The reason we're becoming more extreme

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #366016 by Kwitshadie
The best way is to vote in local elections and vote for or against the incumbent based on their performance and not by Political Party alone. ^_^
I’m not sure what else we can do to bring both my Conservative and Leftist friends together.
As far as greed goes, we 21st century teens have grown up not sure how to grow food or learn woodshop.
I suppose the apartments could allow for folks to grow a mini garden and share.
Either way we are in for an interesting time in history and we’ll pull through the chaos; we always do every 80 years. :)

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ~ Yoda
Last edit: 2 years 2 months ago by Kwitshadie.
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2 years 2 months ago #366126 by ZealotX

Malicious wrote: It's just a byproduct of us eroding our own past morality and letting corruption happen . Just look at the mouse utopian experiment if you have paradise it doesn't last long . We will continue to destroy ourselves and let more depraved acts go unpunished . You here about bad things happening more and more everyday . As a civilization we have some pretty bad habits and can't shake them . We just ignore it and think it will go away eventually but it never does . To fix these problems we would have to rewire how we think , we would have to go against our own nature and cut out greed entirely . Not only that but develop away to take away hostile emotions as well , only then could we have some form of stability . Or we could put super glue on the wound by cracking down harder on criminals , reforming our civil morality ( something along the lines of 1920's mannerisms ) and prescribing more anti-crazy pills .


Not to start anything, but when did we have this utopia of morality that you're referring to? Like... historically. When was it?

You probably don't know this, but I love you. I really do. I've grown to love everyone on this forum so trust me when I say my intentions are pure and whatever I say is only in love.

But with that said...

As a student of history (B- student perhaps), what I see and desire to see is progress. Sometimes that progress is bloody because we're fighting people trying to hold on to the past. During the civil war the thought of ending slavery wasn't universally popular. That is a testament to the moral compass of a generation! If I lived back then what side would I be on? It's hard to say because hindsight is 20/20 and what I think and believe NOW is a product of understanding that history and the environment it has created. We're still suffering effects of that division. People are still making heroes out of those who fought for the South because the South didn't want to give up its slaves. Slaves.

Slaves.

It's funny how much of the Star Wars universe fails to be "universal". Most of the stories behave as if the center of the whole universe is actually Tatooine. He who hath and ear will understand what I'm saying.

Tatooine is easy for us to imagine because it's easy to imagine human nature in this environment. Due to the lack of presence of the Republic the people were free to make other people less than free. And the spice flowed even if you almost never see anyone on Tatooine high. Think about it.

That product is going somewhere else, to those who can afford it. Tatooine represents people who struggle to survive in spite of the scarcity and harsh conditions.

But it's like someone on Tatooine saying "remember when it wasn't a desert?"

What? It wasn't even the same people. That was the Kumumgah. The only people who can really say "remember when" are the Sand people and no one is asking them. No one ever really asks the natives how they feel.

So for everyone else... it's like it just begs the question...

When, what period in history, are you pointing at as a sort of beacon of goodness that we have since lost? Because often... too often... this kind of question also begs (often typically from the same group of people asking the question) whose fault is it that things are now different? Who (what group) do we blame for this? And this allows people, typically those asking the question, to be entrenched in a certain political movement that tends to find those groups to blame (different from the group doing said blaming).

So because the question, in my most humble opinion, seems to be in search of a certain answer I have to question the question. Do you see? Again... it's all love.
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2 years 2 months ago #366127 by Zero
I agree with zealot here…..things arnt any worse now than they ever have been….it’s just that now, we’re all online and connected and having every piece of news at our finger tips, up front an in our face all day long. Sure we’re all more aware of the atrocities, but they arnt anything new. Just because your now aware of something dosnt mean it has just started it’s existence.

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2 years 2 months ago #366129 by Adder
The same with nature, folk tend to think its placid and true, yet it's more like 'all teeth', just most of them teeth are too small to bother us, or have us notice it bothering us. We have built thicker and thicker types of skin to distance ourselves from things, so we can focus on other things instead of survival.

Plus of course in societies, the progression from closed to open societies goes through a stage where it appears worse than before!!! Seemingly because of the emerging openness revealing the truth that did exist before - but was hidden.

I think it's called the J-curve, though I'm not sure getting more open equates to getting more stable.... as it seems we tend to shift the base expectation upwards about what represents stability!? So the more open things get the more unusual closed things seem, just because they're not open.

I think what happens is each generation assumes their parents quality of life and social norms is the base which everyone starts from, rather than the reality that the parents quality of life was the product of decades of work and the social norms were hard fought improvements. When it's all stuck together with tape and string most of the time. Each generation looks away from the past in an effort to define themselves as being for the future.

So like a mix of distancing ourselves with artificial layers of skin, and redefining ourselves with new patterns of better dots. But when those replace mindful motive and directed action........ we just get a churn which equates again to survival of the fittest all over again (fit defined by power as it might exist within the society at that time). Of course when society changes, the definition of what constitutes power also changes, whichever way it changes ;)

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6 months 4 weeks ago #374262 by Kwitshadie
Anger and fear has been getting stronger by the year.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ~ Yoda

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6 months 3 weeks ago #374283 by Tellahane
I have to say if there are 2 things I've noticed more in the last couple years, is a reduction self discipline and lack of ability to listen. A lot of the youth starting to get jobs today, just simply don't want to work. I see a lot of them refuse or turn down 40hr a week jobs because its simply "too much". Or call off a shift once a week, or complain about having to do physical tasks on a regular. I'm not saying everyone but I've seen a lot more first hand.

Then there's the listening, there is a ton of people and it could be the prevalence of social media and information to blame to a degree but people will simply not listen. They don't read either, they see headlines in social media posts, headlines of news articles, but refuse to read any responses, or look into it further. Simply because there is SO MUCH information its too much to sift through. So a lot of people just take headlines at face value and assume that information as fact. To the point that whenever anyone tries to argue against or even present their own first hand testimony its automatically wrong or a lie or invalid simply because they never saw the "headline" in whatever feed they choose to follow.

The information overload is leaving people with too little time to process and as such are living a life of assumptions. We're(as a society) not teaching people to look into/research things or listen to each other anymore, or at least thats how I'm seeing it from my perspective. 

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6 months 3 weeks ago #374287 by Cornilion Seadragon
I think you hit on a lot of key reasons, but I don't think that's the whole of it. There's definitely a lack of true dialog. I think social media is a HUGE part of this. If it doesn't fit in a 140 characters, a meme, a 30 second tiktok, or a headline, it doesn't get seen. Very few issues can be fully addressed in one or two sentences. We want the easy answers, and one line answer sound nice and are easy to share, but don't really address the issues honestly. Social media and the digital age also means way less face to face time. Outside of forums like this or a chat function like discord, there's not a lot of digital venues to have real conversations (way to go TOTJO for centering around avenues for real dialog!) at least for the youngest couple generations (gen z and gen alpha, and to some extent millennials) in person conversations just don't exist.

That being said, I have to disagree with the sentiment that kids today just don't have a good work ethic. Every generation says that about the next generation. It was said about Gen X, Gen Y, and now Gen Z. It feels like one of the most overdone tropes of all time, but yet it still catches on because it still rings true (as people forget what their generation was like or simply don't understand the values of the next generation). That being said, it is a little different this time around because of how much the world has changed. Gen Z grew up watching the economy fall apart, their parents and grandparents work until the day they die because the promise of "work hard and then enjoy retirement" has dissolved. The days of giving your all for a company and knowing they'll take care of you in return are long gone. In a lot of ways Gen Z is just smarter than previous generations (largely because they have access to data that previous generations didn't), and know that hard work only gets you so far. Who you know, what family you're born into, and how much you network and sell yourself, and working smart not hard are the things that really help people get ahead while the those who network end up climbing a staircase made of the heads of people working hard below them. This generation also recognizes that companies today have zero loyalty to their employees. Not only are companies continuing to ask more and more and respect fewer boundaries forcing employees to be stricter about enforcing boundaries and not giving allowing any give and take because they know it's all give and no take, but companies also won't hesitate to throw a hard working employee who has dedicated decades of their life to the company out the window the first chance it's convenient or profitable to do so. Instead of putting all their time and energy into making more money for some company that seems them as nothing more than an expendable number, the newest generations often choose to put their times into things that they perceive value in. Their own health and well being is one of those things they value, perhaps a lot more than previous generations, but things that build the community are another big avenue. More than ever before they want to spend their time doing something valuable, not wasting their effort on a faceless corporation that could care less about them. Every generation seems lazy to the previous generations because people at a certain age do tend to be lazy and they build a work ethic over the course of their life (and then often forget how far they've come themselves and how bad they were at that age). It is more pronounced with this generation because on top of that they also are putting their effort into different things than previous generations did, and so they appear especially lazy to those whose filter is that effort should be put into a day job. That turned out to be a much longer rant than I meant, but I think it's important to see it from a different perspective. Yes, employees of that age are lazy, as has been true for every generation, but even more importantly those of that age currently who are really hard working aren't putting that hard work into a day job that they see no value in. They are often putting into bettering themselves or their community, places where their efforts will be appreciated or actually pay off.

And, uh, back to the main topic. Social media and the reduction of honest dialog into a one line slogan is a huge part of it. The information overload you mentioned is another. All of this is missing a key detail, though, which is that it would be okay to just trust the headline if the headlines were honest. Since news companies are no longer isolated from the profits and ratings they generate and live only so long as they get a lot of viewers, headlines have become increasingly clickbaity or deceptive. They aren't technically untrue but they are often half truths designed to get people worked up over nothing, enough that people click on their article or video on the topic that would otherwise be really boring. The fact that one of our major news outlets just made a 750 billion dollar settlement for actively lying to their viewers for months/years because it helped with ratings is just tip of the iceberg. They all do it, that was just the one to be so blatant about it and to do it in a way that specifically hurt one entity enough that a big lawsuit like that was possible. I remember seeing a headline a while back during the height of the computer chip shortage saying something along the lines of "Biden leads campaign to prevent construction of new computer chip plant". The full story was that Biden was working to keep that plant from being built in China, instead trying to work out a deal for it to instead be built in the US or one of our allies (and it eventually did go to the US, though it's now running into issues where the parent company in Taiwan are saying that US workers are too lazy for the plant to be successful, which is ironic considering my previous paragraph). The point is, the headline was technically correct (he was trying to stop that plant in China from being built) but super misleading, probably intentionally misleading. It seems like all the news agencies do it, because that's what gets clicks and makes money. Paywalls also probably don't help. Sometimes all we can read of an article is the headline unless we want to subscribe to a company that we many never see again for that one article. Unless we really go out of our way to find the details, that headline is going to stick in our brain without the larger context whether we want it to or not. Politicians haven't helped either. At least in the US there's been an organized effort to create greater political division. Freshman Representatives in the US House that used to be sat all together with freshman from both sides of the aisle when they first start out are now siloed with seat assignments at the far edges where the only voices around them and influencing them and the only people they network with are from their own party. Once they've become deeply entrenched they get moved to the center seats so new freshman can take their places at far right and left edges of the chamber. It isn't just that we've all forgotten how to have a dialog. The systems feeding public opinion are themselves actively trying to drive a wedge between people as well. It's good for ratings and it's good for campaign contributions. Plus, the more people are mad and distracted by senseless arguments and half truths, the more they can slip things that would be universally unpopular through unnoticed.

I also think you're right that we are not teaching people how to think critically and do quality research on topics. A lot of that is thanks to search engines that spoon feed every answer to people. They don't look into things more than the two second answer. I think a lot of it is also faith in low quality sources, though. Instead of listening to experts who have spent their entire lives studying a field, people think they can know more about the subject by reading one blog post or memes on Facebook. We have too many armchair philosophers who really know what they're talking about or what constitutes quality evidence or quality sources of information but don't realize how much they don't know. First hand testimony, for instance, is actually a big problem from my perspective. In the scientific world that's called anecdotal and is the lowest quality of evidence you can provide. As humans we have evolved to understand stories. Relying on stories has kept us alive. Unfortunately between that and the fact that we generally don't know how to critically assess the quality of statistics, it leaves us far too eager to trust a single story over a mountain of rigorously collected data. Yes, statistics can lie, and that's why people need to understand how statistics really work. Single stories can lie, too, not because they are themselves false but because they are an outlier that misleads people into thinking they are the norm. People share a story and everyone jumps on it. People share high quality peer reviewed research by highly respected experts in the field and everyone ignores it. We should question things, but we also need to recognize that we sometimes lack the expertise necessary to properly question some complicated topics and need to defer to people far more knowledgeable about the topic than us to question it for us.

All that being said, I totally want to bang my head against the wall every time someone says, "oh well if that's true I would have heard about it."


I also realize that in all of this I somehow missed one of the biggest reasons why we're becoming more extreme: it's profitable for social media. People stay on social media longer and engage more actively if they're either getting worked up over something. The companies know this, they've been called out for it and in some countries received huge fines for actively choosing to use algorithms that they know cause greater division because those algorithms are more profitable. After all, what are you more likely to engage with? Is it something you agree with or something you disagree with? Is it something reasonable and relatively boring, or some extreme view that you gets under your skin? It's misleading or divisive content that gets comments and user engagement, and that keeps people spending more time on the platform and watching more ads. The algorithms that run social media sites know this and because their job is to optimize user engagement and time spent on the platform, they optimize for that type of content. Either they create echo chambers where people just respond how much they agree or they prioritize divisive content. Either way the algorithms are destroying bridges and building walls.

Now what's the solution? IDK. Forums, chat systems, and environments that facilitate and foster true dialog are probably a step in the right direction. Better education that teaches people to be critical thinkers instead of sheltering people from any views deemed politically incorrect by whoever happens to be in power at that time is also probably a huge step in the right direction. In the end, though, there's too much money to be made creating division so it's an uphill battle. I guess the first step is to be part of the solution ourselves. Question our own views, seek out opinions we disagree with, and rigorously fact check the things we assume to be true. In particular, we have to be careful not to share things ourselves that we haven't fact checked in order to prevent becoming part of the problem.

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6 months 3 weeks ago - 6 months 3 weeks ago #374290 by Tellahane
While it's not a complete solution, or a well thought out one. One of the things that needs to happen is a focus on commune with thy neighbors. Gone are the days of local news pretty much. Every local news I've watched which is few and far between lately, is almost exclusively 90% world/nation news, and 10% local. More then that, people have more access to like-minded sources of information, so the ability to seclude yourself among echo chambers of information is crazy. 

I have gotten into arguments with people before where they will argue the most incorrect things, because that's all they have read and seen. For example the immigration issue. I got into a heated debate with someone who insisted they are coming over legally and not illegally, and that the idea that these migraints are causing crime, killing, stealing, and raping, are all lies and its never happened. Now, obviously the majority of which aren't causing these problems but some are, it has happened, but because they have attracted themselves to sources of information that align with their ideals, which don't cover any counter points to their own ideals themselves they never see it. So therefore everything else is a lie. When you counter them with information from other sources, well they are liers too, fake news, etc because thats what their source of information said that they trust so much.

However when you put someone who has been affected by these situations personally in front of them to testify their personal experience, there perception changes. It's not about evidence anymore because either side of an issue is claiming the other side is fake or false. It's the inability to listen, inability to seek personal testimony of views opposite of your own.

Most will say the biggest problem in politics is the money behind it. Most politicians don't represent their voter base they represent the lobbieist, and that is an issue. I would say the far bigger problem even for those politicians who do listen to their base is that they win their seat with a 56% majority lets say. So they act based off what the 56% want, completely ignoring the other 44%. When they should be listening to 100% and trying to find the common ground that pleases them all. There has been such a push to vote only among party lines, or as money tells you to vote that we ignore the people they are supposed to represent.

Furthermore once upon a time news was word of mouth. Yeah there were newspapers, TV's and so on, but a lot of times you would find out about things by simply talking to each other while at church, or work, or when you would socialize at parties. You would be forced to talk to people in person and represent a certain decorum in doing so. You were almost forced not just to hear the news but different takes and perspectives from different people from all walks of life. With the over abundance of information at your phone's finger tips, those different views and opinions are gone. Moreover because your "internet persona" is shielded to some degree you don't have to maintain a certain decorum. So you can go around calling people liars to their internet faces in a way you would probably not be willing to do in person.

That same change in interaction is adjusting the youth socially to act different in person as well. There's quite the shift of how people talk to each other now. Just look at the emergence of kens and karens. Some of the ridiculousness we see in some of these podcasts where everyone can do it now, and everyone is talking to a microphone, no other people directly in their face. We need to find a way to bring back that decorum and that respect, and willingness to listen to other perspectives. I think first starting with forcing opposing perspectives.

Take a look at X. You can go down your for you feed, and see headline after head line after headline. Posts by people you follow, some you don't. Sometimes opposing politicians etc. Making these big statements, some false, some twisted etc. People can instantly like, re-tweet, comment etc without ever seeing a single response from those tweets. But if you go and look at the top 5 comments on a lot of those, especially political profiles, you will see A LOT of angry people and their opposing views to whats being said. But how many people do that on the regular, I would speculate not as many, and that's simply based on the view count of those posts vs view count on the comments. If every time you looked at a message you saw the top 5 comments automatically, it would be a bit different. IF you were forced to look at the top comments on your previous posts before you could post again, it would be different.

Of course a lot of these high end profiles don't actually tweet or post they have interns and other staffers who do it for them, who are paid to ignore all the responses because its just used to send out the headlines blindly.

If there is one thing we lack in our current social structure, it's for lack of a better word, opposition(formerly I wrote accountability but that was not right). It's too easy to ignore opposing or different perspectives on any given topic. Anyone who takes control, and arguably has tried several times recently, to control what perspectives you are allowed or not allowed to see, controls the direction of the group of people. The lack of access, and the ability to shun different perspectives is ultimately what will ruin the unity, and keep everyone divisive, and the more that happens the more extreme different ideologies will become to defend their points of views and beliefs.

We need to bring discourse back to the table, somehow.
Last edit: 6 months 3 weeks ago by Tellahane. Reason: typos
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6 months 3 weeks ago #374300 by Cornilion Seadragon
I agree with almost everything you said.

Local news companies are folding at alarming rates. With the news cycle now being all of 15 minutes, a daily print paper is going to be printing old news by the time people get the paper and revenue from online streams just aren't big enough for small companies targeting a limited audience to stay afloat. That unfortunately means the really big national companies are the only ones that can survive and even the small local companies that have survived are mostly just subsidiaries of the big companies now

As far as immigration goes, the fact that most illegal immigrants originally entered the country legally was true at one point in time, but continued rise of asylum seekers it's not no longer true. There are 3 ways to become an illegal immigrant: enter legally on a visa and then not leave when the visa expires (called overstays, which is the group the person you were in a debate with was referring to), cross the border at a point of entry and once across the border present yourself to border patrol and request asylum (which can only be done on US soil, so basically all asylum seekers are illegal immigrants who are apprehended at the border where they turn themselves in to request asylum), and those trying to sneak across the border. According to statements from CBP, almost everyone crossing the border illegally does so in pursuit of asylum. As far as actual numbers, I was trying to find specific numbers but not surprisingly the nature of someone being "undocumented" means that there isn't much of a paper trail on them. There are estimates done using data collected by the census, border patrol, and the IRS, but these all lump multiple groups together (apprehensions at the border includes all those seeking asylum and all those sneaking across who are caught and are per year without accounting for how many actually stay, counts from the census include those who overstayed their visa as well as those who sneak across the border successfully and are a current total not an annual number like the CBP data, total asylum seeker statistics get lumped in with refugee statistics, basically teasing out which part of each statistic is one group versus another has become extremely challenging because the reported numbers just lump everyone together in different groupings like a giant venn diagram). As far as far as the idea that these migrants are causing crime, yeah, it's certainly not true that none of them commit crimes. Any group of any size commits crimes, and the US actively deports illegal immigrants who commit crimes so we have data showing that this group does indeed include those committing crime. All the same, there's a lot of rhetoric out there that tries to categorize the whole group as a bunch of criminals and that's certainly not true either. Most of them are just trying to keep their heads down and not cause any trouble, not unlike any other group except that the stakes for getting caught committing a crime are way higher for this group. Obviously some of the people sneaking across the border are doing so as part of a criminal enterprise, so those specific groups are obviously involved in criminal activities (specifically drug or human trafficking).

To me it's unfortunate that people's perspectives change just because you put someone in front of them that shares their personal experience. Again, personal testimony is the lowest quality of evidence that exists. It can give people new insights and share perspectives that they had never thought of before, and that might shift perspectives, but unless you are only trying to prove that something has happened at least once personal testimony isn't a particularly valid source of evidence. To me the issue is more that people do change their perspective based on a single point of testimony, instead of it being an issue that people don't seek out testimony from those they disagree with. This all goes back to your point that it's not about the evidence anymore. Part of it is that people don't understand what quality evidence actually looks like, and that we're wired to be compelled by stories more than facts.

The internet persona thing is a huge issue. I suspect that's going to continue getting worse as future generations increasingly have only an internet persona or whose primary persona and interactions are online.

I would disagree that Kens and Karens are a new phenomenon. Our awareness of the phenomenon has certainly increased, but having worked retail before the term "Karen" was a thing, they've always been there. Boomers are the worst in my experience. Younger generations are usually really polite to store employees even when they're really getting the short end but Boomers will demand the world and get mad when the whole planet can't fit inside their shopping cart. The origin of the term "Karen" as a type of person is basically an entitled white middle class woman, which has itself been a thing for generations. We just see it more thanks to social media and the fact that everyone has a camera on them at all times with a feature to instantly upload any video they take to the internet.

I also agree that the issues with divisive politics are about more than money and more than just lobbyist money. That is an issue as well, but yes, the fact that they are representing party first and only the constituents that happen to be from their party is also a huge issue. In the last couple elections pretty much anyone who had a history of actually working across the aisle got my vote. Even just looking at voter turn out, though, divisive candidates get results. Only a percentage of eligible voters actually vote, so it is a lot easier to just get some of the people that weren't going to vote but agree with you to just go vote for you by riling them up about how bad the other side is than it is to convince those who disagree with you to change their mind and vote for you instead. It's also easier to elicit campaign contributions because most people probably don't donate to campaigns, only those most zealously attached to one set of ideas (or corporations who want something) do, so aligning yourself with the extreme viewpoint also aligns yourself with most donors. It's not all about money, but money is definitely a factor.

As far as the echo chambers, the disconnect between what we say online and the response to it, and the lack of discourse, 100% Yes. That's all a huge part of the problem. Honest discourse with those with other viewpoints, while sometimes uncomfortable, is a necessity, and there are fewer and fewer good venues for those types of discourses to happen. I try to seek out views I disagree with. Often I'll find my own views changing, other times I do a whole monologue in my head about what I would say to that person to explain why I disagree (though usually without the ability to actually share that disagreement with them which kind of goes back to one of your main points about how people are shielded from others disagreeing with them).

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6 months 3 days ago #374499 by Cornilion Seadragon
I just read an interesting article that talked about this topic. It blamed the commoditization of engagement (people, and more importantly companies making money from people engaging in conversations). This leads to algorithms that prioritize things that get the most engagement which are generally not the deep honest dialog.

The article also suggested that the solution is decentralization of the internet and of social media in particular, smaller communities that are both easy to moderate and where people actually know and interact with others so we're less invisible. There's an accountability when you are part of a community. (Again, it seems that the way TOTJO is set up is helpful in the pursuit of a less hostile and divided world).

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