# blueollie

## Talking past one another Part II

I talked a bit about this earlier; in particular I mentioned how Ted Cruz seems whacky to me and to those who think like I do.

Here is a bit more. As I said, the right wing sees Ted Cruz as some sort of “lone wolf, Mr. Smith goes to Washington” hero rather than someone pulling a “pay attention to me stunt”.

Remember: this was not the case of a vote coming up on a bill.

Also, remember that millions of social conservatives see this image as something positive:

I see this as, well, being the same as this:

I am NOT saying that people like me ought to take Senator Cruz’s ideas seriously; I can’t. But we should realize that he is, to millions of people, what say, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are to idealistic liberals.

While we are on perceptions, I’ll go to another sore point of mine: activists.

On the whole, I don’t like them (there might be isolated exceptions).

From what I’ve seen the ratios of:

$\frac{noise}{message}$ and $\frac{self assessment of knowledge}{actual knowledge}$ both approach infinity. They are noisy, pushy, and frankly, dumb. They don’t get advice from experts like scientists, they GIVE it to them.

I am ESPECIALLY talking about activists who agitate for causes that I agree with! No, I don’t go as far as some: a clueless activist makes a stupid argument for a position doesn’t invalidate a position. After all, I might not care for pushy environmentalists but I am still going to walk to work every day (as I have for the past 21 years).

I might not be the only one: Salon ran this hilarious article:

Why don’t people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don’t want to be associated with environmentalists.

That’s the conclusion of troubling new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.

Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”

Writing in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Bashir and her colleagues describe a series of studies documenting this dynamic. They began with three pilot studies, which found people hold stereotyped views of environmentalists and feminists.

In one, the participants—228 Americans recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk—described both varieties of activists in “overwhelmingly negative” terms. The most frequently mentioned traits describing “typical feminists” included “man-hating” and “unhygienic;” for “typical environmentalists,” they included “tree-hugger” and “hippie.”

Another study, featuring 17 male and 45 female undergraduates, confirmed the pervasiveness of those stereotypes. It further found participants were less interested in befriending activists who participated in stereotypical behavior (such as staging protest rallies), but could easily envision hanging out with those who use “nonabrasive and mainstream methods” such as raising money or organizing social events.

Well, duh.

September 27, 2013 -