Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Americans are Plumbers

Well they are.

Americans have to make up their mind. I mean on the one hand they're plumbers, and on the other they have a lot of plumbing companies, what a conflicted confused people they must be.

What am I talking about? My favourite topic of all. Problems of Scale.
The above is a ridiculous comment. Obviously "Americans are Plumbers" can't mean all Americans.
~0.2% of them are. About 1 in 700 to be more exact. So saying "Americans are plumbers" is silly, saying "They are Plumbers" is silly. I don't just think it's silly, I think it's fundamentally wrong.

Lets take an example that illustrates my point more so. "Americans support Pedophilia" "Americans are Bastards".
In the first case, some are. I didn't [b]say[/b] all Americans.
In the second case, some are. I didn't [b]say[/b] all Americans.

Here are the qualms:
1) They give no information. To say that in any population there is a pedophile, or a plumber, or a bastard is virtually a given. I am not adding anything.
2) They give misleading information. Even if they're not deliberately vague, I could use one to try to force change in age of consent against the vast majority of what Americans want.
3) They're insulting. I know calling people bastards is derogatory and insulting. That's not the whole issue though, and this is where I'm in contention with a lot of freedom of speech advocates. The issue is that it's all I'm doing. I'm not providing information. I'm not making a statement.
It serves no possible purpose other than to be derogatory. [b]Society loses nothing[/b] by banning the statement entirely when not in context

In other words, if you make an accusation of someone, you should have to defend what you say, and there should be some form of recourse on behalf of the accused.

I might for example say my mother in law is a controlling, manipulative, self centered, whore. I think she should be able to take me to court for that, and deserve some compensation. I however in turn should be given the chance to prove she is a controlling, manipulative, self centered, whore.

Therein you have an excellent system where not only do you have freedom of speech (you can always say it), but you also get the opportunity to prove it!

Moving quickly on from that though. The main point of this article. Is a little something from I-A-B's forums.

"Muslims are Terrorists", "Muslims are all...", "Muslims can't...." "Muslims don't know...".

0.01% of Muslims are Terrorists. "Americans are Plumbers" is 20 times more accurate. Percentage wise, it should be equivalent to about how many Americans are African Americans with Down Syndrome. Yes they exist, but no they are not an accurate picture of the country.

More importantly "Muslims believe". Muslims apparently marry 4 women a piece, a statistical impossibility for more than about 25% of them to. Muslims Want. Muslims.... etc. Muslims think.

It's simply untrue in case after case after case. It could *always* be replaced with any other demographic and be equally valid.

There are at this point in time, in my opinion, something on the order of 200 million Muslims who are assholes. The regular kind you see day to day. There are at absolute most 20 million violent stereotypes, and absolute worst case scenario 2 million terrorists (Figure ranges from 120k to 1.2 mil really).

That's 18% asshole.
That's 1.8% violent.
That's 0.18% terrorist.
19.98% total.

Why not: Muslims are not the stereotypes that are portrayed to be.
That's ~8000 times more accurate than the than "Muslims are terrorists". You don't hear it 8000 times more often.

1 comment:

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