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    The “two sides of a story” argument is actually one quite often picked up by people who don’t have any facts on their side. (Read: Climate Change denialists, anti-vaxxers, etc.)

    There’s a term for it: False Balance [1].

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance

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      There’s probably some slick terms for lumping everyone who thinks their side of an argument is underrepresented in with anti-vaxxers and religious nuts and such.

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        …standard operating procedure for political rhetoric these days?

        That said, thanks for calling this out. It’s weird, political stuff shows up and immediately people lose their ability to think critically and convey nuance and acknowledge other viewpoints.

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          Human cognition evolved to track and monitor social standing. Being accurate is subordinate to popularizing genes.

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        It’s funny how all these discussions consider this a new problem. Sure, Facebook only shows you information you want to engage with. This is not a new problem though, your friends, colleagues, shops you visit all do this. When we talk to other people we curate what we talk about.

        I’m into snowboarding, if that’s not one of your interests I won’t keep on talking about it though :) The only change is that sites are starting to do the same thing us humans have done for ages. Started with LinkedIn, Facebook, Etsy, Quora etc. Soon this usage pattern will spread to smaller apps as well.

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          Yeah, I want to know what mythical era it was in which you were forced to partake of a diversity of views? Was it back when we only had 3 TV networks which basically parroted the same lines? Or when your town had a pile of daily newspapers and you could read the latest Hearst paper or Pulitzer paper, but they were both pushing for the same war? Or maybe it was when everybody in your town went to the same church, and fretted when some of those Italian or Irish papists moved in, threatening the delicate balance of WASPiness.

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            You used to have the same media diet as the people around you, which (perhaps) had benefits for social cohesion.

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              I would really enjoy a system that allows people to have a very similar media diet, without having that diet determined by hostile forces. I would love to be able to talk to friends and coworkers about news stories that everyone has read, without going back to the 100% corporate controlled media of past decades.

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              It’s very obvious that, now on the Internet, we are aware of and can easily step into these other bubbles. If you want to know what people on one street are paranoid about then just sign up on Nextdoor in that neighborhood (I’m not sure if that specific case is possible).

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                Well, the people in my town had a range of views and if the newspaper went too far in one direction, they’d unsubscribe. My local paper neither called Obama the spawn of Satan nor called Trump a Nazi, but it’s easy to find such fountains of truth online.

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                  I think it’s true for some times and places that people who lived in an area had a fairly uniform media diet. Perhaps especially in the days of the “big 3” U.S. television network news channels. But it’s not all that new to have really divergent media either. Especially in larger cities, there were traditionally multiple major newspapers, which did not at all have similar topics or opinions. Sometimes not even the same languages! For example, if you were living in New York City in 1930, and you were an educated well-off anglo fellow, you probably read the New York Times, which gave you one set of views. If you were less genteel, you might read the more sensationalist muck-raking New York Journal. But if you were a left-wing Jewish immigrant, you probably read Forverts, the socialist Yiddish-language newspaper (not a fringe paper either, circulation circa 300,000, vs. the NYT’s 800,000 at the time).

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                    Right, but the people who lived near you within the city tended to share your demographic and news consumption habits

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              Scott Adams has an obvious contradiction that should be a red flag for almost anything he says. On the one hand he is an expert in persuasion, and this leads to some very interesting analyses of Trump’s persuasive techniques (which I’ve enjoyed reading). On the other hand, he writes about climate change denial and Nick Bostrom’s simulation hypothesis where he makes some wild claims and clearly uses persuasion techniques to convince you of his claims (which are most likely wrong).

              In my opinion this amounts to decidedly unethical behavior. Outside of discussing persuasion techniques, I wouldn’t trust anything he says without consulting an actual expert in climate change or philosophy, etc.

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                On the one hand he is an expert in persuasion

                Well he’s certainly persuaded you of that, anyway

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                  Scott’s opinion on Trump’s method matches that of other experts. For example, Matthias Schranner tried to explain it to politicians in a german talk show (YouTube source in german). You can probably find similar acknowledgement by people like Robert Cialdini or Tony Robbins.

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                  I don’t trust Scott Adams because dilbert.com has been a clusterfuck of ads for a while now, coinciding with the cartoon becoming unbearably crap.

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                    expert in philosophy

                    Do I need to ask a guy who spend a lot of time “thinking really hard” to tell me if I live in a simulation?

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                      I think you should listen to someone who has read the majority of the philosophy canon and knows the arguments. The simulation hypothesis goes back (in various forms) half a thousand years at least.

                      Or better yet, read Descartes and Kant and Hegel and Abelard and Nick Bostrom and so on yourself. These philosophers (especially the older ones) already discussed and worked out many of these metaphysical questions. Doing philosophy today is more about reading and knowing the history than “thinking really hard” (your words, not mine).

                      Medieval philosophy doesn’t get much attention because everyone thinks it’s just theology but you can trace many of today’s ideas to debates that were being had in medieval theology/philosophy. Also Spinoza is super under-appreciated when it comes to philosophy of mind stuff.

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                    Vague but exciting ..

                    Perhaps through annotation?