Quote of the day—Keith M. Bellizzi

Facts First” is the tagline of a CNN branding campaign which contends that “once facts are established, opinions can be formed.” The problem is that while it sounds logical, this appealing assertion is a fallacy not supported by research.

Cognitive psychology and neuroscience studies have found that the exact opposite is often true when it comes to politics: People form opinions based on emotions, such as fear, contempt and anger, rather than relying on facts. New facts often do not change people’s minds.

Keith M. Bellizzi
August 13, 2022
Cognitive Biases and Brain Biology Help Explain Why Facts Don’t Change Minds
[This is probably a big part of the reason that Mao Tse Tung coined the phrase, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. Facts and reason are nearly irrelevant in politics. The only reliable means of changing people’s minds regarding politics is with a bullet.

Socialism and communism are so inefficient they cannot tolerate slackers or doubters. They need a very high compliance rate to sustain themselves.

Prepare appropriately.—Joe]


8 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Keith M. Bellizzi

  1. “The only reliable means of changing people’s minds regarding politics is with a bullet.”

    This – or its ancient equivalents in rocks, clubs, spears, arrows, swords, wheel lock pistols (see William of Orange), what-have-you – has always been true.

    Mike Vanderboegh put it this way in relation to 4th generation warfare:
    “Direct military operations” are precisely what the 4GW insurgent seeks to avoid. His target is the mind and the will of the political leadership of his enemy — to be specific, the few inches between their ears which are filled with brains to be influenced or, if not, popped like a grape with an unanswerable rifle shot from distance as an example to the others.”

    One can try to persuade by reason, but if the recipient isn’t amenable to reason, downright extreme violence has a proven track record.

  2. “Socialism and communism is so inefficient it cannot tolerate slackers or doubters. It needs a very high compliance rate to sustain itself.”
    Very true. For the short while it ever has sustained itself? Both Russian and Chinese communism made it what, 50-70 years? Less than the average human.
    To me all government is a parasite. It may work for you in the realm of standards for commerce and behavior, and defense against foreign enemies. But it is none the less a parasite on humanity.
    It must always be taught and viewed as such.
    A parasite that must be kept under very strict control. Limits set and ruthlessly monitored.
    Socialism then communism, or some form of ignorant absolutism is always the end state. And here we go again friends and neighbors.

    • The same can be said of the Europe welfare states for the XX century.

      Proving that point has been the incompetent, disconnected leadership and the strains of mass immigration of incompatible peoples.

    • Sometimes Government can be the Jockey. Usually it is just the Saddle.

  3. In my experience I have found that I can convince someone of something, using facts, under a strictly limited set of circumstances:

    1) When the story I am trying to tell fits easily into their pre-existing mental framework of how they already think things work.

    2) When they are totally emotionally neutral about the subject, and genuinely curious about it at the same time.

    How often do you find these situations in real life?

    • In regard to 2): When they are a sociopath.

      Many sociopaths pride themselves on being hyperrational and superior to those controlled by their emotions. I think they have a fair point on the pride issue. I’m undecided on the superiority (and, as some claim, deserving of ruling the planet) claim.

      • Or if they are sufficiently young/inexperienced that they haven’t committed themselves to a particular side yet, such as a new hire.

        If it’s politically sensitive/controversial I will try to inform them of that, and which bosses are on which side.

        I well remember one project I did where I meticulously proved my boss wrong, showed him the lab work, he admitted it was irrefutable when presented with the data…and then never changed his mind.

  4. “Facts first.”
    Or, as they say, “Truth is the first casualty of war.”

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