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Response to bloomington-lib (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 1, 2015, 07:03 PM

3. Because both sides are interested in portrayals.

Were political science anything with claims to a science, it would be a cargo-cult science (to use Feynman's terms):

"Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

"In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another."

In other words, we're to engage in and facilitate critical thinking.

So the question isn't, "If the IMF has done all these bad things, how can be portrayed as credible?" (When clearly it can't be--that's the inference you're to draw. And if you don't draw the right inference, you're a cretin.)

Instead, the question is, "What is the evidence that doesn't fit this narrative that leads apparently reasonable people to claim that the IMF is credible?"

For that we'd need a completely different mindset. Not gonna happen. No evidence it's gotten better since I was a teen, some evidence that it's gotten worse. For most people, it's just as bad. For educated people, it's gotten worse as society at that level and in more arenas has been politicized.

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