853
Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
2300+ courses starting
in November 2017
Peruse my collection of 272
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:

VIEW ARCHIVE


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Democratic News Consumption: The Ideal and the Reality
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
evolution, consumer, Bayesian, vote, partisanship, engaging, rational, psychologically, tyranny, inaccurate, democratic, accurate, will, appeals, already, credible, supermarket, cultural, news, nothing, individually, heuristics, Rousseau
what do you need to know to be a good                      citizen
you can't just know               
this will lead you to make sub-optimal democratic choices
democracy is essentially a combination of four things
1. people have the ability to          or in some way make their voices heard
2. some kind of equal representation
3. non-               measures which make sure majorities that build up do not coerce others
4. deliberation, discussion and debate
you can't just have people                          thinking in their own bubbles
what they need to be doing is                  with others to figure out what's good for the society as a whole
involves discussion and dialogue
for this conversation to be substantive, citizens need to be informed
where does this information come from
         is central to the democratic process
news is the core way that individuals get information about what's happening in society, what needs to be addressed, what problems there are to deal with
Jean-Jacques                  (1712-1778)
a notion of the general          of the people
what it is that the people really want
you need a way for the government to determine what people want in their most informed state, since that is going to be the policy that will be ideal
we generally think of people behaving as what we call a                  updater
someone who takes in information
considers how this information relates to what they                know
comes to a decision on what we should be doing
as you learn more, you should ideally update what you know in line with the new things you are learning
there are many personal and                  aspects that impede our ability to act as Bayesian updaters
                              , this is not what we were designed to do
democracy was never a goal of                   
what people end up doing in practice is not updating in a                 , Baysian way
they encounter a variety of pieces of information
they use low information shortcuts called                     
often use cues such as someone's                         , rather than the issue at hand
heuristics are also used when we shop at a                       
we buy the product we know
we buy the product which has the lettering which                to us
these are low information cues
they don't tell us much between the difference between product A and product B
but they help us a lot in making a decision quickly
if you are being a good news                 
if you're being a Bayesian updater
when you encounter a story that doesn't seem entirely                 
you're going to go out and do extra work to figure the degree to which you can believe the story is                  and why
and to make sure that you're no encountering something that happens to be                     

Vocabulary:

heuristic technique, n. [εὑρίσκω, to find or discover] an approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals, often used where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical  "In the process of being informed about the world, we encounter a variety of pieces of information and out of necessity are forced to use information shortcuts and heuristics in order to make decisions in the absence of the best possible informed environment."

Spelling Corrections:

absenseabsence
hueristicsheuristics

Ideas and Concepts:

Etymology learned via today's Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts class:

"For a democracy to work, citizens need to be informed so that they can effectively discuss the issues which concern them as a society. Traditionally, this has been by means of news sources.

But news is not only how individuals get information about what the government is doing, but it is also how the government becomes informed about what citizens think.

In this way, news plays a key intermediary role in a democracy between citizens and their government, which is why it is called the media."
On the unnaturalness of critical thinking and democracy, via tonight's Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts class:

"Critical thinking and democracy were never goals of human evolution. Critical thinking is not a psychologically natural way for humans to think nor is democracy a natural way for human to organize themselves or influence each other. And so if we want to act and interact in this way, we need to learn these skills, teach these skills, and practice these skills.

Critical thinking and democracy go against the grain of how our minds work and how we relate to each other by default, and thus require hard work and discipline to achieve and maintain this state of action and interaction. In particular, we need to constantly fight the forces which erode critical thinking and democratic principles in our society."
On healthy news consumption habits, via tonight's Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts class: "If you are being a good news consumer, if you're being a Bayesian updater, then when you encounter a story that doesn't seem entirely credible for some reason, then you're going to go out and do extra work to figure out the degree to which you can believe that that story is accurate and why, and to make sure that what you're encountering is not something that happens to be inaccurate."
How We Know Things
Democratic News Consumption: The Ideal and the Reality
The Definition of Propaganda and Fake News