UKC

Research results linked to extremism

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Offwidth 22 Feb 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/feb/22/people-with-extremist-views-less-able-to-do-complex-mental-tasks-research-suggests

Interesting.... the majority of logically consistent extremists I met in my life were intelligent dogmatists.

 guffers_hump 22 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Whats an extremist view?

 marsbar 22 Feb 2021
In reply to guffers_hump:

That blowing up people who don't agree with your religion/politics is not completely batshit crazy.  

 Offwidth 22 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

I thought it was one of many good questions to ask. Being able to clearly define an extremist viewpoint in such a study is very dubious.

 guffers_hump 22 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

Is that how it is defined in the study?

In reply to Offwidth:

> Interesting.... the majority of logically consistent extremists I met in my life were intelligent dogmatists.

When you say ‘extremist’, where they at risk of being radicalised into terrorists, or much ‘milder.’?

Most people referred to services via the Prevent strategy are white, working class men who didn’t do so good at school. 

 marsbar 22 Feb 2021
In reply to guffers_hump:

I wouldn’t have thought so, would you?  

That isn't what you asked. Perhaps you could look at the study and find out?   

 marsbar 22 Feb 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

> When you say ‘extremist’, where they at risk of being radicalised into terrorists, or much ‘milder.’?

> Most people referred to services via the Prevent strategy are white, working class men who didn’t do so good at school. 

Presumably because they are particularly vulnerable to believing what they are told without questioning it, and can easily be recruited by people pretending to be friends with them.  Add in resentment for being treated badly at school or work, low pay or difficulties getting housing and you have the perfect recipe for someone to blame the immigrants and be manipulated into doing someone else’s dirty work.  

 Morty 22 Feb 2021
In reply to guffers_hump:

> Whats an extremist view?

Chalk is cheating.

 marsbar 22 Feb 2021
In reply to Morty:

Bolt everything for safety. 

 ianstevens 22 Feb 2021
In reply to Morty:

TPS is E0

Grit is overrated 

Kneepads are cheating

 Eric9Points 22 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes it's nice to have confirmation of what I've suspected for years i.e.that most people who disagree with me are stupid.

 cb294 22 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Where is the news? It is obvious that you must be somewhat retarded to buy the myths and lies to become a neonazi hooligan, a islamist suicide bomber, or a unionist/republican extremist (delete as applicable).

The European left never managed a proper revolution, pretty much because of their pseudointellectual overtheorizing counteracting their radicalism, unlike, say, Mao or Uncle Ho!

Even now it is much easier to blame foreigners or Jews than the rich or the military industrial complex for whatever your grievance is....

CB

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

I looked at the study. The sample was 350 americans, with factor analysis to determine separate ideological classifications and they compared them to congnitive ability results. They don't seem to understand the small size of these sub-groups cannot contain much statistically significant useful data whatever weird combination of frequentist and baysian maths you throw at it. Then on top of these methodological faults the authors seem to extrapolate to more general extremism that they never actually seem to have measured. They seem to mean a bit more extreme than average based on the detail in the paper "Extreme pro-group attitudes, including violence endorsement against outgroups" might just mean war is neccesary if our country is threatened. The fine detailed evidence of how they determined this position isn't presented. This statement is then seemingly linked to more general extremism in the Guardian  interview. This raises serious ethical concerns as I'd lay strong odds the participants didn't agree to be portrayed as extremists (even anonymously).

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2020.0424

Post edited at 10:54
 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to cb294:

As I said I've met lots of intelligent people with dangerous views, mainly violent revolutionary views and most of them trots. The first time I met trots, neo fascist sympathisers, eugenics sympathisers, religious fundamentalism and sociopath personality types in person was as an undergrad at Cambridge Uni.

Post edited at 10:42
 elsewhere 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

If you were that age now you'd meet them first on Facebook etc without the filtering by academic ability.

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

The social media of my day was books and articles. Its different meeting views face to face.

 Timmd 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> As I said I've met lots of intelligent people with dangerous views, mainly violent revolutionary views and most of them trots. The first time I met trots, neo fascist sympathisers, eugenics sympathisers, religious fundamentalism and sociopath personality types in person was as an undergrad at Cambridge Uni.

I guess there's potentially a gulf between approving of violence towards furthering extremist views, and being prepared to carry out the actions. I was intrigued to read that engineers can represent relatively highly among people prepared to carry out terrorism (as described in New Scientist), thanks to having quite a 'Problem X requires Y solution' line of thinking, focussing in on a specific context. Presumably, they would need to have the traits found among those involved as well.

Edit: Islamic terrorism, that is. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-journal-of-sociology-archives-europeennes-de-sociologie/article/why-are-there-so-many-engineers-among-islamic-radicals/91ED8BEFDE3793834667750B31575422

It might seem that the profile is different for different kinds of extremism, with being male and having the sense of 'failing at life' being factors among white right wing extremists, like it seems to be in the US (and possibly the UK too). In the US relationship breakups factor quite highly. 

Edit 2: It's really interesting, the more one looks, the more diverse the backgrounds can become, for different kinds of extremism.  

''Could this mean that engineers are more prone to militant extremism in general? To test for this we carried out a survey of literature and several primary sources on an assortment of violent groups outside of the Islamic world (see Table V). Although far from exhaustive, the gathered information covers a large set that reveals clear patterns. First, we failed to find engineers among left-wing extremists active after World War II, despite their generally high levels of education: left-wingers of the RAF, the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigades, and Latin American urban guerrilla groups included almost no engineers, but were rather dominated by law and humanities students. Anarchists with 6 engineers among cases with a known degree (compared to 20 lawyers) are only a partial exception.''

Fancy that.

Post edited at 11:35
 Phil Lyon 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Morty:

I've been rumbled there

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

There will be some people in the middle, but there does seem to be a gulf between the type of person you met at Uni and the young  "easily led" people. I terms of one influencing the other I take your point about face to face contact. Apologies if I'm misremembering, but I think you made a point on a previous thread about the benefits of guaranteed apprenticeships/training, post 16, for those young people. A couple of years in the armed services was mentioned as well. In general the kids I've experienced who were problematic at school but benefited from time in the services fell into that category of being "easily led" and I think part of the reason for their later success was their removal from the "poor" influences they had at home, be that family, peers or the local dealers etc. I'm in two minds whether it would be a good thing if an additional requirement for the training would be they move away from home. Not sure if you can prevent even worse influences abusing the system.

In reply to RobAJones:

What you say makes sense with me. Over 50% of people referred into the Prevent system are young white men. They are usually ‘lone wolfs’. If you look at terror attacks in the UK, those committed by white people fall into the lone wolf category. Whilst they may have had involvement with far right groups, they ‘go off on one’ and often get reported to the police by their mainstream far right associates.  The internet is where they continue their development into extremist views and actions.  A failing of research is they don’t delve into issues of class, educational attainment etc (my opinion is researchers are often too ‘woke’). 
The trots at uni are spouting off, almost exclusively from middle/upper class backgrounds. They get over it. A minuscule minority won’t - these would most likely join the likes of Baader meinhof type groups.   I’ve met people involved in the prevent strategy - every one described themselves as white working class who got easily led and they regretted (but understood) how they developed their views. 

 Cobra_Head 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Morty:

> Chalk is cheating.


You need chalk to climb!!

 Cobra_Head 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> As I said I've met lots of intelligent people with dangerous views, mainly violent revolutionary views and most of them trots.

ha ha yes, because  the Trotskyites are always in the news for murdering and blowing up people, they did 9/11 didn't they?

 Cobra_Head 23 Feb 2021
In reply to cb294:

> Where is the news? It is obvious that you must be somewhat retarded to buy the myths and lies to become a neonazi hooligan, a islamist suicide bomber, or a unionist/republican extremist (delete as applicable).

A lot of people who went out to fight for ISIS were supposedly graduate level education.

I realise education and intelligence don't always run together.

 marsbar 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

I think (was it Tony Blair, I can't remember) the whole everyone must go to university thing, in combination with the cultural and religious background of Muslim families that children must study is probably a big factor there.  Probably nothing to do with terrorism.  

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

Yep

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/education-skills-and-training/higher-education/entry-rates-into-higher-education/latest

I knew that white (state school) children were less likely to go to Uni. but was surprised at the size of the gap. On a positive note the increase in black kids getting to Uni. seems impressive. On a different tack, after the Shanghai/mastery maths stuff. I've always been intrigued how Chinese students progress in England compared to Shanghai. 

 marsbar 23 Feb 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

I hate mastery maths.  

I like the idea that kids need to master things, but teaching the same thing over and over until everyone is absolutely fed up of it doesn't work for me.  

Nor does forcing kids to use all the methods.  

Bar models are a good idea, but I've reached the point where I never want to see one again.  

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

> I hate mastery maths.  

The Head of Maths in a neighbouring school went to Shanghai and they subsequently had two teachers from there in the department for a couple of weeks. I got the chance to watch 3 of their lessons, the discussion we had afterwards were interesting/challenging/useful but they would have certainly been inadequate lesson if OFSTED were still grading individual lessons.

> Bar models are a good idea, but I've reached the point where I never want to see one again.  

There are great for quite a few topics, but the convoluted way some people try to include them in others  seems counterproductive to me.

 marsbar 23 Feb 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

They are great, but the use of them is so forced and unrealistic.  

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Timmd:

I think any link between Engineering and extreme views is always a bit of chicken and egg style argument. I'd say it's more an easier degree subject for extremists to 'navigate' as such views don't get challenged. In my experience either many hid their views very well or it's not common these days (since Respect started). In my decades of experience I can't remember a single fascist or trot in the subject, most were centre ground politically (with a common apolitical outlook) although a few were quite far from centre on left and right sides. Racism was really more of a BAME on BAME minority overseas student issue, partly explainable as it's a popular sponsored subject with developing nations. From my early years we always had problems with mutual hatred from countries at, or close to, war and the odd student I suspected were state spies (ensuring state sponsored students didn't get 'out of line'). Near the end of my career we had a lot of Saudi students and that came with some clear anti-Semitism and some terrible behaviour towards female staff and students (where in the most blatent cases disciplinary routes were followed). Islamophobia (excepting  internal schisms, mainly sunni-shia) was surprisingly rare; in the serious cases I was aware of the most common involved persian refugees who hated arabs. Sexism and homophobia were all too common in the mid 80s but things had improved massively by the time I retired.

Post edited at 15:52
 jkarran 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> I was intrigued to read that engineers can represent relatively highly among people prepared to carry out terrorism (as described in New Scientist), thanks to having quite a 'Problem X requires Y solution' line of thinking, focussing in on a specific context. Presumably, they would need to have the traits found among those involved as well.

I suspect the rather tricky DiY nature of insurgent suicide bombing imposes some selection pressure on the type of person who succeeds, assuming you're interested: you're either competent and short lived (bomber) or competent and persuasive (bomb builder, ringleader) or incompetent (failed, jailed, killed or inclined toward simpler attacks).

jk

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

On ethnic entry problems into Universities I think deprivation often counts most. My city has some of the most deprived areas with some of the lowest attainment levels outside London but things are slowly improving with outreach work. The white poor in those areas are as affected as the BAME poor. Some of the top Universities do seem to have a bigger problem with some ethnic groups, especially those with Afro Caribbean backgrounds. I remember Cameron putting his foot in it as PM when he rightly tried to critisise Oxford on UK based Afro Caribbean entry (they had lots of UK and overseas African students from higher social group families).

Post edited at 16:11
 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

Sorry, overlooked your post. The extremists I met at Cambridge were decades before Prevent and were typically a lot more open than students I've met in recent times. Any extemist with any intelligence could 'run rings round' University Prevent programmes.... one of the many reasons I disliked the initiative.

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Completely agree that deprivation is a major issue, but an Asian kid from a poor family in London is twice as likely to have a private tutor as a white northern  kid from an affluent family. I remember the stark contrast in attitude when I visited some of our academies in London (10% white) with higher FSM rates than ours (99% white) 

 marsbar 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

I remember the prevent training I suffered.  I sat in a room full of teachers (I was working in London at the time)  in my department there at the time there were 5 Muslim women, 6 I suppose counting myself (atheist but technically converted Muslim to please my elderly mother in law). 

The trainer started by telling us that Muslim parents don't value girls education. I wish I had walked out at that point.  I was sat with these ladies and next to a Muslim man from the science department and I was so embarrassed. 

No mention of the right wing or white supremacists.  No useful information or facts.  It just got worse from there.  

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

There is a clear difference between an extremist and a terrorist (who puts extremist views into murderous action). On trots, I've spent a good part of my academic life opposing the damaging influence of the SWP and their ilk, especially in academic trade unions.

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

I was luckier when trained at the very start of the initiative, by a white female police specialist who was a lot more sensible, including part of her presentation warning white right-wing extremism needed to be taken a lot more seriously. I still felt the whole initiative was a counter-productive waste of time and money, very open to damaging abuse.

 Offwidth 23 Feb 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

That depends on what asian sub culture we are talking about and if those families were deprived (middle class immigrants and refugees and even highly educated temporary workers, like post docs, often lived in such areas initially out of affordability).

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

It's a bit of a minefield so I suppose it is possible for those children to qualify for FSM and their parental income to be in the lowest quintile. Virtually all our students were white so I'll admit my understanding of sub groups is limited. Reports I've read have lumped Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi students as "Asian" (some did separate based on religion. Not sure who else would be included in the, Chinese group. 

 Morty 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> You need chalk to climb!!

Especially with these mild winters - the only place you can get the axes and crampons out. 


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...