Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

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Bob Butler
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Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

Hmm…. I figure I should explain my perspective briefly in this out of the way corner. It is not really Strauss and Howe’s perspective, so I created this thread.

The first assumption is that people can and will defend their worldviews. There is a temptation to say that because somebody comes to a different conclusion, he must be wrong. To understand the situation, you have to try to understand all perspectives of looking at it. You have to be able to suspend judgment at least well enough to understand and sympathize within limits with the other guy. For example, you can think the Second Amendment needs to be looked at again due to changing technology while still understanding and sympathizing entirely with why the Founding Fathers wrote it as they did.

There are many ways to simplify, clarify and focus history. Most here are familiar with turnings. I also consider important the ages of civilization, the many civilizations, and a working understanding of hunter gatherer motivations. Sometimes the lessons learned from these competing perspectives contradict each other. You have to edit things one learned from two conflicting perspectives to resolve differences. For example, the basic pattern of civilizations changes at age boundaries, so the lessons learned in turning theory from observing the Industrial Age are suspect and must be confirmed in the later Information Age.

There are many ways that todays red - blue conflict might be understood. You need as many ways of understanding it as possible. Some of my favorite are written about in various books.

The Cousin’s Wars by Kevin Phillips views the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the US Civil War as a continuation of a single clash. The cavaliers were rural, autocratic, and came to settle more in the south. The roundheads were urban, democratic, and came to settle mostly in New England. These two cultures have come each to contribute mightily to the US, but it is easy enough to see that the conflict between the cultures did not end with the Civil War. Echos of the distinction are continuing today.

The Weirdest People in the World by Joseph Henrich proposes that the mind is significantly altered by learning how to read. Readers become oriented more to abstract thoughts. Non readers are more oriented to groups of people, how they interact, and how they come to use violence to seek an advantage for their tribe. I have come to describe the difference as between tribal thinking and WEIRD thinking. (As Henrich puts it, WEIRD would be Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic.). I have come to think of this as one aspect of the red blue difference. The red tends seeks to divide between groups and use violence to achieve the superiority of one over the other. The blue tend to care more for principles such as democracy, equality, human rights and rule of law. With very different modes of thinking comes complete misunderstanding.

The Righteous Mind by Haidt says something about both factions. The author is into moral psychology. His central metaphors is the intuitive instinctive elephant with a rational rider. Moral judgements are quickly instinctively reached by the elephant. Once a world view has been locked in, say, by growing up with one’s family, or by searching for wisdom in one’s youth, the intuitive quick judgements become locked in, unchanging. The rational rider just justifies the instincts after the decision is already made. It is barely possible to change the elephant with a total failure of the instincts to achieve results. That is what typically happens in a turning crisis, but is very rare otherwise. You can only touch the rational rider. Even then, most times the best you can do is improve the other guy’s rationalization. The basic instincts will generally remain unchanged.

That covers the basics. Now if others do not include all of the basics, it is easy enough to judge their understanding as incomplete. Anyway, I thought is best to put it all in one place. Comments welcome.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

John posted the following on the MyBB site. I figured it belonged here as well. Among other things he calls for a more in depth description of what I mean by 'tribal thinking'. For a fuller explanation get your hands on The Weirdest People in the World by Henrich. My response follows John's post.
John wrote:I actually think that the new thread you set up, "Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective", is a very good idea.

One problem has been that no one has any clue what you're talking about. I rarely know what you're talking about. So if you put together a coherent explication of your perspective in your new thread, then maybe other people will come into your thread and ask you questions or argue with you. But since it's you're thread, there's no issue.

The other problem is that you constantly insult all the forum members. You obviously agree with Joe Biden and Democrats in general that all Trump supporters are thugs, racists, terrorists and teabaggers, and you think all forum members are the same, so why would anyone want to listen to you?

You refer to the members as dealing with "tribal thinking," which is completely insulting. We know that you consider yourself to be enlightened, and far superior to any of us, just like the Chinese consider themselves enlightened, and consider Americans to be barbarians. And yesterday you accused us of defending criminal activity, as if all of us are criminals and you're superior to all of us. So why would anyone want to listen to you?

And more to the point, why are you there? You obviously hate all of us. You make that clear all the time. And you certainly aren't going to change any minds.

Or do you just enjoy talking down to people you think are terrorists, racists, thugs, teabaggers, criminals, white supremacists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes -- you name it -- and all the other people in Hillary's Basket of Deplorables?

Once again, why are you there?
Tribal thinking would be dividing people into us and them, developing xenophobic attitudes towards them, and to seek to gain advantage over them. In the worst case violence is used to gain an advantage. Along with the opposed WEIRD, it is one of the two modes of thinking that Joseph Henrich describes at length in The Weirdest People in the World.

Tribal Thinking could be considered an insult, but more to the point it is a way of describing how people think. If Trump causes division and fights for certain people, say the rural culture over the urban, that is tribal thinking. Generational Dynamics does emphasize how groups divide, feel xenophobia towards their rivals and fight the war of the week. That is tribal thinking. It should be considered a description more than as an insult. If you don’t want the description to apply to you, don’t divide into opposed groups, develop xenophobia, or apply various political or violent approaches to subduing other groups. The opposite would be WEIRD principles such as the roundhead ideas of democracy, human rights, equality and rule of law rather than loyalty to a group of people.

The insults? You can not say they did not fly the other way too. People will defend their worldviews. If they cannot defend them with fact and logic, they will resort to insults. Is it my fault that you and the people on your site cannot defend their position? If they resort to insults, is it shocking that others respond in kind? I will certainly treat them with respect if they treat me with respect. Judging from recent red on red flame wars, this is a problem among your regulars.

Why do you present your worldview? People do, including both of us.

Rural thinkers do include some of the deplorables. Identifying individuals as being deplorable should not be automatic and done lightly. Most deplorables are aware enough of society’s reaction to deplorable behavior to hide the deplorable behavior. Some individuals such as the KKK and Neo Nazi don’t hide it, but many do. Therefore while it is safe to point out tribal thinking exists among the rural culture, individuals should not be accused of it unless they break cover so to speak. Most do not, in many cases because they do not feel specific xenophobic motivations.

Still, if you do show a xenophobic tendency to be unable or unwilling to understand blue thinking, well, yes. I would rather say you practice tribal thinking than say you are deplorable. It is more descriptive. It is doesn’t make as much of a moral judgement.

Tribal thinking was the dominant form of thought for much of history, and is still dominant in many places. War was cost effective for much of human history, at least for the winners. It is just not the only mode of thought.

But basically, you have advocated Industrial Age tribal thinking. You have backed it up with significant research, but that does not imply you understand or credit Information Age WEIRD thought. You cannot understand blue thinking if you do not understand and acknowledge the basic way which blues see the world.

I am reminded of Nicholson’s line from A Few Good Men. “You can’t handle the truth!” If your perspective were true, you could defend it. You would not need to resort to insult and censorship.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by John »

** 15-Jan-2021 World View: Tribal Thinking

I can see your point about Tribal Thinking. There are a lot of really
smart people who post in this forum. Almost all of them are much
smarter than you are.

So to cope with this, you turn to Tribal Thinking. They're all
smarter than you, and they all have different views that you can't
cope with, so you just treat them all like they're all part of a
Tribe. So in your Tribal Thinking, you're the Enlightened God, and
all the other members are a Tribe that you look down on. So you're
the Hutu and they're the tribe of Tutsis. Or you're the Chinese, and
they're the tribe of Uighurs. Or you're the Nazi, and they're the
tribe of Jews -- all more intelligent than you, but by Tribalizing
them, you can cope with them.

So finally I understand what you mean by Tribal Thinking. You mean
that you're the Enlightened God, with the Mandate from Heaven, and the
rest of are are a Tribe of Barbarians. Or, you're the farmer, and the
rest of us are a Tribe of Donkeys.

It's good that you're using this thread. How about explaining more
about Tribal Thinking, and how you're superior to all the other
members of this forum? Just keep it all inside this thread, though,
so you won't get "censored." I'm sure we'll all look forward to
coming over here to this thread and read more about how inferior we
all are.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

John’s post above makes me inclined to bring up two more aspects of Polyticks.

The first is the name ‘Polyticks’ itself. It originally was a play on the word ‘politicks’, but meaning politicians are many blood sucking insects. This is an attitude common in the unravelling. The longer a group of people are in power, the more likely they are to become corrupt. By the end of the last awakening, the Democrats had become quite corrupt. By the end of the unraveling, it was the Republican’s turn to earn the reputation.

I don’t see corruption as a trait which tends that heavily towards one party or another. It is just a reason to move away from any party that has been in power a long time. It is one factor, but there are other perspectivess that will cause individuals to lean towards one party or the other.

The other aspect I have touched on several times here. Basically, neither the red or blue have a monopoly on intelligence. There will be some who will deeply involve themselves with research, intelligence and backing complex ideas. They exist on both sides. There are others which I will leave alone save to note they exist on both sides.

But if your perspective is weaker if you indulge in only Industrial Age tribal thought but do not understand Information Age WEIRD thought than if you embrace and understand both. If in order to understand a problem you have to understand all perspectives on that problem, deliberately deciding to remain ignorant about the opponent’s worldview is a horrible mistake.

I would consider this as quite distinct from intelligence. There are bright and not so bright people on both sides. There are also people who try to understand the other guy’s point of view on both sides. They are just rarer.

Thus, the intelligence of people on this site is almost irrelevant. The question is if they are willing to explore and understand points of view that are different from their own. I get the impression that many would not. They will cry and insult and suggest presenting new ideas they are not familiar with is a horrible thing.

There is an old thing about three monkeys, covering their ears, eyes and mouth. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. These are sometimes accompanied by a fourth monkey covering his genitals. Have no fun. I have a feeling that there are a bunch of folk on this site covering their ears.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by John »

** 15-Jan-2021 World View: Tribal Thinking vs Far Left Thinking
Bob Butler wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:14 pm
> But if your perspective is weaker if you indulge in only
> Industrial Age tribal thought but do not understand Information
> Age WEIRD thought than if you embrace and understand both. If in
> order to understand a problem you have to understand all
> perspectives on that problem, deliberately deciding to remain
> ignorant about the opponent’s worldview is a horrible mistake.

> I would consider this as quite distinct from intelligence. There
> are bright and not so bright people on both sides. There are also
> people who try to understand the other guy’s point of view on both
> sides. They are just rarer.

> Thus, the intelligence of people on this site is almost
> irrelevant. The question is if they are willing to explore and
> understand points of view that are different from their own. I
> get the impression that many would not. They will cry and insult
> and suggest presenting new ideas they are not familiar with is a
> horrible thing.
So I think we actually agree on what you mean by Tribal Thinking,
though we're saying it in different ways.

The members of this forum are much smarter than you, and hold a
variety of different views. Because they hold different views, you
say that intelligence in irrelevant, and that they deal in Tribal
Thinking. It's not clear to me which direction you believe the
causation is in -- that they hold a variety of views that caused
Tribal Thinking, or that they began as Tribal Thinkers and evolved to
a variety of different views. It doesn't really matter, since you see
a correlation.

You, on the other hand, with limited intelligence, hold to the Far
Leftist Thinking with Democratic Party policies: crackdown on civil
liberties, censorship, strict government control of the economy,
imposition of strict racial and gender controls, rigging the election,
impeachment hoaxes, white self-hatred, black fatherlessness, state
control of black mothers, welfare preferred over employment, silence
all dissent, support for antifa-blm fascist violence, bailing
antifa-blm violent criminals out of jail, cancel the First Amendment,
and so forth.

So you believe that the only reason that the members of this forum
don't abandon their variety of views and adopt your Far Leftist
Thinking is because of Tribal Thinking. If only the members of this
forum could shake off that awful Tribal Thinking, according to you,
they would see the light and completely change their attitudes and
adopt your enlightened Far Left Thinking.

See? Now I understand what you're talking about.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

Hmm. It isn’t that amazing that you understand tribal thinking. That is what Generational Dynamics is all about. Polyticks takes from a bunch of sources. Congratulations at taking months to understand what you are already doing, but understanding blue thought will be harder.

Your third paragraph raises a bunch of issues. Not all of them are seen by me as tribal thinking related. I see conservatives as reluctant to change the social structure and reluctant to solve problems. I emphasize principles such as democracy, human rights, equality and rule of law. There is more to Polyticks than WEIRD. In fact, I was only introduced to WEIRD this summer by a MyBB post. Polyticks is much older than WEIRD, WEIRD being a recent addition to differentiating red and blue thought.

I do not see a crackdown on civil liberties. I do see a crackdown on allowing people to plan criminal activity online. Have you as a red forum boss been contacted to cut down on your red content? Has ether a federal agency or phpBB tried to censor you? I would be surprised if they had. On the other hand, if somebody opened a thread about planning on how to break the law, and you as moderator didn’t shut it down or contact law enforcement, you would be an accomplice.

Regulation of the economy is not new. Hoover said no. The regular and increasing depressions should continue. FDR said yes. Something should be done. It became common after the crisis to accept the progressive innovation. Of late, the Republican version of it has been Voodoo Economics. Route the wealth to the wealthy and stimulate in both good times and bad. It works for significantly more than one term, then the economy collapses. This led to the ‘it’s the economy stupid’, the Great Recession and two Democrats in the White House to fix the problem. Initially, the Democrats favored stimulating in good times and paying down the debt in good. When Nixon came off the gold standard and introduced stagflation to the 1970s economy, the Democratic response became more nuanced. Anyway, more to do with the conservative reluctance to solve problems until it is too late than tribal thinking.

The racial and gender controls were to give the best and most potent jobs to white males. That has been going on for a long time. Progressives are now attempting to remove those controls. My feeling is that this has more to do with ending oppression and equality than tribal thinking, though if you consider white males to be a tribe, you could argue for racial thinking.

There was no reason for Biden to rig the election. As Biden was ahead in the polls and Trump had declared an intent to steal the election in the courts, it was in Biden’s interests to run clean. This generated a 50 to 1 ratio in court cases and Fox repudiating its reporting on a supposed interference. The supposed voter fraud is a big lie, seen as a big lie by the blues, and likely to fall apart in the near future. I know I would make the big lie a central issue of the second impeachment. I wouldn’t associate yourself so closely with the lie. The lie itself is a bit about us and them, about tribal thinking. Remove the right to vote from black people. Not tightly so. That particular lie is more about clinging to power than racism.

The impeachments were real. The phone call was real. More to do with rule of law from a blue perspective than tribal thought.

White self hatred? Does that imply a belief by some in equality, or at a certain level the seeking of minority votes? That is another product of xenophobia, a failure to understand the other guy, attributing false easy to counter motivations. Tribal thinking related on your part, but a WEIRD equality, democracy, human rights and ending oppression from a blue angle.

The ghetto mindset is real. Not all blacks buy into it. The racists get obsessed with it. Yes, something must be done about it, but it is like it was written in West Side Story. How do you cure a social disease? I would rather try to find a cure than exploit it.

All dissent has not been silenced. Again, has anyone tried to censor you?

Black lives matter was practicing change through non violence, protest and the legislative process. Organizations such as the Boogaloo Bois, bad cops, Proud Boys, looters, the Wolverine Watchmen did use BLM as cover and distraction. Still, they had very different motivations. I can’t stop you from continuing to not understand how each group is motivated, but there is an ideological bias to overcome. I do not see myself as overcoming it.

I’m not really with the bail funds. That isn’t part of Polyticks.

The First Amendment has not been canceled. People can still worship as they choose. Biden hasn’t made Catholicism the official US religion. Again, has anyone contacted you to censor red speech?

Now the above is mostly you. They are your idea of what is going on. As such they are best discussed in the Generational Dynamics thread than here, though they do offer me a chance to illustrate how the above issues are viewed within Polyticks. They have little to do unmodified with Polyticks or how I perceive things. But you censor me when I respond to your thoughts there. Generational Dynamics has a problem confronting any sort of criticism.

And to be clear, no, in spite of your intelligence, you don’t understand Polyticks or Blue thought. You have a strong ideological bias which so far has prevented you from understanding it.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Cool Breeze »

John, as is happening right now in tech and society, it is quite informative when you starve the beast with honorable decisions and freedom. On the internet, the currency is attention - which also explains why lefties are like women, or have the same characteristics.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

Hmm. Your sexist opinion has nothing to do with Polyticks, thus the intent of the author of the thread. If women can be seen as a separate tribe to be oppressed, that is a little bit tribal thinking. My own thought and most blues thought is that the attitude you display is oppression, and that equality should be the dominant principle.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Guest »

Bob Butler wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:25 pm
There was no reason for Biden to rig the election. As Biden was ahead in the polls and Trump had declared an intent to steal the election in the courts, it was in Biden’s interests to run clean. This generated a 50 to 1 ratio in court cases and Fox repudiating its reporting on a supposed interference. The supposed voter fraud is a big lie, seen as a big lie by the blues, and likely to fall apart in the near future. I know I would make the big lie a central issue of the second impeachment.
This is a great idea. I couldn't agree more. The alleged election fraud should be examined closely as part of the process. Trump should be allowed to present the evidence with witnesses so the American public can see and hear this.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. President Trump was impeached without any debate about the facts or looking at the evidence. How can something as important as impeaching the President be undertaken in a matter of hours? Where was the opportunity for President Trump to present his defence? The Democrats have ignored due process.

The Democrats will endeavour to do the same thing during the trial in the Senate. It is a political witch hunt.

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Re: Polyticks: Bob Butler's Perspective

Post by Bob Butler »

In the second impeachment, the speech was recorded and the congress folk were direct witnesses to the result. The impeachment vote in the house is the equivalent of the grand jury in an ordinary persecution. The defendant doesn't get to present his side until the trial. I suspect there will be enough time allowed for any evidence to be presented, but as usual there will be no evidence presented of fraud as there is none. If it existed, why not present it to anyone? Likely not a lot of time allotted. Congress has enough to do. But enough. Especially with McConnell holding things over Trump so he will hopefully behave. If he goes crazy with pardoning everyone, a pardon would be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Maybe not? With Biden already in power there will be time enough. No total urgency. Time ought to be given to Trump. We will see how he uses it.

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