Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Two useful studies found most Americans of all races reject "Political Correctness"

Large Majorities Dislike Political Correctness - The Atlantic

In 'political correctness' debate, most Americans think too many people are easily offended | Pew Research Center

Some people say the studies are not meaningful because the term is not precisely defined, but the term has been around for decades. There is a consensus on its meaning. While people may disagree on a few examples, this is clear: Americans don't like word-policing.

And further, most Americans realize that politically correct does not refer to good manners or civility—those who think they're the word police rarely show good manners or behave civilly.

Did I gaslight an identitarian friend? or To Crusaders, God's deniers are Satan's liars

I'm fairly tolerant of political disagreement, so long as you're not hurting anyone and not in a position to change the law, but I've lost a few identitarian friends over the years because their beliefs require constant validation. Believers in secular religions, whether theistic or atheistic, need to stay in the company of fellow believers.

I don't mean to sound glib—I miss the people I thought they were. And I don't mean to suggest they're bad people for demanding conformity or silence.  Many people do. They think that if they occasionally have to burn a witch to save the group, it's only hard on the witch.

At the time, that may be true. But years after the Salem witch trials, a judge and several jurors apologized for being "under the power of a strong and general delusion, utterly unacquainted with and not experienced in matters of that nature". The jurors' apology gives me hope for my species, even though it saved no lives. But so far as I know, some jurors never realized they were wrong. Belief systems have powerful ways to protect themselves.* We are, after all, rationalizing animals.

Which is why my former friend accused me of gaslighting when I offered facts that didn't fit his preconceptions. His charge made me see that "gaslighting" needs two definitions. The first: someone is trying to make you doubt your sanity by lying to you. The second: you declare someone a liar to keep from doubting yourself. The mental health industry cares for a great many people who are sure they're sane and being gaslit.

* See “My-side bias” makes it difficult for us to see the logic in arguments we disagree with

Surprisingly relevant: Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture

Monday, October 8, 2018

Orwell on virtue-signalling and toothpaste-sellers

John Halle shared this on Facebook:
Here's the beginning of Orwell's review of a forgotten book by a self-described supporter of Indian independence which both defines and describes virtue signaling in something like a pure form. Unfortunately, it's not available as text so can only post an image from google books. It's enough to give an idea-which is that even back then, the same tendencies being discussed above were apparent to Orwell and, evidently, prevalent, in his opinion at least.

more here:
and here:
key passage: "This is just the mistake a toothpaste advertiser would not make. But then the toothpaste advertiser is trying to sell toothpaste and not get his own back on that Blimp who turned him out of a first-class carriage fifteen years ago."  
Bottom line: much of what passes for politics is not in that politics, by definition involves convincing others in order to change their views and behavior. But it is clear from both the content and tone of the passages such as the above that that is *not* the intention. Thus, it must have a different objective-and that's where the term "virtue signaling" comes in and is useful. 
I had always thought that virtue-signaling was something one did for others, so the community would accept you and the mob would not make you its next victim. But as Orwell explains it, it's as much or more something you do for yourself, to tell yourself you are a good person though you know you have lost. All believers in a Lost Cause act this way, and their fellow believers appreciate it.

I recommend the discussion that follows this at John's post.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The heart of my universalism

"I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me." —Terence the Playwright, originally a slave from Roman Africa, but whose race no one knows because race didn't matter then.

When I shared that on Facebook, someone commented, “Really? Where does barbarian derive from?“ I replied:
Barbarian comes from a Greek word that meant “people who sound like they’re saying bar-bar”. It’s about culture, not race.

It’s why the story of the tower of Babel is about people being divided by language, not race.

It’s why the New Testament says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female” and does not mention race.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Was Mark Twain the first to speak of white privilege?

From Following the Equator:
January 30. What a spectacle the railway station was, at train-time! It was a very large station, yet when we arrived it seemed as if the whole world was present—half of it inside, the other half outside, and both halves, bearing mountainous head-loads of bedding and other freight, trying simultaneously to pass each other, in opposing floods, in one narrow door. These opposing floods were patient, gentle, long-suffering natives, with whites scattered among them at rare intervals; and wherever a white man’s native servant appeared, that native seemed to have put aside his natural gentleness for the time and invested himself with the white man’s privilege of making a way for himself by promptly shoving all intervening black things out of it. In these exhibitions of authority Satan was scandalous. He was probably a Thug in one of his former incarnations.
Lest anyone miss this, the "white man's privilege" that Twain refers to is the privilege of thinking you're better than everyone else. Twain is not validating the concept. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A few people who killed themselves after false accusations of rape—including the mother of a man falsely accused

Yes, some guilty people may kill themselves while claiming to be innocent. But there is no doubt in these cases that the accusations were false:

Medical student cleared of raping woman whose earlier claim drove man to suicide - Telegraph:
Some jurors broke down in tears when they heard the 21 year old woman had wrongly accused another man of rape which led to him killing himself.
Forklift driver, 38, killed himself after being falsely accused of rape... despite texts 'proving sex was consensual':
A FORKLIFT truck driver took his own life after being falsely accused of rape – despite texts which “proved the sex was consensual”. Ross Bullock, 38, met his accuser in February … 
Mother of son who hanged himself after being accused of rape commits suicide a year later:
The family of Karin Cheshire, 55, said she “could not see a future” without her son, Jay, whose body was found in a park near their home after being accused of rape.  The rape complaint was withdrawn after two weeks...
Related

Title IX cases that resulted in suicide, a suicide attempt at two colleges prompt fresh debate: Two lawsuits -- one involving accused student’s suicide and another about an attempt -- have added fire to the continued debate over how colleges handle complaints of sexual assault.

Police officer contemplated suicide after a woman falsely accused him of rape | Metro News

A handy list of "believe the victim" cases where "the victim" was wrong