Canadian Politics Today

Beyond Canada => The World => Topic started by: MH on October 07, 2021, 08:21:14 am

Title: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 08:21:14 am

When is it OK to generalize ?  What does politics have to do with it ?

"Black people commit more crime"

Objectively true ?  Acceptable ?

"White people are responsible for crimes through history"

Subjectively true ?  Acceptable ?

When do we/should we talk about the specific ?  How much should we expect "the" public to understand complex concepts ?  How much do we allow people to manipulate the complex in order to dupe the simpletons ?
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 09:16:07 am
You can generalize while acknowledging there are plenty of exceptions to general statistical trends.

Young low income African American males commit crimes at a high rate compared to the average.  That doesn't mean all young African American males commit crimes.

Applying generalizations to all members of a group is illogical and therefore wrong, unless those generalizations do happen to apply to all members.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 09:59:58 am
1. Young low income African American males commit crimes at a high rate compared to the average.  That doesn't mean all young African American males commit crimes.

2. Applying generalizations to all members of a group is illogical and therefore wrong, unless those generalizations do happen to apply to all members.

1. But can you SAY it ?  To an open audience ?  If not then how ?  Why ?

2. But generalizations don't have to mean they cover ALL right ?
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: BC_cheque on October 07, 2021, 10:44:56 am
My personal opinion about when itís acceptable is intent. If youíre discussing crime in the black community because youíre working on solutions, acceptable.

If youíre doing it because you want to justify discrimination and/or defend police murderers (like an older poster here used to do) then itís not ok.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Dia on October 07, 2021, 11:21:26 am
Context matters.  Saying "Liberals are lazy and want handouts" should be unacceptable; saying "Liberal ideology encourages laziness and lack of motivation in citizens" is more acceptable, and gives a basis for arguing the ideology instead of how bad the people who subscribe to that ideology are.  "Islam is a religion that oppresses women and minorities" criticizes Islam; "Muslims are barbaric and backward" is a generalization that can be proven false with even one example of a non-barbaric and modern-thinking Muslim person. 

People who use generalizations often claim that even though they lump everyone together, they don't mean "all" of them, only the ones "who are".  But that's merely justification; the intent of the generalization is pretty clear, which is to demonize whichever group they're targeting.

The only time a generalization is even remotely appropriate, in my opinion, is when positive things are being said as in "Hawaiians are very hospitable".  Even then, some person might pipe up about their visit to Hawaii, in which they found the opposite.  "All the Hawaiians I met were very hospitable"* is a better statement and more accurate, imo.

*I've never been to Hawaii and cannot speak to their hospitality or lack thereof.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 12:06:48 pm
1. But can you SAY it ?  To an open audience ?  If not then how ?  Why ?

2. But generalizations don't have to mean they cover ALL right ?

1.  Political correctness means sometimes the truth offends people.  I think this is dangerous, burying our heads in the sand to facts, often to protect a minority group that has been exposed to discrimination based on over-generalizations and stereotypes.  So there's good intent with political correctness, but we need to deal with facts and not overreact either way.  The answer is not denying generalizions nor uee them to paint the whole where it doesn't apply.  Let's just deal with facts.

2.  Almost always there's exceptions.  But rarely a generalizion can apply to the whole group.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 12:09:11 pm
My personal opinion about when itís acceptable is intent. If youíre discussing crime in the black community because youíre working on solutions, acceptable.

If youíre doing it because you want to justify discrimination and/or defend police murderers (like an older poster here used to do) then itís not ok.

What if its factual? I would say that facts are always ok, but agendas using those facts are sometimes not ok and offensive.   So let's be offended by those offensive agendas and opinions rather than the facts themselves.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 12:31:15 pm
1. My personal opinion about when itís acceptable is intent. If youíre discussing crime in the black community because youíre working on solutions, acceptable.

2. If youíre doing it because you want to justify discrimination and/or defend police murderers (like an older poster here used to do) then itís not ok.

1.  Say that's pretty good.  Intent & Trust.  Simple.  I like it.

2.  Sure but there's a grey area in between.  I guess that speaks to the trust question.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 12:59:36 pm
Context matters.  Saying "Liberals are lazy and want handouts" should be unacceptable; saying "Liberal ideology encourages laziness and lack of motivation in citizens" is more acceptable, and gives a basis for arguing the ideology instead of how bad the people who subscribe to that ideology are.  "Islam is a religion that oppresses women and minorities" criticizes Islam; "Muslims are barbaric and backward" is a generalization that can be proven false with even one example of a non-barbaric and modern-thinking Muslim person. 

Ok.  This makes sense. 

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People who use generalizations often claim that even though they lump everyone together, they don't mean "all" of them, only the ones "who are".  But that's merely justification; the intent of the generalization is pretty clear, which is to demonize whichever group they're targeting.

The only time a generalization is even remotely appropriate, in my opinion, is when positive things are being said as in "Hawaiians are very hospitable".  Even then, some person might pipe up about their visit to Hawaii, in which they found the opposite.  "All the Hawaiians I met were very hospitable"* is a better statement and more accurate, imo.

*I've never been to Hawaii and cannot speak to their hospitality or lack thereof.

What about when you're not talking about people ?  What about organizations or groups like 'corporations' ?

Are we hamstrung to use empirical data in every observation we make ?

 
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 01:24:51 pm
1.  Political correctness means sometimes the truth offends people.  I think this is dangerous, burying our heads in the sand to facts, often to protect a minority group that has been exposed to discrimination based on over-generalizations and stereotypes.  So there's good intent with political correctness, but we need to deal with facts and not overreact either way.  The answer is not denying generalizions nor uee them to paint the whole where it doesn't apply.  Let's just deal with facts.

2.  Almost always there's exceptions.  But rarely a generalizion can apply to the whole group.

3. What if its factual? I would say that facts are always ok, but agendas using those facts are sometimes not ok and offensive.   So let's be offended by those offensive agendas and opinions rather than the facts themselves.

1. What ?  Well... I think what you are getting at is PC people get offended... yes ok.  "Let's just deal with facts" isn't a great approach though.  "Let's all be green and reduce carbon emissions".  Doesn't work either.  We have to develop something new that can deal with things inclusively without offending.  It may be that academic things should stay in academia and the rest of us should learn to stay out of that arena.

2. Doesn't matter if it does or not.  People get offended.  And white MAGAs are the kings & queens of being offended from what I have seen ;)

3. "White people have unleashed genocide unlike anyone in history"  Try teaching that in a classroom in Montana.  Is it factual ?  Maybe it's an opinion but you can support it pretty easily.

See ... I think that a way of discussing things that is careful, inclusive but not afraid of facts is needed. 

Yeah, it sounds impossible, but it will happen at some time in the future so we should try to imagine how.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Dia on October 07, 2021, 02:03:50 pm


What about when you're not talking about people ?  What about organizations or groups like 'corporations' ?

Are we hamstrung to use empirical data in every observation we make ?

I think the only true generalization that one might make is that they're out to make money.  But beyond that, they're probably diverse as to how they achieve that goal.  We only hear about the 'bad' ones, but there are millions (or maybe billions around the world) who we never hear about. 

How does using empirical data to support our statements hamstring us?  I think it would reduce the incidence of misinformation and teach people how to recognize truth from fiction. 

I don't mean everything one says in casual conversation has to come with a cite from authority,  if that's what you were thinking.  But if politicians, for example, had to 'prove' the benefit of their programs or the risk of the opposing party's programs, they ought to be able to do it using empirical evidence - not merely fear-mongering.    Ideally people would be able to hear that evidence and assess it with an open mind.  Yes, a pipe-dream, LOL.

Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 02:17:24 pm
1. What ?  Well... I think what you are getting at is PC people get offended... yes ok.  "Let's just deal with facts" isn't a great approach though.  "Let's all be green and reduce carbon emissions".  Doesn't work either.  We have to develop something new that can deal with things inclusively without offending.  It may be that academic things should stay in academia and the rest of us should learn to stay out of that arena.

2. Doesn't matter if it does or not.  People get offended.  And white MAGAs are the kings & queens of being offended from what I have seen ;)

3. "White people have unleashed genocide unlike anyone in history"  Try teaching that in a classroom in Montana.  Is it factual ?  Maybe it's an opinion but you can support it pretty easily.

See ... I think that a way of discussing things that is careful, inclusive but not afraid of facts is needed. 

Yeah, it sounds impossible, but it will happen at some time in the future so we should try to imagine how.

Sounds like the answer is to be factual while being as specific as possible.  It's ok to generalize but not over-generalize.  Similar to what you've said, saying "Young black males from low income families have high rates of crime" is better than "black people commit high rates of crime" because it's more specific.

Saying "Muslims are misogynist homophobes" is not appropriate due to the many exceptions, while saying "most Muslim fundamentalists are misogynist homophobes" is more accurate.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 02:27:15 pm
I think the only true generalization that one might make is that they're out to make money.  But beyond that, they're probably diverse as to how they achieve that goal.  We only hear about the 'bad' ones, but there are millions (or maybe billions around the world) who we never hear about. 

How does using empirical data to support our statements hamstring us?  I think it would reduce the incidence of misinformation and teach people how to recognize truth from fiction. 

I don't mean everything one says in casual conversation has to come with a cite from authority,  if that's what you were thinking.  But if politicians, for example, had to 'prove' the benefit of their programs or the risk of the opposing party's programs, they ought to be able to do it using empirical evidence - not merely fear-mongering.    Ideally people would be able to hear that evidence and assess it with an open mind.  Yes, a pipe-dream, LOL.

I think humans have a natural and sometimes necessary need to over-simplify the world, because it's very complex.   Humans have difficulty processing this complexity, because it's hard and inconvenient and sometimes they may not even realize the nuance.  Humans want to make conclusions about things, but nuance is hard.  So we need to avoid oversimplifying.  Some people bash the rich, but not all rich are greedy or bad, even if a lot may be.  It's not good to over-simplify groups with inaccurate stereotypes. Humans also have egos, they want to have opinions and make conclusions even when they don't have enough information on a subject to do so properly.

So lets be humble and realize our ignorance where it may exist.  If you don't know a lot about a subject your opinions about it are probably inaccurate and you're just talking out of your rump.  I've had relatives who have made racist stereotypes about racial groups but they have never been friends with one, or worked closely with one.  It is really about laziness and/or ignorance.  Let's do our homework before having opinions.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 02:42:53 pm

1. How does using empirical data to support our statements hamstring us?  I think it would reduce the incidence of misinformation and teach people how to recognize truth from fiction. 

2. I don't mean everything one says in casual conversation has to come with a cite from authority,  if that's what you were thinking. 

3. But if politicians, for example, had to 'prove' the benefit of their programs or the risk of the opposing party's programs, they ought to be able to do it using empirical evidence - not merely fear-mongering.    Ideally people would be able to hear that evidence and assess it with an open mind.  Yes, a pipe-dream, LOL.

1. "Sure has been cold lately eh ?" "I would rather not answer until I have time to review vetted data.  Thank you for your inquiry."
2. See #1
3. IOW "People suck"
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 02:44:03 pm
Sounds like the answer is to be factual while being as specific as possible.  It's ok to generalize but not over-generalize.  Similar to what you've said, saying "Young black males from low income families have high rates of crime" is better than "black people commit high rates of crime" because it's more specific.

Saying "Muslims are misogynist homophobes" is not appropriate due to the many exceptions, while saying "most Muslim fundamentalists are misogynist homophobes" is more accurate.

That *seems* fine but maybe not...
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 02:47:06 pm
1. I think humans have a natural and sometimes necessary need to over-simplify the world, because it's very complex.   Humans have difficulty processing this complexity, because it's hard and inconvenient and sometimes they may not even realize the nuance.  Humans want to make conclusions about things, but nuance is hard. 

2. So we need to avoid oversimplifying.  Some people bash the rich, but not all rich are greedy or bad, even if a lot may be.  It's not good to over-simplify groups with inaccurate stereotypes. Humans also have egos, they want to have opinions and make conclusions even when they don't have enough information on a subject to do so properly.

3. So lets be humble and realize our ignorance where it may exist.  If you don't know a lot about a subject your opinions about it are probably inaccurate and you're just talking out of your rump.  I've had relatives who have made racist stereotypes about racial groups but they have never been friends with one, or worked closely with one.  It is really about laziness and/or ignorance.  Let's do our homework before having opinions.

1. Humans seem to actually construct the artifacts of their community along basic lines: OUR tribe, the outsiders, our challenges, the "good" traits, the "bad" traits...

2. Or maybe come up with more clever ways to do so.  Money, and Laws are oversimplifications via system that work.

3. Great advice.  Maybe that's a stereotype we need to promote "the person who talks out their ass".  Maybe expertise needs to be re-established as a valued attribute.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 03:04:25 pm
1. Humans seem to actually construct the artifacts of their community along basic lines: OUR tribe, the outsiders, our challenges, the "good" traits, the "bad" traits...

Where and when is tribalism appropriate?  People are fine when aboriginals defend their land and people from outsiders, defend maintaining their culture.  Doing so if you're white is bad apparently.  It's just victim-oppressor guilt stuff.  An anglo white person has just as much of a culture as a Quebecois or an aboriginal or an immigrant.  This is offensive to people who deny facts based on moralizing.  The British, French, Italians etc have no right to defend the maintenance of their culture?  If the aboriginals want sovereignty that's ok, but for the Quebecois or the UK (Brexit) is bad?  Give me a break.  Self-hating guilt-ridden people are too weak to be logical and should be ignored.

OMG now i'm a racist.

Quote
3. Great advice.  Maybe that's a stereotype we need to promote "the person who talks out their ass".  Maybe expertise needs to be re-established as a valued attribute.

Yes for sure.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 03:19:26 pm
1. Where and when is tribalism appropriate? 

2. People are fine when aboriginals defend their land and people from outsiders, defend maintaining their culture.  Doing so if you're white is bad apparently. 

3. It's just victim-oppressor guilt stuff.  An anglo white person has just as much of a culture as a Quebecois or an aboriginal or an immigrant.  This is offensive to people who deny facts based on moralizing.  The British, French, Italians etc have no right to defend the maintenance of their culture?  If the aboriginals want sovereignty that's ok, but for the Quebecois or the UK (Brexit) is bad?  Give me a break.  Self-hating guilt-ridden people are too weak to be logical and should be ignored.

4. OMG now i'm a racist.

 
1. It's not a valid question.  Nobody can rise above tribalism - not even scientists.  Stephen Hawking talks about being personally annoyed at papers challenging his theories.  That said, if he were still live I bet I could take him in a fight.
2. Explain that response from a tribal point of view.
3. Our cultures are gentle and kind to outsiders, and I consider it a sign of strength.  If we were weak we'd be constantly afraid of outsiders.  But "our" culture is America 2.0.
4.
(https://i.imgflip.com/5pmwvp.jpg)
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 05:16:13 pm
1. It's not a valid question.  Nobody can rise above tribalism - not even scientists.  Stephen Hawking talks about being personally annoyed at papers challenging his theories.  That said, if he were still live I bet I could take him in a fight.

Trudeau says he has.  Post-national state, multiculturalism.

Quote
3. Our cultures are gentle and kind to outsiders, and I consider it a sign of strength.  If we were weak we'd be constantly afraid of outsiders.  But "our" culture is America 2.0.

1.  Are you saying aboriginals are weak for resisting a ton of outsiders coming and living in their territory?  If a whole bunch of non-aboriginals came in to live on reserves and those aboriginal groups didn't like that because the demographics were trending them to soon become a minority and their cultures were being slowly replaced by non-indigenous cultures, are they weak for this view?

2,  Would they be "strong" for allowing the majority of reserve populations to become non-aboriginal?

3.  Do you think aboriginals should support large numbers of "outsiders" from living on their territory to the point of them becoming a minority and making indigenous culture and outsider cultures equally important?

4.  Are indigenous cultures worthy of preserving?

5.  Do indigenous people who want to preserve their culture differ from MAGA and Brexit folks?  If so, how?

5.  Is British culture, or culture in France or Sweden worthy of preserving?  How does this differ from indigenous cultures, besides feelings of victim/oppressor guilt?

6.  Are the Quebecois "weak" for trying to preserve their language/culture?
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 07, 2021, 08:39:27 pm

1.  Are you saying aboriginals are weak for resisting a ton of outsiders coming and living in their territory?   
2.  Would they be "strong" for allowing the majority of reserve populations to become non-aboriginal?
3.  Do you think aboriginals should support large numbers of "outsiders" from living on their territory to the point of them becoming a minority and making indigenous culture and outsider cultures equally important?
4.  Are indigenous cultures worthy of preserving?

5.  Do indigenous people who want to preserve their culture differ from MAGA and Brexit folks?  If so, how?

5.  Is British culture, or culture in France or Sweden worthy of preserving? 
5b. How does this differ from indigenous cultures, besides feelings of victim/oppressor guilt?

6.  Are the Quebecois "weak" for trying to preserve their language/culture?

1. 2. 3. No
4. If they want to, they can try.
5. Yes, they are actually preserving cultures that are dying, not whatever ours is.
5. If they want to, they can try.
5b. Nobody is going to preserve anything by keeping people out, persecuting them etc.  The devil is in the details.
6. I think they are, kind of.  They don't realize how strong they are, I think.

But you are taking this in a different direction.  You seem to be pivoting on the term 'tribalism' that I used and asking about ethno-racial cultures or whatever. 

It's fine but I'm trying to figure out a way to characterize how people can convey ideas, generalities and abstractions without falling into fallacies... as per the OP.

Maybe your topic is more engaging actually...
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Queen LaQueefa on October 07, 2021, 08:52:12 pm
1. 2. 3. No
4. If they want to, they can try.
5. Yes, they are actually preserving cultures that are dying, not whatever ours is.
5. If they want to, they can try.
5b. Nobody is going to preserve anything by keeping people out, persecuting them etc.  The devil is in the details.
6. I think they are, kind of.  They don't realize how strong they are, I think.

But you are taking this in a different direction.  You seem to be pivoting on the term 'tribalism' that I used and asking about ethno-racial cultures or whatever. 

All of my questions were secretly designed to ask three questions all labeled #5 and see if you could chart them properly.  Congrats you passed.

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It's fine but I'm trying to figure out a way to characterize how people can convey ideas, generalities and abstractions without falling into fallacies... as per the OP.

To avoid fallacies I guess we just don't speak fallacies, especially when speaking controversial topics.

I still think there are no good cops.  But some cops are obviously much better than others.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 08, 2021, 08:28:01 am
1. To avoid fallacies I guess we just don't speak fallacies, especially when speaking controversial topics.

2. I still think there are no good cops.  But some cops are obviously much better than others.
1. Well you need to use shorthand sometimes though...
2. And those ones aren't in Toronto.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: Dia on October 08, 2021, 09:14:16 am
1. "Sure has been cold lately eh ?" "I would rather not answer until I have time to review vetted data.  Thank you for your inquiry."
2. See #1
3. IOW "People suck"

1/2.  Yes, I was thinking about more weighty topics than the weather. 
3.     Yes.  Except us on this forum, of course.
Title: Re: Abstraction & Generalization Culture
Post by: MH on October 08, 2021, 09:26:39 am
1.  Yes, I was thinking about more weighty topics than the weather. 
2.     Yes.  Except us on this forum, of course.

1. Sure, but the public and private are collapsing in now.
2. Agree.