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Cut the Blue Wire, No -- the Red One

Ever wonder just how a conservative's mind can at times be so intractable, and seemingly incapable of recognizing when it's time to take a new path, as is amply demonstrated by the Republicans' stubbornness to hold on in Iraq despite overwhelming evidence that we're still on the wrong course?

McCain_Clinton

It's just faulty wiring:

The brain neurons of liberals and conservatives fire differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that some political divides may be hard-wired, according a study released Sunday.

Aristotle may have been more on the mark than he realised when he said that man is by nature a political animal.

Dozens of previous studies have established a strong link between political persuasion and certain personality traits.

Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions. Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.

The affinity between political views and "cognitive style" has also been shown to be heritable, handed down from parents to children, said the study, published in the British journal Nature Neuroscience.

Intrigued by these correlations, New York University political scientist David Amodio and colleagues decided to find out if the brains of liberals and conservatives reacted differently to the same stimuli.

A group of 43 right-handed subjects were asked to perform a series of computer tests designed to evaluate their unrehearsed response to cues urging them to break a well-established routine.

"People often drive home from work on the same route, day after day, such that it becomes habitual and doesn't involve much thinking," Amodio explained by way of comparison in an e-mail.

"But occasionally there is road work, or perhaps an animal crosses the road, and you need to break out of your habitual response in order to deal with this new information."

Using electroencephalographs, which measure neuronal impulses, the researchers examined activity in a part of the brain -- the anterior cingulate cortex -- that is strongly linked with the self-regulatory process of conflict monitoring.

The match-up was unmistakable: respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed "significantly greater conflict-related neural activity" when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine.

Conservatives, however, were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits "despite signals that this ... should be changed."

In an ever-changing world having a conservative in the White House is the wrong answer. We need leaders who are capable of seeing the obstacles in the road and charting a course around it -- instead of leaders who screech to a halt and do nothing -- or worse, and just plows right into it...


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (13)

ke_future:

ever wonder why it is that liberals have shifting morals? it's faulty wiring..

in an ever changing world, we need leaders who can chart a clear path and do not waver in the path of obstacles. leaders who know what the goal is and are not distracted by the non-essentials.

see, i can play this game too, lee.

even the authors of the study say not to make too much of what they found. and given the word choices be the either the study authors or the person who wrote the article i'd be willing to be that the study was done at a liberal state university, probably in california. just a guess.

Lee Ward:

Amazing that Republicans still want their leaders to impose the conservative moral code onto the rest of the nation. Haven't they learned to keep their damn morals and religious beliefs to themselves? I guess it'll take another blue-sweep election to teach them this lesson again.

The "Freedom of Religion" which is our right in this country, ke-future, is a the freedom to practice and follow the moral and religious guiding light of our choosing, not YOUR choosing.

"Freedom of Religion" doesn't mean the freedom to impose YOUR religion on everyone else, and even impose those same morals on foreign nations and peoples whose existence and practices and beliefs are threatening to your own.

Don't worry - ke -- your party will choose a dumb shit fat-head as your nominee, one who swears to you that he will impose YOUR moral code on the rest of us, and the nation will let you know what a bad choice that was... Wait and see, my friend, wait and see...

Thanks for this illustration of the intractability and inability of the conservative mind to adapt to changing conditions -- you keep on charging down the road to ruin, ke - the rest of the nation is going to turn left.

ke_future:

lee, you moron, did i say what morals that liberals followed? did i say anything about what religion you should follow? did i threaten to force you to follow the religion of my choice? no, i said they had shifting morals. as in they are inconsistant. which they are. perhaps ethics would have been a better word, but that does not change the fact that you are wrong in what you thought you read.

talk about going off topic, from the physiological differences that may or may not be present between liberals and conservatives to blabbering off on some rant about freedom of religion. you post was basically that old canard of "when did you stop beating your wife?"

my point was that there are good points and bad points both to being adaptable as well as consistant.

your inability to see past your own ideological blinders is frikkin amazing. and more of a trait *you* should expect from a conservative.

by the way, when did you stop beating your wife?

Lee Ward:

lol... ke_future sees the future, and crashes right into it.

Darby:

Freedom of religion: The right to express and practice the religion of your choice.

Freedom from religion: The right to not be subjected to the beliefs and religion of others.

Two very interesting ideals.

I personally feel that a persons right to practice and even preach what he/she believes in should not be cause for the repression of their religious beliefs. Which I feel is certainly happening in our country.

To take on the topic of freedoms, lets talk about the freedom of speech, versus the freedom FROM speech.

For instance there was a reader(Very recently) of this website who argued a point, and I felt it was well argued. They got banned, or at least their comments were deleted. Is that censorship? I believe it is. Because their "freedom of speech" did not fit in the mold. The mods felt that they had the "Freedom FROM speech", which is fine, but for people who are supposed to be liberal, or progressive and open to "new idea's" that shows some fairly close-minded beliefs.

It's an easy out that censorship option, isn't it? Oh, I don't like what they're saying, so... click, click, click. I have freedom from their speech, their idea's, and their beliefs.

Please, do not be confused, there ARE people that deserve to be banned, I am not disputing that fact, it just seems people get banned here fairly easily. To this simple reader it seems like censorship to me.

Ultimately it boils down to upholding the core facets of the constitution. Either you are for free speech and you live by that standard. Accepting the pro's and the con's that come with it.

Or you're not. If you're not at least give some people a fair warning that they're entering a censorship zone. That perhaps ideas that do not directly coincide with the authors are subject to removal.

Sorry if I seemed to go off topic, but Lee brought up a great point and I felt I had to expand upon it. By tackling the freedom of speech opposed to religion. Because I feel that this particular freedom is most often the one trampled on the most in the blogosphere(Both sides are guilty of this). Lee just seemed to open the door to this comment with his comments on freedom of religion. Which I find very interesting in some ways, but that's a whole separate comment in and of itself.

I fully expect to have my comment deleted, and I will probably be banned for speaking my mind. Please note, however, other than voicing my own opinion on the matter I have refrained from personal attacks on anyone that posts here. Their beliefs are just that, theirs. I don't need freedom from their idea's, speech, or religion. They have that, regardless if you believe in it or not, God given right to say what they want, think what they want, and, of course, believe what they want.

I just feel that when you delete comments and ban people for voicing their own idea's and beliefs you move away from what this country is founded upon.

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven" Luke 6:37

Lee Ward:

nice troll Darby.

You've posted the same sentiment over on Wizbang when they've deleted comments, right? I mean, you're not a flaming conservative hypocrite on top of being a long-winded rambling troll, are you?

I've had comments there deleted for no reason other than they disagreed and made the post's author look bad, shot holes in their arguments, etc. So have many, many other liberals.

"They have that, regardless if you believe in it or not, God given right to say what they want, think what they want, and, of course, believe what they want"

Look you rightwing nutcake -- no one has a "God given right" to post comments on a blog. Get a clue, and knock off the long-winded bullshit or you will be deleted and banned. Take your "God given right" to post your pablum over to Wizbang, where you will find many other trolls just like yourself just dying to talk about the liberal heathens on Wizbang Blue -- lol.

"I personally feel that a persons right to practice and even preach what he/she believes in should not be cause for the repression of their religious beliefs. Which I feel is certainly happening in our country."

Fair warning, Darby - you do not have a right to preach your viewpoint here. I have the right to not read troll comments and delete them instead.

Getting back on topic, think of my warning to you as a example like the example cited in the study -- the conservative mind that suddenly finds an obstacle in their usual route home from work.

Will you recognize the danger that lies in the road ahead and detour around it -- will you adapt and adjust and accommodate for the obstacle that stands in the way of you practicing your freedom to preach to me -- or will the intractability of your wiring cause you to barrel ahead, despite the obvious danger and peril ahead?

The trolls who get their comments deleted here on Wizbang Blue just barrel ahead. Amazingly, time and time again, they are warned and they respond with more of the same and say "go head and ban me" - a perfect example of their "faulty wiring"...

They just plow right into the obstacle, proclaiming their God given right to do wrong, rather than adjust their course.

That's fine, just don't expect this country to re-elect leadership of that mindset. More and more voters are recognizing the faulty wiring in the high-minded right, and since their intractability will prevent the GOP from changing course, it is absolutely guaranteed that a Democrat will take the White House in November 2008.

ke_future:

lee, your comment regarding me crashing into the future made absolutely no sense, either in the context of your original post, nor in my posts. do you care to actually explain what you mean?

Lee Ward:

The post sets a hypothetical example illustrative of the conservative mindset - where the conservative encounters an obstacle ahead in the road that they normally take every day -- and they find it difficult to adjust due their hard-wired intractability.

In our comment exchange you suggested that liberals' "flexibility" is indicative of their "shifting morals", in contrast to what you cited as the conservative mindset which does not waver in the path of obstacles.

I pointed out that you are correct, and that the Conservative's "stay the course"-ness will result in the GOP choosing another "stay the course" inflexible idiot like Bush, who will attempt to shove the moral-minority right's code of conduct down our throats and the throats of the rest of the world -- despite the fact that only 30 percent of American voters think that style of leader is effective.

Don't worry - ke -- your party will choose a dumb shit fat-head as your nominee, one who swears to you that he will impose YOUR moral code on the rest of us, and the nation will let you know what a bad choice that was... Wait and see, my friend, wait and see...

Thanks for this illustration of the intractability and inability of the conservative mind to adapt to changing conditions -- you keep on charging down the road to ruin, ke - the rest of the nation is going to turn left.

So, even though your party is in ruins, you will choose a moral-code-decider just like Bush - because hell - you won't let something like voter opinion get in the way of your electoral process.

Crash! Bam BOOM! - the conservative drives straight into the obstacle in the road ahead - bad wiring... bad wiring!

You show us! ke_future - You conservatives go ahead and select a candidate who is inflexible and more concerned with moral rigidity than adapting to changing conditions - You show us pal! lol!

ke_future:

ahh...gotchya. that actually kinda makes sense, i just wasn't focusing on the mental imagery of running into a wall. but hey, we all see things differently.

a couple of points:

1)the republican party has some issues it needs to address, but it is hardly in "ruins". a low point, right now, sure, because of 3 issues: illegal immigration (a lot of people, conservatives and liberals alike, did not like the plan Bush was pushing), iraq (this one would take a post to fully dive into, suffice to say that this is a major issue), and corruption, which is not limited to the republican party, but definitely helped set up the democrats in 2006.

2) where do you get the idea that only 30% think that a, let's call it conservative, leadership style is effective? now, bush might only have a 30% approval rating, but that is based on a wide range of variables, and only 1 of those is leadership style. i have never seen a poll on how people view leadership style.

3) don't even get me started on the shoving of things down people's throat. let's start with political correctness run amok or the global warming inquisition and leave it at that.

4) voter opinion is damn important. however, i would argue that sometimes doing what is right is not the same thing as doing what is popular. after all, wasn't integration the right thing to do, even tho it wasn't popular?

5) just out of curiosity what moral codes do you feel bush has rammed down your throat?

6) you liberals go ahead and select a person with no ethical compass, who leads based on polls, and doesn't stick to their guns.

i'd also caution you to be careful about labeling conservatives as having bad wiring. that implies that they are fundamentally flawed, or deficient. that's a very slippery slope that can lead to some very very dark ideas.

also, how then would you explain how some people shift from liberal to conservative or conservative to liberal in their lifetimes?

Lee Ward:

"a couple of points:

"1)the republican party has some issues it needs to address, but it is hardly in "ruins". [etc]

Maybe this is a half-full, half empty viewpoint on which we differ, but compared to the strength the GOP held from 1994 on, I'd say losing both the House and Senate in 2006 and the continued slide since then (as reflected in the polls showing Clinton and/or Obama beating all GOP presidential candidates) I'm of the opinion that the loss of the House, Senate and White House qualifies as "ruins"... but that's just me.

"2) where do you get the idea that only 30% think that a, let's call it conservative, leadership style is effective? now, bush might only have a 30% approval rating, but that is based on a wide range of variables, and only 1 of those is leadership style."

I think anyone who quacks like Bush is going to achieve the same sort of end-result in the general election, and so far none of the front-runners are distancing themselves from Bush. What I see in the polls I cited above is wishful thinking, and the more that is revealed of Giuliani, Romney and Thompson the more the public will see is that they are cut from the same cloth as Bush -- the same intractability and the same death-grip on bad ideas that they will pursue to the bitter end.

Some of this won't be reflected in the polls, but will instead show up as GOP voter apathy. In other words, the GOP won't lose 70-30, maybe 60-40'ish, but that isn't counting the non-voters who will stay home and pout.

"3) don't even get me started on the shoving of things down people's throat. let's start with political correctness run amok or the global warming inquisition and leave it at that."

And how does any of what's being done in the name of "global warming" compare to the "dragging us back towards the 19th century" move like Bush's stem cell veto? Next conservatives will call for a return to good old-fashioned blood letting...

"4) voter opinion is damn important. however, i would argue that sometimes doing what is right is not the same thing as doing what is popular. after all, wasn't integration the right thing to do, even tho it wasn't popular?"

We can agree on that, but as Steve's post on the book lists in prison shows, this administration is pursuing a moral agenda that strips away basic constitutional rights such as freedom of religion. When the definition of doing what's "right" falls under "as seen by my religion", and cuts against the Constitution, it ain't "right" anymore in my view...

"5) just out of curiosity what moral codes do you feel bush has rammed down your throat?"

The two examples that came up here are the stem cell veto and the book burning at prisons. Prayer in schools, the way conservatives have screwed New Orleans since Katrina (think "ethnic cleansing" on a whole new scale - one in which corporations can profit) -- was this a serious question?

"6) you liberals go ahead and select a person with no ethical compass, who leads based on polls, and doesn't stick to their guns."

There's always that danger, but I'd welcome Bill Clinton back in a heartbeat - moral flaws and all...

i'd also caution you to be careful about labeling conservatives as having bad wiring. that implies that they are fundamentally flawed, or deficient. that's a very slippery slope that can lead to some very very dark ideas."

Go read the Wizbang comment threads and tell me how what I've said is remotely similar to a rant there -- take a look at Paul the Putz's post on the anti-war protester axe-murderer and read the comments, like this one from Scrapiron the metal-headed mental midget:

Just the first of millions of democrats suffering from BDS to go over the edge. This type stuff will speed up and continue for years. You can't turn off insanity with the flip of a switch, or a voting machine. The student was just in the wrong place at the right time to meet an average democrat."

Yeah, an average Democrat is an axe-murderer -- lol. Spare me the high-road huffing, Ke. It ain't gonna fly. You live over there, you know the cesspool that exists in the minds of the conservative nutcakes.

I'm a by-product of too much time on conservative blogs - it's all your fault ;) - lol

"also, how then would you explain how some people shift from liberal to conservative or conservative to liberal in their lifetimes?"

Money. Actually this is a much bigger topic for another day, sometime after November, 2008. We can post-mortem the election, and I'll be happy to explain why your side lost. :)

ke_future:

so in other words, you just made up the 30% number?
as for the idea of Bush being intractable, read this http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/09/the_petraeus_report_past_prese.php, it has some interesting observations in it. I know you won't agree with a lot of what it says, but I still think it would be good for you to check it out.

by the way it's kinda funny calling Bush intractable and with a death grip on bad ideas, when a lot of liberals aren't willing to even listen to the report Patraeus put together. i mean, come on, insulting and spinning a report you haven't even heard because you don't think it will fit your world view? if that isn't intractable i don't know what is.

you do realize that all the stem cell veto stopped was federal funding of stem cell research on new lines, right? it didn't stop research on existing lines, nor did it stop privately funded research. and it's not like there isn't ethical concerns about that line of science. hardly what i would call ramming it down your throat. nor would i compare it to blood letting. nice hyperbole, by the way.

you do realize that no books were actually burned at the prisons, don't you? i took a look at that article and it smelled more like bureaucracy to me than anything.

you would welcome bill back in a heartbeat. i can understand that. i, however, wouldn't. i thought he was a weak president in too many ways. and did not have any vision for the country. but that's a matter of opinion.

while i think that paul is over the top in his post, he didn't say "Average democrat" he said "democrats suffering from BDS" and to an extent i have to agree with that statement. believe it or not, i've felt more physically threatened by those who could be classified as BDS suffers than anybody in my entire life. and considering some of the places i grew up, that's saying a LOT.

the dark places that i was mentioning in my previous post had to do with labeling your opponent as biologically deficient. that's been done before. by stalin in the ussr, and by hitler in nazi germany, and by the KKK here in the states. (yes this is a case of my own hyperbole) i don't believe that is what you intend, but it's a VERY slippery slope to go from "they are not as good as we are because of biology" to "they are inferior and should not be allowed to breed". not likely, but with human beings being creatures of fear and hatred, it's not something to ignore either. how does that quote from MIB go? "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it"

i don't live any where in particular. i expose myself to a variety of sources, from Wizbang, to Instapundit, to NRO, to the NY Times, to DailyKOS. I just post here because DailyKOS is the only other place that allows comments. But they delete most conservative comments, troll or not. Plus their comments sections on any given day are much worse than the worst i have ever seen on any of the wizbang sites.

you honestly believe that money is the reason why people go from conservative to liberal or vice versa?

and yeah, there will be lots of post-mortems on the 08 election when the Republicans take back the House and White House. (I'd hope for the Senate, but we have too many seats that are up for grabs. on that vein, you should start worrying how 2010 and 2012 are going to go for the Democrats)

Lee Ward:

"so in other words, you just made up the 30% number?"

too bad you choose to start off this comment like an asshole. I didn't bother to read the rest of your comment.

ke_future:

that was an honest to god question, lee. trust me, if i was trying to be an asshole, you would have known it.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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