Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

5.30.2011

Catching Up: The News in Charts

Or, Thoughts on Subjectivity

I've posted before about books like Predictably Irrational and Sway, and one of the major themes running through my posts is the relativity of reality and how large a role our finite perspectives play in determining our experience of life. Here's a bit more.

Chart 1: This shows how likely, based on one study, prisoners are to get parole based on time of day. The dotted lines? Breaks. So those who are supposed to be the most objective paragons of fair and rationale judgment are drastically swayed by fatigue and hunger on a daily basis.



Chart 2: According to at least one survey, everyone thinks they're middle class or close to it. So, if the poor don't really know they're poor, they're never going to mount much of a fight for more egalitarian public policies. And if the well-off don't know they're well off, they're going to strongly resist more egalitarian public policies. The result can be startling increases in income inequality without anyone really knowing it's happening or caring very much about it.



Chart 3: This is almost old news at this point, but agreement or disagreement with its reality is still highly relevant to current political positions. According to this data, the budget would be on its way to balanced but for three things set in motion well before the current presidential administration: tax cuts for the wealthy, the economic downturn, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.



Chart 4: Finally, a partisan perspective on the upcoming presidential election. There is hope of the Republican party returning to some semblance of rational reality if either they pick a reasonable candidate who wins or an extremist who loses. They will go crazy extremist if they pick a moderate who loses. And if they go with an extremist who wins, well, we'll probably get a whole bunch of new laws making it illegal to accept charity and for Muslims to commit murder.

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