Author Topic: Oh no. Oh God no.  (Read 27074 times)

BROJ

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #225 on: May 04, 2008, 11:42:14 pm »
I rather resent the implication that I'm somehow a pretender or a charlatan.
We all wear our 'masks'--especially on the net--it's very rare that anyone is ever who they seem to be... and then on the other hand many are incapable of wearing a 'mask' without degenerating into a troll--one can never be sure. All to often we 'emulate' other people's meritable characteristics to achieve the same level of respect of said individuals, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. (right down to 'falsely placed' characteristics such as modesty, honesty, skills in their respective fields, and some which are not apparent to the average person.) However, there are 'rare' breeds that partially wear their 'masks' or their 'masks' are very subtle. It takes a truly skilled person, with a little manipulation and intuition, to reliably 'remove' peoples 'masks'--which is an unlikely trait for most to develop. J had touched on this with his comments about what we reveal when we speak/type. So his disbelief is... understandable, you cannot fault him for making such human assumptions-- if he's wrong, that is. The truth is, and the point J was trying to make, only we will ever possibly know what we truly look like behind our 'masks'.

But we all have to grow up sometime, and now is as good a time as any.
I have matured a great deal, and still am, thanks to all of you.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 12:47:50 am by BROJ »

Burning Zeppelin

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #226 on: May 05, 2008, 07:44:01 am »
In defence of Lord J, I used to think exactly the same was of Lord J, BROJ, as I and he had daily heated arguments. However, once you get to look at his reasoning and knowledge, you realize that what he is saying is usually right.

Thought

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #227 on: May 05, 2008, 05:27:35 pm »
Are we to understand, based on this statement, that you don't think of homosexuals as even being capable of being human beings? Because I can't help but draw that conclusion from this statement. It also seems that you are asserting that individuals are incapable of making decisions on their own, and the biological sex is in of itself a form of merit in the decision making process.

Am I incorrect in any of that?

Mostly, but I also say that such an interpretation is quite understandable as I should have been clearer yet was not.

Homosexuals are only incapable of being human, under such a statement, if they cease being male or female all together. One might point to a particularly effeminate homosexual man and say that he isn't "male" for the sake of those very effeminate traits. Yet, if not male, it is because he is more of what is associated with female, and thus still capable of being human (as I am defining it). Indeed, from what I have stated thus far, one might well argue that if such a stance is valid (that both male and female are needed to be "human"), then homosexuals are closer to being a single human in a single body than most, as they blur the line between genders.

Nor am I saying that the individual is incapable of making decisions on one's own, but rather better decisions will be made together. This is in many ways no different than saying two heads are better than one; better decisions will be made when discussed between two individuals. I'd generally claim that two men would make a better decision than one man alone as well. Merely, if we desire to optimize the likelihood of the best possible decision being made, two individuals (one male and one female) would be better starting conditions than one individual (male or female) alone or even two similar individuals (a man and a man, or a woman and a woman).

This isn't even to say that alone people would make bad decisions (or that together they would make good decisions), rather just that the likelihood of good decisions is higher and the potential of the goodness itself greater. To offer a numerical interpretation, let us say that alone, an individual has a 50/50 chance of making a good decisions and that good is limited between -5 and +5 (on a scale). Two individuals in the proposed situation would then have a 75% chance of making a good decision, with the good itself capable of reaching up to +10 (but still being limited to -5). (to note, such numbers were merely chosen to reflect what I am trying to say, not reality itself).

Thought, so much of this stuff is gobbledegook in the first place, because many of the issues we have discussed are made up as much of interpretation as fact, and thus in a sense it’s like we’re arguing about whose favorite color is prettier.

Green. :)

Holy moly, I’m surrounded by gods and scholars and geniuses! Hah! I’ve given up trying to compete with all of that.

Actually, that is one of the amazing things about the compendium. If people are to be believed (and I am inclined to think they are), the compendium has an unusual level of "scholars" in it. Many major fields, from Math to Philosophy, to physics to whatever-it-is-you-do seems to be represented. I'd have to go to a Faculty Club to find so many vibrant thoughts in one place. With only, what, maybe 50 active members(?) the compendium does quite well in this regard.

Even if I am altogether, completely, utterly, entirely, wholly, absolutely, unequivocally WRONG about everything I say, I provide other people with enough substance to, if they should so desire it, improve upon themselves!

That is why people keep paying attention to you (well, that and it is sort of hard to utterly ignore 13ish pages of text when one is writing a response; makes it look like one isn't being thorough). To be fair, I suspect that is why anyone pays attention to me (certainly it isn't for my brevity), or any of us.

People don’t seem to understand me when I say that we give ourselves away by writing anything with any conviction.

First, to note, most people only write about those things that they are pretty sure about. Those things that they are utterly convinced of, most don't think to question in the first place and so don't consider that it can be written about until challenged.

Also, people understand, you just aren’t charismatic enough to get many people to admit it (or they've realized it on their own and you saying it is like saying the sky is blue; true but hardly worthy of a response). That is one of the great problems of being overly brash in debates; likeability is very important if you want to get people to believe you. If people think you're arrogant, a jerk, quick to judge, and none too steady in the brainpan, it doesn't matter what you say, they'll reject it. It is a terribly hard thing for people to admit that they are wrong, even to those that they trust. But to admit that someone they see as a vicious animal is right about them? It goes against our instincts.

A particular problem comes when they reject the conclusions you have drawn. It may be because they consider your conclusion incorrect (which isn't to even comment on the ultimate validity of those conclusions). Or it may be because your conclusions are correct only insofar as the individual has revealed themselves. As this is through their posts on the forum, and I suspect specifically those posts in debates, even if your analysis is correct, it isn't complete. You seem to mistake this for lack of understanding in general, when it is just a lack of agreement.

As for ranking, you seem to have missed the point, which allows me to be (relatively) brief;

Ranking is always applied after the fact. That is,

Ranking is
That’s the first half of the equation. Everything on the other side means this

not
The exact opposite of being, a negative, the opposite of that which follows.

a
That’s a singular indefinite article.

means of
a way of conveying or achieving a result

judging value,
establishing the merit of one of multiple possible states through deliberation over presented arguments for those possible states.

rather it is
instead of the position presented or addressed prior

a
There's that article again

means of
once more, a way of conveying or achieving a result

ordering things.
establishing a variety of items in a manner that conforms to recognizable patterns.

You are confusing the actual judging process with the process of establishing a ranking. At its best, ranking might tell you the relative value of something, but not the actual value.

Now you said that taking ranking out of context is a logical fallacy, which I agree with. The problem is, people do that anyways. I would be slightly surprised if you've never heard someone shout "we're number one!" Unfortunately, people forget themselves at take such statements at face value; low rankings are seen as a cause for concern while high rankings are seen as an indication of success. This leads to a mindset that as long as one is doing well in ranking, one is actually doing well, and that doing poorly in ranking means one is doing poorly in actuality. When applied to social structures, often this results in competition with the end result not being betterment but “winning,” of being #1 regardless of what that actually means.

Value is judged not by ranking but by predefined criteria. For doctors, we might determine value based on the number of times they have performed a particular procedure when compared with their success rating for such instances. The judging process tells us that Dr. McNinja might have twenty two thousand instances of a particular procedure with a 98% success rate. His value has been judged (but us establishing what our judging criteria were and deliberating on that process) and we could leave it at that. You might want to apply a ranking system at this point and say that he is #1 out of 1! Or we could continue and examine Dr. O'Pirate; for the same procedure he has 10,000 instances but only a 30% success rate. Now, we still don't have a ranking system, these two bits of information are just floating about in the ether, as it were, but we could apply one easily enough. Dr. McNinja is #1 in terms of number of procedures performed and success rate, Dr. O'Pirate is dead last. But is ordering information, not much to do with judging value.

I can understand why you would think ranking is a value judgment; you seem to assume (falsely) that #1 or #374,923, best or worst, have independent values. These ranks, however, only have value when applied to something. In short, the value judgment has already been made and ranking is just a way for people to understand it.

For your medical example, the value judgment should have already been made by the local medical community, which afterwards assigned one individual with the title of "best" whatever. It isn't that ranking replaced the actual judgment, rather that is the form, the mere morphology, that the judgment has been given to you. Yet, usually, the ranking can be easily replaced by the actual values. The only time ranking becomes particularly useful is when the actual values are incredibly complex, when we are just looking for the number of times a doctor performed a procedure and the success rate but also recovery times, in-surgery complications, post-surgery complications, secondary infections, scar size, length of operation, cost of operation, age range, gender range, etc.

But, you might notice, ranking in such a case is actually an economic exchange. Ranking provides us with the time and effort that is otherwise required to properly judge the value of the various criteria of the various items. In exchange, it requires something from us: independent thought and analysis. To be rather Marxian, ranking is the opiate of the masses.

So, I suppose, at the end I am actually forced to admit that yes, ranking does have a value in itself. Its value is the time it saves you and the thinking it takes away. I will admit, I was wrong to pooh-pooh ranking entirely. At times it is better to go with the ranking. But I hope you might forgive my undue hast in preserving thinking when “thought” itself is on the line.

As a total aside: one of the reasons it is enjoyable to debate at you is that the discussion takes such random twists and turns. It's like fighting Nereus... only, you know, without all the water and prophecy.

Quote from: Lord J esq.
because I have nothing to lose,
I feel confident enough to call you a liar here--everybody has something to lose whether they readily admit it or not.

A good point, but I am not actually sure he is in the wrong here.

While everyone has something to loose, including Lord J, the assumed meaning is that he has nothing to loose in this context (it isn't like we can march over to his house and start taking things from him, for example). It isn't that he hasn't "thought about his lady friend down at the DA's office" or his "old Butler," it's that he looks around and sees "two councilmen, a union official, a couple of off-duty cops, and a judge" and knows that there is nothing we can do. We'd need a power that we can't buy to really be a threat to him, to make Lord J loose something. It seems to be as simple as the old matter of nothing ventured, nothing gained. Lord J may well have nothing to loose for the simple reason that he hasn't put anything forward that he is willing to let go of. If it is impossible for us to convince him to willingly let go, then in this case, he really doesn't have anything to loose. Which, while this does make him a rather nice Bruce Wayne, it prevents him from a Batman.

Well, except time. Hopefully I've at least made him loose some of that!

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #228 on: May 06, 2008, 02:58:25 am »
Homosexuals are only incapable of being human, under such a statement, if they cease being male or female all together. One might point to a particularly effeminate homosexual man and say that he isn't "male" for the sake of those very effeminate traits. Yet, if not male, it is because he is more of what is associated with female, and thus still capable of being human (as I am defining it). Indeed, from what I have stated thus far, one might well argue that if such a stance is valid (that both male and female are needed to be "human"), then homosexuals are closer to being a single human in a single body than most, as they blur the line between genders.

You initially said a man and a woman are needed to be a full human being. Are you now ammending that to say that there must be a "male" and "female" role reflected? Is it gender or sex that you think is the trait that must be represented dually to come up with a human being, and what is the "proper relationship between the two" as you define it?

Nor am I saying that the individual is incapable of making decisions on one's own, but rather better decisions will be made together. This is in many ways no different than saying two heads are better than one; better decisions will be made when discussed between two individuals. I'd generally claim that two men would make a better decision than one man alone as well. Merely, if we desire to optimize the likelihood of the best possible decision being made, two individuals (one male and one female) would be better starting conditions than one individual (male or female) alone or even two similar individuals (a man and a man, or a woman and a woman).

So you do believe that sex (or is it gender now?) is an intrinsic part of the decission making process for important decissions? If there is some importance to both a man and a woman (or a male and a female) having a particular relationship together, than surely there must be something that each is deficient in.

Why do you think that demanding rigid gender roles will benefit humanity?

This isn't even to say that alone people would make bad decisions (or that together they would make good decisions), rather just that the likelihood of good decisions is higher and the potential of the goodness itself greater. To offer a numerical interpretation, let us say that alone, an individual has a 50/50 chance of making a good decisions and that good is limited between -5 and +5 (on a scale). Two individuals in the proposed situation would then have a 75% chance of making a good decision, with the good itself capable of reaching up to +10 (but still being limited to -5). (to note, such numbers were merely chosen to reflect what I am trying to say, not reality itself).



Throwing more people at a problem does not in of itself mean you're more likely to come up with a better solution than an individual could come up with, nor have you adequately explained what merrits you believe are intrinsic to sex (or gender) when it comes to the decision making process.

Even if I grant that two heads are always better than one, you still have not explained why you think the best results will come if exactly one of those heads can grow a beard on its face.

Thought

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #229 on: May 07, 2008, 06:45:04 pm »
I am terribly sorry RD, I seem to be very ineloquent in this matter. But I will attempt one more time to amend this deficiency.

You initially said a man and a woman are needed to be a full human being. Are you now ammending that to say that there must be a "male" and "female" role reflected? Is it gender or sex that you think is the trait that must be represented dually to come up with a human being, and what is the "proper relationship between the two" as you define it?

I said man and woman, you asked about homosexuals. The implication there was that you saw (or thought I saw) homosexuals as being neither men nor women. This did not seem to be tenable; regardless of sexual preference, homosexual men still have the XY gene pairing, and homosexual women have the XX gene pairing. Thus I concluded that you must have been referring not to sex or gender but rather what traditionally might be referred to as male or female behaviors. It seemed that you, insofar as you appeared to be identifying homosexuals with the opposite gender's behaviors, were then under the impression my proposed... concept? (theory and hypothesis are really both too strong of words to define it) was stating that because of a lack of male behaviors, homosexual men couldn't be considered men and therefore incapable of being part of a human pairing (if men are to be part of a human pairing).

For example, traditionally caring about one's physical appearance has been attributed to women (the entire metro-sexual movement has shown that such a traditional conception is improperly founded, to note). Homosexual men are often characterized as being more concerned about their physical appearance than heterosexual men (a questionable assertion, but the common characterization nonetheless). Your question seemed to imply that you were under the impression that if such a characterization were accurate, and assuming my proposed concept were accurate, homosexual men displaying a heightened degree concern for their appearance were not, in truth, male and therefore excluded from humanity.

My response was then to address this perceived focus on behavior, rather than gender or sex (though I do claim that behavior is a product of gender and sex).

Now, to attempt to clearly state the matter that I am proposing (in a means that I just thought of today, so I am not entirely sure if the categories are properly fitted):

You are probably familiar with the concept of primary sexual characteristic. This forms the first level of what it means to be male or female.

1. Men have testis and a penis, women have ovaries and a vagina (well, there are more than just these few characteristics).

This is the most obvious function of our sex genes; reproduction.

Chances are, you are also familiar with secondary sexual characteristics. This forms the second level of what it means to be male or female.

2. Men have beards, Women have more subcutaneous fat.

These characteristics are not our genes representing themselves in reproduction but in physical abilities (and appearance, those primary traits do that too). The Olympic events are usually separated into male and female divisions because of these differences.

So, then, I am essentially addressing what we might term as tertiary sexual characteristics. This forms the third level of what it means to be male or female. This is still our sex genes expressing themselves, but at the same time it is in manner less subtle than penises or fat. Lay a dead man and a dead woman next to each other and you couldn't tell what the tertiary sexual characteristics are. These sexual characteristics, though still originating from sex genes, expresses itself internally, both physiologically and mentally. So:

3. Boys like certain toys, girls like other toys.

This third level is where I am talking about, where sex and behavior meld to form what is generally called gender (not to be confused with gender roles).

Now, before I proceed, it should be noted that toy preference is sometimes held to be an example of cultural influence on gender development in children. Children observe adult reactions and learn what toys they can play with (and in what way). The claim that is sometimes made is that genes and sex (sex being most strongly defined in the first level, noted above) have nothing to do with play behavior; it is entirely dependent on cultural and social influences.

To respond to such possible statements (hopefully I have not presented it as a strawman fallacy, but please do let me know if I have), allow me to refer you to the following article:

Hassett JM, Siebert ER, Wallen K. Sex differences in rhesus monkey toy preferences parallel those of children.
Hormones and Behavior. 2008 Mar 25 [Epub ahead of print]

If you have access to PubMed (that being a free search engine for Medline, a database of scientific articles), the PMID is 18452921

You can probably get the thrust of the article from the title. I can provide the abstract, however, if you so desire. Particularly interesting, if I might, is the second to last line of that abstract: "The similarities to human findings demonstrate that such preferences can develop without explicit gendered socialization."

Now Lord J, and presumably yourself, seem to be of the belief that actualized-equality between the sexes (or gender, as gender is merely one instance of sexual expression, and hence why it can be used so interchangeably) requires the eradication of the concept of "gender."

I am maintaining that such a goal is inherently flawed, undesirable, and indeed oppressive.

But from tertiary sexual characteristics (“gender”), I am also proposing that those characteristics might be harnessed for the betterment of mankind; specifically, in this instance, in the melding of two "preferences [that] reflect hormonally influenced behavioral and cognitive biases which are sculpted by social processes" (the last line of the above noted abstract) in order to achieve the best of both worlds.

So you do believe that sex (or is it gender now?) is an intrinsic part of the decission making process for important decissions? If there is some importance to both a man and a woman (or a male and a female) having a particular relationship together, than surely there must be something that each is deficient in.

That is certainly a particular way to look at it. (though I'd claim it to be an unnecessarily negative way)

When compared to the decision making powers of a male/female team, yes a man alone, and yes a woman alone, will be "deficiency" in their decision making capabilities, specifically deficient of what the other sex (or gender) has. However, to call this a "deficiency" is rather curious, akin to saying that a man is deficient in a vagina and a woman is deficient in a penis. Indeed, it is also akin to stating that sulphur trioxide is deficient of water, or water is deficient of sulphur trioxide. Both are still quite viable in and of themselves, happy to mind their own business and not requiring the other. However, to reach something greater, something more complex, that requires the two come together and form sulphuric acid.

Why do you think that demanding rigid gender roles will benefit humanity?

Curious, as I never said anything about rigid gender roles (and I've attempted to largely ignore gender roles in general). Maybe the statement that men and women need be included on important decision making with what gave you this belief? Yet, I am not even sure decision making (which I did mention as being specifically the domain and men and women) would rightly count as a gender role; gender role has the connotation of limiting a role to a specific gender, whereas the proposition to that the role requires both.

However, I also suspect you are imagining all gender-related behaviors as rigid (and as gender roles).

A classic example of such is that of the "housewife." I think we'd all agree that the "housewife," as conceptualized in the 1950's (or indeed, as conceptualized in the 1920's and 30's) was a rigid (and oppressive) gender role. There were few employment options for women and it was expected that those were specifically for old maids who would never marry or young maidens who were to marry shortly.

Jump forward to the 21st century; now society is fairly accepting of women in the "general workplace" (defined as employment outside of the home). If a woman, with the ability and freedom to choose, decided to forgo the general workplace and instead take on the role of the "housewife," is that now a rigid (or oppressive) gender role? Indeed, if one were to insist that a woman could not take on the role of the "housewife" due to a perceived rigidity of gender roles, that itself would be a rigid gender role (except now, instead of being limited to the role of a "housewife," the woman would be restricted to the role of a businesswoman).

So, then, from this I would conclude that it is not the activity that is rigid (or oppressive), but rather the social limitations that surround it. It seems obvious but it is worth saying, gender roles that are strictly enforced are rigid and oppressive, whereas gender roles that are free and open are neither rigid nor oppressive (though I suppose one might claim that it isn't a gender role if it is free and open).

The entire point of this is to say that a gender, being motivated by their tertiary sexual characteristics, may be suited to this or that task in a different (and potentially more effective) manner, yet such a predisposition need not be a limitation.

It is rather ridiculous to state that all individuals are equally suited to all tasks and activities; this is something that can easily be observed apart from gender. An individual with unsteady hands is ill suited to handle a scalpel while an individual with a head for numbers is well suited to be a mathematician. All people have equal potential, but that potential manifests itself in different ways.

So I am claiming that gender (still, defined as tertiary sexual characteristics) is similar. Gender helps influence the path that one's potential might progress down (not will, but might). By being willing, as a society, to recognize gender differences, we can, as a society, also attempt to foster the strengths of each gender (as one has to identify a strength before one can effectively help develop it).

Not all potential is determined by gender; I am not claiming so. Merely, gender plays an intrinsic role.

As I am stating that these strengths will develop as the result of the impetus of our genes, I am also stating that these strengths will be present in humanity no matter what. So, then, if humanity attempts to remove gender, all it will do is suppress these strengths and oppress both men and women. Genderless equality can only be actualized through the enslavement and restriction of the entire human race.

However, to note specifically, equality minus the requirement of it being genderless is rather free. The individual is free to develop themselves as person, to better themselves through the development of their strengths. And if, in such a world, it turns out that video game sales of first person shooters are comprised of 55% men and only 45% women, meh. Humanity can recognize the difference, look to ensure that oppression isn't sneaking in, and be on our way. In a world of genderless equality, such a difference is cause for great concern. Studies will need to be performed, initiatives passed by the government, funding spend, and the social framework re-examined.

And, because I believe gender strengths are inherent in sex (which is, again, why the two can be interchangeably used), any attempt to create a genderless society will ultimately fail. People will only let society tell them that their strengths don't exist, that they are not unique, so long before they revolt. Acknowledging and celebrating gender is where the future lies. To suppress gender is about as bad as to acknowledge but punish it.

Throwing more people at a problem does not in of itself mean you're more likely to come up with a better solution than an individual could come up with, nor have you adequately explained what merrits you believe are intrinsic to sex (or gender) when it comes to the decision making process.

Depends on the problem (you will note, I have generally tried to maintain that gender duality is beneficial to important decision making, not all decision making), but generally, throwing more people (to a limit) as at problem does mean that one is more likely to come up with a better solution. You can test this with dice, if you want; roll two six-sided dice and compare that to rolling a single 12 sided die. 1 in 6 chance of rolling a of seven with the pair, vs a 1 in 12 with the single. Compare again, and you have a 1/36 chance of rolling a 2 (or a 12) with the two dice and still a 1 in 12 chance for the single die.

Now, there are a variety of ways of looking at that. On one hand, we might say decisions of "12" are more desirable. Well, for each roll then a single die (or decision maker) has the pair beat. 1:12 is a good bit better than 1:36. Yet, if we say that decisions of 6 are better, two dice win the day.

Lets apply this to the political scale now. Pull two people at random from the American population and make them make a decision. If a decision gets made at all, that decision will be more likely to be nearer towards the center of the political spectrum than if one individual were to make, and for the same essential reason as with the dice. This, of course, assumes that being nearer to the center of the political spectrum is a better option than being an extremist.

Even if I grant that two heads are always better than one, you still have not explained why you think the best results will come if exactly one of those heads can grow a beard on its face.

It is my stance that tertiary sexual characteristics influence behavior (if you'd like more journal articles than the one I provided above to illustrate gender differences in behavior, I am quite happy to provide citations). Behavior influences what one thinks about and considers. Decision making is based on what one thinks about and considers (and the weight one applies to each specific instance of evidence and argument). Therefore, tertiary sexual characteristics influence decision making.

The reason why important decisions made as the result of combining men and women is in the differences of how genders think (what each gender considers as important, how each gender values certain arguments and instances of evidence). On one level, the different considerations of men and women will be more divergent from each other than the different considerations of two men (all other factors being equal). Therefore, the decision making process will involve a greater breadth of considerations than a single gender alone. This allows for a better decision to be made (though, such a statement assumes that understanding a problem to a greater degree allows for better decisions to be made).

On another level, the reason better decisions will be made is similar as to why two heads are better than one. By enhancing the differences between the two individuals, a wider range of options becomes available. Now, instead of rolling 2D6, we're rolling 2dD8. While a moderate decision still might be the desired goal, there are more opportunities to have an "almost as good" decision.

I suppose one might say that I don't want decision-making to be bipolar. In advocating for the increase in the number of those involved (and in turn increasing the diversity of those involved) I am, effectively, proposing that decision-making be put on meds.

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #230 on: May 08, 2008, 12:17:45 am »
Thought, it seems that you are unclear on why I brought up homosexuals. Let me clarify. You stated that to make a proper human being, you required a man and a woman with a particular relationship. I assumed you meant something akin to a heterosexual monogamous marriage. I realized that this was an assumption on my part not necessarily based on your immediate comments, so I sought clarification from you on how you define the proper relationship between a man and a woman that brings about a human being. Please clarify what that relationship is as you see it.

Now Lord J, and presumably yourself, seem to be of the belief that actualized-equality between the sexes (or gender, as gender is merely one instance of sexual expression, and hence why it can be used so interchangeably) requires the eradication of the concept of "gender."

I am maintaining that such a goal is inherently flawed, undesirable, and indeed oppressive.

But from tertiary sexual characteristics (“gender”), I am also proposing that those characteristics might be harnessed for the betterment of mankind; specifically, in this instance, in the melding of two "preferences [that] reflect hormonally influenced behavioral and cognitive biases which are sculpted by social processes" (the last line of the above noted abstract) in order to achieve the best of both worlds.

I do not believe that gender equality requires the eradication of gender. I think it requires the eradication of rigid and oppressive socially defined gender roles. There are more genders on this earth than male and female, and they don't fall neatly onto lines determined by where ones clothing bulges. I believe that gender equality entails (although this isn't meant to be exhaustive) allowing people to identify with the gender group of their choosing, and society as a whole recognizing that gender is not in of itself merit, and allowing all people, regardless of sex or gender, to live as equal members of society.

When compared to the decision making powers of a male/female team, yes a man alone, and yes a woman alone, will be "deficiency" in their decision making capabilities, specifically deficient of what the other sex (or gender) has. However, to call this a "deficiency" is rather curious, akin to saying that a man is deficient in a vagina and a woman is deficient in a penis. Indeed, it is also akin to stating that sulphur trioxide is deficient of water, or water is deficient of sulphur trioxide. Both are still quite viable in and of themselves, happy to mind their own business and not requiring the other. However, to reach something greater, something more complex, that requires the two come together and form sulphuric acid.

You don't seem to be disagreeing my comment, merely expressing reservation at how I worded it. But if the goal of contemplating a problem is to solve it, and a man on his own is biologically unequipped to successfully solve the problem, then I don't think it's wrong, or unnecessarily negative to refer to him as being deficient in the skills needed to solve that problem. I'm just curious as to why you think there is a category of problems for which men and women are both deficient, but can solve when working together through the particular relationship you hold as important.

What is this important class of problem, why do you think each sex incapable of solving such problems, why do you consider teams made up of anything other than one man and one woman in this particular relationship incapable of solving such problems? What is that relationship? Those are the questions I was hoping to have answered.

Curious, as I never said anything about rigid gender roles (and I've attempted to largely ignore gender roles in general). Maybe the statement that men and women need be included on important decision making with what gave you this belief? Yet, I am not even sure decision making (which I did mention as being specifically the domain and men and women) would rightly count as a gender role; gender role has the connotation of limiting a role to a specific gender, whereas the proposition to that the role requires both.

In inferred that from your assertion that a man and a woman in particular relationship are needed to solve important problems. This implied to me that there is some part of the equation that must be performed by a man, and some part that must be performed by a woman (thus rigid gender roles) and that this process/relationship is needed to solve important problems (thus benefiting humanity)

However, I also suspect you are imagining all gender-related behaviors as rigid (and as gender roles).

A classic example of such is that of the "housewife." I think we'd all agree that the "housewife," as conceptualized in the 1950's (or indeed, as conceptualized in the 1920's and 30's) was a rigid (and oppressive) gender role. There were few employment options for women and it was expected that those were specifically for old maids who would never marry or young maidens who were to marry shortly.

Jump forward to the 21st century; now society is fairly accepting of women in the "general workplace" (defined as employment outside of the home). If a woman, with the ability and freedom to choose, decided to forgo the general workplace and instead take on the role of the "housewife," is that now a rigid (or oppressive) gender role? Indeed, if one were to insist that a woman could not take on the role of the "housewife" due to a perceived rigidity of gender roles, that itself would be a rigid gender role (except now, instead of being limited to the role of a "housewife," the woman would be restricted to the role of a businesswoman).

So, then, from this I would conclude that it is not the activity that is rigid (or oppressive), but rather the social limitations that surround it. It seems obvious but it is worth saying, gender roles that are strictly enforced are rigid and oppressive, whereas gender roles that are free and open are neither rigid nor oppressive (though I suppose one might claim that it isn't a gender role if it is free and open).

If men and women (and other gender groups, for that matter) may freely chose between lives in or out of the general workplace, such notion cease being gender roles. And as the example you gave is simply oppression for oppression's sake, I think the sooner it is completely evaporated from society, the better.

That said, it still seems to me that you are advocating for rigid gender roles when you speak of needing a man and a woman in particular relationship to be a human being/solve important problems.

The entire point of this is to say that a gender, being motivated by their tertiary sexual characteristics, may be suited to this or that task in a different (and potentially more effective) manner, yet such a predisposition need not be a limitation.

It is rather ridiculous to state that all individuals are equally suited to all tasks and activities; this is something that can easily be observed apart from gender. An individual with unsteady hands is ill suited to handle a scalpel while an individual with a head for numbers is well suited to be a mathematician. All people have equal potential, but that potential manifests itself in different ways.

So I am claiming that gender (still, defined as tertiary sexual characteristics) is similar. Gender helps influence the path that one's potential might progress down (not will, but might). By being willing, as a society, to recognize gender differences, we can, as a society, also attempt to foster the strengths of each gender (as one has to identify a strength before one can effectively help develop it).

Tell me then, what of nonbinary genders? Are there specific strengths and weakness to those gender groups as well? If so, why then should only men and (in this case, logical and) women be considered as important enough to merit a guaranteed spot at the table for important decisions? The limit becomes arbitrary, and as such, oppressive (again, for the sake of being oppressive).

However, to note specifically, equality minus the requirement of it being genderless is rather free. The individual is free to develop themselves as person, to better themselves through the development of their strengths. And if, in such a world, it turns out that video game sales of first person shooters are comprised of 55% men and only 45% women, meh. Humanity can recognize the difference, look to ensure that oppression isn't sneaking in, and be on our way. In a world of genderless equality, such a difference is cause for great concern. Studies will need to be performed, initiatives passed by the government, funding spend, and the social framework re-examined.

You are conflating a society that does not acknowledge gender with a government that forbids it. An individual is far more free to develop themselves and their strengths when the world around them does not assume (and attempt to enforce) what they as an individual can and cannot do based on a genetic coin toss.

And, because I believe gender strengths are inherent in sex (which is, again, why the two can be interchangeably used), any attempt to create a genderless society will ultimately fail. People will only let society tell them that their strengths don't exist, that they are not unique, so long before they revolt. Acknowledging and celebrating gender is where the future lies. To suppress gender is about as bad as to acknowledge but punish it.

Your belief that gender is a logical consequence of biological sex is unfounded. It does not explain groups such as hijras and Two-Spirits, for example. By insisting that male and female most assuredly lead to man and woman is in of itself a suppression of gender. Furthermore, you present a false dichotomy. You ignore the possibility of a society where gender is a personal matter, and not a merit; of no concern to society at large, and thus neither the subject of celebration nor oppression.

Depends on the problem (you will note, I have generally tried to maintain that gender duality is beneficial to important decision making, not all decision making), but generally, throwing more people (to a limit) as at problem does mean that one is more likely to come up with a better solution. You can test this with dice, if you want; roll two six-sided dice and compare that to rolling a single 12 sided die. 1 in 6 chance of rolling a of seven with the pair, vs a 1 in 12 with the single. Compare again, and you have a 1/36 chance of rolling a 2 (or a 12) with the two dice and still a 1 in 12 chance for the single die.

Now, there are a variety of ways of looking at that. On one hand, we might say decisions of "12" are more desirable. Well, for each roll then a single die (or decision maker) has the pair beat. 1:12 is a good bit better than 1:36. Yet, if we say that decisions of 6 are better, two dice win the day.

From this, we're no closer to knowing whether one die is better than two for solving an arbitrary problem, or indeed, which dice we should be throwing.

Lets apply this to the political scale now. Pull two people at random from the American population and make them make a decision. If a decision gets made at all, that decision will be more likely to be nearer towards the center of the political spectrum than if one individual were to make, and for the same essential reason as with the dice. This, of course, assumes that being nearer to the center of the political spectrum is a better option than being an extremist.

In 2000, almost half of those that voted did so to put a delusional, megalomaniacal sociopath in the office of the presidency. Given the sort of polling numbers third parties get in this country, I find it more likely that those two Americans, if they disagreed at large, would bicker in an increasingly nonsensical fashion trying to promote their pet idiotic idea as the correct one. And indeed, the center solution is not always the most desirable. If one candidate would nuke every nation on Earth, and the other would nuke none of them, the best course of action is not to nuke half of them.

It is my stance that tertiary sexual characteristics influence behavior (if you'd like more journal articles than the one I provided above to illustrate gender differences in behavior, I am quite happy to provide citations). Behavior influences what one thinks about and considers. Decision making is based on what one thinks about and considers (and the weight one applies to each specific instance of evidence and argument). Therefore, tertiary sexual characteristics influence decision making.

The reason why important decisions made as the result of combining men and women is in the differences of how genders think (what each gender considers as important, how each gender values certain arguments and instances of evidence). On one level, the different considerations of men and women will be more divergent from each other than the different considerations of two men (all other factors being equal). Therefore, the decision making process will involve a greater breadth of considerations than a single gender alone. This allows for a better decision to be made (though, such a statement assumes that understanding a problem to a greater degree allows for better decisions to be made).

This also assumes that breadth of experience world view is a boon (but oddly, not enough to include more than two gender groups. I've already mentioned my objections to that false dichotomy in this post, so I won't dwell on this further). There are situations in which depth may be of greater importance. Given your belief that each gender handles similar problems differently, is it not also possible that in some situations, adding a member of a previously non-included gender could be a detriment to solving the problem at hand? You can try to put a positive spin on things, emphasizing the strengths of each gender, but when you do so, you also imply (at least relative) weaknesses, which should be of equal consideration in determining who should go into a problem solving team. And then we're right back to 1919 and a person's gender is a reason to deny them opportunities.

You may not have considered that as a consequence of your positions, and I hope you do not consider it a desirable consequence now that it's been presented, but it is a consequence I cannot help but inffer from your positions as I understand them.

Burning Zeppelin

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #231 on: May 08, 2008, 04:56:57 am »
Interestingly, many scientists are looking beyond chromosomes to discover something else that may contribute to gender. First off, it was the genitals, then, it was chromosomes, but now, they’re looking for something in the brain that may contribute to why certain people, with genitals and chromosomes of one sex, may act and more importantly, FEEL, like another gender! These people, and their doctors all agree that they are actually of the gender that they are, prima facie, not.

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #232 on: May 08, 2008, 05:23:26 pm »
Thought, I think you are misunderstanding entirely what RD is trying to ask you. You are stating that women and men are equal, which is true, but that the individual person is not equal in all areas, which is also true. But then, you contradict yourself by saying that a man and a woman are required to make the best decision, which is confusing.  :?

If men and women are equal, why would you need one of both to make a decision? This is implying that men are incapable of doing something that women can, and vice versa. So now, I would ask you "What is it that a man must have a woman present for to make a good decision?", and also "What is it that a woman must have a man present for to make a good decision?". You have replied a few times now, but have totally dodged this question.

I agree that most often, two people will make a better decision than one person, and you have shown numerous examples of why this is most often true, but why do you imply that there must also be one of each gender?  :?




In 2000, almost half of those that voted did so to put a delusional, megalomaniacal sociopath in the office of the presidency. Given the sort of polling numbers third parties get in this country, I find it more likely that those two Americans, if they disagreed at large, would bicker in an increasingly nonsensical fashion trying to promote their pet idiotic idea as the correct one. And indeed, the center solution is not always the most desirable. If one candidate would nuke every nation on Earth, and the other would nuke none of them, the best course of action is not to nuke half of them.


Extremely well put.



Interestingly, many scientists are looking beyond chromosomes to discover something else that may contribute to gender. First off, it was the genitals, then, it was chromosomes, but now, they’re looking for something in the brain that may contribute to why certain people, with genitals and chromosomes of one sex, may act and more importantly, FEEL, like another gender! These people, and their doctors all agree that they are actually of the gender that they are, prima facie, not.

Where are you hearing this at? Got a link, by chance?

BROJ

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #233 on: May 08, 2008, 07:49:40 pm »
I think what Thought meant in a condensed version is that: Both man and woman are capable of the same tasks, but their natural proficiency(skillset) in certain tasks may vary; such that, in order to have the greatest skillset of tasks in general of a personal/family unit--it is primarily beneficial to have both sexes present in said unit.

Interestingly, many scientists are looking beyond chromosomes to discover something else that may contribute to gender. First off, it was the genitals, then, it was chromosomes, but now, they’re looking for something in the brain that may contribute to why certain people, with genitals and chromosomes of one sex, may act and more importantly, FEEL, like another gender! These people, and their doctors all agree that they are actually of the gender that they are, prima facie, not.

Where are you hearing this at? Got a link, by chance?
I remember watching something just like this on my local PBS station. Some of it would fit into Chimeras(people with two sets of DNA), some into environmentally sensitive DNA, and some into DNA error. Alas, though, I'm having trouble finding a link..

Fix: changed 'Hydras' to 'Chimeras'
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 02:38:59 am by BROJ »

Anacalius

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #234 on: May 08, 2008, 08:07:38 pm »
I think what Thought meant in a condensed version is that: Both man and woman are capable of the same tasks, but their natural proficiency(skillset) in certain tasks may vary; such that, in order to have the greatest skillset of tasks in general of a personal/family unit--it is primarily beneficial to have both sexes present in said unit.

I Kinda understand what he is saying with this, and I don't think it's wrong, but I wish he would elaborate on it a bit more, as he does with other things. Thought seems like a pretty reasonable person to me, but he hasn't done the best in explaining this as he has with other subjects.

Interestingly, many scientists are looking beyond chromosomes to discover something else that may contribute to gender. First off, it was the genitals, then, it was chromosomes, but now, they’re looking for something in the brain that may contribute to why certain people, with genitals and chromosomes of one sex, may act and more importantly, FEEL, like another gender! These people, and their doctors all agree that they are actually of the gender that they are, prima facie, not.

Where are you hearing this at? Got a link, by chance?
I remember watching something just like this on my local PBS station. Some of it would fit into Hydras(people with two sets of DNA), some into environmentally sensitive DNA, and some into DNA error. Alas, though, I'm having trouble finding a link..


Ahhh, I don't watch T.V., so I woulda missed it.
A shame, it sounds pretty interesting.
Someone get me a link  :(

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #235 on: May 09, 2008, 02:21:16 am »
I remember watching something just like this on my local PBS station. Some of it would fit into Hydras(people with two sets of DNA), some into environmentally sensitive DNA, and some into DNA error. Alas, though, I'm having trouble finding a link..

That's chimeras you're thinking of.

BROJ

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #236 on: May 09, 2008, 02:28:15 am »
I remember watching something just like this on my local PBS station. Some of it would fit into Hydras(people with two sets of DNA), some into environmentally sensitive DNA, and some into DNA error. Alas, though, I'm having trouble finding a link..

That's chimeras you're thinking of.
Yep. My bad.

Edit: Fixed.  :) Thanks for the correction.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 02:40:58 am by BROJ »

Burning Zeppelin

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #237 on: May 09, 2008, 04:30:10 am »
Hm, I forget what it was called. It was a video shown on ABC a while back. I'll try and get back to you ASAP.

Thought

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #238 on: May 09, 2008, 02:19:21 pm »
I Kinda understand what he is saying with this, and I don't think it's wrong, but I wish he would elaborate on it a bit more, as he does with other things. Thought seems like a pretty reasonable person to me, but he hasn't done the best in explaining this as he has with other subjects.

Thanks, Anacalius. There is actually a very good reason why I am doing so poorly in explaining this, when compared to other subjects; I've had much more practice attempting to explain the other subjects.

Some say practice makes perfect. For me, it might be better to say practice makes (a degree) of clarity.

So, I suppose one could say that my entire "conceptualization" that I am attempting to communicate is in alpha testing.

To note: I am working on a real response to RD's questions, but I am trying to take my time to make it as clear as possible (which will probably still come out rather muddied, but hopefully less muddy than otherwise).

Also to note, the mentioned TV show might have been "I Am My Own Twin," or "Taboo." The former actually focused on chimera-ism but was not on PBS (to my knowledge), while the later was a show actually on PBS in which each episode discussed specific cultural taboos (such as cultural dietary restrictions, treatment of the dead, etc). I think I recall Chimera's being mentioned in an episode (I know that at least one episode did cover Hijras), but I couldn’t tell you which one. The series was quite interesting.