Category Archives: Politics

How Blame Fails

A bookstore in London noticed something in the sales lists of the top 500 rare books sold at auction in 2018: no woman broke the top 20. In fact, they began to average 1 woman every 100 books. They call this grim:

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Any set of data can be analyzed in limitless arbitrary ways. This same data, for example, would probably show that men of a certain age appear in the top 500 than men of other ages. Books probably come from some centuries more than others.

A more thoughtful person would probably not notice or care about any patterns. After all, this is a list of rare books sold at auction. The types of books that become rare and the demand for those books are contingent on innumerable causes. Maybe the third-place book made it so high because the author recently had a resurgence from a movie based on his work. Maybe copies of dozens of the books were recently discovered in an old library, allowing them to be sold. Maybe books written by women are produced in larger quantities than books written by men such that they never become rare. It’s all speculation. Professional investigations could be performed on each book and the buyers (if the data is available) and it might take years. It doesn’t seem to be a valuable use of time.

But what is a valuable use of time for the Perpetually Outraged is to quickly look down the official list of victims (from least to most victimized) to see if any are represented less than half the time. At the top of the list is women in general, followed by select racial minorities, etc. Lucky for this bookstore, they didn’t have to go very far down the list.

The bookstore doesn’t spend any time considering what the possible causes are for the results. Obviously, as men wrote more books in the past than women and older books are typically the ones that become rare, the obvious explanation is that we see exactly what we expect. There’s no systematic bias against women by people who collect rare books or people who auction them. There’s just fewer rare books written by women. Reflection is anathema to the Perpetually Outraged, so we fall instead to the default position of blame.

Feminists on Twitter soon took the data to say things it did not say:

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Aside from some severe misunderstandings of scarcity (scarce books cannot be auctioned more frequently than less scarce books), the Twits also presume that sexism is to blame for the apparent discrepancy. Why do women have fewer rare books? Sexism. There can be no other explanation. Even though it would take a great deal of effort to determine if someone is a sexist (hating someone for their sex requires incredible knowledge of one’s inner thought life), the Twits have no problem applying the term to a bunch of strangers. Strangers whose names are not even known.

Where reflective, thoughtful people might, in extreme circumstances, wonder how best to improve their own writing, the feminist Twits blame sexism. It’s much easier that way.

The article concludes by reminding us both that female authors are not taught as frequently in the UK as male authors* (for likely similar reasons as above), and also that entire bookstores dedicated to feminism exist without issue. This isn’t something the author of the article should be so excited to mention. If women are read less than men even without dedicated bookstores selling only books written by men all while women do have such bookstores, feminists have bigger problems to worry about. The conclusion isn’t that men are sexist, but something much simpler: people in general don’t like female authors and blame keeps the harshness of reality out of sight for feminists.


*Maybe the accidentally anti-feminist Transgender movement will helpsolve” this problem by having men produce books while claiming to be women. That way men still write all the books, but ideologically pure liberals will stop noticing.

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Privilege and Character

Someone on CNN accused a conservative of white privilege yesterday. She was soon stunned into silence as he revealed that he was black.

The concept of privilege offers a glimpse into the minds of progressives. In it, we can see that envy is a guiding principle in Leftist philosophy. That’s because privilege is simply a way of casting good character in a negative light.

There’s a grain of truth in the leftist lie, as there is in many lies. The truth is that some people are more likely to succeed than others because of their pasts. A middle-aged man who has worked hard for two decades is privileged over a man who has never held a job and his lived on government welfare since he dropped out of high school. A child who has a married mother and father is more likely to succeed in school, marriage, and a career than the child of a single mother.

Historically, those who had strong character were admired. It was a good thing to make good, tough decisions that required sacrifice. It was good to work hard to privilege one’s children instead of squandering their inheritance. It was good to emulate men of honor and character.

Progressives have a different commitment, though. When someone is successful, progressives look on them with envy and suspicion. A man who succeeds must have done something wrong and crooked to get where he is. He must have stolen from someone or cheated someone or hurt someone.

The Left has classified the world in postmodern oppressor/oppressed categories, such that the more “oppressor” categories a person finds themselves in, the more suspicious we should be about any of their success. Where historically the important question was “how can we succeed?”, the Leftist asks “how can we tear someone down because of their skin color, sex, and beliefs?” The Left doesn’t build on the work of the past, but makes sure to destroy everything to preserve a flat wasteland of mediocrity and failure.

This is more insidious than presuming a man must have had his success by virtue of being white when he is actually black. The Leftist model actually encourages people they deem “oppressed” into behaviors which keep them poor, dependent, broken, and flailing. Instead of urging people in these groups to strive for the kind of character which leads to success, the Left encourages envy and hate. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the Left encourages the very behaviors that lead to the very situations they claim to champion against.

It also reveals some inherent racism on the Left. When a white man succeeds, its his “privilege” that does it. He comes naturally equipped for success. When a white man fails, it’s in spite of his “privilege”. The opposite is true of black men. They succeed in spite of their disadvantage of being black. And failure isn’t a big deal; it’s expected. After all, they are black. This explains why progressives are far, far more likely to talk down to minorities, even to the point of treating them like children.

I see this attitude even among lefty “conservative” women on subtly different topics. For example, I’ve made the strongly evidenced claim that women should marry before having children and stay married if they want the best possible outcome for their children. “Conservative” women were very quick to tell me how mean-spirited and cruel my suggestion was. Even though this is extremely good advice for young women, we can’t have it spoken aloud, lest the women who have already made mistakes feel bad. I have another post in mind for the topic of sympathy-as-hatred, but this example also fits here.

Calls to good character are condemned – by the Left as privilege and by some “conservatives” because it might make people feel bad. The real victims, though, are the people who could live much better lives by being encouraged to make good decisions who are instead told that the consequences of their actions are someone else’s fault.

The American Propaganda Assocation

The American Psychological Association just published this, and it’s breathtaking.

APA issues first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys

The article is full of political claims that might as well have been spoken by Democrat operatives. A full display of ignorance regarding the economy and incentives is only matched by the total failure to understand (or even recognize) the differences between men and women – something a PSYCHOLOGY organization ought to have mastered.

But lets be honest. The APA doesn’t really care about science. It’s just a bunch of ideologues who are bad at philosophy doing philosophy while pretending to be scientists.

This should have already been obvious since they’ve changed their categories for mental illness in response to threats from lobbyists.

Unlike real medicine where there are observable facts like “this leg is broken”, the APA gets to define “health” in any arbitrary way they want. They’ve settled on pure relativism: mental health is what ever you, the patient, want it to be. Imagine a surgeon asking you what you consider a “healthy heart” and then doing whatever you ask in the operating room.

Replace “surgeon” with “therapist” and “heart” with “mind”, and that’s exactly what the APA defines as mental health. That’s why they don’t say pedophilia is a mental illness, but -guilt- about pedophilia is. Because guilt is bad (you don’t want it), but unnatural desires are good (they are things you want).

The APA has outdone themselves with this far-left-feminist-ideology-as-science though. As someone who has studied and worked in hard science fields, my intelligence is under assault every time I read anything this organization publishes.

h/t Captain Capitalism

Federal Welfare Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

This can be demonstrated by syllogism:

  1. Welfare effectively replaces fathers as provider and patriarch of a family
  2. Broken homes (single-mothers with children) are the primary source of poverty and crime*
  3. The poor overwhelmingly vote for federal welfare
  4. Therefore, given (1) and (2), welfare causes poverty
  5. Therefore, given (3) and (4), welfare causes welfare

Welfare necessitates more welfare and creates poverty, crime, broken homes, mental health problems, sexual confusion, psychological disorders, addictions, school dropouts, and ghettos along the way.

It’s not hard to determine that it is utterly immoral to vote for politicians who embrace these policies of federal largess. No Christian should ever do so.


*”Crime in America”, “Adolescent Personality and Behavior”, “The Feminine Mystique”, hundreds of studies

How Google Search Results Work – Or, Technology Writers Can’t Do Philosophy

The AP published an article intended to counter the prevailing view that Google has biased search results. Google denies any bias whatsoever:

“We don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”

So why do results so often seem biased? The technology writer at the AP promises to make everything clear for us.

Google has software which indexes every site it can find on the internet and keeps track of the most common search terms. So far, no chance for Google to inject bias of any kind, presuming this is what happens.

However, the rest of the article reveals a variety of ways Google employees can bias the results, and even ways they are required to bias results.

The technology writer for the AP cannot distinguish between a computer algorithm itself (which is mechanical) and the intent and effect of its design (which is based on the philosophy of its authors).

“Quality” Raters

According to the article, more than 10,000 “quality raters” judge the quality of search results using a 164 page document with such obviously political sections as:

“Using the Upsetting-Offensive Flag”

“Needs Met Rating for Upsetting-Offensive Tolerant Queries”

“Pages that Potentially Deceive Users”

“Lacking Expertise, Authoritativeness, or Trustworthiness”

“Mixed or Mildly Negative Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content”

Who defines what is “upsetting” or “offensive”? Who decides what someone’s reputation is? Who decides if someone lacks expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness?

Google.

It isn’t some mindless, apolitical machine that decides these things. It’s employees at Google, who bring their own beliefs with them. If these employees presume themselves to be neutral observers – as the author of the article seems to imply they are – it’s all the more dangerous.

What is high quality?

The example given for how quality might be determined is by looking at Pulitzer Prizes won by the author of the content. This presumes that the prize itself is neutral, that those who give the prize are neutral, that the authors receiving the prize are neutral, and that those who don’t receive the prize are of poorer quality. Every single one of these assumptions are political and philosophical, meaning that in the example which is given of how quality is determined, we already have a clear example of bias.

What is poor quality?

The pages which are given a low rating, on the other hand, are those which “spread hate, cause harm or misinformation, or which deceive users”.

For the Left, suggesting that women make less than men on average because of career decisions and not because of some evil mystical force called “the patriarchy” is considered “hateful” and “harmful” and “misinformation”. Google just fired an employee for suggesting this very thing.

The same people who fired him are the ones who determine what is “hateful” and “harmful” and “misinformation”. Again, for reasons unknown, the technology writer at the AP doesn’t think that this is a place where bias might enter into the design of Google’s algorithms.

Fake News

We are also told that sites are labelled “deceptive” if they “look like a news organization” but “in fact [have] articles to manipulate users in order to benefit a person, business, government, or other organization politically, monetarily, or otherwise”.

This presumes two things:

  1. That far-left employees at Google can determine the hidden motivations behind the authors of articles.
  2. That far-left employees at Google implicitly trust major news companies not to be deceptive in either what they report or what they fail to report.

Both of these things are examples of political bias.

Design and Designer

What the author of the article fails to understand is the difference between a mindless algorithm that does whatever it is programmed to do and the mindful intentions of the authors of that algorithm. Because he likely agrees with the politics of Google engineers, he thinks the algorithm is neutral. After all, his own views are obviously neutral (or so he thinks).

Too many software engineers lack a strong philosophical background and make elementary mistakes in reasoning (like presuming their own neutrality) which, when ignored, lead to things like a far-left bias to the most influential search algorithm in the world. Unfortunately, the tech writer at the AP is similarly unaware of his own biases, or is simply defending Google because of their political leanings.

JK Rowling and the Biblically Iliterate Bible Quotation

The biblically illiterate author of the Harry Potter series, a woman with no experience in foreign policy or the United States government and constitutional law, recently decided to talk about US immigration policy by using Bible quotes:

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This was in response to a tweet from Mike Pence a couple of years ago:

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As Matt Walsh has already put it, brilliantly, anyone who pretends that Trump’s immigration orders were bans on Muslims is a shameless liar. Even if you disagree with the order, that’s not what it is or what it does.

Rowling’s own post, despite making other biblically illiterate liberals happy (by supposedly bashing Pence with his own religion), is so out of context as to be laughable. Here’s the full context, out of Matthew 16:

… Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Rowling apparently thinks the phrase “gain the whole world” is referring to anything she finds distasteful. This is a common liberal mistake when reading Scripture called eisegesis. The text always means whatever they want it to mean, context be damned.

Of course, the context is the whole point. Jesus isn’t telling His disciples that if they don’t share JK Rowling’s view on a short pause on mass immigration to the United States from a small handful of nations which generate 99.999% of the world’s terrorists that they are trading their soul’s for the whole world. It sounds pretty bizarre when it’s laid out so starkly.

Rowling wasn’t the only one on Twitter who was excited as could be to demonstrate her illiteracy:

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Leviticus, for those who have ever studied it, is a book of law written by Moses under God’s direction for the nation of Israel. This fact often eludes those who want to ignore it’s moral precepts and jump all over it’s specific legal statements (as those in the “God approves of same-sex sexual acts” debate often do).

But the verse itself provides enough context to know that the person who posted it is a dishonest hack. United States citizens were not foreigners in Egypt. The immigration pause from a small set of countries is not mistreating or oppressing foreigners living in the United States.

The context of the verse within the verse itself is enough to reveal that it is not being used properly. As Matt Walsh said, these people are shameless liars.

Marriage is Inevitable

No matter what people do, no matter how much feminism is entrenched in modern thought, there seems to be no way to avoid the necessity of marriage. Or, at the very least, a pathetic marriage substitute.

From Breitbart:

According to the language of the bill, “consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter, and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

Aside from such an absurd law being unenforceable, dependent on one witness against another, based on feelings, and so easy to break that any sane and self-controlled man would just skip it altogether, it’s also kind of like marriage. A marriage devoid of its best parts, but a marriage nonetheless.

And now California is having students learn about the process:

Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation aimed at making California the first state in the nation to bring lessons about sexual consent required at many colleges into high schools, his office announced Thursday.

Last year, California became the first to require colleges and universities to apply an “affirmative consent” or “yes means yes” standard when investigating campus sexual assault claims. That policy says sexual activity is only considered consensual when both partners clearly state their willingness to participate through “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” at every stage.

This pathetic marriage substitute called “yes means yes” is apparently pretty important to the anti-marriage crowd. It’s interesting that within a century of feminism dismissing marriage for being restrictive and suffocating, a marriage substitute that is even more restrictive and suffocating, not to mention clinical and sterile, should replace it. It’s marriage without force and meaning.