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josefjohann30 karma

I had never heard of YearCompass prior to this AMA. What goes into the decision making process to have the questions and structure that the YearCompass booklet has? Is it drawn from a set of principles or discussions, or a core set of concepts that emerged from somewhere in particular?

Is there something that makes certain types of self-assessment questions the "good" kind and something that makes others not so good?

josefjohann26 karma

I think it has to do with the kinds of communication most salient to conservatives and liberals. With liberals, talking points tend to emerge from academia or whatever's mainstream in macroeconomic research, the scientific establishment, or some other institution they trust. When liberals are wrong, they tend not to be wrong in literal details, but wrong in balance of emphasis or wrong in how they organize details into a perspective. That comes from uncritically sharing the biases of an institution.

Conservatives are more likely to throw down the gauntlet. They make statements that are great for the purpose of solidarity signaling, but also tend to be wrong in ways that are easy to fact check. Saying Obama was not born in America might be literally wrong, but it's a powerful way of conveying the feeling that he's in some way an unworthy or illegitimate holder of the office of President, which reflects a deep and sincerely held belief.

josefjohann21 karma

Jesus, the short version is a nine minute video?

josefjohann19 karma

Do you have thoughts on Qanon as a strategic misinformation effort? It seems to me to be not just about the conspiracies, but about broadly normalizing scatterbrained thinking disconnected from evidence, to render people more vulnerable to misinformation. Do you think there are any specific misinformation strategies that are unique to or characteristic of Qanon that are helpful to understand what it is?

I might even be so bold as to make the claim, and I know this will be controversial, but I wonder if the strategy is to escort people into patterns of thinking that could be reasonably be described as illness. That might be a really strong claim, but it's something that I wonder.

Somewhat related, do you think Qanon resembles the conspiracy theory of gangstalking/targeted individuals?

josefjohann14 karma

This has been today's daily dose of whataboutism. A term that was literally coined to express a method of Russian propaganda.