We have few comments and no posts by women here. A few women have mentioned to me privately that our whole project seems rather male. Since they declined to give me quotes for us to ponder, I have turned to
I was going to say this. Very few people know what standpoint epistemology is. Some women know what it is and disagree with it. There probably are women who into the style of Overcoming Bias. Just have to find them.
I haven't checked all the posts, but just in case people do pointing out that the "feminists" mentioned don't speak for all women.
Discussions of this nature are always difficult for me. My interests are skewed toward the abstract and rigorous. I am a scientist by both inclination and training. I learned long ago not to attempt to speak for women as a class, but do my best to understand what relates to me and others' perceptions of me as a member of that class.
In light of that, posts like Robin Hanson's rankle me because they do not confirm my personal experience and yet, given my uncertainty about the beliefs and pursuits of other women, I cannot deny that his claims may be on average correct. My concession of my own lack of knowledge in this matter, which does not spring from a lack of observation or research, makes me skeptical of others' pronouncements on the motives of either sex.
I will simply disclose that I read this blog mostly for it's relation of interesting datapoints on observable biases. These are always of interest to me since, as a researcher, I work very had to design experiments which produce a given result independent of the operator. Or at least experiments where one can also study the impact of operator on result.
Why does this blog have a male bias? My guess at the proximate reason seems to be that this is mostly a nerd blog, by nerds, for nerds - and nerds are mostly male.
Re: Who is this "we" I should address an open letter of thanks to for letting me vote?
Society? The government? But probably not some group that excludes disabled people: both society and the government include disabled individuals.
Nick, setting aside sexism for a moment, which is its own big bag of worms, race is a wholesale invention of mankind. It doesn't really exist. People tied their misuse of other people to physical markers that humans tend to find noticeable, like melanin levels. If the human species on the whole had bad eye sight and keen smell, maybe we'd have created "race" categories based on variations of scent among humans.Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse.
I agree wholly with the political implications of your argument. In short, I see people, not people of race.
But let's not forget that race is still a useful classification tool for social and genetic purposes because of how people isolate themselves. It's Baynesian probability. If I said, "John is a young American male who dislikes rap music," he's more likely to not be black than anybody described only as a "young American male." If I said, "Jimmy is an American Olympic runner," you could assume with plenty of confidence that he's black.
For more, read "The Salamander's Tale" in Dawkins's tome, The Ancestor's Tale. He basically says what I have said, only in more detail.
*"whose", not "who's" ;)
Also, to address a point I passed over in my reply, mental health isn't a static thing, either. It's not a choice between absolute health and absolute illness. There's a range. As they live, people's brains change and experiences effect them. If you find that you've having a problem, it might be an enormous relief to seek answers/treatment from a reliable source.
unfortunate conflict of data, thanks for your understanding. There's a wide range of abilities among people, and often abilities change throughout the course of a person's life. (To give an example of physical ability: curb-cuts are necessary for people who have permanent mobility issues, but also for people who are experiencing temporary ones, like having thrown their back out, or having been in a car accident. And a person who may not need them when young will grow to find them vital as they age. Therefore, providing curb-cuts isn't a gift of the able to the disabled, it's a sensible provision for every human being, because human beings live within a range of ability which varies over time. These same principles apply to other areas of ability, such as cognitive abilities.) I felt personally offended at being excluded, but also I felt angry because Tim was including me in the "we" (read: "us normal people") side of his false dichotomy. As someone who's disability isn't one that people consider noticeable, or have been taught to consider noticeable, I can often "pass" for "normal." Because of this I escape the brunt of ableist bias that other people receive the full force of. I feel that that is utter bullshit, and I feel like it's important to point out how this kind of thinking is (a) ignorant of the realities, (b) dismissive of people, (c) personally hurtful to me.
I'm sorry Angel, my last reply was composed too quickly, and was a bit rash.
I don't mean to dismiss the way that subtleties of language can reinforce discrimination. So I do accept that that sentence might have been better phrased. Forgive me if I was overly eager to weigh in against you.
Your point is basically valid. As for me, I might be described as mentally ill (I've not been diagnosed with anything though I suspect I could be). If someone said "we allow the mentally ill to vote", would I be offended? I'm not sure. Maybe I would. Maybe not.
So my apologies for being overly argumentative.
"We still give disabled people the vote," do we? You say that as if there's two groups, "we" and those "disabled people.
How would you like him to phrase the thought? Presumably, it's the case that Tim's society, which he not-unreasonably refers to as "we", gives the vote to - amongst others - disabled people. So what else is he supposed to say?
Perhaps you don't like the idea of being "given" the vote. But frankly, democracies are a highly unnatural state of affairs. It's not like "the vote" is something we'd have in a state of nature. It is indeed something we're all given.
Isn't it shocking when not only women, but those disabled people pop up in your precious, oh so distant and rational conversation, conducting themselves as if they were real people who occupy the world just like you do, instead of abstractions that live in some distant limbo and whose fate clever, able men like you must weigh?
Tim, I was arguing for equal treatment when I said that I want to be recognized as equally human and that I want that for other people as well. How does "equally human" translate into "having the exact same abilities" in your mind?
"We still give disabled people the vote," do we? You say that as if there's two groups, "we" and those "disabled people." That right there is known as "othering": it assumes that those disabled people are floating around somewhere, and we here, we normal people, are speaking about them. In fact, if you looked at studies of human physical and mental ability, I believe you'd find a range of abilities among people, not neatly separate categories.
I'd like to give myself as an example. I am one of those "disabled people" the "we" you speak for so kindly allows to vote. I have a cognitive disability which affects my memory and processing.
Who is this "we" I should address an open letter of thanks to for letting me vote?
Re: I want to be recognized as equally human, and I want other people to be treated the same.
Anybody who had been treated poorly would at least wish for equal treatment.
However, problems arise when this sentiment results in denial about the existing knowledge of human differences.
Nature doesn't do equality in these areas. Everyone is different - and abilities run from substantial, right down to the severely disabled.
Scientists have been pointing out such inequalities for a long time. From Lawrence Summers to James Watson.
Arguing that everyone is equal results in an unstable world view that is prone to collapse - since the available evidence says otherwise.
IMHO, it is better to argue for equal treatment than for equality of ability or potential. We still give disabled people the vote - though it is true that we don't give votes to cats and dogs.
Argue only for equal treatment and you are much less likely to have your views run afoul of scientific studies.
Racial concepts are utilitarian. E.g. it really helps to tell the police whether your mugger was asian, african, white, or whatever. The racial categories that exist do so mostly as a result of isolation, inbreeding, selection and the founder effect. See:
"Race: The Reality Of Human Differences"
"%0A" rel="nofollow noopener" title="http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Geography-Human-Genes/dp/0691087504/%0A">The History and Geography of Human Genes"
Richard: No, your comment is clearly tongue-in-cheek. I was referring to Hanson's post titled "Food Vs. Sex Charity".
Race exists as a wholesale invention of mankind. Biologically produced characteristics which humans find noticeable are adopted to shore up stereotypes, but the stereotypes themselves are a little patch of gangrenous insanity within the human brain.