My Twitter posts

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sex with trans people: is it transphobic to not be willing to try it? The reality of sexual attraction.

         I'm gay, as such, I'm attracted to men. My type of guy is of the strong and hairy archetype: I love beards, body hair and somewhat chubby or muscled guys. I had sex with men before , both as a top (the one visiting) and bottom (the host, preparing a pleasant interior for his visiting friend). Recently, we've all seen Riley Dennis' videos on the topic of sexual attraction to trans people. Riley is a trans woman, and claims that not wanting to sleep with transgender people that transitionned to the gender you are attracted to, is transphobic. Is she right?

Well, I'd say it depends. If your repulsion comes from the fact they are trans rather than their appearance or personnality and you would consider them attractive if they were not trans then you might be a little bigoted.

Maybe you do find them attractive, but the only hurdle for you is that they are not "post-op" that is that they didn't have surgery to create genitalia of their transitionned to gender. That one can be more understandable, if you are a gay man that is exclusively bottom for example, a trans man with a vagina might turn you off, not in terms of sexual attractiveness but sexual compatibility. There is nothing bigoted in this, we often see it in cis gay men, two bottoms or two tops try to get together and it doesn't work. Happens. But if you are , to keep with my example, a gay man and top or versatile, then what is stopping you?

"I don't like vaginas, I like penises"
But do you?
When I go on pick up or dating sites, photos of dicks rarely turn me on. Every guy has one, and most people are average there, nothing exciting for me. I'd much rather know if they are hairy, bearded and not skinny, as that is what attracts me more than anything. As for sex... A hole is a hole as some bisexual says. I wouldn't fuck a woman's vagina, because I'm attracted to men, but would I fuck a man's vagina? Sure, why not? I'd be willing to try it if the trans guy is my type. As for now what I said applies mostly to gay male sex, but the logic holds for just any combination.
Straight men: What do you find more attractive, an hairy bearded FtM with a vagina, or a very female looking MtF with a penis?
As for me, I know my answer.
Women, lesbian and straight: what is more important, intimacy and attractiveness, or matching genitals together?
I know my answer there too.

People are quick to say they are attracted to men or women as a whole, but they are first and foremost attracted to secondary sexual characteristics: body hair, boobs, beards, voice, face shapes, body shapes, height... And when you think about it, it makes sense, genitals are more often than not the last part of someone's body you'll discover, so being more attracted to vaginas than boobs or butts would make no sense. 

This was just a short dose of common sense, try to stay open minded about trans sex. Trans people are people too, you could be missing out on something and someone great. Who knows? -KeLvin

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Google memo: politics in the workplace

I wish to be a teacher. An university philosophy professor to be exact. It will not be easy, there is some competition for teaching positions and the university workplace is known to be rather elitist: if you aren't famous for your work, your actual talent might not be enough. It's cynical to say, but true nevertheless, that universities see your pedigree before your CV. It's especially true for more renown ones. Oh sure you are first of your class, teachers said you are a genius and so on... But your master is unknown to all but those teachers, you never published anything that became viral, you have no relevant connections and you are not popular enough to cause awe in the university's donors/sponsors so nevermind. The sad reality of higher education teaching is that it is more about politics than degrees, the more people you know, and the more people that know you, the better your chances. Legacy privileges are not just for students I'm afraid. So of course, having political opinions that match those that could become your colleagues or employers help tremendously, it's almost a requirement in some fields, like political science. If you do disagree, and still want to persevere to become a professor, then it's probably best to keep it quiet until you are in a position where it would be less risky to speak up. It goes without saying that not all universities have the same biases or level of biases but most of the time keeping your controversial opinions to yourself is the better approach in any workplace, not just universities.

...Which brings me to James Damore, the "Google memo guy". In a move that can either be considered bold or reckless, Damore criticised his workplace, colleagues and superiors, for not being, in his own opinion, open enough to diversity of ideas, focusing too much on physical diversity of races and genders.
In the 10 pages memo (can we even call it a memo then? More like a manifesto) he goes on and on about a few topics, but the main message, after you take out all the fluff, seems to be "Google should treat people more as individuals,not as members of a race or gender, and be more open to discuss ideas from other political perspectives than the one Google already approves of."

I can't say that I disagree, seems reasonnable... What did he dislike?
Well he mentions classes reserved to specific genders or races and other racialized or gender divided practices. I didn't get Google reasons for this, but if it's just for diversity's sake, then yes it seems wrong. I don't know though. He also says that conservative or center views are shamed at Google. Can't say if that is true, but if it is... Shameful and unsurprising, that's how it is in any workplace, left or right leaning.

The part where most media outlets and twitter aficionados seems to focus is the multiple pages where he rant about how Google "refuse to recognize that biological differences in men and women could explain the gender gap in tech". While I don't think it's systematically wrong or sexist to point out that men and women are ,on average, different, I do wonder why it is relevant here. Damore wanted to call out the lack of ideological diversity, so why lash out at this specific leftist belief that biology doesn't influence men and women careers in tech?  It seems oddly specific. There is also an implied assumption that most of the gender gap could be due to biological differences, which hasn't been shown to be true, and not so implied assumptions that the left reject biology in favor of feelings. He makes assumptions about what he thinks are the left/right biases, opposing them, for example he says the left is idealist, the right, pragmatic.

This shows more his biases than anything though, because none of those opposed traits applies only to one side: both sides can be idealistic, pragmatic, open or close minded, open to changes or affraid of them, etc. His notes at the end of pages where he mentions communism, IQ, and what he consider himself politically all point toward a strong right leaning bias. I mean he claims to be a classical liberal... We all know how much "liberal" those that use that label truly are... Just look at internet political celebrities Sargon of Akkad and Dave Rubin who both used that label, despite frequently supporting right wing leaders and policies like Trump and the trans ban in the military. Those are liberals? Really? He might be different but I doubt it somehow. He also claims political correctness is a tool of the "left PC autoritarians" which I couldn't disagree more. Political correctness happens in any political circle, the content that is sensitive just vary according to the group. Conservatives hate to talk about secularism or how stupid many traditions are, Libertarians hate to admit what good taxation can bring, Trump supporters hate discussing his shortcomings. Saying only leftists are embarrassed and upset by certain topics is disingenuous.

His sources are not all stellar as well, some are old, not very convincing, from newspapers... You get the idea.

Do I think like many have claimed that he is against women and minorities in tech, that he consider them biologically unfit for the job and is a racist and mysoginist?

Eh... Yes and no. He obviously didn't say that they are unfit, claiming he did is a blatant lie and people should really read it thoroughly before throwing accusations of mysoginy at him, but his insistance on pointing the average psychological differences between men and women in a post about why Google should have more ideological diversity is suspicious. Plus, despite him saying "on average", it does feel like he is generalizing, if there are women interested in tech, and this is outside the average interest for women, then why should we assume those women fit the average for their personalities then?
Seems like cherry picking to me.

Anyway, I think that despite having a good message about inclusivity of ideas in the workplace, he handled it very poorly.
First of all, because he rambled so much about women in tech and the biological differences between genders, his message was lost in this flood of random assertions with not enough evidence to support his claims. This can be easily demonstrated by the news coverage this event got, his memo is called an anti-diversity memo, and every google employee under the sun is calling him a sexist mysoginist. He also lost his job because of that biology part that Google claims reinforce gender stereotypes. I guess that's kind of true? I mean  biological averages are indeed stereotypes... Regardless if they are true or not.

Google says that the part about openness to new ideas from different ideological perspectives is indeed fair criticism of their policies and work environment and that they will do something about it, they made it clear it was his ramblings on biology that got him fired. ( Here if anyone is interested. Third fact. There is also the full PDF to download there,not just retranscriptions.)

The reason I mentionned my career choice earlier is simple, if you like your job , but not the political leanings of your colleagues and superiors, keep it quiet, gauge how much open some of your colleagues are to different political opinions and express your concerns with those closest to you. Don't publish a manifesto. If you really want to write down your grievances, then be focused, otherwise you won't get your point across. If you are really upset/worried and there is an HR (Human Ressources) department, go there to explain your issues with the company policies, see their point of view on the matter. They will appreciate your honesty and love that you didn't make a scene and decided to keep it private. Bad press is not the best way to garner sympathy in any company.

On a closing note, what do I think of  practices such as affirmative action that "reverse discriminate" in favor ethnic minorities and women?
Well I don't like the idea of it, but I get that there is not many ways to fight discrimination... I just wish we didn't fight fire with fire . I'd say "why not focus on getting rid of prejudices instead of doing this condescending practice that reinforce the notion minorities and women can't do as well as white men without getting forcefully favored."... But since we can't really force people to get rid of their prejudices and something still need to be done... I'll say it's a tolerable practice in the meanwhile, at least until we find a better solution. However, I think it need to fit two criterias to be adequate.

First, it need to remain positive discrimination to fight negative discrimination. What I mean is that you should think this "our jobs are open to all, we will just give priority to some CVs to fight our biases" not "this job is for women and minorities only, white men need not to apply". The latter is just adding discrimination, it's not helping to remove it.

Secondly, the requirements must not be lowered for all to help a minority or group to pass or just for them and keep them high for everyone else. This one should be obvious. How inferior must you think women and minorities are that they can't pass the same requirements as white men? Whenever I see examples of this, it makes my blood boil, when people talk about "soft bigotry" that is what they are referring to.

Thank you for reading and see you next time! -KeLvin

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yes Lauren Southern is racist, sorry June

Sooo... I didn't think I would be writing this but I am getting worried for June (many of you know her as ShoeOnHead, or you know, ArmoredSkeptic's daught... I mean girlfriend). She is a sweet girl, I like her and find her videos entertaining and all. But lately she's been defending Lauren Southern awful tweets so much, you start to wonder if A:she knows what Lauren believes and preach about, B:If June herself agree with her (I don't think so) and C: if June is just too affraid to call out a friend when she says stupid shit online.

For those who don't know, Lauren Southern is a Canadian right wing online personality. She got herself known for her work at Rebel Media, a conservative online media site with a youtube channel. She did for them "journalist" work (she basically just traveled somewhere in the u.s, rarely Canada, where there was a leftist protest or antifa/black lives matter protest happening to complain about them, counter protest, like with the slut walks, and play the victim, like with antifa. She also traveled in Europe for them to rant about immigration and muslims.)

Lauren got popular very fast, from unknown in late 2015 to a very known name in the online politico-sphere of youtube in 2017. I guess it's because she's a charismatic young pretty blonde woman with very traditional views. That seems to seduce a lot of conservatives for some reason; I mean it's almost a meme that female right wing pundits are often blonde pretty women. 
Along the different people that contributed to her fame, by making video collabs with her or interviews, there was ShoeOnHead, June. They made a funny video joking about the fact many people wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she has a vagina. From that point on, anyone following these two can see that they are friends, or at least very friendly acquaintances. 

Earlier this year, in March, we learned that Lauren left Rebel Media.  There was rumors that she was pressured to leave for having dissenting opinions, in particular regarding race, with her bosses and co-workers

However, those are just rumors, I don't know if they have even an inch of truth. It's likely that Lauren pressured or not would have leaved anyway eventually, given she's a rising star for the alt-right (which June defended her of not being before, but Lauren doesn't really hide that, so June ceased to claim she isn't alt-right lately) and that the Rebel Media crew is apparently not right wing enough for many of their Southern loving fans. Just google "Lauren Southern quit/leaves Rebel media" and on the first page you get altright.com, alt-right reddit boards, the dailystormer and stormfront and a bunch of similar sites all praising her and ranting against "Jewish Rebel Media".

Of course her having the support of white nationalists doesn't mean, de facto, that she is one herself, that wouldn't be fair of me to say that. So that's why I prefer to add her videos and tweets to the evidence pilling up to support the theory that she is at the very least racist, if not outright white nationalist. 

Recently, Lauren made two very controversial videos, one titled: "the streets of Paris" and one titled: "the Great Replacement".  Both of which caused twitter shitstorms. Let's start with the "the streets of Paris"

That video is a silent video of her walking with her camera turned on in what seems to be the poor neighborhoods of Paris. Unsurprisingly for a metropolis the size and scope of Paris, that poor area seems to have, at least if you only take Lauren's shots on the place for evidence, a majority of non-white residents, some of which seemed Muslim. The juicy bit is not the video, I mean it's silent, even if the implications are... Questionable, it's not very shocking, no the fun part start in the description.

The part saying " the women were not wearing their hair in French braids" does sounds a bit racist to me. "She was just joking/using it as an example" sure, whatever. She does seems to be joking a lot about those kinds of topics eh?

Anyway, moving on, Southern says in that description that the migrants are replacing the French people. Which is exactly the theme of the next video, "The Great Replacement". A video where she used the ideas of Renaud Camus, a man infamous in France for his extreme right and racist views. He has as much mainstream relevance as a potato. Marine le pen is seen to the left of him. Seriously.
The idea of the great replacement is so simple it's childish really "the colored folks are erasing the whities" oups sorry should have said "the cultural French" or some bollocks like that. 

Yes, the veil is thin, anyone with a brain and basic knowledge of the extreme right must have noticed it's an euphemism for the terms white genocide, that ridiculous idea that because white people are doing mixed marriages and have less kids than the overall black, latino or asian demographic that this somehow constitute a genocide. Last time I checked, white people were neither actively castrated or killed, so how is this a genocide? Would you also call the diminishing population of birds due to global warming a genocide? Preposterous. Plus it's not a replacement if the previous population remains you dummies. Can't even get their bloody racist terminology right for fuck's sake.

But if all of this wasn't enough, there is Defend Europe. What is that you ask? Basically Lauren's way of pretending she has any real political impact beyond fap material for edgy kekistanis. More seriously, it's a project for which she raised thousands of dollars for. The Defend Europe project is all about using a ship to stop "NGOs pretending to use rescue ships for rescues from practicing human trafficking and smuggling migrants from Africa into Europe."
Yeah I did not just make that up. Southern and co think NGOs that rescue migrants risking their lives crossing the sea are actually smugglers. Of course she has no evidence. To her credit, there is surely a few boats out there that while hired by a NGO are probably doing smuggling instead of rescuing, that is bound to happen, but I doubt it is to the scale she claims it is. Plus, you can't just know from a glance which ships are smuggling and which are rescuing if you go with the base assumption that they are targeting big NGO ships, so them blocking any ship is just hindering the work of legit rescuers more than the smugglers. 

Despite succeeding for their test run, they probably won't do it again, Patreon removed both Southern and her project from the site. Jack Conte, CEO of patreon, explained very clearly why they did it: Lauren's actions were putting other people lives at risk. "But they just blocked the ships, they didn't shoot them or anything!" you might say, and while true, remember that those are rescue ships, the people they just rescued might be severely dehydrated, famished or sick, they need urgent medical attention, so any delays for these ships could mean people could die. (Plus Lauren was shown a while back shooting signal rockets at migrant boats. That could have harmed someone.). 

Lauren and her clique claims those aren't rescue ships but human traffickers. True or not, the people on the ships were probably sick or dehydrated, and still needed medical attention. So there's that. 
It isn't Lauren's right to choose who enter Europe or not, if border enforcement let those rescue ships in, smuggling or not, she can't intervene. If she's so concerned and have evidence of specific ships being used for human trafficking, why don't she just report them to the authorities? Oh wait I know why! It's because it isn't as glamorous to just report it, she wants to be in the center of attention, doing shit herself. Silly me. 

Then there is her book.
I read it.
It's titled "Barbarians: How baby boomers, immigrants and Islam screwed my generation" since I'm in my early twenties as so is Lauren, I guess she meant I was screwed too huh?
The title alone hints at her real views, and oh boy that the content doesn't disappoint! While short, it was both hilarious and painful to read. I swear at one point she wrote that liberals want abortions for women pregnant of nine months! You can't make this shit up!
She also said really, really awful stuff. 
For example she said the comparison between immigration and a bowl of skittles with a handful of poisonous ones was "too flattering" so she compared them to gummi bears that gives you constipation or diarrhea (it isn't clear). How charming. 
She also spent a good chunk of that book selling herself as some sort of conservative martyr that stood up against the tyranny of left leaning university and college professors. She makes herself looks like a vulnerable, yet strong willed individual who opposed evil close minded and biased leftists. I had similar feuds with a leftist teacher myself (and I am also a leftist) but I can tell you that her stories look as fake as her hair. She tries to guilt trip her audience by saying stuff like "I used to believe this left belief, but now I know better" and using that false martyr narrative again. She used Jordan B Peterson a bit too. His theories about correlating intelligence and personality types to political alignments in particular. Oh and she compared the millennial generation (so mine and Lauren's) to "French bulldogs bred to be useless,almost incapable of procreation with comically big heads". The book in general is full of hasty generalizations, and view many groups as more extreme than they are (all the left is SJW to her it almost seems) or just plain wrong. I didn't touch the chapter on Islam for a reason. 

So Lauren Southern is quite the character. She might be a super nice person if you meet her face to face, but her views definitely are racist. I am sorry if this offends you, but I can't just use an euphemism like intolerant or close minded, she is racist. There is no word that describe her views and actions better than that one. Well that and bigot maybe. 
I know it might be hard to admit if you like her or are her friend, but hey if even family members can have terrible views, what makes you think your friend can't?

So yeah, Lauren Southern is racist. It's not an exaggeration, I am not using the loosely definition used by SJWs, I am using the standard one. I will probably talk about Peterson next time, he is also an interesting character. See you next time -KeLvin

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Apathy of Sloth: Never Again.

Been a while. Sorry. Been thinking a lot lately, about politics, sure, but also love, relationships, the idea of the divine, the concept of justice, life.

I have come to a few realizations.

First of: stop waiting. I realized all I did all my life is wait for my life to become great and happiness to fall on me. I waited for school to end, maybe after it I would be happy with the freedom I thought adulthood would bring. I waited after relationships to just happen, maybe I would get friends or even love, just by waiting. Why put the effort? People scare me way too much isn't it? Even now, I'm waiting, working a job I hate in hope the future gets better, in hopes I just stumble upon a better job. I waited all my life, I longed for things without never acting for them. I was slothful. I was lonely.  Everytime something great happened to me it was because I took some initiative, and did something for myself or others.

I don't want to be slothful or lazy anymore. I always wanted to help others, to be proud about myself, I always wanted to be more courageous to compensate for all those times I should have stood up to injustices and bullies. I don't want to be silent anymore, I don't want to be miserable.

I long for justice, in a world such as ours, justice always seems out of reach: the powerful that do wrong never get punished, those that deserve happiness because of their hard work get crap and misery. I realized that I probably cannot change the world alone, that is obvious of course I knew that already, but I didn't realize that to change the world I got to start with my own. If I help others around me, if I make the world of others a better place by being there for them, then it will make a difference. If you don't get help or support when you need it the most why would you lend a hand to others in your life that are in trouble? This cycle of indifference must end, and there is no other way than to just give, give away. Will I be abused and used like I already was? Probably. But for all those that won't use me, for all those that genuinely benefited from my presence, It will make a difference. My parents had it rough, they taught me to never trust anyone but myself... But if you never trust anyone, how can you expect anyone to trust you?

I also learned... Living for yourself alone is a sad existence. I want to live to please others, to make others happy and fulfilled. That would bring me joy and pride.

What's the point of sailing the ship of my life if I am alone operating it and I got no destination? I was a lost ship, drifting on the tides of the sea of life, waiting for them to bring me to my destination... No longer will I let the current take me away. I'll take back the helm of my boat, and set course wherever I need to be, may it be for myself, or to help someone in need.

I get why I don't have much friends, what do I have to offer to them? Self pity? My apathy? I wouldn't hang with me neither... I may not be the most interesting or funny friend someone might have, but I'm loyal, and trusting. I care. How terrible was I to let others suffer because I was too busy waiting for my own happiness... I could have helped them, and they could have helped me. That's what friendship is all about isn't it? A trusting relationship where you know you can count on each other.

As of love... Well it's very much the same isn't it? I longed for it, yet never thought I should be giving something in return, I can't just receive it, that's not how it works. And if I want someone to trust and love me, I'll have to be loving and trusting first, there is no other way.

I also realize that even though I don't believe in god that it doesn't mean I should not have faith. I should have faith in myself, in my loved ones, in my hopes and dreams. Plus sometimes the coïncidences of life are just so good or bad, I don't think it hurts to just think: maybe this is how it ought to be, maybe this is a sign from the universe from me to myself.

As of politics... I realized that I am an individualist, not in the "only the self matters" way but rather I refuse to separate people originality and uniqueness into little racial, sexual, ideological or religious boxes. I understand why people do it. It's reassuring to think we got it all figured it out, that all men are pigs, all women are nice but manipulative gold diggers, that all whites are egotistical and racist bigots, that all blacks are thugs, that all Christians are uneducated redneck bigots, that all Muslims are dangerous terrorists in the making, that immigrants, migrants and refugees are leechers and monsters here to rob our riches and destroy our cultural values and traditions... I refuse to see individuals as such. It's easy to blame what is different or foreign, much harder to blame ideas or ourselves.

Take the migrant and ISIS crisis... By listening to people you get the impression all muslim migrants are terrorists and bad people, corrupted by a misogynistic isolationist religion to destroy our world... Except that's only a minority. What about all of those that come to the West because they are afraid of the radicalism in their home country?  Those that integrate and are productive essential members of our society? Are they to blame too? For what others that share a simple belief that was pushed to the extreme do? "If the U.K/U.S didn't accept muslim migrants, immigrants and refugees, there would be much less terrorism". Is it though? What about my country, Canada? We receive lot of muslims here, and it rarely cause troubles, even less often terrorist attacks. Heck in my province of Quebec, in many smaller communities, the Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants and other religious groups share the same communal church. The imam drink beers and eat with the priest and the rabbi. They coexist peacefully. It's not impossible you know. By turning our backs to muslims, we are only doing ISIS bidding, after all the whole smuck behind ISIS existence is about a prophecy telling them the West hates them and want to get rid of them, so they should unite all Muslims and get rid of us before that happens...  By rejecting the moderates and shuning them, you make them consider ISIS words "maybe they do hate us all. Maybe we are doomed if we don't take action..." I use they to alleviate the text, I don't mean you personally do it, I just think this attitude, this refusal to try to understand each others is what is powering ISIS.

I decided, I won't let myself be fooled by rumors and fearful claims. I want the truth, and I want peace, we are not going to get that by fighting each others over the actions of the real culprits of crimes, injustices and wars that we scapegoat on each others.

Basically if you must remember one thing today, may it be to not remain passive. Don't let time, and your life, slip between your fingers. The sands of time are limited, you shouldn't waste them.

This has been rather enlightening to me. I hope it was for you as well. Or maybe im just an arrogant pompous philosopher? Who knows. See you next time -KeLvin

Monday, May 22, 2017

What if Rachel Dolezal ''Transracialism'' was a big misunderstanding?



I know, I know, what a clickbait-y title, but I couldn't resist. Let's dive right in: what if Rachel Dolezal really does feel as she should have dark skin? ''Transracialism is silly, it implies there is neurological differences between people of different skin colors and would completely validates racist theories'' I agree with that, hence why I didn't understand Dolezal at first. I don't believe for a second she has ''the brain of a black woman in the body of a white woman''. Oh I didn't mind her doing that transition at all though! If she wants to darken her skin and changes her hair, she is free to do so... It's her life, I don't care. I just didn't like the comparison with transgender people at first, because no matter the conclusion, it was awful. 

If you think race is all social, then who cares what gender or race you identify as? Those people aren't suffering, they just want to do as they please! Which I disagree with. Transgenders have a real disphoria, they didn't choose to feel that way. It's not just a whim. On the other hand, if you give credit to the idea that both transgenders and transracials are biologically driven to feel differently from what their body is, then you validate all racist theories that claim there is actual major neurological differences between people of different skin colors. A frightening possibility. 

I didn't like either options, and felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle. The other day I was chatting with a very close friend of mine who is a psychotherapist, and I brought that subject up, he made a very good point: how is Dolezal not just a severe case of physical disphoria? I couldn't believe I did not think of it before! When you view it without the race part, but just as a physical attribute, it all makes sense. Many people feel physical disphorias. We all know anorexia, but there is also minor disphorias, like someone with brown hair that feel like they ARE blonde, so they dye their hair to feel better. Or someone with brown eyes that is desperate to get green eyes, so they wear contact lenses... Those don't look like disphorias, but they can be. Many people get minor or major esthetical surgeries, it could be argued that those could be because of a disphoria sometimes. So my theory is that Dolezal suffer from a severe case of physical disphoria, she feels like her skin should be darker, and her hair fuzzier, so she changed her appareance as much as she could to appease her disphoric feelings. The reason most of us don't see it is merely because of all the racial politics... I bet if a psy saw Dolezal he would come to a similar conclusion. 

So, what do you think? Does Rachel Dolezal really suffer from a disphoria, but unrelated to the concept of race? Is she just nuts? Is  she just a snowflake?  I don't think so, I think she is misunderstood, and misunderstood her problem herself because of the concept of race. Anyway, that was my short realization on  the topic, see you next time!-KeLvin

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Anarchism, may it be Capitalist or Communist is Subjectivism at it's Worst

Hi everyone. Been a while. I had a little hiatus. Did not know what to write about, and talking about SJWs or the alt-right didn't feel right right now. I mean everyone is kind of sick of hearing about them... So am I. However, lately a certain group of ideologues gained my attention: anarchists. More specifically, anarcho-capitalists. Though this critique of their ideology does also apply to anarcho-communists, I will mainly focus on AnCaps to lighten the text.

So what is Anarchism?
Well,anarchists themselves will give you a variety of answers, some similar to mine, some not at all. I define it as the lack of a political system, not just the lack of government. My reasoning for this definition shall become clearer later on.

Why I oppose it?

For these reasons:
-it's unfeasable logistically and economically.
-it's extremely violent by nature
And, most importantly
-such a society is profundly unfair, unjust, and subjectivist.

I'll review all of these points in reverse order , because if I start with the roads and the sewers the autistic screeeeching will make the libertards eyes explode so hard they won't bother reading. So let's start with a less explored angle to oppose anarchism, especially anarcho capitalism: justice.

One of the most important part of living in society is justice, which in our structured political systems is pretty much always ensured by courts of justice who follow the laws. Those that breaks them are judged and punished accordingly in courts of law that are, in most cases, suppose to interpret as objectively as possible the laws who are the objective standards by which we judge law-breakers. In an anarchist state, there is no official laws. No official courts. No authorities to apply those laws. The "laws" are in the hands of the people... But everyone hold differents laws. That is the problem with such a system based on mediation and common accord without obective standards, subjectivity rules. If I use a gun to protect myself from someone who threatened me with an unloaded gun (which I didn't know) but by accident I end up shooting and injuring a bystander, who get punished for what in court? In our current societies, we know what happen, the man that made threats get charged for it, the man that injured another get judged more lightly because it was self defense, he didn't intent to hurt that bystander and was using reasonnable force against a deadly threat. In an anarchist state, there is no objective law. Sure you might hire a third party to be mediator in an AnCap society, but if that party isn't the government, and that you still need to pay that third party yourselves, how easy would it be for the richest of the two parties to buy out the "neutral" third party?

Plus, without objective laws, you rely on the judging party personnal values and beliefs to weight the most in their decision, sure you came and thought of yourself as a victim... But the third party disagree and charge you with what they consider crimes... Which they can, there is no law but the one the people decide...
Also a good question, if there is no governmental authority, who applies sentences? Who pay for them? Who pay for the jails or executions? The average person? The person that lost their case? How will they pay if they don't have enough? Will everyone pay? If so, who would want to if they don't have relatives in jail, and how is it different than a tax?Won't that private system of prisons encourage long sentences while the anarchist system encourage short sentences so the prisoner can get out fast to pay back for their sentences? Won't slavery go back to existence in such a world where justice is only what the most powerful wants it to be? How is that fair? How do you define rights in such a society? Is there even rights? Not really, laws are used to defends rights, so without laws, there is nothing to defend your rights. Don't think that a communist anarchy is better because "the group makes the justice", mob justice is as terrible as vigilantism by individuals really.  Instead of the strenght of your military and wallet, it's the strenght of your group and the approval of your peers... Social pressure either way.

In a world without laws, people to make sure others follow these laws, and courts to interpret the laws, there is no safeguards for humans' rights. You have no freedom of speech in an anarchist state.
Oh, sure, you CAN say what you want... As long as no one declare your thoughts crimes and by the power of money, guns, or a mob, manage to sentence your speech as a crime. The same can be said of any right. There is no right in a society that doesn't protect any or make objective laws or rights. AnCaps love to talk about property rights, like they are sacred or something. Well, how easy it is for one with enough power to make the rights favor them. How easy it is to erase certain rights and create some for your own gain when even the property rights are subjective in such a non system. You can declare humans as property. Declare intellectual property null or supreme. As long as you have enough power , you can impose your own laws... But if you don't have enough power, then people simply won't respect those self appointed rights, why would they? The only law of the anarchist state is the law of the jungle... Which doesn't protect any right, not even the right to live.

Which brings me to my second point. Anarchism is intrinsically violent. Given the nature of it, you need force to be reckoned with to get what you want. Whether you are a group or a rich individual, you need strenght to defend what you wish to be the laws and rights of thy lands. Mob justice... Well well all know that mobs rarely stay peaceful. As of rich individuals, they can hire mercenaries. Yay to private nukes right?  It isn't a long point but it's self explanatory enough. Our current societies aren't perfect but we only use force when we got no other options, not whenever we disagree. Anarchists that think people wouldn't act like dumb sharp teeth sheeps or rich selfish sharks for their own interests are a little naive in my opinion. But hey feel free to prove me humans are able to not jump at each other throats when there is no laws to keep them in leash...

Last point: it can't be done without destroying our civilization in the process.

Yes it is time to mention roads and sewers.

You can stop screeching now.

Okay.

Before you think "roads and sewers would be paid by whoever wants them" ask yourself this: who want to pay for it? Everyone need those, same for hospitals, jails and schools, but no one want to actually pay for all that infrastructure! 

Roads for example, let's suppose there is a company that wants to pay for the roads in and out your city and all the streets. Them buying the roads and streets means they can use them as they please: charge tolls, ban certain people (even by race or gender), limit uses, not keep it in a good state, etc.
Now let's say the company decided to ban all people like you from their streets. You have a house in that city. That house is on a street. You can't get anywhere without using one. But now you are forbidden to do so. Means you got to sell your house and move out to another city? Well the company now argue that they also own all that is on the streets... Houses included. A third party court that they paid handsomely declares so. Not that it matters. They have countless mercenaries working for them. If they want to force their self declared property rights, it won't be a problem...

Does anything in this scenario sounds idyllic? Well it does, for the company. In a communist anarchy the process is similar, but the pressuring party might be a cult or large family for example that gained many followers in your city and decided to go against you. A mob.

To me the difference between the two anarchies is simple, it's just the means to achieve control: mobs vs money. I wouldn't want to live in the anarchist jungle.

Anyway,can't wait for all the offended anarchists to yell at me. Will be fun. Thanks for reading my short thoughts on the matter. Might talk about this topic again at another time. See you next time! -KeLvin

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Let's Talk About Donald Trump: He Isn't Fit For Office





               Soooo, I stayed relatively silent on the topic, I said before I didn't like Trump or Hillary, but that Hillary was indeed the most reasonnable choice. I didn't talk against Trump much, I expressed my personal dislike of his policies, his reputation, and actions, but I never made a case against him, despite that I am against all he stand for. So there is it.

1. Trump has NO experience in politics, and it's already showing. 

     Easy one, Trump doesn't know how politics work, he doesn't have enough experience to handle situations that would require to be delicate and cautious, he shouts and rant. He nominated upon office people that should NEVER hold positions of power, like Ben Carlson for Housing, Andrew Puzder, a fast food CEO for Labor or Goldman Sachs banker James Donovan as deputy Treasury secretary. How can people believe he's  a populist and care for the little guys after those nominations? I mean do people remember he just chose Supreme Court judges that oppose abortion and gay marriage just so he could try to attack the wins american society made on those grounds? Which brings me to number 2...

2. Trump is socially conservative on abortion, gay marriage, and was a leader of the birther, climate change is an hoax  and vaccines cause autism movements.

      Trump is anti abortion, chose Mike Pence as Vice-President, a man that funded electroshock ''therapy'' to ''cure'' homosexuality, was one of the loudest voices of the slanderous movement against Obama, claiming he wasn't born American but Kenyan, despite that he had all the paperwork to prove he was american, from Hawai to be exact? Let's be honest  birthers only said so because he is black, a white  president would never be doubted on his birth place. Trump also believes climate change is a chinesse hoax, or that it doesn't matter, he already shown his disdain of the environnment by cutting  funding for environnmental protection. Trump is also one of  the cretins that keep pushing that vaccines  cause autism or that millions of illegal immigrants  are frauding the elections, that's Infowars levels of crazyness. 

3. Trump is not for the middle class at all.

    Trump is already using his privileged  position of President to help his children's businesses or give them positions of power. He already expressed his desires to help the rich even more. He don't care about the middle class. He wants to repeal Obamacare, which despite being imperfect, helped millions of americans get access to health insurances. Most americans are for a single payer healthcare ( yes even right wingers) yet Trump isn't. He's all for money in politics, he's not ''draining the swamp'' he's feeding it. And remember that he nominated businessmen with no experience in positions  of power...

4. Trump's hatred of the media  is dangerous. 

    I'm all for making the media accountable, of making sure they don't report lies and libel people. But Trump is doing a disservice to the american people by attacking them so much. When he made his opening speech, there wasn't ''the most people on a opening speech ever'' there was less people than on Obama's speeches, so , the media accurately reported there weren't so much people. Yet Trump lied, even when presented undeniable evidence, he kept a  straight face of lies. 
  Trump shown a desire to stiffle media power in the United States. That's worrying, he banished all media that could oppose him or make him accountable from the white house, he only allowed his cheerleaders. I know the media is  biased, all medias  are, but why would the left leaning media lie about Trump now that his mistakes are so huge they need no exageration  to sound horrifying? I mean Trump chosing Steve Bannon as  his key advisor, chief strategist, should be a red flag... Bannon is from Breitbart, an extreme right ''news'' site that was cheerleading for Trump all along. Of course  such a man would encourage Trump to  destroy all leftist media... I don't know what Trump has planned for the media, but weakening folks' trust in  the media is a bad thing. The media isn't perfect, yet we need them, to at least try to keep politicians accountable, counting only on Trump's team for news from the white house is an obvious attempt at controlling information in his favor. Which, is , of course, the first step of any autoritarian: get rid of opposing voices, or even better, make people doubt them more than they doubt you. 

5. Trump is an horrible person. 

    Mysoginist, racist, xenophobic, elitist... Trump is just an  horrible person, Hillary might have been double faced, but the  only  face of Trump is so disgusting I'll rather take my chance with one of those faces, than the one Trump is showing. 

     

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Statement About Race And Discrimination

Those who read me probably remember when I said races don't exist. Allow me to elaborate: racial differences exists, but there is no evidence some of these give clear biologocal superiority over others and there is no causal link between cultural characteristics and racial characteristics . I said race doesn't exist as it is commonly used as a discrete category for simplicity, but to be fair the concept is still used appropriately in science.

However, it isn't a discrete category as people often use it. Scientists use a more complex, specific definition. Remember when I said "What even is white or black? Where is the line?" well scientists agree:discrete categories are nonsensical. Rather, race is used to identify genetic ancestry and categorize genetic traits ( not cultural or psychological) that are likely to be bundled together, but not unlike any generalization, there is no "typical racial example", a person identified as being able to digest lactose due to their racial lineage may still be lactose intolerant. Nothing is set in stone.

There is also a  few traits that are universal amongst our species, an high intellectual and social adaptability for example. Intelligence and it's related skills do vary, amongst individuals, because it isn't a racial trait, it's a trait of our species, and even the most homologous genetic pools have individual differences. All humans have the potential to learn and adapt to any language or culture. There is no established links between your genetic make-up, your geographic location and your ability to exhibit cultural and linguistic traits and proficiency. Humans especially are known to have migrated a lot, weakening the link between geography and racial adaptations, even if most people are still at least partially adapted to their native environment regardless (pale skin is still more common and useful in countries with less sunlight for example while the opposite is true for darker skin).

Even if races didn't exist at all, it would admittedly be one of the worst argument against racism, because it implies that if races existed as discrete categories racism would be justified. Which is false, racism is bad for a whole bunch of reasons, not just because the discrete categories racists use are innacurate and an oversimplyfication of the complexity of our species genetic diversity. Racism is bad because even if the claims made by racist ideologues were true, mistreating people for what is out of their control, their genes, is unfair and a terrible injustice.

It's not simply a matter of being precise while using the concept. After all, men and women are  biologically different (same potential, different development) yet those differences can't justify sexist doctrines that treat women as objects or men like animals. That's also why transphobia is wrong: no matter what gender or sex they are, discriminating them for what is out of their control is unfair and injust. Does that mean that discrimination can be justified? In some cases, yes. We discriminate against ex-criminals all the time, a pedophile can't work with children, a murderer can't become a cop. But we discriminate based on their past individual actions, not their being, their beliefs or the actions of others sharing traits with them. That's the biggest difference.

I am homosexual and as a gay man I am forbidden from donating blood in Canada unless I become abstinent for a few years or lie. Why? Because other gay men, both in the past and nowadays had risky sexual behaviors and transmitted serious diseases between themselves. For the behavior of others, I'm being discriminated against, because we share identity traits. Now that tests are so fast and efficient, such a long abstinence period is unjustified, and why only to gay men? Why not lesbians or straight men and women? Since homosexuals are less numerous, statiscally speaking, by not asking this abstinence period to anyone else but gay men, they are placing themselves at risk of getting ill blood from those other groups, which by the single fact that they donate more blood, make them more likely to donate ill blood.  Remember, AIDS and Syphillis aren't gay males' exlusive diseases...

No, this kind of discrimination has no reason to be this specific, they should ask everyone, regardless of gender and sexual orientation to be abstinent for a certain period or not at all. Blood tests take 9 days of being infected to notice any disease now so a 14 days abstinence period for everyone wishing to donate seems reasonable to ask for.

People should only ever be discriminated  for their own individual actions. If someone you lent money to isn't paying their loan back, you probably will think twice before lending them more money the next time they ask you. You are discriminating against them, but you are justified in doing so. Plus you won't discriminate against all of the friends that you lent money too, only the ones that aren't reliable.  Racism,sexism and other ism are not justified forms of discrimination. I hope this clarify my thoughts and beliefs on the matter of race and discrimination. -KeLvin P.S: Obviously you can guess my thoughts on racial profilling and most discrimination from this post alone. I didn't mention everything because it would have been tedious.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are anti-SJWs becoming anti-leftists? Anti-Liberals?




                  All is in the title. I'm sure you noticed that the words ''regressive left'' have left the youtube plane, and now ''leftist'' or ''liberal'' have alarmingly been  used instead by the anti-SJW youtubers. That's worrying to me. The anti-SJWs are no longer just against the fringe members of the left that are extreme in their beliefs, no , now anyone that believes ''not all X are Y'' are SJWs, anyone that like a left leaning policy or don't like ( not hate, just don't like) Donald Trump, must be a SJW. Anyone that dislike an anti-SJW must be  an SJW... that one is getting more frequent. ''You don't like Milo Yiannopoulos/Dave Rubin/Dave Cullen/Sargon of Akkad/Roaming Millenial/Millenial Woes/Naked Ape? You are just a triggered SJW!'' Anyone that trust even a little bit mainstream media, must be an SJW... right? I mean the alternative media sources like Infowars and Breitbart, or the aforementioned Dave Rubin/Cullen are just  SO reliable isn't it... Anyone that hate
Islam but NOT muslims? SJW Islamist apologist! Anyone that think libertarianism is dumb? SJW communist/socialist! Anyone that dissagree with an anti-SJW? SJW! 

This is worrying. Those people used to complain about the corruption of the left into academic SJWism but now? They are trying to poison the well and make all liberals and leftists ''Social Justice Warriors'', because when you are in a ''Culture War'' who bloody cares about nuances right? Nuances are just for cucks, right? Oh and centrists, you are all SJWs! YOU ARE WITH US OR AGAINST US, PICK A SIDE. Gosh... Fuck. Seriously, I knew the anti-SJW movement was created to fight back the extremists of the left that are dominating academia and SOME political spheres in  SOME countries... but I always thought it was uniting conservatives and regular liberals against the SJWs. However, it now seems that the movement is showing their true colors. Trump won, conservatism and  the extreme right are making a comeback, a big one, time to dump  the moderate liberals that helped us get there because they thought they were fighting extremists... not themselves. 

Yep, that's what happened, the conservatives used the liberals to get power. I'm  not surprised. Trans-exclusionary radical Feminists were using that tactic way before, allying with anti-Trans conservatives to get rid of the Pro-Trans movement... Think they would not backstab the conservatives? The same happened when conservatives and liberals united against the fundamentalist christians that were really embarassing the right not long ago. It seems the tribalism of politics get muddied whenever the two sides need to unite against an extreme going too far, but when the ''ennemy'' is beaten? Whenever side the extremists were with get their moderates of the same side to be backstabbed. Such camaraderie is touching. Well congrats, sorry moderate liberals, you helped the anti-SJWs beat the SJWs... only to strengthen the alt-right, the far right and conservatism in general. All of the right, from the most to the least moderate profited from it. Well I guess political alliances can never last eternally... sigh. Anyway, that was just some quick thought on the topic... See you next time -KeLvin

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Trudeau's wife and him cause feminist uproar, and my general women's day opinion. Also, f**k quotas.

Sophie Grégoire, Justin Trudeau's wife, said today, 8th of March 2017, international women's day, that to celebrate this day we must also thank and implicate men like her husband, dedicated to equality between the sexes. Trudeau, in a political gesture that was immediately seen as a "fuck your policies" to Trump, sworn to invest around half a billion dollars in abortion clinics structures in third world countries (Trump having cancelled all funding of foreign charities that perform abortions in last January). All is well under the sun right? I mean there was that cringy part where Trudeau said all men should be feminists,but the charity to third world countries is nice. His wife's message is also very inclusive so who would see that as a bad thing?

Feminists. Feminists were pissed.

Following Sophie Grégoire's statements, a whole debate about men's place in the fight for equality ensued. Many argued that, sure , "male allies" are important, and should be thanked for their work, but not on women's day, because reasons. Wait what?  Yeah, apparently equality is all about working separately from men. Putting them aside.  I mean, Canada's government certainly understood that, as a feminist gesture, only female deputees were allowed to ask questions and speak today in the Chamber. So stunning. So brave.
Such bullshit.
What a ridiculous uproar too. Include men in the celebration of the advancement of women's rights? COMPLETE MADNESS! Sigh.

Feminists also accused Trudeau of not doing enough for women. Of not imposing job and political quotas, which they so much desire. Ladies, he's one of the only male politicians in North America to have declared himself a Feminist and the only prime minister to have forced a gender and racial quota on his cabinet, and he invested A LOT on women's services since his investiture, what else does he need to do to show he's on your side? Darn feminists, you give them a hand, they rip your arm off.

About this women's day, I think it's stupid. First of all, there is already a whole women history month and you need another day? Wtf. Why not claim this is women's year while you are at it?  Oh wait. I think they already did that one year... You don't see me asking for "international homosexual day" , and for good reasons: it's stupid, pointless, and doesn't actually encourage equality. I said it before, insisting on pointing out differences only make prejudices stronger, not weaker. If you keep saying women are special flowers in need of extra care and support, you already show that equality isn't the goal.

I see this day as a day for companies to make advertisments targeting women heavily, and a day of free propaganda for feminism. "Everyday is men's day, can't women have a day (and whole month) dedicated to them!?!?!" well isn't that sexist in itself? If you think that everyday is men's day, and that we must concede some days to women, you are doing some sort of calendar gender segregation. Wouldn't it be more equal to say that men and women should share all days? Giving women days imply that they are unable to coown the year with men. That they aren't their equals.  This is just like black history month all over again...

A small word on what the feminist propaganda go on about the most this time of the year: quotas. Fuck quotas. There is nothing about equality in this. If you force the government or private companies to hire a certain percentage of women or people of certain skin color, sexual orientation or religion, you force them to discriminate. Plus isn't it insulting to those these quotas are made for to learn they were hired because they needed people with their identity to fill a checklist? If I was affected by a quota, I would worry I wasn't hired for my skills but because of my identity. How degrading. Plus if the intention is to lower discrinination and racial/gender tensions, quotas aren't the way to go. How do you think people that aren't targeted by these will react if they don't get a job? Instead of thinking they simply weren't fit for the job, they will start to think " Maybe it's because of the quotas. Maybe it's because I'm not [Race/Gender] and they were...". You can bet those left behind by the quotas would start to resent those the quotas were made for. It would only be a superficial equality, under the appearances a lot of hate would be stirred and started. Encourage women into fields that were traditionally masculine, sure, force that , no.

Also speaking of fields of work, why is it always about women going into traditionally masculine jobs like construction worker, politics, firefighter, STEM fields or police officer, why do we never encourage men into traditionally feminine jobs? To me, the underlying message is that traditionally male jobs are more worthwhile hence why more women in these is necessary... Kinda sexist to say the least. "Female" jobs like teacher, nurse, secretary, organizer, maid, childcare educator are all important, yet they rarely get the same respect and renumeration as some "male jobs" despite equal importance.

Plus, there is also prejudices against men when they go against the norm. Especially for male chilcare educators. Many parents are wary of a man taking care of preschoolers, despite statistical evidence showing a female educator is much more likely to abuse their child, if only because they are more numerous. This prejudice of "all men that want to take care of children must be pedophiles and women are better at it anyway" is incredibly sexist toward both genders. I think encouraging men in typically female fields would also be a good step for equality. Yet you will never see feminists advocating for more male childcare educators or female sewer workers. It's almost as if feminists are a bunch of elitists that only care about women in politics or jobs that grant enough prestige and money to grant political power to implement policies advantaging their little group... Hmmmm. Anyway, that's all for today. See you next time! -KeLvin. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The "Skeptic community" and the "New center"

"Conservatism is the new counter-culture"- Paul-Joseph Watson.

Edgy huh? Yeah I laughed and cringed at that too. Though, it is worth thinking as to what could have made him believe such a thing.

The answer is simply the rise of the right, and more importantly of the alt-right.

Regular conservartives, the religious, anti-gays, anti-abortion, anti-anything-that-use-taxes-because-it's-"socialist" kind have lost much of their superb since the beginning of the millenium.
The abortion debate in most western countries, even in the U.S have been pretty much settled, and now cause much less uproars than before.
Homosexuals rights (and trans rights, to a lesser degree) have made significant progress, most countries have adopted laws authorising the civic mariage of same sex couples, with the U.S being unfashionably late as always on the matter ( better late than never).
As of policies, despite the different governments in the western world, it can't be denied that most countries have added or modified social programs in the last decade that helps more than ever the poor and needy, rarely lowering taxes and if they did, it usually was capital taxes, which affects mostly the entrepreneurs and wall street enthusiasts.

Slowly, over the course of a decade, conservatives numbers have dwindled.  They came to be seen as silly and dated, the internet helping spreading the claims and thoughts of their most crazy members. Who remembers when youtube atheism vs christianity was a big thing?  I do, it was a time when conservative christians uncapable of reason were the butt of jokes and memes. But as the counter arguments to the religious crowd are always the same, and that their influence wasn't as big as it used to be... Many turned to more interesting targets of ridicule, namely radical leftists and radical right-wingers. Why target the more tame topics brought up by the average liberal/conservative when the internet created a platform to let the crazies band together to shout louder than anyone else? Obviously those were targeted too by the aforementionned youtube atheists (and bloggers too), but those conspiracy theorists and infowars fans were not very different to christians in terms of rebuttals: the same way they could never disprove the existence of God, they couldn't disprove the truth or lack thereof of those conspiracy theories. It was a matter of faith, a pointless crowd to reason with, akin to speaking to a wall. It get boring.

The new Social Justice Warriors and what would become the Alt-Right were now much more interesting targets. While trying to convince the members of such groups is almost a lost cause, given the levels of ideological faith those people have, responding to them could still matter, since most people that didn't align aren't too far down the rabbit holes, and can still be reasonned with.

Those knights of reason would soon be known as "skeptics" and then "the skeptic community". Detached from the old atheist movement( though many were still atheists themselves) those men and women were quick to say that they were skeptical of anyone claims that seemed unfounded: may they be religious or political, regardless of affiliations. While a noble goal indeed to cast doubts upon people claims and beliefs regardless of who and what, the reality became rather different. Skeptics couldn't resist aligning themselves, weither openly or not, with one side or the other. It wasn't an instantaneous process either, it took time.  People that were reasonnable and making good arguments against the craziest of ideologues, slowly became ideologues themselves. You probably seen those internet personalities that spoke against SJWs in a great fashion, but, after a while, seemed to have gone farther and farther to the right, Dave Rubin come to my mind with his "new center" oddly filled with far rights personnalities and ideas. The same thing happened in reverse, people opposing the far right became far leftists themselves, Steve Shives is a good example, he joined Atheism+, what I would call one of the defining moments that divided the atheist community into the skeptics and Atheists+.

When Watson said that conservatism is the new counter-culture he meant that the "new conservatism", the Alt-right, was. And as it is pretty much the opposite of Social Justice, you could say it's the counter-culture/ideology to that. Social Justice itself claims to be a counter-culture, which it also is. Both are extremes that the average individual consider too intense in their ideological beliefs to consider. While most people will probably consider themselves right or left, and thus agree on some small points with those groups, they don't associate themselves with them. General culture isn't as left or right as they think. There may be more intolerance toward racism and sexism, but there is also more tolerance of xenophobia, with the fear of immigrants, and double standards, with the tolerance of sexist double standards against men.

Not all is white and black, most is grey. So yes, they are counter-cultures, counter to a culture of reason, compromises and skepticism. Many of the skeptics aren't as skeptical as they used to be. How many skeptics only attack one side of the political war? How many claim that their political beliefs are without question right? Too many, unfortunately.

This reality has not gone unchecked, people online are aware of this shift, and now use the term skeptic with some scorn and contempt. As of this "new center"  as Rubin called it, it's a group of far right leaning individuals claiming to be the true skeptics, not unlike the failure that was Atheism+. Those people, those so called centrists, recommend you listen to people such as LibtardAmerica, a woman that say such outrageous things, like that women should be publicly beaten under certain circumstances, or that we need a strong patriarchy, that i wonder if she's not just an elaborate troll, instead of the abysmal cretin she looks like. They also recommend folks like, Paul-Joseph Watson, who gives us that quote from the beginning, and also works for infowars, a website that is infamous for their crazy conspiracy theories and anti-science attitude. Let's not forget about Steven Crowder the unfunny right wing comedian so bad at reporting other right wing reporters thinks of him as a cretin, Lauren "laurent" Southern, who constantly misrepresent reality and said that we need to return to traditions and Milo "very young boys" You-no-predator-I-am that is so controversial in all he does and says ( like his support of very traditionnal gender roles or his claims that gay men are smarter than straight folks but going extinct because of gay rights) that claiming he is a centrist is the joke of the century.

Clearly reason and skepticism have become a rarity lately, which is unfortunate. Now, no one can express skepticism without someone trying to guess if they are the "right" type of skeptic, either a "new centrist" or an Atheist+ intersectionnal feminist, so they can choose if they are "real skeptics". A real skeptic can be of any political allegiance, those asking skeptics to choose don't understand the meaning of skepticism, however to remain one, a skeptic must have enough honesty and introspection to doubt their own beliefs and claims. It isn't easy, for sure, but it's a necessity, those so called "culture wars" between ideologues rarely answer important questions, rarely produce results. Like I did before, I make a call for calm, reason, open-mindness and compromise. Remaining with a broom up our asses because we aren't willing to concede points to the adverse camp won't help any of us and will only lead to ever increasing tensions. Let's sit down and act like the adults we should all strive to be. -KeLvin

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Benign Mundane Slavery

This will upset a few people, so if you don't like your beliefs to be challenged and questionned and would rather live in your own bubble of certainties, then don't read this, my blog has the word quandary in it for a reason you know: doubt is a big part of my intellectual process. I didn't do one of those philosophical ponderings in a while now and I have been thinking about this subject lately so here it is.
My question of the day: is slavery really such a bad thing? And why?
"What!? KeLvin are you retarded? Everyone knows why slavery is bad, it's because you force people to do work without their consent and remuneration!"
Sure, but how is a a life of slavery where your basic needs are catered to is worse than a life of uncertainty where you can lack the salary to even live decently?  Maybe you asked yourself that question if you are poor, and like me you may have come to the conclusion that it's hard to say. If I even wanted to write about this it is because lately I have been playing a lot of Dragon Age: Inquisition (good game by the way) and one of the characters, Dorian, come from a country where slavery is common practice, and when talking about the practice morality, he says that all things considered, if slaves are well treated, they often may live lives that are more comfortable than the poor free men and women of other countries that may well be stuck in a life of misery forever, while in a slaver country, you could just sell yourself.
I can't say those thoughts never crossed my mind before, in history class, one of the first things that surprised me was to learn that not only not all free people were equals, but even slaves were not equals to one another. We like to demonize the practice and pretend that all slavery in history was oppressive and difficult for the slaves, but it wasn't always the case. Many treated their slaves rather well, caring for their quarters, their health, their families, and their comfort. Now can you say the same of your employer? Probably not. You are most likely replaceable to him or her. Slaves were generally expensive to buy (not for all of history though) and considered an investment, so it was in the interests of the buyers to treat their slaves well so they could live long and serve them longer. While nowadays, an employee anywhere is cheap and replaceable, and it can often be in your employer best interests to treat you like shit or make you work in unsafe/unhygienic conditions to save a few bucks. Also, slaves conditions, if with an average owner, would rarely go down... Unless their master went bankrupt or became psychotic for some reasons.
While as an employee, your life conditions can change drastically from months to months: you may be stuck at low wages and after a few years of inflation and debt be in deep misery despite working full time, you may lose your job and fall down from wherever you were (statistics shows most people don't save money, mostly because there isn't enough left to save and unpredictable expenses happen all the time) or you may fell ill and need to stop working for a while, losing much of your income.
By now you probably start to understand where my thoughts went on that one: how is slavery so bad if employers often (sometimes with the complicity of our governments) treat low wage workers worse than how noble (by that I mean nobility, not good) slave owners could treat their slaves?  If your main concern for opposing slavery was the treatment of the slaves, then think again, because slaves at least had the guarrantee to get food and shelter if they weren't war prisoners (the kind of slaves that get more mistreated than others) or part of the american slave trade. While nowadays, many countries have welfare services and governmental services so shitty it's often as worse to work than not to if you are poor, and become a "choose your poison" type of situation.
Oh and little side note here: not all slaves were black. I know a few people that can't believe that. In fact, for most of history, you could be a slave regardless of skin color as people historically enslaved people near them first and foremost. Yes that does mean It became more racist later on when Europeans stopped enslaving each other to favor enslaving Africans, that they colonized, often by force. It was then that slaves became cheaper and mistreatment of them more common.
Of course your master's wealth and nature still often mattered the most in your treatment. Wealthy bastards could afford ten or twenty slaves, and didn't care much for their well being, while more modest families, able to afford only one slave, took more care of their slaves, since they were more of a luxury.
Now, of course if you said that slavery is wrong because it treat humans as tools to a means, I would agree, but isn't our modern society kind of similar? We are all the tools of rich entrepreneurs with thousands and thousands, if not millions of employees like yourself that are a tool, a means to gain capital. So what's the last big argument against slavery? The lack of freedom. Well that one's easy. You sure say that you have the choice, but do you? Can you choose not to work? " You can but must accept the consequences" Oh really? And do you think a slave couldn't do the same and "accept the consequences"? For the same reason most poor folks "choose" to work, most slaves "choose" to comply: because the alternative is so much worse, it's not a fair choice. Granted, our motivation, avoiding misery and famine, is apparently less violent than being threatened to be beaten or killed, but is no less willbending.
Also, I find it depressing that so many can ignore the suffering of people worldwide because it's much harder to imagine how painful and difficult extreme poverty is than straight up violence. So many can look you straight in the eyes and tell you they oppose all forms of slavery because of the mistreatment of slaves, yet support not raising minimal wages or not financing universal healthcare and education.
  Our modern society might have perfected the formula for slavery: let them loose but still dependent on those that used to be rich owners. Now they will be rich employers, and the best part? The potential employees will fight to work for them, compete with each other's. In an older post I said that communism is straight up no trickery slavery, a benign slavery because everyone comply to it to get well treated at the cost of their freedoms, and that the hypothetical anarcho-capitalist/libertarian wet dream is a subtle but not benign slavery. No ambition to help or care about people there. Our society is peculiar, because it managed to make slavery both seems benign and mundane while being seen as freedom by all. I probably will think more deeply about all of this another time. Tell me what you thought, I'm curious. It goes without saying at this point that I still do find slavery immoral. See you next time -KeLvin

Monday, January 30, 2017

Extremism, fear and scapegoating: Quebec shooting, the Muslim ban and the "BLM kidnapping"

Usually, I wouldn't talk about terrorist acts, after all it's almost a routine by now... France comes to mind. However, since it happened in Quebec, my province, I suppose it's only fair that I take the opportunity to express my thoughts on the matter.

If you don't know yet, this weekend a man by the name of Alexandre Bisonette went into a mosque in the city of Québec and started shooting people while they were praying. 6 men died, 5 other persons were injured. At first a man by the name of Muhammad was also arrested as a suspect, however turn out he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He saw what happened and tried to help those injured, when he saw the police, armed, he flipped out, being the only person left standing in the mosque. Like an idiot he ran away and was thought to be a suspect. After interrogation he was released. But for a while, who did it and for which motives were nebulous.

I saw, both in real life and on the internet, people eagerly waiting to know the shooter or shooters skin color. The left wanted to see a right wing white supremacist bigot, the right wanted to see an Arab Muslim refugee that hate his fellow Muslims for not being with ISIS or something. Let me say this: when your priority in a mass shooting is to know the identities of the victims/shooters to further your identity politics, you seriously lack empathy and should really reconsider your priorities in life. People died, people were injured. Innocent people, that were peacefully praying, were shot in the back. There were children inside too.

Your identity politics are racist. There, I said it. Whether you are a right leaning or left leaning identity politics afficionado, if you care about people skin color or religious beliefs above the simple fact that innocents were murdered you are bigoted and racist. I was working this evening, and I was baffled to see customers (the TV was set to the news) reacting to the events. Most were shocked and sad, of course, but some seriously lacked empathy and said things like "they should have remained in their country". You don't get it dude: Canada is their country. Many were second generation immigrants. One man that died was even an university Laval professor. They were very well integrated members of my society.

One woman living in the area was interviewed and was asked this question : " How do you explain such events to your children?" Her answer? " I teach them to view people as individuals, not a group. I tell them that some people get blinded by hate and fear." And you know what? She's right. I don't know her but if she does teach that to her children, she is on the right path for parenting in my book.

I , of course, send my condolences to the families of the victims. No one, no matter their religion, skin color or whatever, should have to suffer through this.

And now we come to the scapegoating part. Who's to blame? If you ask news outlets and the internet, Trump is a clear target. Was I kind of annoyed that his press release basically used the occasion to say "see? That's why I did the Muslim ban!" Even though the victims are Muslims and so this statement makes less sense than if the perpetrators were Muslims, but whatever, we know how clumsy Trump's entourage is with the press. Do I think this is partly Trump's fault? Fuck no. It's as nonsensical to say that Marine Le Pen is responsible, since the shooter apparently liked her on Facebook. Should we blame her to have maybe  inspired him? No, and neither should we blame Trump. Can we question the extreme right views that could have inspired him? Of course. To say this is Trump's fault would be removing responsibility from Alexandre Bisonette actions and the rethoric he sought online.

Many used this occasion to draw attention to Trump's temporary ban on immigration from majority Muslims countries, saying his attitude is encouraging violence against Muslims and "Islamophobia".

By the way, I wanted to say that for a while, but am I the only one that think that Islamophobia is the worst way to say what should essentially be renamed Muslimophobia?  Because , ethymologically  speaking, Islamophobia would be the irrational fear of the ideology of Islam, but fearing Islam, by that I mean the ideas of Islam, is perfectly reasonable. There is a lot of scary shit in the Coran. A lot of scary rethoric and religious laws too. Muslimophobia would be more appropriate to describe an irrational fear of Muslims. I also think the phobia words tend to be sometime overused... End of the parentheses.

Ahem, so as I was saying, many people dislike Trump's last executive decision, and I do too. How could a three months ban do more against terrorism than the last ten years of fighting it? Nonsense. But even if you support the ban, can we agree it was poorly handled? Even permanent American residents were barred entry! It's only an example, but we all heard of all those cases that are revolting by how nonsensical they are. Can we also reminisce about Trump's inauguration and how he lied about how many people went to it to protect his fragile multi-millionaire president of the most powerful country ego?  Needless to say, Trump is someone to keep an eye on. The only thing he did yet I approve of is his rejection of TPP, that trade deal was shady to say the least, so good thing he rejected it.

Extremism, from all sides, is rising, and I wouldn't blame Trump for it. Is he a symptom of this "extremization" of politics? I think so, after all his rethoric is shared by people way more extreme than him... And he was elected. But to blame him alone is removing the agency of the little folks that think those same things, or way worse.

To remember you that extremism is rising from all sides, not just the right or Islamists, I thought I would talk about the "Black lives matter kidnapping". It was called like that because many blamed the rethoric of the movement for the kidnapping and torture of a mentally handicapped young white man by four black kidnappers , two women, two men. Of course, blaming black lives matter activists for this is as ridiculous as blaming Trump or Marine Le Pen for the Quebec shooting. Could their rethoric have inspired them? Maybe. But as it is the case for Trump and Marine Le Pen, scapegoating them would remove the responsibility of those who spread those ideas first, before it became more mainstream.  Ideologues aren't lone wolves.

The kidnapping was by all accounts racially and politically motivated, in the Livestream video they broadcasted on Facebook (yes those fucktards were that stupid and gruesome) we see them hurt him with a knife, make him drink toilet water and other forms of torture or humiliation (we can even see his cranium bone at some point). We also hear some interesting things, like "white boy", "fuck Donald Trump" and " it's your fault [white people/Trump voters]!". Terrible hate crime... Which is why I was puzzled to see it wasn't considered as such first.

Many were excusing those four teens actions, diminishing the impact. Some other people are convinced the only reason they were charged with hate crime is because the victim was mentally ill not because he was targeted for his skin color or (presumed) political beliefs. If that's true it's quite sad. I remember seeing a police officer saying it's "just kids being stupid" and cringing very hard...

I bet many right wing folks will try to excuse or justify Alexandre Bisonette's own hate crime the same way leftists tried to justify or excuse those black teens.  We will hear the usual answers: it's the environment's fault, it's the fault of X religious/racial group ("it's muslim/white people fault's if he/they killed/kidnapped! Muslims/Whites are the ones to blame!") , It's him/them being young and foolish, it's the fault of a politician current rethoric or actions... I am sure it will come soon enough. And I am tired of people doing mental gymnastics whenever someone from "their side" does something that would hurt their identity politics. I want to teach you the same thing that woman I mentioned will teach her children: view people as individuals, not as a collection of identities in conflict with yours. So that's all for today, hope you have a nice day... And let's hope extremism disappear, because I don't want to see those events as "just another one". -KeLvin

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Raising the minimal wage is bad!"

So, I'm sure you heard that one before: " Raising the minimal wage from X to Y would be terrible! It would​ means that Z number of people would be at risk of losing their jobs! Better to have a low wage job than no job at all huh?! It would also means prices would rise! How horrifying!"

This kind of argument pisses me off. This argument is using fear to scare people off the idea that we should raise the minimal wage. Usually, the argument is that if, say, 7 million Americans lose their jobs because the minimal wage changed, then changing the minimal wage is an undoable idea. Bollocks. Let me use the same formulation as before "well raising the minimal wage would sure mean some people would lose their jobs, but if that means that all those who didn't can now have living wages isn't that better?" That is the important part, yet people forget about it. Oh, and about those jobs losses, you know it would only be very temporary right? Why? Well, what happens if all the remaining minimal wage workers now have more disposable income? They consume more. What happens when people consume more, that the demand rise? Prices rises, true. But what else? Companies want to raise the offer now that it's profitable to sell whatever, and how do we do that? Oh, that's right! We produce shit. And to do that you need plenty minimal wage workers. And once the offer rise, once again, prices will drop. We all win, on the long term. Sure, short term? Many people will suffer from it, but not the majority, and they will get their jobs back soon enough. Plus isn't the fact that most minimal wages workers can barely live is the biggest problem out there? Who cares if there is enough jobs if those jobs are barely better than not having any? So that was a short one, but I hate seeing that "raising minimal wages is worse than not doing it" argument. See you later. -KeLvin