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Comment: Re:What's the difference? (Score 2) 462

by hahiss (#46246693) Attached to: Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

What you did drop is a big bag of "slashmydots doesn't quite understand. So, here's what you've missed:

Gender (as opposed to sex) is a set of norms that is arbitrarily superimposed on sex assignment categories. (As others ITT have noted, even sex assignment categories are fraught with peril.) For example, there's nothing about possessing a vagina that makes sense of, say, the expectation to wear make-up or be hairless (e.g., on the face, on the legs, in the armpits). Similarly, there's nothing about possessing a penis that makes sense of the expectation that penis-possessers avoid wearing lipstick or high heels.

Now, to put the point more controversially (but perhaps in terms that a slashdotter might better understand):

It isn't a mental disorder to chafe at arbitrary constraints such as these. Rather, it is a kind of *hacking* -- a refusal to "know one's place" in a system (particularly one that subordinates an individual's desire to explore a system to the demand for conformity) and a highlighting of the weaknesses, inconsistencies, and the like of that system. If anything, so-called "normal" people (in this context, heterosexual, cis-gendered folks) are pretty much the Windows 98/AOL users of the world -- they know their place in the system, it works for them, they don't really care how it works, and they get confused when they're told that there are other ways of doing things.

Comment: Re:Ethics (Score 1) 355

by hahiss (#33508394) Attached to: Stanford's Authoritative Alternative To Wikipedia

See below for my comment about the negative formulation. It is equally flawed.

I don't think I mean anything interesting by "morality". I don't think it is a moral rule at all, and I actually am coming to believe it isn't even a moral "guide" depending on what you want to pack into that. (And, actually, I think we're probably disagreeing about words like "guide" and "rule" rather than "morality".) If by guide you mean something like "a reasonable first test" of an action or something, then that's fine -- that is all that a heuristic is.

The fact that "many religions and philosophies" have presented something as X for thousands of years is hardly evidence for the goodness of the interpretation. Unless you think Jonah was LITERALLY in the whale. . . .

Comment: Re:Ethics (Score 1) 355

by hahiss (#33508304) Attached to: Stanford's Authoritative Alternative To Wikipedia

Uh, I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. The golden rule isn't "an eye for an eye" -- that's lex talionis. It isn't a fallacy to give one formulation of the golden rule that is different from yours, since (i) it is a common interpretation and (ii) I acknowledge that it is one among many.

I take it from your "notation" that you think that the golden rule is something like "Do not do unto others as you would prefer them not do to you." That is subject to similar objections. Consider: say I'm a staunch libertarian who never wants help -- ever. I see someone drowning, and I think "well, I could help, but I wouldn't want help. I better go on my way."

Comment: Re:Ethics (Score 3, Insightful) 355

by hahiss (#33502030) Attached to: Stanford's Authoritative Alternative To Wikipedia

The golden rule isn't a rule of morality at all, actually. It can be a useful heuristic for teaching empathy, but all of the formulations of it fall apart when confronted with examples.

Consider a basic formulation: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Okay, well suppose I want to be sucker punched by a stranger out of the blue or have my genitals grabbed by a stranger without invitation. That's what I should do to them?

We could continue this all day, but all formulations will have similar structural failings.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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