Friday, May 26, 2017

NYT Breaks Down Video Of Erdogan Thugs Beating Protesters In DC

The NYT identifies the attackers individually, all by picture, some by name and status (Trukish secret service, American citizens).
Call your Congresspeeps (House, Senate)
(Don't miss the point where one of these asshats says, roughly: I didn't know that the person on the ground who I was kicking in the head was a woman--I'd never kick a woman.)
I also think we need to organize semi-constant protests outside the Turkish embassy for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Identified: Erdogan Thug Who Stomped Kurdish Protesters In D.C.

This asshat is an American.

Former Playmate Sentenced For Snapchat "Body-shaming" Of Naked Woman At Gym

Here's one of the things I've been doing the Cassandra thing about.
   Preliminaries: I haven't been really keeping up with this case, and IANAL, obviously. And there's little doubt in my mind that the way this looks legally is different than the way it looks if you read this story. 
   However..: I am totally down with something on the order of an invasion of privacy charge here. Or possibly harassment? Is that a legal thing? But here's what the prosecutor said:
This was a very important case to me - as a father, as a son, as someone who recognizes the damage that body shaming can do because it is so humiliating,"..."The issues that surround body shaming can be devastating – not only to daughters and mothers, but also to sons and fathers, members of the LGBTQ community, to a trans kid who might be struggling with identity, to people who are disabled. The message today is clear: body shaming is not tolerated in the City of Los Angeles."
  This is pure, unadulterated PC/SJ newspeak. It's not the invasion of privacy that was motivating him, nor some other respectable charge (e.g. harassment) --it's SJW concerns about a favored SJW concept, "body shaming." Defenders of PC try to brush off concerns about it by arguing that it's isolated to campuses. Well, (a) universities are places, too, and (b) today the university, tomorrow the world, and (c) it's not limited to universities, Jack...not even today.
   The idea here is that the state can prevent Smith from making fun of Jones. And that's a horrific idea. The state can punish Smith for invading Jones's privacy. The state can stop Smith from harassing Jones (right?) But the state has no legitimate authority to prevent Smith from making fun of Jones. This is, once again, liberalism vs. the totalitarian left. And what's at issue is your freedom of thought and speech--even if you're an asshole.
   (Oh and, just incidentally: if the PC left wins the transgenderism debate, their position ultimately leads to the elimination of sex-segregated locker rooms...so...how different is that, really, than the view that locker rooms don't need to be private in any significant sense? And, if we go down that road, don't we end up with the view that we have no legitimate interest in keeping our nakedness private? I mean...as always...I'm happy to have the debate, and I think that a more enlightened society might very well believe that our interest in concealing our bodies is loony. But: let's have an honest discussion of it rather than ending up at that point via an irrational trajectory. Though...if we did accept that we have no legitimate interest in keeping our bodies and facts about them private, that undermines a gigantic chunk of the PC theory of transgenderism...)

[Also: PC, being largely PoMo...or PoPoMo...doesn't seem to be constrained by considerations of consistency... If "body shaming" is bad, is it because "shaming" is bad? Because the PCs / SJWs loooove "shaming" their opponents for heterodoxy... If "shaming" is bad generally, should political shaming also be illegal? If not, why not?
   My inclination, as I expect is made clear above, is that this body-shaming nonsense needs to be laughed out of court...and possibly everywhere else as well. Making fun of people for certain things does make you an asshole...but which things isn't completely clear to me. One thing that does seem clear: the state has no legitimate authority to prosecute people merely for being assholes.]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Paul Roderick Gregory: "There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion"

Though the evidence seems strong to me that Trump has engaged in what--to a layperson--seems to be obstruction of justice, I remain agnostic about the collusion accusations.
Anyway, this seems pretty reasonable...therefore worrisome.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our Thoughts Are With The Brits


Brennan: Contact Between Russians And Trump Campaign

This scandal...a tremendous...believe me, it's a YUGE...a tremendous!...scandal...the best! A high-energy scandal with, let me tell you, all the best people. A truly, truly amazing scandal. A terrific...excuse me, but I'm telling you: a terrific, terrific scandal...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Deryl Bem Proved ESP Is Real: Which Means Science Is Broken

I deny that proof of ESP means that science is broken...I'm not religiously anti-ESP. As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty much just another empirical question. In fact, I was getting a little bit excited reading about Bem's results...but...alas...it was, as was predictable, too cool to be true. So...worst possible outcome: instead of science works and so does ESP!, we end up with: neither ESP nor science works... Talk about a damn bummer...
   Oh and: "white guys" who stay around after the experiments to ask about experimental design and suggest problems are "mansplaining." [contemptuous eyeroll] Hell, that "mainsplaining crap is way sillier than ESP.
   Claiming to prove the reality of ESP wouldn't even be the dumbest thing I've heard claimed for a psych experiment, anyway...
   Also anyway: the alleged confirmation disappeared when the researchers decided registered ahead of time what kind of analyses they were going to do on the data. Which...I cannot believe is not standard practice when there are several different methods of analysis that might be used. What do people think is going to happen if they keep analyzing the data in different ways until they find a way that yields results that are consistent with confirmation? Jebus.

Turkey Whines Like A Little Bitch Because D.C. Cops Interfered With Erdogan Goons Attacking Protesters, Violating Their First Amendment Rights

Sonsofbitches.
I agree with McCain: kick out their ambassador.

White Member Of "Alt-Reich Nation" Facebook Group Murders Black College Student

Trump Asked Intelligence Chiefs To Push Back Against FBI Collusion Probe

Is there any chance whatsoever remaining that Trump did not engage in obstruction of justice?

Michelle Goldberg on Kipnis: "She's Not Like Those *Other* Feminists"

I'M SO CONFUSED
   I'm in love with Laura Kipnis...but I'm ALSO in love with Michelle Goldberg...who, c'mon, Michelle...is also not like those other feminists...
Kipnis makes a strong case...but Goldberg does, indeed, point out weak points in that case that I skimmed right over, enamored as I was by Kipnis's telling of it all...how did I miss the house in Scotland part...was that only in the lawsuit? 'cause dayum, that is some shit right there...
   There are asshole "predators" in philosophy--mostly male. There are tons of psychofeminists... The rest of us--you and me, whatever our sex--are caught in between. We're like the Poles, caught between the fucking Nazis and the fucking reds. Well...except we have the power, unlike the poor Poles...we just choose not to use it...
   Anyway, feminism in philosophy is nuts, and Kipnis really captures that, and--per Goldberg--I may have let that influence my view of Kipnis's view of the Ludlow case... At any rate, Kipnis is probably still right...but I reckon we'll see...

Helen Pluckrose: Sokal Affair 2.0: Addressing Its Critics

There are some good points here, but some stuff I thought was a bit weak. But, overall, Pluckrose is on the side of the angels.
   Again, I agree that gender studies is more full of shit than the average humanity or social science...though do keep in mind that the average is pretty bad... But I'm inclined to think that the Conceptual Penis hoax doesn't tell us much more than we already knew.
   OTOH, some philosophers online (including, kinda, this jackass) are asserting that it only tells us about pay-to-publish journals...which doesn't seem to be true. In fact, the conclusion is underdetermined by the evidence. We know--or ought to know--that gender studies is largely crap. Conventional wisdom is that pay-to-publish journals are pretty much crap. Seems like, by something akin to a principle of indifference, we ought to guess that the two factors are more-or-less equally responsible for TCP being published. That's a kind of starting guess, anyway.
   Some people are insisting that this is different than the Sokal hoax in that Sokal proved something about his target, whereas Boghossian and Lindsay show nothing about gender studies. Well, be that as it may, it's fairly important to recognize that whatever it is that Sokal showed, it applies in spades to gender studies. One of the two main problems with gender studies is that it uses the same crap methods that Sokal was criticizing in a rather general way. (The second main problem is: gender studies is thoroughly political--it's largely activism pretending to be scholarship.) At any rate, the contrast between Sokal and Boghossian/Lindsay goes only so far.
   One last thing that hardly needs to be mentioned: Pluckrose is right about one of the major sophistries of the intellectual left: that any criticism of it is a type of bigotry. That's the bullshittiest bullshit at the heart of that whole bullshit view. Well, maybe this point does have to be mentioned--maybe it can't be mentioned too much. Neo-Lysenkoism (or, as Peirce would say: prope-Lysenkoism) is kind of the heart of darkness of that nonsense over there.

Democrats Are Falling For Fake News About Russia

At...Vox????
   And, at a quick read, it's pretty good.
   It's a topsy-turvy world out there, man.

Conceptual Tools: Boner Pills And Hegemonic Phallocentrism In The Discursive Construction Of Masc(k)ulinity And (M)Othering Of Da Wimminz

Ok, I just made up that title...but made you look.
   More importantly: we got a 'phallocentrism' here! Not 'phallogocentrism', the death of which I was recently lamenting...but gettin' close!
   Although I didn't think much of that Boghossian gender studies hoax, more than a few philosophers online are acting like they have no earthly idea where anyone could get the idea that gender studies is in any way less-than-reputable. It's a mystery! No, wait...of course it isn't...it's something something patriarchy! Also, as should go without saying, the construction of something...possibly patriarchy.

"Discrimination Sunday": Transgenderism, Bad Philosophy, and Stealth Social Change

   Well, once again I'm going to urge us to have a proper public discussion about whether or not it is ever permissible to have sex-segregated public facilities. The current debate hinges on at theory of "transgenderism" that is a philosophical train wreck, and which itself largely turns on the muddled (quasi-?)concept "gender identity."
    Behold:

   It was a frenzied night for Texas Democrats and civil rights groups, who fiercely protested both measures across social media into the early hours of the morning.
   Equality Texas shared a tweet from one critic who summed up the day in one post: “Let’s just call today discrimination Sunday.”
   In an act of protest, a small group of Democratic women legislators went to the men’s restroom just off the House floor before the debate.
   House Republicans advanced the hotly debated “bathroom bill” as an amendment tacked on to a broader, otherwise unrelated public school bill regarding emergency operations plans.
   The proposal would require a transgender student who “does not wish” to use a facility based on “biological sex” to use single-occupancy restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities at their schools.
   It would override policies at some of the state’s school districts that already allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
   The Democratic women legislators unintentionally made a good point--that the idea that's actually being advanced is that it is never permissible to segregate public facilities by sex. (There is no mention that any of them "identify" as male...). Could be true...but let's discuss it instead of pushing it through on the basis of the theory that "gender" is magic, huh?
   (Also: kind of amusing that 'biological sex' appears above in what could be construed as scare quotes, whereas 'gender identity' does not... There's a reasonable explanation for that...but it wouldn't take a lot of squinting to spin this as a sign o' the times...)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stats Are The Devil: "Significant Differences: The Construction of Knowledge, Objectivity, and Dominance"

At NRPR:
The scientific method is a tool for the construction and justification of dominance in the world...[blah blah blah]

How Bad Is Trump? How Bad Is The Media (On Trump)?

For the love of God, somebody tell me what's going on. I've lost all perspective. Is it:

(a) Trump is awful beyond the telling of it
(b) The mainstream media is in a tizzy, and is significantly exaggerating Trump's awfulness
(c)  All of the above

How A "Regime Of Rationality" Makes Students Reject Feminist Course Content

On the bright side, I guess it's satisfying to see the admission that misology is an important theme in much contemporary feminism...though, as I've said, I don't care much about such admissions. It's obvious to anyone who is familiar with the academic feminism of the last 40 years or so. Perhaps it's still a minority view among academic feminists...but, if so, it's a pretty vocal and prominent minority.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Anybody Want To Drive Up To DC And Mix It Up With Erdogan's Security?

Fuck those assholes.
Is that sonofabitch even still in the U.S.? I reckon not because Trump's not here.
Those bastards are protected by diplomatic immunity, right?
Seriously, if that PoS comes back, I'm driving up to protest. I'll hand those fuckheads their asses.

The Conceptual Penis As Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax On Gender Studies?

Eh...not so much.
   Don't get me wrong--gender studies is probably even more full of shit than the stuff Social Text published. But this hoax doesn't prove it, since the legit (by the standards of gender studies, anyway) journal they sent it to rejected it, and then they were enticed into publishing it in an open-access pay-to-publish "journal" (though, to be fair--a Taylor and Francis joint...so...).
   Actually, they talk the talk pretty well, and I'll bet if they'd have kept with it, they might have got a real acceptance--but now we'll never know. Though they had to use pseudonyms and a fake affiliation...so they didn't have the mojo that Sokal had as a physicist when he pulled off the "Hermeneutics Of Quantum Gravity" thing.
Read more »

Scottish YouTuber Faces A Year In Jail For Nazi Pug Video

Insanity.
Also, that was a hilarious video.

Paul Griffiths Forced To Resign From Duke Divinity For Criticizing "Diversity" Re-Education Camp

   Leiter's been on the story. Absolutely do not miss the link to the emails! Here's the link, for good measure: THE LINK. CLICK IT.
   The totalitarians have taken over the academy. They established a beachhead in the earl '90s, and now they're making a push inland for...I don't know...the capital...or the library or whatever...  And, just like last time, the bulk of their fighting force is made up of turncoat liberals. Other liberals are cowering under their beds.
   Fer the lova God, nobody's asking you people to battle the brown shirts in the street...I realize that's asking to much of you lot...but you can't stand up to a bunch of pasty, bespectacled postpostmodernist scolds? If you can't stand up to them, could you maybe at least stop helping them?
   These people taking over the academy is the intellectual equivalent of fundamentalist Christians taking over. In either case, it's an anti-intellectual, anti-philosophical, anti-scientific cult.

Tuvel / Hypatia Dust-Up At The NYT

Nothing really new here.
   Again I'll note: this is an embarrassment to philosophy. But, of course: though the incident constitutes an embarrassment in itself, the more important point is that it reveals things that are much more embarrassing. I.e.: that this politically-motivated nonsense can survive in philosophy, that it can even take on the status of unquestionable orthodoxy, that one risks being dogpiled for making obvious, ordinary arguments that should be apparent to anyone...and that philosophy has remained silent while the rest of the culture has been gaslighted by the prevailing, incoherent theory of transgenderism.
   Tuvel didn't even draw the correct conclusion, which would have been: transracialism makes no sense and neither does transgenderism. Imagine how she would have been treated had she had the temerity to do that...
   As almost a side-note: it's worth noting the strategy that the Hypatia crowd is using here. Now, if you've seen some of their arguments in support of their preferred theory of transgenderism (e.g. Jenner is literally a woman, etc.), you know that they're an incoherent mess. But, basically, it doesn't matter how bad your arguments are in support of their preferred theory--just about any such argument will be accepted. But if you reject their preferred view? Then the very most stringent...and absurd...standards will be applied. You must review all the literature, you must respond to every possible objection, no matter how inane, your paper must (we are now told) meet the standards of all the various disciplines that are taken to be part of...the women's studies coalition, or whatever it is, you must cite and respond to a sufficient number of papers written by the right kinds of people (in this case: non-white, transgendered). These differential demands alone are very effective at squelching dissent--differential skepticism is one way in which individuals and groups maintain their preferred beliefs.
   Philosophy needs to sit down and do some hard thinking about the political shackles that it has allowed the PC left to place on it.