Ideology and evidence-based practice

Below are links that may be of interest.

I have long had an interest in evidence and evidence-based practice. The value of evidence has been of interest for me for two reasons. First, as a reporter, I have learned the value of evidence, as it is practised in traditional print journalism.

Secondly, I’ve had the need to rewire my brain for the everyday task of speech production, as I’ve explained elsewhere at this website and elsewhere on the internet. That need led me to an understanding of the value of evidence-based practice in science, medicine, social theory, and in speech pathology.

I am also aware, again, through practical, lived experience, of realms of experience where the frame of reference, or way of seeing, takes precedence over evidence. Under frames of this nature, evidence is either ignored, or evidence that cannot be ignored is inserted into a system of thought, into an orientation toward reality, where the salience of the evidence is irrelevant.

Recent links that relate to ideology and evidence-based practice

The links that I have the pleasure to share, at this post, are the following:

A July 6, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Book That Predicted Trump’s Rise Offers the Left a Roadmap for Defeating Him.”

A July 7, 2017 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Republicans are victims of a discredited economic ideology.”

A July 10, 2017 Lawfare article is entitled: “What Public Opinion of the Russia Investigations Reveals About Trust in Democratic Institutions.”

A selection of previous posts, at this website, that address ideology and evidence-based practice

We have a white extremism problem, Doug Saunders argues – Globe and Mail, Nov. 12, 2016

Public relations in the United States and China

Erving Goffman’s “total institutions” warrant inclusion in a comprehensive theory of management

Police Use of Force: A Global Perspective (2010). Policing has a relationship to military history.

The above-noted links are a selection, of many that one could choose to include at this post.

I have kept the list brief because there is value, or at least utility, in brevity.

Brevity has value when it prompts a reader to read, and in the process prompts a person to think.

Brevity does not have value when it prompts a person to read, and in the process prompts a person to bypass thinking.


A July 11, 2017 Lawfare article is entitled: “The Wall Begins to Crumble: Notes on Collusion.”

A July 7, 2017 London School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming by Andreas Malm.”

Lest you have the wrong impression of what I’m driving at, and, indeed, where I’m coming from, I am pleased to add that the concluding paragraph notes:

Fossil Capital is a brilliant book that reveals both the value and limits of Marxist insights. Its strength lies in its original account of the birth of the British steam age. But the categories of capital and labour seem too large to organise our understanding of the complexities of our current predicament or to guide our political responses to it. Malm acknowledges that twentieth-century efforts to plan on the scale necessary to manage the transition to renewable energy have failed, but he has no faith in market forces to achieve this objective. Nevertheless, this impressive book should be read by anybody interested in the history of fossil capital.


A Sept. 16, 2016 Columbia Journalism review article is entitled: “Eight Simple Rules for Doing Accurate Journalism: Some new, some old, some wonderfully clichéd.”

A July 10, 2017 Vox article is entitled: “Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care: A new study explains the psychological power — and hard limits — of fact-checking journalism.” An excerpt reads:

This type of exchange — where a journalist fact-checks a powerful figure — is an essential task of the news media. And for a long time, political scientists and psychologists have wondered: Do these fact checks matter in the minds of viewers, particularly those whose candidate is distorting the truth? Simple question. Not-so-simple answer.

In the past, the research has found that not only do facts fail to sway minds, but they can sometimes produce what’s known as a “backfire effect,” leaving people even more stubborn and sure of their preexisting belief.

 But there’s new evidence on this question that’s a bit more hopeful. It finds backfiring is rarer than originally thought — and that fact-checks can make an impression on even the most ardent of Trump supporters.

But there’s still a big problem: Trump supporters know their candidate lies, but that doesn’t change how they feel about him. Which prompts a scary thought: Is this just a Trump phenomenon? Or can any charismatic politician get away with being called out on lies?


An additional excerpt reads:

“People were willing to say Trump was wrong, but it didn’t have much of an effect on what they felt about him,” Nyhan says.

So facts make an impression. They just don’t matter for our decision-making, which is a conclusion that’s abundant in psychology science.


A July 11, 2017 Just Security article is entitled: “As Collusion Evidence Emerges, Obstruction Allegations Begin To Look More Damaging.”

A July 11, 2017 London School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: The Financial Imaginary: Economic Mystification and the Limits of Realist Fiction by Alison Shonkwiler.”

Richard Rorty

A July 2017 Los Angeles Review of Books article is entitled: “Conversational Philosophy: A Forum on Richard Rorty.”

The introduction reads:

AFTER DONALD J. TRUMP was elected president of the United States, the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931–2007) returned to the pages of many of the major newspapers of the world as one of the few thinkers who had predicted the election of a “strongman” with Trump’s homophobic and racist features. The relevant passage can be found in the lectures Rorty delivered on the history of leftist thought in 20th-century America at Harvard University in 1997, and published as Achieving Our Country a year later. While reprints of this book were hitting several political philosophy best seller lists, Rorty’s Page-Barbour lectures — titled Philosophy as Poetry — were also released. If in Achieving Our Country, Rorty predicted the election of a right-wing populist, in the latter he stresses how valuable the imagination is for the future of philosophy, which is, in many ways, an imperiled discipline. Although these are not his most important books, they indicate that Rorty was a philosopher ahead of his time, a philosopher for the future.

The goal of this forum is not simply to remember Rorty 10 years after he passed away on the June 8, 2007, but also to continue the conversation which he urged all philosophers to pursue. I have invited Marianne Janack, María Pía Lara, Eduardo Mendieta, and Martin Woessner to cover specific aspects of Rorty’s thought, including feminism, social hope, and post-truth. Their concise contributions underscore the significance of Rorty’s writings for the 21st century. My introduction recalls important moments of the American thinker’s life as well as his outstanding contribution to continental philosophy.

— Santiago Zabala


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