My co-blogger Abe Drayton at Oceanoxia needs help. They have been job hunting and the pandemic has affected hiring in their country.
If anyone can help and they like what read they are accepting patrons.
My co-blogger Abe Drayton at Oceanoxia needs help. They have been job hunting and the pandemic has affected hiring in their country.
If anyone can help and they like what read they are accepting patrons.
Aparently this administration thinks being able to arrest and lock up anyone they want for any reason is important. At least that seems like a reasonable summary of what I read from Peter Wade in Rolling Stone magazine (via Lynna at PZ’s Political Madness thread).
This was what I had to say on facebook.
You will bring all proposed constitutional suspensions to the public or you will get a revolution during a pandemic.
This administration has given no one a reason to trust it. As far as I’m concerned they would treat me as bad as they would a migrant.
The Republicans allow such social cruelty that I am rationally prejudiced against them. As a group they simply don’t give a shit about prisoners, abuse by authorities, and and other assorted social cruelties.
The Democrats let Obama become complicit in torture, abuse government whistle blowers, and allowed government espionage against american citizens through telecom companies.
If you do this without a through public hearing the remaining social confidence in government will break.
I’ve been thinking about that. I spend a lot of time thinking about why groups of people do what they do and this one has me somewhat puzzled.
While I’m not sure how it got started I have an idea about how it continued. Once the toilet paper started running low people wanted to make sure they would have some so they ran out to buy it too, which is a least not disease related irrationality. So the hoarding keeps going disease relation or no disease relation.
For the record I’m not participating in that. I’ll use the water in the bowl, my hand, and wash my hands before I join the flock in this.
Now as for how it got started, I don’t know. I’ve to find examples of the early people hoarding it to see what they thought they were gaining. Maybe the toilet paper was just in someone’s field of view when the hoarding instinct clicked on.
The situation with my position in whiteness becomes more complicated when I consider the census.
I still believe that whiteness is a political fiction designed for social dominance. An unhealthy social obsession that damages my country’s politics. “Other” seems like my only viable option. If anyone asks I give them my reasons.
But once again my actions do not exist in a vacuum. I have to plan for social responses. My general position still gets reactions and I’m still seeing people, white people* in all likelihood, choosing to obsess over blackness. One acted like the slave origin of blackness made me a hypocrite, which is pretending blackness and whiteness are equivalent and history lets me kill that. I will watch what white people do with whiteness and pay attention to how they act towards blackness.
What could a social reaction to white people associating with “other” on the census be?
*no more scare quotes because a political group naming themselves white people need none.
Posted to facebook.
“Anyone with a problem with Elizabeth Warren’s tone, or likability is suspect for misogyny until I see the details. ESPECIALLY if you’re a Trump voter. That chucklefuck doesn’t get to be the only one using aggression. I will call that cowardly shit out. Learn to engage with aggressive women. Try to change their tone from what’s legitimate and I’ll poke at that weakness until you crack.”
The behavior in the comments of a recent post by PZ reminded me of another political issue I’ve been meaning to write about. Race and “whiteness”.
I was raised to identify as white and today I hate that political construct. It is useless unless one wants to win a political conflict through numbers or fists. It has no other rational use that I can see. It doesn’t focus on any actual relevant social problems, it doesn’t help me figure out who a good person or a bad person is, it seems to have nothing but the social conflict.
The color doesn’t exist in the human population. There are no white people. There’s a range of pigmentation in there.
If the lack of literal examples in a political label isn’t good enough there’s the fact that plenty of light skinned people were said to not be white. The Irish (the same comparison with monkeys in political images at the link) are one example, and today you can see complications over if Jews are white.
Am I missing something? This looks like a huge waste of time and social effort because people need to box themselves into “whiteness” and make adversaries. Think about what it was before “whiteness”. Nation. City-state. City, down to the people on the other side of the “geographical feature”.
If the lack of actual whiteness and the behavior of people obsessed with who is and isn’t white isn’t enough there’s the fact that the term originated in a “need” to separate people (here’s a PDF) for ownership and denial of rights purposes.
The first examples of “white race/people” in the Oxford English Dictionary are no earlier than the 1600s, when Europeans were deeply involved in African slave-trading; the same seems to be true of the corresponding terms in the major European languages. At that point, the use of what was by then a powerfully stigmatizing form of polarized terminology must have seemed comfortingly appropriate.
The reference to “polarized terminology” referrs to the way society (western in my experience) uses “white” and “black” as replacements for “good” and “bad”. Unless you are a bigot “whiteness” looks like a broken social tool if you care about more than base group conflict.
When I point these things out to people I get a couple of responses. This is what I remember so far. Some people agree with the connections and brokenness of “whiteness”. One person demanded to know what I’m going to give them to replace “whiteness”, interestingly they didn’t tell me what they needed but I pointed out the tool is broken if I have a replacement or not.
Another was more explicit about their concerns, “What about blackness? Black people need to stop using blackness!”.
How very interesting.
Instead of being concerned about the label that applies to themselves and some form of group organization that solves problems facing our nations, this person was concerned about the label “they” (black people) are using on “themselves”. Group conflict related fear.
I wonder how conscious this was? It’s happened more than once and it’s a useful way to spot irrational racial group conflict related fear.
But as I wrap this up I need to point out another group conflict related fear, a rational one, the one black people have regarding white people. When Europeans assumed whiteness in order to dominate and enslave they chose blackness and forced it on black people. We took their culture away. What gets done with blackness is black people’s business. It looks like the same kind of attempt to socially control as complaints about baggy pants and rap music.
People who discover the brokenness or offensiveness of whiteness as a political organization tool can’t simply disavow it and ignore it. There are people out there speaking for you. When they say “white people” they mean you. They are implicitly trying to speak for you too. They have to make this assumption so they can’t deny your challenge.
You get to criticize them. If you want to fix society you will critisize them if you safely can. I won’t tell someone to do something risky but I do encourage it, especially with the climate change problems. This shit is fucking our societies up, it’s not based on solving problems. I’m comfortable spending the rest of my life watching for what white people say.
When someone publicly makes claims about people and/or groups and doesn’t support them I see that as politically pissing on fences.
For example the Trump fans who simply post “Trump2020!” in articles about anything considered politically “left” in the US, or in places they consider liberal, or articles about the election…
It’s on the “left” too, but this is my example. I need a political label of disgust having to do with political dominance displays that have no actual substance. Racists have made primate related insults a challenging problem. I’ve no problem respecting that strategic political reality, I’m just making it explicit (the blog name is an experiment and I welcome opinions) . So dogs are the implication, sorry dogs.
The last person I used it on said I didn’t support my argument and had to point out that it was a label for political behavior. From there I overtly meet them at that level, their behavior let met do it. Their comment nothing but the basest expression of personal politics lets you be personal right back.
Do unto others as they give you licence to do unto them (I call it “the inverse golden rule”).
Bigot in cheif.
Irrational, illogical, incompetent, ignoramus… incumbent? No. That needs work. But the alliteration is catchy. Irrational, illogical, incompetent, ignoramus, and I repeat myself.
Trump is a cheat, a cheater, and you shouldn’t let him cheat you even if you voted for him.
Somehow my brand of tourette syndrome has come with personal insult resistance. I’m more sensitive to people insulting one another and I often treat personal insults as a challenge.
Maybe it needs work, I’m going to practice this. There’s social symmetry in there because Trump makes insults for people. There’s an argument for overtly openly reflecting Trump’s bad behavior (not just insults) on his supporters and only stopping with specific supporters when they start critisizing Trump’s awful personal behavior.
With the insulting language it has to beliefs, manner of thought, or behavior. Not face. Not body. Personal behavior relevant to his awfulness. If you go for the irrelevant personal characteristics you’re not focused on the problem, you’re helping to propagate the problem.
You don’t have to worry about letting go of bigoted, irrational, and irrelevant insults. Have you noticed how “ignorant” and “incompetent” and “bigot” or it’s flavors like “racist” and “sexist” are treated as if they’re just insults and not characteristics? You’re not losing anything and you gain focus on social problems. Sure you have to do the work of making sure you can competently use them yourself but it’s worth it.
Just make sure the sting they feel isn’t why you’re doing it or you’re likely to mess things up.
And what is this? This is bigger than me. I’m practicing behavior associated with tourette syndrome phenomena, boundary crossing, insults, finding places where politics justifies me using this, instincts? Personality?
It’s been a while since I was here. I was socially overwhelmed and something had to go. I could see places where I was crossing boundaries where it should have been obvious, as well as other signs of being overloaded. It’s useful to talk about though, and this post is for some of that as well as what I need to write about next.
I’ve become totally open about mental health and mental illness issues and their connection to me, and most of my anxiety involves how I might affect others. When I was last here I was coming out of a period of general anxiety induced unemployment and started some serious therapy work. High school teacher, and substitute teacher to make money, were poor choices and I got general anxiety out of it. I’m not ready to write about that yet, it’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s more like I’ve got other thoughts that would be more useful to constructively express.
I started mopping floors so that I would have the mental downtime to start functionally working on changes. It’s been useful with respect to learning more about myself. I’ve actually been depressed since graduate school a little over a decade ago and at the time I didn’t recognize it creeping on. The substitute teacher stuff layered a different trauma onto that. And then there’s the social avoidance since early childhood.
And there’s more. Little objectified pieces of myself that I’m learning to lock into place. Someone should have shown me how to do this mental work when I was a child, but I come from a very ignorant and incompetent culture. A white conservative protestant american military culture that didn’t know what to do with a social sensitive in general.
But my culture did have ideas about what to do with social aggression. One thing I did since my last post was to keep up the political aggression as much as I could for practice. I need control over all the bits related to my aggressive instincts. Culture and basic sensation like fear, anger and disgust. Overtly expressed, repeatedly when useful and possible. Practicing using strong negative feeling words when relevant and necessary. Ignorant, incompetent, irrational, illogical, bigoted, sexist, misogynist, racist, homophobe, transphobe…the more you practice using them the better you get.
Today I go to maybe 10-15 facebook posts a week. Posts that attract negative, often hostile attention. In retrospect it feels like I’ve been creating political dispositions, social attitudes towards behavior. I feel like I’ve tried to make my personality activist, concerned with changing basic social behavior around me in some fashion. And just a little while ago I found something that feels like it’s always been a part of my personality. Social gadfly. On that note posts no longer require pre-approval, I’ll get some rules posted on an actual rules page as problems manifest.
In addition to restarting blogging I’m trying to get back into academic research. I never lost my dream of working in a laboratory doing origin of life research. I think I stand a better chance of figuring out how I need to organize myself and assert my differences when needed. Unfortunately there are complications involving my diagnoses. My social senses are skewed in a way that I’m still figuring out. I have some sources of advice and eventually I’ll put something up here.
Before I do that though, have you ever had something in your mind that you just had to get out to make room for other things related to the thing? I’ve got one of those related to origin of life research and the reading and more I’ve been doing and I think if I get it out it will help me out in several areas.
While I mopped floors I refreshed my memory and memorized metabolic pathways by drawing them over and over. That’s a useful way to internalize information. I mean sustained motor and visual activity feels like it enhanced my ability to work with what I’m memorizing. And I think there’s this whole other aspect where when you mash as much information as possible into your visual field it helps in creative thinking. Let me give you an example of a drawing where I’m trying to find connections related to the origin of the molecules that make genomes and ribosomes.
I’ll do a little explaining but the majority later.
As an example of how far I’m going to find information to integrate, that center row going left to right consists of reaction intermeadiates that don’t leave the protein. The image below are the reactants and products placed between the proteins for the pathway producing Purines (DNA/RNA bases A and G). Places where there is a split (PurN vs. PurT) are where bacteria, archaea, and/or eukarya have differences.
And I can still think of things I can add to that drawing, as well as making it look better. The 2 carbon is where a Dehydroxy ribonucleic acid is made. The 3 carbon to 5 carbon are the end points for polymerization. The 3 carbon is where a metabolic distinction is made between anabolic (building) and catabolic (dismantling) H+/e- addition and subtraction through the addition of a phosphate for anabolic NADP…
So my next several posts will be about patterns in abiogenesis research because it’s going to help me make room in my mind. I’ll do the best I can to make it general interest but I’m still getting a feel for the audience so I’ll probably be somewhat disorganized somewhere. I’m happy to answer questions and explain things differently in comments.
And now I’ve got this thing in my mind that I want to organize. The pathway suggests how it evolved and what our pre-cellular ancestors might be like. I think I can see metabolic modules coming with each purine or pyrimidine base. Carbohydrate organization with U, membrane organization with C, organizing sets of molecular tools called organic molecule cofactors with G and A that dispense molecules and organize synthesis.
One more drawing. This image transformed from a linear presentation of physical data of the earth focusing on it’s first billion or so years, to information about LUCA, to maybe hadean crust data, to something about archaea monolayer membranes I wanted to memorize in comparison with the bilayer membranes.
And finally I want to leave something related to political conflicts despite my misgivings. I’ll end this with something I think of as “strangling them in the social contract”. Technical language means something and I think that fixing society will require people overtly critisizing others using technical language badly.
I’m tired of seeing people abuse mental health and mental illness language. Technical terms they haven’t the competence to use, but use anyway. Often in politics. So I’ve decided to interrogate the use of mental health language and science and medical language more broadly. People blaming shootings on “mental illness”. People dismissing rape accusations because of “mental illness”. There’s so many. Even the insults “idiot”, “stupid”, “moron” and the like are in the general territory though I challenge those a bit differently. Most recently it’s people who seem upset that transgender isn’t a disorder anymore.
For people who appear to be politically abusing such language I put varying levels of pressure to demonstrate that they are using the language competently. For the people upset with transgender not being a disorder anymore I demand they define the disorder they think applies and they have to use the same professional guidelines. Otherwise casually diagnosing people is rude at best. For the word disorder I demand something like:
Now this runs some risks (and if anyone sees any I don’t please speak up) but I think they are manageable and we want a society more competent at these things. One risk is giving a bigot a platform to display disgusting views but as long as they keep showing any lack of objective criteria for attaching medical terms you can do a lot of things to take advantage of and point out their incompetence. It’s a respect to society to make sure people use these words right. I’m sure there are other risks and if any occur to me I’ll point them out in the comments.
And you can call people out and have them explain in technical terms of you don’t know what they mean. You can write it down and see for yourself. Anyone who actually cares about a political issue would want to give you something you can look up on your own. It’s their connections, they should be giving you ways find out for yourself. This goes for legitimate professionals too. You should learn to explain yourself to the people around you. It’s a skill.
Very random post.
Current mood: Hurt – Johnny Cash
Target mood: Get up – Korn and Skrillex
This post is mostly a bunch of things I’m trying to think about right now that are holding up my writing. Sort of a “writer’s block objectified”. Sometimes what it takes to get me motivated is to socially verbalize what I’m feeling strongly about. It does not matter if anyone actually reads or responds to it in the abstract (but that would be nice), what matters is that I put it out there in social space. “Raised social profile” is an emotional experience. It’s the feeling that eyes might be on you so you have to take that into account while you do something. It’s a way of socially manipulating myself to deal with areas where I am working on a personal flaw and could use the motivation (that’s what it feels like anyway). Once it’s out there you feel the need to take it more seriously.
So I’m not saying I’m famous or anything, but it’s amazing what you realize you need to do when you actually “say it out loud” in public spaces. It’s like a bunch of motivational “search lights” come on when it works.
Thing 1) I’m turning my social dissections of trolls into my lessons on social conflict. I’ve decided that I need to standardize a format so that a reader has some predictability, and so that I can better control how I present things to readers. I’m trying to get more disciplined in what I am writing. Trying to make some predictable structure out of what I did here could be useful.
My next case study (and probably next post) will be about the troll “Yor” at We Hunted the Mammoth. They were quite the name-caller with little to no willingness or ability to back up the things they were typing. A primary strategy was to switch the nature of the group or person they were arguing about in order to avoid providing substance for their claims (example: criticizing the commentators and blog, and then switching to criticizing feminism/feminists/radical feminists more broadly). They were little more than a dog pissing on a tree.
So far the structure of a dissection will be Intro, a general description of the person acting as a troll (as best as can be determined by the segment of reputation given in the comment), and the conflict involving the troll dissected apart into “rational sub-sections”. A rational section is going to be defined by it’s role in the following conflict.
For examples of “rational sub-sections” the troll’s first comment (1) and the first set of responses (2) have a defining effect on what is to come, a definition that has a lot to do with what I would call tit-for-tat psychology.
The term itself has a negative connotation defined by things like seemingly intractable conflicts among families (the Hatfield and McCoy conflict that spawned references in cartoons), to the social interactions between modern Israel and Palestine. Yet the same process for mirroring situational moral and ethical conduct at a level that includes conscious and unconscious elements, also includes the famous golden rule. The first comments (s) by a troll and the first set of responses are critical when it comes to the social posture that the combatants choose as they form impressions of themselves, one another, and the content of “their comments” from multiple frames of reference.
Things that I consider ethical and moral concerns (3) will also be introduced along with the specific comments in which they apply as well.
Thing 2) I should to do vocabulary/concepts posts, and you can consider this one the first (I’m also now asking myself why I’m not already doing them). I appeal to journal articles a lot in justifying the existence of phenomena and there are things I can do to help readers out. One of those things is to have a list of concepts that can unify a lot of things at the same time and to trickle them out in posts.
My first one is the term [social affordances].
The simple definition of [Affordance] offered at Wikipedia link that is “the possibility of an action on an object or environment”. In an analogy interacting with a video game that would be all the little things that you can do with the game as you interface with it, and the game console/computer running it. Everything from buttons, to movement, to menus, to game in-the moment interaction mechanics from milliseconds to hours and more. The ability to sense and use a system of damaging enemies based on “elemental effects” (fire, water, light, etc…) is an example of an affordance in video games with perceptual and cognitive elements.
Now think about how that concept merges with common experience. I think in terms of Social Affordances a lot. There are variables in how brains make minds associated with the concept. The ability to become aware of a previously unknown social pattern that can be sensed and interacted with is useful. Everyone can claim to have a basic interest in those two words presented as a term. Using this concept forces us to try to be as objective as we can about it.
Thing 3) ^[That]^ gets us to symbology (which I started above). I need to simplify the presentation of complex information in a form that is approachable and challengeable. I’m good at an authoritative voice and I dislike arguments from authority. That requires some creativity on my part in terms of making shit up with what the culture has made available to me. If you think that is farfetched you can #fuckoff (or is that “#youcanfuckoff”?). The following will be a set of equivalences that will be rules for the rest of this blog post.
Whatever I put in brackets is to be considered an object and a social affordance in the remainder of this blog post.
[social affordance] is also useful because I can yank lots of simple concepts from stuff like basic algebra or file structure to represent relationships (three kinds of brackets, lots of possibilities). So what about some [objective examples of social affordances]?
*The ability to detect and use [fallacious reasoning]/[list of logical fallacies]/[fallacy “X”]. For example [Ad Hominem]. The “/” creates a hierarchy structure similar to hard drive file locations here, but it indicates a way of conceptualizing relationships among categories and specifics within a category.
There is a distance between looking up a logical fallacy, and internalizing what it means to see it in a fluid enough manner to deal with one in seconds. On top of that recognizing it in yourself has its own set of challenges that amount to something I think of as “ultimate in-group interference, self” (no square brackets yet because I’m still trying to comfortably define such, but I bet you get what I’m talking about).
The ability to see a pattern in social communication, which is a behavior that you were previously blind to, is the creation of an objective [social affordance]:[fallacy “X”] (you can after all interact with objects). With time you can get more skilled at fallacious reasoning in general. My writing is very much about creating social affordances related to social conflict.
So what are some other things that I would call social affordances?
*[Political dog whistles]
These are words and terms, often ones that already exist, that are used differently by two or more groups of people. These words and terms are used differently for the purposes of organizing behavior differently between the two groups. It’s a unique set of social meanings/responses/uses for the in-group of a user.
“death panels”, “identity politics”, “communist”, “family values” and more are examples of political dog-whistles.
I’ll end this with a couple of screen grabs from Powerpoint that involve some other ways of symbolically representing things that I’m trying to learn more about and use more fluidly in terms of concepts as they apply to common experience. I like playing with symbols and symbolism as a compulsive habit.
“Memory” is anything that changes you as you move forward in time. But this also allows for things that you inherit genetically and non-genetically that are likely to have significantly biased who you are now. If inherited epigenetic marks are involved in my Tourette’s Syndrome I would consider that a part of Memory, it’s just not my memory alone.
Circles inside of circles. That’s going to be interesting to get right. The proportion of Trump voters that agree with bigoted statements or provide answers to questions that suggest such is a tempting thing to play with. But on the other end I can imagine the mess that the same Trump voters would do with this (the one above too). Fortunately morals and ethics associated with a discussion of group dynamics and structure is also a thing that can be bound to that.