You should know what is happening in Portland.

Crip Dike is in Portland. They’re participating in the protests and sharing their experiences. You can learn more about the different groups involved, and what it’s like to be tear gassed in a continuing series of posts as events occur.

Start with What do you need to know about the Portland protests?

It’s important see what people actually there are experiencing.

A long and shameful tradition.

Recently at Pharyngula a commentator mentioned something related to a political problem I’ve been thinking about. The political problem is the attempts to call covid 19 by names related to China or Wuhan and probably other versions.

They pointed out how people from one country would name a disease after another country and specifically the “the French disease”, syphilis. After some searching I found this.

Brief History of Syphilis.

Introduction, second paragraph.

From the very beginning, syphilis has been a stigmatized, disgraceful disease; each country whose population was affected by the infection blamed the neighboring (and sometimes enemy) countries for the outbreak. So, the inhabitants of today’s Italy, Germany and United Kingdom named syphilis ‘the French disease’, the French named it ‘the Neapolitan disease’, the Russians assigned the name of ‘Polish disease’, the Polish called it ‘the German disease’, The Danish, the Portuguese and the inhabitants of Northern Africa named it ‘the Spanish/Castilian disease’ and the Turks coined the term ‘Christian disease’. Moreover, in Northern India, the Muslims blamed the Hindu for the outbreak of the affliction. However, the Hindu blamed the Muslims and in the end everyone blamed the Europeans [46].

Anyone who wants to name a disease after a country, region, ethnicity, race and similar are bigots. This is social dominance behavior for no good reason. Racism and other bigotries.

Another version could be naming pranks and irresponsible behavior after other races. When I was a kid a prank some kids did involving knocking on someone’s door and running away was called “n%$$#& knocking”. Knocking someone out by pushing on their neck was called a “Chinese knockout”.

It’s unacceptable. It’s a discriminatory irrational insult and for what? I honestly want to know and I’m going to look for the reason so I can do something with it. Racist, nationalist and similar solidarity is one answer. In addition to desire to make a percieved adversary feel insulted.

I seen people insist that it’s acceptable because that’s where it started. That changes nothing. That’s an excuse to keep doing something insulting. I’ll keep calling it racist, bigoted. Coronavirus for the kind of virus and covid 19 for the specific example.

Finally I’ve considered and rejected calling it something like “the Trump virus” (reflect their behavior back on them). I’ve got the same instincts but I want them attached to better things. I may use that as an example of something that is similarly useless and counterproductive dominance behavior in place of relevant personal characteristics to attach negative feelings to.

Mental Hygiene

I’ve seen this mentioned a few times and it’s very interesting. Healthy habits of thought? I’m not sure quite how to fully define such a thing. I’ve been trying to think of a collection of examples to post about though.

One is something I want to call “therapeutic social isolation” which involves spending time processing things by myself. Processing by yourself and processing around other people are going to feel different and that’s likely to be a good difference to feel. Maybe we have an instinct for such social isolation if we get “overloaded”.

Another thing which is like a version of the first is if I feel particularly intense about a piece of writing, even a text, I do a draft and come back later. Later can be an hour, the next morning, a couple of days… I can’t say how long it takes to move an experience from short to long term memory but a night of sleep can be useful in seeing if you still feel the same.

I’m sure there are many things that can be included in something like mental hygiene. I’m not sure what it looks like as a fleshed out concept but that’s a start.

Expressing disgust and fear on facebook.

I posted this link to facebook a few days ago. I’m trying to remember the feelingThe department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children. Furthermore, in every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the subject was African American. This disparity, in combination with the decision to deploy canines in circumstances with a seemingly low objective threat, suggests that race may play an impermissible role in officers’ decisions to deploy canines.s. What prompted this?

It was text accompanying an article I shared from The Root, Minnesota Corrections Officers File Lawsuit Claiming All Non-White Officers Were Barred From Guarding Derek Chauvin

It’s so blatant. The distrust in black people. The discrimination and prejudice. I wonder how many get ignored on a regular basis?

Not just police. I mention criminal justice system a lot for a reason.
And I mention other bigotry in the criminal justice system officials occasionally to reinforce the fact that it’s a system broken on multiple dimensions (but not so much as to take from antiracist momentum, the sexism and ableism support the fact of bigotry in our criminal justice system).

I when there is no example present I try to use “criminal justice system” at least half of the time when critisizing the country because that includes the police. The current social focus is racism and if people deny it’s systemic it’s useful to point to multiple bigotries in support of the current example.

I just finished the first episode of Behind the Police, by the creators of the Behind the Bastards podcast and they mention that 100% of police dog bites involved black people in the justice department report in the ferguson missouri police department.

The department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children. Furthermore, in every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the subject was African American. This disparity, in combination with the decision to deploy canines in circumstances with a seemingly low objective threat, suggests that race may play an impermissible role in officers’ decisions to deploy canines.

It’s blatant and we didn’t talk about it as a nation.

Interrogation of claims.

The word interrogation has a negative vibe because of things like police behavior, torture, and other legitimate abuses that deserve attention. But I see interrogation as a tool and a solution to our current political problems. There’s too much bullshit and bullshitters aren’t willing to back up said bullshit. Questioning, “grilling”, and other synonyms and euphimisms.

That is one of my primary political behaviors. An unapologetic willingness to interrogate the claims of people making strong, disparaging, and other claims. I want the behavior to be picked up. I want people on every political side to feel the pressure to back their shit up. It takes practice and mistakes will happen but that doesn’t stop me.

My failed country and culture really doesn’t like criticism like interrogation pointed in certain places. Places like ones in-group which switches from party to country depending on context. I don’t accept that natural behavior that feels negative is wrong just because it feels negative. It has a good and bad use like everything else.

The instincts in me smell prey, privilege sensitivity worthy of political pressure.

It’s in the whining about “civility” as if minority groups got that from history. It’s in “I/ authority/celebrity have the right to an opinion” bleating, as if my intrusive questions aren’t also speech. It’s in the claims that being negative won’t change anything, if so why was it used on minorities and why does the sensitive have to police it’s use?

So I took the tool for myself and I’m refusing to stop using it. The tourette syndrome is very much a benefit here. Keep in mind that you don’t want them to simply have an opportunity to air awful views. You want quotes, citations, sources, video time points and quotes, and especially the reasoning and logic between the claims and the sources. They will do work or they will be made to look like unreliable people.

  • I interrogate the negative feelings of bigots and their disparaging characterizations and claims. From transphobes to racists if what they say was really real or important they would back their shit up. I don’t even accept that trans people as a set are like the group they were assigned to at birth. If “it’s biology” you can fucking show it and back your fear up.
  • I interrogate the rape culture that appears when an accusation is made from the right (Caroline Ford) and the left (Tara Reade).
  • I interrogate the claims of forced-birthers, if they really were trying to help someone they’d cooperate.
  • I interrogate the claims that mental illness is involved in some act that someone is bothered by such as a mass shooting, or a rape accusation. Those people will show the abstract diagnostic criteria and concrete examples to match.
  • I interrogate the claims about the need for civility since they seem unevenly applied. With the election of Trump I don’t really think this country cares about civility.
  • I interrogate the idea that this is a good country, or that we’re good people. Good people don’t cover up and make excuses for torture. Good people don’t make concentration camps for migrant children. Good people don’t care about things more than people, failed fellow citizens.
  • I interrogate the narratives around the value of the unstable magical token generator, the stock market. An expression of things being more valuable than people, it hurts people not even invested in it.
  • I interrogate the support of the military in confronting protestors, such a fellow citizen should be ready with a constitutional justification to avoid being a failed fellow citizen.

And that’s just one form of criticism. Society should get used to it because rather than it being a bad thing, it should be evenly distributed and available for all. Trump and not-Trump both made to show where they got that bullshit from and why anyone should think it’s real.

Reciprocity and social contracts.

I’m including this in another post, but I think it’s useful and I’m using it now. It’s rhetoric that I’ve settled on and seems useful.
“A riot is a kind of protest, it’s reciprocal behavior in a culture where there’s a broken social contract relative to the criminal justice system.”

Martin Luther King Jr. is the inspiration. I just like to have more than one way of saying something and I really like the usefulness of “social contract” here.

I am antifa.

I am antifa.
It’s not an organization although some antifascists organise. It’s like being an environmentalist, or antibigot, people choose to be that independent of any authority.

So this looks like the natural evolution of the irrational fear of antifa.

Oh really Donald? Based on what reasons would you be doing that you enormous fucking ignorant incompetent? What could possibly be making you think that ANTIFASCISTS are a problem?

It noticed that as usual you’ve shown no reason or logic for this Donald. It’s just another wild desperate grasping at something the political right in the usa considers a problem, and never feels like they have to explain.

Fuck that.

Note: I saw PZ doing it and it’s a good idea.

 

Don’t pretend you care about riots America.

Property damage and violence associated with mass events isn’t something this culture actually cares about from what I can see. If that was the case we’d be shutting up the police every time they damaged things while doing their jobs and ignoring them as we obsessed over broken windows and doors.

You care that it’s black people protesting. You care that it’s black people who have hit a limit in what they are willing to take. You’d do the same if it was other non-white groups. You’d do the same with other groups too America. But not with the people who are used to having power.

If we cared about property damage and violence we would be hyperfocused on any damage associated with the people protesting virus related limits on association and ignoring their message. We would have been endlessly focused on the damage done by the Bundy inspired invasion of a national park and ignored their whining about having to pay for public land resource use.

We would be calling every sports-fan related excess that results in property damage and violence a riot.

And I’m sure you could find some people doing the above but it’s not that widespread. It’s when black people protest about getting murdered and some hit understandable limits that we collectively hyperfocus on any nearby violence and conflate it with the protest. Americans are disgusting and nausea inducing people.

Looks like bigoted discrimination to me. Separating out black people as a group to ignore the protests of if there’s any violence happening nearby. It doesn’t even have to be their violence. We’re too racist as a country to make distinctions.

So fucking what if there’s violence and property damage? If I see anyone respond to a protest with an attention shift to violence that’s a cause for me to interrogate the urge. The reasons for protest are about violence, and I consider that attention shift caring about things more than people, or making excuses for primary violence that reasonably trigger rage.

If someone is worried about their life or the lives of their loved ones and you shift to property damage you are showing me what your priorities are. You’re showing me what kind of a person you are. I’ve no reason to think you won’t care about things more than me.

And if you ignore the murder that pushes communities to violent displays that signal they won’t just take such abuse, I think you’d do the same to me. Shut the fuck up and listen to the protestors. Shut the fuck up and fix the racism in our institutions.

Related to the non-literal language post.

Here are some interesting things I should have put into my last post that have to do with language and non-literal language that I believe are useful. These are examples for getting an idea about how we transmit information to one another, and how anatomy is used in language.

*The first is a university news article on a study looking at brain regions activated when hearing metaphors. Hearing metaphors activates sensory brain regions.

It turns out that hearing metaphors activates sensory regions associated with the non-literal parts. A “rough” day activating the texture portion of the somatosensory (skin-sensory) system. If “something smells fishy” presumably I’m activating your olfactory regions. If I could “use a hand” sensory regions associated with the limb in question will presumably be activated.

*Then there’s the idea of “emotional contagion“. Despite the negative implication, this is a neutral term. Contagious yawning is a common example. Movement and/or sound (just hearing a yawn can do) triggers the same behavior in others.

The details are still getting argued. I thought this paper was useful for the general information in the introduction. “Auditory Contagious Yawning Is Highest Between Friends and Family Members: Support to the Emotional Bias Hypothesis“. I also thought they did good mentioning the various explanations and didn’t see an irrational weight placed on evo psych when it came to gender differences. I could easily be wrong though, I am very privileged here, and neurodiverse.

In Homo sapiens and some non-human primates contagious yawning is higher between strongly than weakly bonded individuals. Up to date, it is still unclear whether this social asymmetry underlies emotional contagion (a basic form of empathy preferentially involving familiar individuals) as predicted by the Emotional Bias Hypothesis (EBH) or is linked to a top-down, selective visual attention bias (with selective attention being preferentially directed toward familiar faces) as predicted by the Attentional Bias Hypothesis (ABH).

The summary is interesting. “The social bond significantly predicted the occurrence of auditory yawn contagion, which was highest between friends and family members. A gender bias was also observed, with women responding most frequently to others’ yawns and men being responded to most frequently by others. These results confirm that social bond is per se one of the main drivers of the differences in yawn contagion rates between individuals in support of the EBH of yawn contagion.”

I’ll add that it’s more complex than a “man/woman” dichotomy and that socially inspired difference in emotional contagion as it relates to anatomy and politics is worth thinking about in other dimensions that expand from sex and gender to other aspects of human nature. like use of disgust in homophobia and transphobia (and other phobias). The dick sucking insults that are common on the left and right count and I don’t assume that the transphobes I confront are necessarily on the political right (“right” as that’s used in the usa).

Non-literal language.

I mention this a lot when I argue so I think it’s worth it to create a post about the subject. What is it? What are the examples? How should we communicate about it? Are there other questions we should ask about it?

I’ll pile some things.

Metaphor, analogy, hyperbole…

And I’ll be upfront, the tourette’s syndrome matters, and by extension neurodiversity and non-literal language matters in general. And I’m fine with questions. I’m pretty open about the tourette’s syndrome everywhere else and nothing has changed here.

Often when I argue I act like a non-literalism is a replacement for something else because it’s useful. No matter what the other person says it’s not the thing, it’s a representation. You can always ask the other person to show you what they feel strongly about. In a political context the fact that they can’t back up their words is useful. You can even point it out them, and I often do.

But that’s just arguments and politics, analogy can enhance learning in general. Creative exaggeration like hyperbole isn’t bad because I focus on it like an obstacle in arguments…

The last thing I’ll do is mention some things about me and non-literal language. It’s by no means everything or the best way to put it but it might matter to explain some of how I relate to the subject.

The literal meaning is present in my mind as a kind of priority item. It’s highly salient as professional language puts it. The other person’s use of the non-literal language is there too, it’s just often convenient to simply refuse to respect it in politics. Otherwise I choose what I do with the sensitivity in other situations. The strength of it can make things expressively difficult on occasion.

I’m also sensitive to anatomy in language as related priority item, think about the anatomical nature of many examples of non-literal language. Something “smells fishy”. Having a “rough” day The way the body is used in mockery is another example. It’s part of how at least some non-literal language works, use of the body, senses and more direct experience to convey other things.

I don’t know how related that is to sensitivity to anatomy as we see in current sex and gender issues. I’d put it in the region of the “expression” part of gender expression because of the tourettic action pattern related phenomena. For example palilalia is repition of speech, and pali-lalia relates to echolalia (mirroring of speech) corprolalia (obscene speech) and there’s gesture/movement (-praxia) and writing (-graphia) versions. So whatever is going on with me has to do with the programs the brain runs which connect action with anatomy.

So what is your relationship with non-literal language?