I’ve written before on the incredible predictive abilities that seem to derive from certain mental models of the American political system.
The Enlightenment Tradition adjusted the balance of power between Reason and Faith – most on what is considered the ‘Left’ still consider this to be a good thing.
The Scientific Method uses an iterative process of hypotheses and experimentation – a model is considered strong if it has predictive validity.
During the Bush Administration, FDL and much of the liberal blogosphere correctly derided those mainstream pundits who were profoundly wrong on the outcome of the American invasion of Iraq. Their hypotheses had no predictive validity, yet still they pompously presumed to advocate for continued war and destruction, without ever admitting error. Thomas Freidman even became a running joke, with the famous ‘Freidman Unit.’
The practice of journalism and punditry was challenged by the emergence of the Blogoshpere – folks like Glenn Greenwald gained prominence by trenchantly critiquing the MSM in near real-time. Those like Glenn who maintained open, active comment sections could in turn, refine and improve their critiques based on diverse points of view from around the world.
This tendency helps refine the ongoing, collective formation of ‘mental models of the
American Political System’ and subjects them to comparison with reality and history – did things turn out as Nate Silver predicted? As Jane Hamsher? As Markos Moulitsas? As Chris Floyd? As Arthur Silbur?
So, for my first diary, basically a test if the system is working, an easy, vanilla question:
Is open dialog between divergent points of view a good thing for Progressive social change, for folks who care for "progressive" values such as peace, justice, liberty, equality and truth?"