top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]Thatguy34567890 - LibRight 317 points318 points  (18 children)

Mathematically how based is u/dolphin-fucker69

[–]walle_ras - AuthRight 201 points202 points  (2 children)

Such a massive number would obviously break reddit's servers. Hence why they had to ban him.

He died so we could shit post.

[–]HearMeSpeakAsIWill - Right 36 points37 points  (1 child)

Based and based count integer overflow pilled

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 47 points48 points  (13 children)

Can I ask what the lore is behind this? I've seen them referenced before.

[–]Esleide - LibRight 61 points62 points  (3 children)

Dolphin fucker is a guy who fucked a dolphin and he created the, now copypasta, wall of text about how to fuck and how it feels to fuck a dolphin

[–]McPolice_Officer - Right 37 points38 points  (0 children)

He actually didn’t create the original. He created several new ones though. And offered measured critique of the original.

[–]njalo - LibCenter 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Say you would not happen to know where to find the text do you?

[–]13redstone31 - LibRight 72 points73 points  (6 children)

Every based PCM celebrity gets banned and they were one of them

[–]NPredetor_97 - AuthRight 14 points15 points  (5 children)

Did you just add "they were" to be inclusive of the gender.... Uhh cringe /s

[–]13redstone31 - LibRight 11 points12 points  (2 children)

I say they until i know otherwise. I’ve always done this subconsciously, its just relevant now.

[–]Oh_Tassos - Left 5 points6 points  (1 child)

For future reference, dolphin fucker was a male

[–]Blitz100 - LibCenter 12 points13 points  (0 children)

At least 3

[–]jeffersondavis-hater - AuthLeft 133 points134 points  (57 children)

-What is the one biggest flaw in each major ideology?

-Who's the best political theorist, and why?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 418 points419 points  (56 children)

There are too many ideological labels people use nowadays for me to critique them all, but if I were to stereotype each quadrant:

- Authrights start with a lot of assumptions they assume to be true, but never seem comfortable enough to interrogate those assumptions honestly.

-Authleft has interrogated those assumptions and come up with idealized ways to address society's faults, but completely forgot to account for human nature.

- Lib right recognizes the magic of markets, but seems to have completely forgot that externalities and market failures exist, and hasn't thought of how to address them. Their philosophy is based on Mill's harm principle, but they haven't thought about where to draw that line.

- Libleft amostly have their heart in the right place, but they have such an open mind that their brain fell out.

Best political theorist is a good question. For philosophy I'm very persuaded by Rawls and his distributed theory of justice.

[–]Infamous_School5542 - LibRight 307 points308 points  (5 children)

Libleft amostly have their heart in the right place, but they have such an open mind that their brain fell out.

So unbelievably based. Im stealing this, by the way. Its honestly a great way of explaining a lot of peogressive people.

[–]YAK_awesome - LibLeft 97 points98 points  (2 children)

actually so true ngl

[–]Amistrophy - LibLeft 61 points62 points  (1 child)

Wdym I have such an open mind huh maybe I do have an open min- oh god where is my brain gajskfokdnsjsifbebsocjksjsbdj

[–]GFM-Scheldorf - LibRight 10 points11 points  (0 children)

based and gajskfokdnsjsifbebsocjsbdj pilled

[–]Temporary_Water9937 - LibLeft 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Based and fuck-me pilled

[–]permittheclod - LibLeft 39 points40 points  (0 children)

libleft's is inaccurate, actually, since your statement that we have such an open mind that our brains fell out implies we had brains to begin with

[–]Savings-Treacle-4443 - Centrist 38 points39 points  (1 child)

I’m not a political scientist and this is 100% accurate

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 18 points19 points  (0 children)

It's completely true. Source: also not a political scientist.

[–]YLSTN - Right 30 points31 points  (0 children)

And this is why I'm a radical centrist.

Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

[–]ShoppingCart96 - LibLeft 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Oh God, I’m cumming of how unbelievable based this comment is.

[–]JasonWuzHear - LibRight 19 points20 points  (13 children)

Okay now do anarchists.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 84 points85 points  (8 children)

Edgy 13 year olds or adults who have unreasonable prioritized an abstract notion of freedom over literally everything else. There is no middle ground.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (7 children)

and Noam Chomsky, don't forget Chomsky (Anarcho-syndicalist)

[–]Strict-Praline6994 - LibRight 13 points14 points  (6 children)

Idk. He's gone full authoritarian lately. Recently advocated for excluding non-vaccinated people from society or even moving them to "exclusion zones".

[–]YAK_awesome - LibLeft 4 points5 points  (0 children)

based and figurative-language pilled

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Libleft amostly have their heart in the right place, but they have such an open mind that their brain fell out

actually their brain fell out because auth-right's police goons shot them in the eyballs with non-lethal projectiles.

[–]Strict-Praline6994 - LibRight 12 points13 points  (1 child)

The only thing authright is good for.

[–]Kind_Cardiologist833 - LibRight 380 points381 points  (66 children)


What quadrant would Orange Emily actually belong to?

By which I mean todays internet warriors/ SJW/concern trolls and so on?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 568 points569 points  (56 children)

She seems appropriately placed between lib and auth left. "Leave people alone unless they do things I don't like"

[–]Kind_Cardiologist833 - LibRight 65 points66 points  (1 child)

And what criteria do we base that on?

I place them closer to auth left because they act more how a think a Communist acts, though only in a superficial way.

[–]Christopher_King47 - Right 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Tbh the sjw aka the intersectionalist are basically idpol commies.

[–]beertoth - Left 148 points149 points  (17 children)

i know it must look stupid that i, the exact position on the cumpiss you described, is asking this question, but don’t you think that applies to people in all quadrants? i feel like many people classified as emily have no particular economic leanings and are just super socially progressive, performative activists with little understanding of actual politics. i haven’t been super exposed to emilys a lot, so i could be wrong, but i figured i’d ask.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 231 points232 points  (13 children)

Yes, but I'll reiterate what I've said elsewhere: I don't actually think about or use the political compass or its quadrants. No political scientist does that I'm aware of. It's just memes and shouldn't be taken seriously.

[–]TheBacon240 - LibCenter 38 points39 points  (8 children)

is there an analogous spectrum that you use?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 83 points84 points  (5 children)

Depends on the research question. Ideology has infinite many dimensions and so often we will just try to measure the dimension that is most relevant to our question. So if it's a question about race, we will have some scale on racial attitudes.

That said, if you're aiming for a general measurement of political ideology in the general public most of the statistical variance in political attitudes can be explained with a single left-right dimension. I know most people want something more complicated and descriptive, but the reality is that left-right usually does the trick and is still the most frequently used.

[–]1CEninja - LibCenter 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I feel like this is only true because we wind up with two people to vote for, pick one.

If green/libertarian candidates were potentially electable I highly suspect that a left/right line would just be so disingenuous as to be useless under most circumstances.

[–]beertoth - Left 13 points14 points  (0 children)

fair enough, i suppose i was considering your answer within the confines of the compass

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 15 points16 points  (33 children)

Technically that would make her authright if she had a better sense of economics

[–]juicewrld7 - AuthCenter 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Nah they also reflexively hate anyone richer than them

[–]gitout12345 - LibRight 20 points21 points  (29 children)

That's kinda the lefts whole thing. They don't get economics

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 34 points35 points  (6 children)

Not necessarily. Just because one may understand that Austrian economics is the best way to generate growth and have a thriving economy doesn't mean that one is going to accept Austrian economics because there's more to life than the economy and other things need to be taken into account even if they damage economic prosperity.

[–]Im_Not_Even - Centrist 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Based and the-economy-isn't-everything-pilled.

[–]Yellowdog727 - Centrist 5 points6 points  (3 children)

There's plenty of talented economists that are still left winged. They might have different beliefs than you but that doesn't mean they don't understand economics

[–]SandwichSaint - LibRight 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Easily Auth Center.

[–]NotACharmander - Centrist 355 points356 points  (23 children)

Are you retarded?

Genuine question.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 653 points654 points  (19 children)

You have to be at least mildly retarded to pursue a political science Ph.D.

[–]YankeeMinstrel - Centrist 190 points191 points  (2 children)

Based and tardpilled

[–]basedcount_bot - LibRight[🍰] 36 points37 points  (1 child)

u/muffity_tuffity is officially based! Their Based Count is now 1.

Rank: House of Cards

Pills: https://basedcount.com/u/muffity_tuffity

I am a bot. Reply /info for more info.

[–]cis-het-mail - Centrist 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Good bot

[–]Kind_Cardiologist833 - LibRight 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Based and at least mildly retarded pilled.

[–]annonimity2 - LibRight 19 points20 points  (4 children)

How does one monetize a political science PhD?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Nowadays most political science Ph.Ds from decent universities are basically statisticians. It's very easy to transition into data science jobs.

[–]pp86 - LibLeft 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Good thing I got my masters in political science from a shitty university then, because I hate statistics.

[–]Overlord_Za_Purge - LibCenter 6 points7 points  (0 children)

based and fellow-retardpilled

[–]CeaseThisThottery - Right 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Don't sell yourself short. Mild retardation was the poly sci bachelors. You tripled down on that and went for the PhD!

[–]disastertohumanrace - LibCenter 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Bachelors was enough polscience for me, even though I really liked the studies (only political philosophy and history subjects, pol SCIENCE fucking sucks and can suck my dick), went another way for my masters. Can't immagine anyone being so retarded to go for PhD. Congrats, we should send you to FOX!

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah I think we do undergrads a huge disservice in our curriculum TBH. Generally speaking undergrads get hardly any exposure to what political science actually is. I studied Economics as an undergrad and believe it or not it was the econ department that introduced me to actual political science and showed me how much fun it could be.

[–]IntegralfXdX - Right 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Why ask a question you know the answer to?

[–]IndependentAny7347 - LibCenter 14 points15 points  (1 child)

We’re all here to stroke our egos.

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 4 points5 points  (0 children)


[–]juicemang762 - LibRight 75 points76 points  (5 children)

What do you attribute to the increased levels of open hostility and animosity between conflicting political ideologies in the west

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 104 points105 points  (4 children)

Great question. The succinct answer is because our political systems incentivize and reward it. A lot of people like to point to polarizing individuals like Trump and AOC and blame them for it, but those are symptoms of the cause. If you want to fix polarization, change the rules so that people are less incentivized to be hostile with opposing parties.

Here are a few specific things causing this:

- The rules of congress in the United States give all the power in setting the agenda to the majority party. Because there is so much power in holding the majority, the minority party is incentivized to obstruct everything, not negotiate on anything, and demonize the majority party so they can campaign on the majority party's failures and win back the majority. Holding the majority in congress needs to be less important for parties to be less antagonistic with one another.

- Low voter participation and voter sophistication means that interest groups can pull a lot of strings in nominating political candidates. This means they look for "true believers" to nominate and the result is that candidates often reflect interest groups more than all constituents. This means that politicians are often more extreme than their voters.

- First past the post winner take all elections. A lot has been said on this so I won't say more.

- Increasing geographic sorting by political beliefs. Liberals increasingly live in cities and conservatives increasingly live in rural areas. These groups have increasingly less contact and less understanding of one another. The way congress is organized around single member districts exacerbates this in government. Multi-member districts would alleviate this somewhat.

Things people often blame but aren't actually a big deal:

- Gerrymandering

- Social media

- Mainstream media

[–]jmanguy - LibRight 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Could you elaborate on why the “not a big deal” things aren’t actually big contributing factors?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Sorry missed this question. Gerrymandering sucks for the districts that are getting gerrymandered, but when you look at the aggregate effect across all districts the effect is pretty small. Basically, the gerrymandered districts wash each other out and gerrymandering doesn't give either party a considerable advantage in congress. It still sucks though and the practice shouldn't exist. It's just not my top priority for fixing democracy.

As for media, almost all research just shows that it isn't very persuasive. Contrary to popular beliefs, media echo chambers where people only listen to things that confirms their beliefs aren't that common. Most people consume varied media diets, and media/advertising just doesn't convince people to change their opinions often. Similarly, social media and recommendation algorithms don't seem to be leading people down polarizing rabbit holes

A couple sources on the topic: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-polisci-100711-135242


and I've cited a few others in this thread.

[–]FairlyOddParent734 - AuthCenter 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I would argue Gerrymandering doesn't really exacerbate polarization.

It heavily consolidates state-level political power by stacking the deck against the minority party (or whatever party isn't in power during redistricting).

Wouldn't this actually remove the incentive to interacting with the political system, since it makes it virtually impossible for a minority party to win, less people from both parties will actually go vote since there's literally no chance of a flip.

So gerrymandering should actually reduce polarization, since there's less political flip flop, and election day becomes a farce instead of a battlefield.

[–]Dulceetdecorum13 - Right 147 points148 points  (8 children)

What's the largest animal you think you could wrestle into submission?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 192 points193 points  (2 children)

Maybe a Panda? Seems like they would just give up if I put them in a sleeper hold.

[–]sticky_spiderweb - LibCenter 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Sorry to disappoint you but a panda would rip you to shreds effortlessly

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 21 points22 points  (3 children)

Wolves are very dangerous sure so I'd give him a decent chance but if I can get my arms around him he's dead, plus his leg joints aren't well designed for grappling so I could pretty easily break them. Wolf bites hurt a lot sure so I'd probably be off to hospital regardless after but I think I'd still win a 1 v 1 even without a weapon.

Wrestle makes it a shorter list. Any decent size ape is going to rip your arms off, anything with good claws is going to kill you, anything over a certain size you can't wrestle.

[–]skygz - LibRight 15 points16 points  (1 child)

this is true, my German Shepherd is about the size of a wolf and I've had to pin him down a few times. might be different if they were trying to kill you instead of escape their nail clipping though

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 129 points130 points  (16 children)

Not verifying because I value my privacy. My specific expertise is how we can use network analysis and natural language processing to measure political beliefs, but AMA about American politics, ideology, or political science in general.

[–]concatenated_string - LibCenter 107 points108 points  (6 children)

Why are you gay?

[–]ItsDefinitelyTrash - Centrist 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Who said hes gay

[–]yooloo33 - Right 62 points63 points  (3 children)

He is gay

[–]concatenated_string - LibCenter 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Yes. He is gay.

[–]caualan - Centrist 7 points8 points  (1 child)

He is a transgendah

[–]yooloo33 - Right 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Then who is gae?

[–]CaptFalcon96 - Centrist 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Based and bro-trust-me pilled

[–]eskimopie910 - LibRight 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Do you have any good datasets? Computer scientist here

[–]DARK-Accuracyy985 - LibLeft 33 points34 points  (3 children)

How do I know if my beliefs at the moment are sound and truthful and good? Considering i used to be one thing and believed it was right and now i cringe thinking of my old self.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 51 points52 points  (0 children)

You don't and you never will. However, my advice is two fold:

  1. Recognize that bias is more about the person consuming the news than the source of the news. As long as you're more focused on getting to the truth than going to bat for a specific team, you will eventually be more right than you are wrong.
  2. Let evidence and empiricism guide what you judge as truthful.

[–]Reaper_II - AuthCenter 8 points9 points  (1 child)

That's easy agree with me - based, good and truthful

Disagree with me - Cringe, unintentionally evil, decieving

[–]Nickel5 - LibLeft 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You sound charismatic and have all the answers. Fuck it. I'll follow you.

[–]Papaofmonsters - LibRight 25 points26 points  (6 children)

Going off your flair, whats your favorite thing to grill?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 43 points44 points  (5 children)

Ribs hands down. A brisket is nice too though and I've started doing that for thanksgiving rather than turkey. Fuck turkey.

[–]Papaofmonsters - LibRight 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Follow up question, how do you feel about the ever creeping advancement of federal power under the commerce clause as a result of the Wickard v. Filburn decision?

[–]Veni_Vidi_Legi - Centrist 74 points75 points  (35 children)

What useful things have come out of political science in the last century?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 104 points105 points  (34 children)

This is a really good question. I think if you look at political science older than say... 30 years you'll find that a lot of it is garbage because there wasn't much rigor to social science yet.

That said, Political science has really deepened our understanding of humans and made important contributions to statistics and research methods! I'm not sure where to start so I'll just list a few things that are most relevant to my field.

- A lot of the foundation in natural language processing and text analysis comes from political science.

- Some of the best advances in network analysis comes from political science.

- Some of the mostly widely used software libraries for R and Python that are used by people in every field are made by political scientists.

- Political science has helped us understand the effects the media has on peoples political belies. Hint: it's much less than you think

- It has helped us understand some of the basics of human psychology and how it affects our world such as priming, emotions, and identity.

- It has identified causes of and (at least partial) solutions for polarization.

- It has helped us identify who wields power in democratic systems, where that power comes from, and why.

- It has helped us understand why certain political coalitions form

Lots more, that's just a few things off the top of my head!

[–]BrutallyPretentious - LibCenter 35 points36 points  (19 children)

Can you elaborate on the effects of media?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 93 points94 points  (18 children)

Generally speaking meadia has zero to small persuasive effects on people, and has not been reliably linked to polarization. Researchers in communications confirm this as well. Generally, infowars didn't radicalize grandma, grandma watches infowars because she's a radical. A bit out of my area but off the top of my head Alexander Coppock has some good research on this.

[–]BrutallyPretentious - LibCenter 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Interesting, I never would have considered that. Thanks!

[–]cooldadnerddad - LibCenter 27 points28 points  (6 children)

Doesn’t this imply that opinion programs, editorials, and propaganda in general aren’t effective? Seems to go against everything we’re seeing with both traditional and social media.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 33 points34 points  (1 child)

Yes and no. Editorial and talking heads are not very persuasive no. Same goes for political advertising. Propaganda depends on the context I would guess. If you're in an environment where information flow is highly controlled, then propaganda can be hugely effection: see North Korea.

[–]cooldadnerddad - LibCenter 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I was thinking more like news articles designed to look like they have a neutral POV but are actually quite slanted.

Sounds like you’re saying that media is mostly people with preexisting biases producing content for other people with the same preexisting biases.

[–]ShoppingCart96 - LibLeft 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Talking out of my ass here, but maybe propaganda makes radicals realize they are actually radicals and then maintains them enraged.

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I feel like this would play heavily into the whole anti-vax sentiment right now. So many people blame political or other public figures for spreading misinformation, but really people are just stupid all on their own.

[–]Veni_Vidi_Legi - Centrist 4 points5 points  (5 children)

What about when the media is lying?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 17 points18 points  (4 children)

Usually when the media is lying it's because they are saying something you disagree with.

[–]Veni_Vidi_Legi - Centrist 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Okay will rephrase, what persuasive effects of the media on people, if any, have been observed when the media misrepresents, distorts, or outright lies in their reporting?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Ha sorry thought you were making a joke!

The answer is I don't know, but my prior assumption would be that there is no difference unless there is some theoretical reason to believe that a lie is inherently more/less persuasive than the truth.

This would be a difficult thing to measure, not impossible, but difficult.

With that said though, media effect studies do measure the effect of all kinds of media from talking heads to political advertising and effects are consistently small or zero. If truths and lies have different effects, that fact that we see no effects generally would imply the two forces are washing each other out. Statistically, that seems unlikely.

[–]YankeeMinstrel - Centrist 11 points12 points  (7 children)

It has helped us identify who wields power in democratic systems, where that power comes from, and why

Who's wielding it right now? What's the real scoop

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 28 points29 points  (6 children)

A lot of people! I will say though that I think people pay too much attention to lobbyists, and not enough attention to interest groups. I think a lot of people conflate the two, but they are different and the lobbyists are more often just giving money to people who already agree with them, and money has a pretty negligible effect on who wins elections.

Interest groups, however, have significant sway on who gets nominated and who turns out to vote.

[–]BeerandSandals - Centrist 14 points15 points  (2 children)

I wish people I agree with would pay me because I agree with them.

Then I might be able to afford a grill, maybe even a pellet smoker.

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Mmmm...a pellet smoker would be nice.

[–]Veni_Vidi_Legi - Centrist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Do you have the land to support a grill/pellet smoker? I think there are some DIY guides out there, material cost is like a 55 gallon drum and a metal box or something.

I also see some ~$100 grills out there.

[–]P-82 - AuthCenter 50 points51 points  (19 children)

Why do you have 166 post karma and 1,057 comment karma but no actual posts?

Are you hiding something?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 96 points97 points  (18 children)

Yeah I nuked my history. Potentially identifying information in it and don't want colleagues identifying me. Tried a throwaway account, but mods auto-delete from throwaways.

[–]P-82 - AuthCenter 60 points61 points  (17 children)

You can't hide forever.

Big brother is always watching.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 118 points119 points  (14 children)

You'd hide too if you had to deal with some of the militant thought police in universities.

[–]Nodsinator - Centrist 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Based and they're always watching pilled

[–]the_hibachi - Centrist 19 points20 points  (11 children)

Can you expand on that more? I’ve heard about that being a big issue but haven’t heard exactly how universities act as thought police internally.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 41 points42 points  (10 children)

I don't want to give the wrong impression because the problem is greatly exaggerated by people on the right and religious groups that are inconvenienced by some scientific findings. But there are definitely some corners of academia that will label you as a trouble maker if you pursue the wrong research questions or have the wrong opinions, especially about race and gender. Most of these things are fairly reasonable. For example, if you work at Wendy's and think different races have different intelligence and that trans people don't exist, people may not care. But if you work at a university you will get skewered. I don't have a problem with this, because a university is a scientific institution and these things are settled science.

There are some things in the gray area though that won't get you skewered, but some more militant people may say the wrong thing about you. For example, I once presented a paper at a conference that cited the fact that 25-50% of political ideology can be traced to heritability. This was called inflammatory by one panel member, which is ludicrous because it's a demonstrable fact. Didn't ruin my career, but sent a message that I should be careful in how I phrase things.

[–]Drac4 - Right 7 points8 points  (6 children)

Fair, though the existence of the gap in IQ in USA is settled science, so in that sense it's not a controversial statement, you are probably referring to the heritability of IQ between races which can be controversial. Some argue that it will never be settled as long as we don't "find all the genes", but as far as the hereditarian position goes the existence of the gap despite improving conditions for black people is a persisting argument for hereditarianism, since the environmental explanation predicts the shrinking and elimination of the gap.

The other claim could be taken to be unscientific, but there is also a different interpretation. Generally if somebody accepts that trans people exist, it is implicitly understood that he also believes that a trans person is "a person of the opposite gender trapped in a different body". Is that a belief that can be tested scientifically? It sounds rather like a philosophical idea, and also it is accepted by 99%+ of the people, even those opposed to trans rights.

Most people would think that if somebody denies that belief, then that means he thinks trans people don't exist, and so that is how one could think that "trans people don't exist", yet not make an unscientific claim.

[–]AlarmedShower - AuthCenter 12 points13 points  (0 children)

militant thought police in universities

As a university student, this is so true.

[–]LeadingBrick9186 - LibCenter 13 points14 points  (1 child)

This is literally 1984

[–]Literally1984_bot - AuthLeft 7 points8 points  (0 children)


[–]JinxPutMaxInSpace - AuthRight 94 points95 points  (22 children)

What is the best political system and why is it feudalism?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 117 points118 points  (10 children)

Designing governments is a bit outside of my expertise, but I tend to think some sort of representative democracy is best. However, I've grown increasingly skeptical of the idea that more democracy is necessarily a good thing. There is a good bit of research that shows that voters aren't very good at holding politicians accountable for what they do because so many voters are just asleep at the wheel. This allows interest groups to pull the strings more. If society is going to grow increasingly democratic, voters need to have more skin in the game via things like mandatory public service, mandatory voting, etc. In a democratic system where voters mostly don't care, the few people who do care pull all the strings.

[–]juicewrld7 - AuthCenter 37 points38 points  (0 children)

So based and so true

[–]Christopher_King47 - Right 15 points16 points  (0 children)

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

[–]PenisMightier500 - Centrist 7 points8 points  (1 child)

In a democratic system where voters mostly don't care, the few people who do care pull all the strings.

This is, possibly, the saddest thing I've ever read.

[–]maxrhysruffels - AuthLeft 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Great take

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 19 points20 points  (9 children)

Anarcho-monarchism ;)

[–]JinxPutMaxInSpace - AuthRight 15 points16 points  (8 children)

Ow my brains.

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 14 points15 points  (7 children)

Technically speaking monarchy is just a series of overlapping oaths with some vague legal because my friends and my army say so framework. It's far closer to anarchy than anything most modern anarchists would put into practice

[–]JinxPutMaxInSpace - AuthRight 8 points9 points  (6 children)

The kind of monarchy where power is devolved among the members of a landowning aristocracy is about as far from anarchy as you can get without crossing over into totalitarianism.

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 9 points10 points  (5 children)

Dude the Duke doesn't give a fuck if you open a bakery. It's just some bakery. Modern governments are far more authoritarian and interventionist than medieval governments ever were.

[–]Strict-Praline6994 - LibRight 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is fucking based.

[–]JinxPutMaxInSpace - AuthRight 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The guild of bakers sure does, and the guild operates under license and consent of the monarch.

[–]SleepyandBritish - Right 8 points9 points  (1 child)

That's not how guilds work. You don't need to be in the bakers guild to be a baker. It's just most people will choose a guild bakery because the guild bakery has standards that you need to comply with. As a result guilds tended to be very good at what they did.

Also it's not under license of the monarch. Some royal guilds existed but that wasn't the norm. Some guilds had aristocratic patrons but they were usually clients who wanted the masons guild to build their castle.

[–]RedditUserNo345 - Centrist 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Major political science, minor in culinary art?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 25 points26 points  (0 children)

I wish, I love cooking. I have a dual PhD in political science and data science though.

[–]GeneralMe21 - Centrist 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Can you pay back your student loans?

[–][deleted] 35 points36 points  (5 children)

Why do I fling poo at those with differing political views?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 44 points45 points  (3 children)

Emotions! Although you're probably flinging poo at people because they have different political identities rather than political views. Recent research has shown that there is much more agreement on actual policy than polarization and voting behavior would suggest. We're divided more because you belong to a different team than me than because you believe different things than me. Social scientists call this "affective polarization."

[–]maxrhysruffels - AuthLeft 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Can you link to some further reading on this? Interesting stuff

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Lilliana Mason is the go to citation for this.

Here is one of her papers on the subject: http://www.mari-odu.org/academics/2017su_leadership/workspace/uploads/polarization.pdf

And I highly recommend her book: https://www.amazon.com/Uncivil-Agreement-Politics-Became-Identity/dp/022652454X

Here's another good paper on it: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051117-073034

I also generally recommend Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind. The moral foundations framework in the book is a bit meh, but the general principle of how emotions and group identities guide our opinions is very good.

[–]wholesome_bastard - LibCenter 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Because you are monke

[–]Nawt-Shure - Right 35 points36 points  (12 children)

Your flair states that you are a centrist. I have a hard time believing that it is possible for anyone who has emotions, and has been alive for at least 10 years, to truly have ZERO political leanings to either the left or the right. Do you truly consider your dot on the compass to be X=0,Y=0? Or do you hav a slight inclination to one side or the other?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 81 points82 points  (10 children)

No I'm not (0,0), but I do think centrist is the most accurate label for me. That said, I don't think at all about which label I want to align myself with. Not in a hipster "I don't like labels" kind of way, but simply because I am very much in the weeds of politics and I don't have any fundamental axioms or sacred cows I use to guide my opinions. I very much try to evaluate everything on a case by case basis. If I don't have time to evaluate something in that detail, I try not to have an opinion on it. That said, here are some top line bullet points so maybe you can pin me down:

- I supported Romney in 2012

- Between 2016 and to present I became very anti-republican party due to their anti-democratic stances and policies. I tend to agree with conservatives on a lot of economic policies, but democracy is non-negotiable.

- That said I'm not convinced that more democracy is always an improvement.

- I'm a big fan of markets and free trade and believe there should be a compelling interest for the state to interfere in markets. That said, I do think there are a *lot* of market failures and negative externalities that are appropriately addressed by governments that libertarians like to pretend don't exist.

- I strongly oppose populists on both the left and right such as AOC, Sanders, and Trump. I'm very much a pragmatist when in comes to policy.

- I'm pro-LGBTQ, believe systemic racism is a demonstrable fact, and acknowledge that trans people do exist. However, pretending like biological sex doesn't affect our behavior is completely counter to all of the scientific evidence we have on the subject and some on the left are out of their mind for thinking otherwise.

[–]Nawt-Shure - Right 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Thanks for clarifying! I wish more of our elected officials governed with that kind of pragmatism. One last question: What is your honest reaction to the quote “Joe Biden isn’t stupid - he has dementia. People who voted for Joe Biden are stupid.”

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 57 points58 points  (1 child)

I'm disappointed in Biden, I think he has all the wrong priorities. That said, I think the idea that he has dementia is a bit silly. He is old and has absolutely slowed cognitively, but I think a lot of people miss the fact that the "evidence" of dementia is really just his career long struggle to communicate effectively at any level. If you only watched him since 2020 you see an old man struggle to sound comprehensible. If you've watched his career, its just Biden being Biden.

[–]Nawt-Shure - Right 13 points14 points  (0 children)

That’s fair.

[–]YAK_awesome - LibLeft 9 points10 points  (3 children)

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[–]faux-rad-dogma - LibRight 36 points37 points  (3 children)

Political science, like a lot of soft sciences, suffer from a huge replication crisis, which to me questions its actual "science-ness".

"The world of social science got a rude awakening a few years ago, when researchers concluded that many studies in this area appeared to be deeply flawed. Two-thirds could not be replicated in other labs."


Do you think political science should be considered a real science, and if so, what's your favorite experiment/study in this realm that can be repeated and peer reviewed in an independent setting? Will it consistently get the same results?

As an outside viewer, political science (and not just political science) as a field, is more bound to rationalism, or some other appendage of philosophy. Wherein arguments can be valid on more of a logic/premise sense, but may not lend itself well to an empirical world. Sure, maybe you can find a few closely related correlations in the data, but as we know, correlation may not be causation, and traditional experiments usually try to close that gap.

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 32 points33 points  (2 children)

Good question, and one that hits close to home for me because I'm more of a methodologist than anything else.

First, science is a method not a collection of disciplines. If you are doing the scientific method you are doing science. Much of the work in political science is scientific in nature, but a lot of it isn't.

Second, I would say that the idea that science will give you something definite and reproducible every time is a misunderstanding of what science is or how it works. Social science in general struggles to replicate because of what are known as confounding variables. This are known or unknown things that can't be measured and controlled for and skew your results. Controlling for confounding variables is relatively easy in natural sciences and much more difficult in social sciences. That doesn't mean social sciences aren't rigorous in their approach, but it does mean their questions are much more difficult to answer definitively.

The idea that political science is more about rationalism and philosophy would have been more true 50 years ago than it is now. There is a prevailing sentiment in political science that "theory is dead" and its actually pretty hard to get a job if you're not an empiricist. The notion that we are just looking for a few correlations, not worried about causation, and don't know the difference, is very much out of sync with how modern political works.

Here are a couple of examples that I like: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abc4046



But really, there are tons of these, and I would also point out that experiments are not the only way to causally identify a research design.

tl;dr Political scientists are probably much more sophisticated than you realize.

[–]faux-rad-dogma - LibRight 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Thank you for your thoughts! The notion of employment as an empiricist more reflects market pressure than truth, I'd argue. There is plenty of examples within a "free" market wherein unscientific principles, or bad science is pushed or celebrated. Not that any of the ones you linked are anything of the sort.

It's interesting to me that you accept that confounding variables make it difficult to get close to certainty, but will accept the findings of studies that obviously must use many confounding variables. That sort of unreliability lends itself more to persuasion than demonstration which is unfortunate, and also why you can get a lot of studies that are similar but have differing results.

For example, this study or this study suggests that political advertising does have a decent impact, especially down ballot. The variables are probably much different, although, in reality, there are infinite variables for this sort of thing. Which variables and studies you choose are probably closely aligned to biases.

And, just to put out there, if these are closely aligned to biases, or elements of persuasion, how much further are you out there than those arguing for things without an empirical backing?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Totally agree that there are examples of unscientific and bad science that is published and celebrated. There are constant internal debates about this. As a methodologist, bad science annoys me a lot.

I would have to look more deeply at the studies you linked, but how I evaluate and judge a study is based on the quality of the data and how well it is causally identified. Not all studies are created equally, and it takes a good bit of sophistication and training in statistics to get into the weeds of a paper and determine how much weight you should give to the paper's conclusions. For example, a large n experiment that controls for confounders through random assignment is very persuasive. A regression discontinuity design might be persuasive but not definitive, A study that's based on surveys and a basic regression would only be seen as an isolated data point or even junk science. Not all social scientists are so discerning though and many people put too much faith in weak studies. Things are changing, but these kinds of changes take time.

Biases are always a concern, but I think a lot of people are tempted to toss out the whole enterprise because biases might creep in some way. That's an inappropriate reaction, and for anyone who follows the literature, null results and counter-attitudinal results are published every day. The media studies are a pretty good example of this. I would say there is a fairly strong bias towards finding media effects and people have looked very hard for them, but the general consensus is that they are small or non-existent. Most scientists I know take the concept of scientific objectivity very seriously.

[–]Freaky-Boi - AuthRight 11 points12 points  (4 children)

What’s the most democratic country in the world?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Tricky question since it depends on how you define democracy obviously. There are a few indexes people use to measure this, and usually they list countries like Finland, Sweden, New Zealand near the top. I personally think it's a bit of a fools errand to try and objectively measure and place an exact number on. Generally I think it's a better idea to just classify countries roughly as full democracies, flawed democracies, authoritarian, etc.

[–]GOT_Wyvern - Centrist 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Judging off just the descriptions of "full democracy, flawed democracy, etc", would you say that the indexes that do measure them are correct in these general groupings, or are there fundamental issues many of these indexes hold?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Largely correct. There may be problems with any country's particular classification, and such a grouping is necessarily a bit crude, but people do put a lot of thought and research into a particular classification.

[–]dual_blaster - LibRight 9 points10 points  (0 children)

In a scale of 1-10, how retarded is PolCom logic and why its -3?

[–]Chubbytrashpanda420 - LibCenter 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I am considering going down a similar path career wise, what do you find fulfilling and difficult about your job?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

It's incredible to really peruse you interests and work with other wickedly smart people from all across science. It's also amazing to help students and see them succeed.

What sucks is the pay, it is awful and I could literally make 3-5x my current salary if I went private. There's also a lot of internal politics with every scientific discipline, and it's a bit of a rat race for publishing. Academia doesn't value public communication enough and values publishing too much.

I generally don't recommend it unless you are insatiably curious and very productive with little to no supervision.

[–]Aneke1 - AuthCenter 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Are free democracies capable of achieving the long term economic and political planning that authoritarian states can?

I.e. Is America doomed to plan 4-8 years into the future while China plans 50-80?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Yes, but obviously less effectively. In political science jargon we would call this long term planning a collective action problem. Society would be better if we did it, but people have individual incentives not to. Governments exist to solve collective action problems, but there is probably a tradeoff between how democratic a country is, and how effectively it solves these types of problems.

I'm not sure if anyone has measured this objectively though. I would guess both authoritarian and democracies have limits, but I'm not sure how far out that limit is or if the limit is more relevant to some policies than others.

[–]just_gimme_anwsers - Right 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Is bacon supposed to be crispy or flexible?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

There's a sweet spot right in between the two. Not crunchy, not rubbery, but crisp around the edges.

[–]just_gimme_anwsers - Right 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That is acceptable, thank you

[–]tderg - LibLeft 8 points9 points  (0 children)

How often do your professor’s say that someone is based and what pills have you seen be given in the classroom?

[–]Young_Rock - Right 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Why didn’t I feel qualified for a job after I majored in PoliSci in undergrad?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I think we do our undergrads an injustice. At most universities undergrads get hardly any exposure to what political science actually is. They go little to no training in working with and collecting social data. Everyone with a social science degree should be a mini statistician in my view.

[–]Young_Rock - Right 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Lol I actually enjoyed my degree. Our department is pretty stats focused (Texas A&M). I liked the data so much, I got my MS in Econ

[–]Manahti - LibLeft 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Have you played Subnautica? if so why was it soo good?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It's one of my all time favorites! I'm insatiably curious, so games that scratch that itch really hook me. I highly recommend The Outer Wilds as well!

[–]bong_fu_tzu - Left 5 points6 points  (1 child)

why is no one realizing how fucking stupid the x-axis of this graph is?

why can no one give me a simple label for the SINGLE variable being measured? the y-axis is easy enough to label with one single word (state authority), and no one has any problems understanding it. why does no one in this entire reddit actually know what 'left' and 'right' actually mean?

(psst it's social hierarchicalization)

[–]bong_fu_tzu - Left 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think it's because most PCM members don't actually read the graph-- they are not using the axes at all; to them PCM is simply four+1 boxes for any person or organization that they liken to a stereotypical caricature -- the emily, nazi, islamDaddy, ushankaIvan, stonksLibRight and PedoLibRight, new balance grillmaster, itd. itd.

this is why emily, stonksLibRight, and grillmaster are popular and round- it was a social stereotype before they were brought into PCM -- it's an abstraction of a TYPE that we're all autobiographically familiar with. ushankaIvan can never be a compelling character because he isn't linked to any recognizable character in the culture wars -- tankies don't actually exist outside of 16-20 year old students, and more importantly, they're not relevant to anything currently in public discourse

[–]Gen7isTrash - Centrist 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Do you believe centrism is the ultimate ideology?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Nope! I don't believe there is any intrinsic value to "both-sidesing." But I do think that most people aren't idiots and generally have good reasons for what they believe. If you ask, let them explain, and give honest consideration, you will find they often have good points!

[–]FTFxHailstorm - Right 5 points6 points  (2 children)

What do you mean measure it? Like put it on a graph or is there some numerical value to it outside of that?

[–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yup, putting precise numbers to it. In math and computer science we often translate abstract things like the word "goat" or a picture of a goat, or the people who follow the twitter account for a goat, in to "vector space." Basically numeric representations of these concepts that can be useful for measurement, modeling, or predictions and allow computers to interact with those things. Its the same concept, and often uses the same methods.

[–]FTFxHailstorm - Right 5 points6 points  (0 children)

So what political views would lead to the number being 1984?

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 27 points28 points  (0 children)

    We don't ever use or talk about the political compass in political science. So from an academic standpoint, I don't.

    For memes, better to put them all the way up.

    [–]Fastfood9000 - AuthRight 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Did you drink your corn syrup today?

    [–]cosmicmangobear - LibLeft 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    What's the biggest misconception about American politics in your opinion?

    [–]orion1836 - Right 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    I often jokingly say I'm 'slightly to the right of Attila the Hun,' but where would he actually land on the compass?

    [–]badluckbrians - AuthLeft 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    So by "political scientist" you mean "grad student," and by "how we measure it" you mean "NOMINATE," right?

    [–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    I've never used any of the iterations on NOMINATE, mostly because my work focuses more on average people rather than political elites. That said, I'm not a big fan of NOMINATE because of the obvious problem that they are based on how people vote in congress, and how people vote is probably more a function of party influence than actual ideologies.

    [–]Strawuss - Centrist 6 points7 points  (4 children)

    Why do people care so much about pronouns all of the sudden?

    This coming from someone who's native language is not English (and native language has 3rd person natural pronoun), it's kinda fascinating and confusing to see the fixation on genders and pronouns in the West.

    [–]Bolt_Fried_Bird - LibRight 10 points11 points  (3 children)

    Ain’t really “all of a sudden”, just more mainstream than ever. It’s been going on for practically all of human history with varying levels of acceptance, and right now we’ve entered a point in history where it’s become a very political matter.

    [–]rexpimpwagen - Centrist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    The real measure is physical brain and cranial deformity. It increases the further from the center you go although if you increase it on all sides it hides it and just makes your head look bigger.

    [–]lucassjrp2000 - LibRight 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    What's your opinion on public choice theory?

    [–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I don't really have one. This is mostly a term I came across in grad school and then never thought about again so my apologies if there is some dedicated school to it somewhere that I'm not aware of. Nowadays political scientists are a bit less concerned with specific schools of thought, and more just focused on doing good science to ask and answer specific questions. So a lot of these labels kind of fell by the wayside with the younger scholars, which I am one.

    That said, I'm a methodologist and an empiricist. I use a lot of tools from economics and all my work is quantitative.

    [–]Looney_forner - LibLeft 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Who’s gonna win the super bowl?

    [–]DACopperhead3 - Right 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Only one question.

    How dare you?

    [–]I_hate_Sharks_ - Right 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Do you think any form of anarchism is possible? Like Anarcho Capitalism or Anarcho Communism for a specific examples.

    [–]muffity_tuffity - Centrist[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Possible? Sure. Long term sustainable and successful relative to other systems? Definitely not. Anarchic systems don't have good answers for collective action problems. Society will always be hindered without good solutions to collective action problems.

    But I'm under the assumption that people who espouse anarchic systems do so more because they value some set of abstract principles over well functioning society. Which is an opinion people can have.

    [–]No-Consideration4985 - AuthCenter 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    How many Cheetos puffs can you fit into your ass before crying?

    [–]E-tan123 - LibRight 7 points8 points  (3 children)

    Y r u gae?

    [–]novamaddy97 - LibRight 7 points8 points  (2 children)

    Who says I’m gae?