President Donald Trump

Press Secretary Sean Spicer

Synthisophy

Embracing technology is often a source of isolation, but it can also be much more. It can be an avenue for us to interact despite differences in viewpoints and geography. It’s the role which is filled by Synthisophy, which means “The integration of socially pertinent information derived from the study of history into the present culture.” This website offers space and encouragement to move forward culturally and intellectually in vigorous and respectful discussions on current societal issues.

It may sound oxymoronic to suggest we are together as a collective of individuals, but it’s how the Internet has assembled us in cyberspace. Thanks to the wide-ranging inroads various communication platforms have made in sharing ideas, with or without rancor, it would be remiss of us as a society not to debate the social, political, scientific, and historical issues which have brought us through the digital and the information age.

Building Debate on a Strong Foundation

Throwing around baseless accusations, claims, or “facts” is not the route to meaningful debate. The foundation for weighty statements can be traced to the scientific method. This method takes a hypothesis, and then through an experiment or data research, either proves or disproves it.

When using this method to back up statements, it’s a path toward civil discussion. It is hard to refute fact-based claims which are supported by evidence. Wild, blanket statements with no connection to reality are quickly exposed, and eventually, it is hoped, that proponents of these statements will veer toward more reasoned debate. Here at Synthisophy we encourage the spread of intelligent commentary in the forums on many topics at facebook/synthisophy.

It’s not all Black and White

To foster an understanding of the real world, it’s important to learn about points of view which don’t match your own. The world is not a place where ideas and concepts can all easily be categorized into one vein or another, black or white. There are shades of grey to just about anything you can imagine, and that’s where our common understanding must lie. I see your view, and you see mine, and we either meet in the middle or agree to disagree in a mature, reasonable fashion.

 

Bringing the Two Together

 A two-party system underlies our democracy, and it’s what we know. It has also fostered polarization in our society, where you’re either right or left, with precious few moderates to be found. Reasoned, intelligent debate based on sound principles is the key to understanding and the way to enlightenment and truth.

 

Browse the latest discussions below and engage in intelligent debate. Contact us to learn more about synthisophy, or read the 370 page book by chapter above. Share what you think here at synthisophy!

Video summary
of each Chapter

Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1
Chapter 2

Chapter 3

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Last week was a post lambasting the democratic presidential debates and candidates.  So this week, being centrist as we are, we thought we’d create a post lambasting Trump and his administration.  So here’s a con-Trump parody:

Humpty Dumpty Trumpty

Hump-T Dump-T sat on a wall,

Hump-T Dum-T had a great fall,

All the king’s horses (that’s all of his staff),

And all the king’s men (that’s all of his cabinet),

Couldn’t put Trumpty together again.

So how ‘bout we Trump-T, let’s go ‘head and Dump-T,

Like the Boston T-party, like Kim and Vlad Hump-T,

So don’t vote for Dum-T, in two thousand twenty,

Let’s go ‘head and Dump-T, for the good of the country.

 

How’s it sound to you?  Share your views at facebook/synthisophy!

Another mass shooting, 20 dead, this one in El Paso, Texas. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said “We have a manifesto from this individual that indicates a potential nexus to a hate crime, we have to validate for certain that this was a manifesto from this individual we arrested.”

The manifesto, a document appearing on the online message board 8chan before the shooting rampage, spoke about an “invasion” of Latino immigrants and noted that the writer agreed with the shooter who killed scores of Islamic worshipers in March at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Statement from Beto O’Rourke: "We've had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years, during an administration where you have a president who's called Mexicans rapists and criminals. Though Mexican immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than those born here in the country, he has tried to make us afraid of them, to some real effect and consequence, attempting to ban all Muslims from this country. The day he signed that executive order the mosque in Victoria, Texas, was burned to the ground. Those chants that we heard in Greenville, North Carolina, 'send her back,' talking about our fellow American citizens, duly elected to represent their constituents in the congress who happen to be women of color. He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country, and it does not just offend our sensibilities. It fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence."

This shooting was by a national white supremacist, and is considered a hate crime and domestic terrorism. Remember the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting?  Remember Charlotttesville?  What can be done to address this endemic problem? Share your views at facebook/synthisophy!

Hate crimes based on political ideology.

The FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender.”

A political ideology is a certain set of principles or doctrines in a social movement composed of a large group of people that explains how society should work, and offers a political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order.

The shootings in El Paso and Dayton have prompted discussions on mass killings, mass shootings, and hate crime.

The FBI defines a mass killing as any instance in which four or more people are killed, not counting the suspected killer. So if you follow that definition, there have been about 30 shootings in 2019 that qualify as mass killings.

The Gun Violence Archive, an independent organization tracking gun violence, defines a mass shooting as a situation in which four or more people are shot. By this metric there have been about 250 mass shootings in 2019.

We have looked at data over the last 10 years involving mass shootings and have found 18 instances that qualify as hate crimes based on political ideology. We included 2 standout incidents of hate crimes using weapons other than firearms. Here is a link to these 20 incidents, with a brief summary below. Please share any other incidents of hate crimes based on political ideology that we may have overlooked. The question then is, should we as a society try to reduce hate crimes based on political ideology? And if so, how? Share your views at facebook/synthisophy.com!

Number of hate crimes by type:
White Supremacist: 4
Terrorist: 3
Anti-Semitic: 3
Anti-Republican: 2
Anti-Democrat: 2
Neither Anti-Rep or Anti-Dem: 1
Anti-Black: 1
Anti-White: 1
Anti-Gay: 1
Anti-Abortion: 1
Anti-Islam: 1

Here is a link to these 20 incidents that qualify as hate crimes based on political ideology.

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A number of responses to last week’s post on hate crime based on political ideology in the last 10 years suggested looking further back in time on this issue:

“Since these "studies" don't go very far back, it's difficult to know if this is a modern problem or one that has been blown out of proportion and has been happening to some extent for years.”

“Let’s scoot that time line a little farther back to prove this is nothing but media and standard deviation.”

Thanks for those suggestions, we looked further into history and found data on mass shootings in the US over the last 70 years and the last 37 years.

The first graph below shows the total number of deaths per year, over the last 70 years, as a result of mass shootings in which 10 or more people were killed, not including the shooter. The dots are the actual data points for each year, the dotted line is the trend line with a moving average, and the solid line is a curved line connecting the peaks of the moving averages.

The second graph shows the number of deaths from mass shootings over the last 37 years where four or more people were shot by a gunman.

So let’s ask, are mass shootings a modern problem or just media hype? Share your views at facebook/synthisophy!

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Here's a summary of Chapter 3, What is Cognitive Bias? What is it?  We all do it!  Check it out and share your views at facebook/synthisophy!

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A gentleman brought up the words stochastic and stochastic terrorism in our 8.4.19 post regarding the El Paso and then Dayton mass shootings. Having not encountered those words before, we looked up the definitions, here they are:

Stochastic - randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.

Stochastic describes something that has a random variable. Stochastic is from the Greek word stokhastikos, meaning able to guess, with the root stokhos meaning a target––in Greek stokhos literally means a stick meant for archers to shoot at.

Stochastic terrorism – The use of mass public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.

Stochastic terrorism – the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.

Are these words relevant in our society today? Share your views at facebook/synthisophy!