Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Wednesday, February 27, 2002


Will Wilkinson has a very interesting essay on ev. psych., game theory, and the nature of political discourse. He mentions some very persuasive ideas, but doesn't tackle the most important question, which I think is this; What is so great about ideological "purity"? Isn't it better to rationally pick and choose the strategy that is most beneficial to a given situation? It makes no sense to apply free market economic ideas to, say, abortion politics, does it?? There is a concept in mathematics called "orthogonality", which means that two things are perpendicular to one another. This mathematical concept is used in statistics to show statistical independence, and can be expanded for any number of items. It is probably useful in political discourse as well, i.e. my opinion on abortion is independent of my opinion on tax policy, gun control, religion, etc. All of these things, more or less, are "orthogonal" to one another. Other subjects may be related to one another in varying degrees, which could conceivably be quanified in a similar manner (the math is a bit involved, and I don't want to spend a lot of time curing insomnia just now!). Anyway, read his essay, and think about how many of your own political views are based on the amalgamation of unrelated concepts into one great big unwieldy whole.

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