I do not know the Gillette ad, but your posting’s title caught my attention and so I read the first section (“Boys Will Be Boys”). I stopped reading there because it gets confusing.
1. You seem to find categories like “traditional male” quite important. But then you seem to reserve the word “traditional male” for things that you like. But equating “traditional” with “of the things that have, for at least some decades, been seen as characteristics of what men should do, those that we still like today and don’t find toxic” kind of needs a redefition of the word “traditional”. This seems to me a bit like a true-scotsman definition.
2. You list some “traits and behaviors” that you consider “remarkably traditional male traits and behaviors”. But:
a) Not all are only “present and praised among men”. So why should I call them male? Is accountability “male”? Why should be more “male” than “female”?
b) Nor are they the only “traditional male traits and behaviors”. (see above)
c) Nor can all men comply with this list. If you have no superior strength, then you cannot “Using your superior strength to break up fights between smaller males.” It will be hard to “demonstratively protect women from other men”, or from anybody.
d) Fatherhood without any qualifiers sure is “behavior” if it only means “men having children”. It is by definition only “male”, but you can just replace it by writing “parenthood” and then it’s not even gender-specific: The praiseworthy behavior then would be praiseworthy for both men and women. (See a) above) Similarly, you can just rephrase “Using your superior strength to break up fights between smaller males.” into “Using your superior strength to break up fights”, and rephrase “demonstratively protect women from other men” to “demonstratively protect weak people”. (This is more a superhero trait than a male trait, and even if it has been traditionally been identified with being men, I don’t know why to defend this identification.)
f) “Teaching all of the above to your son.” is also unnecessarily narrowly defined. If we rephrase the terms as I did, I can also teach it to my daughter.
3. Summarizing, I see why your selective categorization is useful if you like to promote the concept of masculinity (and I can imagine that this is also useful for a company that needs customer loyalty of a target group, and collective identity helps in getting there). But if we want to use words like “traditional” with their… traditional meaning, then I don’t find your categorization particularly convincing. On the other hand, if this helps people to behave better because they identify as “traditional males” and search for lists of traits and behaviors for that, that’s ok.
4. Nonetheless, in the last paragraph in that section you talk about an “APA’s attack on traditional manhood”, referring to your other list:
Here is a list of things APA considers “harmful”, under the umbrella term of “traditional masculinity”:
Adventure and risk.
Providing for loved ones (if you’re a black man).
That made me curious, so I googled to find the document (https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdf) where the APA does that. I searched for “stoicism”. It appears in the following contexts:
“Psychologists strive to use a variety of methods to promote the development of male-to-male relationships. Toward addressing this goal, psychologists recognize and challenge socialization pressures on boys and men to be hypercompetitive and hyper aggressive with one another to help boys and men develop healthy same-sex friendships. Interactive all-male groups, (Levant, 1996; Mortola, Hiton, & Grant, 2007), self-help books (Garfield, 2015 Smiler, 2016), and educational videos (Hurt & Gordon, 2007; Katz & Earp, 2013) may be helpful or utilized. Psychologists also strive to create psychoeducational classes and workshops designed to promote gender empathy, respectful behavior, and communication skills that enhance cross-sex friendships, and to raise awareness about, and solutions for, problematic behaviors such as sexual harassment that deter cross-sex friendships (Wilson, 2006). Psychologists can discuss with boys and men the messages they have received about withholding affection from other males to help them understand how components of traditional masculinity such as emotional stoicism, homophobia, not showing vulnerability, self-reliance, and competitiveness might deter them from forming close relationships with male peers (Brooks, 1998; Smiler, 2016). In that vein, psychologists strive to develop in boys and men a greater understanding of the diverse and healthy ways that they can demonstrate their masculinities in relationships.” (p. 11)
“Psychologists also strive to reduce mental health stigma for men by acknowledging and challenging socialized messages related to men’s mental health stigma (e.g., male stoicism, self-reliance).” (p. 18)
So in both contexts, that does not say whether stoicism is good or bad in itself. It says there may be problems caused by it (in particular, in the context of people who have mental-health problems). First, stoicism may be a problem when men would like to form “close relationships with male peers”, and it may increase the perceived stigma of mental-health problems, and both things may need to be addressed.
Competitiveness? See the p.-11 paragraph above. “Hypercompetitive” behavior is seen as a potential cause of problems, “and competitiveness might deter them from forming close relationships with male peers”, and neither statement implies that you should drop all competitiveness (and not even that competitiveness should not be seen as a positive value in general). The word also appears on page 13:
“Psychologists can promote strengths of father involvement. For instance, active play and physical exercise with their children have been linked to higher levels of father involvement and better child health (Berg, 2010; Fletcher, Morgan, May, Lubans, & St. George, 2011; Garfield & Isacco, 2012). According to Bogels and Phares (2008), active play between fathers and children has a functional element correlated with several positive child outcomes, such as competitiveness without aggression, cooperation that buffers anxiety, healthy experimentation, social competence, peer acceptance and popularity, and a sense of autonomy.”
To me this sounds a lot like the behavior that your own lists imply.
So up to here it seems a bit like the APA describes problems that may be caused by some parts of what is traditionally part of the umbrella term “masculinity”, and then you say: “Naming such traits and kinds of behavior is bad, because I like the term ‘masculinity’ and want to fill it with my own values.” (But that would imply the opposite meaning of the word “traditional” compared to parts of the definition in https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/traditional ). So if you state there is an “attack on traditional manhood”, which meaning of the word “traditional” you use here, and where I can see this attack. (But maybe you are referring to a different document by the APA?)
I’ve read the first book and considering to buy the second, but unsure. Even with slightly below 400 pages (epub), I found the story was often quite dryly told. The best parts were those playing in Chinese 20th century history.
Then, there was so much implausible stuff. The recruitment of people via the computer game seemed relatively absurd (how fast can you play this game, why do they only let people into their club who are able to figure out the three-body problem is the problem, where did they get all the information to design the game). Another point: A planet breaking in two parts, but still the same civilization just restarts? What about lower gravity, and the atmosphere? The Panama canal thing seemed really convenient and anticlimatic. And the idea of AI in protons that travel between solar systems? How do you even commnicate with these systems? And all this stuff about intelligence on some microdimension level? And folding the proton around the planet?
I don’t know if things in book 2 are better, or if I missed some metaphor level stuff.
If the producer can charge $100, then you don’t have to buy a widget, because well, as you said, he can charge $100. So someone seems to be willing to buy the stuff at that price.
So the question should be reframed and the model expanded. There is a firm owned by workers (or something like that) and other standard firms. You value the widget at $30. You can get it at $20. Suppose the workers of that firm are the poorest people in the world. Then you can just buy the widget at $20 at the market and give them however you like (or directly buy it from them if the price they charge is not higher than $20 + what you would like to transfer). If they are not the poorest people in the world, then the harder question is whether you value their product extra for being from a worker-owned firm etc.
That’s why I am asking. Probably because I am not an American or native English speaker, I assume that “psychoanalysis” is just that school of thought, and the therapists I know really want to distance themselves from that Freud’s couch image and just say psychotherapy or CBT.
Very interesting. May I ask whether by “psychoanalysis” you mean that as referring to the school of thought founded by Freud, or just as a general description referring to a get-to-know-yourself process?
I believe that the intuitive economic model you have in mind does not work.
1) In the moment when you sell a thing, its development costs are sunk. That is, you have to explain the price via market conditions at the moment when things are offered at the market. You can argue that development is a fixed cost, therefore less firms will enter the market, therefore the price is higher. But this is independent of the development costs for future processors.
2) Basically, see 1) …?
3) If I don’t expect that my computer becomes obsolete in two years, I am willing to pay more. Thus, the demand curve moves upwards. So the price of the processor may be higher. (But this also depends on supply, i.e., points 1) and 2))
4) Ok, but this is independent of whether Moore’s law does or does not hold. That is, if you have some processor type X1, at some point its patent expires and people can offer it cheaply (because they don’t have to cover the costs discussed in point 1).
After having been accepted, the paper is retracted but Frontiers in Psychology says it “did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article.”
Thanks for the suggestion, I will consider it.
Moral intuition is often helpful, but not quite what I am searching for.
I find your answer to the question about wild animals very interesting. However, I am unsure what it implies. What would be the preferences of a deer itself if it could think of its own future as humans do? It would surely want to continue living in its natural habit, but would it want to die the way it can expect to do so in nature? Would it prefer that kind of death to being shot? (Or do you think none of these questions has ethical significance?) And actually, I don’t know whether there is a literature on the ethics of cannibalism, but I would guess that there are reasons of biological and cultural evolution why this does not exist. So I assume people would find the idea disgusting, and many vegetarians find the idea of eating animals disgusting, but this does not really say much about (normative) ethics, or does it?
“I suggest you read Peter Singer’s book, “Animal Ethics”, which goes into great detail on the ethics of consuming animal products within the framework of utilitarianism.”
I guess you mean either “Animal Liberation” and “Practical Ethics”?
I also thought this may be the reason, but so we have a calculator that is only applicable to animals of which we judge that their life has negative value to themselves.
Always good to see data on such things, data which I neglected. That at least reduces the survivorship bias of observation.
And here is something else which also talks about the rationality community:
First of all, what is failure? If you compare what many social-democratic parties were able to get to what they talked about when they were founded, I assume they have failed. But if you consider the growth of welfare states, they might have succeeded (though causality is hard to attribute). And if you consider that they as parties have often been in power, they might have succeeded. Social movements, including parties, drastically change when they get closer to power. They lose members, gain new ones, change their platform and their criteria for success.
Secondly, what is the population of social movements from which we want to have examples? Consider Mohamed Bouazizi, whose self-immolation started the Arab Spring. I assume there were and are many politically-caused suicides who cause nothing like that. You could see each one of them as a social movement that failed.
Thirdly, the observation problem. I guess for every J. K. Rowling, there are thousands of manuscripts not even accepted by publishers. But it would be hard to list even one of them except if you wrote them yourself.
Very interesting, though I don’t fully understand it. For instance, extending the lifetime in the calculator always increases total suffering, which does not seem to make much sense to me.
Part of what people may call a superstar effect in science is called the “Matthew effect” by sociologists.
Is this GM chicken example just a thought experiment?
Additionally, the world is less horrible compare to some plausible counterfactual worlds. Trying to change the world to the better can end up like the plan to bring democracy to Iraq or Afghanistan (assuming that was the plan in these cases).
On the current developments in China, also see
(Though I think the comment on Guantánamo there is not convincing.)
“And then if you say that it’s actually fine because overall this US-led world order is pretty good they’ll ask what the fuck you’re talking about, it’s horrible!”
I am not very confident about this US international order thing, but there is a difference between knowing that things are bad compared to some ideal world and having an idea how to get there.