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Millennials when old
#41
(05-05-2020, 04:46 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote: Missionaries were prone to magical beliefs during the 2T, but then went more rational after WW1. At the same time they retained a sense of awe for the wonderful Universe. Dawkins called this experience Einsteinian religion.

There has always been a dichotomy within Western religion (especially Protestant variants, but others as well) between focus on faith and faith-based activities, and doing good deeds as a sign of one's faith.  The Transcendentals were clearly in the first category and Missionaries in the second.  Boomers who fit in that world were, like Eric, New Agers and clearly in the first group with the Transcendentals.  I suspect the next Prophets will be more grounded like the Missionaries.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#42
(05-05-2020, 04:46 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote:
Quote:My wife uses the definition "belief that policies will be effective because they are well intentioned", a form of magical thinking that Millenials seem to be at least as susceptible to as other generations.  Skepticism about that form of magical thinking may be more of an age thing rather than a cohort thing, though.

We need evidence-based politics. Maybe it will be invented during the 1T?

Evidence based politics are incompatible with democracy, absent some serious eugenics, er, transhumanism.  Democracy rewards politicians who are convincing, not politicians who are accurate.  Excessive optimism and good lying skills are both too effective for politicians.  For democracy to use evidence based politics, the average person would have to be smart enough to see through the lies and pessimistic enough to be skeptical of good news.  Neither is likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Dictatorships and oligarchies could in principle be evidence based, but that would not result in policies that were good for the people as a whole; rather, it would only result in policies that were good for the ruling class.  North Korea might be a good example of what might result, and that's not most peoples' idea of where they would want to live.
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#43
(05-05-2020, 11:45 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(05-05-2020, 04:46 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote:
Quote:My wife uses the definition "belief that policies will be effective because they are well intentioned", a form of magical thinking that Millenials seem to be at least as susceptible to as other generations.  Skepticism about that form of magical thinking may be more of an age thing rather than a cohort thing, though.

We need evidence-based politics. Maybe it will be invented during the 1T?

Evidence based politics are incompatible with democracy, absent some serious eugenics, er, transhumanism.  Democracy rewards politicians who are convincing, not politicians who are accurate.  Excessive optimism and good lying skills are both too effective for politicians.  For democracy to use evidence based politics, the average person would have to be smart enough to see through the lies and pessimistic enough to be skeptical of good news.  Neither is likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Dictatorships and oligarchies could in principle be evidence based, but that would not result in policies that were good for the people as a whole; rather, it would only result in policies that were good for the ruling class.  North Korea might be a good example of what might result, and that's not most peoples' idea of where they would want to live.
Wouldn’t it be nice if those running for office would use the slogan “sugarcoating doesn’t live here”?
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#44
(05-05-2020, 09:14 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(05-05-2020, 04:46 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote: Missionaries were prone to magical beliefs during the 2T, but then went more rational after WW1. At the same time they retained a sense of awe for the wonderful Universe. Dawkins called this experience Einsteinian religion.

There has always been a dichotomy within Western religion (especially Protestant variants, but others as well) between focus on faith and faith-based activities, and doing good deeds as a sign of one's faith.  The Transcendentals were clearly in the first category and Missionaries in the second.  Boomers who fit in that world were, like Eric, New Agers and clearly in the first group with the Transcendentals.  I suspect the next Prophets will be more grounded like the Missionaries.

That's why I love Missionaries Smile We need a MASSIVE baby boom in the 2030s!

Warren Dew Wrote:Evidence based politics are incompatible with democracy, absent some serious eugenics, er, transhumanism.

We could approach them if the intellectual elite convinces the masses to their ideas. But to achieve this, the intellectual elite needs to heal. The neo-Missionaries should try to achieve that. If they don't, our species might have to wait many centuries for another renaissance.
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#45
(05-09-2020, 06:27 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote: We could approach them if the intellectual elite convinces the masses to their ideas. But to achieve this, the intellectual elite needs to heal. The neo-Missionaries should try to achieve that. If they don't, our species might have to wait many centuries for another renaissance.

I'm not sure what you mean by "intellectual elites" here.  Currently, the technorati is terrible about paying attention to the evidence.  Or rather, specialists each pay attention to their own specialty, and assume it's the only one that's important.

That's how we got to this situation where the epidemiologists are recommending handling the pandemic by destroying the economy, and the economists are recommending to preserve the economy by letting old people die.
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#46
(05-09-2020, 01:11 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(05-09-2020, 06:27 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote: We could approach them if the intellectual elite convinces the masses to their ideas. But to achieve this, the intellectual elite needs to heal. The neo-Missionaries should try to achieve that. If they don't, our species might have to wait many centuries for another renaissance.

I'm not sure what you mean by "intellectual elites" here.  Currently, the technorati is terrible about paying attention to the evidence.  Or rather, specialists each pay attention to their own specialty, and assume it's the only one that's important.

That's how we got to this situation where the epidemiologists are recommending handling the pandemic by destroying the economy, and the economists are recommending to preserve the economy by letting old people die.
There is some truth here, I admit.  The 20-20 tunnel vision is really terrible at the moment. A lot of this is due to the inordinate focus on STEM and a nearly total disregard for the liberal arts -- the one undertaking designed to look broadly.  I'll disagree about the epidemiologists, though.  I've heard many interviewed by a broad range of interviewers, and they tend to argue for focus on the health issues because the economy can't heal if the workforce and customers are disease vectors.  They also cite the big winners in the liberal democracies.  South Korea seems to get perhaps more attention than it's due, but Australia and New Zealand have both succeeded with governments that are virtual opposites. All focused on the disease.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#47
(05-09-2020, 03:11 PM)David Horn Wrote: There is some truth here, I admit.  The 20-20 tunnel vision is really terrible at the moment. A lot of this is due to the inordinate focus on STEM and a nearly total disregard for the liberal arts -- the one undertaking designed to look broadly.  I'll disagree about the epidemiologists, though.  I've heard many interviewed by a broad range of interviewers, and they tend to argue for focus on the health issues because the economy can't heal if the workforce and customers are disease vectors.  They also cite the big winners in the liberal democracies.  South Korea seems to get perhaps more attention than it's due, but Australia and New Zealand have both succeeded with governments that are virtual opposites. All focused on the disease.

Actually, that's a perfect illustration of the epidemiologists' ignorance of economics.  The truth is, the economy could do just fine with the workforce and customers being disease vectors.  There would be some absences due to sickness, but those are always there; there would be negligible deaths among most working age people.  There would be a few deaths among preretirees in their 50s and 60s - enough to be noticeable - but opening up senior employment slots for younger people would not necessarily be a bad thing from an economic standpoint.

There would be 1-2 million deaths in the US amongst retirees, yes.  From an economic standpoint, though, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing:  the economy would have to support fewer unproductive retirees, permitting more resources to be directed to workers.

The problem is that the epidemiologists assume that the first priority has to be minimization of disease deaths, so they don't even consider tradeoffs that might permit a few more deaths from the disease even if the benefits to the economy are great - or even if deaths other than because of the disease are enough to offset the extra deaths from disease.

The economists, of course, are the reverse:  they want to reopen the economy and if the epidemiologists can still keep the deaths low, that's great, but if 2 million old people die, that's the price of keeping the economy alive.  And because medical science is so focused on treatment rather than prevention, there aren't any experts pushing face masks, which could actually give both the epidemiologists and the economists 90% of what each want.

I do agree that part of the problem is the dearth of competent liberal arts students.  Returning to the 1950s when the intelligent people all went into liberal arts and there were few intelligent engineers might not be any better, though - and to get competent liberal artists, they need to be numerate as well as literate.  What we need is paths for the top students in both the liberal arts and in engineering, and perhaps a recognition that college alone won't suffice for poor students.  Colleges are good at educating intelligent people, but they're terrible at turning unintelligent people into intelligent people.
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#48
(05-09-2020, 01:11 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(05-09-2020, 06:27 AM)Blazkovitz Wrote: We could approach them if the intellectual elite convinces the masses to their ideas. But to achieve this, the intellectual elite needs to heal. The neo-Missionaries should try to achieve that. If they don't, our species might have to wait many centuries for another renaissance.

I'm not sure what you mean by "intellectual elites" here.  Currently, the technorati is terrible about paying attention to the evidence.  Or rather, specialists each pay attention to their own specialty, and assume it's the only one that's important.

That's how we got to this situation where the epidemiologists are recommending handling the pandemic by destroying the economy, and the economists are recommending to preserve the economy by letting old people die.

The technorati are one thing, technology is going well but the social sciences and humanities have a quite irritating leftist bias (the sort I call Inclusivism), and economists have a pro-market liberal bias which is also wrong. Both lack the communitarian ethos of the previous saeculum, when upholding Civilization was all-important.
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#49
I'm using "technorati" in George Friedman's sense: basically people who got their jobs by virtue of having the right degree.
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#50
(05-10-2020, 12:21 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(05-09-2020, 03:11 PM)David Horn Wrote: There is some truth here, I admit.  The 20-20 tunnel vision is really terrible at the moment. A lot of this is due to the inordinate focus on STEM and a nearly total disregard for the liberal arts -- the one undertaking designed to look broadly.  I'll disagree about the epidemiologists, though.  I've heard many interviewed by a broad range of interviewers, and they tend to argue for focus on the health issues because the economy can't heal if the workforce and customers are disease vectors.  They also cite the big winners in the liberal democracies.  South Korea seems to get perhaps more attention than it's due, but Australia and New Zealand have both succeeded with governments that are virtual opposites. All focused on the disease.

Actually, that's a perfect illustration of the epidemiologists' ignorance of economics.  The truth is, the economy could do just fine with the workforce and customers being disease vectors.  There would be some absences due to sickness, but those are always there; there would be negligible deaths among most working age people.  There would be a few deaths among preretirees in their 50s and 60s - enough to be noticeable - but opening up senior employment slots for younger people would not necessarily be a bad thing from an economic standpoint.

There would be 1-2 million deaths in the US amongst retirees, yes.  From an economic standpoint, though, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing: the economy would have to support fewer unproductive retirees, permitting more resources to be directed to workers.

The problem is that the epidemiologists assume that the first priority has to be minimization of disease deaths, so they don't even consider tradeoffs that might permit a few more deaths from the disease even if the benefits to the economy are great - or even if deaths other than because of the disease are enough to offset the extra deaths from disease.

The economists, of course, are the reverse:  they want to reopen the economy and if the epidemiologists can still keep the deaths low, that's great, but if 2 million old people die, that's the price of keeping the economy alive.  And because medical science is so focused on treatment rather than prevention, there aren't any experts pushing face masks, which could actually give both the epidemiologists and the economists 90% of what each want.

That's about the most insensitive screed I've read on this board.  Sorry, but we, the elderly, are not going to die for profits … period … full stop!  More to the point you seem to be making, neither are the workers and customers of the businesses you're encouraging to reopen.  They'll stay home, and spend on necessities.  That makes anything in the big-ticket arena (cars, home appliances, kitchen renovations, or travel) solidly on the back burner.  Meanwhile, those businesses foolish enough to reopen will be hemorrhaging money with little coming in. And don't expect a lot sympathy for bailouts under those conditions.  If you think that little of me, don't count on my support for anything.  And btw, consumer spending is 70% of the economy.  It doesn't take a lot of reticence to push the economy into a deep recession. 

Warren Dew Wrote:I do agree that part of the problem is the dearth of competent liberal arts students.  Returning to the 1950s when the intelligent people all went into liberal arts and there were few intelligent engineers might not be any better, though - and to get competent liberal artists, they need to be numerate as well as literate.  What we need is paths for the top students in both the liberal arts and in engineering, and perhaps a recognition that college alone won't suffice for poor students.  Colleges are good at educating intelligent people, but they're terrible at turning unintelligent people into intelligent people.

We need people who see the whole picture, a skill notably lacking among STEM types.  As one of that fraternity myself, I have been amazed at how little philosophy, history and social science knowledge exists in that crowd. Even language skills are stunted. It's impossible to discuss anything with folks who lack the basic knowledge needed to understand what is being discussed. I've been down that road on too many occasions.  We don't agree, but we do agree that we both have a reasonable command of material we're discussing.

When I was a child, my high-school educated parents had broad knowledge of the world, and so did their friends.  It was the norm.  Today, even the college educated lack that basic capacity.  No, we don't need to college-educate everyone, but we do need to provide basic understanding of civics, our place in history, and a useful command of the English language. We have in the past.  We can in future.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#51
(05-10-2020, 12:21 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(05-09-2020, 03:11 PM)David Horn Wrote: There is some truth here, I admit.  The 20-20 tunnel vision is really terrible at the moment. A lot of this is due to the inordinate focus on STEM and a nearly total disregard for the liberal arts -- the one undertaking designed to look broadly.  I'll disagree about the epidemiologists, though.  I've heard many interviewed by a broad range of interviewers, and they tend to argue for focus on the health issues because the economy can't heal if the workforce and customers are disease vectors.  They also cite the big winners in the liberal democracies.  South Korea seems to get perhaps more attention than it's due, but Australia and New Zealand have both succeeded with governments that are virtual opposites. All focused on the disease.

Actually, that's a perfect illustration of the epidemiologists' ignorance of economics.  The truth is, the economy could do just fine with the workforce and customers being disease vectors.  There would be some absences due to sickness, but those are always there; there would be negligible deaths among most working age people.  There would be a few deaths among preretirees in their 50s and 60s - enough to be noticeable - but opening up senior employment slots for younger people would not necessarily be a bad thing from an economic standpoint.

There would be 1-2 million deaths in the US amongst retirees, yes.  From an economic standpoint, though, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing:  the economy would have to support fewer unproductive retirees, permitting more resources to be directed to workers.

The problem is that the epidemiologists assume that the first priority has to be minimization of disease deaths, so they don't even consider tradeoffs that might permit a few more deaths from the disease even if the benefits to the economy are great - or even if deaths other than because of the disease are enough to offset the extra deaths from disease.

The economists, of course, are the reverse:  they want to reopen the economy and if the epidemiologists can still keep the deaths low, that's great, but if 2 million old people die, that's the price of keeping the economy alive.  And because medical science is so focused on treatment rather than prevention, there aren't any experts pushing face masks, which could actually give both the epidemiologists and the economists 90% of what each want.

I do agree that part of the problem is the dearth of competent liberal arts students.  Returning to the 1950s when the intelligent people all went into liberal arts and there were few intelligent engineers might not be any better, though - and to get competent liberal artists, they need to be numerate as well as literate.  What we need is paths for the top students in both the liberal arts and in engineering, and perhaps a recognition that college alone won't suffice for poor students.  Colleges are good at educating intelligent people, but they're terrible at turning unintelligent people into intelligent people.

You may have forgotten that this is a novel virus - one where we don't know what the long-term health effects may be on people who are designated as 'recovered'. Is it good to gamble on a possible 2mn elderly deaths but 200mn total infected who down the line over the next 5 to 20 years many have health problems and have to retire early? I agree that we need to emphasise prevention most because a vaccine and adequate treatment may be a while off, if it's even coming.
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