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Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I'm Removing "Becker/Posner" from my blog list

For posting too many quotes like this (Becker):

"Creative contributors to films divorce in large numbers, often several times. Many have frequent affairs, often while married, they have children without marriage, they have significant numbers of abortions, have a higher than average presence of gays, especially in certain of the creative categories, who are open about their sexual preferences, they take cocaine and other drugs, and generally they lead a life style that differs greatly from what is more representative of the American public. By contrast, an important base of the Republican Party is against out of wedlock births, strongly pro life and against abortions, against gays, especially those who adopt an publicly gay lifestyle, against affairs while married, and very much oppose the legalization of drugs like cocaine and even marijuana."

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. And man I certainly have quite a few. But if I were to write something scathing like that basically saying that the average "creative" type is a gay, drug abusing, baby-killer, I would like to think I'd back it up with some data or something. I'd like to think my stereotypes are a little more informed than that. In any case, this kind of post has been a recurring pattern over at Becker-Posner, and while I once really admired Dr. Becker, I find myself becoming more offended than enlightened by their occasional posts.

15 comments:

Bill Conerly said...

Are you saying that Becker
1) has his facts wrong
2) wrote a blog without footnotes, or
3) wrote things that may be true but should not be said?

Garth said...

1. I am not saying that.
2. I am not saying that, though that is a true statement.
3. I am not saying that, either.

Your points are not all-inclusive of the possibility set of all the things I could have been saying.

What I was saying was that such a position, with a high possibility of being colored by bias or stereotype, and especially given the inflammatory nature of the comments which could be deemed to be offensive, should not have been stated so so matter-of-fact(ual)ly. I would expect anyone who is going to say such broad things about a subgroup to at least back up that assertion with data or some context. Neither was provided, so the reader is left to assume that Becker either knows something the rest of us do not, or THINKS he knows something the rest of us do not (ie. stereotyping).

Finally, I was saying this is not the first time Becker or Posner have posted potentially offensive, polemic (in the word of one Becker commenter) positions without any supporting evidence.

I am not saying footnotes or data are requisites for all blog posts. I am saying something more than a seeming stereotype IS requisite for a comment of the ilk that Becker made, and has made in the past, in my view.

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