Scott Adams Unintentionally Offers Important Political Insight
What's that phrased about broken clocks?
Over at the Bulwark, Will Saletan has an excellent piece about Scott Adams’s attempt to dig up after his racist remarks last week. In it, Saletan demonstrates how, beyond being racist, the cartoonist and noted MENSA* member’s underlyingly argument really doesn’t make any logical sense (not to mention fundamentally misinterpreted the results of a poll that was in itself constructed to lead to this result). The entire piece is worth a read. However, there was one part I wanted to specifically highlight. At the start of the article, Saletan quotes a recent statement that Adams made to explain why he said to consciously avoid Black people:
“It wasn’t because I hated anybody,” he pleaded in his daily livestream on Monday. “I was concerned that somebody hated me.”https://www.thebulwark.com/the-foolishness-of-scott-adams/
Part of being human is having to deal with the fact that, generally speaking, we can never really know what anyone else is thinking. While we can get pretty good at accurately reading folks when we spend a lot of time with people, if we are honest, we can never be completely sure. This is especially true with guessing the intention of strangers. That’s one of the reasons why being able to always know when someone is lying is almost always seen as a superpower in fiction (i.e. Pokerface).
As a result of that, most of us tend to make decisions based on what we think others are thinking and feeling when they act. Sometimes it can be useful, at least in the short term. In the long term, I at least have found that it’s far more useful to work to objectively look at actions rather than motives whenever possible (for example, my assertion that Scott Adams’s statements were racist was based on their content). Still, everyone (including me) falls back on making assumptions about what other people think/feel (often without even realizing it in the moment).
Where this becomes dangerous is when this becomes built into a political movement. Yes, this happens on both sides. And like most things, at any given moment, it rarely happens in equivalent amounts across the political spectrum. As others have noted Adams has increasingly become a darling of the MAGA, intellectual dark web, and alt-right movements. And, I think you see Adams’s statement above play out in a refrain that you often hear in those circles “I didn’t want to do [x] but the [Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/LGBTQIs/Wokes/Whatever] made me do it.” And while those folks often point to isolated incidents (anecdotes) or fringe rhetoric (both cases of attention bias) to justify their positions, I suspect that Adams’s quote above might be an even simpler explanation.
Then again, I can’t know what he (or they were thinking) but I have some serious feelings about how those writings seem to be impacting actual political action and legislation.
Over the weekend I wrote a post about the value of meditating on the question “If I am not right about everything, then what, exactly, am I wrong about?“
Another good question to consider is “Am I making decisions because I think someone I haven’t met hates me?”
*- Yes, Adams was part of Mensa. Another example of Adams being more right than he realized at the time, in 2014 he wrote the following:
“It turns out that the people who join Mensa and attend meetings are, on average, not successful titans of industry. They are instead – and I say this with great affection – huge losers.”https://worldcat.org/title/1156161337
Area man suddenly discovers that he mistakenly thought he was an exception to his rule.
Hey, Scott Adams isn’t racist. He believes all races are equal. NASCAR, Boston Marathon, Kentucky Derby—it’s all the same to him.
OTB really needs a rim shot or a sad trombone sound effect for comments like that one.
Which is to say, well done sir.
In more seriousness, one of the things Adams said in the notorious video was that he’s seen loads of clips of black people beating up non-blacks. He added that he knows these are just anecdotes, but that he encounters so many of them on social media, it has to mean something.
Somehow it never occurs to this MENSA member that the clips he claims to have seen aren’t just random incidents he’s encountered in life, but have been selected and edited by people deliberately pushing a particular message. I’m never sure how to explain this kind of blind spot: is it because he never learned basic critical thinking skills, or is it because his hubris makes him oblivious to how he can be manipulated by others, leading him to overlook the obvious? Probably a little of both.
I think it can be a number of things at once. Motivated thinking and attention bias go along way to explaining things. Ditto hubris, especially given the level of success he once reached. To that point, I just was pointed to this super interesting study about how accumulating social power may correlate with difficulties in cultivating empathy: https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/losing-touch
There there are other possibilities that I raised in a post over the weekend:
If he had engaged in a bit of reflection, he might have noticed how easy it can be to manipulate opinions through selective presentation of images. Instead he simply accepted it uncritically.
I do wonder what is happening in his head. He seems to be increasingly detached from reality.
If the clock has a digital display and it is broken so that it has no source of electricity there is no display and the clock is never right.
Edit: I have seen the clock on a microwave oven show 00:00 when it does have a source of electricity.
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
What’s bothering me about this is that he seems to be saying that because he thinks someone hates him, that it’s perfectly reasonable to be racist.
Because of my childhood abuse and generally traumatic upbringing, I am absolutely convinced that everyone hates me. At all times. My spouse, hates me. All my friends, hate me and are just humoring me until I leave. Everyone here, my comment doesn’t get a response, everyone hates me and I’m a burden and should just leave. It is exhausting to constantly have to remind myself that its all in my head. Thanks mom and dad. My partner really loves when I’ve asked her if she’s mad at me for the 10th time in a day.
What I can’t understand is the leap from, someone somewhere hates me to someone somewhere hates me and it’s all Black people’s fault.
TFW someone makes the perfect TL;DR: for your post.
And all the support and respect for working through those issues.
@Mister Bluster: Yeah, the 00:00 marking shows up on mine, too. It usually indicates that I didn’t reset the clock after using the kitchen timer setting.
Just the other day, it read 00:09. I thought to myself, “that’s strange” until I realized that, earlier, I had put something in to heat for 30 seconds and then realized it only needed 20.
What can you say to someone who asserts that they’re not a racist because Black people really are all alike in an unpleasant way?
MENSA is proof that IQ measurements are of very limited usefulness in judging ability, capacity, and potential.
Also, smarter people are no less influenced by biases and heuristics. They may be better able to rationalize their biases, however. See Linus Pauling, an undoubtedly brilliant scientist, and his infatuation with mega-doses of vitamin C as a cure-all.
I suspect that, if someone were kind enough to do the polling, Mr. Adams would find out that a significant number of white people don’t like him either (or just people in general). Now where does he go?
One of the ironies of conspiracy theorists is that they hyper-obsess on what they see as the masses being manipulated, yet they’re blind to how they are being manipulated, even when it’s patently obvious to outsiders. You see this ironic lack of self-reflection in the adoration among conspiracy nuts toward the movie They Live, a film that’s heavily about manipulation of images to keep the populace under control. It becomes apparent that the lesson they’ve drawn is less about questioning what they’re told than embracing a narrative of being persecuted by The Man.
That’s the gist I got when I read Adams’s attacks on the theory of evolution and the Holocaust. He hears mainstream people saying these are proven facts no one can reasonably doubt, and then he just assumes he’s being fed dogma by the establishment. It’s not because the evidence led him to that conclusion, it’s because he wants to think of himself as someone rebelling against an authoritarian body trying to impose its will on him. It’s the protagonist syndrome if I ever saw it.
Please consider this response a comment-form hug.
The far side of the Moon.
If we define the Earth-Moon system as a binary planet, then that’s as far as you can get from people while remaining in the planet.
Everyone here likes you.
There is a fairly large class of people who have to be regarded as high IQ idiots, at least outside their expertise. It seems to take a fair degree of smarts to both be really, really wrong and to not question yourself. My go to example is Victor Davis Hanson, who has read everything and understood nothing. Having carefully read his COVID paper, Richard Epstein, our most cited conservative legal scholar and predictor of 500 COVID deaths also has to rank high. And Elon Musk is moving up in the rankings.
Ah Beth, you are going through life with good humor and healthy dose of irony. You’re loved and appreciated here.
If you’re loved by OTB, you’re loved by the best.
@Kylopod: I was blissfully unaware of Adams’ views on the holocaust and evolution, or anything else. On checking I find it’s not so much he doesn’t believe as he want the clicks for sort of but not really denying. I find he says stuff like, ‘if we’re all simulations then evolution is false’ or ‘is it really exactly six million’. I had to look up protagonist syndrome but I think you nailed it with that.
Scott Adams responded as intended to a rigged poll by a dishonest pollster.
Above is a gift link past the paywall to this:
Long read, worth reading the whole thing.
Much more at the link.
As a comparison, compare the following hypothetical poll questions:
A) Do all lives matter?
B) Do you agree with the statement “All lives matter?”
@Beth: I like you fine,too. But as it becomes a chorus of support, can you trust all of us? 😉
More seriously, what @Sleeping Dog: said. I’m an old white guy with mostly a similar circle of acquaintance. I appreciate you being so open about a different life and setting me straight at least once. Also your legal takes.
@Joe: Globally, I suspect that most people haven’t even heard of Scott Adams (or would confuse him with Douglass). And even where he’s known, more people would lack attachments of any sort to him than would either like or dislike him. The question is invalid to measure anything from the start.
Short answer: no. Also applies to people I know who actually hate me. And it applies to people I don’t know who say they love me. I will certainly let the feelings of people who genuinely love me influence me, but that’s simple consideration and politeness.
That said, having a trans kid I now consider every travel or relocation decision in light of whether she will be safe and comfortable visiting us – decisions made based on who I fear will hate her. The world is growing narrower for her.
@gVOR08: Tying into the “can’t read minds” point, I always have to wonder if people are really that dumb or are they just being cleverly malicious. (Sounds like a cereal ad song.) I could ask that question of much of the GOP today.
Conspiracy theorists are always saying they’re “just asking questions” about something rather than outright denying it.
Also, there are a gazillion ways to go for clickbait without defending the views of fundies or Nazis.
Isn’t Rasmussen more of a confirmation bias firm than a polling one?
@just nutha: Globally an infinitesimal number of black people have ever heard of him, so there’s that.
I have read Douglas Adams, I know Douglas Adams. Scott, you are no Douglas Adams.
It has become one and that seems to have accelerated since the actual founding Rasmussen left it.
Unfortunately, there’s always money in the
bananna standbusiness of confirmation bias.
I wonder how Scott Adams would have responded to a pollster if he was asked, “do you believe with the statement that Black Lives Matter?
Would he have answered with a unequivocal yes?
I would agree, especially with Richard “500 COVID deaths tops” Epstein. He was mostly being a malicious asshole. On the other hand, he was genuinely dumb enough to not realize he’d look like a fool in a couple weeks. Unlike Federalist judges, the virus doesn’t care how cleverly you lied. During the W years there was a constant question as to whether he was really that stupid or was he misinformed or manipulated or had daddy issues. A lot of people settled on “functionally stupid”, which worked for me. Whatever the morass of motives and rationalizations, bottom line is we invaded Iraq because W was too dumb not to.
An American Pragmatist will tell you a thing is defined by what it does. If Victor Davis Hanson continues to say stupid stuff, don’t get into the weeds of his unknowable motivations, he’s stupid. It describes what he’s done and reliably predicts what he will do. Similarly W said things about Iraqi WMDs that weren’t true. He had said many things that weren’t true and he continued to say many things that weren’t true. Why get into unknowables about his motives and what exactly he knew? He was a liar.
Its inconceivable that Rasmussen was not aware of the history of that phrase so it was clearly a rigged question. If Rasmussens goal was to find out how black people felt about white people there were lots of other questions he could ask. For that matter if they thought that particular question was truly important they could have offered an explanation. Something like we know the following question was used as propaganda by Nazis but if you can ignore the way this was used in the past, answer the question. If you dont think you can ignore that leave the question blank. They could have done something like that if they wanted to know how people really felt, but instead they set this up to get the result they wanted.
I think not letting the opinion of strangers bother us is a goal more often honored in the breach then the practice. We are ultimately social animals and worrying about what the herd thinks of us is unfortunately deeply wired into our core psychological makeup.
The only people who REALLY don’t care what other people think of them are sociopaths.
As they say in AA, “what other people think of us is none of our business”
From my link:
If I encounter someone saying “all lives matter” I expect that person to be the sort that flies the blue-line flag. It’s not something normies come out and say.
Not so unknowable, he was quoted prior to his inauguration there would be a war in Iraq. The Bush family was close to the PNAC people, Jeb Bush was a signer to the PNAC letter.
And, BTW, what does “It’s OK to be white” even mean? It’s not as if most people have any choice in the matter.
@Michael Reynolds: so, short answer… yes?
You also switched from kid-lit to plain-lit, in fear of the woke mob making kid-lit harder to be successful in without stepping on the landline du jour of insufficient sensitivity towards Group X. (As an old, cantankerous dude, it really is just a matter of time before you step in it by accident, so I’m not saying you’re wrong…)
As others have noted, this really is an excellent summary.
I expect that having a political party that represents half the country legislating hatred against you doesn’t help with that. Um, buck up little soldier?
I’ve gone from low self-esteem to being really kind of full of myself, and I recommend it. It’s much nicer. (Ironically, there are probably more people who just put up with me now…)
I have a lot of thoughts about this, but the cats want to be fed and I want to go out and get coffee, so I’ll try to be brief.
People need to be damn careful about what shit they let into their heads. A lot of this stuff is corrosive.
Part of the 8-fold path of Buddhism is Right Consumption which is about more than just what you physically eat. What you consume changes you, and if you consume a diet of trauma-porn it will affect you as much as a diet of hemlock.
And this stuff is trauma-porn — it reinforces a trauma response and all the problems with that.
It was enough of a problem that the Buddha mentioned it as one of his top eight things (don’t quiz me on the other seven, I might be able to remember 3 more if I stretch) 2500 years ago, and social media has distilled it further and made it so much more addictive and toxic.
Shorter: MENSA boy is a fucking idiot to think this wouldn’t affect him, but that sounds about right for MENSA.
@Beth & @Michael Reynolds:
I was honestly thinking about both of you as I wrote this (not to mention our other LGBTQI commenters). It was why I included
I think the trans community is a clear area of where regardless of what people think or why they think it, their legislative and policy actions are harming trans people. And that’s just one example of similar policies against other underrepresented groups.
And this get’s to a point that I should have raised in the original article: Adams’s philosophy is a fear-based philosophy. It’s “I need to get them before they get me.”
And that’s the bigger problem.
Even without knowing its some trolling meme, charon, I agree with you and, if someone asks me if I agree with a sentence that sounds like nonsense at best and like some kinda code at worst, my response is not to agree.
I am reminded of a lawsuit I once defended where a company that arranged to have its “free” packets handed out at a political march assumed the temp workers (we represented) didn’t really try to hand the packets out because fewer than 10% of the crowd actually took one and fewer than 2% of the crowd returned the enclosed marketing survey (which, surprise surprise, was the point of the packet). Every expert I talked to thought a 2% return rate was pretty damn high. I thought a 10% take rate was ridiculously high: I know I would not have taken one under any circumstances cause I don’t need your free s–t.
Totally agree. I should have been more clear: Scott Rasmussen who founded the polling company left in 2013. While Rasmussen was a partisan, from what I have read he was a good pollster. Since his departure, the organization has increasingly moved from being a center-right polling org to building a business model based on delivering the type of confirmation bias poll we saw above. And over the same period, their predictive/sampling model has seemed to degrade.
@Kari Q: You’ve reminded me of an essay that Umberto Eco wrote on the changing social support in Italy for “revolutionaries”, which he traced back to a photo of a solitary masked individual pointing a gun at the viewer.
The thing about polls and surveys is that you want accurate data, so you’ll know where you stand, what needs to be done, what’s working, etc. etc.
A poll that merely tells you what you want to hear, is like the joke about the doctor who offered to retouch the X-rays of patients who couldn’t afford surgery.
Thinking on it a bit more, even without knowing the trolling history it looks like what someone might say to be doing some shit stirring.
@Kathy: I’ve mentioned this example before several times: The most bizarre polling discrepancy I’ve ever seen based on how a question was worded came in 2010. Some respondents were asked “Do you favor or oppose gay men and lesbians serving in the military?” Other respondents were asked, “Do you favor or oppose homosexuals serving in the military?” The margin of favorability for “gay men and lesbians” was nearly 30 points higher than for “homosexuals.”
I don’t think this is like those polls showing “Kynect” a lot more popular than “Obamacare,” which is seemingly based more on ignorance than anything else. I doubt there are very many people who don’t realize “gay” and “homosexual” are synonyms. My guess is that the second word is just likelier to conjure up associations in some people’s minds that lead them to a negative reaction. But it’s still a deeply weird poll result to me, and it illustrates how easily word choice can affect people’s responses.
That’s A) an oversimplification and B) Not about people’s feelings about me. I’m a businessman, I assess my market. No one stays in the top rungs for long in any creative field – I had written 30,000 pages, give or take, and had two major hits series, one in the 90’s, one in the oughts. As a financial matter I’d already had to drop my quote after I was, ahem, overpaid for a trilogy, and given other sources of income it made little sense for me to stay in it. My issue with the ‘community’ is a matter of personal preference: I write what I want or I don’t write, but that dovetailed nicely with market assessments, use of my time and a fair amount of burn-out.
And, your point is?
More seriously it’s a matter of perspective and inclination. With more than my share of ODD (heh) I struggle not to actually court dislike. I feel it’s a sign of maturity that I’ve (mostly) succeeded. I like to think I earn my dislike honestly now, like a gentleman, with no evidence of effort.
This kind of links back several months to the “slaves” vs. “enslaved people” discussion. The difference is that for “gay man”, “gay” is an adjective and thus tends to be perceived as just one aspect of an otherwise normal soldier, but “homosexual” is a noun and thus tends to be perceived as the entirety of the person in question’s being.
My point is that since I don’t think you’re a sociopath, I don’t entirely buy your “I don’t care what random people think about me” persona.
Indeed, your ODD kind of seems like your way of reacting to what you perceive people think about you. Sort of an “oh, so you don’t like me? well I’ll give you a real reason not to like me!” thing.
“Lesbian” is a porn category that has a strong appeal to straight men.
It’s a bit silly to use a different word to describe gay men and gay women, but it polls so much better. Our society is dominated by men, and men are led by their dicks.
I wish I were joking.
(I wonder if that was a conscious decision in the order of letters in LGBTQ — or whether it was an accidental holdover from “Ladies and Gentlemen”. Everyone else just gets added to the end, and then dropped for brevity)
There’s no leap to make. It’s not that someone, somewhere hates white folks like Scott Adams, it’s specifically that Black folks do, because Black folks have been treated poorly by White folks in the past and they want revenge on these innocent white folks like Scott Adams who did nothing wrong and never even owned a slave.
It’s why they don’t want to teach history that might paint white folks in a bad light. It’s why they talk about making white kids feel ashamed and that white kids should be protected from that.*
They say “I don’t see color” and things like that, but they mean “I pretend not to see color, and so should you brown people and please don’t see how darker hues people are still at a disadvantage why do you have to make everything about race?”
(Ok, there is one leap to make… it’s the Jews’ fault. Because it’s always the Jews’ fault.)
*: as an aside, I don’t like the litany of abuses form of education on equality for a lot of the same reasons that the far right doesn’t like it. I, however, would want to keep the information and put it into a broader narrative — the country was founded on lofty, aspirational principles that we didn’t meet at the time, but we have made great progress in reaching towards.
Each step of the way we have had great minority figures fighting for their rights (Fredrick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, MLK, Malcolm X) and great white figures fighting for the minority rights, right along side them (and I’m drawing a blank here on who they were, because education doesn’t focus on them… John Brown, Peter Cooper, um, the Freedom Riders). The dumb white kid in the classroom isn’t going to be the next MLK or even walk down MLK’s path a little bit, because he doesn’t have those experiences, but maybe he can look up to the Freedom Riders and feel a little pride in how people that look like him helped make our country better. We might not want to be inspiring a generation of John Browns.
If representation matters — and I think it does — then it matters for white kids as well. Put a bit more emphasis on white civil rights leaders so it’s a story of good Americans of all colors working to live up to our founding fathers’ aspirations (we can break down the myth of the founding fathers in advanced classes), rather than a story of Blacks overcoming oppressive whites. I mean, sure, the villains of the story are still white dudes… but white dudes are also some of the heroes.
It might be preferable to letting the people trying to inspire a generation of William Quantrills to continue.
Thank you all for the kind words and reassurances. This particular trauma response is one of my least favorite (of many). It’s exhausting and depressing. Thank you.
The problem is pretty simple, 4.5% of the US population consists of black males under 45, yet this cohort commits approximately 60% of the violent crime in the US. The black community simply cannot come to grips with this reality and the outsized role this plays in the quite correct assumption by whites that blacks should be judged differently on crime because they commit crimes which are totally out of all proportion to their numbers.
Ok, stop haters because here’s the other side of the same coin. The white community simply cannot come to grips with the reality that systemic white racism, privilege, institutional barriers, unconscious bias and 400 years of slavery and its legacy have been largely to blame for much of the environment from which this crime is rooted.
So you have what Gerald Chaleff describes as a country where “blacks see much MORE racism than exists and whites see much LESS racism that exists.”
In the realpolitik, this schism in world view cost the Dems the election in the House as New York and California blue states lost 9 seats between them to the GOP who made crime, defund, no bail etc a bigger issue than it was.
For example, in LA, we have a progressive DA who wants to get rid of the “failed” justice system. But, how has it failed? In 1980, LA had 1100 murders. In 2019? 253!!!!! That’s a whopping 78% decrease, so how is this a “failed” system? Also, to belie the NRA and white nationalists, we had that high murder rate when whites were 51% of LA’s population in 1980. In 2019? Just 26% white.
So how can it be that, with less whites and way more gun control than in 1980, LA had a precipitous drop in violent crime? Aren’t more minorities and stricter gun laws supposed to INCREASE crime? At least, that’s what the NRA spews. “Only criminals will have guns bullschite”. Well it didn’t happen here. Less whites, more gun control = 48% drop in crime over the decades in LA city.
Covid years have seen the rates rise to 350, but that is still a far cry from the crack years and the 1000 + homicides in the late 70s/80s.
So, whitey vastly overstated the threat and still does. And this fearmongering really cost us the House as CA and NY GOP flipped some suburban seats that gave the phuckers the majority. Again, whites can’t see that crime is waaaaaay down from its peak and until covid, the numbers were comparable in LA to when Ike was President. And not only LA. NYC 2400 murders in 1990. 2019? 558. A huge percentage drop. Ditto Chicago. 1974? 955 murders. Last year? 661
Now, let’s look at the black denial. You have a population that literally is 5% committing 60% of the violent crime in America. Blacks just simply will not take ownership of this. Even with the tremendous DECLINE in overall crime in this cohort over the last decades, they still commit a staggering amount of violent crime which is 12x their population demographic.
So we have the white denial of racism and it’s affects on black crime and we have a total denial by blacks as to how their crime is fu cking up Dems chances to bury the GOP and quite literally stops other worthwhile progressive goals like single payer, breaking up monopolies, etc. as this crime increase does turn off voters and gives Scott Adams a pedestal.
@The Q: Is this shit serious or a parody post? Let’s be precise…Black people comprise 60% of the crime the White people that administer the Criminal “Justice” system decide to prioritize for prosecution.
Crime choice is cultural. And if the Criminal Justice system was staffed with people of like mind to Jim Brown…it would be bright lily white tomorrow.
Do you really think there are enough black men in the country to create Criminally-driven societal breakdown? By your own observation…most of that population is already imprisoned?
You could have told us you were a buffoon in far, far, fewer words.
If you steal peoples’ retirement, you cut their life spans far more than robbing them at gunpoint or giving them a smack upside the head.
I think we need to reassess the term violent, and focus on the harm created.
Wage theft likely does more harm than street crime at present, certainly in terms of dollars and GDP, but we (sadly) do not jail anyone for making employees do things after clocking out, or miscategorizing employees as “supervisors” to avoid paying overtime.
And that’s on whitey, by and large. White folks steal far more than black folks.
As our former First Lady was accused of saying, “Kill Whitey! Black Power! Woo!”
@Stormy Dragon: I think John Browns are like capers rather than garlic — you want some, to mix things up a little, but too much is overwhelming.
But you can never add too much garlic.
I am, at my heart, a small-c conservative, forced onto the left side of the political spectrum because I actually believe in individual liberty and think that corporations are as much of a threat as the government.
That could be part of it. But I think the phrase “homosexual men in the military” would still have gotten less support than “gay men in the military.”
I just think the word “homosexual,” regardless of what part of speech it is, evokes more negative connotations due to its history. It’s a much older word than “gay” in this sense, and still has somewhat of a clinical ring to it. It goes back to a time when the condition was pathologized. In contrast, “gay” first entered the mainstream in the late ’60s, and so it’s closely linked with the social movement. Obviously, words can change in how positive or negative they are (“queer” being a prime example), but I think gay vs. homosexual still carries overtones of this history.
I remember when Carl Paladino was going on his anti-gay rants, then it was discovered he was sending around lesbian porn in emails.
J.K. Rowling is probably worth several billion dollars and she decided to weigh into trans rights discussion unasked.
She didn’t have to. Decided to anyway. Came in hot.
Were I her, I would just dive into my pile of cash and gold full-on Scrooge McDuck style and just swim and wallow. She did not have to, but decided to do so, unasked.
Apparently there is a strong clique in British mainstream feminism that thinks that trans women were once men so therefore to be excluded. The conclusion is weird and paranoid. People that were once men will overtake / subsume our voice. Which strikes me as really weirdly paranoid.
She is free to state her opinion. People who disagree are free to object. Criticism is not cancelation. That’s free speech on all sides of the issue.
Speech has consequences.
Rowling went out of her way to identify as a TERF feminist via her social media stuff.
That’s fine, but you have to know that that is an opinion that will cause backlash and will draw attention. A lot of that attention will be negative and you knew that wading in.
Speech has consequences.
I haven’t read a physical newspaper since 2008. Which I was obligated to because my girlfriend was a reporter. And she was damn good at her job. And her friends worked for the Register.
I had no idea Dilbert was still a comic strip. Zero clue. Until last week I had no clue that Dilbert still existed and I was flabbergasted by finding that out.
I remember the bit from News Radio where Andy Dick’s character was obsessed.
You will be pleased to know that the UK’s libel laws give a lot more lee-way to people being accused, and that this gives Ms. Rowling the opening to threaten to sue people who call her out on her comments and try to tie those comments to the threats against trans folks in the UK, even indirectly. And so, you can find all sorts of folks publishing apologies to her.
And by “you will be pleased” I mean “you will be angry”.
The TERFs of TERF Island are some nasty and unpleasant people, and very angry about people noticing that.
Yep. That’s what happened in the Deborah Lipstadt case. Lipstadt wrote a book exposing and debunking Holocaust deniers, and in it she states at one point that British Holocaust denier David Irving distorted and manipulated evidence to promote an agenda. That was it. He sued her for libel in British courts. (Even though Lipstadt is American and the book was a US publication, apparently it’s subject to the UK’s laws as long as it’s also published there.) She eventually won, but it wasn’t easy, since the burden was on her to prove that she hadn’t libeled him. So she had to prove in court not only that he misrepresented evidence, but that it was intentional.
In other words, in the UK if you publicly call someone a liar, that person can take you to court, and then if you fail to prove in court that the person is a liar, that person can collect damages.
With his racist statements, Scott Adams comic strip critiques of corporate culture have become toxic. I just threw away something of Adams that sat on a shelf in my office that used to be funny. Adams turned it into something cringeworthy and divisive. In essence he has became that person in corporate culture that we all recognize as a dinosaur and a detriment to the good we are seeking to accomplish.
Apropos of nothing; The Kentucky Derby = Amish NASCAR
All I can say about what you wrote is it’s the type of essay that causes the grad student grading the Criminology or Sociology 101 papers at 11:00pm at night to look to their vice of choice and wonder how much time they really want to or can dedicate to untangling the various threads to point out what’s right and what’s wrong.
As someone who has been working in and around the criminal legal system space for 6 plus years now, I feel like I’m in the position of that graduate student. And given everything on my plate, I just don’t have the time to do that careful work.
For example, I had no idea where you are getting your crime statistics from but the ” 60% of the violent crime in the US” is off by at least 20 points or more depending on violent crime classifications (and which database you are drawing from) using the most recent scrubbed data that I have seen (from 2018). Your assertion that young black men are disproportionately arrested and convicted for violent crimes still stands, but unless I’ve missed something in the data, it’s no where near that rate. There’s also some key nuance left out of that analysis including that the majority of crime is intra-racial, not inter-racial–and even the fact that the definition of violent crime isn’t particularly well set and has grown to include a lot of what used to be non-violent charges that disproportionately focus on crimes that occur within overpoliced black communities.
Beyond that, there is a lot of Dunning–Kruger effect going on in your diagnosis of the origins of that number (some of the starting points are correct, but the causations you are looking to don’t match the lit–nor do some of the solutions you propose).
Channeling my post from over the weekend, if this is a topic you are interested in, I think that this would be a wonderful place to seriously ask yourself “If I know that I’m wrong about things from time to time, what exactly might I be wrong about in this analysis?”
Here is Slovoj Zizek talking about They Live
@Kylopod: You have to quote them and call them out on what they say. I do have a question, if somebody said they believed she was a bigot based on her statements would that be actionable? I think she allies herself with bigots, and people who ally themselves with bigots are bigots IMO.
@Matt Bernius: Has anyone done a breakdown of criminality and class? This is said with the cynical realisation that a heck of a lot of behaviour which should be considered white-collar crime (and which causes greater damage) is ignored while the more violent smash-and-grab associated with lower class crime is what police attention is paid to….
Good question. Short answer is that is something that is investigated. It’s a bit hard to do for a variety of reasons.
Your second point is 100% correct and has to do as much with overpolicing and police handling code enforcement as much as anything else.