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« Science literacy *plus* science curiosity--a research program for enlightened self-government (lecture summary & slides) | Main | Miss the posts on the CCP dictionary/glossary, whatever? Well, here you go-- CRT & numeracy. »
Thursday
Feb082018

Let's play data jeopardy again! (lecture slides)

Gave a talk yesterday at the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University. The audience there was great--filled with critical insights & contructive suggestions.

I again used the "data jeopardy" format, in which I present the data "answer" first & then invite the audience to guess the "question" that motivated the collection of the data.

So, slides are here; what's the question?

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Reader Comments (51)

Toxic meme link drop:

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/14355/

Doxastic parasites spread not because they serve human interest, but because they are more salient, attractive, better shielded from critical scrutiny and refutation, more conducive to spurious confirmation, and more likely to elicit credibility-enhancing displays that infect other agents.

February 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Joshua,

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11191-018-9956-0

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Thanks. Looks interesting. I look forward to reading it.

Now, if you could put on your superhero literature monitor costume to find one for me where...

They test for any effect of a course on "motivated reasoning" and "cultural cognition" ... with the outcome variables of interest being (1) differences level of polarization generally on a variety of issues in association with ideological orientation, (2) differences in levels of polarization on climate change*, more specifically and (3) directions of changes in views on climate change* in association with ideological viewpoint.

I think it would be really, really fascinating to see whether a course on "motivated reasoning" and "cultural cognition" would result in (A) On the whole, "realists" becoming more "skeptical" about the potential risks of ACO2 emissions, (B) On the whole, "skeptics" becoming more "realist" about the potential risks of ACO2 emissions, or (C) less polarization on the issue w/o a marked change in views, on the whole, in either group, respectively.

My guess is that there would likely be a minimal change in views broadly described, along with a diminishment in "polarization." But wouldn't it be interesting if, say, on the whole"realists" became more "skeptical" due to engagement and introspection w/r/t "motivated reasoning" and "cultural cognition?"

What would be complicated there is teasing out some kind of difference between "polarization" and difference in views. I think that equating differences in views with "polarization" misses something.

People can, I think, maybe, have different views w/o quite being "polarized," and therefore tracking differences of views and equating them to polarization might be sub-optimal. IMO, "polarization" implies a direction from a more simple disagreement towards an identity-protective/identity-defensive component; in other words, "polarization" is not only a portrayal of a constellation of views, it is also a portrayal of a constellation of antipathy and group loyalty.

* Of course, "views on climate change" would need to be carefully broken down carefully, into, for example, likelihood of anthro-emissions explaining >50% of recent changes, likelihood of anthro-attributable changes causing dangerous impacts over multi-century time scales, likelihood of emissions mitigation being having "catastrophic" economic impact, etc.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

BTW -

I thought this is pretty cool: Students with either low religious service attendance or very high attendance had lower
paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Also cool:

However, the relationship between science literacy and reduced paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs remains unclear, as other studies have found no connection

So, if true that there is no connection, then what does that tell us about associations between "scientific literacy" and views on climate change? Should we have an expectation that "scientific literacy" has any particular implications? Should that bring into question the view that "scientific literacy" significantly predicts polarization (as compared to other
"unindicted co-conspirators," i.e., confounds)?

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

"...superhero literature monitor costume..." - Just comfy sweat pants, fleece, and slippers. No vibranium. Sorry to disappoint.

"...find one for me where..." - I don't find them, they find me. But, if one such comes along, I'll certainly send it your way.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Final comment -

Nice to see that the author mentioned the limitation in that they didn't test for the longevity of any effects found. As a fan of longitudinal research, I think that is a significant limitation.... and also the limitation in terms of the lack of diversity in their sample.

Additionally, IMO, the generalizability of the effects of teaching "critical thinking" are generally much more limited that people assume - both in terms of the sustainability of the effects over time, and in terms of how people think the effects apply across a variety of domains even when those domains become less directly connected to the domain in which the "critical thinking" teaching takes place.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

Just comfy sweat pants, fleece, and slippers. No vibranium. Sorry to disappoint.

Of course you'd say that. I wouldn't expect Clark Kent to acknowledge his Superman costume either.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Forget the earth's magnetic field flipping news, this is stranger than that:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-democrats-and-republicans-did-a-sudden-180-on-the-fbi/

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

FBI...Russia, the importance of a deficit, the insurance mandate, states rights, crony capitalism, the importance of moral character for a political candidate... the list is endless.

I will give Rand Paul (and many other libertarians also) some credit. I suspect that if we did an scientific test, overall they are more consistent...because (IMO) they tend to be more authentically ideological.

Then again, Paul voted for the deficit friendly tax bill...as did many of the "Freedom Caucus." And of course, they can claim plausible deniability by hiding behind the "growth" curtain. Having a curtain to hide behind naturally increases one's willingness to throw consistency out the window.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

I don't think any of those flips, including the FBI one, are legit. For instance, if the FBI comes out with a report condemning Hillary and the uranium-Clinton-foundation thing, the pubz will cheer quite loudly, while the demz will pout.

But, just in case, I'll start collecting old Better off Dead than Red! signs to give to demz in purple states in November. 'Cause recycling is cool.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan - I feel it is my duty to warn you that on the internett, "Better Dead than Red" still retains its original 1950s meaning

It was, furthermore, the name of a heavy metal band out of Philadelphia, but has now become a meme shared by similar bands worldwide. See YouTube for vast collection, popular with ultra-nationalists, skinheads, motorcycle gangs, the Bundy family, local militias, and related groups, usually with tattoos, and invariably heavily armed. Top result of search for "Better Dead than Red" is the following song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyHHSRXcnAg

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Ecoute,

I apologize for my cultural appropriation.

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Vaxx morality:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11019-018-9829-y

When communicating with the public about science and relevant policies, should that communication include discussion of morality? I've rarely seen the two mixed. Yet I doubt that the public keeps the two as separate as scientists and communicators do. Is the reason a lack of domain expertise, or backlash fear? I'm distinguishing between morality and advocacy - which scientists have started to dip their collective toes into recently.

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

This is evidence for why I think that evaluating how and why the American public reasons in association with "values" likely misses a lot of what is important.

Just 48 percent of voters said reducing the budget deficit should be a “top priority,” according to last month’s Pew Research Center study. That does not rank among the top 10 most important issues, trailing improving race relations (52 percent), protecting the environment (62 percent) and improving education (72 percent), among other issues.

And it’s a dramatic drop from five years earlier, when 72 percent believed deficits were a top priority. It also represents the lowest share of Americans concerned about deficits since the months just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/why-did-the-gop-vote-for-a-budget-busting-spending-bill-because-voters-dont-seem-to-care/2018/02/10/522fd598-0de6-11e8-95a5-c396801049ef_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_pkcapitol627pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.9d6cc42e256b

"Values," such as "small government" values, are effectively a proxy for identity. Or to borrow a term, asking someone how they feel about debt tells you more about who they are than what they think about debt.

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Jonathan -

How do you distinguish between morality and advocacy?

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Joshua,

One problem with vaxx advocacy which is addressed by that morality article, but usually not addressed well by scientists or advocates, is why one should vaccinate even when the social benefit is tiny and one is personally averse. A scientist can tell you that vaccines work, and how they work - but even as an advocate can't explain (without invoking some moral principles) why one should bother to contribute what is only an infinitesimal amount towards herd immunity.

February 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"This is evidence for why I think that evaluating how and why the American public reasons in association with "values" likely misses a lot of what is important."

Do you mean the way some people can interpret a 59% majority calling it a "top priority" as those people "discounting" the issue?

"Yet voters in both parties have simply discounted the issue. Forty-one percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans consider cutting the deficit a top priority,"

""Values," such as "small government" values, are effectively a proxy for identity."

Small government and the deficit are different issues. One is about whether you should spend a lot, the other is about whether you should spend a lot more than you earn. You can object to one without objecting to the other.

Relative priority isn't absolute priority; it may be that people haven't started to care about the deficit any less, but they've come to care about other things even more.

Also, I guess you're trying to say that the reason Republican voters have changed opinions is that Republicans are in power now. But that's not the only thing that's changed over the past few years. If it was really a proxy for identity, shouldn't the Democrats have gone the other way?

"How do you distinguish between morality and advocacy?"

"I should behave in this way" versus "You should behave in this way"?

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

My guess is that as values, almost all Americans are in favor of "small government" and against "big government." Almost all Americans agree that it is better if the government balances the budget (as compared to running a deficit) and doesn't borrow huge sums of money (accumulate debt) and pay hundreds of billions in interest each year.

Those "values," IMO, don't likely shift over time in association with which party holds office. What changes over time is how those "values" get translated into politicized and polarized context. People, of course, differ in how they view the relative value of different kinds of expenditures, for example military expenses versus social services. Those contexts and specifics are what matters, and IMO, trying to assess "values" through some kind of generic and de-contextualized frame is of dubious validity. Did it measure what you are intending to measure? I think, to a large degree, not.

It's like when you ask people in a generic frame of they want taxes cut, and then ask them whether specific services (paid for by taxes) should be cut. The answers you get reflect incongruities, which, IMO, are heavily influenced by ideological identifications. Not to say that differences in "values" are completely irrelevant, but that disentangling the relative explanatory power of the different influences would require a VERY sophisticated measurement tool, and taking that task too lightly, ironically, reinforces biased thinking more than it sheds might to increase our understanding.

IMO, there are certain issues in which there is a spectrum of uncertainty. As one example, do I want, along with my fellow citizens, to pay for my government to protect me and my countymates against threats?

Some small % of people probably lie outside some kind of standard deviation, e.g., 'Any collection of taxes to pay for military or regulation is tantamount to theft,' or 'Whatever my government takes in taxes to pay for the military is just fine with me.'

But, IMO, most folks recognize that there is a range of valid answers to that basic question, which are all context-dependent, and largely influenced by culture and experience. So what we do, to combat the basic unknowability of a conclusive answer, is pick an answer, not based on some underlying set of values, but based on a cultural/ideological/experiential identification. And then we double down on our answers based on an identify framework.

From such a dynamic, we would expect to see exactly what we see, where people switch orientation on the surface question, more or less en masse with out affinity group. The putative manifestation of "values," as supposedly reflected in opinions expressed about the (relative) importance of our country running a deficit or the reliability of the FBI are fluid and change with surface changes in the context. And then they change back again. And then change back again.

Are "values" so fluid that they change with the political winds? I don't think so. Thus, I think that there's something wrong with the reverse engineering of "values" from outcome measures which are, inherently, ideologically associated.

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

"I should behave in this way" versus "You should behave in this way"?

A false dichotomy, IMO, or an over-simplification.

Expanding such logic, we would have to say, IMO, that there is no such thing, for example, as a moral framework that is based on Biblical or Judeo-Christian principles.

Seems to me that there's lots o' crossover.

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

NiV -

Also, I guess you're trying to say that the reason Republican voters have changed opinions is that Republicans are in power now. But that's not the only thing that's changed over the past few years. If it was really a proxy for identity, shouldn't the Democrats have gone the other way?

Thanks for that comment. There's some stuff to work with there, IMO.

Also, I guess you're trying to say that the reason Republican voters have changed opinions is that Republicans are in power now.

That's part of the reason, is in better shape. Some Demz would argue that the economy being in better shape should actually focus more concern on deficit spending rather than less concern (and some Pubz might do so if the situation were reversed) ...but I could see where that would seem counterintuitive for many: I am more likely to take a risk when I am feeling more solvent.

I think that there is evidence that Demz have moved in the other direction. I think that in general, they might be more aware of the contrast...but no doubt, many Demz are focusing on an anti-deficit argument as a way to justify their opposition to the tax bill, Pubz in Congress, Trump's presidency, etc. It may not be as dramatic, or as explicit as the Pubz turnaround, but I do think it definitely exists.

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Deficit spending opinions might be hard to pin down for a few reasons. One is situation - someone who is a knowledgeable Keynesian would argue that deficits are great in high unemployment times and bad in high employment times. Others argue about national debt as though it is similar to household or personal debt, using the same emotional evaluation for both. Many don't realize that most of the US debt is owed to the US (I've read that many pubz believe it is owed to China). Still others are taking a position just to point out the hypocrisy of the other side's flip (and without knowing the causal reasons for the flip, it might just be counter hypocrisy charges ruling the day).

But, despite all of that, I suspect that the underlying economic ideologies of demz vs. pubz, among each that has actual ideologies, haven't changed.

Pew did this a few days ago:
http://www.people-press.org/2018/01/30/majorities-say-government-does-too-little-for-older-people-the-poor-and-the-middle-class/

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"Expanding such logic, we would have to say, IMO, that there is no such thing, for example, as a moral framework that is based on Biblical or Judeo-Christian principles."

Depends which bit of the Bible you're looking at. A lot of the Bible, I'd argue, is more 'power-crazed authoritarian tyrant' than 'moral'. But there are some bits on not casting the first stone, not judging others, shaking the dust from their feet that get the general idea. You can construct a moral system from Judeo-Christian sources, which is not to say everything so constructed is 'moral'.

But it is a non-standard definition, I agree. I just thought it captured the distinction rather better than the usual one.

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/a-better-way-to-look-at-most-every-political-issue/552752

February 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

That's pretty close to what I've been getting at.

February 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

link drop:
https://www.axios.com/the-lefts-civil-war-over-climate-change-249fd353-e73f-4415-a7f8-34e2b9f2e8db.html

February 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan,

Interesting links.

"So why don’t people who want to shift the equilibrium away from political correctness try to broaden their coalition by simultaneously agreeing to ban “hate speech”?"

Hate speech about who? Hating the Nazis? Hating the racists? Hating the slavers? Hating rapists? Hate for child molesters? Who wants to ban that?

Nobody wants to ban "hate speech", as such. For most people it's not really about freedom of speech at all. There are some groups that society *demands* you express hatred for, and others that it *forbids* hatred for. Most people agree that society has the duty to do so - they just disagree about which particular groups should be loved or hated, and who gets to decide.

Libertarians who want to stop society regulating speech at all do indeed sometimes seek a broader coalition with people who just want to restrict speech in a different way to the rest of society. But the main people who can be so persuaded are those whose views are currently out of fashion and who it is fashionable to hate. They don't exactly want free speech, but they'd much rather have free speech than for their own speech to be forbidden. That's why the Charlottesville free speech protests had quite a lot of racists marching with them. (Who were themselves once the "moral majority" in just the same way. It comes around to everyone, eventually, but you only find that out when it's too late to do anything about it.)

Others try to make common cause with the "moral majority" who *hate* the aforementioned unfashionable, and seek to "moderate" their control over speech, limiting it to restrict only the most extreme cases. There are more of them to aim for, but they're harder to persuade of the merits of free speech in the abstract, because they're currently quite satisfied with the way the rules are now, and see no practical advantage in moderating them. They've heard about free speech theoretically being a 'good thing' as an abstract principle, but it seems to them that the only people who could possibly benefit from it are their hated enemies; evil people with evil beliefs. Its hard to make the case against restricting speech when the main beneficiaries are, by definition, people everyone hates.

So there's an equilibrium. There's a window around the median viewpoint where privileged speech is enforced, because if the forces of political correctness encroach too much into it, they increase the number of hated whose "hate speech" now becomes a matter for free speech. But libertarians cannot extend freedom any further outwards into the extremes, because then more people stop caring about the constraints on their *own* speech, and start to care more about the "hated other" getting away with it.

You have to play both ends against the middle, as they say. ;-)

But it's a war without end. :-(
And a parting on the left, Is now a parting on the right. And the beards have all grown longer overnight...

--
"One vocal faction is pushing for 100% renewable energy, neglecting nuclear power and fighting all fossil fuels, infrastructure to move them and technologies burning them more cleanly. These drastic actions are required given the urgent threat climate change poses,"

Required? :-)

February 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

NiV,

"And a parting on the left, Is now a parting on the right. And the beards have all grown longer overnight..."

Talkin' bout my generation? I'll excuse that cultural appropriation ;-)

February 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Nobody wants to ban "hate speech", as such. For most people it's not really about freedom of speech at all. There are some groups that society *demands* you express hatred for, and others that it *forbids* hatred for. Most people agree that society has the duty to do so - they just disagree about which particular groups should be loved or hated, and who gets to decide.

You shouldn't say 'nobody' just like you shouldn't say 'never', NiV. I actually do want to ban hate speech, and think that both the US government and private plaintiffs should be pressing terrorism cases against Twitter when it facilitates the dispersion of messages that incite violence. I think we've actually had this conversation before. I think Brandenburg v. Ohio remains rightly decided and modern social capabilities have shifted such that more banning of hate speech is rightly justified under the old rule.

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

Anticipated link drop:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3115809

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan -

Furthermore, we find that CRT scores at time 1 are negatively correlated with belief in God at time 2, r = -.178, and with social conservatism at time 2, r = -.105,

Do you know how they measured "social conservativism"?

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Princeton professor, shocked at black student reaction, drops class after a single session, refuses to offer the course again. Department head, a black woman, claims problem arose because Obama is no longer president. Yes, honestly:


https://registrar.princeton.edu/course-offerings/course_details.xml?courseid=011551&term=1184

"Spring 2017-2018

Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography

Lawrence Rosen

Freedom of expression is always limited, both by the harm that may be said to occur if unbridled and by the constraints of the dominant culture. Using such topics as hate speech on campus, the cultural defense plea, the Mapplethorpe exhibit, the Supreme Court opinions on pornography, and the Salman Rushdie affair, we will ask how civility relates to free speech, how codes may channel expression without oppression, and how cultural difference can relate to shared values and orientations.

Sample reading list:
Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
Matsuda and Lawrence, Words That Wound
Bolton, Culture Wars
Fish, There's No Such Thing as Free Speech
See instructor for complete list "

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Joshua,

Do you know how they measured "social conservativism"?

It sounds like they just asked:

Participants’ political ideology was measured using with two items: “Politically, how conservative are you in terms of social issues?” and “Politically, how conservative are you in terms of fiscal issues?”

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Since above link to Princeton course catalogue will probably be disabled now the course is no longer offered, this is a link to letter of black woman chairing Anthropology department. Completely beyond satire.

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2018/02/in-defense-of-rosen
"....Rosen has used the same example year after year. This is the first year he got the response he did from the students. [...] This did not happen when Obama was president....."

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Has there been any research about whether or not low-CRT scores persist even when the subjects were told the correct answers in the past? I've seen some pop web sites claiming they can use the CRT (sometimes just the bat&ball question) to predict belief in God. The obvious concern would be, as such things proliferate, what would happen to the stability of the CRT.

Also, I'm just curious if CRT-like skills can be improved. And what else happens if/when they are.

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"You shouldn't say 'nobody' just like you shouldn't say 'never', NiV. I actually do want to ban hate speech, and think that both the US government and private plaintiffs should be pressing terrorism cases against Twitter when it facilitates the dispersion of messages that incite violence."

I'm not sure if you really mean that if if you're missing my point.

Most people want to ban hate speech by or in support of groups they hate, like terrorists. Nobody wants to ban hate speech by themselves against the groups they hate. Like terrorists.

When terrorists turn up in your local shopping mall, should they be allowed to get on with it, or should they be shot? Does saying they should be shot count as "inciting violence"? Doesn't the US government say and do exactly that?

Do you see what I mean? Did you really mean to say that nobody should be allowed to say they hate *anybody*?

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

I think the answer to my own question is - not yet:

Haigh (2016) found that, among those who reported prior exposure to the CRT, 30.6% had been exposed via popular media, and 22.2% had been exposed via a course in school or university. In such contexts, it is likely that the CRT was not simply presented, but explained. It is quite possible that this type of exposure has relevance for whether the CRT remains a potent predictor. We suggest that future CRT studies ask ...

from: DOI 10.3758/s13428-017-0963-x

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"Department head, a black woman, claims problem arose because Obama is no longer president. Yes, honestly"

In a sense, she's probably correct. The Trump election has dramatically increased the political activism of anti-racism black students, and their opposition to free speech.

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

She and the previously mentioned here Mark Jacobson - who has now sued perfectly qualified scientists for denonstrating that his zero-carbon industrial plans are sheer lunacy - help make free speech an exclusively right-wing cause.

In that sense, I believe they should be encouraged in their folly. Saves us the trouble of ridiculing them.

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Another favorite is the kook who painted Obama's official portrait - unlike the previous 2, this one has a sense of humor:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obamas-portrait-artist-painted-black-women-with-severed-heads-of-white-women/article/2648935
"....“It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” Wiley told NYMag....."

February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Did you really mean to say that nobody should be allowed to say they hate *anybody*?

Yes, NiV, I did. I think the justification to censor speech depends rightly on the market size for the speech. The audiences who care about someone's hatred can give them sympathy on smaller and more private channels. If such exchanges of sentiment between known associates lead to the planning of lawless violence, that's just garden-variety conspiracy and can be prosecuted as such. But additionally, anyone who broadcasts hatred to a general audience, which is now more likely than it was in 1969 to contain people who will take their speech as justification to commit lawless and violent acts, ought to receive timeouts from the broadcast medium and be censored, through court injunction on the medium moderators as a third party if necessary.

I know it's a strong position. Supposedly, this is one of the least "libertarian" positions I hold, but I think it's the only position actually consistent with libertarianism. What is protected about speech is that it can be ignored. Speech is protected because you don't have to care one whit about it unless you want to. One's liberties to speech don't extend to unintentionally harming others, or intentionally harming others through proxy. It follows that when speech makes itself unignorable, it has become force, and can legally be prohibited as force.

When terrorists turn up in your local shopping mall, should they be allowed to get on with it, or should they be shot? Does saying they should be shot count as "inciting violence"? Doesn't the US government say and do exactly that?

The Brandenburg standard is against inciting lawless action that is imminent and likely. If known terrorists show up with guns, self-defense is not lawless. You can, and ought, to shout "shoot them". I assume you were picking an extreme example to show a point, but I think that one's too extreme.

What is the legal standard in the UK? Does a comparable one exist? Does it modernize as well as ours here in the States does? (Would you just cite the US precedent, like the Supreme Court of India often does?)

February 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

Dypoon - two things you appear to forget about Brandenburg v Ohio:

1. The Ohio statute under which Brandenburg was convicted by the lower courts was passed in 1919 to combat trade unions infested by communist activists.
2. The Supreme Court overturned it. Brandenburg, a KKK leader - completely unrelated to the original targets of the statute - walked free.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/492

If you are so interested in the case, you may want to read the full decision - yes, with footnotes - and listen to the entire oral argument as well. See link above. Finally, in view of subsequent jurisprudence, the chances the USSC would further restrict freedom of speech are close to nil.

February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

PS from the oral argument, concluding remarks of counsel (Allen Brown) for Brandenburg. Kirschner represented Ohio.

"... To win my case, Justice Fortas, may I submit that the State of Ohio as just as this moment indicated the massive invasion into the First Amendment that we have here into when Mr. Kirschner suggested that I could run down through Harlem saying, “Kill the Negroes” and Justice Marshall responded, “You wouldn't last very long.”

That Justice Marshall who is safe for the moment because the venue is in Washington D.C. but in Ohio could be indicted for suggesting a violent reaction by the Negro community.

This is the state of invasion under this statute into the First Amendment rights because under the proposition that Mr. Kirschner outlined here legally that is precisely the effect of Justice Marshall's remark. ......"

That's the standard, Dypoon. Speech.

February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

"I think the justification to censor speech depends rightly on the market size for the speech."

This is what I'm saying. Most people hold to a standard of wanting to ban hate speech they disagree with, but not ban hate speech they agree with. They use some criteria based on social norms to separate them, but they don't want to ban "hate speech" if that would include the speech they support.

In your case, you seem to be basing your criterion on "lawfulness" and advocating "unlawful violence" - which are clearly intended to represent society's democratically agreed norms of what is approved and disapproved. You agree that society approves some instances of violence (the lawful ones), and speech advocating it. That's what I mean.

I think the standard here might need some refinement - it would imply for example that you couldn't advocate for changing the law, as whatever alternative you call for would by definition be unlawful. That would be ironic, as the legislators responsible for defining the law are the ones whose job it is to do that! But whatever the rule, the point is you do have a rule - a division of hate speech into that which is lawful/allowed by society, and that which is not. Most people do not disagree that there should be such a division - they only disagree on what should be on which side of the line.

"One's liberties to speech don't extend to unintentionally harming others, or intentionally harming others through proxy. It follows that when speech makes itself unignorable, it has become force, and can legally be prohibited as force."

What is unignorable? Let's pick a different example. Suppose someone were to publish some "blasphemous" cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammad. According to the standards of one society, this can and should be ignored. According to the standards of another society, this is unforgivable blasphemy and cannot be ignored. We all know that there will be violence, and people will get hurt. When the mob caught up with those cartoonists, one got attacked with an axe, and 12 got shot dead, and this was entirely predictable.

Should blasphemy be banned? By one society's standard, blasphemy is unlawful (it's against Sharia law), and calling for a violent response is lawful and reasonable (again, under Sharia). Note, I'm not judging here; simply pointing out that other societies have other criteria on what speech is lawful. By your society's standard, it's almost certainly going to result in unlawful violence and people getting hurt. But conversely, because Western society can and does ignore calls for unlawful violence, it's actually perceived by many as less of a problem than the cartoons themselves, or many other crimes.

The result of making whether it incites other to unlawful violence your standard for allowing speech, is that *anyone* can get society to ban *any* speech, simply by threatening unlawful violence if you say it. There is effectively no more free speech about anything.

So we layer on more caveats and conditions, to try to include or exclude all the exceptions and difficult cases. But ultimately the effort is futile, because the persistence of the difficult cases is a symptom of a fundamental inconsistency at the root of the philosophy. You either have free speech, or you don't. If you don't, then it's simply a question of which group gets to impose their rules on everyone else: to love who we tell you to love and to hate who we tell you to hate. And the majority are happy with that when they're part of that moral majority, and deeply unhappy when suddenly they're not.

The fight is not about not expressing hatred for the out-group. It's all about who's in and who's out.

February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

"No law" means "no law". Nobody needs to be worried about Congress, the totalitarian danger is from political correctness. This superbly qualified technical woman, Qinn Norton, could not be hired by the NYT because of her friendship with another superbly qualified technical man, Andrew Auernheimer of the Daily Stormer.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/business/media/quinn-norton-new-york-times.html

All this talk about in and out groups, Brandenburg, et al, is irrelevant.

February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

link drop:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/13/does-free-speech-help-democracy-we-did-the-research

February 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

non-paywall version of article discussed in that WaPo article here:
http://www.chrisclaassen.com/Tolerance%20and%20protest.pdf

February 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Getting rid of alt-right free speech advocates in order to combat hackers, gamers, other online trolls, considerably raises odds of major nuclear exchange. Wonder how that risk evaluation would fit into Dan's original slide here - about quaint fears of climate change:

“A major infrastructure cyber-attack could not be a nationally endorsed attack at all. It could be from some third-party hackers who might enjoy a nuclear exchange between the two major powers,”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/15/nuclear-weapons-ernest-moniz-accident-risk

February 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

Final on Dan's slides: including books by either Chris Mooney or Cass Sunstein as somehow explanatory of the right wing's scientific views can only be meant humorously.

The two of them together couldn't tell an isotope from a hack if their lives depended on it.

February 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEcoute Sauvage

I know, Ecoute. My argument -is- that circumstances have changed such that what was acceptable in the 1960s is no longer, under the same standard. Brandenburg rightly overturned the Ohio statute because Ohio's statute contained no assessment of the likely outcome of the speech. I agree with that holding. I'm further arguing that the structure of modern communications has drastically raised the base likelihood that -someone- will act on -any- given thing that people say.

In other words, formerly marginalized communication is not so marginalizable any more, and I am advocating escalation of censorship in response. If you think that's stupid, I'll bite the bullet, but I think it beats keeling over and allowing the idiot radicals to take over all discourse, as NiV pointed out could be done as follows:

The result of making whether it incites other to unlawful violence your standard for allowing speech, is that *anyone* can get society to ban *any* speech, simply by threatening unlawful violence if you say it. There is effectively no more free speech about anything.

I'm still not sure where you're going with this. First of all, that state of affairs, a widespread prevalence of "if I don't like what you say I'll hit you", isn't a consequence of the Brandenburg standard; that's the unregulated state of nature. Second, threatening, or actually conducting, unlawful violence against speech should be (I would argue "is") imprisonable as assault, or battery respectively. The Brandenburg standard protects speech from government censorship, including simply telling people to shut up; it doesn't protect the person trying to get others to shut up by threatening violence. As Allen Brown pointed out, the difficult cases are the ones where speech provokes lawless action by a second party against a third that appears spontaneous to both the utterer and the government, and it's the medium and the audience that make the difference.

You either have free speech, or you don't. If you don't, then it's simply a question of which group gets to impose their rules on everyone else: to love who we tell you to love and to hate who we tell you to hate. And the majority are happy with that when they're part of that moral majority, and deeply unhappy when suddenly they're not.

Then I would take your dichotomy and further argue that you never have free speech at all. For any given person, there will always be people in society whose only common language with the given person is violence. But those people will not always try to make themselves unignorable to the given person. The only way to protect a state of discourse where there exists speech that can be ignored (i.e. where some speech is free) is if we censor speech that tries to make itself unignorable. Does that make sense to you? By "unignorable" I do not mean "should not be ignored". I mean "not possible to ignore". Maybe it doesn't make sense for there to be a difference there, but I think there is room for a distinction to be drawn.

In a government that cares about protecting liberties other than speech, speech will never be free independent of content, because it is to some degree unacceptable for the government to allow people to advocate that those other rights it guarantees be unfairly taken. It so happens that the guarantees the US constitution makes to its people are pretty darned strong, which makes a strong case for censorship. My position is simply that the rule the government uses be as consistent with the government's other promises and obligations as we can try.

Nobody needs to be worried about Congress, the totalitarian danger is from political correctness.

This is pretty spot on. Indeed, every faction has its own version of political correctness. I think the meaningful question is whether censorship can protect the population from its natural tendency towards runaway factionalization. I think the answer is yes.

February 17, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterdypoon

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