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+ - Engineering Groupthink: How Polarized Opinion Works->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "Harvard Business Review (5 free articles until payall warning) has an interesting article about groupthink. The authors describe a study of two focus groups. One is from classically "red state" conservative Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. A second focus group hailed from more liberal leaning Boulder, Colorado. Individually, members of each focus group were surveyed for their opinions before the groups met. Individual members (as anticipated) trended conservatively in Colorado Springs, and liberally in Boulder. Everyone was re-surveyed (anonymously and otherwise) after the groups met. After meeting with their opinionated peers, respondents opinions hardened. Conservatives answered the same surveys responded MORE conservatively, and liberals MORE liberally. When focus groups are randomized (blues and reds in proportion, in the same group), opinions become less polarized. The article discusses the effects on public policy and business decision making when groups assigned a problem to solve self-select and recruit people like themselves. Diversity leads to more intelligent decision making. Or if you are selling a specific (weaker) solution, be obnoxious to reduce participation from competitive views. Incentive-driven opinion benefits from the lack of diversity, protecting its agenda by driving away newbies who avoid trolls.

Maybe this is nothing new... the effect of co-ed dorms vs. single-sex dorms and fraternities has been studied for decades. As someone who has participated in /. for about 15 years, attracted to intelligent discourse, I notice how many mod points must today be spent on flamebait. There is still good debate, but frequently someone making an otherwise very valid counter-argument dilutes its effect with emphatic hostility and ad hominem attacks on the original poster. Is the ratio of "inciteful" to "insightful" going down? It's no way to attract women slashdotters, btw."

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Comment: Are you lying or simply a "priceless treasure"? (Score 1) 3

by cold fjord (#48471667) Attached to: Survey: Only 50% Of Scientists Blame Humans For Climate Change

The tables showing the results are in the paper and noted at Perdue.

Seitter isn't listed as an author in the preprint. Where is this "statement"? And what is the "email" you refer to? Is it the one involving the Heartland Institute?

That was a year ago (2013) on a different issue. You must be trying to muddy the water, lying, or simlpy aren't competent to handle ordinary facts.

In short, you're the one that is full of bullshit.

+ - Survey: Only 50% Of Scientists Blame Humans For Climate Change-> 3

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The Washington Examiner reports, "In a survey of nearly 7,000 in the agriculture field, found that most scientists agree that climate change is happening, but just 50.5 percent blame mankind. “More than 90 percent of the scientists and climatologists surveyed said they believed climate change was occurring, with more than 50 percent attributing climate change primarily to human activities,” said the Purdue report published in the authoritative Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and highlighted by MRC Business. “Contrary to the repeated insistence of both climate alarmists and the media, scientists do not all agree on the standard climate alarmism talking points,” said MRC’s review of the scholarly report from one of the nation’s leading ag schools. “More shocking was that just 53 percent of climatologists surveyed thought ‘climate change is occurring, and it is caused mostly by human activities.’ While that number of climatologists was small, the result is still significant,” added MRC.""
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Comment: Re:Except... (Score 1, Flamebait) 122

by cold fjord (#48465177) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

Actually the US suceeded in producing a electronic gp computer in that era. It was Germany that failed, which you seem to be trying to obscure.

I'm curious, what is it that drives your pathological hatred of the US? Did a US tank on a NATO exercise run over your dog or something? Insecure about Germany's place in the word? Bitter about the Wall falling and communism failing?

Comment: Re: Consent of the Governed (Score 1) 162

by cold fjord (#48447745) Attached to: Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

It's a pity you don't seem to be able to distinguish fact from fiction, form from substance, or even identify the important facts. But such is often the case on Slashdot where memes substitute for thinking, troublesome facts are ignored, and wishful thinking treated as facts. Not being able to distinguish between the USSR and the US? Pitiful.

Comment: Re:Consent of the Governed (Score 1) 162

by cold fjord (#48446683) Attached to: Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

You may recall that Eisenhower warned about the so-called "Military Industrial Complex." At the end of WW 2 the GDP devoted to defense spending was just under 40%. It has been falling since then with just a few interruptions. Today defense spending hovers around 4-5% of GDP after climbing a bit after 9/11. If the "MIC" is a "state within a state" it isn't a very successful one given its long slide in the resources it controls which is now only about 10% of what it controlled when Eisenhower was a General of the Army.

Pardon me .... I just made a huge assumption, didn't I? Were you referring to Eisenhower's often overlooked other warning? That one seems to have come true far more than the warning about the so-called "Military Industrial Complex." To quote:

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

Man, that raises goose pimples.

As to voting ... Although there are many areas of broad agreement today between the parties*, there are important differences between them too. It's pretty clear that voting for the different parties does mean something. You may recall that Obamacare was a 100% Democratic party vote. If the Democrats in the administration and Congress had been unfettered there would have been another futile "assault weapons" ban, and that didn't happen at the national level although Democrats in various states have pushed something like that through. There are enough differences between the parties and their typical policy preferences so as to make voting meaningful.

* US remains a democratic republic with a more or less capitalist economy, civil rights are good, foreign powers aren't allowed to invade, Europe is a friend, racism is bad, something resembling law and order will be maintained, etc..

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.