A humble idea for solving the unsolvable.

lies

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Feb 17, 2009
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In my opinion, we live is a time with a lot of pretty massive problems. Some may prefer to call them challenges.

These are high on my list, but wouldn't be my whole list:

- Global political instability
- Global warming
- The rise of populism
- The rise of nationalism
- Coming mass unemployment due to robotics and AI
- Ongoing military conflict in Syria and - as importantly - Yemen
- The European refugee crisis
- Brexit
- Whatever Donald Trump will bring
- The utter collapse of trust in the media

Normally, we only a few face existential crises at once, but as it stands most of the world - all at once - is facing issues which could have long term and disastrous effects, if handled incorrectly.

And to solve these... we have... well, our politicians. Maybe you've seen them on the telly.

Our politicians, globally, seem to have two major problems:

- Their inability to come up with successful solutions to any of these problems
- Their inability to form meaningful opposition to extremists of al stripes

Why?

Well, largely because almost no one has moral authority anymore.

I'll define that before I go on:

"Moral authority is authority premised on principles, or fundamental truths, which are independent of written, or positive, laws. As such, moral authority necessitates the existence of and adherence to truth."

Now, of course some would say that that truth is subjective, in fact we see the US government making that claim almost daily now.

However, there are many truths that define cultures - e.g. the US freedom of Religion - which no longer seem to be as true as they once were. The European equivalent would be freedom of movement.

What has happened, for a wide variety of reasons, is that all beliefs are now seen as equally valid. Almost all. This was largely facilitated by the rise of the internet and it's endless echo chambers. If you believe something you now have a place to congregate with other similar believers, where you can develop a narrative about the world that makes sense to you.

And out of these echo chambers spring so called "alternative facts".

The problem - however - is that no one - no media personality, no newspaper, no political leader, no one - can near universally question alternative facts, or stand up to extremists, because no one has the moral authority.

That is, no one believes them, because people instead believe that these entities are representing, not the truth, but their personal echo chamber; surrogates restating partisan propaganda.

To make this less abstract I will use three recent personal examples:

1. I recently had a discussion with about two dozen democrats - online. I asked them what evidence - specifically - had convinced them that Putin and Russia had done what US Intelligence services claim. This was within 24 hours of the declassified report being released. The QUESTION ALONE caused a fierce backlash, prompting several Democrats to label me things like, "Reich wing" and "Trump Troll". For the record I do not support Trump. (Though I do enjoy some of the things he has done, like destroying Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.) This conversation lasted a few days, and in the end, I discovered, through their own admission, that none of the people I had spoken to had read the report. Every one of them was simply repeating partisan boilerplate and couldn't vaguely defend their belief. Because it wasn't really theirs.

2. Likewise I went to a leading alt-right site, and asked them why - after years of trashing Obama for using Executive Orders - they supported Trump's Executive Order extravaganza. Again, insults, like calling me a communist, and boilerplate partisan echo-chamber defences.

3. Recently Republicans almost shut down the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). You may have seen this on 24 hours news, or read about it in every single "left-leaning" media outlet. Typically the reporting was underneath a headline like this one from the Atlantic:

"The GOP's Ethics Disaster

The gutting of the Office of Congressional Ethics is chilling evidence that we are headed for a new age of official embrace, or at least acceptance of unethical and illegal behavior."
Democrats universally expressed disgust and suspicion.

The only problem is that they themselves tried to close it back in 2010, claiming that the OCE was in fact, racist:
Lawmakers seek to gut ethics office - POLITICO

This illustrates a bigger problem as well. If you are on the left, and read articles about the latest the recent GOP plan to kill the OCE, you wouldn't have been told about the 2010 attempt by Democrats. Story after story only told one side of this. Unless you read something like Fox or other GOP connected sites.

The media itself is just as partisan as the public. And really, that's the crux of what makes solving all of these difficult problems so very hard: partisanship.

People have ceded their ethics, beliefs and moral authority to parties.


Recently I made another comment online - it's a bit snarky - apologies:

Another day, another example of how partisans on both sides are slowly destroying America.

When will people start having higher standards for themselves and politicians? Probably only when it's too late to matter.
It received two replies: one from a Democrat, and one from a Republican. Both virtually high-fived me, and agreed that the other side was just as I described. They both believed that their side wasn't doing this, but the other was.

I have noticed that the more non-partisan my comments, the more likely people are to behave like this. So it's not just that they think the other side is evil, but that their side is really good, honest, genuine, etc.

The irony is of course that both commenters were right. Both sides are composed of dishonest partisans, and together they're slowly destroying America, and lot's of other places as well.

People - again - are, in large numbers, ceding moral authority, facts, and opinions, to parties. And parties are by definition dishonest, because their goals are largely not compatible with any strict version of honesty/consistency/integrity/etc.

So, as a result, problems are being unsolved not only by politicians whose loyalty is not to the people, but to themselves and their party primarily, but also by voters, who are not seemingly capable of being active in politics AND non-partisan.




So.



What is the solution?

Well, it's a combination of things, but they all have a basic goal, promoting the benefits of being a non-partisan independent:

1. Voters need tools to help them vote their own self-interest. In Ireland there are websites that allow you to answer online survey questions and then these websites match you to your most appropriate candidate. This kind of approach should be mainstreamed globally. People need to separate their goals from their beliefs about "party".

2. An organisation should be devised to promote the benefits of non-partisan behaviour to and through the media. It should be fairly clear that a bunch of people that have agreed to trade honesty for power are not the right people to be solving our problems.

3. What this group would eventually hope to do - as well - is not help people win elections, but instead win the argument in the media, etc., based on the integrity of it's members. That's obviously a long term goal. But at the same time, it's the basically prerequisite for creating a system wherein good decisions are made, based on everything BUT politics and political parties.

I personally think that the removal of political parties all together - i.e. just independent politicians - would stop a LOT of the corruption we see in politics, and it would encourage politicians to make independent decisions, based on their beliefs.


Of course I'm sure you all see it differently, and I'm happy to accept any criticism, but would prefer it to be constructive :)
 


Hans Von Horn

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
1,594
In my opinion, we live is a time with a lot of pretty massive problems. Some may prefer to call them challenges.

These are high on my list, but wouldn't be my whole list:

- Global political instability
- Global warming
- The rise of populism
- The rise of nationalism
- Coming mass unemployment due to robotics and AI
- Ongoing military conflict in Syria and - as importantly - Yemen
- The European refugee crisis
- Brexit
- Whatever Donald Trump will bring
- The utter collapse of trust in the media

Normally, we only a few face existential crises at once, but as it stands most of the world - all at once - is facing issues which could have long term and disastrous effects, if handled incorrectly.

And to solve these... we have... well, our politicians. Maybe you've seen them on the telly.

Our politicians, globally, seem to have two major problems:

- Their inability to come up with successful solutions to any of these problems
- Their inability to form meaningful opposition to extremists of al stripes

Why?

Well, largely because almost no one has moral authority anymore.

I'll define that before I go on:

"Moral authority is authority premised on principles, or fundamental truths, which are independent of written, or positive, laws. As such, moral authority necessitates the existence of and adherence to truth."

Now, of course some would say that that truth is subjective, in fact we see the US government making that claim almost daily now.

However, there are many truths that define cultures - e.g. the US freedom of Religion - which no longer seem to be as true as they once were. The European equivalent would be freedom of movement.

What has happened, for a wide variety of reasons, is that all beliefs are now seen as equally valid. Almost all. This was largely facilitated by the rise of the internet and it's endless echo chambers. If you believe something you now have a place to congregate with other similar believers, where you can develop a narrative about the world that makes sense to you.

And out of these echo chambers spring so called "alternative facts".

The problem - however - is that no one - no media personality, no newspaper, no political leader, no one - can near universally question alternative facts, or stand up to extremists, because no one has the moral authority.

That is, no one believes them, because people instead believe that these entities are representing, not the truth, but their personal echo chamber; surrogates restating partisan propaganda.

To make this less abstract I will use three recent personal examples:

1. I recently had a discussion with about two dozen democrats - online. I asked them what evidence - specifically - had convinced them that Putin and Russia had done what US Intelligence services claim. This was within 24 hours of the declassified report being released. The QUESTION ALONE caused a fierce backlash, prompting several Democrats to label me things like, "Reich wing" and "Trump Troll". For the record I do not support Trump. (Though I do enjoy some of the things he has done, like destroying Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.) This conversation lasted a few days, and in the end, I discovered, through their own admission, that none of the people I had spoken to had read the report. Every one of them was simply repeating partisan boilerplate and couldn't vaguely defend their belief. Because it wasn't really theirs.

2. Likewise I went to a leading alt-right site, and asked them why - after years of trashing Obama for using Executive Orders - they supported Trump's Executive Order extravaganza. Again, insults, like calling me a communist, and boilerplate partisan echo-chamber defences.

3. Recently Republicans almost shut down the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). You may have seen this on 24 hours news, or read about it in every single "left-leaning" media outlet. Typically the reporting was underneath a headline like this one from the Atlantic:



Democrats universally expressed disgust and suspicion.

The only problem is that they themselves tried to close it back in 2010, claiming that the OCE was in fact, racist:
Lawmakers seek to gut ethics office - POLITICO

This illustrates a bigger problem as well. If you are on the left, and read articles about the latest the recent GOP plan to kill the OCE, you wouldn't have been told about the 2010 attempt by Democrats. Story after story only told one side of this. Unless you read something like Fox or other GOP connected sites.

The media itself is just as partisan as the public. And really, that's the crux of what makes solving all of these difficult problems so very hard: partisanship.

People have ceded their ethics, beliefs and moral authority to parties.


Recently I made another comment online - it's a bit snarky - apologies:



It received two replies: one from a Democrat, and one from a Republican. Both virtually high-fived me, and agreed that the other side was just as I described. They both believed that their side wasn't doing this, but the other was.

I have noticed that the more non-partisan my comments, the more likely people are to behave like this. So it's not just that they think the other side is evil, but that their side is really good, honest, genuine, etc.

The irony is of course that both commenters were right. Both sides are composed of dishonest partisans, and together they're slowly destroying America, and lot's of other places as well.

People - again - are, in large numbers, ceding moral authority, facts, and opinions, to parties. And parties are by definition dishonest, because their goals are largely not compatible with any strict version of honesty/consistency/integrity/etc.

So, as a result, problems are being unsolved not only by politicians whose loyalty is not to the people, but to themselves and their party primarily, but also by voters, who are not seemingly capable of being active in politics AND non-partisan.




So.



What is the solution?

Well, it's a combination of things, but they all have a basic goal, promoting the benefits of being a non-partisan independent:

1. Voters need tools to help them vote their own self-interest. In Ireland there are websites that allow you to answer online survey questions and then these websites match you to your most appropriate candidate. This kind of approach should be mainstreamed globally. People need to separate their goals from their beliefs about "party".

2. An organisation should be devised to promote the benefits of non-partisan behaviour to and through the media. It should be fairly clear that a bunch of people that have agreed to trade honesty for power are not the right people to be solving our problems.

3. What this group would eventually hope to do - as well - is not help people win elections, but instead win the argument in the media, etc., based on the integrity of it's members. That's obviously a long term goal. But at the same time, it's the basically prerequisite for creating a system wherein good decisions are made, based on everything BUT politics and political parties.

I personally think that the removal of political parties all together - i.e. just independent politicians - would stop a LOT of the corruption we see in politics, and it would encourage politicians to make independent decisions, based on their beliefs.


Of course I'm sure you all see it differently, and I'm happy to accept any criticism, but would prefer it to be constructive :)
The rejection of Nationalism, National Interest, the Nation State, and the clamour for a World of Equality means we will be piss poor sharing what we have with everyone in the World. The very rich will remain rich but the middle class will be destroyed.
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
55,059
In my opinion, we live is a time with a lot of pretty massive problems. Some may prefer to call them challenges.

These are high on my list, but wouldn't be my whole list:

- Global political instability
- Global warming
- The rise of populism
- The rise of nationalism
- Coming mass unemployment due to robotics and AI
- Ongoing military conflict in Syria and - as importantly - Yemen
- The European refugee crisis
- Brexit
- Whatever Donald Trump will bring
- The utter collapse of trust in the media

Normally, we only a few face existential crises at once, but as it stands most of the world - all at once - is facing issues which could have long term and disastrous effects, if handled incorrectly.

And to solve these... we have... well, our politicians. Maybe you've seen them on the telly.

Our politicians, globally, seem to have two major problems:

- Their inability to come up with successful solutions to any of these problems
- Their inability to form meaningful opposition to extremists of al stripes

Why?

Well, largely because almost no one has moral authority anymore.

I'll define that before I go on:

"Moral authority is authority premised on principles, or fundamental truths, which are independent of written, or positive, laws. As such, moral authority necessitates the existence of and adherence to truth."

Now, of course some would say that that truth is subjective, in fact we see the US government making that claim almost daily now.

However, there are many truths that define cultures - e.g. the US freedom of Religion - which no longer seem to be as true as they once were. The European equivalent would be freedom of movement.

What has happened, for a wide variety of reasons, is that all beliefs are now seen as equally valid. Almost all. This was largely facilitated by the rise of the internet and it's endless echo chambers. If you believe something you now have a place to congregate with other similar believers, where you can develop a narrative about the world that makes sense to you.

And out of these echo chambers spring so called "alternative facts".

The problem - however - is that no one - no media personality, no newspaper, no political leader, no one - can near universally question alternative facts, or stand up to extremists, because no one has the moral authority.

That is, no one believes them, because people instead believe that these entities are representing, not the truth, but their personal echo chamber; surrogates restating partisan propaganda.

To make this less abstract I will use three recent personal examples:

1. I recently had a discussion with about two dozen democrats - online. I asked them what evidence - specifically - had convinced them that Putin and Russia had done what US Intelligence services claim. This was within 24 hours of the declassified report being released. The QUESTION ALONE caused a fierce backlash, prompting several Democrats to label me things like, "Reich wing" and "Trump Troll". For the record I do not support Trump. (Though I do enjoy some of the things he has done, like destroying Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.) This conversation lasted a few days, and in the end, I discovered, through their own admission, that none of the people I had spoken to had read the report. Every one of them was simply repeating partisan boilerplate and couldn't vaguely defend their belief. Because it wasn't really theirs.

2. Likewise I went to a leading alt-right site, and asked them why - after years of trashing Obama for using Executive Orders - they supported Trump's Executive Order extravaganza. Again, insults, like calling me a communist, and boilerplate partisan echo-chamber defences.

3. Recently Republicans almost shut down the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). You may have seen this on 24 hours news, or read about it in every single "left-leaning" media outlet. Typically the reporting was underneath a headline like this one from the Atlantic:



Democrats universally expressed disgust and suspicion.

The only problem is that they themselves tried to close it back in 2010, claiming that the OCE was in fact, racist:
Lawmakers seek to gut ethics office - POLITICO

This illustrates a bigger problem as well. If you are on the left, and read articles about the latest the recent GOP plan to kill the OCE, you wouldn't have been told about the 2010 attempt by Democrats. Story after story only told one side of this. Unless you read something like Fox or other GOP connected sites.

The media itself is just as partisan as the public. And really, that's the crux of what makes solving all of these difficult problems so very hard: partisanship.

People have ceded their ethics, beliefs and moral authority to parties.


Recently I made another comment online - it's a bit snarky - apologies:



It received two replies: one from a Democrat, and one from a Republican. Both virtually high-fived me, and agreed that the other side was just as I described. They both believed that their side wasn't doing this, but the other was.

I have noticed that the more non-partisan my comments, the more likely people are to behave like this. So it's not just that they think the other side is evil, but that their side is really good, honest, genuine, etc.

The irony is of course that both commenters were right. Both sides are composed of dishonest partisans, and together they're slowly destroying America, and lot's of other places as well.

People - again - are, in large numbers, ceding moral authority, facts, and opinions, to parties. And parties are by definition dishonest, because their goals are largely not compatible with any strict version of honesty/consistency/integrity/etc.

So, as a result, problems are being unsolved not only by politicians whose loyalty is not to the people, but to themselves and their party primarily, but also by voters, who are not seemingly capable of being active in politics AND non-partisan.




So.



What is the solution?

Well, it's a combination of things, but they all have a basic goal, promoting the benefits of being a non-partisan independent:

1. Voters need tools to help them vote their own self-interest. In Ireland there are websites that allow you to answer online survey questions and then these websites match you to your most appropriate candidate. This kind of approach should be mainstreamed globally. People need to separate their goals from their beliefs about "party".

2. An organisation should be devised to promote the benefits of non-partisan behaviour to and through the media. It should be fairly clear that a bunch of people that have agreed to trade honesty for power are not the right people to be solving our problems.

3. What this group would eventually hope to do - as well - is not help people win elections, but instead win the argument in the media, etc., based on the integrity of it's members. That's obviously a long term goal. But at the same time, it's the basically prerequisite for creating a system wherein good decisions are made, based on everything BUT politics and political parties.

I personally think that the removal of political parties all together - i.e. just independent politicians - would stop a LOT of the corruption we see in politics, and it would encourage politicians to make independent decisions, based on their beliefs.


Of course I'm sure you all see it differently, and I'm happy to accept any criticism, but would prefer it to be constructive :)
The actual solution is the extinction of the species, probably only a few generations off, the way we're going. And we wouldn't be missed.
 

former wesleyan

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Messages
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The actual solution is the extinction of the species, probably only a few generations off, the way we're going. And we wouldn't be missed.
Think of the dogs.
 

lies

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The rejection of Nationalism, National Interest, the Nation State, and the clamour for a World of Equality means we will be piss poor sharing what we have with everyone in the World. The very rich will remain rich but the middle class will be destroyed.
Nations are largely artificial constructs. Their borders are not settled largely, and their self-identity is fluid. This means that notions of us vs them are based on the ephemeral. In the case of hardcore nationalism, the tendency is to elide pride and hate as well. We can see this as the most extreme logical conclusion of the us vs them narrative inherent in nationalism.

Plus of course, we live in a nation, but we don't make all of our own laws, or control our borders, etc., so in our case nationalism is kind of moot. Unless you mean very narrow cases, like abortion law.

The world doesn't have to be equal, and in fact never will be, but that's not directly related to nationalism. And of course, there's no guarantee that more nationalism = greater wealth, or a more fair spread of wealth.
 

between the bridges

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Komrade, why isn't freeing the fermanagh wan on yer list...
 

GDPR

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Much of what the OP says would appear true, and indeed some sceptism is good and actually reading a report/document is super helpful. People should make up their own minds themselves, ideally based on the evidence based facts. While this will reduce 'spin' or whatever one wants to called, but everyone is inherently biased in their own way and there is no such thing as 'nothing but facts without bias'. People make up their minds for all sorts of reason but mostly on what they believe to be true from whatever source, perhaps down to laziness, perhaps down to I haven't got the time to parse 200 pages of the latest report. The whole Trump hysteria from both sides, is off putting for me, and hopefully it will settle down.
 

lies

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Much of what the OP says would appear true, and indeed some sceptism is good and actually reading a report/document is super helpful. People should make up their own minds themselves, ideally based on the evidence based facts. While this will reduce 'spin' or whatever one wants to called, but everyone is inherently biased in their own way and there is no such thing as 'nothing but facts without bias'. People make up their minds for all sorts of reason but mostly on what they believe to be true from whatever source, perhaps down to laziness, perhaps down to I haven't got the time to parse 200 pages of the latest report. The whole Trump hysteria from both sides, is off putting for me, and hopefully it will settle down.
I agree that the hysteria from all sides about all things is incredibly off putting. That's hysteria for ya.

I don't disagree that bias is unavoidable, but I think that millions of people ceding their bias to organisations that do not have their best interests at heart is probably a much bigger problem. IMO. And unlike normal human bias, it's something that can be fought against.
 

Zapped(CAPITALISMROTS)

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Saw a good slogan on one of the protest placards carried in their thousands by Americans protesting this weekend.

Trump is the symptom, Capitalism is the disease.........................:cool:
 

Eire1976

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Messages
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The rejection of Nationalism, National Interest, the Nation State, and the clamour for a World of Equality means we will be piss poor sharing what we have with everyone in the World. The very rich will remain rich but the middle class will be destroyed.
The most damaging thing that the West has allowed is the subbing out of Industry to the far east.

There clearly is a cabal at work making sure that big business is benefiting while national governments are happy to pay for life on benefits for those who would have been in those factory jobs.

The life of entitlement on benefits has attracted so called Asylum seekers to the west in vast numbers.
 

lies

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Saw a good slogan on one of the protest placards carried in their thousands by Americans protesting this weekend.

Trump is the symptom, Capitalism is the disease.........................:cool:
Whatever you think about the thing we call capitalism, it's basically doomed, in it's current configuration. Robotics and AI are - according to the world bank - poised to be able to take over something like 77% of jobs in China and 85% in India. In the West it may initially be smaller numbers, but I can't think of a scenario in which AI/Robotics doesn't kill many 100s of millions of jobs more than it creates, permanently.

And without mass paid wmployment capitalism is basically a non-starter.
 

Eire1976

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Whatever you think about the thing we call capitalism, it's basically doomed, in it's current configuration. Robotics and AI are - according to the world bank - poised to be able to take over something like 77% of jobs in China and 85% in India. In the West it may initially be smaller numbers, but I can't think of a scenario in which AI/Robotics doesn't kill many 100s of millions of jobs more than it creates, permanently.

And without mass paid wmployment capitalism is basically a non-starter.
This wont be allowed as the economy of states would fall apart if the vast majority were suddenly put onto the benefit pile.
 

lies

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The most damaging thing that the West has allowed is the subbing out of Industry to the far east.

There clearly is a cabal at work making sure that big business is benefiting while national governments are happy to pay for life on benefits for those who would have been in those factory jobs.

The life of entitlement on benefits has attracted so called Asylum seekers to the west in vast numbers.
That was inevitable and will continue to be inevitable as long as there's a price advantage.

And considering that we now all live in consumer societies in the West, that price advantage will trump everything else for corporations.

Corporations only seek to expand their profits - they have that obligation to their shareholders - and reducing costs works as well, better even in some cases, than selling more widgets.

And when these jobs are largely done by machines at some point in the nearish future it won't matter where the machines are located.
 

lies

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This wont be allowed as the economy of states would fall apart if the vast majority were suddenly put onto the benefit pile.
It is happening already.

Every major economist is predicting things like 40% loss of jobs in the West. The arguments are about the timing, not the outcome.

And the way that politicians are adapting is by pushing the Basic Income. Which is inevitable IMO as the alternative is your basic dystopia. Two years ago the BI was mocked mercilessly - now it's being pushed as inevitable by politicians, think tanks, economists and the media, globally.
 

Hans Von Horn

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The most damaging thing that the West has allowed is the subbing out of Industry to the far east.

There clearly is a cabal at work making sure that big business is benefiting while national governments are happy to pay for life on benefits for those who would have been in those factory jobs.

The life of entitlement on benefits has attracted so called Asylum seekers to the west in vast numbers.

In a nutshell.
 


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