Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tattooing 'L O E V I N G E R' on the knuckles of my right fist proved to be impractical

"Take two of the questions he asks about purity. One involves brother-sister incest in which every precaution is taken to prevent pregnancy, and leaves both parties feeling pretty good about the experience with no long-term side effects on the family. The other involves a man having carnal knowledge of his poultry before he cooks it and eats it for dinner.
"When asked if these two things are morally wrong, American liberals and libertarians would tend to answer no."

Wait, what fresh hell is this? Someone is assembling a stalking-horse from straw and stipulations, disguised as an ethical-dilemma scenario, to dramatise a claim about the workings of moral judgement? This never ends well. Inevitably there is bleed-through into what we jokingly describe as the "real world", and next thing you know, ticking timebombs are right twice a day, and tram routes are being designed to run over the maximum number of fat men, which is no way to plan a public transport network. Then a passing strawman impregnates the stalking-horse and the offspring do not bear thinking about.
"We have not heard lately from the Riddled program of 'ridiculing jackass public intellectuals'," tigris wondered. "Is it in abeyance?"

"You may have misheard," I said. "It is in fact in Abbey Ance... a cloistered, clerestoried clergical institution located in medieval Averoigne, where it serves as the setting for an unpublished Clark Ashton Smith story. Quite how Swearing Bob and Space-Time Eddie found their way there is anyone's guess, but the Library Pixies may well be to blame. In their absence the task of ridiculing Richard Dawkings has currently devolved upon Richard Dawkings himself, while Steven Pinker has not said anything egregiously stupid for a month or two... we can only surmise that he caught sight of his own reflection in a shiny surface, and became distracted."

"There only remains Jonathan Haidt," said tigris.

Let us weigh in upon Haidt. For purposes of Kayfabe, he presents himself as a liberal, albeit one who concedes the personal superiority of conservatives. He has an idea, which is his, which is that traditional philosophical theories of normative ethics -- be they utilitarian or deontological -- are inadequate and two-dimensional because they are based on reason and consistency, and afford no role for intuitive, visceral disgust and abhorrence. This is why liberals cannot grasp the superior limbic-system-based morality of conservatives, and why liberals, with their emphasis on tolerance and laissez-faire, should extend that tolerance to letting conservatives impose their limbic moral judgements through legislation and public policy. Haidt is sometimes original, and sometimes he is right, though sadly not both at once.

Haidt is currently trolling the Academy for better cultural balance in the science journals, with quotas and Affirmative Action. Apparently Conservative Science is under-represented, because Liberal Scientists edit the journals and review for them and are prejudiced, and certainly not because of a dearth of decent science articles from cultural conservatives. If facts have a liberal bias, this must be redressed by factifying conservative creeds, in the name of Diversity.
Bearing fruit. What
about the offspring?
ANYWAY... as anyone who is familiar with the workings of synchronicity could have told you -- or anyone who has seen Another Kiwi playing around with the controls of the Morphogenic Field Flux Intensifier -- Haidt's illustrative food-fucking scenario has borne fruit, and the fruit is BITTER AS ALOES and Gammel Dansk. The bleed-through into reality takes the form of the Cameron Pork-porking story.
The pig’s head, he claimed, had been resting on the lap of a Piers Gaveston society member while Cameron performed the act
Haidt's hypothesis predicts a tsunami of disgust-grounded moral outrage among UK conservatives, unmollified by the absence of any victim in Hameron's necrophilic pigface-fellatio antics. Angry pitchfork-&- torches demonstrations at 10 Downing Street! Sternly-worded letters to the editor of the Daily Torygraph!

Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii)
-- Not seeing the appeal
I have another theory (which is mine), and it is that people with authentic, viscerally-grounded morality can adopt new authentic viscerally-grounded moral stances when tribal loyalty demands it, in as little time as it takes for the paperwork to go through, and then they retcon the revulsion to justify the ethical condemnation newly incumbent upon them.* Meanwhile their unshakable abhorrence at incest goes away if the sister-rapist is a moral spokesman for the right side, or if the father slavering over his daughter's sexiness is the right Presidential aspirant. So my theory predicts crickets, tumbleweeds and possibly whip-poor-wills.

Above: Thanks ITTDGY!
Below: Dream Machine reveals more than we
needed to know about Cameron's fantasy life
"A friend was wondering about the level of moral disgust associated with having sex with a block of cheese," Another Kiwi vouchsafed.

"Colby or Edam?" I asked.

"I would rather not whey in on that," said tigris.
* Case in point: Not long ago the US theocrats picked on 'blastocyte personhood' as the shibboleth for their political wing, whereupon abortion became the intuitive, incontrovertible revulsive abomination that it has always been.
FINAL UPDATE (no more, promise, fingers crossed):
See also the Haidt-hate from Vacuumslayer and commenters.

Norman Costa's comments in this thread are classics. Sample:
There is a way to examine causation, and to determine if these personal styles actually influence political behavior. You set up a study in which you change something in the personal style of the individual, and then look for a change in behavior. The reason why you don't see Haidt (nor many other social scientists) doing this is because it is too frakkin' hard, and takes too damn long. Striking while the iron is hot may be advantageous in publishing a NY Times best seller. I've been in the survey research field for more than 40 years. It takes a great deal of discipline, and 'moral' integrity to attenuate the impulse to run to publication with data that are, in the end, more apparent than real.


Yastreblyansky said...

I guess only Old Etonians actually do their pork-porking in tails. Breeding tells, don't it?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

or anyone who has seen Another Kiwi playing around with the controls of the Morphogenic Field Flux Intensifier

I saw him today, he seems to be an albatross.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

As for Cameron's Pig...

rhwombat said...

Lord of de files?

rhwombat said...

...really? I understood it was the other end of the pig.

Smut Clyde said...

As for Cameron's Pig...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

When asked if one of these things are wrong, American liberals and libertarians tend to answer, "What kind of sicko thinks about fucking either a sibling or a chicken?"

Yastreblyansky said...

No, as the illustration shows, theirs was a longer and more varied relationship. He did the head only after the rest of the pig had been Eton.

Yastreblyansky said...

I mean, I realize he did the pig at Oxford, but you realize the whole thing was a Harrowing experience.

Smut Clyde said...

"What kind of sicko thinks about fucking either a sibling or a chicken?"

Those opening claims about incest and chickensex are from Megan McArdle's dumbed-down version of Haidt sociobabble. McMegan disagrees with Haidt, however, preferring to think that liberals are just as condemnatory of victimless behaviour as conservatives are, but they lie about their feelings, out of political correctness. Her intuition, pipelined through Haidt's research, becomes objective proof of liberal perfidy.

There is the corollary that Haidt's conclusions are worthless because at least half the respondents are lying, which strikes me as an odd way to praise work that you claim to admire, but you know, McMegan.

Jamie Parsons said...

(Or try to get around the hypothetical by positing undetected harm from the incest, or the potential dangers of salmonella and/or freezer burn from the chicken.)

I have to admit the potential dangers of salmonella and/or freezer burn from the chicken hadn't occurred to me, but I also don't think she understands what "freezer burn" actually means, or else she is imagining a much weirder scenario than I originally thought.M

And yet, I submit that if those people found out that a stranger exhibited such behavior, most would probably be less interested in becoming friends with that stranger.

Shut up McArdle, you don't know my life.

Seriously, though, she just "submits" something and then continues on as if it were true? What horseshit.

Smut Clyde said...

also don't think she understands what "freezer burn" actually means

I confess to not reading McArdle regularly, for there are fine websites like Hunting of the Snark which pick the cherries of hilarity for us. But there are recurring reminders that cooking and food storage are primarily opportunities for performance, and for the display of Veblenian kitchenware.

The Great Gazoogle reveals that she is acquainted with the proper use of 'freezer burn', and does actually own a freezer, although chosen for display and impracticality rather than for economical long-term food storage:

my rule with freezers is the same as my rule with other appliances: If you're not going to have it where you can see it, then don't buy it.