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The PC police running amok

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brianvds
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« on: October 22, 2017, 06:24:41 AM »

Here's a whole new thread to post your favourite examples of the crazy PC thing sweeping the world. Something I was not aware of until it was pointed out at another forum: in Canada and America, you can now be imprisoned for accidentally using the wrong pronoun for a gender non-conforming person. Here are some articles on the issue:

https://churchleaders.com/news/305540-now-illegal-call-non-gender-conforming-person-canada.html

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/301661-this-canadian-prof-defied-sjw-on-gender-pronouns-and-has-a

From the second link above:

Second, more complexly, are the political issues. “Gender-neutral” pronouns are, in my opinion, part of the “PC Game.” Here’s how you play: 

First, you identify a domain of human endeavor. It could be the wealth of people within a society. It could be the psychological well-being of individuals within a given organization. It could be the prowess of school children at a particular sport.

Second, you note the inevitable continuum of success. Some people are richer or happier than others. Some children are better at playing volleyball.

Third, you define those doing comparatively better as oppressors of those doing comparatively worse.

Fourth, and finally, you declare solidarity with the latter, and enmity for the former (now all-too-convenient targets for your resentment and hatred).
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 00:01:54 AM »

Yeah it's marxism.

Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology in Canada who wrote the latter article, was a fierce opponent of the bill in Canada, but (clearly) ultimately failed to prevent the bill from going through. He suffered a lot of backlash from colleagues and from far afield, to the point that he was unsure if he still had a future as a professor; the upside of which is that he gained enormous popularity as a consequence. From what I can tell this saved his job.

Libertarianism, or libertarian ideas, is from what I can see on the rise. Largely as a direct consequence of this PC hysteria. I hear more and more US "republicans" echo libertarian ideas instead of traditional "right wing" ones. (For instance, they suddenly don't care about people being gay as long as they can retain their freedoms in turn).

He has an excellent history lesson on the idea you've quoted him on above. I'm no expert on the "Pareto distribution" he describes... but it sounds at least plausable.

If you're interested, the entire hour of his testimony on bill C-16 (the pronoun bill) is available online.
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Faerie
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 04:42:43 AM »

A little story loosly related to this:

I chair a Women's forum on a monthly basis. We have forums for everything - Diversity, LGBT, men's, name it, we've set it up. A couple months ago we got this flapoy chap sauntering into one of the sessions midway through and an ackward silence decended as we were talking, I allowed him to settle in and then addressed a colleague across the room asking her preference on a product, she cottonned on and a full swing discussion around tampons ensued. We got seriously into it without stating what it was. The man was clueless and eventually interjected with:
"Im sorry I came in late, but what is the topic of discussion?"
I responded: "we are comparing the viability of brands and products which stems the flow"
" What flow?"
"Periods"

He excused himself and hasnt been back.

Inclusion is great, but as with anything, you cannot expect to be part of something you cannot contribute to. Its comparable with me wanting to join a conversation about physics and Mefi is in the room. Id be a duck trying to be relevant in a room full of eagles.
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brianvds
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 08:01:14 AM »

Libertarianism, or libertarian ideas, is from what I can see on the rise. Largely as a direct consequence of this PC hysteria. I hear more and more US "republicans" echo libertarian ideas instead of traditional "right wing" ones. (For instance, they suddenly don't care about people being gay as long as they can retain their freedoms in turn).

Yup, there are those who believe that Trump's victory is partly simply backlash against the PC thing. On the other hand, what with him being an asshole, it might now cause a back-backlash toward even worse PC excess. :-)

Quote
He has an excellent history lesson on the idea you've quoted him on above. I'm no expert on the "Pareto distribution" he describes... but it sounds at least plausable.

Nassim Taleb also discussed this in one of his books, in relation to the arts (if I remember correctly). He talks about the 20/80 rule: 20% of writers, for example, make 80% of the income. Except it is even worse nowadays, more like 1/99. In many creative fields, there doesn't seem to be such a thing a modest success anymore: you either become a superstar, or nothing at all.

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brianvds
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 05:55:26 AM »

And here we go again, assuming it isn't fake news:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/23/professor-claims-math-algebra-and-geometry-promote-white-privilege/

I see now there is actually already a thread about SJWs, so this might fit in there too. :-)
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 11:07:10 AM »

Yup, there are those who believe that Trump's victory is partly simply backlash against the PC thing. On the other hand, what with him being an asshole, it might now cause a back-backlash toward even worse PC excess. :-)

Every reaction has an opposite overreaction. Wink

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In many creative fields, there doesn't seem to be such a thing a modest success anymore: you either become a superstar, or nothing at all.

hmmmm.... hmmm.... I don't think that's quite the whole story. What's happening is that social media and special interest groups on the internet are allowing people to have some measure of success in a hidden group even if they don't break out in the mainstream. For instance: streaming music services are letting people to make music and get some income from it from dedicated fans of certain genres even though they don't have massive media empires (or mass media appeal) behind them. Some of these actually do eventually break out into the main stream eventually (Justin Bieber was a youtube star first) and make it huge. And in this case yes, the highly visible stars do go nuclear and break out near overnight because the power of the internet to amplify attention in near real-time is extremely strong. I guess it's the age old thing of comparing the difference without taking into account the baseline. Eg: Income inequality in the USA is out of control because there are 100 or so individuals with insane wealth. However the baseline wealth of the US is very good compared to most other places.

I'm also thinking of people selling prints on sites like DeviantArt, or people creating little boutique t-shirt shops on a whim... and so forth. IMHO the internet has lead to an explosion of creativity as the barriers to entry have been massively reduced. Think also of "The Blair Which Project". A movie shot on a budget of $60,000 on handicams over a couple of weeks that went on to make $100m at the box office.

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brianvds
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 14:03:10 PM »

hmmmm.... hmmm.... I don't think that's quite the whole story. What's happening is that social media and special interest groups on the internet are allowing people to have some measure of success in a hidden group even if they don't break out in the mainstream.

Well, I would hope so - it's what I'm aiming for. :-)
An American friend of mine makes his whole living out of selling copies of his books, though it's a rather modest living. As far as I know he doesn't do much, or anything, in the way of advertising either, so I must presume people somehow find his books on Amazon.

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Eg: Income inequality in the USA is out of control because there are 100 or so individuals with insane wealth. However the baseline wealth of the US is very good compared to most other places.

Yes, even the poor in America are comparatively well off. And I saw something today that casts some doubt on this whole notion that 1% of the people own 99% of the wealth. On Quora a bloke wrote a fairly detailed piece about how these stats are sometimes (deliberately?) skewed. For example, he says, take a situation where there are two successful farmers each making 100k per year. And there is a medical student who has just completed his degree and now owes 200k in study debt. Their combined wealth is now 0. Never mind the probable future income of the young doctor; these three together are destitute, and therefore we need more socialist laws. :-)

It appears we must be careful about how we define wealth.

Quote
I'm also thinking of people selling prints on sites like DeviantArt, or people creating little boutique t-shirt shops on a whim... and so forth. IMHO the internet has lead to an explosion of creativity as the barriers to entry have been massively reduced. Think also of "The Blair Which Project". A movie shot on a budget of $60,000 on handicams over a couple of weeks that went on to make $100m at the box office.

Saw a guy online the other day who makes a quite comfortable living selling pins (the sort with pictures on them, that you pin to your jacket, etc.) Apparently he gets almost all of his customers from Instagram, or so he says. I never realized pins are even a thing at all. :-)
Looking through the pins hashtag on Instagram, it appears to me there are about a million other people also doing it, but he somehow still makes a living.

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Faerie
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 05:52:14 AM »


Saw a guy online the other day who makes a quite comfortable living selling pins (the sort with pictures on them, that you pin to your jacket, etc.) Apparently he gets almost all of his customers from Instagram, or so he says. I never realized pins are even a thing at all. :-)
Looking through the pins hashtag on Instagram, it appears to me there are about a million other people also doing it, but he somehow still makes a living.


Terry Pratchett... Going Postal

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brianvds
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 11:16:26 AM »


Terry Pratchett... Going Postal


Before succumbing to the embuggerment, Pratchett made enough of a success not to worry about merely eking out a modest living. :-)
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Spike
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 19:57:47 PM »

This quote sums it up for me:

The difference between 'social activists' and 'social justice warriors':

Social Activist:  "Oh look, there's no wheelchair ramp into that building. Let's build a ramp!"
Social Justice Warrior:  "Let's persecute the people using the stairs and make them feel bad for having legs!!!"
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brianvds
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 05:56:38 AM »

Here we go again:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/31/having-white-nuclear-family-promotes-white-supremacy-says-new-york-professor-report-says.html
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 09:08:53 AM »

For a sociology professor and a supposed expert on certain manifestations of racism, this Jessie Daniels dolt is remarkably oblivious to her own blithe hypocrisy:  As a white academic at a premier institute of learning, she’s self-evidently a racist promoting white supremacy, too.

(And this inescapable subjectivity is why most of sociology, political science as well as large parts of psychology are such a roiling load of contrived touchy-feely bullshit geared to pander to a particular audience’s prejudices—but of course you’re not allowed to say that!)

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 10:25:23 AM »

For a sociology professor and a supposed expert on certain manifestations of racism, this Jessie Daniels dolt is remarkably oblivious to her own blithe hypocrisy:  As a white academic at a premier institute of learning, she’s self-evidently a racist promoting white supremacy, too.

I have another objection: Is this a way of saying that the white family is superior to other families? Isn't this just soft racism in and of itself? Moreover, generational wealth is exactly how up-and-coming families are going to achieve equality. If you forego that you almost forego the advancement of civilization itself.

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(And this inescapable subjectivity is why most of sociology, political science as well as large parts of psychology are such a roiling load of contrived touchy-feely bullshit geared to pander to a particular audience’s prejudices—but of course you’re not allowed to say that!)

Mefi, I have a question, because I'm not well versed but enjoy watching stuff about this in the evenings. Something that puzzles even me but I just seem to gravitate towards it... Do you think there are valid psychological schools of thought that are rigorous enough to be taken seriously, albeit that they are drowned out by the noise? I'm thinking specifically about things I've seen by Dr JB Peterson mentioned in another thread a while ago. He seems to know what he's talking about but to an outsider it can be difficult to judge.
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brianvds
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 11:08:11 AM »

Mefi, I have a question, because I'm not well versed but enjoy watching stuff about this in the evenings. Something that puzzles even me but I just seem to gravitate towards it... Do you think there are valid psychological schools of thought that are rigorous enough to be taken seriously, albeit that they are drowned out by the noise? I'm thinking specifically about things I've seen by Dr JB Peterson mentioned in another thread a while ago. He seems to know what he's talking about but to an outsider it can be difficult to judge.

I will be curious to see what Mefiante says too. I don't know much about the subject, but it seems to me that psychological "schools of thought" are precisely the problem here. The human mind is a complicated thing, and we do not know enough about it to have any broad theories yet. If we make up a theory, we run the risk of beginning to see everything in terms of that theory, and then all new knowledge will end up being folded into it.

So it seems to me there are very valid psychological experiments, and many of these will tell us some small bit about how human minds work. Think for example of the invisible gorilla experiment. Or the rather chilling Milgram experiment or the Stanford prison experiment, etc. etc. I think many of these are quite reproducible, and they tell us something meaningful too, though even with these it is obvious that it doesn't apply absolutely universally, and they only give us a small piece of the puzzle.

But this is the part of psychology that I find fascinating: real data based on repeatable observation, rather than theories of mind. It's not that theories have no validity at all (heck, even Freud probably had at least part of the puzzle) but they very easily turn into rigid constructs that scholars uncritically believe in, and use to make wild and unjustified extrapolations from.

Even worse, some of these people end up testifying as "expert witnesses" in court cases. Consider for example the 1980s satanic ritual abuse thing, and the damage it caused, all because of an unshakable belief in repressed memories, and that hypnosis would reveal such memories. In the meantime, much real research, without theories, has shown that human memory is spectacularly fallible.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 11:29:17 AM »

I’m not an expert on psychology either, but one dead give away that all’s not well is that both diagnosis and treatment for the same symptoms often depend significantly on the attending clinical psychologist’s own preferences.  Moreover, these diagnoses and treatments are often diametrically opposed to one another.  Such glaring disparities are far rarer in other, science-based medical disciplines.  Another key issue is that over 60% of published psychological studies suffer from that great scientific no-no, irreproducibility, and when one adds to that the effect of publication bias (i.e., publishing positive results much more than negative ones), the picture becomes even gloomier. 

Also, to be clear, I’m not saying that all of psychology is BS but many currently accepted schools of psychological thought face steep challenges from more rigorous experimental studies by neuroscientists.  I’ve personally heard a few psychologists independently disparage reductionism when applied to their own field, which casts further doubt on the “scientificness” of psychology because reductionism is at the core of much of the scientific enterprise, whether looking at experimental or theoretical endeavours:  Identify and isolate the critical factors.

That said, probably the most scientific psychological sub-discipline is social psychology because it usually involves (often large) groups of randomly sampled individuals to identify and to test hypotheses.  That is, its results are statistical in nature, describing tendencies, their probable origin, the conditions in which those tendencies would manifest, and to what degree, which puts the whole spiel into a decent framework of verifiable knowledge that is sorely lacking in other areas of psychology.

To the interested reader, I highly recommend Richard Wiseman’s books.  He typically pulls no punches when criticising the deficiencies in his own field.

'Luthon64
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