Is democracy healthy where you live?

This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,
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Comments

  • Civility is appropriate for things that are matters of personal preference or academic interest. When politics threatens people's life, health and livelihood civility can go fuck itself.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Arethosemyfeet: Civility is appropriate for things that are matters of personal preference or academic interest. When politics threatens people's life, health and livelihood civility can go fuck itself.

    What more can be said, NOprophet_NØprofit ?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Civility is appropriate for things that are matters of personal preference or academic interest. When politics threatens people's life, health and livelihood civility can go fuck itself.

    Or to put it another way, you can't deny people their rights and be nice about it.

    For historical reference, "A Call For Unity" was a call for civility. The more famous response was a call for justice. Most of those living today regard the latter as more important than the former.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Here is Freedom House's 2021 rankings: https://freedomhouse.org/countries/freedom-world/scores Probably correlates well with the health of democracy.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited May 12
    Interesting, but what is it that makes Australia 1 point higher than Belgium but 1 point below Canada? Is this not a case for bands or grouping?
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    edited May 12
    3 European countries with 100 and one of them is not in the EU.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    Or "class war!" as if the rich haven't been waging war on the poor since time immemorial.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    mouse thief: "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    Maybe so, but the notion that abuse and undeleted expletives are evidence of a greater civic virtue and commitment to human equality I find no less unconvincing than the faux manners of the privileged. Civility has got something to do with a recognition of the integrity of the other, which ought to be a feature of a healthy democracy. The culture of virtuous denunciation in the name of virtue never ends well.

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    mouse thief: "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    Maybe so, but the notion that abuse and undeleted expletives are evidence of a greater civic virtue and commitment to human equality I find no less unconvincing than the faux manners of the privileged. Civility has got something to do with a recognition of the integrity of the other, which ought to be a feature of a healthy democracy. The culture of virtuous denunciation in the name of virtue never ends well.

    I suspect you have cause and effect reversed. A just society with a healthy democracy may well result in civility, but attempting to force civility simply papers over injustice and moves discussion onto how things are said rather than what is said, which only benefits the powerful.
  • GarethMoonGarethMoon Shipmate
    This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,

    I'm 100% sure that the 2.5%, and most likely a good number of the 30% you cite, would agree with your statement with just a few words altered:

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-rightWoke Left has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter listunconstitutional, authoritarian restrictions on freedom of movement/assembly/religion , all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Personally I'd agree more with your assessment but would be sympathetic to the second.

    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.
  • GarethMoon wrote: »
    This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,

    I'm 100% sure that the 2.5%, and most likely a good number of the 30% you cite, would agree with your statement with just a few words altered:

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-rightWoke Left has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter listunconstitutional, authoritarian restrictions on freedom of movement/assembly/religion , all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Personally I'd agree more with your assessment but would be sympathetic to the second.

    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.

    Anyone need a prototype example for the fallacy of the golden mean?
  • GarethMoonGarethMoon Shipmate
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,

    I'm 100% sure that the 2.5%, and most likely a good number of the 30% you cite, would agree with your statement with just a few words altered:

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-rightWoke Left has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter listunconstitutional, authoritarian restrictions on freedom of movement/assembly/religion , all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Personally I'd agree more with your assessment but would be sympathetic to the second.

    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.

    Anyone need a prototype example for the fallacy of the golden mean?

    The point is that politics is increasingly tribal. Not only is the other side "wrong" politically, but they are wilfully evil. It makes any political discussion with the "other" side pointless, unlike previous generations where you could consider people who hold a different political view as being wrong but "good people".

    As much as we tend to see the right as "wrong & bad people", they tend to see people on the left as "wrong & bad people". I think both are wrong, but am coming to think that maybe both are correct!
  • Is democracy healthy in the UK? No. It is under deliberate attack, but people who know how to destroy it, and are seeking to.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Civility is appropriate for things that are matters of personal preference or academic interest. When politics threatens people's life, health and livelihood civility can go fuck itself.
    I think as a matter of strategy a commitment to civility is more likely to be effective in the long run.
    There are two tasks a political movement faces: consolidating its existing members and persuading new supporters to join. Being uncivil about the other side helps with the first task, but civility is necessary to persuade new supporters or to pick off waverers from the other side.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited May 12
    Crœsos wrote: »
    For historical reference, "A Call For Unity" was a call for civility. The more famous response was a call for justice. Most of those living today regard the latter as more important than the former.
    That is I think a misreading of King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. King isn't directly addressing the question of civility, but if one must apply the terms of that debate, King's response isn't, we have more important values than civility; it is, we are being civil.
    He ostensibly directly addresses his correspondents and say that he wouldn't do so if he didn't think they were sincere men of good will, which may be a white lie, but isn't obviously sarcastic.

    For every virtue, there is a nearby vice. For civility, there is a form of cowardice that doesn't name names and avoids conflict. King's business is distinguishing the two.
  • GarethMoon wrote: »
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,

    I'm 100% sure that the 2.5%, and most likely a good number of the 30% you cite, would agree with your statement with just a few words altered:

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-rightWoke Left has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter listunconstitutional, authoritarian restrictions on freedom of movement/assembly/religion , all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Personally I'd agree more with your assessment but would be sympathetic to the second.

    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.

    Anyone need a prototype example for the fallacy of the golden mean?

    The point is that politics is increasingly tribal. Not only is the other side "wrong" politically, but they are wilfully evil. It makes any political discussion with the "other" side pointless, unlike previous generations where you could consider people who hold a different political view as being wrong but "good people".

    As much as we tend to see the right as "wrong & bad people", they tend to see people on the left as "wrong & bad people". I think both are wrong, but am coming to think that maybe both are correct!
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Civility is appropriate for things that are matters of personal preference or academic interest. When politics threatens people's life, health and livelihood civility can go fuck itself.
    I think as a matter of strategy a commitment to civility is more likely to be effective in the long run.
    There are two tasks a political movement faces: consolidating its existing members and persuading new supporters to join. Being uncivil about the other side helps with the first task, but civility is necessary to persuade new supporters or to pick off waverers from the other side.

    The oppressed may choose to employ civility as a strategic tool. The problem is that civility is demanded as a pre-condition of justice.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    I didn't realise Donald Trump was so lacking in wealth.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    As I understand it Trump is so lacking in wealth that it would cause the banks discomfort to foreclose on his debts.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited May 12
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    For historical reference, "A Call For Unity" was a call for civility. The more famous response was a call for justice. Most of those living today regard the latter as more important than the former.
    That is I think a misreading of King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. King isn't directly addressing the question of civility, but if one must apply the terms of that debate, King's response isn't, we have more important values than civility; it is, we are being civil.

    I disagree. King talks a lot about civility. For example:
    One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

    The fact that Albert Boutwell was a more "civil" segregationist than Eugene 'Bull' Connor did not really make him any better on the question of segregation. King's epistle is aimed firmly at the idea that you can be a 'nice' oppressor so long as you act with civility. "Untimely" is just another euphemism for "incivility" (or "uppity").
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.

    I swear reflexive bothsidesism is going to get a bunch of people killed. I mean, I can see the allure. You don't have to do much thinking, just assume that some kind of "conservation of political extremism" exists. Any extremism at one end of the political spectrum (e.g. racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis") must, by iron law of nature, have an equally fervent and extreme number of supporters of the opposite position. And if those people don't actually exist, just pretend like they do and make up positions for them to hold (e.g. pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth). Remember, the important thing is to avoid taking sides or holding any principles so you can hold yourself morally superior to anyone who does anything so tawdry as care about anything.
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    The point is that politics is increasingly tribal. Not only is the other side "wrong" politically, but they are wilfully evil. It makes any political discussion with the "other" side pointless, unlike previous generations where you could consider people who hold a different political view as being wrong but "good people".

    As much as we tend to see the right as "wrong & bad people", they tend to see people on the left as "wrong & bad people". I think both are wrong, but am coming to think that maybe both are correct!

    That's some professional grade avoidance of having opinions there. I remember back when the Trump administration* was separating refugee families and several Trump officials were publicly confronted about this. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the one that got the most press, but there were others. The @GarethMoon position, which was common at the time amongst press bloviators who care about "civility", was that breaking apart desperate families and holding them in squalid conditions may be bad, but refusing to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders her entree and making her depart after eating only a complimentary charcuterie board is just as bad. Maybe even worse because of the "incivility" of it all.
  • GarethMoon wrote: »
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    This is an ongoing discussion with some friends.

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-right has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter list, all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Right now, 2.5% of the electorate provincially voted in what we can call the alt-right direction (Buffalo Party), but another (not sure) 30% are softly in that direction. This came forth in the pandemic stress pushing clearer expression of attitudes. In the USA, it seems close to half, given the federal election results there,

    I'm 100% sure that the 2.5%, and most likely a good number of the 30% you cite, would agree with your statement with just a few words altered:

    The erosion of civility was a first step. The restrictions on democratic function next. The rise of the alt-rightWoke Left has led to an increasing number of people getting elected who fundamentally don’t believe in democracy, talking in ways that get us to willingly restrict our democracy: one step at a time, so you hardly notice. A “stolen” election, a restricted voter listunconstitutional, authoritarian restrictions on freedom of movement/assembly/religion , all steps on the path away from democracy.

    Personally I'd agree more with your assessment but would be sympathetic to the second.

    The problem is when 32.5% are racist, homophobic "alt/soft right nazis" to one side, 40% are hard left/woke "cancel culture", pro-killing full term babies literally 20 seconds before the '[gender unknowable] birthing parent' would give birth to the other side and you only have 27.5% who either don't care about politics at all or are totally fed up with how partisan and ridiculous modern politics has gotten.

    Anyone need a prototype example for the fallacy of the golden mean?

    The point is that politics is increasingly tribal. Not only is the other side "wrong" politically, but they are wilfully evil. It makes any political discussion with the "other" side pointless, unlike previous generations where you could consider people who hold a different political view as being wrong but "good people".

    As much as we tend to see the right as "wrong & bad people", they tend to see people on the left as "wrong & bad people". I think both are wrong, but am coming to think that maybe both are correct!

    I don't accept your premise. I'm reminded when the multi-channel TV universe emerged with cable TV and 24 hr news. Because news info was constantly available, and news attracts more viewers when sensational things are reported, we came to believe wrongly that there were more disasters, other people were more dangerous, that more people were untrustworthy. We learned to live with this. We're at the same stage now with "social media". So many opinions, and so many are given credibility when they're blatantly and often knowingly false. We are just beginning to sort out how to organize and regulate it. It's going to take a while.

    Are we going to return to civility in public life? Is this a unique era in history and time? Does our history have a linear trajectory, or do we repeat segments of history, rhyming them with the past.

    And BTW, while it is possible that a baby somewhere was aborted 20 seconds before birth, this is not how it works even in a country that doesn't have an abortion law (Canada). All atrocities no doubt have occurred, but such is nonsense.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Interesting, but what is it that makes Australia 1 point higher than Belgium but 1 point below Canada? Is this not a case for bands or grouping?

    Nothing is a case for bands or grouping. Banding amplifies small differences near band boundaries, whilst obfuscating larger differences within bands. Yes, a one point difference on that scale is unlikley to be meaningful. That's OK.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Gosh!
    Is the country I live in that high (33 and 43)?
  • Galilit wrote: »
    Gosh!
    Is the country I live in that high (33 and 43)?

    I suspect that is an artifact of listing the West Bank and Gaza separately.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited May 13
    mousethief wrote: »
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    Or "class war!" as if the rich haven't been waging war on the poor since time immemorial.

    Both.

    And @Crœsos. Superb as ever.

    For me no other democracy matters but America. I have never felt so afraid for civilization since the Cold War.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Gee D wrote: »
    Interesting, but what is it that makes Australia 1 point higher than Belgium but 1 point below Canada? Is this not a case for bands or grouping?

    Nothing is a case for bands or grouping. Banding amplifies small differences near band boundaries, whilst obfuscating larger differences within bands. Yes, a one point difference on that scale is unlikley to be meaningful. That's OK.

    Not sure that I understand the first couple of sentences, but the 3rd is much the point I was making - but I'd say that the one point difference is meaningless. Quite likely a 5 point difference is about the time when it starts to have meaning.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I think the point about banding is that there will be more difference between the top and bottom of Band A than there is between the bottom of Band A and the top of Band B. Banding makes the top and bottom of Band A seem more similar than they are, and the bottom of Band A and the top of Band B look more different than they are.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Do we therefore do away with banding in the format described above?
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    It looks like the Freedom House rankings have both numerical scores and banding, since they rate countries as free, partly free, and not free. This provides a good illustration of the problem with banding: the “not free” band includes both Turkey and North Korea, which seem very different to me, but countries within a point or two of 71 could be rated either “free” or “partly free”.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Do we therefore do away with banding in the format described above?
    Yes. Banding is evil. It is never right.

    Well, that's a bit strong. If you have enough bands such that you don't much care whether something is in band 19 or band 20, then your banding isn't misleading.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Understand Freedom House is US-based and a US government-funded agency. Consequently, there is a bias built into the agency.

    While the US is listed as free, in reality we know it is not free. Last year's Black Lives Matter proved that. The sacking of Liz Cheney from her party position in the congress certainly indicates at one party has moved to a personality cult. It is dabbling in fascism as we speak. The Voter Suppression laws that have been put forward in 47 states shows just how backwards we have become. Heck, there can be a clear argument that we are still fighting our civil war nearly 160 years after Lee surrendered to Grant. A number of states are in the process of banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (how race was a factor in the development of our laws), Social Justice and diversity training. A long as someone in authority thinks he has the right to put his knee on the neck of a minority person we are not free.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Kwesi wrote: »
    mouse thief: "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    Maybe so, but the notion that abuse and undeleted expletives are evidence of a greater civic virtue and commitment to human equality I find no less unconvincing than the faux manners of the privileged.

    Well there's a lovely straw man - cum - false dichotomy.

    PS how did my name get broken?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    I didn't realise Donald Trump was so lacking in wealth.

    Are you saying Donald Trump never said anything about a lack of civility in the nation? Because it sure looks like it.

    Perhaps he never did. In which case I will happily amend my statement to "the rich, generally speaking, as a class."
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Do we therefore do away with banding in the format described above?
    Yes. Banding is evil. It is never right.

    Well, that's a bit strong. If you have enough bands such that you don't much care whether something is in band 19 or band 20, then your banding isn't misleading.

    If you don't care much whether it's in 19 or 20, there seems little point having it at all. Perhaps a few words would be a better guide?
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Trump did complain about a lack of civility on at least one occasion, though he was complaining more about his media and political opponents than the poor per se:
    Hours after the arrest of a man accused of mailing pipe bombs to top Democrats, President Donald Trump told supporters Friday there needs to be a new "tone and civility" in politics, even as he blamed the media for the negative environment.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    mousethief Well there's a lovely straw man - cum - false dichotomy.

    PS how did my name get broken?

    I guess it was the straw that severed the rodent's back.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited May 14
    Gee D wrote: »
    If you don't care much whether it's in 19 or 20, there seems little point having it at all. Perhaps a few words would be a better guide?

    If you have wide bands, then you magnify small differences at band boundaries, and hide differences within bands. The wider your bands, the worse the effect.

    If there's a significant difference between adjacent bands, then the bands are too wide, and you're going to experience both problems. If, on the other hand, the bands are sufficiently narrow that there's not much difference between adjacent bands, (in terms of tax bill, or ability, or whatever you're banding) then these two effects will be small enough not to worry about.

    So in this particular case, the use of banding would assert that there was a meaningful difference between Senegal or Peru (71, "Partly Free") and Tunisia (71, "Free") or Botswana (72, "Free"), but no meaningful difference between Botswana and Finland (100, "Free"). This is likely to be rather misleading, no?
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited May 14
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    "Civility!" is the cry of the rich when the poor start to get uppity.

    I didn't realise Donald Trump was so lacking in wealth.

    Are you saying Donald Trump never said anything about a lack of civility in the nation? Because it sure looks like it.

    Perhaps he never did. In which case I will happily amend my statement to "the rich, generally speaking, as a class."

    No, I’m saying that a lot of calls for civility were directed AT Donald Trump. Which to me doesn’t sit well with the notion that it’s the poor who are told to be civil.

  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    If you don't care much whether it's in 19 or 20, there seems little point having it at all. Perhaps a few words would be a better guide?

    If you have wide bands, then you magnify small differences at band boundaries, and hide differences within bands. The wider your bands, the worse the effect.

    If there's a significant difference between adjacent bands, then the bands are too wide, and you're going to experience both problems. If, on the other hand, the bands are sufficiently narrow that there's not much difference between adjacent bands, (in terms of tax bill, or ability, or whatever you're banding) then these two effects will be small enough not to worry about.

    So in this particular case, the use of banding would assert that there was a meaningful difference between Senegal or Peru (71, "Partly Free") and Tunisia (71, "Free") or Botswana (72, "Free"), but no meaningful difference between Botswana and Finland (100, "Free"). This is likely to be rather misleading, no?

    It’s not likely to be misleading if you constantly cite the scores along with the banding.

    I’m wondering now whether you would argue my University was wrong to label marks as pass, credit, distinction and high distinction?

    Then of course there’s a the whole question of even saying that 50 is a pass and 49 is a fail.

    Boundaries can undoubtedly be arbitrary but there are also situations where you can run into serious difficulties by not having a boundary somewhere, even while acknowledging that it’s somewhat arbitrary.

  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited May 14
    orfeo wrote: »
    I’m wondering now whether you would argue my University was wrong to label marks as pass, credit, distinction and high distinction?

    Actually, yes.

    I am, as it happens, acquainted with the people who got the best 2:1 and the worst first-class degree in my subject and year. (Which is how I know where they ranked: the ranking within degree classes wasn't generally published, but was available to candidates). In general, I rate the person with the 2:1 a little higher, but they had an off day and bombed one of the exams.

    I also say this as someone who has sat on examining boards and agonized over students at the boundaries, to see whether they best belonged in the higher or lower class. I think we did the best job we could, but there's a pretty massive difference between the people who got the top firsts and those who just scraped in, and not all that much difference between the latter group and the high 2:1s.

    So yeah, I think degree classifications lie to us.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Orfeo: Boundaries can undoubtedly be arbitrary

    I suspect the decision to award 49 rather than 50 was not at all "arbitrary" but that the exam performance did not quite merit the higher class.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Are we confusing "Democracy" with "Freedom" ? Have not Democracies traded their Freedom for the safety and securing of Welfare States?
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    .....and security of Welfare States? Sorry!
  • Kwesi wrote: »
    Are we confusing "Democracy" with "Freedom" ? Have not Democracies traded their Freedom for the safety and securing of Welfare States?

    No. The "freedom" to choose what ditch to starve to death in is no freedom at all.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Leorning Cniht - I still don't see why a proper banding system does not give a better picture of things than that given by the marking used in the example I referred to.

    BTW, I don't know what you mean by 2:1. It seems to have a technical meaning.
  • @Gee Din the UK, honours degrees are awarded as first class honours = 1, higher and lower second class honours, so a 2:1 and 2:2, or third class honours (3), plus maybe a pass without honours.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks - that may be the case here also, but it's an area not known to me.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited May 14
    2:1 in context is an upper second class degree.

    In English universities you typically get 1st, 2nd (divided into 2:1 and 2:2), and 3rd class honours degrees (BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)), or a pass degree, or fail.

    I suspect that most people who have a first degree have a 2nd class degree, hence the need/desire to distinguish between upper and lower.

    [Cross-posted with Curiosity killed.]
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Orfeo: Boundaries can undoubtedly be arbitrary

    I suspect the decision to award 49 rather than 50 was not at all "arbitrary" but that the exam performance did not quite merit the higher class.

    Depends very much on the kind of exam whether a score involves this kind of weighing and judgement or not. Some forms of test simply involve counting the number of right and wrong answers.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Are we confusing "Democracy" with "Freedom" ? Have not Democracies traded their Freedom for the safety and securing of Welfare States?

    We aren't. You might be.
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