Minor complaints thread (7 Viewers)

seanc

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New shoes!!

Great having new shoes, but the old ones were so worn out that now my ankle, knee and hip are wrecked.
And jesus my gait is shocking. Looking at the soles of my old shoes, seeing where exactly they're wearing out sooner, I walk like a bow-legged cripple. Just a few days of managing with the worn-out shoes will cause me weeks of pain.
Look after your posture and foots boys and girls.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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I’m surprised they mentioned the Epstein thing at all given how he shuts down that conversation every time. Though, it would have been better if they actually went into more detail about how Pinker helped Epstein row back the charges against a minor on a linguistic technicality.


More about the connection between them here:
 

taubstumm

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I’m surprised they mentioned the Epstein thing at all given how he shuts down that conversation every time. Though, it would have been better if they actually went into more detail about how Pinker helped Epstein row back the charges against a minor on a linguistic technicality.

I suppose the journalist realised that their article couldn’t possibly be taken seriously *unless* it mentioned the various controversies.

I read a couple of pinker books almost twenty years ago and they were truly revelatory to me — in retrospect, I suppose mostly because they summarised some then-emergent ideas that were badly in need of a pop-science summing-up. but since then, he really has settled into this strange role of being the court nerd of the davos neoliberal-elite set.

that said, those books from years back are still extremely well-written expositions of evolutionary psychology and related stuff. if any of you might want to read more of that sort of stuff without all the weird epstein/davos/gates baggage, robert wright is a good option.
 

magicbastarder

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there's no german word for 'taking a shit but when you turn aroud
I suppose the journalist realised that their article couldn’t possibly be taken seriously *unless* it mentioned the various controversies.

I read a couple of pinker books almost twenty years ago and they were truly revelatory to me — in retrospect, I suppose mostly because they summarised some then-emergent ideas that were badly in need of a pop-science summing-up. but since then, he really has settled into this strange role of being the court nerd of the davos neoliberal-elite set.
yeah, iirc they were well balanced in that he pitched (well, in 'the blank slate') the evolutionary psychology version of why people end up the way they do, versus the blank slate version (i.e. environmental) version and made a good argument that neither could justify some of the arguments some proponents claimed they could.
the most controversial aspect of the book was that he tackled the 'rape is about power' idea; i suspect the same book coming out now would light some fires, regardless of the author.
 

magicbastarder

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i remember a couple of friends who had done sociology in college were quite interested in the book, because he had a fair old pop at sociology as a system of rules created from the top down which had little empirical reason to be trusted.
 

Shine Vol. 2

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i remember a couple of friends who had done sociology in college were quite interested in the book, because he had a fair old pop at sociology as a system of rules created from the top down which had little empirical reason to be trusted.
There's just something about "evolutionary psychology" that immediately gets my back up. I suppose it's such a small jump to "we can use this to sell people things" and using it to justify all sorts of horrors that makes me suspicious of anyone into this kind of thing.

Glancing through the wiki of the Blank Slate


the criticisms seems pretty damning but i'm obviously biased, would you actually recommend giving him a read?
 

magicbastarder

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it's been 20 years since i read it but i really did like reading it at the time. would be curious how it'd hold up now (and a lot of the critique now wouldn't have been available to me at the time i guess - it was not a topic i'd have been well informed on - so that'd inform a reread)
 

egg_

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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a ... 2002 book by the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, in which the author makes a case against tabula rasa models in the social sciences, arguing that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations
Seems fairly blindingly obvious to me, no? Didn't E.O. Wilson write about this shit in the 70s?
 

Cornu Ammonis

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Seems fairly blindingly obvious to me, no? Didn't E.O. Wilson write about this shit in the 70s?
Kind of. The ideas moved on a bit since Wilson but I’d much sooner read one of his than another Pinker book. Pinker’s early books are grand but often falls into the trap of those evolutionary psychology “just so” stories that are really non-explanations. I mean, there’s some interesting evolutionary psychology out there but as a field it’s a mess of twaddle.
 

egg_

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I mean, there’s some interesting evolutionary psychology out there but as a field it’s a mess of twaddle.
That's true for an awful lot of psychology full stop, afaik. Was doing some research on positive psychology at one stage and couldn't help thinking "if this the best they can do I wish I had studied psychology in college, I'd be a full professor now no fucking bother"
 

Cornu Ammonis

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That's true for an awful lot of psychology full stop, afaik. Was doing some research on positive psychology at one stage and couldn't help thinking "if this the best they can do I wish I had studied psychology in college, I'd be a full professor now no fucking bother"
I once put some Ikea furniture together and couldn’t help thinking “if this is the best they can do I wish I had studied building things in college, I’d be a master builder of superstructures now no bother!”
 

egg_

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/me looks hurt

Have you read many positive psychology papers? Martin Seligman and the like? All my references are on a different computer at this stage so I have no examples, but the impression I got even in widely cited stuff was shoddy experimental design and rampant p-hacking
 

Cornu Ammonis

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/me looks hurt

Have you read many positive psychology papers? Martin Seligman and the like? All my references are on a different computer at this stage so I have no examples, but the impression I got even in widely cited stuff was shoddy experimental design and rampant p-hacking
Yeah, what I was getting at was that positive psychology was not reflective of the field as a whole. I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t shoddy experimental design or p-hacking in other areas of psychology (there definitely is, and in every other field of science) but a lot of psychology is incredibly challenging to work in/understand. I mean, I’m not thick and I can’t get the lowest rung lecturing positions here in Ireland.
 

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