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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Philosophical Origins of (the Left's) Identity Politics

The Philosophical Origins of (the Left's) Identity Politics

Hi everyone, KeLvin here! Today , inspired by this charming lady blog post, What is identity politics?, I decided I should explore an avenue of identity politics many ignore all about: the origins of this type of reasoning. Cursed did a good job pointing out the historical usefulness of such politics, and that now they are obsolete, however, where did the modern day definition of identity politics, with all its craziness, originated from? There is a short and a long answer. The short one: phenomenology and the pionner third wave feminist work of Caroll Gilligan paved the way for modern left leaning identity politics . Now for the long one.

Ever heard of phenomenology? I talked about it before, but here is a reminder: Phenomenology is a philosophical epistemological perspective (branch of philosophy that study the concept of knowledge) or current if you prefer, that do a complete 180 degrees and turn it's back to what was, for the longest of time, the only way to think of knowledge. One could argue it was kind of revolutionnary, though maybe not in a good way, since it was very divisive, it opposed those who believed science discovers things from nature , and those who think knowledge is a human creation.  What is that perspective phenomenology is against? Analytical philosophy.  Analytical philosophy is the kind of philosophy you probably know the most about, most philosophers are considered analytical philosophers, most philosophy that is taught also use that perspective, or methodology, since perspective matter a lot in philosophy. What are those you ask? Well, phenomenology, in short, focus on the synthesis of the phenomena, on the synthesis of an experience, while analytical philosophy focus more on concepts, language and objectivity, on the analysis of the phenomena and an experience. If all of this makes no sense, here is  two examples: Jean-Paul Sartre and Immanuel Kant. The first one, father of existentialism, is considered phenomenologically inspired, the second, who created the basis of modern western philosophies AND the division between phenomenology and empiricists, is definitely an analytical philosopher. Now, if you know a little about those two philosophers, which is likely, since they are very influential and important philosophers, you'll know that they have radically different philosophies, but you would certainly notice their work have different perspectives, existentialism is more of a ''first-person'' philosophy, while Kant work is certainly more detached. Amusingly enough, Kant himself seems to have brought phenomenology by using analytical philosophy... To make it simple, Kant realised there existed two levels of reality, the noumenal and the phenomenal.

The phenomenal is all that can be experienced, so our personal experiences, our emotions, what can be scientifically observed... it's reality as it seems to be, it's the real as we experience it (Sugar is white and taste... good). The noumenal is what  the ''true'' real is, but, also, what we can't experience (Sugar is C12H220, a complex molecule made of different atoms and held by different forces, both chemical and physical... this is only an example to illustrate the shift in perspectives, since, technically this is observable and is thus a phenomenon. a true noumenon  would be other people thoughts, emotions or imagination for example. Our imaginations can imagine worlds that defy the laws of our phenomenal world, and no one can know the thought of anyone but themselves. Some think mathematics may be pre-nominal knowledge, but let's not makes things more complicated.). The noumenon goes beyond the phenomenon. Kant said that it's not the human mind that is dicovering nature's knowledge trough science, but the human mind limited perceptions that is creating a knowledge that makes sense relative to our innate sensorical biases (the atom is only a conceptualisation of the noumenon behind the phenomenon that is  matter for example). He's the most famous for saying the human mind itself is a noumenon with his ''paradox of causal decision'': if everything in this world is logic-based as are all phenomenons and that there is a cause for everything, then that means that our free decisions, the cause of many events, must also have a cause, that itself must have a cause... Kant solved that paradox, not by claiming God is the first cause, as did many philosophers before him, but by claiming that the human mind is a noumenon and, as such, can ''break'' the rules that govern the phenomenal 

 Ever heard of the Allegory of the Cave, by Plato? I'm sure you did, it's a very commonly told one, but in case you didn't know, the story goes as follows: a few prisonners are facing the wall of a cave for all eternity, chained to it, behind them,  a light source, a fire, is projecting the shadows they can see. The shadows is all that those men know, all they ever saw (they can't look behind them, or at themselves, and all that is ever shown to them is with shadows, all sounds they hear, they believe it's the shadows). SO, when one day one of them is freed and get to leave the dark cave, to discover that the reality he knew about, the shadows, was just a projection of the world, he tries to bring his friends with him, but they refuse to follow him, they are content with the reality they already have, as they know no better, and got no desire for the truth if it's the unknown. And of course, the freed prisonner himself could barely believe this was the truth, he had to accept it since it was shoved in his face, but his friends didn't have that experience, so they don't believe him. Seeing that he now says he's blind in the dark, that it's not light that is true blindness, but the dark, his friends believe the ''light world''must be dangerous, that it corrupted their friend and gave him weird ideas about a ''superior world'' where ''what we see in the cave is only a projection of the real things''. The freed prisonner want to bring them out by force if necessary, they have to learn the truth! But the prisonners refuse, and kill him. From that point on, anyone trying to bring them into the ''light world'' by force would be killed, for daring to cast  doubts about their reality, their experiences, their phenomenons. If that allegory is too hard, considers that for computers the world is made of only ones and zeroes,as it's all they can know... For more read on Kant, look at this website.

If you are wondering where identity politics come into play, worry not, I'm going there, bear with me. 
SO, now that you aboslutely do understand what is a phenomenon and a noumenon, why is there phenomenologists and analytical philosophers? Well, people didn't like the ''two level of reality'' set by Kant, and so two team formed, the camp ''everything IS phenomenal, the noumenon doesn't exists as Kant describes it'' of the phenomenologists and the ''the phenomenon is lesser than the noumenon, but we can't know the noumenon, so this whole separation is meaningless, as far as we are concerned, only the noumenon matters'' of the empiricists. Yep, I said empiricists, not analytical philosophers. Confused? Don't be, empiricists are merely an extreme form of analytical philosophers. You see, most analytical philosophers found Kant two tiered system of reality rather satisfying and pragmatic, but for some of them, the idea of NOT being able to know the noumenon really upsetted them. So, those philosophers created empiricism, a philosophy of extreme materialism that focus on all that can be observed and demonstrated with evidence. It's the second half of the modern scientific methodology. The first half, I'm sure you remember, is hypothesis. But empiricists don't like maybes, they care about what they can observe only, So, if they only see white swans? Only white swans exists. A modern scientist would hypothesize the existence of color variations, based, say on genes or other prior proven observations of similar species and then would look for the evidence or an experimentation ( breeding a genetically engineered swan in this case) to back it up. Needless to say, all conjectures without evidence is all white smoke, and all evidence without conjectures is pointless. You need evidence to validate hypotheses and you need conjectures to begin looking for evidence to falsify or validate those hypotheses in the first place. That's, people, is why the scientific method has empiricism, rationalism and skepticism. So empiricists were a little... stubborn. They aren't much of a thing anymore. Phenomenologists however... well we are almost there, bear with me a bit longer. 

Phenomenology influenced more than philosophy, it also, understandably, influenced science, especially the social sciences. Sociology is the prime example, followed by psychology. Back in the day, when feminism started being a thing, they were backed by both analytical and phenomenological thinkers (Karl Marx is often considered, along many others, to have contributed to feminism premisses), the second wave is to me, where both approachs influences where at their best. Read Cursed post on that for examples, she did a great job. It's commonly thought that the second wave was just an intellectually more mature version of the first wave, more reflective and calm than the previous wave. However, no one says so of the third wave, ever wondered why? Why does the ideology ( yes feminism is an ideology, not a movement, get over it) of feminism changed so much in about 20-30 years? Carol Gilligan is the answer. Who is  she? Carol Gilligan is mostly known for being the philosopher behind the Ethics of  Care, a phenomenological philosophy based entirely on subjectivity. Explaining the Care isn't simple, but 'ill try... basically she postualte that in morality, the question ''what is just?'' or ''what is good/evil?'' goes behind the question ''how to respond to injustice?''. Gilligan believe we are all, to some degree, interdependant, which isn't false I guess, and she also thinks we need to be extra wary of the consequences of our actions to those that are the most vulnerable to them ( so not the most objectively affected, the most subjectively affected). She also postulate it's men who tend to view things as objectively just or not, that's it's men who tend to make justice objective. If you are confused, I don' blame you, you really need to know Gilligan backstory to understand that part, which is basically backpedalling.

 So, before creating the Ethics of Care, Gilligan was the student of Lawrence Kohlberg, a psychologist. Kohlberg was particularly interested in morality from a psychological point of view. So, he created a little thought experiment that he submitted to a group of men of varying age groups. The experiment was simply asking the men and boys ''if your wife was dying of a terminal illness, and that the only way to save her was to steal the drug from the pharmacy, would you do it? and why?'' the important part for Kohlberg experiment was not to know if they would steal the drug or not, what interested him was the moral justifications people would come up with. So after the experiment, he created a scale of 1 to 6, each stage being incremental, stackable and non-reversible. He concluded that people moral development matured as they aged, but that most people would never reach the two last stages, and that some, like psychopats, never leave the early stages, associated with childhood. After the experiment, Gilligan, bieng a good student, noticed a flaw in his experiment: he assumed the results would be the same for women, and didn't test it. Kohlberg admitted completely omitting the possibility women and men had different moral development rates. So, he and Gilligan remade that experiment, but gender-swapped this time. The results were... embarassing for Gilligan, to say the least. She found out that women, apparently, for the most part, never get over the third stage, related to group conformity ( not authority, the group) and understanding of others intentions. This stage being associated with adolescence, you can understand why Gilligan was upset with the results: she had just demonstrated most adults women used the same moral justifications as teenagers!

 To try to justify this apparent ''female moral immaturity'', Gilligan created the Ethics of Care, and postulated the higher degrees of moral development Kohlberg described were not more mature than the third stage, just different. Women, according to Gilligan, base their moral choices and perception of justice based on personnal relationships, and social links or consequences. She argues women are by nature more emphathetic and compasionnate than men, explaining why their decisions are more focused on tjhe consequences for groups of people they know, rather than an objective moral truth. Ever noticed your aunts or just middle age women in general love talking about people, describing them by the relationship they share, jumping from one person to the other, using one relaionship link to the other? Well, for Gilligan, this just shows how women care about more than themselves. Of course, many feminists and non-feminists alike have criticised her ethics for reinforcing the stereotypes that women are good and that men are cold bastards, but her influence on modern day feminism is undeniable. It's her philosophy, her ethics, that eventually morphed into what is known as intersectionnal feminism, the motherload of the left identity politics (See? Told ya I would get there eventually).

Intersectionnal feminism was just her ethics pushed to the extreme, hence why absurdities such as safe spaces and censorship are promoted by this new wave of feminists. Patriarchy theory exploded with intersectionnal theory coupled with the Ethics of Care. It's obvious, not only is the patriacrchy is sexist, intersectionnal theory says it's racist, homophobic, classist, transphobic... and that everyone that is not oppressed is just like the men Gilligan describe in her Ethics: subscribing to a cold, unempathetic way of thinking.The WRONG way of thinking... Sounds familiar eh? So, there you have it, the philosophical origins of identity politics. I really pushed myself for this one! Hoped you liked it! Sorry for the drawn out explanations, I felt they were necessary, given the complexity of the topic. Thanks for reading, and see you next time! -KeLvin

Here's   a link to a scholar explaining what is intersectionnal feminism, and why it's stupid, I even timestamped it to the important part.

P.S: Thanks Cursed! Your post kind of inspired me to write this. So thanks a lot.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

You Are Not Upset About Fake News...You Are Upset That The News Don't Share Your Biases.

You Are Not Upset About Fake News...You Are Upset That The News Don't Share Your Biases.

It seems that recently the medias, both mainstream  and ''alternative'' are being thrown under the bus for reporting ''fake news''. It was a topic during the american elections, how Trump was being cartoonishly vilified by  the mainstream media (''he's literally Hitler!'' ''I had sex with one of his supporters! OMG!''), and how the alternative media was just making shit up about Hillary ( like that idiotic spiritual cooking thing? That was ridiculous). Now that the elections are over, it seems an avalanche of hoaxes and conspiracy theories are being thrown around.That pizzagate one just being the latest.

 For those unaware, Pizzagate is a conspiracy theory that claims that Hillary and the DNC are involved in a secret pedophillic network in the basement of the pizzeria of a big donor for the DNC in Washington D.C. There is countless reasons why this is false... one of the most obvious one you ask? 

The pizzeria doesn't even have a basement. 

I think I even read somewhere there couldn't even be a secret basement because it's not even possible to build one due to the soil.  

 What really grabbed my attention was all the fake assaults and  hate crimes being reported. Most I heard about were of minorities faking to be attacked by Trump's supporters, or just people spreading pictures of crowds or beat up folks to claim it's a rioting crowd or a victim of aforementionned evil partisans of Trump. Don't worry person that think I am super duper biased myself(I disliked both candidates, for the record), there was also Trump's supporters spreading fake hate crimes against them by Hillary's supporters. They didn't get as much coverage on the mainstream media, but oh boy, that the alternative media believed all of it!

It's a little dissapointing that a simple google image search can prove to you that the pictures used are from older, unrelated events, and that no journalist seemed to have bothered doing that zero effort research themselves. Oh well, that's nothing new for the news... You may complain about fake news, but chances are you are in reality complaining that the news' biases are different than yours.

''Look at these [PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE]'s supporters! They are faking [EVENT THAT NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED]!They are so horrible!'' - Person who most likely shared those fake events themselves  when it  was one that appeared to make their fellow supporters be the victims or made the other camp supporters look bad. 

Seriously, the double thinking and hypocrisy was over the charts during the 2 weeks following the elections. I could talk about all examples of apologetics for Trump or Hillary when they dissapointed their own supporters (like when Trump's supporters learned the wall might just be ''a very tall fence'' that would only be ''partly financed by Mexico'' xD) but that would take too much of  your time ( and mine). Ever noticed that news outlet generally report news accurately EXCEPT when it's against the narrative of the ideologues that dominate their company (or too scientific for them so they get it all wrong and misinform everyone)? For mainstream, it's mostly left leaning, with a few exceptions, like Fox news, and for the alternative media, it's mostly right leaning, except a few odd ones. This is nothing new, in the past those roles were reversed, mainstream was mainly conservative, the alternative was mainly liberal. Nothing surprising to me that when the mainstream take a side, the alternative, hence the name, take the other. That's not a problem really... it kind of always was like that.

The problem is that people are not educated enough it seems to be skeptical of the information being presented to them. When something seems dubious or subject to heavy political or religious bias, you should always try to find multiple sources, even if they contradict each other's, to figure out the truth for yourself. Don't be a mindless  sheep. Wake up sheeple 2015 ( nod to sh0eonhead, you might get the reference... or not). If something seems to especially appeal to your own biases? Then be double skeptical, often reality is less tailored towards your biases than you might like to admit.

Fake news always were a thing, and probably will always be. Sure, I would like journalists to care more about journalistic ethics, especially when you are just reporting an event, the most basic thing would at least be to have evidence it happened... Having biased language when reporting an event is one thing, reporting something that didn't even happen is another. Saying that a politician's opinions (like Trump's) are objectively bigoted or wrong with subtle or not language on what is supposed to be news reports is a thing, claiming the DNC hold pedo orgies in the basement of a Pizzeria without evidence is another.  I would like news outlets to be more reliable, of course, but reality is you still have the responsability to inform yourself. Don't hesitate to consult mutltiple sources, also, you should try to look at sources with different ideological stances than the ones you usually consult, so that you can read between the ideologies to find the facts.

To end this, I will name a few ''news'' outlets I find are utter  garbage over 50% of the time:

Rebel Media,TYT,Infowars,Fox News, The Guardian, Breitbart, Huffington Post, CNN, 99% of sites with the words feminist, communist, nationalist, libertarian, or any other ideological position in the title or in most of their articles. oh, and of course, Buzzfeed, The rectal cancer of the internet.

see you next time -KeLvin 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Is Meritocracy Really The Fairest System?

Is Meritocracy Really The Fairest System?

You read the title. Is meritocracy really a fair system? Most people instincts is to answer yes to this question. But I'm skeptical. The basics of this system is "you reap what you sow" "you get what you earned" "your wealth is equal to your contribution" (the opposite of the communist thinking "everyone get the same wealth regardless of contribution" way of thinking. Interesting). While it does seems to make sense, I always doubted part of it. I mean, of course that the best person for the job should be hired, and of course that certain professionals deserve better pay for spending more time studying (scientists, doctors...) or risking their lives everyday (police officers, firemen/firewomen...)... But if that system is supposed to be the fairest by being the most logical... Why on Earth are those who support it also seems to oppose minimal wages, taxes and most left leaning economical policies? I know, I know, I should judge an idea by its own merits, not by who is supporting it... But it just puzzle me so much.

I find it odd that those people that goes on saying that communism is unfair because it treats all investment in your career as equivalent for the same rewards (and thus unfulfilling, why bother being a doctor if you could get a life as comfortable as a janitor?), think that most billionaires deserve their billions, or that most minimal wage employees deserve their low paycheck... Seems contradictory. It's fairly obvious that many, MANY rich folks didn't work very hard to get the money they got. Many inherited and reinvested part of their fortunes (look at the charts for the richest people on Earth, most inherited a fortune from their families), which is arguably taking a risk (even though many invest in relatively stable or safe investments), but undoubtedly not that hard to do. It's not physically challenging and not that intellectually challenging either, since a lot hire other people to manage their own money.

 I also find odd that a system based on equality of opportunities would work with the current inheritance and education system, or that taxes wouldn't be necessary. Many told me that if you want a good pay, you must invest in your education and negotiate for a good salary. But how do you do that if you are born poor? Obviously if you are born in a rich family, you start with an advantage. It's not very fair, the rich have more opportunities to better themselves than the poor, and would end up being the best, and thus reaping the most rewards, in many cases. Plus isn't such a system immediately screwing those who don't want to study, the physically or mentally impaired, and anyone that is just... Average? Because let's face it, if the current trends for jobs availability maintain themselves (which I have little doubt about), then there will be less and less jobs available. Automation and workplace efficacy has improved so much, that even booming developing countries where the first world sub contract all the shitty jobs for cheap are getting scarce. Slowly, granted, but it's still happening. We also have an ever aging population, we can't just make old folks work till they die for forever, that's not only unfair for those who worked hard all their lives, but also unsustainable. Oh another good point! That system is automatically ageist. It automatically favors those with experience in many cases, and in some specific cases, favor younger people. 

If jobs get rare, without a minimal wage and a financial safety net for those who aren't the best, we are running straight into a disaster.  More and more less skilled jobs are getting replaced, or more efficient so less workers are needed. It's a system skewed against non-intelectuals and those who just want to make a living and don't work out of passion. And, in case you didn't know, more than half of the planet live on wages close to their country minimal wage, when there is one. Even in developed countries most people live on wages close to the minimal wage. The official statistics often only take into account those on the exact minimal wage, but if you earn only 10 cents above minimal wage or between 1 and 3 more per hour, you are still pretty close to it. Yet it's not accounted for in official statistics. Anarcho-capitalists and libertarians can rant all they want about how "easy" it is to get a business and make money, reality says otherwise.

Think about it too, if there is no minimal wage in the future coupled with the job availability decline... What does your knowledge of economics tell you will happen? Even AnCaps and libertarians are not blind enough to ignore the answer: with a lowered offer of jobs, and an ever increasing demand for jobs, people will do anything to get a job, in that case, that mean accepting the shittiest wages (and work conditions) possible. Remember, there is always more desperate than you, always someone willing to live out of unlivable wages in times of crisis. Doesn't matter if you "negotiate" your salary, in the present and near future, employers still have a net advantage in the negotiations. I also bet many are willing to hire "not the best" workers so they can save on wages if the more skilled workers refuse to work for basically nothing. So that's the "hire the best for the job " mantra out of the equation. As annoying as it is when companies and governments hire people solely on their "diversity" levels so that they look good on a public report, or when the opposite happens and people get discriminated against instead of for, let's not forget that companies (and often governments, unfortunately) first and foremost goal is, and was always, making money. Often it's not the best that is hired, but just the cheapest most docile employee that can do the job kind of alright.

How would the large part of the unskilled population that is without a job because of automation and workplace efficacy make a living if there is no financial safety net or if there is one, but it's ridiculously low and not enough to even afford basic needs or rent? It's seems to me that a meritocracy is not even possible without social Democrat ideas like universal basic income and minimal wage. And even with those, the system is still unfair as inheritance and education are still as elitist as they are actually. Because remember, there is also education to take into account for that complicated equation, and education is right now available in limited places too. And thus education tend to favor, again, the rich and the successful. We already know that good looking people have easier lives, simply for having the luxury of being lucky with their isn't fair. Merit isn't enough, it's not always the most deserving that win, even within a meritocracy... That's as naive as believing the good guys  always win, or that  forcing people to share all equally works ( Hi commies!). 

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the only ''true'' meritocracy would, ironically, have to take some authoritarian ideas from communism, and force everyone to start at the same level and have access to the same opportunities, by screwing inheritance laws and forcing schools to take in all students (and building more universities for those students). Of course, that would also be terribly unfair, some people worked really hard to earn a legacy for their descendants, so rendering their hard work meaningless is as awful as the communist "all  work is equal, work is sacred, all must work" belief (that belief is basically advocating slavery by the way. Communists seems to think all those who can work have to. And thus if you force people to work... Well that is slavery. The current system is similar, in that we got to work to earn a living, but at least it's not forcefully imposed by force... Just by the fact that if you don't you will be homeless and starve. Yay!).

I don't know if meritocracy is really the fairest system, but what is sure it's that the current system is terrible. We got an income inequality that is so huge that about 80 people own half of the Earth resources/money/privately owned land. That's outrageous. There is NO amount of work that justify that amount of wealth, these people are disgustingly rich. And since money equal power, they got the means to maintain and even worsen those inequalities for their own interests. Why do billionaires want money until they don't even know what to do with it and even being in the 0.0001% get boring? I don't know, they must be addicted to money , power, or something. Maybe that something is human stupidity, it's infinite apparently, so you can never get satiated with it.  It's unacceptable that in a world where we are able to feed everyone fairly, we choose not to so that we,first world citizens, can gorge ourselves with food until our bellies explode. As terrible as communism would be, I understand why it can be so appealing: at least under the authoritarian regime of the commies everyone can eat, drink and have a roof, even if it is as a slave.

I think we, as a civilization, need to rethink the way we view work. We still view work as something sacred, and we still despise those who don't, can't , or choose to not work, we still judge each other's based on a arbitrary number of diplomas, hour worked and zeroes on paychecks. It's obvious to me that with the automation of low skilled, monotonous alienating jobs, and the ever increasing workplace efficacy, we won't need to all be working to have a thriving civilization. Many fear the automation because of how it affects jobs, but I think resisting this ultimately helpful progress is regressive. People had the same fears during the industrial revolution "Will machines replace us? Will we be homeless and penny less?". And while it is true that it was a hard time (perfect example of a lowering offer, high demand, no minimal wage and work regulation scenario, that eventually lead to the 1929 crash by the way ), it was made pretty clear that without those job stealing machines, we wouldn't have the comfort we enjoy today. Mass production really helped our civilization.
We can pressure governments to create jobs either directly or indirectly, it won't change the reality: we don't need everyone to work anymore. Sure, you can say "let's just raise the demand, then we'll have to raise the offer and thus create jobs to keep up with the demand" but that isn't sustainable. It's clear that the ratio demand/offer is skewed since we are now so efficient at meeting the demand. The demand need to rise indefinitely and ever faster to keep up with our ever increasing population.

Plus do people forget we live on a planet with limited resources? Sure we haven't seen much of the adverse effects yet, but it is bound to happen, sooner or later we will ran out of oil for our transport and plastics, or gold for our computers, or arable fertile land to grow crops on. Shortages will happen eventually. There isn't many solutions to such a problem...we can diminish our consumption of those ressources, diminish our population (without killing people), both, become more efficient, make new technologies that don't use those ressources... Whatever is the price, no one wants to pay it, that's for sure. 

Considering the progress made by our civilization, and the switch from societies of survival to consumerist societies, I think we need to brace ourselves for another great change. We need to enter a society of leisure in my opinion. A society where no one is forced to work nor need to work to live a decent life, and it's fine, since working grant great rewards, so it is still appealing, but not working? No punishment, just no reward and an average life. May seem a little bit ridiculous for now, but we'll reach that point soon enough. All of those movies where humans lead laid back lives now that robots do everything? Well maybe that's not as impossible as we used to think. There will always be a need for real human workers, especially for certain jobs where machines can't, and more importantly, shouldn't, replace humans, like: Physician,Scientist,Lawyer,Social Worker, Police Officer, Teacher... Such a society will get rid of the monotonous harsh physical (or just plain  repetitive) work most of workers in this world do right now. Such a society won't get rid  of the elites, that's for sure, but at least no one  will be left out anymore... Let me know what you thought of my reflections, this one is still quite the quandary for me, as usual, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think. But, as of right now... I don't think meritocracy is as fair as it's supporters says it is. Meritocracy isn't the fairest maiden of the lands. It isn't the ugliest, far from it, but the fairest? We probably will never meet her... -KeLvin

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Yes feelings matter and no, being upset doesn't make you right either

Yes feelings matter and no, being upset doesn't make you right either

           Convoluted title, I'm sure you'll all agree... yet it's the least original way I found to pass my message and catch the eye. Today's article is to address the ''feelings don't matter'' argument, often used by a certain type of people... mainly those who oppose social justice types and feminists. Whenever one of those feminists or SJW tell them ''You are really mean'', ''This really hurts my feelings'' or ''You won't convince anyone with that tone and insults'' the anti-feminists and anti-SJWs will inevitably answer: ''Your feelings don't matter'' ''Feelings don't matter'' or ''Logic over feelings''.

Usually, given my stances on feminism and social justice, you would expect of me that I take the anti-SJWs defense... Well not this time. Don't get me wrong, there is a point in what the anti-SJWs are saying, but there is also a point to what the SJWs and feminists says. First there is a misunderstanding here. The anti-camp is usually saying ''feelz don't matter'' in answer to an emotional appeal or just their opponents reacting emotionally, however, they don't get that they are no longer arguing over an argument, which must be answered with logic, but to someone's personnal emotions. Emotions are a tricky thing. We are all different and can be upsetted by anything... some faster and easier than others. Before, I would have said ''so what? Their feelings STILL doesn't make them right!''. I do think that, but I don't believe this attitude is helpful anymore.

 Someone once taught me ''It doesn't matter how someone got sad, or if their feelings makes no sense to you, what matters is that right now, that person is sad, and that's your fault. You should be more empathetic'' And you know what... I understand. I doesn't matter if ultimately you have the best arguments, or that you feel their reaction is a diversion from the debate or that you yourself are angry: someone was hurt, by you. And the feminist or SJW you were arguing with is right, you can use all the logic and facts in the world, if you can't win the heart of your opponents you'll never win them over. In fact, that's part of why social justice and feminism are so popular: the people that are spreading those ideas... they really care about people ( or at least looks like they do). They convince people by being kind and supportive with them, by stirring up feelings of outrage and rightfulness over the injustices they perceive. Whether or not you can prove to them those injustices are either exagerated or made up is irrelevant if you can't replace this anger or sadness with something of your own. If the recent american elections haven't taught anyone that people's feelings are more important to convince most people than using logic, then I don't know what could. 

Yes, in an argument, logic is more important than feelings, but when someone is hurt and is telling you about it, using it as a defense, they are no longer arguing with you. They just told you that you hurt them in their deeply held beliefs, It's like if you just killed their pet. They don't care about your logic at that point. You may feel annoyed and angry yourself that your argument is being highjacked by someone's tears, but there is always a another chance, given that you didn't alienate that person by your insistance. And if that person is your friend or family, is it worth it? Worth it to ruin your relationship over an argument you won't win anyway because of their current emotional state? I don't think so. That's why when I argue with someone and I start upsetting them... I'll apologize. I'll concede minor points. If you really want to win an argument, don't let the debate slip into butthurt territory, for neither of you.

 People wonder why I got so good at arguing. Simple, I remember that I'm arguing with human beings, not robots, books or myself. I'm not arguing only over facts and logical arguments, I'm also arguing against someone's beliefs, someone's values. I remember that before winning the argument, I must show that I can win them over as a person. That I'm not as bad as they might imagine because we disagree and they think anyone with my opinions is a bigot. The best politicians, I'm sure you noticed, are charismatic, not philosophers or scientists. They charm people, they don't persuade them. And when someone is starting to feel upset? Calm down a bit, be more gentle, remember that you too have buttons that can be pushed. Maybe yours are harder or more obscure, but they still exists. Be empathetic, because that's the only way you can convince some people: not by being the smartest person, but the nicest person. May seems like cheating for you ''why would I use emotions? That's fallacy play, that's not how you should argue.''. Then don't hesitate to intertwine some logic in your emotional appeal. Sure, you don't like using emotions, I get it, but that's the only way some people will be willing to listen to your logic. If they just open to you, and agree based on logic, not feelings, does it matter that much you had to use emotions to achieve it? Not really. Feminists and SJWs are more empathetic than their opponents, yet their opponents are more pragmatic and do have many facts backing them up. If the social justice folks are mainly there because of feelings, and are not open to listen to your logic because their guard is up, you just need to lower that emotional shield, and that logic has no opposing logic from them to face. You know you'll win on a battle of wits, but have you forgot their hearts?  I mellowed a lot this time it seems. I just thought of all of this because of my depression. Often people are insensitive, myself included, to others' sufferings. But like I said before, It doesn't matter why someone is feeling bad, they'll think about the legitimacy of their feelings after it passed, for now, they need conforting. Just... just remember that even if you are political ennemies, they are not necessary bad people. They believe in what they believe is the right thing, and so do you. So no need to launch a tear bomb. Overall, empathy is a quality that I wish more people tried to get, as for SJWs and co, I wish they extend their sympathy to everyone... not just specific minorities and oppressed groups. So that's all for today, I expect lot of backlash, but I stand by what I said. Maybe I'll explain myself better another time. I don't know. Anyway, see you later -KeLvin

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why Trump won: complacency and the fear of the other.

Why Trump won: complacency and the fear of the other.

Trump won. To many people this sounds surreal. President Trump. Sounds so weird. That TV show host billionaire in the top 200 of the richest people alive? How could he be the 45th president of the United States? Everyone has their own answer... but I barely heard what seems to be the most obvious one: Hillary's voters were so sure she would win, that they were complacent.Seems obvious, only a third of americans voted. Only half of the eligible voters voted. That's some heavy voter apathy there. How much do you want to bet that many of those who didn't vote were Hillary supporters that thought she didn't need their vote because ''It's impossible that Trump would win''?Oupsies. Seriously though, she DID win the popular vote... by less than 1%. Yep, that's pretty close, so doesn't matter much that the electoral college went against her, the popular vote was pretty much a tie already. I wonder why the U.S still have the electoral college, such a farce that institution, but oh well who am I to say that, Canada has the ''party guideline'' policy, where members of a political party can't speak or vote against their leaders decisions without punishment... No democracy is perfect right now. Still, it's amazing that Trump won. Amazingly terrible or great, that's your perspective, but still amazing. 

    I began thinking he could actually win a week or two before the elections. Hillary's campaign was a mess form the start, given that she ( according to most people) rigged her candidacy over Bernie Sanders, the candidate democrat's voters actually liked the most, and that she had a... complex political history to say the least. Lies, swinging positions that mysteriously match the popular position of the day, professionnal mistakes, using her personal email address instead of a secure governmental one, the fact she's not as charismatic as Michelle Obama or Bernie Sanders, the fact she's an establishment candidate, even though she tried to deny it... A lot of tangible things went against her. And Trump? Well, his political history is almost a blank slate, he barely involved himself into politics before. He was one of the first ''birthers'' conspiracy theorists, pushing Obama a lot to release his birth certificate ( which he did). He is a business man, so he obviously had ties with politics, since politics and economical actors are still unfortunately way too close nowadays. But other than that, no one knows what Trump the politician would or could do. Everyone knows his public persona by now: a man entitled by a sense of superiority, that believes he's smarter than most and that his money entitles him to women and respect... A man that believes torture works, and that we should kill the families of terrorists (that include innocent children), a man that is undoubtetly xenophobic, if not racist. He's doesn't seems homopobic though, given his ''I'll protect you from Islam'' speech, but then why did he choose Mike Pence as vice president then? Pence is openly against homosexuality, and financed electroshock ''therapy''... He is one of the rare people that still believes you can pray the gay away. Needless to say, Trump is a wild card, while Hillary was an highly predictable establishment candidate, Trump is an unpredictable old man (the oldest president ever elected at 70, and one of the rare elected without the popular vote but only the electoral college approval). 

Do I think he'll be the worst president ever? No. Do I think he'll be one of the worst? Probably. 
Many says he won because Americans are dumb and racist and mysoginists etc... And while it certainly explains some part of the vote, assuming all his supporters are bigots is just incredibly condescending and unrealistic. It's just isn't statiscally probable. And think about it, if half or a third of Americans were racist bigots, I doubt there would have been as much positive changes against racism. And no need to remind everyone of Obama. Speaking of him, you should know that many of Trump's voters are ex-Obama voters, the statistics are undeniable. As hard as it can be to admit for those disappointed by the results, Trump's triumph has more substance to it than "Americans are evil". 

So what did he do that changed the heart of ex-Obama voters, police officers (they apparently voted en masse for him), many leftists and the moderate right?

Well let's start by looking at each demographic. 

The rich: they would have been satisfied either way. No, seriously. As long as they are able to pay terrible wages, crush unions and have advantageous trade deals... They don't care. Hillary was more pro-union and for raising the minimal wage, but also supported terrible trade deals for the workers, great for the capitalists. Trump was pro-employer, and opposed raising the minimal wage, but he is also protectionnist which annoys multinational companies even if it please local producers.

The poor: mainly for Hillary, even if those tax cuts by Trump were attractive to many. I looked at Hillary plans, and she planned more for the poor than Trump, so if she lost poor voters it was unrelated to their economic status I think. Many may have voted Trump because they think immigrants stole their jobs or something.

The middle class: the center of all political campaigns. The most divided of demographics. Hillary attracted many middle class voters with her policies regarding healthcare and education, the promise of clearing students' debt, and more policies that help the middle class. However, Trump's tax cuts are like any tax cuts attractive to voters and since he said he'll be kicking back illegal immigrants, many assumed this would mean more jobs. Probably not the kind of job the middle class want though... Again, Hillary had the economic advantage, Trump won the middle class on other issues and topics.

Now for the dreaded identity politics...

Men: Mainly voted Trump, studies suggest men tend to be more right leaning than women. And many men voted Trump due to identity politics being quite hostile towards them. Let's be honest, the feminist "the patriarchy exists and all men are in it" propaganda is annoying to many non misogynistic men. Being blamed for all the evil in the world tend to get on the nerves of many average men. Yes, there is still sexism nowadays, but blaming all men with the excuse "systemic sexism include all men, all men profit from it" is alienating them. They feel like any of their achievements is somehow unwelcome because feminists say it's not their own successes but them cashing in on the patriarcal privileges. Many feel left out. They try to point out issues affecting them? "Why are you pointing out men's issues? Men are backed up by the patriarchy! Men already have all the resources and attention! You just want to drain resources from the organizations that help women! What? Men accounts for most cases of homelessness,suicides and work-related deaths and you think that it's not fair that most resources allocated for those issues focus on women while it's men that are the most affected? Women have it worse! You hate women! Women need more resources even if they are less affected because they don't have the support of the patriarchy them! And when they are affected, it's worse for them anyways! No I don't have evidence of this!" Ahem, so understanding why men weren't turn on by Hillary Clinton feminist friendly campaign is not difficult. Sure you want to make women feel confident enough to do whatever they want in life, but don't make the men who are successful or want to be to feel they do not merit their accomplishments because you so much want to help women... You don't help someone paint their house by buying them paint and then breaking their brushes.

Women: Mainly voted Hillary (some just because she is a woman,sigh), though a surprising amount voted Trump. I understand why Hillary got more votes. Trump said and did disgusting things regarding women. Sure his campaign manager is a woman, but that doesn't excuse the things he said. You can talk all you want about "vote on policies not his personality" but his personality is just repulsive to most women, and I completely gets why. The " I grab them by the pussy" thing was not gross because of the grab their pussy part, after all if a woman consent to this there is nothing wrong... It was gross because of the "when you are rich and famous as I am, they let you do it, I don't even ask" part. He was literally bragging about sexual assault/harassment there while feeling entitled because of the power his money and celebrity grant him. Gross on many levels. Given his obviously loose attitude towards women, many wonders if he'll be able to uphold measures to protect them from discrimination. Only the future will tell I suppose... 

"People of color"(still hate that term) and Hispanics: voted Hillary for the most part, but Trump couldn't have won if he didn't have a surprising amount of them as supporters. Why did he get so few non-white voters? Because of the stupid shit he said regarding Mexican illegal immigrants... Obviously. Saying that "Mexico is not sending their best, they're rapists , drug lords and criminals" did shocked most Hispanics. Most immigrants are legal, yes even most Mexican immigrants, so implying they are all monsters didn't help. And made Mexicans quite mad. That and that wall shit. Way to go to make Mexico your friend Trump. Way to go. And even amongst illegal immigrants, most are non violent and are not drug lords. Most are just illegal workers, working for shit illegal wages. Plus did he forget many are the children of illegal immigrants? Do you think they want their parents or themselves to be deported? While they only have an American citizenship and can't be deported with their parents? What about all the orphans it would make? Trump alienated Hispanics and Black voters for his xenophobic/racist views 

Muslims:. Hillary. Trump said he would ban Muslims and openly criticised islam, enough for most of them to ditch him.

White people: that's where Trump got the most of his lost votes from other categories. He simply did what Hillary didn't: cater to them. Hillary most adamant supporters, mostly progressives, keep talking about systemic racism, and like systemic sexism be all men, they blame all white people with the excuse that they are all indirectly racists because they allegedly all profit from the system. Of course many answer that this is false, but they aren't talking of the same things. Their definition of racism is different. Progressives think it's "prejudice+power" and institutionalized. Those who disagree says it's simply prejudice and foremost individual. But since they rarely talk about the fact that they both agree that individual prejudice and institutional prejudice are bad, that they simply don't agree on calling prejudiced black people racists if they discriminate against white people (because of their different definitions), they alienated each others. Hillary support for Black lives matter ironically hurt her more than it helped her. Most people don't disagree with the intent of BLM: discrimination is bad and should be avoided, they disagree with their actions. Rioting and looting your city is not a good way to protest the stereotype that black people are all thugs... Just saying. The outright anti-cop stance of the movement also scared many voters. Cops didn't like to be portrayed as racist tyrants, when most of them aren't. Black cops in particular felt really hurt to be lumped with the rest of their colleagues as racists. Plus by overusing the word racist, they are devaluing it, I said it before, the best way to normalize a behavior or idea is exposure. If you are constantly exposed to non perverted gay folks, you might come to stop fearing them, they will become normal in your eyes. Same thing here. Keep saying racist for trivial reasons, and people will start believing actual racism is also trivial. Why do you think white nationalism is on the rise? By insisting on differentiating people by races and privileges, you are not trivializing races and diminishing tensions, you are reinforcing the concept that races are a thing, that there is differences based on it. Don't be surprised then that many start believing the stereotypes and feel that black people are their enemies if you show hostility towards them because of their white skin... Racism towards white people only cause more racism towards black people. The racial division is a sad reality, and both sides are reinforcing it. The moral high ground the left took was simply too high for many voters, so they turned to the other option, Trump. Sure, he might be more traditionally racist, but when the soft bigotry of the left towards white people scare them, they turn to someone who appeal to their fears. That's basically what this election was about:fear. Clinton voters feared Trump, Trump voters feared Clinton.

Now let's get out of identity politics and talk issues.

Economy: Hillary main victory, she nailed that topic, even if many trusted Trump because he is a businessman, she had better policies overall. The job creation was won by Trump, but that's because of his immigration policy.

Immigration:Trump main victory, he spoke against illegal and legal immigration, refused to take in refugees, and said he would ban Muslims from entering the country. Like I said fear is the main component of both candidates campaign, and Trump was better at reassuring voters than Hillary. Hillary focused on people fearing Trump, but forgot to reassure her voters with enough policies. Trump reassured all those voters that fear terrorism, Islam and getting their jobs "stolen" by illegal immigrants. His ideas are ridiculously simple, bad and expensive, but people didn't care, at least that was some ideas to solve the issues that Americans care about. Better than nothing some thought. I think those fears are exaggerated, but Trump taped into it perfectly. Hillary acted aloof on that topic. She scared the voters that feared immigrants and Islam, instead of reassuring them. I think it was an accident though. Bad communication. And Trump called out fundamentalist Islam more than Hillary, and most people know it's a problem, so they didn't like that she played dumb on the topic. 

Scandals: not a political issue to me, its just gossiping and mutual slandering, but it can influence voters. Both had sexual scandals, except that Hillary scandals were not about her but Bill Clinton. Those seems to have had only a small influence. Even the email thing didn't hurt Hillary that much. Trump sexual scandals did alienate many women.

Human rights: both are terrible on that topic. Both used to oppose gay rights, and their sudden public change of heart seemed hypocritical. Both also chose to ignore the human rights abuses of other countries. Hillary turn a blind eye to the Middle East, Trump to Russia. Voters knew that neither really cares, they just pretend to.

International relations: both are terrible, again. Hillary did best with first world nations (and the middle East), except Russia, with her terrible comments that seemed really warmongering... Trump did worse with first world countries (hence all the headlines in the world shocked by his victory), better with countries like Russia and the middle East. So alienate most countries, or only the most powerful ones. Yep, that's shit. 

So my closing thoughts... The right is rising In first world countries because of fears. Fear of terrorism, Islam, the left radicalization, the fear of economic stress, fear of globalization, fear of each others based on skin color or religion, etc. Donald Trump is tapping in those fears. Exploiting them. If you don't like the fact that the right is rising, then the left should think of reassuring words, because the moral panic that followed Trump victory only reassure his voters that they made the right choice , that all leftists are just crazy, intolerant assholes and racists toward white people. Unfortunately, Trump victory has more to do with the left failure to be reasonable and reassuring, than "all Right wingers are evil and bigots". Things are not as simple as that.
 Let's hope the left take the opportunity to improve itself, and that the right realise Trump is not their savior. The rise of the alt-right, Neo-Nazism and white nationalism worries me, and if the left doesn't deradicalize, it could get worse. The left need to let go the identity politics, or the Donalds Trumps of this world may become the norm for our world leaders... A scary future indeed. Meanwhile sleep well and see you next time -KeLvin

Friday, October 28, 2016

The difference between transcending gender expression and transitioning genders

The difference between transcending gender expression and transitioning genders

I had to talk about this. I know that everyone is kind of tired of talking about it. Transgender activists are tired, Youtubers are tired, the media is tired, I am tired. Everyone want a little break from talking about gender, if only for a day. So sorry to bring it  once again, especially considering that everyone is conflicted about it, and no matter one's stances on the different issues, you are guarranteed to get a lot of backlash. Gender as a topic is now a landmine. So, without further ado, here's my thoughts on genders, transgenderism and more. [Definition of gender I used, down below]

First of all, yes I am one of those people, the ones who say: ''there is only two genders''. However, there is an infinity of gender expressions. Gender is predefined, biologically, we don't choose it, like most of our physical attributes, and it isn't arbitrary, unlike race, gender is defined based on reproduction, a mechanism of life. Females are the one that gave birth, or lay eggs if they lay eggs. Males generally fertilise the egg. There is a few interesting unique cases in the animal world that stray from this rule, but humans don't. Intersex people have a birth defect, not unlike trisomia or a third arm, it's not supposed to happen under normal circumstances.  Transgender people are a special case, their brains register their gender as the opposite one from their DNA and outside appareance, which cause a lot anxiety and confusion. Many specialists are still not sure of the right way to relieve them of their sufferings. For now, the most popular way to deal with the problem is gender transitioning, that is, to artificially trigger a puberty of the opposite gender with hormones injections, and, if the patient desire it, a sex change chirurgy. The efficacy of this type of treatment seems to be a mix bag. Many transgenders report feeling better and less anxious now, but on the long term, it seems the suicide rates are still quite high even after the chirurgy and hormonal therapy. Some argue it's social stigma and discrimination that maintain the suicide rates high, and not just the person's own feelings of dystopia or the side effects of the treatment. This can be hard to assess however, after all, not every post-operation transgender person is easy to tell apart. Many blend in perfectly with the gender they always felt as. Transgender activists argue that transitioning is the only humane thing to do, saying any other treatment is wrong. I wonder why though, there has been talks of how we could treat the feeling of dystopia, instead of yielding to it. Kind of how we treat schizophrenia or depression, instead of letting those suffering from it have, respectively, hallucinations and commit suicide. And, before you say ''but transgenderism is just like homosexuality! and homosexuality can't be treated!'' remember why gender dystopia is considered a mental illness and not homosexuality. The definition of a mental illness is :''(Pathology) any of various disorders in which a person's thoughts, emotions, or behaviour are so abnormal as to cause suffering to himself, herself, or other people''. Obviously, gender dystopia fall in that definition, because transgender people suffer from the dystopia, while homosexuals don't suffer from their homosexual feelings. Granted, they can, because of societal reasons, feel stressed or anxious, but being homosexual, in itself, does not cause any suffering. Unlike gender dystopia, where they suffer simply from their own feelings of not being in the right body, not just from societal causes. So, while we know that homosexuality seems untreatable, and that treating it is not necessary, since being gay doesn't cause any harm, why assume it's the same for gender dystopia? Maybe there is a way to suppress the feelings that cause so much suffering to these people, the same way we suppress the abnormal feelings caused by a depression or a mental disorder. But anyway, treatment was not the main topic of this post, just a side reflection. For now we use gender transitions, and that's fine by me, I just think we should consider other ways to help those people if a less intrusive, dangerous and irreversible way exists.

The main topic I wanted to talk about was the ''non-binary'', those people that identify as something different from male or female and say that they, also, are transgenders. First of all, I thought, as most people, that the trans part was for transitioning from one gender to the other... not transcending genders altogether. Many people seems to think ''trans'' is a gender. Well, no, trans people transitionned, so they are now the gender they always felt as, not an imaginary transition gender! As for people who say they are ''demi-girl'' ,''zuchini'' or ''gender-fluid'' and all those funny sounding or confusing new gender types ( there is more genders than pokemon types apparently), they always sounded ridiculous to me.  I'll talk about two of them, Agender and Gender-Fluid. Agender seems to be for people who identifies as no gender, like none at all. Ooook... But you don't reaallly choose genders... as unfortunate as that may seems, you have a gender, like it or not, that's your choice, but you have a gender. Gender-Fluid push that idea further... they have a gender, maybe it's female, maybe it's male, maybe it's in between. Depends of their mood, so it changes, hence the fluid part. Ok that's ridiculous. Gender is fixed, even transgender people acknowledge that, heck, why do you think so many of them are  willing to have chirurgy and take hormones? Because gender is fixed. Even after transition, they are still in a fixed gender state. Granted, this state need to be maintained with hormones intake, but still, you can't change gender on a coin flip. Those people, the non binary folks, seems to complain more about gender expression than anything.Gender expression is how we socially and culturally express gender differences. You know, skirts, beards, make up, blue for boys, pink for girls, profession choice, etc... Which begs the question: if those people want to express their gender in the way they want, why create new genders in the first place? Nothing is stopping you, as a male, from wearing skirts, make-up and pink if you so desire. No need to invent a gender for that. It seems to me these people just invented new genders instead of accepting that they can express themselves,as a man, or a woman, in any way they like, claimed to be an oppressed minority because they are quirky, and said that now everyones own them respects. That's not how it works guys. Or gals. Or non binary unicorn-gendered folks. I understand that they want to reject gender stereotypes and usual expectations that comes with being male or female by creating new genders, so that these have no stereotype or expectations because of their novelty. However, those new labels are no less able to be stereotyped and prejudiced against. And these people insistance in calling themselves trans, because they transcend gender roles, not genders, is harming those that want or already have transitioned from male to female or female to male. People now lump all those gender role defying non-binaries with those who suffer from gender dystopia, and the people who finds those new genders silly, but don't know much about gender dystopia, are likely to assume, that they too, are just people that want to oppose gender roles, and not people suffering from a mental illness and need support. If you want to oppose traditionnal gender roles, do so, that's fine, but don't invent genders just because it's easier than facing the fact that you dislike your own gender stereotypes and traditionnal roles. Affirm that yes, you are a man,  a straight man, but that no, that doesn't mean you have to sport a beard or that you can't wear a skirt or that you can't be a nurse. Affirm that yes, you are a woman, and yes, you like skirts, but sometimes you like acting ''like a boy'' and that your love of destruction derbies if perfectly fine, that you don't care what others think of it, because they shouldn't care and you shouldn't either. 

Many trans activists are trying to push those new ''pronouns laws'' were you are obligated to refer to people with the pronouns they identify as. [UPDATE November 22, 2016: turn out that law is outlawing only discrimination against people based on gender identity or expression. It's harmless and fine. People, both for and against it, were mislead into believing it was making it illegal to not use someone's prefered pronouns. It isn't. As long as it isn't discriminating agaisnt them, like refusing them service or a job based on their gender identity or expression, it isn't illegal. Everyone was just too dumb to read the bill for themselves.Yeah that includes me. I did read it, both in french and english to be sure to get the good meaning, and it's ok, it's almost symbolic since discrimination overall was already illegal, they are just stating that for gender identiy and expression, discrimination is still not ok. Here's the link ] While I get how it could maybe help some folks that transtioned and have their relatives and acquaintances use the old pronouns not feel upset in public or private, I don't see how this policing of language is helping those same relatives and acquaintances to be more tolerant. Everyone that knows a trans person that transitioned knows that for some people it's just hard to use the new pronouns and name when you are used to the old ones for years of use. Punishing people that are just having trouble transitioning their language is going to make them resentful. Why would they even try to talk to trans people if they can get arrested or prosecuted for a mistake? That could lead to ostracisation and isolation. As for people who misgender just to be mean, those are assholes, just ignore them, report them for harrasment if necessary,but don't prosecute them because they used the wrong word. Also, since those laws were not thought for actual trans people, but for the non-binary folks and their weird pronouns, anyone that refuse to use those alien words will be punished, for, frankly, disagreeing with the idea that ''Xe'' is a pronoun or that ''zuchini'' is an acceptable gender. Punishing people for not liking the way you express your gender is just silly, does not encourage people to be tolerant towards you and, like I said, why all those labels in the first place? The first step in having bigotry based on a hierarchy of categories for something...  is to have labels in those categories. You are just multiplying the potential for bigotry, not unlike those racist folks that like to create more racial divisions, like ''jew''(a religion, nothing genetic or even biological about that), ''muslim''(another religion), ''ginger'' (an hair color) or the infamous ''aryen race'' (bullshit that the Nazis made up). I already talked about why race is nonsensical and arbitrary there (click on these words, it's a link to that post) so I won't talk about it again, but you get why I compared new genders to new races: it's unecessary. While there isn't a thing as biological races, there is genders, that's the only difference in this analogy. No, the goal of those laws is to force people to accept the non-binaries unique gender expression. Unfortunately, I think this will cause the opposite. The best way to make people accept new behaviours and ideas, is to normalize them, trivialise them. Think of homosexuality, a while back, it was seen as weird and scary, now it's the most boring thing in the world... Except in Saudi Arabia and most muslim countries. Exposing the public to homosexuals, through television, magazines and more, normalised the concept of homosexuality, and made people more tolerant towards it. Same thing for most ideas, including what is masculine or feminine. I think why Saudis or Russians are so opposed to homosexuality is because they still mythicise it, for them it's still weird and scary. If they were exposed to non-dangerous, normal gay people, they would progressively warm up to the idea that there is nothing to fear here, that homosexuality isn't a disease or something dangerous and perverted. By making new labels and insisting that these are minorities, that they are different and more, you are alienating them from the rest of society, not integrating them. That's also why I oppose affirmative action or quotas, they allienate women and ''people of color'' (That term, I hate it, I don't believe in races so using it makes me cringe), makes them seems like they are special or different, it dehumanize them,makes them less relatable. 

Anyway, that was my thoughts on all of this. I once was called transphobic because of them. Ridiculous. I may have expressed myself in a clumsy way before, but I certainly am not bigoted against transgenders. I respect people choices, identity and beliefs, even if I think their beliefs or choices are bad.As for identity,such as skin color,hair color, or the gender those transitioning identifies as, those aren't choices nor beliefs, so of course that I don't judge people based on that. I'll even say your weird pronouns, because I am not a dick. However asking me to get rid of my right to not believe you are a ''demi-girl'' is infringing on my freedom of thoughts and my freedom of speech. I have the right to say, and think, that your new genders are not real, and that if you want to express your gender excentricity, you can do so with your own gender, no need to make up one. Thank you for reading, my name is KeLvin, and see you next time!

P.S: my definition of gender: ''the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex'' Merriam-Webster. Notice the ''associated with''. Gender is linked to sex, it's inevitable. As for the typically, it's to remind people that the association may change from one sex, to the other, or neither/both, like how pink used to be a masculine color, but isn't anymore. Some associations remains to this day, like how it isn't false to say males are more likely to be aggressive or violent.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Quick Update #1

So this is just a short update, telling you that yesterday  post really cheered me up... somehow. I feel way better. Just getting this out of my chest did wonders for my mood, so thanks again, and looking back, while I do still think all I wrote as being true, I know that depending on my mood it may sounds worse than it is really. Like I said, death doesn't scare me, but what I didn't make clear enough, it's that it doesn't interest me either. I'll ''get over it'' eventually. But I think it was important that I ''vent'' about those dark feelings, it helps put things into perspective. I may not enjoy things as much these days, because of the stress, but I still enjoy some stuff. I still like video games, watching youtube videos and reading, so I guess as long as I still enjoy that, I should be able to hang on. I felt mostly upset that there was no help, and that I was alone. But I've been a lonely guy all my life, and I managed thus far, so why did I think now would be any different? Of couse I feel better today, but that's what happen with depression, sometimes you get a radical mood swing in the positive, so I don't think it will last. But I feel great today, and it's thanks to yesterday post. So thank you for reading it. And don't worry about me doing something dumb, I won't. I may feel desperate, but I won't do anything too impulsive. I can be a bit of a drama queen at times, so don't freak out. SO that was it, just saying that for today at least, I feel great. see ya next time! -KeLvin

Going Personal...Why I Am Thinking About Suicide So Much Lately.

Going Personal...Why I Am Thinking About Suicide So  Much Lately.


I wasn't sure if I should be writing this.
I suppose the part of me that is still clinging to the idea of a good ending thought writing my thoughts and feelings would exorcise them or something...
I don't know. 

I have been feeling suicidal lately. I say lately, but that's not true. I felt depressed for a loooong while now, and I did have a few sporadic and short thoughts about suicide a few times a month for about... say 14-18 months. However, these last 6 months, those thoughts have become increasingly more frequent and lasting. No longer was I thinking about it only once per month for a few seconds, now it was once a week, and I was thinking about the details. Then It becomes a few times a week. And now it's  everyday. Don't worry though, I never attempted anything. I'm too much of a coward for that. I keep thinking about all the ways I could fail at suicide, and end up locked up in a hospital for my own safety, in a drug or blunt trauma induced coma because I didn't try hard enough, or crippled for life because of ill luck with being hit by a car or not jumping from high enough.  Or worse, a braindead veggie, unable to speak or think intelligently ever again. Call that egomania or whatever, but losing the ability to think like an adult is more horrifying to me than death. In fact, death doesn't scare me at all. Not because of how I feel though, I never really was afraid of death. I adhered years ago to the stoicist way of thinking about death: Death isn't scary because it's the absence of everything, there is no suffering nor joy once you die, so why fear it? No, what really scare me is suffering while dying or failing and suffering  in life. I don't even believe in a after life, nor would I care if there was one really. If there is a paradise/hell, then I hope I go to hell. I never believed the theory it's a place of suffering, if Satan is real why would he torture people that lived defying a God that sent even people who suicided to him? If Satan hate God, wouldn't he try to befriend people who also hate God? You know the enemies of my enemies are my friends and all? Plus, isn't paradise the real hell? An eternity spent in a forced state of bliss and veneration to God, losing all free will you ever had so you can be ''happy'' in a cloud land where tensions aren't possible seems rather nighmarish. Suppressing bad feelings doens't make one happy you know. 

But I digress. The point is, I have been feeling this way for a while, and neither a fear of death or of a giant spaghetti monster wrath was stopping me from doing so, only my own aversion to the risks of not dying or suffering too much were. I also feared that I would regret my decision mid-suicide, because I always was an hesitant person. Sorry, I AM an hesitant person. Like I said, don't worry, I won't kill myself yet... My own intelligence and snarkiness is the perfect firewall for now. I don't even feel sad most of the time, just ... empty, tired, devoid of motivation or desires. I did feel sad sometimes, especially at first, when the depression settled, but as time went by and I went through all of the spectrum of emotions, from fake as hell hyperactive joy to raging anger passing by self-loathness and infinite sadness and grief, I kind of stopped feeling this alltogether. I don't even enjoy things like video games now. And my laugh feel void of sincerity. 

What caused all this you ask? Well, what are the leading causes for someone's depression if they have no children or spouse, that they got no one close to them, so no one to mourn either and that they have no terminal illness? If your answer didn't include solitude and/or the lack of money... well you aren't very smart then, because that was kind of obvious. To be exact, in my case it's: crippling solitude, extreme performance anxiety, repeated failures, both academically and professionally, extreme anxiety because of financial stress, a phobia of finding a job, working and just anything work related, self-loathing from being such a lazy slob, but I can't help it, I just' don't want anything... at all. I am resilient to stress and anxiety usually, I did, after all. almost went homeless and lived in a youth inn center, that helps homeless young people and those with heavy problems such as addictions and anger management issues. In fact, they almost refused me that time, because I ''wasn't problematic enough''. You see, such non profit organisations help the youth, but they have priorities. And a near homeless student with an high I.Q, no job, no drug addiction or problematic personnality issues isn't a priority to them. I was even told that if a woman, any woman, asked for help right after me, I would have been refused.  Apparently those organisms have a priority for women over men, in all situations. But that's not sexist isn't it? Treating women like pretty flowers that need more protection and support than the burly strong men eh? Before you get mad, I agree that a pregnant woman would have priority over me, of course, but if a woman is in a similar situation as mine, and  isn't pregnant, I don't see how prioritizing one person over the other based on their gender is fair. But I digress. Again. 
So that was to say I went through that whole episode of my life without being too depressed and without even thinking of suicide, so  it isn't that I am not capable of living under stressful conditions. 

However, there is such a thing as too much anxiety and too much stress I suppose, and I reached that point. I am just tired. Tired of being afraid to know if I am going to eat properly next month, or be able to pay my rent, my phone, my electricity and my only distraction and entertainment source, my internet. Tired of feeling like shit because I fail academic courses I know I could pass with flying colors because of the aforementionned high intelligence. Tired of being afraid of the future. Tired of feeling alone. Tired of having responsabilities. Tired of hearing things like ''Man up'' ''Get over it'' ''It's your fault''''others have it worse'' ''If only you had not...'' ''You underestimate yourself''. I know. That's why I am tired of it being reminded to me everytime I go see my parents. It was suggested that I go seek help... Like if I hadn't try that before. I'm not stupid, of course I tried to get help, but after now four years of being in deep shit and trying to get help I learned the hard lesson my father always wanted me to learn: you can only count on yourself. Thanks dad for this optimistic lesson on how supportive society really is, but I don't even want to lift myself up anymore. I am tired of being the only one on which I can count.  I learned the hard way that when your problems in life aren't drugs or  something that can be solve with drugs,  you are no longer able to be helped by the system, not that anyone would ever tell you that, of course. If your problem is money and/or finding a job, you're sent, at least here in QuĆ©bec, to a job center. That job center can't do shit for you however. They ask you if you know how to make a CV and how to handle yourself in an interview, but if you already know that and like me your problem is finding a job that doesn't give you an heart attack because of the stress or that you can actually do without being immediatly fired, then you are out of luck. The lady will make an embarassed smile, give you empty encouragements, a slap on the butt and you are back in the wild big boy!  If your problem is loneliness, people will give you a few ''tips'' that are as helpful as ice cream is to lose weight. The best the system can do is suggest taking pills to solve the depression caused by it. Thanks social worker, but I think you know as well as me that treating the symptoms of an illness isn't the way to treat it. I also have a nose problem, some sort of inflammation that makes it hard to breath through my nose. So I took an appointment with an ENT... well I say that, but actually they 'll call me back in a few months to give me the appointment, which itself will be anywhere from 6 to 24 months after that call. So I could die of nose cancer or something at that rate. Here is QuĆ©bec legendary waiting times for you... oh what am I complaining about, at least I'll get treatments eventually and for free, if I had to pay for it I couldn't afford it at all.

Plus I have ADHD, which doesn't make my motivation problems simpler, and I might be an highly functionnal autist, since I do have a few of the signs. I would like to know, but for that it's either an appointment in more than three years, or I must pay for it. So for once you know I'm not the one to blame. It's a bummer really, when I became an adult, I thought that if I ever had some hardships in life, I could always count on the government to provide me with some help. I know that libertarians/anarchists must be laughing their asses off, but at least governments try them, they don't ask for money the needy don't have or free slave labor for their services like corporations do. At least governments provide free help, it's more suited to those with addiction problems or problems that can be solved with pills, like I said, but hey, better than what your fantasies would bring us... Sorry, digressing, once again. I am trying to make this less depressing so forgive me for being unable to focus. That's ADHD for you. 

At least, if anything positive must have come of all of this, I think it would be my philosophical and intellectual evolution. I changed a lot since I left my parents at 17. I used to question things less,  and agreed with feminism too. I know, even I can't believe how much I changed and learned. I went from someone lacking the self confidence to stand out to injustices and wrong doings to someone who isn't afraid to tell people who are in a situation of authority in relation to me to fuck off.  A good example is one of my first jobs, I worked as a motel receptionnist for two weeks before being fired. One night, the boss lady and the guy teaching me the job were supervising me counting some money, but stressed as I was by them watching me I made a mistake and was counting too slow to my boss liking anyway, so she took the money from my hands, threw it all over the floor and commanded me to pick it up. It was extremely embarassing at the time to pick that money on my knees while being condescendly looked at by her and given a ''I'm sorry dude,can't help you'' look from the other guy. If that happened to me now, I would have told her '' You pick it up. You're the one who threw it on the floor.I don't have to, that was innapropriate of you to do this in the first place'' and if I didn't care about being polite or losing that job anymore '' Fuck off. Pick it up bitch, and go pay yourself a good dicking to match your cunty attitude'' Then I would have gave her the middle finger, and left the place in anger. Yeah, now I am way more honest than I used to. And If I am sexist just because I would have told her she's a bitch and a cunt, then I don't care, she really would have deserved it, so no regrets there. Well I do regret not doing that at the time, but you know what I meant. I became a much more tolerant, open minded person once I understood how silly it was to believe that one political side was all right, and the other all wrong. I saw how much suffering ideological blind faith was bringing to people, and chose to refrain from it. I became a skeptic I guess. I learnt a lot about not judging people from first impressions and appearances, about the nonsense that is racism, multiculturalism and cultural assimilation. I learnt to understand why people are right leaning, not just assuming that they are stupid or bigots, like I used to think. I began to understand why political extremists are no less different than religious extremists. I learnt more about human psychology than any of my psychology courses taught me. Not that these courses taught me nothing, but what they taught me was different, and more suited at understanding the mechanisms than why and how those mechanisms act how they are acting. I learnt about debating, logic, subjectivity, objectivity, relativity... I learnt that I wasn't made for science or social sciences, but that philosophy was my passion. I learnt that failling in class doesn't make you stupid, or that good grades don't make you smart either. I became slightly more empathic and understanding. I became a better, more mature, person. 

Ultimately, I now feel overwhelmed, abandonned, let down by the system, and everyone, myself included. Maybe my struggles wouldn't be as hard if I had friends to trust and confide to. Maybe my struggles could be solved if I had some sort of financial stability, or if I could find a job I know I can be good at, not just something I have to do and suck at and fear being fired for it.  Maybe, maybe maybe... Maybe all of this pondering isn't helping. Maybe I shouldn't have wrote this... and maybe, probably, that suicide isn't a solution.

 I don't know if my misery will help anyone, or make it worse for someone, but I am not doing this for others aren't I? I am doing this with the selfish hope that my cry for help will be heard and that I will win the lottery or something. I know, how silly. I won't commit suicide today, and somewhere in my mind a little voice tell me I don't want to commit suicide ever, just in case my life would have gotten better and I would have missed it because of my impatience. So dear reader, sorry for the more depressing tone of this post. If you wish to comment, like always, feel free to. But please, don't  lie to me. Don't send me empty encouragements and an half-hearted support. It hurts even more to see that like everyone you are powerless to help me but that you also pity me. I don't want pity. I pity myself enough already, more would be grieving. I guess I just hope for miraculous solutions... because at that point, I am too tired to help myself... I don't know what to do really. I know usually my posts have a more definitive message, or some deep lesson or something, but today I got  nothing. I am sure you can learn something by yourself from my confessions, so serve yourself... Thanks for listening,well reading, me. I was right, I do feel a bit better after writing this down. My mind is more clear now. So thank you reader, and don't worry, there will be a next time, as always. -Kevin  Laprise, because I am not being KeLvin today. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

First Video Script! ''Multiculturalism, Racism and Cultural Assimilation, Why the Extremes Fail''

First Video Script! ''Multiculturalism, Racism, and Cultural Assimilation, Why the extremes Fail.''

 [October 7th 2016] This is a script for a video I will make. Yes, you read that right! I'm starting my own youtube channel ( for realsies this time) ! I will post the link to the video right here:                                   

Hi everyone, my name's KeLvin... Well that was awkward. Ahem, so you probably heard of multiculturalism, right now both the left and the right are talking about it, and it seems to be rather divisive. The left generally praise it because it ''protect'' minorities, but others on the left criticise it for not doing it job properly. The right hate it, because it means having to tolerate others' cultures. I guess they don't really like the idea of eating with chopsticks. Or black people. Joking joking! I know this is just a stereotype of conservatives... And anyway some right folks do support the idea, for reasons I will come back to later. You see, it seems that on the matter of how we should handle the integration of immigrants' cultures, people tend to have radically, but oddly similar, points of views. It's either ''let's be super multicultural'' or ''Immigrants better convert to this culture or we'll kick their asses back to  where they came from''. Those extremes never appealed to me. Let's start with the obvious one, assimilation.

 Assimilation is simply when a culture proclaim itself as the best and want to impose itself, with force and/or coercion by the way, as the only acceptable culture that should be. There is countless examples of countries and empires that tried to assimilate others, but they always failed. The Romans thought they succeeded in making everyone same-y and organised, but they actually ended out taking from these cultures as much as they were forcefully giving their. They learned how great spices and silk can be, they learned about new weapons, new medecines, They also learned about opium... well, maybe they didn't only take the good parts, but they sure learned a lot about asian and african cultures, and it enriched their own culture. As for the Asians and Africans, they got a lot of great things from this forced exchange too! Well it wasn't forced at first, it only was for some regions but you get the point... They learned a lot about organisation, since the Romans were legendary bureaucrats. They learned about their technology, their philosophies and their arts, and so did the Romans with their cultures. The Romans tried to assimilate such a vast empire... it was destined to fail.

 Assimilation only work when you have the numerical advantage, and even then, the results are not what the supporters of this idea asked for. Even if we force linguistic and ethnic minorities to conform to a dominant culture by outlawing their languages and traditions, the process will have an effect on the dominant culture as well as the minorities' cultures. Remember that while assimilation might seems useful, for getting rid of barbaric ideas, forceful conversion is not desirable. We might find other cultures too barbaric, like Islamic countries, but when it concerns people outside of our countries, we can't force them to behave as we wish. We choose the rules on our grounds, and we respect others' cultures as long as they don't conflict  with laws and fundamental principles of the dominant culture. Not tolerating any difference is a staple of assimilation. Nazi Germany is another good example: a country that wished to obliterate every other culture, on it's own territory ( and also elsewhere, but that's imperialism, another story).  Convincing people to adopt elements of your culture is part of cultural exchanges. . Also, force isn't required to get rid of bad ideas, reason and support from the population may suffise. Europe ended slavery with relatively few casualties for example. Oh and the U.S ''melting pot'' system is also assimilationist by the way, it's just that there has been a strong multiculturalist influence these last few years. So, back on the topic of assimilation, The dominant culture always end up adopting elements of other cultures it citizens liked and enjoyed, and the assimilated minorities, even if their children don't speak their native language or practice as many traditions as their parents, they will still inherit elements from that now evolved culture. Yes I did say evolved, because cultures can't be destroyed, nor can they be created, like matter and energy, cultures can only transforms.  Did you know that most cultural elements, mainly philosophies and values, that we can see in Antiquity both in the West and the East are still the same nowadays? Cultures don't really dissapear or appear, they merely split into subcultures, merge together, or exchange elements from each other's and that lead me to multiculturalists, who also fail to understand that idea. 

Multiculturalism was created as the opposite idea of cultural assimilation: instead of forcing itself on other  cultures, the dominant one must protect minority cultures from it's own influence, while maintaining the ''purity'' of their own culture. Presented like this, I am sure you see where I am going with this. Multiculturalism might present itself as tolerant, but it's the ''let's segregate black people instead of enslaving them'' kind of tolerance. It is better than forcing them to assimilate, but it does  still hurt both parties. The mistake most people make is to assume culture is a finite, objective thing, like apples and oranges are both finite, objective fruits. They are correct to say they are different, but they don't view it with the right angle. To stay on the topic of fruits, cultures are more like juices than solid fruits: like juices, you can mix them to different degrees to get different results. The flavors created will be unique and different, not everyone will like the new flavors, there is always a risk of creating terrible flavors, but without taking the risk you'll never know which delicious cocktails you can make.

Multiculturalists think that by segregating cultures they will protect both the small and big ones, but this kind of thinking is on the same level as nationalists that believe immigrants will destroy their culture, it's a reasoning born of a false premisse, a non-sequitur. Those people, both on the left and on the right, believe that all cultures are unique and pure, like a beautiful orange, and that mixing cultures with other fruits, say a crispy apple, will always end up making a messy inedible puree. They always remind me of these people both black and white, that used to oppose interacial relationships because both wanted to maintain the ''purity'' of their races from the ''evil Negros/Neanderthals''. It's a point of view that is so relative and subjective that it is ultimately meaningless. What is black? What is white? Don't answer, it was a rethorical question, you see, depending on who you ask, you probably will get different answers. Not everyone use the same subjective criterias for ''blackness'', ''whiteness'' ''Americaness'' or ''Canadianess''. Some will say that black people must have  a skin at least this dark, or that if they are this pale, they are actually white, but some people might disagree, and say that no, that person is actually black. Those concepts can't be objective because they are highly relative. You are only black compared to what is white, the same way you can only be poor compared to what is rich or old compared to what is new. And since it's relative, it's also subjective, because everything you see you will inevitably see it in relation to you. People are poor when they make less than you, or you are poor when most make more than you. You use an old smartphone if everyone around you use a newer one, but it's as new as everyone else, if most people use a phone as old as yours. That's where culture is relative.

This is not to say that you can't argue with reason that some elements of a culture are better than others. Having freedom of speech or separating religion from state affairs is definitely a plus for a society, while eating with a fork or with chopsticks is rather trivial. Same thing can be said of fashion or gastronomy, there is no objective hierarchy for these, because there is nothing more subjective and relative than tastes and preferences. Though forks are more easy and practical to use than chopstick, that's for sure...  

Ultimately, what multiculturalists fail to realise, it's that by putting the pretty flowers in mason jars you will end up suffocating them, or making them withered because you didn't let the bees polinate them. Cultures thrives when they allow themselves to exchange and engage with each other's. By forcing everyone to adopt certain cultural elements with cultural assimilation, or by desperately trying to curb and discourage interacial  intercultural relationships, you hurt both cultures. Cultures can't be ''corrupted''  because, we, both as individuals and as a collective, decide what is our culture. There is no such thing as ''my culture'', a culture is an inherently shared social object, the same way there is no such thing as ''my race'' if you are the only human on Earth... There is only one race anyway, the human race.

So let's go on a small tangent about race here to illustrate how subjective culture really is. Ever saw ''the most black person in the world'' or ''the whitest person alive'' or even ''the most pure of dalmatians'' in the Guinness world records? You didn't, because a race is an arbitrary classification that we human use for quick references. We say that a dalmatian is a white and black dog that look like this (Image of a steretopical dalmatian is shown in the video at that time), but it isn't grounded in any objective logical reasonning. It's only a difference when we say it is.

Ever saw a stray cat or dog and tried to find out from which ''races'' it was made from? Why? Those racial traits were defined by us, genetically there is only one species of cats, of dogs and of humans. Those cultural classifications were made by us for us, and like everything that has a label, not just racial, we are tempted to compare it with other labels, and rank them from worst to best, with our subjective, and often personnal and emotional, criterias as a guide. Black people aren't genetically more prone to crime, nor are asian people naturally smarter or white people inherently bigoted. Why? Because there is no such thing as White, Black, Asian or even Latino people, there is just people. If Aliens looked at us, would they see multiple races or just humans with different skin colors? Or would they made up their own classifications, based on which cereals we eat in the morning?

Labels are what we want them to be.That's not to say that there is no difference ever within our own species. We still reproduce sexually, and biological gender differences have been observed. But even if science found that the stereotypes we created about each others' skin color or genders were partly or entirely reflected by our biology and not just the way our cultures evolved, should we act any differently? If studies found that men are more prone to violence, and even more if they are black from a genetic point of view, would we be justified in profiling people by gender and skin color? No. Many cities have banned pitbulls from their territory after some violent incidents happened, but they were unable to clearly define what even was a pitbull in the first place. Plus isn't it ironic to ban a ''race'' of dog that only exists because two centuries ago people were really into breeding weird looking dogs by basically making them inbreds? If you keep breeding neurologically more violent dogs to get a specific look, no wonder that particular breed seems to be the problem, while in reality, inbreeding was the real issue.

 In the same way, if you keep perpetuating and teaching that race is a real thing, may it be to reinforce stereotypes and prejudices, or to get rid of them, you may end up strengthening the belief in the concept of race, and by extension, of racism.  I know I am not racist, because I don't believe in races. When someone mention someone's skin color in a way that is not relevant to the conversation, that is almost all the time, I can't help but interrupt them and be perplexed: Why are you telling me that the cashier your story's about is white or black? Would you be as excited to share their hair color or their height for no reason?  I think that it's not just those who are open about being bigoted based on race that are reinforcing racism, but also those  who keep telling us that we must change our behavior for racially motivated reasons. You might think that granting privileges to those you deemed underprivileged or being racially biased in favor of those people helps them, but I think your good intentions are only stirring up racism, not stifling it. After all, if your solutions rely on the concept of race, how are they any better from the prejudices that used the same concept, but in the opposite direction? Your definition of race is no less subjective and susceptible to being used for bigotry as the one your opponents use. The first step towards racism, the ranking of races, is to have races. By tapping into the idea that races are a thing, you hurt the very same people you are trying to help...

 Back to cultures now. There are cultural differences, some of which may seems tied to a skin color, but it's by exchanging ideas, concepts, traditions, technologies,  arts and more that we are capable of achieving great feats such as space travel, international trade or connecting the world through the world wide web. We also ended the big slave trades, slavery is way less common than it used to be. We did it without segregating minorites cultures and without assimilating them or ourselves. That idea convinced millions of people by it's merits alone, it made it way by virtue of being a good, reasonable argument. You can try censoring bad ideas, or banning books like Mein Kamph or the Coran, but you are just making those ideas go silent, you didn't destroy them. Ideas can't be destroyed. By censoring or banning certain cultural objects, we only avoid confronting those unpleasant objects, instead of competing with better ones. Ideas should be fought with better ideas, not censorship and authoritarianism.

 Countries that try to protect their culture from the imaginary cultural  threat of immigration hurt themselves more than they hurt the immigrants, really. Countries like North Korea, Singapour, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar are prime examples of countries that try to protect an identity that never even was threatened, so they just hinder their own cultural evolution instead. It's natural to prefer your own culture, you know, that's called ethnocentrism, and it isn't a bad thing as long as you don't consider everyone else's cultural elements inferior to yours. China is opening up to cultural exchanges with the West, and it's policies loosened up on the economical and freedom levels now that it's less isolationist.

 Many europeans fear to lose the elements of their cultures they like to elements of muslims' cultures that they fear, such as how they view women and homosexuals, but the only way your cultures can change that way is if you accept those elements. Complacency is the real threat. After all, we share many cultural elements, but not necessarily all of them. The Italian Pizza is loved internationnally, so much that each culture took the concept in a new direction, making the pizza an even better meal than it was before, without ever really stealing it from those who came with the idea. On the other hand, not everyone like the idea of eating insects, that cultural element didn't catch on as well as Pizza for some reason, maybe it will later, who knows?

 The reality is, there is  no such thing as ''cultural appropriation'' because no one own a culture, nor is it tied to anything but the people. And as we saw before, despite the differences,we are all ''the people'' .You could make every american and chinese person on Earth switch place right now, and you wouldn't see much of a difference from a peoples' perspectives because they would bring their culture with them. Sure, your history is tied to a specific land, and maybe if you youself immigrated it wasn't the land your ancestors left as an heritage, but history and lands are just that:  an heritage. We are free to embrace that heritage or build our own for our descendants, in a new land if we personally wish so. Multiculturalists countries fail for the same reason as assimilationists, but in a bigger scale: by trying to make every culture stagnant  they all rot instead of just their own.

If you truly believe that immigration hurt Canadian or British cultures, it's probably because of multiculturalism. It creates ghettos and ethnic conflicts, it accentuates racism and xenophobia, instead of diminishing it as intended, which might had gave you the impression it's the immigrants' fault, while it's everyone's fault. A video by Rebel media inspired  me to make this video. I don't like the Rebel, just to be clear, they are like The Young Turks, Fox ''news'', and Buzzfeed to me: Biased ''journalism'' full to the brim with ideologues. But I do watch their videos, just to see what next crazyness they'll come up with, like how I watch Buzzfeed to see how more recycled and retarded their content can become. The video, by Lauren Southern, is saying multiculturalism is a failure for Canada and had worsened intercultural relationships in the country. However, despite everything I just said I couldn't agree with her, what she was describing didn't seems to be a reality I witnessed...

 Then I realized something, I'm a Quebecer, a French-Canadian, and Quebec being the quirky little blue ducky that it is, we do things differently here, and integration is one of those things. There was pressure from the other provinces and the federal government that we adopt the multiculturalist approach, but we resisted, mostly, instead we have interculturalism. Interculturalism is often confused for a disguised form of multiculturalism, but it really isn't.

 While multiculturalists might consider measures such as ''affirmative action'' or ''safe spaces'', interculturalists aren't eager to agree. Interculturalism is about cultural exchanges and growing in an unifying culture, an unifying identity, not a fragmented multiplied and divisive identity as it is the case with identity politics these days. Nor is it an isolationist concept, paranoid about the idea of ''losing'' one's culture. It's pretty laid back actually. One of the idea interculturalism share with multiculturalism for example, is ''reasonable accomodations'' which is a law that say that if there is something reasonnable you could do to accomodate people's cultural preferences, you should, well, you have to, try to accomodate those people, within reasonnable limits. Of course, with a strong push for multiculturalism , many accomodations are not as reasonable as they used to be, but that was to be expected. Those accomodations are for things like the right to wear facial hair because of your religion, or the right to pray in a public place without disturbing others. But these have limits. You can't , for example, ask to wear a knife on you at all times because you are a Sikh, or ask to interrupt a child classes for prayer, those are considered unreasonnable. The same way that muslim women are allowed to wear a hidjab in public if they wish, but not a niquab or a burqua, because those hide your face, which is against the law, especially in places such as airports. It's not just for religions though, accomodations can apply, if reasonnable, to vegans too for example.

The idea is that while we learn from other cultures, they learn form ours, and then both cultures progressively becomes our culture, instead of what is considered two separate entities. Those accomodations are here to normalise trivial differences mostly, not the fundamentals values and principles we have enscribed in our laws. It's all about compromises and taking the best of both cultures. We agree to try their gastronomy, they agree that women are men's equals, or that chopsticks might not be the best way to eat a salad. Like I said, we are free to give and take what we want, without imposing all of it. We have guidelines, with our constitutions and laws, and those represent the cornerstones of our cultures, the founding principles we don't want to change. For example, you can regulate gun ownership without banning guns, which for Americans would still ensure that the second amendment is respected. Remember, It's an Amendment, no need to keep things exactly as they used to be if  present day Americans want to change it.

 I found an interesting research paper on Interculturalism, which I will link to in the description (here it is for those who are reading this or  I want to read you a particularly telling paragraph: ''In keeping with these ideas [integration and diversity], interculturalism advocates a particular type of pluralism that I would define as integrationary. This is its third defining trait. A majority culture that feels threatened by its minorities will feel the need to either assimilate them (which predicts the end of duality) or to integrate them (the road that Quebec has thus far taken). It instinctively fears all kinds of fragmentation, ghettoization, or marginalization. This is even truer when this majority is a minority on the continental level, as is the case with francophone Quebec. This state of affairs becomes an imperative that frames the discussion on how to approach the intercultural reality of Quebec. It highlights the importance that must be given to the integration of minorities and immigrants in order to strengthen this francophonie and ensure its future. Measures that run counter to pluralism (such as those currently proposed by republican secularists) tend to increase the risk of marginalization and fragmentation—two phenomena precisely associated with multiculturalism that have contributed to its rejection. The central idea here is that francophone Quebec is itself in a difficult situation and must avoid fostering costly long-term divisions—it would do much better to create the allies it needs within immigrants and cultural minorities. All attempts at a general model must incorporate this basic concern''

  As you can see, it may share the idea that diversity is a good thing with multiculturalism but applies it very differently. I invite you to read this paper, it's great really. I could talk more on the topic, but I think it's enough for a first video, If you wish that I talk about culture or racism even more and deeper, please leave comments, like and subscribe, I guarrantee high quality writing from my part. Though I don't guarrante great editing, so I hope you don't mind if the graphics I  show you aren't very interesting, It's really more about what I have to say anyways. So thanks for watching and see you next time!-KeLvin