What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by Joe » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:06 am

pErvinalia wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:25 am
Did anyone else read a book by Joe Bageant called Deer Hunting With Jesus? I read it a number of years ago, and stumbled across it on my bookshelf again the other day. And it hit me that he was all over the Trump phenomenon well before the rest of us. His book, written in 2007, was basically all about the Trump Deplorables, but in this case it was to do with re-electing G.W.Bush. I picked it up last night and read the intro again, and it's scary how he specifically predicted that these people would elect someone even worse than Bush if the Dems didn't get their heads out of their arses.

So this morning I decided to wiki him to see if he has written a book about Trump yet, but see that he died from cancer in 2011. :(
Yes, although I'd forgotten the title. I was reminded of it when I read Hillbilly Elegy. Not taking anything away from J. D. Vance, but Bageant's book made more of an impression, probably because I'm Scots-Irish, and I recognized much of my family in it. Many of them are Trump supporters.

Me? I'm from the okay branch of the family. Honest! :whistle:
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am

:backingoutofroomslowlysmiley:

I've finally got around to reading Pinker's The Blank Slate. I'm only thirty pages in, but I feel like I'm reading something 42 wrote. It's not as full of logical fallacies or rhetoric as 42's posts, but there's enough there that it triggers me. I'd be certain that if 42 has read it he'd be a big fan.
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by JimC » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:02 am

pErvinalia wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am
:backingoutofroomslowlysmiley:

I've finally got around to reading Pinker's The Blank Slate. I'm only thirty pages in, but I feel like I'm reading something 42 wrote. It's not as full of logical fallacies or rhetoric as 42's posts, but there's enough there that it triggers me. I'd be certain that if 42 has read it he'd be a big fan.
I still think there is something in what he says, and there is some interesting evidence via twin studies. Pinker would definitely not be a Trump fan, but he has a decent perspective on the evolutionary origins of humans - he is non-religious, at any case...
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:12 am

I'm not exactly clear on what he is saying. He says he's arguing for a mix of nature and nurture, but what he actually writes doesn't come out that way. His rhetoric and false dichotomies seem to suggest he's actually trying to prosecute a mostly innatist argument.
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:15 am

His reading of different situations is also a bit weird like 42. He says that the Noble Savage argument is a natural bedfellow of a Blank State argument. But the Noble Savage is a mixed nature/nurture argument, which is what he is supposedly arguing for.
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"You know you blokes didn't criticize Obama. You're lying. - Forty Two. Umm - http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42144

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by JimC » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 am

His key idea is that sociologists have always made the assumption that the vast majority of human attitudes, emotions and psychology are derived from family and social conditioning, with little in the way of inherited effects or evolutionary heritage. Clearly, he disputes this position, which he says has been the default of the sociology/psychology academic grouping for a long time...
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by laklak » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.
Yeah well that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:54 pm

JimC wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 am
His key idea is that sociologists have always made the assumption that the vast majority of human attitudes, emotions and psychology are derived from family and social conditioning, with little in the way of inherited effects or evolutionary heritage. Clearly, he disputes this position, which he says has been the default of the sociology/psychology academic grouping for a long time...
He does say that, but it's not clear that this isn't a giant strawman. He also talks about literal blank statism, as if anyone anywhere thinks a human is a total blank slate on birth. There seems to be a lot of rhetoric in there, which is why it feels like he isn't actually arguing for what he claims to be arguing for. And there seems no nuance from him regarding the mix of nature and nuture in our makeup. He's basically a mild version of 42.
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"Socialized medicine is just exactly as morally defensible as gassing and cooking Jews" - Seth. Yes, he really did say that..
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by JimC » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:10 pm

Well, I disagree. To me, he is certainly not a conservative, he would be anti-Trump for certain, with a very different political agenda to our 42... And I think you underestimate how wedded to an almost literal blank state that the academics in humanities faculties were in the past (which he was responding to, in the main). He may take it a bit far, but it is an important correction to our picture of what it means to be human - that not only our bodies, but some universal aspects of our psychology are strongly influenced by our evolutionary history. This does not mean some form of fatalistic genetic determinism; he (and Dawkins, IMO) do not fall into the naturalistic fallacy. If there are, for example, certain differences on average between male and female psychologies attributable to evolutionary/genetic factors, this would not in the slightest affect the justice of basic feminist demands for equal treatment in all areas - you will find that later in the book he makes this very clear...
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:34 am

I don't mean he is like 42 in his politics. I mean he is like 42 in terms of his writing style (rhetoric and logical fallacies), and also in terms of his conflation of a few extreme outliers as some sort of indictment on whole branches of science and social science. If he didn't claim that he was supposedly arguing for a middle position of a mix between nature and nurture, then it wouldn't bug me so much. But his rhetoric seems aimed at pushing a strong innatist position disguised as a moderate position where it's a mix of genes and environment.
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by Hermit » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:14 am

pErvinalia wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am
:backingoutofroomslowlysmiley:

I've finally got around to reading Pinker's The Blank Slate. I'm only thirty pages in, but I feel like I'm reading something 42 wrote. It's not as full of logical fallacies or rhetoric as 42's posts, but there's enough there that it triggers me. I'd be certain that if 42 has read it he'd be a big fan.
Dawkins and Dennett gave the book the thumbs up. I bet Harris likes it too. The lot of them call themselves liberals, of course. It's a common affliction of conservatives and reactionaries.

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by JimC » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:44 am

Hermit wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:14 am
pErvinalia wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am
:backingoutofroomslowlysmiley:

I've finally got around to reading Pinker's The Blank Slate. I'm only thirty pages in, but I feel like I'm reading something 42 wrote. It's not as full of logical fallacies or rhetoric as 42's posts, but there's enough there that it triggers me. I'd be certain that if 42 has read it he'd be a big fan.
Dawkins and Dennett gave the book the thumbs up. I bet Harris likes it too. The lot of them call themselves liberals, of course. It's a common affliction of conservatives and reactionaries.
By calling such people conservatives or reactionaries, you are lumping people of very differing political views into one absurdly large basket. I'm sorry they're not quite as pure leftist as you would like... :tea:
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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by Hermit » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:49 am

JimC wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:44 am
Hermit wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:14 am
pErvinalia wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am
:backingoutofroomslowlysmiley:

I've finally got around to reading Pinker's The Blank Slate. I'm only thirty pages in, but I feel like I'm reading something 42 wrote. It's not as full of logical fallacies or rhetoric as 42's posts, but there's enough there that it triggers me. I'd be certain that if 42 has read it he'd be a big fan.
Dawkins and Dennett gave the book the thumbs up. I bet Harris likes it too. The lot of them call themselves liberals, of course. It's a common affliction of conservatives and reactionaries.
By calling such people conservatives or reactionaries, you are lumping people of very differing political views into one absurdly large basket. I'm sorry they're not quite as pure leftist as you would like... :tea:
My apologies. Since I cannot edit my previous post any more, let me make amends here: Dawkins and Dennett gave the book the thumbs up. I bet Harris likes it too. The lot of them call themselves liberals, of course. It's a common affliction of centrists, conservatives and reactionaries. :razzle:

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by pErvinalia » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:02 am

:lol:
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"The Western world is fucking awesome because of mostly white men" - DaveDodo007.
"Socialized medicine is just exactly as morally defensible as gassing and cooking Jews" - Seth. Yes, he really did say that..
"Seth you are a boon to this community" - Cunt.
"You know you blokes didn't criticize Obama. You're lying. - Forty Two. Umm - http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42144

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Re: What are you reading now? (Chapter 2)

Post by JimC » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:03 am

Harris is not one whose opinion I value, but Dennett and Pinker have not presented any opinions which put them in the conservative or reactionary court. Perhaps centrists in an economic sense, although they make little comment on that. Old-style liberals certainly, on social issues. The key here is something you are not seeing. Elements of the academic left have for many years wedded themselves to a model of sociology and human behaviour which is utterly opposed to any biological or evolutionary account of human behaviour (ironically sharing partly with evangelical christians...). I don't think you realise how strongly a significant part of the academic left has run with a fairly stark version of the blank slate model. To them, virtually all of human behaviour and social structure is directly caused by socialisation, a combination of parenting, education and societal influence of the media. Their whole focus in changing society for the better has been via alterations to those factors - any hint of other causal constraints is treachery to the people...
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