Since none of you seem to be interested in writing an article about our method of L/C analysis, I'm doing the job myself. Here's a draft of the introduction. In writing this I realized that there is an analogy that I have difficulty working out. I would appreciate contributions.
The logic behind the L/C method of analysis is based upon the following principles.
1. Fallibility is common.
2. Roughly half the population have L-minds. Roughly half have C-minds.
3. Each half thinks that the other is irrational with respect to the issues that divide them.
4. Both halves are wrong about the other's rationality.
5. Analysis of the situation requires the participation of both C-minds and L-minds and must be non-partisan and non-confrontational.
6. Any consensus concerning the nature of L-minds and C-minds requires symmetrical dichotomy and neutral language.
As a thinking machine, the human brain leaves a lot to be desired. Living is about making decisions, most of them evolved from binary choices or can be converted to binary choices. Do I go left or right? Do I eat this plant or not? Do I release my arrow now or do I wait for a better shot? We seem to have evolved special mechanisms for making this type of survival related decision. Those mechanisms often get in the way of more complex thinking. In fact, I propose to you that what we call thinking is only an artifact of our primitive decision making skills, thereby creating the illusion that we can reason accurately. Our ability is so faulty that large fractions of the population, given the same facts about a situation will still come to quite different conclusions as to what to decide. That's why in almost every public policy issue which ultimately comes down to voting yea or nay, the population will split very roughly in half, and each half will think the other is mad. The train of decision making starts with faulty perception, proceeds to erroneous communication, a distorted problem statement not to mention bad modeling, optimization and implementation.
L-Minds and C-Minds
Not only does the population split roughly evenly on almost all issues requiring thought, the same people will group together resulting in the establishment of political parties and ideologies. For the most part, we will assume that the L-Minds and C-Minds are hard wired that way. This is not to say that sufficient propaganda, self-interest and concerted effort cannot cause C-minds to behave like L-Minds and vice-versa. Modern L-minds and C-minds can be discerned through the use of a series of questions concerning public policy and personal responsibility issues.
If you grant the above, then our task is to determine a truth using two instruments both of which have a distorted output. In science, the usual way to accomplish this is calibration against a standard for which the ground truth is known. However, in this case the truth is unknown, so what do we do?
An analogy is in the use of thermometers. Temperature is odd in that it isn't a quantity but rather a ranking. It's like the pecking order ranking in a yard full of chickens. We can observe that a chicken is "higher" than another by the fact that it can peck the other chicken on the head, but how much higher is not possible to tell. Physical measurements on a single isolated chicken will not tell us it's rank in the pecking order. We might keep a barnyard full of chickens and see where a new arbitrary bird fits in the pecking order. Similarly, temperature is a rank measurement. To determine an arbitrary body's rank we must bring it in contact with another body in order to see whether or not heat flows to one or the other. Then we can say that one body has a higher "temper" than the other. When no heat flow occurs the two are said to have the same temper. A thermometer is a device we can use for such testing. In the most fundamental sense, we should have a storage place where we keep a large number of standard bodies (or thermometers) maintained at different tempers. Every time we wish to measure the temperature of an arbitrary body, we should take the thermometers out of storage and test which one of them fails to transfer heat to or from the body under investigation. They are then at equilibrium and can be said to have the same temper. The standard thermometers can be assigned any symbol you like so that we can compare temperatures of a body under investigation. Fortunately, in the real world we can save on storage facilities by the use of a single thermometer and secondary measurable properties like expansion, voltage, resistance, etc.) However that doesn't change the arbitrary nature of a temperature scale.
Now let's connect the temperature analogy to L-Minds and C-Minds. Two popular arbitrary temperature scales are the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. When examining the temperature of something each yields a different number. Suppose there are two people who have grown up using these scales. On a balmy spring day one might say that it's 20 degrees while the other says it's 72 degrees. They disagree about the numerical value of the temper, although they're both correct. However, we aren't concerned with the number as such. Rather we are concerned with the subtile influence the numbers may have on their opinions about the weather or room conditions. For instance, the celsius scale has coarser degrees. A child brought up using celsius might have a coarser perception of temperature than a child brought up using Fahrenheit. In other words, the children senses are calibrated against two different scales and learn to express two different verbal reactions to temperature change. The Fahrenheit calibrated child might say the temperature has changed a lot, while the Celsius child says the temperature has changed very little. (In fact, psychologists find this kind of difference occurs when preparing survey questions about estimates of distances.) Each is sure they are right and believes there must be something wrong with the other's perception.
I'm not at all satisfied with this analogy. Can anyone help?
With respect -Joel