Skip to main content

tv   Republic  CSPAN  June 3, 2017 8:01am-9:33am EDT

8:01 am
former secretary of state and 2016 democratic party hillary clinton talks about her upcoming book. also this weekend, coauthors heather and sam discuss their book geek girl rising about the women who are changing the technology industry. mpr richard harris reports on the challenges facing the field of biomedical research. that's just a few of the programs you'll see here on book tv on c-span2, television for serious headers. now we kick off the weekend can cass sunstein in his book #republic, divided democracy in the age of social media.
8:02 am
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone, good afternoon. my neighboring is michael, resident fellow of american enterprise institute and it's my pleasure today to welcome to aei profess or cass sunstein. he was the administrator of the office information of regulatory affairs, commonly known as oir
8:03 am
from obama administration. he's written a dozen books and herest he's here to talk about his latest books which is called #republic. i think that a reader would not have pronounced the word that way 20 years ago but it's an important and interesting book so please welcome cass sunstein to aei. >> okay. well, it's a thrill to be out here and you all do amazing work and i've learned so much from what's produced here on legal
8:04 am
and regulatory matters and i really thank you on behalf of zillions of people. i was blessed or cursed for the last several years to live in the waldorf towers, which is pretty heavy stuff from a boy from massachusetts and i lived there because my wife embassador of united nations. that was fine except one of them had become quite a good friend after several months in the sense that i knew him and talked to him every day and it was a little awkward that he was
8:05 am
calling me by a name other than my own and i said to him after a few months, you know, it's cass sunstein, you can call me cass or mr. sunstein, he looked at me and said that's unbelievable. that's amazing. you look exactly like mr. power. and that was intriguing to me in the sense that he was not a rational person, he was updating basically his beliefs based on the new information and he believed that it was more likely that there were two people who looked exactly the same walking around his building than that the embassador's husband had a different name from her.
8:06 am
and given his prior beliefs that was not irrational. it turned out to be wrong but it was not irrational. okay. here is the united states of america in many respects today where people are asserting their correctness and the falsehoods emanating from the other side. this has implications not only for our capacity to handle problems that cut across people's ideology but also affects how people think about one another so much so that there's a phenomenon partyism that isn't as ugly as racism which in some respects is larger, the number of people who would be unhappy if their child married someone of the political opposing party is higher than people who would be unhappy if their child married somebody of a different race.
8:07 am
amazed by this finding i a few years tried to find out whether people would be more unhappy if their child married someone of a different political party than if their child married someone of the same sex. we are not there yet, but we are getting there which suggests that the intensity of partyism is growing rapidly and as of 2017 it's immensely higher than it was a couple of days -- a couple of years ago, probably a couple of days ago. a couple of decades ago when 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 discriminate an employment decision against people whose political party is different from their own. okay, here are some issues where
8:08 am
partyism is causing problems. whatever you think should be done about infrastructure chances are good, something should be done about infrastructure and the intensity of disagreement between republican and democrats is actually relatively modest on that issue and yet nothing happened yet, aumf is talk for use of military force, to get an authorization for the use of military force in areas where the level of consensus across democrats and republicans is pretty high is really difficult. with respect to immigration and judges, we could have much more agreement than we are observing the "nuclear option" taken by the democrats first and now the republicans is testimony to the difficulty of moving beyond party affiliation as a way of
8:09 am
producing generally agreeable results. in washington, my job in washington i notice in some meetings with some people of a political party that i will not name a very sharp disagreement between their privately expressed moderation and their publicly expressed immoderation and i should just say i observed that among -- between both political parties with a kind of poynant plea if it would not cost us our jobs. social media on capacity to retain their jobs if they have moderation. that is what's very visible to them.
8:10 am
okay, i'm going tell you about three empirical studies which are not involving the internet precisely but replicating, i think, an experimental setting what is happening every hour of every day on twitter and facebook. the first experiment comes from colorado and the idea was to get people from bolder, which is left of center together to discuss climate change, affirmative action and same-sex unions and to get people from colorado springs which is right of center to do exactly the same thing and we did a reality check to make sure that our colorado springs participants were right of center and boulder people were right of center. what we did amazing they were. what we did record anonymously
8:11 am
and discuss after they talk today one another. what interested me as one of the three authors of the project, was only one question. how would their views shift in their anonymous predeliberation statements to their anonymous postdeliberation statements, what would those discussions do to how they thought about the three issues when they were recording their judgments in a way that no one would ever see except the except -- experimenters. people got more unified before they started to talk, i'm kind of worried about climate change, maybe we should have an international agreement, not after the discussion. there were people in boulder who thought affirmative action has some problems. i think it's a form of race discrimination.
8:12 am
there are some diversity in boulder springs. after they talked different the diversity was crushed. in their private anonymous statements, the second thick that happened was they got more confident. the people in colorado springs, some on same-sex union weren't sure, they didn't like them so much, after they talked they were sure. the third thing that happened and most disturbing and illuminating is they got most extreme. the people in colorado springs were to the right, the people involved in boulder were to the left here but they were like here, this range after our little experiment they were like here. they were operating in different political universes in their private-anonymous views. now, what i just described is a
8:13 am
very artificial experiment, that's xa social media constructs, a capacity of experimental groups. why did that happen? identify actually seen the tapes of the discussion. here is what you would see in realtime. first in colorado springs, the place where they started kind of skeptical about a climate change treaty and in the end very, very skeptical, the number of arguments in their discussion that supported the international treaty were few. that's not amazing, that's a statist call inve itability, the number of arguments that oppose an international were numerous, also inevitability.
8:14 am
and in boulder exactly the same thing happened in the mirror. that is on affirmative action, some people didn't like it very much. most people liked it plenty. the arguments that supported it crushed the arguments that undermined it and people, oh, gosh, those are the arguments are supportive of that, that produced confidence, unity, extremism. the second thing is slightly more subtle and you can see this in realtime and i think each of us can see this in our daily lives whether it involves what products to buy, what people to like, what political view to hold on an issue and here is the phone onlyna. most people who don't have a ton of information, tend toward the middle. they become tentative because of humility.
8:15 am
they become confident and more extreme. confidence is increased by crobbation and you can see that in both cities and corroboration makes for more intensity of commitment to the view and that helps for the finding, the third involves reputation, people don't want a group of people who tend to say, affirmative action is great, they don't want to look like racists or idiots in front of one another and they end up saying like affirmative action plenty even if they privately didn't ten minutes before and in their private anonymous statement of view it would be very awkward to say what they said publicly, they don't actually believe, so their private view lines up with their public view. here is the second of the three studies and this does not involve professors or think tank
8:16 am
people trying to construct something. this involves the world and benefits the study from a s srendipidous and the competition is reagan, bush appointees, obama, clinton appointees, obama, obama, reagan appointees and bush, bush, clinton appointees, meaning three are appointees, three appointees, two d and two r's and that's it. that's all that can be possible. okay. here is the headline finding. while the political party of the appointing president is a pretty good predictor of how a judge is going to vote in a contested case, not fantastic but pretty good. the political party of the two other judges, of the president
8:17 am
who appoints two other judges in the panel is at least as good and often a better predictor of how the judge is going to vote. got it? you want to know how judge x is going to vote, don't ask whether obama or trump appointed judge x, do ask whether obama or trump appointed the judge with whom x is sitting. here is the most dramatic finding, while in the aggregate data there's a 13 percentage point difference in the likelihood of a liberal vote between r and a d appointee, roughly 13 percentage points which is concerning but not catastrophic from the point of view of the rule of law. the likelihood of a liberal vote on a ddd panel is frequently 30 to 40% higher than the likelihood of a liberal vote from a judge on an rrr panel. that is to say a d judge on a dd
8:18 am
panel shows phenomenally liberal voting patterns and r judge showing conservative voting patterns where phenomenal shows how they vote in aggregate. what makes the startling finding in my finding that the d in ddr panel, if you're with me, the d's have the votes, if it involves whether the epa greenhouse regulation is lawful, they can do what they want, they have the vote. why is it that the dd's show more moderate patterns than the dd voting panels. i think it's about information at least in part. what are they hearing? a d on a dd panel, that's boulder and what makes statistics not expected is that
8:19 am
what we are observing is legal professionals, judges answering not a political question but a legal question and even so the selection to random draw into something like an information cocoon produces more systemically extreme results. now the data i told you understates the magnitude of the phenomena. we just collected votes, by we me and a team of law lawsuit who is are not in mental institutions now i'm very relieved because counting many thousands of votes, that's not fun. they did it nonetheless. what i didn't ask them to do because it's much harder is to explore the relative extremism of the opinion rather than just the up or town vote. so we are asking did a woman when in a sex discrimination case, did epa regulation get
8:20 am
upheld or not, that's what we are asking. we are not asking what's the reasoning, there's every reason to think on a ddd panel, whoa and so to an r and r panel. what was the professor technical for omg? okay. [laughter] >> here is one other story of updating, you heard the waldorf story and the other story comes from star wars and i did a little book on star wars so i researched star wars and there was a debate between forgive me, did you think you heard something about star wars, this seems surprising or terrible, one little star wars story, debate with great american screen writer and george lucas
8:21 am
on killing the main characters on returning of the jedi and lucas says, luke isn't going die, well, kill laya, laya has to die. >> it's not nice, you don't go around killing people and then kasdan says he will kill yoda. >> kasdan gets in his soul, he gets real and gives a speech about art, i'm saying that the movie has more emotional wage if someone you lost along the way. he's talking about culture and art and lucas says very quickly, one sentence, i don't like that and i don't believe that. now, notice the beautiful
8:22 am
architecture of the sentence, not liking proceeds and probably helps account for not believing. the waldorf story, my friend, didn't particularly disliked the idea that i had a different name from my wife, he didn't believe it, it seemed that couldn't be true. here is about the emotional commitment proceeding the belief. okay. here is the last study. how good-lookinglook dog -- do you think you are on a scale 1 to 10. i have good news for you, that's you. [laughter] >> now, what do you think having heard my news for you. let's do a second experiment, ask the same question, how good looking do you think you are. i have some good news for you. that's ewe. [laughter] >> okay.
8:23 am
here is what the data suggests that people are asymmetrical updaters and some credible outsiders say they they are 8, i'm a 7 or 8. i've learned. if they say i'm a six and outsider says they're a four, they say, no, that's not true, i'm a six. 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, enfir tellty -- enfir that sounds like dr. seuss, i apologize for that.
8:24 am
people will rely more with good news than bad news, bad news they'll say that's noise and good news they'll say, okay. if you zap it, then the good news bad-news effect disappears. okay, so what i was interested in and am interested in is how this works for political information. so here is what we did. we got initial study which i will tell you about, this has been replicated with more people. we got basically 300-plus americans recruited them and sorted them in three groups based on answers to questions about the environment. strong climate change believers, we climate change believers and
8:25 am
moderate climate change believers, creative names. the data we got is not surprising in terms of their antidepressanted -- anticipated warming. the weak 3.6. the only thing that's interesting there that the weak believers are not at 1 or 0, they are 3.6. probably roughly with america's bottom is. here is what we did and how we try today figure out how people ree react today information. in the good news condition, you're not going to have a mouse in your house, you're better looking than you think, we told people, actually scientists have come in with terrific news
8:26 am
likely increases 1 to 5-degrees. stuff like that people are seeing on wall street or facebook all of the time. we gave the other half bad news, scientists have some tough information for you. it's worst than we thought. 7 to 11-degrees. the weak believers in climate are like the people with respect to appearance and getting the good news, their estimate fell by a full 1 degree from 3.6 to 2.6 and given that the baseline is low, 3.6, that falling is very dramatic, they really
8:27 am
updated getting the good news, getting the bad news, they were unmoved at all. zero impact. now, in terms of social science that's not going to get any prize because it fits with everything you've heard before and just applies it to politics. it is, i think, politically, explosive suggesting, you know, think affordable care act, immigration, terrorism, the effect of the minimum wage, there's a bottom who will treat good news as very informative, gun control and bad news as who paid them our top showed exactly the opposite pattern. these are the climate change believers who aren't panicking but the most worried top third of america, they were far more moved by the bad news than the good news. getting the bad news their
8:28 am
average estimate jumped by 2-degrees, getting the good news fell by less than half of that which suggests that systemically people who are 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'll be dropping just a little bit. when they get good news suggesting the problem isn't as large, okay, what you've just heard, i think, is basically a really simplified version of what happens on the social media every day in realtime where people are getting both versions of our interventions and where a bunch of people are reacting as asymmetrically. what's the inspiration of the study, we don't know, one
8:29 am
possibility is, i don't like that and i don't believe that. motivated reasoning. the waldrof tale. given my prior conviction it's going to get really hot. i hear science suggesting it's not. there must be identical twins walking around. that can't be true. exxon must have paid that. there's others that say that's environmental group climate, i don't believe that where the good news is more credible to me and that's not a motivated reasoning story, the story given in your prior convictions what you've leashed from the new information. okay. almost done. facebook, 2016, our success is on getting the people the
8:30 am
stories that matter to them the most. this is direct quote. you could look through thousands of stories every day and choose the ten that were most important to you, what would they be, the answer should be your news feed, it is subjective personal and unique and defines the spirit of what we hope to achieve. really? what they are speaking is architecture of control in which algorithms or individual choices are creating ddd and rr panelses. jane jacobs, the hero of my little book wrote a great book on the death and life of american cities in which she urged in great cities like washington, new york or berlin or paris or small city versions of these that many us come from
8:31 am
they may have a degree of homog homogenety. 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. and what joy cobs was really urging is that a great city is like an information stream and the beauty of it is that it's 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 in her view a lifeblood of freedom
8:32 am
in a democratic society. last bit is from jacobs forerunner, john stewart mill, theorist of liberty and self-government too who urged it is hardly possible to overwrite the value in the present low state of human improvement of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. such communication has always been and is peculiarly in the present age one of the primary sources of progress. thanks. [applause] >> i want to thank professor sunstein, yes, mr. power, for a very interesting and eluminating
8:33 am
presentation. you've argued in #republic that things have gotten worse in this respect in the last 20 years, the technology, facebook, social media have exacerbated what you portray as a problem of people being unduly negative and polarizing and being isolated in silos and hostile silos, if you will. you offer some solutions in the book. but what if there's a nudge to which people don't budge to use the phrase, you don't have the government regulation of the internet. can you give the listeners an idea of what solutions and how hopeful you are, you know, you say at one point people should
8:34 am
be polite to each other, that's a lot of garbage. [laughter] >> okay, so there's a great psychologist in the university who would have won the nobel prize had he not died young who said he's an optimist because it's irrational pessimistic because if your a pessimistic you suffer, first about the sad and then second when it happens. in terms of solutions, the book is, you know, maybe autobiography -- a problem focused book rather than a solution-focused book. in terms what it can be done, there's something about providers information and
8:35 am
something about individual lives, let's talk about providers first and then culture. if you're running facebook, you saw the passage from 2016 that was written by someone who was extremely intelligent and someone who has a value and it's not the right value. it's not the full value from base book's public pronounce ments, they're rethinking this a bit so you could easily imagine facebook experimenting with let's say a serendipity button and in your news feed comes a random draw of things that aren't 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 through
8:36 am
private sector creativity is opposing viewpoints button where you can just click on it and then you get for certain amount of stuff that comes on your news feed, things that think differently from what you think and it could make you very unhappy that you clicked the button because why are they sending you this nonsense but could make you think, oh, these people are even sillier than i thought. it's good to know that and might make you think, oh, they actually have some ideas which are not unreasonable. i'm glad to hear them. and so those will be two things to experiment with. the second approach that is the use of algorithms to expose people to lots of stuff, that's something which there are about 12 out there right now, some of them are start-ups, some of them you can download in app tomorrow. now, facebook whether it would move, i'm using facebook as a
8:37 am
place holder for social media generally, it looks like the leadership is both providing service to which it has an economic commitment and a service to which it has a -- in the large ideological commitment but people can connect with their friends across geography and communicate with their children or with people who they had known since high school, that's fantastic. there's something that's add -- admirable about that and they shouldn't play kings but one of the things that we are doing is something like the great news providers of the 1950's did. >> if they start curating things, 80% democratic, can they curate fairly?
8:38 am
>> the word curate is ambiguous. if they curate it in a way that picked a particular position, that would be objectionable for any number of reasons and it would probably be not in economic interests. there are people who curate along ideological defined ways a blessed, they're allowed, facebook, almost certainly shouldn't do that. the question is what is the problem that facebook's news feed is part of and, you know, facebook is not the source of ideological polarization in america but it could be helpful rather than harmful. the problem is that people are often sorted into information cacoons.
8:39 am
they would like to see other stuff and if their news feed looked like they, they would be happier in the week. so try it. they could do that. >> certainly websites i consult regularly have a certain amount, smart people who write about things a don't know a lot about and who link to opposing views with fair regularity, this doesn't describe the whole universe. you described the jane jacobs description of hudson street 1950's, diverse area. you go down hudson street today 90% of all are one political belief, one silo and we can describe it with fair accuracy. it's another place where you find that is a place where you've spent most of your professional career in the universities. universities today have speech codes. they have restrictions, they're
8:40 am
shouting down violently attacking speakers. the administrations are not doing anything about this except saying much they hate the speakers too include ugh our own charles murray here at aei. aren't universities one of the close-minded silos in america today, i grew up in 98% republican and 58 suburb university and nowadays the typical state 58% either republican or democratic suburb and goes to a 92% university. aren't universities part of the problem rather than a solution? >> well, there's an empirical question here and the data you suggest is very impressive. you know, i'm a little at a disadvantage because i spend most of my career at the university of chicago which on
8:41 am
two counts is different from the picture you describe, one of it has been national leader and the administration, the university of chicago has done from my principal and coauthor and my friend jeff stone who is left of center is -- >> i think it play be fair i will say in your own scholarship show stability, continue. >> thank you for that. do i think that if any academic identifies himself or herself in a way that is very ideologically describable, they're not doing their job because it would be amazing if, you know, suppose you're a political scientists, if your views on 12 of the leading issues, on everyone lined up with one of our current
8:42 am
political parties, that would be amazing in a bad way, yes? so i want to make one other point which is, i think in this way and in the no speech codes way is a model and i'm completely with you with charles murray that's in a free society or even unfree society the way he was treated is a his grace, so unfree society should be free and unfree society should not treat people in that disgraceful way. but also the university of chicago, the number of people who are thought the democratic party is full of nonsense and still think that is significant and the intellectual leadership in the two places in the university of chicago that i know, the law school and the economics environment that has come from the right and my current institution harvard law school, many of the top people there are either right of center or could not be described as
8:43 am
left of center. >> yeah. >> that's that 92% number you give, that's alarming. >> is there an an awareness of a problem that needs to be solved here? highest academic level, they are $32 billion, the heck with worrying about it. >> my general reaction to it is undoubtedly a product of my experience over the last x years, so our country has a number of challenges. 40,000 people died on the highways in 2016, that's an increase, our infrastructure isn't great, our unemployment while down remains too high, our national, gdp growth isn't high enough, the problem of persistent poverty and educational inadequate educational preparation, those remain serious and i will tell
8:44 am
you why i'm listing this and i'm not going to continue but you get the drift, you could add your own candidates, it's a really serious problem and the quite could make much more progress than it has and our educational institutions, they are the pride of the world. we have the best and the contributions to knowledge our educational institutions are providing whether it involves computers or basic science or even economics, it's really something. we are the best there is and so my focus, i think academics particularly focus too much on universities and that is important, but the name problem ailing america today isn't what's happening in over land and the main problem is people
8:45 am
dying prematurely for y or z reason. >> is there an argument in #republic, perhaps even in the title for for the principle of deciding decisions to the extent possible on a more local federal or national basis? when you have the cultural divisions that are unbridgeable, does it make sense to have washington decide transgender bathroom behavior, that has to be -- or if state legislate hour in raleigh or the city council in charlotte to decide that issue? and can you give us some of your thoughts onto what -- in what areas that might be helpful to do and in other areas where it's not a good idea. >> it's a great question. there's an old political science paper called gag rules and democracy and the theory is on
8:46 am
issues on which people are kind of at logger heads, they might just not talk to each other about those issues and just proceed on issues on which they can talk. >> this is one, you hoped uncle bob would bring up politics and things. >> no, no, exactly. this is a brilliant insight and closely connect today your point. you might think that if the national government is going to break down over y -- x or y issues that's going to inflame everybody, the argument of having states and localities in their own way is strengthened. it's a reasonable and i think fair inference. it's a point that is the idea that where we are enflamed with each other and paralyzing thing maybe the states and localities, it's a point but as the last part of your question suggests
8:47 am
whether the point is decisive or just one of seven considerations, depend on the area and in the environmental contest if certain states are polluting other states, then there's an argument for national solution to prevent the crossover pollution. the first mission of the protection agency should not be set set air quality for each state but make sure they don't create adverse environmental imimpacts on other states and there's a rule from the epa called the cross-state rule which follows that theory, so the environmental issue probably a good one to think, what levels of water pollution, what levels of reduction in aggressive
8:48 am
national minimum given states capacity to handle themselves and where do we have a problem the states can handle given the one state is adversely affecting another. it might be that the national authorities have capacity to figure out environmental impact which would suggest but should be less aggressive. the transgender is super interesting. the question would be whether we think of transgender issue subject to reasonable doubt that national solution makes no sense or whether we should think of it in the way that most people now think of race discrimination as one where there's, you know, a characteristic which is not legitimate of the basis for mistreatment and, you know, the transgender issue one i thought a whole lot about but the question would be in which ben it falls, there are areas that
8:49 am
even march under discrimination where the national government doesn't step in. some people who think of a more capacious notion and maybe they can do that in california but we don't want a national age discrimination that has that degree of provocativeness. and in california, you get where i'm going. the fact that it's a moral issue doesn't need we need a centralized solution. i think you have a strong point and if we took some domains where the federal government is a logger heads and just put in the states and localities, then the intensity of central
8:50 am
blockage was the diminished. >> justice ginsburg suggestions said that if roe v. wade, this would not have been a greater issue. >> i think marian, embassador of the vatican under president bush and justice ginsburg are correct, roe v. wade was a blunder on nationalize issues on which the states on their diverse values were resulting in different ways, in a way that evolves thinking. >> i've had the thought of reading the book that maybe the problems are not new. if you go back in time between a period that you can say the passage of the radio act of 1930 which began federal -- under the state and the repeal of the
8:51 am
fairness doctrine in 1987 which you say in the book was warranted at least at that time as intelligent policy decision and should not be revisited. you had in this country something of what i call universal media. you had everybody listen to the radio to just a few stations, everybody went to the movies. i mean, the movie attendant, 1930, 123 million people average weekly movie attendance was 100 million every week. that's a universal medium. television in the 1950's and 60's. president reagan and one of the reasons for political success made prepolitical career entirely in all three of those media in radio, in movies and television. he embodied and spoke naturally, the language of universal media, common national values, those
8:52 am
movies, those things still speak to us, they provided a common language. that's technology that has clearly change that had but prior to 1930 we were living in america and america which was not as connected and did not have prevalent university culture. can you think of any lessons on how to cope with that might occur to you from that other america. >> i'm thinking of the question helps explain probably the saddest statistic that exists which is that gone with the wind beats star wars a new hope of the inflation adjusted box office winner. you don't look particularly to hear that statistic. >> gone with the wind.
8:53 am
things we really don't like. >> well, i think it's a great movie. i love the movie and the book is phenomenal and fascinating but star wars should be number one. [laughter] >> still you give the right explanation which is that there was a time when everyone was at the movies and they went to the same movies and star wars was released at a time when there was less diversity than there is now, there's a a neutral reason and it's not popular but produced in the era of media. that is not the answer that you were looking for, though, i'm sorry. you are historically correct that we have an era, universal media that sometimes providers of information in that era which is receding has been refer today general interest intermediaries
8:54 am
and the question is what can we learn from the prior era, the only thing that i would add in terms of the challenges we face in the way there are more intense than then, even if the level of universal experience is not lower now than it was then because the ability of each of use to find a still -- zillion people who think exactly like we do, that has no precedent. you think of somebody, name your least favorite politician should be in jail and it could be that some people love, if it's someone who most people love. [laughter] >> michael jordan, most people love michael jordan. do you think he should be in jail in you can find a zillion people that agree with you that
8:55 am
that person should be in jail and the other times -- >> this is the athens. >> completely. the ability to find a very large number of people who think whatever you think and to do that in one second, that is, it's great in a way. define yourself in the coziest place in the world of people that would fortify your acentric view, that's different than when you find 4 people or 24 that agree with you but it's a little bit like the colorado experiment not with groups of six but with groups of 700 and, you know, then the unity extremism confidence would have grown.
8:56 am
>> that pre1930 period also had a future, something called a civil war. we got a national issue, slavery in the territories that people were unwilling to compromise on and you had -- you pointed to a number of unsolved or insufficiently addressed public policy areas that most people would agree very intense on. do you see a threat as big as that, as big as -- what are the big threats you see that might keep you worrying at night? >> okay, so the civil war reference is great because it points up something about lincoln that's not sufficiently prominent in public celebrations with lincoln and that is lincoln was an opponent of slavery for all of his adult life in a kind of uncompromising way but he was
8:57 am
not an opponent of eliminating slavery for today, for much of his adult life and he found in contradiction there. the fact that a majority of white people want slavery is highly relevant and whether they are wrong or right actually irrelevant to the issue of what to do today. the fact of their intense views. that's a block and it wasn't that he thought they might be right, we have to combine clarity on the principle with prague -- pragmatism. is that relationship pragmatis, the. i don't think we are in danger of anything like that. so what the close of thing to
8:58 am
keeping me up at night is thinking that there are human strategies all around us, everybody everyone is listening to this, can think of one in his or her last 20 years and might be, you know, in my case my mother died of spoking associated illness and, you know, that's not the worst. people have worst and for a large percentage of those, if we had well-if you thinking markets or well-if you thinking
8:59 am
9:00 am
india is a contributor because they know us and as they say i'm working with that person on that issue twitter will go crazy. it works for both democrats and republicans. >> we saw that on the vote of justice gorsuch. >> i went on record saying the democrats should have voted for justice goresuch or had a respectful know without a filibuster. that is my view. democrat even if they shared that, to take that line, you are a demon, twitter and facebook, to get yourself explained in those contacts is very challenging and that contributed over the last decade a very unfortunate process for judges.
9:01 am
>> let me leave you with a thought that occurred to me which is perhaps on point. it occurs to me one of the places in which americans still here of opposing political views is the extended family thanksgiving day, christmas, other holidays. our extended family is getting smaller. we have fewer children, that means your children have fewer cousins. do we know what is happening to those extended family discussions? we had socialists, conservatives, a variety of people, parents were eisenhower, lyndon johnson voters. has that gone the way of
9:02 am
everybody going to the same movies every week? >> a great question. the data in other domains is conflicted with the hypothesis that the degree of diversity at family get-togethers is smaller than it used to be but i don't have data that nails that. there has been geographical sorting along political lines that is higher than was found in decades before. what is unclear from my understanding of the data is whether family members have eternal disagreement. there is less internal disagreement. >> your statement toward the beginning of the data, have your son mary a republican. >> if your uncle is a republican and you are a democrat unless you dislike your uncle you won't be alarmed if your daughter marries.
9:03 am
the data is consistent with the hypothesis which i don't know to be true which is there's a diminution on that count. >> host: let me put my remarks by quoting something that occurred to me as apropos of the earlier question, the historian -- of northwestern -- wrote in his book the segmented society that over most of american history, 19th century, early 20th americans lived in small social units, primary circles of identity values, associations and goals which americans could live together because they lived apart. is that too much of a resigned we just have to kind of -- you get an extreme example, the american conservative, a book called the benedict option where
9:04 am
he says people of religious faith, traditional christian faith, i believe he is a roman catholic, should just wall themselves off from this vicious larger society, vicious as he sees it and wall themselves and their families off, make their living's in some ways they are not participating in what he regards as a corrupt and lascivious society. he is an interesting person and his model is the founder of saint benedict of the benedictine monastery's. >> host: if someone married in the catholic church to a catholic woman a marriage that was arranged with the help of the catholic us ambassador to the vatican, marion glendon who helped us -- was gracious enough
9:05 am
to do that. really glad catholics have and wall themselves off. two of my children wouldn't be my children. they wouldn't exist. i couldn't disagree more strongly with that statement and the reason is there are very few things that are un-american but that is un-american, where we understand america to be a nation that celebrates the capacity of people with very different foundational commitments to live together with not just genealogy but with something approaching love. that is a pretty christian thought as well as an american thought. i have a different doctrine. >> host: let me open this up to the audience for questions. we have people with microphones.
9:06 am
i would like to ask you to identify yourself and your organizational affiliation, which philo you come from. let's start off. >> my name is greg. i am a big fan of yours, i'm a political liberal who a lot of times fights in culture wars. i'm working on a book, i am interested in polarization. did you see the reason survey that people were talking about in response to your book the talked older people, to use the internet, actually more polarized than younger people. the fact that it ended the in 2012 is why you might have seen that affect. what do you think of it? >> i haven't read the people, it is by two excellent people i
9:07 am
admire so the paper finds 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 period. it is a very gross account not in the sense that it is disgusting. nothing disgusting about this paper. it operates with real aggregates. the question is what hypothesis particularly are they testing. the hypothesis, those who use social media are more polarized than those who don't. there paper does falsify that hypothesis but what we don't know is whether social media use is a polarizer among those who use social media. the paper doesn't have that hypothesis. what is going on with older
9:08 am
people we don't know to make more polarized. something is happening there. >> isn't it usually true that older people are more likely to have a fixed party identification than younger people all things being equal? >> it might be. the drama of the paper is older people are showing more split now than they were. >> more likely to watch cable news. >> there is nothing in the paper that is inconsistent with -- what is the name of this book? "#republic: divided democracy in the age of social media". "#republic: divided democracy in the age of social media" urges that social media is a contributor to political polarization particularly for those people who are politically very engaged, self-supporting. the book has a ton of papers not
9:09 am
by the author but others the port of that thesis so let's call it the gross paper, gross meaning aggregate data. it is a very interesting paper but in no tension with the things you and others are concerned with. >> the lady in front. >> thank you. i just wanted to mention democrat and republican. i'm thinking just in our society, capitalism, people are used to money as the measure of your achievement or your value. but the next step before the 50s of 60s thinking about what do you want to achieve to improve
9:10 am
society that would reform but now people thinking about reform as how do you get the most money. i wonder instead of saying how to improve society, do you think instead of people saying politics or religion now they are saying -- don't talk about -- what step do you think to improve our system so we can improve society rather than that. >> first point. i am a big fan of capitalism. the fact hours of the capital estimate is a source of pride. second in a capitalist system it
9:11 am
is never the case that social value is uniformly associated with how much people are able to obtain. i mean the word never literally. if you look at people who are greatly admired a lot of them don't have a ton of money or if they do they are admired for their achievement, not their money. so the view that the people who end up admired in various communities -- it depends on what their characteristics are. some people who admire them for their money, that wouldn't be the median person. you are great, you build that, you figured that out or you help people or their is a fantastic company, steve jobs is greatly admired. the admired because he is rich? know. he is at my because he built a
9:12 am
product. the idea that in the 50s people were more admired for their achievements and in the 2017 more for their money, that is theoretically possible but i don't know if any evidence that it is true. in the 50s joe dimaggio was extremely admired. not a whole lot of money and is he made plenty he was joe dimaggio. not even rich guy. 56 consecutive games, that was his achievements. in terms of what to do i would not focus on capitalism. i would focus on private practices that are not inevitable, many of them very recent, that are contributors to the problem. in terms of government more macro, subsidiarity is one approach which would make sense.
9:13 am
in other domains, this is a very contestable view. madison and hamilton's conception was we want a deliberative democracy where there would be people whose job it would be to figure things out, specialists and experts and they would ultimately be accountable to we the people but it wouldn't be like referenda on their action day by day. they would be knowledgeable and virtuous when they do stuff and in my view that is an enduring insight. if we want to do something about problem x, to authorize people who actually know something about problem x, move on it whether it is food safety your traffic safety your infrastructure improvement they wouldn't be the only people, we the people would be the ultimate arbiters but they would have some space to do stuff. the fact that in the united
9:14 am
states you can eat and not be afraid of getting sick or you can mostly drive and not be afraid of getting crashed into. that is in part a tribute to capitalism and in part a tribute to the madisonhe envisioned. >> good afternoon. pleasure to meet you. my name is todd wiggins. i would like to ask from your perspective of being a renaissance man, which has a few pitfalls. you know so much about so many things but if you're on a job interview. what has been your greatest hit. not just selling books but being able to exact change which was
9:15 am
discernible. and you caused me to do something different, anything you can think of off the top of your head that you are conscious of that you have done. >> you know the song 22 by taylor swift? i wrote that song. 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 were helpful. one thing a lot of people have experienced is global entry tsa program. i don't know if that is my greatest hit. i got to participate in it. there are programs that involve
9:16 am
life-saving from areas -- various problems people are subject to that i got to participate in, people who are around and i got to help with that. that is not as good as 22. >> i would have to say is a global entry traveler you have saved or helped to save 40 hours of my life so thank you. director i guess is the title. >> no institutional affiliation but i am in the trump silo. my question about the judge's study. i don't know if you have considered this but i am wondering if you thought how senatorial cul-de-sac could affect it. that has been expanded in the last administration. some focus on democratic senators and the fifth circuit is all republican and i believe if you look at more bush
9:17 am
appointees and more obama appointees, which would make because of this republican appointees have been more moderate and democratic senate states and democratic or republican so that was the outcome. >> a great question. two different dishes. issue number one. is judicial voting behavior affected by whether judges are sitting with people appointed by the president of the same party as the president who appointed them and their data suggests that that happens in every circuit so the patterns we describe our uniform across circuits. there was one. >> and across party. >> completely uniform senatorial
9:18 am
courtesy, not detecting any differences in the extent to which the democratic judge will vote more liberal linearly with a number of democrats on the panel. so there is almost an iron law where the percentage of liberal votes grows with the number of democrats on the party, on the panel and it works for democrats and republicans. there was one panel where we got some noise in the data. the republicans are not affected by democrats and democrats not affected by republicans and that is because they don't like each other on that panel. >> the fact they hired a food tester. >> your point is a different point which is the senatorial courtesy could be a biological moderator. there is some data that supports what you say. in a period of senatorial courtesy at one point i compile
9:19 am
data on this where you didn't find any logical differences so start between democratic and republican appointees. that has to do either with the fact of senatorial courtesy or the fact that the issues were not flooding people as much as they were now. >> you had the phenomenon in the civil rights revolution period where the strongest federal district and circuit judges where republicans appointed by president eisenhower. >> you are asking about a moderator of ideological division. the answer could be yes. it could heightens that. that would be independent of the social media question, are we observing movements when people are in something like an echo chamber. >> what logs do law professors
9:20 am
read? there are lots of law professors but which law blocks do you pay attention to? you say a couple of them in the book. >> i have intention to only two. the ebola conspiracy which is quite the good. the authors are very strong and it is not a law one but i don't think i am a renaissance man but more law professor guy but tyler cowan, marginal revolution, great. and on everything, tyler cowan is interesting and inventive, has some interesting -- interesting things to say about law. i am these days down on blogs, not in the sense they are useless but the word cake, what is your take, that is a really bad phrase, isn't it? chances are you shouldn't say
9:21 am
it. logs, a take is just -- >> is your attitude a response to something. >> your take, i have some friends, it is so -- >> if i read the headline, and i'm not going to bother because i know what they will say and have my own response to the argument. >> most law professors that i know spend very little time with blogs but tyler cowan is always worth 10 times the amount of time to read him. >> parsing got to be a little
9:22 am
tricky with that. other questions here? this young man here. >> >> the application to social media. and most social media networks have pretty strong, written codes, hate speech. and the public forum doctrines. >> talking about the first amendment doctrine. >> there is a lot there so let's separate two different ideas. one idea is the streets and parks in the sense, even if they
9:23 am
don't want them to be. time, place and manner restrictions, and that is an unusual first amendment doctrine, because it is not about protecting government censorship but providing spaces where people can communicate, any tyrant who gets in office closes the public spaces and that is different from censoring disagreement. and what is the outlier in free-speech tradition and applies to separate different ideas not just to content discriminatory restrictions, but content neutral restrictions, if streets and parks were not open to express an activity, between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm, and that is
9:24 am
content neutral. and it is content-based. there is a per say band, it is a big burden of justification. if you said you can't use -- hate speech's theme is viewpoint neutral but content-based so if you go up to people and say something predictably to produce violence, under the existing doctrine that can be regulated. what counts as hate speech is a narrow definition. if you go in someone's face and
9:25 am
think of the worst thing that can be regulated, if you say something like the political person you look like best is a crook and a horror and god had a bad day when that person is born that is pretty hateful but not hate speech. the question, hate speech very narrowly defined, is regular bull, any public forum or not, once you expand it from the very narrow legal conception of hate speech, let's say the ordinary language of hateful communication, then no regulations in the abstract, that is good because notwithstanding the concerns we should have about instability to been civil speech wouldn't be very civil in a society which
9:26 am
treasures robust and often inflamed political discussion. >> this gentleman, last question. >> my name is will reinhardt. i am a former social media researcher and now i'm into tech policy in dc. i work for the american action forum. i want to push back on something and ask a question about effectiveness. you talk about serendipity as a way within social media as a way to combat this polarization and yet it seems to me the events you are talking about our serendipitous in their own way that when you get people who are older as compared to colorado springs in the same room with a go more extreme even though they are more middle is far as results are concerned. needs to be the same as serendipity, serendipitous project in some way that you would suggest for social media.
9:27 am
given what we know what do you think is the effectiveness of that going to be with other remedies? the more i look at this i am not sure what the most effective remedy is. >> on two points good. you are picking up on an ambiguity in the word serendipity and you're picking up on lack of clarity about what remedy would be effective. by serendipity i mean something more particular than the word, which is exposure to ideas are points of view you never would have selected to see and don't necessarily fit with your views. on that view if you serendipitously find yourself in a room with people from boulder and just work out that way because of where people marched tuesday at 4:00 p.m. that is serendipitous but not in the sense that i mean. i mean it is like you are reading the daily newspaper and
9:28 am
you see some story about turkey and you had no interest in turkey and thought it was food but there is an authoritarian crackdown there and that could change what you do that day and over the course of a human year change a nontrivial number of people's lives to do something about that. that might be a point of view you might think to give an example, university of chicago, you might see a story about the minimum wage that shows you that significant increase is throwing a lot of people out of work, you might start not liking the minimum wage very much and that might affect or at least significant increase you might not like very much and that might affect your attitude and how you talk to one another which might have policy implications for a number of
9:29 am
people so that is the idea of serendipity. we don't have a word for it but the germans probably do. in terms of effectiveness. if you feel adamant take your preferred issue, that the holocaust happened. i am adamant on that and then you read stuff that says it didn't happen, that is not going to change you. for many people many political issues i like that. the bad which is not inconsistent with the data is many americans on a wide range of issues don't think of issues like the holocaust, they might think about obamacare, i love that and nothing is going to change me or i don't like that, nothing is going to change me but even there you might think obamacare -- i read something
9:30 am
about some provision that is causing a problem. i don't like that or you might think as many people do i like obamacare but the idea of calorie labels at chain restaurants, applying with that. .. [applause]
9:31 am
[inaudible conversations] >> this weekend c-span's city tour along with comcast partners, we will explore the literary life and history of eugene, oregon today and culture figure. we traveled to the university of oregon library and special collections to see handwritten letters and other items showing hawaii he researched and approached the writing of that book. >> the book was published by psychiatrist name bartlett read the book and he sent letter and ensued in fun correspondence
9:32 am
about mental institutions and that kind of details. hear about former u.s. senator from oregon wayne morris, characterized as fiercely independent, morris served from 1945 to 1969 starting as a republican to leaving party and becoming independent and later joining the democrats caucus. >> he is so well known for his integrity and standing up for principles specially local decent against vietnam war. were watch today on book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> joining us here on our


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on