Relativity or something [Split from "Pressures"]

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CarlLaMagouille
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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby CarlLaMagouille » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:16 am UTC

Seems like I have caused a huge trouble in this thread. Well, I didn't expect that.

Funny fact, I live now in Beijing, and I can tell you that the chinese words for "he" and "she" are pronounced exactly the same way. I suspect this could solve this kind of problem. What is funny is that, though you have to pronounce them the same way, the written characters are different (他 for he, and 她 for she), so it is really impossible to write a sentence with these words without context. Hence there is no problem in spoken language, but the problem remains in written language (also, I don't believe there are words for any other group, apart from men and women).

Also, if you think that Queer or Trans people are oppressed in the USA or in Europe, it is nothing compared to China (isn't it strange that a country that aims at reducing its natality still oppress homosexual people?).

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby MahouShoujoMaruin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:36 am UTC

I guess people are tired of agreeing perfectly with each other for 120 something pages, so they jump at any opportunity to have a proper argument :P (not that this has been a good argument, unfortunately).

I used to live in japan, where women are actually socially inferior. They don't seem to mind much though(obviously some do, but women's rights are not a big issue over there, and most women I spoke to didn't care). Japanese are also really racist, I have had insults yelled at me and even been spat in the face by random people on the street :shock: (No, I didn't take offense).

I think this little piece expresses my thoughts:
(Spoilered for triggery language about violence. -Lanicita)
Spoiler:
Richard Dawkins wrote: Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Richard


I find the bickering over pronouns utterly silly in a world where so many women are still property, and where people are killed because of their sexual orientation.

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Carlington
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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:50 am UTC

No, you're quite right, Mahou. We should assemble a team, and fly to Saudi Arabia right now, and fix the problems there. After all, our problems pale in comparison. [/sarcasm]
Time and time again, it has been shown that people really shouldn't meddle in problems halfway around the world until they've fixed them at home. Unless you honestly believe that there is no point in fixing a problem if there's a bigger problem to be solved. I sure hope you don't complain when you have a short week and run low on food. Or when the restaurant you're eating at serves the wrong food. I mean, really, there's kids dying of starvation - what right do you have?
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Max™ » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:32 am UTC

1/12/12, nevar forget.
mu

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:56 am UTC

Good job, Mahou, demonstrating in one post that you are in fact all of those -ists.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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(he/him/his)

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby ameretrifle » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:37 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I find the bickering over pronouns utterly silly in a world where so many women are still property, and where people are killed because of their sexual orientation.

Sugar, I don't think anyone who's been earnestly posting in this thread is in any position to be complaining about the frivolity of arguments. Why would you so fervently try to teach one crank on the internet about relativity? Because he's wrong? What possible justification do you have for wasting your time thus when our public schools, nay, even many of our universities teach science so poorly? Why aren't you finding some kid to tutor with this time on your hands instead? This guy clearly isn't listening. You could shape a young person's life! Why are you tarrying?!

Is there some reason it's important to argue with him anyway? Or does "Think of the REAL problems!" only apply to other people, arguing positions you don't personally care about?

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:46 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I find the bickering over pronouns utterly silly in a world where so many women are still property, and where people are killed because of their sexual orientation.


I find complaining about people who are hurt when their gender identity is ignored or marginalised utterly silly in a world where so women are still property, and where people are killed because of their sexual orientation
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby MahouShoujoMaruin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:48 am UTC

I didn't expect perfect agreement, but I did expect a bit more than silly hyperbole, plain contradiction and name calling from the people who frequent this thread. How about maybe a real argument? Can't be that hard to come up with one, can it? Or just drop the whole issue. But this is beneath you guys. Especially name-calling, from a mod, no less, is something I really did not expect. Yeah, I know it can be a sensitive issue, but still.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:04 am UTC

*Deletes incoherent rant, will return later*
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby MahouShoujoMaruin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:09 am UTC

yurell wrote:*Deletes rant that made absolutely no sense, will return later*


Sorry, too late, I read it. My last post stands. Disagree with me all you want, but if you are not going to present a proper argument, then you are pretty much wasting your time. I'm sorry you have that opinion of Dawkins, and me(whom you know nothing about), but you are certainly not going to change my view purely by contradiction and attempts at ridicule. I have stated my opinion, I have not made or intended any direct insults(though I would not be surprised if you saw some.) I am prepared to exchange arguments in a civilized manner. Is it too much to ask the same from those who disagree?

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Carlington
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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:11 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I didn't expect perfect agreement, but I did expect a bit more than silly hyperbole, plain contradiction and name calling from the people who frequent this thread. How about maybe a real argument? Can't be that hard to come up with one, can it? Or just drop the whole issue. But this is beneath you guys. Especially name-calling, from a mod, no less, is something I really did not expect. Yeah, I know it can be a sensitive issue, but still.

Sensitive issue is something of an understatement. You literally just told huge swathes of people that their problems are unimportant, and don't really need fixing.
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:12 am UTC

It really doesn't mater that you read it; it was incoherent, malformed, wrong and not worth bothering with, which is why I deleted it. You saw it and I've no doubt that you'd agree with that assessment.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby MahouShoujoMaruin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:14 am UTC

Carlington wrote:
MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I didn't expect perfect agreement, but I did expect a bit more than silly hyperbole, plain contradiction and name calling from the people who frequent this thread. How about maybe a real argument? Can't be that hard to come up with one, can it? Or just drop the whole issue. But this is beneath you guys. Especially name-calling, from a mod, no less, is something I really did not expect. Yeah, I know it can be a sensitive issue, but still.

Sensitive issue is something of an understatement. You literally just told huge swathes of people that their problems are unimportant, and don't really need fixing.


Probably true. So what? People hear that all the time. I tell people that all the time. I am told that all the time. It is usually true. I can understand that people react this way, but I don't agree that it's a good way to react.

Edit: No worries, yurell, I've already forgotten what was in that post. I won't hold it against you. :)

Edit 2: Before I am met with cries of outrage again. I am not claiming all problems encountered by minority groups, such as discrimination and "-ists" are unimportant, not at all. I find the bickering over the use of pronouns unimportant, and cases like "elevatorgate". I also think it's a waste to get offended over what someone writes on the internet. I am certainly not denying there are real problems, even in the western world.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Weeks » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:32 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I find the bickering over the use of pronouns unimportant
Pause and think for a second: why do you believe this?

Hint: it may have to do with your privilege.

Hint 2: you cannot attempt to disregard others' experiences as unimportant simply because you've never been in similar situations. Pay attention to what I'm about to say, please. No matter how insignificant something might seem to you, that doesn't make that thing insignificant. Does that make things clearer?
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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:45 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:
Carlington wrote:
MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I didn't expect perfect agreement, but I did expect a bit more than silly hyperbole, plain contradiction and name calling from the people who frequent this thread. How about maybe a real argument? Can't be that hard to come up with one, can it? Or just drop the whole issue. But this is beneath you guys. Especially name-calling, from a mod, no less, is something I really did not expect. Yeah, I know it can be a sensitive issue, but still.

Sensitive issue is something of an understatement. You literally just told huge swathes of people that their problems are unimportant, and don't really need fixing.


Probably true. So what? People hear that all the time. I tell people that all the time. I am told that all the time. It is usually true. I can understand that people react this way, but I don't agree that it's a good way to react.

So, to clarify: you are firmly of the opinion that the onus should not be placed on the offender to not offend, but rather, the onus should be placed on the victim, to not be offended? I'm sure we're all very happy for you here, that you personally are managing to get through life without taking the things people say to heart, but there are multitudes of reasons for somebody to get offended at an offensive remark. Frankly, I think the more important something is to somebody, the more likely they will be offended when it is insulted. I would say that to an oppressed minority group of any kind, their identity and self-determinism would be hugely important, no? So when you refuse to use somebody's preferred pronoun, you're denying them the right to choose their own identity. When you use slurs, of any kind, you are besmirching the identity of people in minority groups. When you tell gay people that for them to be married would be wrong, or you tell women that they are just physiologically less suited for certain things, or you imply that a trans* person is somehow unnatural, or that being trans* is just an issue that can be cured, you're removing their respective rights to self-determinism.
And when you dismiss, out of hand, any groups right to complain about their lot in life, or to be offended by somebody's groundlessly abhorrent attitude towards them, you are simultaneously devaluing the life and experiences of multitudes of people.

Luckily for us all, society has developed useful tools to avoid such transgressions. They are known as contextual awareness, and tact. Both of these things, in my opinion, need to be applied far more liberally than they currently are.

EDIT: Kehehe, I enjoy the new title of this thread.
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby PolakoVoador » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:00 am UTC

Steve, look what you've done. Look at it!

You made all this people used to read crazy stuff everyday for months. All those people had one sure thing in their days: they would open this thread, and they would have something to disagree with, someone to argue with, something to fought. This epic place here, was like our own argument clinic.

But now you're gone. And you left us without a goal, without that moment of our days when we could think/say: "Today I was estupendaly more right than this guy on the Internet. I'm so proud of myself.".

Alas, the drive to argue and to feel superior and to be glad with ourselves hangs on, it's not a habit one loses easily. But having no clear target, everyone turned to new topics, trying to be right again. Quickly, one active member was put in your place, and he sees himself alone, arguing against a horde of people that wants to be right.

But I don't know if can this person can take it, I don't know if anyone else here can take it. But you could, you had something that kept you going, even against reason.

You are not the anti-hero this thread needs, you are the anti-hero this thread deserves.

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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:03 am UTC

No. Steve is not, and will never be, comparable to Batman. End of.
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Jamaican Castle » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:06 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I find the bickering over the use of pronouns unimportant
Pause and think for a second: why do you believe this?

In a world where all of the not-carbon-copy individuals can't settle on a lexicon of nouns to describe themselves and one another, I sincerely doubt our discussion of pronouns is going to go very far. (Personally, I'd be entirely in favor of dropping gender in the linguistic sense altogether, but I doubt that's going to happen.) I think this is the heart of Mahou's objection: it's really not worth anyone's time worrying about what pronouns someone uses to refer to them on the Internet. It isn't. Maybe it bugs you, and maybe it's rude, but I'm going to guess that it's not in your top ten concerns of the last hour.

As for the root of this discussion,

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:Not surprised to see Monika taking offense, considering what happened 50 or so pages ago.

Let's try to avoid the feminist crap and stay on topic. It's enough that Steve is playing the victim card, we don't need it done on behalf of every minority group imaginable too.

I personally interpreted it as "hey, we're on a good thing with this teach-Steve-and-others-Relativity business, so maybe we should commit a blatant and obvious threadjack into our own personal pet topic". (Albeit somewhat cruder, of course. Some people on the Internet are like that.) But since that proceeded to happen I guess that wasn't the majority interpretation.


...yes, I realize I'm contributing to the problem. :<

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:52 am UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yes, it's called mild hyperbole. But it still makes a point, which is that you're justifying being a prick by placing the responsibility on the other person to learn to stop being offensive, instead of on yourself to stop being a prick.


And by calling me a "prick" you are sinking to my level, right?

Monika does pretty much the same thing in her post, calling me "-ist" on, I hasten to add, no grounds whatsoever, as I'm not a "whatever-ist".(I think I actually have to state this, for some reason.) Now, if I were how you think people should be, I would take a lot of offense at your comments. Instead, no worries, I can see why you might react as you do and it doesn't bother me. Do keep in mind that accusing someone of being a racist can be rather serious though.(accusing someone of being sexist is usually not taken all that serious. Accusing someone of being "ableist" in full seriousness is just hilarious.)


From your reaction I feel like you might have misunderstood the term "ableist". The term does not refer to meritocratic principles of choosing the person most able to perform a role for that role. The term refers instead a prejudice against disabled people particularly in cases where their disability is irrelevant to their ability to perform a role e.g. someone in a wheelchair wants to apply for a job in an office, chances are they won't be required to run any marathons so their disability doesn't affect how well they could do the role; if the employer chooses a different applicant just because they're not in a wheelchair, this is ableist. On the other hand, if someone in a wheelchair wants to apply for a job leading mountaineering expeditions, it is quite reasonable to take their disability into consideration and so not giving them the job would not be ableist.

KrytenKoro wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Turns out there are a lot of minority groups she didn't specifically enumerate in that list that was never meant to specifically enumerate all possible minority groups.



Not in any way talking about just that list. I'm not trying to make any accusations, I'm honestly curious.


I can't speak for any other cases, but in the list here there was the hetero vs queer -ism which would cover asexuality.
my pronouns are they

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:24 pm UTC

Jamaican Castle, while I can see how you could reach that interpretation, there is far more down this rabbit hole than I think you realise.
A brief summary (spoiler for not-at-all brief):
Spoiler:
CarlLaMagouille, whose first language is not English, in an excellent attempt to remain gender-neutral in his posts, used the construction "(S)(H|h)e".
Radical_Initiator pointed out that this seems clumsy and poorly conceived, for which Carl apologised, explaining that English isn't his first language.
R_I explained that he hadn't meant to denigrate Carl's attempt, but was merely highlighting a failing of the English language - the fact that it lacks a consistent and grammatically accepted third-person, gender-neutral pronoun.
KrytenKoro (in, I suspect, something of a tongue-in-cheek manner), suggested "it".
They were promptly corrected (again, tongue in cheek) by R_I
At this point, Menacing Spike joined in, bringing his own personal flavour of general bigotry to the thread (I'll admit that this judgement is based on his behaviour elsewhere as well as here). He told us that he always uses the pronoun "he", unless and until he is corrected. He then proceeded to make denigrating comments about trans* folk.
At this point, KrytenKoro put forth what's commonly known as the "Humanist" approach - replace all pronouns with hu/hum/hus. This relies only on the assumption that the object of the sentence is human.
Menacing Spike then pointed out that there are those who identify as Otherkin, who would object to this assumption. Before we could mistake him for a decent person, however, he made clear that the only reason he deemed them worth mentioning was to mock those who are offended when their identity is taken away or otherwise devalued.
Menacing Spike promptly fucked off, evidently he believed that he'd stirred up enough shit for now.
At this point, Steve left the thread. This negates, IMO, the viewpoint that Mahou just wanted us to continue conversing with Steve.
Kryten then subtly implied that unless somebody has an approved reason for being offended, they have no right to be offended. Their exact words were "If they take offense at that, they're looking to take offense"
A few more posts passed by, which were other people still responding to Steve, not realising he'd left.
One such post was made by Monika, who explained that there are quite a few gender-neutral third-person pronouns in English, and, although they were invented to fill the gap, and have not yet gained widespread acceptance, people are free to pick and choose which ones they want to be referred to by, and we should respect that.
In the same post, she called Spike out on his cissexism/transphobia.
At some point, she also raised her objection to the notion of referring to anybody, ever, as "it".
R_I accepted her help, with thanks, and made clear his intentions to continue using "they" to fill this gap, as he felt it to be the safest option.
Dark Avorian then pointed out Monika's one crucial flaw - some people choose to be referred to as "it", and we must respect that too.
Monika quickly apologised, and corrected her error.
Mahou then subtly implied that Monika had no place airing her grievances in this thread, using unfortunate phrasing ("feminist crap").
R_I called Mahou out on his bullshit claim that a minority group had no right to be offended when somebody uses loaded language, positing that minority groups have every right to be offended, almost regardless of the situation. He also helpfully pointed out that Steve had indeed left the thread.
Spike was then a dick, again.
There were a few posts of silliness as people realised that the thread can now be used for whatever purpose anybody sees fit.
After a jump, Mahou took exception to R_I's interpretation of his previous statements. Mahou then made clear his position. That being, that whenever somebody is offended, it's entirely their problem, and they should just stop being offended instead of expecting people not to make offensive remarks.
He also claimed that being offended was somehow trying to claim "special privileges" as recompense for long-term oppression.
Kryten then defended his position on using "it" as a pronoun, stating (I think) that it's their preferred pronoun for themself. (If this is the case, all of the "their"s I've used for you, Kryten, replace with "it", with my apologies.)
Kryten defended their position by comparing the use of "it" with the way we refer to babies. They also used some other examples, but these weren't relevant as they were in the wrong context. They also stated that unless somebody could provide a general-purpose pronoun which would cover everybody (such a thing doesn't, strictly speaking, exist), they would refuse to give up their habit of referring to people as "it"
gmalivuk pointed out that "offensive in an objective sense" is a meaningless statement, and opposed Kryten's argument with the tried-and-true method of reducto ad absurdum.
Kryten defended his position further by rewording his previous statement to "offensive in a [prescriptive, a technical sense]. I wager this was rather ineffective against gmalivuk, who (I think?) is a descriptivist. (If not, he is neither one nor the other)
Mahou then posited that he is happy to refer to somebody by their preferred pronoun, but only if they ask nicely.
DaBigCheez and eSOANEM both made the case that Kryten's examples were examples of the wrong part of speech.
DaBigCheez also explained to Mahou how easily his posts could be construed as "oh look at this ridiculous request they're asking me to follow" and "y u mad tho"
Zarq backed up DBC and eSOANEM's case re: Kryten's examples of "it"
Kryten accepted their case, and stated that they, too, would use they/them/their from now on.
Zarq then, in a rather laudably level-headed way, pointed out that Spike would probably have no problem with any requested pronoun usage, provided it was done politely, which Spike confirmed.
Mahou then became briefly sane and reasonable again, and said that as long as it wasn't a barrier to effective communication, he'd be fine with any pronoun usage too. This was given with the caveat that he'd probably "roll [his] eyes ever so slightly" if you were to do so, as you'd be "[obliging] "crazy feminists [his terms]" or people obsessed with being "Politically.Correct""
Monika then explained some basic protocol for proper etiquette wrt pronouns. If the setting is appropriate, always ask first. Otherwise, if not otherwise specified, use they or ze unless and until corrected. She also pointed out that he/she is acceptable in certain settings, but sadly lacks options to cover non-binary gender. She also made the case to Kryten that "it hurts people" should be sufficient grounds to stop using "it"
eSOANEM and Schrollini, then took the same position counter to Mahou, using hyperbole to try to explain that while taking offense isn't necessarily the most helpful course of action, it isn't really something people choose to do.
Kryten then replied to a few other people, explaining that he required no further convincing.
Mahou then claimed that people who get offended are really just not trying hard enough to make the choice not to be offended.
Schrollini then used hyperbole to make his point again, which Mahou failed to understand
gmalivuk then explained the concept of hyperbole to Mahou, and added his support to Mahou and Schrollini's argument.
Monika then responded to all of Mahou's posts directed at her, explaining that people DO have a right to demand you refer to them properly, and that she is not the only person to hold this viewpoint. She then explained privilege to Mahou, by way of numerous examples. She also explained exactly what is wrong with using language that reinforces privilege.
Mahou then failed to address any of the points Monika or gmalivuk provided, instead focusing on the fact that they called him "sexist/ableist" and "prick" respectively.
Carl then apologised for the shitstorm he inadvertently caused (YOU GO CARL)
Mahou then made the ridiculous argument that since there are bigger problems in the world, we should really just drop all the problems here, stop worrying about them, and work on fixing the bigger issues. He backed this up with a particularly horrid quote from Richard Dawkins.
I attempted to use hyperbole to explain exactly why this was wrong.
gmalivuk pointed out that, in the same post that Mahou had objected to being labelled "[various]-ist", he had used language which confirmed all of those labels.
yurell then entered, somewhat triggered, and posted a rant which I didn't see before he deleted it.
Mahou then asked for a "real argument" (apparently the last three pages of the thread didn't happen for him), and reduced the entirety of the debate to "Yeah, I know it can be a sensitive issue, but still."
I explained that to reduce the entire issue to something so trivial was to discount the experiences of literally millions of people, and tell them their problems aren't worth fixin
Mahou countered with the old "People here that all the time, so what, get over it" chestnut. (since then he has edited his posts to make clear that he isn't denying there are larger issues in the western world, merely, he doesn't think arguing about pronoun preference on the internet is really worth it"


With that out of the way:
I see that you've edited your post, Mahou.

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:Edit 2: Before I am met with cries of outrage again. I am not claiming all problems encountered by minority groups, such as discrimination and "-ists" are unimportant, not at all. I find the bickering over the use of pronouns unimportant, and cases like "elevatorgate". I also think it's a waste to get offended over what someone writes on the internet. I am certainly not denying there are real problems, even in the western world.

You may think that such issues as what pronouns people prefer are irrelevant. I can see how this conclusion would be reached - I was there not so long ago. However, as I have learnt (and, indeed, am still learning):
When you default to using "he", you're giving the impression that "he", and thus "male" (more specifically, hetero-cis-male, but that's for later), is the "Default" setting. Anything else is "different". Every time somebody sees you doing this, it reinforces the idea that they can do it, too. "Well, hey, other people do it. It happens all the time." This is wrong. The only way we can begin to work through these problems is from the ground up. We start with the little things, using the right pronouns and so forth. As time passes, using the right pronouns becomes second nature. This makes it that much easier to work on the next step, and the next, until we reach the point where we have equality for everyone. It's a long, slow and arduous process, not likely to be complete any time soon. It could take decades of progress. However, it is moving quite quickly at the moment, and we should do our best to help it maintain pace.
You may make the argument "I'm one person. How much influence am I really going to have?" Even if you don't make that argument here, you may make it to yourself in your head. That attitude is what brought Mitt Romney so close to winning the US Presidency, and what lead to the ridiculously deadlocked political situation in Australia. If the prevalent attitude (read: your attitude needs to get like this) is not "I can help make change happen!", then it won't. See: Arab Spring.
You may make the argument "It's going to take such a long time anyway, it probably won't affect me in my lifetime". This is even worse. This represents selfishness that would deprive future generations of the benefits of this change, in order to preserve the comfort of one human, right now.

Do you see how such tiny things as changing what you call people, add up to such enormous benefits?
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Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby MahouShoujoMaruin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I find the bickering over the use of pronouns unimportant
Pause and think for a second: why do you believe this?

Hint: it may have to do with your privilege.

Hint 2: you cannot attempt to disregard others' experiences as unimportant simply because you've never been in similar situations. Pay attention to what I'm about to say, please. No matter how insignificant something might seem to you, that doesn't make that thing insignificant. Does that make things clearer?

I think this is unimportant because it is one of those issues that, if you just drop it, it magically goes away. Think of OCD, for some people, locking and unlocking the door five times in a row before going out is vitally important, however, most people cannot see why. If that person were to forget doing it for some reason, say the house was on fire, then it really wouldn't be a problem. This pronoun thing is only an issue because people choose to make it one. Most people are happily unaware that they should be mortally offended or that they are doing such grievous harm with a single pronoun. As long as they are unaware, then there is no issue. But of course, once you tell people that "hey, you should get offended by this" people tend to take you up on the offer. Being a victim feels so good, right?

Carlington wrote:So, to clarify: you are firmly of the opinion that the onus should not be placed on the offender to not offend, but rather, the onus should be placed on the victim, to not be offended?

It takes two to communicate. Just like people offend others without meaning to all the time, it is possible to take no offense where some was intended. I'm not suggesting that people should always just tolerate insults with a smile though. If someone insults you, there might be several appropriate responses, but self-pity and outrage are not going to do you any good, and a claim that you have been offended doesn't really mean much. Millions and millions of people were deeply offended when that danish guy drew some cartoons of muhammad. Do you think he shouldn't have done that? Do you think the people who were offended had the right not to be offended? Do you think them being offended lead to something good?


Carlington wrote:So when you refuse to use somebody's preferred pronoun, you're denying them the right to choose their own identity. When you use slurs, of any kind, you are besmirching the identity of people in minority groups. When you tell gay people that for them to be married would be wrong, or you tell women that they are just physiologically less suited for certain things, or you imply that a trans* person is somehow unnatural, or that being trans* is just an issue that can be cured, you're removing their respective rights to self-determinism.

This is slander. I haven't done or said any of these things, but if you really think I have, it would explain why you are so upset, at least.
Edit: I probably also have to specify, not only haven't I done or said this, but these are not my opinions either. I don't refuse to use someones preferred pronoun, I previously stated I would happily use whatever pronoun someone wants me to use, but until I know what that is, I usually refer to that person as "he" or "him" because it is the most likely to be correct, at least in most of the places on the internet I spend time. I don't think I have used any slurs here, if so, it has been unintentionally, and I don't use them normally either. I do thing gay people should be allowed to marry and have children. I don't tell women they are psychologically less suited for certain things, and to be honest I have never met or seen a trans person, but I have nothing against them and while it is hardly normal I don't see why it would have to be unnatural and certainly not wrong in any sense.

Carlington wrote:And when you dismiss, out of hand, any groups right to complain about their lot in life, or to be offended by somebody's groundlessly abhorrent attitude towards them, you are simultaneously devaluing the life and experiences of multitudes of people.
I'm not doing this either. When someone uses the wrong pronoun until corrected, it is (almost always) not because of a "abhorrent attitude", it is simply following a sensible convention.


Carlington wrote:Luckily for us all, society has developed useful tools to avoid such transgressions. They are known as contextual awareness, and tact. Both of these things, in my opinion, need to be applied far more liberally than they currently are.

I think these are overused, or perhaps abused, at least in public. I see way too much self-censorship in the media. So many things are not published because it might offend someone, usually religious people, but sometimes other minorities too, or just people in general. Many of you live in a country where they censor "naughty" words on tv and radio as not to offend people.

Jamaican Castle seems to get it mostly right.
Last edited by MahouShoujoMaruin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Hey, and wouldn't everyone be happier if we all just became opium addicts and forgot about everything?
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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Adacore » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

I came to this thread for insane physics shenanigans and found a furious debate about sexism/gender identity. I are disappoint. :evil:

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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Menacing Spike » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:03 pm UTC

Let's step the debate level up a bit.

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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby bassguy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

ok
I've been coming to this thread for months now, and have learned a lot about a lot of things, not least of which, some sense of protocol on the internets. It seems like there are several main categories of posters here...

1. The opinion poster - like Steve (and several more recent additions, in non-math/physics topics) - posting primarily to express their opinion, either to elicit responses, to discover something, or who knows what, sometimes. To me, interesting to the extent that they elicit responses of type 2:

2. The teaching poster - like SO MANY wonderful, intelligent, fascinating people here - posting to educate the the opinion poster, either by illuminating their opinions, challenging them, clarifying them, or otherwise bringing new learning into the discussion. THANK YOU to all who are do this so well, so consistently, and so kindly. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling grateful for your work, even though I was not the intended student...

3. The reacting poster - those who respond to opinions with their own opinions, often raising the tension level, but not always bringing new insight (heat but no light?). Thank you to the teachers among us who respond to them so carefully and calmly (and to those who flip back and forth between the two)...

4. Then there's people like me, who lurk mostly, and pop up to say thank you mostly. Not sure how useful we are in any of the discussions, but it makes me feel good to do it, so...

Thanks for another fascinating collection of insight and info about yet another topic that I had little experience/knowledge of. I was about to give up on paying attention here - things seemed to be dissolving with Steve, and the opportunities for people to shed light seemed to be dwindling - and now here's another great topic on which knowledgable people are taking the opportunity to share their expertise/understanding. I'll keep hanging around for a bit...

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:[
Carlington wrote:So when you refuse to use somebody's preferred pronoun, you're denying them the right to choose their own identity. When you use slurs, of any kind, you are besmirching the identity of people in minority groups. When you tell gay people that for them to be married would be wrong, or you tell women that they are just physiologically less suited for certain things, or you imply that a trans* person is somehow unnatural, or that being trans* is just an issue that can be cured, you're removing their respective rights to self-determinism.

This is slander. I haven't done or said any of these things, but if you really think I have, it would explain why you are so upset, at least.
Edit: I probably also have to specify, not only haven't I done or said this, but these are not my opinions either. I don't refuse to use someones preferred pronoun, I previously stated I would happily use whatever pronoun someone wants me to use, but until I know what that is, I usually refer to that person as "he" or "him" because it is the most likely to be correct, at least in most of the places on the internet I spend time. I don't think I have used any slurs here, if so, it has been unintentionally, and I don't use them normally either. I do thing gay people should be allowed to marry and have children. I don't tell women they are psychologically less suited for certain things, and to be honest I have never met or seen a trans person, but I have nothing against them and while it is hardly normal I don't see why it would have to be unnatural and certainly not wrong in any sense.


I agree that Carlton vastly overstated the case however, many things you have said have been worded problematically. For instance, the comment that "it [being trans*] is hardly normal" is problematic because "normal" tends to have a lot of baggage attached to it, particularly in that those things which are not "normal" are usually perceived as being of lesser worth. If you'd said "common" (which I think is what you were actually describing) this wouldn't be an issue.
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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby quetzal1234 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

There isn't really any reason to not try to solve less fatal problems just because more fatal ones exist. (I was attempting to think of a proper adjective and this was all I could come up with, I apologize if I give offence) Sometimes, big problems are out of our reach, or can only be reached in small steps.

In other words, can't I be happy because of something small even though someone else in the world is more happy? There is room for both.

Sorry for the extremely late reply.
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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:I think this is unimportant because it is one of those issues that, if you just drop it, it magically goes away.
That is true of the majority of issues. If I shoot you in the foot, this only becomes an issue if you care that I shot you in the foot. Now, using certain words to talk to certain people is not the same as shooting people in the foot, but saying 'This is unimportant because if people stopped caring, no one would care' is among the worst possible ways to make your argument. Yes, if people stop caring about things, lots of things stop mattering. But people obviously care about these things--therefore, these things matter.

I'm quite fond of Dawkins, but the quote you posted of him is demonstrative of a very ignorant, anti-social, anti-woman, anti-human perspective. If you think it adds anything to the discussion, then you've got a lot to learn about how positive discussions happen. So, good luck.
MahouShoujoMaruin wrote:It takes two to communicate. Just like people offend others without meaning to all the time, it is possible to take no offense where some was intended. I'm not suggesting that people should always just tolerate insults with a smile though. If someone insults you, there might be several appropriate responses, but self-pity and outrage are not going to do you any good, and a claim that you have been offended doesn't really mean much.
It is good and noble to desire strength in others; to want to see them weather insult without harm. But to take offense at other people's offense is doing nothing but expressing that very same weakness you seem to loathe. And yes, that seems to be what you are doing. The Dawkins' quote is very specific, nasty, and designed to insult--it is not the statement of a man interested in a positive discussion. It is a statement of a man who has taken offense at someone's offense, and decided it is better to insult than engage in calm, constructive dialogue. You asserted that this insult reflects your thoughts.

Until you stop relying on insults to tell people they should stop taking insults so personally, you will never convince anyone to stop taking insults so personally.

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Re: Relativity (?) Or Some Crap. [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby Weeks » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:if you care that I shot you in the foot.
Eh, I got morphine.
Am I gregnant
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Re: steve waterman has a posse [Split from "Pressures"]

Postby apricity » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

There is no reason for this thread to be open anymore. It has devolved into trolling and personal attacks, which are strictly against forum rules. Furthermore, there's no useful discussion going on. Locked, this time for good.

Also, I've given warnings and PMs to multiple people in this thread, so don't worry about reporting things. They're taken care of.
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