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CharonY last won the day on April 27

CharonY had the most liked content!

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1963 Glorious Leader


About CharonY

  • Rank
    Biology Expert

Profile Information

  • Location
    somewhere in the Americas.
  • Interests
    Breathing. I enjoy it a lot, when I can.
  • College Major/Degree
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Biology/ (post-)genome research
  • Biography
    Labrat turned grantrat.

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  1. CharonY

    The inconvenient truth about genetics

    Well there are a variety of metabolites and co-factors that are enmeshed in the regulatory circuits required for proper functioning. And there is of course the perhaps trivial point that we need the proteins to interact with the DNA to actually read out information from the DNA (I thought that might what Eise mentioned with the hen and egg issue, but I may be wrong). In my mind there is much less hierarchy in the involved machinery but it is dependent on definition to some degree. None of which making the assertions in OP any less absurd, of course.
  2. CharonY

    Ph.D. in Chemistry for Free

    Well, if that went through a committee it would be a rather easy way to shut down fraudulent groups...
  3. CharonY

    Ph.D. in Chemistry for Free

    ! Moderator Note We ask new users to throw out links in order to minimize spam linking.
  4. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    I won't let that stand, as the MMIWG report clearly stated something different even if you might diasgree. While the scope may have been different the goal of measures such as residential schools were nothing short of eradicating First Nation culture. I do not have direct knowledge,but even the little I hear from colleagues in the social sciences who work with Canadian First Nations on a variety of projects, it is no laughing matter and pretty much actual genocide in all but the most restrictive definitions. It is, therefore it is not a good argument not to start one before one has looked into it, no? And if you have no objections to the inquiry itself, and just want to state that it is going to be tricky, then fine. It is just a comment then and not an objection. I will note that in any inquiry the first step would be an assessment of damages and at best a recommendation to rectify them. It is rare that these are going to implemented directly (as it usually a different comission or group that works with actual budgets and policy makers more directly). It is baffling and at least in these threads there are a few themes. One is that is in the past and should remain (the do not rock the boat approach). Of course and unintentionally perhaps, it ignores the very real challenges folks face in favor of not upsetting the majority. Another is that it is difficult, but as you noted, it is not a good argument against looking into the matter. Folks my find it unsolvable, or may actually find a good model (and there is precedence for that).
  5. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    Individual settlements are unlikely to happen as those in most need of it likely do not have the funds for legal representation. If you read a bit on reparations you will note that there are a number of models that have been proposed, including something similar to Jewish reparations. In that model, the wealth transfer from black to whites (including slavery) could be used to create funds specifically to address black issues (the German reparations were a significant part of Israel's GDP, for example), But none of that is really relevant at this juncture. What is being discussed to have a discussion into looking into this matter and how it may proceed (or not). Talking about practical implementation before even agreeing to at least investigate the matter is only disruptive. It is akin to stating that surgeries are risky, hence we should not make any kind of diagnoses.
  6. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    Also to add to that, a common distraction is the "what about white/Jews/Chinese..etc" argument. Again, this is addressed in the article referenced in OP (almost as if Coates was very familiar with the subject). The key element here is to identify the mechanisms in play for each group and asses potential solutions. Lumping them all together (despite vastly different experiences, networks and trajectories) only allows to play one group against the other. Which, I do not doubt, is one of the purposes of these discussions. Studies have shown that untargeted poverty relief policies have disproportionately benefitted the white majority, for example, which ultimately was an incentive to implement affirmative action policies as a targeted band-aid measure. That point would be specifically the subject of an inquiry. One would need to address the wealth transfer, presumably focussing on most recent ones as these would be easiest to track. E.g. were the parents subject to racist housing laws?
  7. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    The policy you are promoting could be considered the "ignore the issue until everyone involved is dead", which, to be fair was also attempted in Germany. The counter push was that because of that reparations had to be addressed sooner than later. The interesting bit here is that black folks in the US still suffer from the consequences. I.e. you are blatantly ignoring the effect of the past on the present and the future. It is not possible to have equity without addressing that and there is ample data on that. Saying we aim for equal treatment but not address the roots of inequality is empty rhetoric at best. I will point to the fact that in Canada the failure of the government to honor its treaties with First Nation is an hugely ongoing issue. While inquiries have been started in a number of aspects I will say that many Canadians have a less than inclusive view on First Nations. Only recently a report has indicated how the past treatment and ongoing situation can be considered a genocide (including police actions, or abuse of consent rules leading to sterilization). IOW lip service is not the same as taking action.
  8. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    Please consider reading the article. Essentially we are not talking about a wrong that was done once way back by folks who are no longer around. We are talking about measures that were ongoing, supported by the government and still persist to this day that unfairly target black folks. While there is an increasing recognition that was is being done, folks are still suffering from it (e.g. disproportionately higher sentences) with all the downstream fallout from them (e.g. poverty and loss of health). The idea is to look into those specific events (e.g. which families got shafted by banks) and compensate them for their loss. It has been done for Japanese-Americans, it has been done for Jews. Why is it impossible for black folks? I simply cannot find a good reason in your argument why rectifying the situation is fundamentally different. All of the arguments you provided could be said to the other groups and none of your worries manifested. At the same time, claiming that only starting to look into the matter is what causes issues, is what really divisive is something that just does not play right with the data we have. On the one hand we got folks who objectively still suffer from worse outcomes on many metrics. On the other hand, some folks may get offended because rectifying the situation somehow may imply that they might have been racist in the past? That just simply does not balance out.
  9. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    If the action have direct effect on those today, absolutely (again, read the article, much of that is being explored there). And yes, if atrocities happening the following generations have the duty to address it. It is not about blame or even sharing blame. It is about rectifying situations for those still suffering from injustice and ensuring equity for the future. I don't know how about you tell me?
  10. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    And here is the thing. Reparations are one means to create an equitable situation. Essentially, if you rob someone until they are in deep debt and then leave them in their debts without robbing them further, you are not striving to create an equitable situation. And why is it that reparations in Germany (even though it had its controversies) did not cause civil unrest? Ultimately I see: as a trivial red herring. It is incredible to think that just the thought of reparations creates resentments, whereas lower life expectancy, persistent wealth transfer, the need to consistently outperform comparable white peers and still obtain less wealth is just fine? While I do not like the term as it almost always creates pushback from certain folks, it is, in my mind, a case of white privilege. The only reason to think that it could increase a divide is by overlooking the existing, massive divide. And that is only possible if you are not touched by that particular issue and therefore believe that it can be ignored. Ultimately I do believe that this is the key answer to iNow's earlier question as to why folks resent these inquiries. If we do not know about the issue, it simply does not exist (for us) and it feels that everything is in order. However, if look into it and acknowledge it for real, only then does resentment exist (again, if it actually does not affect you). Or to put it simply, white folks are not affected by the unjust policies, they are only affected if we acknowledge them to exist (and even then mostly just in moral level, but that alone is too much for some to bear). It obviously ignores the lived experience of folks that suffer from unjust policies and the (justified) resentment derived from that. To add insult to injury, the white majority not only denies the (ongoing) existence of systematic issues, but instead blame personal responsibility for failures. These then create resentment from certain white folks that see black folks as undeserving criminals which fuels further unjust policies (just contrast the ongoing opioid crisis with the crackdown on black drug abuse). As a matter of fact an inquiry into reparations is a means to address these issues, reduce the existing, factual divide that exist in society, and break the vicious circle of self-perpetuating resentments.
  11. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    This is a non-issue. The bill and what Coates are proposing are to look into the damages that folks right now right here have suffered. It seems that you are implying that these damages to black folks were done a long time ago and no one suffering from them are alive today. But rather obviously the hardships for black folks did not evaporate, it continues through the Jim Crow era with forced segregation, it continued via soft segregation and through the 80s, it continued with decriminalization in the 90s. And again, the case is not how much and to whom money should be paid, we are still stuck in figuring out the damages. And it is indeed mindblowing that folks would rather be ignorant on that matter and block measures that would provide data on that matter.
  12. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    There is also an insidious undertone to the whole thing that many folks are not aware of (which makes it so insidious). The rhetoric goes that Jews are, despite all the adversity they face, as a whole seemingly more successful than black folks. As such, the fault must lie with them. This then deliberately ignores the specific measures black folks were subject to, such as redlining, targeted predatory lending tactics, exclusion from GI bill etc etc. While Jews continued to face discrimination the nature was quite different was and is quite different to what black folks face resulting in very different trajectories (which, as mentioned, includes recognition for their suffering, reparations and so on). Ignoring the ongoing wealth transfer away from black folks, assisted in disproportionately criminalizing them often via unfair mandatory sentencing laws (the difference between crack and cocaine comes to mind). It is then easy to turn around and talk about "personal responsibility" and point toward these horrendous statistics whilst ignoring why they actually exist. And create a vicious circle of blame unfair laws and failure of policies to address them. The intention of HR40 is to look into these specifics and try to explore why African-Americans fare so badly and to go away from the context-free personal responsibility shtick in which the external forces are traditionally ignored.
  13. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    In my memory (it has been a little when I originally read it) he has picked specifically the African-American perspective. With respect to reparations he used the German reparations to Jews as a precedent. However, there has been an exchange with another Atlantic writer on this issue and if memory serves Coates argued then that a) Japanese-Americans were actually compensated (under Reagan), though that was a struggle. And despite that, no other groups received reparations, meaning that it has in fact not set a precedence. Moreover, he argued that even after the settlement with Japanese-Americans, discriminatory actions against African-American continued. He has also argued elsewhere that hes is focussed on mechanisms and individual history, to pre-empt a similar argument against mixed ancestry. I.e. the persons suffering from racist housing policies should be compensated, but this end, an inquiry is required. He said something to the extent of we cannot evaluate claims if do not even bother to understand the particular history, if memory serves.
  14. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    The first part, and really the only part it is about, is investigating the context of the matter and figure out the answers to at least some of the questions you are posing. The mere thought about investigating it has, so far, met instant rejection, with arguments ranging from "it was so long ago" to "it won't do any good anyway". Take a read of Coates' article, he did address those criticisms in quite an elaborate way. Some of your questions do not make sense. If you do not allow probing into reparations, what does it matter whether it disallow claims (similar arguments were levied against Jewish reparations in Germany btw., something that Coates also addressed. Almost as if he had thought long and hard about that matter). Regarding Jews, what you consider to be a "victimhood" complex, it is quite pervasive in their society and I had a number of interactions (positive and negative) in that regard (it was in the US and they did not realize that I grew up in Germany). I do understand where they come from and it is laughable to single out African-Americans in that regard. It is almost like pushing the onus of the situation toward the group that had experienced suppression. I mean why don't the they simply shrug off the generational transfer of wealth, it is almost a full generation since it happened (not counting persistent features that still disadvantages folks, of course). To out it bluntly, a common means of deflection is to draw parallels to things in the past in order to imply that all these mechanisms of disadvantaging specific folks are long over. Coates in his article clearly makes the case that a) many of these measures were established not too long ago, b) the effects are still persistent and c) that there are still structures that, deliberate or not, still disadvantages them. The question you are not asking, is why do we come up with so many excuses not to look at the matter in a deliberate fashion. Why, indeed, not read the article that addresses pretty all the points you are making?
  15. CharonY

    The case for reparations

    I am pretty sure that there are many reasons. I found that for many folks holding on to certain narratives is crucial to establish their worldview and any potential threat to it gets emotionally attacked. Even the idea that something may come up that could be a threat falls under this category. There has been a history of resistance against looking into things like discrimination or outright genocide as one cannot even entertain the thought that these have and/or are happening. Or to put it differently, if we do not look into these issues, we can assume or pretend that they do not exist. I think you will find that these views are are widely held in the public and any potential challenge has to overcome significant obstacles.