mftrhu's recent activity

  1. Comment on The new puritans in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Then, I don't think the point was well-made. Cancelled or not, one's world and one's possible choices do not narrow down to "learn to code [AKA, go into a completely different field] or join the...

    Then, I don't think the point was well-made. Cancelled or not, one's world and one's possible choices do not narrow down to "learn to code [AKA, go into a completely different field] or join the alt-right".

    I can conceive of some person feeling like they do, but I still cannot conceive of a person getting to the point of thinking that without 5.1 or 5.2 being in effect. Just it being an option for them in the first place - AKA, 4, them being offered a position at ${ALT-RIGHT_OUTLET:-Breitbart}, or being reasonably sure of being able to get one - doesn't say many good things about their character.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on The new puritans in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    If a journalist were to get canceled for a sleazy remark made thirty years ago, to get an offer from Breitbart, and go on to either accept it or to "just" give it serious consideration, then I'd...
    • Exemplary

    I agree entirely. However, every cancelled individual can eventually join the AltRight camp. Imagine a journalist cancelled due to a sleazy remark made 30+ years ago (hey, have you ever heard of the statute of limitations?). That person may learn to code, but what would be the decision if there is an offer from Breitbart?

    If a journalist were to get canceled for a sleazy remark made thirty years ago, to get an offer from Breitbart, and go on to either accept it or to "just" give it serious consideration, then I'd expect

    1. for them to have made a remark that is not merely "sleazy", but flat-out offensive, even for the standards of that time - I doubt "so-and-so made an inappropriate comment in 1990!" would get much traction, especially if those kind of comments were common at the time - and/or;
    2. for them to not have tried to make amends for said remark - or to have changed, at all, away from the kind of person who would make said remark - in the intervening thirty years - because if they did, any attempts at canceling would be seriously hampered by that fact - and/or;
    3. for them to have handled said canceling in a ridiculously poor manner, and;
    4. for them to have written work that would make Breitbart interested - one off-color remark wouldn't cut it - and;
    5. for them to be so morally destitute that, after said canceling, they'd go on to work for Breitbart or similar alt-right outlets, which would require them to either
      1. be already ideologically aligned with the far-right, or
      2. be the kind of person who would ideologically align themselves with the far-right - with misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism, assorted kinds of xenophobia, climate change denial, and assorted other such unsavoury positions - out of spite.
    17 votes
  3. Comment on Polarization, pedantry, and pugnacious behavior in ~talk

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    This, I feel, is precisely the kind of pointless pedantry that is bothering Gaywallet, and which is definitely irking me. You do not feel like you are affected by it; you feel, rather, that...

    How can we ever have a rule against pedantry? What's pedantic to A may not be pedantic to B.

    This, I feel, is precisely the kind of pointless pedantry that is bothering Gaywallet, and which is definitely irking me.

    You do not feel like you are affected by it; you feel, rather, that efforts being put towards making this website less of an HN clone would "curb" attempts "to clarify language and write in a precise fashion" - escalating, going from the general statements in the OP to your own, uncharitable interpretation of what is being discussed - and thus making you "feel very restricted".

    The problems you address are kinda universal. I understand they exist, but I fail to envision any practical way to solve them

    The problems being addressed are not universal, and you can envision at least a way to solve them, if one that you dislike enough to extract complaints about pedantry from a 1604-words post, and warp it into "fighting against clarity and precision". That does not make it not practical, it just suggests that you are part of the problem.

    It doesn't suggest that you are consciously, deliberately participating in a concerted effort to keep an hegemony, either, because intent is, by and at large, irrelevant. It doesn't take a conspiracy to push people out: thoughtlessness - together with lack of moderation - is enough, as people from different walks of life have written about at some length over the years.

    11 votes
  4. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Then I invite you to read up on what you posted and in what context it was published - it generated plenty of discussion since it was posted, a year ago - and to refrain, in the future, from...

    In other words, you made a compelling argument against an enemy to which I am likely opposed myself, but I fail to recognize it in the letter I actually read.

    Then I invite you to read up on what you posted and in what context it was published - it generated plenty of discussion since it was posted, a year ago - and to refrain, in the future, from starting new threads on said overly abstract, apparently generic topics with sources you have not vetted for foghorns, dogwhistles, fortification planning, infamous authors and such.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    (edited )
    Link
    We find this to be nothing more than centrist chest-beating, written by people who apparently do not understand, or do not actually stand behind, what they penned down, who understand that some...
    • Exemplary

    The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

    The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.

    We find this to be nothing more than centrist chest-beating,

    We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.

    written by people who apparently do not understand, or do not actually stand behind, what they penned down,

    The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.

    who understand that some speech can have a chilling effect, claiming concern for the weakest while failing to act in a manner consistent with their claims,

    The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.

    and who seemingly have yet to step out of their ivory tower.

    We do not find amusing how rationality morphed into this Kafkian amalgamation of Spock's "logic", pop culture-understanding of logical fallacies, and the silly idea that everything can and should be debated - ad infinitum, if necessary.

    We find the emphasis on abstract topics, that somehow only ever concretize in the same discussions about the same culture war issues, to be concerning.

    We do not appreciate the cooling effect - and consequent evaporative cooling - that being treated as a mere intellectual exercise, by people with no skin in the game, can have on the speech of the minorities being targeted.

    12 votes
  6. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    And yet. And yet. There are ways to discuss issues that affect minorities without making said minorities feel attacked, and plenty of people in academia seem to manage. If one's first and last...

    It's not always the same issues.

    And yet.

    There is a difference between being attacked (the TERFs, professors singling out or attacking students) and discussion

    And yet.

    Isn't it striking how easily people seem to cry "censorship" instead of taking a moment to reflect on why the minorities whose right they so cavalierly "debate" might be upset with them so?

    There are ways to discuss issues that affect minorities without making said minorities feel attacked, and plenty of people in academia seem to manage.

    If one's first and last resort to criticism is to cry censorship - as is for a lot of the individuals whose names keep on cropping up in this kind of articles - then I put forth that by being unwilling to do so - by being unwilling to reflect on and modify their behaviour - they show they are not ready to participate in any kind of productive discussion on the matter: if you know - if you have been told, repeatedly - that behaving in a certain manner will make it likely for the conversation to degenerate, and persevere, you only show willingness in participating to shit-shows of your own making.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    It resonates because I'm clearly not the only person who is annoyed by the direction this site is taking, moving in the direction of pseudo-rationalist cesspits - where ideas are more important...

    It resonates because I'm clearly not the only person who is annoyed by the direction this site is taking, moving in the direction of pseudo-rationalist cesspits - where ideas are more important than people, and where critical thinking is such a strong suite of its userbase that they somehow keep on missing the foghorns that blare when Yet Another Article About Free Speech just so happens to - for a mere coincidence! - mention the current target of the culture war, multiple times in its text.

    Yours was one such article, and as we are responsible for shaping the environment we are in, I felt like making my displeasure known.

    7 votes
  8. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Cis people cannot and do not have skin in the game when it comes to the rights of trans people. It's very easy to intellectually - civilly, politely, taking hard decisions if necessary - debate...

    Cis people cannot and do not have skin in the game when it comes to the rights of trans people. It's very easy to intellectually - civilly, politely, taking hard decisions if necessary - debate what won't ever affect you, isn't it?

    4 votes
  9. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    I wonder if there's a name for that strange affectation people who think themselves rational have - that weird habit to take disagreement as ignorance, or lack of "proper" understanding. But I...

    Did you read the article? It seems as if your argument has very little to do with it. I'm going to drop a few quotes from the article for you

    I wonder if there's a name for that strange affectation people who think themselves rational have - that weird habit to take disagreement as ignorance, or lack of "proper" understanding. But I digress.

    The funny thing is, I did. I read the headline, I read the article, and I even clicked on the pretty blue underlined text contained within - as hinted by the fact that my last line included a link to one of those articles. The shape is a familar one, and even dressing it up as "academic freedom" did not much improve its looks - it's still just peaches, cold and wearing a different hat.

    Academic freedom is a necessity of a liberal society. It has nothing to do with the issues you personally find difficult, but with all issues. Academic freedom does not preclude minorities, it includes all academics irregardless of race, gender, or creed. Censoring topics in academia is completely at odds with the concept of Universities.

    Isn't it peculiar, then, how it's always the same issues - the same ones that have been brought to their attention by right-wing thinkers across the globe - that academics - salt of the Earth, I'm sure, who are definitely above such petty concerns as years of anti-LGBT+ propaganda and the stigma that came with them - find it difficult to discuss in a sane manner?

    Isn't it striking how easily people seem to cry "censorship" instead of taking a moment to reflect on why the minorities whose right they so cavalierly "debate" might be upset with them so?

    Isn't it interesting, too, how those people tend to be always the same, and always the same shape?

    7 votes
  10. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    mftrhu
    Link
    What I find peculiar is how these "difficult issues" always seem to involve the majority - with no skin in the game - "debating" issues that affect minorities in a manner that keeps on inducing...
    • Exemplary

    What I find peculiar is how these "difficult issues" always seem to involve the majority - with no skin in the game - "debating" issues that affect minorities in a manner that keeps on inducing deja-vu. Always the same minorities, somehow, who certainly don't share anything in common - like, say, being the scapegoats for the latest iteration of the right's petty crusades - and the same names, intriguingly, keep on popping up: sometimes as salient exemplars, sometimes as examples of people whose pursuit of truth is impeded by such petty matters as others not standing for them being utter and complete assholes.

    No. I'm sorry. I must confess that I lied. I don't find it peculiar or intriguing at all. I find it interesting how arrogantly they demand to be included in discussions they are clearly not mature enough to participate in, though.

    "Transgender debate", hah. Why not "transgender question"?

    12 votes
  11. Comment on New research shows a vast majority of cis people won't date trans people in ~lgbt

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Which, medical tourism being part of the equation which you used to determine whether SRS is "statistically significant to the discussion", makes your whole conclusion a conjecture. You don't know...

    Not saying medical tourism doesn't happen, but without statistics it's just conjecture on how common it is for SRS.

    Which, medical tourism being part of the equation which you used to determine whether SRS is "statistically significant to the discussion", makes your whole conclusion a conjecture. You don't know what the numerator is, because you don't have hard data about how many people get SRS outside the US; you don't know what the denominator is, because you don't have hard data about how many of those 2M trans adults you are likely to end up interacting with, in a dating context, that are not presenting as their AGAB.

    "Yes, it exists, but it's so rare it is statistically insignificant to the discussion."

    In the face of that - and of my last point on surgery numbers being cumulative - I am going to call this nonsense.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on New research shows a vast majority of cis people won't date trans people in ~lgbt

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    That was never called into question, and I find it interesting how many people end up saying that - or, indeed, how they tend to equivocate "being called out" with "being coerced", possibly while...

    I don't have an obligation to date them.

    That was never called into question, and I find it interesting how many people end up saying that - or, indeed, how they tend to equivocate "being called out" with "being coerced", possibly while waffling about the difference between reasons that - for a confluence of coincidences! - merely look bigoted, and reasons that actually are bigoted.

    This gets back to what I said about instead calling out the ancillary issues play out problematically in other non-dating/non-relationship-related ways.

    No. Those issues show up, systematically - always following the pattern I sketched out for "shorties" and "fatties" - in any and all "conversations" about "the trans dating question". They deserve to be called out, and people don't deserve to hide behind "it's just my preference". If they don't want to be challenged, they can try to shut up and not let the whole world know about how they won't date a trans man, Sam-I-am!

    4 votes
  13. Comment on New research shows a vast majority of cis people won't date trans people in ~lgbt

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    That's interesting. The US are famous world-wide for their cheap, accessible healthcare, with such a surfeit of surgeons specialized in SRS that they spend most of their time twiddling their...
    • Exemplary

    That's interesting. The US are famous world-wide for their cheap, accessible healthcare, with such a surfeit of surgeons specialized in SRS that they spend most of their time twiddling their thumbs, now that COVID put a damper on medical tourism.

    Or it would be, if not for the fact that your statistic is misleading for multiple reasons, some of them being

    • the high cost of healthcare in the US, which, coupled with poor labour laws, makes saving up for surgery - that some insurances still consider unnecessary - a somewhat shaky proposition;
    • the high cost - both monetary and moral - of SRS, driving people to do medical tourism in countries where (1) it's cheaper despite (2) being performed by highly experienced surgeons;
    • the waiting times for surgery itself, which, between requiring multiple doctors to sign off on it and the waiting lists for the surgeons, can delay it by years;
    • the fact that the "2M trans people in the US only" is an estimate which will, perforce, include people such as minors, the closeted, and those who have yet to realize they are trans - who necessarily can't or won't be pursuing surgery, which not all people want because:
      • they might think they don't experience enough dysphoria to go through it;
      • they might have been scared off by all the horror stories that cis people, sitting around their campfire, like to tell each other;
      • might actually like their OEM genitals;
    • the fact that "only 11k people per year, out of 2M, even get it" sounds impressively low - paltry - only if not considering the fact that surgery is permanent.

    I'd say that 0.55% of a - mostly undiagnosed, impoverished - population, getting, each year, a medical procedure costing them a year of pay and requiring multiple months of recovery, is a fairly sizable number.

    10 votes
  14. Comment on New research shows a vast majority of cis people won't date trans people in ~lgbt

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    The thing about "preferences" is that they are, well, preferences. I prefer pizza over pasta, which means that on average, being offered both at an equal rate, I'd eat one more than the other -...

    The thing about "preferences" is that they are, well, preferences. I prefer pizza over pasta, which means that on average, being offered both at an equal rate, I'd eat one more than the other - but not exclusively. That would be better named disdain, and were I offered a plate of pasta, only to decry it as an inferior meal? Were I to do so upon seeing pasta on the menu, when hearing about it, or just apropos of nothing? Hatred would be on the table.

    Should we attack women for preferring tall men? Is it fatphobic to prefer to date fit people?

    Do they refuse to date short men at all, maybe ranting about them being the inferior choice? That would be, at the very least, immature.

    Do those people refuse to date overweight people, possibly including "no fatties" in their dating profile bios? That would be pretty unequivocably fatphobic.

    Do they prefer dating people with a given set of defined characteristics, or do they refuse to date them tout-court, justifying their disdain by resorting to stereotypes? What else do they do when the discussion comes up?

    5 votes
  15. What are you doing for Pride this week? (7-13 June)

    Pride month has already started, so - as per the title - what are you doing for Pride this week? Are there any cool events where you live? Is the encroaching summer making it hard to choose...

    Pride month has already started, so - as per the title - what are you doing for Pride this week?

    Are there any cool events where you live? Is the encroaching summer making it hard to choose between hugging the AC and ironing your flags? Are you still in the closet, and would you like to vent about it?

    10 votes
  16. Comment on Caitlyn Jenner opposes trans girls competing in girls' sports: 'It just isn't fair' in ~lgbt

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Considering that (1) a lot of trans women have undetectable levels of testosterone while (2) a lot of cis women in sports - typical averages != typical averages in the relevant subpopulation -...

    Male-to-female transgender athletes are required to reduce the testosterone in their blood to below 10 nanomoles per liter. Typical values for women are 0.5 to 3.0 nanomoles per liter.

    Ms. Abreu lowered her levels to 0.2 nanomoles. In 2017, the International Volleyball Federation and the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation authorized her to play on women’s teams, and in December she started playing for her team in Bauru, a conservative agricultural hub.

    Considering that (1) a lot of trans women have undetectable levels of testosterone while (2) a lot of cis women in sports - typical averages != typical averages in the relevant subpopulation - have elevated levels of testosterone and that (3) those disadvantages stem from much higher mass ÷ greatly reduced strength, it's probably the latter, and I'm starting to wonder if it's fair for cis athletes to compete.

    7 votes
  17. Comment on "Why is this subreddit private?" or why some large subreddits are protesting the censorship of discussions about a reddit admin's ties to pedophilia. in ~tech

    mftrhu
    Link Parent
    Plenty. Arguments do not win or lose ground based on how good they are. To be precise, a person who was raised by said actual bonafide evil person, and bonafide evil people are not usually known...

    what is there to worry about? It's a terrible argument.

    Plenty. Arguments do not win or lose ground based on how good they are.

    we're talking about someone who lived with an actual bonafide evil person while they were committing terrible crimes

    To be precise, a person who was raised by said actual bonafide evil person, and bonafide evil people are not usually known for their self-control. I had already heard about this case, at least a year ago, likely from the gender"critical" subs. Even back then, the words "abuse" and "grooming" came to mind. The BEP being her father also only serves to complicate the issue further, because even people with more healthy upbringings - or that just came to realize that what happened in their family was not normal - do not find detaching themselves from their parents easy.

    6 votes
  18. Comment on Urbit: A Personal Identity Server in ~tech

    mftrhu
    Link
    Wasn't Urbit that one project that tried to rebuild feudalism on crypto? Pass. No matter how interesting the underlying tech might be - in this case, I'm not even sure if it's particularly...

    Wasn't Urbit that one project that tried to rebuild feudalism on crypto? Pass. No matter how interesting the underlying tech might be - in this case, I'm not even sure if it's particularly exciting - I'd rather see it used in some other project that doesn't bake hierarchy right in their ecosystem.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on Reddit announces online presence indicators in ~tech

    mftrhu
    Link
    Yes, Reddit dear. Let's give the trolls you keep on your platform an even more effective way to harass actual people. That sounds like a spiffy idea, nevermind the fact you already messed around...

    Yes, Reddit dear. Let's give the trolls you keep on your platform an even more effective way to harass actual people. That sounds like a spiffy idea, nevermind the fact you already messed around with the report modal so it's twice as slower and thrice as painful to use.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on Tildes is pushing out the minority voice in ~talk

    mftrhu
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Initially, sure. For a while, even, but how many of them are hanging around after six months, or a year? People who join a Reddit alternative that doesn't strive to be a free speech clone are...
    • Exemplary

    Those numbers might indicate that we're also quite inviting to minorities.

    Initially, sure. For a while, even, but how many of them are hanging around after six months, or a year?

    People who join a Reddit alternative that doesn't strive to be a free speech clone are probably going to expect more from it, and dealing with devils' advocates is exhausting when the local culture really likes long posts and frowns upon "uncivil" behaviour, such that "Fuckin' google it, you lazyass" to the nth rehash of the same argument is unacceptable.

    I'd say this looks like we're turning away the intolerant

    It's not the intolerant the problem. Blatantly bigoted people are dealt with even on Reddit - not on all subreddits, but you learn which to join and which to avoid, and the mod teams tend to be large - and they are not as much of a problem as well-meaning but ignorant people (or those who can disguise their bigotry well). Answering the same questions, even when asked earnestly, can start to grate pretty quickly; dealing with sealions and devils' advocates is far worse.

    I think we should get good at turning away those who learned the rules of engagement from the "rationalist" sphere: things like "ad hominems mean you lose", "long messages good, short messages bad", "source?" spam, and "if you don't want to answer, just go elsewhere". The latter is especially poisonous, coming from people with no skin in the game who can afford to just... ignore what others are saying.

    Things like ephemeral threads - standalone, discussing a single link or post, with mostly different users interacting each time - don't help with that. With a lot of topics, "closed as duplicate: see here" would serve the community far better, both minorities - who won't need to step in and groundhog day the argument - and those who want to learn more than they want to argue.

    Edit: s/(alternative) who/\1 that/

    14 votes