Quotulatiousness

December 16, 2017

When righteous fury slides into moral panic

Filed under: Business, Law, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Megan McArdle on the dangers of believing all accusations of sexual impropriety and eliding mere crass behaviour with violent sexual assault:

Unfortunately, when we accept no limits on what constitutes a crime, and when we lower the standards of evidence for believing a crime has occurred, we aren’t necessarily furthering the cause of crime-reduction.

Of course, some people might say that that’s just too bad, but we’re going to have to expect some casualties in the war on the patriarchy. Women have left jobs for years because they couldn’t stand the harassment; have found their careers stalled because they wouldn’t play along; have spent far too many hours desperately trying to dodge creeping hands. Why should we weep because a few innocent men are now victims?

One answer is that “truth and justice matters.” That’s a good answer. But if it doesn’t satisfy you, here’s another: Moral panics aren’t good for anyone, including the victims they’re trying to protect.

In the early days of the University of Virginia rape scandal, when questions were first raised about Rolling Stone’s story, battle lines developed between those who wondered about the rather cinematic details, and those who asserted “#IBelieveWomen.” In truth, even many of the people asking the questions confessed how uncomfortable it made them to do so (and you can add my confession to the list). How can we risk adding insult to the already-grievous injuries of a woman who has been raped, by also demanding that she prove she’s not a liar? And yet, if we don’t, we risk convicting people who are innocent, and damaging our own cause.

Ultimately the norm of reflexively believing every accusation, and meting out harsh treatment to every man who is accused, does grave harm to the cause of fighting rape and harassment. #BelieveAllWomen elides the messy reality that women, like the rest of humanity, aren’t always telling the truth — and that even when they are, their interpretations of events is not always the most reasonable one. If we reify too many weak or false claims, the norm will quickly slide toward “believe no women.”

What? There’s another Star Wars movie? Did the Death Star regenerate itself?

Filed under: Media — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

My level of excitement for new Star Wars movies probably peaked just before the release of The Revenge of the Return of the Bride of the Jedi, and now has fallen and can’t get up. I’m perhaps not alone, as David “Iowahawk” Burge kindly illustrates:

Why not try a truly independent “independent counsel”?

Filed under: Cancon, Law, Politics, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Jay Currie suggests someone the US government could bring in to investigate the whole “deep state” mess who would not be in any way tainted by past contacts or entanglements:

The American mess is deep and sordid and, frankly, needs to be cleaned up. But by who?

The fact is that virtually any special counsel appointed by the DOJ will be tainted one way or another. And so, apparently, will investigators drawn from the FBI. It is a mess but it also needs to be resolved.

So, a friendly suggestion from Canada.

Our deeply respected, longest serving, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada is retiring at the end of the year. Beverly McLaughlin, while I disagree with some of her opinions, is tough, fair-minded and very, very, smart. By the nature of her position, she is “read in” on intelligence and security cleared. She’ll be bombarded with job offers but, if asked nicely, might be willing to lead an investigation into the whole ball of wax which the 2016 American election created. Russians, Hilly’s server and how it was dealt with by the FBI, Lynch on the tarmac with Bill, Mueller, Comely: the whole thing.

But Bev is not enough. Sending a small detachment of the RCMP – white collar and intelligence – with her, with really serious investigative powers, would get the whole mess cleared up in six months. (The scarlet tunics would be optional but would make great tv as they raided offices and homes of the swamp creatures.) McLaughlin would not proffer charges, rather she would write a report and recommend such charges as arise.

Better still, the Chief Justice and the Horsemen would be paid for – independently – by the Canadian government with a bill to be presented to our American cousins at the end of the investigation.

Sometimes the mess is so big you need an independent professional to clean it up. This is one of those times.

The Effectiveness of 18th Century Musketry

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Old Fort Niagara Association
Published on Jan 27, 2016

Scholars and historians at Old Fort Niagara strive to uncover the truth behind the musket’s true effectiveness on America’s 18th century battlefields.

QotD: Ending the risk of sexual assault in the workplace

Filed under: Business, Quotations — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

As an economist I always try to find the simplest, cheapest, and most effective solutions to society’s problems. However, whereas mere mediocre economists talk about multi-factor productivity, education, etc., the reason I’m one of the best economists is because I do something most others don’t.

I think outside the box.

And so, just like I was (in theory) able to prevent the Dotcom Bubble, the Asian Currency Crisis, the Housing Bubble, Education Bubble, and Retirement Bubble, I have found a way to bring the epidemic of sexual harassment and sexual assault to a screeching halt, and at practically no expense to America.

Force men to work from home.

It seems to me that “boys are just going to be boys” and while I know feminists, academians, HR departments, CSR departments, and non-profits are doing their best to eliminate toxic masculinity and bring out the more feminine side of men, until that noble goal is achieved, it may be best to avail ourselves of already available technology and require that men only work from home.

This will bring about a lot of benefits to society that go well beyond ending work place sexual harassment and assault. Women won’t be bothered by men at the office or in the downtown eateries come lunch time. They will not be harassed, allowing for much safer work place environments. An all-women workplace environment will FINALLY come to fruition allowing them the chance to excel that was traditionally the preserve of men. Plus, the highways won’t be as crowded come the morning and evening commutes. One might even say this would force men to be the house husbands, forcing them to see what it was like to be oppressed as a stay at home mom.

Captain Capitalism, “End Sexual Assault by Forcing Men to Work from Home”, Captain Capitalism, 2017-11-13.

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