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Another trailer to get you to read Altemeyer's ebook at The Authoritarians because bookflurries is doing his book on 3-24 and Altemeyer and John Dean will be here at kos to respond in the comments part.

If anyone knows how to get the heavies in control of the front page to feature this so as many kossacks as possible will be with us in the early afternoon of the 24th, please please help us. Diary Rescue is ignoring it. I am posting trailers every day to inform and intrigue people and still under 40 people have gone to Altemeyer's ebook site to read or download.

He has published a free book of such importance to us because it confirms our worse fears as it give us the tools and weapons to confront them. If you understand what he is saying all the silly diaries can stop and we can address the real issues. So I am going to blockquote some of this chapter.

I have asked someone to post chapter two for Saturday during the day and someone will publish this chapter on Sunday during the day as I will be inaccessible to do it. Sorry I won't be able to comment but I will follow the comments on Monday and answer then.

jump forward

Altemeyer comments on the inconsistencies in the thinking of high RWA's (read  neo cons):

But research reveals that authoritarian followers drive through life under the influence of impaired thinking a lot more than most people do, exhibiting sloppy reasoning,highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and--to top it all off--a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic. These seven deadly shortfalls of authoritarian thinking eminently qualify them to follow a would-be dictator. As Hitler is reported to have said,"What good fortune for those in power that people do not think."

(Bold is my addition)

Illogical Thinking

Sitting in the jury room of the Port Angeles, Washington court house in 1989, Mary Wegmann might have felt she had suddenly been transferred to a parallel universe in some Twilight Zone story. For certain fellow-jury members seemed to have attended a different trial than the one she had just witnessed. They could not remember some pieces of evidence, they invented evidence that did not exist, and they steadily made erroneous inferences from the material that everyone could agree on. Encountering my research as she was later developing her Ph.D. dissertation project, she suspected the people who "got it wrong" had been mainly high RWAs.So she
recruited a sample of adults from the Clallam County jury list, and a group of students from Peninsula College and gave them various memory and inference tests. For example, they listened to a tape of two lawyers debating a school segregation case on a McNeil/Lehrer News Hour program. Wegmann found High RWAs indeed had more trouble remembering details of the material they’d encountered, and they made more incorrect inferences on a reasoning test than others usually did. Overall, the authoritarians had lots of trouble simply thinking straight.

Intrigued, I gave the inferences test that Mary Wegmann had used to two large samples of students at my university. In both studies high RWAs went down in flames more than others did. They particularly had trouble figuring out that an inference or deduction was wrong. To illustrate, suppose they had gotten the following syllogism:

All fish live in the sea.
Sharks live in the sea..  
Therefore, sharks are fish.

The conclusion does not follow, but high RWAs would be more likely to say the reasoning is correct than most people would. If you ask them why it seems right, they would likely tell you, "Because sharks are fish." In other words, they thought the reasoning was sound because they agreed with the last statement. If the conclusion is right, they figure, then the reasoning must have been right. Or to put it another way, they don’t "get it" that the reasoning matters--especially on a reasoning test.

I hope this tidbit will get you over there to read the entire ebook and join us on 3-24 for Altemeyer and Dean in the comments.

Our endless diaries about the mental deficiencies of the neo cons can go on the trash heap. The 400 comments about their foolishness or facts to confront them are just ways of blowing out our aggression at their stupidity. They are never going to change anything. The mass media is full of high RWA's and that is our media problem. Their thinking is impaired. They respond to every new story that comes along and this is what we have to watchout for here.

I can't get this featured on the front page as the stories are blowing it off. This book is the root of the problem and the stories will go on forever until we understand how to respond correctly.

We all love the way Clark and Obama respond to questions. The reason we do is they know how to reframe the question and cut through the smarm and say the truth. We can all do that if we learn how.

Originally posted to abbeysbooks on Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 09:40 AM PDT.

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