I wrote:
 > Since some people on this list might be considered extremists,
 > what do you think of this explanation?  Are you extreme
 > because you are inflexible?

Chris Rasch wrote:
>Regarding the issue of flexibility, one explanation is that someone who
>has spent a lot of time thinking about his/her belief system, and
>believes it to be logically consistent,  is likely to believe it more
>strongly, and be more resistant to change than someone who hasn't given
>it much thought.

That explains a correlation between thinking and inflexibility, but
not between extremism and inflexibility.

Ed Dodson wrote:
>I admit to being extreme only in my defense of objectively-derived
>principle. ...extreme in belief or action without objectivity ...
>most inflexibile ... are those who are so far beyond objectivity
>as never to be confused by the facts.

So it seems to me that you accept the model of the paper - the
correlation is due to a large group of stupid inflexible people.
Which means that being extreme is on average a sign of ignorance.
You just think you are an exception to the usual rule.

Fred Foldvary wrote:
>No, I am inflexible because I am extreme. ...
>I believe that my beliefs are based on reason.  That being the case, I am
>inflexible in changing them because that would require basing my beliefs on
>My views are extreme because most folks base their views on the prevailing
>culture, not on pure reason, i.e. logic and evidence.

It seems you posit that people who reason will be inflexible, and those
who don't will be flexible and go with the crowd, which won't happen to
be where reason would lead.  But under this theory, how do you explain that
the people on the *other* side from you of the crowd are also inflexible?

Robin Hanson  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326  FAX: 703-993-2323

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