Friday, January 02, 2015

Resisting Arrest is Not a Right, Common Sense Has A Conservative Bias

Mike Rowe discusses Ferguson, Garner and police protest -

As he says, it is not only not a "right" it is a bad an dangerous idea -- no matter the color of your skin.

Mike seems to have a lot of common sense -- no doubt he will be considered "conservative", because unsurprisingly, common sense tends to have a "conservative bias". I really ought not to have to explain that, but in this day and age, I suppose I must.

"Conservative" means "sticking with what works", "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and "First, do no harm". Conservatives believe that the earth has been spinning for a good while already and more than a few generations have managed to be born, find mates, produce the next generation and die without finding some magic bullet that produced utopia. Some things are better today than they were 100 years ago for sure, but outside of "technology", which is always at best a two edged sword, we are born, live and die in pretty much the same span give or take a decade or two as we have for thousands of years.

While evolution leads people to falsely believe in an "arrow of progress" as in "things get better", it really doesn't say that. It claims that RARELY some TINY PERCENTAGE of changes to an organism are "more adaptive". "More adaptive" should in no way be confused with some human idea of "better" -- for an Ebola virus for example, "more adaptive" might mean airborne transmission, which from our perspective would definitely not qualify as "better".

No, "on average", most changes don't work at all, a few work pretty well, and even the ones that we think are completely superb -- say antibiotics, turn out to have downsides that have negative potentials up to and including killing us all (eg. antibiotic resistant super organisms). So on a very high average, a bias against change is highly adaptive and is a major component of "common sense".

Again, since this is somewhat the age of the idiot (as in no common sense), I said BIAS, I did not say Amish /luddite complete rejection of EVERYTHING new FOREVER. "Bias" means not jumping quickly at the latest brand new idea, and being even more suspicious of anything that is going to "improve" something as complex as "society".

Prior to the radio, the TV, the internet, smart phones, etc, we probably tended to talk to each other a bit more than the party Mike describes in his column. Today, all that technology not only allows us to be constantly distracted, it allows us to pretty much filter our information sources so we only see and hear what we want to hear. Conservatives get their Fox and talk radio, liberals get NPR, CBS, ABC, NY Times, CNN, etc, etc.

Conservatives tend to be better at argument than liberals because they can't mange to NOT know what the liberal position is, and probably a couple levels of  rebuttal -- it is one of the advantages or disadvantages of being a minority party depending on how one looks at it.

But argument is bad today -- better to throw off a couple one-liners from the "news" outlet your tribe prefers and then just get huffy. The one thing odd about Mike's column is that he was at a party where liberals and conservatives were somewhat evenly divided -- that is really rare from my experience. Parties and even family events now days are pretty much one tribe or the other and everyone knows which. Make any comment that might be political -- like "the weather sure has been cold" for example, and your wife is likely bruising your shin.

Stick to non-political topics -- like "American Idol", or sports (as long as your team isn't the Redskins)  or ... well, maybe just check your smartphone like everyone else. ...

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