David Thompson
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August 12, 2019

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Jen

terms such as nigga and bitch are common hate speech “false positives.”

So are they false positives depending on the skin colour of who says them?

David

So are they false positives depending on the skin colour of who says them?

Essentially, yes. Given the volume of ‘research’ that’s subordinate to the conceit that anything that reflects poorly on a Designated Victim Group must therefore, by definition, be an unconscionable act of bias, it’s refreshing to see that the authors of the study do concede that the effect they denounce is most likely a result of statistical differences in actual behaviour: “Different communities have different speech norms, such that a model suitable for one community may discriminate against another… The ‘n-word’… can be extremely racist or quotidian, depending on the speaker… we should not penalise African-Americans for using [it].”

However, the authors seem quaintly mystified by the fact that tweets by black people “are classified as containing sexism almost twice as frequently.” And whether the word bitch and various common synonyms should be frowned upon only when used by white people is left to the imagination.

Rafi

If you’re laughing at the headline, you’re a terrible, terrible person.

I denounce myself.

sH2

protected categories,

There's your problem.

Y. Knott

Yes. But ultimately, as it's a FACK that only cisgendered white males can be rayciss, those will be properly tagged as false positives.

Or blamed on somebody else. Somebody white.

David

Not entirely unrelated:

Dr Strouse tells us what it is we need to do. We, he says, “need to think critically about the conventions that govern academic speech.” Well, okay. But what about the teenagers who haven’t mastered even basic standard English and who are excused from even trying, for fear that any correction will upset them? How “critically” will they be thinking – say, about their employment prospects?

While Dr Strouse is revelling in how exotic and ethnic his classroom sounds, and basking in how incredibly woke he’s being, are his students narrowing their options in the job market? Unless it turns out that in the real world every employer wants their company’s memos and public literature, and their customer interactions, to include lots of double negatives, unfinished words, mispronunciation, and mangled tenses. Oh, and aks instead of ask. That always looks professional.

If a common impression given by “African American Vernacular English” is of imprecision and parochialism, and of someone not in full possession of their own thoughts, as Dr Strouse acknowledges, then it seems an odd thing to encourage in class, at a university. Why would someone spend a small fortune on an education that leaves them sounding uneducated?

The woke view, it seems, is that students with brown skin needn’t be articulate, verbally self-possessed, or precise in their thoughts. And that ungrammatical job application, the one enlivened with incomprehensible sentences and lots of inventive spelling, will do just fine.

Taco

There's nothing difficult about training an AI to find problematic what the bluechecks find problematic, and Twitter presumably already has. Bluecheck behavior isn't whimsical or lacking in transparency, it's governed by rules that an AI can figure out as easily as we can. According to those rules, it's not problematic if Datrovious calls Lashonda a ho, or if it is conceded to be problematic, it's in such a boring, qualified way that it doesn't light up the neural pathways and cause a brain to press the Report button. And if Becky quotes a rap lyric to Mackenzie, that is problematic.

Those are the rules. They're not inconsistent or illogical. And it's not even a case where an AI has picked up on people's implicit behavior being inconsistent with their explicit principles. Any bluecheck can explain the principles whereby they treat Becky differently to Datrovious.

The only reason for confusion is that white male brogrammers have coded up the badtalk detectors based on their own prejudices about principles being applied blindly and reciprocally. And the bluechecks have a solution for that too.

Grumps

Payment is mandatory. Education is optional.

Universities feeding at the trough on Gov't dollars supporting equal opportunity. Just get the money, never mind the product delivery. Grade school and high school are putting out the poor product of "no student left behind" and universities are adapting to the marketplace. This is not about education, this is about marketing.

Burnsie

A new Cornell University study reveals that some artificial intelligence systems created by universities to suppress free speech by conservatives accidentally suppresses free speech by minorities. Programmers are working around the clock to fix this glitch.

Fixed it for you.

Actually, it's a rather chilling development. Because you KNOW the endgame here is using AI to deplatform those on the right...and it's helluva lot more efficient than the human "monitors" now policing social media.

Ten

The woke view, it seems, is that students with brown skin needn’t be articulate, verbally self-possessed, or precise in their thoughts.

Racialism is nothing if not selectively diminutive. And petty, right down to the demands of superior upon subservient:

“We need to consider whether the linguistic markers we use..."

This may be a stretch but that reminds me of the immature customer service churl taking my money: "I need you to sign here..."

You what?

Life has become a series of encounters with uncivil demanding nitwits.

Ten

...it's not even a case where an AI has picked up on people's implicit behavior being inconsistent with their explicit principles. Any bluecheck can explain the principles whereby they treat Becky differently to Datrovious.

Given that the perfectly acceptable casualty is free speech, and given that civility is the volunteer effort of a relatively enlightened mind, is the ultimate aim - besides rank power and control - to police intent or to clean up cesspools like Twatter, which is to say, life once it's sufficiently dystopianized? Because the shock and horror of seeing the five letters that signify nigga either goes to the mental disorder that triggers triggering, or it goes to kindly allow me to ruin your day just because I'm so glorious that I want to be seen ruining your day.

Which is to say, power and control.

Paging Jeff Goldstein.

Charlie Suet

I think Burnsie has nailed it. God the future looks bleak.

Think how bad the situation is now and imagine how much worse it would be if not for the 1A and the septics being Top Nation.

David

In addition to the issues above, the authors also acknowledge complications that arise because of context, nuance, sarcasm or direct quotations, etc., but they don’t challenge the premise of whether AI should be policing social media comments for such language in the first place. They merely point out that it may require some tweaking before widespread implementation. But it seems to me that if you plan to use AI to police social media for unsavoury language and verboten attitudes, and you immediately find that you have to start exempting certain demographics from whatever rules you devise, then you’re well on the way to an Orwellian farce.

Ten

...well on the way to an Orwellian farce.

In terms of crushing, eternal control, the old carbon credit tax has nothing on this scam.

Cue free-market rightists on sacred "private" corporate monopolies and starting your own 2A island in 3, 2, 1...

JuliaM

It’s official. I’m a terrible, terrible person! *munches popcorn*

Eagle

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their typed characters.
-M(AI)LK, circa 2012

David

I don’t use Facebook or Twitter, but I gather that users can already block, mute and report people who offend or harass them. So, I’m not entirely sure why further, rather sweeping measures are deemed necessary or desirable, assuming the intent is merely to reduce actual harassment. Not least given the, er, complications mentioned above.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If you’re laughing at the headline, you’re a terrible, terrible person.

Is there a limit to how many times one can be regrooved ? Asking for a friend.

Meanwhile, political pandering, a play in two acts.

Pst314

“Kill all white people” would also be a false positive. ;-)

Craig Austin

Is there an equivalent word that white people can use, in song and everyday conversation that if used by a black person will cost them their job or risk of physical or social harm? If not, why not?

Ten

starting your own 2A island

Er, meaning 1A, of course.

David

Is there a limit to how many times one can be regrooved?

The old girl’s all powered up and ready to go.

I’d set it to Maximum Admonishment. With heavy grit.

Monty James

" . . . may be associated with language used by members of protected categories,”

"Protected categories". I like that. A new term to use to refer to black people. They won't possibly accuse one of racism for referring to them as a "protected category".

WTP

The old girl’s all powered up and ready to go.

That pic always makes me think of Dr. Seuss. Needs a Seussian name. Though what that might be I have no idea.

David

If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll make an offering to the spam filter.

[+]

Honk!

https://twitter.com/neontaster/status/1160909413198237697

aelfheld

It's just so annoying when your creation doesn't share your biases.

CayleyGraph
[Researcher, Thomas] Davidson
David Thompson, if you're going to promote your research under a fake name, you should at least choose one that isn't so obvious.

;-)

fnord

The problem is that they neglected to tell the AI to lie. They certainly will not be permitted to make THAT mistake again.

WTP

The problem is that they neglected to tell the AI to lie.

Anybody remember these:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

How quaint.

Bill de Haan

So are they false positives depending on the skin colour of who says them?

Absolutely.

We need to judge people by the colour of their skin, rather than their character, obviously.

I'm old enough to remember when the idea of apartheid (literally "apartness", ie. separation) of races was a bad thing.

I'm reminded of a complaint in Germany where some men in a gym complained that a woman working out was dressed like a tramp.

The responses were amusing. Basically, the consensus was that men should mind their own business, and slut-shaming was unacceptable, unless the complainers were Muslim, in which case the Islamophobic tramp should learn to dress modestly.

Some people making the comments were obviously trolling and being sarcastic, but quite a number were nodding their heads in full agreement, not even considering the double standard.

Mike

"New York City's $15 Minimum Wage Is Now Officially A Disaster... Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike, according to a NYC Hospitality Alliance survey taken just one month after the bill took effect..."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-10/new-york-citys-15-minimum-wage-now-officially-disaster

David

Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike

In other news, objects thrown upwards tend to come down.

pst314

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm...

It was a lot easier for Isaac Asimov to state the Three Laws of Robotics than it is for computer scientists to figure out how to implement them. The latter remains a "someday".

pst314

Any bluecheck can explain the principles whereby they treat Becky differently to Datrovious.

Coincidentally, "Becky" is a common derogatory label for white females. And such racist language remains largely unchallenged and accepted.

Sam

6-year old boy has friend, who is male. Friend then identifies as girl and chats incessantly about it with girls in class. Boy tells friend that hormones and surgery won't make him a girl. Boy receives suspension. Religious-rights org Liberty Counsel takes up case and whole sordid episode produces perhaps most Clown World thing this month:

Liberty Counsel told the school district it was not legally allowed to “silence students who respectfully disagree”...that “castration is a good thing”
Sam

*6th-grade boy, not 6 years old.

Spiny Norman

pst314,

common derogatory label for white females

A few months back, I heard a new, and rather amusing derogatory label for white males, specifically the self-important, soy-boy urban hipster types: "weak-ass keeblers".

(For David's readers outside the US of A, it's a play on "cracker" and an apparent reference to the Keebler Company's cutesy elf mascots.)

David

“weak-ass keeblers”

I keep saying this place is educational.

pst314

I heard a new, and rather amusing derogatory label for white males...

I keep wondering when racism will become as socially unacceptable among blacks as it is among whites.

Sam

When a critical mass begin voting against Democrats, pst314.

WTP

I keep wondering when racism will become as socially unacceptable among blacks as it is among whites.

Many, many years ago a black female coworker, upon hearing Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" on the radio back in the warehouse where us Morlocks slaved (heh) away, expressed her discomfort with that wording. I don't think she had heard the song before and/or didn't get that Wild Cherry were, in fact, white boys themselves. But she was also kinda sweet on me so that might have been a factor.

So that's at least once in the last 30-40 years.

[+]

"University bans hamburgers 'to tackle climate change'"

https://twitter.com/BBCNews/status/1160914653914030082

Honk!

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Looking through neotasters tweet stream linked above, I see Sarah Silverman got a taste of the Social Justice she promotes.

Daniel Ream

It was a lot easier for Isaac Asimov to state the Three Laws of Robotics

The whole point of the Three Laws is that they don't work. Pretty much all of Asimov's writing on the subject orbits the theme that the Three Laws leave loopholes large enough to drive a three-book series through.

As an obvious modern example, if you assume the robots are allowed to see "humankind" as an acceptable synonym for "a human being" (it's acceptable to kill individual human beings if it improves the chance of the entire species surviving) then the behaviour of the Machines in the Matrix movies is entirely consistent with the Three Laws.

Rohrpost

“It was like, I’m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. I’m clearly liberal. That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism,”

That was Silverman's schtick alright - I'm a certified expert in rhetorical safety, protected by my quick-response crew and my intersectional asbestos suit, but you shouldn't try this at home.

Charlie Suet

Coincidentally, "Becky" is a common derogatory label for white females.

Slightly unfairly, since Becky wasn’t the one speaking at the beginning of Mixalot KBE’s magnum opus. Still, qui tacet consentire videtur.

fnord

I keep wondering when racism will become as socially unacceptable among blacks as it is among whites

That'll be never. The greatest reservoir of racisim in America is in da hood.

And media executive suites excusing it.

Pst314

The whole point of the Three Laws is that they don't work.

Yes, because if they worked perfectly then there would have been no entertaining stories for Asimov to write.
But in those stories the failures were all in subtle aspects of applying the laws, whereas today we cannot program a robot to reliably recognize a human and know what is harmful—we have a very long way to go...and I think the complexities are such that such AI will always have bugs.

Paul Nottingham

"Dr Strouse tells us what it is we need to do."

I read this as "Dr Seuss ..." which would have been a lot more interesting.

Paul Nottingham

They were once regarded as staples of the students’ canteen. But now burgers, lasagne, chilli and tacos have been taken off the menu at a London university which has banned beef as part of its efforts to fight climate change.

From next month, Goldsmiths, University of London has said it will remove all beef product from its campus shops and cafes. Students will also face a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups when the academic year starts to discourage use of the products.

It is part of a new drive by the university to become carbon neutral by 2025, which involves building more solar panels and switching to a “clean” energy supplier.

Academic courses will also be reviewed to give students more opportunities to study climate change as part of their degree.

Professor Frances Corner, the new Warden of Goldsmiths said that "declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words".

The beef ban is the first announcement she has made since taking over as the head of the university earlier this month.

Prof Corner, who used to be head of the London College of Fashion, has championed ethical designs and describes herself as a “fashion activist”.

She has previously warned of the dangers of wearing fake fur, arguing that it makes wearing real fur “culturally acceptable”.

Either from the Daily Telegraph or "Noddy Runs a College," I forget which.

Hal

Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike

In other news, objects thrown upwards tend to come down.

Utterly---but which objects?

The article keeps harping on restaurants, with one nod to different bushiness---. . .NYC’s “big employers” (11 or more employees) . . . but noting hipsters, et al, and definitely noting the article's focus on restaurants, are the businesses that are hardest hit actual functioning business oriented restaurants, or are we seeing the downfall of some number of places that one is merely expected to show up at to be seen at?

Remember the great success of I think at least two instances that David has noted over time, where the theme of the restaurant was being ideologically correct, rather than the more prosaic and likely to be successful idea of We are a business, first, and secondly our business is creating and serving food.

One expects that the actual, committed, businesses---aka, We are here to work, not pose for pictures, et al---would note the incoming change, note the actual work being actually involved, and adjust the work as needed.

Charlie Suet

Personally I’m eating more beef, and meat generally, in the firm expectation that the Khmer Vert will get their way and restrict consumption in the near future. It’s sort of like Ricardan equivalence, but harder on my arteries.

Daniel Ream

you shouldn't try this at home

From the article in question, an amusing bit of spin:

The woman who took the photograph [that got the developers fired], Adria Richards, soon felt the wrath of the crowd herself. [...] Next, her employer’s website went down. Someone had launched a DDoS attack, which overwhelms a site’s servers with repeated requests. SendGrid, her employer, was told the attacks would stop if Richards was fired. That same day she was publicly let go.

Followed by:

Correction: March 8, 2015

An article on Feb. 15 about people who have been publicly shamed as a result of messages they posted on social media misstated the time frame in which Adria Richards, an employee at SendGrid, a Colorado-based email delivery service, was let go from the company. She was terminated the same day a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) was launched against SendGrid’s website, not the day after.

SendGrid fired Richards because they were horrified by her behaviour, and at the time stated repeatedly in their PR that they wouldn't tolerate this kind of social justice headhunting by their employees while they were operating on behalf of the company. The NYT is trying to conflate a despicable online crybully with the company that disciplined her for that behaviour.

Spiny Norman

Charlie Suet,

the firm expectation that the Khmer Vert will get their way

Khmer Vert. I'm stealing that. Bravo!

The NYT is trying to conflate a despicable online crybully with the company that disciplined her for that behaviour.

That's because they're the New York Times. It's what their readers expect.

Sam Duncan

“Honk!”

'Ello, 'ello, ello... is that a joke, by any chance? You're nicked, matey.

“New York City's $15 Minimum Wage Is Now Officially A Disaster...”

Gosh, nobody saw that coming, right? At least, nobody any of the people who dreamed it up ever talked to did, and they're the only ones who count. Because equality and fairness, or something.

David

Further to this recent item,

Our local and national identities and loyalties depend on there being some kind of stable character that we are attached to. It need not be inflexible, still less homogeneous, but it must exist. Leftists deride this as romantic hobbitism out of one side of their mouths but out of the other condemn “gentrification” for disrupting the cultural continuity of urban neighbourhoods. From Karl Polanyi to Zygmunt Bauman, leftist thinkers have emphasised how constant innovation breaks down values and attachments; consistency demands acknowledging that mass immigration is similarly destabilising.

Ben Sixsmith on immigration and why nations matter.

David

Heh:

Yaourt

leftist thinkers have emphasised how constant innovation breaks down values and attachments; consistency demands acknowledging that mass immigration is similarly destabilising

When it comes to immigration, the questions of “How many?” and “Who?” are valid and unavoidable

The experiment has been going on for enough decades that nobody can pretend to be surprised at unintended consequences. Alongside who? and how many? it's become a question of whom?, and how it's a good and just thing that the corrupt values and outdated attachments of the whom should be dissolved by mass immigration.

David

When ecologists gather.

Captain Nemo

Progressive feminist parenting:

https://twitter.com/obianuju/status/1160921802283147265

David

Progressive feminist parenting

Previously.

And also.

Sam Duncan

“Heh”

Well, there is this.

(Apparently. It's only 40 miles away, and in all my 47 years I've never been to Edinburgh during the Festival. Glasgow has Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the Royal Scottish Orchestra, the BBC, STV, the Citizens' Theatre, one of the great medieval Universities, a world-renowned School of Art, Academy of Music, and both one of the finest municipal libraries and one of the finest municipal art galleries in Europe, but Edinburgh imports a bunch of jerks from London for a festival once a year and everyone thinks it's the cultural centre of the bloody world. Bah, humbug. I've seen more culture on a month-old yoghurt.)

“When ecologists gather.”

“Why should I put my pronouns on my name tag?”

Because you're surrounded by lunatics.

jabrwok

Progressive feminist parenting

19th Amendment Delenda Est!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Speaking of lunatics and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival...

Alex deWinter
Progressive feminist parenting

"Did they just assume their child's gender?" wins that Twitter thread.

Steve E

Progressive feminist parenting

"We try hard to keep her free from all the gendered BS of childhood and let her just be herself ... But then I pick my daughter up from her alternative, free-thinking school and see the boys still fighting and kicking in the playground."

It's okay for girls to be themselves but it's not okay for boys. I like how she says "free-thinking without a smidgen of irony.

WTP

“Why should I put my pronouns on my name tag?”

Because even though we're standing right in front of you, we like to refer to you in the third person. And there's nothing rude about it at all. Unlike you not announcing your preferred pronouns to the world. THAT of course IS rude. It's a simple as that.

David

Because even though we’re standing right in front of you, we like to refer to you in the third person.

You mustn’t draw attention to the contrivance. They don’t like that.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

I love how, in the ecologist twitter thread, the poster responds to #3 on the sign when challenged (indicating no one has to comply) while totally ignoring #4 (we want to normalize this), which essentially means "you're off the hook for now, but you will be made to care."

Darleen

Ministry of Truth is a day late, but still giving it a go.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Ministry of Truth is a day late, but still giving it a go.

Minitru is a massive fail on this one, too many versions got out too soon, besides, Fredo called himself Fredo once, which is pretty Fredo thing to do. (annoying auto play video at link - quote below)

Sliwa [Curtis Silwa, founder of the Guardian Angels] said he dubbed the Cuomo family “la Cuomo Nostra.”

“There is a group of people — politicos — who always hint they might run, but not necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo.”

“Who am I, then, Fredo?” Cuomo asked in response.

“Yes, exactly,” Sliwa said.

Sam Duncan

Laughing at some criminal's stupid hairstyle = “Hate speech”.

Saying, “I hate the Tories” = “Being a journalist at Sky News”.

Just so you know.

David

Saying, “I hate the Tories” = “Being a journalist at Sky News”.

Ah, but he’s “older and wiser” now. And not at all adolescent.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I'm sure this has something to do with toxic masculinity.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

OK, this is from 2015, but now is time for some woke feminist slam poetry, "Princess Peach Speaks", wherein we learn of the 8 bit misogyny of Super Mario. (Language caution - but of course)

[Finger snapping and up twinkles ensue]

Forbes

So, artificial intelligence isn't intelligent at all--it's actually quite dumb. Apparently context matters, and AI is unable to discern the context--without (more) information not contained or readily accessible to its algorithm.

We can debate the appropriateness or logic of having/using double standards in language, e.g. a black can say nigga, a white cannot. But then the fact of a double standard exposes AI to its own shortcoming.

Boatswain's Mate

"University bans hamburgers 'to tackle climate change'"

Goldsmiths.... Goldsmiths.... Ringing a bell. Wait, isn't that the loony bin where that Bahar ("It is an iron-law of physics that I cannot possibly ever be racist" Harambe or whatever, caused a bit of a kerfuffle as NUS president, announcing a "no whites allowed" gathering.

I see now that a tornado must have hit Goldsmiths and done $100,000 worth of improvements.

(Yes, I'm back from holiday.)

David

(Yes, I’m back from holiday.)

You’ll notice the stools have been reupholstered.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

You’ll notice the stools have been reupholstered.

"Reupholstered". I take it that is a Brit expression for "latex paint rollered over peeling varnish" ?

Don't get me wrong, running the 60 grit over the roughest flaking bits was most welcome.

pst314

e.g. a black can say nigga, a white cannot.

It evens out, though: A black can say "all white muthafuckas should die" and a white can also say that.

Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

Bathroom of note.

Steve E

You’ll notice the stools have been reupholstered.

I wouldn't know, I've never used the loo here.

Darleen

Some of you may be familiar with author Larry Correia -- he's been hilariously suspended from Facebook for 24 hours for saying Bad Things about the Pinelandians of Pinelandia.

:::guffaw:::

pst314

...author Larry Correia -- he's been hilariously suspended from Facebook for 24 hours...

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