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political predispositions out in the open just this once
February 18, 2003 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Hey all. Yesterday the user aeschenkarnos provided a cool link for a political compass. I thought it might be somewhat worthwhile, and possibly entertaining, if just this one time, for the sake of posterity, we could all put our political predispositions out in the open. We might even be able to better answer that age-old FAQ question: Are we guilty of lefty groupthink?
posted by dgaicun to MetaFilter-Related at 6:53 AM (352 comments total)

Positive #s = right-wing, negative #s = left-wing. The first # is your economic score, the second is your social one.

I scored a mildly Libertarian:
E 2.10
S -4.18

Crasspastor, for now gets the Lefty-of-the-Day award with an impressive:

E -9.50
S -8.92

Here's a run down of the others-

aeshenkarnos

E -6.12
S -3.95

Slithy_Tove

E 4.38
S -3.90

hama7 (the only positive social index yet! but not by very much)

E 7.88
S 1.18

Condour75

E -5.75
S -7.90

Owillis

E -3.12
S -3.64

Hincandenza

E -6.25
S -8.31

Wendell

E -8.25
S -5.59
posted by dgaicun at 6:54 AM on February 18, 2003


Me:
Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.77
posted by Blake at 7:14 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.62

Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.69
posted by rcade at 7:18 AM on February 18, 2003


There ought to be fields for this on our member pages.
posted by rcade at 7:21 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.03
posted by pfuller at 7:25 AM on February 18, 2003


That's the last time I take that damn test. I'm putting this here for posterity and reference.

Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.03
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:34 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.10
posted by yerfatma at 7:39 AM on February 18, 2003


I'll do it later today. It would be cool to get some kind of a "Census." I find it constraining and limiting to be labelled on the "Left," when my beliefs stem from a simple respect for Life.

These categories and pigeonholes are ridiculous or even contradictory:

Because of the spin of slogans, if one is at all pro-abortion, one is presumed to be "Anti-Life." Right? Because we all know that anti-abortionists are "Pro-Life" (even if they kill people by bombing an abortion clinic).

And "Conservativism," whatever that might be, is generally viewed as the All American Pro-Gov't way to be. But, especially lately, there is no way to be a Constitutional Conservative and be in line with the ideologies of the far Right.

Terms like Liberal and Conservative (and their more denigrating, sometimes crude counterparts) simply mask the meat of the subject, which should be issues.
posted by Shane at 7:39 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.85
posted by Ljubljana at 7:43 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.67

But I'm feeling expansive today.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:43 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -8.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.74

FWIW.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:44 AM on February 18, 2003


What Shane said.

That test is the root canal of online quizzes. Painful, you'd much rather be doing something else, and it takes much much longer than you'd like it to.

My score is exactly the same as rcade's. I am not a special snowflake.
posted by iconomy at 7:46 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 1.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.33

Although I have to say I think their economics questions tend to lead to economic left being an anti-corporatism position, rather than an anti-economic freedom position. That's not necessarily true, I don't think.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:47 AM on February 18, 2003


'sez I'm in Gryffindor.
posted by Mid at 7:48 AM on February 18, 2003 [1 favorite]


Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.05

But then I have a cold and don't feel well
posted by mss at 7:50 AM on February 18, 2003


When do we get the patches to wear on our sleeves?

Economic Left: -7.62
Libertarian: -6.00

Though I prefer "West of Stalin and South of Gandhi".
posted by ?! at 7:51 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.87

FWIW, I took the test about a year ago and got:

Economic Left/Right: -5.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.82
posted by sennoma at 7:53 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -9.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.28

We talked about this before. Back then I was slightly to the right at (-9) and slightly more libertarian (~-8). But I was so much younger then...
posted by talos at 8:01 AM on February 18, 2003


I've had this on my user page for ages now: Economic -1.12, Authoritarian -6.41. And looking through the numbers above, the answer is yes, we are a lefty liberal groupthink borg.
posted by ook at 8:04 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -8.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.21

My dad was right. I am a fucking commie.
posted by squealy at 8:09 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.23
posted by matteo at 8:12 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.33
posted by whatnot at 8:16 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 0.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.10
S W M NS ND LDS OK
posted by blue_beetle at 8:22 AM on February 18, 2003


-4.75
-6.87
posted by scottymac at 8:24 AM on February 18, 2003


i don't need any test scores or groupthink to know that this country is in the hands of power-mad greed-driven constitution-stomping criminals. is that out in the open enough for you?
posted by quonsar at 8:25 AM on February 18, 2003 [1 favorite]


Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.26

Woohoo! I'm off to the back of the Borscht queue.
posted by bifter at 8:26 AM on February 18, 2003


Shit, I'm Ken Livingstone ...
posted by walrus at 8:27 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.87

I think that recent events have polarized people's viewpoints however, so there seems to be less middle ground than before. Wait, I'm more liberal than Oliver? WTF?

Oh, and if I see that damn "Jews" question one more time, I'll scream.
posted by machaus at 8:34 AM on February 18, 2003


Heh -- I just retook the test; I've slid 3 points to the left in the past year (on the economic scale). Must be the bad influence of all you commie radicals.
posted by ook at 8:35 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.13
posted by quonsar at 8:35 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.69

One block over from being in the middle of the Left/Libertarian pack.

This leads me to ask, in true Lefty fashion, why do we have to be pigeon-holed? Why can't we just be who we are and leave it at that? What's wrong with getting along?

Of course, in societies that have too much of a majority on one side or the other, problems occur, but I don't think that this is an issue in the Western world. It's all about balance, Yin and Yang, and despite claims to the contrary, I believe we have that in spades in the West.

Anyway, so far it seems as though MetaFilter leans well to the Left. That being the case, why is it that the minority of Righties make such a big stink over every issue, and the Lefties insist on responding, every time?
Not trying to be trollish, just sayin'.
posted by ashbury at 8:46 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -0.62

I guess I'm king of the middle of the road!
posted by byort at 8:53 AM on February 18, 2003


Think i beat you, byort!!!
Economic Left/Right: 0.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.13
posted by jmd82 at 9:05 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.03

I'm definitely sliding right as I grow older.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:06 AM on February 18, 2003


Oh, but I'm not going to put this on user pages because I'm not a number, the score just represents how I felt about loaded questions one day.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:07 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -0.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.79

I'm Charles Kennedy.
Oops.
posted by sebas at 9:10 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.08

Tony Blair has been on the move the last five years. Sitting in the corner of the matrix with Margaret Thatcher and A. Hitler. Eew.
posted by ginz at 9:11 AM on February 18, 2003


byort and jmd82: "Man walk on road. Walk left side... safe. Walk right side... safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later -- SQUISH! -- like grape."
posted by Ljubljana at 9:11 AM on February 18, 2003


When do we get the patches to wear on our sleeves?

How 'bout armbands!

i don't need any test scores or groupthink to know that this country is in the hands of power-mad greed-driven constitution-stomping criminals.

Jeez, I go through that whole speech above and then quonsar puts it so much more concisely. We elect people who want to be elected for $$ and power, we give them power, we don't watch them...

Many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.

-from the "test."

Your political compass:
Economic Left/Right: -6.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.69

I ended up southwest of Ghandi, which may mean I'd be happier in California than Ohio. Is this a road map?
posted by Shane at 9:22 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.08

I'm a little to the right of Gandhi, as far as I can tell...
posted by greengrl at 9:27 AM on February 18, 2003


Where is this going?:

SWM L/R-6.62 A/L-7.69 seeks similar SF for fun, long walks on beach. No +'s need apply...
posted by Shane at 9:30 AM on February 18, 2003


Oh, and if I see that damn "Jews" question one more time, I'll scream.

I didn't like that question either, but I made my answer on the basis that the word "persecution" refers to something that no one should suffer for any reason...
posted by Shane at 9:32 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.33

Problem is, last time I took the test I was like an uber fascist.

These tests just don't work.
posted by silusGROK at 9:38 AM on February 18, 2003


-5.62
-7.13

Due south of Ghandi: I am quonsar's evil Republican twin in a microscopic sort of way and more libertarian than dgaicun. Yikes!
posted by y2karl at 9:40 AM on February 18, 2003


Oh my. I'm Ken Livingstone too, and I'm not even sure who Ken Livingstone is.

Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.49
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:43 AM on February 18, 2003


Oh, but I'm not going to put this on user pages because I'm not a number

But #1, we only want information... information... information...
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2003


Ken Livingstone is mayor of London, oh velour one.

My actual numbers were minus five point something and minus six point something, by the way, but I was so aghast at being Red Ken that I forgot to note them down.
posted by walrus at 9:53 AM on February 18, 2003


The test shows some bias, i.a.:

I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

Which would be construed as a right-leaning statement in a predominantly right-wing country like the US or Britain, but as a leftist statement in say, Cuba.
posted by signal at 9:57 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.41

Pretty much what I expected, though my Economic Index would have probably have been a couple of points right before Enron et. al.
posted by signal at 10:04 AM on February 18, 2003


....and more libertarian than dgaicun.

Nah, you're just more socially liberal. Two negative numbers is just plain old liberalism, while two positive numbers (hi, hama7 *tumbleweed blows by*) is traditionally defined conservatism. I disagree with their usage of the word libertarian. You can spot the political Libertarians by looking for a positive first number and a negative second one. So far it looks like only monju_bosatsu and Slithy_Tove are too, with mathowie creeping ever closer.

My roomate would qualify as a Social Democrat btw, which is a negative E score, but a positive S one. That's like kryptonite to me.
posted by dgaicun at 10:07 AM on February 18, 2003


Wow, I came out much more left that I would have expected:

Economic Left/Right: -6.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.82

So, sort of southeast of Gandhi...huh. I think I've shifted a little more left as the unemployment issues get worse in the US and more and more of my friends start losing their homes because they can't find good paying jobs.
posted by dejah420 at 10:11 AM on February 18, 2003


I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

signal this increases the second number. Hitler and Stalin were right and left, but both were Authoritarian. Castro is a Stalinist.
posted by dgaicun at 10:13 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -0.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.28

But see, I lived Deep South my entire life, so that means I'm FLAMING GAY.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:16 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.38

Is someone putting all these numbers on one big honkin' graph somewhere? Cause that would be cool.
posted by yhbc at 10:18 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.36

Isn't that labelling half-backwards? If it's "Left/Right" it should be "Libertarian/Authoritarian" given the direction of the axes...
posted by nicwolff at 10:22 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.64

Libertarian, smack in the middle. Seems reasonable to me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:23 AM on February 18, 2003


Wonder which Mefite will use this against me first...?

Economic Left/Right: -6.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.69

Ken & Tony are pinko wimps next to me!

Where's S@Lite of Love when you need him?

Mind you, all us leftys also seem to be libertarian, too, so... it just proves that it proves nowt.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:26 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.36

Flaming liberal, that's me. I seem to recall that the last time I took this test I wasn't quite as liberal as I am now. I'm feeling a lot more strongly about a lot of things now, and I wasn't before. I do wish there was a "neither agree no disagree" option, though.
posted by eilatan at 10:28 AM on February 18, 2003


...and eilatan/natalie leads the pack by posting her results in her profile ; )(Unless I missed someone else.)
(I wished there were a "neither/nor" option, too, Natalie.)

posted by Shane at 10:34 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic L/R: -3.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.49

I know Mathowie's report that he's sliding rightward is fairly normal. Me, I got older, got married, and am about to be a father -- and I'm racing southwest. (Or is Dubya chasing me that way?)
posted by argybarg at 10:41 AM on February 18, 2003


Well, I posted them there because I don't want to forget what they are the next time this test makes the rounds, and if I saved them to my hard drive I'd lose them, and it's not really worth posting to my site, so... :)

Also, I have been trapped inside for three days (I just dug my car out a few hours ago but I'm not willing to actually drive it anywhere) so I'm a bit stir-crazy at the moment, too.
posted by eilatan at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2003


Oh, but I'm not going to put this on user pages because I'm not a number, the score just represents how I felt about loaded questions one day.

True, but if you believe that this metric is a reasonably accurate indicator of political beliefs, putting it on the user page makes it easy to (a) see what Metafilter's average is to settle the "are we liberal" argument, and (b) give members a more nuanced way to stereotype each other in political discussions.

As I recall, you've objected to the knee-jerk effort to pigeonhole someone as a "liberal" or a "conservative" as a means of simplifying a debate. If Metafilter wholeheartedly embraced these E/A scores, we could never polarize each other again. Our deeply seated fractious disageements would take on a whole new plane.

How is that not a good idea?
posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on February 18, 2003


dgaicun, I see your point, but the test still felt biased to me or just plain irrelevant, for instance, abortion is not a right/left issue in most countries, it's a non-issue, and what the hell does astrology have to do with anything?
posted by signal at 11:00 AM on February 18, 2003


we could never polarize each other again

It seems to me this would make it worse, not better. It's reductionist in that people can be dismissed and organized based on some goofy set of questions. You don't need to listen to anything I have to say because my score is either too high or too low for you. People are more complex than that, and I'd hate to see others dismiss people based solely on some goofy number.

I hope he doesn't mind me doing this, but take hama7. I know the guy's motivations and beliefs based on his writing here, and I might guess how he'll react to a new issue, but I'm never quite sure and sometimes he surprises me. Now I might only think of him as the +5/+5 guy, and someone might point it out repeatedly in comments *cough* fold_and_mutilate *cough*.

It seems like you'd see things like this much more often:

"Oh yeah, you would say that you pansy shadow of ghandi"

"I don't believe anyone with a positive index here on mefi"

"Why on earth would you say that user956? Your profile score shows that clearly you hate people"

repeat ad naseum.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:04 AM on February 18, 2003


1.12
-5.69

If anything, MetaFilter is moving me to the right. I think I have a tendency to move away from what the "majority" (i.e., all the "cool kids") think. It's a lot more fun to expose bad logic than it is to simply post "Yeah! You said it, brother! Right on!"
posted by pardonyou? at 11:06 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.87

I could have sworn I was a little more "Right" than that.
And I didn't realize that I was so "Libertarian" either.

/me hates his damn hippy self.
posted by grum@work at 11:09 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -8.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.59

I think the only thing that kept me from being all the way in the corner is that I really do believe that some people are unlucky. And, like the other "pansy shadow of Ghandi" in this list, I was really hoping for a "no opinion" or "zero sum" option; to me, some of the issues have merits or demerits on both sides [faith-based schools, for example]
posted by jessamyn at 11:21 AM on February 18, 2003


Last time I checked this insidious piece of bullshit, I was Ghandi.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 2.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.51

I think the last time I took this thing, I was in a completely different place which supports the how do I feel about arbitrarily loaded questions today view of this thing.

Unlike Mathowie, I'm moving slowly left as I get older. Still firmly in the Libertarian camp though.

What the hell does whether abstract art is art have to do with anything though?
posted by willnot at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.05

i'm spartacus!
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:36 AM on February 18, 2003


It seems to me this would make it worse, not better.

It might be worse, but it wouldn't be polar. I'd gladly swap two-dimensional stereotypes over the tiresome left-vs-right dichotomy that we're mired in here and a thousand other places on the Web.
posted by rcade at 11:41 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.14

Ken Livingstone is mayor of London, oh velour one.

Was this test written for the folks in the UK or the USA?

And what was up with the Arts, Jews, Being Lucky & Astrology?
posted by thomcatspike at 11:41 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.44

South of Ghandi and straight on 'til morning.
posted by hippugeek at 11:46 AM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.46

For whatever it's worth. Gosh, you'd think with all these similar scores, there'd be nothing to argue about 'round here.
posted by vraxoin at 11:47 AM on February 18, 2003


I hit post instead of preview, so here are some of the answers I was looking for, go to Faq & scroll down to: You can't be libertarian and left wing.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:50 AM on February 18, 2003


Nah, you're just more socially liberal.

I prefer Lifestyle Libertarian.
posted by y2karl at 12:09 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 4.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: 1.13

So me and hama7 are the only ones with positive numbers in both categories, eh?

Maybe we are right-wing nuts...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:15 PM on February 18, 2003


Gosh, you'd think with all these similar scores, there'd be nothing to argue about 'round here.

According to the scores, if we kill hama7 (and a couple others that haven't tested yet), there will be nothing to argue about.

But we'll find something.
Just kidding, hama. Where would we be without "diverse viewpoints"?
posted by Shane at 12:15 PM on February 18, 2003


Ah! Look! Speak o' the devil!
posted by Shane at 12:16 PM on February 18, 2003


me? the devil?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:17 PM on February 18, 2003


Maybe we are right-wing nuts...
I'm not so sure about the maybe.
Heh.
posted by ginz at 12:19 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm not so sure about the maybe

Well, at least compared to everyone else here...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:28 PM on February 18, 2003


Right Wing Nuts.
(Ayuk yuk yuk.)
posted by Shane at 12:28 PM on February 18, 2003


Left/Right

Takes a left & a right to be heard correctly, ears.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:42 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.33
guess i had to righten up sooner or later, but i feel the brakes being applied.

any idea what happened to clare short? in 6 odd years, she's gone from double negative to double positive...
posted by myopicman at 12:52 PM on February 18, 2003


Here's the MetaFilter Political Compass [4K, .gif, all names removed], according to the data in this thread thus far.
posted by normy at 1:00 PM on February 18, 2003


Cool Normy! But you have three people in the +/+ quadrant, isn't there only two? And who's that one person in the -/+ quadrant, I can't find them either.
posted by dgaicun at 1:12 PM on February 18, 2003


nice.
now put the names in
posted by goethean at 1:16 PM on February 18, 2003


That data so far charted out...
(wave to me and hama7 all alone in the upper right hand corner)

and the Excel file, if anyone wants it...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:22 PM on February 18, 2003


damn you normy!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Here's the MetaFilter Political Compass [4K, .gif, all names removed], according to the data in this thread thus far.

Okay, who's the lone Stalinist?

myself:
Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.67
posted by Ty Webb at 1:28 PM on February 18, 2003


errr... make that this excel file...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:29 PM on February 18, 2003


dgaicun, I lost a couple of -ves along the way. Oops. Should be correct now.
posted by normy at 1:29 PM on February 18, 2003


... oh, and the blue square mark is an average, for what its worth.
posted by normy at 1:31 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic : -4.38
Social: -3.95
So I guess the question has been answered: Mefites are a bunch of wacko-pinko-commie loving-leftwinged-slightly-to the-left-of-muthafuckin-Ghandi-tax-and-spend-assblankets.
Quonsar for President!
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:34 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm kinda surprised we don't have any members of the authoritarian left...

-0.88,
-6.36
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 1:34 PM on February 18, 2003


Average values: Economic -3.55; Social -5.15.
posted by normy at 1:40 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.90

More liberal/libertarian than I expected.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:40 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.77

Vote quonsar!
posted by jennyb at 1:59 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 1.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: 1.36

Good god. I'm so ... normal.

However, the test seemed bogus from question 1: If globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

A fairly significant bias is evident in even framing a question in such a way.
posted by MidasMulligan at 2:01 PM on February 18, 2003


Paging Mssrs. Paramus and Mulligan.

The world wants to know!
posted by hippugeek at 2:02 PM on February 18, 2003


My score:

Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.33


Does anyone know who this Simon Hughes person is?

Oh, and I'd love to see the chart updated from time to time as more people are contributing; it's quite striking to see almost all of us - myself included - chunked together down there in the third quadrant.
posted by Hjorth at 2:02 PM on February 18, 2003


I did it!
posted by hippugeek at 2:03 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm not really all that surprised that not just one, but two, members made such nice graphs. What I am kind of surprised at is the fact that according to normy's graph I am right smack dab at the average for mefites responding so far. Of course, hama7, steve_at (and now, MidasMuligan) are clearly the ones I have to thank for pulling that dot away from the lower-left hand corner up to me.
posted by yhbc at 2:03 PM on February 18, 2003


I can see this morphing into metafilter's version of a/s/l.
posted by Tacodog at 2:06 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 0.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.79

Little more Libertarian than I originally assumed, but I've always been economically centrist. This entire thread, if taken with a grain of salt, proves that MeFi leans left, if there was any doubt. Of course, in reality, these #s are only significant if one has the ability to successfully argue a given point.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:18 PM on February 18, 2003


Or if one has the inclination to jump into threads where political tendencies might influence one's posts.
posted by jennyb at 2:20 PM on February 18, 2003


-5.0, -5.49. Normal. Normal for a hippy, that is.
posted by daver at 2:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.03

And here I thought I was centrist! Did someone move the center and forget to tell me?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:25 PM on February 18, 2003


If globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

This struck me like some of the ridiculous questions that peppered a standardized psych test I once took for a job:

I often think of killing people with sharp objects.

a) True
b) False

posted by Shane at 2:26 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm the centrist around here. My score is so close to the average it makes me want to discourage more people from participating. (Would that move my authoritarian score?)
posted by rcade at 2:29 PM on February 18, 2003


I answered 'b', despite enormous temptation to answer 'a' and see the look on the tester's face.
posted by Shane at 2:29 PM on February 18, 2003


chart updated
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:32 PM on February 18, 2003


So, Shane, you prefer blunt objects?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:36 PM on February 18, 2003


jihad giza
posted by shabrem at 2:38 PM on February 18, 2003


Just spitballin' again, but ...

It would be interesting to take the test as another Mefite, or at least as you would expect them to answer, and chart that against their actual response. Do most of us actually have a realistic view of those we interact with?

Guess what got me rollin' on this is the idea that many of these questions are loaded as has been noted. Would we be able to keep that in mind if we were answering for another (as we would expect that other to answer)?

Okay, just a thought experiment. (Anyone care to tackle f'n'm ?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:48 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.44

That puts me, I guess, further south-west than most people. I kind of expected a lot of you crazy hippies would be more left than I was, but I guess I was wrong... compared to me, most of you are goose-stepping authoritarians. You should be ashamed of yourself for disagreeing with me!
posted by Hildago at 2:51 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.23

As with most, I probably would have been further left a few years ago, but I was surprised that I was so far left in the economic area, as my views have certainly moved much further to the right as I have got older.

The questions that are loaded are most likely deliberately so and would normally be weighted in the scoring to reflect that. If anyone cares to test the test, try answering every question with an extreme of either end and see what comes out. Steve_At_Linnwood and hama7 need not do this, as they have already tried ;-)
posted by dg at 2:59 PM on February 18, 2003


How many clicked through to the reading list for their outcome? That is scary stuff and surprised me much more than the test result did. Do people like me really read books like that?
posted by dg at 3:15 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm at -4.75 / -5.74.. but obviously I need to rethink my ideas about free market economies. I kept hitting questions that made me realise my previous answers had been bunk. Too much thinking for a Tuesday morning.
posted by some chick at 3:20 PM on February 18, 2003


I am quonsar's evil Republican twin in a microscopic sort of way and more libertarian than dgaicun. Yikes!
stop touching my butt!
posted by quonsar at 3:21 PM on February 18, 2003


Here is the chart with some names for reference.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:22 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.54
posted by goethean at 3:23 PM on February 18, 2003


-5.38
-7.44

The only reason I post that here is not because I think anyone is going to read it/care, but because I'd like to see someone compile a graph of all of our responses here. Yeah, it wouldn't necessarily be a representative sample, as the population of MeFi who is not quite as involved isn't going to read MeTa, but it would be interesting nonetheless.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Ahem. Someone already did.

*cough*
posted by lazaruslong at 3:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Maybe we are right-wing nuts...

Cripes! Three of us in the positives! That's a lot more than I thought there would be, but there are still some (maybe) who haven't weighed in yet.

The few, the proud, the.....well, the few.
posted by hama7 at 3:29 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.64

Although I left some questions blank..not sure what that did to my score. And I am still young and impressionable. :)
posted by puffin at 3:31 PM on February 18, 2003


Well done chart by the way, S_@_L!
posted by hama7 at 3:32 PM on February 18, 2003


(-4.25, -6)
I rolled a 11 for charisma.
posted by eddydamascene at 3:37 PM on February 18, 2003


Does anyone know who this Simon Hughes person is?

He's the rather cuddly, long-standing, once youthful LibDem MP for Southwark & Bermondsey.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:39 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.67

After you turn 30 it's just a slow drift to 0 by 0. A few years back I would have been left of Crasspastor. I'm very impressed by (and jealous of) jessamyn's score.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:41 PM on February 18, 2003


Oh No! I'm a very slightly libertarian centrist. How very boring! And true, I'm afraid...

Economic Left/Right: 0.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.59
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:50 PM on February 18, 2003


dg, wow, I followed your link to the libertarian reading list and I've read 6 out of the twelve books displayed. A couple that I hadn't heard of caught my eye and I might look them up. I can see how they are able to generate such a list though, just like amazon. I'm going to try and test the test as was suggested, if not to see what happens, but to see the suggested reading list for facists.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:51 PM on February 18, 2003


I think it's striking how close to the average Citizen Number One is. And given how much I've come to appreciate the extreme normalcy of the Quonmeister of late, I'm proud to reside in the same neighbourhood of him

PS: I wanna know who it is that's touching my butt too! Is it you, Shane?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:55 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -0.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.72

I seemed to have disagreed with almost everything. I wonder if the test takes into consideration people who are just contrary by nature.

Q: Do you think the sky is blue?
A: No, it's cyan you dumbass.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:05 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.77
posted by goddam at 4:06 PM on February 18, 2003


Me: Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.74
posted by Lynsey at 4:24 PM on February 18, 2003


I used to be a right-leaning nut, but my tailor recommended switching to left-leaning nuts for added comfort.

Enjoy the veal!
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:39 PM on February 18, 2003


I've got a fair degree of hippie mojo going on:
Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.05

btw, iconomy - you are very much a special snowflake to all of us. But just in case you doubt that, you can find out it you're special or not here.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:43 PM on February 18, 2003


5.25
-3.68

Me and Slithy are lonely over there in the bottom right, eh?

Although I think this test, in the way it asks questions, sorta pushed one toward certain choices. I took the test during the 2000 election at that issues2000 site, and I was fairly close to the center, slightly libertarian, which I think is more accurate.
posted by Kevs at 4:45 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.62
posted by katieinshoes at 4:49 PM on February 18, 2003


in the same neighbourhood of him

I authoritarianly decry dash_slot-'s grammatical libertarianism! ;)

posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:50 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.62
posted by Optamystic at 4:54 PM on February 18, 2003


A similar effort to characterise the political point-of-view of Australian webloggers has been around for a while - The Political Blogmap by Robert of Mentalspace (right-wing nuts beware, he's a die-hard socialist) is quite good.

For the record, I'm a:

Lefty: -5.75
Libertarian: -6.10
posted by Jimbob at 5:09 PM on February 18, 2003


Left: -7.12
Libertarian: -7.13
posted by kaibutsu at 5:14 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.44

I bow in sennoma's and crasspastor's directions and hope one day to be as anti-authoritarian as they.

"My" reading list included two of my heroes, Paine and Kropotkin, which pleased me.
posted by languagehat at 5:15 PM on February 18, 2003


Miggy - you me got!
posted by dash_slot- at 5:18 PM on February 18, 2003


I don't get it.

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -0.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.31
posted by riffola at 5:20 PM on February 18, 2003


I haven't decided whether or not to take the test yet. I copied all the statements to a file and I'm considering each of them. I figure a lot is riding on whether my default answer is to disagree or agree.

For example, I have no idea what to make of "No one can feel naturally homosexual."
posted by wobh at 5:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.41
posted by taz at 5:26 PM on February 18, 2003


Interesting to come back about 36 hours later and see how this turned out. Looks like a fun and civil discussion. Yay! :)

Now, regarding the test biases, without intending to take on a role of defending the test, I point out that it does say in the FAQ that the elements of the test are meant to be propositions not questions, the lack of a 'I dunno' option means you're coerced to think about the idea and take a position on it, and the four options given are a low-end compromise between the minimal two and the maximal twenty-or so (really, really disagree ... disagree almost always ... sort of disagree sometimes ... etc etc).

As for it stereotyping us, we already do stereotype each other, and I think this kind of exercise will make us more aware of how that process works. I don't want to name names, but there are a lot of people here who, because they usually take certain positions on issues, I am very tempted to think that I have a good idea of what they'll say about a new issue, which is basically unfair to them, and I should be prompted, by exercises like this one, to resist that temptation. Along with that there is a temptation to cram people together in categories because they have been positional allies in a discussion or two, when in fact they have quite different views on many things.

To get a real idea of a person's ideological biases we'd want a question-by-question, issue-by-issue breakdown, and it would have a dozen axes and a thousand questions. Even if it wouldn't change in the course of the test, nobody could be bothered doing that. This test is like an IQ test, or a Myers-Briggs personality test; it gives a broad idea along two commonly agreed axes and is generally a useful tool, but is an imperfect predictor of behavior, because of outlier responses, and secondly because different ideologies can lead to similar behavior (example: neither extreme authoritarians or extreme anarchists have much respect for human life, because the first see the right to live as conditional upon service to the state, and the second see the right to live as belonging only to those who are useful to the strong).

Anyway, if all this achieves is to add an axis to the way we sterotype people we debate with here, that's good enough for me. :)

On preview, Jimbob, did you notice how similar the Political Blogmap graph is to Steve's graph of us?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:40 PM on February 18, 2003


Hey, can we all post how we scored on "What cast member of 'My So Called Life' are you?" tomorrow?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:43 PM on February 18, 2003


Latest data added.
posted by normy at 5:53 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.13
posted by NsJen at 6:00 PM on February 18, 2003


Here is something to look at as well, though I will leave it up to you do decide what it means.


Timeline of Political Scores via Membership Numbers

Notice the two trend lines.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:01 PM on February 18, 2003


Wow, crazy graphing skillzzzz Steve@.. Looks like Metafilter is getting slightly and slowly more authoritarian/right wing.
posted by Hildago at 6:05 PM on February 18, 2003


well at least more moderate....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:11 PM on February 18, 2003


Interesting to note that the variance isn't even remotely symetrical.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:15 PM on February 18, 2003


If anyone else wants to play with this, here's a comma-delimited file of the data.
posted by normy at 6:16 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.67
posted by boltman at 6:21 PM on February 18, 2003


me:

Economic Left/Right: -3.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.69
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 6:21 PM on February 18, 2003


.5 right
-1.25 libertarian
posted by rudyfink at 6:26 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 5.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.18

Yes, the wording is bad. I.e., agree or disagree: While it is OK for women to have a career, their primary duty is as homemakers [paraphrased from memory]. If you answer, as most of you probably did, that you disagree or strongly disagree, this could be mean either that you believe women don't have a duty to be homemakers, or that you think women shouldn't have careers at al; the test doesn't distinguish.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic: -6.5
Social: -7.08
posted by grrarrgh00 at 6:58 PM on February 18, 2003


I'm not sure, but I think the mefi constellation is a baby seal.
posted by taz at 7:05 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -9.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.74
posted by goneill at 7:10 PM on February 18, 2003


Economics - 2.50
Social -4.97
posted by dydecker at 7:13 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 4.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: 0.26

Just barely a right wing nut.
posted by Recockulous at 7:23 PM on February 18, 2003


Fine:

Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.21

I feel like I should baa or moo or quack or something.
posted by furiousthought at 7:30 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.64
I'm right on the line with my mefi # on S@L's graph.
posted by TimeFactor at 7:36 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.44
posted by crunchland at 7:45 PM on February 18, 2003


Geez...do I feel all alone.

Economic Left/Right 3.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: 3.03

Come on... There has got to be some others like me!
posted by Plunge at 7:53 PM on February 18, 2003


Looks more like a baby walrus to me taz. Let's club it anyway.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:10 PM on February 18, 2003


I wanna know who it is that's touching my butt too! Is it you, Shane?

Me: North of amberglow and East of crasspastor.
You: North of me rubbing your butt in my face.
Who are you, nameless butt-rubber? We passed like ships in the night. Email me for a glass of Merlot and discreet fun. We'll see where it goes from there...
(I think that's me, dash)
posted by Shane at 8:52 PM on February 18, 2003


I have a suggestion: just calibrate to the mean. Then we're no longer guilty of groupthink -- it's a lively, nonpartisan discussion.
posted by condour75 at 9:07 PM on February 18, 2003


(you know, it's like putting electrical tape over the Check Engine light.)
posted by condour75 at 9:08 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.44

Apparently, Hildago and I will never disagree on anything. Except maybe who gets to lead a rousing chorus of the "Internationale" next time ;)
posted by trondant at 9:18 PM on February 18, 2003


Heh, the chart doesn't go far enough left for f&m.
posted by Shane at 9:32 PM on February 18, 2003


Ahem, just because we're most of us lefties doesn't mean there's any "groupthink" going on.
posted by Hildago at 9:44 PM on February 18, 2003


Apparently, Hildago and I will never disagree on anything. Except maybe who gets to lead a rousing chorus of the "Internationale" next time ;)

How about I sing falsetto and you accompany on the trombone? Or I trombone and you falsetto, I'm pretty flexible.
posted by Hildago at 9:45 PM on February 18, 2003


If you connect the dots on the Metafilter Political Compass and then turn it upside down, you get this. Sort of.
posted by y2karl at 9:53 PM on February 18, 2003 [1 favorite]


I ♥ madamjujujive - that was hilarious! Oh and quonsar for prez!
posted by Lynsey at 9:55 PM on February 18, 2003


Looking at those charts, I find it unbelievable that we all get on so well and agree just about everything. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:51 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic:-5.75
Authoritarian:-6.56

just barely to the right of quonsar (though i used make hama7 look like crasspastor)
posted by notsnot at 10:52 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.15

Hoo-boy, I'm a Liberal Democrat. When's the next convention? Will there be beer? I like beer.
posted by maudlin at 11:02 PM on February 18, 2003


i don't need any test scores or groupthink to know that this country is in the hands of power-mad greed-driven constitution-stomping criminals. is that out in the open enough for you?
posted by quonsar at 8:25 AM PST on February 18


quonsar, get a grip, man.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:07 PM on February 18, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.87
posted by ed at 11:14 PM on February 18, 2003


no surprises here:
Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.44

Showing up some 185 posts in is what I get for being in one Toyota meeting after another all day. I wonder if they've ever heard of 802.11?
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:15 PM on February 18, 2003


Looks more like a baby walrus to me taz. Let's club it anyway.

Watch it, bucko ...
posted by walrus at 1:15 AM on February 19, 2003


I missed this initially, but here's mine:
Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.64

I think it's safe to say that the graph says what I've been saying about Mefi since a long ass time ago.
posted by owillis at 1:55 AM on February 19, 2003


Count me in for any kind of utopian revolution you guys may start some day!

Economic Left/Right: -7.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.15
posted by zerofoks at 2:38 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.05
posted by Tarrama at 5:10 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.10
posted by nthdegx at 5:24 AM on February 19, 2003


i suspect i'd be more left on the economic style but for my answers regarding free trade - I don't think we can dismiss what has never been attempted.
posted by nthdegx at 5:26 AM on February 19, 2003


Here's my political compass:
Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.67

Take that kiddos.
posted by corpse at 5:55 AM on February 19, 2003


i don't need any test scores or groupthink to know that this country is in the hands of power-mad greed-driven constitution-stomping criminals. is that out in the open enough for you?
-quonsar

quonsar, get a grip, man.
-jesse helms

You see, here is one of the differences between people on opposite sides of the chart, because all of my reading and research and experience has led me to accept quonsar's statement as simple fact, this basic tenet that a job involving $$ and power primarily attracts people seeking $$ and power, who don't give one flying fig about my welfare other than getting my vote. Even Ben Franklin said that the first priority of any political party is re-election. History does not contradict him.

Your assertion that this is not so seems no less strange to me than if you were to assert that there is, in fact, a toothfairy. Really.

Maybe we should someday have some kind of discussion here on MeFi about our beliefs and experiences that put us where are we are on the Political Compass. Ground rules: Basic civility and no cries of "liberal tree hugger!" or "yuppy dittohead!".
posted by Shane at 6:07 AM on February 19, 2003


Nearly 200 comments later....

Economic Left/Right: -9.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.62

Does this mean I pass?
posted by ahughey at 7:20 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 1.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.13

Not that I think these numbers mean anything. Many of these questions are so broad and lacking in nuance they are essentially meaningless. There's no way someone could ascertain my feelings on, say, the globalization debate by asking me the"If globalisation is inevitable etc, etc." question. Although I generally think globalization is a good thing, there are many caveats and exceptions that I'm unable to explain on this test. I'd just as soon have this test be an essay, which would go a lot further toward getting at my actual political/social leanings than this silly multiple choice thingy.
posted by deadcowdan at 7:21 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.92

(I too am confused about the astrology and unluckiness questions: does superstition correlate with being left, or being right? I'm not sure I'm gonna like that answer.)
posted by win_k at 7:40 AM on February 19, 2003


I actually came out slightly different thant the last time I took this test:

Economic Left/Right: -2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.38

I think I was more right last time, but only a fraction.

I kind of wish there was a neutral option on some of those questions.
posted by me3dia at 8:45 AM on February 19, 2003


Very late to this thread, but anyway:

Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: - 6.72
posted by katherine at 9:11 AM on February 19, 2003


you can add my data point if you want:
Economic Left/Right: -6.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.26
posted by jann at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2003


Mine seems to be on the graph exactly where they put Gandhi. Isn't that a good thing???

Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.15
posted by soyjoy at 9:29 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.95

Note: I reflexively disagreed with many of the statements that required me to think too much about what they were trying to say and guage my opinion with respect to the statement. There were a lot of these.
posted by wobh at 9:33 AM on February 19, 2003


Are there really no MeFi members in the upper left quadrant?
posted by languagehat at 9:40 AM on February 19, 2003


Hey! Let's all do the long-form Myers Briggs test next!
I'm I/ENFP!
posted by me3dia at 9:45 AM on February 19, 2003


Hey! Let's all do the long-form Myers Briggs test next!

Baby jesus help us all if the Purity Test comes after that.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:57 AM on February 19, 2003


(Just to clarify: I was joking.)
posted by me3dia at 10:02 AM on February 19, 2003


Hey! Let's all do the long-form Myers Briggs test next!

Sure me3dia - as long as it's not the Hayes Psychopathy Checklist - that might be too revealing for comfort.

Just take a look at the indicators and deny the unnerving familiarity:

"Glibness/superficial charm;
Grandiose sense of self-worth;
Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom;
Pathological lying; Conning/manipulative;
Lack of remorse or guilt; Shallow affect; bCallous/lack of empathy; Parasitic lifestyle;
Promiscuous sexual behavior... "

Need I go on? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:14 AM on February 19, 2003


Just in case anyone's still playing along at home, this chart won't be updated again until this sometime this evening.
posted by normy at 10:20 AM on February 19, 2003


Hey! Let's all do the long-form Myers Briggs test next!

I say we subject everyone to the Voigt-Kampff test instead.

The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:40 AM on February 19, 2003


Yikes, for how few of you there are in the right-hand positive numbers side of the chart, y'all manage to make a lot of noise.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:40 AM on February 19, 2003


for how few of you there are in the right-hand positive numbers side of the chart, y'all manage to make a lot of noise.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

oh, and dear, we're out of BodyGlide again...
posted by quonsar at 11:00 AM on February 19, 2003


normy's chart suggests that the traditional left/right divide is a pretty good way of dividing people - that extra dimension isn't important. there's very few people top left or bottom right (where you are horizontally predicts where you will be vertically).
posted by andrew cooke at 11:07 AM on February 19, 2003


Here's my 2 cents:

-5.62/-6.67
posted by Pollomacho at 11:12 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 2.50
Authoritarian: -1.79
posted by jbelshaw at 11:19 AM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.56
posted by widdershins at 11:22 AM on February 19, 2003


so what's the average?
posted by corpse at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.0
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.0

I think if you rephrased some of those questions, I'd come up more in the middle on the economic spectrum. A number of those I felt exactly in the middle on, but the test didn't give a middle of the road option, so I took the lefty answer as being slightly less annoying. The authoriatrian/libertarian score seems about right to me though.
posted by tdismukes at 12:44 PM on February 19, 2003


I think it's safe to say that the graph says what I've been saying about Mefi since a long ass time ago

Well, not _that_ safe. Some of the questions are so outrageously skewed that really, most reasonable human beings would position themselves somewhere in the minus - minus sector
example: with questions like "Do the Jews deserve the shit they got for all these years?", it's pretty hard to answer yes, unless you're into wearing white sheets and burning crosses
the _real_ center is not really the zero-zero point of the chart. not even for Americans, let alone for the damn foreigners
posted by matteo at 1:07 PM on February 19, 2003


For another eye-opener, try answering the questions in a way inimicable to your own viewpoints to try to "be" someone else, and prepare to be amazed at the answers you have to give. Taking the test as Stalin, I got -7.62/8.31; taking it as Ross Perot I got 7.75/8.67.

Oh, and normy - don't put those scores in the chart.
posted by yhbc at 1:09 PM on February 19, 2003


I was curious about some of the assumptions made in this test, so I ran through it a few times comparing different sets of responses (starting by answering "disagree" to all questions as a baseline -- which gives -0.62/-2.26 -- then comparing with "strongly agree" on one question at a time). Most of them work pretty much the way you'd expect, but here are the odd ones:

Believing in astrology or luck makes you more authoritarian (strongly agreeing with either of those questions raises your score by 0.36.) Not sure I follow the rationale there.

Disliking abstract art also makes you more authoritarian (by 0.41). Not sure this makes sense either: the Soviets, at least, had their share of abstract artists (Kandinski, Malevich, Tatlin, Larionov.) Then again, disliking almost anything cultural -- art education, public broadcasting, cultural relativism -- raises your authoritarian score in this test.

Antisemitism makes you more authoritarian -- I guess we all understand how that one works -- but, oddly, less so than any of the above (only 0.31 points).

Answering "strongly agree" to "an eye for an eye," "religion and morality are inseparable," the faith-based schools question, and the "sex outside marriage is immoral" question raises your authoritarian score by 1.34 points.

And just for fun, Mr. Contrarian (strongly disagree with everything) gets -0.88 / -4.15; and Mr. Agreeable scores +0.88 / +4.15. (Which means the scoring is balanced, at least.)
posted by ook at 1:29 PM on February 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


I'm all Gandhi like... wheee.
Economic Left/Right: -5.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.41
posted by Nauip at 1:31 PM on February 19, 2003


Hey look, it's the warblog political compass!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:33 PM on February 19, 2003


Here I thought there would be at least one or two on here with scores comparable to what I got. *sigh*

I guess I'll just have to post more to make up for it! :-)
posted by Plunge at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2003


I closed the window before I realized everyone was posting their scores, but I'm basically a centrist with Libertarian/Right leanings.

Of course, there were an awful lot of baited questions on that test. :-)
posted by oissubke at 2:08 PM on February 19, 2003


Wow, mathowie, it is just as we would have expected it to be. Isn't that amazing? ;-)

Miguel, are those your scores?
posted by dg at 2:08 PM on February 19, 2003


Is someone graphing all these? I'd love to see this consolidated....
posted by oissubke at 2:19 PM on February 19, 2003


Thanks for that analysis, ook. I've done this test a couple of times and always wondered exactly what the implications of various answers were.

Oh, and FWIW:

Economic Left/Right: -5.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.15
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:20 PM on February 19, 2003


"so what's the average?"

With all the scores posted herein (up to and including Nauip), I calculate the average to be:

Economic L/R: -3.67

Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.26

I used normy's comma-delimited file and added the rest manually.

The updated file is here if anyone wants it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:22 PM on February 19, 2003


Also, my attempt at an updated graph is here. I also added Sonny Jim to the text file.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:34 PM on February 19, 2003


I'd like to know why MeFi is skewed the way it is politically. I don't know about the rest of you, but I wasn't drawn to this site by its political content. I came here for the likes of Flash Fridays, interesting art links and the just plain nifty. I end up avoiding most of the political threads.

My score: -7.62/-6.97
posted by picea at 2:42 PM on February 19, 2003


Here we go:

posted by oissubke at 2:47 PM on February 19, 2003


Nuts. Crash beat me too it, and it looked better too.
posted by oissubke at 2:51 PM on February 19, 2003


I'm stupid with Excel, and can't figure out who's in my Mefi Caucus. How do I label the points?
posted by oissubke at 2:59 PM on February 19, 2003


here's me...
Economic Left/Right: -8.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.92
and I thought I was getting more centrist over time too.
posted by mdn at 2:59 PM on February 19, 2003


Hmm, if you combine the mefi, and the warblog plots, the distribution starts to take form. A stretched diagonal ellipse, with no-one in the top left and bottom right extremeties.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:00 PM on February 19, 2003


Yes, and if you rotate each of the mefi and warblog plots by 90 degrees and combine all four, you get a perfectly symmetrical figure! Spooky!
posted by ook at 3:16 PM on February 19, 2003


A stretched diagonal ellipse, with no-one in the top left and bottom right extremeties.

On behalf of the bottom-right caucus, I'd like to request protected minority status on Mefi...
posted by oissubke at 3:28 PM on February 19, 2003


My own coordinates:

(-6.88, -6.21)
posted by wanderingmind at 3:30 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.38
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:45 PM on February 19, 2003


oissubke: You still haven't posted your numbers, you need to go and get them and post them. :-)
posted by Plunge at 3:51 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.15
posted by danOstuporStar at 3:53 PM on February 19, 2003


Disliking abstract art also makes you more authoritarian (by 0.41). Not sure this makes sense either

Sure it does. All authoritarian governments I know about have disliked abstract art. Sure, the Soviets "had their share of abstract artists," and they did their best to get rid of them. Kandinsky "felt by no means immune from the terror of the Revolution. It was with relief that he accepted a teaching post back in Germany in 1921..."
Malevich: "The communist authorities were becoming increasingly intolerant to anything that did not conform to their ideals; lately Malevich's status was quickly declining in favour of the artists of the Socialist Realism. His connections with Germans artists resulted in his arrest in 1930 and the subsequent destruction of many of his manuscripts. Malevich continued to paint mainly in more conventional style, but life was now very difficult and a struggle to survive."
Tatlin "retired when the Soviet Union rejected modernism in the 1930s."
(Larionov moved to Paris before the Revolution and stayed there.)
posted by languagehat at 3:54 PM on February 19, 2003


(-1.50,-1.95)
I'm always late to these things.
posted by rhapsodie at 4:07 PM on February 19, 2003


My political compass:
Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.51
posted by ParisParamus at 4:10 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.85

It looks like I've found my home here on MeFi.
posted by Jonasio at 4:18 PM on February 19, 2003


Contribution Index + Political Compass..?

ParisP, you cheated! ; )
posted by Shane at 4:59 PM on February 19, 2003


I can't be the only MeFite who is bored out of his skull by this.

[No, but you are the only one still reading this thread! --ed]
posted by Mid at 5:06 PM on February 19, 2003


oissubke: You still haven't posted your numbers, you need to go and get them and post them. :-)

Economic Left/Right: 2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.00

-ish. :-)
posted by oissubke at 5:13 PM on February 19, 2003


It's important to point out that nowhere on the political compass site is it spelled out how the origin (0,0) was determined. I think a lot of us here are assuming that it's the average or median but the site doesn't say that. I'd bet the median in the US would be somewhere in the lower left, maybe -2,-3, which isn't that different from our median of -4.25,-5.69 (based on mr_crash_davis' compilation).
posted by TimeFactor at 5:46 PM on February 19, 2003


Based on the graphs, I predict more postings on the following topics: Anti-Bush, Anti-War, Pro-Technology, with some sort of bum-touching link.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:49 PM on February 19, 2003


"All authoritarian governments I know about have disliked abstract art" - other than the Islamic ones, right? Since there's really no such thing as non-abstract art in the Islamic world due to religious concerns.

And I think I need special status being on the bottom right too :-)
posted by Kevs at 6:00 PM on February 19, 2003


well lets consider that modern art has got progressively worse eh?
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:08 PM on February 19, 2003


For the record...
Econ -4.88
Auth -6.46

Late to the party, lost in the crowd.
posted by jaronson at 6:23 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 6.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.46

Not bad for an animalist/atheist.
posted by mischief at 6:29 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 7.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.49

On the other hand, I openly admit to being a nut.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 6:32 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.00

hmmm, so i'm less of a commie than gandhi?
posted by raygun21 at 6:32 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.28

and i'm less of a commie than raygun21.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:35 PM on February 19, 2003


Are there really no MeFi members in the upper left quadrant?

A couple or so--dg and mr.crash_davis, among others, according to Steve@Linnwood's chart--they and sgt. serenity are closest to Stalin of all of us, him and the middle of the road. crasspastor is Che Guevara, Slithy_Tove is our Milton Friedman, Steve@Linnwood is Margaret Thatcher and MidasMulligan is the Control Normal. God help us all.
posted by y2karl at 6:39 PM on February 19, 2003


I got a middle of the road (for MeFi) -6 something, -6 something, but after a couple of more tries I was able to get a perfect -10, -10. Did I win anything?
posted by TedW at 6:47 PM on February 19, 2003


so, after 260+ replies, including lots of pretty pictures, are we guilty of lefty groupthink?
posted by crunchland at 7:03 PM on February 19, 2003


Sure, the Soviets "had their share of abstract artists," and they did their best to get rid of them.

I stand corrected.
...and here I thought that college education was going to pay off for once.
posted by ook at 7:13 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.51

how boring.
posted by Hackworth at 7:22 PM on February 19, 2003


So both graphs are the same, I'll add my score here:

Economic Left/Right: -6.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.31
posted by yonderboy at 7:36 PM on February 19, 2003


Here's the updated chart.

What does the chart look like if we consider the origin to be arbitrary and recalibrate the data to the mean of all results and shift the axes accordingly?
Like this.

Want to see who you're similar to?
Comma-delimited data sorted by:
Left/Right
Authoritarian/Libertarian

Here's the Excel spreadsheet.

I'm done.
posted by normy at 7:46 PM on February 19, 2003


Thanks, normy!

I (nearly leftmost) really need to have a few beers with hama7 (rightmost), since we live in the same city - a Korea MeFi Minimeetup. If we can get along, hell, the rest of Metafilter ought to be able to!

(I note in passing that I've always poo-pooed the left/right bipolar thing anyway.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:54 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.85

although i guess its all over....
posted by bshort at 8:06 PM on February 19, 2003


y2karl: Nope, those guys are close to the line but still negative. Look:

dg:
Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.23

mrcrashdavis:
Economic Left/Right: -0.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.64

So, no Stalins on MetaFilter. Bah!

And great work, Normy!
posted by languagehat at 8:19 PM on February 19, 2003


although i guess its all over....

Maybe normy or someone will update the graph one more time in a few days(?), once all of the stragglers have finally checked in. I'm sure jonson, for example, will be pissed off that he missed this. (Snooze/Lose?)
posted by Shane at 8:31 PM on February 19, 2003


ParisP, you cheated! ; )

No I didn't.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:54 PM on February 19, 2003


although i guess its all over.... Now you are telling me!

Economic Left/Right: -1.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.41
posted by MzB at 8:56 PM on February 19, 2003


Sure, I'll update it all again in a few days for the sake of completeness. I doubt any further results are going to radically alter the average or the shape of the plot, though. I'm not a statistician, but I suspect 145 coordinates is probably as representative as we're going to get.

And that's all assuming that the original data from the Political Compass website is meaningful, which is a debate of its own. It was a fun displacement activity, anyhow.
posted by normy at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Auth/Lib: -4.72

A bit below the overall 'member #' trend, but I seem to have joined right around the time they wired the watermelon patch . . .
posted by squared at 9:49 PM on February 19, 2003


The recalibrated graph, Normy, fits pretty much exactly what my mental image of a MeFi graph would be. I think it's about right, too.

Thanks, by the way.
posted by Hildago at 11:31 PM on February 19, 2003


Yes, and if you rotate each of the mefi and warblog plots by 90 degrees and combine all four, you get a perfectly symmetrical figure! Spooky!

Doh! I see it now...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:11 AM on February 20, 2003


example: with questions like "Do the Jews deserve the shit they got for all these years?", it's pretty hard to answer yes, unless you're into wearing white sheets and burning crosses

You hear that shit all the time in Germany by any kind of people, not openly though but hidden within enthymemes.
posted by zerofoks at 1:15 AM on February 20, 2003


zerofoks....I'm stunned...I don't know what to say. In seven years of surfing the Web, you are the first person who made me Google a noun.

Congratulations.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:46 AM on February 20, 2003


Say what you like about Stalin , he sure made the potatoes run on time.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:07 AM on February 20, 2003


Considering my "Economic Left/Right: 6.75", this probably explains that while I favor liberal interpretations of posting guidelines, so many others are such hardliners on the subject. While I am willing to let the posts live or die on their own merits, the rest of you want to tax Matt's precious time, making him spend it hitting the delete button. ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:09 AM on February 20, 2003


Yes, and if you rotate each of the mefi and warblog plots by 90 degrees and combine all four, you get...
TIMECUBE!!!!
posted by quonsar at 4:10 AM on February 20, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.36
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.32

I'm somewhat symmetrical, you can say that about me.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:17 AM on February 20, 2003


You hear that shit all the time in Germany by any kind of people, not openly though but hidden within enthymemes.

I heard a similar comment from a "townie" shop owner in Kent, OH, who was there at the time of the (National Guard) Kent State Massacre. "You know, those kids had it comin'." Evidently it's a common sentiment. Hmph.
posted by Shane at 5:55 AM on February 20, 2003


so, after 260+ replies, including lots of pretty pictures, are we guilty of lefty groupthink?

I think we should plead "no contest" to avoid a trial in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
posted by rcade at 6:05 AM on February 20, 2003


This is rather interesting. While everyone knew MeFi had a fairly liberal bent, it's interesting to see the spread of ideas represented. More to the liberal spectrum than I'd realized.

My stats:
Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.92
posted by aladfar at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2003


So, no Stalins on MetaFilter. Bah!

I didn't mean to say they were--they aren't near Stalin, but on the chart they are the nearest to Stalin around here. No despots we.

Speaking of which, Miguel just missed being in the Authoritarian Top Ten: the iron hand in the velvet glove, I guess.

And that's made the protatos run on time, sgt. serenity.
posted by y2karl at 8:00 AM on February 20, 2003


More to the liberal spectrum than I'd realized.

Those of us righty authoritarians were incredibly underwhelmed by the results.
posted by Plunge at 8:15 AM on February 20, 2003


obviously, attempts of Free Republic to infiltrate our commie coven have utterly failed.
posted by crunchland at 9:10 AM on February 20, 2003


I feel so alone....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:28 AM on February 20, 2003


So, given the random nature of the signup process, how did we arive at this reflection?

Is it a reflection of the international/ist nature of Mefi?
The inherent libertarian bent of technophiles?
The origins of Mefi in the hang-loose Californian attitude of mathowie?
The inability of the right to persuade the populace in open forum?

Hmm?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:47 AM on February 20, 2003


Arrive, Miguel, arrive!
At least I got 'populace' right!! (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 9:48 AM on February 20, 2003


Why such a tight correlation between Left/Right and Libertarian/Authoritarian (in the above graph and the one on the quiz site)? Are there no more communists? Or does this compass actually recapitulate what we already think about ideologies.
posted by rschram at 9:49 AM on February 20, 2003


We haven't heard from sheauga yet, have we?
posted by y2karl at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2003


Speaking of which, Miguel just missed being in the Authoritarian Top Ten

You rat, y2karl - I scored negative on authoritarianism. I'm a tad libertarian, in fact. In fact, that little dot right bang centre, the only one on the vertical axis, that's me.

Just kidding, but it kind of offends me you'd think of me as being authoritarian in any way. My being such an easy-going guy. In any case, I'm writing to Matt to have you banned forthwith, as you deserve to die.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:14 AM on February 20, 2003


Very late to the party but still, I made it. I'm almost exactly in the center (of the lower left quadrant). -5.38 ; -5.33.

What's next? Posting the height / weight charts?
posted by LeLiLo at 10:35 AM on February 20, 2003


Very late to the party... but clearly a leading member of the Party, with a solidly leftist -8.5/-8.0. Woo! Trotsky, care to dance, comrade?
posted by scody at 11:39 AM on February 20, 2003


Trotsky, care to dance, comrade?

No, no, Trotsky (like any Bolshevik) would be way up in the upper left quadrant, something like -9/+9. That's why it puzzles me there's nobody in that quadrant here on MeFi; there aren't many "right-wingers," but there are absolutely no authoritarian lefties. Strange.
posted by languagehat at 12:44 PM on February 20, 2003


I took the test again and tried to purposely throw it towards the authoritarian. I only managed to get a -9 on the econ scale and a -1 on the authoritarian scale, and I was really trying. I can't even TRY to be authoritarian, I don't know what I've got to do to be Stalin!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:20 PM on February 20, 2003


Ok I am ultra late with this, but it took me a while to get it working correctly: The Political Compass in SVG (11k, plugin rq.). Hover over the points and see the member-names as tooltips (only the first 117 entries so far).
posted by meikel at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2003


Pollomacho: I will gladly give Stalin lessons for a fee.
posted by yhbc at 2:17 PM on February 20, 2003


No, no, Trotsky (like any Bolshevik) would be way up in the upper left quadrant, something like -9/+9.

True, but perhaps I am thinking more of the Left Opposition Trotsky, valiantly leading the doomed fight against Stalin before being purged and setting out to meet his fate (fate! Bah! An entirely un-dialectical materialist conceit!) at the end of a Mexico City icepick....

Also, it seems Pollomacho and I think alike -- I re-took the test several times to see what it would take get a far left/super-high authoritarian result, and I couldn't do it (even with a strong denunciation of abstract art and the Jews, my authoritarianism came in around 4!). So Stalin seems to be configured out of the matrix somehow -- perhaps it's set up so that a strong left economic score mathematically outweighs a strong authoritarian score? Because in all reality, after the coming revolution I fully intend to be appointed Commissar of Culture, and boy are a lot of you people in trouble.

on preview: wow! Out-Stalined by yhbc!
posted by scody at 2:26 PM on February 20, 2003


Ok I am ultra late with this, but it took me a while to get it working correctly: The Political Compass in SVG

Awesome! Great work, meikel.
posted by Hjorth at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.21
posted by dytiq at 2:34 PM on February 20, 2003


Meikel: such a cool graphic!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:29 PM on February 20, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -8.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.97

No surprise there.
posted by skoosh at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2003


Maybe authoritarian leftists would turn their noses up and refuse to participate in such a light-hearted and distracting thing? :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:03 PM on February 20, 2003


meikel, that is so cool! Thank You
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:46 PM on February 20, 2003


Here's the political compass that I mentioned earlier. I think it's a bit more accurate.
posted by Kevs at 5:29 PM on February 20, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.44
ach - well
posted by seanyboy at 5:41 PM on February 20, 2003


OK, I pretended I was some sort of unholy cross between Stalin and Colonel Blimp and I got:
Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: 5.54
There may be a way to get a significantly more authoritarian score, but I'm damned if I can figure out how. So it does seem to be biased in a libertarian direction.

meikel, I join everyone else in expressing my awe and gratitude. You are the Graph King.
posted by languagehat at 6:49 PM on February 20, 2003


I'd like to know why MeFi is skewed the way it is politically

I think the Internet is skewed towards libertarianism, first of all - even after all these years it seems that the purchase of a PC goes hand in hand with anti-authoritarianism. Of course, from where I'm standing you're all a bunch of loony pinkos.
posted by owillis at 9:20 PM on February 20, 2003


I did this test ages ago. I'll have to do it again.

When I did it before I was smack bang on (or perhaps cpl pixels off at worst) the bottom line.. but I'm a staunch Libertarian.

However, I was just right of the center line. I personally think left-winged Libertarianism misses the point. Libertarianism condones a free economy. Left wingers don't.

What do left wing Libertarians want? Complete social freedom but restrictions on the economy?
posted by wackybrit at 10:00 PM on February 20, 2003


For the record, although some people seem to judge me differently:

Economic Left/Right: -2.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.46

I blogged this site a couple of years ago, but I can't find it right now. Then, I believe I came out a little more left on the economics, and a little less libertarian. As a PoliSci minor, or something akin to it, I'm pretty disappointed with this test -- although it does seem more comprehensive than the "World's Smallest Political Quiz", which is overtly designed to elicit reactions of "Gosh, I didn't realize I was so libertarian" -- due to some of the leading questions. I'm pragmatic, for instance, on the question of whether society will organize itself hierarchically: it's irrelevant whether it's my ideal, but I think it's a reality that must be dealt with. And I don't think the mean of the test is well distributed vis-a-vis most people, let alone Metafilter. Also, there's the simple problem for Americans that some of the questions seem more oriented toward a British or European perspective on problems. I think there are fundamental differences, which may be blamed on a variety of historical, cultural, and conditional factors, between American politics and rest-of-world politics. So I'd like a test that's calibrated around American points of view. I'd also like to see more information about the distribution, and perhaps some double-blind tests to determine the typical result for a real-world person vs. an internet person. As a final note, I think the test is way too soft on liberal authoritarianism, e.g. through economic regulation. (I'm not arguing against regulation here, only against the characterization of some lefties as anti-authoritarian, when I think that the average libertarian ("classical liberal") would argue differently.) [Ah: on preview, I note that wackybrit has made precisely this type of comment.] So, it's not without its weaknesses as a guidepost.

But in general, I think the depiction of Metafilter is dead on!
posted by dhartung at 10:22 PM on February 20, 2003


As for the test Kevs posted;
Personal: 60%
Economic: 61%

But no way will I start a new thread about it.
posted by scottymac at 10:57 PM on February 20, 2003


Sorry so late but I want to jump in...

Economic Left/Right: -5.32
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.02
posted by SweetIceT at 11:13 PM on February 20, 2003


Personal Score 90%
Economic Score 72%

Strangely enough, this thing sticks me slightly to the left on personal issues. I find that a lot of these tests make an implicit assumption that the personal is the political, such that all sorts of personal statements such as "Do you support churches performing charitable services?" are confused with "Do you think churches should have a role in the government performing charitable services?" That skews things a bit.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 1:17 AM on February 21, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -6.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.21
posted by monkey closet at 2:27 AM on February 21, 2003


...and
Personal Score 61%
Economic Score 44%
posted by monkey closet at 2:30 AM on February 21, 2003


Ok, my actual numbers (it was difficult remembering what answers I used the first time):

L/R: -5.12
A/L: -5.54

PS: 66%
ES: 35%

But there's a strong US bias on Kevs test, so I had to doublethink a lot.
posted by walrus at 2:53 AM on February 21, 2003


Since this thread is still alive, and wackybrit raised the issue: getting scores in the bottom left-hand quadrant does not make you Libertarian in the sense that people who capitalise the word mean. Getting scores in the bottom right-hand corner does (assuming you trust the accuracy of the test). Modern Libertarianism is a combination of civil libertarianism (the 'Libertarian' of the Authoritarian/Libertarian axis in this test), free-market economics, and a laissez faire (hands off, non-interventionist) attitude towards government. If you get scores in the bottom-left corner, you're a plain ol' common-or-garden leftie (or liberal, in American parlance).

The reason there are no scores in the top left is probably that no one in the North Korean government reads MeFi, and they're about the last remaining Stalinists in the world.

As for 'techno-libertarianism', it's a lot more Libertarian than simply civil libertarian, and is tied up with the whole extreme free-market survival-of-the-7337est philosophy of the Internet Gold Rush days. MeFi isn't particularly technolibertarian nowadays, although we certainly have such people in our midst. (Sorry, grimmelm, that was the one point of your excellent article that I disagreed with. Admittedly, IANAL. But IAA political scientist.)
posted by rory at 4:08 AM on February 21, 2003


...or, more accurately, the last remaining people who will admit to being Stalinists.
posted by rory at 4:20 AM on February 21, 2003


me:
Economic Left/Right: -6.62
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.56
posted by terrapin at 11:12 AM on February 21, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.85

Personal: 55%
Economic: 44%
posted by jacobsee at 12:48 PM on February 21, 2003


On the issues2000 test, I scored just left and on the line between centrist and libertarian, which is how I see myself, as far as voting is concerned. It definitely has a US bias - the first test said I was quite right-wing, and while that may be true in France and in Madison, I don't think most people would classify me that way.

Interesting to see how MeFi shaped up, though.
posted by Kevs at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2003


However, I was just right of the center line. I personally think left-winged Libertarianism misses the point. Libertarianism condones a free economy. Left wingers don't.

one could just as easily argue that free market libertarians miss the point; they support the illusion of freedom but not the means to make it accessible to the citizens. it takes money to make money, so where you're born on the scale has major connotations. Once, the actual seat of power was hereditary; now, merely the means to power is inherited - but it's still a level of determinism a truly free society shouldn't have. So higher taxes are an attempt to even that out. other laws are simply meant to ensure that businesses do not breach basic ethical guidelines, like "don't destroy our shared habitat," etc.
posted by mdn at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2003


What do left wing Libertarians want? Complete social freedom but restrictions on the economy?

More or less. Free markets left unrestricted almost always result in monopolies and the Enrons of the world. They're great, but only when the gov't holds them in check. At least, that's what my particular brand of left-wing libertarianism believes.
posted by owillis at 3:50 PM on February 21, 2003


What do left wing Libertarians want? Complete social freedom but restrictions on the economy?

I can't speak for the rest of "us", but for my money you can put your strawmen away now. Restrictions on the economy? How about restrictions on progress and education while we're there? Restrictions on what businesses are allowed to get away with, though? Why yes, for the same reason that there are restrictions on, say, murder. And that brings me around to "complete" social freedom ...
posted by walrus at 12:44 AM on February 22, 2003


It's early in the morning, and I have a headache. Of course as a leftnik I also believe a little inward social investment is appropriate in a mature civilisation. However, I don't believe this needs to be a restriction on the economy. The pooling of an ever-increasing wealth by an ever-decreasing percentage of the population can be considered a restriction on the economy too, from where I sit. All other things being equal, I think I'm going back to bed now though.
posted by walrus at 1:19 AM on February 22, 2003


A bit late, but here's another addition for the southwest quadrant.

Economic Left/Right: -6.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.69
posted by fvw at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2003


FWIW, the lurker rings in:

Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.23
posted by lubricumlinguae at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2003


Level-headed centrist checking in...
Funny, though, i thought i was more libertarian than that.

Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.62
posted by SpecialK at 1:53 PM on February 22, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 3.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.18
posted by aaron at 2:39 PM on February 22, 2003


The reason there are no scores in the top left is probably that no one in the North Korean government reads MeFi, and they're about the last remaining Stalinists in the world.

There is his big admirer Saddam...

oops, Iraq! Sorry!

But it's true!
posted by y2karl at 9:13 PM on February 22, 2003


aaron, you're back. I thought I was seeing a ghost. I'll have to scroll up and see what I missed. Nice to see your name--it's been too long.
posted by y2karl at 9:17 PM on February 22, 2003


Yur score is nothing surprising, somehow.
posted by y2karl at 9:19 PM on February 22, 2003


Me :-
Economic Left/Right : -6.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian : -7.64
posted by plep at 8:59 AM on February 23, 2003



Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.28
posted by lampshade at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2003


econ: -5.38, auth/lib: -5.95
posted by rio at 1:18 AM on February 24, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -1.54
posted by pmurray63 at 11:58 AM on February 24, 2003


Thanks karl!

I was hoping to at least break 0.00 on the Authoritarian axis. I wanted to be closer to Margaret Thatcher.
posted by aaron at 12:16 PM on February 24, 2003


Economic: -0.62
Social: -3.79
posted by coolgeek at 10:17 PM on February 24, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.31
posted by leaveok at 4:12 PM on February 25, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.26
posted by gonz at 3:45 AM on February 26, 2003


gonz, you've been a member of Metafilter since nearly 2000, and this is your first post?!
posted by dgaicun at 6:30 AM on February 26, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.51

Not quite Ghandi but I'm working on it. Where's my Peace Prize?
posted by mygoditsbob at 2:03 PM on February 27, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -3.88
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.85
posted by quarantine at 8:57 PM on February 27, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -1.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.38
posted by DBAPaul at 10:36 AM on February 28, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.46
posted by timeistight at 9:35 PM on February 28, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.82
posted by jjb at 10:04 PM on March 1, 2003


Economic Left/Right: -7.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.97
posted by originalname37 at 11:11 AM on March 5, 2003


late to the game...

Economic Left/Right: -0.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.82
posted by dorian at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2003


Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.38
posted by KiloHeavy at 11:34 PM on March 6, 2003


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