The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Getting along

Tolerance, ghettoisation, xenophobic panic; Causes, pathologies and consequences of and suggestions for

Usefulness: 🔧
Novelty: 💡
Uncertainty: 🤪 🤪 🤪
Incompleteness: 🚧 🚧 🚧

Nora Samaran:

Not all drivers

There is a variation on ‘Not All Men.’

It is called ‘I Feel Bad When You Say That.’

Noisy chaos of notes about the cultivation of tolerance and cooperation between people in the presence of cultural, ethnic, sexual (etc) difference. An inverse to neofeudalism, and a twin perhaps to cooperation.

The ease and rarity of empathy

(Simonovits, Kézdi, and Kardos 2017):

We report the results of an intervention that targeted anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary using an online perspective-taking game. We evaluated the impact of this intervention using a randomized experiment in which a sample of young adults played this perspective-taking game, or an unrelated online game. Participation in the perspective-taking game markedly reduced prejudice, with an effect-size equivalent to half the difference between voters of the far-right and the center-right party. The effects persisted for at least a month, and, as a byproduct, the intervention also reduced antipathy toward refugees, another stigmatized group in Hungary, and decreased vote intentions for Hungary’s overtly racist, far-right party by 10%. Our study offers a proof-of-concept for a general class of interventions that could be adapted to different settings and implemented at low costs.

I wonder how reproducing that one has gone?

There is evidence, I am told, that narrative can also improve your empathy for other people. (Johnson, Huffman, and Jasper 2014; Bormann and Greitemeyer 2015; Oatley 2016; Kidd and Castano 2013)

Diversity skills are not necessarily easy, though. I would like to know more about that.

Robin Hanson argues against irony for being outgroup-exclusionary. I don’t think blanket discouraging irony is plausible or desirable, but… good point. It is nice to remember that your taste is not a good shibboleth.

Deep canvassing

Has a fascinating history as science, what with the famous LaCour study, which was fake, and the Broockman and Kalla study, which was real. There is a convenient Dave McRaney podcast on this theme.

For real this time: Talking to people about gay and transgender issues can change their prejudices.

Benefits of diversity

See diversity dividends.

The fragile feelings of the relatively privileged

Previously a disquieting curiosity, now a keystone in the edifice of contemporary feudalism.

Keyphrase: The klansman calling the snowflake white.

This thing about who the geeks are is a touch-point.

For a cultural-studies take which regards geekdom as a problem by trying to acquire the rights of other minorities, see Postmodern geekdom as simulated ethnicity.

For Scott Alexander eloquently arguing that lumping all geeks in together is a problem, see Untitled:

There is a growing trend in Internet feminism that works exactly by conflating the ideas of nerd, misogynist, virgin, person who disagrees with feminist tactics [sic] or politics, and unlovable freak.

One argument of his is that the counterpoint to sensitive men arguing #notallmen, is that there is a strand of internet discourse that argues #yesallgeeks. There is also one about the danger of arguing that oppression and toxicity is a zero sum game.

For a softer version, try Jon Ronson’s So you’ve been publicly shamed.

Anyway, moving on. An archetypical example, if not the most dire, of actual male toxicity, was the aforementioned “gamergate”, where some males were pissed that merely most, rather than all, video games, are for them. These ’gaters ran around being shrill online and managed to legitimate a movement that habitually sheltered amongst them angry boys who like righteously making rape threats at a putative conspiracy of women influencing video game coverage using their naughty vaginas. (I’m going with “boys” here since it’s a clear failure to meet standards of adult behaviour to make rape threats, though I don’t know the actual demographics.)

A lot of this is about the spiraling unintended consequences of angry people attempting to have real discourse online.

Separate but equal?

Research group finds creating boundaries key to reducing ethnic violence.

Calling out/calling in


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Bohannon, John. 2016. “For Real This Time: Talking to People About Gay and Transgender Issues Can Change Their Prejudices.” Science, April.

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