Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Posts Tagged ‘propaganda

Speculations around a COVID lab-leak

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In June last year, I wrote in an excursion:

I have long toyed with a (hopefully) hypothetical scenario: If (!) the lab-leak hypothesis is true, if (!) the virus resulted from gain-of-function experiments, and if (!) world-leaders knew of this, then it would explain the extreme and disproportionate reactions. They might then have known that the original virus was problematic and that the modified was worse, but, critically, they might not have known by how much. Of course, other explanations have to be found for the continued overreactions after the first few weeks or months of pandemic.

Yesterday, I encountered a text with similar speculation, but much more in-depth and by an author who seems much more deeply vested in the general idea than I am. A core idea is that a “lab-leak cabal”, using Birx as a tool, deliberately set about to enforce lockdowns. The text goes on to speculate on e.g. possible reasons.

While I by no means claim that the author is correct,* this remains an interesting possibility. Even if she is wrong, the text as a whole remains worth a read, especially with an eye on the unexpected behavior and unexpected claims by various politicians and (real or fake) experts.

*There are too many unknowns to tell, at least for now; I am a great fan of Hanlon’s Razor; and there are other conspiracy explanations to consider. (Note that the mark of a conspiracy theory is not that it is wrong or absurd—but that it involves a conspiracy.)

Written by michaeleriksson

September 9, 2022 at 5:10 am

Follow-up: Nazis VII: Left, Right, and the use of irrelevant criteria

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A while ago, I wrote:

There also appears to be a growing tendency to consider everything relating to violence as Right-wing, unless the situation makes the use of political labels absurd. For instance, I have seen references to e.g. soccer hooligans as “Right”-this-or-that, without any justification in actual political opinions. While I do not rule out that there is a weak political connection (also see excursion on Neo-Nazism) in some cases, the main drive behind hooliganism appears to be more violence-for-the-sake-of-violence or some other X-for-the-sake-of-X, with more in common with Alex DeLarge than with Adolf der Führer.

(More generally, we have a paradoxical situation of societies with a strong Leftist dominance, a Left that threatens civic rights, notably freedom of speech, a growing threat from the far and/or violent Left, etc.—all while the Left makes more and more noise about “Right-wing this.” and “Far Right that.”, giving the unobservant an entirely incorrect view of the world, as if the threat actually came from the Right… Consider e.g. the current U.S. situation.)

Earlier today, I encountered two texts that demonstrate this issue very well, especially with regard to the recent Buffalo shooting, and which otherwise echo some of my own writings.

The first, titled Media Falsely Claim Mass Public Shooters are ’Right-wingers’ When They’re Environmental Extremists, writes e.g.

If you believe the Los Angeles Times, the Buffalo shooter who left 10 dead emerged from “a far-right ecosystem.” A Rolling Stone headline echoed the claim: “The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican.” The New York Times links the mass murderer to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. Not to be left out, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) blames Republicans for the attack, claiming: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism.”

[…]

In his manifesto, the gunman self-identifies* as an “eco-fascist national socialist” and a member of the “mild-moderate authoritarian left.” [!!!] He expresses concern that minority immigrants have too many children and will damage the environment.

Capitalists, who the shooter argues are destroying the environment, are at the root of much of the problem. “The trade of goods is to be discouraged at all costs,” he demands.

[…]

The Buffalo murderer’s views are almost word-for-word similar to those of the shooters in 2019 at a New Zealand mosque and an El Paso Walmart.

But the Washington Post called the New Zealand mosque shooting, “One of the worst cases of right-wing terrorism in years.” Right-wingers don’t usually declare that “conservatism is dead” and that “global capitalist markets are the enemy of racial autonomists.” Or call themselves an “Eco-fascist.”

[…]

Of the 82 mass public shootings from January 1998 to May 2021, 9 percent have known or alleged [!!!] ties to white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or anti-immigrant views, and many of those, such as the Buffalo murderer, hold decidedly socialist [!!!], left-wing [!!!] views.**

[…]

Instead, the media is intent on construing any attack by a white shooter as an act of “white supremacy.”

*I note with satisfaction that we have someone self-identifying as both “national socialist” and “left”, well in line with the point of this text series. However, an interesting possibility is that the Left could abuse such claims exactly to categorize someone as Right-wing or far Right—“he says that he is national socialist; ergo, he is a Nazi; ergo, he is Right-wing”. This can, in a next step, easily lead to circular “proofs” of exactly that the Nazis would be Right-wing—after all, we have all these known Right-wingers referring to themselves as “Nazis”.

**And even without these “socialist, left-wing views”, “white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or anti-immigrant views” do not, by themselves, make someone Right-wing—outside of Leftist propaganda.

The second, titled If You Want To Know What Democrats Are Up To, Look At What They Accuse Others Of Doing, echos my own Heuristics to understand Leftist claims and my 2010 (!) observations on how the Left is keen on Reversing the accusation. It also points to how topics like nationalism and racism are automatically (and highly misleadingly) used to define someone or something as Right-wing—never mind other opinions. (Something that I have noted repeatedly, including in this text series.)

Interesting statements include:

The monster in Buffalo, New York, who murdered 10 people is, according to the left-wing political class, a direct result of Fox News and Tucker Carlson. Why? Because it’s politically expedient to connect a few disparate dots to blame your political opponents than it is to accurately quote what he’s said himself. When truth isn’t on your side, make it up. That’s what the left is doing, it’s what the left has always done.

[…]

The Buffalo shooter wrote a manifesto citing his racism as well as anti-Semitism and environmentalism as leading to his heinous actions. His opposition to illegal immigration embraced by Democrats is cited at “proof” he’s a Fox News monster! The people making that charge conveniently forget everything else he wrote.

That’s how they’re trying to blame Tucker and Fox – because he opposed illegal immigration. To make that case you have to ignore everything else he wrote, where he declared himself to be of the “authoritarian left.” With his environmentalism and hatred of Jews he could’ve easily been a member of The Squad.

Written by michaeleriksson

May 17, 2022 at 11:20 pm

My body, my choice-my ass!

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In the wake of a text on the Roe v. Wade leak, I have spent some thoughts on that ridiculous and ridiculously self-serving “my body, my choice” slogan. The main problem, which should immediately disqualify it, is that it is actually the body of the fetus at stake—and the core question is when and when not this fetus should be considered a human being, or sufficiently far along the way to have similar rights. (Other questions include when a right to live might be trumped by a danger to the mother and how pragmatical concerns like the risk for “back-alley” abortions should be handled.) As I have noted in the past, abortion is a highly complicated issue, involving e.g. ethics, medicine, and (for many) religion. To reduce this complicated issue to a cheap slogan (and a slogan that misses the point, at that) is inexcusable.

To this repetition, I would like to add two of the scenarios that I have considered these few days:

  1. To illustrate contradictions in thought and consequences when the baby has no rights:

    Two women (A and B) become pregnant at roughly the same time. They spend a few months doing what pregnant women do, be it having morning sickness, shopping for baby clothes, or working in the office.

    Then, again at roughly the same time, the following happens:

    Woman A suddenly decides that she does not want a baby and has an abortion—my body, my choice.

    Women B is peacefully walking down the street, as she fantasizes about first steps and first words, while visibly pregnant. A stranger comes up and bashes her stomach with a baseball bat. The prospective mother survives with no major injuries, but the baby dies.

    Now, in the second event:

    What charges should be filed? Just assault and battery (and/or something else on a similar level) for attacking woman B? Or do we include a murder charge for the dead baby?

    If we forego the murder charge, chances are that the punishment for the perpetrator will be a slap on the wrist in comparison to what most, including, I suspect, a vast majority of pro-abortionists, would consider reasonable. If a first time offender, and if the assault and battery is judged as any similar incident without a (born or unborn) baby involved, a sufficiently contrite or contrite-appearing perpetrator might even be out on probation once the verdict is read—and might have walked the streets on bail before that.

    If we do go with a murder charge, how could we justify not filing a murder charge for woman A concerning the first event? Do we presuppose that woman A had some absolute ownership of the baby, transcending any rights that it might have had? If so, why just woman A and not the father too?* How is this compatible with a “no slavery” or “humans are not property” position?**

    *Note that a father typically has no say, beyond what the mother might allow him, in abortion decisions—and certainly none according to “my body, my choice”.

    **Systems have existed where children were the virtual property of their parents. Such systems have also tended to view the wife as the virtual property of the husband or otherwise contained elements that the Left condemns as outdated, barbaric, or whatnot. Child-as-property could also include a teenage daughter being given to a friend, as Lord Capulet intended. Be careful what you wish for.

    What alternatives do we have? Forego the murder charge, but charge the perpetrator with e.g. property damage, as if that blow had struck a car? File a pure civil suit for damages? (Which will likely remain unpaid, even if the civil suit is won, as the perpetrator is unlikely to be very wealthy.)

    I suspect that something along the lines of property damage, if maybe with a more euphemistic name, would be the necessary consequence, if a “my body, my choice” logic is applied to abortion. Could the average woman live with that? All those pro-abortionists? How does that match up with the ostensible ideology of e.g. the U.S. Democrats?

    For a slightly different perspective, assume that woman A is the perpetrator from the second event. Apart from the assault-and-battery part, how was her bat-abortion of woman B’s child different or worse from her own, regular, abortion? The two babies were at approximately the same stage of development and the same level of self-awareness and intelligence.* They had approximately the same future potential (see excursion) to become grown-ups, study, have a career, found a family of their own. They each had no say in their own demise. They were both killed by the same person.** From their point of view, any injustice done to the one must have equalled that done to the other. The only true difference is their relationship to that same killer.

    *That this level was low is unimportant for this comparison. The point is the similarity.

    **Presumably per instigation in the case of woman A’s own baby, with some type of medical practitioner performing the actual act. In doubt, this need for a third party might disappear over time, without affecting the overall problem under discussion.

  2. To illustrate that other parties than the mother (and the baby) might have rights and interests:

    A couple has no children and great problems conceiving. The husband has no greater wish than for a child (yes, this has been known to happen). The respective parents of the unhappy couple have no other children and only this chance for grandchildren—of which they have dreamt for decades. The wife is approaching menopause and, in desperation, the others all chip in for a (very expensive) in-vitro fertilization. The procedure is successful and everyone is happy for a few months, showering the wife with attention and baby gifts.

    Then the wife unilaterally decides to have an abortion—my body, my choice.

    With that, the hopes, dreams, and money invested of the others is gone, without their having a say, at the whim of someone else.

    Maybe the others could sue* for their money back, but this might do more harm than good, even if successful, and might hit the husband as hard as the wife. As to being successful, there is certainly no guarantee.

    *The likelihood that this type of woman would pay it back voluntarily is minuscule.

    Concerning children, the wife’s parents are entirely out of luck, while the husband and his parents might still have some chance through a divorce and a remarriage. Divorces, however, are messy and costly,* there is no guarantee of finding a suitable new wife, and the husband might still love the old wife—no matter how foolish this might seem, at this stage.

    *And I could see how this would play out in court: a “That sexist bastard just wants to divorce me because I exercised my rights as a woman. Sob! Sob!” followed by a “Poor dear! Here, have a tissue—and the house, and the car, and a large alimony!”.

The second case is also an illustration of the general need to consider the rights and interests of others, even when not encoded in law, as well as any ethical or moral obligations than we might have towards others. I would consider a widespread failure to do this one of the greatest problems in the modern world—and, yes, in my impressions so far, the problem is more common among women. (Some earlier discussion and examples can be found in e.g. [1] and [2].)

Excursion on treatment of humans vs. animals:
If we were to go strictly by criteria like level of intelligence and self-awareness, we would be hard pressed to justify treating many humans better than animals. Consider small children, severely mentally disabled adults, and the highly senile vs., say, dolphins, chimpanzees, elephants, or, sometimes, even dogs and horses.

Now, if we do not have such a justification, we would have to either treat animals better* or live in an even more dystopian world than the current.

*Which would be fine with me, but is likely practically unrealistic. For instance, how many would truly be prepared to spend as much to save the life of the family dog as the life of one of the children?

If we do seek a justification, what would it be? A Christian might argue that a human has a soul and an animal does not, but the rest of us have to find a justification elsewhere. Potential would often be a good way that can be made consistent, e.g. in that an infant is rated over a dog, because the child might grow up to be something far beyond what the dog could ever reach. This might not be enough to solve the case of the highly senile and the severely mentally disabled, but these are, at least, fewer.

Alternatives? Well, we could postulate some type of inherent superiority of humans, but what is to prevent, in a next step, an inherent superiority of human group X over human group Y? We could, similarly, postulate a “we humans need to stick together—humanity over fairness”, but then we again have that second step with human group X vs. human group Y. (Of course, with regard to the above comparison of babies, they would still be equal with regard to any such postulates in lieu of potential.)

Suggestions are welcome.

Excursion on “free”* this and that:
Many women, Feminists in particular, seem to consider both IVF and abortion something that others should pay for, e.g. within a health-insurance scheme. A slight modification of the second scenario shows how problematic this can be, both with regard to fairness and to incentives: Say that the IVF is paid for by the wife’s insurance—and then she has an abortion paid for by her insurance. This would not only be a gigantic waste of someone else’s money and money that could have been used much better, but a waste that is much more likely to occur in a paid-by-someone-else scheme than when the woman has to carry the cost herself.

*I.e. paid by someone else, usually taxpayers or other insurance members.

Of course, if we do say that a woman has the right to tens of thousands of taxpayer/insurance money to cover IVF, because having a child is sooooo important, how could she deny her husband the right to use her womb for just a few months more? Those who would grant the woman “free” IVF but, absent medical complications, deny the husband would show a grave hypocrisy.

Excursion on a potential duty to have children:
I would not go as far as to stipulate a duty for a woman (or, m.m., a man) to have children to satisfy a husband or a parent,* but I would stipulate that both spouses do have a duty to make an aversion (ditto the physical inability) to having children crystal clear before a marriage takes place—possibly, even before a long-term relationship. For a marriage to result in children is the default assumption, arguably, even, the point of marriage; and unwillingness to live up to this simply must be communicated in advance. Should this unwillingness not have been communicated, then I would see an ethical (if unenforceable) obligation to put the unwillingness aside. This includes, if need be, dropping any “my body, my choice” attitude.

*Note that the second scenario is deliberately constructed to include both a prior willingness on behalf of the woman and a monetary investment on behalf of the others, which was made in light of this prior willingness.

(How to handle an aversion that has arisen during the marriage is a tricky question, and would likely need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Having insufferable children next door seems too little; nearly dying because of complications during a failed prior pregnancy seems enough.)

Written by michaeleriksson

May 8, 2022 at 7:19 pm

Further problems with freedom of speech, etc.

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After my recent text on Odd reactions around Putin and Russia / Problems with cancellations, freedom of speech, etc. ([1]), it seems that I run into examples of issues with freedom of speech everywhere, especially of the “conform or else” type.

To give some examples:

  1. Swedish blogger Gunnar Wall writes that he and others have been condemned as “farliga” (“dangerous”) och “skadliga” (“harmful”) for questioning the very dubious and widely criitcized quasi-identification* of Stig Engström as the murderer of Olaf Palme and because they “sår tvivel” (“sow doubt[s]”), which society would not need. Should we conclude that it is more important to have an undisputed “truth” than to have a debate about what the (real) truth is? That anything claimed by officials must be taken as true and beyond discussion?

    *See [2] and a number of backlinked texts for more information on my own take.

    Commenter “Michael” (not me) has a particularly insightful comment at “12 mars 2022 kl. 19:45”. A part (and approximate translation) of this long comment:

    Det tycks som om totalitära tänkesätt nästan blivit mode även i västliga demokratier. Anklagelserna mot de som åtminstone försökt […] sakligt klarlägga vad som faktiskt hände den där mordnatten […] faller tillbaka på de som yttrat dem. Att benämna fria debattörer och journalister som både “farliga” och “skadliga” är oanständigt i en demokrati. Har man invändningar eller tycker att något inte stämmer bemöter man på ett civiliserat och sakligt sätt. Absolut tilltro till staten är minst lika farlig som dess absoluta motsats.

    Translation:

    It appears that the totalitarian way of thinking has become fashionable even in Western democracies. The accusations against those who at least have tried […] to factually clarify what actually happened during the night of the murder […] condemns* the accusers. To call independent debaters and journalists “dangerous” and “harmful” is indecent in a democracy. If one has objections, or believes that something is wrong, one meets them** in a civilized and factual manner. Absolute trust in the state is at least as dangerous as the opposite.

    *Literally, “falls back on”. Think “I’m rubber; you’re glue”.

    **The “them” is arguably an interpolation. Both “them” and “meets” are slightly speculative for “bemöter”.

  2. A U.S. source claims that the DHS will target those with non-conforming opinions, specifically those with concerns over the 2020 elections and the official COVID claims. This despite the former being very legitimate and despite the latter being highly problematic. Notably, problems with COVID claims include repeated changes* to the official line and valid scientific criticisms that have not been debated with facts and arguments but attacked with “Fake news! Fake news!”.

    *That the official position changes in light of more information is not a problem; however, such changes (a) validate prior criticism, (b) clearly imply that other claims might turn out to be in need of revision or be outright faulty—and must therefore be open to criticism.

    Based on what I have seen of the U.S. in the Biden era, and often before that, this is more likely to be a bad-faith political attack on the Conservatives than a good-faith attempt at anything. (The source, Gateway Pundit, should be taken with a grain of salt in its interpretations, as it is almost as partial, in the other direction, as most of MSM. However, I have seen enough from other sources and my own observations to not give the DHS the benefit of the doubt here. Indeed, there seems to be a strong drift to mark large areas of non-Leftist opinions (!) as “domestic terrorism”.)

    This is particularly dangerous with regard to the elections, as the result, should this approach be used permanently, is that even a clearly fraudulent election, as when a Socialist dictator gains 99 percent of the votes, could not be criticized. Effectively: We have a count from the election—and that count must be accepted, no matter what irregularities, miscounting, misreporting, ballot harvesting, whatnot, took place. Democracy, my ass!

  3. Multiple sources concern how DeSantis is pushing a bill to remove opportunities for early brainwashing of children in Florida. Firstly, this bill appears to hava been grossly misrepresented by the Left as a “don’t say gay” bill. (The more absurd, as the Left is far more likely to push for the ban of words and phrases and/or to prescribe other words and phrases than the non-Left.) Secondly, extremely childish Leftists have made a point, based on this gross misrepresentation, to get into the faces of Republicans and chant “Gay! Gay! Gay!” or to perform similarly idiotic stunts.

    That reality distortion is a core strategy of the Left is nothing new, but this is an extremely illustrative example, both of the type of “we are good and tolerant; they are evil and intolerant” distortions that are so often used (and, as here, often prove the exact opposite in the process), and what type of harassment is considered legitimate or illegitimate based on who is the perpetrator and who is the victim (instead of the act and the facts)—reverse the roles and the same act might be condemned as hate speech. Violate the increasingly far-Left teachings and you will be slandered and mocked.

  4. The Daily Sceptic discusses Roger Harbin and the BBC respectively their anti-scientific take on climate change. The problems include a 2006 unilateral decision that the science would now be settled (of course, with condemnation of gainsayers as “climate deniers” or some other derogatory term) and odd terminology changes like replacing “global warming” with “global heating”.

    The latter is not only extremely misleading in its natural connotations*, but (according to the article) was brought on by a lack of warming over a prolonged time—absent what we warn of, we must warn the harder and use the more alarming words, lest our support diminishes. (Note that this well matches my observations on the Left, e.g. in that Feminists cry the louder how disadvantaged women would be the less disadvantaged they actually are—let alone when women are actually advantaged, as in e.g. my native Sweden, where public debate might create the impression of 19th-century conditions for women.)

    *Contrast e.g. “warm day/air/water” with “hot day/air/water” with an eye at the temperatures involved. Indeed, with water as a baseline, even “teppid” might be an exaggeration.

    The former, more on topic, is a splendid example of an “Official Truth” that must not be opposed—or else. This is the more sad as my own take on global warming, climate change, whatnot, has become increasingly sceptical the more I have informed myself. While I have yet to arrive at a firm conclusion, I note that there is a disturbing tendency to just shout “Climate denier! Climate denier!” instead of rationally debating the many concerns raised by various scientists and debaters—up to and including whether a warming trend or trend towards more CO2 is automatically a bad thing. (Something, which is more assumed, as another indisputable “Official Truth”, than it is explained by factual arguments.) Of course, as with COVID, this refusal to engage in scientific debate makes it the harder for us laymen to actually develop a valid opinion.

  5. A Substack interview with Eugyppius goes into related issues with an eye (mostly) on COVID.

    To just quote a portion of the first question, as it sets the scene well (and note that “random internet denizens” are increasingly prevented from speaking their minds):

    Over the last 6 years or so I’ve seen a kind of (as of yet) unidentified sclerosis creep into widely used online infrastructure; the internet as I knew it became less responsive to my questions and interests, more prone to elevating mainstream sources to satisfy query inputs, less likely to guide me to the individuals actually concerned with whatever problems I was facing. The usual channels for learning more about niche experiences like Google and YouTube became virtually useless, and I began to spend more of my time looking to people on Twitter or rustic web forums for answers, most of whom were anonymous like yourself. But this phenomenon seemed intuitively backward—random internet denizens were somehow producing more insightful commentary on pretty much every matter than highly credentialed experts and capital-heavy institutions.

    (I recommend reading the entire text.)

Finally, I point to a long discussion of both free speech and Russia–Ukraine by a Catholic archbishop. While the free-speech part probably does not add anything new relative my own writings, the Russia–Ukraine part goes through much of what amounts to the other (non-Western) side of the story in [1], which makes it a good complement to that text.

Written by michaeleriksson

March 14, 2022 at 9:52 pm

Hate and free speech in the U.K. / Follow-up The power of a false consensus

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I just encountered a few pages that provide a good illustration of both the problem of The power of a false consensus ([1]) and of Tolkningsföreträde.

The Daily Sceptic, extensively quoting The Free Speech Union, writes that

Harry Miller, the ex-copper who refused to take it lying down when he was told by Humberside Police that retweeting a comic verse about transgendered people would be recorded against his name on the police database as a ‘non-crime hate incident’, has won a tremendous victory today in the Court of Appeal today.

As its noted on the page, the approach behind this database is chilling free speech and it is borderline absurd to have an official* registry of non-crime incidents of any kind that still is intended** to serve as a mark against someone.

*As opposed to a private one that e.g. tracks statement and behavior of sufficiently public persons, where those statements and behaviors are of relevance. Consider e.g. the value neutral tracking of the opinions of politicians on various issues for easy access by potential voters.

**The intent and the associated skew is of importance. Consider, contrasting with the previous footnote, a registry of just any allegedly xenophobic statements made by politicians, so that “the voters can avoid xenophobic politicians”. Also note that the intent behind the “non-crime hate incident” registry almost certainly includes turning a de jure non-crime into a de facto crime.

There might be a deeper problem, however: With what right was the original incident (and any other registered incident) deemed as hate? In all likelihood tolkningsföreträde. We on the noble Left decide what you mean when you say X. We on the noble Left decide what your ideology is. We on the noble Left decide what motivates your actions. We on the noble Left decide what is or is not offensive/hateful/racist/whatnot. Etc.

The application of “hate” to a registry like this is inexcusable.

(Similarly, but with a slightly lesser lack of justification,* the use of “hate” in phrases like “hate crime” is highly dubious, as it makes assumptions about intent that will very often be incorrect.)

*No, I will not speak of “more justification”.

I will not discuss the many other potential explanations in detail, nor (as my familiarity is too superficial) speak of this specific case in detail. However, I do note that the Left very, very often acts in bad faith when it comes to alleged hate, racism, sexism, …; and that this is very likely to relate to attempts to stamp out any dissent as discussed in [1]. Further, that there is a very wide range of statements and opinions that are negatively loaded without being hate (and are very often justified, at that).

As an example of the latter, consider many of my own writings and statements about the Left, e.g. concerning use of methods, disregard for the rights of the individual, censorship, whatnot. None of these statements are hate or motivated by hate—they are motivated by the enormous problems that the Left, and those who use similar methods, cause in the world. Yes, I am often filled with loathing and disgust when I encounter such problems, but these are not hate—and even had I reached the state of hate, it would just be a very natural and highly defensible result of the Left’s own behavior.* Nevertheless, someone on the Left could just throw out some nonsense about “anti-Left hate speech” and, sadly, convince many of those who (a) take such claims at face value and without any own investigation or critical thinking, and (b) assume that anything related to hate is automatically evil/invalid/whatnot.

*Interestingly, in areas like this, there never seems to be any reflection over whether the hate might be justified or justifiable. Considering e.g. the proportion of Leftist who profess to hate racists, Fascists, whatnot, even the Left should have an awareness for the possibility. I have noted the common hypocrisy on hate, especially on the Left, in the past, e.g. in [2]. (Note: I do not claim that justified hate would be a good idea—just that it would be justified.)

Similarly, note how often attempts by various serious debaters and persons with genuine concerns to discuss matters like immigration and crime or U.S. Blacks and crime have been silenced with blanket claims of “xenophobia” and “racism”, without any discussion of the actual merits of the case.

The Free Speech Union was not familiar to me, and I moved on to its Wikipedia page.

Here I find claims like “The organisation views itself as countering cancel culture […]”, which puts the own opinion of the organisation in doubt; and like “The group has been criticised by journalists and former student members who believe it has a right-wing agenda and that its stated aims are misleading.”, which prominently pushes a likely* Leftist and certainly partisan view of it.

*There is too little information for a certain claim, but the mixture of the sentiment, the use of the word “right-wing” as were it something automatically bad, and a source of “journalists” point very strongly in this direction. Also note that the lacking quantification is highly problematic—chances are that we can find two or three journalists who are critical of almost anything. (And more are not needed to speak of “journalists”.) Besides, do the opinions of modern day journalists, with their typical anti-journalistic approach, actually matter?

Or consider, to expand on the “student members”:

In January 2021, student members of the Free Speech Youth Advisory Board resigned after they discovered the board had close links to the Free Speech Union rather than being an independent grassroots movement that they had been led to believe. The students had hoped for a group addressing free speech issues around the world but found one dominated by Young’s right-wing perspective.

Here an account of some unspecified “student members” is stated as true, with no acknowledgment of potential differences in opinion and with no counter-statement by The Free Speech Union or any “student members” who did not resign. I note that a “right-wing perspective”, which the article does not explain, on free speech is typically nothing more than “free speech applies to everyone—not just the Left”. (To be contrasted with the typical Leftist view “Free speech is only intended for those with the correct opinions—and we, having tolkningsföreträde, decide what those are.”)

The entire article reads as one big attempt to discredit The Free Speech Union—not to give it a fair and unbiased encyclopedic treatment. This matches typical tactics well: Paint an image of any opposing organization as, e.g., a far-right hate movement. Discredit anything the opponent says, even e.g. in defense of free speech. Condemn anyone defended or supported by this opponent, because no-one not also a far-right hater would be supported by a far-right hate movement.

Note on language:
In some cases, I have adapted my own writing to match that of the quoted texts, e.g. by use of “right-wing” instead of “Rightwing” or “Right-wing”.

Note on quotes:
Some formatting might have been lost or altered in copying. References have been deliberately removed from Wikipedia quotes. See the original text for these.

Written by michaeleriksson

December 21, 2021 at 8:43 am

The power of a false consensus / Follow-up: Various

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Pondering a few recent texts (most notably: [1], [2]), I recalled something long forgotten:

The Asch conformity experiments.

The general idea: Many bow to a near-consensus opinion that they do not actually share—or, worse, actually change their opinions to conform with the near-consensus, for no better reason than the status as near-consensus. This even when we look at a situation where it is fairly obvious that the majority has it wrong.

What, then, might happen, when we look at an issue with no obvious answer? One where the answer might be clear to those who have put in the research, but where most individuals will not have done so?* Consider the many issues around COVID that have been fraught with uncertainty or where the science has changed over time. Consider various Leftist claims about women’s earnings, systemic racism, and similar, which seem convincing on a casual glance but collapse when someone actually looks at the facts at hand—which far too few have actually done.

*Which might sometimes be a failing; sometimes, merely a result of how little time there is for so many topics.

In light of this, various acts of censorship, straw-manning, defamation, etc. suddenly make more sense. Ditto the constant cries of “Fake news! Fake news!”.

What if the reason is not what I have always assumed, namely to prevent debate and to prevent others from being exposed to arguments, facts, and statistics—but to create a false* feeling of a consensus, with the object that the skeptics be “Aschered” towards the preferred opinion? (Be it by actually changing their minds or by making them conform in their claimed opinions.) For this to work, the perceived consensus must be near unanimous—or the existing dissenters must be so thoroughly discredited that they do not give the skeptics reason to continue their skepticism or, worse, turn into new dissenters.

*Note that this, in a worst case, could take place even in face of a true near consensus in the opposite direction, provided that the power of misrepresentation is sufficiently large. A potential example is that, as I have mentioned on a great number of occasions, journalists, politicians, and social scientists very stubbornly ignore inconvenient biological results, even to the point of claiming the exact opposite. (Including a great many claims relating to I.Q.) What proportion of the population reads the papers and what proportion actually has an exposure to biological scientific results?

The problem for the censors and whatnots: One individual standing up against a near consensus might find himself alone, without support, doubting himself (“Am I right—and all the others wrong?!?”), or otherwise have a weak position. Switch just one other to his side, let alone two or three, and the situation is very different, and the chances that he will stick to his guns are that much greater. Next, what if these few turn into even just a noticeable minority in society, making every potential dissenter or skeptic know that he is not alone?

Apart from the general observation with regard to e.g. Leftist propaganda and COVID-scaremongering, there is the important lesson to never change one’s mind for reasons like being in a minority. Being in a majority or a minority is only very rarely a useful argument—and a mind should be changed only if sufficiently strong and convincing real and relevant arguments are presented.

Excursion on the reporting of Asch’s results:
I was slightly disappointed by the discussion of results on the linked-to Wikipedia page, where the tendency to switch opinion was nowhere near as large as I wished to remember. This is explained by claims like “However, a 1990 survey of US social psychology textbooks found that most ignored independence, instead reported a misleading summary of the results as reflecting complete power of the situation to produce conformity of behavior and belief.”, i.e. a considerable distortion of the findings with a potential false consensus … (I do not see a conspiracy here, but it is an interesting coincidence, and an example of how science can be falsified when reported by middlemen, be it deliberately or accidentally.)

I would, however, not truly see this as weakening my above speculation. In part, the belief of the perpetrators that they would be successful is more important than their actual chances at success; in part, as stated above, the greater uncertainties around e.g. COVID (relative the clear decisions in the experiments) are likely to make the victims considerably more compliant than in the experiments.

Written by michaeleriksson

December 18, 2021 at 3:45 pm

That noble distraction / Follow-up: That noble cause

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A few years back, I wrote about noble causes and how they are used and abused.

Since then, I have grown ever more suspicious that some of them might serve another purpose than I had anticipated—distraction. (Cf. the idea of starting a war to distract from internal problems.)

If the voters are in a near state of panic over global warming, COVID, “systemic racism”, or similar, chances are that they will be too distracted from worse or real* problems that are less publicized (or where the knowledge is deliberately suppressed)—for instance, the damage done by too large a government and too much government intervention, including high taxes and handing out money to the lazy, poorly controlled immigration, dysgenic pressure within the population, misconstructed** healthcare systems, the destruction of education and science, etc.

*Global warming might be real, but systemic racism is not—unless it is in a pro-Black, anti-White, anti-Asian sense. (As evidence e.g. by Blacks being admitted to college with far lower SAT scores than Whites and Asians, and how Blacks are less likely to be shot by the police than Whites in equivalent incidents.)

**For instance, by giving the potential patients incentives to seek help even when help is not needed, and for the healthcare providers to raise prices, because a third-party pays. Notably, health insurance should actually be health insurance, as in “if something really bad happens, the insurance pays”—not a redistribution mechanism, as in “no matter why I go to the hospital or what medication I want, others will pay for me”.

(And note that many of these problems, while bad for the people and/or the nation, are good for the politicians, in general, or the Leftist politicians, in particular, e.g. because they lead to less informed voters, give an excuse to increase government intervention further to buy votes or to create the impression that the government is a rescuing angel, or similar.)

Written by michaeleriksson

July 7, 2021 at 10:59 am

The misleading “red pill” metaphor and the sleeping “woke”

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In light of the “woke” phenomenon, I have been contemplating the “red pill” metaphor. While it is often a convenient way to refer to an epiphany or revelation, it more often misses the point. Even looking at “The Matrix”, swallowing the red pill was not so much the source of revelation, or the achievement of revelation, as it was the choice of exposure to potential revelation: By taking the red pill, Neo woke up from the virtual world, began to live in the physical world, and was exposed to a set of experiences that allowed him new insights. The red pill was not the conclusion of the journey, nor even the first step of the journey—it was the opening of a door. (Or, to take a related metaphor, the fall down that rabbit-hole.)

However, if we look at most peddlers of red pills, including various PC and “woke” versions, the internalized attitude seems to be the opposite: a certain set of pre-formed opinions are provided, as a pill of sorts, and these opinions are to be accepted, or pill swallowed. Once you do, you are “woke”. This then divides the world into three categories of people: the “woke” (“righteous”, “Liberal”, “Feminist”, whatnot), the bigots (“racists”, “sexists”, whatnot) who have simply yet to be offered the pill of salvation, for whom there is still hope, and the irredeemably evil bigots who have had the audacity to reject the pill of salvation.

Notably, it is the true believers in the first category who tend to lack the most in critical thinking, different perspectives, historical insight, etc. Mostly, they have been offered a “truth” and swallowed it just as blindly as those who found religion through exposure to Christian missionaries.

In many ways, the “woke” are more asleep, more deeply buried in the Matrix, than the average person. They might even be best compared to the likes of Cypher (not Neo), who wants to be put into the Matrix for a life of lies and his own convenience. (In his case, some version of fame and fortune; in the case of the “woke”, e.g. a chance to get other people’s money, the ability to blame others for the absence of fame and fortune, and the ability to have that self-righteous “holier than thou” feeling.)

The same, m.m., very often applies to e.g. Feminists, Communist supporters, and the general PC crowd.

Thus, I suggest to only ever use the “red pill” metaphor to refer to those who have entered a journey of discovery and neither for those who have reached the end of that journey nor those who have just read someone else’s travel tale. Similarly, never use “woke” to refer to those who sleep, never use “enlightened” to refer to those who have not reached insights through own thinking, etc.

As an aside, Neo’s exposures post-pill do have a negative similarity with what e.g. the “woke” are offered: these were, at least originally, almost entirely one-sided accounts. In the movie, it might have worked well, but in real life? “Hi there! You have been mislead about the world your entire life and now you have to join us to violently overthrow the evil oppressors!”

Topics around the general issue of e.g. knowledge and world-view have been discussed repeatedly, often with an eye at the Left. Among these I note as particularly relevant:

Other aspects of opinion than right and wrong

Plato’s cave and the dangers of a limited world-view

The problem of too shallow knowledge / experiences in Sweden

Utterly insufficient data, insight, and thought

Written by michaeleriksson

August 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Unwort des Jahres / Intellectually dishonest Leftist propaganda

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As the recurring reader knows, I am both very interested in language use and political questions. The latter notably as a frequent critic of Leftist propaganda and attempts to control debate or thought in an unethical, often even Orwellian, manner.

The attempts by a group of Leftist populists to push their own “Unwort des Jahres”* has annoyed me for years: It pretends to be a group of linguists** acting in a linguistic capacity, but in reality it works to further its own political and ideological ideas in an entirely non-linguistic manner. Not only are words chosen in a manner as to (backed by its faux credibility) paint political opponents in a negative light, there even seems to be a tendency to pick whatever area “The Cause” has received the most push-back during the past year and choose a word specifically to hit back in that area. This behavior is, obviously, grossly unscientific and intellectually dishonest.

*“Unword of the year”. Cf. e.g. other German expressions like “Untier” (“monster” or “beast” in a modern sense) to “Tier” (“animal” or “beast” in an older sense). Also see German Wikipedia and (with less content) English Wikipedia, as well as the official website of the group.

**And might well be—the point is that the members do not act as linguists or using linguistic (or other relevant) criteria, but political and ideological ones. Of course, if non-linguistic criteria, including those mentioned below, are to be used, linguists have no authority and are, in fact, inferior to those with a more relevant background.

Indeed, while the shallow-most* outward presentation is “linguists”, even the official criteria almost precludes a scientific approach and clearly demonstrate that it is not a matter of e.g. good or poor use of language. One of the official pages gives e.g. “gegen das Prinzip der Menschenwürde” (“contrary to the principle of human dignity”) as a criterion—but even these criteria are usually hard to reconcile with the actual choices. Looking at the motivations given, it is often clear that no attempts has been made to see the perspective of the users or to understand the use in context. I would even argue that the activities of the jury are contrary to its own alleged principles. Certainly, these principles are not applied in a politically neutral manner, but in a manner slanted very strongly, in U.S. terminology, pro-Democrat and anti-Republican.

*For instance, the video-text of ARD, a public German TV sender, speaks of “eine Jury aus Sprachwissenschaftlern” (“a jury of linguists”).

Consider e.g. this year’s choice: “Klimahysterie” (“climate hysteria”) While climate issues are very important, we do have a problem with excesses and misguided propaganda, that might well even justify the use of “hysteria”—and certainly, indisputably, there are many individuals who are hysterical on the issue. Note e.g. the ridiculous “Greta Thunberg” phenomenon or how the climate debate is increasingly dominated by emotional arguments and cheap rhetoric instead of reason and scientific arguments. Also note that exactly this type of behavior has strongly contributed to the current climate situation through prioritizing a reduction of nuclear power over a reduction of fossil fuels for decades. (Nuclear power once filling the same propaganda role as global warming does today—and with far less justification.)

Or consider the 2014 “Lügenpresse” (“liar press”): While it can be disputed to what degree the German press is actively lying,* there is no doubt that the average journalist is both incompetent and poorly informed. It is also well established that the average journalist is further to the Left than the non-journalist population; and there are plenty of examples of journalist and media at least deliberately filtering the facts in a manner that violates my suggestions for a new press ethics. Notably, the mentality that the facts need to be filtered, lest someone comes to the “wrong” conclusion (i.e. another conclusion than the journalist), seems to be extremely common. Also note that outright journalistic fraud is by no means unheard of (cf. e.g. [1], [2].)

*The expression, in my opinion, is to a large part based on misattribution of intention.

Particularly negative is that the frequency of use does not appear to play in. For instance, the 2012 “Opfer-Abo” (“victim subscription”) seems to refer to just several uses by a single person—the unjustly-accused-of-rape Jörg Kachelmann. While this phrase could be disputed as linguistically almost nonsensical, the underlying problem is a very real one: The fact is that, contrary to Feminist propaganda, false rape accusations are quite common. The narrow-minded jury, however, decries this use as being too accusatory of women—in a manner that exemplifies his claim that women can position themselves as victims even when they are the perpetrators. (See excursion for additional details.)

It is also notable that many true “unwords” have gone without attack, e.g. the atrocious “NGO”, an untranslated adoption of the already misleading and idiotic English abbreviation (and unabbreviated term), and the ever recurring “Rechtsruck”.

Something quite telling is that there is also a “word of the year” published by the (much better known and much more renowned) Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (roughly, “Society for German language”). When the unword was introduced in 1991 it was published by the same source—but two years later some row caused a splinter group to move away and publish the unword independently. Unfortunately, the lower credibility and disassociation rarely finds mention, leaving many with the impression that the unword is chosen by an entity of true noteworthiness, instead of reflecting the private political opinions of an ideologically motivated splinter group.

Excursion on “Opfer-Abo”: German Wikipedia describes the use with:*

*Here and below: Some minor typographic changes have been made. I leave “Opfer-Abo” untranslated. Some translation might be approximate due to differences in idiom and whatnot.

Im Herbst 2012 hatte Jörg Kachelmann in mehreren Interviews geäußert, dass Frauen ein “Opfer-Abo” hätten. Mit ihm könnten sie ihre Interessen gegenüber Männern zum Beispiel in Form von Falschbeschuldigungen durchsetzen. Die Wortschöpfung selbst stammt laut Aussage Jörg Kachelmanns von seiner Frau Miriam. In einem Interview der Zeitschrift Der Spiegel, bei dem er gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Miriam interviewt wurde, sagte Kachelmann: “Das ist das Opfer-Abo, das Frauen haben. Frauen sind immer Opfer, selbst wenn sie Täterinnen wurden. Menschen können aber auch genuin böse sein, auch wenn sie weiblich sind.”

Translation: In the Autumn 2012, Jörg Kachelmann declared in several interviews, that women had an “Opfer-Abo”. With it, they could enforce their interests against men, e.g. through false accusations. The word it self was, according to Kachelmann, created by his wife [sic!]. In an interview by the magazine Der Spiegel, which interviewed him together with his wife Miriam, Kachelmann said: “This is the Opfer-Abo that women have. Women are always victims, even when they turn into perpetrators. Humans, however, can be genuinely bad, even when they are female.”

This is by no means an unreasonable claim and well matches much of female behavior that I have seen myself and observations by others around e.g. rape accusations, divorces, and similar. Consider e.g. a great number of discussions on Minding the Campus. I note e.g. that I spent a considerable amount of time reading relationships forums some ten or fifteen years ago, and found a horrifying double standard, including instances where the exact same behavior from a man and a woman received opposite “advice”, often putting the blame on the man in all cases.* Much of Feminism amounts to finding a reason why someone or something other than the woman at hand, preferably a man or men in general, is to blame for everything negative that happens to her, with no thought of own responsibility.**

*E.g. that if a man hit a woman it was because he was an ass-hole and she should leave him immediately; while if a woman hit a man, it was because he (!) was an ass-hole, who drove her to violence, and he should forgive her and start behaving better.

**E.g. that if a woman does not get a promotion, it is not for lack of competence but discrimination; if a woman is insecure about her looks, it is not her weakness but brain-washing by “society”; etc.

Wikipedia further says:

Die Jury [member list omitted] begründete die Wahl damit, dass das Wort Frauen “pauschal und in inakzeptabler Weise” unter den Verdacht stelle, sexuelle Gewalt zu erfinden und damit selbst Täterinnen zu sein. Die Jury behauptet, dass nur fünf bis acht Prozent der von sexueller Gewalt betroffenen Frauen tatsächlich die Polizei einschalteten und dass es dabei in nur drei bis vier Prozent der Fälle zu einer Anzeige und einem Gerichtsverfahren komme. Der Begriff und die damit verbundene Aussage sei sachlich grob unangemessen. “Das Wort verstößt damit nicht zuletzt auch gegen die Menschenwürde der tatsächlichen Opfer.”

Translation: The jury [member list omitted] justified the choice by the claim that the word “in a blanket manner and unacceptably” would accuse women of inventing sexual violence and thereby become perpetrators. The jury claimed, that only five to eight percent of the female victims of sexual violence would notify the police and that only in three or four percent of the cases a charge and a judicial proceeding would follow. The term and the implied statement would be factually grossly inappropriate. “The word thereby also violates the human dignity of the actual victims.”

There is a lot wrong with the above, including that Kachelmann himself has been harder hit than the wast majority of rape victims and that it is quite clear that he, himself, has been falsely accused—years of anxiety, a ruined career, a (temporarily) ruined reputation. What is with his human dignity and whatnot as an actual victim? As for the numbers, I note that there is no* mention of the rate of false accusations, which is high, and that the low numbers given sound more like Feminist propaganda than true numbers. (Cf. e.g. an older text on rape statistics, including links, and the older text on Kachelmann linked to above.) Even had these numbers been true, however, they would be largely irrelevant, because they do not address the issue behind Kachelmann’s claim. (They could indeed be seen as support of his claim, because a low rate of true reports would increase the proportion of false reports, and give a strong argument that rape accusations should be scrutinized more closely than is often the case.) To claim that it would be unacceptable for the victim of a false accusation to complain about false accusation is it self unacceptable and in extremely poor taste. The claim that Kachelmann would raise a blanket (“pauschal”) suspicion is at best exaggerated and seems motivated by bad faith.

*There might have been in a larger context than what Wikipedia quotes, but it would be an odd thing to leave out. Moreover, the official Feminist “truth” is that a woman would never, ever lie about being raped, which reduces the probability that realistic numbers would have been given.

Written by michaeleriksson

January 14, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and political correctness

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I have long been concerned with the infestation of Wikipedia by unencyclopedic PC propaganda, where it is clear that many see Wikipedia as yet another platform for furthering their private agendas—science and objectivity by damned. (Cf. e.g. parts of [1] and “young adult fiction” below.)

During the last few months, I have become a frequent visitor of Wiktionary, as a very valuable tool for the struggling author. To my distress, I found many cases of potential similar abuse even here, where it might seem implausible. While any individual case might be a coincidence, the proportion of the articles that contain odd examples and potential distortions is too large to allow coincidence to be the overall explanation. (For instance, any one of the below examples might be harmless or coincidental when taken alone. Possibly, the entire page discussed might be seen as a coincidence. However, when we look at the sum of all pages, this would stretch credulity.)

Consider e.g. Wiktionary on “sneer”. The English section currently contains three examples of use (given below). All three could have been chosen for their “PC value”; with one, it is outright likely. Moreover, two of them appear to be quite young, while the third goes back no further than 1963. This despite aspects like historical* use and somewhat stable** use being of great importance on a site like Wiktionary.

*While Wikipedia is silent on age, Etymonline gives estimations of 1550s (verb) and 1707 (noun). The examples, then, cover about a tenth of the life-time of the word.

**Examples from 2019 could reflect a temporary fashion, while older examples are more likely to represent a stable use and meaning. (A wish to demonstrate current use is still best met with examples that are, say, ten or twenty years old and still seen as “current” in meaning.)

Looking at these examples in detail, we have:*

*Note that some changes in typography and formatting might be present for technical reasons. Use of square brackets reflect the state on Wiktionary, and are not additions by me.

  1. 2019 July 24, David Austin Walsh, “Flirting With Fascism”, in Jewish Currents:

    During [Tucker] Carlson’s keynote, he wedged sneers at his critics for crying “racist!” in between racist remarks about [Ilhan] Omar, jeremiads against the media (“I know there’s a bunch of reporters here, so . . . screw you”), and an attack on Elizabeth Warren and her donors (“She’s a tragedy, because she’s now obsessed with racism, which is why the finance world supports her”)—all to gleeful applause.

    This example is months old, from a political/partisan source (and one with an apparent “anti-Fascist” take at that), and the quote at least represents someone as trying to criticize use of the word “racist” while actually being racist. Now, I am not aware of who Carlsson is or what his opinions are, but abuse of the word “racist” is a massive problem in today’s world, be it out of ignorance or in order to discredit opponents without having to address their arguments. (The same applies to e.g. “sexist”, “xenophobe”, “Fascist”.) I have discussed this repeatedly in the past, notably in [2].

    To boot, the structure of the example, with formatting, quotes-within-quotes, etc., makes it highly unsuitable as an example for other reasons.

  2. “Now here’s someone who should attend privilege workshops,” sneered she.

    There is no date or source given, but the reference to “privilege workshops” is a clear indication of a very recent origin, likely within the last few years, decades on the outside.

    The whole “privilege” bullshit is another staple of PC rhetoric, as I discuss e.g. in [3].

    A potential partial save of the example is the interpretation of the sneerer as evil, as with the above example and, possibly, the below. I am not much inclined to extend the benefit of the doubt these days, however.

  3. 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 8, in The China Governess[1]:

    It was a casual sneer, obviously one of a long line. There was hatred behind it, but of a quiet, chronic type, nothing new or unduly virulent, and he was taken aback by the flicker of amazed incredulity that passed over the younger man’s ravaged face.

    This is the example least likely by far to be an abuse, but combining the quote with the name of the source, there is at least a possibility that it too portrays or pretends to portray a scene of racism or other “ism”, e.g. something anti-Chinese. (I have not investigated this further.)

In a bigger picture, “collaborative” or “public contribution” sites like Wikipedia and Wiktionary are exceptionally sensitive to such distortions. Have just one high-school or college student out of one hundred spend an hour a week performing such deliberately abusive agenda pushing, and the legitimate editors would be flooded. (Even discounting the considerable risk that many of the legitimate editors have pro-PC or pro-Left biases that unconsciously distort their efforts.) That such deliberate distortive editing does take place is indisputable. A blatant example is the Wikipedia page on “young adult fiction”, which I encountered somewhat* recently. At the time, the page was dominated by the side-topic of “diversity”, another PC staple and one of a highly dubious justification—if nothing else, I did not even care if the heroes where human when I read this type of fiction… Currently, this sub-topic has been reduced to a shorter section—but at the cost of creating an entire new page on diversity in young adult fiction. This new page is almost as long as the main page…

*At some point in 2018. I intended to write a longer critical text at the time, but never got around to it.

Moreover, looking at the talk page, it appears that this is the work of a user Kaylac8215, who claims that “I will be working on this wiki for a class project. I will be doing basic copyediting and reformatting, as well as adding a section talking about Diversity in YA lit.”, which (together with other statements) shows both misguided intentions and an external motivation. (Entirely aside from the fact that the sometime abuse of Wikipedia editing as a pedagogical tool is inexcusable. The work produced is almost invariably well below the regular standard. Any teacher who pushes this should be summarily fired.) Her approach is later discussed negatively by others, but the result of this discussion was not the deletion of the major part of the text, just the move to a new page.

While I have not reviewed the current state of the text, I do recall that I found it highly one-sided and poorly written at the time of my original encounter.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 22, 2019 at 7:16 pm