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Just for discussion

#1 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-July-16, 18:02

What do you guys make of this?
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-July-16, 18:31

Good riddance

Bari Weiss is an odious little hypocrite and the Times is better off without her.

The woman spends half her life complaining about cancel culture on college campuses.

  • She got her start trying to have Professors dismissed from their jobs because of supposed anti Semitism
  • He resignation letter is full of complaints that her co-workers weren't disciplined for being mean to her

Alderaan delenda est
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#3 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-July-16, 18:43

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-July-16, 18:31, said:

She got her start trying to have Professors dismissed from their jobs because of supposed anti Semitism

So anti-semitic professors should be encouraged to keep up their work? I'm not Jewish. I'm just askin'.
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#4 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-July-16, 22:09

View PostChas_P, on 2020-July-16, 18:02, said:

What do you guys make of this?


I have to say, after reading the letter and not knowing anything more about the specifics of any issues at the NYT, many important issues and concerns are raised about the media and culture these days. I would share many of those concerns as a consumer of quality media. I feel, especially with the influence of social media and how it seems to work to reduce scope of ideas rather than increase scope, it has been increasingly concerning over recent years. When you start to feel almost unsafe commenting or arguing against the dominant othrodoxy on a number of major issues, which is published by previously highly respected media outlets (or at least seems to dominate), I think everyone needs to feel somewhat concerned. Some would say much media is dominated by a left bias but to me it isnt left at all - its some rather more concerning tendency. One thing I have pondered is whether it is algorithms, advertising requirements, need for reactions that appears to bias social media publication - and more diverse articles are lost. However, notwithstanding that, there have been very questionnable trends among users and apparently by some editors to become rather punitive towards comments that do not fit an othordoxy. It also incorporates a tendency to misrepresent anyone simply for discussing or debating a point etc. To be perfectly honest too, much of the dominant way so many important issues are presented is extremely misleading and open to challenge by any informed argument anyway - yet even the informed arguments are attacked. That is how dangerous it has become. Its been akin to a form of fascism in many ways. Where to next.
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#5 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 00:29

She (Bari Weis) is right.
Anti-semitism is rife in America. It is also rife in the Bridge community. I have experienced it personally. I am an atheist. I believe that is no more likely that there is any kind of God than there is Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. But I am Jewish.


This means that my ancestors have collected a lot of valuable information for me, which they wrote down and put in a book. Subsequent ancestors added to this information and I am very happy about it.

Unfortunately, the use of this information enables the accumulation of wealth and power by small groups of individuals.

Targeting groups of individuals according to their skin colour, hair colour or sexual orientation allows criminal organisations such as the (insert your favourite here) to flourish.
Currently, there are companies selling masks into the US market with realistic, but bogus, certificates of authenticity. Criminals do not care about peoples lives. They only care about money.
It is like being concerned about acquiring masterpoints but not being concerned about being better at Bridge.

This is why Trump lies and cheats. He thinks that acquiring money for himself is the point. He does not understand that when you are elected as President, improving the well-being of the entire community is the point.
People that condone anti-semitism as trivial are missing the point. Antisemitism, along with misogyny and homophobia are all just devices used by pathetic, weak people who have no real ability of their own, as a power-play to manoeuvre people who are more able than them away from something that they want. If the person was not identifiably Jewish, they would choose another characteristic to smear. In Australia Julia Gillard was attacked because she was a woman. As though this somehow made her less capable. One particularly artless Radio person called her "Juliar" - which made him sound like a demented toddler. It's pathetic really, but it worked for Hitler, and Trump got elected using the same methodology.

The Big Lie was first described in Mein Kampf.
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#6 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 01:30

Discuss this:

TRANSCRIPT: Mary Trump's interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos
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#7 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 02:35

View Postjohnu, on 2020-July-17, 01:30, said:



It made Mary Great. Again
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#8 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 03:05

View PostChas_P, on 2020-July-16, 18:43, said:

So anti-semitic professors should be encouraged to keep up their work? I'm not Jewish. I'm just askin'.


My point is that if your career is built on trying to cancel individuals that you do not approve of, then you are not a particularly good person to be advocating about the perils of cancel culture.
Alderaan delenda est
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#9 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 03:17

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-July-17, 03:05, said:

My point is that if your career is built on trying to cancel individuals that you do not approve of, then you are not a particularly good person to be advocating about the perils of cancel culture.


Does this mean that only people without a trace of imperfection are allowed to... he posited aposiopesically. As one of my ancestors might have posted.
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#10 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 04:54

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-July-17, 03:05, said:

My point is that if your career is built on trying to cancel individuals that you do not approve of, then you are not a particularly good person to be advocating about the perils of cancel culture.


Maybe not the best person. It would be good though if the world moved from ad hominem aspects of argument towards just looking at each individual issue on its merits, as well perhaps as the different roles/hats someone may be wearing. I know if you go to the extreme you need to use ad hominem to undermine some people in this world, but its used a bit too much these days, especially by people you would hope would be capable of winning arguments on merit
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#11 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 06:29

The problem with journalists, especially female journalists, even here in the UK, is that some have a grandiose opinion of their self-importance. They think their opinions count above all and that everyone else should bow to their perceived intellectualism and academic upbringing. Hence this loquacious spiel of a resignation letter...it about sums it up. Can't people resign with dignity and without whinging these days?

Having worked in the medical/scientific community for virtually all of my life, I just cannot take seriously these arty-history-literature types who moan about their lot. Try working in a real job, at the coal face, instead of being just a keyboard tapper.

The only journalists I have any respect for are those that go into war zones or the like. Sitting behind a desk scribing slanted polemic articles is one reason why the general public have lost confidence in the press.
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#12 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 06:55

View Postthepossum, on 2020-July-17, 04:54, said:

Maybe not the best person. It would be good though if the world moved from ad hominem aspects of argument towards just looking at each individual issue on its merits, as well perhaps as the different roles/hats someone may be wearing. I know if you go to the extreme you need to use ad hominem to undermine some people in this world, but its used a bit too much these days, especially by people you would hope would be capable of winning arguments on merit


I disagree completely

The world is full of idiots, trolls, and individuals who engage in bad faith arguments.

Simply put, it's not worth the time or the effort to constantly deal with their latest round of bullshit.
Rather, you identify them for what they are, label them, and toss on the discard heap.

And, if they chime up with some new finding, you simply note that almost everything that they have said in the past has been a series of lies.

On the forums, Al_U_Card, who used to spend all his time as a 9/11 truther and has moved on to global warming is the prototypical example.

And, sadly for Ms Weiss, she has come to fit the bill as well.
People shouldn't have to invest the time and the effort to disprove her latest little fantasy.

Here's an analogy that you (Possum) might be comfortable with

Ensemble learning techniques work by assigning weights to a large number of weak learning algorithms.
When one of your algorithms gets down weighted because it isn't useful, you don't waste time worrying that it's being cancelled.
Rather, you move on and focus on more important stuff.
Alderaan delenda est
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#13 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 07:34

It is odd to me that those who normally adhere to a belief that personal responsibility reigns supreme blame on a cultural phenomenon the negative consequences of actions and lobby for inclusion. Perhaps the Invisible Hand will offer writs of absolution for a small fee...?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#14 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 11:14

https://xkcd.com/1357/

The best response I've seen on this whole Harper's Letter -> NYT opinion page panic -> flounce-off referenced in the OP, apart from obXKCD of course, was "They don't want free speech. They want free speech FOR THEM."

I also saw, but can't verify, "she was hoping that the reaction would lead to getting fired, so she could continue her SOP of complaining that she was being repressed. It didn't happen, so she chose to retire and make it sound like she was being fired." I don't know if I'm cynical enough to believe it.
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#15 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-July-17, 13:05

Weiss and Sully had a new gig lined up a couple months back

They're just trying to capitalize on the current zeitgeist
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-July-19, 20:23

View PostChas_P, on 2020-July-16, 18:43, said:

So anti-semitic professors should be encouraged to keep up their work? I'm not Jewish. I'm just askin'.

I'm not familiar with Ms Weiss's writing, but I think the operative word was "supposed".

#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-July-19, 20:27

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-17, 00:29, said:

She (Bari Weis) is right.
Anti-semitism is rife in America. It is also rife in the Bridge community. I have experienced it personally. I am an atheist. I believe that is no more likely that there is any kind of God than there is Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. But I am Jewish.

I've never personaly experienced it at all. But maybe it's because I grew up in a suburban town that was mostly Jewish. But even when I moved up to the Boston area, where I've lived for more than 40 years now, I've never seen it.

However, I imagine it may be more pervasive in rural parts of the country, where you might find people who can honestly say that they've never even met a Jew.

#18 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-19, 22:14

I never experienced overt anti-semitism until I left the ivory tower of academia. I think I was just narrowly focussed and clueless.
When I started playing Bridge it became very obvious. Come to Sydney and speak to some of the DJ Trump supporters in the Bridge Clubs.
During my time in Academia, I once met a famous (he wrote the most widely used textbook of Physiology at the time) Professor who told me, without a trace of irony that black people, on average, were not as smart as white people.
It's out there.
There is no correlation between aptitude in one area and intelligence in another.
The best chess player in South Australia, when I was young, was a taxi driver. The Professor of Physics couldn't lay a glove on him.
Here is a recent report on the topic https://www.youtube....h?v=PHTMDpgxbsc
Mark Kenny is interviewing Vic Alhadeff from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.
I have seen multiple instances of Holocaust denial in the USA. The KKK still exists. And Trump wants to outlaw non-existent organisations.
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#19 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-July-20, 05:12

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-19, 22:14, said:

During my time in Academia, I once met a famous (he wrote the most widely used textbook of Physiology at the time) Professor who told me, without a trace of irony that black people, on average, were not as smart as white people.

Believe it or not, according to the standard measure of intelligence that was almost certainly true at the time he said it. It all rather depends on what you mean by intelligence. It is an area fraught with controversy and therefore very easy to accuse academics in the field of racism even when they are doing work in good faith.

So let us go back a long way to illustrate the problem. A very long time ago it was "known" that white Europeans were more intelligent than other races. To illustrate the point, some tribal people (maybe Aboriginals but to be honest I cannot remember) were brought over and put through some tests to compare with whites. Due to communication issues, the primary test chosen was a form of memory game. Everyday objects were placed on a grid and the subject had to remember their position. As expected, the whites showed a markedly better performance and the paper got written up and published. The scientists were happy and the theories of the time were vindicated.

A little while later though, another group of scientists repeated the experiment precisely. Only instead of using everyday objects they instead used items that might be found in the tribal environment. The results shook the entire field - in this case the tribal subjects performed better to roughly the same degree as whites did in the first experiment. The point here is that context is everything; the form of the test directly influences the results you see.

The same is true of IQ tests. IQ is meant to be a universal trait but the form of the tests used very much reflects the norms of Western education. So it is not surprising that, on average, citizens of Western countries score higher than those of less developed countries, and even that higher educated individuals in Western countries score better than those that the education systems end up failing. That in turn means that whites will on average record a higher average score than non-whites. And this result has been known for over 50 years. My assumption would be that this is what your professor meant by his statement.

More recently, some attempts have been made to make genuinely culturally neutral IQ tests. I do not have statistics for these but my understanding is that these show that whites are in fact not more intelligent than non-whites. So I would hope that the professor in question would say something different today from what he told you at the time. But, depending on exactly when it was, what he said then may well have been academically true at the time and not prima facie evidence of racism. It is a difficult area of research and one where you have to be extremely careful in how you interpret and report data. You should also be careful in how you interpret and report your single data point.
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#20 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-20, 07:45

I am not a great bridge player but I am a world expert on education.
What is intelligence?
Maybe we better start another thread.
I differentiate between competence and intelligence. I also differentiate between capacity and 'leakiness'. I was studying Stanford and Binet when I was 14 years old. I have a copy of Cyril Burt's infamous tome. Intelligence is a metric that went out of fashion in the education business in the 1970's. It is a meaningless characterisation. Similar to stupidity.
Trump calls himself a "very stable genius". These are characterisation words put together in a string. It is just word salad. It conveys no meaning at all. What is he a genius at? What are his competencies? What has he accomplished? This is why the characterisation "intelligence" is not used. It conveys no real meaning.
space for sm
In the same way, masterpoints in bridge tell you nothing about the quality of a player. They are a measure of something, but like prizes, they are mainly barnacles that stick to a ship as it cruises through life. They tell you how you are doing at a point in time, They do not inform anyone else about the future.
So too with the term "intelligence". It is intended to convey an aptitude for acquiring competency. That is what Stanford and Binet designed it for.
Characterisation words such as stupid, idiot, moron, genius and so on were later added (hilariously with percentages) to denote positions on the IQ Bell-curve. Unfortunately, the variance accounted for by the relationship (seriously important concept here) is terrible. I mean shocking. Thousands of hapless children were streamed into a variety of classes and courses. on the basis of this baseless research.
He was wrong - the tint of your skin has no effect on your capacity to retain information. He knew it then - it was obvious he was a Southern racist. A good ole boy from the confederacy. They still called it the "War of Northern Aggression" when I visited UNC in 1986. All the crap jobs were held by black people. There were almost no black faces in the laboratory. When I went to Society for Neuroscience non-white faces were a rarity. I doubt much has changed. No, just checked, not a single black president. Pathetic. History began with old white men. A few women are being allowed in. Things are not getting better fast enough for me.
In fact, according to Dennis Leary,
when you grow up, you're going to find that
life is going to suck
And there is no Easter Bunny,
even worse, Big Bird isn't funny
I agree with him.
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