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General Category => Politics => Topic started by: Read the Footnotes on October 03, 2019, 06:32:01 AM

Title: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 03, 2019, 06:32:01 AM
Today I learned that the cognitive fallacy known as MAGA (Make American Great Again) has a name. Declinism is considered a cognitive bias. Declinism is likely associated with another cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. I have always known that nostalgia was one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools used to manipulate people, but it is great to learn a couple of additional named cognitive biases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosy_retrospection

This reading reminded me that Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire argues that the loss of civic virtue brought about the collapse of the Roman Empire. Civic virtue is based upon putting a premium on the good of the community and it also puts a premium on commercial honesty.

It seems to me that Trump's "me first" business practices and Trump before all else political behavior displayed on his multiple phone calls with foreign leaders is not compatible with civic virtue.

Also, the message that everyone is corrupt seems to be an especially toxic message that would undermine even the expectation of civic virtue and reduce the likelihood that members of the populace would consider civic virtue even being a goal for them individually.

Is it great again?
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Castanza on October 03, 2019, 07:02:09 AM
Civic virtue is the citizens involvement in society. Not governments involvement.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Vish_ram on October 03, 2019, 08:06:12 AM
When your house is on fire, you've to throw things like civic virtue out of the window.

In the book "innovators" Isaacson was talking about how Luddites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite) reacted to the arrival of power looms. It was an existential threat that destroyed their jobs.

In a way, a chunk of US has become a nation of Luddites. The internet has destroyed lots of service jobs, china has destroyed manufacturing jobs. There is no escape. To add insult to injury, the crony capitalism that engenders booms and busts destroyed savings (housing bubbles etc), rising medical costs have bankrupted families & education beyond the reach of many.

The average American is taking a hit from all sides. This is unprecedented. We always had disruption from technology but never at this break neck internet speed.

I spent 6 months going through 5000+ jobs (bls.gov) and charted how they had risen and fallen. I used this to get a pulse of the nation. Except for these jobs (medical, vets, pharma, technology, managerial etc), the rest have gone through boom and busts or just busts. I can scarcely imagine the carnage. This country is based on winners take all, bare knuckle capitalism with zero safety net. The trickle down system has left middle and bottom with nothing. No growth in median income for last 40 years.

To Trump's credit, he hoodwinked the masses with the right message and empty promises. He cannot fight the invisible enemy of tech, offshoring etc. R's used the time tested guns/religion/abortion and other issues to keep masses mesmerized and yearning for a change. There is a lot of anger left and diabolical politicians will keep duping the masses for a while.
 
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Castanza on October 03, 2019, 08:25:58 AM
When your house is on fire, you've to throw things like civic virtue out of the window.

In the book "innovators" Isaacson was talking about how Luddites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite) reacted to the arrival of power looms. It was an existential threat that destroyed their jobs.

In a way, a chunk of US has become a nation of Luddites. The internet has destroyed lots of service jobs, china has destroyed manufacturing jobs. There is no escape. To add insult to injury, the crony capitalism that engenders booms and busts destroyed savings (housing bubbles etc), rising medical costs have bankrupted families & education beyond the reach of many.

The average American is taking a hit from all sides. This is unprecedented. We always had disruption from technology but never at this break neck internet speed.

I spent 6 months going through 5000+ jobs (bls.gov) and charted how they had risen and fallen. I used this to get a pulse of the nation. Except for these jobs (medical, vets, pharma, technology, managerial etc), the rest have gone through boom and busts or just busts. I can scarcely imagine the carnage. This country is based on winners take all, bare knuckle capitalism with zero safety net. The trickle down system has left middle and bottom with nothing. No growth in median income for last 40 years.

To Trump's credit, he hoodwinked the masses with the right message and empty promises. He cannot fight the invisible enemy of tech, offshoring etc. R's used the time tested guns/religion/abortion and other issues to keep masses mesmerized and yearning for a change. There is a lot of anger left and diabolical politicians will keep duping the masses for a while.

And what's your solution to this? Both sides are engaged in hoodwinking the masses with empty promises. Politics has become a "who will manage this downward spiral the best."
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Vish_ram on October 03, 2019, 08:57:03 AM
1) Aim for zero trade deficits - on a global level. Issue something like trade credit (TC). The nations that import more from US than what they export will have positive trade credit. Countries like china have to purchase TC, either from US or from other countries. this is like a tariff, but net effect is it helps us narrow trade deficits.
this boosts demand for US made goods

2) Fix healthcare. Make public option free for anyone living below poverty and with other criteria. OR Cover basics for free

3) Introduce Marshalls plan for Americans disrupted by technology. Come up with free trade schools, training, zero tax on small biz with 2 employees or less etc
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 03, 2019, 09:30:57 AM
And what's your solution to this? Both sides are engaged in hoodwinking the masses with empty promises. Politics has become a "who will manage this downward spiral the best."
I don't think you necessarily addressed your question to me, but I will chime in with a few thoughts. If the problem is both sides hoodwinking the masses then I have a couple of suggestions:

1. Don't allow any leader or party to demoralize you. They want you demoralized so you are more like sheep. Instead, become more educated and engaged. It will make it harder for them.
2. Challenge yourself to increase your civic virtue.
3. Do not engage in pushing a political agenda. Don't mindlessly repeat talking points put out by any political party.
4. Treat all citizens with respect. Here on CoB&F, challenge yourself to never engage in trolling, ad hominem attacks or other counterproductive behaviors. Go a step further and challenge yourself to elevate the level of political discussion here on CoB&F.
5. Humans are somewhat biased to direct attention to negative examples, so do what you can to highlight good ideas, good behavior, and good role models.

The more we can see through the talking points of any political party or source of disinformation, the harder it will be for them to get away with it. It's a small step, but it will help and likely has many other positive side effects for society and the individual.

Businesses and the economy run on trust. What future do we have if we believe everyone is a crook?
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: cwericb on October 03, 2019, 10:41:10 AM

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Parsad on October 03, 2019, 10:54:43 AM

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?

It's what could be called the perpetual irony of the "American" demagogue!  Cheers!
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: LC on October 03, 2019, 12:03:37 PM
Obviously it makes no sense: If America is already great, why do we need to make it great again?

Of course it's useful to hear it over and over, because it lets you know the speaker is either (1) ignorant and unable to make a logical statement or (2) a liar and not to be trusted.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 03, 2019, 12:07:47 PM

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?

After America came out of WWII, it was undisputed leader.  There was wealth & prosperity across almost the whole of the country.  It was so powerful, and so much ahead of most of the other countries, it was almost silly.

Fast forward to today.  America is still a great country...BUT...while America has kinda/sorta progressed, other regions/countries have made tremendous progress.  There are also TREMENDOUS areas of America and segments of the population that are much worse off than they were 30,40,50,70 years ago.

This is VERY easy to see in Detroit.  Detroit was once the richest city in America, was 4/5 largest in the country, was the "Arsenal of Democracy".  There was manufacturing, engineering, scientific knowledge in such quantities that the world had never seen before.  Now?  Not so much.  While Detroit has come back somewhat, it is but a shadow of it's former self.

Unfortunately, Detroit is not the only city to share this fate.  Look at Gary IN, Baltimore MD, St. Louis MO, and many others.  There are also rural areas that are hurting badly.

I think the slogan is meant to rouse people to make things better and that while America is a great place, it can be so much better in the future.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Parsad on October 03, 2019, 12:14:49 PM

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?

After America came out of WWII, it was undisputed leader.  There was wealth & prosperity across almost the whole of the country.  It was so powerful, and so much ahead of most of the other countries, it was almost silly.

Fast forward to today.  America is still a great country...BUT...while America has kinda/sorta progressed, other regions/countries have made tremendous progress.  There are also TREMENDOUS areas of America and segments of the population that are much worse off than they were 30,40,50,70 years ago.

This is VERY easy to see in Detroit.  Detroit was once the richest city in America, was 4/5 largest in the country, was the "Arsenal of Democracy".  There was manufacturing, engineering, scientific knowledge in such quantities that the world had never seen before.  Now?  Not so much.  While Detroit has come back somewhat, it is but a shadow of it's former self.

Unfortunately, Detroit is not the only city to share this fate.  Look at Gary IN, Baltimore MD, St. Louis MO, and many others.  There are also rural areas that are hurting badly.

I think the slogan is meant to rouse people to make things better and that while America is a great place, it can be so much better in the future.

You also have to look at regions of the U.S. that have gained in influence...while Detroit has declined, the triumvirate of San Francisco, San Jose & Sacramento has thrived.  Probably more money, innovation and economic power centered there, than during the heyday of Detroit and Chicago combined.   Cheers!
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Cardboard on October 03, 2019, 12:25:19 PM
Very well said DTEJD1997!

And when you say that other countries have made tremendous progress, let's not forget how much sacrifice both the U.S. and Canada have made to help them get there.

Therefore it is interesting when U.S. leadership is telling some of these nations to pay their fair share, NATO for example, that we see such adversarial reaction.

In essence, what we are seeing is an end to the Marshall Plan that had extended to know-how on mass production, technology, medical science all leading to these trade deficits and they don't want to give it up.

In a way it is all human nature or entitlement and preservation of self interest. While I strongly disagree with endless tariffs to no end, something definitely had to be done and Mr. Trump despite his lack of finesse finally brought it to the forefront.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 03, 2019, 01:04:32 PM
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Cardboard on October 03, 2019, 01:26:06 PM
1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer

Isn't this the most recent Democrats playbook?

War against the rich, freebies for all of you deplorables, identity politics?

I did not see too many being demoralized on TV when 30,000 people at multiple occasions chanted: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

They seemed more like the happiest bunch!
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: cubsfan on October 03, 2019, 02:46:49 PM
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

The divide and conquer strategy was perfected by President Obama in a quest to help the Democrats from stop losing power after the 2010
election losses. Never before have I seen a party get so divisive in a "us vs them" fashion. Many, many white Americans were very proud
voters in 2008 to elect our first black US President. Only to have the tables turned over time - when Obama ditched the message of unity and
resorted to identity politics and divide the country.

Obama was not a dictator - but he sure taught the Democratic Party how to race bait.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: cubsfan on October 03, 2019, 03:21:10 PM
Very well said DTEJD1997!

And when you say that other countries have made tremendous progress, let's not forget how much sacrifice both the U.S. and Canada have made to help them get there.

Therefore it is interesting when U.S. leadership is telling some of these nations to pay their fair share, NATO for example, that we see such adversarial reaction.

In essence, what we are seeing is an end to the Marshall Plan that had extended to know-how on mass production, technology, medical science all leading to these trade deficits and they don't want to give it up.

In a way it is all human nature or entitlement and preservation of self interest. While I strongly disagree with endless tariffs to no end, something definitely had to be done and Mr. Trump despite his lack of finesse finally brought it to the forefront.

Yes, very well said both of you.

Many, many years after the US & Canada rebuilt the economies of Europe and parts of Asia - Trump is just saying - enough is enough.
This makes total sense. Trump made a promise to those Americans left behind and an interior that was being hollowed out by
free but not fair trade - and large expenses like NATO, where the US carries the load.

If deficits are so wonderful - why are Germany, China, Mexico, etc - so opposed to running them?

Why don't we run a surplus and take care of our own citizens?

Trump is just keeping his campaign promise to bring employment back to the country.

Politicians (Republicans too) - have been telling those left behind, that this "globalization" stuff would be great for them.
It hasn't worked out that way for many families and workers.

How do you think Trump defeated 16 high quality Republicans in the primaries?  He was the ONLY Republican with a job message that appealed
to the interior of the country. "I'll work to bring back your jobs"

And, of course, Hillary had nothing but contempt for the "deplorables" that were out of work.

Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: no_free_lunch on October 03, 2019, 03:30:23 PM
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

deplorables
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Cigarbutt on October 04, 2019, 05:21:48 AM
Today I learned that the cognitive fallacy known as MAGA (Make American Great Again) has a name. Declinism is considered a cognitive bias. Declinism is likely associated with another cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. I have always known that nostalgia was one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools used to manipulate people, but it is great to learn a couple of additional named cognitive biases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosy_retrospection

This reading reminded me that Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire argues that the loss of civic virtue brought about the collapse of the Roman Empire. Civic virtue is based upon putting a premium on the good of the community and it also puts a premium on commercial honesty.

It seems to me that Trump's "me first" business practices and Trump before all else political behavior displayed on his multiple phone calls with foreign leaders is not compatible with civic virtue.

Also, the message that everyone is corrupt seems to be an especially toxic message that would undermine even the expectation of civic virtue and reduce the likelihood that members of the populace would consider civic virtue even being a goal for them individually.

Is it great again?
Mr. Gibbon put a lot of weight on the rotting civic virtue from the inside and some aspects of the modern American experience point to a certain decline and to the unsustainable build-up of significant imbalances and unfunded promises.
An example:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CIVPART

As a rational optimist, I think the decline is reversible but recovery may be delayed by the present trend related to increasing polarization. Polarization at both ends allows participants to indulge in behaviors that would tend to undermine democratic foundations and institutions. We need more centrist 'reforms', more centrist candidates and more centrist discussions.

Political noise will not go away but the drift has to reverse. The historical imperative needs us to look at the bright side and to carry on.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: rukawa on October 04, 2019, 11:53:32 PM
The average American is taking a hit from all sides. This is unprecedented. We always had disruption from technology but never at this break neck internet speed.

The speed now is pretty slow actually. The only major invention is the computer/internet and possibly the smart phone. And though they have the potential to be revolutionary...the truth is that the real computer revolution hasn't even happened yet. If go back to the nineteenth century when the railroad were invented, there was electrification, light bulb, telephone, indoor plumbing. Or you even look at the period when these technologies were rolled out to the masses from 1920-50...the progress was much much more rapid. And there was no welfare state and minimal government during all the nineteenth. Plus there were no regulations. And there were horrendous mass depressions and people were far poorer.

The truth is that compared to any point in human history, Americans have it pretty easy. When I listen to how many excuses are made for failure today I find it hard to square this with what humans had to do in the past to survive. The easier it gets the weaker, lazier and more entitled people appear to become. And as far as I can see the process has no limit.

Today certain things have become impossibilities. Its impossible for poor people to improve their lot without government handouts. Its impossible for fat people to not be fat. Its impossible for people to save money and not spend. Its impossible to diversify an economy without large government investments. But of course you go to other countries or back in history and all these impossibilities are no longer impossible but regular occurrences.

Listening to liberals I'm forced to conclude that I know a lot of supermen capable of impossible things. Somehow though they never appeared very "super" to me.


Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 07, 2019, 07:00:17 AM
I started this thread with these comments in a post about declnism and civic virtue.

Today I learned that the cognitive fallacy known as MAGA (Make American Great Again) has a name. Declinism is considered a cognitive bias. Declinism is likely associated with another cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. I have always known that nostalgia was one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools used to manipulate people, but it is great to learn a couple of additional named cognitive biases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosy_retrospection

...

Also, the message that everyone is corrupt seems to be an especially toxic message that would undermine even the expectation of civic virtue and reduce the likelihood that members of the populace would consider civic virtue even being a goal for them individually.

To add to my point about civic virtue, if Trump wanted to make America great again, he should be encouraging good behavior and civic virtue. Instead, by constantly projecting his corruption on to everyone else, he risking the Golem Effect, which is the opposite of the Pygmalion Effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem_effect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

Another problem with this Rosy Retrospection and Declinism bias, is that there is a lot of evidence to support the thesis that people in the US two years ago when we needed to make America great again, actually had better odds than anyone ever has in history. The problem that to energize their base, both the Democrats and Republicans have been trying to convince us of the opposite. As evidence to support the argument that things are and have been pretty great in the US, I suggest two books that are quite popular among investors that rebut the cognitive fallacy of Declinism (both are recommended by Gates and I received copies from some of the best investors I know).

https://stevenpinker.com/publications/enlightenment-now-case-reason-science-humanism-and-progress
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_Now

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factfulness:_Ten_Reasons_We%27re_Wrong_About_the_World_–_and_Why_Things_Are_Better_Than_You_Think
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 07, 2019, 10:51:46 AM

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?

After America came out of WWII, it was undisputed leader.  There was wealth & prosperity across almost the whole of the country.  It was so powerful, and so much ahead of most of the other countries, it was almost silly.

Fast forward to today.  America is still a great country...BUT...while America has kinda/sorta progressed, other regions/countries have made tremendous progress.  There are also TREMENDOUS areas of America and segments of the population that are much worse off than they were 30,40,50,70 years ago.

This is VERY easy to see in Detroit.  Detroit was once the richest city in America, was 4/5 largest in the country, was the "Arsenal of Democracy".  There was manufacturing, engineering, scientific knowledge in such quantities that the world had never seen before.  Now?  Not so much.  While Detroit has come back somewhat, it is but a shadow of it's former self.

Unfortunately, Detroit is not the only city to share this fate.  Look at Gary IN, Baltimore MD, St. Louis MO, and many others.  There are also rural areas that are hurting badly.

I think the slogan is meant to rouse people to make things better and that while America is a great place, it can be so much better in the future.

You also have to look at regions of the U.S. that have gained in influence...while Detroit has declined, the triumvirate of San Francisco, San Jose & Sacramento has thrived.  Probably more money, innovation and economic power centered there, than during the heyday of Detroit and Chicago combined.   Cheers!

I would counter that Detroit/Chicago had it's wealth spread out to more people than is currently the case in the USA/CA in general.

In the year 1914, Ford Motor instituted the $5/day pay scale.  This made headlines all over the world and drew literally MILLIONS of people all around the world to Detroit to work in the factories.  $5 a day back in the TEENS would easily allow you a middle class standard of living.  This wage was the baseline paid to all workers in Ford.

The auto industry also pulled along a lot of other feeder industries (coal, steel, glass, tires, paint), these also allowed high(er) wages to be paid.

There was also a lot of wealth and an incredibly advanced civilization in Detroit 80-90-100 years ago.  Take a look at Cooley high school explored by "The Proper People" in their YouTube video. 

Please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwpcGbGmco&t=773s

Note that this was a high school in an average working class area.  This was NOT for the wealthy or well to do.  When it was built, it was better than just about any high school that I can think of today.  The dang video reminds me of some type of crazy sci-fi movie.  Something after the end of the world, and people are exploring the ruins.

As to what has changed society more....cars, transportation and mass production OR Facebook?  No doubt the internet is a great innovation and is changing society, but what would you rather have?  Cars/transportation, electricity, indoor plumbing, or the internet? 

I would argue that the time frame between 1900-1920 had more innovation/change for society than 2000-2020.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Spekulatius on October 07, 2019, 03:17:35 PM
Quote
I would argue that the time frame between 1900-1920 had more innovation/change for society than 2000-2020.

I believe this to be correct. Look at the overall productivity growth , it’s the slowest it has been for a long time:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-productivity-dropped-at-0-5-pace-in-the-second-quarter-1470746092 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-productivity-dropped-at-0-5-pace-in-the-second-quarter-1470746092)
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 07, 2019, 05:30:11 PM
The speed now is pretty slow actually. The only major invention is the computer/internet and possibly the smart phone. And though they have the potential to be revolutionary...the truth is that the real computer revolution hasn't even happened yet. If go back to the nineteenth century when the railroad were invented, there was electrification, light bulb, telephone, indoor plumbing. Or you even look at the period when these technologies were rolled out to the masses from 1920-50...the progress was much much more rapid.


I think your statements are a bit overly focussed on new products for consumers that are easily visible, which might be a type of an availability bias. The truth is the world is changing rapidly in improving the products that already exist, plus new applications and network effects of pre-existing technology, but those changes are failing to capture your attention in they way they are my attention.

As to what has changed society more....cars, transportation and mass production OR Facebook?  No doubt the internet is a great innovation and is changing society, but what would you rather have?  Cars/transportation, electricity, indoor plumbing, or the internet? 

I would argue that the time frame between 1900-1920 had more innovation/change for society than 2000-2020.

When the question is the rate of growth, and whether that rate of growth is causing displacement, then the rate of change over a period of time is what is relevant and not any personal preference for a specific technology. Plus technology and history builds on the past, so we don't have to choose, we just have to pick a base to calculate growth from in the beginning of each period assessed.

Quote
I would argue that the time frame between 1900-1920 had more innovation/change for society than 2000-2020.

I believe this to be correct. Look at the overall productivity growth , it’s the slowest it has been for a long time:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-productivity-dropped-at-0-5-pace-in-the-second-quarter-1470746092 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-productivity-dropped-at-0-5-pace-in-the-second-quarter-1470746092)

One of the problems with trying to quantify this revolution is that GDP is doing an increasingly poor job of capturing the value created because the new technology can create so much value without ever being captured in a GDP figure. The productivity measures all utilize GDP, so those productivity measures must also be suspect.

Here's an example to try to prove the point. Imagine, for example, that several CoB&F members decided to give up their non-working hours in order diligently work harder a posting great investment ideas or other posts that CoB&F readers find valuable. Assuming that this group's ideas are as good as the best among CoB&F, then this would create a huge amount of value for some readers, but GDP would likely be unaffected. In fact GDP might go down (an imperceptible amount) because many of us would be giving up leisure consumption that would contribute more to GDP. For users of CoB&F, the costs to consume CoB&F are almost entirely fixed, and yet the value creation is scalable, so that value could continue to go up, while costs continue to go down. You might imagine this as being explained by an increasing consumer surplus in each successive year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_surplus#Consumer_surplus)

So part of the issue is that new technology and wealth allows so many people to create content with real value and yet that value is created in ways that are either uncompensated or captured in GDP.

As another exercise, consider how much you would have paid in 2006, before the first smart phones, in order to have all the services available today on your mobile devices. How much would you have had to pay to replicate that value? What would it have looked like? An army of technicians following you around in a bus full of connected technology?

What we are talking about to some extent is that the consumer surplus is growing rapidly in ways in which GDP and our economic models do an increasingly poor job of capturing.

Plus, there is tons of data that indicates technological progress is not slowing, but is continuing on the same path. Here's a result from a quick google search:

https://ourworldindata.org/technological-progress

If you want to dive a bit deeper, I have pasted a link below from the International Association of Science, Technology and Medical Publishers. One way Economists attempt to assess the rate of change of technology is to look at the new technological titles published per year. The data series available in the publication below are not the same, but there is a lot of surprising datasets showing fast growth in a variety of fields. I was surprised to see what appears to be a continuing exponential growth in publishing within the field of Physics for example.

https://www.stm-assoc.org/2018_10_04_STM_Report_2018.pdf
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Cigarbutt on October 08, 2019, 04:24:48 AM
Here's an example to try to prove the point. Imagine, for example, that several CoB&F members decided to give up their non-working hours in order diligently work harder a posting great investment ideas or other posts that CoB&F readers find valuable. Assuming that this group's ideas are as good as the best among CoB&F, then this would create a huge amount of value for some readers, but GDP would likely be unaffected. In fact GDP might go down (an imperceptible amount) because many of us would be giving up leisure consumption that would contribute more to GDP. For users of CoB&F, the costs to consume CoB&F are almost entirely fixed, and yet the value creation is scalable, so that value could continue to go up, while costs continue to go down. You might imagine this as being explained by an increasing consumer surplus in each successive year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_surplus#Consumer_surplus)

So part of the issue is that new technology and wealth allows so many people to create content with real value and yet that value is created in ways that are either uncompensated or captured in GDP.

As another exercise, consider how much you would have paid in 2006, before the first smart phones, in order to have all the services available today on your mobile devices. How much would you have had to pay to replicate that value? What would it have looked like? An army of technicians following you around in a bus full of connected technology?

What we are talking about to some extent is that the consumer surplus is growing rapidly in ways in which GDP and our economic models do an increasingly poor job of capturing.

Plus, there is tons of data that indicates technological progress is not slowing, but is continuing on the same path. Here's a result from a quick google search:

https://ourworldindata.org/technological-progress

If you want to dive a bit deeper, I have pasted a link below from the International Association of Science, Technology and Medical Publishers. One way Economists attempt to assess the rate of change of technology is to look at the new technological titles published per year. The data series available in the publication below are not the same, but there is a lot of surprising datasets showing fast growth in a variety of fields. I was surprised to see what appears to be a continuing exponential growth in publishing within the field of Physics for example.

https://www.stm-assoc.org/2018_10_04_STM_Report_2018.pdf
A part of one the link shows that, when 'human' services are involved, the weakest link in the chain tends to show up and drag productivity growth. I've come to think that productivity growth has 'really' stalled into a new normal. A finding that is frequently manifested is how people 'feel' they are productive when using hedonistic technology gadgets when, in fact, that may not be the case. Another frequently forgotten issue is opportunity cost. In the COBF example mentioned above, one may leave a productive activity to contribute content to a forum which, in the end, is based on a zero-sum game. Whatever outperformance obtained would be matched by underperformance elsewhere (no value is created in the aggregate). Of course, if one manages money for others, this contributes to GDP because of fees. Also, humility may require to consider that, as esteemed KJP member recently alluded to in a different thread, one may not even contribute positive value versus the average!

I had a lot more to say on this great again topic but I have some productive activities lined up today. :)
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 09, 2019, 07:13:01 AM
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I suggest two books that are quite popular among investors that rebut the cognitive fallacy of Declinism (both are recommended by Gates
and I received copies from some of the best investors I know).

Previously in this thread ,I recommended two books that reject the declinism bias inherent in MAGA, but failed to link to their CoB&F threads:


http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/books/factfulness-ten-reasons-we're-wrong-about-the-world-and-why-things-are-better/

http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/books/enlightenment-now-steven-pinker/
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Spekulatius on October 10, 2019, 05:00:39 AM
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One of the problems with trying to quantify this revolution is that GDP is doing an increasingly poor job of capturing the value created because the new technology can create so much value without ever being captured in a GDP figure. The productivity measures all utilize GDP, so those productivity measures must also be suspect.

Here's an example to try to prove the point. Imagine, for example, that several CoB&F members decided to give up their non-working hours in order diligently work harder a posting great investment ideas or other posts that CoB&F readers find valuable. Assuming that this group's ideas are as good as the best among CoB&F, then this would create a huge amount of value for some readers, but GDP would likely be unaffected. In fact GDP might go down (an imperceptible amount) because many of us would be giving up leisure consumption that would contribute more to GDP. For users of CoB&F, the costs to consume CoB&F are almost entirely fixed, and yet the value creation is scalable, so that value could continue to go up, while costs continue to go down. You might imagine this as being explained by an increasing consumer surplus in each successive year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_surplus#Consumer_surplus)

It’s a bit of a quirky example, but I get your point. Another point that was made is that technological progress is mostly deflationary. I think the progression on how pictures are made now (digital on your smartphone) versus analog ( on a dedicated camera on film). I think the number of pictures shot went up by orders of magnitude, but the cost is virtually zero. In the analog age, you had a film industry (Kodak, Agfa Gevaert - all gone), Film processing labs (mostly gone), film paper. So I guess in that part, even counting the cost of the camera part of the smartphone, the development of the digital Photography, the net effect is that it reduced GNP, despite the fact that far more pictures are being made.

The point that I am struggling  a bit with, is why hasn’t all that adoption of new  caused higher productivity growth in the service industry. Manufacturing  still has a few percent of productivty growth annually, but service seems close to zero.
Title: Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
Post by: Read the Footnotes on October 11, 2019, 06:34:18 AM
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One of the problems with trying to quantify this revolution is that GDP is doing an increasingly poor job of capturing the value created because the new technology can create so much value without ever being captured in a GDP figure. The productivity measures all utilize GDP, so those productivity measures must also be suspect.

Here's an example to try to prove the point. Imagine, for example, that several CoB&F members decided to give up their non-working hours in order diligently work harder a posting great investment ideas or other posts that CoB&F readers find valuable. Assuming that this group's ideas are as good as the best among CoB&F, then this would create a huge amount of value for some readers, but GDP would likely be unaffected. In fact GDP might go down (an imperceptible amount) because many of us would be giving up leisure consumption that would contribute more to GDP. For users of CoB&F, the costs to consume CoB&F are almost entirely fixed, and yet the value creation is scalable, so that value could continue to go up, while costs continue to go down. You might imagine this as being explained by an increasing consumer surplus in each successive year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_surplus#Consumer_surplus)

It’s a bit of a quirky example, but I get your point. Another point that was made is that technological progress is mostly deflationary. I think the progression on how pictures are made now (digital on your smartphone) versus analog ( on a dedicated camera on film). I think the number of pictures shot went up by orders of magnitude, but the cost is virtually zero. In the analog age, you had a film industry (Kodak, Agfa Gevaert - all gone), Film processing labs (mostly gone), film paper. So I guess in that part, even counting the cost of the camera part of the smartphone, the development of the digital Photography, the net effect is that it reduced GNP, despite the fact that far more pictures are being made.

The point that I am struggling  a bit with, is why hasn’t all that adoption of new  caused higher productivity growth in the service industry. Manufacturing  still has a few percent of productivty growth annually, but service seems close to zero.

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It’s a bit of a quirky example

Yes, I intentionally created a quirky example. For one thing an example that quirky should indicate I can think logically for myself rather than just parroting a talking point from a politician.

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Another point that was made is that technological progress is mostly deflationary
The deflationary nature of technical progress was also one of the points of my quirky example.

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but service seems close to zero

Part of the point I was trying to make is that services and "experiences" are a larger part of the economy on a relative basis and the deflationary aspect of this part of the economy is more likely to be hidden. I think progress in information oriented services and any associated deflation can be particularly difficult to capture by economic measurement.

Qualitative improvements in manufacturing are a well known flaw in measurement, but capturing qualitative improvements in services would likely be even more subjective and difficult to quantify.