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08 Feb 2019 13:02

I see we’re starting the discussion with an infantile and reductive definition of “violence.” This should go far.
aphronesis
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08 Feb 2019 13:13

About as far as the freedom of speech discussion went.
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User avatar King Boonen
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Re: U.S. Politics

08 Feb 2019 14:08

Speak of the devil.

Sam was on the Alt Right political podcast "the Joe Rogan experience" yesterday, hosted by far right white supremacist skinhead Joe Rogan.

It has been watched by 700 000 people in the 14 hours since it was uploaded, just on youtube alone. Such numbers show just how big the far right has become over the last few years. And that's not even the biggest far right host. The Sweedish Nazi who posts under the psudonym Pewdiepie has 70 million subscribers.

Since unfortunately Rogan has not yet been deplatformed, the video is up so I gave it a watch.

They tried to distract from the rise of the right by devoting some of the podcast time to alleged fascism by the left.

These however backfired as all they did was bring up examples of far right hatecrimes. One of the shocking incidents Sam brought up was the following (from wikipedia):

On April 5, 2018, while attending the annual conference of the International Studies Association (ISA), Professor Richard Ned Lebow, a Professor at King's College London, and Professor Simona Sharoni were on a crowded elevator when someone in the elevator offered to press their floor buttons; in response, Lebow jokingly answered, “ladies’ lingerie.”

Following that, Sharoni filed a complaint against him, arguing that his use of sexual innuendo in a public space at an academic conference was a violation of ISA's Code of Conduct.[21] An ISA committee found him in violation of its Code of Conduct and asked him to apologize to Sharoni


Amazingly, this misogynistic bully still has a job. He humiliated this poor woman in front of a crowd of sexist men on an elevator, purely based on her gender, and perhaps her skin colour (having not seen a photo of Miss Sharoni, we cannot rule this out).

Its just terrifying that such oppression is supported by Western Universities these days.
User avatar The Hitch
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08 Feb 2019 14:17

Why the need to create hyperbolic straw men? Do you not have a point that can stand on its own weight? Do you want us to engage with your exaggeration or with a more realistic narrative? Do you see how your approach might be interpreted as a tactic to shut down discussion, notwithstanding that you are arguing with the demons in your own head?

Here's an interesting thing; if you Google the Professor's name and the word 'joke' the results point to polemics from right-wing publications (DM, Sun, Spectator, Times etc) railing against 'pc culture'. I tried to find comment from any publication associated with centrist/liberal/left politics and couldn't find any, let alone any in support of the female professor. There literally aren't any.

The implications of this to your own argument will be above your pay grade.
Last edited by macbindle on 08 Feb 2019 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar macbindle
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Re:

08 Feb 2019 15:20

macbindle wrote:Geo-politics, not religion. Muslims are nearly 1/4 of the world's population. Why isn't a quarter of the world in flames?

Harris says Islam is intrinsically violent. If this has no significant real-world effects OUTSIDE of geo-politics, it is meaningless.

If your mathematics were used in the U.S. ,Americans would live in a much different society.
1 murder committed by an MS 13 member would not have a disproportionate value in the problem of murders overall. The religion value of Muslims represented as an exponentially higher value than Christian threats is dumb.
If you start counting dead bodies..Las Vegas shooting,Dallas,Pulse Night Club,Parkland High school and the nightly body count from gangs Muslims are not a measurable part of the American death equation.
The solution to killing on our streets,schools ,houses of worship,workplaces,concerts,movie theaters,shopping malls,restaurants,bars and roadways doesn't have a Muslim component.
Trump doesn't understand much,mostly because of credit and the type of economics he practices. Spending 100's of millions on shoeless,poor dirty downtrodden immigrants is a waste of money. 10's of thousands of dollars per migrant. When Trump walked away from 3quarters of a billion dollars in bankruptcy court,the impact on him was minimal.
His current confused policies on randomly picking which Muslims are bad and good has astronomical costs today and in the future.We gave him access to the American government line of credit and he is acting consistently w his history,buy until you bust and leave someone else to pay the bills..
Combating Muslims or immigrants is a fools futile errand that Trump is way to anxious to undertake..the man is an idiot.
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08 Feb 2019 15:38

I wasn't really talking about American violence purely in terms of street murders (although your point still stands), but in more expansive terms including violence enacted by the government, and perhaps more obliquely violence enacted by the government in the name of the people and enabled by them. What are the conditions that permit this to happen and how does public discourse shape these conditions.
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08 Feb 2019 17:03

Macbidle the short answer can be seen in American economics. America is at war..but movie theaters and mall parking lots have lots of cars. The U.S. has had soldiers killed recently but were not mentioned at our biggest sporting events. Dead Americans but nothing can interrupt people going out to dinner or getting food delivery..enjoying vacation. Murder is in our DNA..death is not a big part of daily life concerns in America. It is happening somewhere else to someone else. He concerned when the dead person is at your church or school. Pay attention when it's a few streets from where you live..not until. And if it doesn't happen near you then why bother.Argue when your tax dollars give old people or kids critical medical care..but when those same tax dollars buy missiles to kill woman and children get another best out of the fridge.
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08 Feb 2019 18:03

Yes the economy is violent. And it coerces a reproduction of its violence through banal,, cynical, dehumanised anti social behavior. And through monetized spectacles of aggressive socialization. This is far beyond murder and death (although that mechanism is part of what innures people to state violence elsewhere.)
aphronesis
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09 Feb 2019 00:24

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX5MHNvjw7o
Blackface is bad but white face is good.. very very good
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Re: Re:

09 Feb 2019 00:53

macbindle wrote:
Anyway, here is a quote from Harris:

"People don’t want to hear that a person's intelligence is in large measure due to his or her genes and there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person's intelligence even in childhood. It's not that the environment doesn't matter, but genes appear to be 50 to 80 percent of the story. People don't want to hear this. And they certainly don't want to hear that average IQ differs across races and ethnic groups."


I'll assume your issue isn't that there's anything inaccurate about those comments, correct? I'm guessing it has to do with either a lack of context or how racists might use this information, but you can clarify.

Do you understand why Murray was on Harris's podcast ...the events which led to this, and Harris's intentions, yes? Do you know what the word 'context' means? Are you able to progress beyond the literal? Do you think the timing of this podcast was coincidence? (hint: Trump and the resurgence of race politics) Were you completely and utterly oblivious to the start of the podcast and Harris's eulogy of Murray? When Harris referred to Murray's persecution by a “a silent mob” do you realise that he is talking about the academics who make up the majority of Murray's critics?


Please explain why, I don't know. I mean, other than listening to Harris explain it in detail.

Sam Harris wrote:While I have very little interest in IQ and actually zero interest in racial differences in IQ, I invited Murray on my podcast, because he had recently been de-platformed at Middlebury College. He and his host were actually assaulted as they left the auditorium. In my view, this seemed yet another instance of kind of a moral panic that we were seeing on college campuses. It caused me to take an interest in Murray that I hadn’t previously had. I had never read The Bell Curve, because I thought it was just ... It must be just racist trash, because I assumed that where there was all that smoke, there must be fire. I hadn’t paid attention to Murray. When I did read the book and did some more research on him, I came to think that he was probably the most unfairly maligned person in my lifetime. That doesn’t really run the risk of being much of an exaggeration there.

The most controversial passages in the book struck me as utterly mainstream with respect to the science at this point. They were mainstream at the time he wrote them and they’re even more mainstream today. I perceived a real problem here of free speech and a man’s shunning and I was very worried. I felt culpable, because I had participated in that shunning somewhat. I had ignored him. As I said, I hadn’t read his book, and I had declined at least one occasion where I could’ve joined a project that he was associated with. I declined, because he was associated with it, because I perceived him to be radioactive.

So, I felt a moral obligation to have him on my podcast. In the process of defending him against the charge of racism and in order to show that he had been mistreated for decades, we had to talk about the science of IQ and the way genes and environment almost certainly contribute to it. Again, IQ is not one of my concerns and racial differences in IQ is absolutely not one of my concerns, but a person having his reputation destroyed for honestly discussing data — that deeply concerns me.


So you think talking about race when Trump is making noises about race is...a bad idea? Assuming there is any connection, which I think is a HUGE stretch. Have you seen the breadth and depth of the topics he covers? Is your position that Harris is some kind of shill or lapdog for the right? That he's anything but a liberal? He's pro gay marriage, economically liberal, vehemently anti-Trump (have you heard his takedown? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yBGE80covk), supports raising taxes on the wealthy, was against the Iraq war, and on and on and on. I certainly hope you're not suggesting this because that would be either wildly ignorant or just nuts.

Yes, he's talking about academics who want to stifle facts which are inconvenient to their worldview, because those facts might be used by racists to further their agendas. Yes, he's very concerned about political correctness, perhaps to a fault. He's hardly the only person concerned about what's happening in this regard on college campuses today. My dad, a retired history professor, and some miles to the left of me is absolutely outraged about the curtailing of free speech and free inquiry that he's seeing. It's a problem. Lying about facts is not a way to truth, it's not a way to solve problems, and it's not a way to lead. Does Harris bother you so much because your views seem exactly the kind of thinking he's targeting?

You should listen to Ezra Klein and him argue for an hour about the Murray podcast. Actual intelligent discussion and disagreement. PC overreach bugs the crap out of a lot of people, because it too often sacrifices truth in favor of agenda.
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09 Feb 2019 01:51

Man, that’s a whole lot of jibber jabber about nothing. Two words: sociology, anthropology. Two more: economic dispensation. Can we vector all that blather through those concepts and disciplines.

Invoking unreconstructed boomer liberals proves nothing.

@red: do you get that you’re arguing lifestyle flavors? No? Maybe another mod will come hold your hand.
aphronesis
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09 Feb 2019 06:23

@ Red

I'm unlikely to devote the time needed for a cogent reply as there is a lot to say, so I'll scatter some brief poorly expressed thoughts. You deserve a better answer than this, but it's not going to happen today.

You are falling for this myth that Murray is a victim of curtailment of free speech. Murray hasn't been silenced. You can buy his book if you want. There is frequent positive reference to him in your national media. He is enormously successful. Harris perpetuates this myth of a silenced Murray and accords him heroic martyr status. Murray is criticised, but he isn't silenced.

So why did Harris give him yet more coverage at that moment? Clickbait. Harris picks controversial topics because it feeds his enormous income. Just like Peterson. Funnily enough, Murray is doing exactly the same thing. Of course, this isn't the reason Harris gives. But it is the reason. See later for my comments on the paucity of Harris's interrogation of Murray's ideas.

I was once present at a university speech in the 80s Thatcher years by her wingman, Norman Tebbit. Pre- Bell Curve, but an era when the UK Conservative government's social policies were first heavily influenced by the ideas of Charles Murray, much to the detriment of the most vulnerable in society, and with effects that are still to be seen today, on the ground in terms of government austerity policy with concomitant rise in child poverty and in the collective national psyche, such as it is.

Tebbit was met by a tsunami of abuse, as well as a box full of sugar cubes thrown by a previously passive Sikh man stood to my left. I was stood not three feet from Tebbit and I could see from his snarling smirk that he knew exactly what he was doing and the confrontation was both anticipated and desired. The incident provided plenty of bile ridden coverage in the right wing press to the effect that the protesting students were an undeserving violent mob. The speech was introducing policy to remove student grants.

Murray is back in media too, courteousy of an ill-considered and probably irrelevant student protest*. Coincidence? No. Trump's race politics is pure Murray. Do you think Murray was unaware of this when he accepted an offer to speak, albeit on an unrelated topic? There is a symbiosis here.

When it comes to Murray's views on race and IQ, they aren't facts, despite Harris's assertion. Some are, such as observable differences in IQ between ethnic groups, but from then on we are into highly contested territory. I won't go into them here but the critiques are easily accessible, and I find them convincing ** .Harris allowed Murray to proceed with little challenge given the controversial nature of Murray's views and Harris's purported passion for academic rectitude. It was no surprise that he did so as Harris reveals his position in the first couple of minutes. Harris allowed Murray to accuse his academic detractors of lying, without challenging that assertion.This was never going to be a balanced interview. Harris presented the issue as if there was scientific consensus, and that the issue was about moral cowardice and deceit rather than disagreement over the underlying science or its interpretation. You can see from the response from other academics that Murray's views do not represent the scientific consensus.Granted that the podcast was only partly about Murray's views on race and IQ, and the Bell Curve was only partially about race and IQ, but the only reason Murray was present was because of these views on race and IQ.

I mentioned Thatcher's adherence to Murray's political ideology and prescription for society, which pre-date The Bell Curve, and here's the thing...if you read his other books, Losing Ground and Coming Apart (there is another book, but I haven't read it),
you realise that Murray is positing three very different causal theories for the social position of the poor, but all of which lead to the same conclusion that the welfare state needs to be stripped of funding. In Losing Ground it is all about social policy encouraging fecklessness, so in other words perverse incentives. In The Bell Curve it is about (racial) genetic traits being responsible for social position, and in Coming Apart it is about cultural traits of white working class. So three different causal arguments that lead to the same conclusion.

Quite apart from the oddity of this confliction and the questions that it begs, which of the three books do you think made Murray the most money by some margin?

Talking unfavorably about racial difference is profitable for the white man, especially if it exonerates whitey from any responsibility for the plight of the black man.


Some food for thought:

Image

The Murray/Harris podcast was in April '17. That is quite a sudden leap in earnings, but I'm sure Harris isn't doing it for the money and ratings and income are the last thing that enter his mind.

*for the record, I don't agree with the student protesters. I don't think Murray is a eugeniscist. I can't see anything in his work to suggest he is. Probably few of the students had read his work. Just because I am a critic of Murray does not mean that I agree with all criticism of Murray, and unfair criticism of Murray does not mean that all criticism of Murray is unfair, as Harris would have you believe.

** See Konnor, Gould, Herron & Freeman, Chomsky, Graves.
Last edited by macbindle on 09 Feb 2019 16:26, edited 2 times in total.
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09 Feb 2019 12:01

Image
Likud campaign billboard featuring Trump: 'Netanyahu. In a different league'.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

Occam's razor - the best a man can get!
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Re:

09 Feb 2019 16:56

Robert5091 wrote:Image
Likud campaign billboard featuring Trump: 'Netanyahu. In a different league'.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/06/21/sara-netanyahu-israeli-pms-wife-accused-fraud-misuse-public-funds/720758002/
Yes these people really are chosen for a purpose..
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Re: Re:

09 Feb 2019 17:11

red_flanders wrote:
You should listen to Ezra Klein and him argue for an hour about the Murray podcast. Actual intelligent discussion and disagreement. PC overreach bugs the crap out of a lot of people, because it too often sacrifices truth in favor of agenda.


Just listened to it. Have to admit I'm not familiar with the Turkheimer (?) they both invoked. Fell asleep for a bit of it too, sorry (heavy lunch)

Many many interesting points from both of them, and although Harris made many good points, I agree with Klein's analysis of Harris's use of this awful term 'identity politics'. Essentially though, as Harris points out, they spend much of the two hours arguing at cross-purposes. As you might imagine, I'm with Klein in that you can't divorce Murray's political intent, especially in the context of US history, from this duality of genetic and environmental influence.

Harris is quite correct that there are genetic differences between people. I don't think that is in dispute. People will talk about difference. The controversy arises because of the above.

Interesting that neither of them broach race as social construct.
Last edited by macbindle on 09 Feb 2019 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Feb 2019 21:18

"It's not racism, it's tribalism"

https://youtu.be/dIA7bRRtS_w

I don't think this needs any comment, other than Harris is a turd.
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09 Feb 2019 22:26

Glad you found your way back to the amusing turd dismissal. It's the most fitting, and suitably pithy. It baffles me that Harris, Peterson et al are regarded by some as providing insightful analysis, and as such have gathered the large, mainstream, often stridently loyal following that they have. In a more sane age, I'd like to think they would have been quickly (and rightly) sidelined to the fringes as the all-too-often crude, reactionary and fatuous thinkers they are, at best, or dangerous cranks, at worst.

There is an interesting discussion to be had around such talking-heads, I think, but only insofar as they are embedded within and reflect a completely dysfunctional, rapacious socioeconomic and geopolitical order; culture wars and the rise of demagogues (in their various guises); what precisely gives traction to such retrograde ideas within the contemporary setting, etc., and yourself and aphro have already been pointing towards such considerations. In the context of which, a little fuel for discussion, perhaps (without wanting to get into it further here myself):
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/29/new-atheism-worse-than-you-think/
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09 Feb 2019 22:41

I've only recently paid attention to Harris, but a couple of things Ive seen tonight really show that for all his talk of good faith and honesty, he is as much a deployer of sophistry and mendacity as those he denounces.

The attempted evasion in the Liam Neeson thing is simply staggering. Did Harris not ask himself why Neeson sought out the ethnicity of the rapist, rather than on finding that the rapist was a man, simply walk up and down the street waiting to be attacked by a man, so that he could kill him?

Harris's preface on so-called social justice warriors really shows what his motivations are. Tribalism? FFS

The other piece I watched was this: https://youtu.be/dFb88lyCf84

I was literally stunned by the false equivalence of Harris asking what would the Palestinians do if they could kill all Israelis (Harris's answer: kill them all) versus what would Israelis do (Harris's answer: not kill all Palestinians, because they already could if they wanted, and they haven't, therefore they wouldnt) Harris can't see that the question could only be valid if the power imbalance and social realities are reversed accordingly. Or maybe he can see it...

And this guy is being hailed as a great thinker of our times?
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Re: U.S. Politics

09 Feb 2019 23:02

But he's not racist/ fascist or any of those things. So your week of lenghty research and scowering all the far left literature to try find that one headshot soundbite that would back you up and....

zilch.

Couldn't make anything stick so to save face "sam is a turd". Same place as a week ago. No progress.

I mean I certainly didn't expect anyone who says Peterson is a fascist to have any respect for Sam. The man stands against everything you types believe.

But I am surprised you stopped short of "harris is a facist" as well. I guess you didn't think of it. Neither "turd" nor "fascist" really mean anything from people who use these terms all the time, so I don't see the difference.

I'm posting though because while scrolling down I did come accross a funny bit.

How Sam is only in it for the money.
Followed by a screenshot of Sam's patreon.
Which says "ended" December 19th

Now why does Sam's patreon say "ended December 19th"?

Ah yes, because he voluntarily disbanded it himself. As a political protest

I deliberately summarised that very briefly as I know you wont accept any retelling of the story on my part.

So I'll let you read about what happened yourself, but it was a big thing. Or like with the Murray podcast, you can just not read it and make massive assumotions based on what you imagine could have happened. Up to you how you want to intepret the Patreon scandal.

In any case, Sam abandoned Patreon. And he was reportedly one of the biggest profiteers from the platform.

So he he made a pretty big sacrifice financially. Money far greater than whatever incremental gain he made from having Murray on.

But yeah, Sam Harris who walked away from all that money, purely to make political point, is all about the money :D

Its quite funny to see you make such assumptions about people you knew nothing or next to nothing about until a few days ago. Like with the "peterson chose lobsters cos he's sexist", it makes no sense cos even if you spent a few days doing selective reading to try to find bad things, you still know very little about these people and your random assumptions often fly in the face of their actual track records
User avatar The Hitch
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09 Feb 2019 23:12

Do you think you could do something about your writing style? I don't mean to be rude, but it is a bit 'angry teenager'
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