Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August August

Rhyming is reflexive.

235 comments:

  1. I can't help but feel the world would be a better place if I were dead.

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    1. No! But why do you think that?

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    2. Here, 12:36 Play that over and over until you feel like doing something else. It's an amazing track and at least Lupe understands.

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    3. The world will continue either way. I can't say an anonymous person isn't making it worse, but I feel pretty comfortable guessing that the difference you're making isn't worth the death penalty.

      I often feel as though I would be better off dead... Primarily because I think death is followed by nothing and nothing seems better than suffering. Why bother with all this nonsense? So far, it's come down to the fact that, for whatever reason, I don't want to pull the trigger yet. But geez, some days... Some days the only thing keeping me alive is that my place is a mess and I don't want anyone to have to pack it for me.

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    4. :-(


      there's just one, it's lonely.

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    5. I don't get it. Well, I get the part about having a messy place and not wanting anyone to have to deal with it.

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    6. Did you like the Lupe song?

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    7. Maybe that's not your cup of tea.

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    8. I dunno. What's the nonsense? Sorry if my questions and suggestions are bad. I sort of suck at improving people's lives. But I'm better than I used to be? That's hopeful. Right? Eh- I'm just gonna keep writing stuff and then apologizing for writing the wrong thing ad infinitum.

      I'll check back later I guess.

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    9. I've had similar thoughts. I think I'm lucky because I saw a professional and talked things through. I really don't think I would have seen things through without her help. Basically, she confirmed that my life was in many ways objectively bad, that my depression was a reflection of that, and I started to see the ways to fix that. I really hope you'll talk to a professional very soon. I wouldn't have made it if I hadn't. I just lost one of my closest friends from college to suicide last year and it breaks my heart nearly every day to think about how things would have turned out if he had just sought help from the right people. Wish you the best.

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    10. The very thought that we're all going to die is overwhelming and hard to process, if you're honest with yourself. Most people's lives are spent trying to avoid acknowledging it. What is the best way to respond to this fundamental fact? Maybe the best way to respond to that fact is to be kind to other people -- to find community in the fact that we all share this thing, that our lives will just end one day. Trying to make it happen sooner than it naturally does might be subconsciously a way of trying to wrest control back, that is, the control you thought you had but never did. Seeking to be in control all the time is what causes a lot of suffering in the first place. Taking pleasure in the small things is all we can do. Help other people do that and you will find eventually that looking back over a year, you are pleased with yourself.

      I really liked the Lupe song fwiw.

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    11. I like the Lupe song, too.

      And it's all nonsense. Sitting in traffic, waiting in lines, paperwork, rules, politics (national, local, academic, social, whatever), listening to boring people for more than a couple minutes, health problems (fortunately nothing too terrible, in my case), etc. All of it is nonsense tolerated to collect a few great moments now and then.

      I have seen a professional, but for ADD. I suppose it should be no surprise then that much of life bores me.

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    12. 12:36, I know how you feel. I have also been incredibly depressed and even suicidal in the past. I know that incredible ache deep down. I know it sometimes feels inescapable.

      There was a time, a very long time really, when I would have laughed at anyone who told me that there was a God, and that this God loved me. At the time, I simply chalked the idea up to wishful thinking or existential weakness. It seemed clear to me then that there was no God, and it seemed just as obvious that those who disagreed were simply self-deluded.

      Things have changed considerably since then. I now firmly believe there is a God; I even now see why my depression was essential to my spiritual epiphany and subsequent growth. I know this probably won't seem at all helpful to hear, and I know you might even scoff at it, but Jesus does love you. Be patient and stay open. The Lord calls in mysterious ways.

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    13. Get a good therapist, no psychoanalytic bullshit, maybe medication, do lots of sports (especially running) and look into things like schema therapy and mindfulness meditation. Don't be afraid, despite its name mindfulness and meditation is not bullshit and there is not spiritual woo attached to it.

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    14. What if someone hacked all of the electronic money out of the U.S.? I was thinking about that earlier.

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    15. You need therapy 5:40, you can't do that all at once, someone would notice.

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    16. Yeah, but what would they do? Would money become meaningless? I think I have no clue how world finance works.

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    17. I think that one thing one needs to realize when faced with depression over such things as "I think the world would be better off without me", is that the "truth" of such thoughts are totally irrelevant to how one feels overall. A simple reflection on the existence of hordes of people whose lives are infinitely less worthy than one's own -- but who never contemplate suicide -- should be pretty convincing. Why should they not even think about suicide -- and indeed be often quite pleased with themselves -- when, by any objective measure, they offer less to the world than you do, and in fact may be a powerful negative? Why should they enjoy life, and you do not?

      The reality is that the relation between one's actual life and how one thinks about it is generally very loose. Highly successful and intelligent people can fall into a horrible funk -- often for what amounts to brain chemistry/genetic reasons. On the other side, there are very few situations indeed which are inherently so grim that people in them invariably are depressed. Generally, people born with a happy disposition find a way to be happy. The rest of us must come at happiness with greater effort.

      The trick is to see the negative thoughts for what they are -- pernicious and unnecessary intrusions -- and to treat them.

      CBT has generally been found to work in such cases, and medication can work very effectively too to change the underlying brain chemistry. Frankly, just about everyone I know well enough to know whether they might be on anti-depressants is indeed on them. It's foolish to go through life without that pharmacological assistance if it can work.

      And if you seek therapy, don't hesitate to go through any number of therapists until you find somebody who fits for you. My wife is a therapist, and, having met any number of them, it's obvious enough that there is a huge gap between the best and worst among them. If you find somebody who fits, you will never regret it.

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    18. Okay, fine: I don't think I've ever wanted to die, so I can't help you there. But I've had really bad periods. I don't know how I got through them. Well- I had to go to rehabs or get naltrexone implants.... But that was a very long time ago. Academia got pretty terrible. I became the person to talk (badly) about- which I did not like at all. I guess I just like things even when everything sucks. I guess I'm supposed to tell you to find things to like.... That's why I love that Lupe song: "you really like summer, you really like reading. Anything to keep me from squeezing." Lupe is sort of making fun of that because when you're feeling like squeezing, presumably you don't give any fucks about summer or reading.

      But I guess I think that the feeling will pass, and you'll probably like things again- and maybe there's a way to prolong the length of time that you like those things. I dunno.

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    19. So, are you feeling better 12:36?

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    20. I am 9:41. I agree with 5:21 about mindfulness. Maybe go to your doctor, get anti-depressants while to tide you over while you find time and energy to find a therapist and/or a mindfulness meditation instructor or community that is straightforward and simple. Obviously when you see your doctor check about other health issues that may be affecting your chemistry. As for reasoning yourself into it feeling unhappy and suicidal -- the real remedy is as I suggested before: to let go -- to realize that there is a part of us who wants to control things but that this is really an illusory goal and not something needed for happiness or value. It is the ego hanging on when the person realizes that in fact there is nothing of substance to us, we are more integrated in the whole than we like to think. The person who recommended Jesus is on a similar track as my comment about control, except with a more populated ontology than mine, which includes realism about patterns but not much else. I recommend atheism, while being open to the teachings of the Jesus-lovers and such from the traditional religions.

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    21. Okay, here's another way to look at it (if you need or want another way):

      After writing that I never wanted to die, I realized that I was probably wrong about that, and that there were certainly moments in which it seemed like the world would be better off without me. So it's possible that I might have felt exactly as you do now.

      The good news is, I barely remember feeling that way because I haven't felt that way in a very, very long time.

      As for letting go of ego, and Jesus, mindfulness, therapy, and antidepressants go, whoa baby whoa. Those are all fine things that help us enjoy the world. And some of them may help you enjoy the world, and if I were you, I'd look into them and give some of them a chance. Bur if it turns out that they don't help you, there might be something else out there that can.

      I tried some of those things myself- they were helpful in the moment- which is important, but on the long run, I just put one foot ahead of the other, and like I said, I'm lucky enough to have not felt like dying for a while (over a decade, and I'm in my 30s).

      And also, while I let go of my ego a little more every day that I'm alive, and while that certainly helps me like things, I worry that thinking about it in those terms might make you blame yourself for things at the exact time that doing so might push you over the edge. So maybe wait to worry about what, if anything, you did wrong, until you're feeling better. And just so you know, most people do many wrong things regularly, so you wouldn't be alone in that.

      Okay, I hope you're feeling better.

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  2. not_my_actual_nameAugust 18, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Strictly speaking...rhyming isn't reflexive. At least if by "an instance of reflexive rhyming", we mean a case in which two tokens of the same pattern of letters have a similar sound: think of "bass" (a type of musical instrument) vs. "bass" (a type of fish), or "read" (what you're doing right now) vs. "read" (what you will have done when you quit procrastinating and get back to that referee report you need to finish).

    Suppose you respond that by "an instance of reflexive rhyming", you mean a case in which two tokens of the same pattern of letters that have the same meaning (in that particular context of utterance) have a similar sound.

    I have two replies. The first reply is that by that criterion, the title of this blog post arguably wouldn't be an example of reflexive rhyming (I'm assuming, following the pattern of previous blog post titles, that grammaticality is required). The second reply is that counterexamples arguably still remain. For instance, suppose a Brit and an American take turns reading the lines of the same poem; one of the Brit's lines ends with "garage" (ˈgærɪdʒ) and the American follows with a line ending in "garage" (gəˈrɑʒ).

    So, there! :-)

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    1. :-) :-) :-)








      :-)

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    2. the post above is a logical proof showing that there can be happiness, even in solitude, but it is fleeting.. as is life.

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    3. ur a nurd, this is for gossips, not philosophies.

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    4. hey everyone -- check out this nerd doing philosophy on a philosophy gossip blog, it's obscene

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    5. This isn't just a gossip blog, it's also a complain, antagonize, and sometimes get fruitfully real blog.

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  3. Um.... What a coincidence.

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  4. From BL's place: "Having now seen a lot of e-mail correspondence from UBC via FOIA requests, it's clear the culture of the place strongly disfavors free speech, especially speech critical of any vested interest (indeed, to the point, that some of the resident lunatics think they can appeal to their administration for remedies for blog posts in the U.S. they do not like!)."

    Almost popcorn time, folks!

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    1. That remark from BL is a little strange, since Canada doesn't have a FOIA. They do have an Access to Information Act; but one thinks that if the emails in question were accessed through that, BL (a lawyer who has hired a lawyer to represent him in the matter) would have said so. So what gives?

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    2. Google reveals this, which is close: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/open-government/open-information/freedom-of-information

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    3. BL, who (rightly) likes to lambast other philosophers for their weak understanding of law (an incredibly simple and easy discipline, intellectually), often makes very obvious mistakes like this. He calls himself a lawyer but is not one (did he ever practice?).

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    4. Huh? What if he had said "Freedom of Information" request? Would you be happy then? FOIA is just a generic term, isn't it?

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    5. Yes, the term FOI is in general use in Canada, or sometimes people say FOIPA. I've heard both.

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    6. FOIA and FOIPPA

      I mean.

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    7. FOIA is specific. It refers to a specific act, whose name it abbreviates. A similar Canadian act seems to be called FOIPPA. FOI is a generic term; that might be where your confusion stems from.

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    8. It was a blog post, not a brief. Yawn.

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    9. Doesn't he realize last time he trolled Jenkins it cost him his kingdom? She's definitely trollable, but I'm surprised he's still at it (cf., calling her a "miscreant" again).

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    10. Not so sure about that. As far as anyone can tell, he's still running the show.

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    11. @716, this is really amateur; of course he practiced law. (Ask Google, it's on his CV.)

      Also, I'm not sure what your definition of 'lawyer' is, but half of law faculties aren't even bar active; I'd rather have a professor tell me stuff than a lawyer any day.

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    12. It is a very common complaint of law students that some professors have never practiced, but, in fact, most have. I see now that Leiter was an associate at Kaye Scholer for about a year and passed the bar at the middle or end of that year. Not stunning, but yes, I was wrong.

      On a more substantive note, I read the Berdahl post and it looks ridiculous (normal identity politics/critical gender studies nonsense), but shutting it up seems ridiculous too.

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    13. Check out her description of her research below. The "problem" she wants to fix is that high achieving individuals, who tend to be male, climb to the top of competitive hierarchies by working very hard. Maybe mandatory margarita breaks will slow them down? That "bourgeois practical philosophy" in the form of mindless identity politics finds a welcoming audience (and patronage!) from the banks and trustees should give us pause.


      "Work as a Masculinity Contest
      A key reason for the stall in gender and diversity in leadership is that work remains the site of measuring masculinity. Whether it’s the older Master of the Universe in finance or the new Masters of the Universe in high tech, men feel intense pressure to prove their masculinity to rise within workplace hierarchies, which typically involves very long work hours and adhering to other norms and symbolic displays of manhood.
      Workplace gender pressures make culture change difficult, dooming many diversity efforts, as well as making gender equality in caregiving roles elusive. These gender pressures leave most women and minorities out of the running for top-paying fields and positions of senior leadership.
      In collaboration with Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, Professor Jennifer Berdahl has convened an international and interdisciplinary working group to:
      • open up a conversation about work as a masculinity contest
      • document that many features of today’s workplaces reflect not profit concerns but rather concerns about demonstrating masculinity
      • conceptualize both a public outreach strategy and an organizational change strategy to bring our ideas to larger audiences and create change in the world outside of academia."

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    14. Top philosophizing there 10:57. Let's take just one of your claims: that her sole complaint is that people who work hard succeed.

      Her argument is that there's no necessary correspondence between working long hours and "profit concerns." i.e., people are often rewarded for giving the appearance of hard work rather than actually doing good efficient work. Imagine that A does 8 hours' work for 10 units of useful output. B, on the other hand, does 10 hours' work for 8 units of useful output. In her hypothesis, B might get the promotion because the workplace norms are set up to reward appearances rather than achievements. In her further hypothesis, we might find that the rewarded norms share an association with traditional gender schtick. Now, I haven't read her research, and I suspect that you haven't either, so I don't know how well it bears out her two claims. But it's not an obviously absurd theory to investigate.

      You beg the question she's researching when you presume that she's trying to undermine the causal relationship between hard work and success. Sort it out, you goon.

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    15. 11:28 - the word you are struggling to find is "productive." The claim that men pretend to work hard but are less productive is interesting, but in need of strong support. But what's funny is that she didn't give a description of hypothesis testing. You don't investigate claims about flying saucers by setting out to "document" flying saucers as the "key reason" for UFO sightings. You don't launch into "organizational change strategies," let's say, tinfoil hats to ward off flying saucers, before you've investigated your hypothesis! The stupid is strong on this blog lately.

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    16. The quoted passage suggests that she's already done or assembled the practical research and come up with (what she sees as) the strong support. If we accept her framing (and the point is that we have no more reason not to than to on first reading), the hypothesis has been investigated to the point where it's consistently supported, and her working-group's task is now both to "document" it with more examples, and to start talking about its consequences.

      That she has actually succeeded in supporting this hypothesis may or may not be the case, but 10:57's dismissiveness doesn't work in either case. Either 10:57 mischaracterizes the data she's claiming to rely on (by suggesting that it shows a direct correspondence between long hours and productivity), or 10:57 merely ridicules the hypothesis she's saying her data endorsed (that long hours and productivity don't align, and that one of the reasons the wrong one can be rewarded is the value attached to certain gender roles) as incompatible with any plausible data. 10:57's account rules out the possibility that she might offer, or have offered, "strong support" for that hypothesis.

      Let's just get out of the habit of pre-emptively mischaracterizing people's research to score cheap internet points.

      Here's her google scholar page if anyone wants to investigate whether the claims she makes are supported - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DVdnX5wAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra
      Here's what looks like the most relevant article from there to the claims under discussion here - http://proceedings.aom.org/content/2014/1/17425.short . It doesn't look like she's done much of the direct research on this question herself outside this paper, so presumably the "support" comes from the sources this paper cites. If anyone reading this really gives a shit, it shouldn't be too difficult to check out what those sources are and how strongly they support her case.
      Maybe this will reveal that 10:57's belief was true. But not that 10:57 knew it.

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    17. Brian Leiter is the Donald Trump of philosophy--he may be entertaining, but no one wants him to have any real power.

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    18. 2:25, speaking of mischaracterizations, the hypothesis that men in high finance, tech and academia get ahead by faking hard work is clearly yours, not hers. She only said "many features" don't reflect "profit concerns." This doesn't mean she thinks men are faking hard work! What she says is that men feel a need to work hard to prove themselves. That she thinks they do this in order to "demonstrate masculinity" rather, say, satisfy the obsession to acquire power, wealth and status is indeed hilarious.

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    19. 4:10 pm=Jonathan Ichikawa.

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    20. I thought it was another one, but Ichikawa works I guess.

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    21. In fact, we already know that men are more productive on all dimensions than women. Economists have known this for a long time. And yet despite the massive subsidies women receive (maternity leave, more than twice as much sick leave, consuming about twice as much health care, less that a quarter the time on commuting, privileged work hours on basis of sex, less than 3% of work place deaths, almost no long term working away from home), the wonders of trade and comparative advantage still make it worthwhile for women to work. So basically she's just constructing ideological bullshit to avoid admitting men's greater productivity.

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    22. "In fact, we already know that men are more productive on all dimensions than women. Economists have known this for a long time."

      [citations omitted]

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  5. Leiter seems to not like Pippin much. I would ask why he's being so petty, but then I realized who we're talking about.

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    1. What? That was pretty funny, and it was Forster on Pippin, not Leiter.

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    2. Related question: do you know what the word "petty" means?

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    3. Link, please, hardly anybody knows what you're even talking about.

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    4. 8:17: I know that it has a few meanings.

      9:41: Where might Leiter do/say something that leads someone to comment on it?

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    5. Probably his blog, but there's lots of posts and who's paying attention. Just good practice to link whatever you're talking about. (I'm not 941, btw.)

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  6. Guys Anyone Here Who Knows Where can i buy thi Cute Pet?

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  7. I have never had 'sex' with a philosopher before. So I'm curious: what's it like to have 'sex' with a philosopher? Do most philosophers shave their 'pubes'? Are philosophers just like anyone else when it comes to 'sex'? Or are they weirder? Are certain things more likely considered 'degrading' by philosophers?

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    1. 10:23 - I shave when it seems like I'm going to have sex (rarely). I think of myself as a very philosophical lover and am interested more than anything in my partner's flourishing (ideally through multiple deafening orgasms). I really enjoy learning all of a partner's specific quirks and interests and think of myself as a "good listener" sexually (better than I am philosophically, that's for sure). I have never had sex with another philosopher, though not for lack of trying.

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    2. Ewe. At least you shave. Pubes are not cute.

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    3. What does it mean to be a "philosophical lover"?

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    4. the best lover i have had is a philosopher

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    5. anytime 11:04, anytime ;)

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    6. I can't tell if this is trolling or for realsies, which makes it great. (Also, most philosophers are virgins, so wrong people to ask.)

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    7. Well, 11:01, I occasionally pause mid-thrust, scratch my chin, and ask, "What is sex, anyway? Are there sufficient and necessary conditions for whether some act - let's call it, without loss of generality, act A - is sexual? Perhaps sex is just a 'cluster concept' or perhaps sexual acts are not linked by conditional reasoning so much as by a 'family resemblance'." Then I begin again, grunting, "This... is... called... ostensive... definition."

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    8. I've never slept with a philosopher either. They seem like they might not be dominant enough. I don't want to talk about my feelings. Ugh.

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    9. I've met some philosophers into BDSM. They just don't go around talking about it constantly.

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    10. not_my_actual_nameAugust 18, 2015 at 8:42 PM

      Slept with a philosopher? Yes, many times. Generally speaking, though, sleeping with a randomly chosen philosopher is about the same as sleeping with a randomly chosen non-philosopher: roughly the same propensities with regards to preferences, fetishes, enthusiasm, skill, health, attractiveness, obstacles to release, etc.

      Dated a philosopher? Yes, many times. But I'm not making that fucking mistake again. Jesus Christ.

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    11. 11:53 -- Talking about feelings is a sign of a healthy relationship, but too much of a good thing and all that.

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    12. Ewe, ewe, ewe, 1000 times ewe!

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    13. To each their own, you do you, different strokes for different folks, so on and so on.

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    14. What you talkin' about, Willis?

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    15. I did not mean BDSM. I just don't want a repeat of the ex who would constantly ask, "Would you mind...", "Should I...", "Do you want to..."

      Jesus Christ, man. A little confidence, please.

      He was a failed historian though, not a philosopher. (He hadn't failed yet when we started dating.)

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    16. Now there is a guy who has internalized modern norms of affirmative consent! Good for him!

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    17. Eh, I wouldn't go that far...I'm more of an "often" as opposed to "every step of the way" kind of guy. Nonverbal communication and all that, often you can tell when someone is interested.

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    18. ^ and that was about long term relationships

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    19. 3:54 here. I was kidding. Consent by moans and return touches is enough for me, and that is how I generally communicate my own consent as well.

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    20. My boyfriend works in recording studios and rock clubs and he does that too. I think it's just the way guys are now. But that's good. The world is getting better. We're all just learning.

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    21. I am a guy and I am not that "way", nor will I ever be, and I resent the implication that I had anything to learn. It is, however, good that there is a new norm that overtly asking for consent is acceptable, since there are people who lack the social intuition (body language etc.) to be able to tell when it's being given. I am like that earlier in the process (in the dating stage, first kiss, etc.).

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    22. Well.... My high school friends still send dick pics that I don't consent to every now and then. ��

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    23. Believe me, I always ask before sending dick pics. Sometimes I even ask whether I can ask.

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    24. Ask my ex-wife: she married me, a phi grad student of her previous ex- who was one of my profs. Then she slept around with a knob who just made more than I did as a 2nd-tier tenured philosopher. Then after her shit I started a 17 year relationship with a married ex-student that continues to today. No kidding. You can't make this shit up.

      And yet anyone who knows me would say I live a pretty ordinary life. I suspect my story, especially in our discipline, is not all that unusual, and in part it reflects a story-tract of many in the middle-to-upper-middle classes, irrespective of career.

      Someone should write a book. Wait. . .

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    25. I replied above more autobiographically but it occurred to me that this is a good forum for some Kant, yeah ironically, but by the second form of the Categorical Imperative. I actually teach this.

      Guys (mostly)--even philosophical guys!--too often just treat sex as means to their own orgasmic ends. Well, that's just evil. I mean that. If you are cool with the biggie hedone you gots and know that your partner didn't--well--Kant just served you big time as treating someone as merely means. If my lover--the term should rigidly (!) apply here--has had no orgasm and I have, then I should at least be devastated if not motivated to move to make that right. After all, if one appendage didn't work, another will, with slick tenderness and good intent.

      Kant would paradoxically hold that mutual pleasure is a two-way street as a function of intent, and evil otherwise--as he would rule prostitution. I should write a paper. Wait. . .

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    26. Instead of "affirmative consent", I like a suggestion that Dan Savage made, start with a simple question: "what are you in to?" I like it because it's less about permission and more about enjoying each other. IIRC, he offered that suggestion in response to a request for something that heterosexual couples could learn from gay couples. He wasn't talking about consent as much as exploration, but it struck me as a better approach to the consent question

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    27. Nice! a younger me vowed the next time i had to opportunity to start another intimate relationship that i would be open and honest early about the bedroom. my next opportunity i remember asking my new lover, 'so .... what do you like?" i even had to repeat it again and clear my throat i was so shy/nervous it came out all quiet and croaky. let's just say many years later we are still together with hot sex and i am so happy i opened up in that way

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    28. Clever - turn PMMB into an agony page about relationships, social exclusion and heartbreak. But has not the Vicar of Amsterdam decreed such things to be wicked and to be condemned by the "moral community"?

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    29. I read 10:02 and all I can think is, "That sounds like a lot of pressure."

      This is why I don't date. Knowing that someone else might be feeling like a failure because I'm a failure is not something I need in my life.

      I do like the Dan Savage advice @ 10:05 though. Savage has said some good stuff.

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    30. Dan Savage is horrid, good consent practices are a form of exploration.

      Seriously, I really do recommend at least skimming SM 101, even if you are not personally interested in it. That community has a lot of great advice about how to effectively communicate sexual interests with a partner, more than "what do you like to do?" "i dunno, what do you like to do?" "i dunno, i'll try anything (always false)" which is typically what happens.

      And just learning about the stuff will help you feel better about whatever weird sexual interests you may have, increasing your confidence level all around.

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    31. Am I the only person in the world who does not have "weird" sexual interests? Like I like to put my thing in a girl's place for a while, in one of maybe five kind of position-types, and then cuddle a bit. Sure, every now and then I will oblige someone who wants to be choked or spanked or dirty-talked a little, but none of that is hugely appealing to me personally. I've been called repressed, boring, vanilla, and uninterested in good sex for this.

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    32. I wouldn't date someone who made me feel bad for not having an orgasm. Sometimes it just...doesn't happen...and it's no one's fault. Sex, still enjoyable. Now if it doesn't happen as the norm, either talk about it or find a new partner. Easier said than done, yeah yeah.

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    33. 11:11, you're not the only person who does anything -- hence the 'may' have.

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    34. I think I'm discipline-dependent bi. I like women philosophers, but male biologists. I like female mathematicians, but male musicians. Female musicians never ever appeal to me sexually. I prefer female computer scientists to males, and female health care practitioners, but am definitely more attracted to male writers and poets than females. With actors, if its theatre actors I am attracted to the males, but if its movie actors I'm attracted to the females. How will I ever sort this out?

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    35. Did anyone have a handjob while reading this?

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    36. No Colin, it's just you.

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    37. 12:05, do you have enough cases to induct on? Imagine your favorite female philosopher in a band. You still like her, right?

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    38. I just refereed two papers this afternoon and decided I couldn't be bothered with one that's a few months overdue. So, yeah, I've fucked a few philosophers.

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  8. I prefer when the philosopher is a Mill-style utilitarian, a hard determinist, and from Top 10 in Leiter. The worst are Kantians, though they are kinda ready all the time.

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    1. Yeah, but their prolegomenon is so much shorter than their critique.

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  9. Hey kids! Whinehole is doing another snarky troll about how awful we are for being snarky trolls.

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    1. It was pretty good- and Louis is not Justin.

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    2. Pretty funny post there 'Louie Generis'

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    3. What was good about it?

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    4. As a battle-hardned (rare) troll, honestly I like the call for sincerity. Unfortunately, PMMB's format is not conducive to discussions above a certain, very low level due. Every other post involves a misunderstanding of some kind, but this might just be a problem with philosophy (or communication).

      The stuff about rumors freaks me out, it's all to easy to associate erroneous qualities to someone that you may not like for whatever reason, even if the actual truth points to the contrary (see: Ludlow).

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    5. I like the picture.

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    6. Battle-Hardened Troll,

      I think you're right that people find it easier to believe bad things about people that they already don't like, but I don't know anything about Ludlow, or why people didn't like him prior to the scandal thing. Can you say a bit more about that (without putting anyone down of course)?

      -Soft Core Troll

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    7. You seem confused. People liked Ludlow before he was smeared with false allegations.

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    8. Yeah... that may not have been the best example, maybe McGinn is better? I don't actually know what Ludlow's reputation was prior to the scandal, but after it we saw something similar, where it was easy to go to a certain extreme viewpoint prior to hearing 50% of the (already messy) story.

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    9. Let's be clear, nobody knows for certain that the allegations were false, only that they were not obviously true.

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    10. What a disgusting comment.

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    11. Yeah, I take the allegations seriously, just to be clear. But I am interested in why we like some people more than others, and if the reasons we have for not liking someone serve as appropriate evidence to think they're capable of various bad actions. And since the Ludlow case is well-known, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss. But maybe I was wrong about that last part.

      Anyway, since the McGinn case is a bit older, and has been widely discussed, can I ask why people didn't like Collin McGinn? Is that okay?

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    12. Why do you take allegations, based on no evidence, "seriously"? How would you like it if someone make disgraceful allegations of criminality about you, or a friend, or a family member? But for which there is not even police interest? You seem to lack moral respect for other people.

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    13. I would not like that. And my friend's daughter made similar allegations toward him. I didn't like that either. But I took her seriously because she was in pain and sometimes people we like and care about, do terrible things. So, while I don't know Ludlow or his accuser(s?), I realize that sometimes these things happen, and when there's an accusation, we can't just dismiss them because we really don't want them to be true.

      I think that's all I can say now. Talk later.

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    14. Not 1:34, but for me, it's not about taking one person more seriously than the other. It's about taking an agnostic stance on the fact of the matter. It seems that the most morally respectful position for everyone is one that's basically "I don't know, could be true could be false." Epistemology of testimony issues and everything.

      And personal anecdote, people have been making "disgraceful allegations of criminality" against me since I was 12 years old. It's always a humiliating experience.

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    15. "we can't just dismiss them because we really don't want them to be true."

      No one thinks like this, outside conspiracy theorists. It is a central principle of justice that if an allegation is made, it must be proved. An allegation of "rape" must be taken to the police, and then proved, beyond reasonable doubt, in a court, in front of one's peers. There has never been any police involvement, and even Northwestern's investigators dismissed it as having no evidence. Ludlow has been wronged, and is, by very high evidential standards, innocent.

      To carry on repeating allegations for which there is no evidence is deeply immoral and is intended to do one thing: to inflict suffering on the wronged person. It not only a matter of moral decency, but a paramount principle of justice, that the innocent must be protected.

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    16. It's strange to me that you're applying standards of justice to a process that was never judicial to begin with. Also, I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you, just pointing out that the allegations happened, and for that reason, should be taken seriously as they are evidence of something, even if it it's just Ludlow's reckless dating habits.

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    17. "It seems that the most morally respectful position for everyone is one that's basically "I don't know, could be true could be false." Epistemology of testimony issues and everything."

      You are saying that merely pointing a figure at someone is sufficient to ruin their life forever? How deeply, deeply immoral.

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    18. Even if the allegations are evidence of the grad student's reckless dating habits, to take the heat off Ludlow (if that makes you feel better)

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    19. What?? How on earth did you read that from that sentence? I'm confused. I'm not justifying anything.

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    20. Easy. Someone, X, says 5:51 raped my sister. Your colleagues go around saying, "Yeah, it's 50:50 whether 5:51 raped X's sister", and that, according to you, is "respectful".

      No it isn't. It is grossly immoral. When an allegation is made, you must treat the accused as innocent, and not be "agnostic". And the default credence - set at 0 - should only change if evidence is provided to increase the credence, And if you cannot understand this basic moral principle, then I feel very sorry for anyone else around you.

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    21. Wait, testimony is evidence.
      It's irrational not to change your credence in p when you get evidence in favor of p.
      Are you sure you aren't confusing a court of law with regular epistemic principles?

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    22. I've not been involved in the conversation so far, but 5:59 - if we're just talking about what our credences should be (that is, what we should believe rather than how we should act) then the mere fact someone is alleged to have done X should increase your credence that they in fact did X. (absent some defeater, like for example that you have reasons to believe the person alleging it is lying). An allegation is evidence in favor if the claim that the person did X.

      It's easy to see why this is true by looking at simple cases: I have no idea where Tom Cruise is now. But if I go onto FB and see a friend of a friend who I've never met has posted "I just saw Tom Cruise in LAX!" Then this should increase your credence that Tom Cruise is in LAX. And unless you have good reason to think otherwise, it should increase your credence quite a lot - there could be some odd reason why the friend-of-a-friend is lying about seeing Tom Cruise. But I can't think of a good reason why they would do so.

      The point being, that if we're only talking about epistemic principles rather than moral principles, it seems like the fact that a person alleges x gives you a pro tanto reason to believe x (and this reason is stronger or weaker depending on a number of factors, like whether you know the person, whether they have a reason to lie, etc).

      Maybe this isn't the claim you're making, but it seems like you think moral principles should govern beliefs as well as actions. This seems like an unusual claim to me - do you have any other cases in which you think its true not just that we have moral obligations to act in certain ways but that we have *moral* obligations to *believe* certain things (even if we have good epistemic reasons not to? or vice versa)

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    23. Easy. Someone, X, says 5:51 raped my sister. Your colleagues go around saying, "Yeah, it's 50:50 whether 5:51 raped X's sister", and that, according to you, is "respectful".

      No. This is patently NOT what I am saying, and I can't state that in more unequivocal terms. I am saying, as someone who hears the allegation "5:51 raped X's sister" that an appropriate epistemological stance for an individual is agnosticism. This has nothing to do with what people discuss with each other. This has nothing to do with whatever stance the judicial system or a juror needs to take, which is innocence (in a democracy). A basic moral principle, in my understanding, is something like "don't harm others," more basic than a principle tied to a particular system of government.

      Anyway, I have a feeling this is going to go nowhere.

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    24. 6:22, "the mere fact someone is alleged to have done X should increase your credence that they in fact did X."

      This is immoral. You appear not to understand morality.

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    25. You might try giving an argument that it's immoral, since apparently other readers are not willing to take your word for it.

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    26. 6:22, the sentence "Tom cruise was in LAX" is not the same as "Tom Cruise raped Nicole Kidman", which attributes major criminal activity to Tom Cruise. I assign credence 0 to the latter claim. I would consider anyone who didn't as being deeply immoral, and lacking basic human empathy and understanding. If you wish to attribute an extra-ordinarily serious crime to someone, you must prove it using evidence. This is central to morality. And, more generally, if you wish to attribute wrong-doing to someone, you should expect others to assign it low credence. Again, this is central to morality.

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    27. 7:07, "You might try giving an argument that it's immoral"

      Subjecting other human beings to ill-treatment is immoral. Can you explain why this difficult for you to understand?

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    28. 7:13, I think you're mixing up three distinct things: what we have reason to believe, what we ought to do, and what standards should apply in a court of law.

      I, for one, don't think that morality should have any role in determining what we ought to believe, when the beliefs in question are empirical claims. That is, I think that we should assign credences based only on the probability that X is in fact true. You seem to think that moral considerations should affect our credences - if this is in fact your position, it would be good to give a positive argument for it.



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    29. First, no, I am not discussing a court of law. I am saying that your theory of testimony is objectively wrong. It is a mistake to think that testimony by X that P is evidence that P. This presupposes a positive correlation between X's assertions and what is, in fact, true. However, X may be, e.g.,
      - untrustworthy,
      - unreliable,
      - malicious,
      - mentally unstable, etc.
      (This is why courts of law do in fact probe matters of witness reliability.) In principle, X's testimony that P may be evidence that not-P. The testimony by an unreliable person X that "Y did something wrong" may be evidence that Y did not do something wrong.

      Case 1. Y rightly criticizes X, and X, who is hypersensitive, reports in testimony that "Y did something wrong". Here, X's testimony, along with the evidence of X's hypersensitivity, is counter-evidence, and not evidence.

      Case 2. X may have a record of malicious claims about Y, whom X hates. If X claims "Y did something wrong", this, given auxiliary evidence of Y's maliciousness, is counter-evidence, and not evidence.

      I do not think these points are particularly novel to anyone with common sense. Whether there are moral considerations concerning what one ought to believe, I don't know. But the proliferation of false accusations in a social environment is not morally good. It is toxic and morally bad.

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    30. The question, 8:17, is simply how many accusations are true. If the percentage of guilty people accused is higher than the percentage of guilty people not accused, then testimony is per se evidence in favor of guilt (even if most people accused are not guilty!); that's just probability. Whether there are things that are rational to believe but not moral to believe is an interesting question.

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    31. That is incorrect. The reliability, maliciousness, etc., of particular X is specific factor, not a general one. This has nothing to do with overall statistics governing a group; rather, it measures X's reliability, etc. If X, known to routinely claim false things about Y, claims "Y did something wrong", then one may reasonably infer from X's most recent claim, that Y didn't.

      The only way in which general statistics might play a role would be to assign group membership to X and Y, and look at the statistics for X-Y interactions.

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    32. 8:17, I think you're misunderstanding the claim. The claim is not that 'testimony that p is always, in all cases, evidence that p.' The claim is that, absent defeaters, testimony that p should increase your credence that p, when p is an empirical claim."

      So I agree with you when you say that it some cases, testimony that p can be evidence that not-p - when there is a clear defeater (like, it has already been established that the witness is unreliable). A good case is this: Prisoner X says that Prisoner Y confessed to crime P. This should increased your credence that P. But then you found out that Prisoner X got some benefit out of co-operating - now there is a defeater.

      So to take your case 1: the claim "Y did something wrong" is not an empirical claim. It's an evaluative claim. But claims like "Y called me an asshole" are empirical claims. If X told me that 'Y called me an asshole" and there are no defeaters present - I have no prior reasons to believe, for example, that X is lying - then my credence in the proposition "Y called X an asshole" would increase.

      As for 2, right - I agree. In that case, clear defeaters are already present.

      And yes, I agree that false accusations are bad. But note that an accusation is not the same thing as a belief. Whether we ought to believe something or not is a separate question from whether we ought to publicly repeat the thing we believe. Sometimes it might be permissible (or even praiseworthy) to do so, but sometimes it might be morally wrong, depending on factors like how certain you are that you are right, what the consequences will be, etc. But I think we just apply standard decision making theory in these cases.

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    33. 8:14, no, I'm not misunderstanding it. We simply have quite different theories of testimony. Yours is,

      Principle A: "Absent defeaters, testimony that p should increase your credence that p, when p is an empirical claim"

      Mine is,

      Principle B: "One's credence that p, based on testimony that p from X, is a function of first the reliability of X and second the content of p."

      I advocate B, a principle saying that the credibility of testimony is reliability-dependent and content-dependent.

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    34. OK, so I think we're on pretty much the same page with regards to reliability - this might be a semantic debate more than anything else. But why should the credibility of testimony be content-dependent?

      I mean, I get why it should be content dependent in certain cases, where we have reason to believe that claims about that kind of thing aren't generally reliable - but then this is already covered by the reliability criterion.

      In any case, even if we accept Principle B, I don't see how we get from there to the other claims you've been making: that when (if I understand you right) we hear an allegation of wrongdoing, for example sexual assault, we should set our credence that p at 0. Surely according to your principle, whether an allegation the, say 'X sexually assaulted Y' should increase your credence in the proposition 'X sexually assaulted Y' unless we have some reason to think that the person making the allegation is unreliable, right?

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    35. I think the reliability and content criteria in assigning a credence to X's testimony that p have to interact somehow, because, first, X's expertise on p is domain-dependent and second, whether there is a conflict-of-interest (e.g., in what X says "about" Y, when X really hates/likes Y) depends on the content of p.

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    36. 8:20 here. What is wrong with you people? If you don't know enough about X, but do know about the percentages, you can still update your beliefs absent *any* knowledge about X's reliability. This is fucking probability 101. How many philosophers are this god-damn innumerate? This is insane. Get your hands off your dicks or out of your cunts and take a math class. Jesus Christ.

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    37. I appreciate the suggestion to remove our hands from our genitals so that we can learn more math. I'll seriously consider doing that.

      But in the meantime, (and jokes aside) I have to agree with the people who think that content matters. I mean, if someone told me that they were abducted by aliens, I might not give their testimony as much weight as I would if that very same person told me that, say, Tom Cruise was in LAX. Why? Because Tom Cruise is a person, and people go to LAX- I know this last part because I've even gone to LAX myself! The alien abduction thing is less reliable because I've never witnessed any such things, and the general consensus is that there haven't been any alien abductions. But hey, it's logically possible- no wait, it's closer than even that- if the aliens have the right technology, it's physically possible too. It could happen.

      Anyway, a rape or harassment allegation is a bit like an alien abduction because it's almost as if they can't be falsified. I mean, sexual misconduct very often happens behind closed doors, and so, it's one person's testimony against another's, and the evidence to believe one over another is pretty much on a par.

      It's a fucking genuine moral and epistemological problem that I don't know how to solve, so good job metabloggers.

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    38. I dunno, you've added an existential claim which is throwing me off. Rape definitely exists, aliens not so much (but probably though). And if Tom Cruise is actually an alien, as I suspect, then that changes things considerably.

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    39. True. But we know rape exists because people have witnessed it happen. And those who haven't, have almost certainly witnessed acts of violence, force, coercion, and other things like rape minus the sexual component. And almost everyone has witnessed or experienced some form of physical affection (even if not sexual in nature). Anyway, it's not that hard to observe that sex is something many people want and that when some people want things, they resort to violence (I realizs that the motivations behind rape are way more complicated, and include things like a desire to exert power and dominance- but that seems harder to grasp- but maybe that's just me). So rape is easier to believe in than aliens. I totally grant you that. But the alien example was meant to show that the content of a testimony can serve as evidence for its reliability. Allegations of rape are only similar to reports of being abducted by aliens insofar as their contents might be somewhat self-defeating. I didn't explain what's potentially self-defeating about rape allegations because I think we've all heard those before. But in case I'm wrong about that, here are a few reasons why someone might falsely accuse another person of rape: the accuser has some vendetta against the accused, the accuser might want attention or sympathy, the accuser might want leverage against the accused for something like custody or professional standing... I'm sure all of these things have happened, and I'm sure all of these possibilities have been exploited to dismiss cases of true allegations. Going back to what I said before, I think there's a greater danger to make the second mistake, and dismiss real cases because we don't want them to be true. I mean, lying is something most of us have done at some point, raping? Not as common (but then again, rapes tend to occur behind closed doors, so maybe that's wrong). In any case, it's much easier to imagine someone we know lying than it is to imagine someone we know raping.

      Sorry if this comment comes off as flippant. To be sure, sexual assault is really bad for a person. I was sexually harassed so I sort of get it. I mean, that was bad enough, and rape seems much, much worse.

      Also, sorry if some inferences are under-explained, some grammar sucks, or some words are misspelled- I'm going fast and furious on an iPhone.

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    40. Subjecting other human beings to ill-treatment is immoral. Can you explain why this difficult for you to understand?

      Oh, and increasing one's credence in the proposition that some other person did something bad is subjecting that person to ill-treatment?

      Seriously, that may be the dumbest argument I've seen even on this blog. I don't think you're a philosopher at all.

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    41. Falsely accusing an innocent person of a serious crime for which they will be punished harshly is ill-treatment. Your credences should be arranged so as to mimimize false positives.

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    42. I don't think you understand what credence means, 3:33. Your credence in p is just your probability assignment for the truth of p. The fact that falsely accusing an innocent person of a serious crime for which they will be punished is an instance of ill-treatment does not make it any more or less probable that the person in question is in fact innocent.

      What you're worried about is behavior - an accusation is a behavior, not a belief. And in standard decision theory,you plug in your probabilities and your values. So you think it is very, very bad if an innocent person is falsely accused of a crime. Fine. What this means is that our credence in the proposition 'X committed a crime' is going to have to be very high before you think a certain action - an accusation - is warranted. Sure. But if you're concerned about minimizing false accusations, then you're concerned about avoiding certain kinds of behavior, not about changing people's credences.

      It's just like what happens in a criminal trial. Because the consequences are serious (imprisonment), we want jurors to be very certain that the alleged criminal is guilty (beyond reasonable doubt). But we don't tell them to change their credences in the proposition 'X did it' because of this fact. We tell them that before they take a certain action - finding someone guilty - their credences have to be higher. So, being 51% certain that someone did it - having a 0.51 credence in the proposition 'X did it' is enough to find someone responsible in a civil case, but not to find someone guilty in a criminal case. But this is not because your credences in the proposition do, or ought to, change. The credences stay the same just in case the evidence stays the same. What changes are your actions, because in one case we are more concerned with minimizing false positives than in the other case.

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    43. Actually, I agree with essentially all of that. However, the earlier point concerned an account of credence assignment based on testimony. If X testifies that p, this tells us nothing about p's truth. There is no reason to suppose there is any simple principle which links what individuals say and what is, in fact, true. The link, involving properties of the witness X and the content of p, is complicated. However, common sense provides us with a digestible list of properties of X - honesty, integrity, maliciousness, proneness to exaggeration, immaturity, cognitive impairment, mental instability, or being in-conflct-with-the-accused, and some others - which help us bridge this gap. I said before that a witness's testimony that Y did Z may reduce rational credence in Y's having done Z, for reasons connected to properties of X and Y, their interaction, and indeed their interactions with others.

      Note, by the way, that a witness might testify that p and q, where p and q are inconsistent; this ought not induce us to increase our credence in contradictions.

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    44. 6:46 you have the sort of aggressive stupidity which is not clearly preferable to the passive stupidity of people who never learned words like "credence" at all. We don't need a "principle" to increase our estimation of the chance that p based on X's saying that p. And we don't need to know anything about x. All we need to know is whether P(p | ∃X : X says that p) > P(p).

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    45. And Pr(p | X said p) is computed how?

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    46. Look at previous cases of stuff like X saying p (specified however you want). Here, "how much false rape testimony is out there" seems like a good first step. But you could get more specific (has the accuser falsely accused before? has the accused been falsely accused before?).

      However, I think you are going to find it hard to specify things in a way that makes it unreasonable to raise our credence based on an accusation. (Certainly no fact pattern actually obtains under which we should be *lowering* our credence based on an accusation.) Which is why the police only investigate for rape people who have been accused of rape and not, like, everybody.

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    47. "Look at previous cases of stuff like X saying p (specified however you want)."

      Which is exactly what is said above. It depends on certain properties of X, and their relationship with the content p. Now why don't you learn to read, before shrieking like a child?

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    48. "However, I think you are going to find it hard to specify things in a way that makes it unreasonable to raise our credence based on an accusation."

      It is easy. Suppose everything X says about Y is false, and that this is known: Pr(X says that Y did F) = Pr(Y did not do F). Let p be "Y stole a pen". Let Pr(p) = 0.001. Then Pr(p | X says that p) = Pr(p | not-p) = 0. Now 0 < 0.001. Hence, Pr(p | X says that p) < Pr(p).

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    49. lol. No, it does not "depend[] on certain properties of X". We can update our beliefs without knowing anything about X exactly as I have described. Here is an example. If you pass someone on the street and they tell you it is going to rain, you do not need to know anything about that person to update your credence about whether it will rain. All you need to know is something like: Are enough people who say stuff like "it's going to rain" to passersby lying? But you seem to think we should be doing background checks on the speaker in this situation. That's fucking absurd.

      I agree with 8:48 that if we can specify the facts we will be able to get that result. But I meant was that we won't be able to get a general result like that by specifying the reference class in a certain way, and that has to do with the prevalence (or lack thereof) of false testimony in the real world.

      I seriously hope 8:33 is not actually in graduate school or teaching philosophy. This is a depressing spectacle.

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    50. "No, it does not "depend[] on certain properties of X."

      Yes it does, you thick moron. You are asserting that Pr(p | X says p) = Pr(p | Y says p) for all X,Y. This is false.

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    51. No, I'm not. Can you please state your IQ (or some other relevant cognitive measurement) for the record? I am saying that we can specify a reference class and update our beliefs reliably from that. This is what we always do and it is rational. If all we know about X is that X is a person, then we can update on X's testimony based on how many persons have given false (or incorrect) testimony and how many have not. Once we learn more about X, we can continue updating.

      You are impressively stupid. I suggest you walk away from your computer, take some deep breaths, reevaluate your life, and leave philosophy.

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    52. Of course, other things being equal, an accusation of sexual assault or sexual harassment raises the probability that the accused committed such an act. But who cares about that narrow issue?

      Obviously, the real issue is whether such an accusation, unto itself, and, presumably, solely in virtue of the new and higher probability that the sexual assault/harassment took place, is enough to suspend with various due process protections.

      From this point of view, it may be crucially important to know what the actual false accusation rate might be. The point is not the bare and rather trivial issue of whether the probability of a sexual assault/harassment increased, but rather whether it has increased so much that it goes over a threshold, and stands by itself as sufficient in certain contexts -- such as in the university setting -- to dispense with ordinary due process considerations.

      Point is, it makes a big difference whether only 2% of accusations in the university setting are false, or 50%. Credence counts.

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    53. Very good points, 11:23. And there is also the issue of whether how rational our institutional beliefs *ought to* be. For example, illegally-obtained evidence will often significantly affect our beliefs, and this is rational and how we ought to reason. But that alone doesn't mean illegally-obtained evidence should be admissible in court. (Or maybe it does. But it seems like there's room for disagreement there.)

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    54. Illegally-obtained evidence doesn't belong in court as long as you believe that preserving a fair process (or a process as close to fair as possible) is more important than any one case.

      As the actual false accusation rate is unknown, and has been quoted as being anywhere from 2% to 40%, it's not very useful at the moment. The idea of updating beliefs based on stats is great and all, but practically, do we have reliable stats to use? We don't know how many sexual assaults go unreported (the usual stat says about 40%, but is it credible?), and we don't know what percentage of people are rapists. (I found one that said 4.5% of men... But it was from a survey of college men. Generalizing from college men to all adult males seems unwise.)

      It would be nice if choosing a side in a sexual assault case was like choosing who to start in fantasy football in that we could use a whole list of reliable stats. Relevant stats could include: Percentage of allegations that are false. Percentage of [insert race] [insert gender] of [insert age] who have raped. Percentage of false accusations in which the accuser had an angry boyfriend. Percentage of cases reported to universities but not police which are false. Percentage of allegations which were reported only after encouragement from a third party that turned out to be false. Accurate stats are beautiful things, and with them we could get much closer to certainty.

      But until then, I'm officially agnostic. If it's one accuser vs. one accused, and there's no confession, witness, or video, I don't have enough information. I've been the "she said" half of a he said/she said case. Having no proof is terrible. But I assume that being an innocent accused is about as bad as being an honest accuser, and I'd hate to join the wrong side in a case of two strangers.

      Unofficially, I might avoid the accused at parties.

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    55. Being an innocent accused might actually be worse than being an honest accuser. At least as an honest accuser, in the US, most people believe you (even if you don't have a viable court case). That counts for a lot. (I'm 12:45.)

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    56. Uh, but as an innocent accused, at least you haven't *actually been raped or sexually assaulted*.

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    57. Yes, but as an honest accuser, at least you haven't *actually been wrongly accused of rape or sexual assault*. I mean, you are just begging the question here as to which one is worse, 3:01.

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    58. No, it's just that your image is tarnished, most people falsely believe you've done something awful, and even people who once respected you give you the side-eye or worse.

      Yeah, maybe you don't have to deal with the unclean feeling. You don't have to shower repeatedly with it never feeling like enough, and you don't have to deal with any of the physical injuries that might come from a violent assault. But as someone who has *actually been sexually assaulted* I still have sympathy for those falsely accused. Why trivialize the pain of seeing how many people are so ready and willing to believe you committed a heinous crime?

      In either case, you find out in a hurry who your real friends are, and in either case you probably look at everyone else a bit differently from then on.

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    59. How is it begging the question? 12:48 pointed out one way in which hey thought it was better to be an honest accuser. I pointed out a very important way in which it is, intuitively, far worse. But if you want to stack the deck by accusing everyone who gives a reason in favor of rejecting your conclusion 'begging the question' then go ahead.

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    60. "X is better than Y because at least X isn't Y" seems like question-begging to me, and definitely not an independent "reason" of any sort. The reason is that "at least X isn't Y" only functions as a reason for "X is better than Y" for someone who has already accepted "X is better than Y".

      The parade of poor thinking here continues.

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    61. Oh for god's sake, Now someone can't even point out that it's bad to be raped without being accused of 'having no sympathy for the falsely accused' and 'trivializing the pain of the falsely accused".

      So let me get this straight: you people think that it is not unsympathetic or trivializing to point out if someone has in fact been raped, 'at least most people believe her' (which, as an aside, is a pretty controversial claim that no evidence was provided for). But that pointing out that at least a falsley accused person didn't get raped is 'trivializing.'

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    62. 3:51, it's simple: when the question is: "which is better all things considered, X or Y?" then pointing out "X is better than Y in this respect" is NOT question begging. And it doesn't function as a reason only for people who have accepted 'x is better than y all things considered.' If it did, then it would never be possible to convince people to change their minds about their evaluations.

      But yes, you're right about the parade of poor thinking.

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    63. There's no "in this respect" there, though, because you were merely reiterating what X and/or Y were. "Pizza is better than wings in the respect that it's pizza" is the sort of thing people say to be funny because it's intentionally vacuous. You were being vacuous here too, in precisely the same way, but other people were trying to be serious.

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    64. Will my phone let me post a nested comment? Let's find out.

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    65. Hey, it did.

      I'm just waiting for tea, but yeah, if someone is going through something, and your response is, "Hey, at least you weren't raped!" ...that's trivializing. And the comment to which it was a reply was indicating that rape was worse, not merely bad. I don't think anyone here has disagreed that rape is bad.

      The being believed part was based on personal experience. Sorry, I don't have any questionable studies to post right this moment. Was I especially lucky? Maybe. Seems like a lot of accusations get believed, but then I've never been a rape victim of the star QB in a football town.

      I have my tea now. Bye.

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    66. 4:05, it is really simple: If someone claims that X is better than Y all things considered, and in support of this claim offers a reason why X is better than Y, it's not vacuous to point out that there are ways in which Y is better than X - even of those things are constitutive of being an X.

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    67. 4:20, it's just as trivializing to say to a rape victim 'well, at least you haven't been falsely accused of rape!'

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    68. Agreed, 4:26 (I am 4:05, not 4:20). And it would be trivializing to say to either of them "Count your blessings! For thousands of years humans were destroyed to near-extinction by apex predators! Now THERE was a shitty life!"

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    69. "Of course, other things being equal, an accusation of sexual assault or sexual harassment raises the probability that the accused committed such an act."

      Not it does not. Learn probability theory.

      To repeat the above, an accusation may reduce the rational credence. Suppose everything X says about Y is false, and this is known. Then

      Pr(X says that Y did F) = Pr(Y did not do F).

      Let p be "Y stole a pen". Let Pr(p) = 0.001. Then

      Pr(p | X says that p) = Pr(p | not-p) = 0.

      Now 0 < 0.001. Hence,

      Pr(p | X says that p) < Pr(p).

      The accusation has reduced the probability.

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    70. 5:59pm:

      "When an allegation is made, you must treat the accused as innocent, and not be "agnostic". And the default credence - set at 0 - should only change if evidence is provided to increase the credence,"

      If the default credence is set at zero, you may find it a bit tricky for evidence to increase it.

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    71. That's pretty uncharitable, 6:09. If you read the conversation preceding that comment, it is pretty clear that by 'other things being equal' the poster means something like 'all we know about X is a person' or 'we have no special knowledge about the reliability of X in particular.'

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    72. If you know that 'everything X says about Y is always false' odds are you're in a weird logic puzzle, and not real life. In that case you can just ask the guy hat always tells the truth, and he'll tell you what really happened.

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    73. Well, if the guy who always tells the truth doesn't speak your language, it's not gonna too you too much good.

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    74. "If you know that 'everything X says about Y is always false' odds are you're in a weird logic puzzle"

      In real life, the unreliability of a witness plays a crucial role. It may be unfashionable to refer to various kinds of dishonesty, but really, you need to grow up. The reason has just been explained probabilistically. The claim made above that an accusation increases probability needs to be proved, not repeatedly asserted without proof. Now prove it.

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    75. How stupid are you fuckers? There is a difference between a witness being unreliable, or dishonest, not caring about the truth, and a witness always stating falsehoods.

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    76. Da! You have two polar questions left, 7:04.

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    77. It is you who needs to learn to think more clearly. The known premise "X is typically malicious in claims about Y" yields the same conclusion. Knowing this, an accusation from X may reduce credence in the relevant accusation against Y. This is the probabilistic reason why a claim made by an individual known to have some kind grudge, etc., is often dismissed.

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  10. Sitting on a paper you have agreed to referee for months past the deadline is a shitty, shitty thing to do. If you do it, at least admit to yourself that you're a fucking dick.

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    1. I think that person did just admit that. Okay, I want to make some salad now. Bye!

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  11. subway eat fresh takes on a whole new meaning

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    1. Was anyone else not surprised? I'm going to start evaluating my opinions of people based on how surprised I would be if similar information came to light.

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    2. Holy shit! Jared, wtf!?

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  12. Louie Generis takes a side-swipe at "vague conspiracy theories about the misandrist oligarchy that apparently rules the discipline". This is interesting. I don't really see many blog comments or posts that satisfy that description. In fact, I'd say many many more blog posts in the philosophy blogosphere are more like "vague conspiracy theories about the misogynist oligarchy that apparently rules the discipline".

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    1. "Rumors and ‘common knowledge’ can be absorbed unreflectively or second hand, leading to damaged reputations and disastrous misinformation. A culture of hair-trigger resentment and disaffected aggression can become the norm in other philosophical settings. "

      This correctly describes the Feminist Philosophers blog and What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy. Rumor-mongering and hair-trigger resentment.

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    2. Is this your first visit to PMMB. 6:26?

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  13. When you hear the name 'Jason Stanley', what kind of thoughts and/or images quickly flash across your mind?

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    1. can't a lad not change his mind?

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    2. Jason Stanley is a human person with feelings. What the hell good could possibly come of a post like this?

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    3. Maybe, like Drabek, he self-promotes by smearing himself in this cesspool.

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    4. stop

      this is gross

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    5. Whining self-pitying bitch who is too self-absorbed. Hands out advice to everyone, unasked, and because of his holocaust credentials he is the voice of the oppressed. His magnum opus is the incredibly bad "Letter from Paris", because, you know, when Muslims kill, it's because of oppression.

      Totally overrated, almost everyone who hangs out with him has him in the pocket.

      There is his comment on Bharat's blog where he essentially admits that he wants to be like Chomsky, all the fame and so on.

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    6. Chomsky's money would be nice...

      Screw the fame.

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  14. can anyone explain to me what this "universal seminar room" actually is and how one can make a serious appeal to it?

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    1. It's in your head and it enables you to physically enter any seminar room anywhere in the world and engage in seminar-like activities without even spending hardly any time watching what other people do in the room first. You can just walk right in and start seminaring. This is a uniquely human skill.

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    2. in reference to this? http://www.newappsblog.com/2012/02/in-defense-of-snark-or-breaking-down-the-walls-of-the-universal-seminar-room.html

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