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nihil supernum

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joined 2022 September 04 19:20:03 UTC
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User ID: 100


nihil supernum

9 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 04 19:20:03 UTC


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User ID: 100

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Oh! Well, thank you for teaching me something new today! I find regional idioms endlessly fascinating.

Is this a correction? Did I misquote you? My best guess is that you are saying it should be

the journalist has remarkably little faith in their own opinions to get in the marketplace of ideas

but that's not what your comment actually says, and I don't see any other obvious candidates for correction.

if you are gonna side with savages to litigate trivial matters like the fact that people won't vote for self-described atheists, you deserve to be wiped out and remembered only as an enemy of humanity, or of the only part of it worth anything anyway

This is far too antagonistic, even framed as a hypothetical. The bar for arguing that any person or group literally deserves death and/or damnatio memoriae is high, though perhaps permissible when accompanied by sufficient effort; arguing that someone you are talking to here personally deserves such things for things they've said here is a hard no. You appear to be new here so I won't hit you with a ban straightaway, but please understand that this is a banworthy offense.

2 players:

Patchwork (short and very light)
7 Wonders Duel (short and medium depth)
War of the Ring (or Star Wars Rebellion if sci-fi is more your jam) (long)

2-3 players:

Splendor (short and light)
Race for the Galaxy (short and medium depth)
Le Havre (long)

(I know, I know, all views from all places, etc. But just as a drive-by nazism or pedoism wouldn't be welcome, it'd be cool if porn was in the same category)

Interestingly enough, porn is in the same category--but it is porn that is in the same category, not conversations about porn.

My experience is that it is extremely politically biased--on any page where political bias seems likely. This is probably to be expected; "wokism" (or at least a certain strain of it) is arguably just "the unstable populist ideology that emerged from post-smartphone internet memes in the anglophone world" and so is the default ideology of all websites minus those that are explicitly anti-woke (compare Conquest's Laws). Wikipedia is online and not explicitly anti-woke, ergo it has the standard anglophone internet bias (where applicable).

Fortunately--I think!--most Wikipedia pages are not (yet?) politically relevant, and thus often quite useful and more or less devoid of political bias (though not, it bears mentioning, other kinds of bias, for example against any heterodox views on the relevant subject matter). Many people like to remind others that Wikipedia, while useful, should probably not be taken as a definitive or authoritative source of anything. It is my view that this warning is probably wisely heeded, however, in connection with all sources of knowledge.

Just as a bit of meta--I did not create a new thread since the third one did not top 500 comments in a week. There is a "Transnational Thursdays" thread posted each week by @Soriek that is probably the best place for Israel-Gaza discussion outside the CW thread going forward, at least barring any major new developments.

Part of the bizarreness of this entire discussion is all the posters (including you!) making claims along the lines of "no, I can read your mind, you're really trying to teabag modern southerners"

No--that's the claim that was being made. So your response made the conversation proceed roughly in this way:

Claim: Melting down statues is teabagging [modern southerners]!

Response: What the fuck is wrong with teabagging [slavers]?

Except that the word used for the bracketed terms was "outgroup" both times. You did not respond to what was being said; you substituted the argument for your own straw version. I thought it would be easier to just point out that making the point you've made here (two different outgroups are under discussion, maybe it's good to be iconoclastic about one of them) was fine, but actually calling names was not. When you then strawmanned my mod message, too, I got a bit more detailed.

I assure you that most people happy about the melting down are happy for the first reason, not the overly complicated second.

You're certainly allowed to believe that. But you can't assume it in the middle of a conversation with people who disagree, are you certainly can't do so as an excuse to nakedly assert that "some cultures/societies are so execrable that symbolically 'teabagging' them is great." That's too much heat for the amount of actual light you brought to the discussion.

It's very difficult for me to see this post as anything but bad faith apophasis.

We don't typically ban people based on their usernames (after all, what is in a name?) and yet yours is suspicious. Bare links are off-limits; you didn't post a bare link, but copy-pasting most of an article is a near cousin. So you wrote some commentary, but it hardly seems to be effortful commentary--just a dismissal: also suspicious. If someone said "tomorrow, a user is going to make a post that is 90% copy-pasted ZHPL, followed by 10% commentary that is at best a limp-wristed disavowal of the piece," what would I predict was the reason for the post? I would predict it was posted by a troll who either agrees with ZHPL but is pretending they don't, or disagrees with ZHPL but is fishing for damning and sneer-worthy responses from the Motte.

At minimum, this sort of thing is egregiously obnoxious. Please don't.

Would "I hold this truth to be self-evident" be an acceptable formulation?

I mean, more or less; so long as you hedge it about with sufficient epistemically humble caveats about it being your own view, ideally with some bits of evidence (even anecdotal!) for why it is your view, pretty well any substantive position is permissibly expressed here. "I honestly believe that every person knows this deep in their gut, and here are some reasons why" is a much better post than "Every person knows it, that's just how it is." One reason why it is a better post is that you are in an ideal position to report your own views; you are much less ideally situated to make sweeping reports concerning what "every person knows." That's an invitation to bad (low effort) responses like "Well, I don't know that, so you're wrong," which is a much less productive discussion than "our experiences of the world do not seem to align, so perhaps we can learn something from one another."

Sexual perversion is bad. Full stop. Every person knows it deep in their gut, even if they construct elaborate philosophical frameworks to obscure that truth from themselves.

This is about as clean a violation of the "consensus building" rule as it gets. Please don't do that.

More effort than this, please.

There is not nearly enough effort backing up your substantive point, here. Please engage with effort, charity, and an eye toward writing like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

(funny how Jews pop up in any event)

Snide asides like this add only heat. Please don't.

This specific interaction with you seems to happen every time I comment about trans stuff.

Interesting. I did not originally see that this was a thread about gender revisionism, however--only when I went back to check the context of the conversation.

The first comment was sincere confusion.

Well, like I said, that doesn't strike me as totally implausible. But "I'm gonna ask a question that is non-specific, without even making any clearly charitable attempt at interpreting your position as written or expressing my own views in vulnerable detail" is often used as bait, by positioning one commenter as "just asking questions," placing the entire burden of carrying the discussion on the other as they explain their own position while getting increasingly frustrated with the refusal of the other party to engage. Of course--sometimes we are completely ignorant and the best we can manage is a "huh, say more please?" But often such noncommittal engagement is just insincere.

The second comment was genuinely trying to point out an alternative explanation for their observations (the two situations look very similar to the receiver) and see if they wanted to reflect and talk about the topic more (apparently not).

Part of charitable engagement is accepting evidence presented in the best possible light. Sometimes the evidence is sufficiently unlikely that a different approach is warranted, but when you re-describe someone's experiences you're engaged in a sort of mind-reading argument, rather than meeting them on their own terms. This is encapsulated in part in this rule:

In addition, we ask that responders address what was literally said, on the assumption that this was at least part of the intention. Nothing is more frustrating than making a clear point and having your conversation partner assume you're talking in circles. We don't require that you stop after addressing what was literally said, but try, at least, to start there.

Like, in our non-mod-hat interaction here, imagine if instead of just pointing out to you something you didn't know, I had responded

I've never seen added to the LGBT+ acronym by anyone other than opponents

I wonder if you've actually never seen that, or if you understand on some level that "2S" is so blatantly ridiculous that you have always just assumed any time you saw it that you were dealing with opponents.

This is a strictly inferior response to the one I wrote. Instead of giving you (I assume) new information directly correcting your false belief (as my actual response did), this response assumes you are in fact wrong about your own experiences and skips straight to describing why you are wrong by insinuating, and not even very subtly, that you are just using arguments as soldiers, rather than possessing any real understanding of the world. Slapping an "I wonder" at the front to make it speculative rather than declarative softens it some, but comes across as passive-aggressive instead, on account of the Bulverism that follows.

I'm pretty sure I've seen much harsher language against "the woke" or whatever around here.

As usual: other people's bad behavior doesn't excuse your own. If you see something you think violates the rules, report it. I'm not going to claim we catch every violation--far from it! But if the whole substance of a comment is "nah, $OUTGROUP deserves utter scorn," that's just not contributing anything of value to any conversation anywhere. It's pure noise, no signal. And that's without addressing the suspicious move where you substituted "people who prefer not to have Confederate statues destroyed" with "people who rebelled to support slavery" as the outgroup being discussed--maybe that was just an innocent mistake on your part, but even assuming this is so, your comment brings no light.

You're really going to play into this what I though was a strawman where you can insult wokeism but need to be careful how you talk about literal confederate slaveowners?

No. It continues to be basically everyone's favorite complaint about moderation here, though--"the mods are definitely thumbing the scales for my opponents!" But no--you're just the one breaking the rules, this time.

I wonder if you've actually met a lot of progressives who believe that

I kind of frowned at your comment above, which is plausibly innocent in spite of the fact that it reads like thinly-veiled, low-effort bait. But leading your further response with a backhanded "hmm I wonder" seems like confirmation that your initial question was insincere, and you were just probing for an angle to sneer at. This is unnecessarily antagonistic (and arguably Bulverism, too). Engage honestly, or not at all, please. (In particular, speculating on the motives of your interlocutor is something that must be handled with effort and charity, and is often better never raised at all. And yes--I understand that is what I am doing here, but it is something moderation sometimes requires.)

I believe they are referring to 'two-spirit', an idea that I haven't seen any actual members of the LGBT community bring up unprompted in at least 10 years (outside of adversarially-chosen social media screencaps), and something that I've never seen added to the LGBT+ acronym by anyone other than opponents.

The Canadian government does it all the time.

This acronym represents Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities. The “2S” at the front recognizes Two-Spirit people as the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities.


Let's not do this, please.

conservatives still mindlessly repeat


There are literally millions of people on either side of every major conflict, and finding that one of them is doing something wrong or thoughtless proves nothing and adds nothing to the conversation. We want to engage with the best ideas on either side of any issue, not the worst.

Post about specific groups, not general groups, wherever possible. General groups include things like gun rights activists, pro-choice groups, and environmentalists. Specific groups include things like The NRA, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club. Posting about general groups is often not falsifiable, and can lead to straw man arguments and non-representative samples.

So please don't drop low-effort group smears.

it's full of horrible people like you

Let's not do this please.

Can someone explain to me why teabagging this particular outgroup is a bad thing?

It's against the rules.

The question was fine, but the actual tea-bagging--

some cultures/societies are so execrable that symbolically "teabagging" them is great. The Confederacy/Antebellum south is one of these

--is not.

Except I don't think "that bird has a Western, Anglo name" is what is keeping black, Asian, Latino etc. people out of birdwatching.

Yeah, this sort of thinking has always been puzzling to me--nobody studies biology without learning Latin names, nobody studies math without learning Greek letters. "Black people won't go birdwatching because all the birds are named Smith" is an utterly baffling take. That said--

Nol says she recently was visiting some salt marshes this summer and saw a common bird there that's called Wilson's Snipe, which has a long bill and engages in dramatic displays such as flying in high circles, which produces a whistling sound as air flows over specialized feathers. "And I thought, what a terrible name," she says. "I mean, Wilson was the father of modern ornithology in North America, but this bird has so many other evocative characteristics."

If "evocative" is the real goal, I suppose if they decide to start naming birds stuff like "Talonflame" or "Spearow" maybe I could get on board...?


I wanted to post this over at /r/slatestarcodex but it's obviously CW material and surely someone should bring it to Scott's attention, as it wins him quite a large number of prophet points I suspect...

NPR reports that these American birds and dozens more will be renamed, to remove human monikers.

And the next day half the world’s newspaper headlines are “Has The Political Correctness Police Taken Over Bird-Watching?” and the other half are “Is Bird-Watching Racist?”. And then bird-watchers and non-bird-watchers and different sub-groups of bird-watchers hold vitriolic attacks on each other that feed back on each other in a vicious cycle for the next six months, and the whole thing ends in mutual death threats and another previously innocent activity turning into World War I style trench warfare.

The story is... well, pretty much exactly what you think it is, I bet.

Get ready to say goodbye to a lot of familiar bird names, like Anna's Hummingbird, Gambel's Quail, Lewis's Woodpecker, Bewick's Wren, Bullock's Oriole, and more.

That's because the American Ornithological Society has vowed to change the English names of all bird species currently named after people, along with any other bird names deemed offensive or exclusionary.

I don't really care? Except that I do care, to just this extent, as I've written before:

When stuff like this happens, one of my first reactions is to reflect on the fact that everyone gets forgotten eventually. Some of us get statues or scholarship funds or university chairs carrying our name or likeness a little farther into the future than might otherwise have occurred, but the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" was always destined to go away someday. Roads and schools and landmarks get renamed, statues are left to crumble.

And yet I concur with you--this sort of thing makes me uncomfortable. But it can't be because they are ending the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" that I had never heard of and could have predicted would eventually vanish anyway. I have wondered in the past whether similar cases bothered me because I didn't approve of the deliberate social engineering that tossing things down the memory hole reveals, but I find even that objection does not quite do it for me. I find that I'm not in principle opposed to people making the world over in their own preferred image, provided they do so within certain rational constraints. So I wondered if I should simply chalk my discomfort up to personal political bias, but this felt wrong, too--for example, I found myself bothered by the tearing down of Confederate statues even though I am not from the American South and had no other discernible reason to favor their preservation by reason of political bias.

At present the best I've managed to come up with is that I am bothered by the publicity of destruction. That is--what would have happened if the ALSC had, beginning last year, simply not mentioned the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" to anyone ever again? Simply conduct business as usual, and if asked by anyone about the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" respond only that the Award was "undergoing some conceptual reorganization in hopes of better-serving our community, but while we workshop it we'd love your participation in some of our alternative programs" or something.

Of course, they don't do this, because someone decided that they would get more attention (=dollars) with a press release on their "core values of diversity and inclusion" coupled with a prima facie sacrificial offering to signal sincerity. If you look very hard at what's happening, it's the memetic equivalent of sacrificing sick animals and weeds instead of the firstling of the flock--there's no real sacrifice taking place here--but the gods of social justice are so far pleased. This is probably because it establishes a precedent, so when they come calling for greater sacrifices--how long before the residents of Seattle demand to live in a state that isn't named for a slave owner?--the practice of signaling your allegiance by tossing things down the memory hole in a way that also alienates you from the Other Tribe has already become so ingrained that no resistance to such demands remains.

Both ideas and people fade, but it is one thing to lose your struggle against time, and something else entirely to be thrown into a volcano by someone trying to prove their loyalty to Moloch.

I am not an ornithologist. I'm not even a bird-watcher. The closest I've ever come is snapping an occasional photo of a bird that catches my attention. These changes have nothing to do with me... except, of course insofar as they represent the continued burning-down of the contributions of "my" culture to humanity's broader understanding of the world. The active removal--dare I say "erasure?"--of the past, so as not to offend the sensibilities of the present.

(But mostly, I'm once more astonished by Scott's peculiar prescience...)

Why do you expect consistency from social posturing? The college kids chanting River to the Sea are just making mouth noises that they've been told are the mouth noises non-excluded, invited-to-parties people make.

This may very well be true, but it is not really a sufficiently effortful response for this space. It is always the case that one possible response to $PERPLEXING_THING is "eh, nobody is serious anyway, this is all play-acting, there's nothing to be feared from play-actors, and nothing to be gained from engaging on substance and merits." But it's rarely a charitable response (to either the person making the argument or the people under discussion) and often just false in various ways. So if you're going to imply that someone shouldn't expect consistency, you're going to need to do it with a bit more effort.