Discussion with Dr. Shawn T. Smith – Foundations of Psychology, Anti-Masculine Rhetoric, Hypergamy

We had the pleasure of speaking to Clinical Psychologist, Dr Shawn T. Smith. Dr Smith primarily specializes in managing risk in dating and marriage. He also has an interest in and works with clients who struggle with anxiety disorders.

We discuss many topics.

First, we start by discussing the foundations of Modern Psychology (ie the methods used to derive knowledge), and how they might be implicated in some of the anti-masculine rhetoric we see from the APA. For example, are self-reports a reliable data-gathering method or does it make a Clinician more likely to confirm their own biases/ideology?

We also consider what might be the source of the anti-masculine rhetoric coming from the American Psychological Association (APA) .

Finally, we spend time discussing the concept of hypergamy. When is it a useful concept and when is it used beyond its limitations to explain/predict phenomena that does not square with reality?

If you like episodes like this, where we discuss big themes/issues…

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PIIP Lately #9 – Trump to Defund ‘Anarchist’ Cities + Integrity of Vote

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President Trump directed officials to identify ‘anarchist’ cities so he can move to withhold funds from those jurisdictions. While this is unlikely to be successful based on some expert opinions…it is pretty clear that Trump and his team know this as well. He is nevertheless making the threat as a way to keep focus on issues that he knows he’s winning on with the average voter.

In the second story, we discuss how the Trump team are concerned about the integrity of the vote so they have started to form a team to make sure they are prepared for whatever happens on election day. And while it is true that both parties are concerned about the potential of errors/corruption on the day of the vote..their concerns are quite different and quite telling.

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PIIP Lately #8 – Tucker Carlson/Kenosha Shooting + RNC

Tucker Carlson is in the news again and this time he is being criticized for comments he made about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17 year old who shot multiple people in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We also discuss the Republican National Convention. Was it just us or was it so much better than the DNC?

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PIIP 15: The Tyranny of Experts and Restraints on Government

Tyranny Of Experts

The ‘Tyranny of Experts’ posits a vital question; what makes some nations poor and others wealthy? The author explores how two famous economists, Friedrich Hayek and Gunnar Myrdal, drew vastly different conclusions to this question. In this episode, we explore how this relates to the role of government in people’s lives.

TRUE STORY WITH  A TWIST

The book opens with a twist.  Easterly describes how soldiers take over an American town and burn it to the ground. We find out that even though this is a true story, it did not happen in the USA at all. It actually happened in Uganda, Africa.

International organizations like the World Bank see poverty as stemming from a lack of expertise. As an example, a failing farm is the result of poor soil. To fix the problem requires expertise.  As a result, their mandate is largely about solving technical problems in third world countries. The idea is that if you solve the technical, it leads to economic growth.

 LACK OF RIGHTS

Organizations like the World Bank refrain from using words like democracy as to not fan the flames. In The Tyranny of Experts, the author explains that it’s the lack of rights that is causing the issue of poverty and so it  cannot simply be solved by technical means. By being given rights and using trial and error, individuals would be able to find solutions.

When you look at the research, you can make a case that free market gives you better outcomes. Health care for example, even though it may not be able to cover everyone, it can give you much higher quality care for most people. It’s not a simple solution that works for everyone so there will always be trade offs. This may not even be the best example as healthcare in Canada , the system functions quite well.  Its important to remember that you  cannot be too focused on this idea on how things are divided between the government and the free market.

RESTRAINTS ON GOVERNMENT

The real important thing to remember is that you must put restraints on the government. Even if you were mostly a free market system and the government didn’t control much there are potential issues. In The Tyranny Of Experts, the author makes the argument that all it would take is one leader to come into power. This leader can be democratically elected. So it’s not like you’re dealing with a dictatorship. Once this leader comes into power he might have a different view or vision of what rights are and who should get those rights.  Maybe he is discriminatory or prejudicial towards a certain group of people. So he decides that he wants to take away rights from that group.

Another example would be free speech. Some people may believe that free speech is not that important.  Others might not like the idea of gun rights because as many would say ‘it causes too much violence’. People do come up with all kinds of excuses and rationalizations of why they believe something is not a good idea. So the point is, that even in a system where your government may not have that much power, you can come to a situation where your rights can be taken away and that can lead to poverty.

REGULAR PEOPLE ARE NOT COMPETENT

Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish economist, would say that regular people are not capable of doing these things for themselves which is why those who are experts needed to take over. One of the examples had to do with farming equipment and how government needed to force them to save so they can buy the equipment. Why? Again, regular folks would not be able to do that on their own as most of them are not very competent. He would also make the case that poor folks do not care about things like rights as it’s simply not important to them.  They simply want a strong leader type that they can follow.

We give an example of a system in a socialist Yugoslavia where people were generally followers and didn’t care as long as they had a strong leader. This was due to the fact for many years the government was taking care of them. They had  no idea of what being free and having rights even meant. Since  they couldn’t compare it to anything else, most had no issues with it.

INDIVIDUAL VS THE COLLECTIVE

In The Tyranny of Experts, Easterly tells us how Hayek believed that Nazism and Communism do not belong in the opposite spectrum. They belong on the same side due to the fact they are both about collectivism. Both Hitler and Stalin did the same thing by trying to ruin the individual to serve a certain collective. The only difference is in how things are phrased and who the privileged groups become.

 

Hayek argued that Nazism and Communism are on the same side due to the fact they are both about collectivism.

Tyranny Of Experts makes a case that when you’re going into a country like Uganda and making a decision to take over their land, you’re always going to be violating people’s rights.  Even when you make a point that it’s for long term benefit of the country, the fact is that these countries still end up being quite poor. Lets make a case that the technical problems are the only ones that need fixing. How do you fix the issue of tyrannical governments coming in and taking over peoples right to have electricity, water, farms, etc? Also, every time any profits are made, they go into the hands of those corrupt leaders.

PROGRESSIVISM AT WORK

Many of those who call themselves progressive tend to show hatred for anyone who makes a lot more money or is successful in some way. This hatred causes them to  want higher taxes for the rich and to just redistribute the wealth. The main thing to note here is that it’s not really that they care about the poor or even equality, it’s mostly that they despise the rich. The inequality part is that they are the ones not on the top. It’s why they always claim to have solutions and if only they were given power, they would fix the system.

MINIMUM INCOME, CRITICISM OF CONSERVATIVES

Hayek believed in the idea of minimum income. Provide enough so that an individual can preserve health and capacity to work.

He criticized the British conservatives for liking traditions, power, being nationalistic, anti intellectual, amongst other things. We ask, why would some of those things be a negative? Having traditions and being nationalistic for example. Traditions and nationalism can bring people together and give them meaning in times when free market capitalism just isn’t enough. In USA for example, it feels as if there is this missing element of patriotism missing. Half of the country makes everything about America and how it’s the best country in the world and the other half thinks it’s oppressive, racist and one of the worst countries.

But if you don’t have nationalism and don’t believe in traditions, what is there left to believe in exactly?  Consumerism? It doesn’t seem like a good idea because from there, you end up having ideas like fixing the world in your own image and this is where conflict with other nations emerges as you aren’t contained in any way. The world becomes your playground.

 

 

 

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PIIP Lately #7 – Democratic National Convention, #Cuties, Goodyear (Badyear) Tires

The Democratic National Convention is over, and thank god for that. Biden was officially endorsed as the Democratic party nominee for President, along with Kamala Harris for Vice President. Biden generally garnered good reviews from his speech from both sides of the political spectrum.

#Cuties and #CancelNetflix was trending recently on Twitter. Netflix made a major error in the way that they presented an upcoming French film via their cover and description. Cuties is slated to be released in September on Netflix.

Finally, maybe Goodyear Tires did not want the spotlight..but they certainly had the spotlight when an image leaked out from what appears to have been a diversity type training program. What did the image say?

PIIP 14: Setting Yourself Free From The Government

In this episode, Elvis and Ermin make that argument that self-development is largely realizing that change starts and finishes with you, not any external force, including the government. And that there is only one way to find out how you should live your life: aggressive trial and error. You need to learn what you like and what you don’t like by being active in the world and stumbling around.

Without this mindset, we aren’t really developing our potential, and we are forever a ‘slave’ to our environment.

PIIP Lately #6 – Biden/Harris Ticket, Forced Busing, and Trump Student Loan Forgiveness

Kamala Harris is the VP nominee for President on the Democratic ticket…we discuss the selection Joe Biden made, and whether it is a good choice.

It was also pretty easy to predict that busing (forced busing or desegregation busing) would make its way back into the spotlight as a result of this VP selection.

Busing has been in the news the last few days. You might remember that this was not the first time busing became a hot topic.
The second round of the first Democratic primary debates on June 27 2019 included a fiery exchange between Biden and Harris.

Harris, in that debate, said to Biden “You also worked with [those segregationist senators] to oppose busing,”. Biden responded by saying ““I did not oppose busing in America,” Biden, who represented Delaware in the US Senate from 1973 to 2009, responded. “What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.””

But despite the harsh disagreements between them on this issue and others, not only did Joe Biden still select Harris as his VP…but these two have a history of acting one way while portraying to the public a different image. They might not be all that different after-all?

Finally, On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order to suspend federal student loan interest and payments until December 31, 2020…the left is shocked that Trump would do such a thing.

PIIP 13: How Family, Our Social Circle, and Personality Influence Our Politics

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Family dynamics can have a strong influence on our political views. The family structure, values, or behaviors of the members of the family are just some of the factors that influence our politics.

In our case, moving to a new country changed all of us greatly. Not surprisingly, the children more so than the parents.The culture of the old country (Yugoslavia) played a crucial role in the family dynamics, and perceptions of how things should be organized changed for both Elvis and Ermin over time in the new country (Canada).

Our social circle is another factor. How our friends and extended family members behave impacts how we see the world. Did you have a friend in your life that always stressed personal responsibility and always acting on what you want in life?

Our personality is also an important factor that dictates our political leanings. If you are Orderly, like Elvis, this is a great predictor of your political leanings…conservative in this case.

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PIIP Lately #5 – Dissolving NRA, Beirut Blast, Biden On Black Diversity

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New York Attorney General (AG) is suing the National Rifle Association and is trying to dissolve the NRA. We will discuss what her arguments in the lawsuit.

The blast in Beirut, Lebanon that killed many and injured thousands could have been prevented. What happened?

Biden is once again getting criticized for a slip-up, at least by more conservative media..but was it a tone deaf or racist statement?

PIIP 12: Is Assimilation Possible For First Generation Immigrants?

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This one got a bit hot.

As some of you know, Elvis and Ermin are 1st Generation Immigrants. They arrived to Canada as refugees (from Yugoslavia) when Elvis was about 11-12 yrs old and Ermin was approximately 7-8 yrs old.

Ermin, at least in part do to arriving in Canada at a younger age, feels quite assimilated into Canadian/Western culture..but Elvis doesn’t. The fact that Ermin arrived to Canada at a younger age might explain in part why he feels more assimilated but it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story.

How would you define assimilation? Can you still hold on to the old culture but be assimilated into the new? If you identify via national identity that you are American or Canadian..is that enough to make you American or Canadian or do you need to totally disregard your ethnic identity?