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Default Racism is natural, anti racism is not

July 14th, 2012, 21:02
At least you're not overestimating yourself and the value of your studies
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July 15th, 2012, 01:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
At least you're not overestimating yourself and the value of your studies
I am not interested in your judgement.

Belief that any attempt to accumulate or applicate knowledge is meaningless is a philosophical dead end. The reason for you to consider the attempt foolish or immoral is to reduce your own cognitive dissonance, downscaling the value of what you forsaken. I told you a few years back your position is crippling only to yourself, crippling because you only get older and none wiser.

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July 15th, 2012, 10:13
Interesting evaluation of what I've said

Is that your unique insight talking?

In any case - I've never considered the accumulation of knowledge meaningless - far from it. I've said there are many ways to accumulate knowledge - and studying is simply your way of doing it.

It has nothing to do with morals - or at least, I've never touched upon that subject in this context. So, that's your imagination running rampant.

My point has been to demonstrate that truth doesn't result from accumulation of knowledge. Because knowledge isn't factual just by being information written in a book. The key to truth is to accept it and focus on it above all other things.

Your passion is clearly knowledge in itself - and it's blatantly obvious that you have a great desire to appear informed. However, you also seem to have good intentions - and as such, it's a pity you can't control your ego, because you'd get a lot closer to the truth in that way. You have enough knowledge - certainly, so now you just need to accept the limitations of that knowldege - and perhaps try a little humility. Once you realise that knowing is not understanding - you might have more success when you preach.

As of this moment, you just seem lost in your own ramblings - and your ego is too big a player on the field.
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July 15th, 2012, 14:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I've said there are many ways to accumulate knowledge - and studying is simply your way of doing it.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
My point has been to demonstrate that truth doesn't result from accumulation of knowledge. Because knowledge isn't factual just by being information written in a book. The key to truth is to accept it and focus on it above all other things.
It's fairly obvious that you perceive based on your personal construct and make judgements on what you "see". The irony when you speak about "books" is that it gives a good insight on your worldview, your categories, your classifications and your stereotypes. Truth is, I read very little (I am a very slow reader who get tired an frustrated with books). I am an anthropologist first and foremost. This means that I preach field-studies as the primary source of knowledge and I practice what I preach. That means that I educate myself on extremist groups by engaging them directly. I spend a few hours every day with various forms of extremists and I have done so for about ten years now, religious, political, racists, female separatists etc. It's from that experience I compare.

Now there's a cultural excuse that goes like this;
"I have not studied, but I am still fine/better because I have engaged in sources of knowledge that those who studied do not". Personal constructs act as a layer to what we see and this is a fairly common construct, even promoted by some groups. The construct is enhanced by stereotypes like "booksmart", "bookworm", "armchair" or why not "those in the ivory tower", all based on the idea that people who study sacrifice other forms of knowledge. In this worldview studying is believed to be exclusive to other paths and if one read books one exclude other sources of knowledge. Other paths include "smart", "intelligence", "gut-feel", "intuition" and "experience", qualities that are sometimes valuable.

It's just that there is no such dichotomy. People who study and are active in their subjects continuously absorbs information from all sorts of sources, especially engaging directly with the phenomenon they "study".

The primary reason for the dichotomy/construct is emotional, tied to existential needs. The construct relies on categories and stereotypes in order to reduce cognitive dissonance. The person know that they should study some more to enhance what they already got, but since they didn't they tie the dichotomy to their identity. Eventually their identity and sense of self-worth is based on rejecting the value of studying. Over time this is crippling, the older the person get the less time they got left to enhance themselves. A couple of years cannot be re-winded.

Why do I claim you have this emotional reaction due to your very personal constructs? Because most people do not bother when others provide facts. It's fairly obvious that you feel personally threatened by something most people do not react to the way you do. When you detect such threats you begin to boil and are compelled to react and reply.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
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July 15th, 2012, 19:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
In any case - I've never considered the accumulation of knowledge meaningless - far from it. I've said there are many ways to accumulate knowledge - and studying is simply your way of doing it.

Snip…

My point has been to demonstrate that truth doesn't result from accumulation of knowledge. Because knowledge isn't factual just by being information written in a book. The key to truth is to accept it and focus on it above all other things.
Just curious… What other ways of obtaining "truth" (we both agree that there is no such thing as objective truth), beside accumulation of knowledge, are there?
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July 16th, 2012, 02:48
Ah yes, racism.
That wonderful construct created to force any caucasian, and indeed any caucasian society to do whatever you want.
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July 16th, 2012, 06:17
JemyM, here's a tip for you. Sentences like this…

"The construct relies on categories and stereotypes in order to reduce cognitive dissonance"

…mean nothing. No one's impressed by this nonsense, and worse still people are repelled by it. It's not that they're less informed that you and not interested in learning, it's just that people in the real world don't have time to re-read and ponder over your poorly phrased brain dumps.

Apparently you seek to understand your fellow man so here's another tip for you - spend some time learning how to communicate with them, and resist the urge to preach at them.
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July 16th, 2012, 09:49
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Just curious… What other ways of obtaining "truth" (we both agree that there is no such thing as objective truth), beside accumulation of knowledge, are there?
We don't agree there's no such thing as objective truth - only that we have no way of knowing it - at least, not yet. It could exist or it could not exist.

I said there are other ways to accumulate knowledge than studying. Knowledge is simply information - not truth. I mean, you could observe that a rock hurts when you get hit by it - but it's not truth. That's just knowledge interpreted by our capacity to interpret information.
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July 16th, 2012, 10:11
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
It's fairly obvious that you perceive based on your personal construct and make judgements on what you "see". The irony when you speak about "books" is that it gives a good insight on your worldview, your categories, your classifications and your stereotypes. Truth is, I read very little (I am a very slow reader who get tired an frustrated with books). I am an anthropologist first and foremost. This means that I preach field-studies as the primary source of knowledge and I practice what I preach. That means that I educate myself on extremist groups by engaging them directly. I spend a few hours every day with various forms of extremists and I have done so for about ten years now, religious, political, racists, female separatists etc. It's from that experience I compare.
I don't limit myself to what I "see" - it's just that I trust what I see more than what I read in some cases. I need more than written words or general consensus - and I need to be able to understand something before I accept it as a reasonable assumption.

If someone makes a claim that I don't understand, I challenge that claim. If it makes sense - even beyond my complete understanding, I'll accept it as a reasonable approach to the subject - but it's not necessarily factual or "true" at that point. Very often, the case is that people make claims based on information they haven't fully understood themselves - and when challenged, they come up increasingly short when it comes to logic or comprehensive arguments.

This was surprisingly common during the time I studied - and not any less so at KU/DIKU (university of copenhagen). Teachers are as prone to misinformation as any human being is. It's all about the will or desire to remain truthful, precise, and wholesome. So, so many people aren't dedicated enough to that pursuit - and that includes the people who're supposed to keep that task sacred.

Now there's a cultural excuse that goes like this;
"I have not studied, but I am still fine/better because I have engaged in sources of knowledge that those who studied do not". Personal constructs act as a layer to what we see and this is a fairly common construct, even promoted by some groups. The construct is enhanced by stereotypes like "booksmart", "bookworm", "armchair" or why not "those in the ivory tower", all based on the idea that people who study sacrifice other forms of knowledge. In this worldview studying is believed to be exclusive to other paths and if one read books one exclude other sources of knowledge. Other paths include "smart", "intelligence", "gut-feel", "intuition" and "experience", qualities that are sometimes valuable.
I'm not one to put labels on people for no reason. I'm basing my opinion of you on the endless posts made by you, and you've created a very apparent pattern for yourself. You see, I'm a keen student of human behavior myself - and I like to believe I can pinpoint certain features in people with reasonable certainty, given enough information.

Naturally, I could be wrong - but the more you write, the more you fit a number of ultra typical patterns.

Oh, and yeah - I do believe in patterns in human behavior.

It's just that there is no such dichotomy. People who study and are active in their subjects continuously absorbs information from all sorts of sources, especially engaging directly with the phenomenon they "study".
Then we need to agree what you mean by study. If you mean reading, sensing, interpreting and reflecting - then I agree. It's just that you seem to think such things are more valid when done in an academic fashion.

The primary reason for the dichotomy/construct is emotional, tied to existential needs. The construct relies on categories and stereotypes in order to reduce cognitive dissonance. The person know that they should study some more to enhance what they already got, but since they didn't they tie the dichotomy to their identity. Eventually their identity and sense of self-worth is based on rejecting the value of studying. Over time this is crippling, the older the person get the less time they got left to enhance themselves. A couple of years cannot be re-winded.
An interesting theory - but it seems more like one you've personally created to try and fit me into some obscure category.

I have a very clear sense of self-worth - in that I have no way of establishing self-worth. So, I don't bother trying to.

To me, all human beings are presumably of equal value - and until we come up with some solid ways of establishing what value means, I simply don't bother thinking about it too much.

You're not less valuable than I am - regardless of the flaws I perceive. I'm just as flawed as you are - presumably. It's not important.

Why do I claim you have this emotional reaction due to your very personal constructs? Because most people do not bother when others provide facts. It's fairly obvious that you feel personally threatened by something most people do not react to the way you do. When you detect such threats you begin to boil and are compelled to react and reply.
As I said, it comes down to how you respond to criticism and scepticism. It doesn't take a lot of effort to notice that every time you've made a statement, you'll do all you can to back it up - and it's often so ludicrous and so far removed from the original point of contention - that it's impossible to carry a conversation based on the desire for mutual understanding.

You simply can't admit you're wrong or that you might have misunderstood something. This is very basic psychology - and I'm sure you've come across it in your studies. You could call it pride or arrogance - or vanity. I don't really care what you call it - but that's what it is.
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July 16th, 2012, 15:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I need more than written words or general consensus - and I need to be able to understand something before I accept it as a reasonable assumption.
I believe that is how you see it. You perceive "knowledge from written words" as a separate category and put a great emphasis on it, where as most people probably do not even have that category.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
If someone makes a claim that I don't understand, I challenge that claim. If it makes sense - even beyond my complete understanding, I'll accept it as a reasonable approach to the subject - but it's not necessarily factual or "true" at that point. Very often, the case is that people make claims based on information they haven't fully understood themselves - and when challenged, they come up increasingly short when it comes to logic or comprehensive arguments.
Problem with that perspective is that the capacity to see and comprehend is based on knowledge. To use a trivial example; to comprehend why a vehicle must stop at the end of the sea you must know the difference between a car and a boat. At the same time, to understand why uncertainty-identity theory isn't based on psychodynamic personal theory even though identity and person seems to be related requires you to first know the difference in the basic perspective cognitive (uncertainty-identity theory) and psychodynamic theory (psychodynamic personal theory), you then need to understand the bulk of former research in each that lead up to this point. If you actually did that you would also know that neither perspective is based on "books" but on quantified data rooted in empirical experimentation and here's the crux; most people who work with each theory have physical real-world experience with the theory they work with. To them the reality of the theory and their differences is as close as the real differences between a car and a boat.

Treating "books" as a specific category and building a dichotomy between "book knowledge" and other forms of knowledge is a false dichotomy that isn't rooted in how the people you speak about actually approach their fields.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
This was surprisingly common during the time I studied - and not any less so at KU/DIKU (university of copenhagen). Teachers are as prone to misinformation as any human being is. It's all about the will or desire to remain truthful, precise, and wholesome. So, so many people aren't dedicated enough to that pursuit - and that includes the people who're supposed to keep that task sacred.
To understand science you must understand the Philosophy of Science. You cannot form an understanding from what you see or saw.


There's a difference between ethics and behavior. What you refer to is behavior. Early on people begun to spot the same inconsistencies between how people believe they are and how they are that you have seen, so they begun to try to correct that.

The philosophy of science is an application of the philosophy of knowledge which in turn is an application of ontology (what is). These are based on debates/discussion and experience that spans at least two thousand years. Together they form conclusions that can be summed up as "this seems to be the most effective way to obtain knowledge we have came up with".

However, there is a sideroute, a philosophical dead end that happens to most students of philosophy, which is especially dangerous to those who engage philosophy 2nd hand. This dead end is so common that every single person I talked to who ever engaged in philosophy are aware of it, know exactly what I talked about and been in that dead end themselves. That includes me.

In your philosophical evolution there's a place in which you have to pick between two paths;
1. We must solve the questions in ontology before moving to philosophy of knowledge and we must solve the questions in philosophy of knowledge before moving to philosophy of science. This is the dead end.
2. Despite questions remaining in ontology and philosophy of knowledge, we still benefit from working with what we got and build a philosophy of science. To do so we create the PoS on an internal structure that isn't founded on the former but on itself.

When you wish to solve questions philosophy of knowledge before moving onto philosophy of science you have reached the dead end. Philosophy of science requires the person to accept that it's fruitful to not take that path and find it acceptable that we cannot perfectly solve the questions in those fields before moving on to the next.

It's that fruit that makes it acceptable to do so.

Since PoS cannot be founded on the former philosophies, it's based on an internal structure. When you accept philosophy of science follows a bunch of ethics, such as;
1. It doesn't matter what people believe and think, what matters are the data that supports one conclusion over another.
2. At any given time a person regardless of place have to step down if the data shows something that is against their position.

Now that's a structure of ethics, not behavior. That is how people should behave according to PoS but not how scientists behave. Paradoxically as it might sound, it's the understanding that scientists do not behave like they should, that puts emphasis on these structure of ethics. If you believe scientists automatically and always behave according to the ethics of science you ignore why the ethics are required.

Then we reach the question; how are the ethics uphold? The current answer is "In a social structure". Scientists rely on other scientists to correct their behavior while they correct other scientists. They correct according to the ethics and it's during this correction that ethics are uphold. Much of the debate within the scientific community and the evolution of science is to detect problems with upholding these ethics and how to improve the structure so it's upheld further.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Naturally, I could be wrong - but the more you write, the more you fit a number of ultra typical patterns. Oh, and yeah - I do believe in patterns in human behavior.
I am aware of several of my patterns. But having personality quirks doesn't limit the capacity to grasp something. It's fairly common to rule out what someone have to say based on the fact that they belong to a certain category. But I wouldn't even rule out the experiences of a schizophrenic even I know that a such person is messy in how they absorb, compare and comprehend what they learn.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Then we need to agree what you mean by study. If you mean reading, sensing, interpreting and reflecting - then I agree. It's just that you seem to think such things are more valid when done in an academic fashion.
An "academic" approach means two things to me;
1. The speed, time and energy put into absorbing new information, new theories and new ideas.
2. Greater requirement on the data being consistent and coherent, including the requirement to discard information that do not fit.

Given the topic, an academic approach to racism includes spending most of the day learning about racism, all sorts of racism. Via books, field-studies, articles, statistics, media etc. Then one form a conclusion on this data that must in itself be internally consistent, coherent and logically valid. That is, the theory must include and explain everything on the table which tend to be quite a lot if you spend 4-8 hours per day on simply accumulating experience in the field.

There might be information that "slip" in this approach. There might be cultural biases and other problems. The only way such slips can be addressed is to rely on others who do the same thing you do to correct you, which is why the "academia" isn't just a place for study, but a social community that are by ethics required to criticize.

Will all of this create a 110% waterproof situation? No. It just means that the frequency of correcting false ideas and false conclusion is maximized.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
An interesting theory - but it seems more like one you've personally created to try and fit me into some obscure category.

You're not less valuable than I am - regardless of the flaws I perceive. I'm just as flawed as you are - presumably. It's not important.
I say you have categorical concepts that I believe are invalid (in which you emphasize forms of knowledge as unique/separate and exclusive). That said, we all build categories to understand the world and we do this based on context. Categories are helpful because they speed up processing but can at the same time be misleading when we have few categories or false categories.

When I say you put a great emphasis on certain categories I am not placing you in a category, but address and individual who have certain categories. I also do not claim my categories are better, they are just different and I personally rely on others to correct my categories all the time.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
As I said, it comes down to how you respond to criticism and scepticism. It doesn't take a lot of effort to notice that every time you've made a statement, you'll do all you can to back it up - and it's often so ludicrous and so far removed from the original point of contention - that it's impossible to carry a conversation based on the desire for mutual understanding.
To back up statements is a cardinal rule in the skeptics community. After being exposed to that community for awhile you do it automatically because if you do not you are taken down and smacked around, so you change your behavior accordingly. To back up every single statement is also a cardinal rule when writing a scientific article. The rigidness of this requirement is so harsh that you learn to do it without thinking to avoid further problems.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You simply can't admit you're wrong or that you might have misunderstood something. This is very basic psychology - and I'm sure you've come across it in your studies. You could call it pride or arrogance - or vanity. I don't really care what you call it - but that's what it is.
This is a projection. You go by the rules right/wrong and assume others do the same. I do not need to admit I am wrong since I made no claim to be right in the first place. To me, data is everything and a persons belief to be right/wrong is merely an obstacle. Since I form my position on the data I automatically correct myself whenever more data is presented. Let's now go back to what I said about perceptions. You do not have the value of presenting data to support your position. Since you never added data you have also never seen me correct my position. This create the illusion on your behalf that I never change my position. Yet I change my positions daily. You demand a moral stance I already have but you do not provoke the response you wish to see.

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July 17th, 2012, 00:09
Jemy said "Treating "books" as a specific category and building a dichotomy between "book knowledge" and other forms of knowledge is a false dichotomy that isn't rooted in how the people you speak about actually approach their fields."

I have a problem with this statement. I can read a book about how to drive a car; does that mean I should now be allowed to drive one, or should I first have some practical experience with a driving instructor? OR, who would you prefer having perform delicate brain surgery, a doctor who has only book knowledge about the procedure, or someone who has had years of experience doing it? For ME, there is a clear dichotomy between book knowledge and that gained by experience!! That's not belittling either as both are necessary, but they are different.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 17th, 2012, 02:25
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I have a problem with this statement. I can read a book about how to drive a car; does that mean I should now be allowed to drive one, or should I first have some practical experience with a driving instructor? OR, who would you prefer having perform delicate brain surgery, a doctor who has only book knowledge about the procedure, or someone who has had years of experience doing it? For ME, there is a clear dichotomy between book knowledge and that gained by experience!! That's not belittling either as both are necessary, but they are different.
The dichotomy propose that if someone read, other forms of learning are excluded. It's a false dichotomy and a strawman because no one have ever suggested learning through books exclusively.

Most fields have some reading in it. A person who have practical experience with cars but do not know things like roadsigns may be dangerous. It's easier and faster to practice 2 pages of roadsigns on paper than paying a driving instructor to teach every one in a real life example. A brain surgeon spend a lot of time learning about what other people already learned about the brain before digging into a real one.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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July 17th, 2012, 09:32
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I believe that is how you see it. You perceive "knowledge from written words" as a separate category and put a great emphasis on it, where as most people probably do not even have that category.
No, I don't put it into a separate category. I put it into the exact same category as knowledge from spoken words - and knowledge from anywhere that is not automatically factual. As in, the information category.

Problem with that perspective is that the capacity to see and comprehend is based on knowledge. To use a trivial example; to comprehend why a vehicle must stop at the end of the sea you must know the difference between a car and a boat. At the same time, to understand why uncertainty-identity theory isn't based on psychodynamic personal theory even though identity and person seems to be related requires you to first know the difference in the basic perspective cognitive (uncertainty-identity theory) and psychodynamic theory (psychodynamic personal theory), you then need to understand the bulk of former research in each that lead up to this point. If you actually did that you would also know that neither perspective is based on "books" but on quantified data rooted in empirical experimentation and here's the crux; most people who work with each theory have physical real-world experience with the theory they work with. To them the reality of the theory and their differences is as close as the real differences between a car and a boat.
Generally, I don't get involved or curious about subjects I have no interest or investment in. So, with cars - for instance - I acknowledge that I don't know much (very little, actually), so I simply don't care about whether something is true or not. But I'm not going to automatically assume that someone who claims to be an expert is right, either. It depends on the situation, of course - and there are times when one must rely on chance and the practical circumstances won't allow for verification.

As for the rest of your above statement, I couldn't disagree more. You think of established theories written down as necessary to understand psychology. This is, again, a good example of how you place too much importance on the academic process. You underestimate the individual and his or her capacity for self-study and observation.

Treating "books" as a specific category and building a dichotomy between "book knowledge" and other forms of knowledge is a false dichotomy that isn't rooted in how the people you speak about actually approach their fields.
I already pointed out that I don't. The reason I mention books specifically, is because that's where you seem to have gained most of your knowledge - and you seem to refer to written theories to back up everything you say. As if pointing to thousands of semi-related words could somehow carry the argument for you.

To understand science you must understand the Philosophy of Science. You cannot form an understanding from what you see or saw.
Ehm, what? Science as a concept is not exactly a mystery. But why would I need to understand science to understand what I see? How do you think science was established in the first place?

There's a difference between ethics and behavior. What you refer to is behavior. Early on people begun to spot the same inconsistencies between how people believe they are and how they are that you have seen, so they begun to try to correct that.
Interesting - but that doesn't relate to anything I've said. I haven't brought up ethics as far as I recall.

Now that's a structure of ethics, not behavior. That is how people should behave according to PoS but not how scientists behave. Paradoxically as it might sound, it's the understanding that scientists do not behave like they should, that puts emphasis on these structure of ethics. If you believe scientists automatically and always behave according to the ethics of science you ignore why the ethics are required.
I'm trying to understand how what you're saying is relevant to my point. I don't mean to be rude - but it's also not very interesting to me.

I haven't mentioned scientists or their behavior in my post. I was talking about how teachers place more emphasis on teaching in itself, than delivering factual knowledge with a wholesome understanding. As such, they create misinformation and perpetuate a lack of true understanding.

Then we reach the question; how are the ethics uphold? The current answer is "In a social structure". Scientists rely on other scientists to correct their behavior while they correct other scientists. They correct according to the ethics and it's during this correction that ethics are uphold. Much of the debate within the scientific community and the evolution of science is to detect problems with upholding these ethics and how to improve the structure so it's upheld further.
So, teachers are witnessing other teachers and correcting them during class? Funny, I didn't notice that.

Unfortunately, it's not helpful if it happens after the fact - because the students are going to be very confused if they keep hearing different things from different people. As such, it will have to depend on the individual student and his or her desire for truth over the memorisation of text.

I am aware of several of my patterns. But having personality quirks doesn't limit the capacity to grasp something. It's fairly common to rule out what someone have to say based on the fact that they belong to a certain category. But I wouldn't even rule out the experiences of a schizophrenic even I know that a such person is messy in how they absorb, compare and comprehend what they learn.
Oh, but you rule out what people say constantly. That's pretty much all you ever do when you respond to criticism. You immediately put people into some category and then you don't let up trying to make that true.

I think you've placed me in at least twenty categories over the years - ranging quite wide. That alone, is pretty telling. I've only ever placed you in one category - and you've never given me reason to doubt it.

Given the topic, an academic approach to racism includes spending most of the day learning about racism, all sorts of racism. Via books, field-studies, articles, statistics, media etc. Then one form a conclusion on this data that must in itself be internally consistent, coherent and logically valid. That is, the theory must include and explain everything on the table which tend to be quite a lot if you spend 4-8 hours per day on simply accumulating experience in the field.
What a waste of time. Racism is an incredibly simple concept. What would you need data for? Are you talking about the history of racism or something?

There might be information that "slip" in this approach. There might be cultural biases and other problems. The only way such slips can be addressed is to rely on others who do the same thing you do to correct you, which is why the "academia" isn't just a place for study, but a social community that are by ethics required to criticize.
Unfortunately criticism doesn't help if you're not willing to listen - so I don't see how studying is going to help you here. Again, I've got nothing against the academic process. It's when the academic process is assumed to be the one and only road to factual information I start questioning the source of that claim.

Will all of this create a 110% waterproof situation? No. It just means that the frequency of correcting false ideas and false conclusion is maximized.
Maximised according to the capacity of the individual, under ideal conditions - maybe. But if people are unable or unwilling to understand - it doesn't help to expose them to a flood of alternate viewpoints. Beyond that, there's a social factor which puts all kinds of pressure on the weaker mind. As in, it's not comfortable being challenged or being wrong when in the crowd - and lots of people would rather blindly accept what they're told than start questioning it openly. That's a major downside to the academic process.

I say you have categorical concepts that I believe are invalid (in which you emphasize forms of knowledge as unique/separate and exclusive). That said, we all build categories to understand the world and we do this based on context. Categories are helpful because they speed up processing but can at the same time be misleading when we have few categories or false categories.
That's because you don't understand me, nor do you seem to make an effort to do so. But that's ok - I'm not expecting you to listen to what I'm actually saying.

When I say you put a great emphasis on certain categories I am not placing you in a category, but address and individual who have certain categories. I also do not claim my categories are better, they are just different and I personally rely on others to correct my categories all the time.
I can only go by what you're saying - and your words place people in categories almost all the time.

To back up statements is a cardinal rule in the skeptics community. After being exposed to that community for awhile you do it automatically because if you do not you are taken down and smacked around, so you change your behavior accordingly. To back up every single statement is also a cardinal rule when writing a scientific article. The rigidness of this requirement is so harsh that you learn to do it without thinking to avoid further problems.
You're talking about an ideal that you're not even close to matching. It's as if you think claiming something that's obviously not true will somehow make it so. That doesn't quite work.

This is a projection. You go by the rules right/wrong and assume others do the same. I do not need to admit I am wrong since I made no claim to be right in the first place. To me, data is everything and a persons belief to be right/wrong is merely an obstacle. Since I form my position on the data I automatically correct myself whenever more data is presented. Let's now go back to what I said about perceptions. You do not have the value of presenting data to support your position. Since you never added data you have also never seen me correct my position. This create the illusion on your behalf that I never change my position. Yet I change my positions daily. You demand a moral stance I already have but you do not provoke the response you wish to see.
Yes, I've gathered that's your approach. You make a lot of claims and you refuse to respond to criticisms clearly and logically. You try to diffuse everything by adding as much irrelevant and semi-relevant information to every response you make. I'm not sure if this is some kind of tactic or you really believe you're staying on topic. You seem to create a fantasy of what people have actually said and you defend yourself against an imaginary opponent who is nothing like the real person behind the criticism and who's said something entirely different than the real person said.
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July 17th, 2012, 11:01
@DA: One small point. The rest is too much to get into.

What a waste of time. Racism is an incredibly simple concept. What would you need data for? Are you talking about the history of racism or something?
If all you're doing is discussing racism then you do not need data but if you are trying to study what racism is, how it comes about, why it is there and so on? Then you do need data.

What you're saying is quite similar to : "Gravity is an incredibly simple concept. Why would you need any data to explain it ? Things drop to earth." But it's not. Racism isn't so simple as you might think. It's a complex process that happens in your brains, that alters the way you see other people.

Scientists who study racism would need lots of data to explain different kinds of racism, different degrees of racism and answers to all of the above.
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July 17th, 2012, 11:09
It depends on what you mean by racism. If you're talking about the concept of racism - which is what's implied when you use the word with no context - then you need to understand but this:

Racism is when you attribute different values to different races - and your own is of higher value than one or several others.

That's racism.

As for the psychological mechanics that trigger racism or the history of what racism has brought to the world, that's another matter entirely. But those are separate from racism as a concept.

So, yeah, I think racism is an incredibly simple concept.
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July 17th, 2012, 13:03
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The dichotomy propose that if someone read, other forms of learning are excluded. It's a false dichotomy and a strawman because no one have ever suggested learning through books exclusively.

Most fields have some reading in it. A person who have practical experience with cars but do not know things like roadsigns may be dangerous. It's easier and faster to practice 2 pages of roadsigns on paper than paying a driving instructor to teach every one in a real life example. A brain surgeon spend a lot of time learning about what other people already learned about the brain before digging into a real one.
I am confused by this response. Because i dont see the false dichotomy(because the two options are viable) and neither do i see a strawman(because that isnt the correct word here). If you are going to use words like that use them correctly please. It is hard enough to read your posts without having to read through with words beign used improperly.

Straw man
n.
1. A person who is set up as a cover or front for a questionable enterprise.
2. argument or opponent set up so as to be easily refuted or defeated.
3. A bundle of straw made into the likeness of a man and often used as a scarecrow.
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July 17th, 2012, 13:28
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
I am confused by this response. Because i dont see the false dichotomy(because the two options are viable) and neither do i see a strawman(because that isnt the correct word here). If you are going to use words like that use them correctly please. It is hard enough to read your posts without having to read through with words beign used improperly.
A false dichotomy means that 2 options are exclusive, if you do A you cannot do B, if you do B you cannot do A. A rule out B, B rule out A.

In pure English, the false dichotomy here is; If someone receive knowledge through books (A), they exclude other forms of knowledge (B). It's false because A and B are not exclusive, you can study books and absorb knowledge through other means at the same time.

The strawman is; You believe knowledge through books is all you need. A such position (to exclude knowledge that aren't based on books) is absurd and thus easily refuted. No one have that position, it's a strawman.

In reality studying (through books) is an often necessary compliment to experiencebased practice, used to speed up the process and through words, numbers and data pass on insights others already had.

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July 17th, 2012, 13:50
The thing is that no one ever claimed you thought written knowledge is all you need. You're the one claiming to have "unique" insight that makes you all but immune to common misconceptions. That means you're overestimating the value of your knowledge, nothing more.

I just said that there are many ways to accumulate knowledge - and written words aren't more factual for being written. It's all information intepreted by our capacity to interpret. Which is why it's senseless to quote the words of other people all the time - without actually providing a rational and logical argument. The latter being what you so often fail to do.

Your exceedingly verbose style makes it appear that you're trying to drown people in irrelevant ramblings - but it's possible that you just don't understand how poorly you communicate a message by over-exposure to non-relevant information.

Seeing as how you seem reasonably intelligent - it's hard to believe that you really think you're helping your argument - which is why it appears to be a tactical way of avoiding the actual point of whatever criticism you're responding to.
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July 17th, 2012, 14:27
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The thing is that no one ever claimed you thought written knowledge is all you need.
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showp…8&postcount=51

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July 17th, 2012, 14:43
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showp…8&postcount=51
He's saying that there's good reason to separate book knowledge and other kinds of knowledge. He's not claiming you said you can rely on only one of them - just that it's wise to separate them.

He misunderstood your meaning, though, as you were really saying that the people "I speak about" don't just rely on "book" knowledge.

That's because you misunderstood what I said. I've never met a person who relied solely on the knowledge he or she read in books or anywhere else.

I'm saying it's a mistake to assume that knowledge gained through academic study is any more factual than knowledge gained through other means.

The reason I said that, is because you CONSTANTLY bring up your degree and your studies to "back up" what you're saying, as if having a degree means you're automatically factually correct. Otherwise, why bring it up?

Generally, I'd say just arguing your case logically and consistently is much more useful - unless you're trying to impress the easily impressed.

But if you think that means I'm saying study is worthless - or that you can't learn a lot from it, or that you don't have easy access to a lot of information related to the subject at hand - that's wrong. I'm not saying that.

Also, if someone with a degree in psychology and a layman were to speak about that subject - it would be easier to believe the person with the degree, if you yourself didn't know much about the subject at hand. Because having a degree is something you can show people so they actually know you've had SOME experience with the subject. A person without a degree has no papers to show - but that has absolutely nothing to do with what he might know about the subject.

As an example, we have studies dealing with game design today. So, given your knowledge of gaming - which I know is very extensive - would you automatically assume that someone with a 3-year education in game design understands gaming - as a whole - better than you do? Of course you wouldn't - because you know the value of your own experiences and your knowledge.

I have more experience with psychology and the human mind than I have with gaming - and I have 30 years of passionate experience with gaming. This is why I feel comfortable challenging someone with a degree in psychology - if what he or she says doesn't make sense.

I'm saying that regardless of what you know or think you know, you have to do better than quote endless walls of text or rely on theory to be factually correct about something. Even if you ARE factually correct - you seriously need to learn how to communicate clearly and efficiently. Lastly, you REALLY need to be able to accept criticism and respond honestly and bury your pride.

It IS important to acknowledge when you're wrong when you assume the position of a preacher and teacher - which is exactly how you present yourself. Otherwise, your teachings will very quickly lose their weight - because when the teacher refuses to deal with criticism and tells his pupils that he never claimed to be right in the first place - it gets increasingly hard to take anything that teacher says, seriously.
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