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Weekend update: who has more items for "Cultural Cognition Dictionary/Glossary/whatever"?

Okay, loyal listeners:

Version 1.0 of the CCP Dictionary/glossary/whatever ("DGW") can be viewed here.

Nominations for additional entries are now being solicited. Proposed items should be technical terms, terms of art, or idioms that recur with reasonable frequency on this site and that are likely to be unfamiliar to anyone not among the 14 billion regular readers of this blog.

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Reader Comments (15)

Cultural alliance effects. Example: consider a socially contested science issue which features a largely evidential position, E, opposed mainly by a group of religious believers. The religious group has a strong cultural alliance with a political party, X, which hence is pulled in for that side. This sparks a reaction whereby X’s political opponent, Z, weighs in on the evidential side, yet by default not using evidential arguments but instead deploying their regular range of cultural weapons, such as ‘folks who support the X party (so via association oppose E) have inferior brains’, which range will typically include some conspiracy theory, logical fallacies and so on. Hence the evidential or ‘right’ side (E is correct in this example), ends up inextricably tangled with various cultural promotion and defensive behaviors. Likewise the 'wrong' side will also include behaviors based on X versus Y rather than E versus religion, and encompasses those who 'conveniently believe' in the religious position for the sake of their alliance. Note that in this conflict example there are 2 sides, yet 3 cultural groups.

Convenient belief. The surface belief expressed by an individual, in a proposition maintained by a culture allied to the individual's main cultural group. This belief is 'convenient' to the alliance, but the individual does not in practice back their expression with a full or proper commitment to the official tenets of the belief, or the corresponding actions expected from such a commitment. Example: a political party, X, has an alliance with Christianity. Asked whether they believe in God, a convenient believer within X says 'yes' (this is an identity challenging question, requiring alliance credentials). However, if allowed to respond to less identity challenging questions, the convenient believer reveals that they don't believe in creationism. So they disbelieve a fundamental tenet of the cultural text which underwrites the Christian God. Indeed their God is not some other god with different associated concepts, it is the Christian God, for which the only root validation is the bible. A text with which they are fundamentally at odds. There is no latitude within this text for evolution (over thousands of millions of years), only complete contradiction well outside the scope of merely human fallibility in representing the divine word. [In practice Reps and Dems are both allied to Christianity, with big majorities expressing belief, and about 30% each of convenient believers. It is the disparity of 'full' believers who do support the creationist position, i.e. dual adherents, that creates a significant asymmetrical strength in the alliances].

January 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndy West

van der Linden and crew fight back!:

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

A Climate Science primer for the masses:

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Link didn't work for me... Is this it?

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Or, in other words, this?

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Oops. Forget BOTH of those comments.

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua


Next time I put two links together, I'll leave a blank line in between. That should make it easier than - uh - climbing a greased light pole ;)

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Classic display of Eagles' fandom:

January 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

More on Cox et al., with more links therein:

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua


Oh dear!

"And despite the fact that more than 90 percent of climate scientists attribute the majority of global mean temperature increase over the last few decades to human activity and warn that continued warming poses risks for mankind, doubt and misconceptions remain pervasive."

The figure is 88%. With accuracy standards this low, is there any wonder doubt remains pervasive?

"I want people to understand that the basic physics of climate have been known for well over 100 years, and to make the point that much of what we know about the climate system is based on simple physics and not as much on huge, complicated models that are often cited as the main basis for concern about climate"

Deary me. The basic physics was actually developed in the 1930s by Schwarzchild studying stellar atmospheres in the 1930s, and only applied to the terrestrial atmosphere in the 1960s. (Specifically, Manabe and Strickler 1964.) That's not 100 years ago.

"In science, uncertainty must never be confused with ignorance."

Heh! Yes. This is a good one. The IPCC distinguishes "likelihood" - the probability of an outcome assuming the models are correct - from "confidence" - the probability the models are correct. When they tell you the likelihood is 90% or 95% or whatever, that doesn't mean what you might think it means.

"He reasoned that the
atmosphere must absorb some of the infrared radiation and emit some of it back to the surface, thereby warming it. But he did not have enough information about the atmosphere to test this idea."

Te idea's wrong. That's not how it works. If it was, the oceans would boil.

"Thus by the time of the American Civil War, it was well known that the absorption and emission of radiation in our atmosphere is due to a handful of gases that make up less than 1% of air."

Garbage. Water vapour constitutes about 4% of the atmosphere.

hy does the absorption and emission of infrared radiation by the atmosphere warm the planet? This concept is actually quite easy to understand, though it is often explained poorly or even wrongly."

Ha! Ha! Ha! You know where we're going here!

"When the greenhouse gases (and clouds, which also act as greenhouse agents) absorb infrared radiation, most of which comes from the surface and lower layers of the atmosphere, they must reemit radiation, otherwise the temperature of the atmosphere would increase indefinitely. This reemission occurs in all directions, so that half the radiation is emitted broadly downward and half broadly upward. The downward part is absorbed by the earth’s surface or lower portions of the atmosphere. Thus, in effect, the earth’s surface receives radiant energy from two sources: the sun, and the back-radiation from the greenhouse gases and clouds in the atmosphere."

Jeez! How many times have I seen this bogus garbage?! No, that isn't how it works. The water of the oceans absorbs infrared about 20,000 times more strongly than the atmosphere, and re-emits almost 100% of the radiation it receives as backradiation. The standard calculation on that basis predicts a temperature of about 5000 C a metre down into the oceans.

"It should be remarked here that none of the preceding is remotely controversial among scientists, not even those few who express skepticism about global warming."

It's not even the consensus understanding! It's been known since Manabe and Strickler 1964 (possibly earlier) that it doesn't work this way.

"But not all greenhouse gases are created equal. The most important such gas, because of its relatively high concentrations, is water vapor, which can vary from almost nothing to as much as 3% of a volume of air."

I only comment on this one because of the way it contradicts the earlier statement, that "Thus by the time of the American Civil War, it was well known that the absorption and emission of radiation in our atmosphere is due to a handful of gases that make up less than 1% of air"! I mean, how stupid do they think we are?

I really can't be bothered to trawl through the rest of this drivel.

The consensus position *can* present a better scientific argument than this, even at a layman-understandable level. But this is not it. Why do they keep on doing this? Anyone persuadable is already persuaded - anyone with access to sceptic scientists knew the counter-arguments ten to twenty years ago or more, when we had this argument. Isn't is just embarrassing, now?

Oh, well. I guess it keep the true believers satisfied.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

IBM's weather channel website is doing the climate change communication via multiple homey anecdotes thing:

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

The influence of political ideology and trust on willingness to vaccinate:

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Pew supports Dan's anti-MTurk bias:

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Somewhat (very loosely) related to your vaccination link:

January 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Scratching my head on this one: Fake facts and alternative truths in medical research:

Hmmm, there are 2 data points (Norwegian Research Council and Cochrane Collab) outside of a tight cluster of 6 others (these 6 alone show no trend), and that is supposedly sufficient to identify a trend?

If it is a trend, it's potentially another case of scientists exhibiting motivated reasoning. If it isn't a trend, then perhaps it is a case of scientists motivated to sense motivated reasoning in other scientists. So, I guess its motivated reasoning by scientists either way, falsifiability be damned.

Note that the reviewers' comments are available through the Open Peer Review reports link, but none really addresses the paucity of data, although all state something about how important/timely/interesting the topic is (by all here I mean 3, which is >2, so obviously must be a trend ;).

January 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

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