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Everything posted by Arete

  1. It's a gender neutral pronoun. Like "he" is a male pronoun and "she" is a female pronoun. It's really not harder than that, and I'm not sure how it supposedly invalidates the analogy. Plenty of names for people have no meaning. As to how a person arrived at the preference of using a gender neutral pronoun - I can imagine a number of conditions - Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Androgen insensitivity syndrome(AIS), Gonadal Dysgenesis, 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency, etc might result in someone deciding to identify as neither male nor female. But ultimately does it matter? Say I have a student whose name on the roll says "Sarah" and they tell me they prefer "Kasey". Do I need to know why in order to comply with the request? Again we are going in circles, but we're talking about discrimination law. Peterson and you can espouse all you like that pronouns are stupid, transgerderism is a mental disease, sex is binary, etc, etc. You just can't discriminate against someone because of their gender identity - which means you can't single them out and treat them differently.
  2. I disagree - that's the EXACT point of Peterson's argument. He doesn't believe in transgenderism (despite the extensive scientific basis of it), and is claiming that being asked to use a student's preferred pronouns is a violation of his free speech rights. His subtle, intentional discrimination is that he would be happy to use the preferred pronouns of cis-gender appearing students, but not those whose physical appearance does not conform to his assumptions of gender presentation, because of his personal (and IMO fundamentally wrong) opinion that their identity is not valid. We're going in circles, but he's arguing that it is his right to discriminate against people who do not conform to gender norms. I'm pointing out that it's not for other protected classes, and asking why transgender people shouldn't be afforded the same protections as religion, race, sexual orientation, etc.
  3. So, imagine I'm a professor teaching a class. I refer to students by their preferred first names. Plenty of people go by things different from what's on their birth certificates. Some are kind of odd, but generally I do my best to pronounce people's names the way they ask, and not mix up people's names. I make the odd mistake, but generally that's how it goes. Except for the African American kid. I call him "boy" because that's what we call black folks where I'm from. He repeatedly tells me his name is Paul, but I insist on calling him "boy" whilst using everyone else in the classes preferred name. Paul complains to the University office for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harrassment, who determine that I have violated both institutional policy and federal employment laws by discriminating based on race. I have to face a disciplinary hearing and might get fired. Now replace "name" with "pronoun" and "African American" with "transgender". Explain why it wouldn't be discrimination based on gender identity.
  4. Such an erudite and eloquent argument. Did you learn that from the Harvard College Debating Union? Color me completely convinced of the veracity of your point of view. To summarize: 1) You have the right to be a small minded bigot. 2) You don't have the right to hurt other people because of your small minded bigotry. If that makes you feel oppressed, then as per my first post in the thread 6 pages back, I'll play you a melody on my tiny violin. I think we're probably done here.
  5. And this is why we can't have nice things. Despite the fact it has clearly been outlined, explained and evidenced ad nauseum that this is an issue in the trans community - to the point where trans people whose pronouns are respected are half as likely to kill themselves than those whose aren't, the response is to mock and trivialize the issue. Thus aptly demonstrating why we can't rely on common courtesy and goodwill towards others to prevent discrimination, and need laws.
  6. Because that's a strawman? Trundling all the way back to page 8 to quote my first post in the thread: "No one is forcing him to believe in gender dysphoria, or accept the biological fact that gender is not fixed at birth. They are compelling him not to discriminate against those who do. As such, his right to question the validity of gender fluidity remains protected. The only thing being taken away is his "right" to discriminate against specific individuals based on their identity. Which brings the argument down to "You are denying my "right" to treat people differently based on their gender identity" which, yes - is the intent of the law. Watch me play this tiny violin. "
  7. You literally quoted me saying genetically intersex individuals, then cited statistics pertaining to gender dysphoria in the same post.
  8. Intersex and gender dysphoria are not the same thing and confounding them shows a considerable lack of understanding.
  9. The generally accepted proportion of the population who have intersex genetic conditions is 1.7%, so no, you can't.
  10. How do you distinguish between a genetically intersex person asking you to use their preferred pronoun, and a "moron"? Can you sequence genomes with your mind?
  11. Sure so long as we stick with an elementary school understanding of biology and ignore the inconvenient bits, like the existence of genetically intersexed humans, and XX individuals who are infertile.
  12. As per my first post in the thread: 1) A significant proportion of humans are born either intersexed or phenotypically gender fluid. Gender dysphoria has physiological basis. Gender/sex is not binary - that's a biological reality. 2) You have no way to determine if an individual is "biologically capable of bearing children" based on physical appearance. 3) You're demanding everyone else conforms to your delusional misunderstanding of biology, even at the expense of real harm to others. I therefore have no sympathy for your, or Peterson's asinine position.
  13. "Peterson said that if a student asked him to be referred to by a non-binary pronoun, he would not recognize their request: “I don’t recognize another person’s right to determine what pronouns I use to address them. I won’t do it.” He also argues against the existence of non-binary gender identities, or those that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍, saying “I don’t think there’s any evidence for it.” In his own words, he insists it his "right" to only use pronouns of his choice, regardless of a person's wishes. I didn't twist his views at all - I simply chose an example (it/its/that) that I was reasonably sure would cause you offense.
  14. "No. Your physical appearance is sexually ambiguous, and I refuse to accept you are male. I will therefore refer to you as it/its/that from now on." (N.B. This is not actually my position, but it is essentially what Peterson is arguing is his right to do)
  15. Apologies - I did not mean to offend. I was simply attempting to point out that there's very clear objective evidence that discrimination toward transgender individuals both exists and causes harm. Peterson is not expressing concern that he will be punished for making a mistake, he's specifically stating that the proposed legislation infringes his supposed, asinine "right" to deliberately ignore preferred pronouns and assign his own assumed genders to them. Generally speaking, in other contexts, discrimination and harrassment constitutes repeated, unwanted behavior. For example, asking a colleague on a date is not harrassment. Repeatedly asking them to go on a date after they have declined, is harrassment. Similarly, I would assume that under the proposed legislation mistakenly using incorrect pronouns for someone would not constitute discrimination, but repeatedly and deliberately doing it after they have asked you to use their preferred pronouns would.
  16. Given transgender individuals are four times more likely to be the victims of violent crime and 2.4 times as likely to be the victims of property crimes than cisgender individuals, transgender youth have a suicide rate six times higher than average, and transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all of the people they lived with attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected by anyone with whom they lived. I'd say the evidence of harm was pretty clear.
  17. And yet, there's a guy in my town who think he speaks for an invisible sky fairy and asks me to call him Father, even though he's not my dad, and his right to not be discriminated against for it has been law since 1791.
  18. In my opinion, it would be an infringement of MY rights when someone dictated MY pronouns or identity based on their worldview and beliefs. They aren't being asked to accept my identity and worldview - simply to acknowledge my freedom to decide how I personally identify and convey myself to the world. Hence why I fundamentally disagree with Peterson's position. I mean I would find it ridiculous if someone asked me to address them as "space unicorn omega". But are MY rights being violated when I'm asked? Or is Space Unicorn Omega INow being oppressed when I refuse and enforce MY worldview on their identity? I would argue the latter (Sorry to drag you into this SUO INow). Really at the end of the day, what does it cost to acknowledge someone's personal identity, even if you think it's delusional?
  19. If we go back to the topic of C-16, it seems to me - and correct me if I'm wrong, his objection is that by disallowing discrimination of people based on gender identity or expression, that would prevent him from refusing to use a person's preferred pronoun, thus limiting his free speech. 1) There is a non-trivial proportion of humans who are actually born biologically intersexed, or conditions such as androgen insensitivity that will cause an individual's genitals to change from female to male during puberty. Not to mention the significant body of research demonstrating the neurological basis of transsexuality. He is basically asking that his delusional denial of biological reality be protected, which to me, seems pretty fragile and snowflakey. 2) Based on 1), how would he know an individual's sex at birth, or current physiological state? If someone says they are he/her/they, how is he to know the phenotypic or neurological reality of that? Even if it changes mid semester? If you tell me you're a Christian, and I deliberately call you a Muslim and presume you follow the tenets of Islam - that would currently be discrimination and he doesn't seem to have a problem with that. It would appear that applying it to gender identity is cherry picking. 3) No one is forcing him to believe in gender dysphoria, or accept the biological fact that gender is not fixed at birth. They are compelling him not to discriminate against those who do. As such, his right to question the validity of gender fluidity remains protected. The only thing being taken away is his "right" to discriminate against specific individuals based on their identity. Which brings the argument down to "You are denying my "right" to treat people differently based on their gender identity" which, yes - is the intent of the law. Watch me play this tiny violin.
  20. I've seen his analogies to chimpanzee troupes and lion prides to explain dominance behavior. What these simplistic, "alpha" "beta" scenarios get wrong is that humans are not pack animals. Social hierarchy is dependent vastly more on social cooperation than the threat of force. If you've ever been unfortunate enough to be at a social gathering with an adherent to the "alpha male" philosophy, where they come in and start "negging" and "dominating" everyone, is that they just come across as massive jerks. I had a guy in in my grad school expanded circle who would routinely come to gatherings. The aggressive handshakes, forced eye contact, domineering posturing just made him look like an asshole. We ended up manipulating his own behavior - when someone was grilling, or mixing drinks, etc he would insist they were doing it wrong and take over. We'd let him, then go somewhere else, leaving him cooking our food while we socialized. Once the food/whatever was done he'd come in all puffed out having "alpha'ed" by providing all the resources to us "betas", showing all the womenfolk he was the leader of the pack. In reality, we'd kept him occupied like a toddler so we didn't have to put up with his behavior. Human communities don't have pack leaders who maintain dominance of a harem through threat of force, generally speaking. Our leaders tend to be the best negotiators and diplomats - people who can generate cooperation and influence/convince people. Emotional intelligence, active listening and generating likeability are going to place you at the center of a social dynamic, rather than dominance, in most cases. The analogies are simply too simplistic as to be wrong.
  21. Not to mention breakthrough cases are reported to display significantly milder symptoms and lower rates of hospitalization/mortality than infections in unvaccinated individuals. If ADE were a significant concern, the opposite would be observed. Basically, reiterating what CharonY has already said, there's no evidence for ADE caused by a COVID19 vaccine, and the available evidence suggests it is not an issue. You'll notice this follows a standard antivax/conspiracy format, in that each new claim is unrelated to the prior (e.g. PCR tests don't work, the vaccine alters your DNA, etc) and is an increasing stretch/absurd misinterpretation than the prior. I already checked "Harvard medical School is trying to create a socialist new world order, so you can't trust their publications" on my nutjob bingo card answering questions on COVID.
  22. Apologies - I think the complication stems from the fact that in reality organisms are self replicating and there's nothing analogous to the "monkeys". The point is simply that in the analogy, the typing monkeys are searching the parameter space in a blind, random fashion. In an evolving population, be it genes, organisms, genomes, the probability of fixation or extinction of a mutation is governed by its selection coefficient in the prior generation. Ergo, the parameter space is searched in a directed manner, rather than a random one. Ultimately the big numbers game is not really a compelling argument. It would only take me a short time to roll a six sided dice 100 times. The possibility of getting a particular sequence is 1.53-78. However, just by performing the action you will get a sequence. Saying you couldn't get the specific sequence you did because of the low probability is negated by the fact that if you roll a dice 100 times, there is a 100% chance you will get an improbable result.
  23. The point *should* be a pretty simple statistical point. In English, each set is comprised of a combination of 26 characters, of any length until a monkey pushes the space key -effectively meaning there are infinite sets. There are approximately 470,000 words in the English language, so that many sets are translatable, the rest are not. In DNA, sets are a combination of 4 characters in lengths of three, meaning there are 64 possible sets. All are translatable to a suite of 21 meanings. These two probability landscapes are incredibly different. One is like searching for a needle in a haystack, the other is like searching for a needle somewhere in the universe. This point has to do with redundancy. The phrase "Call me Ishmael" has no redundancy - either all the letters are correct or the phrase is wrong. The genetic code has lots of redundancy. All amino acids have at least two of the 64 codons that encode them. Seven have completely redundant third positions - if the first two letters encode the correct amino acid, the third base pair doesn't matter - theoretically a full third of the nucleotides in the gene/genome could be entirely different from the "right" sequence, but the encoded protein translation identical. All of a sudden, there are a thousand needles in the haystack and you only need to find one. Not quite - selection quickly fixes beneficial or "correct" sequences in the gene pool of a population. So, once a monkey gets a genetic "word" correct, it will tell all the other monkeys about it. In all subsequent iterations of the gene/genome the monkeys uniformly get that word right, iteratively shrinking the parameter space left to search. The monkeys are burning the straw as the search and the haystack iteratively shrinks. Not so for a random smashing of literary keys in search of a phrase in English.
  24. A point I haven't seen made yet is that DNA encodes four nucleotides. Codons are groups of three nucleotides - so there are 64 possible "words". All words translate to either an amino acid, or stop, with multiple codons encoding each amino acid. This means that: 1) All possible sequences can be expressed into proteins. There are no gibberish sequences, unlike the English language. 2) Multiple sequences encode the same string of amino acids. There is a considerable level of redundancy. Several monkeys could type different DNA strings which encode the same protein. 3) All proteins are subject to environmental selection. The process of eliminating or retaining DNA strings is non-random, as opposed to monkeys banging typewriters. So the analogy fails on multiple levels.
  25. Three points: 1) An integral part of higher education and research is critical examination and questioning of the status quo - be it in the context of physics, biology, sociology, history, art etc. This means that the central mindset within higher learning and research institutions is fundamentally progressive, but not necessarily in the political sense. We have seen universities at the forefront of socio-political change, especially during the Bolshevik revolution, the civil rights movement, Arab spring, etc. They tend to be agents of change rather than conservatism, by nature of what they fundamentally do. 2) The Trump administration was an anomalous, unprecedentedly unscientific administration that aggressively attacked both science and education. Being anti-Trump is not the same as being anti-conservative. 3) In context to the US, the division between the major political parties is a kind of bizarre mish mash of political ideologies that don't necessarily align with quintessential conservative/liberal positions. The GOP is not fiscally conservative. Libertarians vote for right wing authoritarians because of gun rights. The democrats support an exploitative, corporate labor structure and military industrial complex. The GOP has painted itself into a corner with regards to science through climate change and environmental policy. Being anti-GOP isn't necessarily the same as being ideologically anti-conservative.
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