tv Republic CSPAN May 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:31pm EDT
resident fellow here at american enterprise institute. it is my pleasure today to welcome to the aei professor cass sunstein. he's the university professor at harvard law school. he formerly was professor of law and professor of science at the university of chicago for many years. he was the administrator of the office of information and regulatory affairs, commonly known as oia come in the obama administration. he's written more than a dozen books, and i'm happy to say that he's spoken a number of times here at the aei. we can trim a good friend of aei. he's here today to talk about this latest book, which is called "#republic." i think that a reader would not have pronounced the word that
way 20 years ago. it's an important and interesting book, so please welcome cass sunstein to aei. [applause] >> okay, well it's a thrill to be back here. you all do amazing work, and i've learned so much from what's produced here on the legal and regulatory matters, and i really think you on behalf of millions of people who never will meet or read what you produce. i will tell you the origins, the unlikely origins of this book. i was blessed or cursed for the last several years to live in the waldorf towers, which is pretty heady stuff for for a country boy from massachusetts. i lived there because my wife was ambassador to the united
nations can and that is where the un ambassador has lived. for the first few months, the people at the waldorf towers would greet me in the morning and the evening by saying hello, mr. power, good evening, mr. power, how are you, mr. power. and that was fine except one had become a good friend after several months in the sense that i knew him and talked with him everyday. it was a little awkward but he was calling me by a name other than my own. so i said to him after a few months of some embarrassment, you know, it is cass sunstein. you can call me cass or mr. som. sunstein. he looked at me and said that's unbelievable. that's amazing. you look exactly like mr. power. [laughter]
that was intriguing to me in the sense that he was not an irrational person. he was out dating basically his beliefs based on the new information. and he believed it was more likely that there were two people who looked exactly the same walking around this building, then that the ambassador's husband had a different name from her. and given his prior belief, that was not irrational. it turns out to be wrong. but it was not irrational. okay. here's the united states of america in many respects today. when people are asserting their correctness. this is the capacity to han cros
people's ideology and affect how people think about one another. it's ugly as racism but in some respects is larger. the number of people who would be unhappy if his child married someonto someone of the opposing political party is higher than the percentage of people that would be unhappy if their child married to someone of a different race. we need to find out why people would be more unhappy if their child married to someone of the different political party than if their child married to someone of the same sex. we are not there yet, but we are getting there. but the intensity is growing rapidly, and as of 2017, it is
immensely higher than it was a couple of years ago. people didn't care if their child married someone of a different political party and this is showing up in other measures of animus so people actually discriminate on employment decisions of the political party different from their own. okay, here are some issues where the party is causing some problems. whatever you think should be done about infrastructure, the chances are good something should be done about infrastructure. and the intensity of disagreement between republicans and democrats is relatively modest on that issue and yet nothing has happened yet.
we produce the military force in areas where the areas of consensus across democrat and republicans is pretty high. with respect to the immigration and judges, we could have much more agreement than we are observing. the republicans testimony to the difficulty moving beyond party affiliation as is generally agreeable results. and while shenzhen, my job in washington, i noticed in some meetings of a political party i will not name, a sharp disagreement between the privately expressed motivation and the publicly expressed in moderation and i should say i observed that between both political parties with a kind of
poignant plea. if it were the case that the privately expressed moderation of publicly expressed with not cost us our jobs. the extent to which people are complaining about th risks are o complaining of the affect of the social media on the capacity to retain their jobs if they have moderation. so this is very visible to them. now i'm going to tell you about three empirical studies which are not involving the internet precisely that which are replicating i think in an experimental setting with what is happening every hour of every day on twitter and facebook. the first experiment comes from colorado if the first is left of center, together to discuss climate change, affirmative
action and same-sex unions. to get people from colorado springs that is right of center to do the same thing. we did a reality check to make sure that the colorado springs participants were right of center and that people were left of center and not amazingly they were. they would have been deliberate together to a verdict on this issue and then record their views privately after the talk with one another. what interested me as one of the three authors of the project was only one question. how do they view the shift in the anonymous pre- deliberation statement to the anonymous post deliberation statement. what would those discussions due to how they thought about the three issues when they were recording their judgments in a way that no one would ever see
accepting the experiment? here's what happened. three things. people in colorado springs got more unified than they were before they started to talk. before they started to talk, there were some people in colorado springs that thought okay i'm kind of worried maybe we should have an international agreement. not after that discussion. there were people that fought affirmative action has some problems. i think it is a form of race discrimination. there is some diversity involved. after they talked briefly, it was crushed. in the private anonymous statements, the second thing that happened is they got more confidence. the people in colorado springs for the same sex unions, some of them jus just where offshore. they didn't like them so much that they were not sure. after they talked, they were sure. the third thing that happened it was disturbing and eliminating
is because more extreme. the people in colorado springs for to the right. after the little experiment, they were here. they were operating in different political universities. in their private anonymous views. and what i just described in a very artificial experiment, that is what the social media constructs, doesn't it, the capacity for the equivalent of the experimental groups. why does this happen? i have actually seen the tapes of the discussion. we could roll the tapes if you wanted and this is what we would see in real-time. first, in colorado springs, the place where they start out kind of skeptical about the treaty and in the end very skeptical,
the number of arguments in the discussion that supported the international treaty were few. that is not amazing, that is a statistical inevitability. the number that opposed the international treaty were numerous given the distribution of the views. if people are listening to one another, and human beings typically do, they would have more skepticism about the treaty after the heard the arguments into the same thing happened in the mirror. that is on affirmative action, some people didn't like it very much. some people liked appointee. the arguments that support had crushed the arguments that underminded, and people thought most of the arguments are supportive of it. confidence, unity, extremism. the second thing is more subtle.
whether the issue involves what products to buy, with people to like or what political view to hold onto an issue. and here is the phenomenon. most people who don't have a ton of information tend to lean towards the middle. they become tentative because of humility. when they are corroborated as the human specie species, the ay diminishes and they become confident and more extreme. so, confidence is increased by corroboration and you can see that in both cities and corroboration makes more intensity to the commitment of the view and that helps to account for the finding. third involves reputation. people don't want in a group of people that tend to think what's a affirmative action is great. they don't want to look like racists or idiots in front of one another.
so, they end up saying i think i like the affirmative-action point he even if they privately did not ten minutes before. then to say whaand to say what y publicly they don't actually believe so it lines up in the public view. here's the second of the studies. this does not involve professors or think tank people. this involves the world and it benefits the study from a serendipitous fact which is on the three-judge panels in the united states, court of appeals panels, the possible composition is ronald reagan, bush appointees, obama/obama, clinton appointees, obama and reagan appointees and bush/bush/clinton
appointees. so that's it, it is all that could be possible. okay. here is the headline finding. while the political party of the appointee president is a pretty good predictor of how a judge is going to vote in the contested case, not fantastic, but pretty good. the political party of the two other parties that appoint the others on the panel is at least as good and often better predictor of how that judge is going to vote. you want to know how a judge votes, don't ask whether obama or trump appointed them. do you ask whether the appointed the other judges where they are sitting. okay, here is the most dramatic finding. while in the aggregate data others about a 13 percentage point difference in the
likelihood of a liberal vote between the republican and democrat appointee, roughly 13 percentage points which is concerning that is not catastrophic from the point of the rule of law, the likelihood of a liberal vote on the panel is frequently 30 to 40% higher, and the likelihood of a liberal vote from the judge on the panel. that is to say a democratic judge on the panel shows phenomenally liberal voting patterns and republican on the panel shows the conservatives voting patterns. it's compared to have a vote in aggregate. now what thinks that a startling finding in my view is that on the panel if you are with the, the democrats have the votes. if it involves wha whether the greenhouse gas regulation is
lawful, they can do what they want. they've got the vote. why is it that on the panel to show much more moderate voting patterns and the panels. i think that it's about information at least in part. on the panel that is colorado springs. what makes the statistics not expected is what we are observing this legal professionals and judges in the law answering not a political question that the legal question and even so, the selection of the random draw into something like the information cocoon produces systematically more extreme results. the date that i told you i think actually understate the magnitude of the phenomenon. we just collected votes and by
this i mean we had a team of law students who if they are not in mental institutions now, i'm very relieved because counting many thousands of votes that is not fun. they did it nonetheless. what i did nobut i did not ask o because it is much harder is to explore the relative extremism of the opinion rather than just the up or down vote. so, we are asking did a women when a sex discrimination case indicated the epa adulation gets upheld or not and did it get struck down. that is what we are asking. we are not asking for the reasoning. there is every reason to think on the panel. what is the term if you are unfamiliar with it. here's one other story. you heard the waldorf story
which is particular in colorado. the other of course from star wars, and i do a little book on star wars, so i researched star wars and there was a debate between come and forgive me, did you think when you heard something about star wars you seemed very surprised, or that it's terrible. one little story. the debate was between a great american screenwriter and george lucas on killing the main characters in the return of the jedi. he said you have to look skywalker. and george lucas says luke isn't going to die. he said that until princess leia, she has to tie. and he said she isn't going to die. it's not nice. you don't go around killing people.
the journey has more impact. talking about culture and art, lucas has very quickly i don't like that, and i don't believe that. now, notice the beautiful architecture in the sentence. it probably helps account for not believing. the waldorf story didn't particularly dislike the idea that i had a different name from my wife. she didn't believe it, it just seemed that couldn't be true. here it is about the emotional commitment proceedings in the belief. here is the last study.
how good looking do you think you are on a scale of one to ten. i have good news for you, that as you. now what do you think having heard my news for you. let's do a second experiment in the same question how good looking do you think you are. i actually have some news for you. here's what the data suggests. the people areasymmetrical updaters in the sense that good news has a bigger impact than bad news. if people estimate that they are a six on the scale and an outsider says i'm an eight, i've learned. if they say i'm a six and an outsider says they are a4, then that isn't true. people believe the good news,
not the bad news. if this is true for many personal things, with respect to the risk of having diabetes, insomnia, infertility, being vandalized, being trapped in an elevator, having a mouse or rat in your house, that sounds a little more like dr. seuss. apologies for that. then the information processing regularity is the news. people will update much more reliably with that than bad news. with bad news, they will say that his noise. good news they would say okay. so, we know that there is a asymmetry in and it turns out they have neurological foundations. it is an identifiable part of the brain that blocks updating with respect to that is. and if you zap it, then the good news and bad news effect disappears. okay. so, what i was interested in and
i am interested in is how this works for political information. so, here's what we did. we got the initial study which i will tell you about as it has been replicated with more people. we got basically 300 plus americans and recruited them and sort them out into three groups based on their answers to questions about the environment. strong climate change believers, weak climate change believers and moderate climate change believers. creative names. the data that we got is not surprising in terms of their anticipated warming. they say we are going to go to 6.3 and the moderates, 5.9 and the week 3.6. the other thing that is interesting is that it isn't one or zero.
people process information and was now quite large examples we assigned people with one of two conditions. you are better looking than we think and they told people actually scientists have come in with terrific news and the situation is better than they thought. the likely increase is one to 5 degrees. and stuff like that, people are seeing on twitter and facebook or "the wall street journal" all the time. we gave the other half bad news. scientists have some tough information for you. it's worse than we thought. seven to 11 degrees and people are getting bad on twitter and facebook and "the new york times." so there is realism in this
experiment. what do you think would happen? the believers in climate change arand climate changeare like tht to appearance. and this is the bottom of the sign. getting the good news there estimate fell by a full 1 degree from 3.6 to 2.6. and given that the baseline is low, the following is very dramatic. they've really updated getting the good news. getting the bad news, they were not moved at all. zero impact. now, in terms of social sciences, that isn't going to get any prize. it fits in with everything you've heard before it just doesn't apply in the politics. it is i think politically explosive. it shows the affordable care act, the effects of the minimum wage. there is a bottom turnstile who
will treat good news is very informative gun control and bad news who paid them. the top turnstile showed exactly the opposite pattern. these are the strong climate change believers that are not panicking. but they are the top third of america. they were far more moved from the bad news then the good news. their average estimate jumped by 2 degrees. getting the good news excel by less than half of that which suggests that systematically, people who were really scared of climate change will be jumping in terms of their level of fear when they get new scientific information suggesting things are bad and they will be dropping just a little bit. when they get good news suggesting the problem is not as large. okay, what you just heard i think is basically a simplified
version of what happens on the social media every day in real time where people are getting both versions of our interventions and where a bunch of people are reacting asymmetrically in a way that is opposite to the way that a bunch of other people are reacting. the other study i find intriguing of the three. it was i don't like that or i don't want that. motivated reasoning. the other explanation is people are just updating any rational way. given my prior conviction is going to get really hot. i hear signs suggesting it is not. that must be identical twins walking around.
that can't be true. exxon must have paid them and there's others that see the bad news and say that is an environmental group climate science. i don't believe that. the good news is more credible to me and that is not a motivated reasoning story given the prior convictions of what he learned in the new information. facebook, 2016. our success is built on getting people t the stories that matter to them the most. if you could look through thousands of stories every day and choose those that were most important to you, what would they be? the answer should be a news feed is subjected, personal, unique and defines the spirit of what we hope to achieve. what they are speaking about is an architecture of control in which either algorithms or individual choices are creating
ddd and rrr panels celebrated as a free society. the hero of my little book wrote a great book on death and life of great american cities in which he urged that an great int cities like washington or new york or berlin or paris or small city versions of this that many of us come from and may have a degree of homogeneity. but in all of them, there is an architecture of second city. you will come across people of different ages, different skin colors, different backgrounds, different tragedies, joy aspirations, different failures, and you will see them in the course of a week. they will enlarge you, they will disturb you, they may change
your day, and possibly your life. what shakeups was -- jacob was urging was the beauty of it is the opposite of the facebook vision of the architecture of control. it's something that is full of unanticipated, unplanned, unchosen encounters that turned out to be in her view at the lifeblood of freedom of a democratic society. the last bit is from the forerunner john stuart mill with liberty and self-government who urged it is hardly possible to overwrite the value in the present human improvement of placing human beings in contact with persons similar to themselves with modes of thought and action unlike those with
which they are familiar. communication has always been and is in the present age one of the primary sources of progress. thanks. [applause] i want to thank professor cass sunstein, mr. power, for his illuminating and interesting presentation that we have a couple questions for you to take on. you argued in "#republic" but things have gotten worse. technology, facebook, social media have exacerbated which you portray as a problem being negative and responding to that way, polarizing and being isolated in silos and hostile if
you will. you offered some solutions in the book. but what if there is a messag ng people do not bunch. can you give the listeners an idea of the solutions and how hopefullhopeful you are. you said people should be polite to one another. there is a great psychologist that won the nobel prize or would have if he hadn't died young. he said he's an optimist because it is irrationally pessimistic because if you are a pessimist, you suffer twice. first when you are sad about what's going to happen and then when the bad thing happens. so in terms of hopefulness about
the future, absolutely. in terms of solutions, the book is in the and autobiographical counterpoint to my star wars book. it's basically not a solution focused book in terms of what can be done there something is g about the providers of information and something about individual lives and the construction of what each of us does so without providers and culture. if you are running facebook, you saw the passage from 2016. there is something intuitive about what was said and it is written by someone that is extremely intelligent and has a value. but the right value isn't the full value. and the facebook public pronouncements are rethinking
this. so you could easily imagine facebook experimenting with what to salet's say a serendipity ths been where -- button where there is a random draw of things that are not necessarily what an algorithm or your own behavior would have selected. that would be worth experimenting with. or something else which is actually blossoming, not to my knowledge on facebook itself, but private sector creativity. it is a opposing viewpoints oftebutton where you can click t and then get a certain amount of stuff that comes under newsfeed and it's different from how you think and it could make you very unhappy that you click on the button. but it could make you think these people are even sillier than i thought it's good to know that.
these are two things to experiment with. the second approach is the use of algorithms to expose people to want this stuff. that is something which there are about 12 out there right now. some of them are startups into some of them you can download tomorrow. facebook, whether it was moved as a placeholder for social media generally, it looks like the leadership is both providing a service to which it has an economic commitment, and a service to which it has a large ideological commitment not in the sense of being political but people can reconnect with their friends across the geography and communicate with their children or people that they've known since high school. that is fantastic and there is something that is desirable
about that. they also i think our alert to the fact that they haven't even a large democratic function. they shouldn't play favorites or try to make kings. but what we are doing is something like the great news providers of the 1950s. can they carry fairly? >> the word curate is ambiguous. i think if they carried it in a way that take a particular position, that would be objectionable or any number of reasons and it would probably not be there economic engine. so there are people across the ideologically undefined way as they are allowed. facebook almost certainly shouldn't do that. the question is what is the problem that the facebook
newsfeed is part of, and facebook is not the source of the ideological polarization in america that it can b but it cal and harmful. the problem is people are sorted into information cocoons. some people that are s so sorted actually have aspirations that are different from their own behavior. they would like to see other stuff. if they're newsfeed look like that, they would be a little happier with their week. so, try. they could do that. >> certainly one that i would consult with regularly had a certain amount, like those that write about things i don't know about about and linked to the opposing views and irregularity.
q. describe the description in 1950s as a diverse area. the people that you encounter are of one public will believe and they are on one side of. we can describe it with fair accuracy. another place you find that the universities today have speech codes and restrictions and they are shouting out. administrations are not doing anything about this except saying how much they hate the speakers, too including our own charles murray, here at aei. aren't universities one of the most closed minded silos going on in america today lacks i grew up in a 92% of suburb and went to a 58% suburb called harvard and that is how they voted in
the straw poll. nowadays they go from 58% either republican or democrat. the data that you suggested i am at a disadvantage because i spent most of my career in the university of chicago which is different tha from the picture u described. one of which i think the national leader into the idea that any political speech goes and the administration and the university of chicago, mike walker jeff stone who is left of center. >> it may be said that they show a fine degree of stability that continue.
>> i do think that if any academic identifies him or herself in a way that is very ideologically describable, they are not doing their job, because it would be amazing if suppose you are a political scientist with views on 12 of the leading issues on everyone lined up in the current political parties. that would be amazing in a bad way. in this way i am completely with you with charles murray in the free society or the unfree society and the way that he was treated as a disgrace. so it should or should not free
people in that disgraceful way but also the university of chicago the number of people who thought the democratic party is more full of nonsense and still think that is significant and the intellectual leadership in the two places in the universities that i know, the wall school in economics come from the right. the current institution have many of the top people that are either right of center or could not be described. and that 92% number is alarming. >> is there an awareness of the problem that needs to be solved? >> my general reaction to this is a product of my experience over the last number of years so
we have a number of challenges. 40,000 people die on the highways in 2016. that is an increase. the infrastructure is in great. the unemployment level while down remains too high. the national gdp growth is not high enough. there's there is a problem with persistent poverty and education and preparation. those remain serious. and i will tell you what, another thing i will not continue but you get the drift you can add your own candidates and there are really serious problems. they are in which the united states could make more progress than it has. so, the educational institutions are the pride of the world. we have the best and the contributions and the knowledge or educational and they are providing whether it involves computers or basic science or
even economics. it is really something. we are the best there is. so, my focus, i think academics in particular they focus too much on universities. and the main problem that is ailing america today is about people dying prematurely. >> is there an argument in "#republic," perhaps even in the title, for a subsidiary, for the principle of deciding decisions to the extent possible for more local rather than federal or national basis when you have these cultural division does it make sense to have washington
decide to have transgender bathroom behavior that has to be national or for the state legislature or the city council in charlotte to decide that issue? can you give us some of your thoughts in one area that might be helpful in other areas that it is not a good idea? >> that is a great question. there is an old political science paper called gag rules and democracy. the issues on which people are loggerheads they may not talk about these issues and just precede on issues on which they can talk. >> this is where you hope that your uncle won't bring up politics of thanksgiving. >> it is a brilliant insight and connected to your question. you might think the national government is going to break down over these issues where it is going to kind of inflame
everybody. it is the argument for having the states and localities in their own way is strengthened. that is not addressed in the book. it is about what level. but it is very reasonable and fair. it is a point that the idea is where we are with each other and it is paralyzing maybe for stating that the company has a point. but the last part suggests whether the point is decisive for just one of seven considerations to depend on the area. so, in the environmental context iof certain states are polluting others then there is an argument for the national solution to prevent the under state crossover. so, the first mission for the final protection agency in principle should be brought to set and air quality for each
state but make sure each doesn't create an adverse environmental impact on other states and there is a rule from the epa in the cross state rule that follows the theory. so the environmental issue is probably a good one to think what level of water pollution, too. what level of reduction and aggressive might make sense given the state capacity to handle that themselves. and where do we have a problem the states can handle welcoming another. now that might be they have some capacity to figure out the environmental impact in some say that it is lacks that might suggest but very possibly it should be less aggressive than they now are. the transgender one is very interesting. the question would be whether we should think of the issue as
sufficiently subject to reasonable doubt that the national solution makes no sense or whether we should think of it in a way that people think of the race discrimination as one where there is a characteristic which is not legitimately the basis for mistreatment into the transgender issue isn't thought about the issue is which it involved. so the national government doesn't step in. there are some people that think of the more capacious notion. and maybe they can do that in california if they are worried about that. but we don't want a national age discrimination that has got to agree of provocative ms. given the fact some people think that his life.
you get where i'm going. so, the fact that it is a moral issue doesn't mean we have a centralized solution. so i think you have a strong point and if we took the domain where the federal government is a loggerhead and we put it in the face of the localities, then the intensity of the central blockage was of course diminish. >> if we get one of justice ginsburg statements on abortion, they didn't get a single standard and this wouldn't have been as great of an issue. >> i think both that worked under president bush and justice ginsburg saying roe v. wade was a blunder to nationalize the issues on which the states with their diverse values were resulting in different ways in
the revolving thinking. >> reading th about many of thee problems are not new. if you go back and time to the point where you say it begins with federal because the federal regulation of electronic communications media and the repeal of the fairness doctrine in 1987 which you said in the book was warranted at that time. in this country it is a universal medium. you have everybody listen to the radio to just a few stations. everybody went to the movies. 1930 america with have
123 million people. average weekly movie attendance was 100 million the week. that is a universal medium. television in the 1950s and 60s. i think one of the reasons for the political success, he made a political career in all three of those in the radio and movies and television he embodied and spoke naturally of the language of the universal media and common national values. they still speak to us and provide a common language. technology has changed that but prior to 1930, we were living in an america that was not as connected and didn't have as prevalent a universal culture. how might that occur to you with
that other america? >> thank you for the question. it helps explain the saddest which exists which is that gone with the wind beats star wars a new hope and the inflation of the winner. the fact is that statistic -- >> there are things we really don't like. >> i think it is a great movie. the book is phenomenal. but star wars should be number one. [laughter] the right explanation is that there was a time when everyone was at the movies, they went to the same movies and when star wars was released at the time there was less diversity than there is now, there was a reason gone with the wind beat star wars.
it isn't better or more popular. it was just produced in the media. that is not the answer that you were looking for though. you are right historically that we have an era of universal media. sometimes the providers of information have been referred to as general interest intermediaries and that was a short issue in its weakening their the question you asked uss what can we learn in the prior era. the challenges that we face that are more intense in the universal experience is not lower now than it was then because the ability of each of us to find people exactly as we
do has no precedence. so, if you think somebody, name your least favorite would be in jail and it could be someone that you love. it could be idle jordan. most people of michael jordan. if you think that he should be in jail, that is an exception. you could find people that agree with you, and in the other times -- >> this is a statement throwing out of town. >> the ability to find a very large number of people who think whatever you think, that didn't matter one second. it's great in a way especially if they don't think exactly what you are thinking. but to find your self in the
coziest place in the world of people afford by your eccentric view is different. you might find 14 people were 24 that agree with you but now it is with groups of 700. then the unity extremism moves on. >> it also featured something called a civil war. we got a national issue in the territory people were not willing to compromise on and you had pointed to a number of insufficiently addressed public policy areas that i think most people would agree very extensively with you on.
is there a threat as big as that were what are the threats you are seeing that might keep you were eating at nice? >> -- keep you up at night? >> lincoln was in opponent of slavery for all of his adult life and a kind of uncompromising they. but she was not an opponent of eliminating slavery for today and he saw no contradiction there. he said, you know, the fact that a majority of people want slavery is highly relevant and whether they are wrong or right isn't relevant to the issue of what to do today.
that is a block and it wasn't that he thought they might be right tha but that we have to provide clarity on the principle with pragmatism about how to get there in a way that is respectful of the other members think. succumb it was that relationship between the pragmatism and principal that defined his thinking on the slavery. i don't think we are in danger of anything like that. succumb to the closest thing to keeping me up at night is thinking that there are human tragedies all around us and probably everyone is listening to this and can think of one in his or her last 20 years might be in my case my mother died of smoking associated illness and it isn't the worst. people have had worse. and for a large percentage of us, if we have well functioning
markets or processes that didn't fall prey to what i'm describing, the tragedy would not have happened. so the recent news about 40,000 people dying on the highways, that is just salient. if you saw fivexcuse all five oe families in the 40,000 there probably wouldn't be a dry eye in the house and that is what keeps me up at night. there are many problems that republicans and democrats have good solutions to that they could resolve. but their ability to work with one another is compromise. not because they don't want to, but because they are afraid they are going to lose their jobs. >> our electoral system is inevitably don't to be that way in a sort of confidence of competition is in the economic marketplace more often than not.
>> the adversary systems, i will just mention one i admire, senator hatch. completely willing to work with people on the main issues. and that capacity similarly situated to work together without endangering their electoral prospects is much worse than it was in the social media contributor because they know that as soon as they say i am working with that person on that issue, twitter is going to go crazy. it works for both democrats and republicans. >> i think we solve that in the vote on our justice gorsuch. >> i thought the democrats should have voted for justice gorsuch or had a soft respectful
no without a filibuster. that's my view. but a democrat and even if he or she shares that view to take that line, the number on twitter and facebook to explain to those contexts is challenging. over the last decade it is a very unfortunate process for judges. >> let me just leave you with a thought that occurred to me that is a soft point, but one of the places which america still hears the opposing political views is thanksgiving day, christmas, other holidays. but on the other hand in some ways they are getting smaller. you have fewer children. that means your children have
fewer cousins. do we know at all what is happening to those extended family discussions? i had one where we had socialists and a variety of people. my parents fo were eisenhower ad lyndon johnson voters. has that gone the way of everybody going to the same movies every week? >> that is a great question. it is consistent and the hypothesis that the degree and diversity are smaller than they used to be but i don't know the day that actually enables that particular issue. there has been geographical sorting along the political lines that is high here than what was found in the decades before. what is unclear is whether family members have internal
disagreements. what we are finding in the party is suggestive that there are bus internal disagreements. >> the debate is at the beginning of the data on, you know, do you have your son marry a republican. >> if your uncle is republican and you are democrat, unless you dislike them you probably are not going to be alarmed. so, the data is consistent with the hypothesis, which i don't know to be true, which is that there has been a demure mission on that account. >> on my remarks quoting something that occurred to me apropos the earlier question about the historian that was at northwestern for many years wrote his book in the society looking at 19th century and early 20th.
.. - it is the book i've called the benedict option. he says the people of religious faith of traditional catholic faith should just wall themselves off from this vicious largeslarger society. while themselves and their families off, make their livings in some ways where they are not participating in what he regards as a corrupt and lascivious society. he's an interesting and serious person.
his model is the founder of the same benedictine monasteries. >> so as someone married in the catholic church to a catholic woman, a marriage that was arranged with the help of the catholic u.s. ambassador to the vatican, marianne glenda and she helped us get authorized who was gracious enough to do that i am really glad that catholics have not wall themselves off. [applause] because my children would not be my children at least, they would not exist. so i could not disagree more strongly with that statement. the reason is, there are very few things that are not american where we understand america to be a nation that celebrates the capacity people with very
different foundational commitments. to live together with not just genealogy, but was something approaching love. that is a pretty christian thought as well as as an american thought. i have a different doctrine. >> okay. let me open up to the unanswered questions. we have people with microphones who can go around. i'd like to ask you to identify yourself and your organizational affiliation, which is silo you come from. >> my name is greg, i'm a big fan of yours. i'm a president of the fire and a liberal, but i'm working on a book right now is john height
and i'm interested in polarization. i study work a lot. did you see the recent study or survey that people were talking about in response to your book, that talked about older people, those least likely to use the internet actually more polarized than younger people. it seems to be like this isn't a case and the reason it ended in 2012. >> i have read the papers it's by two excellent people whom i admire. the paper finds that the growth in polarization has been greatest among older people and young people especially likely to use the internet show a lower degree of increase in polarization over a recent time. it is a very gross account, not in the sense that it is disgusting, there's nothing disgusting about it but it
operates with real aggregates. the question is, what hypothesis particularly other testing. the hypothesis is that those who use social media are more likely to be polarized than those who don't. their paper does falsify that hypothesis. what we do not know from the paper is whether social media uses a polarizer among those who do you social media, what is going on with older people who have gotten all polarized we don't know. something is happening there. >> isn't it you usually true that older people are likely to have a fixed party identification than younger people? >> it might be. but the charm of the paper is older people are showing more slip than they were in earlier. >> there more likely to watch cable news? >> that's fair. there is nothing in the paper that is inconsistent with what
is the name of this book, # republic? # republic urges that social media is a contributor to political polarization. particularly for those who are politically engaged and who are so sorted. the book has a ton of papers, not by the author but by others that is supportive of that thesis. let's call it the gross paper to which you refer, gross meaning aggregate data. it is an interesting paper. it is no tension at all with the things that you and others are concerned with. >> okay. another question for the lady in front. >> thank you for your presentation.
you mentioned the democrat and republican, and i'm thinking in our society it they use the money is a measure of your achievement, and what to do it next steps? and it in the 50s or 60s people are thinking about what you want to achieve to improve society in a sense it would reform. now people think about reform is how you choose to get most money and the highest ceo. i wonder instead of saying how we want to improve society and improve the two-party system. and the other thing instead of people say don't put politics over religion another say don't talk about the parents.
so what step do you think we should do to improve our system so the party can prove our society? >> the first point i'm a big fan of capitalism. the fact that ours is a capitalist system is a source of pride. second, in a capitalist system it is never the case that social value is uniformly associated with how much money people are able to obtain. and i mean that word literally. if you look at people greatly admire, a lot do not have a ton of money. if they do it's from their achievement at their money. the view that people end up
admired for their characteristics come about it -- some are admired for their money but that would be a medium person. you're great you built that or you figure that out. you help people, or there is a fantastic company. steve jobs is greatly married. is he admired because he's rich? no. the idea that in the 50s people were more admired for their achievements than in 2017 than their money that is zero letter radically possible in the 50s joe dimaggio was extremely admired. >> they paid some of these baseball players $10000 per ye year. >> and he made plenty money and
even so he was joe dimaggio, 56 consecutive games with hits. so the terms and what to do i would not focus on capitalism, i would focus on will focus on private practices that are not inevitable, many not even recent that are contributors to the problem in terms of government more macro subsidiary is one approach which would make sense. in other domains and this is a very this is a very contestable view, the madison and hamel sends there would be people whose job it would be to figure things out and they would ultimately be accountable to we the people, but it would it be referenda on their actions day by day. there would be knowledgeable and
to that is an enduring insight. so if we want to do something about problematic, to authorize people who actually know something about problematics whether it's food safety or traffic safety or infrastructure improvement, they would not be the only people, we the people would be the ultimate arbiters. we would have the space to do some stuff. the fact that in the united states you can eight and not be afraid of getting sick or you can mostly drive and not be afraid of getting crushed into that is imparted tribute to capitalism and impart a tribute to the madisonian vision. >> it afternoon my name is todd.
i like to ask you from your perspective of being a renaissance man which has quite a few pitfalls because you know so much about many different things. if you are in a job interview to someone were to ask you what has been your greatest hit? not just selling books but in the sense of being able to exact change that was dishonorable and people could say you did change my life or cause me to do something different, is there anything you could think of off the top of your head that your conscious a that you affected someone in that way? >> have you ever the sign 22 by taylor swift? i wrote that so. [laughter] i don't know. i think when i got to work in the government there were some things that i got to participate
in that i hope are helpful. >> so one thing people have experiences the global entry, tsa free program, i certainly would say it's mine, but i got to participate in it. there are programs that involve life-saving from various problems that people are potentially subject to that i got to participate in. if there people around and i got to help with that, that's not as good as 22. >> i would have to say as a tsa pre-check and globe ledger travel you have probably saved your help to save maybe 40 hours of my life, so thank you commissioner. >> my name is mark, i have no institutional affiliation but i
am in the trump silo. my question is about the judges study. i don't know if you consider this but i'm wondering if you wondered how -- could affected. that it's been expanded greatly in the last administration. so the fourth circuit is all democrats and i believe if you look at you look at the bush a point is in the fifth circuit and the obama appointees in the first and second that would the make the republican appointees more moderate on the democratic senate states of the democratic appointees more republican. >> that is a great question. there are two different issues, issue number one, is judicial voting behavior affected by
whether judges are sitting by people appointed by the same party. the data suggest that basically that happens in every circuit pair the what we describe as you form across circuits. >> i think it's across parties. >> yes. so complete uniform courtesy now not detecting any differences in the extent to which a democratic judge will vote more liberal, literally with a number of democrats on the panel. there is almost an iron law where the percentage of liberal votes grows with a number of democrats on the party on the panel. it works for democrats and republicans. that finding his uniform. there is one panel where we got noise in the day with a six circuit where the republicans
are affected by the democrats and vice versa that seems to be because they really don't like each other on the panel. >> they hired a food tester. >> your point is a different point which is the senatorial courtesy could be an ideological moderator. there are some data that supports what you say. in a time of senatorial courtesy at one point i compiled data on this way you do not find ideological differences so start between democratic republican appointees. the probably is something to do with either the senatorial courtesy of the fact that the issues were not split and people as much as they were not. >> were not splitting the parties as much. you had the phenomenon in the civil rights era where the strongest pool pro- civil rights
district were republican opponent by president eisenhower. >> keep in mind you're asking whether senatorial courtesy can be moderator of ideological division. the answer could be yes. be independent of the question which is the social media question, are we observing movements when people are in something like an chamber. >> what blogs do law professors re? there are lots of law professors. which one, which all blogs do. touchy too. >> i pay attention to only two. that is the -- conspiracy which is quite strong. i don't think i'm a renaissance man but more of a law professor guy. tyler -- marginal revolution is
great. on everything he is interesting and inventive. he has interesting things to say about law. i am down on blogs these days. i'm not in the sense that they're useless, but do know the word what is your take? that is a really bad phrase, isn't it? if you have a take on something chances are you should say it. and i take his. >> ahead take is your attitude or response. completely. so your take i know this because i have friends why admire who right blog votes. and then they say they're really intelligence and what they produced is, oh my gosh. >> one row i have tried to develop is if i read the
headline and i can sort of write the rest in my head, i'm not going to bother. i already know what they're going to say. >> most blog professors that i know spend very little time with blogs. tyler is always worth ten times the amount of time it would take to read him. >> some of his things the other day get to be a little tricky. we have other questions here. >> i'm with breitbart news. i want to ask about the public four minutes potential application to social media. in addition to the prohibitions on harassment most social media networks have strong both written code and to measures to
combat so-called hate speech. could that pass an application to the viewpoint neutral of the public form doctrine? >> the first amendment doctrine. >> there's a lot there. let's separate two different ideas. one idea is that the streets and parks are public in the sense that they are open to expressive activity. even if people do not want them to be. the public form doctrine says that subject to time, place, manner restrictions you just have to have that stuff open. that's unusual first amendment doctrine because it's not about protecting government censorship, it's about providing spaces where people can communicate. that space for any tyrant when he or she gets in office closes the public spaces. that is different from sensory disagreement. the public form doctrine seems
to me, and outlier the free-speech tradition. it applies to separate the various ideas, not just to content discriminatory restrictions, but content neutral restrictions. so if you said they're not open to expressive activity between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., that would probably be struck down even though it is content neutral. if you said something that would be viewpoint neutral which is you cannot use the word war on a public form, that would be struck down like that. it's a viewpoint neutral. so public form doctrine is about spaces. then, there is the ban on content discrimination which is a little tricky. there is a per se view on viewpoint discrimination. it must meet a big burden of justification but it might be okay.
if you said that you cannot use certain, the hate speech is seen as viewpoint neutral but content to paste. so, if you go up to people and say something that is predictably going to produce violence then under the existing doctrine that can be regulated. what counts is hate speech is a narrow definition. if you go to someone's face and think of the worst things that could be but if you say something like the political person who you like best is a creek and god had a bad day when the person was born, that's hateful, but it's not hate speech. so the question is, hate speech very narrowly defined as regular symbol anyway. once you expanded from the legal
conception of hate speech to the ordinary language of hateful communication that no regulation is allowed. in the abstract, that is good. notwithstanding i think the concerns we should have about incivility to abandon civil speech would not be very civil in a society which treasures robust and often inflamed political discussion. >> will go to the last question. >> on a former social media researcher and now i am doing tech policy in d.c. i wanted to push back and ask about effectiveness. he talked about serendipity as a
way to combat polarization. seems to be the events they are talking about are serendipitous in their own way, when you get these people in the same room think a more extreme even though they are more middle of sores results are concerned. seems to be the same thing like this serendipitous project that you suggested for social media. given what we know, what is the effectiveness of that going to be in other remedies? the more i look at this on just not sure what the most effective remedy is. >> good. you're picking up on an ambiguity in serendipity and second, you're picking up on lack of clarity of what remedy would be affected. by serendipity i mean something more particular than the word
which is exposure to ideas or points of views that you never would have selected to see that don't necessarily fit with your views. and that view if you serendipitously find yourself in a room with people from boulder and it works out that way because of where people marched on tuesday at 4:00 p.m., there and serendipitous but not in the sense that i made. the psyche reading the daily newspaper and you see a story about turkey and you had no interest in turkey and he thought it was food but there's an authoritarian crackdown. that could change what you do that day and over the course of a human year change in nontrivial number of people's lives. i actually tried to do something about that. that is a topic or might be a point of view. you might be saying to give an example the university of chicago people when i remain
very fond of, you might see a story about the minimum wage that shows you is throwing a significant number of people out of work. that might affect significant increases you might not like much. that might affect your attitude and how you talk to one another which might have policy implications. that is the idea. serendipity. we don't have a word for it. the germans probably do. in terms of effectiveness, if you feel adamant that take your preferred issue that the holocaust happened and then you read stuff that it didn't happen that is not going to change you.
but for many people the political issues are like that. so what is not consistent with the data is that many americans on a wide range of issues do not think that as like the holocaust. they might think of it as obama care and nothing is going to change me or i don't like that and nothing is going to change me. even there you might think i love obama care but i read something by a provision that's causing a problem. i don't like that. or you might think do you like obama care you might like calorie labels and chain restaurants and at least the data suggest that the decent thing. so the effectiveness notion in the first approximation answers where people are not like george lucas with respect to luke skywalker, meaning not going to
happen. then something might be moved. notice if you would in return of the jedi, yoda did die. >> i want to thank you for a very interesting presentation. [applause] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> here's a look at books been published this week. two senators have books coming out, al franken recalls his
senate campaign. and michael he reports on lesser-known figures who influence the u.s. constitution. "written out of history" franklin and lee will appear on the afterwards program in the coming weeks. also being published, former oklahoma senator offers his thoughts on reducing federal government spending it, smashing the d.c. monopoly. harvard university professor explores the relationship between china and the united states through, and destined for war. historian sean takes a closer look at the end of the romanoff's rule over russia and the russian revolution. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week. watch for authors in the near future of book tv, on c-span to. [inaudible]