0004 - The Right Mask for the Wrong Reason
https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/the-right-mask-for-the-wrong-reason - Sqeaky has a rant about how even fictional characters have trans-rights, bigots poisoning earnest discussion, and the paradox of tolerance. Then with Mako and Special Guest Paul Callahan, they discuss Callahan’s Razor, Mask effectiveness and docufiction.
Funding the Podcast and Destroying your Ignorance
Sqeaky has bought all of these and read most of them, they are all great. These are all fantastic and we wholeheartedly recommend them all for skeptics and people suffering dysevidentia alike:
- Dawkins, Richard - Brilliant Biologist Leading expert on evolution,
- The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True - https://amzn.to/38lk89N,
- The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary edition - https://amzn.to/38i4gVJ,
- Hawking, Stephen - Brilliant physicist who predicted features of black holes,
- A Brief History of Time - https://amzn.to/38lKuZr,
- The Universe in a Nutshell - https://amzn.to/38j3uYs,
- Lugeons, Noah - Brilliant Skepticism communicator and Demigod of Anger,
- Diatribes: Volume One: 50 Essays From a Godless Misanthrope - https://amzn.to/3kTAtHI,
- Diatribes, Volume 2: 50 More Essays from a Scathing Atheist - https://amzn.to/3blNMh8,
- Popper, Karl - A philosopher Sqeaky hasn’t formed an opinion on yet,
- The Open Society and Its Enemies: https://amzn.to/3cTwZBu,
- Sagan, Carl - Brilliant Polymath who communicated science and wrote Scifi,
- The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - https://amzn.to/3cexgyA.
The Full Rant Text [1:12] -
People are deeply annoying. I was shitposting on Reddit and stumbled upon a discussion in r/MagicTheCircleJerking about trans rights.
Her name is “Alesha, who smiles at Death”, including the “smiles at death” part. She lives in the fictitious game multiverse of Magic the Gathering and she transitioned from mister murderous murderer to miss murderous murderer, and murdered anyone anytime. She is a fictional trans character who made people dead that deadnamed her.
Fortunately, most people on this part of reddit are decent and jumped to her defense. Even though Alesha is the last person who needs defense it is the right ethical stance. She literally has an army called the “Mardu Horde” with swords, horses, spears and other medieval army stuff. Or in another timeline raised an army to slay the Mardu Horde and did so. She is a total badass and has all the rights she wants, and I link to books and stuff about her in the show notes.
In this discussion thread she was parodied as “Alesha, Who Play Sport”, and even had her card with the art of her leading the hordes into battle modified with a football. Either this is conservative bigoted ignorance or jab at that ignorance and that ignorance elevates the extremely minor issues of trans people in sports to full blown bigotry in reaction. Clearly Alesha’s ability to run a touchdown is more important than the countless warriors felled by her sword.
Some small fraction of people transition from Male to Female. Some fraction of this fraction of people then play sports (We should have more sports in America, again see the show notes). Some small fraction of that fraction of a fraction of those people go on to compete at a level where it matters in some competitive sporting context.
Even then, if there were tons of people it is still just sports and there are better ways than laws of ways of working this out, yet we have asshats pushing laws.
Thanks to a paper from Jessica Campisi, a student researching this topic at Bellevue University, we know that there 71 anti-trans bills filed in the last year and 35 focused on sports. This is despite most lawmakers in most states being unable to cite examples of this happening, and even fewer where it is problematic.
So this excuse is bullshit on three fronts, but that doesn’t stop it from being used to justify a huge amount of pain and bigotry towards trans people. This isn’t the only shitty excuse. People have baseless claims of pedophelia or appeal to some other evidence-free ideology like religion.
There is real suffering with discrimination. Trans people get passed over for promotions, fired without cause, have lower earnings, and all that is before the verbal bullshit directed towards them. Being a person that can easily pass for a rich straight white male, of course the first place I go is economic harm, but I am sure the random violence trans people face isn’t fun either.
Fuck the deeply annoying people who care more about which bathroom trans people use than why trans people are fired or excluded just for being trans. There is real suffering around this and people are pushing sports testosterone and bathroom laws, but not equal treatment or pay laws. The evidence is in, the bigotry is real and we could probably do a whole episode on the slanted research of male to female discussion, political goals, and religious motivations of this thanks to Jessica’s research.
Back to reddit, these people verbally barraged anyone being even slightly transphobic. This is good.
What is deeply annoying here is that people asking honest questions get attacked too. Someone suggested Alesha kill people. She is fictional, so clearly that can’t happen. So one idiot not understanding, pointed out that transphobia exists on a spectrum and questioned who should be killed, and blathered on uselessly for a while.
This person didn’t get the joke. This person was drenched in a flood of downvotes and foolishly suggested ways to talk about actually changing minds. This person was just stupid, not a dysevidentia sufferer that I know of. But they did miss the frequency that hateful bigots hide their bigotry as “just jokes” even when the threats or words were affecting real and specific people instead of hypothetical homophobes being cut to ribbons by a fictional character’s fictional sword.This person was espousing a mythical kind of centrism where people who police themselves are punished and often bigots “just joking” get away with it.
They were talking about “Leading by example” and “taking the high road” and other things that historically don’t and have never worked without other leverage. Look into it, most peaceful protests had government, money, or the credible threat of violence on it’s side or they failed.
Still this person wanted a serious discussion about trans-rights, but couldn’t grok that this wasn’t the time or place because Alesha Demanded Blood! Well meaning trans defenders just downvoted and reported, presuming the idiot to be a transphobe simply because he asked a question. And people not getting the joke reported comments for promoting violence. The discussion was locked and is now a craterous wasteland of deleted posts.
This instant demonization of these centrists is also entirely understandable, even if it’s deeply annoying. Bigots commonly stand behind a defense of “The marketplace of ideas”, “let discuss like adults”, “I am just asking a question”, or “bigotry exists on a spectrum”. Bigots like to stand behind such phrases because their ideas are terrible and rightfully the target of derision. But as we are “discussing it like adults” they can hide their awful ideas under a cloak of superficially civil words.
Nuance is important. We weren’t having any in that reddit thread. This all comes back to the paradox of intolerance. I heard some guy named Karl Popper wrote about it in some I bought but haven’t read yet, again I linked it in the show notes. But the idea is simple enough, at least as I understand it.
A society that wants to be tolerant of as many people as possible cannot tolerate those who start intolerance. Any group that tolerates the intolerant is eventually taken over by them.
If someone *is* a thing like a race, a gender, a hair color, or most of the “protected classes” these are fine because they are harmless. Most things people do are pretty harmless, like grocery shopping, working, watching TV, playing sports, or talking about anything other than hate (let’s set aside the technical details of environmental waste and those can be removed from the activity with getting rid of the activity itself). Most of these categories and things should be tolerated, because when one is harmful it is generally clear.
Then we start talking. When we start saying someone shouldn’t have the same access to society as someone else or when we start acting, the intolerance can really kick in. We get literal nazis, transphobes, or trump supporters, shouting death to some group and that can’t be tolerated. Moderate voices leave groups or even leave countries when such people are given a voice and the intolerant become a larger proportion of the population. Sometimes this group gets big enough to seize power by violence.
So intolerance, the kind of intolerance that could go away if bigots just choose for it to go away, can’t be tolerated. There is no marketplace of ideas, that analogy is fucking stupid if you think about it for even a few minutes. Bad actors want civil discussion about uncivil action so they can remain in the discussion. Assholes ask leading questions pretending to be wise like Aristotle. All this leads to hating on the discussion entirely or often tolerating the bigot.
That one idiot is correct that we shouldn’t kill transphobes(unless there are mitigating circumstances like self defense or something). The idiot crowds were right for trying to defend the rights of a character, even though she would just kill the objecter. But bigot jackasses poisoned the waters of discussion so a real conversation couldn’t be had.
I can’t tell if the lone idiot was a troll bigot or socially inept pedant. So he gets hated out by the crowds. This is the right behavior, but we can’t know why it is right without knowing if we shouted down a bigot being hateful. Or shouted someone down who simply didn’t get the joke to get them out of the way.
Does it matter? Anyone else notice how we have less violence after deplatforming major hateful bigots? That is what we should be doing. Their hatred is free to copy, and they will spread their dysevidentia fueled ideas if they are allowed. I am not talking about getting rid of free speech, they just need to spend their own resources to get cost. If this happened reliably then maybe we can have a civil discussion when people don’t get the joke without some deeply annoying jerk sheltering his hate in our conversation.
- Actual Card: https://scryfall.com/card/c20/143/alesha-who-smiles-at-death
- Story Summary: https://mtg.fandom.com/wiki/Alesha
- Reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/magicthecirclejerking/comments/m8loau/alesha_who_play_sport/
- Magic books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vLjNqS
- Jessica Campisi, Sources She Cited
- The Paper - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l5RvBIwNGDPaiBgHDUU5VqnpXnKZTVr0/view?usp=sharing
- Paradox of Tolerance
- Karl Popper, The open Society and its enemies: https://amzn.to/3cTwZBu
- Always wikipedia, good synopsis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance
- Americans need more sports: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
HeadLines and Sources
- Calahan’s Razor [10:59]
- Paper online: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tTKYnVMSq-LhjLP0jhAay6gpwRqXOPVR/view?usp=sharing
- Beetle Fucks a beer bottle - https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2013/06/19/193493225/the-love-that-dared-not-speak-its-name-of-a-beetle-for-a-beer-bottle
- Wikipedia on Argentine Ants - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_ant
- Wikipedia on Justification - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(epistemology)
- Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? by Edmund Gettier - https://amzn.to/38AUy0P
- Nature, Large loss es of total ozone in Antarctica reveal seasonal ClOx/NOx interaction - https://www.nature.com/articles/315207a0
- They asked for a Paper by C.S. Lewis - https://amzn.to/3qKyqXR
- Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond - https://amzn.to/3lg1dmg
- *Bonus Sources*
- Time Cube [15:59]
- Black death rates among jewish people were lower? Possible, but dubious, but the death counts show this, but antisemitism makes research hard. People at the time certainly believed it [17:26]:
- Venice is where Quarantine was first documented [18:04] - https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/historyquarantine.html
- Masks [27:02]
- Anti-masker hate them
- Reddit is filled with anti-mask propaganda
- Not specifically mask related, but kinda, sorta, related.
- Respiratory droplets:
- Masks are indeed effective at REDUCING likelihood of transmission, but can’t guarantee you won’t become infected.
- There is much nuance required.
- *Bonus Sources*
- HIV Viral Load [38:31] - https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/hiv-transmission/increase-hiv-risk.html
- Docufiction [45:18]
- Spiders on drugs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzdsFiBbFc
- Mermaids documentary
- A great summary from an impartial source (Lower your volume) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxye4CISVvU
- A big playlist has a collection of stuff - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVgrOXVJ77M&list=PL6h5V7QGKIaGhZCcls7hn6kG3ZAT0TdUk
- War of the worlds, was an example of people not being tricked - https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/10/30/241797346/75-years-ago-war-of-the-worlds-started-a-panic-or-did-it
- Birds aren’t real - https://birdsarentreal.com/pages/who-are-we
- Tuck carlson -
- Info wars
- Knowledge Fight Podcast - https://knowledgefight.libsyn.com/
- Alex loses in court - https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/court-upholds-alex-jones-sanctions-sandy-hook-case-71950083
- Flat earth
- Amazing long form debunking video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfhYyTuT44
- Aquatic ape Was pushed by David AttenBorough and briefly discussed by some random scientists in the first half of the 20th century, and now largely ignored on lack of evidence [57:50] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis
- *Bonus Source* - Bare Wench Project - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0233289/