“Great!” I thought, a new ContraPoints video. “Oh no,” I thought, it’s almost two hours long. I put off listening to it until last night (you don’t have to actually watch it, it’s a good audio stream, too), and now I can say: it’s excellent. Partly I’m saying that because I 100% agree with her on everything in the video.
It’s all good, but my favorite part was in the middle, at about the 58 minute mark, where she rips into the debate bros.
…valuing dispassionate intellectualism above all else can cause problems, especially where topics of social justice are concerned. Because it can lead you to this kind of toxic centrism that asks, why are marginalized people so unwilling to have calm, philosophical debates about whether they should have rights? Are they afraid of dangerous ideas?
As examples, she then talks about Sam Harris (he’s on the wrong side, again) and Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan. It’s a calm, philosophical discussion that exposes those wankers as absolute dickheads.
It’s a good listen, take some time to tune in.
Snarki, child of Loki says
Put ’em on Rockall.
I’m sure the brits would lend it for a while.
I see tomorrow there is a total solar eclipse. It is only visible from the westernmost tip of Australia (desert terrain). And the Islands of Timor and New Guinea.
Idea: Offer a free eclipse trip and “forget” the return ticket.
Snarki @ 1
Four Yorkshiremen: “Luxury! “
Snarki@1, et al: The UK government is so cravenly desperate to maintain its ‘special relationship’ with the US that it will happily cede any territory the US wants with virtually no compensation. Viz., Diego Garcia. So, should be no problem finding a rock somewhere.
@1. Snarki, child of Loki : Rockall? Hmm .. wiki’s :
Something new learnmt today. Cheers!
@2. birgerjohansson : Too much of a treat for them. Wishing iwas there..
Bronze Dog says
Yeah, the whole dispassionate thing irritates me. “Logic” and “rationality” aren’t some delicate thing that’s intrinsically corrupted by emotion. Emotion vs. logic is a false dichotomy, and easily turned to dismissing anyone who shows any emotion at all. Semi-recent version I’ve encountered is getting labeled as “triggered” if I express any emotion, including boredom, and thus dismissed as too irrational to pay attention to.
Of course, with the privileged, it’s easy to be dispassionate (or feign dispassion) if you’re benefiting from the status quo.
Akira MacKenzie says
I didn’t know that Phelps-Roper left the WBC. Obviously, she didn’t leave her bigotry behind at her daddy’s church.
Ada Christine says
I don’t think it’s merely that she didn’t leave her bigotry behind. I think it’s that within the “skeptic” community there are still bigotries that are believed to be rational because they’re based on a perceived biological truth. These truths are believed to be derived from an ideologically neutral science which means they’re fair game to be wielded as weapons of oppression.
Marcus Ranum says
Debate hack: “If we debate and I win do you promise to abandon your views and adopt mine? Because, otherwise, what is the point?”
Oh, you want to wducate people? Let’s each give a presentation, then, and I’ll only have to engage with your ideas where or if they happen to be relevant.
Why would we need to debate that? We’re going to sink the island once they’re ensconced there, aren’t we?
It’s a really good video, usually I avoid anything longer than 30′, but this was worth it, she did a really good job.
Put them on a small boat in the middle of the ocean to fight it out over limited resources, as everpresent Natural Selection dictates, then let the survivors be picked up by a ship carrying Val Kilmer en route to Marlon Brando’s doppelgänger Dr. Alphonse Mephesto’s island laboratory. They will get up close and personal with fin de siècle era theories of degeneration and eugenics where can always trumps should. And Mephesto might give them multiple asses, which would be a fitting fate. Moreau instead. He would doctor them up fittingly. Harris/Donkey. Rogan/Chimp.
Anyway I haven’t seen the recent ContraPoints video yet. I usually enjoy her videos though recall a long hiatus…hopefully that kerfuffle has smoothed over.
Raging Bee says
Funny coincidence, my laptop’s lock/login page is now showing a really nice photo of Chateau d’If. Maybe we could send ’em all there?
Raging Bee says
Emotion vs. logic is a false dichotomy, and easily turned to dismissing anyone who shows any emotion at all.
And remember, greed, disdain and indifference are NOT EMOTIONS, they’re totally rational and dispassionate! And ideologically neutral!
Hmmm…ContraPoints starts off well with a deep dive on Anita Bryant. Growing up in Florida I remember her from my elementary school days. I don’t drink the OJ anyway because acidity. Is OJ any healthier than sugary soda if you’re not a British sailor afraid of scurvy? V-8 seems much healthier.
BTW I usually don’t drink Bud Light but have made several exceptions lately. Still not great tasting (honestly). The ABV is a joke. But anyway after a six pack of Maduro Brown Ale…who cares then? Wish my cans had Dylan Mulvaney. Could be collectors items.
I can easily boycott this sheeple establishment: https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/florida-restaurant-pulls-bud-light-following-transgender-partnership/
I’ve been there multiple times years ago. Actually a very nice spot with open air Canaveral port ambience. Too bad they went the way of Kid Rock. Fuck them and their bible too.
I used to absolutely despise Disney but the times they are a changin’. Bud Light and Disney. Two brands I dislike much less now. Still not keen on Bud Light. But Anheuser-Busch makes other stuff. Before Universal Florida arose Busch Gardens had less silly rides than Disney (must not mock the Mouse…grrrr!). And they had Sea World which sported an unexpectedly mean rollercoaster. Both had those gorgeous Clydesdales, and I’m not even into horses.
Ironically enough patrons of Grills and their outside Tiki bar are well placed to glare angrily at “woke” Disney cruise ships as they pass by into the relative safety of the Atlantic out of the backwards port hellhole. Might be the same angry glare me and my Dominican gf received when we accidentally went there on southern rock night 20 years ago. Awkward!!!! Yeah I know the spot.
30:42 is the ultimate ContraPoints reveal. A fan of a show of horrible people acting horribly. Always Sunny!
‘I need to know how the alien fucks RIGHT NOW!…I need to know how the alien fucks before I can show it to my child.’
The culture war encapsulated!
On reconsideration, they can occupy an island and help rehabilitate it. Bikini Atoll. If that isn’t available, due to high visitation, either of Rongelap and Rongerik atolls would suffice, as caretakers and rehabilitators for the villagers eventual return.
A return anticipated in a century or two.
Excellent video. Been watching. Got halfway through last night. Thanks.
Yes, I was put off, too, by the nearly two hours’ running time. Usually I limit myself to about 15 minutes. But once I got started on this one, I couldn’t stop. She so neatly expresses everything transgender people could say to our opponents.
JK Rowling is such a slippery character because she will not understand anything. She’s a strange bird because she seems to be totally detached from reality. She doesn’t understand that transgender anger arises from what she says about us. I think she honestly believes that she knows the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to trans issues, and if we refuse to be instructed by her, we’re just bad minded and stupid people. Hence, our counterattacks on her are totally unwarranted.
I’m not into death threats myself, and I wish transpeople would refrain from them, but Rowling and her followers refuse to acknowledge that she is trying to ruin the lives of millions of people. She goes beyond threats. She is putting her hostility to us into action. And just as Trump lovers will never entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, Trump has broken, or at least bent, a law or two in his time, Rowling fans will never concede that transgender anger with Rowling might possibly be justified. Attacks on Trump are purely political, and attacks on Rowling are purely ideological.
I’ve not watched it yet but I call bullshit on this because of diversity of learning. Different people are convinced by different strategies. You need a diversity of approaches to argue for social justice. Why is this concept so difficult to understand? As a teacher and instructor this should be even more obvious. Even when I am teaching a mathematical concept, I can see that how some people learn by focusing on “emotionless, rigid, and precise formulations” whereas others learn by more visual and intuitive approaches.
@ lotharloo #22
Sorry, lotharloo, but I disagree completely with your comment above. Bear in mind that we’re not talking about mathematical concepts here but transgender rights. The very fact that somebody thinks they have a right to argue with you about your rights, the fact that they think you have to convince them that you’re entitled to rights like everybody else, means that they’re starting out with a prejudice: the idea that transgender people are beneath the cisgender majority and that we have to justify our claim to the rights that everybody else has. They’re not being dispassionate or philosophical. They’re people who think that they should have some say-so in other people’s lives.
And I can tell you this from my experience. (No, you don’t have to take my word for it. Talk to as many other transpeople as you want and see what you get from them.) Guys like this, who want to have a calm, philosophical discussion about your rights, they will never be convinced by any sort of argument. People who start out opposing transgender rights will never come round to supporting them, not by virtue of any arguments we can present to them. If that were possible, we’d have converted the world by now.
Opposition to transgender rights is not based on any philosophy or ideology. It’s based on people’s antipathy to us. They simply don’t like us. And there’s nothing we can say to them to get them to dislike us any less.
You might reflect on how arrogant it is to demand that somebody engage in a “calm, philosophical debate” with them to see if you can convince them to support your rights. I can assure you you’ll never get anywhere with somebody like that.
Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. Talk to as many transpeople as you like and see if they go along with what I’m saying.
TGAP Dad says
There seems to be a lot of space – particularly Mars – fetishism among this lot. Load ’em up on Elon’s compensatory starship, and just don’t let it turn around.
Is it too much to ask that we make the island out of the debate bros? stack them on the ocean floor until it rises above sea level. I propose starting at the Challenger Deep.
TGAP Dad @24, nah, if we’re going to put them off planet, make it Venus for them to terraform and keep for themselves. Deeper gravity well, so it’ll be harder for them to get off planet again.
The temperature and pressure will keep their annoying communication attempts to an absolute minimum.
Raging Bee says
If those asshats manage to terraform Venus, there’s no way we can let them keep a whole planet for themselves.
Raging Bee says
You need a diversity of approaches to argue for social justice. Why is this concept so difficult to understand?
NO ONE has said that everyone has to follow one and only one approach to social justice. Not PZ, not me, not ContraPoints, NO ONE. Did you even listen to ANY of that video?
Raging Bee says
Because it can lead you to this kind of toxic centrism that asks, why are marginalized people so unwilling to have calm, philosophical debates about whether they should have rights?
Perhaps she neglected to add “…again and again and again, each time starting from scratch as if there had never been any such discussion anywhere before, whenever anyone decides he/she wants to pester and harass some marginalized person and make them waste their time calmly and politely justifying their existence and basic rights?”
Seriously, I have not encountered a single debate-bro — including Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris — who didn’t seem to really think none of the “dialogue,” “discussion” or “debate” they’re demanding has ever been said before. And of course none of them had ever read or listened to any of the instances where all that stuff had indeed been discussed before, repeatedly and sometimes at great length and relevant detail — which only proves they’re AT LEAST as uncaring as they are clueless.
Raging Bee @27, let’s see now, 1350 psi air pressure (that’s 90 atmospheres) of mostly CO2) at temperatures hot enough to melt lead. They’ll not be terraforming anything, they’ll swiftly bake clean off the bone before dessicating inside of their ship. The longest any probe has survived on the surface was around two hours. And gravity is 0.9 G, so getting back out of the gravity well just is a non-starter.
Oh, add in that the planet’s still volcanically active and just had another eruption, the vulcanism being igneous plane type events, yeah, we’ll not be hearing back from them – ever.
The main goal of political and social discourse is to cause change (policy and social) and typically that happens by appointing or voting in people who can implement your policies and pulling in more people towards your position. The goal of calm and polite discussions is not to convince those doing the talks because Sam Harris or Benny Shapiro won’t be convinced but the point would be to convince some probably small part of their audience or to chip away at the opposition.
Also, I don’t want everyone to be engaged in calm debates and that would actually be completely opposite of what I said. But I want some people to be engaged in them because I want a diversity of approaches to argue for social change. But somehow there is some small portion of left who want a uniform approach which I don’t get the reasoning behind it.
I’ve not watched the full thing yet but I watched this segment and the surrounding context. And sure, she or PZ did not exactly said what I claimed but I oppose to their framing. The main problem with Sam Harris or Shapiro is that their arguments are wrong and not that they are using calm arguments. And clearly, the framing of the segments seems to advocate for a particular approach.
Vast wealth tends to do that I think, even if you weren’t always rich. I’ve also started to wonder whether – probably no more than semi-consciously – Rowling realises how useful it is to the humongously rich to identify a group to scapegoat, to distract attention from the huge and still increasing economic inequalities from which they benefit. However talented a writer Rowling is*, there’s absolutely no reason she, or anyone else, should be a billionaire. It’s unfashionable, among the people whose children she wants to demand her books, to scapegoat Black people, Jews, even gays, but many even among “liberals”, lefties, feminists, still see transpeople as a legitimate target.
*Personally, I think the answer is “not very” – her sole stroke of genius was to combine the old English tradition (very specifically so, not even British) of the private-school story, which allows groups of kids to have adventures and rivalries without too much adult interference, with the revived fashion for magical fantasy. The prose itself is clunky, the characterization stereotyped, the world-building full of holes and morally dubious-to-horrendous aspects… (Barely relevant point – the BBC, as part of its centenary celebrations, is rerunning a 1970s series, written by and starring Michael Palin and Terry Jones, called “Ripping Yarns”, which spoofs “Adventure” stories for boys. The first, which I watched last night, was “Tomkinson’s Schooldays”, which specifically targets the private-boys’-school tale tradition which started in 1857 with Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days, and includes the “Jennings” and “Billy Bunter” series – there are analogous series for girls, which of course, as a boy, I never read! Tomkinson has a hard time at “Graybridge” school, including having to fight the grizzly bear and being nailed to the wall, but at the end is appointed to the position of School Bully, and realises that reform must be a gradual process. For the spoof to make sense, of course, many viewers in 1976 would need to have read such stories.)
Ah, yes, I should say something about the video! Very acute analysis, as in the previous Natalie Wynn video recommended by PZ. Particularly the coverage of the “motte-and-bailey” strategy of transphobes, very much including Rowling, which I’ve observed elsewhere: “She was cancelled/sacked/called a bigot just for saying sex is real”, etc.
Raging Bee says
And clearly, the framing of the segments seems to advocate for a particular approach.
It advocated a priority: protecting the victims of bigotry, without waiting for patient calm logical arguments to dissuade the bigots.
Resumed watching the ContraPoints video again :
(Italics original, any typos mine.)
The 1 hour 35 minutes & 29 seconds mark here.
BING! Lightbulb flash. (Yeah, I’m not that naturally bright. Read a lot tho’..)
Truthful explanation (I think.) So much.
Demonisation – scape-goating – of others is the trunk of all evil. Money (love thereof) being the roots & the leaves , well, lotta leaves and spines & thorns on that particular toxic tree..