Pete's Prep: Friday, August 31, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

Movie about moon landing omits American flag

Apparently one of the most iconic moments in American history belongs to all humans, so we don't get to see the US flag planted on the moon. From FOX News:

The film fails to show one of the most integral moments of American history – when Armstrong plants the American flag on the moon, according to The Telegraph. Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor who portrays Armstrong in the movie, defended the decision to not show the flag.

Gosling was asked at the Venice Film Festival whether omitting the scene was deliberate, and he responded the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.”

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that's how we chose to view it,” he told reporters. "I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

Gosling said he didn’t think Armstrong “viewed himself as an American hero.”

“From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.

Gosling jokingly admitted he might have “cognitive bias” being that he’s Canadian.

So, here it is:



Misunderstanding conservatives

Did you know there is a "Rigidity of the Right" model? It's about 60 years old. Here's one description:

The dominant psychological account of political ideology is an unflattering one for conservatives. Relative to liberals, they are said to be closed-minded, averse to novelty, highly attuned to threat, dogmatic, conformist, and disinclined toward complex thinking (Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Perspectives along these lines – collectively dubbed the “Rigidity of the Right” Model (RR Model) (Tetlock, 1984) – go back over half a century (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950). After receiving sporadic attention for a number of years, they were revived and integrated in an influential review by Jost et al. (2003), who argued that people who are intolerant of uncertainty and sensitive to threat tend to have a cognitive-motivational affinity for right-wing ideology. It is fair to say that this viewpoint has become conventional wisdom within the psychological study of political ideology.

The three researchers who wrote this raise questions about the validity of this model. Jesse Singal at NY Magazine wrote about this brewing battle last month:

Could liberals come out looking more dogmatic with differently worded items? A team led by Lucian Gideon Conway III of the University of Montana decided to find out. In a paper published in Political Psychology in 2015, they reported on the results of a clever study in which they had respondents fill out either a version of the original scale, a version modified to tap liberal sentiments, or a version modified to tap conservative sentiments. In the original scale, for example, one of the items was: “A group which tolerates too much difference of opinion among its own members cannot exist for long.” In one tweaked version, the word religious was inserted before group; in the other, the word environmental was inserted instead.

As it turned out, these tweaks affected which group responded more “dogmatically” a great deal. Liberals scored as more dogmatic than conservatives when it came to their agreement with sentiments like “When it comes to stopping global warming, it is better to be a dead hero than a live coward” and “A person who thinks primarily of his/her own happiness, and in so doing disregards the health of the environment (for example, trees and other animals), is beneath contempt,” while conservatives, by contrast, scored higher than liberals on items tuned in the opposite political direction. (In fact, there was little difference between how conservatives scored on the original scale and the tweaked-to-be-more-explicitly-conservative version, lending credence to the claim that the original scale was biased in a direction that captured more conservative than liberal dogmatism.) “By making only small adjustments to a popularly used dogmatism scale, results show that liberals can be significantly more dogmatic if a liberal domain is made salient,” explained the authors.


Cue: The New York Times:

conservatives want to create a world where objective information and  right-wing disinformation are treated equally. They’re running the same  playbook on tech that they ran, for decades, on media, caterwauling  about bias so that defensive editors would treat them with kid gloves.  Only now, these howls about viewpoint discrimination have the force of  the United States government behind them.

The columnist proceeds to outline examples of how conservatives falsely accuse tech giants of suppressing conservative speech.

Perhaps this NY Times columnist missed this NY Times article:

The post went up quietly on Facebook’s  internal message board last week. Titled “We Have a Problem With  Political Diversity,” it quickly took off inside the social network.

“We  are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,”  Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was  obtained by The New York Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives,  but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view  that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Since  the post went up, more than 100 Facebook employees have joined Mr.  Amerige to form an online group called FB’ers for Political Diversity,  according to two people who viewed the group’s page and who were not  authorized to speak publicly. The aim of the initiative, according to  Mr. Amerige’s memo, is to create a space for ideological diversity  within the company.

The new group has upset other Facebook employees, who said its online posts were offensive to minorities.





But, wait! There's more!

From the Citizen-Times: Mission Health says it has signed a definitive agreement to be bought by HCA Healthcare for about $1.5 billion.

Three people were arrested during demonstrations last night over the toppled Silent Sam statue in Chapel Hill.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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