TEDxMileHighSalon – Michael Huemer – The Irrationality of Politics

Maurice Vega

28 Responses

  1. That's hilarious. Do you know the last vote of your congressmen in the legislature? One hand goes up. Woohoo!

  2. 1. According to Human Rights Watch on Wikipedia, Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party killed 250k+ Iraqis. Huemer sure didn't mention that. That omission makes his glib bar chart look downright dishonest.

    2. The Iraq war is broadly unpopular right now. Criticizing that is reaffirming most existing viewpoints. Apply the same simplistic logic to WWII or the US Civil War and Huemer would be boo'd off the stage, and he knows that. The Pearl Harbor attack there were 2.4k US casualties. The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter had basically zero casualties, and the Confederates considered it was an act of defense deep in South Carolina. I believe Huemer does argue that both those wars were also illogical, but he wouldn't dare say so to the TED audience.

  3. 13:32 "The people I'm most likely to learn something I don't already know from, are the people who disagree with me".

    Btw also "Unless Love is present, the Truth cannot enter"** also is a Natural Law that I am certain is true based on my own experiment & experience. No use discussing when when ppl are projecting rage or not open to a basic respectful conversation.

    **Quote by Jesus, but different sources.

  4. Irrationality in economics is too often used to abuse differences in values.

    Example: someone might say, "you're a smoker, smoking cigarettes is irrational, you are irrational."

    On the surface, that may seem obvious, it's intellectually disingenuous.

    On might say, "you say you want to be healthy, you say you don't want to get lung cancer, the data on causality of cigarette smoke to lung cancer is overwhelming, so your smoking cigarettes is irrational."

    These are actual disparagements of people and ignorance of economics.

    The truth is, if a person knows smoking is bad for them, and smokes anyways, it's because they value smoking over the consequences, full stop. Value is subjective. Just because you don't hold the same values, just because you can't conceive of the rationality of someone else's values, doesn't make them irrational.

    It's true, someone may be irrational about their justifications. They may use faulty data or statistical analyses to justify the consequences of their smoking (and this goes both ways, such as many of the health claims of 3rd hand smoke), the smoking its self isn't irrational. It may be irrational to you.

    Most people are irrational about something, irrevocably so. That is to say, most people cherry pick information that justifies their beliefs. That includes brilliant scientists. In fact, brilliant people are the worst, they're that much more intelligent at justifying their beliefs.

    Irrationality isn't a bad problem, humans have ALWAYS been irrational. It's only a problem in a way that an unsolved mathmatical equation is a problem. It's something to be solved, uncorrelated to any moral assumptions, it can only be solved on an individual by individual basis, all attempts to educate people on rational thinking has resulted in a eugenics on the exchange of memetics (ie and echo chamber) that limits innovation and understanding.

  5. Most economist agree free trade is good.

    Krugman is a gawd awful example of an economist that believes in free trade.

  6. I'm sympathetic to Dr. Huemer's intellectual tendencies; however, TWOT example is pretty weak. It can be broken down into "about 3,000 died on 9/11 due to a terrorist attack; more people died from non-terrorist attack, therefore, TWOT is irrational, given costs of blood and treasure." Couldn't I make the same argument for World War Two? "'Only 2,403 people died on 1941.1207; many more Americans undoubtedly died that year from non-terrorist/military causes; given that WWII cost 405,399 American lives and +$5.5 Trillion (adjusted for inflation), it was irrational." His underlying thesis is correct; however, he needs to strengthen the examples he uses.

  7. There is an attempt all over the world by the same people, to discredit institutions, governments and laws. It's a denial of democracy created by jewish New World Disorder to destroy what is in his way to control Humanity and countries. People are not irrational voters. We don't need specialists and experts to tell or show us what is good for us, we know, we see.

  8. politics is not about cognitive biases. It is about ideologies, emotions, etc. and these make it "irrational". You may think that this should be changed. But I think this is not possible and realistic. It may even be not desirable? Human life is irrational as a whole.

  9. Politics is irrational. But so is omitting total number of people killed by terrorists. He shouldn't be comparing the world total civilian casualties killed by fighting terror with the U.S. total civilians killed by terror. He should be comparing the world total civilian casualties of fighting terror with the world total civilian casualties of terrorists.

  10. The low terror murders may have something to say about the effectiveness of our military. Our four branches' diligence and lethality may have reduced terrorists' supply of resources (arms, facilities, recruitment opportunity, etc.) and their output of killed civilians and families shattered may decrease as a result. I wouldn't dare withdraw forces from the middle east with the thought that ISIS would have an opportunity to reestablish key facilities to train more troops, build their bases, and take hostages.

  11. he counted only us victims of terror…actually there have been more than 20'000 of terror attacks since 9-11

  12. after telling about what is he gonna talk people start laughing…what the fuck are you laughing about??

  13. Good presentation, and yes I agree we should seek information from sources we disagree with, but what if those sources are propagandists? I don't see the sense in that.

  14. Fascinating how many commenters here describes the talk as something that supports their individual ideologies. I think you missed the point.

  15. this guy is a genius. near the end i started to get really angry because he kept proving me to be extremely irrational.
    it was vicious.

  16. 11:50 it depends on the political position. Imho it is normal to get angry at people who have certain political positions, e.g. racism.
    13:04 imho this actually is what most people do.
    13:50 probably most people are not evil, but imho most politicians are evil, because some behaviours that are considererd evil are very helpful if you want to get a political position, e.g. egoism and opportunism.

  17. well done. I was privileged enough to  make the next speech, My speech was titled why Michael Huemers a virgin.

  18. The war on terror is not an irrational policy ffs, it is carrying out it's function perfectly, it's function is death and destruction and bringing America to it's knees and perpetuating fear, the PR is that it is to keep you safe.

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