One portion of the United States electorate seems incapable or not willing to take the time to connect the dots and thus render a good intelligent political decision when supporting political candidates and legislation. By this we mean the process of collecting various bits of information and making sense from it not as a singular item of information but as a collection of related items that may reveal a further “truth” seems to be lost on a lot of individuals.
Connecting the dots is a multi stage process. The first stage is to do what anthropologists do and that is to codify or break down a problem in its component parts so the part that you identify makes sense. For example if we were to examine global warming, we would try to find some indicators of snow pack fall, changes in precipitation, changes in heat or coolness, etc. The next stage is to look backward in time and come up with a measure for a single item to track changes. We then need to jump to now or look at a progression of data points from the past to the present. Next we need to look for trends. This is where charts can really come in handy. Weather is somewhat easy to quantify and chart but very difficult to predict without sophisticated computers. We can predict some times short term weather without a super computer. What about a social movement or progression? For example, how would we measure whether we need another stimulus to the economy? We could do some research and try to find some pertinent economic factors that show how healthy or sick an economy is. We need to know where we have been, where we are now and then make some pretty honest predictions as to what will happen if we do this or that. A shortcut for most of us is to just read the newspaper and watch the news and pay particular attention to trends. The daily news should show us where we are now. A simple method for determining where we may be in the future is look toward experts. There are a lot of authorities that make it their business to make good honest predictions but there is even more individuals and think tanks that want to influence what you believe and spin lies and false data. Connecting the dots is a bit of a mine field for all of us. For a lot of the electorate, they just don’t try but cling to this or that spot of information that seems to hold importance and thus their vote is somewhat flawed.