Thursday, April 14, 2011

Today's Echidne Thought

Facts matter little in politics, compared to emotions. This is something I never realized until I started so intensely following politics.

Much political decision-making is teleological: People begin from the conclusions they wish to be true and then go backwards picking the data which support those conclusions and rejecting the data which does not support them. Then they decide that their initial conclusions are supported by the data. This is not necessarily a conscious process. Sadly, its unconscious aspect makes debate even less useful.

The gender gap in wages is one politically-laden topic where all this comes out to play. Facts must really push and shove to get a hearing.