Linkspam: April 15th, 2017

Yeah, just finished my taxes!  So now it’s time for my monthly linkspam.

Double-Dipping Datasets – Why is it wrong to use an old dataset in order to answer new questions? Answer: It’s not wrong, I do it all the time in my research. Oh, and social scientists do it too, as in the well-known study from 2004 showing that asexuals make up about 1% of the population–based on a survey from 1990.  Nonetheless, there are some cases where it intuitively seems like using the same dataset twice sounds wrong.  HJ Hornbeck digs into some of the reasons why.

Here’s another thought.  Researchers have limited resources and can only collect so much data.  Collecting a few large datasets and using those for many purposes is fine.  But if you’re collecting lots of little sets of data, you shouldn’t be testing lots of hypotheses on each data set until you get a hit.

Trans 101: Put Down the Map – Heh, well this isn’t the kind of article that tries to explain trans issues in a simplified and accessible format.  There’s a lot about epistemology, using the “map vs territory” metaphor.  I will say that every social justice advocate should have a healthy amount of empiricism, and that’s why we encourage listening to people rather than just theorizing about them.

If you walk in someone else’s shoes then you’ve taken their shoes – Robert Yang talks about an idea that I’ve never personally heard of: using VR headsets as “empathy machines” by showing perspectives in other parts of the world.  Yang talks about some of the problems with this.  Does the empathized group want to be empathized with?  Will the empathized group actually benefit in any way, or will their stories just be used (and distorted) to enrich the lives of VR owners?

Yeah, this is something I think about in other media too, particularly movies.  Like, a movie centering on gay characters either needs to be low budget, or appeal to a non-gay audience.  Oh, and it’s even worse if you look at intersections of identities.  Well, I don’t like movies that much anyways.

How Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ became the darkest tale of all – When I was a kid, most media targeted at my age group included some heavy moralizing, but in retrospect I don’t understand what the moral of Beauty and the Beast was supposed to be at all.  The original story was an allegory about how consent is more important than appearances.  In the Disney version, it seems to be about, um, forgiving the Beast for his threatening and abusive behavior.

For Your Enjoyment: Oops he did it again – That time that PZ Myers predicted Trump’s presidency.  Very silly but it made me laugh.

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