Data and More Data

Here is some data and analysis that caught my attention. It’s about demographics, class identity, social views, and party politics. One set of data is actually from the UK. It likely is similar to US data.

If I was feeling inspired, I’d look for some patterns across it all. But I’m not sure what to make of it. There is so much intriguing data I’ve come across lately. It makes me endlessly curious. It’s a lot of work sifting through it all looking for connections and patterns.

I figured I’d just throw it out there for now. Maybe later on I’ll have some commentary about it. But let me make one point while I’m thinking about it.

It particularly stands out that Clinton’s supporters are a bit more racist than Sanders’ supporters. It’s still not a majority, but the difference needs to be explained. It doesn’t make sense according to mainstream views.

Clinton is claimed to be the minority candidate, ignoring that Sanders won the majority of young non-whites. More importantly, Sanders has won the strongest support from the lower income demographic, including the infamous and supposedly racist white working class.

Yet “while Clinton’s supporters are less racist than Trump’s — no surprise — they are, on some measures, as racist (and in once instance, more racist) as supporters of Kasich and Cruz.” How does one make sense of that? Republicans are regularly stated as being racist.

Maybe Clinton’s having called certain people ‘superpredators’ wasn’t a mere gaffe. And maybe a significant number of her supporters agree with that assessment. But let’s be clear: This can’t be blamed on poor whites, a population that has no particular love for Clinton.

By the way, how did FDR’s party of the working class become the New Democrats, the party of the neoliberal professional class? On top of that, what does class mean these days, whether in terms of actual economics or social identity?

* * *

The Parties Invert
by Ronald Brownstein

In the history of modern polling dating back to 1952, no Democratic presidential candidate has ever carried most college-educated whites; even Lyndon Johnson fell slightly short during his 1964 landslide. (This analysis uses the American National Election Studies, a poll conducted immediately after the vote, for the elections from 1952 to 1976, and the exit polls conducted by a consortium of media organizations for the elections since.)

From 1952 through 1980, in fact, no Democratic nominee reached even 40 percent with college-educated whites, except Johnson. During that same period, no Democratic nominee failed to reach 40 percent of the vote with non-college whites, except George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter in 1980. Over these eight elections, every Democratic nominee except McGovern ran better, usually significantly better, among non-college-educated whites than among their college-educated peers. This was a world in which Democrats were the party of people who worked with their hands, and Republicans represented those who wore suits and worked behind desks.

But the period since 1984 has seen an accelerating reversal of that historic pattern. During his landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan in 1984, Walter Mondale ran slightly better among college-educated than non-college-educated whites. In the next three elections, Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton ran almost exactly as well with both groups.

Since then, every Democratic presidential nominee has run better with college-educated than working-class whites. From Al Gore in 2000 through Barack Obama in 2012, the share of the vote won by the past four Democratic nominees among college-educated whites has exceeded their performance among non-college-educated whites by four to seven percentage points.

18 thoughts on “Data and More Data

  1. Hi Ben:

    I think it’s been a year or so since I commented. I like the new look of your blog.

    Great post. Not surprising to me at all about Clinton. To oversimplify, it may just have something to do about age. One of the things I’m so heartened by nowadays is the tremendous openness and lack of bigotry among folks under 30 (well, to include you, I guess, under 40?). I’m 63 yet it feels quite liberating to be in a town like Asheville where there are so many folks of all ages keeping their vision (and visionary projects) clearly aimed at creating a more sustainable future.


    • I didn’t know if I’d hear from you again. I have people comment for a while and then entirely disappear, often permanently. But it’s nice to hear from you again.

      Actually, I just turned 40 back in December. Does that mean i’m an old man now? Demographically speaking, I am part of Sanders’ so-called “youth vote” which includes the majority of voters who are 45 years old and below. I must admit I don’t feel like a ‘youth’.

      I’m not sure if I knew you were in Asheville. Did we talk about that before? I lived near there for three consecutive summers following my high school graduation in 1994. I was working at Blue Ridge YMCA camp in Black Mountain. I regularly visited Asheville and fell in love with the place. There is something special about North Carolina in general.

      That was back when I was still more of a Southerner. I always wonder how I’d have turned out if I had remained in South Carolina, instead of returning to moderate, boring Iowa with its middle-of-the-road, Middle American conservative-minded liberalism. Or how I might have turned out if I had settled down in a place like Asheville or, later on, had settled in Arizona.

      Asheville in some ways is similar to Iowa City. Both towns attract similar kinds of people. But each town is quite different from the other and the states certainly are far different. I have an old friend who grew up in Iowa City and now lives in Portland, another town that attracts many of the same variety of people, but also with its own unique vibe.

      I appreciate you stopping by.

      • Just lost track a bit with so much else. I put your site on my desktop to make sure I’d remember to reply (no way to track comments?)

        Wow, 40 an old man. Sorry, nowadays I tend to think of anyone under 50 to 55 as a kid:>)) We have a new psychologist in his late 30s and i have to go back to the mid 80s to remember what it was like to be that young. yet inside I feel like I’m around 32 or so. Strange, this time thing.

        Wow, Bernie – seems like that’s ancient history. I’m sure he’s going to work hard for Hillary and will endorse her at the convention, but I hope people really listen to him and forget about relying on him and start working locally. Iowa City sounds like a good place to start changing Iowa to maybe purple??

        I’ll have to look up Iowa City, one of those outposts (I love university towns) of sanity in the mid-west, i can see why you have settled there.

        let me know if there’s a way to get notifications of comments…. oh and stop by our site and look at some of the videos, especially the breathing videos, and let us know what you think (we just put up a Contact Us page last week! Boy it takes a long time to put it all together)

        • Let me respond to the comment question. Before posting a comment, you can check the square that says “Notify me of new comments via email.” It’s directly below the comment box. If you check it and post your comment, it will send you a message whenever a new comment comes up in that comment section. Is that what you were asking about?

          It’s the random events of life that I ended up in Iowa City. When I was a kid, we were living in a suburb of Chicago. My dad was experiencing anxiety attacks and had a midlife crisis. He decided to quit his job and go back to school. That is how I ended up spending many influential, happy years of my young childhood in Iowa City where is located the University of Iowa. Then we moved to South Carolina where my dad finished his dissertation and became a tenured professor. But my heart was back in Iowa, no matter how many years passed by. Plus, both of my brothers had moved back to Iowa City.

          I don’t think when I was a child I gave it much thought. It was just a nice town in which to be a kid. I had no notions of that small Midwestern college towns were somehow different than other communities. To my childhood mind, my world was dominated by childhood things. Only upon returning from the conservative South did I appreciate Iowa City for what it is.

          Iowa City is actually a fairly famous town if you’re a writer. It has the oldest writers workshop in the world. Many famous writers have lived or do live here, including some science/medical writers as it is a major medical training school and research center. There is probably a higher per capita of writers in this town than anywhere else in the country. It has the second highest percapita rate of doctors as well. It used to have the highest per capita rate of those with higher education.

          It is a stereotypically liberal town in many ways. It is the liberal class personified. Even bus drivers and janitors in this town often have college degrees. It’s a ridiculously overeducated town. Living here probably disconnects people from what reality is like in the rest of the country. This is particularly true as, being a farm state, the economy was almost entirely untouched even during the recession.

          It’s an economically and politically moderate place. Even the liberalism here doesn’t tend to be of the radical sort. There is very much a Midwestern sensibility in this area. My parents live in one of the wealthier neighborhoods in town and still most people take care of their own yards, something not seen in the Deep South where there is a lot of cheap labor from high rates of poverty.

          I’d point out that Iowa already is a purple state. It’s a bit divided on a regional level. There is a less populated conservative part of the state where the population is aging or rather most of the younger generations have left. But most of the population is in the urbanized areas. Iowa almost always votes for Democratic presidents, at least these past several decades. Also, consider Iowa legalized same sex marriage before it happened for most of the rest of the country and it wasn’t a big issue here for most Iowans.

          I’ll stop by your site and check it out.

  2. “When Donald Trump rails against ‘criminal’ Mexican immigrants he combines the circumstances created by Bill Clinton’s ‘free-trade’ policies with assertions made repeatedly by Barack Obama and his lieutenants that the two million people they arrested and deported for immigration violations were ‘criminals.’ And in what way, other than degree of explicitness, is Mr. Trump’s use of dog-whistle politics different from that of the Clintons? Part of the problem is that under U.S. law immigration law violators are ‘criminals’— the claim is tautological. Given the background circumstances of intentional dispossession engineered by Bill Clinton for the benefit of U.S. agribusiness and American industrialists looking for cheap labor, who bears responsibility for the dispossession that led to the ‘crimes’ committed? Put differently, why is the crime not the acts of dispossession rather than the acts of the dispossessed?

    “The implied assertion that Donald Trump rallies ‘real’ racists and nativists amongst dispossessed White working class voters while Bill and Hillary Clinton rally real racism, but not real racists, amongst the liberal classes, adds the missing class dimension to the political argument in support of Mrs. Clinton. In what way are the upper-middle class ‘swing’ voters to whom the Clintons appealed with coded racial politics not racists in the same manner as Donald Trump’s voters? Perhaps Mrs. Clinton would care to explain the difference to the several million Black human beings whose lives were destroyed by the American system of mass incarceration. Having been warned of likely dislocations from the trade agreements they passed, why shouldn’t establishment Democrats be held to account for the social consequences of their policies?”

    • There are a lot of ways looking at all of this. The psychological perspective is a favorite of mine. Without this perspective, very little of human behavior makes sense. Humans are better at rationalizing than rationality.

    • They sure have lost what little credibility they had left, as far as I’m concerned. I’m still in shock by how blatant the bias has been in media reporting about the candidates. The mainstream media usually does a better job of at least pretending to not be biased. It worries me that they no longer feel the need even to pretend. I hate to think what this is leading to.

  3. Well it is leading to a generational split.

    The younger generation seems to be increasingly skeptical of the status quo. They know they were screwed over and have a good idea of whom.

    The older generations though seem to be following the mainstream media into the abyss. It is like Fox News in a way, and it may be a crystal ball.

    The young old split is a generalization of course, but when you look at the Sanders vs Clinton supporters by age, it looks like a damn accurate stereotype.

    • The generational divide is more clear now than it’s been in my lifetime. This is because the generational divide corresponds to other major divides: economic, race, immigration, public opinion, media, etc. Life experience along with demographics have shifted to a large degree.

      • Very interesting comments on the generational divide. As someone a few weeks from turning 64, who supported Bernie but thought he was way too conservative (not just on foreign policy ,but in his Old Left reliance on big government rather than the think global act local (that’s mid to late 20th century) truly sustainable but with a spiritual emphasis (late 1990s early 00s) post-money, post-political, fundamentally spiritual/evolutionary view (now we’re approaching 21st century visions) – I’m intrigued by what it is that keeps my peers’ mindsets in the past century.

        You mentioned Fox News, and it’s true that so many of those over 60 who are conservative are caught in that. But I even see – culturally, if not politically, and particularly as I’ve entered my 60s – the tug of nostalgia and the pull of so many of my peers back toward “better days.”

        Perhaps because I’ve always been dissatisfied with the status quo that I’ve escaped this to some extent. When I first moved to New York City, I lived on the Upper West Side, sometimes called “the Upper Left” side, for being one of the most liberal districts in the country. I found it stiflingly conservative and as soon as could, moved to the East Village where so many of the radicals of the time lived (not just political but spiritual radicals – one of the buildings near me received a check from the Con Edison power company each month, due to the windmill the squatters had put on the top of the building generating more energy than they needed – and there were community gardens, the local Ramana Maharshi meditation center, organic groceries – unheard of almost anywhere else back then, etc etc)

        Now I’m in Asheville, North Carolina, “an island of blue in a sea of red” as they call it; though North Carolina is getting at least more purple each year). If you ask some people here, “what is happening,’ you might hear something like this:

        Well, we’re in a world renaissance, like the one 500 years ago, but then it was the rediscovery of the Greek roots of western civilization; now it’s Asian spirituality that is changing the West and will change the world.

        No, it’s the end of the 5000 year age of empire and patriarchy, and the rise of the feminine (which is really at the heart of what drives the far right crazy).

        No, it’s the end of a 5 million year period, starting with the precursors to homo sapiens, and a new consciousness is emerging, along with which a new species beyond the human being will emerge.

        I’m with the last one – I think the age of enlightenment is over, and that’s pretty obvious to a lot of people. It’s also true that the age of empire is over, and that’s making the neoliberal, neoconservatives, far right and even the mainstream liberal/progressive nuts.

        But what’s coming apart is really, in a way, our whole universe, to the extent the “universe” means that world which is perceived by the human mind. A better, more subjective way to say it is the end of the reign of human mentality – and the requirement for all of us to open to something so radically new it’s never fully manifested on earth before.

        So there, one… two… three… “is this guy nuts or what?????”

        Have a wonderful weekend, y’all! (all y’all, really)

        • That’s funny. I never thought of Sanders as a left-winger. He just seems like an old school progressive.

          That is probably generational as well. As an older politician, he surely has more of a memory of a different political climate. He is Silent Generation and I’ve always thought that Silent Generation has produced a different kind of politician, such as Ralph Nader and Ron Paul. Whether left or right, they tend to be more low key and less antagonistic.

          My dad, a conservative, wondered why I support Sanders. I’m more of in the Anti-Federalist tradition. I feel no particular desire to defend big government, although I don’t see size of government as necessarily being the primary problem. It’s more that I’m curious about what other ways we could do things. I told my dad that I support him because his campaign has helped open up debate and, during the campaign season, that is of penultimate importance.

          The nostalgia of the older generations does signify something, not just what motivates it but also what forms it takes. Interestingly, I don’t see much of that same kind of nostalgia in my generation, GenX.

          Most GenXers don’t tend to see their own childhoods as an inherently better time for the country, as it was a time of high rates of violence along with paranoia about child molesters, Satanic cults, etc. Strangely, on top of that, we were generally under-parented since so many families had both parents working full time. I’m not seeing any tendency of my generation wanting to return to some hypothetical better time.

          The only nostalgia that is strong in my generation is that of pop culture. But it’s an ironic nostalgia, a literally manufactured childhood of media, products and advertising. My generation’s was very much a consumer childhood with most kids working jobs (newspaper routes, mowing, babysitting, etc) and so with their own money to buy things, along with the beginning of non-stop media that instilled the desire to buy. My generation is a bit crass, as I see it.

          Older generations have some memory of the US having been different. For my generation, it’s never felt like an innocent world, even when we look back to ho carefree our childhoods were in comparison to kids these days.

          Your experience fits mine that you found the liberal Upper West Side as conservative. I haven’t been to that particular place, but I’ve seen this same kind of conservative liberalism here where I now live. I’ve come to the conclusion that liberalism and conservatism are inseparable, not really opposites in the standard sense, maybe more like two sides of the same coin.

          It’s funny that the Upper West Side was sometimes called “the Upper Left” side. Iowa City, where I live, is in Johnson County. It’s sometimes called the People’s Republic of Johnson County because of its liberalism, but it’s far from being radically left-wing. There is the university which does attract some more radical thinkers. Paul Street lives here, for example. Still, the town is dominated and governed by those of a more conservative mindset where the Downtown Business Association has the most power.

          You’re not likely to say anything that will make me suggest you’re nuts. I grew up with that kind of thinking in Science of Mind and Unity Church. I went to churches as a child that were filled with people more nutty than you, by far. But your thinking most reminds me of a good friend I have. He is always going on about that kind of thing.

          I can have my spiritual side at times. I’m willing to entertain nearly all thoughts. I just don’t tend to think in explicitly spiritual terms. Still, my thoughts aren’t that far off from yours. It does seem we are in a period of transformation, whether of paradigm or consciousness itself. I suspect the former in the short term and the latter in the long term. That is why I study ancient civilizations, to try to understand what forced massive change, not just to society but to the human mind.

          It’s just my views on causes are less clear. I have no idea what drives larger changes, other than changing conditions. I know of all the theories that drive change, but so far I’m undecided about any of them.

  4. Oops, a lot of that got cut off. Sorry for the repeat – let me try again:

    Yes, Sanders is an interesting phenomenon (and a bit about a guy I just heard on NPR named Saunders in a moment). Most people who understand what socialism – or democratic socialism – is, say Bernie is neither. Which, actually, I think he knows perfectly well. His old fashioned FDR liberalism schtick is just something he’s figured out over the years works with people.

    If you look at his writings in the late 60s and early 70s, he’s (sorry, I can say this without prejudice since I’m a New York Jew) like at least 6 dozen New York Left wing (genuinely Left) Jews I knew back then, right down to the fly away hair, unkempt clothing and black glasses. So in a way, the far right scare tactic of saying, “He’s really a socialist” would have been right for the Bernie of 45 years ago.

    But you know why I like Bernie so much? I don’t know what he thinks down deep, but if you look closely at how he actually governed in Burlington for 8 years, it certainly didn’t fit any of those categories – New Deal big government liberal, post 60s progressive, Old Left. Maybe a bit of the New Left (whose watchword was decentralization) but he was never that doctrinaire.

    The closest word I’ve been able to find is a relatively little known word from Catholic social theory called subsidarity. A libertarian (translation – far right wing nut job, with apologies to nuts, which I take in rather copious quantities on many days) acquaintance of mine tried to say that it fits in quite well with his small government (translation – far right wing nut job) views, but actually, this is a common misunderstanding.

    The basic idea, as I understand it, is that the solution should be appropriate to the problem, and whenever a smaller, more local entity can provide the solution, it is preferable to a larger more centralized one – given the propensity of the human ego to act inappropriately when it has greater power (as more centralized entities – whether governmental or business or otherwise – have).

    So right away you can see a number of reasons why this is not at all like small government conservatism. First of all, there is just as much distrust of large corporations as large government. Second, there is not one whit of hesitation, when the solution requires national, or even international government, to make use of that entity.

    Now if you get back to Bernie in Burlington, it seems whenever he saw that local civics or neighborhood groups could provide a solution to a problem, he was happy to get the government out of the way. He was so frugal he was described as “out Republicaning the Republicans.” However, he hadn’t the slightest hesitation to negotiate for state or federal funding if that was the only solution to a problem. His initial reaction to the housing problem was an old school big government one – build public housing using government money. When a friend told him about land trusts – non profits buying up land and allowing it to be used for housing, which made it much less expensive because the homebuyer didn’t have to pay for the land that went with his house – he was initially skeptical. This was near the beginning of his term when he still tended to reflexively rely on government spending. But he was always flexible, listened and realized it was a good deal. He tweaked it a lot, and made it into such a successful program that not only around the US, but around the world, the Burlington land trust housing program has become a model for affordable housing.

    I personally see a spiritual force of a kind behind Bernie – I don’t think he’s remotely aware of it, but he has such an essentially good heart (I was moved to tears hearing him talk about his love of the rural areas of Vermont – this is the real deal, this guy; he really loves the land there and loves the people). I feel subtle forces behind many of the paradigm crushing events around the world. We’re being prepared for something utterly new and different. At least, so it looks like to me:>)) When thoughts stop and one just sees, it feels so obvious that it is quite hard to deny.

    • I’m only partly familiar with his earlier politics. What I have heard so far has interested me. He seems to have a good attitude and practical sensibility. One does get the sense of this by listening to him. I always look for authenticity and Sanders’ words ring true to me.

      He actually wants to be in government in order to govern, not to shrink it small enough to drown it in a bath tub nor to push large centralized solutions no matter what. The other thing I recall is that he left office in Burlington without any debt, something fiscal conservatives supposedly love even as they vote for presidents that love big spending.

      There is an intriguing factoid I came across a while back. Russel Kirk wrote the book, The Conservative Mind (1953), that pumped life back into the conservative movement and helped make it respectable again. He considered himself to be a Burkean conservative who disliked libertarianism, neoconservatism, and Republican militarism. As a Burkean, he was most mistrustful of ideological dogmatism and instead emphasized the importance of character. Because of this, he once voted for a socialist candidate who he thought had good character.

      I wonder how many conservatives these days would support someone like Sanders because he has good character.

      About your last thought, I understand where you’re coming from. In my own way, I also “feel subtle forces behind many of the paradigm crushing events around the world.” Everything seems crazy to most people until it is understood. That isn’t to say every crazy idea will prove true, but it is reason to look past conventional thought and dig deeper.

      And about subsidiarity, you are correct that my response is to at the very least look something up when I don’t know it. It might relate to being raised by a professor and a teacher. But it also probably relates to my learning and memory difficulties that has ingrained in me a habit of looking things up, even if only to double check what I think I know and remember.

      As for subsidiarity itself, it is one of those terms that sounds vaguely familiar. I suppose I’ve come across it before in my various meanderings across the world wide web. But I couldn’t say I knew much if anything about the term. The general concept intuitively makes sense and I’m sure it occurs to many people as a proper way of dealing with issues, whether privately or publicly, even if they don’t know the term.

      I immediately thought of Anti-Federalism, i.e., genuine federalism. The Anti-Federalists weren’t against big government, per se. It was more about the kind of government. As they saw it, different things were best dealt at different levels and areas of government, not to mention different kinds where state and federal government wasn’t just different in size but of kind (actually, in a genuinely federal system, state governments might be quite large, even larger than what the federal government might be under that political order. Many of the Anti-Federalists were thinking with an entirely different paradigm.

      Along those lines, I did notice the Wikipedia article stated that, “In political theory, the principle of subsidiarity is sometimes viewed as an aspect of the concept of federalism, although the two have no necessary connection.” Federalism, as used here, would refer to American Anti-Federalism. As for American Federalists, they were for large centralized government no matter what, even referring to the US as an empire in the Federalist papers (not to mention praising aristocracy and even the supposed good qualities of monarchy). American Federalists weren’t remotely in line with Catholic thought on subsidiarity.

  5. There we go, that worked. Now I forgot Saunders. George Saunders has been following Trump around the last few months (Saunders is a writer for The New Yorker). He was just on NPR and talked about how Right and Left have gotten so far apart it’s like they’re in different universes.

    I’ve followed the neuroscience of political difference for the past few years, but have never heard it stated so simply as Saunders did when trying to explain the different views.

    he said something like this: “I think it hearkens back to cave days. Imagine you have 2 groups – one the curious group, one the cautious group. The curious group sees a bunch of guys coming toward the cave and thinks, “Oh, look, they’re dressed in an interesting way. What’s that they’re carrying and isn’t it interesting the way they talk.” The cautious group looks and says, “Wait a minute, what’s that expression on their faces? Are they carrying spears? We better get ready to attack.”

    (Left and Right, respectively, in case it wasn’t obvious).

    And one more somewhat tangentially related story from NPR, I heard a few days ago, which gives a kind of scary sense of how utterly different other people may be from you even when they seem to be somewhat similar.

    They interviewed a 60 year old woman who only recently discovered she was mildly autistic. When it was explained to her, so much of her life made sense to her, especially her life long difficulty reading social cues.

    So they did an experiment. They showed her a video, then did some minor electrical stimulation of her brain, then showed her the same video. Here was her response.

    She sees a video where this guy has borrowed some CDs and is returning them to a woman. The CD cases are empty. He says to the woman, “Is this alright?” and she says, “Yes, it’s alright.’ Then he says, “Can I borrow some more?” And she says, “Sure, you can borrow some more.”

    The woman watching the video is dumbfounded. She can’t understand why the woman isn’t outraged that the guy brought back the CD cases without the CDs and on top of that, she’s going to let him borrow more??

    She then watches the video after the brain stimulation. She has a completely different experience. Initially, she perceived the woman as stating calmly that it was ok that he returned the CD cases without the CDs and that it was fine with her that he borrow more (I don’t know if this will come across in writing – maybe if you say it out loud it will make a stronger impact). She now, after the brain stimulation, hears the woman saying, YEAH, ITS ALL “RIGHT”!! in an angry, sarcastic tone, and then saying “YEAH, “SURE” YOU CAN BORROW MORE.” (meaning, no way you’re going to steal more of my CDs)

    She couldn’t get over that she had completely missed the meaning of the woman’s statement the first time she watched the video.

    I think if you look at about 98% of conversations on the net where people are arguing (which means, about 100% of those 98% of conversations), this is pretty much what is happening. Almost nothing to do with logic or reason.

    • I agree with your assessment here. It’s basically what goes on in our world and on the internet.

      My mom and I have discussed such things as autism. I know people, young and old, who know they have or seem to be somewhere on the autism spectrum. This includes friends and family. My mom worked with autistics as a public school speech pathologist and so she is quite familiar with what it looks like.

      Both of us agree that I likely am on the spectrum somewhere. At some point, I learned to compensate and ended up overcompensating. I’m obsessive about social cues and understanding human nature. I’ll spend enormous amounts of time contemplating people I know and interact with, trying to probe into their innermost selves to get at what motivates them.

      My mom probably is somewhere on the spectrum as well. Her interest in psychology likely has the same origin, although she is much more normal than I. My dad is no where near being autistic, quite the opposite. He has a natural understanding of people and is sociable. He hates psychology, the attempt to understand people. To his mind, you should simply understand people and not try to force psychological explanations onto them.

      The internet creates an altered social environment. Nothing like it exists anywhere else in life. Even talking to people on the phone gives you all kinds of voice cues. The internet makes us all into autistics. Maybe that is why the internet doesn’t bother me so much. I’m used to obsessing over what makes people tick.

      I tend to be blunt and open online. I suppose that is because of the lack of social cues. I just lay it all out there so there will be less room for confusion. I try to always explain to people where I’m coming from and I inquire about where people are coming from. Many people seem afraid to share the personal online, which simply makes it worse. Along with the internet making people into autistics, it also makes them into paranoiacs.

      It’s amusing, even when irritating.

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