Science, Innovation, Politics
Short summary for deaf people like me?
Beware the Demagogues!I nearly did a spit take when I saw the title of this post.
Reich's talk is interesting. He's a smart, thoughtful guy and makes some worthwhile observations. Ultimately, though, I think his analysis on the causes of incivility--insularity of opinionmaking and access, globalization and the lack of common national purpose, and the lack of economic growth for the middle class--misses the boat. For example, while it's true that people tend to access media that confirm their biases, the idea that we are MORE insular than ever before seems laughable to me. Any visit to a blog or message board involves interaction with diverse points of view. In reality, while the insular types of media have increased, total access to media has increased even more, leading to more diverse interactions, not less.I think a far more likely and parsimonious explanation is that the Internet and mobile media have increased our access to data far beyond our human capacity to deal with it. We are drowning in information. To survive the information onslaught, we create simple categories (heuristics/proxies) to determine our decision making. These categories are defined by our choice of language and adherence to them is enforced by using divisive and hyperbolic language. In other words, the nasty discourse is the tool used to enforce the simplifications we need to survive information overload.
But if there aren’t enough skilled professionals to do the jobs involving new technologies, the stimulus will just increase the wages of the professionals who already have the right skills rather than generate many new jobs in these fields. And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most — women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed — will be shut out."Civility" apparently must include racist and sexist policies to benefit Democrat party key constituencies. Nice work Bob....today's Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority -- predominantly Southern, mainly rural, largely male -- that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.While at the same time casting the Tea Party as a reborn KKK. Quite the civility there Bob.Perhaps Bob fails to remember that it was that Democrat hero president Wilson that segregated the military, or that the KKK was the armed wing of the Democrat party and murdered Republicans, or the Democrat party passed and supported Jim Crow laws, or the eugenics movement that targeted poor minorities..
"I think a far more likely and parsimonious explanation is that the Internet and mobile media have increased our access to data far beyond our human capacity to deal with it. We are drowning in information." -3. Brian said... Yes, we have been drowned in information but our eyes have been opened and we no longer have to be subject to the myopic views of those who buy ink buy the barrel.
"Robert Reich" goes with civil public discourse like "Military" goes with "intelligence".
Standard Democratic tactic -- demand civility while simultaneously engage in vicious slanders of those who disagree with Democrat policy choices.