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That sentiment still does not amount to advocating for genocide. You're being dishonest again.
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General Discussion / Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Last post by John Albert on Today at 04:43:42 AM »
I think Yglesias makes an extremely powerful case that CM is motivated by racist ideas, and that he is interested in furthering a fringe political agenda, not science. Yglesias quotes CM at length about what CM thinks are the primary points of the book.

I certainly wouldn't say that Charles Murray is not a racist, or that he isn't motivated by racist ideas. He's most certainly a racist ideologue.


Furthermore, I think it's important for everyone to consider the harmful impact of elevating toxic ideologies as legitimate ideas worthy of public debate.

I'm not elevating toxic ideologies as legitimate. I don't believe Charles Murray's racist views ought to be legitimized.

But that's not to say we ought to simply ignore the scientific data that he abused in order to promote his horrible ideas, or that we should just sweep the entire subject under the rug as if it never happened. Since The Bell Curve was published, much progress has been made in the field of human intellect. Some of that progress has resulted from direct reactions against that book.

But now we're seeing that Murray's views are finding a new generation of students, so for that reason alone they must be addressed and rebutted in the most direct manner possible.


If you are part of a privileged group, it's easy to see such a debate as a fun intellectual exercise.

Please don't trivialize my position or cast aspersions on my character because I value education over socially-engineered ignorance.


In debates about science and policy, it is important to treat each other with respect and to engage in a well-intentioned exchange of ideas. I enjoy debating people who I disagree with politically, but who make me question and reevaluate my own ideas.

Agreed. But it seems that kind of discussion is becoming more and more rare, as all the ideologues have retreated to their respective echo chambers to shit-talk everybody who doesn't 100% agree with their views. 


There are some strains of thought that are beyond the pale, though (because the line of reasoning is demonstrably misleading, ill-intentioned, thoroughly debunked, and actively harmful).

"Beyond the pale" is all the more reason why those opinions must not go unopposed.
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Banning religious practices and requiring complete cultural assimilation is a form of genocide.

That would depend on a matter of degree.

Right before the part you bolded, Lemkin's previous sentence specifies, "It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves."

By definition, the end goal of genocide is to eradicate an ethnic population. It's quite a stretch to extend that to mean simple prohibitions on loud public chanting and full-body coverings.

Is anybody here actually arguing for the annihilation of certain ethnic groups? Not that I've seen.

It appears that yet again, you're using hyperbolic language to make statements that you disagree with seem far more outrageously horrible than they actually are.
It only appears that way because you ignored the direct quotes about hoping it's not necessary to use violence to "drive them out."

Your continued refusal to read does not constitute hyperbole on my end.
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Banning religious practices and requiring complete cultural assimilation is a form of genocide.

That would depend on a matter of degree.

Right before the part you bolded, Lemkin's previous sentence specifies, "It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves."

By definition, the end goal of genocide is to eradicate an ethnic population. It's quite a stretch to extend that to mean simple prohibitions on loud public chanting and full-body coverings.

Is anybody here actually arguing for the annihilation of certain ethnic groups? Not that I've seen.

It appears that yet again, you're using hyperbolic language to make statements that you disagree with seem far more outrageously horrible than they actually are.
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Games / Re: D&D Modules... favorites?
« Last post by SkeptiQueer on Today at 04:02:10 AM »
There was another old 1st Edition series that I really liked - The Desert of Desolation, which I have copies of but don't seem to be able to find right now, which worries me. The players get thrown into a great desert, come across a giant pyramid, encounter glass seas plied by pirates on skate-ships, and eventually go on an extradimensional romp through environments such as a Möbius Tower (in which the bottom level connects to the top level and yes, it has a Pit of Everfall) and an environment that is literally crumbling beneath their feet into a chaotic abyss.
I'm going to have to find that one!
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General Discussion / Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Last post by SkeptiQueer on Today at 03:53:20 AM »
pdb and John Albert, I think you should both give Matthew Yglesias' piece another read (this could be one of the articles that SQ is referring to).

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/10/17182692/bell-curve-charles-murray-policy-wrong

I think Yglesias makes an extremely powerful case that CM is motivated by racist ideas, and that he is interested in furthering a fringe political agenda, not science. Yglesias quotes CM at length about what CM thinks are the primary points of the book.

Furthermore, I think it's important for everyone to consider the harmful impact of elevating toxic ideologies as legitimate ideas worthy of public debate. If you are part of a privileged group, it's easy to see such a debate as a fun intellectual exercise. If you are not, the stakes are much, much higher. If debating these things feels like baseball to you, then it's possible that you have significant gaps in your understanding of the social and historical context. This is something we all struggle with, but we should all strive to educate ourselves.

In debates about science and policy, it is important to treat each other with respect and to engage in a well-intentioned exchange of ideas. I enjoy debating people who I disagree with politically, but who make me question and reevaluate my own ideas. There are some strains of thought that are beyond the pale, though (because the line of reasoning is demonstrably misleading, ill-intentioned, thoroughly debunked, and actively harmful). We should not applaud people for their debating style if they support these ideas.
That one, the Ezra Klein vix podcast details some specifics, the video John angrily turned off detailed some of it (such as excluding subgroups from "white" only when convenient), the handwaves ("segregation might cause some of this, but what this book presupposes is that it doesn't...").

Honestly I'm done with both on this topic. Neither is interested in the truth, and John admitted that he's working off having read the book 10+ years ago and seems to not have read anything critical of it. The idea that one could use data from a legit I study (which is loaded in and of itself) and therefore can't have cherry-picks which studies to compare or ignored any criticism of methodology after the fact is just ludicrous.

I'm going to take my own advice and just leave the topic alone, because there's no sense in continuing to humor a dishonest debate.
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There is no such law in Hungary. One neonazi mayor enacted some anti-muslim ordinances. Are you sure you want to align yourself with nazis?

[..] I am not aligning myself with any of his views apart from the one that is at least of mixed mind about a face covering ban... rather than horrified by the idea. It is exactly this kind of overly-emotive language... "align yourself with Nazis" that I was talking about it in the other thread. I don't think if I was supporting a Merkel policy you'd call me a Nazi on that basis, even though she has supported Islamic dress bans and suggested she was wrong to admit as many migrants as she did.

Yeah, I really hate that too.
Stop it, Rai. It's such a basic fallacy for someone on a skeptical forum to resort to...

Yet, for some reason, you did not bring up Merkel as an example, but a neonazi mayor from a fascist authoritarian state.
In Snarl's case, I think Rai's right.  Feminism and Islam?  Existential terror.  Militias, neo-nazis, etc.?  Vociferous, principled appeals to tolerance and freedom.

Yeah, Rai makes a valid point. SnarlPatrick specifically cited the intolerance of the Hungarian fascist Jobbik party as an example of an anti-Muslim policy that works. That is not too far afield from aligning oneself with Nazis, unwittingly or not.


I think it's absolutely pertinent when someone starts to ellipse about soft genocide (the Raphael Lemkin's definition) it's pertinent to ask if they're intentionally choosing to align themselves with the poster-kinder for genocide, before we get a much more poorly written version of the 14 words.

Frankly I'm continually appalled that advocating genocide is tolerated here, but hey maybe we can debate our way through and figure out if picking out one group to focus all our hate on will be productive this time.

While I disagree with banning religious practices for the express purpose of making the country unattractive to the people of a certain religion, I think it's a bit beyond the pale to mischaracterize such policies as "genocide." They're certainly a far cry from what Raphael Lemkin was talking about when he coined the term to describe the mass murders of German Jews and Turkish Armenians, so I find it a little perplexing that you chose to invoke his name in this conversation.

The idea of "soft genocide" refers to "ethnic cleansing" by way of banishment, forced relocation, and deprivation of resources, as opposed to outright mass murder. For all his hysteria about Muslim invasions and terrorists in burkas, I don't think SnarlPatrick is quite to the point of cheering for ethnic cleansing.
Lemkin specifically said violence was not necessary; I invoked his name specifically to avoid the confusion.

"Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups…."

From "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe ix. 79"

Emphasis mine. Lemkin identified mass violence as an extreme form of genocide, but explicitly does not intend for it to be thought of as violence. Banning religious practices and requiring complete cultural assimilation is a form of genocide.

Of course continuing with the "aligning with Nazis" theme, the Polish government looked into exporting Polish Jews to Madagascar. The Reich did the same up until they decided mechanized slaughter was more efficient. I don't think it's necessary to wait until people start calling for mass murder to start saying "Hey you're calling for genocide" especially when they've said they "hope violence won't be necessary" to drive them out.
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Worried that we might find this same thing about Bill Nye, Steve, etc. . . .

There's no "finding" involved, really. All it would take is for somebody to make accusations.


For what it's worth, American Atheists is taking the appropriate action and launching an independent investigation. The board members are refraining from making public statements about the situation until the investigation is complete.
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General Discussion / Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Last post by fuzzyMarmot on Today at 03:37:36 AM »
pdb and John Albert, I think you should both give Matthew Yglesias' piece another read (this could be one of the articles that SQ is referring to).

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/10/17182692/bell-curve-charles-murray-policy-wrong

I think Yglesias makes an extremely powerful case that CM is motivated by racist ideas, and that he is interested in furthering a fringe political agenda, not science. Yglesias quotes CM at length about what CM thinks are the primary points of the book.

Furthermore, I think it's important for everyone to consider the harmful impact of elevating toxic ideologies as legitimate ideas worthy of public debate. If you are part of a privileged group, it's easy to see such a debate as a fun intellectual exercise. If you are not, the stakes are much, much higher. If debating these things feels like baseball to you, then it's possible that you have significant gaps in your understanding of the social and historical context. This is something we all struggle with, but we should all strive to educate ourselves.

In debates about science and policy, it is important to treat each other with respect and to engage in a well-intentioned exchange of ideas. I enjoy debating people who I disagree with politically, but who make me question and reevaluate my own ideas. There are some strains of thought that are beyond the pale, though (because the line of reasoning is demonstrably misleading, ill-intentioned, thoroughly debunked, and actively harmful). We should not applaud people for their debating style if they support these ideas.
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Podcast Episodes / Re: Episode 667
« Last post by God Bomb on Today at 03:11:39 AM »
re: subvocalisation - i've had a thought pop into my head while i'm drinking, and i'm sure the subvocalisation has made me choke.  it's usually when i'm with others and i really want to blurt out what i'm thinking.

I'm skeptical about subvocalisation, it's basically relying on the power of the AI to understand, recognise and interpret very small movements/sounds into full speech.  Even speech recognition based on actual speech isn't that reliable so I can't see this being particularly accurate.  On one hand I guess there are different data points to speech recognition, but I'm not totally convinced all the information is there to assemble full speech from subvocalisations.
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