Aug 29, 2022·edited Aug 29, 2022Liked by Jesse Singal

These measures remind me of the kind of policy posturing Republicans do to prove to the world that they are True Conservatives. Does the neighboring state require sex offenders to register? Then MY state must flog them! If another state flogs them, I must fire them into space with a cannon! It's this nuclear-arms race except with laws instead of weapons.

I think the anti-racist stuff is the same. Nobody wants to be seen as *less* anti-racist than the next organization, so that means you have to constantly be on the prowl for ways to out-anti-racist your peers.

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My son is a trans man, so I have a lot to say about this issue.

I know I'm a broken record, but I am terrified of the bad science and the backlash that innocent people like my son may have to pay for.

First of all, my son is genetically & reproductively FEMALE.

He could not be a trans man otherwise.

Contrary to popular woke belief, he does not become hysterical and threaten to jump off a bridge when people acknowledge that trans men are female.

You know who's committing "“unintended harms to the dignity of a social group” ?

Trans activists!

And the prison/police abolition crowd have totally emasculated black men by portraying them as helpless victims of police rather than as protectors of black women & children.

Most black men want MORE police protecting their loved ones from the rampant gang violence in poor black communities.

Criminal violence in poor black communities is like an ongoing Hurricane Katrina that both the government and media are completely ignoring.

Black Lives should matter no matter WHO is destroying them, even when it doesn't fit the preferred elite narrative.

He is surprisingly comfortable with himself given his age (23) and has a sense of humor about his situation.

He often says "You really have to be secure in your masculinity when you have a vagina."

He is not offended by anything JK Rowling, Dave Chappelle, or Ricky Gervais has said, and thinks trans women playing against biological women in sports is ridiculous & irrelevant to trans rights.

My son is probably typical of most trans people, but you'd never know that on Twitter or on college campuses.

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I do worry about this hurting good research. One of the reasons why gay marriage was first passed in battleground states was because there was tons of research showing that gay households did not have worse life outcomes than straight households. I worry that research would not get approved of today if there was sufficient fear that it may show gay people are worse parents than hets.

This whole thing feels very churchy. I feel like every grad student/scientist/research fellow needs to read Galileo's Middle Finger.

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Harm inflation is my new favorite term. But I also like the Harm Cop. Online and real life would be so much easier to navigate if Harm Cops wore a little outfit or badge making them identifiable from the outset. Or you could bribe them to leave you alone. Our version of Iran’s morality police, just hope they don’t see anyone wearing dreadlocks or a kimono.

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There’s a guy at my local hardware store that I completely trust because he 1) has literally never been wrong about anything he has ever told me 2) doesn’t just make shit up when he doesn’t know an answer. 3) is only interested in interacting with me as a purchaser of wares and doesn’t want to be my priest.

I wish I had that same relationship with academia.

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Their point about not treating a particular state as "superior" would mean not publishing ANY medical research that starts with the baseline assumption that it's better to be healthy than sick.

Actually I've just realized "healthy" is an offensive term to the health-deprived, deriving from Western patriarchal notions of human bodies. I'll show myself out.

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The internet and other technological advancements have completely disrupted the ability of universities to claim a shred of monopoly on information that average citizens cannot find for themselves instantly. What they should have clung to is their ability to be viewed as arbiters of quality of information, but daily they prove that they are the opposite. This is why college enrollment is in decline and will continue to decline, especially as employers ease up in their credentialing requirements or start to produce degrees in house. I work in academia but am excited for this day to come. We deserve to reap what we have sewn for being intellectually lazy and dishonest while the public has entrusted us to educate the future generations.

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Aug 29, 2022·edited Aug 29, 2022

Science as a discipline is teetering on the edge of an abyss.

This kind of idiocy may prove the breath of foul wind that pushes Science into the void.

Seriously, people I know (including myself) are already scoping out MDs to make sure they aren’t under the care of a social justice worker mis-credentialed as an MD.

The journals are only adding urgency to the scoping.

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Universities and their faculty are no longer thinking society's go-to for reputable, high quality research and ideas. (Ditto for the legacy media like NYT). The popularity of Substack is illustrative of this. This scares the shit out of the people who have benefited from a regime in which they were once among the most widely recognized and respected "knowledge" producers in their fields, designated by their credentials, publications, and reputation of their institutions. I feel like these attempts at purging the remaining free thought from their ranks and the last gaps of the complete restructuring of higher education.

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These dynamics are exactly what was going on among historians with the whole presentism blow-up on Twitter. Being an unforgiving cop who polices others is a great way to keep your career going when you're a stalled mediocrity in a shit job or a grad student failing to deliver or an adjunct just scraping by and you're embittered about it. Who wouldn't want revenge on all your perceived tenured nemeses who rejected your articles and funding proposals? Taking a few of them down is a good way to feel powerful in a super competitive profession with scarce opportunities.

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Thank You for this, and a number of other articles, M. Singal. But I especially enjoyed this one.

If this isn't an argument to break up the cartel of Journal publishers, I'm not sure what is. TY again.

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This is very Soviet sounding, and it disturbs me. Thanks for calling it out.

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I wish Sabine Hossenfelder didn't delete this tweet (though I understand why she did - the nasty pile on was ridiculous) https://imgur.com/a/AnJZCuj

Her response back "I'm a physicist - I don't know anything about the topics of DEI so how could I write about them" was perfect.

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Interesting to consider how often this standard of harm could apply to (mostly liberal) social scientists doing research (with often fairly disparaging conclusions) on conservatives.

The "potential implications (including inadvertent consequences) of research on human groups defined by ... political or other beliefs,... to be reflective of their authorial perspective if not part of the group under study." (in other words, careful drawing sweeping negative conclusion about groups that you're not a part of):

full quote: "Researchers are asked to carefully consider the potential implications (including inadvertent consequences) of research on human groups defined by attributes of race, ethnicity, national or social origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political or other beliefs, age, disease, (dis)ability or other status, to be reflective of their authorial perspective if not part of the group under study, and contextualise their findings to minimize as much as possible potential misuse or risks of harm to the studied groups in the public sphere."

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Really outstanding piece Jesse. I hope you consider taking this one out from behind the paywall so more people can hear this really well articulated takedown of their policy.

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