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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Fixed ideas and polarization

Thanks for an exceedingly excellent post.    (01)

A few comments:.    (02)

I think one point in your exposition is that a collaborative
knowledge-interchange/  reasoning facility will *only* be valuable to
people who are in "science mode",
at least for that particular subject. I think that's true.    (03)

I also believe that we place WAY too little value on people changing
their minds,
in the light of evidence. In politics, it's the "kiss of death" to
change your mind
about anything -- but that is exactly what reason dictates.    (04)

The fact that reputations depend on "being" right, rather than "coming
to the right
conclusion", causes many of us to hold beliefs beyond reason, even in
circles, because credibility and reputation depend on it.    (05)

I believe that situation is exacerbated by the lack of a knowledge
When it's really hard to find alternatives, and to get opinions about
what works,
it's really easy (and necessary) to believe the person who trumpets
their ideas
confidently.    (06)

But Amazon-style rating systems take a lot of the wind out of marketing
so in the "market of ideas" I would expect that a rated repository to be
effective in helping good ideas rise to the top, instead of languishing
the reputation-fed "monopolies" of ideas.    (07)

  Unfortunately, accurate ranking systems turn out to be
  which creates major difficulties. Any system which is accurate enough
  permit automated reasoning is impossible to use. As a concrete
  my "excellent" rating as a beginner is completely different from an
  "miserable" rating. Other beginners care about my rating. Other
  can discount my rating. But how do I know to choose the ranking
  "excellent for beginners", unless I know that I am a beginner? I may
   consider myself fairly well versed in the area, yet the way I express
   may make it clear to others that I am a beginner.    (08)

   Amazon's rankings, on the other hand, allow the dimensionality of the    (09)

   ranking to be clarified by the text that accompanies it. That is an
   of a system that is relatively easy to use, and practical implement.
But it
   allows for little or nothing in the way of automated reasoning.
   </aside>    (010)

"Garold (Gary) L. Johnson" wrote:    (011)

> ... I continue to insist that any collaboration system must serve the
> individual first and group(s) second. .... For an individual to be of
> value in a collaborative effort, he must bring something to the
> discussion. Any tools to support collaboration must first support the
> individual in his attempt to make sense out of the information that he
> needs to understand.
This makes perfect sense to me. I have always envisioned such a tool as
in which I gather useful stuff into my cocoon, and push useful stuff out
to others.    (012)

The other important implication is that such a system helps put people
into that
"science mind" you mention. Personally, I find it to be a
"philopsophical" state
of mind -- in the sense of doing philosophy and thinking about things,
rather than
in the sense of acquiesing to fate. My critical thinking skills were
forged in college,
doing philosophy, mathemetics, and the sublime combination of the two:
logic and
abstract algebra. (That makes me *little* more inclined to accept new
ideas, but
I still have trouble letting go of the old.)    (013)

>From a social perspective, though, it seems we have to find a way to
applaud the person who "changes parties", so to speak. We should award
recognition and respect, and give their views the utmost credibility
after all, they have beheld both sides of the argument.    (014)

Interestingly, pentecostal religions *love* the lost sheep who has
returned to the
fold. But perhaps that is because it confirms fixed ideas. On the other
hand, the
person who changes political parties is often a pariah on both sides of
the aisle --
after all, no one trusts a "traitor" -- it's only a matter of time until
they jump ship
again.    (015)

Emotionally, then, somewhere deep in our genes, there is a
predisposition to
prefer steadfast, loyal support, rather than intellectual freelancing.
Should you
see a means to modify that state of the world by addressing it directly,
then by
all means, I wish you success.    (016)

I suspect, though, that providing tools like a knowledge repository will
be the
only effective means of doing so, because only they will "change the
in ways that change how we react and respond to others.    (017)

For example: Without a KR, a politician changes their vote on a bridge:
Ewwww! (emotional reaction). With a KR, a politician changes their vote.
A click on the
vote brings up a list of 29 architects and 12 environmental planners who    (018)

recommended that position. The most highly rated summary of the issues
is only
a paragraph, and it's *very* convincing. New reaction: Yay! But that
was only enabled by the ability to rapidly, effortlessly access the
information.    (019)