A Calamity, A Catastrophe, An Apocalypse!

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Patrick

Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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  1. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    So a candidate for a state court can commission an ad that is kinda fun, gets the entire core of a major tv series back together, and is educational on a budget that is probably 1% of any rspectable PAC buy.
    Nice one.
    i think I’l watch the ad again now and then forward it to my geekier friends (I got addicted to Westwing Dvds way after the tv sries ran)Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      I think it helps quite a bit when you’re related to one of them.

      I do like the fact that it does both poke fun at the ruthless politico (“For us… or for the other guy? Because there’s two ways to view that…”), and the partisan wars (“If they vote straight party ticket!”)

      I wonder how many people know that if they vote SPT they get no vote in the nonpartisan section of the ballot?Report

  2. Avatar Mark Thompson
    Ignored
    says:

    That was awesome. And I also was never a big fan of the show.Report

  3. Avatar ian351c
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve never seen an episode of The West Wing. However, Martin Sheen’s “What is this, an apocalypse, now?” had me rolling out of my chair…Report

  4. Avatar Jason Kuznicki
    Ignored
    says:

    Clever, I guess. But can it seriously be claimed that the reason people don’t vote in nonpartisan races is that they didn’t notice them?

    That’s nonsense. People don’t vote in nonpartisan races because the typical voter has very low information, often relying on party affiliation alone to make a decision. Without that, they don’t vote. The problem isn’t that the races are well-hidden on the ballot. It’s that the voters don’t know what to do with them.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I think it’s possible that a statistically significant number of people think that “party line” covers all of the bases when it comes to offices, sure.

      I’m a little dubious about generalizing the second paragraph in your comment… but I’m sure that’s also true of a statistically significant portion of the voting public, too.Report

  5. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    So the closer should have been I’m Bridget and I talked my semi famous actor cousin/uncle/aunt into doing this ad.

    BTW is she related to one of the actors the rest of the actors all love? Or the one they all fear too much to sy no?Report

  6. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    duh – ditch that question.

    Ms B is almost a clone for the cute CIA WW analyst.

    Only just prrsuaded our ropey intenet connection to play it again….Report

  7. Avatar wardsmith
    Ignored
    says:

    I always looked at the West Wing as an alternate reality universe for those liberals who couldn’t believe they weren’t in power and therefore created their own fictitious president and cabinet. In all honesty I only ever watched 5 minutes of one episode, which had Rob Lowe going out with some hot chick who ended up hating him because he said absolutely brilliant things, all conservative. She said at one point, “But I thought you were one of us”. Turns out he was prepping the president for a coming debate and was practicing the arguments they supposed the other side might introduce. But the telling part for me was the pod-people attitude of the liberal chick (and I use that term not to be pejorative but because that was obviously how it had been written – no doubt the writer’s notes said, “liberal chick:” before they decided on a name for her).

    At first I thought it was just a cardboard caricature of liberalism, then I began to experience it in real life ultimately losing a life long friend because of insane partisanship. He is now happily(?) ensconced in his liberal bubble with his liberal friends and has purposely excluded everyone non-liberal from his world. I can’t think of a single conservative who has done the same thing, but the end result is equivalent because the liberals will self-select out of the “conservative” neighborhood just like Will Truman pointed out races do on Kazzy’s post with this link.Report

    • Avatar Sierra Nevada in reply to wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      You do realize that your anecdotes about liberals and about how they live and associate could be just a bit ironic, right? That your “conservative bubble” has conditioned you to think of “liberals” in that way?Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sierra Nevada
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        says:

        Pew: Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons*, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.

        http://www.volokh.com/2012/03/13/pew-report-on-politics-and-social-media/

        ______
        * Politics can be a sensitive subject and a number of SNS users have decided to block, unfriend, or hide someone because of their politics or posting activities. In all, 18% of social networking site users have taken one of those steps by doing at least one of the following:

        10% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because that person posted too frequently about political subjects
        9% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics or issues that they disagreed with or found offensive
        8% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they argued about political issues on the site with the user or someone the user knows
        5% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics that the user worried would offend other friends
        4% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they disagreed with something the user posted about politicsReport

        • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tom Van Dyke
          Ignored
          says:

          “The report also noted that 11 percent of liberals, but only 4 percent of conservatives, deleted friends from their social networks after disagreeing with their politics.

          A March Washington Post poll showed that Democrats were more willing to change their views about a subject to make their team look good. For example, in 2006, 73 percent of Democrats said the GOP-controlled White House could lower gas prices, but that number fell by more than half to 33 percent in 2012 once a Democrat was in the White House.

          In contrast, the opinions of GOP supporters were more consistent. Their collective opinion shifted by only a third, according to the data. In 2006, 47 percent in believed the White House could influence gas prices. By 2012, that number had risen to 65 percent up 17 points compared to the Democrats’ 40 point shift.”

          Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/22/science-say-gop-voters-better-informed-open-minded/#ixzz272mhQSgVReport

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tom Van Dyke
          Ignored
          says:

          Do the reasons differ, between liberals and conservatives? Are these reason numbers for the liberals, or for all SNS users?

          Is this one of those cases where I’ll fall through to the original study and find something the original authors expound upon at length in their conclusions section that Volokh didn’t actually mention in his post? (They’re usually pretty good about that sort of thing at Volokh, I’d be surprised)Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Tom Van Dyke
          Ignored
          says:

          Tom, I’m going to teach you how to think about statistics. Just shoot me an email, and I’ll give you a private course. It’s going to take a while, though. At this point, it’s clear that numbers just ain’t your thing.Report

        • Avatar Sierra Nevada in reply to Tom Van Dyke
          Ignored
          says:

          Um, you do know how to read a report right? You do know what goes into the denominator of a percentage, right? The Pew report, in its very first line notes that more liberals use social media than conservatives. So it is not surprising that a larger percentage of liberal users have taken any given action than conservatives.

          Confirmation bias is the stuff of “bubbles,” conservative or liberal. And your citation of stats that don’t show what you think they do is an instance of that bias.Report

          • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Sierra Nevada
            Ignored
            says:

            Chris, Sierra and Patrick. Something I think you’ve all missed based on your comments is the following.

            OF those who have defriended, blocked etc. on social media…

            The denominator here is NOT the entire set of all social media users, the denominator is the set of users who have blocked listed above and in the actual report. In other words, to get to the 28% of liberals number you’re already dealing with the subset that is the 18% who have defriended etc. Looking at the population number again /at that point/ is specious.

            Here’s an example. Let’s say I wanted to find out what percentage of blue eyed people in the world also have blonde hair. [totally made up numbers follow]
            World pop 7 billion. Percent who are blue eyed, 18. Percent of blondes AMONG THE BLUE EYED POPULATION 26.

            Whether I change this to just include Scandinavian countries is irrelevant to the methodology. Yes, I’d be excluding a lot of blonde brown eyed individuals, but that is totally irrelevant to the study. Is this not clear to you?Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              No, Ward, I’m not missing it, you are. Your example shows it.

              Presumably, blonde hair is correlated with blue eyes based upon genetic traits, right? So if limiting your study to Scandanavians produced a different result than the worldwide population… that would be the surprise.

              But there’s nothing like that when you’re talking about “users of Social Media, broken out by type” vs. “behavior patterns on Social Media, broken out by type”. Why?

              Well, if 76% of liberals screened use social media and only 60% of conservatives do… there is *clearly* a substantive difference between liberal users of social media and conservative ones. Without establishing any descriptive difference, you’re going to make a huge mistake if you then jump to how they act on social media and then generalize it to say anything about all liberals or all conservatives.

              Because it’s certainly likely that some characteristic of liberals that leads them to join up with social media at a rate 127% that of conservatives… also leads to a difference in how they *use* social media.

              If more conservatives, for example, don’t use social media because they don’t like seeing their liberal friends post a bunch of pro-Obama junk on their news feed, those conservatives won’t join social media in the first place, but they certainly would be the type who would block opposing viewpoints, if they did join social media.

              It’s a huge problem in selection bias, Ward.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              Ward, you have it wrong.

              The denominators, for each of the numbers Tom gives, is liberals on Facebook, moderates on Facebook, and Conservatives on Facebook. The numerator is the number of each of these groups who have blocked someone because either they disagreed with something the unfriended person said, or the unfriended person said something they disagreed with. So, if liberals are more likely to discover that someone disagrees with them on Facebook than Conservatives, then they’re likely to have more people in the numerator than Conservatives. It’s entirely possible (in fact, likely I’d suspect) that Conservatives are just pre-selecting rather than friending and then selecting, at a higher rate than liberals. But who knows? The data doesn’t tell us. In fact, the data doesn’t tell us much of anything.

              But Tom wants to score points, so he doesn’t care about the truth.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                In fact, the data doesn’t tell us much of anything.

                Well, it tells us that there’s a difference between how liberals (adopt and use social media) vs. how conservatives (adopt and use social media).

                But it doesn’t tell us anything about how liberals adopt social media vs. conservatives adopt social media, or how liberals might use social media vs. how conservatives might use social media.

                First you’d need to find out why there’s such a huge difference between the adoption rate in social media. That, in and of itself, will probably point you in a direction as to why the usage is different.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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                says:

                Pat, Chris, your own selection biases are showing. I NEVER said that the report was representative of society at large, nor did Pew. On the other hand, it is indicative of /something/ which merits further study. Numerous commentators have pointed to this same concern on thousands of websites (not SNS sites BTW) which I alluded to in my reply to Sierra above. With a little bit of googling, “losing friends because of politics” (47 million hits) I even found an example of a conservative defriending a liberal. Your preselection THEORY is just that unsupported by anything other than your imagination. Yes you try to can excuse it away, because it pinches a bit by pointing to number differences but the implication is still there, and would be with larger samples. Plus Pew did their own statistical analysis and gave 2% error band.

                People use SNS to socialize with other people for billions of reasons, politics being a small subset. I can and have been friends with people for thousands of reasons, not one of which involved politics. When politics interfere with otherwise convivial relationship I’m not at all surprised unfriending results. My personal experience has been that liberals are intolerant of dissent in their own midst (viz any liberal who dares to stand up to the party line – Ethan’s recent OP a case in point) and in society at large. That’s why they always clamor to shut down the offending person (viz constant liberal demands that the FCC “do something” about Rush Limbaugh – no free speech for HIM). I’ve had liberals literally tell me not to think what I am thinking. That is a laugh. I’ve never met a liberal smarter than me, not measured by IQ, not by education and not by success. The idea that /someone/ knows better than me about how to run my life is anathema to me. To quote Richie the Riveter: “Progressivism is a Cult of Human Omniscience, that has more blind faith in beings with a well-documented history of error and mendacity, than even the most fervent religious fanatics”

                I find this amusing Pat because back when you and I were talking about selection bias in the way temperature statistics were measured and gathered (and I showed you that literally thousands of reporting stations were “off the air”), you defended the practice of “interpolation” backed by statistics to make up the difference. You can’t have it both ways. Eliminating thousands of cold temperature reading stations in Siberia means that there are thousands of cold data points that never make it into the average.

                Chris, it isn’t just FB, but all SNS. However they weren’t including such sites as THIS ONE. If they were they might have gotten further information but of course the option of “defriending” or anything of the sort is unavailable. Therefore the only thing left is Social Networking. Personally I could contend (and a study could well prove me right) that more liberals use SNS than conservatives because more liberals are un and under employed, therefore have more free time. Something tells me you wouldn’t like to know about that study either. 😉

                Even more obviously, people who self-select as liberals tend to skew younger and younger people tend to be more involved in SNS. Likewise people who tend to be conservative tend to be older (hence the old saw: If you’re not liberal when you’re young you have no heart, if you’re not conservative when you’re old you have no brain). Age alone can explain these numerical differences to a large extent.

                Finally and I’m finished with this discussion here, I have seen liberals say the vilest things to me and to conservatives hands down. Perhaps some conservatives have done the same but that hasn’t been my personal nor reading experience. Moral superiority isn’t a given, it must be earned, and earned constantly. Staking the moral high ground and then using it to shit on one’s opponents is beneath contempt. I will criticize that behavior every time I witness it.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith
                Ignored
                says:

                Ward, you’re doing that thing you do where you start talking to me like I’m an idiot and it’s going to make me angry again.

                I will respond to this in length, right now, and then I’m probably not going to bother to engage you on any social science topic again, because it seems likely that – while you do understand statistics – you don’t know the first thing about *social* science methodology (you’ve displayed “more than healthy skepticism” in the past, and this comment reflects that. And your apparent inability to understand a pretty basic concept in social science makes you difficult to engage with constructively when you hop on your “I understand statistics” high horse and start talking down to me from up there.

                I admit, this might be me projecting, okay? That might not be what you’re trying to do… but it sure comes across that way. Allow me to explain:

                > I NEVER said that the report was representative
                > of society at large, nor did Pew.

                Tom introduced this, and without drawing any conclusions out of the material other than what was quoted at The Daily Caller. I went and read the study, and explained my problem with it. You then interjected yourself into the comment thread here, saying that you thought I’d missed something based upon the comments so far, and then wrote a comment that actually wasn’t anything about the comments I’d written so far. Which indicated to me that you had missed my point.

                I well understand that the denominator used to establish the relative percentages of liberals who defriend people vs. conservatives. The problem is that the denominator is not independent.

                > Your preselection THEORY is just that unsupported
                > by anything other than your imagination.

                No, Ward, my “preselection theory” is based upon a 27% difference in adoption rate. That is, in fact, pretty crazy-solid there. There is a huge statistical difference between “people who self-identify as liberals who use social media” and “people who self-identify as conservatives who use social media”, by these numbers.

                I don’t need to go any farther to defend a preselection theory: it is evident that there are behaviors (as yet not described) that lead liberals to adopt social media at a much higher rate than conservatives. No imagination needed.

                Now, I speculate on what might be the effect of this preselection bias, but it’s not arguable that the bias is there, Ward. It’s there, sure as the gravity of a black hole we can’t see.

                > Yes you try to can excuse it away, because it
                > pinches a bit by pointing to number differences
                > but the implication is still there, and would
                > be with larger samples.

                I think you’re misunderstanding an attempt to describe a phenomena with a desire to correct it to an unheld bias. See, Ward, this study doesn’t tell me anything pejorative about liberals -> it apparently tells you something pejorative about liberals because you have stated (elsewhere) that you believe that liberals are more intolerant than conservatives, and this can be interpreted as a piece of evidence to confirm that belief. But, see, I don’t have any idea who is more intolerant, this isn’t my shibboleth.

                For all I know, liberals are way more intolerant than conservatives.

                (I actually expect they are equally intolerant about wildly divergent things, because they hold different principles as root principles, but that’s an aside.)

                > People use SNS to socialize with other people for
                > billions of reasons, politics being a small subset.

                Aside from a likely exaggeration, no problem with this statement.

                > I can and have been friends with people for
                > thousands of reasons, not one of which involved
                > politics. When politics interfere with otherwise
                > convivial relationship I’m not at all surprised
                > unfriending results.

                Neither am I, particularly when the social media bond that originated the relationship has nothing to do with politics (this is an important point, down below). People react badly to surprise; finding out that someone that you thought of as a great fellow player of FarmVille is a closet anti-Semite or a tree hugger or any one of a number of things causes you to have to reevaluate your worldview. People don’t like to do that.

                > My personal experience has been that liberals
                > are intolerant of dissent in their own midst
                > (viz any liberal who dares to stand up to the
                > party line – Ethan’s recent OP a case in point)
                > and in society at large.

                My personal experience has been that liberals are much more concerned with group dynamic than conservatives are. You know, that whole “communitarian” vs. “individual responsibility” thing. So I don’t find this to be offhand an unlikely claim. However, it’s a claim, and your personal experience isn’t terribly strong evidence. Neither is this study. It’s certainly suggestive (I never claimed otherwise, you’ll note, from my first comment!) of deeper investigation. The theory (liberals are more intolerant of dissent in their own midst) is based upon at-least-first-glance reasonable assumptions – for certain types of dissent – sure.

                > I’ve had liberals literally tell me not to
                > think what I am thinking. That is a laugh. I’ve
                > never met a liberal smarter than me, not
                > measured by IQ, not by education and not by success.

                Ward, statistically speaking this is a phenomenal claim. It’s certainly possible that you have a genius level IQ, and that you’ve been at school longer than every other liberal you’ve ever met, and you’re more successful than all of the ones you’ve met, but it’s pretty unlikely. In my case, it’s easy: I’m a pretty smart dude and within football-throwing distance of my office I’ve got people who are smarter than me by all three of those measures who are liberals, conservatives, atheists, deists, libertarians… you name it. I never have to worry about being the smartest guy in the room, I lost that when I started working here (probably earlier than that, to be sure).

                I will say, however, that if you were an incoming graduate student in a social science and you said that to your advisor? They’d know that they were going to have to check your work a lot for bias. You’re coming across as powerfully impressed with yourself, here, Ward. Maybe you have a right to be, I dunno. But you’re going to be a shitty social scientist if you can’t approach a subject with a lot of humility, and you’re exhibiting exactly zero humility in this paragraph.

                > I find this amusing Pat because back when you
                > and I were talking about selection bias in the
                > way temperature statistics were measured and
                > gathered (and I showed you that literally
                > thousands of reporting stations were “off the
                > air”), you defended the practice of
                > “interpolation” backed by statistics to make
                > up the difference. You can’t have it both ways.

                Ward, if you’re using this to defend extrapolating this study to “patterns of liberal behavior, generally”, I’m really hard pressed to interpret this paragraph any other way than, “You don’t understand social science.” This paragraph illustrates a serious misunderstanding, in shattering detail. (Also: you realize you just conceded that this can be a legitimate error correction method in some situations, yes? This sort of weakens your objection from the AGW thread, but that’s a digression)

                If you’re not using this to describe “patterns of liberal behavior, generally”, then you’re misreading me and we’re talking past each other.

                A physical instrument (barring instrumentation problems – yes, we can go down that thread some other time when we’re actually talking about AGW) basically measures, for the purposes of temperature, independent phenomena. That is to say, if I’m plonking down 1000 thermometers in 1000 places and taking temperature readings, I’m generating a map of local temperatures. If some reasonably small finite N of those thermometers goes out, and they’re in certain types of locations, I can still get a usable (although less useful and dependable) measurement by extrapolating the temperature in that location, by two estimations: the temperature in nearby stations, and the pattern of temperature variance between that location with the broken thermometer and a similar pattern elsewhere in the grid of instrumentation. So if I lose one temperature station in a desert, and I have six nearby in a geographic pattern that resembles a geographic pattern elsewhere (plus historical data), I can use all of these things together to guess with a reasonable degree of certainty what the missing station says. “Oh, station 6 went down, but for the last 12 years station 6 has been within a half degree of station 20. We figured out a while ago that’s probably because they are both desert stations within a mile of a mountain and downwind of a large body of water, so we have a geographical hypothesis that renders it likely that station 6 would be within a half degree of station 20 today, so we can write that in (well, in red, because we want to be sure we track the real data from the estimated data).”

                The problem is that the differentiation here is that we have a large body of measurements, but they are limited to a set of closely related phenomena. We’re measuring temperature, on the planet Earth, with (hopefully) reasonable historical reliability. If a temperature station goes down, we can compare its historical record with the neighboring stations, and if they’re close enough, and follow a sustainable pattern, it’s not completely bonkers to fill in the blank. If we have an area where we’ve never had a station, but it is nearby other stations and it has geographical and atmospheric similarities to areas we do track, we can guess what the temp might be. It’s a far, far less reliable measure than having a temperature station there, but it’s not anywhere near the same as making things up. Micro-patterns do exist in climate, but the odds that one makes a long term difference in a baseline measurement like “global temperature average” is pretty small.

                Now, on the other hand – at the risk of sounding like I’m talking down, here – when you’re measuring people, you’re not measuring the frickin’ weather. As enormously complicated as the weather system is, in short term measurements it’s a hell of a lot more predictable on a small set of known variables than people are. Controlling for dependent variables is a lot harder when you’re measuring people. If you have a sample that’s all men, and you’re measuring some behavior, you better be goddamn sure that whatever you’re measuring is either dependent upon the fact that they’re men, or completely independent from sex-correlation or sex-linkage.

                If you’re studying a subpopulation of a larger set, you have two ironclad rules: you draw no conclusions about that larger set without some awesome supporting evidence, or you extrapolate to the larger set only if you have some awesome theory that links the subpopulation to the greater whole.

                This study is indeed measuring “liberals who use social networking” vs. “conservatives who use social networking”. But the adoption rate between the liberals and the conservatives is so large that you have to understand that effectively we have to assume that we’re not measuring closely related phenomena. There are fundamental differences between “liberals” and “conservatives” that affect how they adopt social media, and since social media is itself a social phenomena, those fundamental differences are going to have a large impact on any pattern of social behavior inside social media, when comparing those two groups.

                This isn’t “we’re measuring the temperature of deserts and temperate rainforests in Africa and Asia and we’re using the results to guess as to what the temperature differences would be between deserts and temperate rainforests in South America and North America”. This is, “we’re measuring temperate rainforests on Earth and deserts on Mars”. There’s a category error, there. You see why you can’t use this to generalize?

                This paragraph is worrisome:

                > Chris, it isn’t just FB, but all SNS. However
                > they weren’t including such sites as THIS ONE.
                > If they were they might have gotten further
                > information but of course the option of
                > “defriending” or anything of the sort is
                > unavailable. Therefore the only thing left
                > is Social Networking.

                You’re jumping through a hoop and assuming something very large, there.

                > Personally I could contend (and a study
                > could well prove me right) that more liberals
                > use SNS than conservatives because more
                > liberals are un and under employed, therefore
                > have more free time. Something tells me you
                > wouldn’t like to know about that study either. 😉

                There’s a whole lot of assumptions in that paragraph that look extremely dodgy to me, Ward. I’d love to see how you would construct such a study. The act of building this study itself would probably reveal quite a bit about your thought process.

                > Even more obviously, people who self-select
                > as liberals tend to skew younger and
                > younger people tend to be more involved in
                > SNS. Likewise people who tend to be
                > conservative tend to be older (hence the
                > old saw: If you’re not liberal when you’re
                > young you have no heart, if you’re not
                > conservative when you’re old you have no
                > brain). Age alone can explain these
                > numerical differences to a large extent.

                Age alone can also explain a difference in patterns of behavior that have nothing to do with liberalness at all. Here’s let’s use this bit, which I won’t contest, and you offered.

                Theory: older people are more likely to adopt social media as a way of connecting with existing friends and family (Grandma only joins facebook to see the grandkid pictures that her daughter puts up there). Thus, their “friends” list is much more likely to consist largely or exclusively of people they know outside of social networking, with whom they are both familiar and bonded. Younger people are more likely to adopt social media as a way of gaining new friends (looking for like interests, gaming buddies, girls/boys). Thus, their “friends” list is much more likely to consist largely of people with whom they have a much more tenuous connection (a single connection such as like interest in a hobby, school membership, etc.). The younger folk are thus more likely to add new friends, and dissolve existing friends, in general.

                Hey, Pew could have tested this theory, provisionally, by asking four additional questions in this survey: how old are you, why did you join social media, how many friends do you have on your friends list that are only online friends, and how many friends do you have on your friends list that are family or old offline friends.

                > Finally and I’m finished with this discussion
                > here, I have seen liberals say the vilest
                > things to me and to conservatives hands down.
                > Perhaps some conservatives have done the
                > same but that hasn’t been my personal nor
                > reading experience. Moral superiority isn’t
                > a given, it must be earned, and earned
                > constantly. Staking the moral high ground
                > and then using it to shit on one’s
                > opponents is beneath contempt. I will
                > criticize that behavior every time I
                > witness it.

                When people around here blog about vile things that some supposed conservative said somewhere, and you jump in the thread, how often is it – in your own estimation – to criticize that behavior, and how often is it to point at some supposed liberal somewhere that did the same thing, or something equally atrocious?

                Suggested further reading, if you’re actually interested in understanding social science, particularly how to design, implement, and interpret a survey instrument:

                The Craft of Research, Booth, Colomb, Williams, ISBN 0-226-06567-7
                Social Research Methods, Neuman, ISBN 0-205-45793-2
                A Primer In Theory Construction, Reynolds, ISBN 0-205-50128-1Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Patrick Cahalan
                Ignored
                says:

                Patrick, Ok I understand you have thin skin, got it. My apologies and no I don’t think you’re an idiot. Our massive disconnect is that you believe social science is an actual SCIENCE and I most certainly do NOT. I deal with REAL objective science every day (and in fact my scientific work is taking more and more of my time, meaning I’m going to spend less and less here). “Social science” is so subjective as to be almost entirely useless. Yes I know that possibly offends people I admire and respect here such as James Hanley, but that’s the way I feel. Certainly there are intelligent Psychiatrists and Sociologists, but most of what they do will be looked upon by a future advanced society as so much witch-doctory. The only thing scientific about them is they attempt to follow the scientific method (and I’ll grant they follow it far more rigorously than climate scientists do) and they use statistics. The statistics at least is a science but it’s carrying the sociology into a level of respectability it never earned on its own merits.

                The Pew study, and frankly ANY study of the kind is virtually useless unless we know all the questions asked. They don’t like to tell because they know damn well they’ll be criticized for poor question formulation. Therefore they (the entire discipline) take nuanced questions boil the results into numbers then throw away the words so we get left with their “interpretation” of the results and have to take them at their word that everything was done properly on the up and up. And even then the nuance is long gone. Look at all the kerfuffle that occurred when JamesH linked to his simple test to rank us by ideology. The majority of the complaints were about the nuance of the questions.

                BTW you apparently missed this in the methodology link I posted above The second stage of weighting balances sample demographics to population parameters. The sample is balanced to match national population parameters for sex, age, education, race, Hispanic origin, region (U.S. Census definitions), population density, and telephone usage. The Hispanic origin was split out based on nativity; U.S born and non-U.S. born. The White, non-Hispanic subgroup is also balanced on age, education and region

                Your entire discussion about weather stations shows you are completely and utterly lost. I’ve sent you this exact same link before, I suggest you actually read it this time and even watch the pretty video (and there are other videos with equivalent and better information available). The fact is that thousands of NON ADJACENT STATIONS have gone missing, all over the world. Therefore the “little adjustment” you allude to is utter and complete nonsense. The data is suspect because “n’ went from 15,000 stations to something like 2,000 today and yet the historical averages were not adjusted to utilize ONLY those fewer stations (among other problems I won’t get into here). But I digress, I’ve promised myself not to engage in arguments with you again about AGW because you get upset and I make you upset. You’re smart or we wouldn’t be having discussions at all. I just wish you were even smarter. 🙂

                Speaking of smart, I didn’t word my paragraph sufficiently well. In point of fact I have a very high IQ and based on IQ alone I almost certainly am the smartest person in the room. But IQ’s don’t really measure much more than the ability to take IQ tests. Here’s one you can play with and no I won’t tell you the answers. Well I’ll give you a clue on the fist question, the answer might begin with R or K. 😉

                My larger point was that I don’t trust anyone ELSE to judge for me how I ought to live, therefore I tend Libertarian because I want a society that is just ordered enough to prevent anarchy but no more. Technocrats may well believe they’re the smartest in the room as Obama clearly does (see Ritchie link above) and therefore know best how to order /my/ society and life for me, but I don’t agree with that sentiment (hence my quote from Spencer a couple of days ago).

                My criticism runs the gamut. Yes when there’s an entire OP jumping on Rush because he said something about a woman, which brings up all kinds of instantly righteous indignation from the Left, I’m more than happy to point out to the same Left that they were suspiciously silent when vile things were said by their heroes. That is certainly a kind of tu quoque but it is more an indication of…

                wait for it…
                a bit more…
                ok…

                selection bias. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Patrick Cahalan
                Ignored
                says:

                > Patrick, Ok I understand you have thin
                > skin, got it.

                Oh, I think my skin is thick enough for dealing with most folk. You occasionally wax declarative in a way that annoys me differently from when other members of the blog do; like I said, that can easily be on me.

                > My apologies and no I don’t think you’re an idiot

                Apology accepted.

                > Certainly there are intelligent Psychiatrists
                > and Sociologists, but most of what they do
                > will be looked upon by a future advanced
                > society as so much witch-doctory.

                Well, at least you got it out there. In this case, I don’t understand the jump on the poll results; you seemed to think this poll did reveal something, but now you’re saying it can’t, because it’s woo.

                Really, Ward, you should read those books I put in my comment. There are plenty of bad social scientists out there, I’m sure, but if you look at the standard rules of investigation, you might be less inclined to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Even if there’s a lot of bathwater.

                > The Pew study, and frankly ANY study of
                > the kind is virtually useless unless we
                > know all the questions asked.

                I agree. There’s actually a push among social scientists (now that paper page limits are no longer an issue) to have electronic copies of research include the entire survey instrument and the raw data. I approve of this trend.

                > My larger point was that I don’t trust anyone
                > ELSE to judge for me how I ought to live,
                > therefore I tend Libertarian because I want
                > a society that is just ordered enough to
                > prevent anarchy but no more.

                I don’t really have a problem with this stance, m’friend, I just thought that it came across as conflating a couple of things.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to wardsmith
                Ignored
                says:

                Ward, I’m saying the pre-selection theory is an equally possible explanation. The data doesn’t give us any information that would allow us to distinguish between the two, or still other possible explanations. Perhaps you should just read what I write, and not put more between the lines than I actually put on them.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Numbers aren’t my thing either, so I won’t try to argue Tom’s point by parsing the data, but rather to offer a broader context.

                Studies like this always seem very pat, trying to draw vast conclusions with only wisps of data- sort of like saying that 80% of liberals are college educated, ergo, liberals are smart and conservatives are teh stoopid.There are in fact a ton of other explanations for the data.

                One alternate theory:
                I suspect a lot of un-friending and shunning has to do with who is on the offense and who is on defense; political battles are in fact like war- one side often becomes angry and discouraged, while the other side smug and triumphant.

                It isn’t the smug happy victors who are liable to unfriend someone over a snarky Facebook post featuring Willy Wonka. I bet on a Wednesaday morning in 2008, there were plenty of liberals who were eager to post on their conservative friend’s FB wall. And vice versa in 2010.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Liberty60
                Ignored
                says:

                When I post something like that wisp o’data [as you rightfully put it, Lib60], it’s more as food for thought than a turd in the punchbowl, OK?

                Debates seek winners, discussions seek clarity. Clarity is just fine.Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Sierra Nevada
        Ignored
        says:

        Sierra, my entire family is chock full of liberals and most of my friends are. The most hard boiled of the liberals have done precisely what my long time friend did, they are self-selecting their “friends”. I haven’t looked into Tom’s study below but can point to literally thousands of links wherein this subject is discussed. Admittedly they are individually anecdata but cumulatively they point to a definite trend. I can also point to people moving to liberal bulwarks like San Francisco and Portland to be “around people like them”. It is exactly like the video portrays, albeit referencing societal views rather than racial.

        Personally I like having liberals around and love debating them. However the feeling isn’t mutual, liberals don’t like being in a position where they have to defend their views, they prefer that everything they posit be taken a priori. Proof of that can be found in the entire history of the very masthead you are reading this under. At the end of the day I’m not even a conservative, but rather a libertarian hoping to subvert conservatives to my cause of limited government and greater freedom. My disagreement with liberals always comes down to the argument of whether government can even be trusted to handle all the liberal causes they espouse. Finally as an apparent newcomer here you probably are unaware of the modified Nolan chart I kept posting back when we could embed pictures in our comments. The left and right both enforce their views through statism until tyranny and dictatorship result. The solution is to weaken the state so that can’t happen. And of course this is my realityReport

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          Personally I like having liberals around and love debating them. However the feeling isn’t mutual, liberals don’t like being in a position where they have to defend their views, they prefer that everything they posit be taken a priori.

          And yet, here they are.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Brandon Berg
            Ignored
            says:

            You love us too, Brandon. How else are you gonna get challenged, bro?

            I mean, this might sound like a liberal a priori view, but my guess is that lots of your beliefs are apriori. (I could even provide evidence of that.)Report

        • Avatar Sierra Nevada in reply to wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          Your reality, ok. And I live in an overwhelmingly conservative community. What that means is that the overwhelming majority of slightly stupid antisocial behaviors that I see (things such as ostracizing and defriending due to political beliefs) are, in my community, done by conservatives. But that doesn’t mean that those are generally conservative behaviors, just because my local population sample has a bias towards conservatism. I simply ask you to apply the same bias filter to your conclusions of your local “reality.”

          OTOH, I have, as I noted in a thread yesterday, noticed a severe uptick in outlier-type severe racism in my community, enboldened by dog whistle bs emanating from the very core of the Republican Party. That kind of thing is such a threat to civil society that I have no problem shooting biased arrows at conservatives, in hopes that they will do some damned policing among their ranks.

          If you think that the “unfriending” phenomenon you see among liberals rises to that level of antisociability, I would be willing to call out my fellow liberals on it whenever I see it.Report

    • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      I disliked West Wing, for much the same reasons- it strikes me as the worst sort of political masturbation, of smugly stroking ourselves as the party of clever “smart” people. Its the flip side of Sarah Palin’s culture war comments about us reg’lar Murkins a wearin’ our Carhartt jackets & stuff. When Joe The Plumber grouses about the “elites” dictating from Washington, these are the folks he imagines.

      Chris Hayes illustrates pretty well in Twilight of The Elites, that these sorts of characters are completely detached from the target of their noblesse oblige.

      If you want to know What Is Wrong With Kansas, this is it.Report

  8. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    It was better than AfterMASH that’s for sure.

    Actually it was pretty good. Not sure how a 4 minute politic ad with actors that are icons to political junkies is supposed to reach low information voters though.

    And is it just me, or does Whitford look like the only one who hasn’t been in a cryogenic hibernation stasis field over the last 10 years?

    (That Janey doesn’t have her own show but Matt Perry does again says something about Hollywood, too)Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      “(That Janey doesn’t have her own show but Matt Perry does again says something about Hollywood, too)”

      Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!!!

      Count me as one who loved “Sports Night” and “West Wing” (but not “Studio Seven” or whatever it was called — far too self-absorbed). The “chatter” and the “feel of realism” just appeal to me.Report

  9. Avatar Ryan Noonan
    Ignored
    says:

    I love this ad. I also love that they even got Carol in (at about 2:27)! Her dad conducted my wedding ceremony, so I have a hell of a soft spot.Report

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