RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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[edit] People who are sick of activists' shit.

Seriously. Graduate students who literally spend 60 hours a week reading and writing about cutting-edge scholarship about things like gender and race attack someone who turned up for the cause and is willing to give time and effort for a common goal, but only has a GED and no idea what the fuck "gender performativity" or "social construction of race" mean or haven't learned that there are more than two possible pronouns for someone or that you shouldn't say "man up", thereby alienating a valuable ally. It happens, and it sucks. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:17, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm well aware. Being caustic helps exactly zero* sincere causes. But I still downvoted it because it seemed like exactly the sort of narrow-minded policing of language it denounced. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Telling people that engaging in narrow-minded policing of language is itself narrow-minded policing of language. Gotcha. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It can be if all you do is say "Never call people out". If it's a gross simplification, it's a gross simplification, regardless of intent, no? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:43, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Except that's not what he said. "There are ways of calling people out that are compassionate and creative, and that recognize the whole individual instead of viewing them simply as representations of the systems from which they benefit. Paying attention to these other contexts will mean refusing to unleash all of our very real trauma onto the psyches of those we imagine represent the systems that oppress us. Given the nature of online social networks, call-outs are not going away any time soon. But reminding ourselves of what a call-out is meant to accomplish will go a long way toward creating the kinds of substantial, material changes in people’s behaviour – and in community dynamics – that we envision and need." Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
That's fair. I was overreaching. And I'm a firm believer in the extraordinary value of context. On the other hand, look at Smerdis' kinda hateful reply below to see how some people treat this kind of advice. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:01, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Indeed. It's a bit of a shame, because I think this kind of attitude can not only alienate folks, but can also actually lessen the effectiveness of the activism in general. People like their in-groups and are more likely to listen to others within their in-group(s). Turning away someone looking to help just because they come from another background serves only to lock yourself out of that person's group and prevent your message from gaining traction. - Grant (talk) 18:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
To some extent I am inclined to agree with the author, though he does come off as a bit of tone troll in the article. The popular perception of those students who you mention (and who you may be aware are referred to, often derisively, as Social Justice Warriors) is that they lack any concept of proportionality. This is evident (at least to the denizens on the internet) by the fact that their responses to relatively minor actual (or perceived) social injustices tend to be regarded, even by other leftists (let alone centrists or conservatives), as being way out of proportion to the actual offense committed. Alsto003 (talk) 19:15, 4 March 2015 (UTC) Alex
Is anyone who criticizes tone a tone troll? (There's a discussion on that in the saloon, by the way.) (Agrajag (talk) 23:34, 4 March 2015 (UTC))
There's an extent to which that's true. In a totally sincere, rational world, an argument's merits do not vary at all based on the verbal framework that surrounds it. Demanding everyone's sincere concerns fall as secondary to expressing their concerns a certain way is pretty much all a tone troll does. Regardless, we don't live in a totally sincere, rational world, which entails being friendly with assholes who don't deserve it as the only way to alleviate a bit of their assholedom. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:55, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
It just seems to be that "tone troll" serves as an escape hatch - you use the term and people think "oh, that's a bad thing, isn't it? Ergo, this person must be wrong". I'm sure almost everyone here has seen it used in such a way - to dismiss as a troll anyone who criticizes you and shut down further discussion on the matter. (Not to say, of course, that tone/concern trolls don't exist, but the term seems to be far too broadly applied.) (Agrajag (talk) 02:27, 6 March 2015 (UTC))
Tone trolls are distinguished from those simply disagreeing by their lack of actual delineated counter-argument, and an insistence that the objectionable tone causes incorrectness. Very loosely, it can be thought of as a kind of ad hominimem. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:08, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] In which Smerdis shares zher opinion of activism

Activists will always need somebody to dehumanize, because that's what activism is. Activists are people who make enemies lists. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 17:26, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Your essay sucks, dude. It's twisting the definition of something, then selectively cherrypicking people to fit that definition, then denouncing similar people as problematic, on the basis of that stretched definition. That's not good reasoning, and it's exactly the sort of enemy forming you claim to denounce. As a clue, you cite LessWrong for Christ's sake. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:31, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I realized I just chastised you for the inanity of the essay, rather than refuting your central point, so let's do that too. Activism frequently and generally centers on approaching a goal. Anti-war activism doesn't demonize soldiers or politicians, for example. It just opposes military solutions to problems. You can find anti-war activists who are anti-(insert person) and make them out to be a demon, but it's neither central nor necessary to the activist approach. I find your accusation mentally lazy, your attitude ignorant of the way general human nature develops enemies(it's not just activists), and kind of insulting, even though I'm not myself much of an activist for anything. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:37, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I was there, and actually starting to pay attention, during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"[1] It is at least historically false that "Anti-war activism doesn't demonize soldiers or politicians..." It may have been that the Vietnam War was a big enough deal to justify resort to activism, but again, activism needs an enemy with a subhuman face. But the call-out culture is simply a self-righteous brand of performance art. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 18:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I've pointed out before that this is part of your issue; you continue to frame everything regarding activism, argument, etc., in terms of the late 1960s/early 1970s activism. It's very nice and historical, but does not necessarily apply to modern day activism. Frankly, your insistence that activism, feminism, and other facets of human nature haven't progressed or changed since before I was born doesn't hold up. You remind me of TERFs who insist that all feminism ended at 2nd Wave Dworkinism and hasn't moved since. --Castaigne (talk) 18:31, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Human nature has progressed or changed? Really? Now, the kinds of activism being discussed in the blog in question get criticized for being sanctimonious, aggressive, disproportionate, fanatical, and oblivious to context. I'm skeptical that other kinds of activism are even possible. But even if there's some other kind of activism that's full of hugs and flowers, this is not it. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:59, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
The amount of disproportionate sanctimony and aggression in this post says more than enough about the relevance of "activism" to that equation. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
You keep confusing processes and procedures with people. I'm talking about activism and methods thereof, not human nature. The map is not the territory. --Castaigne (talk) 22:55, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow the point you're making here. You were the one who said that human nature had changed over the past thirty-odd years. I'm fairly sure it hasn't. I cheerfully admit that one of the dangers of anti-activist activism is becoming the enemy. Activism leads to an arms race. And people generally aren't even aware of their actual worst behaviors. They are so current and respectable. History only sees them in hindsight. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:16, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
No, I did not say that human nature has changed over the past 30-odd years. Activism and the processes thereof has changed over the past 30-odd years. Activism is not human nature, and no amount of you trying to conflate the two will make it so. --Castaigne (talk) 15:49, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
That isn't what you wrote; so it goes. I'm not sure how you'd go about quantifying this -- counting numbers of pressure groups or trying to make an algorithm that measures hostility in texts, maybe -- but it seems to me that the tide of moralistic aggression is unacceptably high and rising. We're in the middle of a great civil rights catastrophe -- people being segregated, shunned, and driven out into the cold, constantly facing signs that they're unwelcome -- one that's even elaborated its own form of "scientific racism", and people who haven't met me may be hard pressed to figure out what I'm talking about. How is present day activism less cruel or invasive than the forms it took some decades ago? I'm not seeing that. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 18:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow you here. If we date the modern activist movement as something that started with abolitionism, was energized by the suffragettes and arguably enjoyed its best days in the last half of the 20th century with a variety of movements ranging from anti-colonialism (including apartheid), anti-racism movements in the Americas (civil rights, Black Power, Red Power), anti-war and anti-nuke activism, the women's liberation movement, the Stonewall moment and its legacy, and a host of others -- you characterise these as "cruel or invasive"? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Damn right they're cruel and invasive. All these angry loud activists have started to topple me off my privileged white male seat at the top of society. Marlow (talk) 18:58, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Right in one. I see a lot of Smerdis' type in former hippies of the 1960s, specifically my wife's parents and the parents of a punk friend of mine. They promoted the Civil Rights Movements and marched and did their thing...and now that their views have gone from "relevant in the 1970s" to "wow, that's rather retrogressive by 2000s standards", they're all pissed off. They don't want to hear that they're no longer on the front edge of today. They got comfortable with their former activist stance and stopped moving. They especially don't want to realize that they're no different than my great-grandmother or grandmother, who are still confused why "Chinamen" isn't something polite to call all Asians or why "niglet" is a no-longer-socially-acceptable label.
When my wife/friend realized this about their parents, they were shocked. I think I'm just used to it; I was born to a family of reactionary authoritarians and I had nothing but contempt for the Great Hippie Generation of yesteryear to begin with. --Castaigne (talk) 19:35, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I see it a bit different. It boils down to freedom versus authoritarianism. The side of the angels is the side that wants to dial back moralism, cut people slack, and open up new possibilities. The side of evil is the one that wants to impose value judgments, forbid what once was allowed, or impose new restraints. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:57, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

"Forbid what was once allowed." Do you mean slavery, lynching, denying the vote based on race and gender, imperial rule, and apartheid? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 21:04, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
People who marched for civil rights but are no longer on the cutting edge of activism are as bad as actual, vicious, racists? (Agrajag (talk) 02:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC))
Neither slavery, nor lynching, nor any of those other strawmen have aught to do with increasing the scope of human freedom and loosening the grip of social control, cutting people slack, nor dialing back moralism. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:23, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
What? We're talking about activism, and so I bring up some of the big causes that activists have addressed, and those causes aren't relevant? And "slavery" has nothing to do with "increasing the scop of human freedom"? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 04:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
But you would have been happy to allow those things to flourish rather than have people get all "angry" and "activist" and "moralist" about it. Go along to get along. At least, that's what I get from what you say. --Castaigne (talk) 15:21, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
With regard to slavery in the USA, I suspect that the military might have had more to do with its abolition than activists. The activists may well take credit for raising tensions to the point of secession and war. You could call that a success. And yes, I do think that society and everyone in it benefits from less anger and moralism, and greater tolerance and civil peace. Perhaps the worst thing about activists is their belief that they are entitled to your attention. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 17:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking specifically of the role of grassroots activism in Great Britain in the ending of Atlantic slave trade. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:29, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking that integrated transport was coming along fine and Rosa Parks was just some hothead who wanted to have her own way. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:31, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Secession and the Civil War actually had very little to do with the issue of slavery; I recommend you actually read up on the reasons for the conflict and update your thinking in that regard.
Despite your weaseling around the subject, let me be blunt: You would rather society suffer large-scale human rights abuses rather than have activists "stir things up", simply because you are afraid of conflict and the upsetting of the status quo. You choose the stagnant path of certainty and stability over change. I understand this; I really do. After all, I'm not liberal - I'm an authoritarian. I like order, hierarchy, certainty. However, certainty and stability and the status quo are not always the correct solutions to solve problems. --Castaigne (talk) 17:57, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC)Let me explain what's wrong here: you're looking for arbitrarily inaccurate justifications to fit reality to your clearly flawed theory, rather than adjusting your theory for reality. Now, I'm not trying to jump on you too hard for doing that, because I do it too, but please, think for a moment about how you're dismissing large swaths of various kinds of work by great people like Fredrick Douglas and controversial people like John Brown, and outright dismissing them to put all the credit on "the military". Regardless of the extent to which the civil war settled the issue of slavery, it's pretty fucking clear that activists created the issue as something to settle. Both in matters of collective discussion, and in terms of the practicalities. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:35, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
If John Brown is an example of an activist, then his kind of activism is something that no society is ever going to tolerate, no matter how evil the society or how righteous the cause. (And slavery -- and specifically, the realization that the country was going to be populating territory ill suited for plantation slavery, and that the slave states would inevitably be politically outnumbered, a fate they saw coming to pass at Lincoln's election -- wasn't the cause of the civil war? Really?)

In many ways, I see this country looking rather like it did before the Civil War, two opposing world views, at least one of which is in a death spiral of extremism. The activities of the anti-abortion cranks, the tea partiers, and the creationists are also activism. Activism is what's wrong with the Republican primaries, and thus with the Republican party generally. Activism is not always for a worthy cause. More importantly, the problems with activism are mostly indifferent to the nature of the cause. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:11, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, I was thinking about British abolitionists and their activism to end the Atlantic trade, not the Civil War. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:22, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you talking about people and things like William Wilberforce, John Newton, Amazing Grace, that sort of thing? I don't know a whole lot about the politics of the period, but I saw a Christian biopic about Wilberforce some years ago that suggested that for all the good he did, he was an insufferable prick. Didn't he also found a "Society for the Suppression of Vice"? He had the printer of Paine's Age of Reason jailed. There's something wrong in the head about that kind of busybody. You wouldn't want him as a neighbor. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:51, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Belatedly: I can understand the desire to have people be less judgmental and more accepting of each other; but I'm also deeply suspicious of anyone who tries to insist on that as an ideology, or to universally denounce "activists" or "moralists" or the like. Taking that position as a hard line (and denouncing people for violating it) is, obviously, itself an action of a judgmental activist, so I find it really hard to accept that anyone who takes that position is being entirely honest (either with others or with themselves; they might actually believe what they say, but their positions and actions are incoherent.) If you want to tell others that they should be more accepting even when it comes to things that deeply offend them (like racism or sexism or ignorance), you have to be willing to start with that yourself; you need to show your willingness to listen to them and recognize what's good about their positions and to lead by example rather than by aggressively decrying the people you feel cross the lines you've drawn in your head. If you're loud, aggressive, and in-your-face with a shut up about racism and sexism! message, then it's reasonable for others to conclude that your position is that racism and sexism aren't a big deal (and that you're defending them, specifically), even if you claim that you're just objecting to their tone; since your actions (in showing a willingness to draw lines in the sand about how people should talk and what they should say, and then denounce people for crossing them) say that you have no problem with their tone, only with their message. It's obvious that Smerdis, above, has very strong feelings about what it should be acceptable for people to say and how it should be acceptable for them to say it; but this sort of puts the lie to any claim that their position is actually based around a sincere love for intellectual freedom. (I am not necessarily accusing Smerdis of deliberately being disingenuous; I think it's easy to fall into the intellectual trap of thinking "my preferences, moral judgments, and culture are normal and natural, and the way I assert them is a neutral position, stating simple moral fact that infringes on nobody's liberty; other people's are strange and political and foreign and wrong, and people infringe on my liberty by asserting these strange new moral positions." But this is an intellectually incoherent position to take.) --Aquillion (talk) 03:30, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Way late followup

science doesn't support the notion that activism is a mentally disengaged emotional activity. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:14, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] My response to that "Atheist Ireland" thing

Oh, no! PZ Myers doesn't like Fred Phelps! And all this started because Michael Nugent asked multiple questions and received a response that he felt didn't answer all of them, forcing him to guess what Myers was referring to. Well, you know, except for the part where Myers used more than half of the words from the question he was responding to in the opening paragraph. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 12:57, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it was accurate for a few of Myers's "wah wah my pet interest" moments. Though, "insensitive" and "hateful" are pretty different. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 13:03, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I generally don't like PZ Meyers, but I find most of the stuff they list under "Some examples of his [insert adjectives with negative connotations here] rhetoric" as either harmless or things Meyers is totally right about. They would've been better off not listing all the "Oh noes, he's rude and doesn't like these people" examples. (talk) 13:12, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Myers has told movement atheism to fuck off repeatedly, for the reasons he raises - David Gerard (talk) 13:54, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
It's good to know that "Atheist Ireland" supports the black, libertarian equivalent of Pamela Geller. Makes me wonder who funds them. --Castaigne (talk) 14:11, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Just whiny idiots. The response article with links to what Myers actually said is most edifying - David Gerard (talk) 16:45, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Angry polemicist attracts angry polemic. Film at 11. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 19:12, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Recent Cracked article about the troubled teen industry

Friendly reminder that the troubled teen industry article has been rotting in the bottom of the To Do List for God knows how long. I'd start it, but I have exams to study for and TVTropes anime pages to obsessively document tropes in. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg ROAD ROLLER DA! Wryyyyyy! 23:47, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Ooh, I've read a lot on the subject. Maybe I should do it. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 16:59, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Could you direct me to some literature on the subject? I have some paychecks to burn some interest on the topic. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg This taste... it's of a liar! 22:12, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] About the The Guardian Article

The parts of the article referring to what we call people is nonsense that borders absolute nonsense. It didn't have to be; They could have stayed focused on how people can say one thing and mean another. But, they didn't. Instead, it's a cynical view of how "oh no, we're making deception easier!" That's not dis-empowering anybody. People are politely asked to treat others with dignity, and that's about it. If they don't comply, they'll just end up with more people asking them to use different words, unless they're a huge jerk about it. And the article complains about not saying people "suffer" from autism, "even if they do." People don't suffer from autism. People with autism suffer from ignorant people. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 17:18, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Your final point is undeniable but remember this article is written from a left wing perspective, not a liberal one, and should be read in a wider context. Already in the late eighties, it was evident that civility in language might raise consciousness but was not going to bring about any real change. Instead, we got what Tony Judt said: "Pretending we are all separate but equal, he said, “conceals the effects of real power and capacity, real wealth and influence. You describe everyone as having the same chances when actually some people have more chances than others. And with this cheating language of equality, deep inequality is allowed to happen much more easily.”".
It's evident in all aspects of British public life, particularly in education. We respect and value all ethnicities, creeds, family arrangements, abilities etc but if you're a black working class kid you're more fucked than ever. Your chances of being diagnosed with ASD are much lower than a middle classs white kid, but you're chances of exclusion from mainstream education and/or getting arrested are much much higher. But it's OK - the schools have training sessions and special classes and policies and stuff.
Changing the way we speak about others has become a mere exercise in civility or, in too many cases, a fig leaf for deflection onto a different Other. It changes little but gives power an excuse to carry on as usual London Grump (talk) 17:42, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
"People don't suffer from autism". What about repetitive actions and other behaviors that actually can cause self-harm (eye-poking, head banging, etc.)? What about the problems adjusting to different situations due to their tendency to engage in ritualistic behavior? Pretending that diseases aren't diseases isn't helping anyone, and the only reason to be so offended when people call people with autism "sufferers" is that you're upholding the stigmatizing of diseases.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:37, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Those are satellite traits. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 07:04, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I usually roll my eyes when I read or hear people pushing the postmodernist idea that if we change language, we will change society. However, the idea that political correctness is the reason for the problems of disadvantaged groups is idiotic.
Does anybody of you who upvoted this thing genuinely believe that it is PC that allows politicians to do budget cuts? Cameron pledged not to cut NHS spendings and yet he did. All the SUFFERING of uk PATIENTS didn’t stop the Tories. How would you blame that on PC? Oh snap, it’s ‘cause they allowed female muslim medical staff to wear sleeves, isn’t it. And this year there were cuts in cancer treatment. I blame Jolie, why would the government need to pay for women who kept their boobs instead of choosing the cheaper option. And all those people with cancer on TV who look so strong and brave - why don't you suffer more expressively?
In addition all these people are under the umbrella term “disabled”. Isn’t that enough to show that they "don’t have the same chances". Should they wear signs or badges? Do you believe that pc has had such a profound effect on society that nobody today knows that having a disability is hard? This guy gal with schizophrenia says that “The Bullshit People Believe Impacts Your Life More Than the Disorder”. And that’s a common sentiment among a lot of people with disability or mental illness. That is not to say that there are no people who suffer. Yet claiming that society has forgotten that having a mental illnesses can be bad is utter stupidity. Parents still go through the stages of grief when they learn that their child has a disabling condition.
But let’s assume that everything that Nick Cohen (he probably would have won Pulitzer by now if we still called them "kykes") says is correct. Even then his argument makes no sense. Since Obama took office, some have claimed that now, that there is a black US president - racism is over in the US. Black people (or should I say "porch monkeys", 'cause I don't want to further disempower them) are fine. They just need to pull up their pants and get a job - I heard a "coon" say that on FoxNews once, so it must be true.
By the logic of the argument made in the article, the recent deterioration in relationships between the police and the African American community is all one man's fault - thanks, Obama. You see – it’s bad for black people to be in governing positions, because that allows the police to kill poor black kids and say "But it's OK - the White House has a black president in it, we have black Attorney General, the 14th Amendment, and stuff".
BTW you should never elect a woman president, because that will disempower women even further by becoming another excuse for the patriarchal status quo.
I have read a lot of advocacy groups’ positions and expert reports and I cannot even begin to list all the problems that people with and within the community, who work on the issues, face while trying to change laws, institutions and societies, but the use of the term “consumer” instead of “patient” is not among them. If anyone is concealing the problems that’s Nick Cohen with his very simplistic and out-of-touch take on the issue.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
That's okay. Taking down every dumb new argument as it comes up is fun. It's half the reason for editing rationalwiki, really. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
"I usually roll my eyes when I read or hear people pushing the postmodernist idea that if we change language, we will change society. However, the idea that political correctness is the reason for the problems of disadvantaged groups is idiotic." Yeah, totally agree. That people sometimes focus too much on enforcing PC language instead of actually educating people or eliminating discriminative/oppressive systems is a reasonable claim, but this guy takes that idea and does some seriously crazy shit with it.
"This guy with schizophrenia says..." You got the gender wrong, but great article. (talk) 19:07, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
"I cannot even begin to list all the problems that people with and within the community" You're talking about Autism Speaks, right? |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The retarded vomit of disintegrating! 17:25, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
No. I haven't even mentioned autism. I was talking about people with disabilities in general.
Also: Even the middle class white guy is unlikely to get diagnosed. Psychiatric care still carries a heavy stigma with it, and so many cases of ASD go undiagnosed. But I'm not in the US or the UK, so I dunno. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The retarded vomit of disintegrating! 17:25, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Are satellite traits not caused by autism?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 21:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
They're correlated. It also hasn't been ruled out that those satellite traits are caused and/or worsened by the way autistic people are treated. Of course, I'm not saying that *is* what's happening, but it would certainly make sense (person gets ostracized from groups, so they obsess about being ostracized from groups and exhibit compulsive behavior; Boom, OCD). There's also always the fact that exhibiting a severe trait increases the probability of autism being noticed. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 15:17, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I'd still call that "suffering" TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:49, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
But it's suffering from something else. Do people suffer from being black? Of course not. They may, however, suffer from society. They may also possibly suffer from the way society influenced their family's money and education. They suffer *because* they're black, they don't suffer from *being* black. (This here is only a statement of word choice, and I realize it's very open to misinterpretation.) Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 23:53, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
So... you know that the phrase "suffering from [insert ailment here]" has nothing to do with any pain or suffering the person experiences but is just a statement that ailment X is active in the person's body, right? People in a coma can still 'suffer from' cancer, AIDS etc. Really, for someone insisting on saying that people "suffer from autism" you're sure taking those words literally (coincidence?). The question on whether it's appropriate to say that people "suffer from autism" doesn't depend on if they suffer due to autism, but on whether it's correct or accurate to describe autism as a disease. Taking a look at the diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder, which merely require social/communicational impairment (introversion, basically) and obsessive/repititive behaviours, I think "autism" is more a broad collection of personality types, rather than a disease. (talk) 03:24, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Periodic table

Uploaded to RW in 2010 File:Woo_Table_v1.4.png by Human Scream!! (talk) 22:58, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] "A history of left and right in American politics"

Can anyone make sense of that pretentious horseshit? I can't make heads or tails of it, as its historical references jump from late 18th century to mid 19th century with practically no rhyme or reason. Plus, it doesn't even explain what "'left' and 'right' mean". Hotwateramericano (talk) 19:32, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

The way I understood the piece, it makes the rather cliché'd point that contemporary 'social justice' leftism is a secularized version of strains of thinking that arose out of the Social Gospel from the early twentieth century. This in turn relates to the moral reformism that got out of control during the nineteenth century, and earlier, the "dissenter conscience" in the UK. And ultimately all of this springs from various sorts of religious and political radicalism that arose out of the English Civil Wars. Moldbug thinks he discovered this independently, but this has been a hypothesis that's been around for quite some time. In its broad outline, it is true. The UK was very fortunate to have experienced a counter-revolution that made all forms of religious enthusiasm politically suspect. It's the USA's tragedy that we never had that reaction here. These movements have always had a nasty side, too: Victorian sexual repression, Prohibitionism, anti-sex feminism, war on drugs, healthism, Tumblristas; all these things can be seen as related phenomena. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 20:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Smerdis, your response is just as vacuous and incoherent as the blog itself. By the way, do you take neo-reactionaries seriously? Hotwateramericano (talk) 21:09, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Any sources for that, Smerdis? Deofex (talk) 20:47, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Quite a few, actually. With regard to the beginnings, I'd recommend Christopher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down. It's surprising how relevant a pack of seventeenth century religious nuts still are, when you know how to read their material. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 21:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure they can be, though that's the path to conspiracy diagrams about cultural Marxism - David Gerard (talk) 22:44, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Up a few lines William Wilberforce[wp] came up. People remember him for pushing the legislation that curtailed the slave trade in Britain and its colonies. Everybody remembers him for that, and no doubt it was a great and good thing. But he was a more ambivalent figure than that. He founded a Society for the Suppression of Vice. He had the London printer of Paine's Age of Reason jailed. All of his actions, for good or for ill, were products of evangelical zealotry. I see a straight line of descent from Wilberforce and his ilk to the more recent prohibitionists, and the anti-porn and anti-smoking crusaders of today. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 00:18, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Every movement has it's zealots.--Arisboch (talk) 19:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
It's neoreactionary burble. And is doing rather better on clogs than here - David Gerard (talk) 22:43, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
What was wrong with Smerdis' response? He's not entirely wrong. You can trace a lot of the American (liberal, middle-class, progressive) sentiment (like the Social Gospel) in America back to religious sentiment - specifically Puritanism. Really, the Puritans are one of the most unjustly despised groups in American history at this point (obviously excluding racial minorities). We have them to thank for a lot of pretty great stuff. Plus, they weren't nearly as sex-negative or anti-fun as they're made out to be. So, while it's true that a lot of modern liberalism derives from religion and "moral crusading", that's not such a bad thing. (Agrajag (talk) 00:23, 20 April 2015 (UTC))

[edit] The first genocide of the twentieth century

Wot, no Belgian "The Horror. The Horror" Congo? London Grump (talk) 20:41, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I think the answer to that would be that while Belgian rule was unbelievably horrific, it would not meet the standards set out in the Genocide Convention, namely that the relevant atrocities were not committed "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such." Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 23:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
IIRC, Genocide Convention doesn't require intent, only that the action/policy results in reduction in numbers or percantage of people in a given area. This is to prevent the defense of "oh, we didn't know that requiring literacy tests in our language in order to have kids would result in genocide of all the ethnic groups that speak another language, we just wanted to prevent unfit parents". It gets tricky and common sense has to be used, obviously; a city condemning an unsafe building which results in 200 people leaving the city is obviously not genocide even if they are all the same ethnicity. Now if the city had condemned the building because they were of that race, you might have a case.CorruptUser (talk) 19:08, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Eh, I actually don't blame him. His editors/fact-checkers maybe, but not him. People make errors of fact all the time, and the Pope is no less human than the rest of us OR IS HE???? ℕoir LeSable (talk) 17:19, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Nope, actually, he accidentally rewrote history by means of ex Cathedra infallibility. Pope powers are dangerous. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Papal infallibility is actually invoked very rarely, and it is generally unambiguously understood that everything not so invoked by the Pope is not infallible. - Grant (talk) 18:34, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I know. Come on. I even cited the terminology Catholic scholars use to describe actually infallible statements. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but that kind of humour is a bit difficult to express via text. You could just as easily have been talking out of your ass using the same wording. :P - Grant (talk) 20:55, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

The Grauniad article raises a valid point but has two glaring weaknesses:

  1. The Pope was actually citing the popular description of the Armenian Genocide as the first of the 20th century - not claiming that it definitely was (my bolding): “In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the twentieth century,’ struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation,”“In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the twentieth century,’ struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation,” (google the transcript version, e.g. this one or this one).
  2. The article's last paragraph is just asking questions to the extent that the reader is left wondering whether the Pope is a racist, which I think is rather... tendentious and problematic (if I'm in a diplomatic mood): "The question now is whether the pope’s statement was made in ignorance or if the Vatican was guilty of the sin of deliberate omission. In either case, this has been a bizarre and self-defeating episode. Catholicism is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else: 200 million Africans are followers of the faith. But awareness of history is also increasing in Africa and crimes such as the Namibian genocide can no longer be ignored, whether by accident or design."

So, yes, the article raise awareness of a too often overlooked genocide in what is today Namibia, but the author also kind of shoots himself in the foot with that last paragraph. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:46, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

"...the reader is left wondering whether the Pope is a racist, which I think is rather... tendentious and problematic." Or, we back up a step and say "the reader is left wondering if a man speaking on behalf of an organization that was complicit in Modern Europe's extraction of wealth from the rest of the world literally since the moment that process began has not properly acknowledged its fundamentally racist history never mind taking steps to rectify the effects of that history." Which is exactly, of course, what the blogger is doing. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:55, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Hanlon's razor.--Arisboch (talk) 19:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Richard Littlejohn's piece on the UK election.

Why did anyone think that rambling and incoherent garbage would be a good contribution to the blogs section? Hotwateramericano (talk) 21:03, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Supposedly it was "promoted" from WIGO:clogs, although I can't see that it was ever posted there. It was moronic gibberish & I've taken it off this WIGO. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
No, no, you should spell it as "Yew Kay". Else the dumb Americans will pronounce it as "uck"! (talk) 22:54, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
It was the only Daily Mail article that I have ever found even remotely informative, granted I am an American who hasn't paid much attention to the elections across the pond so I guess I would find informative, I'm also not as sensitive to his fawning over UKIP since I'm here and UKIP is over there, I can see why people here would be though, since come to think of it, if it was an American writing about the Tea Party that way it would have probably annoyed me. I probably should have kept it in the clogosphere. I can be a bit reckless/clueless at times. Alsto003 (talk) 03:44, 23 April 2015 (UTC) Alex
You might not know this, but Richard Littlejohn has an article on this website. Hotwateramericano (talk) 00:59, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Richard Littlejohn lives on your side of the pond, too, Alsto003, and given Littlejohn's obvious defects of reason you're probably better qualified than him to talk about UK politics anyway. Queexchthonic murmurings 12:49, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Joss Whedon's sexism

'Minor Spoilers' So I saw the earlier Joss Whedon articles before they were changed and I read the Twitter comments. They seemed to be mostly irrational fan hate with 'shipping' and plot points like certain character's death, but after reading several articles I can see where they are coming from with Black Widow's tropes. So firstly, the rape joke, prima nocta, was out of place and very similar to quivering quim comment Loki makes to Black Widow in the first Avengers movie. Secondly, the whole infertile story, to me, was that she felt that she gave up the chance to have kids in order to kill more people; this makes her feel like a monster. Lastly, Black Widow was largely irrelevant in previous movies, but now she has a back-story and a larger role in Age of Ultron; though she does have a variant of the damsel in distress trope. Anyways I bring this up since it seems that it has caused a lot of irrationality.--Owlman (talk) 04:15, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Tony Stark's joke was in character; it's been established in his four movies that he's a self-centered, cynical asshole. Black Widow is so far the only female Avenger; that apparently makes her the vessel for the entire hopes of Womanhood, and that's unfair to the character and the people who have to write her parts. It isn't like she chose to be sterilized to make her a better assassin; her backstory is that she comes out of an evil organization that trains assassins, one that saw children as a potential source of divided loyalty. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:37, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
It's actually the problem I have with 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'. Back in the 60's, the movie was a big deal. A liberal father finds out his daughter wants to marry a black man (oh noes!). It was actually more popular in theatres down south than up north, surprisingly. But no, it was not just any black man, he's Zeus come down from Olympus to grace us mere mortals. He's rich, intelligent, caring, has an advanced degree, etc etc. Ok, yay, it's great that Hollywood could tackle interracial marriage, but today? His entire character can be summed up with "Marty Stu", which makes for a horribly unwatchable movie. Same with women in movies now. Yes, Hollywood has a problem, but if every female role has to be a Social Justice Poster Child either there will be terrible films or no female roles. CorruptUser (talk) 17:52, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree that Tony Stark is a misogynist womanizer, but I think a rape may go to far when you are trying to show that. I definitely agree with Smerdis about Black Widow's past being dark and I agree with CorruptUser that not every female character, or any character for that matter, can be written without some trope; I can see how some people were disappointed that she had a more romantic role in the movie. Though I don't agree that romance hurts her character or that a rape joke made by Tony makes Joss Whedon a sexist, as some blogs have said. I think Hollywood tends to go overboard when it comes to representation of minorities by either making them into a Mary Sue/Gary Stu or important because they are the goal e.g. a damsel in distress or a magic negro. Regardless, I think Black Widow received more significance inAge of Ultron than in previous movies and I did enjoyed the movie nonetheless.--Owlman (talk) 01:50, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The joke was Stark saying he'd "bring back prima nocta" if he were king of Asgard. (That's the Harry Potter version; in Latin it's ius primæ noctis. It's mostly a legend. Maybe we need an article.) I think it was intended to be a reference to Braveheart. To make this a "rape joke" actually requires quite a bit of backstory supplied by the audience. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:24, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Backstory? Nah, the audience just needs to know the meaning of the phrase and the rape-y aspect would be pretty obvious. That said, I doubt a lot of people know what it's supposed to mean. I for one didn't before I looked it up just now. I mean, yeah, it's clearly pseudo-Latin for "first night", but that doesn't tell you a lot. (talk) 07:33, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
To be fair, I'd love to see Tony even try to invoke the right of the first night on an Asgardian woman. All Asgardians are super strong compared to humans. As for the representation of minorities, the reason why they made the man from 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' so brilliant in every way was to highlight that literally the only reason someone could have a problem with the man was because he was black. And I'm not sure how I'm supposed to see Black Widow's admission as particularly horrifying given that just before she makes it, Banner points out that it's impossible for him to have kids. Maybe he's sterile from all the gamma radiation, or maybe it's because exposure to his bodily fluids can kill people. After all, one drop of his blood wound up diluted in a bottle of soda from Mexico and killed Stan Lee. - Psycho Gecko, 7:19, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Supporting the right

So... a thing that's happening with Geller. It's that people are taking assertions that what someone is saying with their free speech being morally wrong, and twisting that into a suggestion that it should be forbidden. No one is doing that. You're allowed to have shitty awful opinions, and you should expect to be condemned for pushing them in public. There's no free speech issue here at all, except on the part of the attackers, who are not being defended by anyone. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:01, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Probably a better fit for clogs than blogs. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:04, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
free speech being morally wrong, and twisting that into a suggestion that it should be forbidden - As slippery slopes go, that's a short and shallow one. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:18, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
"I think we should kill Smerdis of Tlon" not an immoral thing to say. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:06, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course not. None of us deserve anything but death. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 05:58, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Anti-vax list - own up.

Hands up if your name is on there. *puts up hand* -PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:54, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

I feel shame at not being on it. Mayo2017 (talk) 15:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
My criticism of anti-vaxxers has never left my Skype contacts, so I doubt I'm on there.ConfusedLiberal (talk) 18:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Goldstein University?

Freudian slip already? London Grump (talk) 20:06, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Eep, sorry, fixed. I've been listening to an audiobook of Orwell's 1984 and it just... blep ℕoir LeSable (talk) 20:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
What's Freudian about Goldstein? (talk) 20:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
"Goldstein" is, at least in the USA, a stereotypically Jewish name. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 21:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Most surnames ending in -stein are typically seen as Jewish. Dunno how that'd make it Freudian, though. (talk) 21:23, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Because nose = dong, duh. WalkerWalkerWalker 03:06, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
>.< (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Parapraxis that reveals unconscious intent, Goat, I fee1 old. (talk) 07:49, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

[edit] #killallwhitemen

I don't understand how it's an example of male privilege that #killallwhitemen can be seen as a joke. Especially since men make up 77% of murder victims. Should #killallwhitewomen be taken more seriously?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 21:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Source if there's more? It looks like 1 person thinks it's silly, maybe ask them. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Men make up 77% of murder victims and 90% of murderers, according to your same source. Very few, if any of these murders are racially motivated. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I posted this article, and I agree male privilege has nothing to do with it (although the author seems to think it does). It's pretty much what Weaseloid said. If it were, say, "kill all blacks" or "kill all Muslims", then it would be taken as a more credible threat and carry that sort of weight, largely because those groups are more likely to suffer from racially-motivated violence in the western world (per capita, at least). OTOH, if you lived in South Africa or the Middle East where racially-motivated violence against whites are currently more prevalent, "kill all whites" would have that sort of weight as well while the other two aforementioned examples would not. And even in the west, the gravity of the threat varies with location -- for instance, "kill all Asians" would have a much stronger credibility if it were posted by someone in Brisbane or Auckland than in San Francisco or Manchester. Like the article said, it's all about context. So not so much white privilege, but [Insert Relevant Ethnicity Here in This Location at This Point In Time] privilege.
At least, that's how I read it. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 02:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that I wasn't threatened by it because of white male privilege. More like, I wasn't threatened by it because it was a hashtag. Nor would I join in a petition calling for her job for posting this. Obviously she comes from a milieu where that kind of carrying on may win applause, and she failed to trim her message to her audience when she posted on something with a broader readership. Even people whose politics are different from mine still deserve to eat. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:02, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I never said that #killallblacks would also be taken as a joke. Blacks, a minority, make up about half of murder victims, and there has historically been more racially motivated murder for them as well. Just thought it was unnecessary to bring gender into it.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Well there has (historically and contemporaneously) also been more violence against women perpetrated by men than the reverse. Also, when talking about social justice & identity politics, "white men" or "cis white men" are often cited as the most privileged group, so there's nothing unusual about "bringing gender into it". Also, "dead white men[wp]" is a common trope. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Considering the outrage over this, I better not hear about "It's just a joke!" ever again from a dudebro. Cykosys (talk) 05:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
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