Talking back to nude Emperors: review of The Diversity Delusion (2018,) by Heather Mac Donald

The book’s subtitle, How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, shows its emphasis is on “delusional victimology” with its umbrella of diversity covering all manner of left-wing nonsense regarding the Marxist trinity of race, sex, and class, not to speak of white privilege, multiculturalism, &c ad nauseam, as those of us involved in higher education know all too well.

Delusions

What is a delusion? Is it not worse than a simple misapprehension, by definition something tenaciously held on to despite its obvious unreality? How does one talk to people suffering from a delusion?

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Our seemingly intractable divisions and what to do about them

Just click on the link below for an intelligent assessment of the divisions in our country and the best  strategy for moving forward.

https://americanmind.org/essays/our-house-divided-multiculturalism-vs-america/

One reason I like the incisive wisdom animating this essay so much is that it exudes American common sense and, well written and argued, is completely free of any academic taint.

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)       Troglo

Against compromise

After all the slimy false accusations, blatant hypocritical partisanship, lies, and coordinated deception we saw in the Kavanaugh confirmation, we hear increased calls for civility, reaching across the aisle, collegiality, moderation, and, above all, sensible, common-sense bipartisan compromise. This is the best way to get to the golden middle, we are told, where most voters are. This will “get things done.” So of course we should demand and want more compromise, even bringing back the full filibuster to the U.S. Senate.

This is a grave error. It is often very instructive to think something through in a counter-intuitive manner.

Extremes and the Middle

But isn’t the problem that the extremes have taken away the middle, where the nation should be? No, the middle collapsed as the internal contradictions of the Western welfare state started to surface, revealing what formerly were considered extremes, but now are not. The decades old tangled skein of miscellaneous laws, regulations, court decisions, all built upon and twisting around their predecessors, like ivy strangling a tree, cannot reform itself. Any real change to past compromises will alienate at least one interest group, which will demand its quid pro quo for consent, reducing the benefit and creating another problem.

The middle is relative

As the Left nibbles away towards its end goal, the middle is shifted. So to think that there is something valid about the middle between the poles of any debate is fallacious. Always to look for middle ground is intellectually lazy. Without strong pushback the middle always shifts leftward. The public, unaware, usually accepts this.

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Blasey Ford, false memory, suggestion, personal and professional animus: update to earlier post

There are several very important issues about Dr Ford’s accusations that have not gained nearly the prominence in media or political circles they deserve.

One of these is the issue of false memories, sometimes called confabulation or the Mandela effect. False memory is well known in legal circles, given how crucial eye-witness identification can be. Repressed memories of sexual assault are a similar phenomenon in court cases. See here and here for detail . One fact that should be stressed is that it is untrue that traumatic events, even if ‘seared,’ can never be misremembered, forgotten, or wholly imaginary. Our mind wants a particular memory to be a seamless cloth. But often it can be patchwork, composed of patches that are true, partially true or misremembered, and false or imaginary, all woven together to present a whole garment to our conscious mind.

A few crucial issues regarding Mrs Ford’s testimony are brought forward in the Legal Insurrection blog here.  One is Dr Ford’s refusal to share the notes her therapist compiled. They could reveal other mental problems as well as suggestions – we humans are suggestible, notably with therapists – that gave her the opportunity to review which acquaintances might have attacked her in 1982 as well as to fixate on Brett, whose possible ascension to the Supreme Court caused her immense torment.

Dr Ford is or at least has been employed by a pharmaceutical manufacturer marketing mifepristone, an RU-486-like abortifacient or day-after pill. See here.

An article in the journal Science, the number one scientific journal worldwide, shows how “social reinforcement could act on the amygdala to persuade our brains to replace a strong memory with a false one.” See here for more detail. Dr Ford ‘s concern over the future of abortion on demand with Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court could have triggered implanting a false memory of Brett grinding on top of her, hand over her mouth.

Could not a memory, true, false or partially true, of an assault at age 15 distorted by inebriation, combined with suggestions from her therapists, and her personal and professional interest that Brett Kavanaugh not be confirmed be revealing of what is at play here and explain the many inconsistencies in her claims and testimony? Yes, of course, this is speculative, but not implausible. Or “credible,” to use the now usual term.

My original post, Thirty years ago Bugs Bunny sexually assaulted me,  is below:

It happened at Disneyland. Every detail is searingly hot and fresh. It really happened. More in Part III below.

Part I. Decades after the fact, I was relating to friends that I could still rec all the sensation of the braces in my adolescent teeth: the metal wires, the rubber bands. Mom happened to be there and blurted out: “You never had braces.”  Well. She obviously misremembered and I need to be believed. The lawsuit against our lying orthodontist who will not corroborate my memory is proceeding. (Disclosure: the first bit above is actually true; the second was suggested by Rod Rosenstein, my sarcasm mentor.)

Part II. Our memory is fallible, its fallibility increasing in somewhat direct proportion to the distance back in time to the triggering event.  Details disappear and reappear in changed form. The blanks are filled in with pseudo or enhanced memories, like crabgrass in the lawn.

“The more remote a memory is in time, the less reliable it tends to be, partly because of decay and partly because recalled memories can be corrupted by new information. New and old memories can be conflated, sometimes emerging as totally false memories. Memories can be warped by leading questions from therapists, lawyers, journalists or others.”

The above is from a Wall Street Journal article by Prof. Richard B. McKenzie, A Stumble down Memory Lane (25 Sept, 2018, A19.)

Part III.

Prof. McKenzie relates a fascinating psychology experiment conducted by his colleague Elizabeth Loftus.

She “was able to “implant” false memories in a subset of laboratory subjects by showing them an official-looking poster of Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. Many subjects later remembered meeting Bugs Bunny on a childhood trip to Disneyland. Some of them even reported that Bugs had touched them inappropriately. That was impossible. Bugs Bunny isn’t a Disney character.”

This reminds me of the Child-care sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s. Children were queried suggestively, using dolls so they could point to where they were touched or penetrated. The parents believed even the most fantastic and improbably details and prosecutions ensued. Many of us will ‘remember’ the Fells Acres preschool scandal, the modern-day Massachusetts witch hunt, which sent several to jail for a very long time. Their innocence was covered up by the authorities. More detail here. An interesting run-down of the many cases of Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria can be found here.

Any resemblance to Prof. Christine Ford’s recollections is purely intentional. As for Deborah Ramirez, the Yale freshman whom ‘Brett Kavanaugh’ confronted penilely, the less said about the Yale administration’s Sex Week the better. Sneak a peek here.

Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

Use DuckDuckGo or Bing, not Google search

In light of Google’s just revealed complicity in steering votes leftward last election, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s involvement with the Hillary Clinton campaign, and Google’s refusal to send a representative to the recent Congressional hearings, should we not use a different search engine?

Bing from Microsoft has a business model similar to Google’s, but not it’s not as noxious.  DuckDuckGo.com is a relatively unknown search engine with a business model clean as  a whistle.  Enter a search for “Trump hurricane” in each search engine and judge for yourself about left-wing bias. For more on DuckDuckGo’s policies, click here.

To plead innocence by reason of algorithm, as Google has, holds no water. Algorithms can of course be biased. When choosing subjects for scientific experiments, it is very difficult to include a sample that is not biased.   I suspect Google is not trying very hard to find unbiased algorithms. Nor would Google be willing or able to spot bias where it exists; just ask  James Damore.

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)   Troglo

Alice Johnson and tons of non-violent cocaine

Alice Johnson is the little old grandmother recently pardoned by President Trump. The pardon was widely praised as redressing a miscarriage of justice. Even my favorite commentators at the PowerLIne blog thought this was well done. See here.

However,  I have several problems with this. One is the incessant meme that drug offenses are non-violent. Even President Trump has often stated that drugs are responsible for many deaths and personal tragedies, including in my family. Perhaps not directly violent, but deadly violent  in consequences. Another problem is simply listening pleas from people famous for being famous like Kim Kardashian West. Accrediting celebrity pleas without consulting the Justice Department is another.  Finally the truth seems to be that Alice Johnson, hardly an innocent grandmother gulled into something she was unaware of,  was deeply and criminally involved in the trafficking of tons of cocaine. Her sentence was no more or less just or unjust than those convicted with her. Should they be pardoned as well? Read about this at The Federalist: The Characterization of Alice Johnson’s crimes is wrong. She deserved punishment.

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

The Male Pay Gap

Demagogues and the bien pensants of all stripes mindlessly repeat the myth of  the “gender pay gap,” the slogan that women are only paid seventy-odd cents on the dollar as compared with men. The truth, as usual, is very different and has nothing to do with male oppression.

…according to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more. This squares with earlier research from Queens College, New York, that had suggested that this was happening in major metropolises. But the new study suggests that the gap is bigger than previously thought, with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively. And it also holds true even in reasonably small areas like the Raleigh-Durham region and Charlotte in North Carolina (both 14% more), and Jacksonville, Fla. (6%).

The above quotation is from a post by Tyler Cowen, one of the outstanding economics gurus of our time.  For a broader perspective on the feminist claim, see the last two paragraphs here. Economists have long attempted to debunk this myth, as here and here. A very interesting bonus is  here. The longstanding war on boys and the outcry against ‘toxic masculinity’ have borne bitter fruit. The explanation for the success of young women is the well known and little heralded lack of success in school and higher education of boys relative to girls. This disparity or ‘gap’ has been going on for decades. Christina Hoff Summers has been writing about it for decades. Her YouTube channel is well worth perusal.

The proper reaction to this disparity or ‘gap’ is not to bemoan it. We are not Robin-Hood levelers signaling our virtue by taking from the advantaged to give to the rest, deserving or not. The young women who earn more than the men in their cohort clearly deserve their success. They are to be congratulated. But when men are hurting, so are their families and the culture and country as a whole. Pace George W. Bush, when people are hurting, government should beware of jumping in to the rescue. This usually backfires. Government normally can only take from one to give to another. The women pay gap myth has been a ceaseless government-promoted  drumbeat for decades. The best way to raise all boats is to dissipate radical shibboleths by the light of day, a difficult task when minds are willfully clouded in darkness.   

Troglo  (L. H. Kevil)