Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Trouble with Stereotypes

So I posted a couple of blogs last week that created quite an interesting response.  I did ponder whether the second was necessary, especially after a friend of mine from back home told me he thought it wasn't (and he is quite a thoughtful chap).  I think, however, it was a bit of a success.  If I do regret anything, it is possbly replying to every single comment sent to me on the topic, both on my blog and on facebook, when most of the questions were just re-hashings of the same arguments that I put down in the post where I challenged people on the accusations they made.  I think this might have made me seem a bit confrontational, defensive, and arrogant (this however, always seems to be the accusation leveled at people who enjoy debating).  At the time of writing, no one has attempted to take me up on the challenge yet.

I'm sticking with the subject for a while longer because I have found it all so interesting.  I think what I will take out of the whole discussion is just how murky this world of stereotyping actually is.  Categorising something as a "stereotype" seems to be surprisingly easy and amazingly damning to its credibility in explaining anything.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that if any observation of groups of people does make its way into the category of a stereotype, it appears as though it is completely off the table for discussion for many people.

You see, we have this word "stereotype" and it covers an incredible range of opinions; some have quite a bit of truth to them, some have a little truth to them, some have no truth to them, and some are actually oppositely true.  Also, they can range from viciously insulting to amusing, or just plain benign.

Here is the definition of the word stereotype from the Oxford English Dictionary website, with an example:

"a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing:  the stereotype of the woman as the carer."

(I had originally wrote "i.e." after the first sentence but a commenter pointed out that this was not exactly correct and while I think it makes no real difference, I acknowledge it wasn't perfectly accurate.  No dishonesty was meant on my part)

Actually the example here is a good one, as most people would surely acknowledge that women to tend to play more of a caring role in society than men and are usually the main carers of children.  I guess the problem comes when we always apply this to the individuals we meet and this is where the "fixed" and "oversimplified" parts of the definition not only cause offence, but also hint at the unreliability of judging individuals you don't know by using a broad generalisation of others that share similar characteristics.

I have to admit to having a little bit of confusion as to what constitutes a stereotypical statement, which of the following would be a stereotype?

Asian men are shorter than White men.
All Asian men are shorter than White men.
Asian men tend to be shorter than White men.

In my view, at least, the top two are stereotypes and perhaps the bottom one is an observation based on a widely held belief (a stereotype) that happens to be true.  The bottom statement seems not to be fixed or oversimplified because within it is implied many exceptions to the rule.  However, I think what happens in conversation and writing quite often is that the first statement is said, when the person actually means the third and that usually this is an innocent mistake.  It is an error I am extremely guarded against making when I write this blog because I know that the consequence of making such a mistake means that a whole bunch of people will abuse me and then misconstrue the whole piece of writing as a result.  As I have discovered, that tends to happen anyway.  This makes me think - that in discussion at least - it has become a bit of an annoying and slightly dishonest debating tactic to turn other's attention to use of stereotypes to discredit the writer or speaker, instead of addressing the argument.  The really big problem is that it usually works.

When it comes to applying stereotypes in the real world with real people, I have written many times about the frustration I have felt and the general ignorance of people I have met who have applied stereotypes to my wife and I, when they see us.  Here is one example from Asiapundits.  This is why I was pretty confident that, when I was criticised for using stereotypes (or using arguments with a connection to stereotypes at least) in my post and told I should reflect on other's point of view, that I had already been there and experienced the burn of it many times.  I didn't need to reflect on their point of view because I already had there point of view.

I actually think there is no harm in using a widely held view about groups of people to explain a group's behaviour sometimes, where it is relevant.  As long as it is not fixed and oversimplified for individuals, not expressed as facts about individuals, and it is not used to mistreat or discriminate against individuals.

There are a few misconceptions about the use of stereotypes - or observations that match a stereotype - that I think many people share:

Misconception #1 - When someone states a stereotyped observation about a particular group of people, this means they think EVERY individual in that group shares the characteristic they have observed.

Misconception #2 - That for a "stereotyped" view to hold some truth, a majority of people within a group should fit to that view.

Misconception #3 - That stating a view that adheres to a known stereotype involves insulting people.

Misconception #4 - That all stereotypes are equally bad.

Misconception #5 - That only bigots and racists are tempted into stereotypical thought processes.

Misconception #6 - That stereotypes will go away as long as we don't talk about them or use them for any explanatory purposes.

Misconception #7 - That it is not OK to make light of stereotypes.

Misconception #8 - That those who are within a group vulnerable to being stereotyped need all of our special protection.

Misconception #9 - That generalising (which many consider to be stereotyping) is not valid or useful.

Let me explain some of these with some examples:

#1 - The perfect example for this is would be the widely held view that Asian men don't tend to be as tall or big as White men.  The evidence is there to back up this view, but equally important is that it is fairly obvious that anyone who says this can't possibly hold the opinion that all Asians are short.  It is impossible for anyone with a pair of eyes.  I see a dozen Korean guys a day who are taller and bigger than me.

#2 - For this one, a great example is Muslims and terrorism.  I looked into this and discovered articles, like this one, stating figures in the US, which seemed to contradict the observation (connected to the stereotype that Muslims are terrorists) that Muslims are more likely to support and commit terrorism and websites like this one, which seemed to suggest that Muslims were far more likely to be involved in terrorism than any other group (there are always more stats on the US than anywhere else).  Both, in my eyes seemed to contradict one another, so I discarded them as being rather bias viewpoints, one from the far-left and one from the far-right.  The first did make me think though, could the world really be so wrong about Islam's connection to terrorism?  I did wonder on one thing though, just what defined a terrorist incident and what about the seriousness of them?  With this in mind I looked for a list of terrorist incidents by number of deaths, and this is what I found.  To say this is shocking would be an understatement.  It seems that acts of terrorism are committed by all sorts of people, but the biggest and most lethal ones (the ones which most people associate with terrorist acts) are usually committed by people who happen to be Muslims and under the ideology of Islamism.

Note: Again the definition of terrorism can also be argued by the other side here.  A Pakistani Muslim might well argue that US drone strikes constitute terrorism, and they might have a point.  This would be a crime committed by government, however, and not by citizens and doesn't really disprove the conclusion based on the stereotype.

Even with this list in mind, one must acknowledge that it is only the tiniest percentage of people who profess to be Muslim who are actually terrorists, perhaps not even 0.00001%.  However, this minute figure doesn't matter when we ask the question, "Which group of people with a shared faith or ideology are most likely to commit a deadly terrorist act?"  Despite the tiny numbers, you would have to say those that believe in Islam, so the observation that has the connection to the stereotype is not without some truth to it.  What the numbers do show is how mind-blowingly stupid you would have to be to approach a Muslim on the street and believe they could be a terrorist, let alone shout at them accusing them of being one, or worse.  You would probably be 99.99999% likely to be entirely wrong, not good odds.  If you were to judge them as a possible terrorist, you would be an ignoramus.

#3 - To me this is one of the most bizarre of all.  It simply doesn't compute in my head to be upset with someone who holds a view based on a stereotype.  As long as they can admit of exceptions and not treat anyone differently as a result of their thinking, I can't see how this is a problem.  For example, there is a big difference between how I would perceive the following questions about my wife:

"What's your wife doing today, cooking?"

"I've heard that Asian women always spend their days cooking for their husbands, is that true for your wife?"

 Let me first say that I did receive comment one a few times in England (and a few times more if you swap "cooking" for "cleaning").  To me, the first always sounds a little snidy and like a bit of a dig (especially if I could express the tone of voice used).  The second one is still in a style that many might find offensive, and I guess it might depend on the tone of voice also, but it shouldn't be really.  There is nothing wrong with being ignorant as long as you have an open mind and are willing to be educated and I think this kind of question admits to curiosity and scepticism of the widely held view, and most importantly a recognition of the fact that my wife may well be different from the stereotype.

#4 - I have noticed that people tend to categorise all stereotypes together in a bit of an ill disciplined manner, and a kind of ironic, "if you believe in one, you would believe in them all" statement is often the result.  Believing Black people are criminals is not the same as believing White people are slow runners, for example.  If one truly believes the first and applies it to the Black people they meet, they are people who you should worry about significantly more than people who believe the second about White people.  Believing in one also doesn't constitute believing in the other.

#5 - I have had a few occasions where people have commented on my writing and either implied or simply stated that they think I am a racist or a bigot for taking a generalisation and using it to explain certain behaviours of groups, usually Koreans, but also of Westerners too.  What has always given me a good laugh is that at the same time some of these people are accusing me of over-generalising, they often throw in a comment like this:

"I have known people like you before, you are all the same"

 Here is a classic from my "Challenge" post:

"here, foremost:

"I am married into a Korean family ..."

so what.

i've met a lot of guys like you who throw this out first. it doesn't matter, but you think it does and want everyone to think it does, but it doesn't.

this attitude distorts your worldview, how you perceive yourself, your marriage, and quite possibly your wife."

This makes me inclined to think we all do this to some extent and that we have to be very guarded against it.  It seems we are all natural stereotypers as humans, indeed most animals are pattern seekers.  We make lots of mistakes of course, when searching for patterns, which is why these things need to be examined further.

Once again, you can think something about a group of people, but it shouldn't really inform your actions or your words on a particular individual within that group, much better to have a chat with them and see what they think.

#6 - The other day I noticed a post about about conservatives fearing being called racist (in the US) and so not feeling able to air their opinions and in their frustration simply tuning-in to the most radical conservative radio and TV shows (which tend to be more popular than liberal ones), understanding their point of view and becoming more radically right-wing themselves as a result. I can really imagine this is true and I think this is a sad state of affairs and although I admittedly know little about the US, I do follow its politics quite closely and what I do see is a growing polarisation of the voting public and this could be part of the reason for it. 

It seems to me that silencing any views that could be deemed racist, culturalist, or stereotypical does not have the desired effect of taking away the impulse in people.  In fact, the logic tells me that their views will go unchallenged and allowed to fester and grow into something worse.

#7 - I have always thought of humour as a key ingredient to getting along with anyone and I think this also applies between groups.  When we can make fun of and laugh at each other, without worrying too much about offending each other, this is often a show of acceptance, respect, and generally liking someone and being friendly.  In fact, jokes at other's expense are often a test and an invitation to join the group and to test the water as to whether we can trust the other person, especially in men.

It is common, for example, in sports teams for new members to undergo an "initiation ceremony", which is usually a practical joke at their expense.  I can remember quite a few practical jokes from my cricket team members back in England, but I heard of some truly awful initiations for rugby teams.  It is done because it is a tried and trusted way of breaking the ice and forming a bond.  A problem I see is that it has become truly taboo to even come close to doing this between races or cultures.  We all have to show we are "respecting" each other by being hyper-sensitive about almost every issue.  This hyper-sensitivity is rampant in Western discourse at the moment.  Many people seem to jump to being offended and then can't really figure-out why they are, they just are and that is enough.

If we take another observation about many Far East Asian countries (that might be deemed stereotypical), they do seem to dislike each other a little more than Western countries dislike each other.  It has always intrigued me how little good humour there is between Korea and Japan, for example.  If we take an example of a good relationship between countries, you might use the UK and the US, where very little genuine animosity exists between its citizens and where jokes about each other's culture fly about left, right, and centre and generally taken in good heart.  The current relationship between many Islamic majority countries and the West is a good example of a bad relationship and this is characterised by an almost complete inability for one side to be able to see the funny side of anything when it relates to their culture or beliefs.

With all this in mind then, I might be inclined to suggest that making fun of the groups each of us tend to naturally fit into - by birth or whatever other reason - might actually be extremely beneficial.  Many historical reasons might make this all the more complicated, but at least in principle it appears a sound idea.  As always, however, one must take care with individuals not to embarrass or single them out too much.  Judging the reaction to a good joke has always been a bit of an art form to avoid the potential to upset people too much.

#8 - Over the past year or so, I have noticed a bit of a pattern emerging on my site - and other places where this blog gets a show or where I write - that it is almost always Westerners that become most offended by what I write.  If I write something criticising Korean culture, Westerners will jump to Korea's defense and be offended on their behalf.  It is very noble, but I do see a problem with this. 

The Western voice often becomes so loud that it drowns out the voice of those actually affected by a stereotype or prejudice.  This has the effect of keeping them down, it posits them as vulnerable, weak and in need of our superior position's protection (in fact the Westerner showing offence often assumes this superiority).  In the case of the races, when White people over-defend people of different race and culture, it actually hints at disrespect rather than respect.  They can't take a joke like us, they are not as strong as us, they need help not like us, they are not as culturally evolved as us, so give them a break. 

Obviously, the vulnerable among us do need protection.  I am not sure about whether my theory here would work for minorities in Western countries (but I think protections and extra vigilance from criminal acts might be enough), but what I am fairly sure about is that in Korea, for instance, Koreans don't need Westerners standing up for them and that they are more than capable of defending themselves if they need to.  I have always respected Korean people enough to think them able to take any criticism I have of their culture and to not be so proud that they couldn't accept a knock or two and possibly work to change the behaviour of society or at least go against it. 

#9 - As I have already stated, many people get upset with any generalisation of groups of people and consider it stereotyping and therefore will say it is invalid and also not useful.  In reality, as I have also already mentioned, everyone tends to stereotype, or at least generalise, because pattern seeking behaviour helps us handle and organise the mountain of information we receive on a daily, hourly, minute, and even second to second basis.  Sometimes we will commit errors by doing this, but many times the results will help us interact with people and the world, which may help us avoid catastrophic mistakes. 


I am passionate about the value of scientific inquiry and the scientific method has come about to help us confirm or deny the patterns we see around us, but to get started one must posit a theory first and this involves speculation and asking many questions about what is going on in order to form a hypothesis to be tested.  This is how we find out what is true.  If it is wrong to speculate and wrong to ask certain questions, we will never discover the truth and, if I had to choose, I would take the truth over reducing offence by avoiding honest speculation any day.



40 comments:

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    1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/stereotype

      Before you wrote this comment, you really should have checked it out for yourself, instead of accusing me, basically, of dishonesty.

      Anyway, I am not trying to prove people wrong, I want people to prove me wrong. I don't think I know everything, but I have my opinions about things and blog about them, that's all and I write for me and no one else. What I am frustrated with is the amount of comments I get on here like your one that tells me I refuse to listen or say I have skewed opinion and then leave me absolutely clueless as to what it is you think I am so wrong about, who I am not listening to, or where I am going wrong in my arguments.

      I am not being disingenuous when I say please enlighten me as to what it is I wrote that you disagree with and why because that is useful. And I thank you for your compliment about my other writing, I will be back to more personal topics next week.

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    2. I have now updated the blog to include the link to the Oxford English Dictionary definition.

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    4. The link definition is exactly the same, with the exception of "i.e.", but the following example of the woman as the carer suggests that the use of "i.e." is absolutely fine.

      Help me spot the difference, I really mean it, because I want a major error to be pointed out to me.

      The problem with the vast majority of comments I received is that they weren't suggesting where I went wrong, they were mostly saying what a bad guy I was, exactly how you have just said, but why?

      No one has answered the challenge I put forward, so the accusations leveled against me have not been justified yet. I am completely open to changing my mind if they are.

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    6. OK, right this is better. I don't understand why you couldn't have just pointed it out like this in the first place, instead your original comment sounded like you were insinuating dishonesty on my part, where as it is quite clear it is simply a grammatical error or a quoting mistake. If I really do this a lot, then you have enlightened me to it now and I will be more careful in the future. I am still relatively new to the writing game and will make inevitable mistakes, I am only a blogger with an opinion.

      I agree e.g. is better than i.e., so I will change it, thank you. However, I do think you are nitpicking because I did not change that statement in any meaningful way, or invalidate anything else I wrote please show how it would have effected the point.

      "But I just did, yet you didn't even bother to spend a few minutes to see where you were wrong. Funny isn't it?"

      I spent a few minutes to ask you exactly what you meant. I suspected the , "i.e., e.g." mix-up but thought you might have something else on me that was more important. Was the, "i.e., e.g." thing what you were complaining about in the original comment? Why not say it originally? Why waste your time and my time with all these comments?

      Funny isn't it that I have spent about 45 minutes trying desperately to find out where I was wrong (as it seemed like you were purposely withholding a secret from me in order to do, well I don't know what) and then admitted to it, changed it on my blog with an acknowledgement of the mistake. So I obviously can never change my mind or spend any time at all refining my opinion. Strange argument you are making here.

      I suggest you look at some of the accusations in my comments section of the original post and if I was setting up strawmen, could you point them out to me?

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    8. If you can explain to me why you didn't just say the following, I might understand:

      "I noticed that you made a mistake in the quote. You should quote exactly and misused i.e. I also didn’t agree with what you wrote, and here is why…….. and here are the strawman arguments you have put forward"

      I have admitted wrong doing and changed it. How changing it has effected anything else in that post, however, I don't get it. It's like a scientist, misquoting by mistake in a scientific paper and then everyone discrediting the rest of what they wrote because of it and I'm sorry that makes no sense to me and I think you are clinging on to a very weak point. Much better to simply state what you disagreed with about the central argument of the post.

      I'm not saying I am a scientist, merely that I am passionate about it. Does that mean I get things right about it all the time, of course not, but misquoting (in not a dishonest or really meaningful way) does not translate to my overall misunderstanding of science and reason. There may be other things that do, but not solely that.

      a) I did see it, you want me to lie? I was looking for something a bit more substantial though, but maybe I was wrong to do that.
      b) I get your point, but I fail to see that it has any relevance at all to the rest of the post. I apologised for it and changed it, what else to you want me to do? I can't turn back time, so let's get on with what is wrong with the rest of the post.
      c) You did waste both your time and my time, when you could have just told me where I went wrong in the first comment. You wouldn't have needed 45 minutes if you had been straight with me, would you?

      In the post on Asian/White coupes, all of the challenges I raised are relevant to whether the accusations and insinuations made about me were true. Because if those accusations can't be justified, I don't see why I should be sorry for what I wrote. What's more, I think you will find that in many of those comments I admitted ignorance several times and acknowledged the suggested ways I could have improved the post generally. I am not going to just automatically say sorry and admit I am wrong or out of order for the sake of it though, only when I do think it has genuinely been demonstrated so.


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    10. Yes, you are off the mark.

      It is difficult to summarise in one sentence, but I will give it a go and relate it to what you wrote:

      Summary: More Asian women tend to be attracted to White men than White women are to Asian men for a variety of reasons, both cultural and natural, which do not necessarily have anything to do with Western prejudices.

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    11. Perhaps I should also say vice-versa as well; as in from the man's perspective, so Asian women tend to be more attractive to White men than White women are to Asian men as well. However, I do believe that the women's choice is the more important factor.

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    13. "Surely you didn't mean Russian women? (they're Asian, last time I checked). Are women in Kuweit attracted to white men more than their men are corresponding to women? I dare you to prove that. India is a part of Asia. And I can go on."
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/9_Cluster_Tree.png

      Fallacious argumentation is not a positive credit. "Asians" are a race, which if you had read his articles, is the point he is arguing from. You're quite the simpleton, Jenik.

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    15. I can't believe, I have to give you the baby version, because you don't know how to read it.
      http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/8/184/figure/F2?highres=y
      Another one should that be too difficult as well.
      http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/8012/725pxneighborjoiningtre.png
      "Asians" can be traced to Amerindians, so your cultural/proximity approach was ignorant. White is referred from Caucasians or Europeans, same way "blacks" are referred from African descendants without majority admixture. It's slang, but understood by layman nonetheless.
      At this point, you're either lying, an idiot, or stirring up shit yourself.
      Accusing others of trolling isn't a appeal to intellectual honesty either. Please stop discussing matters involving biological factors, when you prove yourself completely inane at reciprocally understanding or discussing them.

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    16. Aviram, your comments are completely justifying the reason I wrote the challenge post. Do some careful reading and let me clear things up for you as well.

      Firstly, I hate to point this out again, but your take on my post was so off the mark, it was telling:

      "My take: "Asian women prefer (attracted to?) white men to Asian men". Curious to hear if I'm far off the mark."

      You couldn't have read what I wrote properly to come to this conclusion. Did you jump on the band wagon of all those others that got upset?

      Lets deal with the rest of your points:

      1. Think infamist has sorted you out a little on this one, but I will also say you are nitpicking horribly. Of course I am generalising, that is the point of the whole post! But take a look at this http://www.targetmap.com/ThumbnailsReports/5744_THUMB_IPAD.jpg
      This stereotype does apply to pretty much the whole of Asia, but you are saying I am not being specific, well of course I'm not, just recognising patterns, which happen to be fact.

      2. Your comment:

      "How many mixed marriages are there in Korea where the male is white? I'm guessing, a fraction of a percent. How can you use that to generalize about the preferences of all Korean women, 99% of them never been in a relationship with a white men?"

      Completely missed the point, all I need to prove to speculate about the reasons there are more Korean women with White men than White women with Korean men. Look at the following table which shows interracial marriage in Korea (it is in Korean, 2nd table). http://dellanjim.blog.me/10107392429
      It shows more men marry to non-Koreans than women, but crucially, look where they marry. They marry mainly to other Asian country people not Westerners. All I need to show is that more Korean women are attracted to White men than White women are to Korean men. Easily done, I never said I knew the preferences of all Korean women. Huge strawman you made there.

      3. You need to explain with the specifics of what I said. And can you really be clinging on to the i.e. e.g. point still! It is done, apologised for 3 times, and will never happen again. Well done for bringing it up. Move on.

      4. I really should simply direct you to my challenge, but I will explain this again.

      The whole point of the original post was speculation. If we have data then fine. If we had data, however, I would not have written these 3 posts, that is the point. Read my last paragraph again on this post:

      "I am passionate about the value of scientific inquiry and the scientific method has come about to help us confirm or deny the patterns we see around us, but to get started one must posit a theory first and this involves speculation and asking many questions about what is going on in order to form a hypothesis to be tested. This is how we find out what is true. If it is wrong to speculate and wrong to ask certain questions, we will never discover the truth and, if I had to choose, I would take the truth over reducing offence by avoiding honest speculation any day."

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    18. Have you started imposing censorship now, Chris? how come all of Aviram comments been removed?

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    19. When blogger says "This comment has been removed by the author" it means it was removed by the writer of the comment, not the writer of the post. Aviram is deleting his own comments, for what reasons, I don't know.

      I only delete spam off my blog, nothing else.

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    20. Just experimented by deleting a pretty meaningless comment off an old blog post and when I do it, the message reads:

      "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator"

      Censorship?! Never!!!

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    21. How ironic, a non Christian who believes in freedom of speech, yet you see tons of Christian blog who impose rather harshly.

      some people really need to have some serious serious therapy so at least their children wont turn out like them.

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  2. Humans are modelers. Our brains are wired to create models to help us understand the world and predict the outcomes of our actions. I think that stereotypes come from this basic need for humans to create a model of the world around them so that they can make sense of what is happening. It's like predicting the weather. If the information is good, you can predict big weather systems like typhoons. However, no matter how much information you have, it's impossible to predict the weather in one specific place at one specific time.

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    1. Yes, absolutely right.

      It seems as though this natural process is being very much vilified at the moment though. Some people use it maliciously and some don't I guess. I am getting a lot of grief for it, but I don't see how I am generalising in a way that is so bad and I am obviously not advocating discriminating against anyone because of it.

      These three posts have been extremely revealing about the general nature of the argument and I am glad I wrote them, despite the sometimes harsh criticism I have received.

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    2. Yeah, never thought I'd live to see the day where people could be "against" math.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic_mean

      "Stop generalizing" is definitely not an appeal to intellectual honesty.

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  3. It's rich coming from me...but I feel like you're beating a dead horse going into a third post about this. There's a point where a man just needs to walk away.

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    1. It is not really the same subject, just related. However, I get your point and this is the last one.

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    2. It's alright mate...I posted a blog in defense of you...so you shouldn't need to come back to this topic. We win!

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    3. All I can say is that post is a strong misrepresentation of what I said.

      I never tarnished all Koreans with the same brush as you said I did, and I never stated anything as fact; I was speculating about why there is a difference in marriage between the amount of Asian women marrying White men and Asian men marrying White women. The approach to explaining this that everyone likes is the "down to Western prejudice approach". While it holds a lot of truth, it is not the whole truth, and the areas where people fear to tread through fear of generalising or stereotyping can have some explanatory power also. That was all I was trying to say.

      I respect you, I like the way you write (it is entertaining), but most of what you interpreted from me on that post was very inaccurate.

      I am not saying I couldn't ever be wrong by the way and I am open to my theory of the "dangerous and attractive White man in Korea" being completely wrong. Strangely enough though, that part caused no offence at all on my comments section.

      If you do think I was out of order saying what I did, the challenge is still open and if you can justify that what I said is offensive, I will apologise. You know I will back down to a good argument, but I don't see one in your post.

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    4. Misinterpretation? I supported you, and this is the thanks I get! ;-)

      I just wanted to add a little brevity to this little storm in a tea cup.

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    5. Well gee, Mr. Smith, I think the least you could do is offer Burndog the courtesy of showing, with exact quotes, where he misrepresented your arguments. And then using exact quotes from your own writing to show how what you wrote is not the same as the way he represented you.

      Exact quotes seems to be your thing, after all.

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    6. Directed him to my challenge, it is all there. That was the point of issuing a challenge so I would not have to explain myself to everyone who comments on here. Although I have done a pretty good job of that. His misrepresentations are covered in the challenge.

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    7. So when your commenters say "go read your own post and figure it out" then you say "but I want exact quotes." However, when your commenters say "I want exact quotes, you say "go read my post and figure it out"

      Smells like a double standard to me. No wonder nobody but Burndog wants to argue with you anymore.

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    8. I did realise this could be perceived as a double standard, which is why I did provide direct quotes to this query.

      Even though the purpose of the challenge was not to reply to every single person, I have done so anyway and provided them with quotes when necessary. If you read this comment section, you can find them, in the other comments section on the other blogs you can find them, and in Burndog's case, on his blog too.

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  4. what about using HIS direct quotes to show how he misrepresented you -- misrepresentation and disingenuousity is a pretty serious accusation, sir.

    your commenters said "refer to the article you wrote" and you didn't accept it, now, did you? you just asked for direct quotes again. (shall i provide quotes as evidence of that?) if you ask for direct quotes, the least you can do is also provide them in your own argumentation... or you will open yourself to the accusation of holding a higher standard of argumentation for those who disagree with you, than you hold for yourself?

    That would be unseemly!

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    Replies
    1. I'm the one whose post is being attacked, he is writing the post criticising mine. I issued the challenge, if he is going to repeat the same arguments as everyone else, what am I to do? Write another challenge to him and another challenge to the next guy and another to the next and another to the next?

      You think you have a point here, but you really don't, my challenge is there in black and white to cover all the common criticisms, if no one can answer it, why do I have to explain my post to every single person that has commented? It would actually be almost impossible down to the number of comments I received. Is that what journalists do when they write a controversial article, reply to every letter, every e-mail, and every web comment? Not only would it be impractical, it would be unprofessional.

      The ironic thing is that it is impossible for me to win, if I reply I get criticisms from people saying I am arrogant, stubborn, unprofessional, and confrontational. If I don't reply then I am not justifying myself and I am wrong or immoral by default.

      If you really, really want me to do the quoting, I will do it tomorrow when I have more time, but I think I am actually being too generous.

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    2. This is me....Burndog.

      On my phone...so can't log in properly...BUT I can't believe that you have read my post as anything other than a well rounded homage to your thrilling trilogy of race baiting and love!

      Feelings hurt.

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    3. While I am supposedly race-baiting, I think I am definitely being Chris baited into biting here. But as always I kinda enjoy the debating practice.

      I'm not going to quote everything, I think I need only quote one part, which summarises the whole lot and it also works as one example to pick (which is all I asked of my readers):

      "He's not like the rest of us, sitting in out ivory towers, taking the time to think rationally and avoid narrow minded, sweeping statements that unfairly tarnish great swaths of the world's population."

      How did I tarnish "swaths of the world's population"? What was the worst thing I wrote about Koreans or Asians? I can see two that people have latched upon mainly; 1) Koreans tend to be more conservative, and 2) Korean and Asian men generally tend to not be as big as White men and women tend to be attracted to taller and bigger men (a well-documented fact). I also wrote about number 2 in the following context:

      "Now, before you shoot me, I am not saying that the following argument is true but I have heard it coming from a few Korean women I know, so I think it is worth addressing......."

      I fail to see how either of the two is that insulting or controversial, especially given they were speculations. The way I wrote admitted of many exceptions, so I haven't generalised to everyone. Why is a difference in height or being more conservative such a big deal anyway? Tarnishing great swathes of the world's population? You've got to be joking, that is madness.

      But of course it is all a joke over at Burndog's blog, he doesn't really mean what he says, he is just having fun. Actually most of the time I enjoy his blogs. Even looking back on the one's where he attacked me originally, they are pretty funny. I do think he hides behind a cloak of false modesty, humour, and insult, however that has to be fought through when trying to make a serious point or have a meaningful debate.

      If it is just fun, then fine, it takes a lot to make me cry and phrases such as:

      "Pissy Chrissy No-Co"

      and describing our previous clash like this:

      "In short...I went at Pissy Clissy like he was an unkempt retard (no offense to retards intended) like Dave or Eve. I shot my word wad all over his pasty Limey face, neck and chest, and demanded that he apologise for spoiling my delicious man seed."

      Well both are funny, but I feel I am being more than generous explaining myself and doing what is suggested of me by another commenter:

      "Well gee, Mr. Smith, I think the least you could do is offer Burndog the courtesy of showing, with exact quotes, where he misrepresented your arguments"

      So if it is fun, fair enough, but if you are going to take it as a serious argument, I really owe him nothing, because if he is being serious, no respect is coming my way whatsoever, far graver misrepresentations, and more than a few insults and you can't have a serious conversation like this.

      I know Burndog didn't ask for my justification of why I think he misrepresented me, so I will take his blog as having a laugh on his own space. But to the other commenter, hope you are happy now that I have done what you asked..

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    4. Well...I do appreciate you taking the time to address my 'concerns'.

      I had already planned to write a follow up blog to the original (in the spirit of you issuing a challenge, I also issued a challenge to my readership), and seeing as though my classes were all cancelled this morning, it is already up.

      Fortunately, I have actually added some legitimate opinion in with the mirth and joy that some people find so confronting. If you read the finally finally section you might find my actual opinion on this matter (well...the seed of my opinion, rather than my whole opinion!).

      I know that my colourful turns of phrase can be a little distracting at times, however I truly believe that a little bit of humour and a light hearted approach to these 'big issues' does more than simply stating opinions and facts and trying to 'win' arguments. I don't care about winning or losing, I just enjoy playing the game.

      Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

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    5. I know you enjoy playing the game, but I think there is more to it than that. I care about winning and losing, but not in the way you think. I want to lose; if I really am the race-baiting dumbass you and other are making me out to be, I want to know so I can change, but I have to be really convinced. Some better arguments might convince me, but yours don't.

      I'm all for some humour, but I think I stand by what I said before. Don't know how to explain myself any better, so you interpret what I said how you like, it's your blog. Hope I gave you some nice ammo for your games.

      Take it easy Burndog.

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