QOTD: Equal Participation in Society and Ordered Change

 

A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic. Such a society must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder.

John Dewey

I’m a conservative, so I know I’m not supposed to like Dewey… but I do.  One reason I like him is that I appreciate a well-articulated worldview.  He’s also a beautiful writer, and he entertains me by spelling “clue” c-l-e-w.  But another reason I like Dewey is that I think he’s often on to something.  Would that the contemporary American left would take seriously his advice about securing social change without introducing disorder!

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    I have a series of Monday-airing Dewey intro videos on my YouTube channel.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t start till next Monday.

    (In the meantime, I have a 55-minute intro to Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols airing this evening.  That’s early tomorrow morning for you people in a slowpoke North American time zone.)

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine: I’m a conservative, so I know I’m not supposed to like Dewey.  But I do.

    Stop.

    • #2
  3. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Saint Augustine: [Dewey is] also a beautiful writer, and he entertains me by spelling “clue” c-l-e-w.

    Well, and so he does.  I didn’t have a “clew” why, so I looked it up in Merriam Webster, and here is what I found:

    Three meanings for “clew” the noun, those being a ball of thread or yarn, a metal loop attached to a sail, and the ropes from which a hammock is suspended.  Three meanings for “clew” the verb, those being to roll into a ball, to provide with a “clue,” and to pull a sail up and down through those aforementioned clews.

    It goes on to say:

    The “ball of thread” meaning of clew (from Middle English clewe and ultimately from Old English cliewen) has been with us since before the 12th century. In Greek mythology, Ariadne gave a ball of thread to Theseus so that he could use it to find his way out of her father’s labyrinth. This, and similar tales, gave rise to the use of clew for anything that could guide a person through a difficult place. This use led in turn to the meaning “a piece of evidence that leads one toward the solution of a problem.” 

    Apparently the “clue” spelling appeared in the 16th century sometime.

    As the song says, “That’s Entertainment.”

    ***

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    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Saint Augustine:

    Would that the contemporary American left would take seriously his advice about securing social change without introducing disorder!

    Would that John Dewey had followed John Dewey’s advice!

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    Would that the contemporary American left would take seriously his advice about securing social change without introducing disorder!

    Would that John Dewey had followed John Dewey’s advice!

    (Just for the record, I don’t know enough history to confirm this. His little book Experience and Education just might point to some nuance here.)

    • #5
  6. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine:

    A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic. Such a society must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder.

    That’s from John Dewey. I’m a conservative, so I know I’m not supposed to like Dewey. But I do. One reason I like him is that I appreciate a well-articulated worldview. He’s also a beautiful writer, and he entertains me by spelling “clue” c-l-e-w. But another reason I like Dewey is that I think he’s often on to something. Would that the contemporary American left would take seriously his advice about securing social change without introducing disorder!

    And then there’s that other insight in this remark from my pragmatist homeboy: equal participation in society.

    Can it truly be said that the contemporary left wants that?  Or are some participants more equal than others in their eyes?

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Well, it could be Melville. (No, I am not going to spell it Melvil or Dui. Get bent, Melville.)

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    Would that the contemporary American left would take seriously his advice about securing social change without introducing disorder!

    Would that John Dewey had followed John Dewey’s advice!

    (Just for the record, I don’t know enough history to confirm this. His little book Experience and Education just might point to some nuance here.)

    It is a category error.

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from to  Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of and Y.

    Dewey should have worked on a perpetual motion machine. I’ll bet he would have gotten really close.

    • #8
  9. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from to  Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    Did a shift from Netflix mail-only to Netflix mail-plus-streaming seem like disorder to those of us who were accustomed to the former order? That was a shift in social order.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. THe problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. The problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    I’m not sure that his idea was replacing education with indoctrination. His idea was just the opposite, I think.  But the effect was to replace education with indoctrination.

    Rather than a teacher imparting knowledge, he emphasized that children should learn from experience. The practical effect was the downplaying of cognitive knowledge (an activity I call anti-intellectualism). Yes, students learn effectively through experience, but if you base classroom practice on that (as has been done and continues to be done) you deprive students with much of the knowledge that others have gained, and leave them without the knowledge needed in order to think critically. There is not enough time in a child’s life to learn through experience everything that can and should be learned, and the lack of knowledge that is the result of too much emphasis on experience or inductive learning leaves students open to indoctrination.

    • #11
  12. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll.

    Maybe not those other guys. Gee, maybe even Dewey didn’t roll that way. I wouldn’t know.  I’m not a scholar of Dewey as such, though I studied under one. (And I might be the second-best Dewey reader to ever come through that particular program.)

    But that is very much how Dewey’s ideas roll in his books.  The evolutionary model is really important in his thinking; gradual change that makes use of what came before is exactly the sort of thing he’d recommend.

    Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way.

    Take over?  Maybe.  Indoctrinate?  Not at all.

    Gimme . . . maybe a week or two for the Dewey videos to start up, and maybe we can get back to that indoctrination thing then.

    THe problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    Fair enough. But Dewey’s ideas in his books are not at all in favor of that sort of result.

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. The problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    I’m not sure that his idea was replacing education with indoctrination. His idea was just the opposite, I think. But the effect was to replace education with indoctrination.

    Rather than a teacher imparting knowledge, he emphasized that children should learn from experience. The practical effect was the downplaying of cognitive knowledge (an activity I call anti-intellectualism). Yes, students learn effectively through experience, but if you base classroom practice on that (as has been done and continues to be done) you deprive students with much of the knowledge that others have gained, and leave them without the knowledge needed in order to think critically. There is not enough time in a child’s life to learn through experience everything that can and should be learned, and the lack of knowledge that is the result of too much emphasize on experience or inductive learning leaves students open to indoctrination.

    The most profitable experience to learn from is other peoples’. Fewer cut and bruises that way.

    • #13
  14. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Percival (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. The problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    I’m not sure that his idea was replacing education with indoctrination. His idea was just the opposite, I think. But the effect was to replace education with indoctrination.

    Rather than a teacher imparting knowledge, he emphasized that children should learn from experience. The practical effect was the downplaying of cognitive knowledge (an activity I call anti-intellectualism). Yes, students learn effectively through experience, but if you base classroom practice on that (as has been done and continues to be done) you deprive students with much of the knowledge that others have gained, and leave them without the knowledge needed in order to think critically. There is not enough time in a child’s life to learn through experience everything that can and should be learned, and the lack of knowledge that is the result of too much emphasize on experience or inductive learning leaves students open to indoctrination.

    The most profitable experience to learn from is other peoples’. Fewer cut and bruises that way.

    That’s called history.

    • #14
  15. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. The problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    I’m not sure that his idea was replacing education with indoctrination. His idea was just the opposite, I think. But the effect was to replace education with indoctrination.

    Amen. Preach, Reticulator!

    Rather than a teacher imparting knowledge, he emphasized that children should learn from experience. The practical effect was the downplaying of cognitive knowledge (an activity I call anti-intellectualism). Yes, students learn effectively through experience, but if you base classroom practice on that (as has been done and continues to be done) you deprive students with much of the knowledge that others have gained, and leave them without the knowledge needed in order to think critically. There is not enough time in a child’s life to learn through experience everything that can and should be learned, and the lack of knowledge that is the result of too much emphasis on experience or inductive learning leaves students open to indoctrination.

    Yes. At least that’s the effect. But he knew about that problem, and did not recommend dispensing with cognitive knowledge. He talked about this a lot.  (Gimme . . . a few weeks.  The new YouTube series will go over that.)

    • #15
  16. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Percival (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Assume a social order. Call it X. Postulate a new social order. Call it Y. Transitioning from X to Y will from the perspective of X appear to be disorder because it will be.

    For all values of X and Y.

    Why is that? Sometimes one social order is the result of a very gradual, maybe a hardly noticeable, change.

    It can be. That is not the way Dewey and his fellow travelers roll. Dewey’s idea was to take over education, replace it with indoctrination, and do it that way. The problem is it doesn’t end up with a transition any smoother than any of the other ones, unless you ban the teaching of philosophy and history. Which they have largely done.

    I’m not sure that his idea was replacing education with indoctrination. His idea was just the opposite, I think. But the effect was to replace education with indoctrination.

    Rather than a teacher imparting knowledge, he emphasized that children should learn from experience. The practical effect was the downplaying of cognitive knowledge (an activity I call anti-intellectualism). Yes, students learn effectively through experience, but if you base classroom practice on that (as has been done and continues to be done) you deprive students with much of the knowledge that others have gained, and leave them without the knowledge needed in order to think critically. There is not enough time in a child’s life to learn through experience everything that can and should be learned, and the lack of knowledge that is the result of too much emphasize on experience or inductive learning leaves students open to indoctrination.

    The most profitable experience to learn from is other peoples’. Fewer cut and bruises that way.

    Amen. Preach, Percival!

    That’s book of Proverbs stuff, most importantly.

    Dewey agrees, though. You just don’t stop there, he says: Take what you’ve learned from them, and take it back to experience to learn more.

    (Here’s J. S. Mill on the subject.  And here’s Confucius.)

    • #16
  17. Caltory Thatcher
    Caltory
    @Caltory

    I found Dewey’s collected works on Amazon (Kindle) for 99 cents. An initial glance indicates it isn’t the unreadable format that some such books are. As with your considerable research on the last national election, you’ll keep me busy for a while now. (I remain, however, unconvinced that election was “stolen.”) I’ve generally had a knee-jerk reaction to Dewey, but if I can’t subject my own convictions to attack, what good are they? Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Yes. At least that’s the effect. But he knew about that problem, and did not recommend dispensing with cognitive knowledge. He talked about this a lot.  (Gimme . . . a few weeks.  The new YouTube series will go over that.)

    What about Rumble?

    • #18
  19. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Saint Augustine:

    A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic.

    Without knowing that this was the QOTD, I first encountered this sentence in Dr. Bastiat’s compilation post of the first 10 lines from the member feed. And I thought, “what a terrible first sentence.” Then I got to your actual post and had to re-read the first sentence a couple times to make any sense of it. Maybe Dewey is a beautiful writer, as you say, but I don’t get that impression from this quote.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic.

    Without knowing that this was the QOTD, I first encountered this sentence in Dr. Bastiat’s compilation post of the first 10 lines from the member feed. And I thought, “what a terrible first sentence.” Then I got to your actual post and had to re-read the first sentence a couple times to make any sense of it. Maybe Dewey is a beautiful writer, as you say, but I don’t get that impression from this quote.

    Now that you quoted this sentence and made me look at it again, I’m wondering if “equal terms” are incompatible with “associated life.”  For example, if a family is a form of associated life, can it really be a family if all its members are on equal terms with the larger society?  

    • #20
  21. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Yes. At least that’s the effect. But he knew about that problem, and did not recommend dispensing with cognitive knowledge. He talked about this a lot. (Gimme . . . a few weeks. The new YouTube series will go over that.)

    What about Rumble?

    There’s too much to do!  Lately I’ve just been making sure all the Thomas Reid videos are properly scheduled on the Rumble channel. At some point, I need to start posting more there.

    • #21
  22. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic.

    Without knowing that this was the QOTD, I first encountered this sentence in Dr. Bastiat’s compilation post of the first 10 lines from the member feed. And I thought, “what a terrible first sentence.” Then I got to your actual post and had to re-read the first sentence a couple times to make any sense of it. Maybe Dewey is a beautiful writer, as you say, but I don’t get that impression from this quote.

    Well, . . . he’s not Tolkien.

    (And maybe that wasn’t his best sentence. And maybe his sentences don’t work as well in isolation!)

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    (And maybe that wasn’t his best sentence. And maybe his sentences don’t work as well in isolation!)

    Excuses, excuses.

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic.

    Without knowing that this was the QOTD, I first encountered this sentence . . .

    Now that you quoted this sentence and made me look at it again, I’m wondering if “equal terms” are incompatible with “associated life.” For example, if a family is a form of associated life, can it really be a family if all its members are on equal terms with the larger society?

    Because, for example, a child cannot be on the same terms with the rest of society as a parent is?

    One possible answer is that Dewey understands that kids and parents don’t interact with society on the same terms, nor do pastor and layman, nor CEO and company janitor. The point is that interaction with society has to be on equal and fair terms–no difference between one child and another of the same age, for example.

    Maybe a better answer is just to work with the grammar of Dewey’s sentence: He’s not even saying that the people in the forms of associated life are supposed to be on equal terms.  The sentence talks about equal terms between each individual and society. Associations aren’t there for that; they’re doing something else in the sentence–securing flexible readjustment of institutions so as to (looking at the next sentence) secure social improvements without causing disorder.

    Anyway, here’s a paragraph that may clarify the key term.

    Society is one word, but many things. Men associate together in all kinds of ways and for all kinds of purposes. One man is concerned in a multitude of diverse groups, in which his associates may be quite different. It often seems as if they had nothing in common except that they are modes of associated life. Within every larger social organization there are numerous minor groups: not only political subdivisions, but industrial, scientific, religious, associations. There are political parties with differing aims, social sets, cliques, gangs, corporations, partnerships, groups bound closely together by ties of blood, and so on in endless variety. In many modern states and in some ancient, there is great diversity of populations, of varying languages, religions, moral codes, and traditions. From this standpoint, many a minor political unit, one of our large cities, for example, is a congeries of loosely associated societies, rather than an inclusive and permeating community of action and thought.

    Tentatively, it looks to me like both nuclear and extended families would have to fall within the scope of that term.  But there are lots of other forms of associated life.

    • #24
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Caltory (View Comment):

    I found Dewey’s collected works on Amazon (Kindle) for 99 cents. An initial glance indicates it isn’t the unreadable format that some such books are. As with your considerable research on the last national election, you’ll keep me busy for a while now.

    Woo hoo!

    I’ve generally had a knee-jerk reaction to Dewey, but if I can’t subject my own convictions to attack, what good are they? Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

    Thanks!

    • #25
  26. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Caltory (View Comment):

    As with your considerable research on the last national election, you’ll keep me busy for a while now. (I remain, however, unconvinced that election was “stolen.”)

    There’s stolen, and then there’s stolen. I do say Biden is a legitimate President.

    I recently typed up a nice summary, so here you go:

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    FIRST, some things I DON’T believe. I don’t believe there was any centralized illegal conspiracy to steal the election. I don’t accept any of the mass electronic fraud hypotheses (although I do have questions about some things here). In addition to accepting numerous objections to fraud claims I’ve come across, I debunked two myself! (As far as I know, I am the only person on the entire internet who competently debunked Dr. Miller’s allegation about 80 thousand or so problematic votes in Pennsylvania and Stephen Crowder’s allegation about 173 thousand votes in Michigan without corresponding registrations.)

    SECOND, the historical context. America has a long history of election fraud. The late-night work with ballot boxes that put Lyndon Johnson in the Senate decades ago. The felon votes that put Al Franken in the Senate in 2008. Illegal votes by non-citizens, on which there is some sociological scholarship (probably not nearly enough). Etc. Some amount of this stuff happens every election.

    THIRD, the 2020 context: 2020 gave Democrats historic levels of both the opportunity to cheat and the motive, since they’d been telling each other that Trump is the moral equivalent of Hitler for 4 years. Biden won by thin margins in 6 or so swing states, some of them razor-thin. Key locations in those states include places where local government is under single-party Democratic control with a history of corruption. Philadelphia especially.

    FOURTH, the question: Given all of this, is it plausible that in multiple swing states votes not legally cast or not legally counted exceeded the Biden margin of victory?

    Sure. I give it about 50-50 odds if that’s all the information we have!

    But there’s more information.  FIFTH, we can get a probabilistic argument for a more detailed answer by looking at some of the numbers. For several categories of illegal election shenanigans, there are ways to get a rough count/estimate of the votes. For votes cast in the names of the dead, you can check vote records against obituary records or Social Security Database records. For votes out of jurisdiction, you can check vote records against Post Office address-change records. For votes by non-citizens, you can extrapolate from the sociological data in earlier elections. Etc.  I have not come across (or failed to understand) any strong objections to these methods.

    But some objections do at least point to possible false positives. And maybe there’s some overlap between categories. So I like to count at most 90% of the numbers, and I like to run the numbers with additional precautions, sometimes counting only 50%.

    The rest is just math, and it leads to this conclusion: It is more likely than not that illegally cast or illegally counted votes exceeded President Biden’s margin of victory in multiple swing states. (Details.)

    • #27
  28. Caltory Thatcher
    Caltory
    @Caltory

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    FIRST, some things I DON’T believe. I don’t believe there was any centralized illegal conspiracy to steal the election. I don’t accept any of the mass electronic fraud hypotheses (although I do have questions about some things here). In addition to accepting numerous objections to fraud claims I’ve come across, I debunked two myself! (As far as I know, I am the only person on the entire internet who competently debunked Dr. Miller’s allegation about 80 thousand or so problematic votes in Pennsylvania and Stephen Crowder’s allegation about 173 thousand votes in Michigan without corresponding registrations.)

    SECOND, the historical context. America has a long history of election fraud. The late-night work with ballot boxes that put Lyndon Johnson in the Senate decades ago. The felon votes that put Al Franken in the Senate in 2008. Illegal votes by non-citizens, on which there is some sociological scholarship (probably not nearly enough). Etc. Some amount of this stuff happens every election.

    THIRD, the 2020 context: 2020 gave Democrats historic levels of both the opportunity to cheat and the motive, since they’d been telling each other that Trump is the moral equivalent of Hitler for 4 years. Biden won by thin margins in 6 or so swing states, some of them razor-thin. Key locations in those states include places where local government is under single-party Democratic control with a history of corruption. Philadelphia especially.

    FOURTH, the question: Given all of this, is it plausible that in multiple swing states votes not legally cast or not legally counted exceeded the Biden margin of victory?

    Sure. I give it about 50-50 odds if that’s all the information we have!

    But there’s more information. FIFTH, we can get a probabilistic argument for a more detailed answer by looking at some of the numbers. For several categories of illegal election shenanigans, there are ways to get a rough count/estimate of the votes. For votes cast in the names of the dead, you can check vote records against obituary records or Social Security Database records. For votes out of jurisdiction, you can check vote records against Post Office address-change records. For votes by non-citizens, you can extrapolate from the sociological data in earlier elections. Etc. I have not come across (or failed to understand) any strong objections to these methods.

    But some objections do at least point to possible false positives. And maybe there’s some overlap between categories. So I like to count at most 90% of the numbers, and I like to run the numbers with additional precautions, sometimes counting only 50%.

    The rest is just math, and it leads to this conclusion: It is more likely than not that illegally cast or illegally counted votes exceeded President Biden’s margin of victory in multiple swing states. (Details.)

    I didn’t intend to hijack your Dewey thread. I did investigate the extensive election sources you compiled and decided after a fair amount of time that I was trying to square a circle. My conclusion was that bad election law and processes well may have altered some results, but nothing in my review added up to theft. As you say, there is stolen and there is stolen. Ultimately, I believe the proof must be put forth by the charging party. We know who that is, but bombast, a defrocked defense attorney, and redundant (and many withdrawn) claims have been all I’ve seen from that quarter on the subject. (According to Forbes, our former CinC has determined to use the words “The Big Lie” to sustain his theses of the stolen election–as could be expected, plenty of bombast and scant facts.) As for Miller, kudos for debunking his risible data. My undergraduate specialty of QM (Econ) has been eroded by age and disuse & proved of no value. Thank you again for the hours you devoted to a serious examination of the controversy. And now … on to Dewey with best regards!

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  29. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Caltory (View Comment):

    I didn’t intend to hijack your Dewey thread.

    I enjoy it, hijacking or no.

    I did investigate the extensive election sources you compiled and decided after a fair amount of time that I was trying to square a circle. My conclusion was that bad election law and processes well may have altered some results, but nothing in my review added up to theft. As you say, there is stolen and there is stolen.

    And then there’s stolen. There’s perfectly ordinary illegal stuff we’ve always had, there’s the bad law and processes, there’s legal conspiracies (TIME magazine report), and there’s mass hacking.  I’ll take three out of those four!

    Ultimately, I believe the proof must be put forth by the charging party. We know who that is, but bombast, a defrocked defense attorney, and redundant (and many withdrawn) claims have been all I’ve seen from that quarter on the subject. (According to Forbes, our former CinC has determined to use the words “The Big Lie” to sustain his theses of the stolen election–as could be expected, plenty of bombast and scant facts.)

    I accept the burden.  And I can’t, strictly speaking, prove anything.  Things said by Trump, Powell, and Wood are not my responsibility; I can take them on a case-by-case basis if need be, but I can safely say I’ve learned little or nothing from them.

    I’m just a philosophy (sometimes a logic) teacher.  The premises support the conclusion with strong probability, and not all of the details are even the sort of thing that could be in court. (But Mark Davis in GA has thousands of prosecutable instances of fraud, I believe.) My whole analysis could shift with the right sort of objection. (E.g., find some evidence that Davis in GA or Jesse Binnall in NV is a scoundrel, or find something wrong with the sociological research.)

    As for Miller, kudos for debunking his risible data.

    Well, let’s hope I did!  It was complicated.

    But I wouldn’t call it risible.  Just an honest and misunderstanding.  (I’d be a bit harsher on Pachter, whose Miller-debunking insight was mishandled through an egregious circular reasoning fallacy.)

    My undergraduate specialty of QM (Econ) has been eroded by age and disuse & proved of no value. Thank you again for the hours you devoted to a serious examination of the controversy. And now … on to Dewey with best regards!

    Woo hoo!

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  30. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Just had to look over the typesetting on some nerdy thing I wrote (about philosophy of education in Confucius, with comparisons to Augustine and Dewey), and came across this bit of text that helps to explain Dewey:

    In his Democracy and Education, Dewey explains how education continues the life of a democratic society (Dewey 1916). Dewey’s philosophy regularly considers society after the model of a biological organism. It is the nature of life to renew itself. As with biological life, so also with the life of a society, which renews itself by education. Education initiates us into and trains us to participate in the experience of humanity. The right understanding of humanity must be expressed in education. . . . The best form of social organisation is democratic.

    That’s just some of the understanding of humanity and society that informs his philosophy of education.

    It will be an active education—not one where students passively absorb information, but one where young humans learn to use and channel their energy into creative and useful action.

    Note that a good education by Dewey’s standards will have no need for Ritalin.  I think the failure of schools in the USA these days to harness the interests and energies of students would leave Dewey appalled and deeply upset.

    This will, of course, involve a good bit of scientific education. But it will also involve some old ideas and old books as introductions to and training in the moral and intellectual life of the society’s past. (This is the more conservative aspect of Dewey’s philosophy of education, although it would be more accurate to say that Dewey rejects the idea of a dichotomy of conservative vs. progressive, as clarified further in Dewey 1938.)

    And then there’s this.  Aspects of Dewey most people have never noticed.  Not exactly a philosophy friendly to conservatism as such.  But not the same thing as contemporary leftism by a long shot.

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