Open tabs, October 21

  • The study I’m presenting at MAPOR next month does a bit of work examining the differences and overlaps between partisanship and ideology, so I was quite interested to read Peter Frase’s essay on how the 1% and the 99% orient toward these concepts. My only quibble with his take is that he suggests that young adults will have an experience with politics “in which ‘left versus right’ is used interchangeably with ‘Democrats versus Republicans.'” It’s not just the young people — ideology, for all that it might be in play among political and financial elites, is not something that most people have beyond the group-affiliation marker of “liberal,” “moderate” or “conservative.” If we consider ideology to be a set of organizing principles from which we derive our decisions and opinions about political issues, research suggests only about 5% of Americans have one, if that.
  • Paul Waldman’s got a really incisive post on the way the culture wars have silently expanded to consume the entire range of political issues. It’s an extension of that ideological group membership phenomenon, and it’s why one of the results I’ll present from that paper is a relationship between Christian media use and disbelief in anthropomorphic climate change. Ideological and partisan groups don’t have perfect overlap, but they each have sets of beliefs that are required of members and occasionally contested, requiring members to shift when called upon.
  • Matthew Yglesias makes note of the structural changes in the blogosphere — that it’s really not about outsiders anymore, as most of the outsiders have been brought mostly into the mainstream media-political tent — and his place in it.
  • How many photos have ever been taken? An analysis by 1000memories suggests the answer is about 3.5 trillion; 140 billion are hosted by Facebook.
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