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I guess everyone is following the news (Page 2)
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OreoCookie
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Mar 29, 2022, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The way I mean it is something to be considered as a matter of degree rather than a binary.
Then of course, you have a point.
We can discuss the Mongol invasion much more calmly now than if we had been alive at the time. Or conversely, we need to speak of horrible crimes like the Holocaust in a different fashion precisely because it is still living memory (barely, because most survivors are now dying). What Mongols might have done to some of my ancestors doesn't affect me emotionally, whereas other things do.

On the other hand, a lot of economists and historians base their considerations too much on the rational actor model. People get swept up in emotions and panic sometimes, so a President like FDR might seem more comforting than someone like me who typically stays level-headed but can seem detached.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Mar 29, 2022 at 09:27 PM. )
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subego
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Mar 30, 2022, 03:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
someone like me who typically stays level-headed but can seem detached.
Out of curiosity, assuming emotional detachment is what you’re talking about, have you found any correlation/causation between detachment and apathy?

That’s certainly an issue with me.

I’ve attempted intentional emotional detachment in regards to politics for many years at this point, and I only half-jokingly say my discovery has been I understand now why Humans run the Federation and not Vulcans.
     
Laminar
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Mar 30, 2022, 08:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Don’t take this as wanting to change your mind necessarily, but if you look closely at how the situation is unfolding, you can see how politics matters. You can see the consequences of e. g. George W. Bush’s decision to expand Nato in the early 2000s. You can see why “Trump’s perfect phone call” to President Zelensky mattered, why those Javelins weren’t just some token in a bigger political game. Why Trump’s first impeachment mattered, and why he should have been convicted and a conviction might have had a positive impact on the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure you can add to that list.
I don't disagree that those things matter, but my sphere of influence is the people I talk to and the votes I cast. It's not like if I was better informed in-the-moment that I could have stopped that phone call.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 30, 2022, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Out of curiosity, assuming emotional detachment is what you’re talking about, have you found any correlation/causation between detachment and apathy?
At least for me that’s not the case. Emotional detachment is just a way to analyze complex situations or handle some unusual or dangerous situations. But I am not an apathetic person. I think I have grown warmer over the years. Emotional detachment is just my preferred way to try and look for a solution to a situation or a problem.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That’s certainly an issue with me.
Do you think exhaustion is also part of it?
That’s certainly the case with me. Speaking of politics, to me the Trump Presidency was traumatic, because I knew what the consequences of Trump’s decisions (or just lack of interest) were like. He was overloading my ability to think clearly about important things, even just the erratic policy pronouncements. We don’t need to go through them again and look at the merit of each, but I think it is fair to say it was a lot. Your approach to deal with news doesn’t scale well either: you can’t look at primary sources for 100 different things and think things through.

Add to that the pandemic, and burn out and apathy are normal reactions, I’d say. Totally understandable. And I feel burnt out, too.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve attempted intentional emotional detachment in regards to politics for many years at this point, and I only half-jokingly say my discovery has been I understand now why Humans run the Federation and not Vulcans.
Yeah, I have also noticed this. It is quite interesting, Vulcans are introduced as physically stronger, more intelligent, more diligent and stoic. You’d think that they’d be running the show, but no. I remember one of the earlier episodes of Enterprise (as in the least-loved Star Trek series back then) where Admiral Forest discusses human-Vulcan relations with Ambassador Soval, and Soval told Forrest that Vulcans were afraid of humans, because they were advancing much faster than Vulcans after the last devastating war on Earth.
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subego
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Mar 31, 2022, 07:03 PM
 
Oh… my personality is neither apathetic or unemotional. Detachment to me is purely a strategy to improve my analysis.

With Trump, this strategy effectively insulated me from direct trauma, though that was not the case with regards to the trauma inflicted on those around me.


I am sadly aware my more concrete analytical methods don’t scale well. They must be reserved for things which either interest me or are very important (e.g., the Post Office and Ukraine respectively).
     
subego
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Mar 31, 2022, 07:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You do you, but I think you fail your country in a moment it needs its citizens the most. Politicians react to the apathy of its electorate, and if the electorate does not take the conflict very seriously, then so won’t many politicians. This conflict has the potential to spiral into a nuclear war if we are not careful. And then everybody loses.

(This sounds like I want to offend you, I don’t, this is how I feel.)
I am not offended, and I genuinely appreciate the final comment! Thank you!

As far as what politicians react to I don’t think I’m being cynical by saying what they react to are votes and money. American foreign policy is conducted by and through the executive. I made what I considered an informed vote for president in 2020, and I’ll do the same in 2024. Even if it could be argued I owed politicians more, I’m hard pressed to see them taking it from me unless it comes paired with a voting bloc or cash.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 31, 2022, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As far as what politicians react to I don’t think I’m being cynical by saying what they react to are votes and money. American foreign policy is conducted by and through the executive. I made what I considered an informed vote for president in 2020, and I’ll do the same in 2024. Even if it could be argued I owed politicians more, I’m hard pressed to see them taking it from me unless it comes paired with a voting bloc or cash.
Just going meta-meta now, I think people, i. e. voters, are not terribly consistent. A lot of them criticize that the presidency has gotten too powerful, but at the same time either commend or blame whoever is President for something. E. g. President Biden is responsible for inflation or President Trump should get credit for the shape the economy was in during the first half of his term. It is particularly frustrating when people selectively deny or grant this to Presidents simply because one is of their party and the other isn’t. When you listen to retrospectives or rankings of Presidents, usually they get credit or blamed for laws. Now I understand that in some cases they might have been in favor of the laws they have signed, but I think it not only let’s the legislative off the hook, but they won’t ever get any credit.

Ditto for the contradiction inherent in criticizing Congress as not trustworthy, yet re-electing most members in every election. That seems quite inconsistent that operators and political animals like Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi get re-elected until they are well past retirement age for most people. Clearly, government finance laws, first-pass-the-post election system, lack of proportional representation and the lack of updates to the US Constitution are contributing factors.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 31, 2022, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I am sadly aware my more concrete analytical methods don’t scale well. They must be reserved for things which either interest me or are very important (e.g., the Post Office and Ukraine respectively).
Just maybe one more thing: you (correctly) mentioned that most of us don’t have a lot of reach beyond our immediate surroundings. But I think we can make a difference here, you just gotta be a bit humble. Especially someone like you who is perhaps conservative-leaning on many issues, but not consistently so. The split between the realities Republicans and Democrats live in in the US is much, much, much bigger than in other countries. Political leanings are not a good predictor for vaccine hesitancy in most other places, for example.

My sister is probably the most conservative person in my immediate family, and our relationship is not affected by that. Arguably, we are the closest. I found it quite important to listen and make sure the other person feels taken seriously.
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subego
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Mar 31, 2022, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That seems quite inconsistent that operators and political animals like Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi get re-elected until they are well past retirement age for most people.
Mitch is a bit different, but Pelosi has less than a million constituents. Of course she gets re-elected.
     
subego
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Mar 31, 2022, 11:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
But I think we can make a difference here
For a long time my goal in the PWL has been to address this split by presenting conservatism in a way which can be understood by liberals.

With varying degrees of success.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 1, 2022, 02:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Mitch is a bit different, but Pelosi has less than a million constituents. Of course she gets re-elected.
That wasn’t my point. I don’t think them being re-elected for as long as they are has anything to do the number of constituents: of course a Congresswoman represents less people than a Senator. But I think the incumbent status and solid advantage for their parties in their respective states essentially means they will be re-elected for as long as they wish to run for office.

And I think they are alike in that they are both crafty political operators that are part of the political system, “part of the swamp” if that’s your view. They are good at massaging members, forging consensus and exploiting the rules of Congress to their advantages. So I think the what I said applies to both, you have a tension between an electorate that on the one hand (statistically speaking) has a very low view of Congress and Congresspeople. And on the other, Congresspeople are unlikely to be defeated in elections. I just picked McConnell and Pelosi, because they have been people in power who are adept at wielding the power they have.
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subego
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Apr 1, 2022, 05:18 AM
 
Let me rephrase.

The system is designed so House members only need to please a very small number of people to stay in power, so it’s not very hard to do. This is the case even when everyone hates Congress. Not to mention the House gets to gerrymander districts.

To put it another way, it’s not difficult for Nancy to take very good care of her constituents. That’s what she does, and it’s no surprise she always wins her district.

The only difference I was highlighting with Mitch is the system gives him a tougher row to hoe. He’s got to convince some 20-30 times the number of people, and it’s much tougher to gerrymander a state line around.
     
 
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