moonbathers's recent activity

  1. Comment on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of gender equality, dies at eighty-seven in ~news

    moonbathers
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    I'm not gonna say we're instantly fucked because of this but god damn is there no justice in this world but what we make. People are going to complain about Republicans' hypocrisy and it's not...

    I'm not gonna say we're instantly fucked because of this but god damn is there no justice in this world but what we make. People are going to complain about Republicans' hypocrisy and it's not going to make a single bit of difference. A new ~50-year-old justice will be seated by December and the court will be lost for at least a decade I imagine, and probably longer. Thomas is 72, Alito is 70, and Roberts is 65. The court will be 6-3 conservative and we'll have to somehow replace two of them with liberals/progressives/whatever you'd like to call them and on top of that Breyer is 82.

    Edit to add: I don't think they necessarily need to hurry on replacing her, they've got until January at the very least and they're up 5-3. But if for some reason they don't go full dictatorship they'll definitely have someone in that seat before they lose the Senate or Trump is out.

    18 votes
  2. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    My entire point is that you don't need genetics or a 21st century viewpoint to show that race is artificial and therefore you can't assign characteristics to entire groups the way Hume does. All...

    My entire point is that you don't need genetics or a 21st century viewpoint to show that race is artificial and therefore you can't assign characteristics to entire groups the way Hume does. All you need to do is ask what black means, what Spanish means, what French means, etc. I don't imagine people living in Sevilla look a whole lot different than people who live in Marrakesh because they're neighbors and have had lots of interaction. Then go further north to Madrid and ask if people look a whole lot different than people in Sevilla. They might look more different than people from Marrakesh, but less different than people from Sevilla. Now you've established that people's appearance is a gradient and there are no strict boundaries between who's Spanish and who's Moroccan. If there are no strict boundaries between groups, then you can't assign traits to groups because those groups are fuzzy and arbitrarily defined.

    I don't think I'm the first person to come up with this sort of logic. There have been lots of people smarter than me past and present who were and are capable of doing the same. You can say that I have the advantage of growing up in a climate where racism is to some extent publicly frowned upon, but the logic that I've done could have been performed by anyone who was willing to be honest with themself about what they found. There was enough travel in Hume's time that a scholar could have spent a year going to different places across Europe and doing this research if they were interested, all it takes is thinking about how these groups are defined.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    That's why you can't fit people into neat boxes the way people who are racist try to do. You can't declare one group inferior to another group if groups can't be clearly defined. I'm not talking...

    This is true of literally everything. Any line between what it means to be "fat," "normal," or "skinny" is also arbitrary but it's clear what people mean conceptually. This isn't an insight about the world so much as a comment about how language is limited. What's more "Whiteness," in its modern conception, didn't exist as a concept yet.

    That's why you can't fit people into neat boxes the way people who are racist try to do. You can't declare one group inferior to another group if groups can't be clearly defined.

    I'm not talking about statistical methods, I'm talking about trying to define any sort of group based on innate characteristics. It is clear what people mean conceptually but it's also inaccurate, and if you're going to declare one group superior to another you have to account for the edge cases. Even in Hume's time there was enough travel that you could find people born to parents of different races. Some of them are going to look like one race, some of them are going to look like the other, and some are going to look somewhere in the middle. If you're going to assign characteristics to races or ethnicities as Hume does, then some people in each group aren't going to have the characteristics you expect. You can't fall back on "well obviously it's not going to apply to everyone in that group" because it's basically the "I can't be racist, I have a black friend" defense.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on What sort of software do you want to see? in ~tech

    moonbathers
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    Websites that don't have hundreds of kilobytes of Javascript and don't track you A good P2P messenger the way MSN was, with just as much ability to customize it Lightweight, efficient software in...
    • Websites that don't have hundreds of kilobytes of Javascript and don't track you
    • A good P2P messenger the way MSN was, with just as much ability to customize it
    • Lightweight, efficient software in general
    4 votes
  5. Comment on Could we have a different color for exemplary new comments? in ~tildes

    moonbathers
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    You can do that too. So my idea is a bit redundant and I'm not really opposed to getting rid of exemplaries entirely.

    You can do that too. So my idea is a bit redundant and I'm not really opposed to getting rid of exemplaries entirely.

  6. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    No, it doesn't. All that needs to be done is comparing people from different places. If you take a big enough sample of people from Sevilla and Marrakesh, how different are they really? Then do...

    No, it doesn't. All that needs to be done is comparing people from different places. If you take a big enough sample of people from Sevilla and Marrakesh, how different are they really? Then do the same between Sevilla and Madrid or Valencia, and then to Barcelona to Provence to Paris. At what point do people start being "white"? Any point that you draw that line at is going to be arbitrary. This could have been done by anyone with the means to spend months or years traveling and surveying people. Or alternatively, look at Ankara, Constantinople, Bucharest, Athens, Belgrade, and Kiev. The idea works regardless of where you do it.

    On top of that, the idea that "all men are created equal" didn't start with the Declaration of Independence. From a few minutes of research, Jefferson wasn't the first person to come up with it and a number of other scholars and philosophers during that time believed it too. There was a section of the Declaration that was against slavery and although it was removed from the final draft, the fact that it was there in the first place shows that there were a decent amount of people who at least believed in the idea that everyone was created equal to some extent.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    I don't really know that much about Hume, I'm just here to push back against the idea that we should never rename things or take down statues or that sort of thing and that we should give people a...

    I don't really know that much about Hume, I'm just here to push back against the idea that we should never rename things or take down statues or that sort of thing and that we should give people a pass on being racist because of the time that they lived in. I'm fine with judging people on modern standards in that regard because it doesn't take any particular knowledge exclusive to us to not be racist and there have always been people who weren't.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    How do you define black and white? How do you define behavior or intelligence? How do you quantify any of those things? People are absolutely perceived as black or white or something else, but...

    Black people are black; white people are white – never mind the various other adaptations to better cope with different temperatures. This is not a "social construct", but a reality. It's a completely valid and reasonable to ask if there are also differences in behaviour or intelligence. This is absolutely an empirically answerable scientific question, and I don't see how anyone could deny this. It was also very much an open question in Hume's time.

    How do you define black and white? How do you define behavior or intelligence? How do you quantify any of those things? People are absolutely perceived as black or white or something else, but that means nothing about their genetics or their traits. People have used science to justify racism for as long as racism has existed; you still see it in "race realism" and other bullshit. It's the same with religion, and you can't really quote science or religion back at them to get them to not be racist. That's not to say that we should never do genetic studies on people, but I don't think they're going to convince a lot of people to not be racist.

    I'm not saying there's no difference between any people anywhere, I'm saying that trying to group hundreds of millions of people together based on genetics is meaningless. There's too much variation in any trait you can measure for it to be meaningful. What can be meaningfully looked at is things like the group of people who evolved traits to be better at diving or things like that, and I would be surprised if that group had more than a million people.

    Naming a building after someone is honoring them. People who are hated don't get buildings named after them no matter what they did. Being wrong about if other people are inherently inferior to you is a lot different than being wrong about gravity or math or economics, and race and racism have been political since race became a thing. The belief that white people are superior to all others was used to justify colonialism, slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and I'm sure plenty of other bad things. Is it not worth it to no longer honor someone who held those beliefs but still recognize their positive contributions to humanity in academics?

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Could we have a different color for exemplary new comments? in ~tildes

    moonbathers
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    I think it should be for showing a comment appreciation without needing to make a public comment if you don't want to.

    I think it should be for showing a comment appreciation without needing to make a public comment if you don't want to.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Could we have a different color for exemplary new comments? in ~tildes

    moonbathers
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    I don't think there should be any sort of way to tell that a comment has been marked exemplary except by the person who made the comment. I've seen it used in a couple places I think as a...

    I don't think there should be any sort of way to tell that a comment has been marked exemplary except by the person who made the comment. I've seen it used in a couple places I think as a super-vote which isn't what it should be for. It feels similar to me to comments getting gilded on Reddit.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Is the University of Edinburgh right to rename its David Hume Tower? in ~humanities

    moonbathers
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    It's really not. They probably didn't spend much more time talking about it and doing it than it took to write the article. From the article: There is nothing scientifically valid about asking if...

    It's anti-intellectual nonsense which does exactly nothing except make a few self-righteous busybodies delude themselves in to thinking that they're "fighting racism" or whatever

    It's really not. They probably didn't spend much more time talking about it and doing it than it took to write the article. From the article:

    The University has opted to recognise Hume’s philosophical brilliance but not to celebrate him publicly. This is not inconsistent. It would be like believing that Roman Polanski is an awful human being who should be jailed while also believing he has made some excellent films. Study him in film school, admire his creativity, but don’t name your auditorium after him or give him an honorary degree.

    There is nothing scientifically valid about asking if one race is superior to another. Race is artificial and that was as apparent to anyone who cared to think about it in Hume's time as it is now. If anyone actually wanted to honestly study it, you can do it by observation: How are you determining who's white and who isn't? How do you determine who's Swiss or Irish or isn't? Once you come to the conclusion that you can't just put people into arbitrary boxes based on appearance or ancestry then if you're being honest you have to conclude that no race is superior to another. This could have been done by anyone with the means to travel and survey people.

    On top of that, the article admits that Hume's racism goes against "the spirit and substance" of his philosophy. Why should we name a building after someone who couldn't even try to live their own philosophy and not be actively racist? If he was ahead of the curve on several issues, why couldn't he also be ahead of the curve on not being racist, considering it was consistent with his philosophy according to the article? There were plenty of people who weren't racist at that time.

    We shouldn't whitewash anyone, no matter how much good they did, and naming a building after someone is whitewashing them. Probably not a lot of people have heard about the building and then known anything about David Hume beyond the fact that he was a philosopher. It's the same story with the statues; there's never mention that the people involved were slavers. Hume isn't being erased, just like Colston and all the other slavers aren't. They just aren't being whitewashed anymore.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of September 14 in ~health.coronavirus

    moonbathers
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    We're not going to break out of the death spiral. We as a country are not capable of doing what it takes to get this pandemic under control and so it will continue to spread until it burns out on...

    We're not going to break out of the death spiral. We as a country are not capable of doing what it takes to get this pandemic under control and so it will continue to spread until it burns out on its own or Biden somehow both wins and takes power. We're too selfish and individualistic to help stop its spread and to alleviate our own suffering and the effects of this pandemic are going to be felt for decades in the form of worse life outcomes: poverty from medical bills or job loss, worse education for everyone in school right now which will result in worse outcomes later on, reduced lifespan and quality of life from COVID complications, etc.

    Edit: the entire last paragraph is worth quoting I think

    The U.S. might stop treating the pandemic as the emergency that it is. Daily tragedy might become ambient noise. The desire for normality might render the unthinkable normal. Like poverty and racism, school shootings and police brutality, mass incarceration and sexual harassment, widespread extinctions and changing climate, COVID-19 might become yet another unacceptable thing that America comes to accept.

    The pandemic has already been normalized. Anything is acceptable to us as long as it doesn't directly affect us. Then when it does, we're ok with suffering as long as others are suffering worse. At no point do we even think about stopping the suffering; we'd rather hurt others.

    8 votes
  13. Comment on Remembering my father in ~life

    moonbathers
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    The record is 122, and she's the only person to have made it past 120 that's verified.

    The record is 122, and she's the only person to have made it past 120 that's verified.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Remembering my father in ~life

    moonbathers
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    I've heard optimistic things about people born in more recent years. I would bet the average person born in 1950 or later had better nutrition growing up than the average person born in 1920 did...

    I've heard optimistic things about people born in more recent years. I would bet the average person born in 1950 or later had better nutrition growing up than the average person born in 1920 did (even with the prevalence of unhealthy food now) and that might make a difference.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    moonbathers
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    That's a good summary of the common arguments, thank you. I wrote about this a few months ago but it's easy to forget things. I feel bad for all the Millennials who grew up on the series who are...

    That's a good summary of the common arguments, thank you. I wrote about this a few months ago but it's easy to forget things.

    I feel bad for all the Millennials who grew up on the series who are still into it because they have to deal with the fact that the person who created something that has touched their hearts is an absolute trash person and super vocal about it. If someone from one of the bands that I've followed for 15+ years started saying things like JK Rowling has I'd have trouble with it too.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    moonbathers
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    I've read that essay and it's a whole lot of hatred wrapped in concern. What happened to her was terrible but there's no reasonable jump from being abused by a man to hating trans people. That's...

    I've read that essay and it's a whole lot of hatred wrapped in concern. What happened to her was terrible but there's no reasonable jump from being abused by a man to hating trans people.

    That's not to imply that you're defending her position, I know you're not.

    13 votes
  17. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    moonbathers
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    As a wise man once write, ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand :) The fact that people who live in 98+% white areas are the most hostile to immigrants and people of color in general...

    As a wise man once write, ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand :) The fact that people who live in 98+% white areas are the most hostile to immigrants and people of color in general is pretty compelling, and that fear even extends to cities and white people who live there.

    The "they're threatening our way of life!" line goes a long way in certain circles I think, I agree with you. It shows up in every issue, as you've said. I got some campaign mail recently that said the Green New Deal would threaten our way of life even.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    moonbathers
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    I think she feels threatened by trans women in some way or another. She views trans women as predators and trans men as confused women as she's shown in previous things she's said/written on the...

    I think she feels threatened by trans women in some way or another. She views trans women as predators and trans men as confused women as she's shown in previous things she's said/written on the subject. Beyond that I'm not sure, but trans people tend to be viewed as mentally ill (as in being "cured", and not in the hormones sort of way) or sexually deviant degenerates who need to be "cured" or worse. JK Rowling hasn't said or associated with anything worse than "curing" trans people as far as I know, so that's something at least.

    I can't speak for exactly how she feels threatened, but my understanding is that trans people and sometimes other LGBT people sometimes threaten people's worldview in which everything is the same as it always was, by which they mean everything is the same as they understood it to be when they were kids. It's easier to rationalize "well I'm not sexist so a man should be able to love a man like a woman does" (that logic is the only positive contribution Neil Gorsuch will ever have on my life. fuck him) than it is to rationalize "this person feels like they're a man on the inside, that's not a big deal".

    15 votes
  19. Comment on How to stream NFL football games in 2020 in ~sports

    moonbathers
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    I'm sure it happens, but there are pirate streamers with good reputations that aren't hard to find.

    I'm sure it happens, but there are pirate streamers with good reputations that aren't hard to find.

  20. Comment on Why don't we just ban the buying, selling, and merging of companies? in ~talk

    moonbathers
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    I'm not sure I would say no mergers or buyouts ever, but it really does feel like everyone involved is worse off except for the buying company and the people cashing out. The exceptions would be...

    I'm not sure I would say no mergers or buyouts ever, but it really does feel like everyone involved is worse off except for the buying company and the people cashing out. The exceptions would be where one business is going to fail if it's not bought out by a competitor and situations where the owner's health is failing or something similar, but I don't think decisions on that level should be made unilaterally or without the workers having a say in it anyway.

    1 vote