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  #51  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:02 PM
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A lot of people didn't understand science or math in high school. Maybe they did well enough to pass but then promptly forgot it all. Maybe it didn't have any bearing on their adult lives that they could see. They might get hurt and science could help, but they can see a doctor---so they respect doctors. But as posted upthread, you can get doctors that will support a position for money so discerning among the opinions of many doctors isn't so easy.

And math...how many are paying exorbitant interest on their credit cards because they don't understand compound interest? Now it's Venn diagram time: how many of those same people don't understand a geometric progression and therefore think these small percentages are no cause for worry?
  #52  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
And math...how many are paying exorbitant interest on their credit cards because they don't understand compound interest? Now it's Venn diagram time: how many of those same people don't understand a geometric progression and therefore think these small percentages ar.,,,
It seems like you are asserting that a person’s skill at math determines their likelihood of having high debt. If so can you provide a cite ?


As per the poverty action lab : “ A mounting body of evidence suggests that behavioral factors, such as lack of self-control and an inability to remain focused on achieving a financial goal, impede individuals’ ability to accumulate wealth”

https://www.povertyactionlab.org/eva...-united-states

Just to remind you that one of the earliest experiments in Behavioral Economics was to keep the box checked for 401k for new hires. They showed a vast improvement in retirement savings - irrespective of their math skills.


They also tried to give people on simple income like salaries a pre filled tax form by the IRS but Intuit lobbied against it.

Last edited by am77494; 05-20-2020 at 09:14 PM.
  #53  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by am77494 View Post
It seems like you are asserting that a person’s skill at math determines their likelihood of having high debt. If so can you provide a cite ?
"Determines" sounds like "causes," but I certainly wouldn't go that far.

https://www.twincities.com/2008/01/1...ngs-more-debt/

Quoting:

Losing interest. In a recent study, marketing professors Eric Eisenstein and Stephen Hoch found that most folks underestimated how much savings would grow and how much debt would end up costing.

The problem: People think in terms of simple interest, not compound interest. For instance, if our investments clock 8 percent a year for 10 years, we don’t earn 80 percent, as many people assume.


and

https://www.businessinsider.com/low-...america-2013-4

“An early deficit in number system knowledge creates a weak foundation for later learning,” said lead author David Geary. “That weak foundation can lead to a lifetime of problems, not limited to reduced employment opportunities. Poor understanding of mathematical concepts can make a person easy prey for predatory lenders. Numerical literacy, or numeracy, also helps with saving for big purchases and managing mortgages and credit card debt.”

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Originally Posted by am77494 View Post
As per the poverty action lab : “ A mounting body of evidence suggests that behavioral factors, such as lack of self-control and an inability to remain focused on achieving a financial goal, impede individuals’ ability to accumulate wealth”

https://www.povertyactionlab.org/eva...-united-states

Just to remind you that one of the earliest experiments in Behavioral Economics was to keep the box checked for 401k for new hires. They showed a vast improvement in retirement savings - irrespective of their math skills.


They also tried to give people on simple income like salaries a pre filled tax form by the IRS but Intuit lobbied against it.
Keep the box checked?

It wouldn't surprise me that some who don't get math are aware that they don't and they're willing to rely on others to give them financial advice.
  #54  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:46 AM
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I'm not convinced that anti-intellectualism has been growing in the U.S. I suspect that thinking this comes from watching news about certain political groups and not from actually surveying Americans. I'd be interested in better evidence of this.
I don't have a cite, it's just an opinion. YMMV

Based on things like the US being the center of anti-vax in the western world right now, and Trump being able to pull the US out of the Paris accords (in most countries, there would be an uproar and continual protests. In the US, enough people believed that hoax shit that it basically flew no problem).
People booing the word "science" in political rallies; I can't imagine that happening for either side of the political spectrum in Europe.

And now with covid, which western country is the odd one out? Where do doctors have to tell people not to drink bleach?
Yes, we could argue this is following Trump's lead, but Trump has such a big following because he appeals to a core of the american public that thinks like he does: my gut feeling is better than "so called" experts.
  #55  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post

Keep the box checked?

It wouldn't surprise me that some who don't get math are aware that they don't and they're willing to rely on others to give them financial advice.
First, I'd like to see a cite from am77494 that this was one of the earliest experiments. It was relatively late, and was interesting because it was made into policy.
You're right that math has nothing to do with it - it is a matter of defaults, where people tend to choose the default behavior because they assume there is a good reason for it. Thaler reports that when they did the box checking they made the default 2% of income going to 401Ks, and found that the money invested actually dropped because this became the default.
They've found plenty of this kind of behavior even for students with excellent math backgrounds. My daughter and I ran experiments three times during our tutorial and each time we saw a statistically significant anchoring effect on a room full of engineers, most with graduate degrees.
  #56  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:52 AM
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The last time there was a full-on enthusiastic optimistic trust in science and technology here in the United States was the early 1960s. My parents very much came of age with that mindset. Rationality, not superstition. Doctors and scientists were heroes. Even inside churches, the emphasis was on exposing racism for the baseless crap that it was, and focusing on what the modern conscientious Christian can do now in this world to make things better for us all.

There was a backlash, partly embedded in the counterculture and partly in the evangelical Christian movement, embracing mystical insights and claiming legitimacy for processes of knowing that didn't boil down to rational deductive reasoning. The hard science people had brought us the bomb and had DDT'd our environment into Silent Springhood. And given us plastic. They weren't so great after all.

It's been like that ever since, with oscillations in different social quarters. The left does eyerolls at the right for disbelieving in evolution but is open to alternatives to western medicine. The right makes fun of stuff like pyramid power and chakras but embraces the power of prayer. And all of us crave informed consent and getting second opinions, not simply trusting that our busy doctors will tell us what we really need to know, or that the health insurance nannies will allow them to.
Umm, in the early '60s we kind of knew that science gave us the bomb.
If you asked a batch of Democratic presidential candidates whether they support traditional medicine, I think you'd get a pretty positive response. No one asks it, since it is a non-issue. On the other hand, if you remember, when they asked a similar question about evolution only one of the Republican candidates had the guts to say they accepted it. (Or was it two? Small minority, in any case.)
There are often going to be people freaking out about new methods. In 1972 in Cambridge there was a lot of worry about early recombinant DNA research at Harvard. However no monsters were bred and it is no longer a big concern. If only the same could be said of equally proven things like evolution and climate change.

But this is just the typical tactic of calling some fringe position the position of the entire left, while ignoring extreme positions that now actually are the position of the right, based on what their leaders say.
  #57  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:15 AM
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It depends.

Movies like "The Andromeda Strain" and "The Stand" and even "Jurassic Park" make people nervous about just what nasty things scientists could be making in labs.Movies like "Terminator" make people nervous about AI.

Also I think there is a desire for things "Natural" and not artificial. People dont want artificial colors, flavors, or genetically altered food.

But if a scientist develops something that truly helps people and doesnt make it for war or for profit, they are for it.
  #58  
Old 05-22-2020, 04:08 AM
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But if a scientist develops something that truly helps people and doesnt make it for war or for profit, they are for it.
Not clear to me. Vaccines truly help and are often developed withut profit motive, yet they are opposed. Without GMO's people would go hungry, yet they are opposed. Modern nuclear reactors are key to cleaner energy, yet they are opposed.

Modern weapon systems are built for war and for profit, but don't attract much opposition.
  #59  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:05 AM
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Vaccines truly help and are often developed withut profit motive, yet they are opposed. Without GMO's people would go hungry, yet they are opposed. Modern nuclear reactors are key to cleaner energy, yet they are opposed.

Modern weapon systems are built for war and for profit, but don't attract much opposition.
"Modern weapon systems don't attract much opposition"? Are you forgetting the whole nuclear disarmament movement, for example? The Plowshares folks are still active.

I think your selection there represents a pretty cherrypicked and news-cycle-driven approach to analyzing public opinion. If you look at surveys of what people in general actually think, nearly half of Americans are in favor of eliminating nuclear weapons altogether, whereas only about 13% are against mandatory childhood vaccinations for school attendance.

So as far as general public opinion is concerned, there is in fact quite a bit more opposition to, say, nuclear weapons than to vaccines. You just don't notice it if you're only looking at attention-grabbing controversial movements fueled by vocal minorities.
  #60  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:05 AM
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When was the last time you saw a protest against nuclear weapons?
  #61  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:25 PM
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When was the last time you saw a protest against nuclear weapons?
For the most part the anti nuclear weapon protests were financed by the USSR, since it disbanded so did the anti nuke protests.
  #62  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:58 PM
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When was the last time you saw a protest against nuclear weapons?
How is that relevant, unless what the OP is asking about is not people's overall opinions about science/technology developments, but merely which of them happen to be hot-button issues of the moment?

I don't deny that the objections to vaccines promulgated by a vocal minority are getting much more media attention these days than objections to nuclear weapons. But the fact remains that when you look at the overall status of popular opinion, people in general are much more approving of vaccines than of nuclear weapons.
  #63  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:59 PM
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For the most part the anti nuclear weapon protests were financed by the USSR, since it disbanded so did the anti nuke protests.
Cite? AFAICT this conspiracy-theory claim is complete bullshit.
  #64  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:09 PM
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Soviet defectors claim its true per Wiki:

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Russian GRU defector Stanislav Lunev said in his autobiography that "the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad," and that during the Vietnam War the USSR gave $1 billion to American anti-war movements, more than it gave to the VietCong,[19] although he does not identify any organisation by name. Lunev described this as a "hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost".[19] The former KGB officer Sergei Tretyakov said that the Soviet Peace Committee funded and organized demonstrations in Europe against US bases.[20] According to Time magazine, a US State Department official estimated that the KGB may have spent $600 million on the peace offensive up to 1983, channeling funds through national Communist parties or the World Peace Council "to a host of new antiwar organizations that would, in many cases, reject the financial help if they knew the source."[13] Richard Felix Staar in his book Foreign Policies of the Soviet Union says that non-communist peace movements without overt ties to the USSR were "virtually controlled" by it. Lord Chalfont claimed that the Soviet Union was giving the European peace movement £100 million a year. The Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) alleged Soviet funding of CND.
  #65  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:09 PM
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Plausible, but not at all the same thing as the claim that US antinuclear protests were crucially dependent on Soviet funding, which is what the previous poster seemed to be suggesting.
  #66  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:44 PM
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Things might get kinda sticky if a vaccine for covid-19 is ever developed.
  #67  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by am77494 View Post
I see people from these educated circles shopping at Whole Foods all the time when science says Organic food is no better Go figure

Or at farmers markets when science says local grown food is not the best for environment

Or buying organic cotton when science shows it is worse for the environment

Or breastfeeding babies as a lifestyle choice ....
I think Wendell Wagner covered that well in his post #32 and I fully concur. Taking the first two in particular (I have no strong opinions on the latter two) I occasionally shop at a grocery that in my view is much superior to Whole Foods and generally at least as expensive if not more so, but it has absolutely nothing to do with anything being "organic" and everything to do with high quality and uniqueness. Their meats and fish are generally superior to what I'd find in even a high-end grocery store, often uniquely and beautifully marinated, and their deli and prepared foods sections contain many wonderful things you'd find nowhere else. That's why I shop there, though I'm not rich enough to do it regularly or often. There's nothing "unscientific" about that. I don't go to farmer's markets very often but when I do it's because the wide variety of usually fresh high quality produce and other items makes it interesting.

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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post

We're still seeing the effect of that cycle, with the internet, as always, magnifying the voices of the antis. Unlike Thelma Lou, I believe we're at the bottom of a very real and dangerous cycle. Books like Susan Jacobs' The Rise of American Unreason (2008) chart the fall, although she talks about anti-intellectualism more generally than pure anti-science.

The news, as always, focuses on the loud yahoos protesting reasonable pandemic measures. But two-thirds or more of the population quietly agrees with the measures in every survey. That may forecast a change in attitude, especially when a workable vaccine is widely distributed. If not, we're in for a very bumpy ride.
This tends to be true for beliefs that are falsely perceived as "controversial" by some significant minority of the public, and the false controversy is typically driven by either economic factors (the pandemic quarantine, climate change mitigation) or religious ones (evolution, abortion rights, the nature of the cosmos). These falsehoods are propagated both by ignorant media in the guise of "balance" and, worse, by media that is deliberately deceptive in support of vested interests, and further amplified by the plague of fake news on social media. Things like beliefs in medical quackery or fear of vaccines is just some combination of ignorance and paranoia fueled by the same sources. The US now has a president who lies constantly, habitually, and routinely, and apparently without consequence.

New Scientist magazine, in its cover story in the issue for the week of October 29 - November 4, 2011, talked about this phenomenon in the context of climate change denial, under the cover heading "Unscientific America: A dangerous retreat from reason". People do generally tend to trust science if they have no personal stake in the matter, but it's amazing how much personal interests distort the beliefs of otherwise rational people.
  #68  
Old 05-25-2020, 09:33 AM
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If you asked a batch of Democratic presidential candidates whether they support traditional medicine, I think you'd get a pretty positive response. No one asks it, since it is a non-issue.
"Traditional" medicine describes naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic etc. - which involve traditional remedies that are hardly ever discarded no matter how useless or even harmful they've been shown to be. Mainstream medicine on the other hand is constantly revising its approach based on new evidence, while discarding (sometimes reluctantly) outmoded traditional therapies.

Off my soapbox. OK, back on briefly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcmechanic
Things might get kinda sticky if a vaccine for covid-19 is ever developed.
It's looking that way. Some thought antivaxers might hunker down out of public view given the prospect of a life-saving and pandemic-ending Covid-19 vaccine. Instead, they seem to have been energized.
  #69  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:29 AM
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We can't trust scientists until they stop shifting our paradigm.
  #70  
Old 05-25-2020, 03:20 PM
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"Traditional" medicine describes naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic etc. - which involve traditional remedies that are hardly ever discarded no matter how useless or even harmful they've been shown to be. Mainstream medicine on the other hand is constantly revising its approach based on new evidence, while discarding (sometimes reluctantly) outmoded traditional therapies.
Chiropractic, for instance, is not that old. I'd call traditional medicine the use of herbs and such, some of which even work. "Alternative" is the accepted name for such crap.
Quote:
Off my soapbox. OK, back on briefly.It's looking that way. Some thought antivaxers might hunker down out of public view given the prospect of a life-saving and pandemic-ending Covid-19 vaccine. Instead, they seem to have been energized.
Unfortunately, all too true. Statistics and pointing to evidence about vaccines being safe doesn't work very well. I've found that a good answer to the "it's just measles, why risk a vaccine" crowd is to tell them that 110,000 people died of measles world wide a few years ago. That shuts them up. The easy to grasp spread of measles in Disney helped get California's law getting rid of personal exemptions passed. Highlighting anti-vaxxers suffering and dying from Covid-19 will help more than assurances of safety.
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