July 15, 2017

"If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain."

"That’s also true of a political climate in which groups of people endlessly hurl hateful words at one another, and of rampant bullying in school or on social media. A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it. That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse.... On the other hand, when the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores, you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, but it’s only offensive. it is offered as a scholarly hypothesis to be debated, not thrown like a grenade. There is a difference between permitting a culture of casual brutality and entertaining an opinion you strongly oppose.... [W]e should have open conversations and vigorous debate about controversial or offensive topics. But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments. From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence."

Writes psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of "How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain," in a NYT op-ed titled "When Is Speech Violence?"

No comments permitted on that piece for some reason. I'd like to see some responses from other experts on the brain.

I mean, isn't all our hearing, thinking, and remembering done with brain cells? It's freaky, if you think about it, the way everyone who speaks to you is doing something deep inside your most precious internal organ, at the cellular level, but it's just crazy — my brain cells are getting remodeled by this thought — to think that everyone who says something to you is having a physical impact on you, the equivalent of a touching, and that those who speak in a way that isn't nice enough are committing physical violence.

By the way, the NYT doesn't say this, but Lisa Feldman Barrett was (if Wikipedia is correct) born and educated in Canada, where free speech is less well valued and protected.

129 comments:

Feste said...

Sigh.

This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

rhhardin said...

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody notices, is there violence?

gregq said...

"If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain."

Ok, so every single SJW needs to be removed from public life. Every single member of the anti-Trump "Resistance" needs to be completely removed from public life.

Once that's done, you can have Milo. Until that's done, you clearly don't believe what you're saying, professor Barrett

Quayle said...

Wanna do science? OK let's do science.

"From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence."

So what. Darwin and over 90% of scientists tells us we live in an "eat or be eaten" world. Better that your brain change and you get use to the violence. The only thing that can stop the violence is a larger violent earthdweller or evolved universe dweller which forces it and you to stop.

There is no God to bless the meek.

Ain't science great!

rhhardin said...

Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig has a chapter "The Blessings of Violence," listing many good points about it.

Unknown said...

I'm sure all of the little Maoists at Middelebury would claim that Charles Murray's remarks are "violent." Who gets to make the "scientific" distinction between speech is "violent" and speech that is merely "controversial"? I think we all know the answer to that.

Sebastian said...

It hurts my brain to be exposed to mindless twits who call Milo a "hatemonger." He isn't one.

The abuse of pseudo-science to shut down free speech, because "hate," is a common prog move.

Of course, the people facing the harshest "harsh environments" on college campuses are conservatives. Strangely, it seems to make them stronger.

rhhardin said...

Shut up, because brainz.

But brains are just matter, and matter has no inwards. You remove one surface only to find another.

Coleridge, after Schelling.

Unknown said...

It may not be healthy to hang around these comments threads if one is a liberal. Lots of violence perpetrated upon our brains here.


Also, who was it that wanted to "open up" those libel laws?

Tommy Duncan said...

This will not be a good thread for the politically correct segment.

tcrosse said...

But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments. From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence."

You first.

rhhardin said...

I'd recomment a low does of a beta blocker to leftists.

It keeps their hearts from speeding up, which feeds back on their brains.

If my heart isn't racing, it must be because I'm not excited.

Calmness begins to rule.

The Bergall said...

We didn't have these problems when Eisenhower was president.......

buwaya said...

The worst stress-creators are the opression-merchants in universities. These people create a real paranoia, genuine stress, where it shouldnt be.

And the worst affected, by far, are minority girls.

Lots of them come in to major US uni's, many wealthy Indian kids, often from European schools, happy and optimistic and making friends with everyone. After a couple of years many shut down, turn sour, and hang out only with Indians.

Feste said...

Rrhardin - "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody notices, is there violence?"

Dunno.

The Ents "spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about .. safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain."

So the Ents release the river. The Saruman royal flush.

Is that violence? Or just good mental health? Or dicey on the unstable mental health edge, between solid and gas?

Dunno.

rhhardin said...

There was supposed to be a Jeffnier Aniston neuron, according to Derbyshire.

If they showed any picture of Jennifer Aniston to this guy, a single neuron lit up.

This apparently is now debunked.

After all, neurons die all the time, yet people still recognize Jennifer Aniston.

Jake said...

The rationalizing is strong with that one.

Feste said...

Enough playing outside the Gates of Eden. Gotta go.

rcocean said...

At first I thought Feldman was a sociology professor. Then I re-read and saw she was a Pysch professor.

Are their any two fields of study that have a higher BS factor? Does any intelligent person have respect for a sociology/pych professor?

Both fields are dominated by leftists, kooks, and charlatans.

rcocean said...

Anyway, what about all the conservative students. Aren't they "stressed-out" by all the attacks on Milo and Murray?

Aren't their brains being affected?

rhhardin said...

The stress at the NYT must be huge.

I think it's financial though.

tcrosse said...

We didn't have these problems when Eisenhower was president.......

The trouble-makers hadn't been born yet.

rhhardin said...

The lady isn't worried about the physical violence of tits, ankles and hair. Muslims have it under control though.

n.n said...

Why did she select Milo Yiannopoulos to assert her point?

rhhardin said...

What's needed is speech condoms.

rhhardin said...

Maybe there's the analog of The Pill that the left can take so that speech condoms are unnecesssary. Skip five days a month.

Jupiter said...

"On the other hand, when the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores, you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, but it’s only offensive."

What the Lady is saying, after her own, addled fashion, is that the Truth hurts!

rhhardin said...

Violence and virtue are etymologically related.

Apparently the effect on the brain is the same.

rcocean said...

People often think of Canadians as Americans who like the cold but they really are quite different.

They have no tradition of "Free speech" and they haul people before "Human Rights committees" when they say something "wrong".

Its their British heritage. BTW, some guy in England was just sentenced to six weeks in jail for "Hate speech". He attacked Muslim on his facebook page and the Bobbies tracked him down and arrested him.

You need to be careful in the UK. British policeman "patrol" the internet looking for "racism" and "Sexism".

Its a liberal wet dream.

campy said...

Anyway, what about all the conservative students. Aren't they "stressed-out" by all the attacks on Milo and Murray?

Aren't their brains being affected?

Conservatives don't have brains.

rhhardin said...

Science always works out to make things feel best. They's why Murray's wrong.

Francisco D said...

Uknown/Inga wrote: "It may not be healthy to hang around these comments threads if one is a liberal. Lots of violence perpetrated upon our brains here."

Yes. That would seem to be the case if one buys into the authors premise.

I wonder how your (liberals/leftists) brains get rewired by participating on this thread. I am guessing that the process involves dopamine excitation. That explains why some of the resident leftists here persevere (obsess in some cases) in the face of vastly superior knowledge and logic. :-)

rhhardin said...

Science has no effect on women's brains, so is nonviolent.

rcocean said...

"Conservatives don't have brains."

Anyone who's not a liberal before 30, doesn't have a heart. Anyone who's not a conservative after 30, doesn't have a brain.

That's approximately what Churchill said. Probably because he switched parties when he was about 30.

But his saying seems to indicate that those under 30 have brains.

rhhardin said...

The left can participate because talking points.

David53 said...

"A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it."

Who is this "we" she talks about, all Americans or just some?

n.n said...

Her bias suggests that she is from the Pro-Choice Church, a [class] diversitist, and an "=" (selective exclusion or PC, political congruence) activist. She's probably an anti-native fundamentalist and elective war (i.e. social justice adventure) enthusiast, too.

That said, the effect of external patterns (e.g. movie, book, speech) is not structural. It is an overlay on neural patterns that produces a temporary mental aberration (e.g. feelings of strength, confidence, sadness, and hate, too).

I agree. The progression of [class] diversity, human debasement, gender confusion, anti-nativism, and redistributive and retributive change is a first-order forcing of individual and generational bias and even prejudice with a toxic effect on human relationships, society, and humanity.

rhhardin said...

Who did the cartoon of a Chinaman's brain trying to pronounce the letter "r"?

Lots of chaotic action.

David53 said...

"But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments."

Who gets to decide what speech bullies or torments?

rhhardin said...

They have devices that can read minds now, for airport security, but they don't work on women.

rhhardin said...

Is violence on the math side of the brain as bad as violence on the feelz side of the brain?

If I say 3=2, is that a problem?

I mean like saying women are as dumb as rocks.

rhhardin said...

Torment is measured in joules per radian.

St. George said...

Here's a video of the Prof. talking about the value of exercise. Her conclusion is that exercise may feel 'yucky,' but it is good for you, especially if you are older. Get enough sleep, she says, exercise every day, eat "in a way that provides continuous nutrition to your body."

A bit disappointing.

"I still have to drag my ass out of bed every morning to [exercise]," she says.

Charlie Currie said...

Don Rickles, the most violent person of the last half century.

What ever happened to, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.

rhhardin said...

Our ancestors were positive about bullying.

Bullies protected prostitutes.

Bully for you!

traditionalguy said...

That is good news Snowflake Brains have a half life of about five minutes. (See, the final scenes in Mars Attack.)

Globalistas finally will have met their Maximum Earth Carrying Capacity goal. But will success spoil AlGore?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Why then, is Colbert allowed to have a TV show?

rhhardin said...

Oppressor of the weak-minded. The NYT.

clint said...

How many more logical steps will it take to get to "refusing to obey me is a violent act justifying a violent reprisal"?

It seems like they're almost there.


"But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments."

So, what do we do if I've had a traumatic censorship experience and such sentiments as she expresses here torment me?

rhhardin said...

The role of verbal bouncer ought to be brought into the violent speech discussion.

rhhardin said...

Beer goggles play a large part in reading NYT pieces.

Michael K said...

Psychiatry and Psychology have never recovered from their 1964 psychoanalysis of Goldwater which concluded he was not mentally capable of being president.

I'm currently reading (via Audible) the biography of Lyndon Johnson. If there was ever a guy in national politics with serious psych problems it was Lyndon.

Both Psychology and Psychiatry are pretty useless in practical terms. We were talking yesterday, where I work, about Psych consults with kids who are questionable. We agreed that they are useless but do serve as a form of ass covering if some recruit goes postal in basic training. "General, we did get a Psych consult on him but they said he was OK."

Progress in mental illness, which is still a ways off, will come from neurology and brain chemistry, not from Psychiatry or Psychology,

rhhardin said...

Non-violent joke:

A priest, a minister and a rabbi are walking down the street and come upon a drunk lying in the gutter.

The priest and the minister continued on, but the rabbi stopped to see if he could help her.

Later catching up, the rabbi said, "They don't make drunks like they used to."

Kevin Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

So many experts are women these days.

How has this affected society's brain.

It used to be just Mme Curie.

rhhardin said...

It's sort of a behind-the-scenes newsbabe effect, probably.

Kevin said...

Some speech is hateful. Hateful speech is violent. Society must oppose violence. Therefore some speech cannot be allowed.

That's all it takes to uninstall the First Amendment.

rhhardin said...

Black women have attempted to become official experts ("Our Black Foremothers") but it hasn't taken.

Scott Gustafson said...

If the Times implemented this policy they would never print another column from Paul Krugman.

Unknown said...

"Progress in mental illness, which is still a ways off, will come from neurology and brain chemistry, not from Psychiatry or Psychology"

I agree.

rhhardin said...

The fertile mind. Shop gorgeous maternity clothes online.

Gahrie said...

[W]e should have open conversations and vigorous debate about controversial or offensive topics. But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments.

Bullshit. But if it was true....who makes the determination of what is allowed and what is banned?

From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence."

This is just justification for the actual violence coming from the Left.

Fernandinande said...

No comments permitted on that piece for some reason. I'd like to see some responses from other experts on the brain.

I posted this link from biologist and occasional fNYT author Jerry Coyne in another thread (fNYT claiming Milo was scientifically evil):

"The worst argument yet that speech can be 'violence': science can tell us which speech should be banned."

Gahrie said...

"If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain."

So tell the snowflakes to toughen up and stop worrying about their safety. They are among the most pampered and protected individuals in history.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Hot to tort.

n.n said...

What ever happened to, sticks and stones will break my bones but...

It was deprecated by political progress and supplanted with a profit motive driven by a social industrial complex.

Gahrie said...

People often think of Canadians as Americans who like the cold but they really are quite different.

They have no tradition of "Free speech" and they haul people before "Human Rights committees" when they say something "wrong".


In Canada you can be sent to jail for referring to someone using the "wrong" pronoun.

JaimeRoberto said...

"That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school." There is another option. One could just not attend his speech and thereby not be subjected to such "violence".

Fernandinande said...

On the other hand, when the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores, you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, all the more so because you really know it's true.

I'd like to see some responses from other experts on the brain.

It really doesn't matter because:

- any effects of listening to some speakers are obviously minuscule, and probably voluntary.

- It still means "ban speech I don't like": For example, Lisa Feldman Barrett's statements cause far more damage to my immune system and telomeres than any statements or ideas from Murray or Milo ever have, so by her own criteria she should be banned, not the people she wants to ban.

David53 said...

"Torment is measured in joules per radian."

As I suspected.

n.n said...

Psychiatry and Psychology have never recovered

They also gave one and a half thumbs up to resume abortion rites. As well as to force transgender conversion therapy, including: external mental overlays, medical misalignment, and surgical corruption, which have produced a reasonably stable transgender/homosexual orientation, and perhaps bisexual, but progressive results on the rest of the transgender spectrum.

Seeing Red said...

...culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it. That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school....


Her reasoning doesn't make sense.

She's hysterical. She's not surrounded by constant casual brutality.

If she is, she's choosing to listen and read.

Get a life, snowflake.

Seeing Red said...

Canada is calling.

Hagar said...

On the other hand, when the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores, you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, all the more so because you really know it's true.

There is no agreed definition of what constitutes intelligence, so how do you determine an "intelligence quotient"?

If a definiton could be agreed upon, it would still be trying to determine a possibility of perhaps a couple of points within a normal range of 70 to 140 (from the old I.Q. test terminology) between different races.

Researchers in this area will most likely find what they wished to find.

Jupiter said...

"On the other hand, when the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores, you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, but it’s only offensive."

Of course, Charles Murray wasn't at Middlebury to talk about why blacks have an average IQ in the high 80's. He has apparently realized that there is not a lot you can do about bad genes, and what can be done, Planned Parenthood is doing. In spades, as it were. He has moved on to worrying about whether assortative mating is breeding a white underclass nearly as dysfunctional as the black one.

But the snowies didn't know or care what he wanted to talk about. They aren't trying to suppress ideas, they are trying to control territory.

rcocean said...

"Hello, Canada is calling, and you can't say that"

"Hello, Canada is calling, and if you say that again, you're going to jail"

"You're a conservative, aren't You?"

rcocean said...

Of course, Canada isn't a real country.

Its just the Great white north, and people who like to make $$$ and not be American.

Jupiter said...

Hagar said...

'There is no agreed definition of what constitutes intelligence, so how do you determine an "intelligence quotient"?'

There is no agreed definition of willful ignorance, either. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

epador said...

It seems as if all the self-labeled rational-thinking progressives are Midwich Cuckoos inserted into Western Society to take over our world with irrational delusional grandeur - I can't decide whether to call their status Borderline Political Disorder or Boundless Progressive Delusions.

Matthew Blaine said...

The studies cited by Feldman Barrett to support her argument all involve children exposed to parental abuse. Apparently she can't distinguish between a child trapped in an abusive household and an adult college student.

The college student can always choose to avoid the unpleasant words.

Gahrie said...

Researchers in this area will most likely find what they wished to find.

Actually, the research shows Murray is right, and that is the problem. Unpleasant demographics.

rhhardin said...

f a definiton could be agreed upon, it would still be trying to determine a possibility of perhaps a couple of points within a normal range of 70 to 140 (from the old I.Q. test terminology) between different races.

It's pretty big, actually.

https://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

Gahrie said...

From rhhardin's link:

"There are no major anomalies in the relationship between IQ and EA (educational attainment)in individual
world regions. To some extent IQ and EA predict each other even within world regions. These
results show that national IQs have a high degree of validity."

gregq said...

Unknown said...

Also, who was it that wanted to "open up" those libel laws?

Just a note: In the US, it has to be false to be "libel". "Punishing people for lying about you" != "stoping people from speaking because you don't like their beliefs or what they say".

David said...

Love the article though.

Fake science to justify fake freedom.

What a world.

David said...

"Hot to tort"

Leave lawyers out of this.

Hardin, the new typo king. I gladly relinquish my crown.

David said...


'There is no agreed definition of what constitutes intelligence, so how do you determine an "intelligence quotient"?'

You use an unagreed definition and let people bitch about it.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

What happens to the "Godwin Law" when your opponents have gone full tilt totalitarian?

Achilles said...

No comments permitted on that piece for some reason.

Oh the irony.

rhhardin said...

Psychology, when men were the experts

Watson, repeating similar experiments [to Pavolv], noted the transference aspect of such conditioning. Having found that the violent striking of an iron bar produced fear in an infant, he noted that he could give a fear character to some hitherto neutral object, such as a rabbit, by placing it before the child each time the iron bar was struck; he next demonstrated that t his conditioned fear of the rabbit was transferred with varying degrees of intensity to other things having similar properties (such as fur coats or cotton blankets).

Kenneth Burke _Permanence and Change_ p.11-12



William said...

I didn't read the article. Did she take the Trump haters to task? If not, I'd argue that she's arguing in bad faith, I've read about the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, and the Red Guards. It seems to me that someone like Milo would be antithetical to those groups and that she would have an affinity for them........No one ever mistook the Irish for the master race. I'm sure that there are other ethnic groups that test higher so far as IQ.. Big deal. Most of those other groups don't have the Irish gift for good food and inventive sex. A high IQ is incidental to winning most of the golden prizes.

Night Owl said...

I saw the headline and thought they were talking about conservative students on a modern college campus, or maybe Republican congressmen playing softball in an open field... My mistake.

"But we must also halt speech that bullies and torments. From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence."

Emotionally mature people-- and those who do not possess a victim mentality -- learn that they can control how they react to words, so that they are not "literally" tormented and bullied by speech they find "offensive" that is merely opinions they disagree with.

Why ban speakers like Milo when there is a simple solution for people who need safe spaces to shield them from words that hurt them-- they can just not attend the speech. It's not like Milo will be piped into every classroom all day long, or played in public spaces where they can't turn him off, like CNN...

Or maybe we should ban CNN in public spaces. Their non-stop "Russia! Russia! Russia!" nonsense is literally violently assaulting everyone who has an ounce of intelligence.

tim maguire said...

I'm not being oppressive when I ban speech I don't like. Because...

SCIENCE!!

Civility bullshit, indeed.

Laslo Spatula said...

Telling the Truth is a sign of mental illness.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Free Speech is a Gateway Drug.

I am Laslo.

tim maguire said...

Comments not permitted.

Of course.

As I'm sure we all remember, The Times got rid of the public advocate because the comment section served the same function.

tim maguire said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
What happens to the "Godwin Law" when your opponents have gone full tilt totalitarian?


That was always a flaw in the Godwin's Law craze--sometimes Nazi comparisons are appropriate.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Hatred is unfortunately a part - (a small part?) of the human condition.

It would just be nice if conservative activists were less attached to it. ;-)

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Canada's speech laws really are a joke, though.

I don't think any country's speech laws are as free as ours, though. And I would probably never leave the U.S. if for no other reason than that one alone.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Progress in mental illness, which is still a ways off, will come from neurology and brain chemistry, not from Psychiatry or Psychology,

Right. They will learn to see what the brain is doing and how it is activated, but NOT what behaviors, thoughts, etc. the activity is correlated with!

Are you trying intentionally to sound like a joke?

rhhardin said...

We need brains in vats, with tours, so they can say to you, "That's you, over there."

rhhardin said...

With the coming modern brain measurement, you'll have two ways to know that you're feeling pain.

rhhardin said...

Can two brains share the same vat? There's no logical problem but there are the proprieties to consider.

Crimso said...

"When Is Speech Violence?"

When you're in a David Lynch adaptation of a Frank Herbert book. And only then. Well, okay, in Skyrim too.

rhhardin said...

A statistician would want brains in urns.

Achilles said...

While we are on this topic: What the left is doing to our education system.

It seems the leftist fascists are going to force us to remove them.

Paco Wové said...

"People often think of Canadians as Americans who like the cold but they really are quite different."

One thing both groups have in common; they both seem to think they need to determine how Americans live their lives.

grackle said...

Psychology, psychiatry, sociology – all trying to claim the scientific credibility that the hard sciences have. This type of political-driven bullshit isn’t helping their cause. I have to laugh when these nincompoops refer to themselves as “scientists.”

Readers, there’s some interesting thoughts on the subject here and here.

traditionalguy said...

A quick read of the comments shows that the human brain is being used as a code for the human soul...which is more than a bloody clump of cells multiplying like crazy.

Michael K said...

"Are you trying intentionally to sound like a joke?"

I don;t have your talent for that,.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Just finished a documentary on the sexualization of America and the effects it has on children and adolescents and how it has developed a 'rape culture.'

That's an area where left should be focusing attention, freedom of speech, for the children, rape culture -- hits all the hot-button stuff.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The cliche is that Leftists say anti-Leftist speech is violence and pro-Leftist violence is speech.
Here we see a "scientist" on the Left making an argument for half of that cliche. Other scientists will no doubt soon argue for the other half.

You're not a science denier, are you?

Henry said...

Funny how those poor simmering brain cells have no agency.

But the real question is what agent makes modern universities, among the most cosseting environments in the history of the earth, "a harsh environment" whose acolytes spend their time "worrying about [their] safety."

Cause when that morning sun comes up so warm, you're going to wake up in your dorm; but Milo's scheduled to appear, a thousand miles away from here.

And yet exorcising the demon doesn't stop the simmering.

Henry said...

The Doctor Professor has trouble distinguishing between the chronic and the acute. She's like an Oliver Sacks character.

C R Krieger said...

Loved at the way the Blog Mistress nailed the fact that Canada has no "First Amendment", or First Amendment Protections.

Regards — Cliff

Martin said...

A good distinction between violence and words: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

So many supposedly intelligent people are so ignorant and ill-educated they can't even deal with what any 5 year old used to know.

eddie willers said...

Cause when that morning sun comes up so warm, you're going to wake up in your dorm; but Milo's scheduled to appear, a thousand miles away from here.

People stay...

SGT Ted said...

The Lysenkoist fake science in support of the lefts political agenda will never end.

Words are violence, lol. What utter bullshit. Based on that, all SJWs on campus who hector and verbally bully others can be thrown off campus too.

rcommal said...

Oh, for fuck's sake, Althouse.

JustOneMinute said...

re: "literally a form of violence."

My Imaginary Sources tell me the original submission read "literally metaphorical violence".
Darn editors!

stlcdr said...

A good distinction between violence and words: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

So many supposedly intelligent people are so ignorant and ill-educated they can't even deal with what any 5 year old used to know.


Exactly. Further to this, there's something wrong with the word 'literally' in that last sentence. It has been known for a long time that words can have lasting mental affects; hence 'sticks and stones' but, literally?

The equivalency can go both ways: physical violence isn't that bad when it is equitable to someone saying 'you should die in a ball of fire you ignorant hag'. The implication that words should be treated as violence, but she's argued, also, that violence should be treated as words.

Henry said...

@Althouse -- A lawyer friend just posted this other article from The Times: The Lawyer, the Addict.

This is the part I want to highlight:

Some research shows that before they start law school, law students are actually healthier than the general population, both physically and mentally. “There’s good data showing that,” said Andy Benjamin, a psychologist and lawyer who teaches law and psychology at the University of Washington. “They drink less than other young people, use less substances, have less depression and are less hostile.”

In addition, he said, law students generally start school with their sense of self and their values intact. But, in his research, he said, he has found that the formal structure of law school starts to change that.

Rather than hew to their internal self, students begin to focus on external values, he said, like status, comparative worth and competition. “We have seven very strong studies that show this twists people’s psyches and they come out of law school significantly impaired, with depression, anxiety and hostility,” he said.


Professor Feldman Barrett doesn't talk about law school, of course, but her research on chronic stress aligns neatly with Mr. Benjamin's research on law students. Thus, the causal factor for telomere shrinking does not indict the provocateur or the external political climate. It indicts the university. The provocateur is a non-chronic scapegoat.

In Behave, The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, neuroscientist Robert M. Sapolsky points out the the fear response in the amygdala is conditioned by cue and context. Milo may be the cue, but as a transitory actor in the drama, he cannot possibly be the context. You need both to trigger anxiety. This is accomplished with conditioning. Learned fear involves associating an innate trigger -- physical pain or a hostile social situation -- with benign sensory input -- a bell, or Milo's televised face.

The question for universities is why are they conditioning their students to be fearful this way?

OGWiseman said...

The main problematic elision in her thinking is between a "culture" of toxicity that changes the brain over time, and one person making one speech in a closed setting that nobody is forced to attend.

If everyone who drives on the same road as you drives like a maniac, it's stressful. That doesn't mean you get to stop one particular person from driving because you've pre-decided that they are the worst driver.

ALP said...

"If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain."

************

When I read that sentence, I thought for sure this article must be about coal miners, guys working on oil rigs, or soldiers that have been in hostile areas for a long time. Oh how silly am I?

mockturtle said...

Psychologists don't know shit about the brain. Neurologists and Neuropsychiatrists do.

Peter said...



"the political scientist Charles Murray argues that genetic factors help account for racial disparities in I.Q. scores"

Would it be asking too much to ask Lisa Feldman Barrett whether she actuall read The Bell Curve or to offer a substantive argument refuting what's in it? Is her argument that there is no disparity, or that perhaps there is but it doesn't mean anything (because, umm, could we have reasons) or that if there is one it must be exclusively due to environmental factors?

Or is her argument just that it doesn't matter, because some speech (but of course not her speech!) is "literally a form of violence"?

In any case, here's the relevant quote from the Bell Curve:

"If the reader is now convinced that either the genetic or environmental explanation has won out to the exclusion of the other, we have not done a sufficiently good job of presenting one side or the other. It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate." (The Bell Curve, p. 311)