Are You An Ideological Robot?


If someone called you a robot, would you be
offended? Probably, right? After all, robots can’t actually think for
themselves. They just mimic humans by cranking out pre-programmed responses. But what if I told you that more than likely, you, and most of the people you know, are a certain type of robot. No, not that kind of robot. I’m talking about an ideological robot. Let’s back up. In 2011, a Nobel economist claimed that liberals
like him do a better job of understanding their opponent’s political views than conservatives
do. He said, “A liberal can talk coherently about
what the conservative view is because people like me actually do listen.” (KRUGMAN): “A liberal economist can imitate
a conservative economist, can pretend.” (KRUGMAN): “The reverse is not true.” In other words, he was saying that liberals
don’t just mindlessly reject their opponents ideas, and they’re able to see all sides of
an argument, while conservatives unthinkingly misrepresent the views they don’t like. Whether or not conservatives or liberals are
better at understanding their opponents isn’t something we’re going to tackle in this video. But it’s an interesting question, and it’s one that got George Mason professor,
Bryan Caplan thinking: “How can someone show that
they truly understand their ideological opponents, and that they’re not just repeating pre-programmed
arguments?” Is there a way someone can prove they aren’t
just some kind of ideological robot? Enter “The Ideological Turing Test.” In 1950, famed computer scientist Alan Turing
created a test that assessed whether a computer had achieved human-like intelligence. In 2011, Professor Caplan wrote about an idea
he called “The Ideological Turing Test,” a way of testing a person’s ability to genuinely
understand their opponents’ political views. In this test, you talk with someone with opposing
views, and try to get them to believe that you share their viewpoint. If you’re able to fool them, bingo. You’ve passed the test. The difference here is instead of testing
a machine’s ability to imitate a human, Professor Caplan’s version tests a human’s ability to
imitate their opponent’s ideas. But, so what? Well, consider all the bad ideas in the span
of human history. Consider that most of the people at the time
thought they were doing the right thing. Now consider all the bad ideas that are still
dominant today, and that, statistically, you’re probably contributing to the survival of some
of those bad ideas. (BARNEY): “When the old steel trap in here has made up
its mind, there’s no turning back!” Anyone who wants to help make a better world needs to be able to discern good ideas from bad ones. To imagine the possibility that you could
be wrong and honestly consider other viewpoints. After all, it’s pretty easy to think your
opponents are stupid, evil, or even crazy when you’re making up bad arguments for them. But what if you’re forced to make their strongest
arguments? It just might put your own beliefs to the
test. The philosopher John Stuart Mill once said: “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” And Mill’s right. If you don’t understand the views you disagree
with, then you’ve likely never put your own views to the test. And, when you ignore or misrepresent opposing views,
chances are: you’re not looking for the truth. The human mind is biased, and yours is no
exception. But there are real ways you can defy that
bias. So, whenever you’re about to write off your
opponent’s views, give yourself a mini Ideological Turing Test. See if you can describe their beliefs in a
way that you can honestly tell yourself they’d accept. Chances are: their arguments will look a little
more reasonable, even if you still don’t agree with them. But more importantly, it will prevent you
from making bad, one-sided arguments, and hopefully, bring you closer to the truth.

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100 thoughts on “Are You An Ideological Robot?

  1. Krugman is totally off base. Most liberals think that just because you don't want the government to do something that must mean you don't want that thing being done at all. Most of them think that you must be corrupt, ignorant, or malevolent if you disagree with them.

  2. I think what is being described here is the 'tribal' mindset. Folks that stop to think about what is important to them will typically not agree with all points of either political party. But just take a look at any comment board on a politicial story/video and you'll see those who seek to vilify the other party (tribe vs. tribe), and those who look at things through a prism of what they value. Those two groups react very differently when people disagree with them.

  3. Hold it! Don't you know that logical arguments and rational debate are tools of the patriarchy and white privilege? How dare you promote such gendered thinking! I demand you step down from your job and issue a public apology.

    (I think I did a pretty good job of viewing your video from the perspective of an SJW.)

  4. I could pretend to be a Republican so damn easy. Their ideology is deep like a pond, I'll try: Free market is good because freedom and regulations are not cool because they take freedom from capitalist people like me and it's our money. Also, lowering taxes is good for the economy as it lets the money flow freely among people and corporations so it will eventually trickle down to poorer classes because the free market equilibrates itself! And government should not provide subsidies and help for those who need it, good values and charity will take its place, this is the greatest country we live in, America.

    Easy shit. Conaservatives are just parrots with the fallacies and lies fed by Fox News and capitalist propaganda. Their ideology is simply a lie.

  5. Here is my attempt:
    "We need socialism because every person deserves to have their basic needs fulfilled. This includes food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, hygiene etc and there are people in this world who don’t have any of these. With the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, we need to make the rich pay their fair share and nationalise industries that provide for peoples’ needs. It makes practical sense too since nationalised industries can put more resources into helping people rather than taking out money to pay their executives."
    How did I do?

  6. In this comments section:
    5% "Wow, this video really made me think about my rhetoric and logic, thanks Learn Liberty!"
    95% "I agree, but <proceeds to completely ignore the point of the video and assert one's own supposed ideological superiority without evidence or reasoning>"

  7. I'll try to be a leftist swine….. I am a socialist. I believe that white people are evil because the NYT told me so. How did I do?

  8. The more a person needs to follow this advice, the less likely they will.

    Stop subscribing to the false left-right political paradigm!!!

  9. Good video. As an European, I still don't get why americans call the Democrats as Liberals. At most they are social liberals, certainly not classical liberals like the Founding Fathers of the US. Between economic liberalism defended by (some) of the Republicans and social democracy defended by the Dems, I think there is a clear distinction.

  10. Krugman's statement just makes me think of how my grandfather (liberal) likes the show All in the Family, because it shows both political sides how they actually believe they are, rather than caricatures. The very idea that Archie Bunker is how conservatives see themselves demonstrates the nonsense and arrogance of Krugman's statement.

  11. Great idea, but far older than the video implies- this is what playing Devil's Advocate is all about. Thomas Aquinas (who lived in the 13th century)was really great at presenting opposing arguments with great skill.

  12. It seems to me much easier for those right of center to understand the Left's arguments because the larger news media and Hollywood inundate us with their point of view. If you watch movies or TV, and you read/watch any news outlet outside of Fox, you are always going to get a healthy dose of leftism.

  13. This is a reasonable video. I often times think about an opponents view when given the opportunity, and it's made me think if we do or don't have the same end game. We can argue all day about how to get there, but it's ridiculous when I see people talking past each other.

  14. to paraphrase owen benjamin, “when the other side has different goals, for instance hating white people, promoting communism etc, instead of freedom and liberty, i will fight them at every turn.”

    also, #buildthewall if you care about mexicans and their country being ruined by corruption. we can help, but the first step is keeping the people who can change their country for the better, IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY

  15. One obvious problem with this is liberals who don't have an argument and don't practice consistency. Or, worse, liberals who are deliberately vague and constantly move the goal posts so they have plausible deniability. Rob Bell wrote an entire book denying the reality of hell without actually saying he denies hell, and when pressed on the issue by a conservative, rather than defend his position, he simply denies his position. Rhetorical slippery soap. When you squeeze it, it slips away and preserves itself.

    Watch a liberal try to justify abortion. They'll keep bouncing around from place to place, contradicting what they said only the breath before.

    The ideological Turing test assumes a coherent, consistent argument to be repeated. But, most of the time, liberals have none.

  16. left liberals be like "there isnt such thing as truth" everything is subjective and when you disagree youre fascist racist bigotted white supremacist.

  17. Paul Krugman's statement was made from an ideologue's point of view.

    I can pretend to be a FAR left liberal, but I still hate everything they stand for.

  18. Given the amount of hatred spewed at those of us who are nationalist/populist/Trump supporters, it's a kind of inevitable that we need to disguise ourselves as our opponents in order to remain safe and secure at out jobs.

  19. This is intellectually dishonest. The proof of truth and reason is in facts, and predictive accuracy. If I know the facts, and make conclusions with predictions from those facts, and it turns out to be accurate 95% of time, then clearly I'm not guessing, and must know something of the truth. Knowing anyone else's opinion is pointless, unless it predicts more accurately. Then, ask yourself why?

    This video is post modern, intellectual Idiocracy. If you want to ensure you never know the truth, think like the video says.

  20. Eventually (and sooner rather than later), robots are going to take all of our jobs away, leaving us completely unemployed. We had better get used to robots.

  21. Carl Rogers suggested a similar experiment: When you have an argument with somebody, just stop the discussion and institute this rule: Each person can speak up for himself only after he's first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately and to that speaker's satisfaction.

  22. As it turns out, some students in my class are ideological robots who think they are progressive.
    Especially SJWs, neonazis and the so-called alt right.
    Yet I have understandings in their viewpoints.

  23. Or you could just arrive at your position by reasoning from first principles… Because generally you disagree on an issue not because of the merits of that issue, but because you are basing your arguments on fundamentally different core premises. For example, gun control has nothing to do with guns per se, but it ultimately boils down to your core beliefs about the nature of man and whether you believe in an internal or external locus of control.

  24. the next question becomes what do you do when you genuinely try to understand the opposing point of view but still disagree?

    there are numerous positions on issues taken by both sides of the political spectrum that are just fallacious and can not be empathized with.

    SJWs on the left and religious zealots on the right both subscribe to irrational dogma that can not be logically supported. am I robot for thinking that?

  25. This video has got it totally backwards. I have argued manu issues with libtards abd they always revert to the same "buh mu fefes tell me that its wrong" regardless of how well I have logically destroyed their argument, they always revert to buh ma fefes

  26. This is why the best way to debate is to lay out your opponent's beliefs accurately so that you demonstrate your understanding of them. At the very least, it will make it harder for them to say, "You don't understand". I have desperately tried to have the "Dialogue on Race" with a liberal, black friend of mine and his friends, but I'm white. So it always comes down to them saying, "You just don't understand".

  27. Ok I hate government stealing our freedoms even if it is a net positive and think people should only care about themselves

  28. Something I should think about.
    Tomorrow is Thanksgivings Day I am thankful for my Liberty. Thank you for all of you who educate and pass this along.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZfRaWAtBVg
    Thankfully this guy made it even though his is in bad shape.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fNy_tWYkd4

  29. This is harder to do for unpopular views, since people don't openly express them. Instead they come up with PC justifications. Example: I'm not against immigration. I just want to enforce the rules that outlaw 95% of it cause i'm pro law and order. So instead of just learning our opponents arguments, (which we have to do by reading between the lines) we have to mimic the dishonest way they present them.

  30. Why did he show Linda Sarsour?
    Her ideology is "bad" and definitely inconsistent….

    She's a "feminist" who called for gential mutilation on a least one girl… (who I think was an actual GM victim)
    She's a "peace activisit" that calls for Jihad on the pres of USA…
    She's a Muslim who believes women are equal to men?
    Her own Sharia would make her voice half that of a mans though.

  31. Most of the comments are misrepresenting what liberals believe, smh. The left-right political paradigm is tribal garbage. It's horse-race, sports team politics detrimental to any actual discussion of the issues. If your way of arguing against someone's view is by calling that view not truly conservative/liberal/libertarian/socialist (slapping a label on it), you need to stop thinking in terms that make an idea better or more valid just because it comes from your side.

  32. For people getting annoyed by the fact that they used conservatives not understanding liberals as the example, I think that was intentional to open up liberals to this video convincing them better. Might be unfair to conservatives, but if you TRUELY think that liberals are unable to see other viewpoints as easily as a conservative then taking a stance that their familiar with would be seen as friendly over hostile as video and thus they might be more susceptible to the message of the video.

  33. This is just as idiotic as Fisties why not attack the strongest most robust feminist arguments. Why would I oppose strong arguments? If they had good argmuments then I would not be disagreeing with them! That is the problem. I do not disagree with people based on ideology. I desagree with them based on their inability to form convincing arguments.

  34. in 2011 when he said that it might have been true, but I have watched a huge transformation occur as to which side has the entrenched "robots" as they're called here. Now Trump supports pretty much have to pass this test all the time or they will be kicked out of their gym or fired or whatever

  35. Plot twist: everyone in this comments thread is actually a member the group opposing the group they're posing as a member of!

  36. So this is the Learn Liberty I've been hearing about on the Rubin Report. This video makes great points. But it should be acknowledged that both liberals and conservatives misrepresent their opponent's views.

  37. if the human brain is naturally and more commonly biased
    why would finding an unbiased truth make you less of a robot, and as implied in the ending of the video; turn you from an ideological robot into a human.
    in fact, wouldn't being unbiased make you less human, or at least related to the very roots of your humanity.

  38. it's funny that you picked a "nobel economist" who actually does not understand economics … and who completely fails to understand the apposing arguments … irony ?

  39. A conservative can't mimic a liberal because the views espoused by liberals are incoherent and illogical. They are based strictly on emotion, not on facts.

  40. Nope, I have not found Paul Krugman's statement to be true / factual in my life experience.
    I'd say we're both biased and neither of us do a good job mimic'ing the other side's POV.

  41. Life is funny… it used to be Conservatives that were too set in their ways to listen to any opposing views… now its Leftists….. I say leftists not liberals because liberals tend to fall somewhere in the middle and are still somewhat open to discusion. Today……in 2018….. leftists rather see you dead then debate you.

  42. I know the feeling of changing my perspective, the pain of accepting reality. But when it comes to government and policies I always like to point out what other countries are doing, the ones that are prosperous and free but don't always toe the ideological line. I do like debating people and getting there opinions, so here i go throwing myself to the wolves of the internet lol

    Here is a summary of my views, Balanced budget amendment, Socialized medicine (i know how this will go over here) but we spend more already than most of those crazy socialist countries, and even Norway has private insurance. I would also have a strong military but it really needs to be reformed and our priorities should be reassessed. We need an education system that is at least in the top 10 (I would recommend looking at who is in the top 10 and coping a little of everything) Corporate taxes between 10 and 20% when it comes to personal income taxes maybe we should leave that to the states but the federal government taxes the states themselves with a flat tax. So for example, if California made a billion dollars in revenue they would have to give the federal government lets say 15% of that regardless of how much in debt California is in or if they have a deficit. It is not perfect but I would like to debate its merits. Also the federal government would have a "rubberband" tax one that is in direct relation to how fast the economy is growing so lets say the GDP is growing at 3% a year there would be a certain tax (we can debate how much) on all commerce, so a consumption tax, it would theoretically help keep the economy from growing too fast, something inflation is supposed to do as well. Now the revenue from this would go to paying off the debt or at least half of the money, another part would go into savings so if we had another major depression or recession we would have some money saved up, and in addition to that some of the money would go back into the economy in the form of investments (I remember talk of something similar during the presidential campaign. Keep in mind the federal government would be limited to these 3 taxes, and I am totally willing to debate and tweak these ideas even the scary one about socialized medicine. I also would talk more in detail about how I think we need to reform the military.

  43. I can easily pass the test and pretend being a commie. The history of commiunist party (all upper case of course) was one of my classes as a kid in USSR. I see a lot of this perverted logic in modern world including USA, sometimes literally repeating that it. It's a fallacy even to consider communism and classical liberalism as morally equivalent ideologies. People who want to take other's freedom or property must not have the same vote as those who want to keep those. Don't be afraid telling it them into their sneaky face. In every single communist regime in history people were executed for an attempt to leave. And it takes just a little of thinking to understand why it is not a coincidence.

  44. 0:24 In fact Jonathan Haidt demonstrated that the opposite is true, at least when it comes to moral evaluations: Conservatives could predict (and IIRC explain) Progressives' moral evaluations of various situations significantly better than Progressives could predict Conservatives'. His book The Righteous Mind expands on this phenomenon.

  45. Krugman is one of the biggest frauds in history. He's a flame throwing smug elitist-PIECE OF SHIT who mocks conservatives while using strawman arguments.
    People have to understand the balance of Left and Right today is way off. Most conservatives are moderates while Leftist are anti-capitalist/pro socialist totalitarians.

  46. If you guys (this channel) truly want to adhere to the turning test then claiming you or actually never mentioning your affliiation in videos makes me suspect. You guys do ignore facts and oversimplify communism. Not to mention if you guy's truly want an attempt to persuade (obviously most here are already at an agreement that "communist" are "evil" "cancer" taken from the comments) you fail to mention your own authority to speak on this. As this channel is supported and funded by IHS group a doublespeak for the reality of being funded as a libertarian group mainly supported by Charles Koch. The truth is no one can be "ideologically pure". I have my biases as so do many here but this channel and motive is already clear it's meant to upheld and challenge the narrative growing in the US for a better alternative to Capitalism with the carbon copy equivalent style of the liberal source Vox. Many won't care bc they already agree with your viewpoint. But the kids searching and researching what to trust and don't trust. It's best if you read ( this is the only way at the moment) the original source. So read Mills yourself. Read the ideology test research paper yourself. It takes a lot of time but that way you are aware that you aren't consuming something through a filter.

  47. Iv'e tried to become every ideology for a day. I've done this from Communism to Nazism, Libertarian to Social Democrat, conservative to leftist. Iv'e taught myself their beliefs. Totally convinced myself of them. And than after living a day as that ideology I evaluated it. Its taught me more than you could even imagine. It's completely changed my philosophy on certain subjects. Like war. I went from being a hawkish conservative, to a non interventionist Classical Liberal. It's also helped me completely abandon nationalism for a more light patriotism.

  48. Learn Liberty never ceases to amaze me in a good way. This time, it reminds me why I vote like an Independent voter, but also why I aspire so much to overcome even more of my Asperger's Syndrome than I already have. Yeah, I have a social skills handicap I am still in the process of overcoming, but I have come a long way in terms of completed progress. And that's literally all I got for this video.

  49. Deliberate corruption of the Turing Test. Einstein said, "Simple but not simpler". Turing Test has no need for derivations.

  50. This idea has a shred of genius: People who are convinced they understand the opposing arguments, like Krugman, really don't, they've formed their own mental misrepresentation of opposing views that wouldn't survive genuine scrutiny. However, this form of Ideological Turing Test is impractical and requires unrealistic cooperation from opponents. Secondly, this technique of inventing new custom vocabulary to use in a heated debate context is a dirty trick.

  51. I'm not against gun rights but surely, we should implement some common sense regulation. Implement some background checks to stop felons and mentally ill from buying guns. And eliminate the gun show loophole.

  52. Good video, but the left leaning bias that it's conservatives that are more likely to have this problem is way off. It's actually authoritarians that are more likely to be ideological robots, who can be on the left or the right.

  53. I don’t generally listen to people who say that they understand the other side more than the other side does them. It’s not a constructive point and isn’t something you can actually use in a political argument. It’s used when people want to demean the other side into something lesser than themselves

  54. Ok, I think I got this:

    "The evil rich racist inequality doesn't pay their fair share hurting the earth. All people deserve basic human rights for free like education, health care, clean water, food, shelter, a living wage, and an iphone. These evil 1% must be taxed and controlled until they pay enough to provide everyone else these rights. Also, borders are evil, because all humans are equal, and a border would cut off most of the earth from their rights. That's about the extent of my knowledge."

    How did I do?

  55. The interesting thing is that liberal psychologist Jon Haidt actually put this on a scientific footing. His conclusion was that conservatives are much more able to argue like liberals than vice versa. His conclusion was that conservatives reason along several axes whilst liberals are primarily confined to the axis of compassion. A less sympathetic way of expressing this is to say that liberal reasoning is infantile and over-emotional and lacks the nuances of conservative and libertarian thought.

  56. i understand my opponents more than most because i used to be on the opposing side the aisle, switched to conservatism when a i realized the left had nothing substantive, just base feelings and hunches run amok.

  57. Claire Conner is a great example of a leftist who can't articulate conservative views even though she claims that she grew up in a John Birch family. Everything she says are leftist stereotypes and talking points and have little to do with what the Society is all about.

  58. I always give time to the liberal argument, but their arguments are extremely gay and shitty. Worse yet, I get more angry every time I second guess myself for the sake of fairness, thinking maybe the gay shitty argument is the right way to approach X problem, but they are always wrong, and I feel like a dipshit for even giving time to consider their gay shitty failure opinions. I want to be more ideologically bent and less hesitant in my political decision making, but I'm too smart and balanced and great and handsome and humble.

  59. The real reason that many conservatives can't mimic a liberal's viewpoint is because most liberals typically don't make sense; their logic is flawed and conservative robots don't run on faulty software. Another reason is that most conservatives find it difficult to lie or mislead others. However, in agreement with the point of this video, many people who were liberal when younger become more conservative as they grow older, wiser, and more educated.

  60. It’s been a while since I read it but doesn’t Jonatan Haidt in his book The Righteous Mind come to the opposite conclusion of Krugman with pretty damn good evidence for it?

  61. DON'T BE FOOLED. THERE'S NOTHING LIBERAL ABOUT LIBERTARIANS. AND ALL WE'VE HEARD ABOUT SOCIALISM IN THE LAST FIFTY YEARS HAS BEEN LIES!

  62. child our media is not nearly as free as it may be needed to do so. And in today's era, it's you liberals who lie the most.
    We communists have read and studied liberal works, and repeatedly found errors in your ideology of capitalism and your defenses. Yet it is we who are misrepresented not you. Cause we threaten the class interests of the guys who run the show. The ones who "own" media, stock, workplaces and what not.
    The fact that you showed the clip of comrade Stalin in your video as a bigot shows your hypocrisy. If Stalin was so evil, why do Russians regard him as the greatest leader? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/16/record-70-per-cent-russians-approve-stalin/
    If Stalin killed so many as 40 million people, how come the census not mention it at all? https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Lies-Evidence-Accusation-Bloodlands/dp/0692200991
    Same holds true for Mao, https://monthlyreview.org/commentary/did-mao-really-kill-millions-in-the-great-leap-forward/

    It is you supporters of capitalism who refuse to see the other side of the view not us communists.

  63. I find that almost everyone wants the same end goal, it’s how to get to that end goal that differs.

  64. I disagree with the video as I could easily sound just like or very similar to a hyper politically bias person of just about any direction. It's not hard to learn an ideology talking points and attach emotion to the arguments. I'm not sure if the video was saying Krugman was less bias or more, he's clearly bias to the point where I'm not sure his opinion has much of any credibility unless you subscribe to his very particular set of ideological rules.

    Paul is the economist that demands things be done his way, so things get done his way… then fail… so he finds some reason "his way" was not perfectly done and blames that, never himself. I think that's prof he can't see anything from an opposing side, he can't see himself as being wrong after his ideas were put into practice.

  65. As a conservative, I understand my Leftist ideological opponents very well. After all, I used to be one.

    A Leftist, however, has more than likely never been exposed to conservative ideas.

  66. This video is racist and I will now block traffic and burn a campus, Orange hair ,45. Not my President.

  67. This is easy. I used to be a gullible idiot. So I actually held many of the views I now know are dangerous.

  68. I don't think liberalism or conservatism can be right or wrong. They are an image of our basic assumptions about right and wrong. For example, if you value more liberty than equality chances are you are going to be a (modern) conservative. If you value equality more that liberty, you're going to be a (modern) liberal. This is one of the basic distinctions between modern left vs. right.

    Note on definitions modern vs classical: classical liberals were more concerned with equality of opportunity, while modern liberals are more concerned with equality of outcome. Modern conservatives now have positions that are almost identical with classical liberals, just with more emphasis on preservation of culture and traditions. Classical conservatives didn't entirely accepted equality of opportunity when it was contrary with traditional values or ways (for example, universal right to vote).

  69. I haven't met a true liberal in a decade! Liberals today is the equivalent of the left, they can't be reason or barging with. Everything that come out their mouth is: gender, class and race. And in the economics pretty much everything they proposed is proven to be wrong or have disastrous consequences.

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