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Political Correctness running amuck....

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
thought i'd create a thread where I (and others) could post & discuss all things regarding the renewed instances of Political Correctness rampaging through society....

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probably the best place to start is US college campuses, where PC bullshit is going full on nuclear :

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/11/can-we-take-political-correctness-seriously-now.html#

https://www.thefire.org/yale-students-demand-resignations-from-faculty-members-over-halloween-email/

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a long, but really great discussion with Greg Lukianoff - president of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) about PCness and it's effect on free speech :

[YOUTUBE]-caLF8icOVQ[/YOUTUBE]
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
the study is a joke.

how could one ever possibly hope to empirically measure how "novel" an idea is?

the study used a panel to judge those ideas that were divergent from the norm. however that's an entirely subjective judgment.

This is a problem across the board with all "soft" sciences. Not sure if you saw this :

Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results | Science | The Guardian

these studies may be interesting, and ultimately may lead to some real science down the line, but to claim they are empirical evidence or hard science demonstrates a breathtaking lack of critical thinking.


quote from the article :

So, there isn’t actually any such thing as political correctness. There is only discrimination – those against it, and those for it. Those for it, wish to wrap up their ignorance and fear in a pretty bow called victimhood – “We are being oppressed! The powers that be won’t let us discriminate!”
wtf??????????????????????

holy straw man argument.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
You like the conor article?

I find myself more bemused by these issues than anything else - I'd say I like Conor's approach more than someone like Bill Maher.

And part of me wonders if all the anti-PC brigade's antics are letting us forget about the good things political correctness did for us!

Because of this I truly find myself in the middle on these issues - the most egregious examples of PC-ness are silly, but then so are some of the most egregious arguments used by the Anti-PC brigade - there's foolishness a-plenty to go around...

But at the end of the day, PC-ness must be a double edged sword, innit? Giving as it takes away?

Giving us "chilling effects" on speech - but then also working away at and eroding artefacts in our speech from bygone eras of discrimination (ie the n-word)
 
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DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
You like the conor article?
yes, it was one of of several i read in the past few days regarding the recent college insanity.

And part of me wonders if all the anti-PC brigade's antics are letting us forget about the good things political correctness did for us!
i suppose it depends on how one defines political correctness. i would define it as trying to suppress dissenting opinion and speech, and i would strongly affirm that it does no good.

Giving us "chilling effects" on speech - but then also working away at and eroding artefacts in our speech from bygone eras of discrimination (ie the n-word)
people still use the n-word all the time.

here's a great article on offensive language through out modern times :

How Dare You Say That! The Evolution of Profanity - WSJ

ultimately we should challenge taboos. that's how we can re-examine things and evolve our views when needed.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
i suppose it depends on how one defines political correctness. i would define it as trying to suppress dissenting opinion and speech, and i would strongly affirm that it does no good.
Interesting, no "golden mean" here then for you!

I am more in the grey area....
 
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Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
What we are seeing are both sides of the political spectrum eating themselves. Terfs vs. trannies, unionists vs. open-border types, neocons vs. alt-rights, hispanic-courting republicans vs. white nationalists, it goes on. Whatever minutiae you hold onto you can find a someone online and form a group. This is part and parcel of the topic at hand because everyone is so offended nowadays.

Attorneys: Katy-area teacher fired for refusing to address girl, 6, as transgender boy This story have everything for the aggrieved. Middle-agedness, women, religion, transgender issues, 6-year old with gender dysphoria and race (edited to add). Throw in an MRA and sweet uncircumcised non-gender conformist baby Jesus we've got a winner.
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
the study is a joke.

how could one ever possibly hope to empirically measure how "novel" an idea is?

the study used a panel to judge those ideas that were divergent from the norm. however that's an entirely subjective judgment.
http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1921&context=articles
Two coders who were unaware of the experimental conditions and hypotheses independently rated the novelty of each idea on a scale of 1 (not at all novel) to 5 (extremely novel). They reached significant agreement on the novelty ratings (ICC = .73, p < .01), so we averaged their scores to form the novelty rating for each idea (M = 1.71; SD =.26).
The study framers measured a) number of unique ideas generated, and b) novelty of those ideas. Their measurement vs political correctness incorporated both measures (so even if you disagree with the novelty result, you will need to find fault with the volume result as well to disregard the study entirely).

To assign novelty they had two people, who were blind to the experiment, independently go through the list of ideas and code them (1 to 5) for novelty. The framers of the study note that the correlation between the novelty ratings was high, which would point to the codings being non-arbitrary.

I'm sure there were other mechanisms introduced to take care of confounding variables (Cornell isn't exactly Mickey Mouse university), but i'm not about to go through the article with a fine tooth comb. I've linked it so you can if you care to.

Off tangent, but on the thread topic, I noticed this while quickly skimming through:

The term “PC” is often invoked in public discourse ex-post, when someone uses language that is construed as sexist and faces punishment for doing so (Lakoff, 2001). One well-known example was the reaction to then-Harvard University President Larry Summers’ speech in which he articulated the hypothesis that women are under-represented in the elite levels of science and engineering because of sex differences in innate ability. Many reacted negatively to his comments; a majority of the Harvard faculty voted "no confidence" and Summers resigned soon thereafter (Berman, 2013). Others supported Summers, however, and used the PC critique, ex post, to explain the broader reaction. For example, Washington Post commentator Ruth Marcus (2008) wrote, “he probably had a legitimate point and the continuing uproar says more about the triumph of political correctness than about Summers' supposed sexism,” while Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz (2006) wrote an editorial opposing Summers’ resignation as a “coup d'etat...by [the] political correctness cops of the hard left.”
And it is true. While it is fine and healthy to have a discourse on where we draw the line on cultural/moral norms, too often the concept of "PC run amok" is actually a banner used by racists, misogynists, and the intellectually lazy to justify conduct they know is wrong. Ie: the worst kind of shitheadery (which is why it isn't surprising that Dershowitz and Summers are the stars of the paradigm in the quote above.)
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
The study framers measured a) number of unique ideas generated, and b) novelty of those ideas. Their measurement vs political correctness incorporated both measures (so even if you disagree with the novelty result, you will need to find fault with the volume result as well to disregard the study entirely).

To assign novelty they had two people, who were blind to the experiment, independently go through the list of ideas and code them (1 to 5) for novelty. The framers of the study note that the correlation between the novelty ratings was high, which would point to the codings being non-arbitrary.

I'm sure there were other mechanisms introduced to take care of confounding variables (Cornell isn't exactly Mickey Mouse university), but i'm not about to go through the article with a fine tooth comb. I've linked it so you can if you care to.
again, this a problem with "soft" science.

You can not control the variables in any legitimate way. The individual people in one group are going to be vastly different from people in another group.

If you haven't looked at the article on the failure to replicate psychological studies please do.

These studies still have some worth, but they are not the hard science that the Guardian article that Prakitk linked was so eager to portray it as.

And it is true. While it is fine and healthy to have a discourse on where we draw the line on cultural/moral norms, too often the concept of "PC run amok" is actually a banner used by racists, misogynists, and the intellectually lazy to justify conduct they know is wrong. Ie: the worst kind of shitheadery (which is why it isn't surprising that Dershowitz and Summers are the stars of the paradigm in the quote above.)
I would definitely categorize the Summers incident as PC run amuck. The idea that someone can't even suggest that there are differences between the sexes without people demanding a resignation is shocking. (even more so when someone see the full context of his speech).
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
again, this a problem with "soft" science.

You can not control the variables in any legitimate way. The individual people in one group are going to be vastly different from people in another group.

If you haven't looked at the article on the failure to replicate psychological studies please do.

These studies still have some worth, but they are not the hard science that the Guardian article that Prakitk linked was so eager to portray it as.
Boy you get fightey eh? I just googled "what about the good things Political Correctness has done" and posted the first few links I found. This does not mean I support all the words contained in those links - however I think there were things worth considering in both links. I was eager to make a counterpoint, not "portray" these as dispositive on the issue.

also, as someone who actually enjoys matters of science and replicability quite a bit - not unfamiliar with the latest PLOS One study that failed to reproduce a huge amount of psychology papers.

I would caution against "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" - especially if doing so means you are disparaging a study's conclusion you'd rather not accept (hallmark of motivated reasoning).

This: Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS123 - Daniel Lakens on P-Hacking and Other Problems in PsychologyResearch

was an excellent discussion with people well placed to discuss these issues - and they were very keen to point out that this doesn't mean "you can't trust psychological research at all" - its a little more complex than that. However, I think one would be prudent to take your appeal as a cautious note of skepticism - to dig deep on any study's conclusion and verify some of the study parameters, if you're able to - validate how it's landing in the scholarly community in the peer review/journal process...

More here:



"p-hacking" is endemic to a lot of science actually, especially in medical areas where alternative treatments can be found to "work" through similar analytical pitfalls (conscious and unconscious)

More here: PLOS ONE: Excess Success for Psychology Articles in the Journal Science

NeuroLogica Blog » The Reproducibility Problem
 
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DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
Boy you get fightey eh? I just googled "what about the good things Political Correctness has done" and posted the first few links I found. This does not mean I support all the words contained in those links - however I think there were things worth considering in both links. I was eager to make a counterpoint, not "portray" these as dispositive on the issue.
I think if you re-read my post the wording implied that the article's author from the Guardian (and not you) was trying to portray the study as conclusive hard science (i.e - the "science just said so" headline)

I would caution against "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" - especially if doing so means you are disparaging a study's conclusion you'd rather not accept (hallmark of motivated reasoning).
Again, I invite you to re-read my posts. I am not saying that all "soft" science research is worthless (although there is still an awful lot that is), but i am saying that one can't view the data as "hard" or empirical, and certainly not as settled or conclusive science.
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
again, this a problem with "soft" science.

You can not control the variables in any legitimate way. The individual people in one group are going to be vastly different from people in another group.

If you haven't looked at the article on the failure to replicate psychological studies please do.

These studies still have some worth, but they are not the hard science that the Guardian article that Prakitk linked was so eager to portray it as.
Well, it's interesting that you're happy to link to popular magazines (and label them 'excellent') while waving away academic papers because their discipline is 'soft'. Except academic papers that appear to support your current viewpoint at whatever time.

I would definitely categorize the Summers incident as PC run amuck. The idea that someone can't even suggest that there are differences between the sexes without people demanding a resignation is shocking. (even more so when someone see the full context of his speech).
This is the President of Harvard University speculating that women are innately worse at STEM subjects. He was in a position of power and responsibility. His statement directly falls within the sphere of responsibility that his position conveyed. It is likely to offend and/or influence current and prospective students. It is likely to bring his institution into disrepute. Worse still, the fact that he is speculating removes any possible compelling reason for him to be saying these things.

Steve, who does accounts wouldn't lose his job for saying stuff like this. His views on genetics don't affect company accounts, but everyone probably thinks he is an asshole. But do you seriously not see the problem with the President of a University speculating that low female uptake in STEM is rooted in innate ability?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
One thing's for sure - there's silly people out there saying silly things!!

Controversy Over Christmas Patterns on Starbucks's Cups Is Damaging

Some sanity:

"Political correctness, as Feuerstein calls it in his video, is a straw-man enemy. Starbucks’s decision to make plain red cups is less an erasure of Christian values than a neutral design choice that also happens to reflect a solid understanding of the company’s diverse audience. "
 
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Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
I don't understand how in 2015 on a college campus where you can't eat a pancake without it appearing on social media within minutes how the faeces-swastika was not photographed.
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
Isn't this thread supposed to be about the bizarre *controversy* concerning them Starbuck's cups?

In other news, I would never use the *N* word in reference to Black People.

(but I totally use it in reference to whiteTrash idiot types, and ISIS supporter types)
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
In fact, the last college girl I ever dated, Morgane (she was from the UK, going to Concordia U), around, um, 8 years ago (fuck I'm getting old), I remember one conversation:
"Oh yeah, that job, I totally quit that job. It was just a bunch of N*gger shit".
Morgane: *giving me the the glaring death stare*

Me: " What? oh no. I don't mean *N*gger* in the Black sense! What I mean more is "Yes masta yes Masta" type of ultra-conformist Retard Job!

Morgane: *Still glaring at me*

Me: "Hey, I have black friends! Ok, one. BUT I'VE KNOWN HIM FOR A LONG TIME!" *pointing*

Morgane: *still glaring*

Me: "But it's true. I need more Black friends. Hmmmm.

Morgane: *giving me the WTF look*

She didn't invite me to her next party, and we parted ways soon after that.

FUCK YOU POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!

(btw this was a total real-time Seinfeld moment)
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
Well, it's interesting that you're happy to link to popular magazines (and label them 'excellent') while waving away academic papers because their discipline is 'soft'. Except academic papers that appear to support your current viewpoint at whatever time.
Yes, i called an article "excellent" because that was my opinion of it. There are countless articles out there, most bad, but some good, and a few even "excellent".

Articles generally report on news, summarize events, offer analysis, or present an argument, and that was how it was presented. It was not presented as settled science.

You of course are free to differ on your opinion of the article.

I'd suggest that same course of action should also be applied to research & academic papers. There are many bad ones, and a few good ones. I'm absolutely going to judge them on the merits as i see them, and if a scientific study has low sample sizes, poor methodology and questionable interpretations of the data than that's more than enough reason to label it a "joke" IMO.

Are you suggesting that people should accept every research paper as the gospel truth?

This is the President of Harvard University speculating that women are innately worse at STEM subjects. He was in a position of power and responsibility. His statement directly falls within the sphere of responsibility that his position conveyed. It is likely to offend and/or influence current and prospective students. It is likely to bring his institution into disrepute. Worse still, the fact that he is speculating removes any possible compelling reason for him to be saying these things.
You're presenting things out of context, and in this case context if very important. Here's a reasonable summary from wiki (emphasis mine) :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers#Differences_between_the_sexes

In January 2005, at a Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Summers sparked controversy with his discussion of why women may have been underrepresented "in tenured positions in science and engineering at top universities and research institutions".

Summers had prefaced his talk, saying he was adopting an "entirely positive, rather than normative approach" and that his remarks were intended to be an "attempt at provocation."[29]

Summers then began by identifying three hypotheses for the higher proportion of men in high-end science and engineering positions:

The high-powered job hypothesis
Different availability of aptitude at the high end
Different socialization and patterns of discrimination in a search[29]
The second hypothesis, the generally greater variability among men (compared to women) in tests of cognitive abilities,[30][31][32] leading to proportionally more males than females at both the lower and upper tails of the test score distributions, caused the most controversy. In his discussion of this hypothesis, Summers said that "even small differences in the standard deviation [between genders] will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out [from the mean]".[29] Summers referenced research that implied differences between the standard deviations of males and females in the top 5% of twelfth graders under various tests. He then went on to argue that, if this research were to be accepted, then "whatever the set of attributes... that are precisely defined to correlate with being an aeronautical engineer at MIT or being a chemist at Berkeley... are probably different in their standard deviations as well".[29]

Summers then concluded his discussion of the three hypotheses by saying:

So my best guess, to provoke you, of what's behind all of this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people's legitimate family desires and employers' current desire for high power and high intensity, that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong, because I would like nothing better than for these problems to be addressable simply by everybody understanding what they are, and working very hard to address them.[29]

Summers then went on to discuss approaches to remedying the shortage of women in high-end science and engineering positions.

This lunch-time talk drew accusations of sexism and careless scholarship, and an intense negative response followed, both nationally and at Harvard.[33] Summers apologized repeatedly.[34] Nevertheless, the controversy is speculated to have contributed to his resigning his position as president of Harvard University the following year, as well as costing Summers the job of Treasury Secretary in Obama's administration.[35]

Summers's protégée Sheryl Sandberg has defended him saying that "Larry has been a true advocate for women throughout his career" at the World Bank and Treasury. Sandberg described of the lunch talk "What few seem to note is that it is remarkable that he was giving the speech in the first place – that he cared enough about women's careers and their trajectory in the fields of math and science to proactively analyze the issues and talk about what was going wrong".[36]
So to be clear, he was offering 3 different hypothesis for why women are underrepresented in STEM at tenured positions at top universities (of which Harvard would surely be one). The "innate ability" hypothesis was not presented as settled science, only that there is research that supports the theory and it would be up to us if one accepts it, and he also offered the 3rd hypothesis that it's because of social structures (which no one had a problem with, even though the science on that hypothesis is certainly not settled either).

His best guess was the largest factor was "the high powered job hypothesis", and NOT innate ability, and he also suggested that he would liked to be proven wrong because it would be an easier problem to fix.

Steve, who does accounts wouldn't lose his job for saying stuff like this. His views on genetics don't affect company accounts, but everyone probably thinks he is an asshole. But do you seriously not see the problem with the President of a University speculating that low female uptake in STEM is rooted in innate ability?
yes, i seriously DO NOT see a problem with it. As the president he was actively trying to create a discourse on why women are under represented in STEM, and more importantly how to improve those numbers at his institution. That seems will with in the responsibilities of his post.

are you seriously suggesting that we should try to solve problems without first trying to understand why these problems occur? Should we ignore reasons simply because some may be offended by them, even if the intent is to ultimately improve the situation?

Steven Pinker had a brilliant quote about this incident that perfectly applies to this argument :

Influential psychologist Steven Pinker defended the legitimacy of Summers's January lecture. When asked if Summers's talk was "within the pale of legitimate academic discourse," Pinker responded "Good grief, shouldn't everything be within the pale of legitimate academic discourse, as long as it is presented with some degree of rigor? That's the difference between a university and a madrassa. There is certainly enough evidence for the hypothesis to be taken seriously."[37]
 
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