Election meaningless unless we change for the better

User avatar
Mountaineer
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 4307
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:35 pm

InsuranceGuy wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:21 pm
doodle wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:49 pm
InsuranceGuy wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:28 pm
I wish more people took time to look at both sides as Fox/CNN/MSNBC are not going to give you balanced reporting.
This in my mind is the number one problem. We have created a society where facts don't exist anymore. Any fact that doesn't line up with my idea of how the world should work is simply no longer a fact. We create tribal bubbles for ourselves within our social media accounts or only frequenting the networks that we think represent us. A Google search will provide us thousands of articles confirming our feelings no matter which way we phrase a question.. Under that scenario conversation is no longer even possible. We are literally operating in a world with two different realities. I'm not sure how to solve this. Free speech can be a tool to inform and negotitate or it can whip people up into a frenzy of vitriolic hatred. I have no illusions that perhaps our most cherished freedoms could in fact lead to our downfall. Somehow we must figure out a way to share a common set of facts...from there we can disagree, but those disagreements must stem from a common reality.
It is crazy how disallusioned both sides are. The problem is that there is no unbiased fact checking out there, and even if there were I believe it would be fleeting as there is too much money/power to be gained by slanting to the highest bidder.
You have just described original sin. 😇
“He who denies the existence of God, has some reason for wishing that God did not exist.” — Augustine Of Hippo
User avatar
doodle
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 4246
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by doodle » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:39 pm

The only suggestion I could come up with was to mandate that all news networks and newspapers be forced to carry a warning label that the information one is exposed to may or may not be factual.....kind of like cigarettes may cause cancer...a public service announcement. How much good that would do....probably little. Somehow we need to figure out a way in the information age to fact information....perhaps an impartial factchecking AI system with republican and democrat programmer oversight.
User avatar
doodle
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 4246
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by doodle » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:43 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:35 pm
InsuranceGuy wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:21 pm
doodle wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:49 pm
InsuranceGuy wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:28 pm
I wish more people took time to look at both sides as Fox/CNN/MSNBC are not going to give you balanced reporting.
This in my mind is the number one problem. We have created a society where facts don't exist anymore. Any fact that doesn't line up with my idea of how the world should work is simply no longer a fact. We create tribal bubbles for ourselves within our social media accounts or only frequenting the networks that we think represent us. A Google search will provide us thousands of articles confirming our feelings no matter which way we phrase a question.. Under that scenario conversation is no longer even possible. We are literally operating in a world with two different realities. I'm not sure how to solve this. Free speech can be a tool to inform and negotitate or it can whip people up into a frenzy of vitriolic hatred. I have no illusions that perhaps our most cherished freedoms could in fact lead to our downfall. Somehow we must figure out a way to share a common set of facts...from there we can disagree, but those disagreements must stem from a common reality.
It is crazy how disallusioned both sides are. The problem is that there is no unbiased fact checking out there, and even if there were I believe it would be fleeting as there is too much money/power to be gained by slanting to the highest bidder.
You have just described original sin. 😇
Yes humans are fallible sinful creatures..and the bible contains a lot of wisdom regarding mankind's nature. We have two choices, we can either try to engineer a system that lessons the impact and magnitude of that human fallibility or pray to Jesus. I vote for the former.
User avatar
InsuranceGuy
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by InsuranceGuy » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:44 pm

doodle wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:39 pm
The only suggestion I could come up with was to mandate that all news networks and newspapers be forced to carry a warning label that the information one is exposed to may or may not be factual.....kind of like cigarettes may cause cancer...a public service announcement. How much good that would do....probably little. Somehow we need to figure out a way in the information age to fact information....perhaps an impartial factchecking AI system with republican and democrat programmer oversight.
Don't we already have that? All supposedly new outlets are not factual and for entertainment purposes only!

Is it sad that on elections I turn into the losing sides channel for comic relief? While I enjoyed the CNN coverage in 2016, I spend some quality time on Fox this cycle.
User avatar
Tortoise
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2320
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:35 am

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by Tortoise » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:55 pm

I think doodle's recent thread about the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma really got to the crux of this matter of "two parallel realities" or what Scott Adams often calls "two movies, one screen."

Online and social media companies have created and inflamed much of this polarization by applying the following logic to their algorithms:

1. How do we make more money? By getting our users to engage with the platform more often.
2. How do we get our users to engage with the platform more often? By offering them content that they are most likely to click on.
3. What kind of content are our users most likely to click on? Topics that are maximally polarized.
4. How do we maximize the polarization of our content? Figure out which "side" each user is on, then offer them content tailored to entrench them even more deeply into that side.
5. Profit.

A similar line of reasoning was used by legacy media companies for ages, even before the Internet, in the form of "If it bleeds, it leads", but the subtle difference that online and social media introduced was user choice.

Back when most people consumed the same media, making things too polarized would drive away too many customers, so media companies mainly stuck to titillating (not polarizing) stories to sell the most content. But now, with online and social media, users have orders of magnitude more choices even on a single platform, so polarization no longer drives customers away -- it actually keeps them engaged and hungry for more.

Today, the way online and social media companies profit the most is by polarizing as many issues as possible and playing both sides against each other to the Nth degree.
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 5384
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by vnatale » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:03 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:55 pm
I think doodle's recent thread about the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma really got to the crux of this matter of "two parallel realities" or what Scott Adams often calls "two movies, one screen."

Online and social media companies have created and inflamed much of this polarization by applying the following logic to their algorithms:

1. How do we make more money? By getting our users to engage with the platform more often.
2. How do we get our users to engage with the platform more often? By offering them content that they are most likely to click on.
3. What kind of content are our users most likely to click on? Topics that are maximally polarized.
4. How do we maximize the polarization of our content? Figure out which "side" each user is on, then offer them content tailored to entrench them even more deeply into that side.
5. Profit.

A similar line of reasoning was used by legacy media companies for ages, even before the Internet, in the form of "If it bleeds, it leads", but the subtle difference that online and social media introduced was user choice.

Back when most people consumed the same media, making things too polarized would drive away too many customers, so media companies mainly stuck to titillating (not polarizing) stories to sell the most content. But now, with online and social media, users have orders of magnitude more choices even on a single platform, so polarization no longer drives customers away -- it actually keeps them engaged and hungry for more.

Today, the way online and social media companies profit the most is by polarizing as many issues as possible and playing both sides against each other to the Nth degree.
How many here remember what was the major cable news story for weeks (maybe months) just prior to 9/11....and whose coverage just disappeared after 9/11?

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
doodle
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 4246
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by doodle » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:27 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:55 pm
I think doodle's recent thread about the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma really got to the crux of this matter of "two parallel realities" or what Scott Adams often calls "two movies, one screen."

Online and social media companies have created and inflamed much of this polarization by applying the following logic to their algorithms:

1. How do we make more money? By getting our users to engage with the platform more often.
2. How do we get our users to engage with the platform more often? By offering them content that they are most likely to click on.
3. What kind of content are our users most likely to click on? Topics that are maximally polarized.
4. How do we maximize the polarization of our content? Figure out which "side" each user is on, then offer them content tailored to entrench them even more deeply into that side.
5. Profit.

A similar line of reasoning was used by legacy media companies for ages, even before the Internet, in the form of "If it bleeds, it leads", but the subtle difference that online and social media introduced was user choice.

Back when most people consumed the same media, making things too polarized would drive away too many customers, so media companies mainly stuck to titillating (not polarizing) stories to sell the most content. But now, with online and social media, users have orders of magnitude more choices even on a single platform, so polarization no longer drives customers away -- it actually keeps them engaged and hungry for more.

Today, the way online and social media companies profit the most is by polarizing as many issues as possible and playing both sides against each other to the Nth degree.
I think that's a pretty accurate description of our quandary....what options exist to mitigate the effects of this before China and Russia get to gleefully watch as America tears itself to pieces? How do we get the cream to rise to the top? How do we get people to turn away from the lizard brain tribal feel good us against them motif?
User avatar
Tortoise
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2320
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:35 am

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by Tortoise » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:27 pm

doodle wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:27 pm
I think that's a pretty accurate description of our quandary....what options exist to mitigate the effects of this before China and Russia get to gleefully watch as America tears itself to pieces? How do we get the cream to rise to the top? How do we get people to turn away from the lizard brain tribal feel good us against them motif?
Incentives are extremely important, so my hunch is that one way or another, incentives will have to change.

Currently the incentives in online and social media seem to be driven by the advertising-based business model in which the users are the "product". Maximizing everyone's eyeball time on the screen maximizes the price that advertisers are willing to pay for the "product". Over time, I think this has proven itself to be a polarizing, addictive, and toxic business model that needs to be replaced.

I find it interesting that the ad-based business model is so ubiquitous, because I recall Scott Adams mentioning on one of his shows that the ROI for advertising is much lower than most people assume. He claimed that most big companies have an advertising department largely due to organizational inertia -- not because it's profitable to have an ad department. I don't recall all the details, but that was the gist of it. Maybe that's why there's such a hard push by social media companies to perfect their algorithms: They can actually make advertising profitable by manipulating their users' behavior in certain ways.

Off the top of my head, one possible solution might be to extend consumer privacy laws in a huge way. Make all of a user's data -- all personal information, everything they click, how long they view things, other people they're associated with etc. -- totally private and the sole property of that user. Users could opt in to let companies use that data for various purposes, but opt-out would be the default for everyone.

With such strengthened user data privacy laws, it seems like much of the current ability of social media companies to mine data and manipulate users to make them maximally valuable to advertisers would be crippled, so they'd be forced to find a new business model to remain profitable.

TL;DR -- Massively strengthen user data privacy laws to effectively make social media companies ditch their toxic, polarizing ad-based business model.
User avatar
doodle
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 4246
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by doodle » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:19 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:27 pm
doodle wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:27 pm
I think that's a pretty accurate description of our quandary....what options exist to mitigate the effects of this before China and Russia get to gleefully watch as America tears itself to pieces? How do we get the cream to rise to the top? How do we get people to turn away from the lizard brain tribal feel good us against them motif?
Incentives are extremely important, so my hunch is that one way or another, incentives will have to change.

Currently the incentives in online and social media seem to be driven by the advertising-based business model in which the users are the "product". Maximizing everyone's eyeball time on the screen maximizes the price that advertisers are willing to pay for the "product". Over time, I think this has proven itself to be a polarizing, addictive, and toxic business model that needs to be replaced.

I find it interesting that the ad-based business model is so ubiquitous, because I recall Scott Adams mentioning on one of his shows that the ROI for advertising is much lower than most people assume. He claimed that most big companies have an advertising department largely due to organizational inertia -- not because it's profitable to have an ad department. I don't recall all the details, but that was the gist of it. Maybe that's why there's such a hard push by social media companies to perfect their algorithms: They can actually make advertising profitable by manipulating their users' behavior in certain ways.

Off the top of my head, one possible solution might be to extend consumer privacy laws in a huge way. Make all of a user's data -- all personal information, everything they click, how long they view things, other people they're associated with etc. -- totally private and the sole property of that user. Users could opt in to let companies use that data for various purposes, but opt-out would be the default for everyone.

With such strengthened user data privacy laws, it seems like much of the current ability of social media companies to mine data and manipulate users to make them maximally valuable to advertisers would be crippled, so they'd be forced to find a new business model to remain profitable.

TL;DR -- Massively strengthen user data privacy laws to effectively make social media companies ditch their toxic, polarizing ad-based business model.
That stops them from tailoring your online experience to reinforce your established bias by making you an unidentifiable node on the network (an important first step for sure) but it doesn't address the polarization that happens independently through Facebook groups or instagram feeds or through our manipulative media conglomerates. Correct me if I'm wrong but while different societies or clubs used to exist in Americas past that catered to political fringe groups the vast majority of our country got their information from a few established newspapers and tv stations that by and large stayed pretty neutral on the subject of politics. At the very least it was a far cry from most tv network news today which I'd say is over 3/4 pure opinion based political punditry. The networks have created a sharp divide with very little overlap on stories...they are essentially crafting two disparate realties where the other side is literally anti-american scum. Its great for ratings and keeps people angry and engaged but it makes for a very volatile society. Short of some bipartisan regulation targeting honesty and truth in information I don't know how this divide mends itself when the present state of affairs is such a lucrative business model.
User avatar
tomfoolery
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by tomfoolery » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:29 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:55 pm
Online and social media companies have created and inflamed much of this polarization by applying the following logic to their algorithms:

1. How do we make more money? By getting our users to engage with the platform more often.
2. How do we get our users to engage with the platform more often? By offering them content that they are most likely to click on.
3. What kind of content are our users most likely to click on? Topics that are maximally polarized.
4. How do we maximize the polarization of our content? Figure out which "side" each user is on, then offer them content tailored to entrench them even more deeply into that side.
5. Profit.
Are you suggesting Xan hired a bunch of liberal shill instigators to polarize these forums and increase click rates? And that Xan is making millions off the ad revenue from this place, laughing himself to the Swiss vault he stores his gold bullion?

Seems a bit preposterous but I will say Xan has increased the number of sub forums here by 17% recently.

I think I could be swayed to believing Xan masterminded this whole thing if you made a 3 hour YouTube video that included ominous music with intercuts of photos of the Egyptian pyramids.
User avatar
tomfoolery
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by tomfoolery » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:43 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:27 pm

Off the top of my head, one possible solution might be to extend consumer privacy laws in a huge way. Make all of a user's data -- all personal information, everything they click, how long they view things, other people they're associated with etc. -- totally private and the sole property of that user. Users could opt in to let companies use that data for various purposes, but opt-out would be the default for everyone.
Perhaps and I am sympathetic of this bipartisan cause, however anytime I catch myself saying, “there should be a law...” I have a rubber band on my wrist that I flick. And I start to consider alternatives that take personal responsibility.

What I propose sounds extreme but is actually something I do. And personal responsibility is the only way I know for sure I’m protected from whatever evil it is I’m worried about.

Stop using all social media completely. Manually delete every post and wait a month and then delete the account permanently. Just deleting might leave reside of old posts they keep in case you change your mind. Waiting a month means maybe the backup servers rolled over. I’m not a data scientist but it seems like it might help, with minimal effort added. The main effort is manually deleting every like and photo and comment. I did it over a month, in 30 minute increments. A decade ago.

Stop using google and google services. Everything on the internet uses google trackers. So if you have a Gmail account, now the tracker is linked to you personally, rather than a random unique ID.

Use a VPN for everything. Get a PFsense home firewall and put a VPN on there. No traffic will leave your house that isn’t VPNed. Netflix and other streaming services will stop working. Learn how to pop a temporary hole for that service in your VPN if this will lead to divorce.

Use a prepaid cell phone paid for in cash that you never give out the number. Use a voip app instead. Use encrypted messaging apps like Wire or Signal or Session.

Stop using unencrypted email. Use ProtonMail. Yes if sent outside of ProtonMail, it’s not encrypted, but at least it’s not stored unencrypted on your server.

Don’t use the same email or username on different forums.

Lots of other stuff can add a bit more privacy. Is this easy? Not for most. Is it a hassle? Yes.

Should we have to do all this IT security stuff to avoid being tracked and manipulated by corporations? Hell no! There should be a law! And let’s pass a law that makes murder and robbery illegal and we can abolish the second amendment as unnecessary. And make a law for fire rescue to be funded and equipped so we don’t need fire extinguishers at our houses and don’t need to learn stop the bleed or CPR.

Let’s pass a law that gas stations can’t raise prices on gas in an emergency so I can let my gas tank go to empty every 2 weeks and not worry if a natural disaster happens if I can get gas.

Let’s pass a law mandating supermarkets stock toilet paper! If they run out, a million dollar fine! I shouldn’t have to prebuy 6 months of toilet paper.

Personally, I’m keeping my gun, my VPN, my trauma medical kit, will refill my gas when it’s half empty, and keep my 6 month supply of toilet paper. But if y’all want to make a law, and that will help, then okay. I’ll be the crazy one with a faraday bag hat to block Bill Gates 5G signals.
Libertarian666
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 5995
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm

Re: Election meaningless unless we change for the better

Post by Libertarian666 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:39 am

tomfoolery wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:29 pm
Tortoise wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:55 pm
Online and social media companies have created and inflamed much of this polarization by applying the following logic to their algorithms:

1. How do we make more money? By getting our users to engage with the platform more often.
2. How do we get our users to engage with the platform more often? By offering them content that they are most likely to click on.
3. What kind of content are our users most likely to click on? Topics that are maximally polarized.
4. How do we maximize the polarization of our content? Figure out which "side" each user is on, then offer them content tailored to entrench them even more deeply into that side.
5. Profit.
Are you suggesting Xan hired a bunch of liberal shill instigators to polarize these forums and increase click rates? And that Xan is making millions off the ad revenue from this place, laughing himself to the Swiss vault he stores his gold bullion?

Seems a bit preposterous but I will say Xan has increased the number of sub forums here by 17% recently.

I think I could be swayed to believing Xan masterminded this whole thing if you made a 3 hour YouTube video that included ominous music with intercuts of photos of the Egyptian pyramids.
Only if they have the eye near the top, though.
Post Reply