Social distance from pathogenic ideas

Discussion in 'Off topic discussions' started by Achedlock17, Mar 28, 2020.

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  1. Achedlock17
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    Hi everyone, I think most of us are learning about the technique of social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus. Equally we are aware of the danger of "fake news" and becoming trapped in ideological filter bubbles.
    Interested in people's views about whether we can cross apply the concept of social distancing to pathological ideas?
     
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  2. HusbandX
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    What do you mean by "pathological ideas?"
     
  3. Eve
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    Same here what u mean
     
  4. Achedlock17
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    @HusbandX @Eve Apologies for my late reply: I've been busy on other things for a while.
    By "pathological ideas" I mean ideas which survive by disabling their holders' critical faculties. So if someone were to criticise the idea, the reply would be to disapprove of the criticism or to say "because I say so". I should say I got the idea from David Deutsch's book "the beginning of infinity"
    So my post question was whether we as individuals can expect such pathological ideas to "die out" by keeping away from them as individuals when we recognise their pathological features as I have just described them or whether it is necessary to either publicise the concept and definition or wade in and confront specific examples of such ideas when encountered.
     
  5. Jessica Alexander
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    Jessica Alexander Trans woman not a mistress or Dom

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  6. Achedlock17
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    Crikey that is a long list! I haven't studied every one, though I have worked in a field with regular misplaced disagreements so I do recognise some of these.

    Important though these examples are, I am more focussed though on "filter bubble" situations where there is a lot of "social proof" inside the bubble for an idea which actually is facilitating that proof by disabling criticism of itself.

    Imagine a plane crash. Many times investigators after the catastrophe say things like "how could the pilots have missed the alarm/acted in the way they did"? Sometimes it is not that they are committing fallacies of reasoning along the lines of the examples you linked to; rather it is that everything made sense to them inside/given their worldview -however that view was too narrow-but from inside it there was no reason to doubt that it was wide enough. Hence the link to Deutsch's definition of anti-rational ideas, namely those which survive by disabling their holders' critical faculties. The pilots didn't see any need for criticism of their (false) view that "everything is going well".

    Ultimately because we are all error prone all the time it is only social groupings and societies that foster a culture of criticism that stand a good chance of progress (by elimination of such pathological ideas). For instance the pathological ideas around traditional gender roles.

    Interested in your views.
     
  7. Ma'at Rebekah
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    is this to say that because president trump says it so and anyone who questions him is damaged in some way thus making their questions wrong at best and criminal or worse makes president trump pathological?
    by the same token since speaker pelosi dogs president trump on almost every issue proclaiming the president is criminal and/or a liar does that make her pathological as well?
    if either or both are, how would social distancing effect that kind of behavior?
     
  8. Jessica Alexander
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    Jessica Alexander Trans woman not a mistress or Dom

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    Neither; from what I see US society is clearly fostering criticism and new ideas, even if many of them are bad. In such a society where all ideas are criticised the better, more explanatorily useful ones should over time win out over the worse ones. Now North Korean society may well be different. I assume that there the dear leader really cannot be wrong, or so the people believe, and there is no toleration of criticism.
     
  10. Jessica Alexander
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    In a broader sense,your idea has been debated and discussed for many centuries by philosophers and educated people. Epistemology (ways of knowing) is an area of philosophy and there is a lot of info out there on it.

    I think it’s sad how well educated and intelligent people get caught up in partisan group think and throw critical thinking to the wind. And all to often, intelligent people get themselves caught in the trap of confirmation bias because they are focused on fortifying their current beliefs rather than learning the truth.

    I have questioned my own beliefs to no end and have found myself confused because I understand and even support different viewpoints at the same time. What I discovered was that right/wrong, good/bad are often a matter of what level you are considering. Micro vs. macro.

    What is good or right for an individual or group, can be bad for the larger group or humanity as a whole or even the planet. Ok, I’m just rambling now.. lol.
     
  11. Lazlo Toth
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    Lazlo Toth C/D on the TomAllen-Rectrix scale: 4/9

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    Sounds like a politically correct way to censor ideas you don't like.

    People far too often make the mistake of thinking that "bad ideas" are to be avoided or shielded from. Suppose we "socially distanced" ourselves from the bad idea of Nazi Socialism of pre World War 2, wouldn't that leave us more vulnerable to repeat it?

    I learn a lot from bad ideas. My own, as well as others.
     
  12. Jessica Alexander
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    Jessica Alexander Trans woman not a mistress or Dom

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    When I brainstorm, I look at every angle and crazy approach. I’ve been told so many times that my ideas wouldn’t work and left people scratching their heads wondering how it worked. Sometimes you have to throw out set ways of thinking and try to approach things without preconceived notions of how something has to be done.
     
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  13. Achedlock17
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    Thanks for your post. I absolutely do not wish to advocate anything which shields any idea, good or bad, from criticism. Psychologically that must mean confronting ideas one doesn't like, or better put, confronting the contradiction between the idea one does like and the idea one doesn't like, and explaining why that different evaluation arises.

    In particular I am keen to find better ways to recognise my own mistakes and learn from them.

    I guess what I had in mind with the original post was that situation where one is inside a bubble or a tunnel and so doesn't recognise its potentially bad implications. So the point would be to use the time and space generated by the analog of "social distancing" to always try to step back and get a handle on one's own ideas: the "positively valenced" theory one is presumably adopting by staying inside that bubble/tunnel, and then try to create at least one "negatively valenced" alternative hypothesis about that bubble/tunnel. Only by doing the latter could one know where to look for evidence to refute the first, positively valenced theory.

    So in terms of the air crash example, the pilots are happy, given what they take to be "everything is fine", so they see no reason to look for counter evidence eg the flashing light in an obscure part of the instrument panel. Had they made an effort to develop an alternative hypothesis ("OK everything seems fine, but what if we are in fact on the way to disaster: how could that be the case"?") they might have thought "well, it seems unlikely but we could be descending without realising it" so they think "lets check the instruments to disprove the descent theory" and:whoa-they ARE descending...
     
  14. Achedlock17
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    Sounds like we are pretty similar, epistemologically speaking!
    Two points:

    1 "my" idea is largely derived from Karl Popper/David Miller and David Deutsch, and the air crash example from Sidney Dekker.
    2 ideas build on earlier ideas by variation and selection (editing out the bad ones). A better idea is better than others for solving particular problems, where "problem" is the contradiction between two explanatory ideas. So my attitude is to harvest those contradictions and resolve them with better ideas but not to ever think there will be a time without problems ie contradictions
     
  15. Jessica Alexander
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    Jessica Alexander Trans woman not a mistress or Dom

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    I think part of what you are alluding to is an echo chamber effect. People screen out all the dissenters until they have a chorus of like minds to reinforce the group think.
     
  16. Lazlo Toth
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    Interesting topic. I really appreciate the serious thought being put into it. I'd like to add another aspect:

    The example of social distancing (used as the initial example) is itself neither good nor bad. Plenty would claim that social distancing is vital for our safety. Others would argue that it has caused more unnecessary suffering than it prevented.

    Knowing if social distancing "works" on the aggregate is unknowable.

    Likewise, "good" or "bad" ideas perhaps ought not be labeled as such in the first place.

    Is male chastity a bad idea or a good idea? HEHEHEHE......I guess it depends.
     
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  17. Jessica Alexander
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    Jessica Alexander Trans woman not a mistress or Dom

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    Right and wrong or correct and incorrect are incredibly subjective and depend on if you are looking at micro, macro, short term, long term and vary even further when you add weight scores to the different variables.

    The “weight” you give the variables can quickly skew the equation one way or another. We can all have the same goals but we argue most about the weights of the variables. We all value life but I value quality of life far more than quantity of life. If I was terminally ill, wouldn’t take a drug to extend my life for six months, especially if it just meant 6 more months of misery.

    Another issue is most humans make decisions based on emotion then try to reinforce that decision with logic. Unfortunately, our two strongest emotions are fear and love and both are well known for making people irrational.

     
  18. Achedlock17
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    Thanks for your feedback. I agree that with chastity "it depends". I say that never having been locked in reality. I can see from this site that many locked males are very happy with their chastity and with being in an FLR. However, as @L-u-c-y speculates in her recent thread, I can well imagine many young males only have experience of interacting with crass Findoms. Probably not a tunnel it is advisable for the male to stay inside for too long, but as I say elsewhere, one needs to generate (create) an hypothesis that "perhaps this isn't great" in order to know where to look for evidence.

    As usual, it is the unseen that explains the seen.
     
  19. filltee
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    You should listen to Jessica she clerly really knows her stuff on this.

    I do really believe that you can potentially over think just about anything nd when you do more often than not the outcome is not positive.

    So what realloy matters is knowing when to stop and recognising what will probably work best for you and yours.
     
  20. Achedlock17
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    Thanks for your reply. In summary I think you are arguing for relying on authority, or a "copper bottomed guaranteed source of truth". I disagree with you, because if everyone in a society thought that way that society will not make any progress by way of new knowledge. In pre Enlightenment societies, the argument from authority went unchallenged. They created no new knowledge or if they did at a very slow rate. Since the Enlightenment we have created much new knowledge at a fast pace eg cured many diseases, can feed Billions more humans etc.

    Nevertheless, as a practical matter, as individuals we all have to take some things on faith-I agree with you on that point.
     
  21. Thomas Gangman
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    One can listen to all the politicians and health experts and just walk away shaking their heads. At this point, we are so confused we don't know the right thing to do anymore. All we have is first hand experiences and the knowledge we learn form those interactions.

    We presently have another couple living with us because of a fire in their home and because of insurance and needing to gut and repair, they may be out of their home until October. This is good for us because they are part of our group and the only ones we can associate with at this time. We have been maintaining all aspect of social distancing including limiting contact with others, putting protective shielding in my wife's office and limiting people's access. So far the 4 of us are doing well and we sometimes say this is being overblown.

    Then there is another couple we play with, they both caught it and passed it onto his parents. Both ended up in the hospital and the husband (dad) died. Oddly, of the two, her was the healthiest and she was a medical train wreck.

    So now the 4 of us are doing social distancing and the guys doing more confinement. We are hoping for a few good days of weather this weekend so we can be out in the yard taking advantage of the sunlight.
     
  22. Nicoftime
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    Nicoftime The suspense is terrible...I hope it lasts

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    Yes there are bad ideas, and yes some ideas are better off not being brought up.

    One politician in recent history mentioned maybe nuking a hurricane before it hit land. This of course would mean radioactive fallout spread throughout the wind. Of course that was just brain storming, and thankfully wasn’t acted upon...but the fact it was brought up, said, and considered, is scary.

    As far as the rest, we are living in a time when fact and fiction, right and wrong, are subjective. People believe what they want, and morally support their views with what fits.
     
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  23. Achedlock17
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    Thanks for your post. I agree with what you say so far as it goes, but would add: we are also living through a time when new knowledge is being created even in "just" the area of the virus: 1 new treatment protocols 2 new therapeutic drug research 3 new vaccine research. It is a safe bet that many of us will benefit from that new knowledge and from new discoveries generally in the future. The key is to have a society organised by principles that do not rule out criticism; over time the good ideas will survive and the really bad ideas will not.
     
  24. Achedlock17
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    Thanks for your vivid post about your experience with the virus. As I have just said in a reply to @Nicoftime, I would add: "we are also living through a time when new knowledge is being created even in "just" the area of the virus: 1 new treatment protocols 2 new therapeutic drug research 3 new vaccine research". Let us not forget that. Good luck with the virus from this point on!
     
  25. Nicoftime
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    Nicoftime The suspense is terrible...I hope it lasts

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    In theory I would agree, but in general, people are morons. I know that sounds terrible, but people wear blinders and see what they choose. If you are discussing the pandemic, hydrochloriquin is a perfect example dangerous information. Rushing a vaccine, one that is intended to be given to the entire population is another. No way to know the long term side effects without adequate testing and trials. The human race could be altered in a negative way instead of positively.

    Trusting that criticism will filter out the awful ideas is a bit too trusting in a population so easily manipulated.

    just my opinion though
     
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