Friday, October 21, 2016

Confirmation that lexical order induces thermodynamic order...or... Is That bigotry in your pocket or is language being destroyed?

Turning harmless words into weapons of mass distraction.
The entire reason for Orwell’s destruction of language was to literally narrow the person’s ability to think certain thoughts. It’s beyond thought crime, and it’s happening right here, right now.
Doesn’t matter what year your calendar says, it’s 1984.
Orwellian Thought Crime
"You must be a bigot if you point out bigotry"
Orwell’s destruction of language was to literally narrow the person’s ability to think certain thoughts.
ecently in comments regarding an article suggesting that the Dunning-Kruger effect likely plays a big role in the Trump campaign and among it's supporters someone suggested it was bigotry to make this  suggestion. Now I would like to believe that I am a reasonable guy, that any views I hold or entertain are always under personal criticism and scrutiny...that when presented with new information I would have the ability to alter even a long held view if new info disproved it.
I'd like to believe that any constructive criticism someone may offer is fairly evaluated and considered.
Is it bigotry to generalize about a group in a scientific study?
Is it bigotry to make observations of one group and compare them to another?
Is the very act of suggesting there IS a group bigotry? defines bigotry as : the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot.
 It further discusses the word -
"If a person is intolerant of other ideas, races, or religions, we call that person a bigot. The intolerance expressed by that bigot is called bigotry. Bigotry is ugly.
There are different types of bigotry — like religious bigotry or racist bigotry. Although bigotry can mean any form of intolerance or prejudice, when the word is used alone, it is most often understood to mean racial bigotry. The bigotry behind Jim Crow laws that separated races in the 1950s seems unbelievable to most modern teenagers."
So on a personal level I ask myself if I exhibit an intolerance for others beliefs?
I imagine to a degree yes...I have a low tolerance for intolerance..I am quite guilty of often lumping right wing opinions into the propaganda rubbish pile.
( In my defense, this seems to come from experience. After all, ever since it's inception, conservatism has been an argument for one group to dominate others in society something that has no place in the modern world in my view. And I have clearly observed that conservatives have historically never been right. They have always been on the wrong side of every issue. Women's Sufferage, Human Bondage, Civil Rights, Social Security, consumer protection, labor laws, human rights, etc...all opposed by the conservatives of the day).

  Yet if we imagine ourselves a tolerant people,  intolerant ideas certainly must be permitted to be freely expressed. Free speech, after all;  is easy until you have to let speech that offends YOU be expressed.
Yet tolerating ideas we find offensive is one thing,  while restrictions on criticizing them may be something else entirely.
That's something of a rabbit hole to go down.
Does it mean in order not to be bigoted, one must accept bigotry?
Or not point it out if it appears to be related to a group of people?
Does it mean we can never make any observations about any group for fear of generalization?
Does it negate the mere possibility of generalizations?
If so, what does that mean about the mathematics of Statistics?
Social Science?  Psychology?
Or further, does it mean even suggesting there are such things as groups, is in itself bigoted.
How far down this paradoxical rabbit hole thought experiment do we wish to go?
Some generalizations it seems are useful.
Some are not.
Some are harmful.

In our capacity as human beings we do make generalizations about our experiences.
We should of course keep an open mind and critique our judgements in this regard.
Are such generalizations bigotry?
Are they always bigotry?
I confess I personally have no definitive conclusion.

I  posit that there is more to this than meets the eye though.
Frankly there has been something of an assault on language for ideological purposes.
Evidence of this can be clearly seen when in the course of public discourse when attempts are made to break down reason and replace it with some desired mental association.
For example, there is an infamous memo from Newt Gingrich called
"Language: A Key Mechanism of Control".

It advised Republican candidates to associate themselves with words like "building", "dream", "freedom", "learn", "light", "preserve", "success", and "truth" while associating opponents with words like "bizarre", "decay", "ideological", "lie", "machine", "pathetic", and "traitors". The issue here is not whether these words are used at all; of course there do exist individuals that could be described using any of these words. The issue, rather, is cognitive surgery: systematically creating and destroying mental associations with a purposeful disregard for truth.
Notice that in fact, "truth" is indeed one of the words that Gingrich advised appropriating in this fashion.
Someone who thinks this way cannot ever begin to conceptualize truth.

So the desire of anti-democracy ideologues is to remove the ability of those who would criticize their anti-democratic activities and to curtail the flow of democratic ideas. There is abundant evidence that  one of the ways they do this is by intentionally destroying language.
Language is the medium through which ideas flow.

Language is systematically mapped and words historically used to describe potentates and the traditional authorities in their service , these potentates have purposefully twisted those words into terms used against those who oppose such plutocracy. This tactic both attacks the opponents of democracy and more importantly deprives  them of the words that can be used to attack aristocracy.

A simple example is the term "race-baiting". In the Nexis database, uses of "race-baiting" undergo a sudden switch in the early 1990's.
Before then, "race-baiting" referred to racists.
Afterward, it referred in  a twisted way to people who oppose racism.
What happened?
It's simple: conservative rhetoricians were tired of the political advantage that their opponents had from their use of that word, and took it away from them.

A more complicated example is the word "racist".
Language revisionist rhetoricians have tried to take this word away as well by constantly coming up with new ways to stick the word onto liberals and their policies.
For example they referred to affirmative action as "racist".
Obviously this is false; it is an example of this attempt to destroy language.
Racism is the notion that one race is intrinsically better than another.
 Affirmative action is arguably discriminatory, as a means of partially offsetting discrimination in other places and times, but it is not racist.
Pro-aristocracy spokesmen have even stuck the word "racist" on people for opposing racism.
The notion seems to be that these people addressed themselves to the topic of race, and the word "racist" is sort of an adjective relating somehow to race.
In any event this is an attack on language.
Which is the medium of ideas.
And ideas form the basis of civilization.
Ultimately the attack on language is an attack on civilization itself.

In summary, is it bigotry to point out bigotry in a group?
To speak of it as generally a characteristic of that group?
Or is suggesting this yet another example of destruction of language?
Which is a blow against democracy and civilization itself.
If so, how can such an attack on civilization be thwarted?

Teach logic.
Teach critical thinking.

(This is the article that started the hoopla.)

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