Bryan Caplan  

The Ideological Turing Test in 3 Minutes

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Learn Liberty has just released a slick new video on my Ideological Turing Test.  Enjoy, share, and repent




COMMENTS (6 to date)
David R Henderson writes:

I love the Barney Fife line.

Bradley K Hobbs writes:

I love the whole thing!

Richard M Wallace writes:

I like to have my principles students go through an exercise of writing a pair of papers on a controversial topic, such as "sweatshop" labor. One paper marshaling arguments in favor of boycotting "sweatshop" goods and the next paper against. The grade is determined by how equally strong the arguments in each paper are.

Ron Warrick writes:

This could be difficult to do, not to mention unproductive, if your interlocutor's position is truly incoherent or based on assumptions that are objectively wrong.

James Pass writes:

Oh heck, I can easily engage with a person of any political and economic perspective, whether that perspective is reasonable or irrational. In fact I'm going to be doing just that at this Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family.

Psychologists use the term "validate" to mean "accurately mirroring back what someone has just stated." Ron Warrick points out that it can be difficult to validate an incoherent position that is objectively wrong, but I find such positions rather easy to validate. For example, I've lost count of the number of times I've validated people telling me that Obama isn't a US citizen and the US government orchestrated 9/11 and faked Sandy Hook. In these cases, what's difficult to do is have a productive discussion with the interlocutor. In other words, it can be difficult if not impossible to get some people to understand the first thing about evidence and reasonable skepticism.

In the video, the line that caught my attention was Paul Krugman's claim that while liberals can convincingly emulate conservatives, conservatives can't convincingly emulate liberals. Is there any evidence that this is true, even in a general sense?

There is the old story that the reason Stephen Colbert was a featured speaker at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner was because Republicans regarded him as "one of them." Did Republicans really think Colbert was one of them or did they merely assume he'd do the same act at the dinner that he did on his show? It's been said that even some members of the "liberal press" were annoyed by Colbert's biting performance. In any case, Colbert was a master at emulating conservatives, but I find it interesting that every liberal I knew easily understood that Colbert was lampooning conservatives five nights a week.

Sam Grove writes:

I believe Jonathan Haidt, in his research found that liberals did worse at describing the beliefs of conservatives and libertarians.
Krugman just assumes his assumptions are correct because he's so damn smart, what with a Nobel and all.

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