I waded into a couple of somewhat heated discussions on Twitter.
One involved Steven Pinker, who, while loved by many, is absolutely despised by many of the Twitter woke.
I was amused; someone referred him to as a pop-writer and I reminded him that Pinker is in the National Academy of Science…(he is: linguistics) and stated that he was far more accomplished and smarter than the vast majority of his critics.
OMG, was there some butthurt!!! I love it.
Sure, Pinker often writes pop stuff over things not in his area, just like Paul Krugman does. And I am sure that some of it (at least) is an over simplification and he probably gets some things wrong, or at least gives a misleading impression.
And yes, some very smart people ..even Nobel Laureates in physics…have gone full crackpot. So the probability that some of his mediocre (or worse) critics are right and he is wrong is non-zero. But I know which way I’d bet.
And, IMHO, that is just reality.
I see an issue that I don’t know much about. On one hand, this proven smart guy, who is outside his specialty, makes a case saying “it is probably this way”..and some nobody says he is wrong.
I don’t have access to a CV..and unless I see the critic has at least some respect in said area, I am not going to take them seriously. …no more than I’d take “COVID is an overblown hoax” nonsense seriously.
Deeply gross?? What is “deeply gross” is how people want to be taken seriously when they’ve given no objective reason to do so.
The other issue was this one:
I had pointed out that in some cultures it is extra polite to take on a “sir, Madame”, etc. and of course the loudmouths threw a fit.
It is no skin off of my nose; I was merely pointing out that this could be awkward, but the noisy were not having any of it.
In my honest opinion, IF your goal is to win more acceptance into the broader community, you probably aren’t in a position to DEMAND it or to order everyone to bend to you..and your saying something doesn’t make it correct.
And speaking of Chappelle:
Streisand effect: Dave Chappelle threw shade at Hannah Gadsby so I decided to watch one of her specials on Netflix. I was expecting to be OUTRAGED. Instead I nodded off and fell asleep. Woke up, watched a short Bill Maher clip from a recent show and laughed so loudly that B wanted to know what was up (it was “woke Halloween Movies”; clip is elsewhere on my wall. I am not saying Gadsby was incompetent; her stage presence and delivery were pretty good. And some of her stuff was funny (her joke about making fun of Americans was “still punching up, but perhaps for not much longer”..But for me, the best “thought comedy” is the stuff where they say something that perhaps you thought of or felt but hadn’t put into words….even if the feelings aren’t the most noble ones.
Now, I would NOT say that Gadsby “wasn’t funny” but I would say that her humor really isn’t designed for me. There are all sorts of instances of that: sports specific jokes, discipline specific jokes, etc.