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(ReadWith) PoliticalStuff

Quora Answer : Why do politics and opinions bring out the worst in people? Why can't people just agree to disagree but still get along?

Jul 12, 2018

Because political opinions are opinions about how we should live together.

Most of my opinions don't have consequences for you. Or vice versa. If I support West Ham, that doesn't stop you supporting Tottenham. If I support West Ham it doesn't even affect whether Tottenham or West Ham will actually win a match they play against each other.

Similarly, my musical tastes don't impact yours much.

But my politics affect who I vote for. And who wins the election affects everybody's lives.

Quora Answer : Could politics have a role in the fame of Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, and Einstein?

Jun 9, 2018


Politics has a role in all fame.

Politics isn't just "what politicians do". It's "how do we live together? In a large population, with a variety of different people. What codes should we adopt?"

Who we decide to pay attention to, and make icons or heroes or villains out of is certainly political.

Quora Answer : Is politics just a management of not giving people truth?

Jun 21, 2018


Politics is the difficult art of living together at higher densities and in greater numbers than small bands of apes; which is what we were evolved for.

Because of our large brains, language, culture, tool use etc. we've discovered incredible value in living and working together in larger numbers than bands of 10 - 20 apes. But our instincts are still tuned to that kind of sociality.

So culture has to do the heavy lifting of getting us to live together in towns and cities and countries and global economies. We have to decide how we want to live at those scales, and then create protocols and rules that we need to follow to make it work.

Politics is basically the debate that takes place as we make those decisions about how to live together and what rules and protocols are needed to enable that.

Quora Answer : What's wrong with comedians getting involved with politics?

Nov 8, 2018


Politics affects comedians like it affects everyone else.

Everyone should be involved in politics.

In fact, everyone already IS involved in politics, whether they like it or not.

Saying "I'm not political" is as much a political statement as any other.

Quora Answer : What is your most liberal and progressive opinion as a conservative, and vice versa?

Nov 13

My most "conservative" belief, and really, what I consider is the only valid conservative opinion, is that outlined by Edmund Burke.

That change needs to be incremental, and carefully considered. Not rushed into because it sounds good in theory, but done gradually, with careful observation of the results. Politics needs to be empirical, not idealistic.

That seems an excellent heuristic.

Everything else, I'm an extreme leftist.

Quora Answer : Do politics work? Is there an alternative?

Jan 13

Politics is just the art of people living together in larger agglomerations than families and small inter-related tribes.

It's the inevitable consequence of a society which is large and diverse enough to have (and benefit from) division of labour, and which needs to work out how the benefits of that division of labour are to be shared.

The only "alternative" to politics is to live by yourself and forage in the woods.

Quora Answer : If everyone's goal was to help each other and work towards the greater good, would we solve our problems?

Mar 13, 2014


Most people ARE well intentioned.

But that doesn't mean that they can't still disagree about both the causes of problems and the appropriate solutions.

Politics is not just about the "good" people trying to triumph over the bad (though it's often portrayed that way on TV.) Politics is really about people holding differing views trying to find the truth.

That doesn't mean they won't argue. We need to use an "adversorial" system there, just as we do in law (where one person prosecutes and another defends the accused) because it's the best system we know to find the truth. (Alternatives which explicitly try to prevent disagreement end up in group-think or worse.)

And, of course, sometimes those who are wrong will triumph and do the wrong thing. But as we don't have some miraculous oracle that can give us certainty, that's a price we'll have to pay.

Quora Answer : Why do people get really emotional and violent in politics?

Aug 14, 2017

Because politics matters.

Politics is an umbrella term that covers how people live together. In other words, how our entire social and economic world is organized, who has power, how they are allowed to use it, what checks and balances exist to constrain them from misusing it, etc. etc.

When your entire world is at stake, isn't it worth fighting for?

Quora Answer : What do you think about politics?

Nov 1, 2015

Politics is the price we pay for being individuals who live together in a community.

If we were identical clones who all valued and wanted the same thing then we'd have the benefits of collaboration without politics. If we were solitary cats, each living in our own territory and dependent on nothing but our own hunting skills then we'd have freedom without politics but also without the benefits of collaboration.

But we're neither clones not cats. We're social apes. Smart enough as individuals to want to go our own way, but specialised to live and work in groups. Hence politics. The art and science of living together and negotiating how we'll collaborate at scale.

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