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Full Version: Paper: "The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians"
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As an addendum to the Libertarianism in OA thread, this is interesting: "Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians

What it suggests is that one's political orientation may be due not only to one's values but to one's cognitive style, which in turn is influenced by factors such as genetics and fetal development. IIRC, this same group had done some earlier work that had suggested humans seem to instinctively view morality as a collection of several (at least 5) moral values, the relative value of which varies from person to person. Thus liberals and conservatives may be naturally drawn to their political positions because those positions are the logical result of their moral priorities.
In the OA universe, the minds of most modosophonts are significantly more capable than an average baseline. One of the biggest differences would be in their ability to adjust their thinking to focus, learn, etc. better than a baseline. I would imagine that the much greater diversity of mindstates in OA would produce an equally diverse understanding of morality and social memes.

On an individual level, as a being underwent periods of intense learning, genemods, etc., the corresponding mindstate changes might affect these moral priorities and hence political leanings. Thus some individuals might find themselves changing their opinions radically on a regular basis! I would imagine many individuals would find this undesirable, so genemod tech might be adjusted to limit this effect. However, there would also be a possible advantage in this: individuals who have undergone many minor changes might develop a more wholistic view of the thinking style / moral / political / etc. continuum. Politics might be much less divisive despite being more diverse.

Transapients' viewpoints on moral values issues might be beyond baseline comprehension (conversely, due to baroquification transapient politics might seem far more complex than it really is), but it would be likely their understanding of modosophont approaches to morality is very advanced even pre-nanodisaster. A transapient might be able to model the local political environment and accurately predict how the local population would be likely to react to a new meme. Perhaps Isaac Asimov's vision of a science which applies statistics to large populations of modosophonts to predict the future is a very real and exact science among transapients.

I think the Encyclopaedia Galactica pretty much suggests all this already, but given this paper it seems all the more plausible.
Transapient politics and morality could be much more complex than the modosophonts in OA society imagine. The main problems on any given S6's plate will be how to deal with all those fantastically complex S:5s in its hierarchy, who will in turn have trouble dealing with the S:4s, and so on; the politics and dissent of a few trillion or quadrillion modos will be relatively simple compared to this. But of course the modos won't be aware of these problems.

The modos might organise themselves into libertarian or communistic utopias, but only the most cynical of them will be aware that these political structures are just a small part of the complex system used by the archailects to keep Sephirotic civilisation under control.
I'm skeptical that genetic and developmental factors have any real impact on political beliefs, except maybe in edge cases like sociopathy. Regardless keeping it within OA:

I don't think political beliefs will change on a dime, even with far greater capacity to learn, an education/upbringing emphasising rationality and a host of information technologies. Instead I imagine that political belief will be far more nuanced. Your average sophont will have a much better understanding of their own and other's moral systems. Politics IRL might be flimsy but with OA tech its ascendancy into a mature social science is all but assured. Organising society's laws, policies and institutions to best fit with consensus morality is likely to be a much easier task.

I imagine that we'd struggle IRL to understand modosophont politics, at least at first. It might appear less polarised than RL politics but actually have far more fine detail and disagreements.
I was watching a documentary last night, reporting on recent work about the risk-processing strategies of "liberals" in today's society as opposed to people of a more conservative bent. Apparently, the part of the brain most involved in deciding whether to take a risk is different between the two groups.

Of course, it's an open question whether political leanings partly determine brain structure, or vice versa, or the effects are both ways.

I suspect something like this would apply to most biological sophonts, at least those from a Terran background. After all, humans share a lot of brain structure with all the other mammals - at least. Of course, xenos would probably be different and vecs/AIs almost certainly would - in this respect as in many others.
(06-24-2015, 04:35 AM)iancampbell Wrote: [ -> ]I was watching a documentary last night, reporting on recent work about the risk-processing strategies of "liberals" in today's society as opposed to people of a more conservative bent. Apparently, the part of the brain most involved in deciding whether to take a risk is different between the two groups.

Ergh, reports like this are the bane of a lot of neuroscientists (different kind of biologist myself but I know a few). You can find a huge amount of biological correlations with all sorts of phenomenon, but it's often presented as though it's a strong causal link. It's like how the news went through a spate about a decade ago of reporting "crime genes" when in reality all that had been shown was a slim correlation with one gene in a small prison population. Literally could have been anything but it perpetuated a round of speculation that people could be genotyped for criminality. Never mind that the reasons for crime are hugely nuanced and crimes are very much social constructs (would homosexual people have possessed "crime genes" back then homosexuality was illegal).