[From Rick Marken (2008.10.09.1400)]
Dick Robertson (2008.10.10.0950CDT) --
Well, I agree that many regular Americans don't seem to evaluate data well.
But I think you could fine/slice a number of different groups out of that
general category. How much time does a minimum wage person have to exam a
set of data when they're working two or three jobs while caring for kids,
trying to keep the wolf from the door? And when did they learn how to
analyze data in the first place?
Yes, I'm referring to the leaders; the supposedly smart people. Guys
like Greenspan and Paulson and, yes, the President. These are the
people who get us into crap like we're in because they ignore even the
most obvious evidence (like that presented in the TruthDig article).
There are some who make decisions so completely on traditions, symbols,
emotions etc. but as in a recent display on CSGnet proved, someone who
looked like such a person turned out to be quite capable of rational
I agree that Jim said some pretty reasonable things. But I won't be
impressed with the changes until he tells me that he now would not
consider voting Republican, that he condemns the Nazi rallies that now
pass as Republican political events, embraces the idea that paying
taxes is a patriotic investment in America and apologizes profusely
(particularly to my children) for the last 8 years;-)
Bill, in his recent plea that we try to find way to offer the fruits of PCT
to a wider audience, suggested a general idea that I think could challenge
us--guys like you especially--to break down the analytic process using the
idea of controlling one's perceptions, in small steps that might interest
some 6-pack joes.
Sorry, I don't have the time or the courage. In my experience these
guys are just plain dangerous.
I think you could do it. You're already working on it with college students.
That is a more receptive group already, of course. What if you asked those
who are beginning to like PCT how they would do it?
The kids are generally great. It does give me hope when I go into
these classrooms. The students don't know much about how the economic
system works but they are generally completely non-racist,
non-homophobic and look forward hopefully to a nice future (instead of
the apocalypse). I hope they get a chance; I am hopeful too.
Richard S. Marken PhD