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General Discussions => Skepticism / Science Talk => Topic started by: heyalison on April 24, 2019, 03:51:53 PM

Title: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 24, 2019, 03:51:53 PM
Another interesting article on the culture of "debate me," this one from The New Republic (https://newrepublic.com/article/153645/constructive-debate). It begins with the trans antagonism of Jesse Singal, through the reactionary right, and into general cultural trend of applying concepts of reason and free speech in haphazard ways. I would suggest there's more than a fair bit of this kind of bad faith arguing here on these forums (that cultural appropriation thread, ugh), and there's certainly a tendency among some to fall back on personal definitions and frameworks while demanding their take is universal.

From the article: "It is telling that critics of the social justice movement are obsessed with free speech and debate: It is the one inviolable principle they can fall back on when argument on the actual issues fails."
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 04:23:30 PM
Comparing the issues addressed in this article to the "cultural appropriation thread" is in itself bad faith arguing.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: amysrevenge on April 24, 2019, 04:49:00 PM
I like this.  I grok it down to my core.  It entirely informs my social justice leanings.  "History has selectively concealed the experience of reality felt by people without power."
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 24, 2019, 05:23:25 PM
The brave heroes who tell us that they just hope to convince even one spectator of the debate and it will have been worth it.
But if their opponent convinces 2 people then was it not worth it?
Maaaaybe this is more about their egos, seeing arguing as a hobby and not so much the issues?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:26:35 PM
The 'dispassionate debate' remarks always make me think of this, which I've seen:
(https://i.imgur.com/XkBNGd3.jpg)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 05:31:27 PM
The brave heroes who tell us that they just hope to convince even one spectator of the debate and it will have been worth it.
But if their opponent convinces 2 people then was it not worth it?
Maaaaybe this is more about their egos, seeing arguing as a hobby and not so much the issues?

So the solution is what? To refrain from discussing scientific, political, or philosophical issues with anybody you don't agree with?

Maybe purporting to tell other people about their own values is more about your ego. 

This is a skeptics community, after all, and is supposed to be a place to discuss and debate issues that we deem important.

Who is trying to silence trans people or question anybody's rights? Who are the Hitlers in this community?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:35:20 PM
'All debate is always good' only makes sense if 'all speech is always good'

Some speech is:
So the solution is what?

To not use a blanket rule here.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 05:45:21 PM
And let's not pretend that ego isn't always involved in any discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:53:05 PM
My view on three common alt-right tacks:These people are bad faith actors co-opting this cultural niche's language
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 06:05:23 PM
We've all seen the "free speech" canard trotted out as a flimsy defense against de-platforming.

But have you ever actually had somebody goad you by saying "debate me!"? Do people actually talk like that?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 08:50:51 PM
Yeah, I see it a lot from alt-right people.  By rank-and-file on social media when they're pushing racism and sexism.  By media figures when they're trying to latch onto higher profile persons or just attacking them (and their audience eats it up). 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:24:49 PM
Comparing the issues addressed in this article to the "cultural appropriation thread" is in itself bad faith arguing.

I agree with you.

Also, nobody was goaded to join the discussion in the cultural appropriation thread. Those who felt like discussing did so, those who did not, didn't. Which is as it should be.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:25:49 PM
Yeah, I see it a lot from alt-right people.  By rank-and-file on social media when they're pushing racism and sexism.  By media figures when they're trying to latch onto higher profile persons or just attacking them (and their audience eats it up).

Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 25, 2019, 01:44:26 PM
Sounds like you want to debate about debate?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:48:31 PM
Sounds like you want to debate about debate?

Asking for an example is not debating.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 25, 2019, 01:54:19 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:56:05 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.

I have no idea what "Skinheads of the Galaxy" refers to.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on April 25, 2019, 02:26:18 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.

And let's not all the "Shapiro/Peterson/Harrs destroys feminist/muslim/socialist with REASON and LOGIC" "content" on the internet. The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 26, 2019, 10:08:17 AM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 11:30:13 AM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on April 26, 2019, 03:04:34 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 26, 2019, 03:16:33 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.

Can you give some examples of this?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 07:00:06 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.

Do you mean the first page of this thread or the parent message board in general?

To be honest that post because it was the most recent upon my reading this thread, it seemed to me the worst case of hyperbole and misrepresenting how I perceived the conversation so far and because the original post itself almost feels like bait. It doesn't name people specifically but addresses people in this forum of going all "debate me" and then a specific thread. We know who she's talking about, we know they'll read this thread and it's not a shock they'll be commenting regarding that because it's obviously a shot taken which didn't need to be. It's practically spillover when you could just address specific concerns about a thread within it. But up until this point I have seen no rage, like at all, and to refer to the responses in that way just seems like OP was primed to receive an enraged reply.

Now this is all just how it looks to me. And it's admittedly after reading several other threads (not by OP) that give me the same feeling. So maybe I'm primed to perceive it more in that way. I don't know anyone's real intentions, just that I've been getting a lot of bad vibes.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 26, 2019, 07:18:09 PM
We know who she's talking about

No we don't.

She took the cultural appropriation thread as an example, in that case it is, I assume, me and John Albert. But according to the OP, that was just one example. Other than that, we don't know. There have been vague accusations thrown around in this thread about people wanting to boost their egos, alt-rightists, people who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance, but all requests for actual examples, and/or information about who these people on this forum are have so far been met with silence.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 07:43:40 PM
We know who she's talking about

No we don't.

She took the cultural appropriation thread as an example, in that case it is, I assume, me and John Albert. But according to the OP, that was just one example. Other than that, we don't know. There have been vague accusations thrown around in this thread about people wanting to boost their egos, alt-rightists, people who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance, but all requests for actual examples, and/or information about who these people on this forum are have so far been met with silence.

I only meant that CA thread, and I'm assuming the same.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 27, 2019, 07:22:21 AM
Jesus christ, outrage, then. It speaks volumes that people are more willing to attack women for a poor choice of words than men who stan for racist talking points (which the majority of the contributions on that thread are).

If you want to dismiss me as passive-aggressive or as having personal issues with specific posters and not the ongoing creep of alt-right and outright fascist talking points into skepticism in general, well, that's some typical sexist myopia. The reason I posted this article is because this is a serious issue, and if you look out into the culture beyond this forum people are discussing it. But if you criticize these behaviors (and apparently especially if you're not a white guy) here then you get dogpiled. And you want to talk about passive-aggressive? Half of the arguments you get from these guys is pearl-clutching "Oh, but you're not a real skeptic then!" whining. And, of course, bad-faith misrepresentations of the actual topics over and over.

The inability to engage the issues in this article and others I've posted, and to instead make it into an issue about me personally, is typical of the ways in which the right dismisses criticism. It's lazy "both sides"-ism, it's sexism, and it is there to talk over discussion of actual issues--as has happened again here.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 27, 2019, 08:10:16 AM
Well frankly, if you arent going to go through the trouble of going back through multiple threads and finding specific quotes that people can then quibble over into infinity then Im not going to do any introspection.
/s

Edited portion in next post.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 27, 2019, 08:37:20 AM
I would like to add , if I havent already before, that I really appreciate heyalison making the effort to still be here and give these perspectives. It is really hard (for me anyway) emotionally to engage in these drawn out point for point disagreements that are clearly going nowhere, so the time and effort in the face of flat out denial and derision is something I very much respect.
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on April 27, 2019, 08:39:02 AM
Jesus christ, outrage, then. It speaks volumes that people are more willing to attack women for a poor choice of words than men who stan for racist talking points (which the majority of the contributions on that thread are).

If you want to dismiss me as passive-aggressive or as having personal issues with specific posters and not the ongoing creep of alt-right and outright fascist talking points into skepticism in general, well, that's some typical sexist myopia. The reason I posted this article is because this is a serious issue, and if you look out into the culture beyond this forum people are discussing it. But if you criticize these behaviors (and apparently especially if you're not a white guy) here then you get dogpiled. And you want to talk about passive-aggressive? Half of the arguments you get from these guys is pearl-clutching "Oh, but you're not a real skeptic then!" whining. And, of course, bad-faith misrepresentations of the actual topics over and over.

The inability to engage the issues in this article and others I've posted, and to instead make it into an issue about me personally, is typical of the ways in which the right dismisses criticism. It's lazy "both sides"-ism, it's sexism, and it is there to talk over discussion of actual issues--as has happened again here.

Thanks for posting the article. I don't grok all of it, but I will read it again. I have become increasingly frustrated with the discourse here too. I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

The energy and interest to continue trying to make this place inclusive and welcoming isn't worth it to me anymore.

I'll check back in May or June, maybe.

Bye.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 27, 2019, 08:39:55 AM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 28, 2019, 06:41:08 AM
I had several paragraphs in response and just opted to delete them in the end. The point I'd like to make would require multiple examples which feels petty, a waste of energy and not likely to change anything.

I'll just try and stick to safer threads about movies, books and silly things for this forum.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 05:07:42 PM
The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse

This accusation is absurd. Nobody can "appropriate the discourse." If your view is not being represented in "the discourse," that's nobody's fault but yours. It's even more obtuse to assert that your own viewpoint is above question, and nobody should be debating it in the first place.

The basic gist of your objections seems to be that if you can't assert control over the language and scope of discussion to hinder all viewpoints besides your own, then reasoned discussion is generally a bad thing. That illiberal view is a lynchpin of totalitarianism.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 05:34:19 PM
it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some

If consulting a dictionary is removed from the "skeptical toolbox," then how are we supposed to clarify the terms of discussion when people start misusing words in crazy ways?


the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men.

Which demands are being made of people of color?

How do the self-appointed "allies" know that they're accurately representing the interests of the people they're trying to protect, when even people of color don't all agree about what constitutes cultural appropriation?

So teasing out the details and making sense of that concept is the purpose of that thread. Being that this is a skeptics forum, we're trying to discuss the concept in terms of evidence and reason. Evidence and reason are are not the exclusive purview of "white men"; they're tools that serve everyone regardless of demographic identity.


Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format.

The discussion in the last few pages of the thread have been about trying to establish a cogent definition of "cultural appropriation." The problem is that the goalposts keep shifting all over the place.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 28, 2019, 07:08:01 PM
Personally, I just gave up on 'cultural appropriation' as a concept. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 08:51:28 PM
Personally, I just gave up on 'cultural appropriation' as a concept.

In order to prevent spillover, I'm going to answer this over in the other thread (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48481.msg9611871.html#msg9611871).
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on April 28, 2019, 11:52:58 PM
The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse

This accusation is absurd. Nobody can "appropriate the discourse." If your view is not being represented in "the discourse," that's nobody's fault but yours. It's even more obtuse to assert that your own viewpoint is above question, and nobody should be debating it in the first place.

The basic gist of your objections seems to be that if you can't assert control over the language and scope of discussion to hinder all viewpoints besides your own, then reasoned discussion is generally a bad thing. That illiberal view is a lynchpin of totalitarianism.

If I wated to be funny, I would quote the dictionary definition of totalitarianism and murder the discussion by doggedly sticking to my one and only correct definition with the confodence of a clueless white man.

Instead, I just appreciate how the tone police, once again, showed up in full force to protect nazis and smear people who maliciously spoke out against them.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 29, 2019, 12:49:16 AM
If I wated to be funny

You don't have to want to be funny.


I would quote the dictionary definition of totalitarianism

Have I misused the word "totalitarianism" by pointing out that one of its primary strategies is to assert complete control over the public discourse?


Instead, I just appreciate how the tone police, once again, showed up in full force to protect nazis and smear people who maliciously spoke out against them.

In this fantasy of yours, who are these "tone police" who protect Nazis and smear people?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 29, 2019, 02:11:31 PM
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.

Yep, the politics sub-forum here has certainly got a reputation (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x):

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 29, 2019, 04:57:21 PM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 06:56:40 AM
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.

Yep, the politics sub-forum here has certainly got a reputation (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x):

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.

Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 08:57:32 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 09:00:24 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 09:02:22 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 09:05:15 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)

Oh, lordy, kid, you have some deep persecution issues. Anyway, I'm going to slip you back onto ignore. Bad on me for engaging!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 09:09:50 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)

Oh, lordy, kid, you have some deep persecution issues. Anyway, I'm going to slip you back onto ignore. Bad on me for engaging!

Thank you. I know it is a bad idea to try to engage with you because you clearly aren't interested in that, but sometimes I can't resist.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on April 30, 2019, 10:44:48 AM
I get the sense a lot of people, across all spectra, totally underestimate how cognitively difficult some of these social justice concepts are, and then bandy them around without full understanding.  This is probably just bias on my part but that's the sense I am getting. 

That was the origin of my struggle with the idea of cultural appropriation.  Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  One of those is much more likely than the other.  So the goal shouldn't be to prove the experts wrong, it should be to learn as much as possible about their reasoning to prove to yourself why they might be right.  Of course, there is a chance they are wrong, and some of this comes down to opinion, but at least it should be an informed opinion.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 10:54:42 AM
That was the origin of my struggle with the idea of cultural appropriation.  Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  Of course, some of this comes down to subjective opinion.  Ultiamtely wherther or not cultural appropriation is "bad" comes down a to a value judgement, but it should be an informed one.

Who are these scholars? Do they exist outside of the US? In what fields do they have expertise?

I'm going to re-post the original quote I referred to in the other thread (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48481.msg9611833.html#msg9611833), and the original blogpost (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2015/12/some-thoughts-on-cultural-appropriation/) deserves to be read as a whole:

Quote
The point I’m stuck on is this: If culture can be appropriated, who is it appropriated from? In other words, what defines who the “rightful” owners of a cultural practice are? Is it based on race, nationality, country of birth, or something else entirely?

For instance, if I were an ethnically white person adopted by Japanese parents and raised in Japan, would it be cultural appropriation for me to wear kimonos or collect Japanese art? Conversely, what if I were ethnically Japanese but born and raised in America with no particular connection to Japan? Would I be exempted from charges of cultural appropriation, just based on the DNA I happened to be born with?

My point is that there isn’t and couldn’t be a definitive answer to these questions. There’s no high arbiter of culture to rule on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Some people may be happy to see their cultural innovations appreciated and adopted by outsiders; others may be staunchly opposed; still others may be indifferent. None of these opinions are more right or more wrong than the others, and if it seems wrong to mock or fetishize another culture, it seems equally wrong to grant a heckler’s veto to anyone in the world who wants to stake a claim on the matter.

It’s always a good idea to approach cultures not your own with respect and sensitivity. But an overly rigid insistence on sharp lines of demarcation strikes me as suspect. It perpetuates the essentialist fallacy that cultures are distinct and homogeneous groups of people who are all like each other and unlike everyone else. Such balkanization has no basis in reality: there’s no unique essence that all Japanese people, all Indian people, or all American people have in common. Every culture is enormously diverse; every culture blends with and bleeds into others at the edges.

Ultimately, all human culture is a remix. Starting from childhood, we learn by imitating others around us. Civilizations intermingle and cross-pollinate, absorbing ideas from each other, regardless of whether they meet through trade, migration or war. We borrow and adapt words, food, fashion, art, music, religion. Almost everything we do “comes from” somewhere else, and I’d be willing to bet that’s true of every human cultural practice or invention, going back to the knowledge of how to knap flint into spear points. Cultures only seem distinct and static on the short timescale of individual lives; over many generations, they diffuse into each other until it’s impossible to answer the question of who came up with what.

If these objections were seriously and ably answered, I would seriously reconsider my position.

See, I even state my objections and that responses to them would change my mind. Something entirely different from heyalison's "Agree with me!" posts that so strongly impresses Harry Black.

Of course it comes down to value judgement, in part. I am a cosmopolitan in my outlook. I oppose segregation, I oppose Balkanization, I oppose viewing people as members of collective groups based on superficial attributes rather than as individuals with their own intellectual commitments, etc.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on April 30, 2019, 11:19:57 AM
I dont want to derail this thread with specific argument about cultural appropriation, my point was to use it as an example of how hard it is to debate something without full understanding of it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on April 30, 2019, 12:09:06 PM
Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Ah.hell on April 30, 2019, 12:51:19 PM
Its also awfully easy to just assume the reason someone disagrees with you, is because they don't understand you.   Having read the article, it mostly just sounds like, "we shouldn't even try to explain ourselves to those that disagree because they're dishonest." 

They don't understand so they disagree and they're dishonest so we don't even need to listen to them. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Billzbub on April 30, 2019, 01:02:48 PM
Let me see if I can summarize what I thought the article said.

People who dictate what is true have a lot of power, and it is people in power that can dictate truth.  Because of this, what they think of as the truth only takes into account their experiences, and their version of the truth does not take into account the experiences of the marginalized.  It is a self-reinforcing cycle, and the difference in the truths controlled by the powerful and the truths known by the marginalized are so great that discourse between the two sides is nearly impossible.

Am I close?  I have a hard time parsing philosophical writing like that.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 30, 2019, 01:02:56 PM
I think there's a niche use-case for when a dominant culture jams up a non-dominant culture by redefining shit (e.g. Nazis ruined swastikas in the west)

But regular left-wing discourse finds appropriation under every instance of whites adopting non-white culture.  It looks like a lazy, pseudo-intellectual games of one-upsmanship to me.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 02:49:49 PM
I think there's a niche use-case for when a dominant culture jams up a non-dominant culture by redefining shit (e.g. Nazis ruined swastikas in the west)

But regular left-wing discourse finds appropriation under every instance of whites adopting non-white culture.  It looks like a lazy, pseudo-intellectual games of one-upsmanship to me.

OK, that's a fair initial response, but I think it's missing the broader context. You can't talk about cultural appropriation (CA, to save typing) without cultural context. But even that is not enough, you have to show up with the understanding that there has been an intentional and coordinated effort to undermine the concept by bad actors such as 4chan, 8chan and others. Part of their playbook is to post online as though they are proponents of CA, but then describe ridiculous examples that are easily undermined. Pretty much the entire CA thread has been expressions of these "But I saw this on Tumblr!" efforts, which work to make the concept seem ridiculous and not real. I'm not being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, chatroom dumps of 4chan and 8chan show us these are intentional and planned. They have used online outrage tactics again and again to feed false narratives into the discussion of social justice issues.

This is how we end up with responses such as "I guess we're just awful people for saying that making tacos doesn't harm anyone," from the CA thread here. After how many thousands of replies we end up at such a disingenuous comment as that isn't by chance. It's because bad actors have infected the discussion so much so that either intentionally or not, people pick up these ideas and arguments against a strawman CA. It appeals to many white guys who feel like they are being personally attacked by the advances of minorities to be able to dismiss their concerns as unfounded.  It appeals to many who've also picked up essentialist ideas about free speech without consequences from those same bad actors. And that's not even out and out racists, but it is a gateway to further radicalization. Its intent is to radicalize white people against the concerns of racialized people and minorities.

So with that well so badly poisoned, then I think it is up to white folks to be aware of that, and how they're being manipulated by a message meant to lure them to the side of believing minorities are coddled and lie about their hardships. It makes having an unbiased take on CA very difficult for white people, even moreso if they question the intent of the examples they're being told, i.e. the 4chan and 8chan etc. disino efforts. Is that a hill you're feeling 100% confident to die on? These are extreme times, and as a white person I'm not willing to make that bet. Knowing how easily we are manipulated into bias, and knowing how minorities are actually treated--that leads me to use my critical thinking to go "Hey, wait a sec." And when you engage with actual examples and explanations of CA, and not as a thing to be debated--as many people tried to do on the CA thread--you might come away with both a greater empathy for the experience of minorities and a stronger critical filter.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 06:24:36 AM
I get the sense a lot of people, across all spectra, totally underestimate how cognitively difficult some of these social justice concepts are, and then bandy them around without full understanding. This is probably just bias on my part but that's the sense I am getting.

Are social justice concepts really that inscrutably rigorous? The concepts are really not so hard to grasp when compared to, say, differential calculus, thermodynamics, or French symbolist literature.  ;)

Seriously, I've read quite a bit about dialectics, intersectionality theory, and feminist epistemology. None of the underlying theory was all that difficult to understand. The main problems I had were that some of the core concepts are highly subjective, much of it is predicated on collectivizing and generalizing people, and some of the ideas are denialistic and even hostile to science.

It's no mystery that we all have different feelings and attitudes with regard to demographic groups outside our own, and we all need to understand where each other are coming from before we can even begin to address the myriad social problems. But I don't think we're going to get there by declaring moral superiority, drawing battle lines, fighting stereotypes with ever more stereotypes, and vilifying anyone who disagrees with our opinions.

That said, I still believe there's great value in many of the concepts of Marxist feminist theory. I just don't think the ideology as a whole ought to be asserted on general principles without question. As freethinkers, we ought to question everything.
 

Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  One of those is much more likely than the other.

A third alternative is that a lot of the material was inherently subjective, hence neither true nor false but a matter of personal opinion.


So the goal shouldn't be to prove the experts wrong, it should be to learn as much as possible about their reasoning to prove to yourself why they might be right.

I disagree with that approach. When I hear something that seems unreasonable, my first inclination is not to try and prove to myself why it must be correct. My first inclination is to look for the evidence and line of reasoning behind the conclusion being presented.


Of course, there is a chance they are wrong, and some of this comes down to opinion, but at least it should be an informed opinion.

Yes, this is correct. Social theories are not like scientific theories which can be objectively verified through experiment. There is a chance they are wrong, or that it's simply a matter of personal opinion and opinions may vary.

As with any other subject, skepticism prescribes that we apply the rules of basic epistemology.

History is full of ill-conceived social theories which looked reasonable at first, but ended up causing a lot of damage in the long run.

That's why it's important to have critical discussions about these concepts, to examine and critique them in detail, instead of just accepting them at face value and personally denigrating anybody who questions or disagrees.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 07:16:53 AM
This is how we end up with responses such as "I guess we're just awful people for saying that making tacos doesn't harm anyone," from the CA thread here.

That particular response was an attempt at defusing the exasperation with a little absurdist humor.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 08:45:11 AM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on May 01, 2019, 09:53:48 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 01, 2019, 10:04:52 AM
And there's a point where arguing in bad faith will demotivate people from engaging with you. It doesn't make you right, it means you're untrustworthy.

Ironically, this brings the point back to the original article, and how the debate-me crowd will declare victory in the absence of engagement on their terms.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 10:12:55 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.

Again, I have yet to see any evidence of an expert consensus on cultural appropriation, as you refuse to show it. For clarification, the opinions of heyalison and Harry Black are not qualified to be expert consensus.

To compare doubt about the validity of the concept of cultural appropriation to creationism is ridiculous. A more apt comparison is that believers in the concept seem to have a creationist-level understanding of human culture and human history.

Show me the consensus and answer the objections I have linked to multiple times. I am not going to take it on faith, or believe in it just because it is part of the beliefs of some political tribe.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on May 01, 2019, 10:18:45 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.

Again, I have yet to see any evidence of an expert consensus on cultural appropriation, as you refuse to show it. For clarification, the opinions of heyalison and Harry Black are not qualified to be expert consensus.

To compare doubt about the validity of the concept of cultural appropriation to creationism is ridiculous. A more apt comparison is that believers in the concept seem to have a creationist-level understanding of human culture and human history.

Show me the consensus and answer the objections I have linked to multiple times. I am not going to take it on faith, or believe in it just because it is part of the beliefs of some political tribe.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Ah.hell on May 01, 2019, 10:47:32 AM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 01, 2019, 03:02:25 PM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
I am unwilling to "defend it against critiques and objections" because this is not a debate and I don't have to defend anything. Your demands that random internet people prove established concepts to you are boorish. I am not an expert on the subject, the experts all agree on this concept, your questions are assinine and irrelevant, and I don't give a shit anymore; it is up to you to educate yourself.

If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 01, 2019, 03:09:38 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.
The point is that if you are genuinely interested in a topic and are asking such basic questions then it would probably behove you to go and do some bare basic research.

If you refuse to do so because of a generally accepted practice of debate then it says a lot about your intent to learn vs your devotion to a format. You wont be any more right or wrong in an objective sense by them going and delivering links to you, but you arent doing the basic work that one might expect of someone who has decided they disagree with an idea.

This is debatemebro culture rearing its head in trying to force a debate where people have said or implied they are not interested in it and then declaring victory (of the non debate) when people choose not to engage.

And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 03:12:53 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.

The results look a lot like an ongoing debate about what constitutes cultural appropriation. Even the articles that advocate most strongly for the concept show a tendency to admit that it's very subjective and context-dependent.

This is not like questioning the existence of an empirical fact like global warming or the effectiveness of vaccines. Social theories are not data-driven scientific models, but more akin to commentary or persuasive writing about social issues.

I haven't seen anybody around here demanding a debate. There's a lively discussion going on about a topic in a thread, and anybody is free to participate or not participate. Just because somebody may disagree, that is no reason to lash out at them with personal attacks.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:14:08 PM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
I am unwilling to "defend it against critiques and objections" because this is not a debate and I don't have to defend anything. Your demands that random internet people prove established concepts to you are boorish. I am not an expert on the subject, the experts all agree on this concept, your questions are assinine and irrelevant, and I don't give a shit anymore; it is up to you to educate yourself.

If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

Again, who are these scholars that all agree? We are still not being told. It is not an established concept outside of certain corners of American college campuses. If you ask a 100 random people on the street here if they have heard about it, almost none will (they will have heard of evolution and climate change).

And I am not going to accept the belief without good reason. That the belief is part of the belief-system of your political tribe and your identity is irrelevant. I'm not going to take it on faith. And if you and heyalison don't want your pet ideas to be discussed or debated, it is a very asinine idea to create a thread about it on an internet forum.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 03:20:54 PM
If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

I'm not sure I agree with this line of reasoning.

Lots of people devote their professional lives to scholarship of subjects that are wrong, or at the very least unfalsifiable. One could make a very long list starting with theology and running the gamut all the way to alternative medicine practices.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:24:26 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.
The point is that if you are genuinely interested in a topic and are asking such basic questions then it would probably behove you to go and do some bare basic research.

If you refuse to do so because of a generally accepted practice of debate then it says a lot about your intent to learn vs your devotion to a format. You wont be any more right or wrong in an objective sense by them going and delivering links to you, but you arent doing the basic work that one might expect of someone who has decided they disagree with an idea.

This is debatemebro culture rearing its head in trying to force a debate where people have said or implied they are not interested in it and then declaring victory (of the non debate) when people choose not to engage.

And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.

This is elaborate special pleading.

It takes less than 10 seconds to google for the consensus on global warming (https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-basic.htm) and on evolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution). They are all suggested by Google when I start to write, indicating that these are subjects people search for on a re-occurring basis. No such suggestion is given for cultural appropriation, and the findings of the result don't point to any consensus. The concept does seem to be rather ill-defined.

If you post on an internet forum and insist that you don't want the subject of the post discussed, what is the point? Why even post it at all?

It was stated that there is an expert consensus on cultural appropriation and asked for a source for the claim. You then come along and try to stamp that out. I'm not going to believe it because someone you admires says so.

Can I start a thread about Harry Black, claim various things about him, and insist that I am not interested in debating this, and therefore refuse to back up any claims?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:25:58 PM
If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

I'm not sure I agree with this line of reasoning.

Lots of people devote their professional lives to scholarship of subjects that are wrong, or at the very least unfalsifiable. One could make a very long list starting with theology and running the gamut all the way to alternative medicine practices.

All homeopaths agree that homeopathy works.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:31:41 PM
And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.

You mean like this (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x)?

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.

How about the self-introspection that you suggested to people who disagree with you?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 01, 2019, 03:54:29 PM
(…)
Again, who are these scholars that all agree? We are still not being told. It is not an established concept outside of certain corners of American college campuses. If you ask a 100 random people on the street here if they have heard about it, almost none will (they will have heard of evolution and climate change).

And I am not going to accept the belief without good reason. That the belief is part of the belief-system of your political tribe and your identity is irrelevant. I'm not going to take it on faith. And if you and heyalison don't want your pet ideas to be discussed or debated, it is a very asinine idea to create a thread about it on an internet forum.
[/quote]
Again, I don't have to tell you shit. I don't care what you think about CA. Educate your own damn self. Or don't. Your opinion is irrelevant.

Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven." I'm not going to sit here and explain 3000 years of scholarship to you, just to get you to accept CA, or intersectional feminism, or any other basic concept, or why they are different from pseudoscience. For some reason, people seem to think they can become experts on these subjects by reading a couple articles. I read about astronomy all the time, does that make me an astrophysicist? Move over, NASA, I'll fix that rocket for you!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 04:01:10 PM
In this interview (https://www.startalkradio.net/show/think-like-a-skeptic-with-cara-santa-maria-and-steven-novella/) on StarTalk, around 5:20, Steve makes an off the cuff joke about cultural appropriation, and they laugh at it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 04:03:56 PM
Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven."

Which is quite ironic because skepticism is itself a philosophical concept.

But it's also important to recognize that discussion and debate are the primary activities of philosophy.


In this interview (https://www.startalkradio.net/show/think-like-a-skeptic-with-cara-santa-maria-and-steven-novella/) on StarTalk, around 5:20, Steve makes an off the cuff joke about cultural appropriation, and they laugh at it.

It's clear that he understands the concept well enough to make a good joke about it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 04:21:31 PM
I like this.  I grok it down to my core.  It entirely informs my social justice leanings.  "History has selectively concealed the experience of reality felt by people without power."

Isn't that the primary motivation behind Howard Zinn's historiographic approach? 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 07, 2019, 11:24:14 PM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 08, 2019, 11:45:57 AM
This is where I started to wonder if you're an intelligent racist working to corrupt our community.

Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)


None of this establishes that I am a racist, or that I deny that racism is a thing. You will have to point out the exact quotes that to your mind do so.

And my claim was never that the US does not have issues.

And can you clarify how I "corrupt" the community?

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.

I'm not interested in semantics here. English is not my first language, and you understood very well what I meant. My English is still better than your Swedish. My Norwegian is probably better than your Norwegian...
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 08, 2019, 11:44:27 PM
This is where I started to wonder if you're an intelligent racist working to corrupt our community.

Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)


None of this establishes that I am a racist, or that I deny that racism is a thing. You will have to point out the exact quotes that to your mind do so.

And my claim was never that the US does not have issues.

And can you clarify how I "corrupt" the community?

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.

I'm not interested in semantics here. English is not my first language, and you understood very well what I meant. My English is still better than your Swedish. My Norwegian is probably better than your Norwegian...

Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing and that segregation doesn't happen anymore are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel. The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

The YouTube video is a jokey way I remember that slander is spoken and libel is written. I learned that from that scene and it still makes me smile.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 09, 2019, 05:01:10 AM
Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

Yeah, it's shocking how holding racist opinions and sharing racist talking points will make people suspect your motives when talking about race.

And maybe if this isn't your native tongue then hold back on the smugness and arrogance? Maybe the aggression, too? Apart from your dogwhistle racism it makes you sound like an asshole and a bit of a loser.

Odd how there are so many progressive, totally not racist/sexist men here who just happen to lose their shit if they're ever challenged by a woman or person of colour (or queer people or trans people, or anyone who isn't a white cis man).


Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 11:57:01 AM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

and that segregation doesn't happen anymore

A very uncharitable reading on your part. It was clear from the context that I referred to segregation in the American south up until the 1960s or so.

are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel.

Being mistaken about the two things you mentioned would not constitute racism.

The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

That race isn't a thing is a scientific fact. And I referred to segregation in a particular context, which is what we were talking about.

You should retract and apologize, but I doubt you will.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:13:40 PM
Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

Yeah, it's shocking how holding racist opinions

Such as?

and sharing racist talking points

Such as?

will make people suspect your motives when talking about race.

I never talk about race. You and your ideological compatriots talk about race, skin color, etc, all the time. I never ever do that. I never make sweeping comments about entire demographics, like skin colors, "races", ethnic groups, religious groups, nationalities, etc.

And maybe if this isn't your native tongue then hold back on the smugness and arrogance? Maybe the aggression, too? Apart from your dogwhistle racism it makes you sound like an asshole and a bit of a loser.

Ad hominem.

Odd how there are so many progressive, totally not racist/sexist men here who just happen to lose their shit if they're ever challenged by a woman or person of colour (or queer people or trans people, or anyone who isn't a white cis man).

Well, again, I never refer to demographic factors like that. You do that, not me. Yet, in your world, I am the racist, and you are not. ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:30:55 PM
Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven." I'm not going to sit here and explain 3000 years of scholarship to you, just to get you to accept CA, or intersectional feminism, or any other basic concept, or why they are different from pseudoscience. For some reason, people seem to think they can become experts on these subjects by reading a couple articles. I read about astronomy all the time, does that make me an astrophysicist? Move over, NASA, I'll fix that rocket for you!

I have never made the claims that philosophy is subjective or unproven.

And you have not yet shown us the supposedly existing expert consensus about cultural appropriation, despite several requests.

We can look at a real consensus for you to chew on: The consensus among economists about the benefits of free trade. The consensus is strong, and very easy to find on the internet. For example:

Quote
4 Politically Controversial Issues Where All Economists Agree (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/4-politically-controversial-issues-where-all-economists-agree/255600/)

None of the economists surveyed disagreed that the gains to freer trade are much larger than any costs. And only two economists even said that the answer is uncertain. In a space for additional comments, MIT's Richard Schmalensee declared "If that's not right, almost all of economics is wrong".

Economists have emphasized the benefits of free trade for a long time, reflecting the field's belief in the importance of specialization, comparative advantage, and gains from trade. Indeed, these results are similar to other surveys that show economists strongly supporting free trade.

...

Paul Krugman provides three reasons why intellectuals in particular resist the theory of comparative advantage that underpins free trade: 1) opposition to free trade is intellectually fashionable, 2) comparative advantage is hard to understand, and 3) they are averse to a fundamentally mathematical understanding of the world.

As is reflected in the comments by some of the panelists trade will create winners and losers, which may also explain some opposition to trade. But economists on the left and the right still struggle the understand the level of opposition to trade, and the rejection of the overall gains. Whatever their reasons for resisting, people should follow economists lead and embrace the fact that the gains from freer trade outweigh the costs.

Quote
Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/upshot/economists-actually-agree-on-this-point-the-wisdom-of-free-trade.html)

If Congress were to take an exam in Economics 101, would it pass? We are about to find out.

...

Economists are famous for disagreeing with one another, and indeed, seminars in economics departments are known for their vociferous debate. But economists reach near unanimity on some topics, including international trade.

Quote
Why Economists Are Worried About International Trade (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/business/trump-economists-trade-tariffs.html)

When President Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, I was reminded of a line from George Orwell: “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

While Orwell’s comment was focused on military and political issues of the late 1930s, my subject is economics, and to most people in my field, the benefits of an unfettered system of world trade are obvious. Any good student of Econ 101 can explain the logic.

...

This argument was expanded by David Ricardo in the 19th century. Ricardo addressed the question: What if one nation does everything better than another? His answer was that trade depends on comparative advantage — how good a nation is at producing one thing relative to how good it is at producing another.

Ricardo used England and Portugal as an example. Even if Portugal was better than England at producing both wine and cloth, if Portugal had a larger advantage in wine production, Portugal should export wine and import cloth. Both nations would end up better off.

The same principle applies to people. Given his athletic prowess, Roger Federer may be able to mow his lawn faster than anyone else. But that does not mean he should mow his own lawn. The advantage he has playing tennis is far greater than he has mowing lawns. So, according to Ricardo (and common sense), Mr. Federer should hire a lawn service and spend more time on the court.

Do you accept the (very real) expert consensus on free trade?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:32:24 PM
Since Soldier of FORTRAN has blocked me for pm, maybe he can explain in public what he finds likable about a post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) of logical fallacies and personal attacks?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 12:49:46 PM
No problems with 'debate me culture' on this forum. No sir!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 09, 2019, 12:51:13 PM
Since Soldier of FORTRAN has blocked me for pm, maybe he can explain in public what he finds likable about a post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) of logical fallacies and personal attacks?

Cognitively, you're a little fucked up. And I've run out of patience given how much you rely on delusional superiority as a coping mechanism. 

(Hint: That coping mechanism is a problem which keeps you stuck)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:57:55 PM
No problems with 'debate me culture' on this forum. No sir!

Why post something on a (skeptic) forum and then demand that people don't discuss it? Seems a little odd to me. I would not have posted anymore in this thread, had brilligtove not made his post.

But whatever. If heyalison posts a new thread, I promise I will not post in it, unless it directly addresses me. Complete homogenization of views seems to be what you desire.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 09, 2019, 01:07:30 PM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

and that segregation doesn't happen anymore

A very uncharitable reading on your part. It was clear from the context that I referred to segregation in the American south up until the 1960s or so.

are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel.

Being mistaken about the two things you mentioned would not constitute racism.

The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

That race isn't a thing is a scientific fact. And I referred to segregation in a particular context, which is what we were talking about.

You should retract and apologize, but I doubt you will.

*Sigh*


I don't know why you even care. If race doesn't exist it doesn't matter if I call you racist. The concept has no meaning, right?

Oh! Unless race is a social construct with real, measurable effects, as has been stated many times in this and other threads. Your inability to comprehend this plants you in racist territory in the same way that Bachfiend's inability to comprehend language change plants him in transphobic territory.

At this point I don't know what else to say about your insistence that segregation stopped 50 years ago, despite ample, overwhelming, in-your-face, scientifically measured evidence to the contrary. Unless you can provide some alternative explanation, I'm forced to conclude that you've chosen a racist position and don't care about changing it in light of evidence. I'd really like there to be an alternative that means you're not holding a racist position. Is there one?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 01:15:34 PM
Oh! Unless race is a social construct with real, measurable effects

Of course I have never denied that. But that doesn't make it real beyond being a social construct, that in the US has changed over time, and in other places is different.

Your inability to comprehend this plants you in racist territory in the same way that Bachfiend's inability to comprehend language change plants him in transphobic territory.

Inability to understand anything would't plant anyone anywhere except inability to understand anything. I am not familiar of what you are referring to about bachfiend or any conflict you might have with him, so I won't comment on that one.

At this point I don't know what else to say about your insistence that segregation stopped 50 years ago, despite ample, overwhelming, in-your-face, scientifically measured evidence to the contrary. Unless you can provide some alternative explanation, I'm forced to conclude that you've chosen a racist position and don't care about changing it in light of evidence. I'd really like there to be an alternative that means you're not holding a racist position. Is there one?

Huh? Of course segregation exists. I was talking about institutionalized segregation in the US south in the 1960s, which I have repeatedly stated to you. It's your choice to ignore that, and stick to an uncharitable interpretation.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 02:16:03 PM
Moderator Comment Speculation on the mental state of other users is not ok. Keep it civil.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 02:19:56 PM
Discussion is discussion.
PMing someone to demand an explanation for what posts they 'like' and then calling them out in public when they express that they do not want to talk to you, is the epitome of debatemebro culture.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 09, 2019, 02:26:46 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 09, 2019, 03:30:26 PM
And you have not yet shown us the supposedly existing expert consensus about cultural appropriation, despite several requests.
I have already stated that I don't have to show you shit. I don't owe you an education. This is not a debate. I don't care. Are you seriously this clueless? This is a thread about why refusing to debate is a good idea, and you are providing everyone with one of the most egregious examples yet.

You have successfully brow-beaten your way into winning an argument, even while being wrong on every level about the subject of said debate. This is how we know that debate is completely useless. Congratulations.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 09, 2019, 09:28:15 PM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

Science says that it isn't a biological or genetic thing. But it is absolutely a sociological, psychological, and political thing. Don't ignore that.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 10, 2019, 07:30:37 AM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

That was not what the conversation was about, he knows this, yet here he is again stanning for the plausible deniability of racism and sexism. It's a broke-broke-broken record with this guy. Call a Nazi a Nazi? Can't do that! You're being the divisive one! Call racism racism? No, people deserve the benefit of the doubt, and anyway, Webster's dictionary says you're wrong. Call a piece of shit dude who supports facism a piece of shit? No, you're the problem, calling people ideas pieces of shit is the real problem. Really, it's those SJWs forcing their identity politics that got Trump elected, you know! Privilege is a lie made up by lefties! Really, I'm pro-women, but oh if they ever decide they won't give me the time to argue my pet issues with, then I'll hound them until they do. And I'll have a funny user icon of a seal to show what I really think of harassment.

These are the positions this poster has repeatedly supported. He says he hates Trump, and that he's a progressive guy who supports women and LGBT people, but he seems to push back anytime people from those groups actually define their experience. I'm not sure if John's a troll, an undercover Proud Boy, or just an arrogant dude who found a place in Skepticism to vent his insecurities as superiority and who's a useful idiot for more sinister people. What I do know is the effect is the same, and for a community that loses its shit over anitvaxxers Skeptics seem to have a blind spot or inability to face the creep of alt-right ideology--something with a much larger body count, and with the capacity for much greater harm than even measels outbreaks. Free speech essentialism has bludgeoned the capacity for insight and nuance out of too many of you. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Billzbub on May 10, 2019, 12:51:25 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

If you had stopped there, then I would have believed that you are trying to defend people who use "race doesn't exist" to say that racism doesn't exist.  But then, you went on to say:

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.

...which clearly shows me that you do understand that racism does exist.  So at least you are okay on that point.

I think (and please correct me if I am wrong) what Heyalison is saying is that even though you know that racism exists and is a problem today, you don't understand how a lot of the racist people use the defense that race doesn't exist to perpetuate their racist ideas.  I think that is what brilligtove is accusing Quetzalcoatl of doing.

Quetzalcoatl, I have a couple of questions for you to try to clear things up a bit.
1.  Do you think that racism doesn't exist or isn't important to address because race doesn't exist?
2.  Do you think that people who point out racism (in general I mean, not any specific SGU forums case) are overreacting based on the idea that since race doesn't exist, racism doesn't really mean much?

I think if you clear these things up for us, it would go a long way toward short-circuiting some of this discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: TheIrreverend on May 10, 2019, 05:45:39 PM
Administrator Comment Please focus on discussing the topic at hand and not the alleged failings of other members.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 10, 2019, 05:46:59 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

That was not what the conversation was about, he knows this, yet here he is again stanning for the plausible deniability of racism and sexism.
(click to show/hide)

So you're against having a reasoned discussion, yet personal attacks and insults directed in the third person are what you'd prefer to replace it with?

How do you justify this garbage? Nobody has attacked you personally. A difference of opinion is not a de facto personal attack.

This kind of juvenile nonsense is at the root of many political problems in this era of social media. The echo-chamber culture has made people so brittle about their precious ideologies that they'd prefer to point fingers and hurl insults, rather than engage in a normal conversation over a minor philosophical disagreement.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 10, 2019, 06:31:21 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

If you had stopped there, then I would have believed that you are trying to defend people who use "race doesn't exist" to say that racism doesn't exist.

Just because I pointed out that race is not defensible by genetics, that doesn't mean I'm defending people who say racism doesn't exist. Why would you expect me to say such a thing?

Even though the concept of "races" is mostly irrelevant from a biological view, I fully acknowledge the existence of "race" as a social construct, ethnic heritage and culture.


But then, you went on to say:

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.

...which clearly shows me that you do understand that racism does exist.  So at least you are okay on that point.

Well gee, thanks for giving me the "okay" on that one particular "point." ;)


I think (and please correct me if I am wrong) what Heyalison is saying is that even though you know that racism exists and is a problem today, you don't understand how a lot of the racist people use the defense that race doesn't exist to perpetuate their racist ideas.

I don't doubt that's what heyalison thinks, and as usual she has me completely wrong. I don't think heyalison even bothered to read what I wrote. Maybe my writing just sucks. Either way, I'm pretty sure heyalison is just picking a fight as she so often does. 

Even the original topic and the linked article is irrelevant to the discourse here on the SGU forums. That article does not make a case for debate being a bad thing.

It specifically addresses a particular style of online harassment that some bigots use to bully trans people: couching their personal attacks as "debate" by goading the trans person into the position of intellectually defending of their own personal gender identity. That is a vile tactic, and I'm glad to say I haven't seen anybody doing it around here. I would imagine such behavior would run afoul of the new hate speech rule at any rate.

Posting that article looks like a flimsy excuse to go on a rant against the practice of reasonably discussing our disagreements.


I think that is what brilligtove is accusing Quetzalcoatl of doing.

Yes, brilligtove literally accused Quetzalcoatl of denying that racism exists.

So I went back and reread all of Quetzalcoatl's early posts in this thread, and found nothing even hinting that be might believe that. Then I went back through brilligtove's posts in this thread, and I found this bit of spillover from the "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" thread.

Brill referred to a post by Quetz (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.msg9602863.html#msg9602863) in that thread, wherein he responded to a claim by brilligtove that segregation in Canada is rare, whereas in the US it is frequent and active. Quetz correctly pointed out that the US and Canada have both enacted anti-segregation policies and says it's unfair to compare the pre-Civil Rights Era US to current Canada, which seems reasonable. But he also compared the race situation in the US to that of Sweden, and obviously doesn't seem to understand why race relations play such an important role in US politics.

He also doubles down on the denial of cultural appropriation, which is unsurprising given the discussion has trended toward skepticism of the concept.

Then Quetzalcoatl says something that I found a bit unseemly: "The American success at integration has been considered something we should learn from."

Well, um, yeah... there are undeniably a great many lessons to be learned from the American approach to integration, and race relations in general. But "success" is not exactly the word I would use...

So what's the takeaway? Did Quetz really deny that racism exists? Not explicitly, no.

But he does seem to diminish its importance, at least from a contemporary American liberal perspective. I think it's probably a misunderstanding due to the cultural gap. Sweden is a very different country from the US. Our country is plagued by a horrific and dishonorable history of systemic oppression, race slavery, and genocide, which we seem loathe to address in a forthright and repentant manner. That's why issues of race are so divisive here in the US, and why many of us are so defensive about it. We live with it every day, but I don't necessarily expect everybody from other countries to fully understand how fucked-up this country really is.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 10, 2019, 08:48:52 PM
Check out the thread about how Canada is a great place to live. I was pretty direct in attempting to pin him down on racism and segregation today. I was shocked and appalled by his answers.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 11, 2019, 06:40:37 AM
Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 11, 2019, 07:14:50 AM
Check out the thread about how Canada is a great place to live. I was pretty direct in attempting to pin him down on racism and segregation today. I was shocked and appalled by his answers.

Which thread is that? Is it "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.165.html)? I just checked that thread, and the last post was from March 26.

Could you please post a link to your conversation with Quetzalcoatl from today?



Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.

If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 11, 2019, 08:31:26 AM
Yeah, the problem is definitely with the women, trans people, queer people and people of colour that keep leaving because they lack social skills.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 11, 2019, 09:23:57 AM
Which thread is that? Is it "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.165.html)? I just checked that thread, and the last post was from March 26.

Could you please post a link to your conversation with Quetzalcoatl from today?

Try this one: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.msg9602863.html#msg9602863
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 11, 2019, 03:08:16 PM
If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.

Hot take:  every single person here spending >15 minutes a day arguing with pseudo-anonymous strangers about skepticism does not possess the social skills of a "reasonable adult."

I wouldn't agree with every characterization that heyalison has offered, but her central point stands.  It does not matter one bit if the frequent posters here all perceive *themselves* as being fair, rational, friendly, open-minded etc.  If you come off like an asshole to other people, then that's who you are to them.  Trying to tell them that their perception of you is wrong won't do a damn thing.



I can't remember if I've written about this before here, but on another forum I used to visit there was a section for one single guy to rant about his political agenda.  He unironically titled the thread "I'm Smart and My Opinion Matters."  I found it maddening that someone who was white, heterosexual, financially well off, conservative, and male would be so self-centered and petty to preemptively declare his authority in the thread title, but he certainly lived up to his reputation.  He was very good at making it appear that he was in a serious discussion with other people, but he never showed any real self-awareness when he was wrong about something or when he was just coming off like a massive douche.  And the even the thread format itself gave him a natural advantage in any discussion, since anyone posting was forced to accept his initial framing of an issue, yet he had no obligation to respond to more pertinent criticisms (although I generally thought he was a moron, he clearly was bright enough to capitalize on this advantage).

I now can't un-see this phenomena when dealing with certain people on this forum.  They are more subtle about it and probably often unaware of it, but their writing style (and frequency of posts) just screams "Hey I'm one of the important people here, so I get to quarterback this one".  And if it looks like this to me, it must look ten times worse to someone who is new here, or a woman, or an ethnic minority, or someone who has already heard negative things about skeptics.  If people here cannot understand that problem or won't do anything to mitigate it, then I agree with alison - fuck 'em.  Enjoy your super special white male circlejerk community.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 11, 2019, 03:38:49 PM
Yeah, the problem is definitely with the women, trans people, queer people and people of colour that keep leaving because they lack social skills.

Who said anything about women, trans people, queer people or people of color? I'm referring to people who can't handle a simple disagreement on any subject without resorting to cheap personal attacks. That character flaw seems to cross all socioeconomic boundaries.

I'm not going to call out names, but over the past few months we seem to have "lost" a couple posters who frequently lashed out and attacked other posters without provocation. I don't know how many of those people were queer, trans, female, or people of color, but I don't miss that annoyance any more than I miss the shitposting of the alt-righters. When somebody's being an insufferable asshole I tend to not really think too much about their demographic stats.


If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.

Hot take:  every single person here spending >15 minutes a day arguing with pseudo-anonymous strangers about skepticism does not possess the social skills of a "reasonable adult."

Isn't that to be expected in any community?

I know plenty of intelligent, reasonable, decent, and charming queer people and people of color who can chat knowledgeably on a variety of topics without being a raging asshole. But as far as I know they're not especially into skepticism or fans of the SGU, and I'm not going to invite them to some niche Web forum to serve as token minorities.


I wouldn't agree with every characterization that heyalison has offered, but her central point stands.  It does not matter one bit if the frequent posters here all perceive *themselves* as being fair, rational, friendly, open-minded etc.  If you come off like an asshole to other people, then that's who you are to them.  Trying to tell them that their perception of you is wrong won't do a damn thing.

Right, but aren't there are boundaries that we can all agree upon?

Such as provoking arguments for the mere sake of conflict, demanding that the forum rules be changed in order to hinder nuanced discussion, calling people names, constantly bringing people's race and gender into the discussion, and associating them with vile political ideologies simply for having a slight difference of opinion... do you consider this reasonable or civil behavior?


I can't remember if I've written about this before here, but on another forum I used to visit there was a section for one single guy to rant about his political agenda.  He unironically titled the thread "I'm Smart and My Opinion Matters."  I found it maddening that someone who was white, heterosexual, financially well off, conservative, and male would be so self-centered and petty to preemptively declare his authority in the thread title

That's pretty obnoxious, narcissistic behavior for a Web forum, no matter what his social status. A Web forum is a community, not anyone's personal blog. The whole premise is kind of rude, even if they're nice about it.

I could see an exception if it's intended as comedy, and the person is genuinely funny. I know a guy who started an "advice column" thread on a Web forum and everybody loved it so much that he had business cards printed up that advertised himself as a "Life Coach," and handed them out at meetups.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 12, 2019, 01:01:43 AM
This reminds me of SGU's social justice threads:

https://twitter.com/mikeabrusci/status/1126884763585908736

Because they usually don't go well.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 09:50:55 AM
Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.

The mods are not at all biased against you. While warnings are not public, from what I understand, three warnings within a short period of time usually results in suspension for a week. You engage in personal attacks a lot, and seemingly don't receive warnings for it, to any significant extent. I don't know, it's not really my business, but I doubt you have received a single warning, as the personal attacks go on unabated.

If I engaged in 10% of the amount of personal attacks you engage in, I would immediately receive warnings. And I promise you, Harry Black and The Latinist would be delighted to give me warnings.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 10:25:10 AM
But he does seem to diminish its importance, at least from a contemporary American liberal perspective. I think it's probably a misunderstanding due to the cultural gap. Sweden is a very different country from the US. Our country is plagued by a horrific and dishonorable history of systemic oppression, race slavery, and genocide, which we seem loathe to address in a forthright and repentant manner. That's why issues of race are so divisive here in the US, and why many of us are so defensive about it. We live with it every day, but I don't necessarily expect everybody from other countries to fully understand how fucked-up this country really is.

Maybe there is a cultural gap. The US has become less racist compared to say a century ago, but then, so has the rest of the Western world as well. This does of course not mean that all racism is gone, or even close to (I should not even have to spell this out).

I work with people of other backgrounds every day in my job. Maybe the US is different, but here it wouldn't be considered appropriate if I referred to their skin colors or backgrounds all the time, or if I treated them differently because of it. And I don't at all think they would appreciate to be singled out or in some way be made separated. They are not "other" because of having different backgrounds. They are colleagues and members of society just as much as anyone else.

If I move to the US (which I don't plan to do), then I guess I will have to adapt. But for know, I will treat people as individuals, not singling out or dividing people based on descent.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 12, 2019, 11:42:01 AM
I can assure you, I have zero interest in needing to give anyone any sanction whatsoever. I find you frustrating to talk to and almost wilfully ignorant, but I dont actually dislike you as I have said multiple times.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 03:10:51 PM
Yeah sure, you just approve of every single post you can find about how I am a terrible human being, even of outright personal attacks. People who approve of lies and deceits and personal attacks (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) certainly show what kind of persons they are.

Quote
Concern Trolls and Free Speech Nazis (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/concern-trolls-and-free-speech-nazis-2/)

One of the things that I love about the skeptical community is that it is a vibrant intellectual community that is not afraid to turn its critical eye inward. There is also sufficient diversity of background and perspective, superimposed upon a generally skeptical outlook, to provide some genuine conflict. While you won’t find many bigfoot believers in our ranks, we do run the spectrum from liberal to libertarian, militant atheist to Christian, scientist to artist, and politically correct to Penn Jillette.

The wringing of hands may at times seem tedious – but it’s all good. As long as we remember that at the end of the day we are all skeptics, a cultural minority looking to change the world.

Does this describe this forum, to your mind?

This forum is very homogeneous in its political views, and more is apparently desired. There have been calls (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50534.0.html) for a way to vote people away, and I won't be surprised in the least if some such system eventually gets implemented.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 12, 2019, 03:18:04 PM
Ok. You seem to enjoy being up on your cross. And yes, I do like a lot of posts that disagree with you because I almost always disagree with you.

But as I said- Not interested in having a debate with you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 03:43:55 PM
Ok. You seem to enjoy being up on your cross. And yes, I do like a lot of posts that disagree with you because I almost always disagree with you.

Yeah, calling me a racist and an asshole is a "disagreement".

I don't mind posts stating another opinion from mine. I do mind posts that engage in outright lies and personal attacks against me, and then refuse to substantiate those claims. And people who approve of such posts...

But as I said- Not interested in having a debate with you.

Fair enough. Just wanted to have the above stated.

From the outside:
Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 05:39:36 PM
A great quote from the link above, Steve's blogpost:

Quote from: Steven Novella
Seth’s post was followed by a thoughtful post from PZ Myers at Pharyngula. PZ makes some good points. I think he hits the nail most on the head with this statement:

Quote from: PZ Myers
The skeptic movement will be inclusive and allow anyone to participate, and participation means your ideas will be scrutinized and criticized and sometimes mocked and sometimes praised.

This is how I feel – our own beliefs are all fair game, whether religious, political, or social. We should not demand any litmus test for skeptical purity – that is not practical, reasonable, or healthy for any movement, let alone a minority movement like skepticism. Anyone who wants to participate should be welcome, in my opinion – even pseudoskeptics who don’t get it (but that doesn’t mean they get to speak at our meetings). However – everyone also has to recognize that your own beliefs are fair game for the criticism that is at the core of skeptical philosophy. That means that global warming dissidents, feminists, alternative medicine proponents, deists, free market zealots, anti-government conspiracy theorists, and communists all get to have their beliefs challenged, and have no reasonable expectations that their beliefs or their feelings will be spared.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 12, 2019, 07:39:01 PM
If I engaged in 10% of the amount of personal attacks you engage in, I would immediately receive warnings.

I received not one, but two separate warnings from different mods for a single incident of calling somebody a "Nazi sympathizer piece of shit" back in August of 2017, following the Unite The Right murder. 
 

I don't mind posts stating another opinion from mine. I do mind posts that engage in outright lies and personal attacks against me, and then refuse to substantiate those claims. And people who approve of such posts...

Strangely, the posters least tolerant of disagreements also happen to be some of the most outspoken against the concept of "debate," which they interpret to mean "mutually agreeing to support our own claims with evidence and reason." Instead, they hurl insults and accusations against those they disagree with.

One might get the impression that there's a certain contingent who demand respect for their opinions without question, while at the same time personally attacking others for having dissenting views. And they expect members of this skeptics forum who try to advocate and practice skepticism to feel ashamed about a so-called "debate me bro" culture.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 13, 2019, 12:55:48 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?  When I was a bit younger it was something I would be mildly annoyed at.  Now it makes me feel awful.  I have no idea which of the advice that has come from our handful of female skeptics is practical to implement, or who exactly is to blame when they don't feel welcome.  But to spent an ounce of energy defending the status quo and constantly placing the blame on others - even when they do insult you, even when you are pretty sure they are bending the forum rules, even when you don't feel they've earned the label of being a True Skeptic - it's just ... depressing.  It's not hard to find one of the other 50,000 male dominated science/skepticism forums if that's really how people want to waste away their lives, but FFS, would it be so bad if this forum was a bit more diverse?

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 01:29:42 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?  When I was a bit younger it was something I would be mildly annoyed at.  Now it makes me feel awful.  I have no idea which of the advice that has come from our handful of female skeptics is practical to implement, or who exactly is to blame when they don't feel welcome.  But to spent an ounce of energy defending the status quo and constantly placing the blame on others - even when they do insult you, even when you are pretty sure they are bending the forum rules, even when you don't feel they've earned the label of being a True Skeptic - it's just ... depressing.  It's not hard to find one of the other 50,000 male dominated science/skepticism forums if that's really how people want to waste away their lives, but FFS, would it be so bad if this forum was a bit more diverse?

I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm not talking about the women skeptics on this forum.

I'm talking about the anti-skeptics who rail against reasonable, respectful discourse in favor of personally attacking others whom they disagree with. Some of these individuals rarely participate in any discussions of science or skepticism, but seem to come here for the express purpose of browbeating anyone who questions whatever political ideas they deem sacrosanct.

Like the "debate me bro" canard, the "True Skeptic" accusation is another piece of bullshit that's getting tiresome. No skeptics are demanding some litmus test for ideological purity. It's not about defending any "status quo" other than basic mutual respect and decency. I'm all in favor of diversity, but that needn't include mollycoddling and tiptoeing around those who refuse to engage in good faith but constantly attack others with personal insults. Those kinds of members are toxic to any kind of Internet community.

If you want to see more women skeptics around here, then why not invite some women skeptics to participate?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 13, 2019, 01:33:16 AM
All my social media blends together so I'm ambivalent by default.  I'm mostly just after:Gender ratios are incidental and vary wildly from venue to venue.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 13, 2019, 01:54:04 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?

No. Not at all. I lament it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 09:32:53 AM
Instead of telling people to avoid reasoned discussion and ostracizing everybody who thinks differently, maybe it might be better to teach them how to avoid taking offense (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs) in the first place.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 13, 2019, 09:40:02 AM
Instead of telling people to avoid reasoned discussion and ostracizing everybody who thinks differently, maybe it might be better to teach them how to avoid taking offense (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs) in the first place.

Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.


I also love your use of the "ostracise everybody who thinks differently" trope, it is original and exciting, I have never seen this straw-man before from white dudes defending and maintaining the oppressive status quo. Not even once. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 10:00:39 AM
Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.

With that bombastic, ill considered strawman, you just proved my point for me.

I never called anyone stupid, or said anything about people of color or women or men in particular. Most of the anti-skeptical belligerents around here happen to be white males.

Doesn't it ever occur to you that this narrative you keep pushing—that the standards of reason, evidence and respectful discourse are the exclusive purview of "know-it-all white dudes"—is actually very demeaning to women and people of color?


I also love your use of the "ostracise everybody who thinks differently" trope, it is original and exciting, I have never seen this straw-man before from white dudes defending and maintaining the oppressive status quo. Not even once.

Another strawman. I'm not defending any status quo, let alone an oppressive one.

I'm suggesting that we all learn how to have respect for each another instead of always acting like assholes, and you responded by acting like an asshole.

Congratulations.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 13, 2019, 03:53:24 PM
Doesn't it ever occur to you that this narrative you keep pushing—that the standards of reason, evidence and respectful discourse are the exclusive purview of "know-it-all white dudes"—is actually very demeaning to women and people of color?

Yeah, that's what I think as well.

I happen to know a skeptic who is also gay. I'm pretty sure he doesn't listen to the SGU, and he has little interest in internet discussions. I'm not going to suggest he comes here. If anything, this thread would probably give him a huge headache. But he is certainly a skeptic, atheist, and antitheist. I don't think he would appreciate it at all if he was told that the standards of reason and evidence are not within his purview because he is not straight.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 14, 2019, 06:24:10 PM
To anyone other than these two losers:

Think of me what you will, that I'm a shrill bitch who overreacts or makes it personal--but my behavior here has been based on actual positions and actions done by these two. Others as well, but it seems John and Q-whatever are especially aggressive about pushing back at women and minorities. I didn't just pick their names out of a hat, I responded to positions they have taken that I find morally reprehensible, and I won't pretend to be civil with people for its own sake. That's a privilege. If that is against the rules of this forum, it's all good, I'm going to spend my time elsewhere from now on.

But this fantasy they're jerking each other off over is just insulting. I'm a bi woman and find it telling that--in addition to misogynist jokes elsewhere on the forum--the two of them are having a yuck over a really weak joke that intentionally misreads my complaints (and the complaints of others, but as I;n a woman I'm a target for them). It shows how deeply insecure and lacking actual intellectual merit they are that their arguments aren't ever against the points I've made, but rather to mock me with sexism and LGBT-phobia. "I've got a gay friend" indeed. Go fuck yourself.

Free speech without consequences isn't free speech. Objectivity isn't something you can claim for yourself. And reason and argument without context and self-awareness is just another tool to oppress others. Goodbye.

(Now I expect a flurry of posts from them both, as they certainly seem to like getting the last word in. Cowardly, after people make it clear they're leaving. Bye skeptics, you can do better than this.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 14, 2019, 08:24:45 PM
Bye

(https://i.imgur.com/1ZsKEt3.gif)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 14, 2019, 09:26:03 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 14, 2019, 11:00:52 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
AQB is still here! Thankfully.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 14, 2019, 11:54:38 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
AQB is still here! Thankfully.

I've been told, confidentially, that there is one other.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: 2397 on May 15, 2019, 02:10:12 AM
I would say that the main advantage of online debate is that it's very easy to not opt into. It's also very easy to opt in, with potentially billions of participants, so there's bound to be a lot of conversations that are not worth taking part in. Someone's going to have a lower threshold for participating than you. Some people might even be paid to do it, in one way or another, so it's worth it to them regardless of what they get out of it otherwise.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 03:40:01 AM
I think the wrong person just left.


At least the smart, educated champions of rationality, the gatekeepers of truth and proper conduct can declare another victory and pat each other on the back.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 04:30:30 AM
All histrionics aside, I'm sure she'll be back. Like a bad penny, these crusader/victim/martyr types always return.


I would say that the main advantage of online debate is that it's very easy to not opt into. It's also very easy to opt in, with potentially billions of participants, so there's bound to be a lot of conversations that are not worth taking part in. Someone's going to have a lower threshold for participating than you. Some people might even be paid to do it, in one way or another, so it's worth it to them regardless of what they get out of it otherwise.

Exactly, If you don't like the discussion or don't want to debate, nothing is forcing you to participate.

But it's rather obnoxious to come into a community and start dictating how everybody should and shouldn't engage with each other in free discourse.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 04:56:06 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 04:59:24 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Too true.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 05:03:41 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Too true.

All this after making this place just that much less diverse and welcoming.

Not sure what you are trying to achieve by poisoning the forum with your toxic behaviour, but you should probably get your head out of your own arse and maybe do a bit of self-reflection.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:10:31 AM
What exactly are you accusing me of?

I did "not make this place" anything.

What "toxic behavior" are you referring to?

I did not come here and attack people for having opinions different from my own.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 05:12:18 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:14:41 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Exactly.

But you know what? You can't force everybody to think just like you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on May 15, 2019, 05:40:12 AM
heyalison, I am very sad to hear that you are thinking of leaving this forum. I value your voice here, and it will be a huge loss to the community if you leave. I'm sorry that other posters, including me, haven't done a better job of letting you know how much we support you.

I worry that the skeptical movement is being taken over by an infantile view that social and cultural issues can be stripped of all historical and human context and solved as a series of logical propositions. This simplistic reduction demonstrates a lack of empathy and appreciation of history. It also shows an appalling lack of awareness of human emotion and interactions. I hope that everyone--myself included-- strives to appreciate context and complexity and is open to learning from folks like heyalison.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 12:17:47 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.

We haven't "driven away" anyone. heyalison made an OP that was essentially a bait as noted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9611664.html#msg9611664), and received responses.

Last time I checked, disagreement with heyalison was within the forum rules. Though I consider it very likely that new rules will eventually be added that prohibits disagreement with certain political views, and/or that makes it possible for members with unpopular or minority views to be voted away. Then the forum's demographic will be even more narrow and insular.

Perhaps you and the other self-appointed popular people should take a deep, hard look in the mirror into why this forum's demographics are so narrow? The SGU has something like 350 000 weekly listeners, if I am not mistaken. How many active members has this forum got? 30 maybe, give or take? That would mean that less than 0,1% of the weekly listeners are active here. Sure, some have better things to do. But the potential baseline is sure higher than 0,1%, don't you think?

As we know, Reddit has one potential answer:

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 12:38:12 PM
as I;n a woman I'm a target for them

You aren't a "target", or even singled out specifically. And your womanhood has nothing to do with the responses you get, no matter how much you pretend otherwise.

but rather to mock me with sexism and LGBT-phobia.

Can you, or any of your acolytes for that matter, please provide examples of sexism or LGBT-phobia by me or John Albert, or how anyone has mocked you with it? This should be very easy, if it is true.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 01:32:44 PM
Can't write everything I would like right now, but I have to point out "I'm sure she'll be back" is itself a real bullshit move.   You have simultaneously pardoned yourself of any wrongdoing, and made a catch 22 for alison where she's damned whether she responds or not.

This looks bad, guys.  Your distrust of alison, or rai, or harry, or anyone else aside ... can you not perceive how this looks to a newcomer to the forums?

Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 02:31:50 PM
What wrong have I done?

I said "she'll be back" because I've been on many different Web forums for decades, and seen this kind of poster innumerable times before. This person has a beef with the community or with some stereotype they perceive as the culture of the community (ie. "skeptics"), and they're on a crusade to defeat or reform the culture.

As for the threats to leave, this isn't even the first time heyalison has threatened to quit the SGU forums. And that kind of guilt-tripping (being a one-note cantor about a single pet peeve, posting polemical screeds at the community, making every argument about themselves, claiming victimhood over disagreements, personally attacking other posters, kvetching to other members via PM, threatening to leave the community) is all part of the M.O.

And when people line up to cry "No, please! Don't go!" all that does is validate their trolling tactics.

Mark my words, we haven't seen the last of this one. She will be back, and then we can have another go-round about how we're just awful, privileged, oppressive racists and misogynists because we value reasoned discussion and ask for evidence to support our claims.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 03:08:50 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quote from: Carl Sagan
Casual observers of meetings of sceptics, and those who glance at the list of CSICOP Fellows, have noted a great preponderance of men. Others claim disproportionate numbers of women among believers in astrology (horoscopes in most 'women's' but few 'men's' magazines), crystals, ESP and the like. Some commentators suggest that there is something peculiarly male about scepticism. It's hard-driving, competitive, confrontational, toughminded - whereas women, they say, are more accepting, consensus-building, and uninterested in challenging conventional wisdom. But in my experience women scientists have just as finely honed sceptical senses as their male counterparts; that's just part of being a scientist. This criticism, if that's what it is, is presented to the world in the usual ragged disguise: if you discourage women from being sceptical and don't train them in scepticism, then sure enough you may find that many women aren't sceptical. Open the doors and let them in, and they're as sceptical as anybody else.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 04:59:37 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quetz, I could possibly accept the idea that some people here have gone out of their way to interpret your posts in an unfair manner.  But why you expect them to employ the principle of charity when you post stuff like this is beyond me.  Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.   I almost wish you were just trolling, because I cannot fathom how you have misread people this poorly.

Do you guys honestly expect any of the people you are arguing with to respond to this in a positive manner?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:13:16 PM
Skepticism doesn't mean encouraging bombastic rhetoric, outrageous accusations and personal attacks on behalf of some ideology. It means questioning, examining, and weighing various possibilities, and ultimately reserving judgment until good reason or evidence is presented.

Isn't this forum supposed to be dedicated to promoting skeptical values? What happened to that? That's what the SGU is supposed to be about.

Yet some individuals around here seem so indifferent to the actual practice of skepticism that they turn outright hostile to its very core principles if it runs even slightly askance of their political beliefs. To those individuals, this is not a community devoted to skepticism but a political activist community with "skepticism" taped on as an a pretense. Even some of the moderators here are outspokenly dismissive of skepticism in actual practice.

When some ideologue comes into a community of skeptics and starts personally attacking people for merely using the tools of skepticism, that should be seen as a problem.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 15, 2019, 05:29:08 PM
Debate and skepticism are two different things.
Do not assume people eschew the latter because they refuse to play your game with the former.

The idea that people must engage on the terms you dictate or ignore threads that deal with issues that affect them is absurd and insulting. People are under no such obligation and it says zero  (one way or the other) about the objective truth of their positions.
You asked how many marginalised people have left because of this bullshit? I count 9 off the top of my head.
You can decide to keep on with your arrogant belief that you are the only one doing skepticism right, or decide Im full of shit because I wont name names, but that is the impact you and people like you have had on this community.
Maybe you think its for the best because all of those people were irrational and uncivil.
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:29:20 PM
Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.

Rai said:

         
Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.

What is this supposed to mean? It was obviously intended as sarcasm, in response to a link I posted (to an article and video by a woman of color (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs), BTW) which suggested that people learn how not to take offense at differences of opinions. 

So if Rai thinks the solution is not for everybody alike to learn how to conduct ourselves like reasonable, respectful adults in conversation, then what did he mean?

Are we supposed to use a separate set of standards for "women and POC," besides our normal mode of discussion with white cis male skeptics? Are we supposed to tolerate unfounded accusations and vitriolic personal attacks when they come from "women and POC"? Are we supposed to change the forum rules (as heyalison suggested) in order to hinder nuanced discussion and debate?

This call for a double standard carries the inherent assumption that "women and POC" don't abide reasonable discussion, so any bad behavior on their part must be accommodated.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:38:40 PM
Debate and skepticism are two different things.
Do not assume people eschew the latter because they refuse to play your game with the former.

Discussing contradictory or competing ideas is inherent to the practice of skepticism.

How do you propose we deal with that, if not by polite, reasonable discussion? Are we to hurl accusations and call each other derogatory names? Because that's the method heyalison chose.


The idea that people must engage on the terms you dictate or ignore threads that deal with issues that affect them is absurd and insulting.

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


People are under no such obligation and it says zero  (one way or the other) about the objective truth of their positions.

On the contrary, the way somebody responds to criticism or questioning can often tell us a lot about the truth of their position. It happens all the time. If you want examples, take a look through The President Trump Thread.


You asked how many marginalised people have left because of this bullshit? I count 9 off the top of my head.

I didn't ask that. But what "bullshit" are you attributing their leaving?

I can count several posters who were unable or unwilling to engage respectfully with others, and are no longer around. I can't say I miss them.


You can decide to keep on with your arrogant belief that you are the only one doing skepticism right

I never said I was "the only one doing skepticism right."

Nor am I the one who started a thread entitled "The Rules of Engagement" wherein I purport to tell everyone else not to debate ideas I disagree with.

I said that skepticism is practiced by "questioning, examining, weighing various possibilities, and ultimately reserving judgment until good reason or evidence is presented."

I also said that personal attacks in the course of a discussion is not the right way to do skepticism.

Do you take exception to that?


Maybe you think its for the best because all of those people were irrational and uncivil.

In some cases, yes. For what reason would you advocate to keep uncivil people around? The irrationality is not the problem, mind you. It's the incivility.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 06:25:53 PM

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


Okay so this is stepping on a lot of peoples' toes, but you're dictating the terms of many discussions here just by virtue of having high post frequency.

This is one of the things that I just don't understand about you, and Quetz, and even several of the people who are on my "side" on this topic.  You seem very invested in this forum and curious about how it operates, but somehow are oblivious to some very obvious social dynamics of a forums general (and potentially how those dynamics could be changed with a bit of effort).  Most "controversial" forum threads are dominated by the same five or six people posting over and over.  They quarterback those threads, and even when someone new throws a wrench into the topic, it still tends to get reframed by the more frequent posters.  Heyalison's critiques of skeptics aside, I don't think there's anything particularly unique about us in this regard - you see this on virtually every forum I've ever visited.  But as skeptics, I find it odd that there's not more curiosity or introspection on this phenomena.  Because it absolutely boxes new people out of discussion, it absolutely make the personalities/styles of a handful of people the norm, and it absolutely keeps our community looking like every other lame nerd community - white, heterosexual, and male.  If people here would simply realize that on many topics they actually have very little that's interesting to contribute, and accept that a conversation may go somewhere that they don't agree with, and that they don't instantly have to jump in to reframe it every 20 minutes or freak out when someone dares express emotion - I don't see how that would be a bad thing for us.  While I won't accuse people of pushing back against this as automatically being racist/sexist/homophobic, I will continue to mock them, because I think they are at best being really, really, really stupid.

Anyway if you guys still can't see how your obsession with constantly reframing the narrative in every single post is off-putting (or perhaps you don't even believe that you're doing it?), there's nowhere to go from here. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 07:13:47 PM

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


Okay so this is stepping on a lot of peoples' toes, but you're dictating the terms of many discussions here just by virtue of having high post frequency.

Having a high post frequency is 'dictating terms'?


This is one of the things that I just don't understand about you, and Quetz, and even several of the people who are on my "side" on this topic.  You seem very invested in this forum and curious about how it operates, but somehow are oblivious to some very obvious social dynamics of a forums general (and potentially how those dynamics could be changed with a bit of effort).

Yes, I obviously invest quite a lot of time and attention to this forum. I am interested in the subjects being discussed well as the values which the SGU promotes. I began posting here because I figured this community for a group who appreciate rigorous, fact-based discussion of relevant issues.

I don't know what you mean by "very obvious social dynamics of a forums general." I have been a member of many Web forums ever since the late 1990s, and I was on Usenet for 3 or 4 years before that. I've served as a moderator on Web forums, as well as a number of social media groups. So I'm well aware of the social dynamics of various types of groups.

Why are you saddling me with maintaining the social dynamics of the entire group, just because I may have reached some different conclusions than you on particular issues?


Most "controversial" forum threads are dominated by the same five or six people posting over and over.  They quarterback those threads, and even when someone new throws a wrench into the topic, it still tends to get reframed by the more frequent posters.

"Controversial" is subjective. You may deem some particular subject controversial while others may not. As for myself, there are numerous ongoing debates in various threads, in which I take little interest and no part.

What you describe as "reframing" is really just an ongoing discussion. What you call, "reframing" just means somebody has a difference of opinion, which happens. It's not the end of the goddamn world.

This is a skeptics forum after all. If you post in a forum full of skeptics about your favorite therapeutic technique, fad diet, political viewpoint or pet social theory, you should not be surprised to receive some questioning, requests for evidence to back up your claims, even pushback or rebuttals to your viewpoint. That is the nature of skeptical discourse.


But as skeptics, I find it odd that there's not more curiosity or introspection on this phenomena.

Which phenomena?

That observation that some people choose to believe in things because those things "feel" right to them, despite a lack of evidence?

The observation that a community predicated on skepticism, who try to base their beliefs on evidence will tend to reject non-evidenced claims?


Because it absolutely boxes new people out of discussion, it absolutely make the personalities/styles of a handful of people the norm, and it absolutely keeps our community looking like every other lame nerd community - white, heterosexual, and male.

It doesn't necessarily box new people out. People can make their own decisions, and we can discuss those reasonably even if we disagree. There needn't be a problem so long as people aren't dicks about it.

But some people insist on being dicks about it. They assert that their beliefs are transcendent over mere evidence and reason, that their beliefs are true even if they're  based on misinformation and fallacies. These people often react badly when confronted with their own cognitive dissonance, so they evade those confrontations by characterizing anyone who disagrees as some kind of villain. So instead of engaging on good faith, they viciously attack the naysayers with accusations and invective.

The question is, how do we deal with people like that?

Let's not pretend this problem is all about race, gender, sexual preference. Plenty of nonwhites, women, and LGBTQ people can be dicks about their beliefs, just like many white males are. By the same token, many women, people of color, and LGBTQ people are capable of being reasonable and cordial about disagreements.


If people here would simply realize that on many topics they actually have very little that's interesting to contribute

Interesting to whom? To you, and only those who agree with your politics?


and accept that a conversation may go somewhere that they don't agree with, and that they don't instantly have to jump in to reframe it every 20 minutes or freak out when someone dares express emotion - I don't see how that would be a bad thing for us.

 While I won't accuse people of pushing back against this as automatically being racist/sexist/homophobic, I will continue to mock them, because I think they are at best being really, really, really stupid.

Anyway if you guys still can't see how your obsession with constantly reframing the narrative in every single post is off-putting (or perhaps you don't even believe that you're doing it?), there's nowhere to go from here.

This obsession with "narratives" and "talking points" is a big part of the problem. Some people think their preferred narrative is inherently more important than others, so they're unwilling to be reasonable or respectful to anybody who disagrees.

Hint: If you want an echo chamber where your narratives aren't questioned or challenged, maybe a skeptic forum isn't the place for you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 15, 2019, 09:27:15 PM
Some people just don't get it, ever

I wouldn't bother. John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly. He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: CarbShark on May 15, 2019, 10:47:47 PM
Hey, Allison, if you’re still listening, just ignore them. It easy to do. It’s a setting on your profile.

We need you around here more than we need them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 16, 2019, 12:02:43 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

I wouldn't bother. John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly. He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.

I am not sure why I am even trying at this stage *looks up at the "I am the best and most sceptic and did nothing wrong ever and all of you should be like me" walls of text*
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 12:42:31 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quetz, I could possibly accept the idea that some people here have gone out of their way to interpret your posts in an unfair manner.  But why you expect them to employ the principle of charity when you post stuff like this is beyond me.  Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.   I almost wish you were just trolling, because I cannot fathom how you have misread people this poorly.

Do you guys honestly expect any of the people you are arguing with to respond to this in a positive manner?

It is not a mere possibility that they go out of their way to interpret my posts in an unfair manner. It is an indisputable fact. The Latinist, Soldier of FORTRAN, arthwollipot, and brilligtove have by their actions demonstrated that they are not interested in logic and evidence, and they endorse personal attacks based on lies that are pleasing to them, in some cases made up by some of them, that they refuse to substantiate.

Both Rai and fuzzyMarmot have made posts implying that the standards of reason and evidence somehow are not within the purview of women and person of color. It feels preposterous that they then try to claim that they are somehow the supporters of those groups.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 12:45:50 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 01:51:24 PM
Yet some individuals around here seem so indifferent to the actual practice of skepticism that they turn outright hostile to its very core principles if it runs even slightly askance of their political beliefs. To those individuals, this is not a community devoted to skepticism but a political activist community with "skepticism" taped on as an a pretense. Even some of the moderators here are outspokenly dismissive of skepticism in actual practice.

When some ideologue comes into a community of skeptics and starts personally attacking people for merely using the tools of skepticism, that should be seen as a problem.

I agree.

Ideally, a skeptics forum should try to be a friendly community for skeptics where issues can be discussed, critical thinking skills can be improved, beliefs potentially changed. For everyone, regardless of previous or current beliefs. The methods, not the conclusions or beliefs, should be the most important factors.

For example, if a libertarian skeptic comes along and wants to argue for the benefits of an unregulated (or minimally regulated) market, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

Similarly, if an anarchist skeptic comes along and wants to argue for how we would be better off by abolishing the institution of government, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

Similarly, if an Orthodox Christian skeptic comes along and wants to argue for the truth of Orthodox Christianity, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

I will once again refer to this lovely quote (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/concern-trolls-and-free-speech-nazis-2/):

Quote from: Steven Novella
Seth’s post was followed by a thoughtful post from PZ Myers at Pharyngula. PZ makes some good points. I think he hits the nail most on the head with this statement:

Quote from: PZ Myers
The skeptic movement will be inclusive and allow anyone to participate, and participation means your ideas will be scrutinized and criticized and sometimes mocked and sometimes praised.

This is how I feel – our own beliefs are all fair game, whether religious, political, or social. We should not demand any litmus test for skeptical purity – that is not practical, reasonable, or healthy for any movement, let alone a minority movement like skepticism. Anyone who wants to participate should be welcome, in my opinion – even pseudoskeptics who don’t get it (but that doesn’t mean they get to speak at our meetings). However – everyone also has to recognize that your own beliefs are fair game for the criticism that is at the core of skeptical philosophy. That means that global warming dissidents, feminists, alternative medicine proponents, deists, free market zealots, anti-government conspiracy theorists, and communists all get to have their beliefs challenged, and have no reasonable expectations that their beliefs or their feelings will be spared.

And the great motto of the Edinburgh Skeptics Society (https://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/about): Respect People, Challenge Ideas

Thus, all beliefs are fair game, and should not be treasured for their own sake. But still a friendly atmosphere for a skeptical community should be maintained. If people feel comfortable beating their political drums and hurling personal insults against those who dare to express disagreement, and get moderator support for it, something is very wrong.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 16, 2019, 02:20:16 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)
If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 16, 2019, 03:09:37 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)

If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.

I don't think it was intended as a 'gotcha.' It's a blatantly false accusation in service of a point.

Quetz obviously intended (at least it seems pretty obvious to me) to illustrate to you what heyalison did to others on this forum, when she falsely accused them of being misogynists simply for disagreeing with her.


John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.


He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.

What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

As far as I can tell, it's having a personal disagreement with somebody, posting too frequently in somebody's opinion, and defending myself against personal attacks, none of which I consider to be wrong in the first place.


I am not sure why I am even trying at this stage *looks up at the "I am the best and most sceptic and did nothing wrong ever and all of you should be like me" walls of text*

I never claimed to be "the best" or "most sceptic" [sic]. I just feel that I ought to be able to voice an opinion without being vilified in the third person by a cowardly troll, and have people take the troll's side against me.

Is that too much to expect from a skeptics forum? 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 16, 2019, 08:44:25 PM
'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

Exactly. Thank you for confirming my contention.

What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

Again? Why would I bother? You showed no signs of even understanding every other time I've tried to do it (e.g. the entire sealioning thread). I'm not going to beat my head against that brick wall again.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on May 17, 2019, 03:41:01 AM
I'd like to share a productive way to respond to being called out for offensive statements. Take it with a grain of salt-- I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just passing on what has worked for me.

I remind myself that:
1) Virtually everyone is misogynistic, racist, or homophobic to some extent. The person who calls me out is identifying an action I should remedy, not personally attacking me.
2) The person calling me out might be coming from a place of lived experience, and it is completely valid for them to react with emotion. It is inappropriate for me to address it as a debate competition or game.
3) If I don't understand why my statements or behavior are offensive, it is because I do not understand the context or background of the situation. It is my responsibility to educate myself. I need to step back, research, and learn.
4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.
5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 17, 2019, 01:25:57 PM
4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.

Cultural context? What if I am from a culture in which what you'd call "color blindness" is the ideal, and in which borrowing from other other cultures is not considered wrong, and in which it is generally* recognized that one of the ways we grow and learn is by learning from others?

Are ways of seeing things that deviate from orthodox American liberalism wanted here? We know the answer empirically, and for most of those active in this kind of discussion, it is a resounding "no". Promoting those views above, i.e what you call "color blindness", and that borrowing and learning from others are not morally wrong, has been met with vicious personal attacks with moderator approval, from among others brilligtove, The Latinist, Soldier of FORTRAN, arthwollipot, etc. I.e top dogs, and wannabe top dogs.

Which brings me to the next thing. You guys wax about diversity, but you don't really want diversity. You want zero deviation from your social and political views, and there have even been calls (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50534.0.html) for a rubber clause so that those who deviate can be voted away. I give it a maximum of two years before such a thing is implemented in some way. Congratulations, then the demographic will be even more narrow and even smaller.

Again, why does this forum not succeed to attract more than 0.01% of the SGU listeners? Ever pondered that?

*Those who don't share that view are typically nationalists and racists. The kind of people you and the others claim to oppose, but that you have a lot of common ground with.

5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.

Not necessarily. heyalison seems to think that disagreement with her is offensive. I am not going to apologize for not agreeing with her.

Some religious people are offended by atheists expressing that they are atheists. No apology is necessary.

Apologies for personal attacks against me are indeed warranted, but very unlikely to come.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 17, 2019, 03:18:00 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)

If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.

I don't think it was intended as a 'gotcha.' It's a blatantly false accusation in service of a point.

Quetz obviously intended (at least it seems pretty obvious to me) to illustrate to you what heyalison did to others on this forum, when she falsely accused them of being misogynists simply for disagreeing with her.

That is indeed correct. And also refused to show were the dissenters, in the view of her and her supporters, went wrong.

John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

"Sealioning" is a new word to me, but I looked it up. It seems to be a subset of trolling. Never followed that other thread. Perhaps I should read it.

My impression is that trolling or any subset thereof is indeed a real thing that happens in the wild, but far more often than not invoked to causally dismiss people they disagree with, who may not have ill intentions at all.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 03:04:55 PM
What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

Again? Why would I bother?

Why would you bother telling me what wrongdoing you're accusing me of?

I'd hope you would do so because you accused another person of wrongdoing. It's an appeal to your sense of morality. If I accuse somebody of something, I feel obliged to at least explain why.



I'd like to share a productive way to respond to being called out for offensive statements. Take it with a grain of salt-- I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just passing on what has worked for me.

I remind myself that:

1) Virtually everyone is misogynistic, racist, or homophobic to some extent. The person who calls me out is identifying an action I should remedy, not personally attacking me.

2) The person calling me out might be coming from a place of lived experience, and it is completely valid for them to react with emotion. It is inappropriate for me to address it as a debate competition or game.

3) If I don't understand why my statements or behavior are offensive, it is because I do not understand the context or background of the situation. It is my responsibility to educate myself. I need to step back, research, and learn.

4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.

5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.

This list has some pretty glaring problems.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 05:14:10 PM
John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

"Sealioning" is a new word to me, but I looked it up. It seems to be a subset of trolling. Never followed that other thread. Perhaps I should read it.

My impression is that trolling or any subset thereof is indeed a real thing that happens in the wild, but far more often than not invoked to causally dismiss people they disagree with, who may not have ill intentions at all.

"Sealioning" has been variously defined as a suite of different activities ('fake' politeness, asking questions and demanding evidence, nitpicking, time wasting, Gish-galloping, harassment, bullying, cyberstalking).

The reason why I have a baby sea lion as my avatar is because several people accused me of being a "sealion" when I argued that the term is ill-defined and often misused in a manner incompatible with skeptical discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 18, 2019, 07:54:40 PM
While trolling certainly exists, I think it is far more often thrown as an insult against people whose opinions they don't like.

It's a similar situation as with the scientism accusation: Yes, some people certainly over-state what science can do, but far more often it is used to wall off beliefs from scientific scrutiny. For example religious people who don't want scientific examination of their beliefs.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 08:08:14 PM
Regarding "sealioning" and "debate me bro culture," I have never had somebody chasing me around the Internet from forum to forum, on social media and whatnot, demanding that I debate them on some issue. I've probably been on the Internet longer than most people around here, and it's just not a thing that I've ever seen happen. Or even heard it happen to anybody I know.

Now I have heard tell of some famous academics and activists being challenged to a debate by miserable flunkies on YouTube, who are obviously trying to increase their view counts by name-dropping. But outside of those rare cases, this "debate me bro culture" mostly seems like a red herring.

What I have seen quite a lot is people asserting questionable claims as foregone conclusions, then refusing to back them up with evidence when asked, and flinging harsh accusations in response. That kind of anti-skeptical behavior is nothing new; it's been going on ever since the days of Usenet.

But more and more I'm seeing some political activists promoting that kind of behavior with statements like, "you don't owe anybody an argument or an explanation." Which is really bad for skepticism because it not only discourages the practice of critical discourse, but it personally maligns skeptics as "toxic people" just for questioning.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 18, 2019, 08:44:18 PM

  • You're talking about eradicating the idea of burden of proof for people of certain demographics. This is the upshot of considering reasonable discourse the exclusive purview of white men, so we should exempt women and POC from the same standards. It's a terrible idea to rip up the foundations of civilized discussion, the basis of millennia of philosophical and scientific progress, on the faulty premise that some people must be always considered right by dint of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That approach ultimately leads to some really absurd places (https://bit.ly/2ewMN1m).

Ah yes, clearly these forums, and the skeptical community as a whole, is on the verge of utterly abandoning the institution of science because the steady incursion of political correctness and identity politics.  I mean just think of all the people that used to post here who now accept witchcraft or homeopathy because of the pervasive influence of the postmodernists and feminists.  I'm so glad we have people who are willing to fight this dastardly threat.  If we don't keep our guard up the Enlightenment will be #cancelled.

And thank goodness we don't ever have to worry about the opposite happening.  It's not like any former members here ever got duped by reactionary political hucksters because of superficial appeals to reason and logic, and maybe with a more diverse community we could have done something to stop it.  It's not like "open discourse" or "facts over feelings" are monikers of some of the biggest bullshit artists on the internet, and our community has been completely inept at countering any of their nonsense.  It's not like there's some completely fabricated issue popping up every six months in nerd communities under the guise of objectivity or maintaining high standards of evidence, and it just so happens to result in further alienation of women.  It's not like when a giant racist troll shows up here he can steer the conversation of every single political thread because people give him the benefit of the doubt that he genuinely cares about the core tenets of skepticism.

Nope, no need to worry about these silly hypothetical problems.  The only real threat is when newer female members accuse someone of being a jerk.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 19, 2019, 10:22:21 AM
Sawyer, that post makes no sense. I don't owe you an explanation as for why. Go educate yourself. [Insert some of the personal attacks that have been thrown at me in this thread with impunity, but which I would receive a warning for if I responded in kind with.]

 ::)