Getting With The Program

It is time to open up a new space for the heated dialogue for “A Fine Madness”.I have been challenged by DS for using a phrase which is unclear and possibly impolite to him and others.The phrase is from my old USAF days and for the military it means climb aboard.Having been accused of being a somewhat sneaky wordsmith, I tried a non smithy phrase only to find that DS was in a new Protean mode.I do not claim to be Hercules so Proteus is a problem.So what is it that is to be climbed on?Simply, it is the recognition that the conversation that is most meaningful to our survival and the honesty that is required to use it,is in a different language from the language of science; it is the language of empathic identification.Most of the responders on this blog have English as a second language.Their first language isn’t Spanish,or German or Yiddish or Polish or Turkish. It is this language of empathic identification and honesty.

DS,we have been treated to your long ,voluminous.hortatory discourse but when pressed with new science, you amend your science and act as though you were not reeducating us.Your final attempt is through a source that tells us that differential  aptitudes determine social categories; let me suggest, in that language that you claim not to understand,but with the backing of science that you profess to, that it is at least equally true that preassigned social categories determine differential aptitudes.



  1. Daedal2207, I have no idea who, because of the Obama victory, wanted to fight a duel. Was it someone reported on MSNBC? There would be reason to consider anyone who is two-faced to be conflicted, if not a “fake” as you say. Welcome to the real world. Both of us have heard people sincerely tell others that they must exercise empathy, but then in the next breath make the claim that no one can really understand the feelings of “their” group. This indicates that insufficient thought has been given to the issue. The correction for conflicts that evolve from insufficient thought is deeper thought (often generated by discussions with people who possess different views). “Fake” is a strong (usually oversimplified) label when used to represent an entire human being, and it is likely to generate non-correcting (hostile) reactions.
    Part of the difficulty in dealing with the viewpoints you have raised is that I haven’t been able to nail them down for inspection. There tend to be too many generalities and too few specifics. For instance, I agree that denial serves bias, but without clearly presented supporting evidence an accusation that someone is in denial is only an opinion – or a too easy dismissal. The viewpoints you have presented are often related to a sincere belief that you (or your side) is in possession of appropriate feelings and I or my side is not. Perhaps it is erroneously believed that because we do not share passions for the same causes that I am without passion. And, it is true that I believe many of your passions are inappropriate. One of us is more likely to be correct on that judgment and for me that makes our dialogue particularly interesting. I don’t fear self-correction so for me it can even be fun. We agree that honesty is a prerequisite to discussion, but I also realize that people can honestly believe things that are not true. So, I place truth above honesty as the primary effort if we as humans are to “regain some lost ground that isn’t quicksand – or magma.” Thus my focus is on science and away from hellfire believing religions.

    1. DS: “I have no idea who, because of the Obama victory, wanted to fight a duel.”

      Zell Miller.

    2. It was not WNBC or the NY Times but SB is right, the individual was responding to the “Zeller” quote.Think of tempo,rhtymn and melody and the”South Bay “.Anyway onward and upward .

  2. Empathy is indeed necessary if we are to bond in such a fashion that we might treat others as we would like them to treat us (by being empathic with them “they” become “me”). This is a fine ideal, and if a time ever evolves when the “theys” are as interested in bonding with us as we are with them the world will perhaps have achieved the best relations possible.
    But, in this less than perfect world we appear to need and apply selective empathy. This is the bonding that we perceive will advance our agendas. Such empathy is appropriate when our agendas have good results and inappropriate when our agendas have negative results. Gen Patton did not tell his troops to feel the plight of the enemy they had to kill. If tragic feelings are experienced as a consequence of one’s holding false beliefs, one can empathize with the pain, but at the same time condemn the false belief that is causing the pain. Many blacks FEEL that (most?) cops are against them, but statistics show that this is a false belief. The TRUTH should have priority over the pain if pain is ultimately to be diminished.

    When a white is told that there is no way for him to understand the experiences and feelings of a black doesn’t this mean that the speaker believes that there is no path to empathy?

    You have said that evidence exists. But it has not been provided to us for inspection. What recent science findings (“new science”) dispel the foundational argument that variations in aptitude are positively correlated with a number of important outcomes, such as success in college. “Coming Apart” provides massive statistical evidence to prove that those with advanced degrees tend to form social categories that are different from those who do not achieve advanced degrees. Therefore logic tells us that there is a positive correlation with aptitude and at least some forms of social categories. No claim has been made that aptitude variations are responsible for all social categories.

    You mention a language that I “claim not to understand”. What is that about? I am guessing by context that you are suggesting that I ignore or deny the impact of nurture (which is not true). You write “… it is at least equally true that preassigned social categories determine differential aptitudes.” The study of Twins Reared Separately acknowledged somewhat more than a 20% influence of nurture – not 50% or more as you suggest. But the debate remains open and adjustable as better evidence presents itself. Specifically, what is the evidence that supports your claim “that it is at least equally true that preassigned social categories determine differential aptitudes”?

    1. As I have said before this is not a chess game where a draw is earned by repitition of moves. The style setting proclivities and aptitudes of the upper social classes are not genetic adaptations; they are skills and manipulations that are carefully generationally passed on with the help of a societal supporting structure.The lower caste Indian or Japanese Burakumin given the opportunity to be educated and achieve does exactly that.So much so that there is usually an attempt to hide origins.Tennis was not a game for blacks until the day of public courts and Ashe,Gibson and the Williams sisters.Nor was quarterbacking for blacks until Doug Williams and now there’s a flood.Stop quoting research to me that is categorically designed and structured within the definitional framework of limited categories and interpretation.In the valley of the blind there’s a one eyed man that’s king.With technologic advance one eye may not even be necessary but an open mind certainly is,unless one has the military force to impose dictatorship.(A police force will do!)You can review the last time we were here readily enough if you wish. I will not ask you to get with the program,just stop trying to shuck and jive your way via “science”.(Need a definition of shucking and jiving?Google can provide it in today’s world.)

      1. Daedal2207, I am sorry that you are not enjoying this exchange. I have never thought of it as a competition but as a means by which we can explain our understandings in such a fashion that clarity about the objective realities would be revealed both to ourselves and to our readers. If it were a chess game it seems that you have imagined my players to have taken moves that they did not. For instance, I have never claimed (or even suggested) that the style and genetic adaptions of the upper classes are “genetic adaptations”. I understand and have never denied in any way that various caste structures (including slavery in America) obscured great talent (to their and our country’s great detriment). I am saying that you are mistaken when you claim that the sources I am using are “categorically designed and structured within the definitional framework of limited categories and interpretation.” Truth matters. The charts I use to navigate the vessel of my life should be as accurate to reality as possible. As a sailor I have seen charts that are dangerous if not corrected to represent the actual depth of passages. No open mind would become pained or upset if another mind provides correcting evidence. (In fact, all who gain access to such an improved chart should be grateful.)

        1. I know a man who claims objective wisdom and rationality,You may know him as well.After the last Obama victory he admitted to wanting to fight a duel to resolve political conflict wherein he perceived potential loss as an outcome.Such a man claiming the high ground of dispassionate rationality I consider a fake.I do enjoy dialogue but honesty is a prerequisite.It would have been better in terms of a Hegelian dialectic for that man to have put his true passion on the scale.At least some kind of Kantian synthesis could be constructed.The inability to do so may indicate that David Hume is right and the passions rule to such a degree that the energy used in their denial obfuscates intellect and facilitates the savage outcome.(murder,mayhem,crying havoc and loosing the dogs of war!) The duel is the symbol thereof.Who can guarantee that the distance between fantasy and reality can be maintained when so much rests on denial.This is the explanation for the panic and loss of control that Thomas,s saw and heard in the videos of the police killings.When you can supply evidence that deals with the viewpoints that I have raised and understand that your evidence is not “correcting” you will have regained some lost ground that isn’t quicksand.(It may be magma)

    2. daedal2207: “As I have said before this is not a chess game where a draw is earned by repitition of moves. … I will not ask you to get with the program,just stop trying to shuck and jive your way via ‘science’.”


  3. Unscientific proof that prejudice’s veins run through all groups. Tapping into the common elements of insecurity and fear is facile:

    “The people who came from Russia and the former Soviet Union are doctors, teachers, lawyers,” said Leonid Lvovich, 87, who emigrated from Azerbaijan in 1992. “The people who come from Latin America are lower-class workers.”

    The stealthy capability of such insidious bias is the color of their skin … it doesn’t negatively “flash,” guarding us against the unimaginable. Could they? Are they? To attempt to deprive this from what they benefitted sounds like … Clarence Thomas? Their common first language is not empathy … but, childish greed of mind and insecurity, no matter what.

    What a group of octogenarians being quoted! Yep, I vote for new blood … the DNA that moves forward, not the one that harkens to a fictitious past. So, yes, please … “Let’s get with the program.”

    1. Yes Susanna.except for those who believe that a fragile or undeserved status with privilege is at risk. For them to destroy the world with the expectation of moving on to Mars or Heaven is “the Bee’s Knees”.

  4. We have been to this “old man of the sea”(or river if you prefer) point before.It should pop up under Proteus or Hercules or Heracles in this blog’s references.At any rate the point is the same.The arguments put forth supporting white innate superiority are shifting sand whose center, if locatable, cannot hold.

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