>>
>>> Don't really know what to add.
>>>
>>> Rich
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 18
>> Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 08:12:42 -0600
>> From: Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <490C63DA.1020208 at swcp.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>>
>> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
>> URL:
> <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20081101/95932d4
> a/attachment-0001.html>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 19
>> Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2008 08:51:33 -0600
>> From: John Sadd <jrsadd at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Election: Why So Close
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> 	<friam at redfish.com>
>> Message-ID: <BEEC3DE9-EBB3-43FF-A05B-C97175DD76A9 at gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>>
>> Tom, of course the question "Why isn't Obama white?" is perfectly
>> valid. Most of us supposedly enlightened types would like to think
>> that we all agree that, especially in a world where intermingling  
>> of a
>> genetic nature among traditional genetic groups has made the notion  
>> of
>> "race" fairly undefinable, it is of course not yet irrelevant. There
>> are presumably genetic reasons why the children of mixed-race
>> marriages between "Caucasians" and descendents of sub-Saharan
>> Africans  tend on average to preserve more of the physical traits of
>> their African heritage, which contributes to our ease of  
>> identifying a
>> Barack Obama as "black", without qualification. But our own sordid
>> history as a nation of course also contributes to how we tend to
>> identify people. (And how interesting it is that all the false  
>> reports
>> of Obama being a closet Muslim -- and the assumptions that that would
>> make him a terrorist by association -- seem to have trumped at least
>> public debates about his being black. I suppose it's just that the
>> rumor-mongers know that they have to be more careful about racial
>> epithets than non-American-standard religious ones.)
>>
>> Another couple of interesting data points (recognizing that I'm
>> getting wildly off-topic here): My wife, who somewhat to her chagrin
>> is descended from a number of prominent slave-owning southerners, is
>> reading the book The Hemingses of Monticello, which sounds
>> fascinating. Jefferson's   relationship with Sally Hemings was of
>> course no aberration. I think one of the basic tenets of the book
>> (which I haven't read yet) is that basically everybody on the
>> plantation was related, and they all   knew it. If I remember
>> correctly, Sally Hemings was a blood relative of Jefferson's wife. So
>> we have a long tradition of carefully identifying the children of
>> (typically) the rape of a black (slave) woman by a white man as  
>> black,
>> so that they could clearly be identified as slaves.
>>
>> (Interesting point of comparison -- continuing wildly off-topic):
>> White Australians discovered that the distinctive physical traits of
>> aborigines tend to disappear much more quickly on average when they
>> intermarry or otherwise mix genes with whites, maybe because the
>> original gene pool of those aboriginal settlers must have been pretty
>> small. So the Australian government took exactly the opposite tack of
>> our own nation, and went through a period --shockingly recent --  of
>> kidnapping young aboriginal children from their families, raising  
>> them
>> in their equivalent of Indian schools, and encouraging poor whites to
>> marry them, in effect to wash away the aboriginal blood. If you
>> haven't seen it, rent the wonderful Australian film Rabbit-Proof  
>> Fence
>> on this subject.
>>
>> While I'm in book review mode, I am reading Paul Krugman's excellent
>> book The Conscience of a Liberal, which I highly recommend to anyone
>> trying to figure out how to save "liberal" from being a dirty word.
>>
>> Enough.
>>
>> john
>>
>> On Oct 31, 2008, at 1:30 PM, Tom Carter wrote:
>>
>>> All -
>>>
>>> I'm not singling out John for this comment, but just using it as a
>>> trigger . . .
>>>
>>> On Oct 31, 2008, at 11:45 AM, John Sadd wrote:
>>>
>>>> it is totally effing amazing that a black man
>>>
>>> which raises the question, "Why isn't Obama white?"
>>>
>>> If that question sounds silly to you, think a little about how
>>> deeply you and I and everyone seem to have internalized the "Jim
>>> Crow one drop rule" (i.e., one drop of "black" blood makes you
>>> black . . .).
>>>
>>> Part of the trouble is that we're all "willfully ignorant" in our
>>> own ways, it's just hard to notice our own . . .
>>>
>>> But back to Owen's question . . .  I'd say that the Republicans
>>> have really gotten on board with the idea that it's OK to say and do
>>> *anything* to get elected.  In my experience, Democrats tend to have
>>> at least a little trouble flat out lying . . .
>>>
>>> I often play the "projection" game when I listen to political
>>> rhetoric -- i.e., if they accuse their opponents of something, it's
>>> probably because they  know that's what they'd do (or are doing).  A
>>> few examples:  McCain says "Obama will say anything to get
>>> elected"  (charge doesn't really apply to Obama, but certainly does
>>> to McCain).    McCain/Palin say "Obama is a socialist" (Palin is
>>> popular in Alaska because she increased taxes on the rich
>>> (corporations) and gave the money directly to ordinary people, no
>>> strings attached).  McCain says "Obama wants to `spread the wealth
>>> around'" -- meaning, he wants you to believe, take money from some
>>> people and give it to others (he, and rich Republicans, are all for
>>> it, as long as what you mean is, take $700 billion from ordinary
>>> people and give it to financial institutions . . .)
>>>
>>> Oh, well . . .
>>>
>>> tom
>>>
>>> p.s.   On the "Why isn't Obama white?" question:
>>>
>>>
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/27/EDQI13NPIT.DTL&h
> w=why+isn%27t+obama+white&sn=003&sc=242
>>>
>>> ============================================================
>>> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
>>> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
>>> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Friam mailing list
>> Friam at redfish.com
>> http://redfish.com/mailman/listinfo/friam_redfish.com
>>
>>
>> End of Friam Digest, Vol 65, Issue 1
>> ************************************
>
>
>
> ============================================================
> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org




More information about the Friam mailing list