The biology of politics: Liberals roll with the good, conservatives confront the bad

Jan 05, 2012

From cable TV news pundits to red-meat speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire, our nation's deep political stereotypes are on full display: Conservatives paint self-indulgent liberals as insufferably absent on urgent national issues, while liberals say fear-mongering conservatives are fixated on exaggerated dangers to the country.

A new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests there are biological truths to such broad brushstrokes.

In a series of experiments, researchers closely monitored physiological reactions and eye movements of when shown combinations of both pleasant and unpleasant images. Conservatives reacted more strongly to, fixated more quickly on, and looked longer at the unpleasant images; liberals had stronger reactions to and looked longer at the pleasant images compared with conservatives.

"It's been said that conservatives and liberals don't see things in the same way," said Mike Dodd, UNL assistant professor of and the study's lead author. "These findings make that clear – quite literally."

To gauge participants' physiological responses, they were shown a series of images on a screen. Electrodes measured subtle skin conductance changes, which indicated an emotional response. The cognitive data, meanwhile, was gathered by outfitting participants with eyetracking equipment that captured even the most subtle of while combinations of unpleasant and pleasant photos appeared on the screen.

While liberals' gazes tended to fall upon the pleasant images, such as a beach ball or a bunny rabbit, conservatives clearly focused on the negative images – of an open wound, a crashed car or a dirty toilet, for example.

Consistent with the idea that conservatives seem to respond more to negative stimuli while liberals respond more to positive stimuli, conservatives also exhibited a stronger physiological response to images of Democratic politicians – presumed to be a negative to them – than they did on pictures of well-known Republicans. Liberals, on the other hand, had a stronger physiological response to the Democrats – presumed to be a positive stimulus to them – than they did to images of the Republicans.

By studying both physiological and cognitive aspects, the researchers established unique new insights into the growing notion that political leanings are at least partial products of our biology, UNL political scientist and study co-author Kevin Smith said.

Recent research on the subject has focused mostly on physiological reactions to negative stimuli. The new study's use of cognitive data regarding both positive and negative imagery adds to the understanding of how liberals and conservatives see and experience the world, Smith said.

UNL political scientist and co-author John Hibbing said the results might mean that those on the right are more attuned and attentive to aversive elements in life and are more naturally inclined to confront them. From an evolutionary standpoint, that makes sense, he said.

The results also are consistent with conservatives' support of policies to protect society from perceived external threats (support for increased defense spending or opposition to immigration) and internal ones as well (support for traditional values and being tough on crime), Hibbing said.

The researchers were careful to not make a value judgment on either political orientation. But they did note that their discovery provided an opportunity to recognize the relevance of deeper biological variables in politics and turn down political polarization.

Rather than believing those with opposite political views are uninformed or willfully obtuse, the authors said, political tolerance could be enhanced if it was widely understood that political differences are based in part on our physiological and cognitive differences.

"When conservatives say that liberals are out of it and just don't get it, from this standpoint, that's true," Hibbing said. "And when say 'What are (conservatives) so frightened of? Is the world really that dangerous?' Given what each side sees, what they pay attention to, what they physiologically experience – the answer is both sides are right."

Explore further: Local education politics 'far from dead'

More information: The study is in a forthcoming edition of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B and was authored by Dodd, Hibbing and Smith, as well as UNL's Amanda Balzer, Carly Jacobs and Michael Gruszczynski.

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mogmich
3.4 / 5 (8) Jan 05, 2012
Where is the argument for this being caused by BIOLOGICAL differences? It only shows, that there is a more general difference between people that are conservative or liberal.

And that is not so surprising, I think.
Simonsez
4.8 / 5 (6) Jan 05, 2012
@ mogmich

I agree with that assessment - what they have discovered is that there are physiological differences, but nothing in the article pointed to "hardwired" differences. It is entirely possible and even probable that the brain learns to react in such a way due to certain external pressures, among which I would expect to find education, upbringing and other things a young person does not get a choice in, as well as choices they make such as role models (although the availability and quality of role models is not something they can choose). The reactions in the brain to those stimuli would then be reinforced over time and become stronger and more pronounced, which could explain the differences observed in this study without requiring a genetic difference.

What may provide better insight is a lifetime study from infancy to adulthood, at which point a person would be able to clearly declare and define their political stances.
tpb
3.6 / 5 (7) Jan 05, 2012
Older people tend to be more conservative, younger people tend to be more liberal. What were the ages of the people in the study?
FrankHerbert
3.3 / 5 (23) Jan 05, 2012
What may provide better insight is a lifetime study from infancy to adulthood, at which point a person would be able to clearly declare and define their political stances.


This is methodologically unsound. Would you let men voluntarily report their penis lengths and expect to achieve accurate results?

Most people, even intelligent ones, have a very inaccurate view of the political spectrum. Self-declaration of political ideology would be a terrible metric.

For example, Marjon has the [BIGGEST] 'libertarian' here I'm sure according to him.

The "life-long" aspect of your suggestion is excellent, but a better method would be repeated questionnaires at different points in the person's life. Let the researcher determine the person's place on the political spectrum because the researcher is qualified to do so.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (22) Jan 05, 2012
I suggest a test that measures the desire to control others.
FrankHerbert
3.3 / 5 (23) Jan 05, 2012
You wouldn't believe the results, Marjon. You would then claim the "liberal professors" were involved in a cash-for-science conspiracy.
Xbw
1.7 / 5 (22) Jan 05, 2012
The conservatives focused on the wound, crashed car, and dirty toilette because they naturally wanted to do something to fix the problems whereas liberals were more than content to ignore them.

(prepares for the flaming)
Jimee
3.4 / 5 (11) Jan 05, 2012
Liberals fixate on the pleasanter images. This makes it clear why Liberals tend to work to make things better. Life is more pleasant for everyone when things go well (i.e. everyone has a fair chance, an enlightened populace, less suffering, support for the elderly and the less fortunate, and so on.) Why conservatives fixate more firmly on the painful and less pleasant images can be left up to the imagination, but their behavior (my perception) tends to exhibit an angrier, less positive, selfish, and negative view of life. Fear and insecurity lead to a stronger negative response to the world. Love and hope motivate positive responses which lead to a more inclusive, better world. I think Jesus would agree.
Simonsez
5 / 5 (2) Jan 05, 2012
The "life-long" aspect of your suggestion is excellent, but a better method would be repeated questionnaires at different points in the person's life. Let the researcher determine the person's place on the political spectrum because the researcher is qualified to do so.

I ran out of room in my post but that was my take as well, although I think a combination of the physiological response test administered in this study with a questionnaire would be the way to go; consider that what the researchers have suggested is that conservative/liberal leanings may be biologically influenced. Political questionnaires would work once a person has reached a certain age, and even the principles of politics can be dumbed down enough to make sense to smaller children; infants, however, cannot be gauged with such a measure and would only be eligible for the reaction test.
Anynomouse
5 / 5 (3) Jan 05, 2012
Conservatism/Liberalism are as heritable as other personality traits (Hibbing/Alford 2005). Fowler found a "liberal gene" in 2010.

Why should one area (particularly how we struggle for power)be immune from our own innate personalities? Emerson started saying this in 1841. After all, we had to divide up over something, how about our innate affiliation for small "focus on the family" groups versus "it takes a village" "socialism"? Consider the massive changes in the human genome the last 60,000 years as we went through just such a crucible.

We deny human nature in politics in order to prop up the blank slate fantasy that "my" politics is pure reason, while "your" politics is CRAZY! I think the posts herein are ample proof.

If you are interested, I've got a (probably way too big) free sample of a book I wrote about it at politicalspecies dot com. Forward by John Hibbing). I'll trade free copies for those interested in being "beta readers".
gmurphy
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 05, 2012
Frankly this stark division between liberal and conservative only seems to exist in the USA. One can apparently only be left or right in the States, never hovering somewhere in the middle, which is where the rest of the world seems to reside.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (24) Jan 05, 2012
Frankly this stark division between liberal and conservative only seems to exist in the USA. One can apparently only be left or right in the States, never hovering somewhere in the middle, which is where the rest of the world seems to reside.

Does a fish know it is is water? Most of the ROW is in the 'middle' of socialism and doesn't know any better.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (25) Jan 05, 2012
"The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life.

- Edith Packer, clinical psychologist"
"In trying to control others, we find ourselves controlled. We point fingers at the dictators, the Communists, the politicians, and the international cartels. We are blithely unaware that our desire to control selfish others creates and sustains them."
http://www.ruwart...tro.html
Conservatives support limited govt, individual rights/responsibility.
'Liberals' support unlimited govt (for our own good, of course) and don't believe (or want) individuals to be responsible for themselves (then they, the 'liberals' would not be needed).
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (15) Jan 05, 2012
The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life
Necessary, but not sufficient. Another critical requirement is that no individual (or group of individuals) be allowed to usurp political/legal power and/or the economic system. Self-responsible soldiers in the La Cosa Nostra, are NOT free (and the latter is NOT an example of a free society.) Therefore, a free society requires RULE OF LAW, and laws DESIGNED and ENFORCED in a manner that provides for EQUAL OPPORTUNITY and EQUAL PROTECTION.
individual rights/responsibility
Who bears the responsibility for the young, the old, and the infirm?
'Liberals' support unlimited govt
What is "unlimited govt"? I'm afraid there isn't a single 'Liberal' in the world that satisfies your allegation. Hint: "Liberal" derives from "liberty", meaning "freedom". Libertarians are a type of Liberal, for instance.
Telekinetic
3.5 / 5 (19) Jan 05, 2012
If you were writing copy for political ad campaigns, this info could be helpful somehow, I think. As a dyed-in-the-wool liberal that I am, using whatever tactics available to counteract the bald-faced lying, deceit, and dirty tricks of the Republican party is worth looking into.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (27) Jan 05, 2012
If you were writing copy for political ad campaigns, this info could be helpful somehow, I think. As a dyed-in-the-wool liberal that I am, using whatever tactics available to counteract the bald-faced lying, deceit, and dirty tricks of the Republican party is worth looking into.

How about the bald face lying from the Obama regime enabled by 'journalists'?
Don't hear any reproach about the latest Obama Constitutional violation, yet Obama and the 'liberals' howled when Bush made a legal recess appointment.
Or how about the Obama regime lies and cover up of selling weapons to Mexican drug dealers? How 'liberal'!
BTW, FDR called himself 'liberal' to differentiate him from the 'progressive' Hoover.
Before that, liberal referred to those who supported a limited govt that protected the rights of every individual from state tyranny. Now 'liberals' oppose individual rights and support state tyranny.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (25) Jan 05, 2012
"I use throughout the term "liberal" in the original, nineteenth-century sense in which it is still current in Britain. In current American usage it often means very nearly the opposite of this. It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddleheadedness of many who really believe in liberty, that "liberal" has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control."
p. 45, Forward to the 1956 American edition of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek.

Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (23) Jan 05, 2012
"I use throughout the term "liberal" in the original, nineteenth-century sense in which it is still current in Britain. In current American usage it often means very nearly the opposite of this. It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddleheadedness of many who really believe in liberty, that "liberal" has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control."
p. 45, Forward to the 1956 American edition of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek.


Perfect to use a quote coming from one of America's darkest periods- the McCarthy Era. Next you'll be quoting from the Victorian Era, and ranting about women showing too much ankle.
Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (20) Jan 05, 2012
Lincoln was a great Republican. You should quote him.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (25) Jan 05, 2012
"I use throughout the term "liberal" in the original, nineteenth-century sense in which it is still current in Britain. In current American usage it often means very nearly the opposite of this. It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddleheadedness of many who really believe in liberty, that "liberal" has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control."
p. 45, Forward to the 1956 American edition of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek.


Perfect to use a quote coming from one of America's darkest periods- the McCarthy Era. Next you'll be quoting from the Victorian Era, and ranting about women showing too much ankle.

The Road to Serfdom was first published in 1944. And the Verona Papers confirmed Soviets had infiltrated the US, even then.
But the word 'liberal' was stolen by the left after the political failures of the 'progressives'. And now some 'liberals' are calling themselves 'progressive' again.
Caliban
4 / 5 (12) Jan 05, 2012
rikkysokky,

No, you use the term "liberal" in the sense of "unrestricted", in a very intentionally ill-defined way, in order to confuse through the application of a VERY broad brush.

If you were using the term "Liberal" in its eighteenth-century British connotation, then you would actually be talking about something more closely approximating your own personal philosophy than the social liberalism you go to such great pains to malign here.

Stop lying and desist from peddling your ignorance.
Telekinetic
3.3 / 5 (19) Jan 05, 2012
"The Road to Serfdom was first published in 1944. And the Verona Papers confirmed Soviets had infiltrated the US, even then."

So I guess McCarthy was just a johnny-come-lately.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (23) Jan 05, 2012
"The Road to Serfdom was first published in 1944. And the Verona Papers confirmed Soviets had infiltrated the US, even then."

So I guess McCarthy was just a johnny-come-lately.

Verona Papers were not declassified until 1995.
McCarthy was spot on.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (21) Jan 05, 2012
"The Venona papers, together with these archives, made it absolutely clear that the American Communist Party was from its beginning the willing agent of Soviet intelligence, obedient to its orders, financed by its contributions, and serving not only as a propaganda organ for Soviet policies but as a generous source for the recruitment of agents who would thereupon influence American policy and gladly commit espionage as well. It is now plain that by 1945 every important branch of the American government, from the White House itself to the State Department, the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA), and the Office of War Information, to name only a few, was infested with Communists busily doing the work of the Soviet Union."
http://www.clarem...tail.asp
Telekinetic
3.1 / 5 (19) Jan 05, 2012
The lives and careers of countless innocent victims of McCarthy suffered in a way I hope will never happen anywhere in the world again. The gleeful sadism of the Republican is what this article is really about.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (24) Jan 05, 2012
"A New York Times journalist wins the famed Pulitzer Prize as a reward for covering up and fabricating reports about one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century."
"Yet Duranty was hailed at the time as the dean of foreign correspondents and a man whose reports could be trusted absolutely. They actually convinced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to give official recognition to the communist government that seized power in Russia."
"Under Stalin, now accepted to be one of the most brutal dictators of all times, Duranty reported peace and prosperity were sweeping the Soviet Union and communism was the vanguard of the future. There were no Gulags, no secret trials of dissidents.

The Soviet Union was truly becoming a worker's paradise.

Yet the opposite was true."
"Duranty was honoured not only by Stalin, but by his masters at the New York Times."
http://www.orwell...ar.shtml
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (22) Jan 05, 2012
What do you think of the gleeful sadism of the 'liberals' who covered for Stalin?
Or the gleeful sadism of CNN who covered up Saddam Huesiens' atrocities?
"In a shocking New York Times opinion piece, CNNs chief news executive Eason Jordan has admitted that for the past decade the network has systematically covered up stories of Iraqi atrocities. Reports of murder, torture, and planned assassinations were suppressed in order to maintain CNNs Baghdad bureau."
http://honestrepo...over-up/
"Saddam Hussein borrowed from Stalinism. He had his security people trained in Eastern Europe, particularly East Germany. "
"Saddam Hussein models himself after Stalin more than any other man in history. "
http://www.pbs.or...ish.html
kochevnik
3.9 / 5 (22) Jan 05, 2012
Most conceive of conservatism as seeking to conserve the existing state of things. In reality conservatives are characterized by a kind of brooding romanticism. A spirit that is not especially friendly to tradition or stasis or the status quo but was, in fact, partial to disruption and antagonistic struggle.

Conservatism is not about conservation, but the preservation of established relations of hierarchy and privilege. What matters there is not conservation per se. In fact conservatives will turn the world upside down in order to turn it right side up. But the hierarchy/privilege is sacred.

Conservatism is hierarchy and elitism, which believes that all that is good in the world, that is fine and beautiful and superior and excellent, is the product of not only superior people but superior people presiding over a society of unequal serfs and slaves. Inequality, in their minds, is the requirement for greatness. They embrace tyranny and feudalism. War over land and property.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (22) Jan 06, 2012
"Only a philosophy that takes into account the essential differences between men, and, accordingly, makes provision for developing the different potentialities of each man can claim to be in accord with Nature. We have heard much in our time about the common man. It is a concept that pays little attention to the history of a nation that grew great through the initiative and ambition of uncommon men. The Conservative knows that to regard man as part of an undifferentiated mass is to consign him to ultimate slavery. "
"conversely, mans political freedom is illusory if he is dependent for his economic needs on the State."
"Every man, for his individual good and for the good of his society, is responsible for his own development. The choices that govern his life are choices that he must make: they cannot be made by any other human being, or by a collectivity of human beings."
http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2011/pdf/PresEssay2004.pdf
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Jan 06, 2012
In AWT it's related to trivial geometry of intrinsic and extrinsic perspective. The liberal view correspond the extrinsic perspective of quantum mechanics, which considers everything composed of mutually colliding particles of positive surface curvature (the "good"). Whereas the conservative approach correspond the intrinsic perspective of general relativity, which considers only the space-time formed with (density fluctuations of) these particles, so it deals with negative surface curvature preferentially (in relativity the observable Universe is of negative space-time curvature). None of these two views is better or worse than the other one - they're just symmetric and dual. In AWT the ideal/realistic stance follows from balanced mixture of both these perspectives, because it assumes, no time arrow is preferred in Universe at the very general level.
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Jan 06, 2012
If you compress the system of mutually colliding particles, it will form a system of density fluctuations with positive curvature. If you increase the density of this system even more, the density fluctuations will merge into larger aggregates and their surface curvature will decrease, until at the some moment the stringy density fluctuations of negative surface curvature will emerge.

http://www1.chem....co24.jpg

If we increase the density of this system even more, than these negative fluctuations will dissolve gradually, until just the fluctuations of positive curvature will remain. And this process may repeat many times.

The purpose of this blurb is to explain, why during evolution of human society the liberal and conservative approaches alternate mutually, while the density of society increases. It can be essentially derived from geometry of particle packing.
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Jan 06, 2012
What I like with these analogies is, they could make both the understanding of physics easier for socially oriented people, who don't like the abstract models very much, both the understanding of society for formally thinking people, who don't like the subtleties of social life too much. Formally thinking physicists tend to be more asocial and conservative, as they're applying deterministic perspective more often. Apparently the autistic people like the Dr. Sheldon Cooper are both conservative, both asocial in their very nature (Asperger's syndrome). As the opposite side of this deviation appears Williams syndrome for me, as the people suffering with it are positively oriented and very social, but unable to concentrate. So we should rather talk about physical geometry of biology and politics here.
AWaB
3.2 / 5 (6) Jan 06, 2012
Since I haven't seen much of this in these posts, I figured I'd add my 2 cents. I thought the article was very informative and actually fits well with many of my observations of people. I think the research was both informative and supports evidence from genetic research a year or two ago when a group of scientists claimed to have found the 'liberal' gene.

http://www.nbcsan...218.html

Additionally, I hate to say it, but we need both types of people. If we didn't, we'd either have no military or be all military. Neither situation is good in my opinion.

Enjoy!
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (21) Jan 06, 2012
It is unfortunate the study and physorg chose to use such ambiguous terms like "liberal" and "conservative".
Scientists should be precise.
kochevnik
3.7 / 5 (15) Jan 06, 2012
It is unfortunate the science and physorg chose to use such ambiguous terms like "boson" and "fermion". "Equitable" and "hierarchical". "Liberty" and "tyranny". Scientists should be precise.
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Jan 06, 2012
Scientists should be precise.
Scientists should be realistic. Believe it or not, but the world is not composed of triangles and lines. The reality simply IS fuzzy, so that every faithful description of reality must reflect such a fuzziness too.
spacealf
1.2 / 5 (5) Jan 06, 2012
Ah, ya, first the brain of any him/her/space-alien is not hardwired. It is the person doing his/her/space-alien own programming of the brain. That is what is learned with Relaxation Response Techniques and Meditation or perhaps even Yoga.
Whether negative or positive with what you see, you are the one that decided which way it would be to yourself.
On the other hand, both Democrats and Republican politicians may both just be idiots.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (21) Jan 06, 2012
Scientists should be precise.
Scientists should be realistic. Believe it or not, but the world is not composed of triangles and lines. The reality simply IS fuzzy, so that every faithful description of reality must reflect such a fuzziness too.

But there are words that are less ambiguous and more descriptive.
Today's 'liberal' is only liberal with other people's money.
spacealf
1.8 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2012
Sorry but Doctors and Neurosurgeons came up with what I stated, and that is proved that it can be done. The previous last line was just something from me. You see the rating system with some won't work here because they refuse to see the truth of what has been proved already. You program or can program yourself and your own brain is not hard-wired.
Ask Dr. Herbert Benson what he thinks.
spacealf
1.8 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2012
Perhaps I should have stated Neuroscientists in the above other posting I made. Yes, to me it is bias, prejudice, and discriminatory natures whether learned when young or with your own self-thinking later on.
And they do write science papers on this kind of testing and how pliable the brain really is.
Callippo
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2012
Today's 'liberal' is only liberal with other people's money.
Today's conservative is only conservative, when he cares about his own money. They're not ascetics, leading people to the frugality and to the absence of governmental interventions in private sector. We shouldn't forget, the financial crisis has started in the USA just during Republican government.
http://aetherwave...ism.html
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 07, 2012
Today's 'liberal' only cares about how much of other people's money he can take.
The housing bubble began with the CRA of '97 and the govt requirement for Freddie and Fannie to buy certain lower quality mortgages. Industry responded to the CRA by securitizing mortgages in 1997. Wachovia bragged about securitizing mortgages in an OCT '97 news release.
And, we have democrats Dodd and Frank stating there were no problems.
No, the problems began in the late nineties under Clinton, a democrat.
Telekinetic
3.3 / 5 (16) Jan 07, 2012
"Clinton remained popular with the public throughout his two terms as President, ending his presidential career with a 65% approval rating, the highest end-of-term approval rating of any President since Dwight D. Eisenhower.[51] In addition to his political skills, Clinton also benefited from a boom of the US economy. Under Clinton, the United States had a projected federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969 in the 1998 federal budget; the budgets for 1999, 2000, and 2001 also had surpluses.[1] As a result of this, the public debt decreased, though the gross federal debt continued to increase." (Wikipedia)
George W. won't show his face in public for fear that he'd be hit with one hundred fifty million shoes, and when he was helicoptered out of Washington at the end of his presidency, the crowd booed him. The only time in history that's ever happened- not even with Nixon!
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 07, 2012
"The 9/11 Commission report also points out that Al Qaeda was actually behind the attacks there that brought down the two Black Hawk helicopters. So they considered it a complete and utter victory when the US pulled out because of it:"
Clinton ordered the withdrawal from Somalia in '93 and refused to kill or capture bin Ladin.
Two US embassies in Africa were bombed under Clinton's watch. USAF personnel were killed in a bombing in KSA. Clinton declined to respond. "Clinton undermined Saudi bombing probe" http://articles.c...POLITICS
USS Cole was attacked during Clinton's watch and Clinton prevented the FBI and CIA from working together on the Al Qaeda threat.

kochevnik
3.5 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2012
"The 9/11 Commission report also points out that Al Qaeda was actually behind the attacks there that brought down the two Black Hawk helicopters.
Actually that was a false pretense after your government lost two nukes and made up a story for idiots like yourself who belief government bunk even while hating the same. Take your meds today?

"Another not so big secret is that America lost nuclear weapons off Somalia in 1991 when a B-52 went down. They were recovered by arms dealers from Zimbabwe and South Africa and taken inland to be put on the open market along with hundreds of old Soviet nukes we have all been told never existed.

These were hydrogen bombs, big boys, city killers and America went after them, through Somalia, through Mombasa, into Kenya and elsewhere. We were told they had eventually been tracked into Africa and American teams were sent in to look for them. Satellites had picked up signatures. This was 1998." contd...
kochevnik
3.5 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2012
"A previous recovery attempt in 1994 was unsuccessful. You know of that as Blackhawk Down. Another name is Broken Arrow/Somalia. The incident, which tries to depict elite Army Ranger and Delta Force groups as UN Peacekeepers has even now been relocated from Somalia by Wikipedia to Iraq.

When it came time for the 1998 recovery attempt, a cover and deception plan was invented. That involved the bombing of two American embassies by a mysterious terror group created for such a purpose.

It was named by the Americans who planned the operation Al Qaeda, and CIA asset, Osama bin Laden was said to be its leader. Of course, Al Qaeda never existed and bin Laden, who had recently been reassigned by the CIA, knew nothing of it.

Part of the fissionable material, in this case, the plutonium pits from one of the weapons, showed up in North Korea and was used in an unsuccessful attempt by them to simulate a nuclear explosion. It was a failure."
julianpenrod
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 08, 2012
As is so often the case, the interpretation of "experimental" results can be just as important as deriving results in the first place. The term "fixate", for example, can be suicidally short of the mark for what is really going on. Is it a "fixation" to prefer to look at a pretty girl than a rotting corpse? You can say that the conservatives tested had an unnatural and even depraved mentality if they would eschew the pleasant for the sight of spilled blood! And what kind of behavioral proclivities does each preference, if they are preferences, suggest? Do liberals hide their head in the sand, or do they embrace the idea that the world can be a genuinely fine, graceful place and set themselves to achieve it? Do conservatives "confront issues", or are they demonstrating the end result of dictatorial, wife beating fathers who, while starving the defiance out of their children, roared that the entire world is your enemy and you have to kill everyone to be happy.
Callippo
1.4 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2012
Is it a "fixation" to prefer to look at a pretty girl than a rotting corpse?
Don't make things more complex, then they actually are. Being conservative means, you're essentially satisfied with the existing state of things, so that every change of this state is perceived as "bad". Whereas liberals are essentially unsatisfied with present state so they perceive every change as a potential change to the "better" state. They want to create better world, whereas the conservatives want to preserve it.
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Jan 08, 2012
For example, conservative physicist wants to keep existing theories without change and new theories should be formed with combination of existing well established ones. Liberal physicists have no big problem with reformulation of existing theories. In this connection the contemporary physics exhibits so called generational inversion. At the beginning of the last century the most progressive physicists were these younger ones. Now the youngsters are more conservative, whereas the elderly physicists are more willing to experiment and risk their credit (cold fusion or antigravity research are typical examples).

The explanation is simple - the development of theoretical physics slowed down and now the young physicists are required to wait long time for confirmation of their theories, so they want to keep their original roots unchanged. It's typical stance for string theorists, for example, which were liberals before thirty years, but now they changed into conservatives.
kochevnik
3.7 / 5 (12) Jan 08, 2012
For example, conservative physicist...Liberal physicists
Your employment of conservative/liberal is a mathematical statement of a single system. Historical conservatives have exploited this conventional understanding by hijacking the name while in fact they are antagonistic and disruptive. A historical conservative would have you hung by the neck for doing science and going against the divine will of the church.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (18) Jan 08, 2012
Conservative or liberal only make sense when used as adjectives not nouns.
kochevnik
3.3 / 5 (12) Jan 08, 2012
Conservative or liberal only make sense when used as adjectives not nouns.
Back to school for you:
noun: a person who has conservative ideas or opinions
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2012
A 'conservative' Muslim advocates the use of government to force people to live the way they want.
A 'liberal' European or American want to use the government to force people to live the way they want.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2012
A 'conservative' Zionist pays the neoconservative Newt Gingrich $5m to force people to hear "the Palestinians are an invented people" just the way the Israeli lobby wants. http://mondoweiss...cal.html
rawa1
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2012
a historical conservative
Why just "historical" ones? The fact, you're using this adjective indicates, you're aware of the problems with such labelling, when applied to contemporary conservative scientists. At the beginning it were aetherists like Kelvin or Oliver Lodge, who were conservative regarding modern theories like the relativity and quantum mechanics. Now the situation is exactly the opposite. AWT explains this with phase transition of intersubjective opinion.