Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:07 pm

I do understand the principled approach you've taken to form your opinion of the PC debate - it assumes good intentions on behalf of people, and ascribes blame to media for constructing false narratives. This is all decent political instincts speaking.

The problem is just that it's not true.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:13 pm

NorthernComfort wrote:And then Trump got elected and now you’re just normalizing extremism.
Thanks for once again telling me what I'm doing by not falling in line with you. That's not a slap right in the damn face at all.
NorthernComfort wrote:The only thing I’ve told you to think is to look at the available evidence and admit that there is a roiling debate over PC and intersectionality within the democratic party, and that it’s not some media conspiracy or alt-right exaggeration.
I'm going to beg you now. I asked and I asked. Now I'll beg:

The people who voted against the Democratic candidate because they fear the PC menace. Them, not you, them. WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF?

I don't care about your damned infighting. I care about the actual misinformation. I bring up the alt-right because it is them who have painted this as an attack on freedom of speech. If you want me to provide you evidence, well forget it, I'm not googling the sights that perpetuate shit like GamerGate, much less the alt-right true believer Trump supporters. But you're pretending to be ignorant of this, as though it is not a thing at all. In fact, you seem to be hinting that they are telling the truth.

If freedom of speech is not under threat (and it is not under threat, not by the left anyway), and nobody is coming for anything, then for me to call this a non-issue is not that extreme. Because you might be fighting internally about it, but your opposition is mischaracterizing the argument and you're letting them.

In fact, given your responses in this thread I'd say you might have bought it to some degree.
NorthernComfort wrote: do understand the principled approach you've taken to form your opinion of the PC debate - it assumes good intentions on behalf of people, and ascribes blame to media for constructing false narratives. This is all decent political instincts speaking.

The problem is just that it's not true.
So when people on the alternative right say freedom of speech is under attack from social justice warriors who are apparently everywhere, you are agreeing with them?

I just want to make sure I understand your anger with me.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:42 pm

In a nutshell, I'm angry because you say this is an imaginary menace when it's actually quite real. Even worse it has dire consequences in the short term but you ask what the stakes are?

You ask what they were afraid of. It's not so simple. I think the lack of a unifying platform was a big reason that led so many people to not vote Clinton. Especially compared with Trump who actually had a very clear simple message to voters. Where has the Democrats message gone? It used to have a narrative that stretched back 50 years but I honestly couldn't distill what our message was in 2016. And, from my first hand first person eyewitness experience at the actual campaign headquarters, it is directly related to PC culture and the debate around it. And if you pick up a newspaper a lot of other people are recognizing the same problem.

Which you call imaginary and seem to think really stems from the alt right. But the secret is that the alt right is right about this. People on the left have been arguing this for a very long time. It's divisive and turns voters off. It is a gift to the alt right and thus trump. And this is why it's such a big deal right now. Democrats thought this family squabble would stay in the family. But this election shows the price of not having a solid platform that is widely appealing.

Beyond apathy I'm not sure why you are so adamant it's not a real issue. Please remember that absense of anecdotal evidence is not evidence of absence. Pick up any paper and it's huge news story- and I'm not sure where your apathy stems from other than willful ignorance.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm

NorthernComfort wrote:I think the lack of a unifying platform was a big reason that led so many people to not vote Clinton. Especially compared with Trump who actually had a very clear simple message to voters. Where has the Democrats message gone?
You seem to expect that the massive amounts of Republican infighting will go away now that Donald Trump--a man many Republicans opposed vehemently--is president. I don't see their problems with one another going away.

It's a result--a direct result--of having two giant parties that represent so many people as to make a coherent party line exceedingly difficult. You can't have half the country agree on everything. Too many people are involved.
NorthernComfort wrote:And if you pick up a newspaper a lot of other people are recognizing the same problem.
If you think I'm so stupid and think my point is so egregious I wish you would just have brushed it off and not replied to it. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my time.
NorthernComfort wrote:Which you call imaginary and seem to think really stems from the alt right. But the secret is that the alt right is right about this.
So you believe it really is a freedom of speech issue then.

You disagree with my fundamental assessment that there is no threat here.

I wish you had told me that several hours ago instead of telling me about party infighting I can do nothing about. (Even if I "root for the Democrats," it is not mine as a non-Democrat to tell them what they should do. That is entirely up to them. Them and nobody else. As it should be. Your opinions are always, after all, your own.)
NorthernComfort wrote:Beyond apathy I'm not sure why you are so adamant it's not a real issue.
Because it makes Americans who have done nothing wrong (they have done nothing wrong) the enemy of other Americans who have done nothing wrong.

And to me, that's the end. There's no coming back from that. I can't believe we're that far gone, because if we are there is nothing left to fight over. Guess what: You're not converting half the country overnight. And they're not converting you, either. So if you want to draw the line so sharply, if that's the truth, it's over.

I'm sorry, but I cannot accept that. I can hardly accept that I feel the need to apologize for this.
NorthernComfort wrote:Please remember that absense of anecdotal evidence is not evidence of absence.
So that explains why you've yet to provide me a single so much as shred of evidence, besides one poll.

Because if I'm such an ignorant, moronic human being for not seeing this obvious menace, if I have to keep going down this road, you would think refuting me would be easier than screaming at me like I should apologize to you.

But I'm sorry. You've not convinced me that any freedoms are under attack specifically because of this horrific menace that provides no danger to anyone.

You haven't convinced me that letting these people continue to exist would truly bring the end of the Democratic Party, much the way Republican infighting failed to bring down the GOP.

In making this a free speech issue you give rise to the alt-right. You should sic the SJWs on them. If anyone needs to be called a racist, it's them, and yet we're defending their rights to be racist? But not the right to call them out on it?

How is it that I'm the one helping Trump by saying we should stop conceding bullshit points to the man?

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe America is America's enemy. But if that's true it's over, so I'll stay out on my limb that we can be salvaged.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by Deacon » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:42 pm

Guys, guys, you're losing sight of what, if any, common ground you might have.

Cid, you say Trump is basically just the Washington norm. I disagree, but I think I know where you're coming from on that. The difference is that Trump neither knows nor cares about how politics are done, so everything is coarse, aggressive, freewheeling, and despite the best efforts of his tireless translators inventing alternative facts to cover up for his boorish (at best) statements and fragile ego, it's out in the open. As a libertarian it would be difficult to believe you're on board with a Trump presidency based on his promises and the way he's carrying them out already.

The phenomenon NorCo is telling you about, which is playing out in public in the DNC right now as they search for a new chair, undeniably, is real. It is not just an invention or exaggeration of the alt-right, even if it's not something you've been privy to in your own personal daily life. And he's right, if anything the alt-right is reactionary to it. They may draw more attention to it than it's already trying to get on its own, but that's it. We've been taking about political correctness since at least Clinton. And it's gotten "worse" continually since then. But now it's being codified in school. There are positives to it. But the move to use any power they have to silence anything other than complete submission is inherently poisonous, even if they don't pass laws at the national level to ban dissent but instead do so at the campus level or do so in their social groups.

I completely agree that we need to figure out a way to sustainably bring in at least one additional party all the way up to the national level. That's the ideal long-term solution. I don't hold any hope that will ever happen as long as we have this first-past-the-post, winner-take-all system (buffered by the electoral college or not), especially for president. But the only way for that to actually happen short-term is not for the rise of a moderate or centrist libertarian party but instead for the Democrats to splinter based who should get pride of place in the marginalization trophy case. That might be like a forest fire, incredibly intense and destructive but clearing the way for slow and painful new growth. But let's hope it hasn't come to that. Let's hope the balance of power isn't so fully out of whack that we have to burn this nation to the ground before we can build it back up with less division. And remember there is no guarantee of less division. It's equally likely (or more so) that the remaining living fingers will be pointed in white hot rage at The Other in blame for the ashes through which they're then tasked with slowly pulling themselves up.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:54 pm

Deacon wrote:As a libertarian it would be difficult to believe you're on board with a Trump presidency based on his promises and the way he's carrying them out already.
Oh, I'm pissed. Absolutely furious. However, I think the blame for Trump can be passed around to just about everybody. I'm not kidding when I say this is a conclusion we've been building toward for a long time. You know I'm not kidding because I've gone on about it at great length right here for years. The vilification of Americans In Violation of Nothing for political gain is actively destroying us. And that led to Donald Trump being elected president.

What bothers me, what makes me hyper-pessimistic that anything will be done about that, is that nobody is proposing a move anywhere close to the middle. Both Republicans and Democrats are, if anything, only getting further entrenched in their "WE must win and ONLY US" mentality.

And that, I think, guarantees that Donald Trump is the beginning of something, not the end. I think we're dropping the ball on that which needs to be done to take a chunk out of this man and to take the air out of everything he says.
Deacon wrote:They may draw more attention to it than it's already trying to get on its own, but that's it. We've been taking about political correctness since at least Clinton.
And yet the first amendment is just fine. Nobody, and I include the two people who keep telling me I'm nuts here, has suggested that this is subject to change anytime soon, at least not from the people we're talking about.

The alt-right that used them to rise to power, however, will absolutely restrict the power of the media to cover the office, and in doing so will restrict freedom of speech. So tell me that people speaking their mind is a first amendment issue and I'll point to the White House and tell you with full confidence that there's a much bigger one at hand.

It's not a freedom of speech attack, which is how it's presented. We can still speak our minds.

If I ever actually see any threats to that, it will be my duty as a writer to fight them.

As it stands the only one I see is Trump. Why we'd rather focus on a tiny if vocal group of people who are very much not in power right now and have no power over anybody right now is entirely beyond me.

The "Americans Attacking Americans" stuff...I'm sorry. I can't. It's wrong, it's killing us, and if it's true we're well past the point of no return. If you want to believe it, fine. I'll die on the opposite hill. Because if I'm wrong, either way we're screwed. If this divide is so welcomed...well, welcome to playing out the string.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by Deacon » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:31 pm

The Cid wrote:It's not a freedom of speech attack, which is how it's presented. We can still speak our minds.

If I ever actually see any threats to that, it will be my duty as a writer to fight them.

As it stands the only one I see is Trump. Why we'd rather focus on a tiny if vocal group of people who are very much not in power right now and have no power over anybody right now is entirely beyond me.
Stop it. You're not that shallow. To say that there's no law the government will arrest you for breaking means there's no impact on free speech is ridiculously myopic. It's such a huge impact that's it's one of the major factors that led to Trump being selected as the Republican candidate and eventually the President of the United States.

It's also ridiculously shallow and myopic to say that we can only look at the one greatest problem and all others must be ignored. And you're wrong that it's a tiny group who have no power. They have so much power that they're actively tearing apart one of the two major political parties in America and partially responsible for the consolidation of power in the other. They're so powerful they have coopted the conversation at the highest level of the DNC.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:41 pm

Deacon wrote:Stop it. You're not that shallow. To say that there's no law the government will arrest you for breaking means there's no impact on free speech is ridiculously myopic.
So what's the response? To take such a right away from these hyper-powerful people with no political power and a party that's falling apart (of which they themselves are a minority)?

I keep asking what impact this has on free speech. The silence is deafening. That's not a rhetorical question, you ask to understand. Your refusal to explain suggests there might not be much of an explanation to be had here. So far you've talked about freedom of discussion, briefly, but how is this an attack on that? Discussion includes "discussing matters that bother the easily-offended" sometimes. What is so damn insipid about that that we'd rather cede power to people who are actively pursuing restricting the rights of Americans in Violation Of Nothing?

Or am I wrong about that, too? Should we treat them as though they've violated something even though they most decidedly have not?
Deacon wrote:They have so much power that they're actively tearing apart one of the two major political parties in America and partially responsible for the consolidation of power in the other. They're so powerful they have coopted the conversation at the highest level of the DNC.
By the way this is the split in the DNC? And not a split between moderates and the overwhelmingly (almost entirely) white voter base that supported Bernie Sanders? Because here I thought it was that second thing. And that Bernie Sanders isn't exactly the SJW champion of the world.

If this is such an egregious mentality that it must be quashed, why them and not the pretty damn much ACTUAL NAZIS who have suddenly appeared prominently in our political discussion? Because they'll damn sure restrict free speech, and I don't need to speculate on that. But hey, at least we didn't give the easily-offended the floor, they'll undo everything.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by NorthernComfort » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:12 am

Hey guys. I took a few hours offline. We have a wannabe-dictator man-child as President. My wife is pregnant. Emotions are running high.

I want to apologize to you, Cid. I got mixed up in the flurry of fast replies and heated debate, and didn't properly respect our discussion nor you. But I have a lot of respect for you, and Deacon.

I think I found one of the critical miscommunications that has been clogging up this discussion. I don't view the PC folks as any threat to free speech, in the first amendment sense. They do not threaten our democracy. They are a constant threat to genuine political discourse within the Democratic party, which is unfortunate, but that's a far cry from being a threat to free speech.

And that's the critical difference that I think has been holding this conversation back. The alt-right posit that they are a threat to free speech, which is silly. I just think they're screwing over the Democratic party. But I also gave the alt-right a pass when I said they were right about PC culture: well, they're half-right. It's toxic bullshit. But it's not some existential threat. It's just a nightmare political climate given the need for anything (chiefly the Democratic party, missing in action) to check Trump's insatiable lust for attention and power.

And why do I think you should care about this particular intra-party drama, given that the 2 parties are always debating and reshaping themselves? Because of the massive threat the whole country is facing with Trump and his administration. Republican pushback is shamefully lackluster. Nobody's coming to help us right now. We're pretty screwed. So without any real pushback on Trump's authoritarian instincts from the GOP, we need to make them pay come election time. I don't see any viable third party. I see a mediocre party that tends to shoot itself in the foot more often than not... but it's gotten to the point of reckoning where they actually need to introspect and figure out what they hell they stand for. Hopefully they can figure it out. But I don't see it happening with the current dialog, specifically referring to the political correctness and exclusive focus on intersectionality. And that's why I view it as such a threat. Because of that infighting, the Democrats are going to have a very hard time putting together a platform that will let them take back any seats or ultimately regain the Presidency. So we're stuck with Trump and his family? No thanks. That's the threat to free speech. That's the existential threat to democracy. Everything is pretty much secondary to getting him out of power and debunking everything he stood for.

And a small aside: I think all three of us consider ourselves some flavor of Libertarian. This is why I don't think Libertarian party could ever coalesce: beyond the core principles, we all splinter off in our own direction. You need to have a base, strong coalitions, reliable voting blocs.

Maybe we'll live to see a viable third party. But for now all I can hope for is for Democrats to figure their shit out ASAP. We see how bad it's getting, and this is the first fucking week. Hold on to your hats, this is getting ugly really quickly.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by Deacon » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:31 am

SAD!
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:59 am

NorthernComfort wrote:Hey guys. I took a few hours offline. We have a wannabe-dictator man-child as President. My wife is pregnant. Emotions are running high.
Likewise, I've been about as sick as I've been in years, so I was more irritable than I'd like to have been as well. Not a problem at all.
NorthernComfort wrote:I think I found one of the critical miscommunications that has been clogging up this discussion. I don't view the PC folks as any threat to free speech, in the first amendment sense. They do not threaten our democracy. They are a constant threat to genuine political discourse within the Democratic party, which is unfortunate, but that's a far cry from being a threat to free speech.
Thank you. I should have been a little clearer that this is the imagined menace I'm talking about. They've taken this annoying discussion and turned it into some kind of looming menace we should all be afraid of. That is a lie. That lie helped get Trump elected.
NorthernComfort wrote:The alt-right posit that they are a threat to free speech, which is silly. I just think they're screwing over the Democratic party. But I also gave the alt-right a pass when I said they were right about PC culture: well, they're half-right. It's toxic bullshit. But it's not some existential threat. It's just a nightmare political climate given the need for anything (chiefly the Democratic party, missing in action) to check Trump's insatiable lust for attention and power.
I would suggest the alt-right is so up in arms about PC culture because they're sick of very accurately being called out for being racist or otherwise bigoted. They want the kind of freedom of speech that absolves them from ever being called out on their hateful beliefs. To that I say no, an emphatic no, they should be confronted with this every day of their damn lives.

As far as the PC stuff itself, while it often goes way too far, it's not a new discussion for the left by any means. We've been having political correctness discussions for decades. Most of it very minor, "don't say that, say this instead" kind of thing. I can definitely identify with you having felt more or less bullied by some extreme Democrats during the Clinton campaign. That sort of thing happens when you talk about complicated issues with people who have had different life experiences. That's a shame, and it doesn't help that they tend to mute discourse.
NorthernComfort wrote:And why do I think you should care about this particular intra-party drama, given that the 2 parties are always debating and reshaping themselves? Because of the massive threat the whole country is facing with Trump and his administration. Republican pushback is shamefully lackluster. Nobody's coming to help us right now. We're pretty screwed. So without any real pushback on Trump's authoritarian instincts from the GOP, we need to make them pay come election time.
Without going too far into it, I'll just say that I can't help you here. Not being a Democrat, the only thing I can really do is vote outside of my party the next election day. (However, living in Massachusetts, I have zero need to do that, thanks to the electoral college.) I can't take part in the battle for that party's soul. Their economic ideals bar me from that, period and paragraph. Besides which, I'm not sure what I'd even be rooting for.

I could root for the Democrats to go moderate but we both know that this last election just blew the idea of a moderate member of a major party off the map. And while this might seem like a harsh thing to say, having lived where I live I'm damn sure not hitching my wagon to Elizabeth Warren should she be the one.

Also keep in mind I'm very pessimistic about the major parties. I don't think they represent us, I think they have failed, and while I recognize the emergency that is Trump I also recognize that how we behave now determines whether Trump is just the beginning of a long line of Trumpish characters from both sides of the aisle. I'm afraid, and increasingly convinced, that the Democratic Party is just going to seek a left answer to Trump. That we live in a copycat society.
NorthernComfort wrote:And a small aside: I think all three of us consider ourselves some flavor of Libertarian. This is why I don't think Libertarian party could ever coalesce: beyond the core principles, we all splinter off in our own direction. You need to have a base, strong coalitions, reliable voting blocs.
I don't see either major party having that. The numbers are just too big. You can't fit that many people under the same giant umbrella.

Democrats include: Minorities, union members, the environmentally conscious, the economically generous, and the Catholic Church of America. Does that seem like a unified base to you?

Republicans include: The rich, the socially conservative, the Christian Right, Law and Order types, Military hawks, and they used to have economic conservatives but at some point they decided to push all of them out so we could waste more money on the war on drugs and the war on various countries. That doesn't much sound like a unified group either.

You have two parties trying to act like half of America is homogeneous.

And by the way the last thing I'm going to do is kowtow to a larger party because it is somehow my duty. You have no idea how much that kind of stuff offends me. You know the shittiest thing about truly being a member of a third party? Half the political discussions you have end up boiling down to "I really feel like we should get to exist."

Some people say no to that. To which I reply, if my politics must be dictated to me then we've all lost already.

I remain a Libertarian. I'm not going to assimilate to a larger party because one of them produced this asshole. If anything that's all the more reason to keep standing against the major parties.

In my particular case, that should bother nobody, as the DNC gets my vote whether I want them to or not. Electoral. College. Who am I hoping I get to vote for in 2020? Bill Weld.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by Deacon » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:41 pm

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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:23 pm

One college has done this.

I expect people will now assume this happens everywhere and is destroying society.

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/ne ... 09521.html

Still not a real problem though.
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by NorthernComfort » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:29 pm

The Cid wrote:One college has done this.
Other schools already have similar policies, and a bunch of schools have students pushing for them. It's part of a larger trend and not a random outlier. A couple years ago the big debate was what pronouns to call other students by... if you guessed "ze" and "hir" and not "man" you're on the right track. And what colleges were pushing using "ze"/"hir"? Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Cornell, Yale, U Penn.... yep, I'm just checking Ivy Leagues and pretty much every school has been in the news for this issue in the last couple years. I might add that this is one of the few issues at universities that gets any coverage. Media bias? Or is this just the topic du jour, at the expense of, say, every other social issue which college students might be concerned with?
I expect people will now assume this happens everywhere and is destroying society.
Less hyperbolic: I know it happens elsewhere. It's my opinion that the policies and surrounding debate is a net detriment to society.

Edit: I wonder if they will change The Man. Or is The Man okay in this context, because it represents the evil government patriarchy? :lol:
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Re: Political Correctness and Other Imaginary Menaces

Post by The Cid » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:48 pm

NorthernComfort wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:29 pm
Media bias?
Minor stories being blown out of proportion to reinforce preexisting beliefs.

Not really a big problem. And it's so funny that the people who get angriest about it are the people who want the entire world to be their "safe space" to call people derogatory terms without anyone ever calling them out on it. They don't want free speech, they want the worldview that opposes theirs to be shunned into embarrassment.
NorthernComfort wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:29 pm
Less hyperbolic: I know it happens elsewhere. It's my opinion that the policies and surrounding debate is a net detriment to society.
That second part is extremely hyperbolic. But then again, when talking about a subject that has been willed into existence for strange reasons, hyperbole is pretty much the order of the day. That's why a handful of stories mean "this is happening everywhere."
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