FACTS

IdleRich

IdleRich
This kinda thing I guess

“Reader, I think proper, before we proceed any further together, to acquaint thee that I intend to digress, through this whole history, as often as I see occasion, of which I am myself a better judge than any pitiful critic whatever; and here I must desire all those critics to mind their own business, and not to intermeddle with affairs or works which no ways concern them; for till they produce the authority by which they are constituted judges, I shall not plead to their jurisdiction.”
― Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
 

vimothy

yurp
presumably you are thinking about theorems becoming facts, idk. strictly speaking a fact is different to a proposition. facts are bare or brute statements about the world. collecting them together does not create a proposition. ofc you can create propositions out of them or refer to them in propositions but this does not collapse the distinction bw them
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
presumably you are thinking about theorems becoming facts, idk. strictly speaking a fact is different to a proposition. facts are bare or brute statements about the world. collecting them together does not create a proposition. ofc you can create propositions out of them or refer to them in propositions but this does not collapse the distinction bw them
No not at all. I'm saying a truth such as "Matt LeTissier is the greatest footballer of all time" may be supported or not by statistics (facts) but still be true. And yet there is still a relationship between truth and facts. Which seems counter-intuitive.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
More like facts (not becoming but) supporting theorems than the other way round. But I want truth to be bigger than just theorems.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I think an antipathy* to facts is the reason the current POTUS feels able to support the coal industry and say the idea of AGW is a Chinese hoax while suggesting that the noise of wind turbines may cause cancer. Of course it's a cliché to say that all politicians lie, but Trump has to be the first major player in modern times who is virtually allergic to objective truth.

Which makes it all the funnier the way the right in America love to rag on postmodernism, because they associate it (not unreasonably, but quite superficially) with identity politics and the academic left, when at the same time it's serving their purposes very well indeed.

*Actually it's not so much an antipathy to facts as the notion that words and numbers are a bit like plasticine, which can be moulded into shapes called 'facts', and whoever can make the most attractive and popular shapes with it therefore has the best facts and is therefore right.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Whilst agreeing with that, I think that Trump is 'merely' the logical end point (hopefully the end point anyways) to a long-term process.

The very fundaments of our societal organisation have long (always?) been upheld using 'facts'* which are moulded like plasticine. Unemployment is lower than it's ever been! Yay! But only because the market is flooded with shit jobs and we're destroying welfare to make you take anything that's on offer. Less yay.

The difference with Trump is really that he doesn't give a shit about holding up the pretence - like a deconstructed magic trick - and it's probably no coincidence that he is the first actual reality TV president. He's recognised a new set of rules.

*I feel like Rafa Benitez when I say 'fact' in inverted commas.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Yay! But only because the market is flooded with shit jobs and we're destroying welfare to make you take anything that's on offer.
To say nothing of the fact that the figures don't include the homeless, or people who are currently under 'sanction', or who've given up trying to claim benefits because they've been fucked around so much and are just hoping their savings last until they find something or have just gone back to living with their parents.

What's weird is the number of times I've encountered people who I know consider themselves progressive but who are totally in denial about stuff like the unemployment (and underemployment) rate in this country, our ongoing environmental catastrophe (I mean in the UK specifically) or rising violent crime. A part of it is that the forces that are setting the agenda have done it so effectively that even people who in theory oppose those forces have been taken in - a bit like how Labour under Brown and then Miliband spectacularly failed to counter the Tory message that the UK was "broke" because Tony Blair gave mansions to single mums.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Which makes it all the funnier the way the right in America love to rag on postmodernism, because they associate it (not unreasonably, but quite superficially) with identity politics and the academic left, when at the same time it's serving their purposes very well indeed.
But I'm sure that I've read before that there was a kind of eureka moment on the right where they realised that instead of bitching about the (perceived) relativism of the academic left they could take what they saw as the main points (and leave behind any subtlety, nuance, justification etc) and use them for their own nefarious purposes as "alternative facts" or "Accusing the president of lying is a ridiculous thing to say".
 

vimothy

yurp
another interesting facet of contemporary (liberal) ideology is the desire to remove values altogether and deal solely in "facts". therefore the "best", "most fair" or otherwise correct policy, constitutional arrangements, etc, can be derived from something like a mathematical model
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
another interesting facet of contemporary (liberal) ideology is the desire to remove values altogether and deal solely in "facts". therefore the "best", "most fair" or otherwise correct policy, constitutional arrangements, etc, can be derived from something like a mathematical model
Good point - you're much more likely to hear both self-described conservatives and radicals talking about what's "right", "humane" etc. than objectively "best".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The difference with Trump is really that he doesn't give a shit about holding up the pretence - like a deconstructed magic trick - and it's probably no coincidence that he is the first actual reality TV president. He's recognised a new set of rules.
I'd go further and say Trump is setting new rules, not just recognising them.

I mean, consider his very well-known support for the coal industry and antipathy to any policy that's even remotely green:

In July 2017, the President famously – or infamously depending on your point of view – announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by 195 countries in November 2015.

Some 12 months later came Trump's "affordable clean energy" rule that transferred pollution-control laws to individual states, making project approvals for coal plants easier and emission standard compliance more lax in theory. He almost single-handedly tried to roll back rules on climate change adopted during the Obama administration to fulfill pledges to voters in coal mining states like West Virginia, Montana and Wyoming.
(from https://www.forbes.com/sites/gaurav...rgest-mining-basin-sees-decline/#689caef21d74)

And this all links into his mastery of the conspiracy-theory mindset, with regard to his support for the idea that man-made climate change is all a big con job.

But:

Yet for all of that, more coal-fired power plants have shut stateside in Trump's first two years than were decommissioned in the entirety of Barack Obama's first term in office, according to a collation of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Reuters data.

Readings point to 23,400 MW of U.S. coal-fired generation being taken out of the grid in 2017-18, versus 14,900 MW in 2009-12. In fact, the EIA notes that the number of coal plants has continued to decline every year since U.S. coal capacity peaked at just over 317,400 MW in 2011, and the agency does not forecast a reversal.
No doubt this matters to people who've lost their jobs at collieries and coal-fired power stations, but how many people are we talking about here? A few thousand, maybe a couple of tens of thousands? What's important is that tens of millions of voters think Trump is a big supporter of the coal industry, which is great because industry and jobs are great, but even more importantly because the people they hate - an amorphous mass of socialists, liberals, hippies, students, scientists, intellectuals and other members of "the elite" - are anti-coal.

It goes so far beyond having your cake and eating it that it's more like simultaneously having and eating a cake that never even existed in the first place.
 

muser

Member
I love facts but I've got a terrible memory so I normally make some vague approximation of them to people and hope nobody notices
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
im thinking of rawls or kenneth arrow. or monetary economics. "policy science"
But it's basically the same idea right? Basically you somehow ascribe numerical values to things and then come up with rules for changing those values and then you can argue that x after you've done f to it is better than y after the effect of g. Problem is that the original valuation always has at least some element of arbitrariness as far as I can tell.
 
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