Counter-reactionaries working to staunch the wokee cultural tide

    For those of you who don't know yet, I'll be launching a website next week that should help shed a whole lot of light on Critical Social Justice. Getting excited to show you some of what I've been working in for the last few months.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020

    Between New Discourses and Cynical Theories, it's going to be a good year for explaining what's going on with Wokeness and helping people understand what it is.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020


    Another, doing it tongue-in-cheek: The Woke Temple

    Kenan Malik @ The Observer @The

    Stop telling authors what they can write. The only limit is imagination

    Condemning a white novelist for writing on Mexican migrants is to create gated cultures

    What insults my soul,” Zadie Smith has written, “is the idea… that we can and should write only about people who are fundamentally ‘like’ us: racially, sexually, genetically, nationally, politically, personally.”

    Both as novelist and essayist, Smith is one of the most subtle guides to the fraught terrain of culture and identity. The problem of “cultural appropriation” – writers and artists being called out for having stepped beyond their permitted cultural boundaries to explore themes about people who are not “fundamentally ‘like’ us” – is an issue that particularly troubles her. Too often these days, on opening a book or on viewing a painting, we are as likely to ask: “Did the author or painter have the cultural right to engage with that subject?” or: “Does he or she possess the right identity?” as: “Is it any good?”


    What both sides seem to have forgotten is what fiction is for. Fiction, as Smith observed in the inaugural Philip Roth lecture in 2016, “is a way of asking… what if I was different than I am?” Today, though, she notes elsewhere: “The old – and never especially helpful – adage write what you know has morphed into something more like a threat: stay in your lane.” To do so, Smith insists, is to deny the very possibility of fiction.


    In any case, the context of the debate is a literary and artistic culture that increasingly does insist that people artappraisershould stay in their lanes. “Where did the new orthodoxy arise that writers must only set stories within their own country of origin or nationality?” the writer Aminatta Forna has asked. In trying to constrain the imagination by identity, she points out, it’s not the privileged but those on the margins who most lose out. The “white male writer” is called simply “writer”; all other others have to be “hyphenated”, writing, in Nesrine Malik’s words, “as a”: as a woman, as a Muslim, as an immigrant.


    Beware the politics of identity. They help legitimise the toxic far right, Feb. 23

    The vile ideas behind the Hanau attack have moved from the fringe to the mainstream

    [....] If the right’s obsession with immigration has helped give new legitimacy to arguments of the far right, so has the left’s blindness to the consequences of the politics of identity. Many on the left now embrace the idea that one’s interests and values are defined primarily by one’s ethnic or cultural or gender identity.

    The politics of identity is, however, at root the politics of the reactionary right. The original politics of identity was that of racial difference, the insistence that one’s racial identity determines one’s moral and social place in the world. Now, identitarians of the far right are seizing upon the opportunity provided by the left’s adoption of identity politics to legitimise their once-toxic brand. Racism became rebranded as white identity politics.

    It’s an expression of the pernicious befuddlement of today’s politics that rightwing critics of identity politics are among the most vehement defenders of the idea of a European homeland to be protected against immigrant invaders, while leftwing critics of white identity are staunch defenders of every other form of identity politics [....]

    Great global point:

    Few messages are worse for the developing world than the consistent ones out of critical Theories: "Science, reason, liberalism, etc., are white, Western, male systems and not for you. It's white, Western males trying to colonize you to say otherwise."

    This stuff is cancer.

    — James Lindsay, makes stuff up (@ConceptualJames) February 24, 2020

    Correct. Liberalism, as it arose in the West, was the first successful bid at really transcending these harmful human impulses. It led us to learn better.

    Critical theories are expressly anti-liberal, intentionally. A critique of liberalism is a pillar of critical race Theory.

    — James Lindsay, makes stuff up (@ConceptualJames) February 24, 2020


    Had not realized that Liz Warren had all these "plans" pandering to the "intersectional" lobby/crowd/crew until I read this spin on her from Suzanna Danuta Walters at The Nation

    I hope it's not accurate

    Oof, you're paying for my Tylenol - just downed a whole pack. Too late/early for a beer.

    America’s First Postmodern President

    Trump's ascendance is no accident. He's the culmination of our epoch of unreality. What does that herald for the resistance?

    By Jeet Heer @, July 8, 2017

    Didn't there used to be an actual discipline called "Comparative Lit".? What happened to that? SIGH

    Looks like identity-based "progressivism" continues to get even more regressive.

    — James Lindsay, making new discourses (@ConceptualJames) March 4, 2020


    Let me know, have to dress different for seppuko vs old fashioned hanging, and then there's one to the temple - light gauge please, heavy bore makes such a mess.

    Colonizing space takes verve, bringinging whiteness into dark. Of course white Nova's vs black holes says it all - total expansion vs rec ding/giving way, and ultimately no escape. Beam me up, Scotty - there's no intelligent life left here.

    It looks like they have funding for marginalized groups to obtain grants for advanced degrees working with semiconductor science.

    Edit to add:

    Outreach to include students not traditionally associated with the sciences seems rational. Increasing numbers in the sciences is important. As Yang says, "Learn math". 

    The NYT had a great article about a black mathematician, and how isolated he felt in his profession.

    Effects to increase diversity should be encouraged, not ridiculed 

    Though here's a perfect example of when criticism might be warranted. I admit I did laugh:

    Uh...perhaps she could have chosen her words more carefully.

    — Harrison Manlove (@AzmarayFury) March 18, 2020

    (comes to mind a sense of humor about this type of thing can do a lot)

    I wonder if Germans have a split reality, where they see Nazi villains in movies as a completely different tribe? I mean, there's always a bad German like in Die Hard (dutifully played by the late great Englishman Alan Rickman), I assume Germans just learn to disassociate and become a Bruce Willis or Sgt Powell American for the duration of the film. I mean, that *is* what movies bring us, fantasy, no? And besides, are Germans the Adenauer new capitalists or the Ossi retrogrades? 30 years even that divide fades for the under-40 set.

    well I do definitely see disassociation on Angela's part here, she's thinking "I'm just another 21st century western leader like all the rest of em", yeah and I think it's actually a good sign of conversion to global-think. It's a similar thing to white American descendants of Ellis Ilsland hordes being blamed for slavery, they go "say what? that has nothing to do with me"


    Good thread rounding up headlines exhibiting the media’s fixation on covering the emerging pandemic through the lens of racism.

    In retrospect this was a long reductio ad absurdum and yet the same imperative that generated these headlines will shield them from scrutiny

    — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) March 23, 2020


    Comes to mind it can be a dangerous distraction and in that it has little difference from how Trump operates by using distraction. Where all coverage is put within the context of a certain frame.

    Like he says:


    At this point if you uncritically trust the media or any number of other institutions and you have even minimal capacity to think through what you see in the world, you will quickly realize that you are being regularly played for a sucker. That has to stop before anything else.

    — The End Times (@TheAgeofShoddy) February 28, 2020


    That's Trumpies and Trump too. It's just pandering to demographics, identitarian demographics. Not to offer information to open minds but to reinforce ideological beliefs with cherry picked coverage, bias confirmation.

    Hughes is criticizing the author, Ibram X. Kendi:

    If aliens invaded Earth hoping to exterminate humanity, a certain type of person would lose sleep worrying that more than 14% of their victims were black.

    — Coleman Hughes (@coldxman) April 1, 2020


    So we really don't have to care that ethnic minorities may be more likely to be excluded from access to life saving care? It should be something we expect to happen?

    Edit to add:

    WTF is Quillette?

    In drug and vaccine trials, age, ethnicity, gender, economic status, etc will be part of the data base. Some drugs may be effective in one group and not in other groups. Gender responses may differ..

    When it comes to vaccines, some groups may be vaccinated at lower rates than others. This happens with the flu vaccine, for example.

    Of the 1000 things racial informant is important. Not taking public health info from a 24-year old who writes for something called Quillette.

    Found it

    Last year a study revealed that a widely used algorithm to access health which excluded race, still managed to discriminate against black patients 

    Racial bias in health algorithms

    The U.S. health care system uses commercial algorithms to guide health decisions. Obermeyer et al. find evidence of racial bias in one widely used algorithm, such that Black patients assigned the same level of risk by the algorithm are sicker than White patients (see the Perspective by Benjamin). The authors estimated that this racial bias reduces the number of Black patients identified for extra care by more than half. Bias occurs because the algorithm uses health costs as a proxy for health needs. Less money is spent on Black patients who have the same level of need, and the algorithm thus falsely concludes that Black patients are healthier than equally sick White patients. Reformulating the algorithm so that it no longer uses costs as a proxy for needs eliminates the racial bias in predicting who needs extra care.


    Health systems rely on commercial prediction algorithms to identify and help patients with complex health needs. We show that a widely used algorithm, typical of this industry-wide approach and affecting millions of patients, exhibits significant racial bias: At a given risk score, Black patients are considerably sicker than White patients, as evidenced by signs of uncontrolled illnesses. Remedying this disparity would increase the percentage of Black patients receiving additional help from 17.7 to 46.5%. The bias arises because the algorithm predicts health care costs rather than illness, but unequal access to care means that we spend less money caring for Black patients than for White patients. Thus, despite health care cost appearing to be an effective proxy for health by some measures of predictive accuracy, large racial biases arise. We suggest that the choice of convenient, seemingly effective proxies for ground truth can be an important source of algorithmic bias in many contexts.

    We are in a pandemic. This is exactly the time to be talking about race.

    Quillette is French, n'est-ce pas?

    Though their accuracy seems in question.

    Whatever they are, they don't have any authority on health care.

    Kendi has interesting takes on race

    For health care, I listen to the professionals, not Quillette or Kendi.

    We should not be ignoring race during this pandemic.

    Ah, experts like The Root and Ta-Nehisi?

    Bring them up on issues of race.

    I linked to scientific literature on the racial bias in medicine 

    At any rate, the racial data will eventually come out.

    Edit to add:

    The last two times that I read Kendi (outside of his books) was when a dagblog poster linked to someone named Coleman Hughes attacking Kendi.

    go argue with Coleman Hughes on Twitter. I'm not engaging. And this thread is by me for me to collect things I am interested in as to the what I believe is the current corruption of academia and those attempting to rectify that. Which I feel has little difference from the Marxists that overran and corrupted what was taught at UW Madison humanities when I was an undergrad there.I thought they were the bee's knees as an undergrad. I went on to be a proudly educated person and learned that ideological bias and propaganda, no matter how well meaning, is a killer of knowledge.

    You linked to Hughes to criticize Kendi. I am free to respond

    Here is Mark Morial leader of the National Urban League on the need to make sure that blacks are not overlooked.It runs counter to Hughes and is directlly on point.

    Here is USA Today contradicting Hughes. We do need to address disparities during the pandemic 

    “The virus is an equal-opportunity crisis … but the impact and the burden of it is not going to be shared equally,’’ said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a public health expert and assistant professor at Columbia University in New York City. “Like most things in society, it's going to be regressive. It's going to be felt disproportionately by the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized, and obviously that falls down in this country on communities of color.’’

    As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, advocates and civil rights groups are pushing to get local and federal lawmakers to focus attention on communities of color and steer resources to places like reservations and community health centers that serve them.

    From the Hill

    Public health expert

    You bought Hughes into the discussion. I am simply pointing out that his position is as out of touch as Trump's statements about coronavirus. 

    In addition, a myth suggesting that black people are immune to coronavirus is being confronted

    Hughes would have us overlook everything. You brought up Hughes. Hughes is wrong.



    Doctors Are Concerned That Black Communities Might Not Be Getting Access To Coronavirus Tests

    Hughes is free to express an opinion. Quillette is free to publish his opinion.

    Hughes can be criticized when goes off the rails. 

    Univ of Michigan, 12.7% black, 7.9% Asian

    County health officials said that due to structural and environmental disadvantages, African Americans are more likely to have underlying health conditions like heart disease, asthma and diabetes, and are less likely to have access to health care in both Washtenaw County and across the country. The health department said those factors may be able to explain some, but not all of the disparate effects COVID-19 is having on African American communities.

    Because race is being used as a marker, we can delve into why there are differences 

    The health department said those factors may be able to explain some, but not all of the disparate effects COVID-19 is having on African American communities.

    Edit to add:

    The reason for investigation into race, is to determine if there are different presentations of the disease, different risk factors, disease that can be triggered with lower levels of exposure, etc. It is all data that can be captured during the initial medical interview. This data is especially important in a pandemic.

    ProPublica compiles data suggesting a worse outcome for blacks with COVID in several other cities

    This is important information. The factors creating the impact must be accurately identified. 

    Edit to add, fro the article

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks virulent outbreaks and typically releases detailed data that includes information about the age, race and location of the people affected. For the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC has released location and age data, but it has been silent on race. The CDC did not respond to ProPublica’s request for race data related to the coronavirus or answer questions about whether they were collecting it at all.

    Experts say that the nation’s unwillingness to publicly track the virus by race could obscure a crucial underlying reality: It’s quite likely that a disproportionate number of those who die of coronavirus will be black.

    Please post all this demographic info.elsewhere. It doesn't apply to what this thread is about, which is apparently something you don't understand. It's about approaches to scholarship. And furthermore, you appear to want Coleman Hughes to see it and he is not here and is not looking at it.

    I agree about more selective posting on these topics.

    It will make it more interesting for others.

    There is a post ,about a new Labour Party leader in the UK

    This was followed by commentary making fun o Shaun King

    I responded to a post about demographic data with demographic data.

    The woke never rest. Thank God for James.

    — Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) April 2, 2020

    Not to be outdone @ColumbiaLaw had talk today on “the risks of deepened inequality within the COVID-19 pandemic, and how governments can use a human rights-based and intersectional approach to ensure the rights of all persons are protected.”

    — Timon Cline (@tlloydcline) April 2, 2020

    Why blog when I can just post this...?

    Unfortunately  for me James doesn't do much on art history. When I look at scholarly publications in my field,  about 50% of the articles have the word "colonialism" in the title. Shock and awe at how the youth have been indoctrinated. I don't know who to blame, did they all use Howard Zinn as their history textbook in high school or what?

    I feel ignornt for not knowing Howard Zinn. A new bout of "all makes sense" going thru me Gulliver (wow, Clockwork Orange ref 50-60 years old. Malchicks not so young anymore, all in senior homes)

    One goal quoted in the article 

    They also recommend broadening bailout and stimulus packages to prioritise those most at risk, making policy responses cross-sectoral and committing to leadership diversity: pointing out that, to date, policy making has been dominated by white, Christian, cis-gendered, heterosexual, able-bodied wealthy men.

    Is there something wrong with that goal?

    Jared took center stage at the podium 

    Mike Pence, who had to pray before making a health care decision regarding the use of needles, was also on the podium. 
    In this setting, the goals proposed don't appear to be absurd.

    Edit to add:

    We are in a pandemic, attacking this group is a distraction 

    Here is what Jared Kushner said from the podium

    "You also have a situation where in some states, FEMA allocated ventilators to the states and you have instances where in cities they're running out, but the state still has a stockpile and the notion of the federal stockpile was, it's supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use," Kushner said.

    Given the pandemic, Kushner is the real threat. He is hoarding life-saving materials. The Queens group is questioning whether access to health care is fair.

    The reason for obtaining demographic data in a pandemic is to prove that your assumptions are correct. If it is all about poverty, obesity, etc, that fits the assumption. Demographic data tells you if after correcting for all the variables. there are still more adverse outcomes in some groups. The CDC needs to provide true demographic data to resolve the issue. Why be opposed to obtaining demographic data regarding coronavirus?


    Edit to add :

    In Chicago, new data released Saturday showed that 70 percent of people who have died from COVID-19 in the city were Black, according to a report by the radio station WBEZ. Black people make up 29 percent of the city’s total population.

    For those who can get to a hospital, more problems may await. One study of several states, highlighted by NPR, indicated that doctors may be less likely to refer Black individuals for testing when they come in with symptoms like fever, coughing, and trouble breathing. And in some low-income neighborhoods, it can take longer to get a test because testing centers have struggled to acquire equipment and protective gear.

     Not sure why there is a backlash to looking at demographics.

    Professor Reed feels that he already knows the answer

    Ziad Jilani, whoever he is, thinks that he knows the answer

    Trump knows that hydroxychloroquine works

    Like Fauci, I'll wait for the data

    Edit to add:

    It is known that blacks receive a lower level of care for hear failure

    Black and Hispanic patients admitted with HF are less likely to be treated in cardiac units than white patients and have a higher rate for readmission within 30 days of discharge, according to a study published in Circulation: Heart Failure.

    Researchers observed that black (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84-0.98) and Hispanic patients with HF (aRR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.97) had a lower rate for admission to the cardiology service compared with white patients.

    In addition, 26% of white patients were readmitted within 30 days after discharge compared with 29% of black patients and 29% of Hispanic patients (P = .0043).

    Moreover, admission to cardiac units was independently associated with readmission within 30 days (HR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.97), whereas race was not (black vs. white, HR = 1.09; 95% CI, 0.92-1.29; Hispanic vs. white, HR = 1.14; 95% CI, 0.91-1.42).

    “These findings also highlight other structural inequities that exist, such as barriers to accessing outpatient cardiology care for our black and Latinx patients, leading to decreased admission to cardiology service and subsequent worse HF outcomes. We urge health care policy makers to recognize how our current health care systems promote the interests of dominant group members and recommend that care delivery be designed to prioritize the care of our most marginalized patients,” Michelle E. Morse, MD, MPH, hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Healio. “We believe there are a multitude of interrelated structural drivers that are pervasive across our health care system and consequently in our institution. Black and Latinx patients likely have barriers to accessing outpatient cardiology care as they were less likely to have an outpatient cardiologist at our institution, which was the strongest predictor of admission to the inpatient cardiology service.”

    In other findings, black patients discharged after admission to general medical services rather than a cardiac unit had higher risk for death within 30 days (3% vs. < 1%, P = .01), but there were no differences for white patients (4% vs. 4%, P = .82) or Hispanic patients (3% vs. 3%, P = .85). In addition, of white patients admitted during the study period, 38% were seen in follow-up visits to a cardiology clinic within 30 days vs. 34% of black patients and 45% of Hispanic patients (P = .04).


    Black women receive a lower level of maternal health care


    For decades, Harvard Chan alumni have shed light on high maternal mortality rates in African American women. Finally, policymakers are beginning to pay attention.

    Questioning coronavirus care is logical

    Edit to add:

    Economic class does not prevent poor outcomes

    Colen used decades of research focused on the experiences of middle-class black Americans. According to her data, more money isn't enough to rid black Americans of higher rates of chronic disease or shorter life expectancy. Black women with a graduate education are still at higher risk for pre-term birth and infant and maternal mortality than white women with high school educations. Black women with a Ph.D. and high take-home pay are also more likely than white women who have only a high school diploma to die from birth-related complications.




    plopping here as a reminder to read it, haven't done so yet:

    I do not expect to wade through that essay to decide for myself if it is serious. Listen here starting from the beginning if you choose or at the five minute mark for two or three minutes listening and you will see [hear] enough to know what I mean. It is hilarious what Lindsay and his partner in crime accomplished in the academic world.   

    I guess. Sure, any community gets overserious and you can find ridiculous holes. "Academic" in a backwater means enthusiasts. Papers are judged by normal flawed people, and some suffer confirmation bias.

    A funny thing - a few decades ago we talked about whether people are homosexual or not. Now we often just think of who someone likes, and then we've split categories a bit more, not that various levels of crossdressers and trannies haven't been with us a while. How much is "real", how much is "trendy", who knows... But people/researchers try to understand behavior that was off limits not long ago. Some will be foolish, some will be tricked.

    Pharma study faulty -

    same issue -they know the answer they want, didn't follow procedure.

    Even doctors against hydroxychloroquine use for Covid-19 found the study majorly flawed.

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