On "Cancel Culture"

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    "fag capital of the world" ?

    you can hear the hate in his voice

    that's not prejudice, that's hate

    i wonder what 'clubs with 3 letters he might belong to'(who knows, might not but with that much normalised hate in his heart anything is possible)

    he has a lot of hate inside him

    i think his world is about to implode
    it will be interesting to see who jumps on his lynch mob wagon & trys to sell snake oil psychological cultism
    i expect some mansplaining whiny baby routine will be rolled out

    he looks like a cookie cutter conservative liberal who breaks christian morals to suit his own twisted Ego.
    all the make up and Muppet personality on the outside is the only content of character apart from the sticky hate on the inside
    i see clinical depression sitting there waiting for him to try and use it like a crutch to make himself a victim and mansplain
    but it will eat him alive(the hate in his heart will eat his sanity)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
    Beer w/Straw likes this.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The tweet:

    Our new paper on the myth of of a taboo on race/intelligence research. Another example of the lie of #CancelCulture.


    And the paper, "The Mythical Taboo on Race and Intelligence"↱, by John P. Jackson, Jr., and Andrew S. Winston, for Review of General Psychology; from the abstract:

    Recent discussions have revived old claims that hereditarian research on race differences in intelligence has been subject to a long and effective taboo. We argue that given the extensive publications, citations, and discussions of such work since 1969, claims of taboo and suppression are a myth. We critically examine claims that (self-described) hereditarians currently and exclusively experience major misrepresentation in the media, regular physical threats, denouncements, and academic job loss. We document substantial exaggeration and distortion in such claims. The repeated assertions that the negative reception of research asserting average Black inferiority is due to total ideological control over the academy by “environmentalists,” leftists, Marxists, or “thugs” are unwarranted character assassinations on those engaged in legitimate and valuable scholarly criticism.

    And from the introduction:

    This extreme claim of a broad and highly effective taboo lasting 60 years deserves careful examination of the evidence and a thorough scientific and historical contextualization. These ideas have been invoked across a wide range of journals in psychology, in discussions of intelligence, behavior genetics, philosophical foundations, political psychology, personality, education, antisocial behavior, and health psychology. This article will evaluate the specific assertions about the alleged taboo and its consequences, to locate the concept of “taboo” in the history of research on racial differences, and to ask what this history means for psychology as a scientific discipline. We do not approach this problem from a neutral stance. Both of us have examined the history of scientific racism and its use by racial extremists, racial separatists, and neo-Nazi activists ….

    In American psychology, the empirical literature on racial differences began with Bache's (1895) comparison of reaction times, used as a measure of evolutionary advancement. The study of racial differences in intelligence test scores underwent substantial ebb and flow over the past 100 years, repeatedly revived in new social contexts and concerns over Black education, immigration, civil rights, school desegregation, welfare, and affirmative action (see Jackson, 2005; Richards, 2012; Tucker, 2002; Winston, 2020). For the past century, careful critiques have repeatedly examined the myriad conceptual and methodological issues and deficiencies of these studies, including the persistent use of biologically meaningless racial categories (see below), inappropriate sampling, ignoring contradictory findings, ignoring secular intelligence quotient (IQ) gains, misrepresentation of data, neglect of the role of culture, language, socio-economic status (SES), and differences in school funding, unjustified speculation, and consistent minimization of the history of racial oppression (e.g., Block & Dworkin, 1976; Fischer, 1996; Fish, 2002; Garth, 1931; Gould, 1981; Klineberg, 1935; Lieberman, 1997; Montagu, 1942; Nisbett, 2009; Pettigrew, 1964; Staub, 2019; Tumin, 1963; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1951). Black scholars (e.g., Bond, 1924; Du Bois, 1920; Franklin & Jones, 1980) were early contributors to the growing body of criticism from psychologists, educators, anthropologists, biologists, and geneticists. After Jensen (1969) and again after Herrnstein and Murray (1994), the criticism often focused on the claim that high heritability of intelligence bolstered the hereditarian argument. First, a high-heritability index computed from twins, adoption, and pedigree studies had no bearing on the source of any Black–White differences in intelligence test scores, as the sources of within-group variation could not be used to explain between-group variation (Lewontin, 1970). Second, high heritability had no bearing on malleability, that is, the possibility of producing change by environmental intervention (Moore & Shenk, 2017). Third, the heritability index applied only to a specific sample with a specific range of environments, and the heritability of intelligence varies greatly depending on factors such as SES (e.g., Nisbett et al., 2012). Fourth, using the heritability index to partition additive genetic and environmental effects was useful for specific experimental breeding projects, but misconceived for understanding the continuous gene-environment interactions in human development (e.g., Wahlsten & Gottleib, 1997). These limitations were generally acknowledged by hereditarians but were then often ignored or rejected as false (e.g., Warne et al., 2018). In conjunction with the serious problems of racial categories, these fundamental issues led many critics to conclude that attempts to show a hereditary basis for group differences were both scientifically futile and constituted “epistemological violence” (Teo, 2008). This long history of scholarly critique implies that there was indeed a published literature to be countered and there were important scientific reasons why claims of Black inferiority might be rejected.

    Hereditarians often ignore that human variation is clinal: “Because traits change gradually and continuously across geographic space in a cline, one cannot objectively divide a cline into discrete categories; the placement of any dividing line will be arbitrary” (Fujimura et al., 2014, p. 210). Physical anthropologists achieved consensus that human variation was clinal, not categorical (American Association of Physical Anthropologists [AAPA], 2019). After World War II, population genetics revolutionized how scientists conceived of human variation (Jackson & Depew, 2017; Lipphardt, 2012, 2014). Jensen (1969) offered little novelty to claims of Black racial inferiority of intelligence except his use of the language of population genetics (Richards, 2012, pp. 307–328). Throughout his career, Jensen (1969, 1973, 1981, 1998) argued that folk races could be understood as genetic populations and borrowed the measure of heritability directly from geneticists. Herrnstein and Murray (1994) completely abandoned this approach, using racial self-identification alone (p. 271). Most recently, some hereditarians have argued that they can define “race” arbitrarily (Winegard et al., 2020). Hereditarian equivocation about defining race dodges the crucial point: at no time have hereditarians shown that those Black Americans who have taken the IQ tests they report on are members of the same breeding population. Geneticists have known for nearly 70 years that they are not (Glass & Li, 1953; Stern, 1953). And no hereditarian has ever argued that White Americans are a breeding population (Jorion, 1999). Without genetic information on the individuals tested by IQ tests, it should be impossible to draw genetic conclusions from those tests. This may be a major factor why geneticists largely reject the conclusions of hereditarian psychology as we discuss below.

    There comes a point at which it sounds like a scholarly examination of an internet argument, and perhaps there are reasons why. After all, the problem isn't some taboo against functionally legitimate research, but an unwillingness to waste time rehashing emotionally-driven pseudoscience for the sake of desperate politics.

    There is also a long familiar question wondering at who cannot discern which differences. The idea that it comes to this, scholarly address of why rejecting rehashed failure is not in and of itself a matter of enforcing taboo, tells us something about the persuasiveness of such enchanting aesthetics. These are, after all, the appeals to emotion that drive "anti-feminism", and a range of disputes against antiracism. "Despite hereditarians' claims that they are simply searching for scientific truth," write Jackson and Winston, "race, and IQ research is inseparable from social policy."

    There are two rival explanations for why hereditarian research is not widely accepted outside their small circle of researchers. The first is the banal explanation is that they are not, in fact, producing reliable and empirically robust, scientifically meaningful conclusions; an explanation clearly unacceptable to hereditarians. Thus, they offer their rival explanation: there is an unacceptable political dogma preventing discussing the scientific truth of racial differences.

    A familiar experience is someone complaining that whoever disagrees with something or someone is labeled a supremacist: Given the range of discussion having nothing to do with supremacism, the banal explanation is not some cancel culture conspiracy or even mass hysteria, but, rather, that someone went and said or did something supremacist. The "rival explanation" becomes antifeminism, or what's wrong with #BlackLivesMatter, or why gay people needed to slow down, or potty police rape fantasies.


    @jpjjr1961. "Our new paper on the myth of of a taboo on race/intelligence research. Another example of the lie of #CancelCulture." Twitter. 7 October 2020. Twitter.com. 10 October 2020. https://bit.ly/3k0DJQg

    Jackson Jr., John P., and Andrew S. Winston. "The Mythical Taboo on Race and Intelligence". Review of General Psychology. 7 October 2020. Journals.SagePub.com. 10 October 2020. https://bit.ly/33PIgjb
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    To the one

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    , to the other

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    , ya'know.
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  7. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    I deplore the explicit attitude present in your link. I agree that what is present is hate, not just prejudice. I offer a caution that your own response - regardless of justification - seems to contain its own share of hate. If you are comfortable with that then, by all means, go for it. (I might even be tempted to join such a bandwagon.) But if you feel the best response to hate is a more measured one then you might wish to reflect on the tenor of your post.
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member


    That is somewhat inaccurate. The 70 (or 75) year issue is more of an accounting glitch than a real funding issue.
    That being "said" , the pension and continuing health obligations are currently underfunded when considering current and past postal workers.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's killing the Post Office - just as it was designed and intended to do.
    It is responsible for the preponderance of the Postal Sevice's budgetary shortfall - which is the main Republican Party argument as well as this Republican administration's most important means for dismantling the USPS (the real situation is transparently obvious when one notices that the people wrecking the Postal Service are planning to sell the parts to their buddies - there's a lot of money to be made in postal services).
    Only as a consequence of Republican policies.
    Restore the pre-Reagan Postal Service setup, update it, and throw in some rehabilitation money for the years of deliberate neglect.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


    So, James, maybe you don't remember—(given how much you forget)—but I once described↗ you and Vociferous as a match made in heavenly futility. It wasn't just a zinger in the moment; it had to do with the way you were posting at each other.

    Let's take a moment to consider our neighbor's posts in the present thread:

    • Vociferous replies to the thread↗ with his pet phrase about genetic fallacy, and then makes up a rubber-glue retort to the topic post.

    • (Q) argues↑, responding to Vociferous, "Trump is trying to intimidate critical media organizations, stop the publication of books that he doesn’t like, and purge the executive branch of anyone who disagrees with him." While true, the answer doesn't really address Vociferous' improper accusation of fallacy. Which, in turn, is probably fine; we can set that question aside until it becomes necessary.

    • Vociferous chooses one part of that and tries to fallaciously constrain the issue: "Calling media 'fake news' is not intimidation," he tells↗ us, but what sort of illustration would make the point? It would, for instance, be blunt and brutal, and ought to be extraneous, to recall when Rowan killed Griego in order that we might juxtapose the stupidity of any potential complaint on the killer's behalf that wanting to step up to fatherhood isn't intimidation.° But our neighbor's sort of argumentative device is time-honored, around here: In and of itself, it is true, calling "media" "fake news" is not intimidation, but look at what that statement leaves out, which is approximately most of the rest of it all, so to speak. The question of President Trump's treatment of news media is a thread of its own.

    • You're not wrong↑, James, about the "attempt to sow distrust in the fact-based media in general", but watch what happens next.

    • We arrive, at a fallacious question↑. "So you think Trump single-handedly sowed distrust in the media?" Vociferous asked. It was a setup to his own punch line: "That's cute." And it's not that I don't get the idea of your challenge↑, "What gave you that idea?" but I do wonder what you expect to accomplish.

    ― No, really, I get it, but in this case let's try jellybeans, for a moment. There are nearly idyllic pathways for virtually any discussion, but even the honestly intended don't sit still, which in turn is why the jellybean setup is so tempting. Behaviorally, though, the point of Vociferous' question was to set up his punch line. That's it. That's all there is. It doesn't do anything else. But look at what goes into Vociferous' post at #16: The fallacious setup for a cheap, clumsy punch line; this is followed by reminding what most of us already know, but this, in turn is its own bizarre setup requiring that Democrats are synonymous with leftists in order to tell us "something about the media bias", that he might in turn look down his nose at you: "But I don't really expect you to see that."

    ▸ Here is a very basic explanation for you, James: Some people, tired of feeling constantly rejected for, well, quite frankly, being perpetually wrong, wish to return the favor, as such. This creates an interesting juxtaposition: Nobody need explicitly call one a liar, as such, but Sciforums is well past that chicken and egg, in general; such as it is, though, some perceive, judge, and respond to what happens here as if the exchange is experiential and not informational, such that what is important is not whether one is right or wrong, but that being told one is wrong hurts a person's feelings. Thus, whether it is an outright lie, or repeatedly pushing what one already knows is wrong, or even that bizarre pretense whereby it's all an accident, what some respond to when cornered by their own inaccuracies, gaps, traps, or even facts, is that feeling. We have, at Sciforums, seen over the years various results of this juxtaposition; it makes a person feel bad to be wrong, especially in group circumstances one finds humiliating, so the response is to lash out at others in order to inflict an equal measure, and in our present manifestation, no, facts do not necessarily matter in the same way we might more ordinarily presuppose.​

    ― Your jellybean discussion°° can be construed as a search for an idyllic discourse, and even if we cut away the parts I find extraneous, a practical circumstance requires consideration: While even the honestly intended don't sit still, we might consider how any person calculates their tactical movement.

    Example: When the contrarian invoked pantheism in your One Thread, nobody who pays any attention to what goes on around here could fail to see it coming. Okay, maybe that's hindsight for some. He never intended to argue pantheism. He was just trolling you with the first, most obvious shiny thing at hand. He was not trying to facilitate the discussion, but disrupt it.​

    ― Even the One Thread was in its way a search for a vary narrow idyllic pathway. And it's not like nobody gets it, James; even the contrarian could figure it out. Perhaps less creatively, but with similar apparent efficacy, the jellybean contrarian just took a rubber-glue sort of approach. And, much like the One Thread, the jellybean contrarianism was calculated not to facilitate the discussion, but disrupt it.

    ― You already know that diversity itself tends to disrupt idyll. What remains less clear is how you approach deliberate, even calculated disruption. And this is why I wonder at the prospect of playing along with a game intended to go nowhere. What gave him that idea? It's what he needed to say in order to set up his punch line.

    ▸ If, for instance, I suggest that I know tit for tat, slappy-slap bullshitting when I see it so why don't you, that is likely the wrong question. Still, I said to look what happens next, and there are a couple tracks to follow, there; one is your own discussion with our neighbor, and the second has to do with other people's responses to #16.​

    • To look at #16↑ itself, our neighbor's post is pretty grotesque. The first section, as noted, was all about setting up an insult that in itself requires fallacious labeling of Democrats as leftists; see #18↑ (Tiassa), 20↑ (Vociferous), 24↑ (PJdude), 25↑ (Vociferous), 26↑ (Iceaura), 27↑ (Paddoboy), 28↑ (Iceaura), 29↑ (PJdude), 30↑ (Tiassa), 31↑-32↑ (Vociferous), 35↑ (RainbowSingularity), 38↑ (Iceaura), 39↑ (PJdude), 40↑ (Vociferous), 41↑ (Iceaura), 42↑ (Tiassa), for subsequent discussion of this one humiliatingly ignorant troll point. And that's just the partial list; at this point, we're up to your response to Vociferous' straw man about distrust.

    ― Convenient intermezzo: By my post at #21, I'm at least a little annoyed by the distraction from the topic, but am I really going to fault my neighbors for calling out (ahem!) erroneous presuppositions? A counterpoint arises: Why should they need to? Looking through my own discussions regarding pretenses of ignorance and passionate advocates, a single iteration ought to suffice, from 2016↗:

    I am a passionate advocate deeply invested in this issue, which is why I have never heard of this component over here, and when I go looking for answers can only find the opposition. My passion leads me to invest myself in misinformation, which is why my opinion is definitive of the issue.」​

    The number of times we encounter this circumstance at Sciforums is just a bit unbelievable. For our neighbor, though, it's nearly a modus operandi. How often should people need to spend how much on such behavior? In our moment, it's an interesting question. […]​


    ° Moreover, at Sciforums, it can be dangerous insofar as it is not so difficult in our community to witness such pretenses of ignorance, confusion, or apparent antisociality. The future, in this context, considers a question of how far any one joker is willing to take that sort of pretense, though some days that does, I confess, really does seem to be the point.

    °° ... regardless of my disdaining critique ....
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member



    ― … Still, discussion on that part of #16 continues in #44↑ (Iceaura) and #49↑ (Vociferous)) before the turn toward the USPS grabs attention.​

    • This does, in its way, bring us to #59↑, which is where these posts started: "Wasn't I clear?" you asked. "I was talking about Trump trying to sow distrust." While you were not explicit, if you were unclear it is because Vociferous, for whatever reason, cannot follow his own digression:

    ― Vociferous, at #3↑, offers rubber-glue retort to topic post.

    ― (Q), at #4↑ accuses hypocrisy, as, "Trump is trying to intimidate critical media organizations, stop the publication of books that he doesn't like, and purge the executive branch of anyone who disagrees with him. The rest of the conservative movement can be just as intolerant of dissent."

    ― Vociferous responds (#6↑ with error-laden post arguing fallaciously at the outset, "Calling media 'fake news' is not intimidation".

    ― James R addresses the fallacy at #9↑, referring to the Trump administration's actions (per (Q) at #4) in a larger partisan effort to sow distrust in the media.

    ― Vociferous, at #16↑, retorts fallaciously, writing James R's argument for him in order to disdain it: "So you think Trump single-handedly sowed distrust in the media? That's cute." See also #45↑.

    ― James R responds, at #43↑, to the fallacy in #16: "No. What gave you that idea?"

    ― The response from Vociferous, at #45↑, is worth noting. There are four sentences:

    "Okay, ignoring that you replied to a post specifically responding to: 'Trump is trying to intimidate critical media organizations'..." — But as James R wrote in #9: "What that's about is the attempt to sow distrust in the fact-based media in general." And if we look at #4, (Q) isn't just referring to Trump: "The rest of the conservative movement can be just as intolerant of dissent … When it comes to a diversity of opinions, the right doesn't practice what it preaches." Here comes the tricky part.

    "So you're aware of the distrust of the media predating Trump?" — No, actually, it's not so tricky. We can wonder all we want at (Q)'s idea of conservative representation means, but it's quite clear he's discussing something larger than any given moment that Vociferous would pretend. In the one sentence, Vociferous is focused on the particular; in the next, the general. The sentences aren't really tied together by any consistent assertion of reality; the functional purpose is simply to contradict and dispute.

    "Yeah, when you talk about some vague 'attempt to sow distrust' without ever mentioning who you think may be doing it, it seems designed to be a slippery post." — In one moment, Vociferous criticizes James R for being too focused on Trump; now he criticizes vagary, complaining that James R would "talk about some vague 'attempt to sow distrust' without ever mentioning who you think may be doing it". Okay, maybe. But the difference between the problem involving James R being either too specific or general or whatever seems to depend on whatever Vociferous needs to say in order to set up his punch line.

    "Next time I'll just call out the conspiratorial vacuousness." — If the prior three sentences of Vociferous' post at #45 don't really make much sense, it's because they never needed to. What makes them sensible is an internalized proritization leading to, "Next time I'll just call out the conspiratorial vacuousness."​

    No, really, that's all that post was for, and all it does.​

    • Vociferous, responding in #63↑, ducks: "So you're only gripe was 'single-handedly'. Okay." Here, he's just brushing you off, that whatever you were on about is your problem, and not his.

    ― It is, however, worth noting, that as he responds to Billvon in the same post, Vociferous slights history in a way that fulfills what he was responding to: In #62↑, Billvon said, "That's like sticking a knife in a political opponent, then saying 'but look, he's seriously injured. You sure you want to vote for someone who might not make it? I mean, common sense, people!'" Vociferous, for his part, responds, "No, the USPS has been failing since 2007"; this, of course, overlooks the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, a Republican-sponsored bill passed in Republican House and Senate without roll call votes, saddling USPS with extraordinary debt obligations; that is, of course the numbers look bad, because that's what was supposed to happen. Billvon says that's like sticking a knife in someone, Vociferous responds by by pointing out the victim is bleeding but doesn't mention the stabbing. This isn't exactly a new phenomenon; Vociferous is a passionate advocate who just happens to be unaware of whatever. We can easily wonder whether we find his conduct believable. And, interestingly, in all the time our community has coddled this manner of politicking, it really is only recently that we might truly be able to answer so grimly to the affirmative.​

    • Let's go back to #16↑, for a moment. In addition to considerations of Democrats as leftists—a blind, rightist trope dating at least to Reagan—and your discussion of media bias and intimidation, there are a couple other things worth noting about that post. "Long before anyone started saying 'fake news'," Vociferous wrote, and if, for instance, there happens to be a reference↗ point↗ about FOX News justifying itself by pointing to a delusion of liberal media conspiracy, it is to consider the range of common knowledge and implications of certain presuppositions°. Think about an underlying proposition, or implication of, What, did you not know? and go ahead and take it seriously, for a moment: All things considered, why would he think that? Because he needs to. Why would he need to? We come back to the point of calculating to disrupt discussion.

    • In the context of your question at #43—

    —what answer would you have imagined he might give? Are you at all surprised that he just circled around to deliberately misrepresent (Q)↑? Every sentence of Vociferous' post at #45 is suspect (see above). And, again, while you were not explicit, if you were unclear it is because Vociferous, for whatever reason, cannot follow his own digression. Compared to the not unreasonable question of why he has such trouble following his own posts and arguments, there is also the basic question of will: Why can he not follow his own arguments? Because he needs to keep moving around like that. Why does he need to keep moving around like that? Again, we consider the prospect of calculating to disrupt discussion.​

    And look at that mess of bullet points, &c.

    So let's unwind the bit about idyllic pathways: If, then; and thus, if, then; and thus, if then, and thus conclusion.

    I've criticized you, before, for acting like you're playing to the fourth wall, and being too quick to box people and arguments into ready-made classifications in order to drag the discussion toward some other point. Especially in that latter we might find questions of idyllic discursive pathways. And this is why that context of idyll becomes important: Sometimes, someone's purpose is to disrupt discussion, and neither is this new behavior, either from Vociferous or at Sciforums. To wit, I might disagree with the efficacy or range or even basic applicability of the One Thread and its subsequent, necessary Companion, but the whole point of raising pantheism as the other did was not to actually argue it. You seem to have missed that point, when he moved on to ... I don't want to look it up, was it energy, or something? ... and you tried to hold him to the pantheism post. All he was doing was disrupting the most apparent discursive idyll. Same thing with Vociferous in the jellybean thread.

    And the thing about idyllic pathways of discourse is that while they are useful tools, they are also fragile, and, furthermore, some people work to disrupt them. The preceding sentence is not a news flash. You know this. They know this. Their purpose isn't to communicate a counterpoint, but to disrupt other people's communication.


    ° It also occurs that there is a sixteen joke↗ buried obscurely in that discussion, having something to do with what Sartre said about supremacists indicating the time for argument has passed. Thing is, it's not any significant coincidence; that it happens to be number sixteen in its own thread means it happened on a day ending in y.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


    There is actually a discursive idyll that starts with asking a certain kind of obvious question, but it rarely seems to work outside of cartoons and television crime serials.

    We began this set of posts with you asking↑, and it turns out that on the same day—about six minutes later, actually—you tried declaring↗ a different version of inquiry in a thread about Covid antimaskers: "Surely," you wrote, "Vociferous isn't stepping into this thread to try to defend the woman in the opening post." File under, "Duh." Of course not.

    "If I wanted to defend anyone, I certainly wouldn't pussyfoot around it." Vociferous replied↗. "But I can see someone might want to imply bad motives for posting such a damning video."

    So let me try it your way: Certes, James, you are not so naïve as to actually believe our neighbor is posting any genuine argument? After all this time, are you really so easily deceived by commonplace bad faith? But we already know, James, no, you're not. I mean, right? Still, I might try it this way in order to illustrate a point: What would I expect to accomplish pretending you are so naïve and gullible? Do I really think you would let me line the ducks up in an idyllic row to pick off so easily as a juvenile exercise in if/then? Why, after all this time, would I?

    Thus, again: It is easy enough to wonder what you expect to accomplish by this method.

    "Surely Vociferous isn't stepping into this thread to try to defend […]." Of course he isn't. Generally, he isn't really trying to do anything other than disrupt a discussion he doesn't like in order to make himself feel better. More particularly, he is protecting a larger cause. In the antimask question, he was protecting a bloc of American voters by taking a swing at Australian police in order to imply denunciation of Australia. Here's the tricky part, James, except it's not: The justification is a pretense of indignance responding to the impoliteness of observing reality. Now, I know that reads, to you, either as a great distillation or another dubious political formulation, and, sure, the only difference is whether we agree, that is, whether I've upset you, yet, or not. So think it through: Paddoboy (Australian) points to "damn insane stupidity" of Australian antimask argument; this happens to translate, across the Pacific, to a bloc of American voters who happen to coincide with who and what Vociferous advocates. What? Is that part confusing? This is a traditional staple at Sciforums, one of the fruits° cultivated over the course of years. Vociferous is responding as if the exchange is experiential and not informational, not, as he postures himself, lashing out, but defending against rude, extraneous, vicious aggression.

    If I suggest you were always a sucker for this sort of pretense, it even looms in this thread, a shadow over your concern about "the kind of cancel culture in which people on the extreme left target try to 'cancel' those on the less-extreme left". It's one thing to cut breaks and throw bones, but that's never really been how it's gone. The time a moderator called Latinx immigrants an invading army, and then used his authority to censor criticism under an ad hoc, one-time rule really should be a silly memory from once upon a time, but it was hard to not recall, years later, in the wake of President Trump's words and then a mass shooter's manifesto. While some arguments are hard to justify rationally because they are irrational, there are also certain argumentative ranges that, at Sciforums, not only are not obliged to some manner of rational discourse, are further explicitly protected because such obligations are unfair. And given enough data points over the years, it's kind of clear how that goes.

    And it's within the context of that sad harvest that the question of discursive idyll arises. If you pursue a discursive idyll, it is entirely possible that another might have a reason to disagree with that pathway. But as you have either noticed or not, there are also those whose reasons to disagree are aesthetic at best, and some do not actually seek discussion, but, rather disruption.

    Which brings us around to the earlier point including the jellybean thread, and the One Thread that required a second, and the point that diversity itself can disrupt idyll; again: What remains less clear is how you approach deliberate, even calculated disruption. And this is why I wonder at the prospect of playing along with a game intended to go nowhere.

    I mean, if you're working the fourth wall, my technical advice is that the bit takes to long to play out when someone else behaves to disrupt not simply a potential discursive idyll, but discourse in general. Even still, there remains the mystery of what you would expect to be showing the audience. If you ever manage to make your point, what do you expect to happen?

    And that's the thing: It's nothing. At least, it looks like nothing happens.

    And I'm not actually out for a piece of you, today. That's the thing, I've had parts of this post sitting around nearly from the outset. And, really, if I describe you and Vociferous as a match made in heavenly futility, you're willing to just go 'round and 'round and 'round, trying to set up the narrow lanes and boxes, and he'll just keep rubber-gluing and shifting subjects, and I really don't know what you expect to accomplish.

    Then again, it's also true that our history of discussing member behavior is one of the vital bases of that futility: This strange fruit is a harvest of your preferred cultivation. We've talked about this, before, and it is by your leave that the prospect of any standard of rational discourse is anathema.

    "Wasn't I clear?" you asked. Reasonably. As I said, if you were unclear it is because Vociferous, for whatever reason, cannot follow his own digression. And this is Sciforums. You could have been perfectly, explicitly clear, and even then, what, really, would you expect?

    You tend to shift subjects in order to pursue an outcome; Vociferous tends to shift subjects as a manner of knockoff jihad, a throwing of stones to disrupt while fleeing from a losing field. I can easily follow you down a couple of obvious pathways when asking what gave him that idea, or were you not clear enough, but it remains unclear what you actually expect happens next.

    I mean, sure, you were clear enough, but that's beside his point.

    There was a time when you asked↗ why I criticized you instead of Vociferous, and while I found that a strange pretense considering how openly I disdain his misrepresentations, self-denigrations, and pretenses of ignorance, look, I can criticize him all I want, but I still don't get what you expect to accomplish playing the slow pretense. What gave him that idea? It's what he could come up with in the moment. Were you not clear enough? Only if he's not following the discussion, even his own part. What are you actually expecting him to say when you ask?

    And the reason I'm going through it this long way is because I'm not sure what else to do. I mean, I can only imagine what you would say if I simply quoted your post and left my response to the question of what you expect. There are, after all, some seemingly obvious things that you either don't notice, or, well, maybe you think you know what you're doing, but there also really are reasons it doesn't go anywhere. After a while, it's like a comedy routine built entirely of setups, and if I've long since stopped expecting the punch line, that only makes the question of what you expect to accomplish all the more compelling.

    Certain prospects of futility are fascinating. Confucius never said an anvil without a hammer is just a cleat that isn't bolted to the dock; still, if it falls in the ocean, it sinks all the same.

    It's not like you don't understand that certain behavior occurs. But since, at the time of actually saying those things, you knew you weren't going to get an substantial answer, the question remains what you were actually after. Given all else, it seems unlikely that you expected he would just up and walk through the logical construction with you. So, what did you think he would say? What did you think would happen next? What did you expect to accomplish?


    ° Or, perhaps, a vegetable.
  13. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member


    im glad someone noticed how fucked up that exchange was. im glad it finally stopped because i seriously had moments in that exchange where i honest believed i was being gas lit.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    One of the things that had me determined to actually finish those posts has to do with the extraordinary effort sometimes required to explain what is otherwise straightforward. I remember one time someone said something to me about people asking questions, and when I pointed out that there wasn't a question in what we were discussing, the other demanded to know what that had to do with anything. To this day, whenever I have reason to recall the story, I can't help but wonder what the hell I was supposed to say to that.

    I don't know, have you ever witnessed or tried to play the PB&J game? Imagine an AI confused because the jar of peanut butter is plastic and not glass. Now imagine it's not an AI, but a person who, being confused, as we will later learn, by the lack of a "jar" of peanut butter, can't actually tell us what that means, because he doesn't actually have a different word for that plastic, jarlike container that functions as a jar. It's one thing to suspect deliberate priggery, but what if it really is an internal disruption? How silly does it sound if I remind that, at this point, it's apparently your discursive burden to identify that the other never said the word, "jar", but, rather that they didn't see the peanut butter.

    And, come on, you know what happens next, right, if you hold up the damn jar and ask what it is.

    Also, in the more complicated version of the story about what goes on around here, the arrival of a scholarly paper reiterating that it isn't cancel culture to refuse pseudoscience is a fine reminder of a seemingly mystical ceteris paribus in effect that cannot be supported in fact. It's not really cancellation to refuse the potsherd cacophony intended to disrupt other discussion. Remind me to tell you, someday, the one about how the best thing to do is leave certain crackpottery to stand unmolested. Don't hold your breath about which crackpottery; you can already guess.
  15. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    Speaking of questions, here's one. Isn't one of the marks of sound, intelligent discussion and exposition, clarity? And if you agree that it is, why are you seemingly so determined to eschew it?
    Seattle and foghorn like this.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    On this occasion, the answer is that you're simply not up to the task. As PJ, for instance, is aware, if I wrote that post with an expectation that everyone would understand, it would get pretty long: Often, what makes posts run long is attempting reasonable accommodation of other people's apparent inhibitions, disruptions, and disabilities. Moreover, as my post was just notes to another pertaining to approximately shared experience, it is not necessarily intended that others should understand; in the context that one had to be there, I suppose others might also have been there enough to get the gist, but even PJ isn't supposed to be able to identify everything about it.

    And while I cannot speak for PJ, or anyone else on this particular count, it is true that when I was in school, we received certain lessons for both reading and writing. These pertain to what one is reading or writing, and why: What does this writing communicate? What is its purpose? Who is its audience? It's really important, when writing, to know who your audience is. It is also important, when reading, to understand who an audience was supposed to be; it doesn't automatically mean the work isn't accessible to anyone else, but, honestly, when a kid has to recite the Gettysburg Address for history class, we're aware that he's reciting the Gettysburg address: As a result, nobody interrupts after, "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation …", in order to demand who the kid is talking to. If you're going to get up and say, "Isn't one of the marks of sound, intelligent discussion and exposition, clarity?" someone else might respond: Isn't one of the marks of sound, intelligent criticism to have a clue what one is addressing?

    Perhaps I should have left my response at the preceding question and presumed you smart enough to know what it means. Given the evidence you offered, though, I would be foolish to rely on so observably dubious a presumption.
  17. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    It's a shame that you didn't take on board the advantages of concision that your school likely tried to impart. Verbosity is not proof of pedantry, but it is a strong indicator. What's that other "P" word, putrid? Pompous? Parsimonious? Definitely not that! Ah, yes, Patronising.
    I realise there is little chance you'll ever get over yourself, but at least my brief commentary will resonate with those of us who saw through your flim-flam long since.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    But you presume to comprehend the purpose of what I wrote, albeit attending your own priorities.

    It's been years since somebody once complained that I used too many syllables; the point, of course, is that your manner of petty distraction is not exactly new.

    That this is what it comes to, though, is your own problem; don't go making it everyone else's.
  19. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    I do apologise. I have communicated unclearly. How ironic is that? Let me put it more directly. Your writing is pretentious and consequently boring. I know from the occasions I made the effort to wade through the dross and dressing that the outcome isn't worth the effort. The purpose of what you wrote: self aggrandisement, nothing more, nothing less.
    Correction. It has been years since anybody bothered to tell you directly.
    Sure. I get it. Your ego dealt with the truth by ignoring it then, it can do the same now.
    No sonny, it is very much your problem and those of us who to tolerate the self important nonsense you subject us to. But I do expect you to remain in your warm bubble of self deception. Unfortunately, since you are staff, I cannot put you on Ignore. Fortunately, I can just turn a blind eye in future. Ah, the bliss. Now, I won't be reading yout reply, so when you post it just remember you are posting for yourself and - perhaps - your audience. Maybe even both of them.
  20. candy Valued Senior Member

    Tiassa you are the only poster who will always use a paragraph when a sentence would work.
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  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It's not surprising this is what you come up with, especially compared to the actual subject matter of the thread.

    • • •​

    What, are we really supposed to take you seriously? You do it to yourself, so quit whining.

    No, really, in the future? You could have taken a pass this time, but somehow failed to figure that out. Apparently something I said to PJ touched a nerve.
  22. candy Valued Senior Member


    In case you missed it this thread ceased to be about cancel culture a few posts back. Then again perhaps it has become about cancel culture hiding behind verbosity because it has no critical thought pattern.
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    verbosity and clarity are not mutually exclusive. one does not preclude the other.

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