Notes from Ted

If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never stand for or against. Struggle between “for” and “against” is the minds worst disease.


Some quick notes from Jonathan Haidt’s talk to Ted on the “The real difference between liberals and conservatives“.

Liberals are high on the personality trait of “openness to experience” whereby they crave novelty, verity, and diversity. Those who are low in the trait like things that are familiar, safe, and dependable. There is a juxtaposition here because being “open” primarily focuses on new experience but can often be hostile to the familiar.

Foundations of morality:

  1. Harm/Care
  2. Fairness/Reciprocity
  3. In-group/Loyalty
  4. Authority/Respect
  5. Purity/Sanctity

Liberals, in general, have a two channel morality and reject in-group, authority, and purity as foundations of morality.  Social entropy, order starts to decay, can be steamed with some kind of punishment (religion may act as such a anti-entropy.)  Additionally advanced social organization, such as creating the great piramids or going to the moon, require the use of all give moral channels.

  • Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed; want change and justice, even at the expense of chaos.
  • Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions; want order even at cost to those at the bottom.

In summary it would seem our minds were designed to 1) build us into teams, 2) separate us from other teams, and 3) blind us to the truth (of our/others teams.)