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The PC police running amok

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 14:22:55 PM »

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

Thanks for the input mefi... I'll be checking them books out. Smiley
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Mefiante
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 15:49:22 PM »

Hmm, on rereading my earlier post, it strikes me that I may have created the impression that Wiseman spends a good part of his time discussing the shortcomings in psychology and its studies.  That’s not the case at all.  Mostly, he writes about experiments, usually his own, and what they signify or imply.  Every so often, he spends a page or two gently critiquing other psychological studies, hypotheses and theories.  These are the moments to which I was referring.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 14:46:20 PM »

Some more.

Mefi: Yeah but as mentioned I do for some reason find the subject interesting so it should be a good read nonetheless.
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brianvds
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 17:27:13 PM »

Some more.

Mefi: Yeah but as mentioned I do for some reason find the subject interesting so it should be a good read nonetheless.

Soon everyone can be a black lesbian in a wheelchair. :-)
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Spike
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2017, 12:59:45 PM »

Holy crap  Shocked - that article reads like a belated April fool's joke!
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2017, 14:07:37 PM »

Hook, line, and sinker (video). The stupidity of the media is awe-inspiring. You could put a subtext there saying "You're being played" and they still wouldn't realise it.
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brianvds
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2017, 16:41:26 PM »

Hook, line, and sinker (video). The stupidity of the media is awe-inspiring. You could put a subtext there saying "You're being played" and they still wouldn't realise it.

Then again, they knew the public would also be played by it. And the public is what makes ratings go up. :-)
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Spike
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2017, 17:19:08 PM »

It's a genius campaign.
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brianvds
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2017, 06:07:13 AM »

Perhaps only somewhat vaguely connected, but this is from a Facebook post by Nassim Taleb, whose book "Skin in the game" is coming out early next year. In short, social justice consists of making sure everyone accepts their own risks instead of transferring it to others:


The Random House Flap copy. My idea is that a single rule can do more for social justice (and without side effect) than tons of communist regulation. {Random House wrote this, not me}
----
(...), a bold new work that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibility.
“Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line.”
In his most provocative and practical book yet, [...] redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one's own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.
As always both accessible and iconoclastic, Taleb challenges long-held beliefs about the values of those who spearhead military interventions, make financial investments, and propagate religious faiths. Among his insights:
• For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing. You cannot make profits and transfer the risks to others, as bankers and large corporations do. You cannot get rich without owning your own risk and paying for your own losses. Forcing skin in the game corrects this asymmetry better than thousands of laws and regulations.
• Ethical rules aren’t universal. You’re part of a group larger than you, but it’s still smaller than humanity in general.
• Minorities, not majorities, run the world. The world is not run by consensus but by stubborn minorities asymmetrically imposing their tastes and ethics on others.
• You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot. “Educated philistines” have been wrong on everything from Stalinism to Iraq to low carb diets.
• Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find). A simple barbell can build muscle better than expensive new machines.
• True religion is commitment, not just faith. How much you believe is only manifested by what you’re willing to sacrifice for it.
The phrase “skin in the game” is one we have often heard, but have rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it’s also an astonishingly complex worldview that, as Taleb shows in this book, applies to literally all aspects of our lives. As Taleb says, “The symmetry of Skin in the game is a simple rule that’s necessary for fairness and justice and the ultimate BS-buster,” and “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will benefit, and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them.”
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Mefiante
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2018, 07:07:05 AM »

Recent tangential info:  More on psychology’s failings as science.

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brianvds
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2018, 08:48:35 AM »

Quote
Recent tangential info:  More on psychology’s failings as science.

'Luthon64

In fairness to psychology, its subject matter is almost intractably complex. But it does seem to me that psychologists are often confident out of all proportion to the reliability of their research.

If I'm allowed a psychological speculation of my own: I have seen this phenomenon often in online debates. When the subject is something about which there is a lot of evidence available, people are often perfectly polite, and it is not unheard of to see phrases like "my bad; thanks for the correction."

But when the subject is inherently difficult, or there isn't really an answer, or your answer is based more on emotion than data, like the abortion debate, or economics, or morality, the debaters come across as far more aggressive and confident. Why? My guess is that the less solid the ground you are standing on, the more likely you are to feel threatened by contrary views, and people who feel threatened are more likely to get aggressive.

And thus, psychologists, who should be humble, have no problem testifying in court as confident expert witnesses, while physicists go to great lengths to include error bars in every statement.

In any event, the whole psychology thing is one more reason why I'm pretty confident we are not within a million miles of artificial intelligence. We do not understand the human brain at all; how can we hope to replicate it in silicon any time soon?

As an aside, when it comes to understanding people, one may be better served to read, of all things, the Bible. Or writers of fairy tales. Such stories as the one of King Solomon offering to cut the baby in half, or Andersen's "Emperor's New Clothes," seem to me to get to the heart of how people feel and act in a way that few shrinks can surpass. Particularly shrinks like the one that suggested you should ask your baby's permission to change her diaper.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2018, 13:22:52 PM »


Ok, all good, BUT, I'm sure plenty of physics papers have been exposed as fakes or biased also. The entire point of the scientific method is that papers like these get exposed and debunked. The failing here is that it took way too long, I'll grant you.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2018, 10:46:33 AM »

In fairness to psychology, its subject matter is almost intractably complex.
True—which is all the more reason why uncompromising scientific rigour is of such cardinal importance.  Then again, so too must many areas of the basic sciences in their infancy have seemed diabolically complex.  For example, a flame was an essentially inscrutable mystery that resisted all attempts at explanation for millennia before the fourth state of matter, plasma, was discovered and understood, which wasn’t all that long ago.

My guess is that the less solid the ground you are standing on, the more likely you are to feel threatened by contrary views, and people who feel threatened are more likely to get aggressive.
Bingo.  (I once pointed this self-same tendency out in a different context on the forum but can’t locate the instance at short notice.)

In any event, the whole psychology thing is one more reason why I'm pretty confident we are not within a million miles of artificial intelligence. We do not understand the human brain at all; how can we hope to replicate it in silicon any time soon?
It goes even deeper than that.  For many of their tests, psychologists actually don’t even know exactly what it is they are measuring, IQ tests being one glaring example:  What is this thing, g, that psychologists call “general intelligence?”  Does the test measure it directly or by proxy?  If by proxy, what are the true hidden variables?  There’s no single coherent answer to which most cognitive psychologists, or even a majority of them, would agree.




Ok, all good, BUT, I'm sure plenty of physics papers have been exposed as fakes or biased also. The entire point of the scientific method is that papers like these get exposed and debunked. The failing here is that it took way too long, I'll grant you.
That’s somewhat akin to a tu quoque deflection, I’m afraid.  The fact that such missteps happen in other sciences subtracts nothing from the contention that psychology is alarmingly and extraordinarily prone to them.  With this in mind, the correct response from the psychological research fraternity would be increased vigilance, tighter peer review and critique, and increased efforts towards results replication, rather than conducting studies for the sake of novelty and publishing ever more uncontested papers.  The essential point to note is that the largest part of psychological research has, for all practical purposes and unlike most other sciences, sold a hefty part of science’s self-correcting essence down the river.  As a result, we have a plethora of largely unsubstantiated hypotheses, many of which are in conflict with others of their ilk, floating around the “psychoverse.”  And needless to say, such a mess can hardly be labelled “science.”  By considering several different instances, instead of just a single one, where psychological research has come unglued, the linked-to article implicitly lays out the aforesaid at some length.

'Luthon64
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brianvds
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« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2018, 07:37:07 AM »

I don't know why I do this to myself, but now I have gotten myself embroiled in an exchange with a SJW on Instagram. It all started with a post by illustrator James Gurney, of one of his pictures.

You can check it out here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlyKyWvn2W8/

But let me just reproduce some of it here anyway.

First, the picture that started it all:



GURNEY:
Arabian Market, one of my first commissioned covers, and an homage to my heroes Gerome, Logsdail, Deutsch and Bauernfeind. #orientalism #marketplace #oilpainting #sciencefiction #fantasy #oil

ME:
Those orientalist painters were brilliant. Glad to see they have a successor.


hajrameeks:
@brianvanderspuy as someone whose parents are from that part of the world, I can tell you that while Orientalist art was very skillfully executed, much of is actually racist and stereotypical toward my parents' people--objectifying women and barbarizing men. I'm a Historian of International History, with one of my focuses being Orientalism and Edward Said coined the term as a negative term in his thesis, not a positive one. Shame on James for using that hashtag and term positively--I own his books, follow his blog, and also love a lot of his work. Lovely to paint a beautiful Arab marketplace, but don't label it Orientalism, that's an insulting label you don't want, be better informed!

{At this point, I went to look up orientalism, because I thought the term was fairly neutral and simply referred to exotic portrayals of the Middle East. And yes, the 19th century orientalists were no doubt products of their time and shared the patronizing attitudes of their culture, but so what? Surely we all knew that?

Turns out the Edward Said guy is one more in a series of western cultural critics who comb through the greatest cultural products of our heritage and then find racism and sexism in them}

ME:
@hajrameeks I have little doubt that the 19th century orientalist painters were products of their time and probably shared most of the views of the culture they lived in. The same is of course true of anyone, anywhere, any time.

It has become popular in the west to be on an endless guilt trip about it, and for western academics to comb through cultural products looking for signs of racism. It is not difficult to do, when there are no actual criteria and literally anything can be interpreted as somehow offensive.

Me, I just enjoy the pictures. Whether the Middle East ever actually looked like the way these artists portrayed it I have no idea, and I don't particularly care.


hajrameeks:
@brianvanderspuy @henrynotnice not surprising that you don't care, brian--you're an old white guy. I've been in America my whole life, and been subject to sexual harassment and specifically orientalist sexism from other white men, so maybe that's why I care. And you can enjoy beautiful art and still care about meaningful things, if you have a brain and morals, that is...

ME:
I'm not sure there are all that many countries in the Middle East that can point fingers when it comes to sexism or human rights. :-)

Me, I try not to be a sexist or racist. But I will not be made to take responsibility, or feel guilty, about what other people did or failed to do a century before I was even born. Neither do I think I need to limit my enjoyment of works of art to the work of artists who live up to the moral standards of my own time - our standards are every bit as fictitious and arbitrary as theirs were. Looking at history, it seems to me that politicians come and go, but great art lives on.

As for white men? The social justice warriors who would cheerfully trample underfoot centuries of their own cultural heritage are almost all white. The whole idea of a witch hunt for racists and sexists is an almost exclusively western invention and phenomenon. It is based in its entirety on the idea of collective guilt, an idea which is in itself as egregiously racist and sexist as anything a Nazi ever dreamed up.


And there you have it: the exchange thus far. No doubt I'll soon be permanently banned from Instagram for being offensive...
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Mefiante
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2018, 11:07:19 AM »


'Luthon64
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