Anti-Americanism based on misconceptions?

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wer
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Postby wer » 22-Aug-08 21:01

Sova wrote:I don't understand the reference to Western academia being a source of anti-Americanism in the Czech Republic. Would you clarify?

The universities in the Western Europe are in large measure influenced by the 1968 student rebels. While most of the American "sixtyeighters" turned to be standard American "capitalists", their European collegues turned to be left-wing politicians or university professors and preachers of anti-Americanism.

If one is careful in doing a statistical analysis (and has the necessary data), one can rule out most of these complicating factors. To what extent this has been done for lung cancer and smoking is unclear to me.

No, one can’t rule out most of the factors during the statistical analysis, that’s mathematically impossible. You can rule out a set of factors, but the collection of all factors is a class, not a set. But I bet one could find such a set of factors to make the results statistically insignificant, resp to make the analysis unproportionally data-consuming.
The only chance to rule out all the factors is in the stage of the experiment. You have to organize it, that means to determine who has or has not to smoke and to control the lives of all the people for decades. But such a Mengeleian experiment is hardly thinkable.

I'm not convinced that your gedankenexperiment is relevant. I don't think that causalities of American sentiments toward Europe are affected in the same way as European sentiments toward the US.

I gues we are arguing in circles :D.
What I try to say is that the anti-Americanism could be driven by some specifical misconceptions, but it is rather the specificity of the misconception what drives it. Or alternatively, it is not driven by misconception, but by something else via (some) misconception.

Of course, innate skepticism also plays a large role in this, and Czechs in general are known for having a healthy dose of skepticism. Again, another reason I ask the question.

I often wonder whether it is scepticism or empiricism. Czech opposition is mostly based on parallels in the past.
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Postby scrimshaw » 22-Aug-08 23:35

You guys would be amazed to know how much the anti american agenda is firmly entrenched in american academia too.
They earn, after so many years as a teacher, something called 'tenure', and that allows them to spew any radical philosophy they want without loosing their job, under the banner of free speech.
One well known anti american 'professor' is some guy named Warren? Churchill.
Their are many others.

I would say anti americanism is fueled by propaganda, because a lot of people believe propaganda, and if that is all they here, without an opposing view, then their beliefs are definitely shaped by that.

The people that believe that the US govt. was involved in 9-11, believe that because they want to believe it. And they are fed an endless amount of unfounded charges over the internet that supports their view..
It goes back to the saying...People believe what they want to believe.
Who needs facts when your mind is already made up?
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Sova
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Postby Sova » 25-Aug-08 18:53

scrimshaw wrote:People believe what they want to believe.
Who needs facts when your mind is already made up?

wer wrote:I often wonder whether it is scepticism or empiricism. Czech opposition is mostly based on parallels in the past.

Both good points. Thanks!

wer wrote:No, one can’t rule out most of the factors during the statistical analysis, that’s mathematically impossible.

True. My point was not to imply that such statistical analysis might prove anything. Rather, that many points of uncertainty can be contraindicated by more careful collection and analysis of data, where possible/feasible (which again assumes sufficient volume of data). Causal links, as you point out, can in theory be proven through carefully controlled experiment, but in practice such control is virtually impossible, or at least as you pointed out, unethical.

Trends, correlations, indications and contraindications constitute the vast majority of what we consider "scientific" knowledge in fields such as social sciences (sociology, psychology) and medicine, and this is due to the horribly nonlinear nature of the subjects (i.e. humans) being studies. Scientific proof, at least according to the standards Feyman describes, is difficult to come by, so researchers must make do with what they have. I personally, take most most medical and social science studies with a grain of salt.
scrimshaw
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Postby scrimshaw » 25-Aug-08 19:09

Similarly, Sova, I take most political commentary, issuing forth from the political parties with a grain of salt. Hardly no real objective analysis, only spinning information in a way that makes their candidate look good.

And on the experiment front.....that is why they have 'blind' tests, right? To prevent the tester or the guinea pig from contaminating the experiment with their own preconceived notions.
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?

Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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Ctyri koruny
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Postby Ctyri koruny » 28-Aug-08 21:55

...
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dzurisova
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Postby dzurisova » 28-Aug-08 22:15

Ctyri koruny wrote:...


what does that mean?
Bůh ti žehnej
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Alexx
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Postby Alexx » 28-Aug-08 23:16

Off topic joke:

Rice: How dare Russia occupy territory of sovereign country?
Bush: Yes! That is what WE do!

(poster seen in City of London)
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wer
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Postby wer » 29-Aug-08 2:02

dzurisova wrote:
Ctyri koruny wrote:...


what does that mean?

That means we are not allowed to delete our own posts.
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BMoody
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Postby BMoody » 20-Sep-08 23:22

"Asked if it was true that "from 1973 to 1990 the United States sold Saddam Hussein more than a quarter of his weapons," 80 per cent of British respondents said yes. However the US sold just 0.46 per cent of Saddam's arsenal to him, compared to Russia's 57 per cent, France's 13 per cent and China's 12 per cent."

This is great quote from that article. I wish the world could see it from the US's point of view more. It seems everyone just closed down and didn't let the argument in. I mean, at the time the US sold weapons to Iraq, Iraq was fighting Iran. The US helped Iraq fight Russia supported Iran. It was a different world.

So the US sold weapons to the Afghan Muhajadin... they were fighting who? Only 2000 of those Afghan fighters were Taliban arab insurgents that eventually usurped to take control of Afghanistan. How could we have reacted back then to stop it? Who's sphere was Afghanistan then?

Basically, these two incidents need to be viewed with the shadow of the Cold War deeply considered. Sometimes, I think European politicians have a smaller short term historical memory than the American public servants.

For instance, I just read that some US soldiers will be allowed to gaurd the Czech radar while it is being built. These soldiers were the same solders that stood outside Berlin telling the Soviets to go no further, yet they will surely be recieved badly in the Czech Republic even though the radar will give collective NATO security.

100 acres to protect Europe from ICBMs of crazy rogue nations... Pretty good deal if you ask me. If we tick off Russia, all the better. They need to wake up to the EU/US world.
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eso
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Postby eso » 20-Sep-08 23:28

BMoody wrote:These soldiers were the same solders that stood outside Berlin telling the Soviets to go no further


But I'm sure you know, that if Soviets decided to go further, these soldiers would be sweeped away in no time.
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