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(Popular Science)   Scientists find that comments on websites shape public opinion and public opinion shapes public policy. Still no cure for Congress   (popsci.com) divider line 42
    More: Interesting, shape public opinion, web sites, scientists, study design, University of Wisconsin-Madison, human body, ad hominem attacks, cure  
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514 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Sep 2013 at 3:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-09-24 02:22:39 PM
See!  I told you posting random derp on Fark was not a total waste of time.  Only a complete moran who can't count up to potato would disagree.
 
2013-09-24 02:37:13 PM
You will give me all your money. Now.
 
2013-09-24 02:41:51 PM
I'm in yer commentz, changin yer opinionz.
 
2013-09-24 02:53:27 PM
Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant's interpretation of the news story itself.

In the civil group, those who initially did or did not support the technology - whom we identified with preliminary survey questions - continued to feel the same way after reading the comments. Those exposed to rude comments, however, ended up with a much more polarized understanding of the risks connected with the technology.

Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they'd previously thought.


I blame this on Fartbama and the libtards.

/great band name
 
2013-09-24 03:26:10 PM
I heard that Bareefer Obonghit guy has a huge dick and deserves all the BIE in he can handle.

/EIP
 
2013-09-24 03:50:52 PM
Well that's a terrifying idea. This is going to get worse?
 
2013-09-24 03:55:41 PM
Well, I guess that explains all the dumb@$$ trolls and alts on the Politics tab...
 
2013-09-24 04:00:38 PM
 
2013-09-24 04:05:29 PM
In other words they like the idea of comments, but not the idea of paying a salary to a moderator.
 
2013-09-24 04:11:53 PM
...which in turn brings new websites, which get more comments, which shape public opinion...

ITS THE CIIIIIIIIRCLE, THE CIRCLE OF.....LIIIIIIIIIFE
 
2013-09-24 04:18:52 PM
Well that sucks. Unemployed democrats are at the front of policy making then.
 
2013-09-24 04:23:04 PM

MyRandomName: Well that sucks. Unemployed democrats are at the front of policy making then.


I see you never been to Yahoo or IMDB.


Troll Comments can hurt a company just look how Samsung paid college kids to troll HTC forums
 
2013-09-24 04:27:57 PM
Some of the recent legislation from the House of Representatives sounds like it was made out of tweets and Youtube comments.
 
2013-09-24 04:37:07 PM
If the comments in the Fark politics section is forming public policy no wonder this country had become a stinking pile of bitterness and hate.
 
2013-09-24 04:40:58 PM

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: Some of the recent legislation from the House of Representatives sounds like it was made out of tweets and Youtube comments.


And Internet memes.
 
2013-09-24 04:47:44 PM
i1353.photobucket.com

Cats rule the world!
 
2013-09-24 04:56:00 PM
It's kind of interesting to poke through the Farkchives and look for threads on global warming, for instance. You can actually see the consensus change over time, but it takes a ridiculous amount of debunking the same misinformation over and over before shifts in general opinion become apparent.
 
2013-09-24 05:04:12 PM
Educating others and fighting ignorance is one of the noblest activities that one can engage in, and that is why I like to participate in Fark threads.

Well, except when I'm trolling, but I only troll people who have strong opinions of something, and only to test how well they can back them up.
 
2013-09-24 05:10:38 PM

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Well, I guess that explains all the dumb@$$ trolls and alts on the Politics tab...


Your crazy if you don't think a lot of trolls aren't being paid to troll. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say it's as far as a majority (though if it's 1% or 15%, who the hell knows)

There is a whole industry around it.

They don't stop at buying the representatives, this is how they buy the actual votes.
 
2013-09-24 05:12:14 PM
you're

*goddamitsomuch
 
2013-09-24 05:20:57 PM
fts: A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics.

No, the reason isn't political, although politics isn't doing it any favors. There is a larger pattern of science illiteracy at play here, and we're starting to see the beginnings of it. People aren't resisting science itself, they are resisting change (in any form, but especially the social implications of technology). They are resisting it because it's happening too fast and too much. Allow me to go on a bit of an aside:

Resistance to change is directly proportional to age. Children are sponges for new knowledge and will happily mop up anything presented in front of them. They take to new technologies and foreign languages with ease. But the learning facilities of the brain tend to slow down - or shut down entirely - as people get older. By middle age, most people have settled into a welcomed routine, a comfort zone based on what they know and what works for them. They are set in their ways and any gratuitous level of technological convenience simply means an irritating disruption to their accustomed lifestyle. For an example, look at the way younger generations embrace the internet for news and information while their parents still cling to the morning paper. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they won't die at all. There is a severe generation gap of technological acquiescence at play here, and it's getting worse.

Today, technological progress has accelerated to such an extent that the oldest people alive today were born in a world that did not have radio. And their children were born in a world that did not have television. And their children were born in a world that did not have the internet. And their children are growing up in an entirely different world that, when they become seniors, life will be every bit as strange and incomprehensible to them as it is to today's seniors who can't fathom smart phones or social media (or in this case, internet lotteries).

Anyone who's grown up without the latest technology can equally justify living happily without it for the rest of their lives and don't see any reason why they should need it (Fark's aging demographic repulsing Twitter and Facebook is a championship example of this). This is a bad mindset to have, and it is an issue of concern as each succeeding generation renders the previous one technologically deprecated at an accelerate rate. We are at the cusp of a new age that will continuously annihilate tradition whether we like it or not. Eventually, the time may come when any skill learned as a child will be obsolete by the time they enter the workforce. Or before they graduate. Or before they finish the year. Or the semester.

Change has always been one of the driving forces of human conflict, but in this day and age what's important is not change itself but the rate of change. There is a maximum limit to the rate of change that can be accepted by society, and any level beyond that is too much for people to process -- they will instinctively reject it without really understanding why. And this is what we've been seeing over the past 30 years with the pushback against evolution, climate change, vaccines, Pluto's demotion as a planet, and any other scientific discovery or finding that threatens their old standard.

This is not a new theory. It even has a name: Future Shock, and people have been expounding on it for years.

If I had to wager a guess, I would say that Western Civilization is due for a collective nervous breakdown and it's going to happen sometime in the 2030s (people will probably use VCRs as weapons).
 
2013-09-24 05:22:06 PM

MurphyMurphy: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Well, I guess that explains all the dumb@$$ trolls and alts on the Politics tab...

Your crazy if you don't think a lot of trolls aren't being paid to troll. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say it's as far as a majority (though if it's 1% or 15%, who the hell knows)

There is a whole industry around it.

They don't stop at buying the representatives, this is how they buy the actual votes.


Trolling is a art industry.
 
2013-09-24 05:25:28 PM
MurphyMurphy:

Your crazy if you don't think a lot of trolls aren't being paid to troll ... There is a whole industry around it.

Wait, what?  I thought people just want to see a polite and civilized discussion.  As in, none of THIS:

i1277.photobucket.com


Are you saying we could be getting paid for this shiat?
 
2013-09-24 06:02:26 PM

MurphyMurphy: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Well, I guess that explains all the dumb@$$ trolls and alts on the Politics tab...

Your crazy if you don't think a lot of trolls aren't being paid to troll. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say it's as far as a majority (though if it's 1% or 15%, who the hell knows)

There is a whole industry around it.

They don't stop at buying the representatives, this is how they buy the actual votes.


I'd wager much of it is self-interest. A lot of people troll in support of their work. I'm hardly surprised when someone who trolls for the leftwing outs themselves as doing govt contract work or is a public employee.
 
2013-09-24 06:17:28 PM

Ishkur: fts: A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics.

No, the reason isn't political, although politics isn't doing it any favors. There is a larger pattern of science illiteracy at play here, and we're starting to see the beginnings of it. People aren't resisting science itself, they are resisting change (in any form, but especially the social implications of technology). They are resisting it because it's happening too fast and too much. Allow me to go on a bit of an aside:

Resistance to change is directly proportional to age. Children are sponges for new knowledge and will happily mop up anything presented in front of them. They take to new technologies and foreign languages with ease. But the learning facilities of the brain tend to slow down - or shut down entirely - as people get older. By middle age, most people have settled into a welcomed routine, a comfort zone based on what they know and what works for them. They are set in their ways and any gratuitous level of technological convenience simply means an irritating disruption to their accustomed lifestyle. For an example, look at the way younger generations embrace the internet for news and information while their parents still cling to the morning paper. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they won't die at all. There is a severe generation gap of technological acquiescence at play here, and it's getting worse.

Today, technological progress has accelerated to such an extent that the oldest people alive today were born in a world that did not have radio. And their children were born in a world that did not have television. And their children were born in a world that did not have the internet. And their children are growing up in an entirely different world that, when they become seniors, life will be every bit as strange and incomprehensible to them as it is to today's seniors who can't fathom smart phones or social media (or in this case, internet lotteries).

Anyone who's grown up without the latest technology can equally justify living happily without it for the rest of their lives and don't see any reason why they should need it (Fark's aging demographic repulsing Twitter and Facebook is a championship example of this). This is a bad mindset to have, and it is an issue of concern as each succeeding generation renders the previous one technologically deprecated at an accelerate rate. We are at the cusp of a new age that will continuously annihilate tradition whether we like it or not. Eventually, the time may come when any skill learned as a child will be obsolete by the time they enter the workforce. Or before they graduate. Or before they finish the year. Or the semester.

Change has always been one of the driving forces of human conflict, but in this day and age what's important is not change itself but the rate of change. There is a maximum limit to the rate of change that can be accepted by society, and any level beyond that is too much for people to process -- they will instinctively reject it without really understanding why. And this is what we've been seeing over the past 30 years with the pushback against evolution, climate change, vaccines, Pluto's demotion as a planet, and any other scientific discovery or finding that threatens their old standard.

This is not a new theory. It even has a name: Future Shock, and people have been expounding on it for years.

If I had to wager a guess, I would say that Western Civilization is due for a collective nervous breakdown and it's going to happen sometime in the 2030s (people will probably use VCRs as weapons).


Very interesting but - I think that the acceptance level of recent changes in people who grew up with the personal computer is greater than those that didn't.

I'm 31, my parents are in their early to mid-50's.
We had computers around from 386's to a pentium 90, graphing calculators, etc. My parents are on Facebook, have smartphones, use YouTube, etc.

These aren't scary things to me or them - but they are to people who didn't have ANY computers growing up. That's the biggest change - the advent of the PC and the internet.

I don't think that you'll really see much more of a revolt than you are NOW. The anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-intellectual elite IS the backlash and it's pretty much been at its height in the US for maybe the last 6 years. But there's signs it isn't stable and passing by.
 
2013-09-24 06:27:01 PM
Oh there's a cure for Congress. Nuke DC from orbit while Congress is in session. Preferably when the POTUS, VPOTUS and all of the cabinet are there. Fark it, pile every goddamn politician and lawyer in there too while we're at it.
 
2013-09-24 07:47:31 PM
The typical internet commenters are the only persons I trust less to run this country than Congress.
 
2013-09-24 08:19:50 PM
Good news everyone, I've invented a cure for Congress.

I call it the oppressive dictatorship

/also what I call my penis
 
2013-09-24 09:22:11 PM

Deneb81: I don't think that you'll really see much more of a revolt than you are NOW. The anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-intellectual elite IS the backlash and it's pretty much been at its height in the US for maybe the last 6 years. But there's signs it isn't stable and passing by.


This used to be the group in charge, and the status quo. I some ways, nothing has changed.
 
2013-09-24 09:56:36 PM
Scientists find that comments on websites shape public opinion and public opinion shapes public policy. Still no cure for Bribes from lobbyists shapeCongress
 
2013-09-24 09:59:10 PM
Sounds like a certain tardum assholia that shiats on everything and just ruins it for important science.
 
2013-09-24 11:00:14 PM

UrukHaiGuyz: It's kind of interesting to poke through the Farkchives and look for threads on global warming, for instance. You can actually see the consensus change over time, but it takes a ridiculous amount of debunking the same misinformation over and over before shifts in general opinion become apparent.


The sad part is, much of the shift in consensus seems to be the result of successive spasms with the banhammer.
 
2013-09-24 11:00:58 PM
Ishkur:

I liked your post, but I believe you're extrapolating a bit on the idea that certain skills or ideas will become more useless at a geometrically or exponential pace. I disagree simply because culture doesn't progress like a technology can (Moore's law as a shining example of a philosophy becoming a goal for the innovators). Popular consensus moves forward one funeral at a time.

On any issue which created division (social - economic - religious - political, you pick any combination), those who opposed the change did not eventually come around. They died and took their ignorance to the grave. The Catholic church with Galileo comes to mind. Even after other church-sponsored astronomers concluded that we are not geocentric (quietly at first, then louder and more consistently after a generation of bishops died off), the established organization fought tooth and nail to deny the evidence or change. It was a futile effort and enough time passed that younger members of clergy were allowed to ascend into leadership positions without biases in the older ways. The church then was allowed to slink away, tail between legs, and mumble "Our bad". Today, the Catholic church is one of the leaders in astronomy and scientific advancement (usually to the flavor of unlocking the mysteries of the Creator, but old habits die hard). There wasn't an "AHA!" moment when everyone who could read just changed their mind, the bigoted fools died off and no one replaced them.

The concern for technological decay, to me at least, seems a bit absurd since there are other uses for older technology. In the automotive field, the diesel engine is making a comeback despite being the outsider engine for decades (thanks, General Motors in the 80s!). Direct current is now from photovoltaic cells and Edison had his fight with Tesla over a century ago. For a more recent example, look at cursive writing. Yes, word processors make the script unnecessary but it's still a viable subject because speech-to-text is still in its infancy.

If you were looking for a model of growth, look to a series of plateaus with sharply increasing intervals rather than a pure linear approach. The worrying strikes me as a bit of a holdover from dystopian future novels rather than a pragmatic concern.
 
2013-09-24 11:19:48 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If you were looking for a model of growth, look to a series of plateaus with sharply increasing intervals rather than a pure linear approach.


I'd suggest that a variety of superimposed logistic curves (of varying time constants and amplitudes) provides such a model.

Which, incidentally, appears to be how both biological and techological evolution progress.

And which, at the outset, look like exponential curves.
 
2013-09-24 11:50:19 PM

KawaiiNot: Cats rule the world!


Mostly, they rule the adjacent 3 backyards.
 
2013-09-25 12:06:42 AM
Does anyone ever even think about clicking the button that says "notify mods about this thread?"  No?  I thought not.
 
2013-09-25 12:10:46 AM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I liked your post, but I believe you're extrapolating a bit on the idea that certain skills or ideas will become more useless at a geometrically or exponential pace


Did you learn cursive handwriting in grade school?

...and how often have you used it since then?
 
2013-09-25 12:17:51 AM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If you were looking for a model of growth, look to a series of plateaus with sharply increasing intervals rather than a pure linear approach. The worrying strikes me as a bit of a holdover from dystopian future novels rather than a pragmatic concern.


Actually, I somewhat agree, and the best way to notice the social antagonism to change is commercial product releases.

I'm sure if Apple wanted to, it could design, engineer, market and release and new type of iphone every month. But that would be too much for people to absorb and it would exhaust the market potential of the device (to say nothing of planned obsolescence, etc.). Car companies do the same thing: They have settled into a welcomed routine of releasing a new model every year (and special models every few years).

Corporations are the first to recognize the rate of change is bad if it happens too quickly, and they have made efforts to slow down and plan their releases to when they think customers are best prepared for them. Film studios do the same thing with movies, software companies with new versions, etc.... so there is a cap to the amount of change people can accept and we are already self-imposing limits on ourselves to correspond to our acceptance of change.

That's all thrown out the window once the technological singularity hits, however.
 
2013-09-25 04:54:12 AM
Which is why Al Gore started Reality Drop, a competition to see who can spam the most boards with canned warmist talking points.

/because the debate is settled
//is why I started a website devoted to influencing the debate
 
2013-09-25 04:57:17 AM

UrukHaiGuyz: It's kind of interesting to poke through the Farkchives and look for threads on global warming, for instance. You can actually see the consensus change over time, but it takes a ridiculous amount of debunking the same misinformation over and over before shifts in general opinion become apparent.


It also helps when it, you know, actually warms...which it hasn't for 15+ years now.
 
2013-09-25 08:39:29 AM

SevenizGud: UrukHaiGuyz: It's kind of interesting to poke through the Farkchives and look for threads on global warming, for instance. You can actually see the consensus change over time, but it takes a ridiculous amount of debunking the same misinformation over and over before shifts in general opinion become apparent.

It also helps when it, you know, actually warms...which it hasn't for 15+ years now.


If you know about statistics and how probability actually works, over time scales, you would realize that the "15 years" of non-warming (measured how?) is well within acceptable probability of happening under the hypothesis that Global Temps are increasing.
 
2013-09-25 04:45:20 PM

Ishkur: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I liked your post, but I believe you're extrapolating a bit on the idea that certain skills or ideas will become more useless at a geometrically or exponential pace

Did you learn cursive handwriting in grade school?

...and how often have you used it since then?


I used cursive yesterday.

I look forward to the day it is code that tards can't "decipher".

/proud of my penmanship
 
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