Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gerson: Trump's A Racist

Some of these arguments are bad.
But this is not the kind of issue you want to have to make close calls on.

Carolina 87 - Clemson 79

Long live the curse!

Did The President Of The United States Pay Hush Money To A Pr0n Star To Cover Up A Sexual Encounter?


I hate everything so much

Chelsea Manning To Run For U.S. Senate In Maryland

[incredulous stare]

Whelp, dude's got balls, I'll give him that.
   See, most people who betrayed their country and then got a completely undeserved commutation...they'd disappear from sight and spend the rest of their born(e?) days avoiding the public eye.
   Not Manning, though!
   I trust this is not something we really have to worry about...is it? Because, honestly, I'm not sure how much more abject political absurdity I can take right now.
   Maybe the 2020 election will be Trump/Cheney versus an Oprah Winfrey / Bill Nye the Science Guy ticket, with Manning in the Senate and...oh, hell, maybe the Newtron Bomb will head back to the House to physically burn down the capitol and salt the ****er ****ing earth.

Is A Course That Indoctrinates Students Into The Cult Of Social Justice A Good Intro Philosophy Course?

Jesus Christ, can you imagine someone thinking that that was somehow an even vaguely reasonable intro to philosophy course?
The Daily Nous is PC as all hell--but the vast majority of the votes and a fair number of the comments are sane.

Why Is Anyone Surprised About The Lame Accusations Against Aziz Ansari?

Here's the deal: current feminist / progressive/PC / Title IX-type / "Yes-means-yes" / affirmative consent orthodoxy is pretty clear: it entails that Ansari is a rapist. Which in no way seems to be true, of course. But he moved in a direction his date didn't want to go, and he was insufficiently responsive to her expressions of less-than-enthusiasm. Pretty much an open-and-shut case on the theory at hand. He'd be kicked out of a whole lot of universities.
   Why is anyone surprised by anything about any of this? "Affirmative consent" orthodoxy entails that, if Smith and Jones are having sex, and Smith doesn't like what Jones is doing, Smith has no obligation whatsoever to say so, nor to give any indication. The burden is entirely on Jones. Smith is not obligated to say 'no,' not obligated to express displeasure in any way...not even obligated to refrain from giving misleading feedback. If Jones fails to secure enthusiastic "affirmative consent" at every point, then Jones is a rapist. Smith could even intentionally refrain from expressing a lack of consent for the very purpose of making Jones a rapist. Jones would, on this theory, become a rapist. If we take seriously what the Ministry of Sex has decreed about these matters, this is all pretty damn clear.
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Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK: I Have A Dream

The one and only:

Why Do Most Women Prefer Male Bosses?

I don't know why I thought this might be an honest, objective discussion of the phenomenon. I guess Lucy can yank the football at the last minute a very large number of times before I learn my lesson.
   The answer given is: it's not the phenomenon that requires explanation...it's the feeling. Because, you see, you are always to "believe women"...unless they think things that feminism says they shouldn't think. Then their experience is not to be so much explained as explained away.
   And the explanation of the feeling that they'd rather have male bosses is, very roughly: because patriarchy. I mean, we don't have actual bosses in my world. But we have Chairs and administrators and shit. My favorite Chair ever was a woman. (No offense to my current Chair...) And I've had extensive dealings with both good and bad administrators--a fair number really good, and a fair number really bad. (And sometimes the same person was in both categories.) I'd have a hard time generalizing about sex in this matter. I don't see any correlation. Even administrators are often individual people with personalities and stuff. My currently-most irrational and autocratic administrator is a woman. But in the past it was a man. And a man before that. So.
   But, anyway, it's women themselves who clued me into the cattiness and backstabbery of some women--basically the "mean girls" phenomenon. My hypothesis is that men are the biggest shits in relatively unconstrained environments. In contexts when you might just get physically attacked, it's men you have to be worried about. (And you see how it's not sexist to recognize that?) In relatively more constrained environments, that problem is mostly nonexistent. In such environments, things like backstabbing and hostile-coalition-forming become more salient threats. Also, there's significant evidence that stereotypes of this general kind are pretty accurate--more accurate than most psychological studies. Which shouldn't be much of a surprise, since stereotypes are the conclusions of untold numbers of observations by people who have an actual stake in knowing the facts. (Though, of course, there could still be social explanations.)
   At any rate, I'm not so concerned about the specifics here as I am about the general leftish inconsistency about such stuff, and the tendency to explain away unwelcome conclusions. I'm in no way suggesting that the right doesn't do likewise. That'd be absurd. But the general template really ought to be met with derision: believe all women...except when you don't like what they think...then explain away the collective wisdom of humankind by gesturing at some social science studies that you like better.
   And, for the love of God, don't forget one of the most important points of the rational, liberal feminism of yore: we're only talking about generalizations in such cases. We're in no way saying anything specific about each specific individual.

Margaret Atwood: "Am I A Bad Feminist?"

Props to Atwood.
   In certain abstract terms, this is all easy: sexual harassment is bad. Due process is good. And that's about all there is to it.
   But the devil's in the details, I guess.
   And the practical details are obscured by the contemporary feminist tendency to pretend that even the most minor infelicities are tantamount to sexual harassment, and that sexual harassment is tantamount to rape. Then, of course, there's the left's tendency just to make shit up.
   Anyway, advocating for due process for Galloway doesn't mean that you don't want him to suffer the consequences if he's guilty. The other side points out that only Galloway's right (or whatever it is in an institutional context) to due process is being publicly defended. However, it's only his due process rights that we know to have been violated. Perhaps it'd be better not to emphasize Galloway's right (or whatever it is), and better to emphasize that due process is an impersonal obligation of the institution: it's the best procedure for arriving at a rational conclusion. Applying that thought to this case: arguing for due process is not the same thing as advocating for Galloway.

You Should Be Reading: Donovan Paisley

Progressive champion of women. My compassion for the oppressed is limitless. Spent 5 years at a liberal arts college and received an A+ in my sociology class.

Feminists Ditching "Pussyhats" Because They Now Think They're Racist and "Transphobic"

Sunday, January 14, 2018


I don't want to get involved in this ridiculousness.
   Objectively speaking, there are plenty of shithole countries.
   If you want to criticize Trump on this, the point to make is that the president shouldn't be saying things like "shithole" during official meetings. And he shouldn't be calling countries shitholes no matter how true it might be. It's not what we used to call "presidential." That was a quaint old concept we used to have back in the day before Gallagher became president. No wait...not Gallagher. The other one. What's-his-name. Howard Stern? No...you know the guy I'm talking about.
   Many on the left, of course--deploying its standard mishmash of nihilism, relativism, subjectivism, and skepticism--are basically denying that there are any shithole countries. Which is idiotic. In fact, isn't the left usually arguing that it's inhumane to send illegals back to their countries precisely because they're shitholes?
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Anti-Trumpism and Bullshit at (Semi-)Philosophy Conferences

Here's the kind of conference announcement that shows up on the PHILOS-L list all the time these days:

Call for Papers and Abstracts | Resistance: Psychoanalysis and Critical Theories
Apr. 20th - 21st, 2018 | Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Sigmund Freud started to explore the social and political potential of his psychoanalytical theory in Totem and Taboo (1913), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921), and Civilization and Its Discontents(1930). The Early Frankfurt school further took up this political valence and combined historical materialism with analyses of the psychodynamic of familial, romantic, and erotic relations under centuries-long patriarchal conditioning. For some time, freudo-marxism was the implicit method of critical or radical political theorists. In more recent years, however, psychoanalysis has met with criticism for presupposing a variety of patriarchal and colonial norms and prejudices and for emphasizing individual, psychic interiority. This conference brings psychoanalysis and the variety of possible critical theories together in order to critically examine these presuppositions in psychoanalytic theories, as well as to call for a critical engagement with the current politics and society using psychoanalytic theories. We invite papers that engage with psychoanalysis critically and/or engage with the critical potentials in psychoanalytic theories. ...Topics may include but are not limited to:· Psychoanalysis and queer theory· Trans studies and psychoanalysis· Frankfurt school and psychoanalysis· Psychoanalysis and contemporary critical theory· Critical race theory· Feminism and psychoanalysis· Decolonial or postcolonial theory· Political affect and psychoanalysis· Metapsychology and Method
Not making this up. My emphasis.   I'm not going to waste any time on this, other than to say, of two of the selections bolded above: (a) so...those are the criticisms of Freudianism they're most concerned about? That it's pseudoscientific claptrap doesn't make the list? (And, of course: individuality is one of the things the left really hates...) And (b) hey, can anybody think of a way to make the current political situation worse? No? Well...here's an idea: how about we stick in some psychoanalysis? Then maybe some Scientology or something.

Friday, January 12, 2018

"Feminists Challenge Ability Of "Transgender" Leader Of Quebec Women's Group To Speak For Women

Actual quote from the article:
In the United States and the United Kingdom, tensions occasionally flare between trans activists and a fringe of radical feminists who insist on regarding transgender women as men.
Wow...how odd that anyone would "insist" on "regarding" men as men. So odd.
Also this:
“There are parts of our society that are anti-immigration. There are parts that are racist and Islamophobic. These will be reflected in the feminist movement. The movement is no different from the society in which it lives.”
So, you see, if you believe that you can't turn a man into a woman with some plastic surgery and a dress, you are the equivalent of someone who is anti-immigrant, racist, and/or Islamo"phobic." Failure to hold a patently false position on a purely descriptive question makes you a bigot. Get it?
   Feminism lost its mind long ago. But now it's lost its mind in a whole new way. I mean...contemporary feminism really does not like men. I would have thought that sexism would have immunized it from this particular brand of crazy. Honestly, I would never have thought that they'd let men force themselves into / take over the movement. I wonder how long before the feminist civil war breaks out over this?

Jesse Singal: Social Media Is Making Us Dumber

Thursday, January 11, 2018

F-23: The Superplane We Never Built

Kirsten Gillibrand And The Need For Schoolhouse Rock 2.0

Jesse Singal: The Creators Of The Implicit Association Test Should Get Their Stories Straight

Singal's right
But my assessment is more compact: the IAT is pseudoscience.

Tortured Google Employee Finally Admits There Are More Than Two Genders, 2+2=5

Pew: America's Voter Registration System Is Inaccurate, Costly and Inefficient

The Character Assassination of James Damore

The most important fact of the case isn't that Google is a cult. Nor is it that Damore got the science right. It's that he got the science approximately right. If he were making up loony things about race and sex differences, it wouldn't (would it?) be crazy to fire him. But he wasn't. He was simply stating things that are reasonable to think given what a well-informed layperson would (and should) have read about the relevant science. Even if he gets/got some things wrong (and, of course, even if the current science is wrong), what he wrote was reasonable.
   One lesson: there are certain (seeming) truths that we are not currently allowed to acknowledge. It got Larry Summers fired. It got James Damore fired. Uttering such well-justified-and-fairly-likely-to-be-true propositions gets thousands of people vilified every day in the U.S. Many more simply pretend not to know what they know they know.
   If you're keeping quiet about all this, you're aiding and abetting the totalitarians. You should stop doing that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Straight Dudes Are Now Obligated To Have Sex With Other Dudes If The Other Dudes Dress LIke Women. ?

You're a dude.
Dressing like a woman does not make you a non-dude.
Genuwine has no obligation to have sex with you.
C'mon, fer the luvva god...ya got a penis...how hard is this to understand?

[I can't believe that these ridiculous, sophistical tactics seem to be working so well. First, ignore the difference between sex and gender that feminism has spent the last thirty years (rightly!!!) insisting on...thus blurring the difference between changing gender (which is fairly easy) and changing sex (which is, currently, impossible...and which will remain impossible for some time). Simply insist that feminine men are women and masculine women are men. Then insist that others must casually affirm this via socially-(and sometimes legally...)enforced misuse of words (e.g. 'woman,' 'man,' pronouns). When people object, insist that it's merely words, that refusal to play along is psychological violence,  and that truth doesn't matter (ergo it would be unreasonable to refuse). Then clearly demonstrate that it's not merely about words by demanding that we must let them use the wrong restrooms and locker rooms... And ultimately: that straight dudes have sex with other dudes pretending not to be dudes...else they're bigots.
   Look, what pisses me off so much about this is that so many people are knuckling under to this nonsense...and themselves becoming part of the social shaming task force that badgers others into paying lip service to such patent nonsense. I mean, look, the dude who's after Genuwine is right in a sense: if you think/say he's a woman, and you're a straight dude, but you rule out having sex with him in general rather than on any specific grounds...then that does seem to be basically a kind of prejudice akin to ruling out sex with a woman of another race in general. For the time being, heterosexuality is still grudgingly tolerated by our progressive cultural overlords... But that's not a defense if you affirm that "transwomen" are women. Because they're women. According to those of you who've drunk the Kool-Aid, anyway. Of course, compulsory bisexuality will be on the table in the next ten years or so... (Except for lesbians, naturally...but both straight and gay dudes are already frowned upon for their sexual preferences by the PC left.)
   I mean, look: I'm somebody who has long acknowledged that enforcing gender norms is weird and probably indefensible, and that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are kinda weird. I'm in no way blind to the obvious weirdness of these aspects of our humanity and society. But this "trans" nonsense is ridiculous and incoherent, and exactly the wrong way to address the issues.]