Monday, June 18, 2018

Jesse Singal: "When A Child Says She's Trans"

This is really, really good, IMO. And watch the video! The whole thing really is extremely interesting.
   The piece does, in effect, argue that there are a small number of actual cases of actual "gender dysphoria." I think that, in a world of 7 1/2 billion people, we should expect to find some of almost any malady we can imagine...but I remain a bit more skeptical about the phenomenon than Singal. I think it's fairly obviously something like mass psychogenic illness--in very large part, anyway. But I won't find it terribly surprising if we eventually confirm the reality of something like sex dysphoria. (Gender dysphoria would be a different thing...not really treatable medically. But since everybody seems determined to botch the sex/gender distinction...well...I've just about given up on minding it.)
   Of course my only real concern is roughly conceptual: no woman (nor girl) is male and no man (nor boy) is female. If the PC left could stop trying to deny that very simple, largely semantic point, the whole public discussion would become much, much clearer. So the medical point about whether or not any males feel like women (or girls), or any females feel like men (or boys) is really tangential to my concerns. For, say, John to have "gender" (actually: sex) dysphoria would be for him to feel like a woman (or a girl). Whether that ever happens to anyone is a purely empirical, medical, psychological question. But whether it's enough to make him a woman (or girl) is largely a philosophical one. (Whatever that means. No one's really sure what makes something a philosophical question...) And the answer's no. (Unless I'm really, really missing something.) That answer alone doesn't tell us whether we're obligated to pretend John's a woman, and treat him accordingly. But it goes a fair way toward a negative answer. It might be nice--but that means: supererogatory. It also must be balanced against the value of truth and honesty, and against the massive social changes that would be consequent on an affirmative answer. For example: goodbye, women's sports, goodbye single-sex restrooms and locker-rooms.
   Anyway, I say the piece is way worth a read.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Giuliani: IG Report Does Not Exonerate Trump

Heather MacDonald: If America's So Evil, Why Does The Left Think Immigrants Keep Coming?

MacDonald's good, and there's good stuff in here, but there's also an easy answer to the title question: because they think that they think that America is better than where they're coming from. I mean...a fair number of progressives seem to at least semi-think that the U.S. is hell on Earth...but I don't think that most do. And, besides, they don't have to think it's better--only the immigrants do. And as long as they (the left) thinks that they (immigrants) think that we ('Merika) are better than there (wherever they're coming from)...well, no puzzle, really. Right? Even though we're a horrific patriarchal hellscape composed of an infinite matrix of privileges with an overlay of rape culture and a soupcon of phallogocentrism* , it's still possible for us to be better than other places.
   Anyway, MacDonald:
Read more »

Separating Children From Parents At The Border

I've read very little about the crisis du jour at the border, but sometimes it helps to jot down some thoughts before getting the details.
   It seems to me that both of the following are reasonable:
[1] Children should not be incarcerated with their parents
[2] At least some people who illegally cross the border (intentionally) should be incarcerated.
It certainly sounds awful to separate kids from their parents...but...isn't that already something we do when parents are incarcerated? I mean, every parent in prison (and jail) has been separated from their children. I don't remember many people complaining about this in the past.
   But I doubt that it's such separation that's really the problem--it's more like: separating children from all their available parents. If we were throwing the fathers in jail but letting the mothers go free, with custody of the kids, that would be less bad, and there'd likely (though...who knows?) be less of an uproar.
   But...if a single mother goes to prison for, say, larceny or murder, her children don't go with her, right? That's a case of separating children from all available parents. But I suppose the children tend to be taken in by other relatives. So maybe the real problem is: separating kids from parents when no other family-members are available to take custody.
Read more »

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Harvard Says Asians Are Less Likable, Brave, Kind and Respected Than Non-Asians

Holy freaking crap.
   Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than others on traits like “positive personality,” likability, courage, kindness and being “widely respected,” according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed Friday by a group representing Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university.
   Asian-Americans scored higher than applicants of any other racial or ethnic group on admissions measures like test scores, grades and extracurricular activities, according to the analysis commissioned by a group that opposes all race-based admissions criteria. But the students’ personal ratings significantly dragged down their chances of being admitted, the analysis found.
Also, they ranked, like, super low on scrutability...
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Does The Average Feminist Take It Too Easy On Men?

Despite my estrangement from contemporary feminism, largely on account of its overt anti-male sexism and its embrace of bad philosophy...I do often wonder whether the average feminist in the street takes it too easy on dudes. The whining about "mansplaining" and "manspreading" and whatever the next ten installments in the man-x-ing series is...it's just superficial pop-feminist nonsense. What about the fact that there has been no female Hitler? I mean...granted...there's kinda only been one male Hitler. But...there have kinda been at least a couple if we count Stalin, Mao, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot and maybe a couple others as Hitlers. And that's what's important, right?
   Anyway...I know I was just going on about this. But I'm going on about it again. Who's blog is it, anyway? Dudes have been history's biggest psychos. There's nothing sexist about recognizing that. It's an undeniable fact. Even ignoring the world-historical stuff, dudes commit the vast majority of murders and other horrific bits of mayhem. Men are the biggest danger to both men and women. Men are basically the most dangerous things in the world. Even though guns and other weaponizable technology make strength way less relevant than it used to be. As for Hitlerism, one might, I guess, just argue that women are shut out of those opportunities by the same kind of glass ceiling that they (allegedly) face everywhere else. But for the patriarchy, women would have had the same opportunities for doing some world-historical carnage that guys have had... But I don't buy it.
   Anyway, just a recurring thought I'm thinking out loud.

PC Denialism: No Free Speech Crisis: Jeremy Waldron Edition

I'll just link to this for now. It doesn't seem very good to me, but, then, I'm an evil liberal / civil libertarian / "free speech absolutist" (or "free speech fetishist" as I've also been called). I'd say that this is mostly just another bit of denialism...there's no problem about free expression on campuses! This would be called "gaslighting" by the PCs if the tables were turned... Anyway, I do think that there are a couple of points in there worth discussing. For example, I agree that it isn't clear that academia should be setting out to defend democracy. Since I favor a depoliticized university, it seems that cuts against the idea that universities should be structured in order to promote democratic skills and values, too. (OTOH, I think one might argue: academia should be indifferent to democracy, but democracy shouldn't be indifferent to academia; democracies should value non-political universities and their outputs, even if the university should view democracy in the same abstract way it views monarchy.)
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Aaron Mate: "The Mueller Indictments Still Don't Add Up To Collusion"

At The Nation, which has actually been pretty objective about this stuff.
For the record, though my view has oscillated, the mean is still: 
Collusion: no
Obstruction: yes
Though, as I've said before, I'm speaking of obstruction as a layperson...whatever the hell that means and for whatever it's worth. One way to add some meat to those bones: my hunch is consistent with Trump getting off on a technicality. What I mean is: it still seems to me that the fired Comey in order to derail the collusion investigation. And, unless I'm really missing something, that is deserving of impeachment even if it isn't illegal. And conviction. Even if, as I suspect, there was no collusion and Trump was largely motivated by a desire to derail an investigation that he plausibly considered irrational and unfair...intentionally thwarting it in such a way seems rather clearly unacceptable.
But all this is half-assed. I'm just thinking out loud, yet again. Mostly to prompt rational correction.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fewer Blacks Perceive Bias In Jobs, Income, and Housing

Single-study alert
But big if true.
If it's false, give me about a week before crushing my hopes.

I Have No Idea What's Going On: The Trump-Kim Summit

It's become even clearer to me that I'm almost always clueless about foreign policy.
Which doesn't actually distinguish it from domestic policy.
More and more I just sit back and hope for the best.
Everybody on my side of the fence derided the Reykjavik Summit, and look what that achieved.
There's probably some fallacy in play there.

Larison: "Read The Trump-Kim Memorandum--The Devil Is In The Details"

link
   The Singapore summit between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was quite a spectacle, but the show the two leaders put on produced virtually nothing of substance. If we judge this summit the way we would judge a high-level meeting held by any other president, it’s clear that it failed to deliver what the administration wanted. This wasn’t a great accomplishment for the president, though he has a strong incentive to present it that way and continue on the diplomatic track for now. Despite its disappointment, however, if the summit is followed up by productive negotiations, it could still reduce tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Portland "Portlandia" Feminist Bookstore Closes; Blames "White Cis Feminism," Patriarchy, Capitolism

Bwahahahaha score another win for the patriarchy, fellow patriarchs:
“The current volunteers and board members stepped into and took over a space that was founded on white, cis feminism (read: white supremacy). It’s really difficult, actually, impossible, for us to disentangle from that foundational ideology,” the statement continued. “Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Capitalism cannot be reformed and ever serve the people. Abolition is the goal.”
It's so weird that an anti-capitalist business would fail. Not to mention a feminist bookstore that hates white feminists. Oh well, I'm sure they had a killer business plan...but the patriarchy always wins!

PC Watch: Syracuse Suspends Students For Politically Incorrect Skits Performed In Private

Suspended for 1-2 years, and accused of, inter alia, committing physical violence for politically incorrect skitting.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Twitter CEO Apologizes For Eating Politically Incorrect Chicken

This is obviously liek SUPER problematistic and NOT OKAY because the personal is political and lunch is like the MOST SUPER POLITICAL meal of the day! Eating politically incorrect poultry is hate eating, fascist! I can't believe this, like, super double-Nazi got away with a mere apology! That is so white privilege or white supremacy or whatever. Something white, anyway. If lunch and chicken and eating weren't all total social constructions, that guy'd be in real trouble, you betcha.

(For the record, I eat at Chik-Fil-A about once a week during the semester because it's on-campus, it's fast, and it's pretty damn good. We don't so much agree, me and Chik-Fil-A, about same-sex marriage. But we agree about how to make a good chicken sandwich which, as it turns out, is mostly what I'm looking for in a fast-food establishment.)

The Hot New Conspiracy Theory That's Taking The Intertubes By...Storm!!!!111

Brought to you by...you guessed it...the notorious...the hacker known as 4Chan.

Race, IQ, and Genetics, Yet Again

I got kind of excited about this: "There's Still No Good Reason To Believe That Black-White IQ Differences Are Due To Genes." I know...I know. It's in Vox. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking, basically, that even Vox can't be wrong about everything...right? I mean, they are doctrinaire, anti-scientific lefties on race pretty much down the line, so far as I can tell...but...maybe just this once...just maybe...
   But also: that paper isn't merely an obvious tissue of fallacies like so much of the anti-hereditarian stuff that makes it into the popular press. Not so far as I could tell immediately, anyway. It actually looks like it could be worth taking seriously...but that means: more than the one read I've given it.
   OTOH, this argues that Nisbett et al. are wrong in more-or-less the usual ways--and it links us to this, which looks good...but will have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest.
   And: Harden admits, basically--mirabile dictu!--that races are real! In Vox! Amazing! But then goes on to engage in what seems to be some of the obfuscation common to the anti-hereditarians. Yes, there are populations other than races that would serve as better scientific categories. So what? That does nothing to make questions about race and IQ uninteresting.
   At any rate, my excitement drained away quickly when I read this by Turkheimer: "Origin of Race Differences In Intelligence Is Not A Scientific Question." Well, there's the dog. The rest is--likely--mostly tail. Bottom line according to Turkheimer: it's not possible to settle the question scientifically. And it's the hereditarians' fault, you see. Because there are interpretations and interpretations. He doesn't quite say that they're racists--but he comes about as close to it as is possible without doing it, e.g. calling them "race scientists" and asserting that they're no better than the "race scientists" of the early 20th century. He also gestures at their "potentially destructive conclusions." So his position seems to turn on dropping the skepticism bomb and launching a barrage of ad hominems. Which is what the "anti-hereditarian" case so often comes down to. (Libeling Murray is a cottage industry in academia.)
   I'm not an expert on any of this stuff. I'm not a psychologists, not a statistician, not a geneticist...not an anything that's relevant to doing actual research on these questions. And I'll be dancing in the streets if it turns out that there are no genetic, racial IQ differences. But my informed layperson's current bet is what it's been for about five years now: that Murray and Harris are basically right: racial IQ differences are partly genetic.

Secure, Contain...

...y'know

Twitter CEO Dogpiled For Eating Chik-Fil-A During Pride...Month????

Wait...there's a Pride month?
LOL no. I mean, I'm way more than cool with fighting back against repressive sex norms and shit...but...a whole month? When did that happen? That's more than a little bit disproportionate, don't you think? I mean...mothers--who are way, way, way more important--only get a day? But the like 4% of the population with non-standard sexual preferences gets a month? Nah. Pick a day or two or whatever...but a month is ridiculous.  A week even would be kinda...flamboyant.
   Anyway, Chik-Fil-A is pretty damn good. When I'm on campus I eat that shit all the time. I don't care about their politics. I get Starbucks, and those people are crazy.
   And to hell with the people who want to politicize everything we do. Screw that shit.

Bruce Bawer: "How Higher Education 'Studies' Men"

Thanks to Anon for this in one of the fifty comments I had neglected to publish.
   It's absolutely right: women's studies is about how awesome women are and how terribly women have been treated by men. Men's studies is about how shitty men are and how terribly men have treated women.

David Von Drehle: There Will Be No Trump Collapse

What looked like a winning message last winter — “not Trump” — appears less potent today. The president has set the bar for himself so low that if November comes and he hasn’t been frog-marched from the Oval Office in handcuffs, and hasn’t rendered the Earth a glowing nuclear ember, a sizable number of Americans will judge him a success.
link 

Brooks: The Problem With Wokeness

The problem with "wokeness" is actually that it's bullshit.
But Brooks also has some stuff to say about it.

Miss America Will No Longer Be About "Outward Physical Appearance"

So...just publication records then?

Ben Domenech: The Enlightenment Is Not Responsible For Racism

That's always been a dumb thesis.
The Englightenment might have tried to put a scientific gloss on it...but the Enlightenment tried to put a scientific gloss on everything.
Jamelle Bouie is wrong about most things, and he's wrong about this. He's right that the Enlightenment has a dark side...but he's wrong about what that is. A cornerstone of his argument is this Kant quote (see final sentence) which is--or so I and others think--intended to be ironic.
   Anyway: did the Enlightenment invent racism? No it did not.

Coleman Hughes: The High Price Of State Grievances

Are The Dems Unraveling?

Train To Busan

Number 1, that's a good daggum zombie movie.
Number 2, the Koreans are going to be the ones most likely to survive the IZA, because they are some smart m*therf*ckin' zombie-fighters, ah tell you hwhut. That newspaper trick alone puts 'em way ahead of me, and I ain't no slouch, lemme tell ya.

Transanity Lessons For Two-Year-Olds: Drag Queens Used To Propagandize In Tax-Funded Preschools In The UK

Seriously?????
I say this is no better than religious or political indoctrination. In fact, it's probably worse. And I say this despite the fact that I have no allegiance whatsoever to traditional sex-roles. I mean GOD DAMN people...does sexual liberalization have to lead to this kind of crazy, fucked-up shit? Because I do not even one bit like where this seems to be going. And you know as well as I do that it's not going to stop here...grotesquely repulsive as here is... I mean...you see they're going after kids, right? They're going after teens, and pre-teens...and now outright children. I am 100% ok with questioning traditional views of sex and gender...but I'm 100% not ok at all with this sort of thing.

Latest Wingnut Conspiracy (?) Theory: Justin Trudeau's Eyebrows Fall Off

I do not care for Justin Trudeau...but if I've got to choose between him and the grotesquely moronic Gateway Pundit, there's no contest.
I have no freaking idea what's up with Trudeau's eyebrows. But I'll bet anybody $100 right now that it's not fake eyebrows sloughing off. Which is what the rightosphere seems, like, totally convinced is what was going on.
Seriously...it's easy to be hypnotized by the insanity on the left...but the fever swamps remain just as fever-plagued as ever. (Though this, of course, is a frivolous example.)
(It's not really a conspiracy theory, obvs...b/c, like: no conspiracy. But whatevs.)

Conference Alerts / Not Making This Up: "The Fragile Phallus"

I repeat: I am not...that's November Oscar Tango...making this up:
Psychoanalysis has long held that masculinity is not a biological given, nor is it simply the sum total of patriarchal values operating on an individual. Rather, it is characterised by a peculiar, fraught and anxious relation to the psychical emblem of the ‘phallus’.