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Comment author: gwern 06 September 2014 10:49:38PM *  13 points [-]

Saying it's a direct A/B comparison is seriously overstating it. Transitioning is itself a huge confounder, and if it were true that time before/after were exactly comparable, that would debunk one of the main justifications for allowing sex-changes in the first place!

Of course, the sample size is small here. And there’s no perfect agreement on cause-and-effect. Chris Edwards, a trans advertising executive, says that post-transition, he was given greater levels of responsibility—but he thinks it’s because the testosterone he took changed his behavior. He became less timid and more outspoken—and was seen, at work, as more of a leader. Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.

Note the willful incomprehension of the author about the possible effects of things like testosterone. 'Opposite seems to be true' my ass. But I suppose materialism and individual differences should never be allowed to get in the way of a good story about endemic sexism and racism...

(Sadly, this is only the second most infuriating statistical argument I've seen today. The first is a linear regression in the Washington Post about whippings vs productivity for slaves, in which they claim it shows whipping works. Aside from the usual correlation!=causality problem, their scatterplot clearly shows that there is not such a small positive correlation: their model does not fit the data because most slaves were never whipped so it's not Gaussian but more like a zero-inflated model, and in the population that was whipped a non-zero number of times, more whippings correlate dramatically with decreased cotton production. At a guess, male slaves were much more likely to act out or run away or get into fights or refuse to produce, and would be whipped for it. It borders on malpractice to present this graph baldly without including sex as a covariate or better yet doing a mixture model - certainly any model diagnostics would flag this regression as bogus. The author's bio says he's a professor at Columbia who "studies the roots of poverty and violence in developing countries, especially Africa"; all I can think is that if that's what passes for analysis for him, then no wonder Africa remains poor and violent.)

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 09:59:09PM *  -2 points [-]

You're seriously raising the notion of testosterone as magical competence juice as an explanation worth taking seriously? This would make teenage males the most competent and convincing people on the planet.

Comment author: nydwracu 07 September 2014 01:23:24PM 5 points [-]

Is there a history of the term anywhere? I'd be interested in seeing how it got here from there.

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 05:38:53PM *  2 points [-]

I've been desperately in search of a good history as I seek to decrappify the RW article on the topic, which is rather too cobbled-together (and the SJWiki one doesn't even try for a history). So if anyone has something handy ...

(The stereotypical Tumblr SJW phenomenon seems to have escaped academic notice. This actually surprised me when I went looking, given I know how rabid sociology students are in seeking out new subcultural study fodder.)

Comment author: FeepingCreature 17 July 2014 10:38:15PM *  2 points [-]

I have been contemplating this point. One of the things that sets off red flags for people outside a group is when people in the group appear to have cut'n'pasted the leader's opinions into their heads. And that's definitely something that happens around LW.

I don't know. On the one hand side, that's how you would expect it to look if the leader is right. On the other hand, "cult leader is right" is also how I would expect it to feel if cult leader was merely persuasive. On the third hand side, I don't feel like I absorbed lots of novel things from cult leader, but mostly concretified notions and better terms for ideas I'd held already, and I remember many Sequences posts having a critical comment at the top.

A further good sign is that the Sequences are mostly retellings of existing literature. It doesn't really match the "crazy ideas held for ingroup status" profile of cultishness.

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 10:38:35AM -1 points [-]

The cut'n'paste not merely of the opinions, but of the phrasing is the tell that this is undigested. Possibly this could be explained by complete correctness with literary brilliance, but we're talking about one-draft daily blog posts here.

Comment author: gwern 06 September 2014 10:49:38PM *  13 points [-]

Saying it's a direct A/B comparison is seriously overstating it. Transitioning is itself a huge confounder, and if it were true that time before/after were exactly comparable, that would debunk one of the main justifications for allowing sex-changes in the first place!

Of course, the sample size is small here. And there’s no perfect agreement on cause-and-effect. Chris Edwards, a trans advertising executive, says that post-transition, he was given greater levels of responsibility—but he thinks it’s because the testosterone he took changed his behavior. He became less timid and more outspoken—and was seen, at work, as more of a leader. Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.

Note the willful incomprehension of the author about the possible effects of things like testosterone. 'Opposite seems to be true' my ass. But I suppose materialism and individual differences should never be allowed to get in the way of a good story about endemic sexism and racism...

(Sadly, this is only the second most infuriating statistical argument I've seen today. The first is a linear regression in the Washington Post about whippings vs productivity for slaves, in which they claim it shows whipping works. Aside from the usual correlation!=causality problem, their scatterplot clearly shows that there is not such a small positive correlation: their model does not fit the data because most slaves were never whipped so it's not Gaussian but more like a zero-inflated model, and in the population that was whipped a non-zero number of times, more whippings correlate dramatically with decreased cotton production. At a guess, male slaves were much more likely to act out or run away or get into fights or refuse to produce, and would be whipped for it. It borders on malpractice to present this graph baldly without including sex as a covariate or better yet doing a mixture model - certainly any model diagnostics would flag this regression as bogus. The author's bio says he's a professor at Columbia who "studies the roots of poverty and violence in developing countries, especially Africa"; all I can think is that if that's what passes for analysis for him, then no wonder Africa remains poor and violent.)

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 09:23:41AM *  3 points [-]

This one from someone going MTF was interesting: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8279058 She found the sexism ridiculously more blatant than transphobia.

Comment author: Lumifer 05 September 2014 02:36:39PM 4 points [-]

I've heard it said that neoreaction is libertarianism meeting reality.

Well, that's the Moldbug's explanation for his evolution from libertarianism to neoreaction.

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 September 2014 10:05:25PM *  0 points [-]

Got a link on hand? (I don't disbelieve you, I was wondering how he worded it.)

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 September 2014 09:55:56PM *  5 points [-]

So why do women do worse in certain fields of work? It turns out you can in fact do a direct A/B comparison on workplace gender discrimination: ask a transgender person. Formerly respected scientist Barbara Barres, now inexplicably-more-respected scientist Ben Barres. Actual quote: "Ben gave a great seminar today—but then his work is so much better than his sister's."

Comment author: ErikM 06 September 2014 12:02:52PM 2 points [-]

Why are you equivocating between the biological grouping and the social grouping?

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 September 2014 07:48:59PM *  -2 points [-]

Because the "biological grouping" isn't one. It's been a social grouping all along. You realise that groups have joined and left "white" at different times over the past few centuries, right? The historical definitions of races are amazing stuff. The Wikipedia article is a good start (and I link that in particular because you can be sure it's been closely inspected by all interested sides).

Comment author: ChristianKl 05 September 2014 12:06:37AM 1 point [-]

When Googling on Social Europe I only find them using the term progressivism to refer to the US. They may speak about about progressive policies but not use the term progressivism when speaking about European policies.

In terms of the flawed left-right spectrum, progressivism is the ideology of those between the socialists and the center.

In the European context I haven't heard the word progressivism as referring to third way policies. Third way policies usually get justified by saying that we have no other choice instead of being justified by themselves shaping society as we want society to be.

I think the Social Justice movement came out of postmodernism and Woodrow Wilsons progressivism was modern in nature.

Comment author: David_Gerard 05 September 2014 01:56:49PM 3 points [-]

I think the Social Justice movement came out of postmodernism

The term approximately as we know it was used by Catholics in the 19th Century, coined in the 1840s by Jesuit priest Luigi Taparelli. (How we got from there to Tumblr is an interesting journey but an approximately continuous one.)

Comment author: blacktrance 05 September 2014 11:13:49AM 5 points [-]

I suspect that the neo-reactionary conception of "progressivism" is outgroup homogeneity bias at work.

Comment author: David_Gerard 05 September 2014 01:55:03PM -1 points [-]

c.f. the Cathedral, which is an attempt to frame the culture that the rest of us call "Western civilisation as it is now" as a conspiracy, or something enough like a conspiracy to speak of in the terms appropriate to one.

Comment author: skeptical_lurker 05 September 2014 12:57:29PM 1 point [-]

Progressives tend to elevate human reason above all else.

Maybe LW progressives do. In general, isn't it libertarians who tend to be the coldly calculating ones?

Comment author: David_Gerard 05 September 2014 01:51:50PM *  2 points [-]

Compared to neoreaction, libertarianism and liberalism are virtually twins, as children of the Enlightenment.

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