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Understanding Discourse Trust Levels
Thus, Discourse offers five user trust levels. Your current trust level is visible on your user page, and a summary of all trust levels within your community is presented on your dashboard.
discourse  forums  community  internet  *internet 
4 days ago by akiraman
Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole | Theodore P. Hill | Quillette
In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.

Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans. Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions—and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

Darwin had also raised the question of why males in many species might have evolved to be more variable than females, and when I learned that the answer to his question remained elusive, I set out to look for a scientific explanation. My aim was not to prove or disprove that the hypothesis applies to human intelligence or to any other specific traits or species, but simply to discover a logical reason that could help explain how gender differences in variability might naturally arise in the same species.

I came up with a simple intuitive mathematical argument based on biological and evolutionary principles and enlisted Sergei Tabachnikov, a Professor of Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University, to help me flesh out the model. When I posted a preprint on the open-access mathematics archives in May of last year, a variability researcher at Durham University in the UK got in touch by email. He described our joint paper as “an excellent summary of the research to date in this field,” adding that “it certainly underpins my earlier work on impulsivity, aggression and general evolutionary theory and it is nice to see an actual theoretical model that can be drawn upon in discussion (which I think the literature, particularly in education, has lacked to date). I think this is a welcome addition to the field.”

So far, so good.
[Then wahala ensues, multiply]

..Educators must practice what we preach and lead by example. In this way, we can help to foster intellectual curiosity and the discovery of fresh reasoning so compelling that it causes even the most sceptical to change their minds. But this necessarily requires us to reject censorship and open ourselves to the civil discussion of sensitive topics such as gender differences, and the variability hypothesis in particular. In 2015, the University of Chicago’s Committee on Freedom of Expression summarized the importance of this principle beautifully in a report commissioned by none other than Professor Robert Zimmer:

In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.
University  Science  Gender  Discourse 
12 days ago by AfroMaestro
Fascinating piece in MIT Tech Review on becoming more like TV and killing

"The problem i…
discourse  socialmedia  from twitter_favs
15 days ago by AramZS
Medical ethics can tell us why disinviting Steve Bannon was a good idea | Rachel Strohm |
..Medical ethics has a concept that’s useful in this situation: clinical equipoise. Equipoise means that the medical community is genuinely uncertain about whether a treatment will be effective. They have reason to believe that it could help patients, and at minimum won’t harm them, but don’t yet have proof of its benefits. This is the ethical justification for conducting randomized controlled trials to determine whether the treatment works. If a researcher knew in advance that a treatment would definitely help a patient, then there would be no ethical justification for randomly withholding the treatment from the control group. Similarly, if a researcher already knew that a treatment didn’t work, or might even injure patients, there’s no ethical justification for testing it at all. RCTs are a tool to improve medical quality of care, not an excuse to test out harmful procedures for the ostensibly neutral sake of “scientific progress.”

..Many of Bannon’s ideas fail the equipoise test because we already know with certainty that they are harmful to people, and don’t bring any commensurate benefits. Take his desire to ban all immigration to the US from majority Muslim countries. This is justified with an ostensible concern about terrorism. ..Inviting Bannon to headline a prominent festival suggests that his ideas are worthy of discussion and could enrich the overall debate. It’s an unethical position to take with someone who has a clear interest in causing harm to others and no credible data on the supposed benefits of his ideas. The New Yorker made the right choice in disinviting him.
Discourse  Ethics 
16 days ago by AfroMaestro
Burning the 67: I do not agree, but I understand | Editi Effiong | Medium
..I personally also swore off any political “youth” organizations or civil society support. Here’s why:
In 2015, I was involved in about 3 of such organizations and contributed time and money to them. The people who knew my competences also brought me onboard their organizations in various capacities. One of those organizations (will not be named, but none of the people there was paid as far as I could tell, because they were quite accomplished young people) was directly involved with the then Vice Presidential candidate, whom I saw as a very passionate, honest man. I liked him. I still like him.

But I had a rule. Whenever I am called in to work with a political organization or person, I insist on speaking with the principal to personally hear their views and in most cases, only work with them if I either agree with them or see many points of convergence. In this case, I did not quite abide by my own rules. Time was short, and the candidate would not be available for a few days. The candidate did become available. We had a session where I had to do interviews for advertisements, as well as record calls to voters. While prepping him for the session, I took some time to have that conversation. For about 20 minutes, I was blown away by the vision of this man, his passion, his knowledge and admission of humanity. I’m often rather cynical with politicians. But he seemed different.

Let me quote the line that really got me:
“I will never stand for illegality”, also stating that he would check any leftover dictatorial impulses in Buhari. He was a well respected pastor and professor of law. It was easy to believe him. In 2015, I was clear in my objective — I was dissatisfied with the government in power and was going to work and vote against it. But in Prof, there was a glimmer of hope that the replacement could be better. I was probably stupid, but there is a place for stupid people in life. Our paths crossed a few more times, and at every point, he spoke very passionately about his belief in the rule of law. This actually meant something to me. In one of those meetings, there were 5 other people in the room, including the then Presidential candidate Buhari, in what turned out to be a rather frustrating night which led me to ask “Why is this man running for president?” But Prof’s talk about the rule of law helped me refocus on the objective. That evening, I told these two gentlemen “I don’t believe in people, but I believe in contracts. If you betray the trust of Nigerians, I would work as hard as I’m working for you to be elected, against you”. We seemed to have an agreement that if they didn’t perform, voting against them was the obvious thing to do. I would be silly to think that two grown men in politics saying “we agree” means anything, but I was raised to believe people mean what they say.

..It is on this note that I decided, it is more important to hold everyone accountable, especially the leaders who are our friends. I’m deeply disappointed that Prof, the champion of rule of law, is serving when a sitting minister has been accused of forgery and for nearly a month, the government has simply unlooked. No sir, that is not the rule of law that was promised. And if you compromise on the very small things, how then can we trust you to not compromise on the big, life and death things? I don’t assume life is easy for our friend, the Prof, but he held the hope of millions of young people in 2015. He criticised incumbent government back then and promised to do better. If the reality of governing now means he has to go back in his own words, honour demands that he openly says so, and/or resigns. But I am more saddened that the young people who promised they would hold him to account have simply refused to. This is why I have sworn off “youth movements”. I view them with a heavy dose of suspicion.
NaijPoli  Goodread  Discourse 
18 days ago by AfroMaestro
The Importance of Simple Ideas - Cyborgology
> A bullshit job is a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the condition of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend this is not the case.

> Someone seeking an explanation for why they hate their desk job will likely turn to algorithmically sorted media like Google search results and YouTube videos to find answers.

> Reactionaries like Jordan Peterson are enticing because they have no problem giving a single answer to deep questions of meaning and one’s place in the world.

> Liberals, on the other hand, are happy to data posture; they avoid taking a political stance by reciting data, and seem astonished to find out that work for the sake of working does not breed happiness ... Seeking the stamp of approval of a behavioral economist before agreeing to the inherent value of meaningful work belies a deep distrust of other people and a willful ignorance of existing knowledge on the subject.

> Bullshit Jobs can compete with the likes of [Jordan] Peterson precisely because Graeber built the theory on subjective experiences.
bullshit-jobs  political-debate  discourse  algorithm  search  search-results  meaning-of-life 
18 days ago by tarakc02
The New York Times -- Dozens at Facebook Unite to Challenge Its ‘Intolerant’ Liberal Culture
'...Other Silicon Valley companies, including Google, have also experienced a wave of employee activism over diversity. If tech companies are willing to adjust their workplaces to make underrepresented groups more welcome, some employees argue, they should extend the same regard to those who do not fit the liberal-leaning Silicon Valley mold. -- Mr. Amerige, who started working at Facebook in 2012, said on his personal website that he followed philosophical principles laid out by the philosopher and writer Ayn Rand. He posted the 527-word memo about political diversity at Facebook on Aug. 20. -- On issues like diversity and immigration, he wrote, “you can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.” -- Mr. Amerige proposed that Facebook employees debate their political ideas in the new group — one of tens of thousands of internal groups that cover a range of topics — adding that this debate would better equip the company to host a variety of viewpoints on its platform. -- “We are entrusted by a great part of the world to be impartial and transparent carriers of people’s stories, ideas and commentary,” Mr. Amerige wrote. “Congress doesn’t think we can do this. The president doesn’t think we can do this. And like them or not, we deserve that criticism.”'
rkselectiontheory  illiberalsim  discourse 
20 days ago by adamcrowe
The Tech Backlash We Really Need - The New Atlantis
The tech backlash, emerging as it has within this centuries-old trajectory, will not achieve the perspective necessary to offer a substantive evaluation of our technological disorders. The critique emanates from within the system, assumes the overall beneficence of the system, and serves only to maximize the system’s power and efficiency by working out its bugs. Meanwhile, the big tech companies can rest ever more assured of their ability to withstand an occasional public battering and emerge unscathed so long as the bribe remains sufficiently enticing. So far, the tech backlash seems likely not to weaken the tech industry but to strengthen it, enhancing the power of the present techno-social configuration.

This is not, however, a case for either inaction or despair. It is, rather, a plea to make the most of the present moment when the curtain has been pulled back ever so slightly on the industry that does so much to shape our world. A backlash will not be enough; by definition it is sudden and fleeting and its course is determined by the forces against which it reacts. What is needed is a more sustained and clear-eyed reconsideration of our situation and a renewed capacity to imagine alternative configurations of the technological order.
technology  SiliconValley  Facebook  ZuckerbergMark  personalData  misuse  ethics  socialMedia  advertising  politics  discourse  HarrisTristan  design 
24 days ago by petej
“Libtard” in the Chinese style – Popula
However, to return to the weird phenomenon of Chinese nationalist fans of Jordan Peterson and Peterson fans finding something to admire in “baizuo” discourse, it may be that right-wing nationalists are simply searching for foreign equivalents to validate their political response. Chinese nationalists backing an authoritarian state under Xi Jinping, Donald Trump supporters calling for restrictions on immigration in the United States, and Brexit supporters in the United Kingdom are all right-wing ...
baizuo  china  discourse  politics 
25 days ago by max_read
How Change Happens | Alan Jacobs
Everyone everywhere is prone to recency bias, but I think we are more prone to it than any society in history because our media are so attentive to the events of Now, and we are so immersed in those media that anything that happened more than a week or so ago is consigned to the dustbin of history. The big social-media companies function as what I have called the Ministry of Amnesia, and the result is that we lack temporal bandwidth. Unless we work hard to cultivate that temporal bandwidth, we won’t have the “personal density” to resist the amnesia-producing forces that make us think that whatever happens today is more important than anything that has ever happened.

..Second, it inclines us to forget that the greatest of social changes tend to happen, as Edward Gibbon put it, insensibly. Even when they seem sudden, it is almost always case that the suddenness is merely a very long gradual transformation finally bearing fruit. There’s a famous moment in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises when one character asks another how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” the man replies. “Gradually and then suddenly.” But the “suddenly” happened because he was previously insensible to the “gradually.” Likewise, events are always appearing to us with extreme suddenness — but only because we are so amnesiac that we have failed to discern the long slow gradual forces that made this moment inevitable.
Discourse  Thinking 
25 days ago by AfroMaestro

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