Little did I know…

…when I wrote Victimhood competence hierarchies that the College Board would so quickly compound the difficulty of picking the most oppressed group by applying “adversity scoring” modifiers to Scholastic Aptitude Test results.

The College Board’s adversity score will give students a boost for coming from a high-crime, high-poverty school and neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal. Being raised by a single parent will also be a plus factor. Such a scheme penalizes the bourgeois values that make for individual and community success.

In my defense, the Board’s attempt isn’t nearly as comprehensive as my proposal, though it suffers the same difficulties even for the subset of the victim/oppressor ratio it purports to capture by shifting racial preferences to a large set of highly correlated demographic, economic, and other cherry-picked factors that retain the ‘advantage’ of disadvantaging East Asians:

Adversity Index

College Board’s new tool seeks to provide environmental context behind students’ test scores by measuring adversity in their neighborhoods, families and schools.

Neighborhood environment
Crime rate
Poverty rate
Housing values
Vacancy rate

Family environment
Median income
Single parent
Adversity score
Education level
ESL

High school environment
Undermatching
Curricular rigor
Free lunch rate
AP opportunity
Source: College Board.

I do wonder about the inclusion of “Adversity score” in the calculation of Adversity score. If it’s the same thing both cases it’s a formula Excel would refuse to calculate as a ‘circular reference.’ Using the result of your calculation as input to your calculation is… well, interesting. It does give the College Board a chance to to iterate the calculation until a specific numeric condition is met.

“Adversity scoring” is a good example of a problem I pointed out in my victims’ hierarchy post: Just as a prejudicial firmament gets well established – race based preferences for college admissions, for example – someone comes along and adds more grievance factors you neglected to consider. That’s a feature to the SocJus folks, not a bug. It lets them make up rules to fit the currently fashionable oppression narrative.

I think Heather Mac Donald’s phrase “Grievance Proxies” is catchier than my “Victim competence hierarchies,” though it does not capture the amusing proliferation of victim-group supremacy competitions.

A bridge too close

Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
-John Locke

And nobody has to accept his claim his rights supercede their rights.

Trans ‘rights’ advocates are pushing past a once distant bridge.  They have the same rights as the rest of us.  Not among those rights is immunity to charges of indecent exposure because of their self-perception.

“[W]hat threat could possibly unite radical feminists and Christian women conservatives?

This: Feminists, Conservatives Join Forces to Oppose ‘Equality Act’

We should tolerate everyone’s perceived personhood. So long as it’s merely psychological, and not infringing.

We can be civil, nothing more is required, without having to agree with their opinion. Or being forced to use their pronouns, share bathrooms with them, or date them.

We should not let a tiny, arguably delusional, minority define personhood as “whatever I think I am at the moment.”

We should not legislate such transitory, whimsical definitions.

Skills gap 2

Quillette is a gem.

I find this, A Victory for Female Athletes Everywhere, a compelling, thoughtful (fairly long) article from a person highly qualified to comment (emphasis mine):

“As an academic, I appreciate the value of intellectual inquiry that challenges our socially constructed defaults. As someone born into a mixed-race family steeped in the civil rights movement—my father was black and my mother was white—I was nurtured to recognize the harm that social constructions about race and sex can do to subordinated individuals, groups and societies. As the wife of a black man and the mother of two black sons, my radar for both explicit and implied racism is finely tuned. As a woman, a feminist and a lawyer, I have an abiding commitment to anti-discrimination norms, and to race and sex discrimination laws in particular. As a humanist, I believe that each one of us has the right to self-identify.”

She doesn’t even mention her pioneering, elite athletic background. She is highly likely to vote Progressive (‘socially constructed’, ‘implied racism’, ‘subordinated individuals’), so the usual SJW ad hominem counter arguments are blunted – and she deals with them, IAC.

I am struck by the implications for the core political debate about what the word “equality” implies. There’s a faction insisting it means equality of opportunity and a faction insisting it means equality of outcome. Gender feminists have been in the latter group, claiming different outcomes ipso facto prove discrimination based on sex. However, there is some tension (you might say cognitive dissonance) for that subset of those gender feminists (the so-called Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) who want to preserve a traditional definition of the word “female” in the face of trans-sexual attack. And attack is the right word… If anyone can decide, moment to moment, that they are female without reference to biology – what’s the point of “Women’s Studies.”

It turns out, in the case of female athletics (a proxy for the ‘real world’), that you can’t even approach equality of outcome without equality of opportunity. No XX has the opportunity if XY is allowed to directly compete, so the outcome is no females on the podium for one definition of “female.”

It’s delicious watching them hoist by their own petard. If they stumble upon a bit of introspection, maybe they’ll apply the lesson to their prattle about the “wage gap.”

James Damore is laughing.

Looters tend to be ingrates

Taken from a review of Tyler Cowen’s Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero

“How is this tweet, from “Dina,” for showing lack of gratitude toward business? “If you think about it. People with glasses are literally paying to use their eyes. Capitalism is a bitch.” Shortly after it was posted, it had accumulated 257,000 likes, surely with more to come.”

It’s both more and less than a lack of gratitude. Big Rock Candy Mountain would not impress her.

I wonder about her reaction should she ever hear of Iron Lungs, or Polio vaccine. Or, for that matter, food stores.

“Dina, here’s a free, live sheep. It’s your food and clothing supplement for the next quarter. Otherwise, you just get subsistence quantities of basic protein paste and three yards of poor quality burlap salvaged from potato sacks.

Other people’s labor supplied the sheep (as well as the protein paste and burlap) so you can learn to how to butcher, preserve meat, tan hides, and sew. And to make your own knives, saws, sewing tools, refrigerator, and electricity. People are literally paying you to learn existentially valuable skills.

After you’ve acquired those skills, you’ll need to work on how to raise sheep. Society can’t afford this gift indefinitely.

After that, you could look into creating a global transportation system to ship any excess sheep to Venezuela. We hear people there would literally pay for them.”

IDW lacks diversity

Caricaturing the Left Doesn’t Benefit the Intellectual Dark Web

Well, it isn’t possible to caricature the Left any more. It’s downhill from the headline.

The article itself is a Progressive apologist’s semantic-quibble, word-salad fantasy. The comments are worth some attention. At 5PM there are 156. So it’s not short if you want the good stuff.

Quillette is an enterprise worthy of support. Which I have not yet done because it’s through Patreon – which JBP felt compelled to leave. He is creating a competitor. Stay tuned to Quillette. I don’t think their long term future is with Patreon.

From one of my comments:

“[W]e can’t simply assume that the IDW is politically diverse because many of its members hold policy positions that have traditionally put them on the left. If they generally hold positions that place them on the right with respect to the culture war (i.e., regarding issues such as identity, structural oppression, and privilege), then they could very well lack political and ideological diversity on questions that are becoming more and more central to cultural and political discourse.”

IDK, maybe we can assume “the IDW is politically diverse” when defending ideological diversity is the whole point; while the core tenet of today’s Progressives is that ideological diversity must be stamped out.

The substance of disagreements internal to Progressivism is characterized by debating micro-aggressions based on identity-victim-group creds. The substance of internal disagreements for the IDW is, shall we say, more diverse than that.

The IDW is (more nearly) ideologically neutral in allowing other ideologies to be professed. Requiring the IDW to profess no opinion on anything, is a joke, right? Apparently not:

“…Emmons is claiming that members of the IDW are classical liberals with a distinct set of beliefs (individual liberty, personal responsibility, free speech, rationalism, logic, critical thought), but also that they are essentially ideology-free (not in service to any ideology, not driven by any ideology, not proponents of any ideology, questioning the basis of all ideologies).”

One might say, instead, that the IDW is open to the possibility that other ideologies may have some points. The Progressives deny this possibility. One might also observe that ideology-free means allowing other ideologies, even if you disagree with them. I.e., not “driven” to impose your ideology via politics.

“[T]his ideological shift carries over to activism, leading to a greater desire to regulate speech, to ensure more diversity, and to prioritise structural changes. These accompany a shift away from classical liberalism as a model of human society and behaviour.”

The “ideological shift” left is not a shift to any new ideology, it’s just the ancient totalitarian impulse being applied to First World problems. Problems created in part by Progressive ideological rigidity applied to moving the Overton window.

I read “activism” as suppression of any mode of thinking other than Progressive, “regulate speech” as just what it says, “more diversity” as something desirable only so long as it excludes diversity of thought, and “structural change” as totalitarian.

The central point Mr. Harris is making is a diversion, for all its false concern about IDW diversity. Any time some naif tries to build a bridge to the professionally aggrieved, they’ll find the bridge (and their careers) blown up before it extends half way – by people with thumbs in their ears, and with middle fingers extended toward the bridge builders.

Victimhood competence hierarchies

“Tyrannical pathological hierarchies are based on power…”
-Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson sometimes refers to our traditional hierarchies as hierarchies of competence, since they arise organically out of our necessity to act in the world.  To do something is to want to improve the way you do it.  Some people will become better than others in some given action.  Some people achieve higher ability to cook, some become more proficient in math, others in music, or sports.  There are infinite hierarchies in which you may compete.  You can even create your own, like Paul Durand-Ruel, Steve Jobs, or Lee Felsenstein, Efrem Lipkin, Ken Colstad, Jude Milhon, and Mark Szpakowski, and enable millions of others to invent new hierarchies.

While any hierarchy is subject to corruption, they are inevitable, biologically ancient, and not by necessity pathological or tyrannical. Though those based on power usually are.  It’s sort of the point.

Social Justice practitioners are telling us all hierarchies are entirely socially constructed, unfair,  and oppressive – excepting theirs – which they don’t admit to having.  But what else is the jockeying for power in the identity group/victimhood sweepstakes about?

We haven’t yet seen a merger of the many contenders trying to prove they are the biggest victims and the smallest oppressors.  The hierarchy of victim hierarchies is yet to be settled science. The Intersectionalist Progressive Social Justice Cartel is having some nasty fights trying to sort out their pathological hierarchy:

QTIBPOC vs. LGBTQ
Trans vs. feminist
Indigenous group vs. Indigenous group
Black LGBT vs. White LGBT

Given what they insist all the rest of us must believe, I think tyrannical also applies.`  And we don’t even have the comprehensive doublethink manual yet, since they’re fighting over it.

To advance their cause with less embarrassment they need is a kinder, simpler way than Twitter fights to sort it out, preferably based on objective analysis of the victim/oppressor ratio. Because nobody is a perfect victim.

If they did find the perfect victim, they’d have to make him/her/it/zir/xe/Mr. Mxyzptlk the Dear Leader of the world utopia. You might think of it as the ultimate inverse hierarchy, because actual competence in any real thing is a Western, white, colonialist, patriarchal concept.  To be avoided.

I surely don’t understand the intersectional nuances that would allow me to compare a black gay male who hires a fake hate crime attack on himself, with a brown cis-gender (and why do I have to use a made up term now to indicate ‘normal’?) female who spouts anti-semitic drivel in the US House of Representatives.  An objective assessment may well be impossible.

Each individual objecting to someone else’s existence will have their own criteria. We could ask them all their opinion of everybody else and average the results (sort of like Facebook); Throwing out those rated below some arbitrary score – by other voters whose ratio was in the top 1% on the victim/oppressor ratio scale  (sort of like Twitter).

Running, especially enforcing, that system would be the prize for winning the victim/oppressor ratio sweepstakes.

Still, if we were to attempt objectivity, even to arrive at an informed individual opinion, a complex spreadsheet to calculate power rankings might serve. We’re after a way to model other people’s thoughts. We need to place the technology into individual hands, since it is obvious we can’t depend on the SPLC anymore.

Let’s consider the complexities via example. Rate a black, homosexual male, wealthy actor; vs. a white, trans-female, wealthy former Pentathlon champion; vs. a brown, female, anti-semitic, Islamist congressional member; vs. a white, 1/1024th Amerind, biological female, wealthy United States Senator. It’s not easy, and those are only a few of the factors. The enterprise seems very difficult.

victim-oppressor axis

This is the type of analysis intersectionalists demand as a principle of governance.  And, that’s just a poor preliminary attempt to begin to capture the variables currently driving the SJW power struggle. It doesn’t include anywhere near the required profile information. I tried filling it in for a couple of people I thought would help refine scoring. Maybe you can guess who they are.

Complicating this further, just when you might think you have a workable algorithm someone gets offended by something you did not expect. For example, here’s an example of a lesbian, trans, Leftist, female academic in the Humanities you’d expect to score moderately well even if you’re white: A concrete example against which to test our calculation of the victim/oppressor ratio.

Students demand controversial prof be replaced by ‘queer person of color’

That controversial prof is Camille Paglia. You might think this means race trumps homosexuality as a factor on the victim/oppressor scale. I don’t think we can depend on that. From the complainers:

“In recent interviews she has blatantly mocked survivors of sexual assault and the #MeToo movement, and in classes and interviews has mocked and degraded transgender individuals. She believes that most transgender people are merely participating in a fashion trend (“I question whether the transgender choice is genuine in every single case”), and that universities should not consider any sexual assault cases reported more than six months after the incident, because she thinks those cases just consist of women who regret having sex and falsely see themselves as victims.”

Aha! The problem is Paglia’s opinions and outspokenness, which one could at least imagine being held by a “queer person of color.” It isn’t about color.

The entire identity politics internecine war is about thinking the right thing. Thinking correctly is hard to define, though. It depends on the thought processes of the person thinking about someone else’s thoughts. See: Red Guards.

Full circle we have come. When objectivity is thrown out the postmodernist window, objective rankings are simply impossible. And that’s intentional, since any reference to a set of rules could inhibit the exercise of power.

So, it’s back to imagined victimhood points minus perceived privilege points times influencer points divided by the reciprocal of Twitter followers. The factors for race, sexual orientation, biological sex, wealth, income, religion, political affiliation, etc. are left to the student.  If you are intersectionally woke the answer just pops into your head.  Of course, that may not be the same answer another woke intersectional arrives at…

Clarity of thought, rational arguments, philosophical consistency are irrelevant. We don’t need no freaking spreadsheet to identify thoughtcrime. Besides, Excel itself is oppressive because it uses numbers, and its very name is a violent affront to nihilistic mediocrities cowering in their safe spaces everywhere.

It’s not so bad though, those of us not caught up in the victim-identity Olympic trials can eat lots of popcorn while we watch.

Man In Critical Condition After Hearing Slightly Differing Viewpoint

NIMBY

Apparently the Trump Administration has been discussing sending sanctuary seeking oppressed persons of foreign citizenship who cross our borders irregularly to those cities in the United States which have declared they will defy Federal Law in order to provide succor to such unfortunates.

My question is, why didn’t the Sanctuary Cities demand this long ago?

Instead, they are complaining such action by the Feds would be “spreading pestilence,” and “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants…”

Wouldn’t it be most humane to send “The wretched refuse,” (quoting Emma Lazarus, as Democrats have lately done) to the place they would receive the warmest welcome?

Compare and contrast

In one case a noxious man’s hoax is forgiven, in the other a noxious hoax is employed to destroy many men.

When Prosecutorial Discretion Is Woke

Death Threats and Drained Bank Accounts: Life on the Wrong End of the Mueller Probe

In both cases, it’s Progressives in charge.

Update 11:22:
“The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association issues statement condemning the Cook County State’s Attorney’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case.”

Defending Omar

Jim Clyburn’s defense: Ilhan Omar’s experience is ‘more personal’ than Jews who had parents in the Holocaust

As Democrats line up to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar and come up with her excuses for her anti-Semitism, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., tried to minimize her comments by arguing that she escaped violence in Somalia, so her experience was “more personal” than Jews who merely had parents survive the Holocaust.

If he had bothered to look for similar experience that did not result in anti-Semitism, he might have mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali; like Ilhan Omar a Somali refugee. And whose experience with discrimination, death threats, and, yes, even Twitter attacks, is at least as personal as Ms. Omar’s.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Preaching of Islam and the Left’s Alliance with Islamists (2018, 22:59, the following starts 10 minutes in)


“Anti-semitism is back because of Islam.”

Hirsi Ali says she had never heard of the Holocaust until she arrived in the Netherlands in 1992. She was 24.

Ms. Omar arrived in the United States in 1995 at the age of 14. I wonder if someone will ask Ms. Omar when she first heard of the Holocaust. Even given the state of the American public school system, one would think she’s heard of it by now.

Ilhan Omar represents the district where over 60 Somalis have joined, or have been arrested for attempting to join, ISIS and al-Shabaab. Even NPR took notice of the phenomenon as long ago as 2009. The Somali-Minneapolis Terrorist Axis.

Ilhan Omar is an apologist for at least some of those Minnesota terrorist aspirants. One of whom said “I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food. I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.” Of that man she wrote to the sentencing judge,

“A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure of criminality and addresses it.”

He got 30 years. Maybe as a result of that appalling appeal to forgive choosing violence, (mostly against other Muslims).  Or maybe because of Omar’s contention that our justice system misunderstands guilt unless it supports her cause.  You can’t doubt she is asking for different treatment for Somali terrorists who live in the US.

Go inside ‘Little Mogadishu,’ the Somali capital of America for a view of how well assimilation is working.  See also, Somali Gangs Battle in Minneapolis; Somalis Demand That Cops Do Something

Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes the observation that the majority of the followers of Islam conflate politics and law with religion. Freedom of, or from, religion is problematic for those Muslims who insist on Sharia as State policy.

Here’s a thoughtful look at why Islamic politics/law and religion are congruent from Shadi Hamid, contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution:

Is Islam ‘Exceptional’?

How events from 14 centuries ago still shape the religion’s relationship to politics, and what that means for the future of the Middle East

[W]here theologians like Martin Luther famously fashioned a dialectic between faith and good works, these two things are inextricably tied together in Islam. Faith is often expressed through the observance of the law. The failure to follow Islamic law is a reflection of the believer’s lack of faith and unwillingness to submit to God. Salvation is impossible without law. This has implications for the nature of the Islamic state. If following the sharia—for example, refraining from alcohol and adultery, observing the fast, and praying five times a day—is a precondition for salvation, then political leaders and clerics alike have a role in encouraging the good and forbidding evil, a role they played, to various degrees, for the entirety of the pre-modern period…

Muslims are, of course, not bound to Islam’s founding moment, but neither can they fully escape it. The prophet Muhammad was a theologian, a politician, a warrior, a preacher, and a merchant, all at once. Importantly, he was also the builder of a new state. It is difficult to know when he was acting in one role rather than the other (which has led to endless debates over whether some of the prophet’s actions in certain domains were, in fact, prophetic). Some religious thinkers—including Sudan’s Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and, later, his student Abdullahi an-Na’im—have tried to separate these different prophetic legacies, arguing that the Quran contains two messages. The first message, based on the verses revealed while the prophet was establishing a new political community in Medina, includes particulars of Islamic law that may have been appropriate for seventh-century Arabia but are not applicable outside that context. The second message of Islam, revealed in Mecca before the prophet’s emigration to Medina, encompasses the eternal principles of Islam, which are meant to be updated according to the demands of time and place…

One could go further and advocate not only for a progressive interpretation of Islamic law but also for its basic irrelevance to public life—that the separation of religion from politics forms the foundation of any pluralistic post-Enlightenment liberal society.

Here’s some discussion of sharia.  This video is not in focus, but it is still worth listening to.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Responds to Questions at Ohio University (2011, 13:43)


The response to the guy with a head full of intersectional cultural relativism at 9:22 is priceless.

Democrats should listen to that.

2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar

Democrats seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination are starting to come out in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, and in the process, they are normalizing anti-Semitism.

Leading Democratic candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have all come out defending Omar and pointing fingers at her critics, despite a series of statements she has made targeting American Jews…

[Bernie Sanders] “We must develop an evenhanded Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace. What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate.”

[Kamala] Harris… “There is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders, and anti-Semitism” and also arguing, “I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk.”

[Elizabeth] Warren… “Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The debate has not been stifled, it has been shifted in order to redefine long standing anti-Semitic tropes as political criticisms. Which are considered religious tenents.

More worth reading:
Victor Davis Hanson
The New, New Anti-Semitism

2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar

Burdensome

Nancy Pelosi defending Ilhan Omar:

“I think she has a different experience in the use of words, and doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that [she] didn’t realize, but nonetheless that we had to address,” Pelosi said.

Omar most recently came under fire after she accused Jewish Americans of having “allegiance to a foreign power.”

Pelosi made a similar statement on Thursday, when she told reporters at a press conference that she believes Omar didn’t understand “the full weight” of how other people understood her words.

“When you cross that threshold into Congress, your words weigh much more than when you’re shouting at somebody outside, and I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people, where these words have a history and cultural impact that may have been unknown to her,” Pelosi said.

Nancy’s excuse for Omar is certainly absurd. It’s also condescending, imperialist, and culturally supremacist. Poor little Muslim girl doesn’t have the background to understand her own words. She’s only been in the United States for 24 years.

I guess that’s the white woman’s burden, Pelosi style. I can’t understand why all the woke Twitter users haven’t declared a fatwa on the Speaker.