Political axes

Dimensionality reduction for the Great Society

Liam Bright’s axes: Social justice warrior/Intellectual dark web, and Sexy murder poet versus Basically nice bureaucrat

Psychometrics for societies.

I complain that the decomposition of politics into “left” and “right” was arbitrary and unhelpful and should be done away with. Like any banner you do not hold, some unexpected persons can rally around it with you. They might rally around another banner later.

There are many attempts to slice the pie in different ways. Status 451 does it in terms of traditionalism. It is an interesting provocation. TBD: insert other fun examples.


In practice people clearly do choose to interpret the richness of the great human project in terms of partisan categorisation is unavoidable, so I am advocating for some other axes to decompose it into instead, descriptively or prescriptively.

Inference from data

Presumably many, but the one I saw a seminar on was Leibon et al. (2011).


Baumann, Fabian, Philipp Lorenz-Spreen, Igor M. Sokolov, and Michele Starnini. 2021. “Emergence of Polarized Ideological Opinions in Multidimensional Topic Spaces.” Physical Review X 11 (1): 011012. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.11.011012.
Leibon, Greg, Scott Pauls, Daniel N. Rockmore, and Robert Savell. 2011. “Partition Decomposition for Roll Call Data.” arXiv:1108.2805 [Cs, Stat], August. http://arxiv.org/abs/1108.2805.
Nilsson, Artur, Henry Montgomery, Girts Dimdins, Maria Sandgren, Arvid Erlandsson, and Adrian Taleny. 2020. “Beyond ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’: Complexity in Ideology, Moral Intuitions, and Worldview Among Swedish Voters.” European Journal of Personality 34 (3): 448–69. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2249.

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