Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Shanee Nishry
Shanee's posts

The most important thing our side can do after the elections is to find a Trump supporter and have a heart to heart discussion.

We all live in a bubble, and so do they, and bursting bubbles is very uncomfortable and scary. You may feel vulnerable and as if your world and truths are being attacked.

Today I had the chance to speak to a Trump supporter. It wasn't a random person off the street, but someone I know who made a comment once before the elections that informed of their side - but we never spoke about it.

I made the decision to discuss it. I'll start here with a disclaimer that the other person is a scientist with good income. They live in California and they are immigrants and female. Her husband shares similar views. They are not an angry routine job poorly educated low income as the stereotype suggests. Also, the transcript below is not precise and is written off my memory and memory is fickle.

The discussion started lightly, I asked what they think of the elections. They felt comfortable with me and said "contrary to most people you'll speak to, I'm very happy about it."

I calmly said that I am curious why they support Trump. They also calmly explained that Trump represents change and that Hillary is corrupt and so is most of the government. I wanted to ask "isn't Trump corrupt also?" but that wasn't a very productive question and I dismissed it.

I went on to ask "regarding that change" on his views of things such as climate change. They said they also believe climate change is a hoax. "There are plenty of scientists with evidence to the contrary, however their opinion is being silenced." and "the planet goes through cycles of warming and cooling and we are not sure if this is man-made or not." as well "and now they are even talking about global cooling." - This made me quite a bit upset inside, a subject which I feel like there is plenty of evidence for, 'how can they claim those ridiculous opinions?' I thought. Again, unproductive.

Of course during the discussion over climate change I pointed out there is plenty of data, and in-fact it used to be the opposite, years ago people mocked climate change and only now the majority of the mainstream science community and/or general public agrees. They mention from their own experience as scientist, they know how people round the data and select what correlates for their bias. I mentioned this is why there are peer reviews and it isn't one or two scientists... alas, we calmly disagreed and moved on.

Before moving on, I'd like to say that my opinion after the discussion on climate change is not that 'they are awfully stupid and wrong', even though my instincts did bring the thought to my head at the argument. My rational opinion on this is that we need to be better educators and present evidence in better way through channels that reach the other side. Yes, there is a lot of information online, but obviously we haven't reached people properly.

Next we spoke a little bit about education. Recent news suggest Ben Carson, someone who is dubbed as anti evolution and anti climate change. The summary here was that my debate partner said "I don't believe in everyone he chooses, but I am sure he will minimize their extremists and it isn't like everything can just change like that in 4 years. Besides, we don't know who he will select yet.".

True, we don't know who will actually be selected. In a way, I was angry and thought "you might not agree with everyone he selects, but you have enabled these people". Again, not productive. They did not select that person and in-fact did not know who will be appointed (and still doesn't) back then. Could they have guessed it by voting Trump? Probably. But they voted Trump for other reasons.

What reasons have they voted Trump for? Let's hold on that. The other important issue that our side of the political spectrum is worried of is the way Trump treats women, black people, people of color, etc. We are worried of violence and unfair treatment to less privileged groups. On that, I remember two main points, however I'd like to re-iterate that memory is fickle and we have discussed it for a while. (1) "the media is way overblowing things to propagate the left agenda" and (2) "it was found that a lot of the 'Trump violence' was in fact created by the left, paying homeless and poor people to go to places and cause trouble.".

"Absurd!" was my internal thought. How can they just fall in to such conspiracy theories... But again, they are not stupid. It would be nice and easy to say that, but it is not the truth. Let's face at least one fact here: the popular media was anti Trump. The media did in fact handle things very wrong and was not at all useful in educating people. Mockery and ridicule is not going to bring people out of their shell, it is going to put them under fire and push them further in. I think we need to work on our messaging a lot more.

A point I knew from the start to be moot was that Trump keeps counteracting himself. For example, he attacked Obama for years regarding his birth certificate and then went the opposite camp. Their opinion was that the left had started it. They also said Trump has a big mouth, but it isn't the main point.

Ok, most so far were points that troubled me and their opinions on this. But why does someone actually vote Trump? Let's see:

One of their biggest point was that they view the government as incredibly corrupt and Trump is coming from the outside to shake things up and bring honesty. - My instinct and unproductive thought here was "what kind of change" but this is not about my opinions here, it is about theirs. It is time for us to listen.

Examples they mentioned regarding Hillary's corruptions did not include the emails. They did blame Hillary for stealing a lot of money from donations for Haiti. Possibly the bigger point here: they said Hillary got her campaign funding from corporations, which means she will then 'owe them', while Trump paid a lot of the money himself and the rest he received from donations.

They also opposed the Obamacare. (Disclaimer: I'm not American and only been here for 6 months. I am not familiar enough to debate the subject.) They said everyone pays the same way, if they are old and sick or young and healthy and they can't choose their insurance but have to be covered for everything. They also mentioned that you must be insured by a company in the state you reside, which is a problem because companies backed off giving insurance in some states, leaving people with only one choice and therefore no competition on quality of the insurance.

Another point about Obama was that he started passing changes "while ignoring regulations and disagreement", simply doing what he wants. Additionally they pointed out that "Obama gave Iran billions of dollars and refused to admit it".

The final point I'll mention is regarding the borders and terrorism. They claimed a country can't call itself a country if it doesn't care for its borders and lets people escape in all the time and that makes them afraid of further terror. I did counter this saying that most terrorism in America is caused by white American people doing mass shooting. They acknowledged there is a problem and said this is because those people aren't good in their head and they hope Trump will take care of them. They mentioned the homeless situation in SF and how many of those people are military veterans with mental issues and drug addicts and that "Trump, unlike anyone else, promised to help those kind of people." - I asked how is he going to help them, which in turn brought part of the health care discussion above. I can't remember all the detail of the talk and I don't think it matters as neither was in access to showing useful evidence, only opinions.

At some point in the discussion it was also mentioned how Hillary claimed Trump supporters are deplorable. This was hurtful and dehumanizing.

There was a lot more discussed, but I am typing this an hour after and all from memory. I am stopping here because I question the my recollection of the rest of the conversation.

* The summary is *

The person did not support violence, they do not believe Trump supports violence, but that he talks too much and needs to learn to control that.

Their opinion the government is corrupt and needs to change and that Trump as an outsider represents that change. They do not believe the world will burn, they believe he is very smart and has very smart people around him.

They don't trust the system, they feel like they are backed into a corner and that the media and public opinion are against them and they are scared to sound their voice.

As we (left) tend to feel Hillary is the lesser of two evils (and far more qualified), they think Trump is the lesser of two evils. (This was explicitly mentioned in the conversation.)

They are scared to have a voice.

* My partial conclusions *

- We need to understand the other camp better. Their worries, their vulnerabilities and their cares. No one should be ignored and no one should feel "deplorable" or uncared for. In fact, Trump explicitly said that he "will be here for all Americans". Whether we agree with this or not, it sends a clear message.

- The media needs to allow additional debate, less mockery and more facts and useful information. No one should be scared to have a voice.

- Scientists can be seen as distant "scientists" to a lot of the population and even to scientists from different fields. We need to work on our message and presentation of data. The data must be shown in a way that is relevant and through channels that reach more people.

Let's get out of our bubbles and initiate calm and insightful debates where we try to understand one another. Whenever your view is disagreed with or the other camp says something infuriating and that seems "stupid" to you, let it slide and realize that your first reaction is probably due to bias. Understand that they are unlikely to be stupid but have been given different information which they have then chose to select and stick to and we need to find a better way to reach to them.

Now, I am not saying there aren't stereotypical Trump supporters out there, but it is highly unlikely to be the majority. And even someone who believes "group X" must be deported deserves a debate because it is likely that their opinion stems out of fear, not inherit wish for violence, and fear can be corrected and understanding can be made in most cases and with most people.

So let's try to understand so we can do better next time, and for the time being, figure out how to reach agreements that will not endanger our ideals.

Post has shared content
Very excited to see #Daydream finally out!
Experience #Daydream View, a mobile VR headset and controller #madebygoogle available in stores today.

Post has attachment
I can't vote in the USA, but if you can legally vote here, please learn from the English that your vote does matter, get off your arse and stop Trump from taking the wheel.

Post has attachment
Growing up with windows, it took me a while to get used to Linux and now it's too good to give up! Need more gamedev love for it, more games to support it and better tools like visual studio :)
Animated Photo

Post has attachment
Google DeepMind playing StarCraft II. I'm excited! Want to see machine learning in games :)

Post has attachment
Added Mapped Structure of Arrays to my repository:

I'm using this to track my components in my entity component system. Let me know if you have any feedback! :)

Post has attachment
That made my morning :)

Post has attachment
I made a template for Structure of Arrays ease of use. Let me know if you find a bug :)

#GameDev #IndieDev

Dear America! Your chocolate is SO BAD* that I am now cured of my chocolate addiction. I'm still not sure if it's a positive or a negative.

* - some good chocolates were found, but require shipping and are very expensive.

Post has attachment
Hydroplants... in space! Think about it :D:D

Wait while more posts are being loaded