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Comment Re:Had its interesting bits (Score 1) 8

I've done a bit of googling, and while I was probably not exhaustive in the combinations of terms that I tried, I haven't been able to find any studies that show a decline in the overall intellectual curiosity of graduates from US schools. I'm not saying that I know it's not happening, I would just like some help finding said studies before I take a position on whether there's any over-arching intellectual collapse going on right now.

As to the broad spectrum of targets, considering the number of times people have tried to blame evils on "bad rock and roll", "violent video games", and high fructose corn syrup, I only willingly apply blame to targets where strong studies have shown overwhelming correlation and a possible (preferably a strong) causative link between the effect and the supposed effector.

Comment Re:Had its interesting bits (Score 1) 8

Links to books on Amazon don't really clarify your position on the Frankfurt School for me.

I am personally not an adherent to that school of thought, but I do take issue with the idea of it creating generations of human wreckage. I definitely agree with the proposition that post-modernism has created a number of inane philosophies and been a hindrance to some extent to the progress of humanity. However, "critical theory" as put forth by the Frankfurt School seems hardly to be the key construct in the rise of post-modernist philosophies. Secondly, while post-modernist ideologues may have inhibited human progress, I do not see evidence that they have created generations of human wreckage, even if certain university professors believe that "rock and roll" proves that the current generation is soulless.

What is this contemporary devastation? Any specific things you are referring to, backed by any specific numbers from reliable sources?

Comment Re:Or just end the wars ... (Score 1) 18

A cremation can be just as expensive or more so than a coffin based funeral. Unless you haggle and shop around, you'll be expected to dole out of lot of money. [Emphasis mine]

Can, but generally isn't.

There are more authoritative sources, but as a quick and dirty comparison, burials are in the $5K to $10K range and cremations are running $1K to $2K...

Comment Had its interesting bits (Score 1) 8

The further revelation of the gun-toting protester's "race" is extremely welcome, as it squashes hate-mongering from "leftist" media sources. However, his revisionist etymology about the term "politically correct" and his completely inaccurate description of the Frankfurt school of philosophy's aim and actions were nauseating, to say the least.

Got to separate the wheat from the chaff, I suppose.

Comment Re:An aside (Score 1) 23

even without a huge ideological force behind it

That is the point on which we disagree, I guess. I think there are a huge number of people who refuse to admit that they are even racist at all but are comfortable in their (let's coin a term) crypto-racism. These people feel free to dismiss anyone of a certain look and/or background without considering the individual. They (and this I have confronted with some people directly) will deny that they are even being a little racists. They claim instead that "everybody generalizes", and that they "give everyone a shot when it really matters".

You say a lot of injustice would continue to go on even if racism disappeared. I happen to agree that it would continue, but not that it would be racism. I think it would be at that point a problem of division of classes, and the injustices that have always followed those class lines.

Comment Re:An aside (Score 1) 23

What about the racism that is not ideological?

I struggle to find any examples of racism that are not ideological. I've always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that all racism had at at its roots at least the ideology of "We are intrinsically better than them". Often there are a great number of other ideologies attached as well, but this (in my experience) is the core doctrine, and held to most dogmatically by the racist.

And is the Harrison Bergeron scenario particularly appropriate here? The point is not to make people feel better about themselves, the point is to correct injustice.

My point was that if we start trying to prevent people from exercising personal preference, this is the flip side to the Harrison Bergeron scenario where the government handicapped everyone so that they were all equal in talents and looks. This was in reference to the question of whether or not it is OK to pick a dating partner based on height or eye color. It was specifically not in reference to the question of racism, or other systemic injustices.

Comment An aside (Score 1) 23

You have brought up the question of a person making height-based choices about who she is interested in as an opposition to a racist making "race"-based choices. I think you were trying to get people to process the following thought, but it hasn't been stated officially, so I'll throw it out there and see what people think:

Actions based on personal taste and preferences are quite different from ideological actions. Racism is problematic due to ideology, not personal preferential choice. Otherwise we start trending towards a Harrison Bergeron scenario.

Comment Clarification (Score 1) 23

You said:

All you have to do to be a racist is to participate in a racist system, benefit from it, and do nothing to stop it.

Of course, all these words are definable to more and more exact terms, but the one in particular that I care about is the word "benefit". I suppose if you consider emotional responses as benefits, the statement is true as stands, but I seem to remember a great number of racists that engaged in racism not to their own benefit, but only to the harm of the victims. As I said, if the emotional exercise and resultant rush of hatred (or even the subtler smug feeling of superiority) is considered a benefit, your definition works as stands.

There still remains, in my mind, the possibility of a racist who is supporting or enabling a racist system, and does not even emotionally benefit from that system. I think they would be no less racist for that fact of non-benefit.

Comment Re:Missed all the excitement this weekend (Score 1) 20

Replying to myself again. Guess it's obvious that I don't apply "Measure twice, cut once" to slashdot posts.
 
My above definition is not meant to presuppose that racism never happens due to ignorance on the part of the racist. I suppose my definition is motivated by the thought that a person willing to examine and change their racist thought patterns is at worst participating in racism due to laziness of thought, and at best due to such tunnel vision or restricted experience as to have not had a chance to think about such things.
 
A more accurate and probably uselessly general definition of a racist is anyone who ever engages in what I described in my first post.

Comment Re:Missed all the excitement this weekend (Score 1) 20

Just reread the entry, and realized I was supposed to define a racist, which is slightly trickier, and much more subjective.
 
A racist is someone who engages in racism even when confronted with the fallacy of their decision making process. That is, a racist is engaged ideologically in racism, and holds such racist doctrines dogmatically.

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