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Politics Science

Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain? 758

New submitter kyjellyfish writes "Research published in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests that your parents 'Left or 'Right' party affiliations are not the only factor at work shaping a person's political identity. Differences in opinion between 'Lefties' and 'Righties' may reflect specific physiological processes. In research performed over 10 years ago, brain scans showed that London cab drivers' gray matter grew larger to help them store a mental map of the city." From the article: "Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli."
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Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?

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  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @02:13AM (#42942041)

    Often I wonder what engineers really qualify as.


  • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @02:45AM (#42942177)

    Or as Stephen Colbert famously put it [], "Reality has a well-known liberal bias!"

  • by nametaken ( 610866 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @02:54AM (#42942217)

    It's funny, I'm surrounded by mostly conservatives, and some (maybe most) don't object to the "universal background checks" so much as they object to what it'll really be. Most of us already go through background checks in our states. This is the sort of thing we might admit when nobody is listening, though of course I do not speak for the whole forty-something percent of the nation. ;)

    First, we know what happens when you have databases of people that possess firearms. You've probably seen the google maps plots of everyone's home addresses. If you're a gun owner in a state that has firearm licensing, you know that even when required by law, they can take months longer than allowed to process a one page form, and there's nothing you can do about it. During that time, all manner of nasty things can happen, not least of which is having your card expire and having your firearms suddenly become illegal. Now you're a felon. Imagine how that makes you feel if you live anywhere near this scumbag []. We also know that people that shouldn't clear often do, while people that should clear often don't. They have to hire lawyers to help them through the process, and it's a nightmare. We'll skip past the really scary bits of national gun owner databases for the sake of brevity (too late, I know).

    Straw purchases are a problem in some places. With handguns, specifically. And only around cities where handguns are already illegal (let's face it, the gun control laws don't actually work). But it's still a problem everyone wants solved. What we don't want is a running leap down the slippery slope, coupled with the issues listed above.

    The magazine size thing is just bullshit. Almost no crime is committed with rifles, only a tiny subset of those are committed with "the black rifles", and you'd be hard-pressed to make the case that in any of those very, very rare cases, magazine size had anything to do with the commission of the crime. It's just another thing to ban, for no reason other than political points... and it's at the expense of lawful people.

    Again, slippery slope with no benefit to society.

    There's probably common ground to be had on some of this stuff, somewhere, but it's obscured by decades of awful politics perpetrated by liberals in office against normal, law-abiding citizens. Those of us who are old enough know better have noticed that the President has been using the phrase "common sense" over and over and over. There's a reason for that... nothing about it is "common sense." He's selling BS legislation.

    And so we fight. Some of us even give money to groups we may not particularly love, like the NRA. When you know you have to do something to defend your constitutional rights, and there's a good chance you're about to lose the battle to the 24hr news cycle. Remember, we live among a population that would trade their own children if you promised it would make them safer.

    Remember how easy it was to sell everyone on bogus wars over "tururrism"? Yeah, we remember too. Tell people you're going to "Stop the senseless bloodshed by banning these ultra-mega-high-capacity magazines for ruthless killers", and they'll sign on the dotted line, even if it doesn't make any sense.

    We did exactly this, already, just a few years ago. If you don't remember, go hit the wiki. It did absolutely nothing, for anyone except the politicians that pushed it. But memories are short, and it's possible we'll end up doing this dance again. That's the feeling that makes people belt out some pretty silly stuff about the direction this country is headed.

  • by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @06:54AM (#42943051)
    So the far-Right, conservative, Mafia-riddled Catholic South of Italy is more successful than the Communist-leaning North?

    I remember another Ducati owner commenting to me once that "I prefer my bikes to be made by Communists, they want things to work in this world but Catholics don't care if you end up in the next one."

  • by Kr1ll1n ( 579971 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:42AM (#42943783)

    More than double;

    3 bed, 2 bath, 2k sq. ft. house where I live - $150,000
    3 bed, 2 bath, 2k sq. ft. house in SF or MV - 1.2million
    Median income where I live - 37k
    Median income in SF - 81k

    So they are making about 2.25 times as much, with housing that is 8x times higher.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:15AM (#42944103) Homepage

    The Democratic Party was a racist party until 1960, although it had started moving in that direction during the Truman administration. The Kennedy administration, and Robert Kennedy in particular, were explicitly anti-racist. When Lyndon Johnson passed the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act in 1964, that was the final straw for most of the racists in the Democratic Party, and they left for the Republican Party. At the same time, Barry Goldwater specifically appealed to racism, and that strategy continued to be tapped progressively more carefully by Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Newt Gingrich. It occasionally rises to the surface too, with "macaca" moments and the like.

  • by Kr1ll1n ( 579971 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:17AM (#42944111)

    I am a conservative, but a Libertarian.

    I do not fear the following;


    I understand that terrorism can, and does happen. I expect to have the freedom of self defense available to me when it happens. Does not mean I fear them.
    I understand that terrorism can, and does happen. I expect to have the freedom of self defense available to me when it happens. Does not mean I fear them.
    Who cares, other than Homosexuals?
    Who cares, other than Muslims?
    Who cares, other than Communists?
    I welcome immigrants, but not gang-bangers, gun-runners, drug cartels, and the like, so long as I have the freedom of self defense available to me when they show up at my door. I also hold issue with how you willfully neglect to say "illegal immigrants". Regardless, it does not mean I fear them. Illegal immigrants take jobs that our country does not currently have to spare. We have a >10% unemployment rate. Last time ICE raided the chicken processing plant 2 miles down the road, they took into custody over 75 illegals, and by 7:00pm, there was a line out the door of naturalized citizens waiting to fill out applications.

    Ironically, all the things you say conservatives are afraid of, outside of the Homosexuals, Muslims, and Communists, actually do exist, and have been statistically shown to be problematic.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:40AM (#42944315) Homepage Journal

    It's because the US left isn't left. They're not held accountable by voters, who vote however the idiot box tells them, so they are free to sell out to corporate interests — and indeed, if they don't, they won't get re-elected. The economic influence has homogenized American politics. The only way to fix it short of a revolution is to convince people to listen to something other than the mass media on political issues. I'm all ears as to how we can accomplish that...

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault