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Thread: Political Correctness Gone Mad

  1. #46
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    The euphemism treadmill is a good example of the silliness of "political correctness", where a term comes into use because it's a more sensitive version of a previous, insensitive term, and as people use the new term more, it too becomes insensitive. See terms like "idiot", "moron" etc getting replaced with two longer words beginning with S and R that apparently I can't use on this forum, which basically shows the point, in turn getting replaced with "special needs" etc, which is both pointless and gradually dilutes the actual usefulness of the terms, since special needs includes not only people with low cognitive function but also like... people who are deaf or only have one arm.
    Great post! All I could think about when reading this paragraph was...

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    The problem with political correctness or any idealised purity standard is that eventually you start eating your own because no one is really that pure. As a consequence of such dire reasoning to begin with, you also end up with dire logic that folds up on itself. That's when you stop getting discussions and start getting riots and vilification.

    If you've been paying attention this has been in the works for a long time now. You could have an entire thread devoted to nothing but examples of political correctness gone full ******.

    Also, the problem is governments are funding people to study useless things like gender studies. Not only are you not likely to get any kind of consistent employment, you actually get dumber listening to their nonsense.
    Last edited by Ikki; 15-06-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    The problem with the phrase "political correctness" is really just a lack of specificity in its use. That's always been an issue really, most people who talk about "political correctness" are just worried about being judged for being racist or whatever, but over-sensitivity is a legitimate issue that causes dumb problems. The euphemism treadmill is a good example of the silliness of "political correctness", where a term comes into use because it's a more sensitive version of a previous, insensitive term, and as people use the new term more, it too becomes insensitive. See terms like "idiot", "moron" etc getting replaced with two longer words beginning with S and R that apparently I can't use on this forum, which basically shows the point, in turn getting replaced with "special needs" etc, which is both pointless and gradually dilutes the actual usefulness of the terms, since special needs includes not only people with low cognitive function but also like... people who are deaf or only have one arm. But that's not new really, and it doesn't have particularly nasty consequences in most cases, though I do think it's important not to be so sensitive to offence that people can't have functional conversations about issues that are worth talking about. Like people being afraid to discuss race or gender identity at all for fear of using the wrong term.

    What concerns me more is basically just changing values across different political factions. Politics is cyclical I guess and there's a push and pull to every long-term debate, but I definitely feel like I've seen a noticeable shift between "free expression" being a left/liberal value to being a more complex or even a slightly conservative one during my lifetime. I had a conversation recently with some younger, leftist activist type people about this who basically agreed that when they hear someone talk about "free speech" they think that person is a right-winger by default, which is the exact opposite response I'd have had say 15 years ago. That's a value that actually matters I think, and I'm eager for the left to acknowledge that speech isn't violence, and reaffirm a commitment to people's right to hold controversial views, protest in confrontational ways etc. Violence also isn't speech of course, which thankfully is still something I think the vast majority of people on the left realise. But it goes both ways.

    Overall it's a bizarre scenario to feel like quoting John Stuart Mill on the right to hold dissenting views makes me a conservative.
    I've been calling it for a while now: people are moving away from the left because the left is leaving them behind.

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  4. #49
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    The problem with the phrase "political correctness" is really just a lack of specificity in its use. That's always been an issue really, most people who talk about "political correctness" are just worried about being judged for being racist or whatever, but over-sensitivity is a legitimate issue that causes dumb problems. The euphemism treadmill is a good example of the silliness of "political correctness", where a term comes into use because it's a more sensitive version of a previous, insensitive term, and as people use the new term more, it too becomes insensitive. See terms like "idiot", "moron" etc getting replaced with two longer words beginning with S and R that apparently I can't use on this forum, which basically shows the point, in turn getting replaced with "special needs" etc, which is both pointless and gradually dilutes the actual usefulness of the terms, since special needs includes not only people with low cognitive function but also like... people who are deaf or only have one arm. But that's not new really, and it doesn't have particularly nasty consequences in most cases, though I do think it's important not to be so sensitive to offence that people can't have functional conversations about issues that are worth talking about. Like people being afraid to discuss race or gender identity at all for fear of using the wrong term.

    What concerns me more is basically just changing values across different political factions. Politics is cyclical I guess and there's a push and pull to every long-term debate, but I definitely feel like I've seen a noticeable shift between "free expression" being a left/liberal value to being a more complex or even a slightly conservative one during my lifetime. I had a conversation recently with some younger, leftist activist type people about this who basically agreed that when they hear someone talk about "free speech" they think that person is a right-winger by default, which is the exact opposite response I'd have had say 15 years ago. That's a value that actually matters I think, and I'm eager for the left to acknowledge that speech isn't violence, and reaffirm a commitment to people's right to hold controversial views, protest in confrontational ways etc. Violence also isn't speech of course, which thankfully is still something I think the vast majority of people on the left realise. But it goes both ways.

    Overall it's a bizarre scenario to feel like quoting John Stuart Mill on the right to hold dissenting views makes me a conservative.
    A good post, and I think—though I wouldn't class it as political correctness per se—the academisation of language and injection of huge amounts of jargon into social justice discussions has been one of the biggest impediments to good, honest discussions about these topics and, frankly, convincing people.
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  5. #50
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    Reading you guys discuss the language wars just reminds me of the girlfriend of an old flatmate who posted on facebook in great detail about how black people can be discriminatory towards white people, but not racist towards them.

    Attempts from her friends to tell her the majority of laymen use those terms interchangeably with the other inevitably fell on deaf ears. My greatest struggle was not telling her what her boyfriend comes out with when she's not around.
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  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Reading you guys discuss the language wars just reminds me of the girlfriend of an old flatmate who posted on facebook in great detail about how black people can be discriminatory towards white people, but not racist towards them.

    Attempts from her friends to tell her the majority of laymen use those terms interchangeably with the other inevitably fell on deaf ears. My greatest struggle was not telling her what her boyfriend comes out with when she's not around.
    Like there was a paper that went around the conservative media circles recently attracting widespread ridicule for claiming something nastily illiberal (something like "truth" or "science" is a racial construct or s/t, I can't recall) but when I went to read the actual paper in question, I found it so utterly incomprehensible that I'm impressed that they managed to divine any actual meaning from it at all.

    EDIT: http://minnesotareview.dukejournals....d-487972b24c08 Here's the one. I don't want to be unfair, it's possible that there's something very interesting being said here (note interesting =/= comfortable or correct) but if it is, it's beyond my ability to interpret.

    But to be clear, this isn't a "lol gender studies" post. I just think their causes would be better served by writing in a way that people outside of the academic bubble can understand.
    Last edited by Spark; 16-06-2017 at 06:49 AM.
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  7. #52
    Hall of Fame Member Shri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    The problem with the phrase "political correctness" is really just a lack of specificity in its use. That's always been an issue really, most people who talk about "political correctness" are just worried about being judged for being racist or whatever, but over-sensitivity is a legitimate issue that causes dumb problems. The euphemism treadmill is a good example of the silliness of "political correctness", where a term comes into use because it's a more sensitive version of a previous, insensitive term, and as people use the new term more, it too becomes insensitive. See terms like "idiot", "moron" etc getting replaced with two longer words beginning with S and R that apparently I can't use on this forum, which basically shows the point, in turn getting replaced with "special needs" etc, which is both pointless and gradually dilutes the actual usefulness of the terms, since special needs includes not only people with low cognitive function but also like... people who are deaf or only have one arm. But that's not new really, and it doesn't have particularly nasty consequences in most cases, though I do think it's important not to be so sensitive to offence that people can't have functional conversations about issues that are worth talking about. Like people being afraid to discuss race or gender identity at all for fear of using the wrong term.

    What concerns me more is basically just changing values across different political factions. Politics is cyclical I guess and there's a push and pull to every long-term debate, but I definitely feel like I've seen a noticeable shift between "free expression" being a left/liberal value to being a more complex or even a slightly conservative one during my lifetime. I had a conversation recently with some younger, leftist activist type people about this who basically agreed that when they hear someone talk about "free speech" they think that person is a right-winger by default, which is the exact opposite response I'd have had say 15 years ago. That's a value that actually matters I think, and I'm eager for the left to acknowledge that speech isn't violence, and reaffirm a commitment to people's right to hold controversial views, protest in confrontational ways etc. Violence also isn't speech of course, which thankfully is still something I think the vast majority of people on the left realise. But it goes both ways.

    Overall it's a bizarre scenario to feel like quoting John Stuart Mill on the right to hold dissenting views makes me a conservative.
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    Hall of Fame Member Shri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Great post! All I could think about when reading this paragraph was...

    Goddamnit.

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    Edit: Gee I disagree with so much of what he says here
    Last edited by hendrix; 16-06-2017 at 07:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    Edit: Gee I disagree with so much of what he says here
    I find myself agreeing with just about everything Fry says here, however he is trying to simplify some of the discussion which makes it lose some of the nuance...... I'm not a big fan of the Rubins report though.
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  11. #56
    Hall of Fame Member Shri's Avatar
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    My recent thoughts about the whole political correctness thing are that we always have to play to the least common denominator in these things. When smart people discuss this they can talk about all the little details and where they are coming from and how they reached their ideas but idiotic racist pricks screaming "Islam is not a race!" to justify their ideology without having any of the other values that thinking people have will hijack the whole thing to give it an orange coat of paint.
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  12. #57
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    Political Correctness is an awful doctrine branded by hatchet faced humourless apparatchiks.
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    What do people think about this case about the woman convicted for sending texts encouraging her (ex?)-boyfriend to commit suicide?
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  15. #60
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shri View Post
    My recent thoughts about the whole political correctness thing are that we always have to play to the least common denominator in these things. When smart people discuss this they can talk about all the little details and where they are coming from and how they reached their ideas but idiotic racist pricks screaming "Islam is not a race!" to justify their ideology without having any of the other values that thinking people have will hijack the whole thing to give it an orange coat of paint.
    This approach only works if you're able to divine people's motivations on the basis of limited conversations. For example I agree pretty strongly with being critical of Islam on the basis of the bold. I have several thousand posts here that (hopefully) show that I'm not simply dressing up racism in justifiable terms. But if my first post on CW was about this topic? What if the discussion was on Twitter where there is a character limit? I'd probably be dismissed in the way you describe above despite my motivations not being any different. The problem with playing the man instead of the ball when it comes to speech is it changes the game into one that's based on politics (in group vs other) or the presentation of the argument rather than the philosophies that underpin an idea.

    That said my comment only applies when you don't have an extended history to point out an argument being made in bad faith. Someone like Pauline Hanson deserves no such leeway.
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