Links and Comments: Regulations; Science on Sundays; How to Talk to Someone in a Conservative Bubble

Slate: Trump’s quiet attack on the regulatory state is another part of his broader class war

The conservatives’ simplistic rebellion against “regulations” will have consequences, and costs. Regulations are there for a reason.

Yes, these rules and regulations might technically kill jobs. But which jobs, and in order to accomplish what? Protections of this sort chase dodgy sellers out of the marketplace. If that’s job killing, good riddance.

Deregulation, in turn, paves the way for the return of these jobs for financial snake oil salesman.

The White House’s insistence that deregulation is liberty enhancing just goes to show how warped today’s political discourse is. Deregulation privileges the worst products, producers, and service providers over consumers, workers, and responsible businesses. All of these individuals benefit from clear, evidence-based regulations enforced by capable and conscientious public servants.


NY Times, Thomas Hooven, M.D.: Sundays at the Altar of Science

About atheist parents not taking their children to church to hear Bible tales, but by performing basic science experiments instead.

Their communion bread and wine are replaced by baking soda and vinegar, which when combined generate a satisfying volcanic eruption and the opportunity to talk about the ethereal realm of atoms. Sprouts in our windowsill herb garden offer a chance to introduce the concept of DNA. When I tell my son that the granular basil seed holds millions of chromosomes, the look on his face can only be described as revelatory.

The advantage science has is that it’s real.

While I’m sure my kids will encounter religious ideas and stories of miracles before long, I won’t rush them there. Christmas in our house is a celebration of festive decorations and family reunion. We steer clear of the virgin birth and angelic tidings. And although my kids have heard about Santa, they express doubts that I make no effort to dispel. I don’t want to indicate that the natural laws they’ve painstakingly established are subject to occasional suspension.

When they eventually ask me about God, I’ll say that He’s part of a theory a lot of people believe, but which no one has ever proven. And if they want to go to a church, temple or mosque to learn more, I’ll gladly take them. Above all, I want them to reach their own conclusions, whatever those might be.


Daily Kos: Cults, Cons and how to talk to someone in the conservative bubble

As a liberal, part of me keeps hoping that if we can just give conservative the right information their behavior will change.  If we can just prove Russian collusion or show that the tax plan benefits the 0.01% mainly, things will be better. Before being a liberal, I was a borderline 9/11 conspiracy theorist and I did the same thing. I have the truth and if people will only listen to the facts about the second tower or Iraqi oil people will change their behaviors. 

But that’s not how people work. We don’t care about information — at least at first.  We like people and stories we trust most of all.

As smart, information- and fact-based people (“reality  has a liberal bias”) how do we communicate with our co-workers, friends and loved ones? Is it all a lost cause?

It’s not a lost cause because I experienced the change. I was a Rush Limbaugh listening Republican when I was a young man and I changed. It took a lot of love and care from people to get me to change but I did. Did anyone ever sit down and give me all the answers? No. I never said “You know, You are totally right. I see it right here in the newspaper. I am a fool.”  Liberals expect that outcome, but that will never happen. 

In trying to understand my own conversion and the current GOP/Trump mindset, I did a bunch of reading on cults, con artists, FBI negotiators and salesmen- anyone who changes minds. Here are some proven tools that you can use this Holiday season to make some progress…

Points include: don’t argue the facts, that just makes things worse; realize you are dealing with the animal minds, not the rational one (cf. Kahneman); ask them to articulate their thinking; keep lines of communication open; turn off the TV and rely on printed sources. With case studies.

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