Barefoot and Pregnant

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Friday
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby Friday » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:17 am

Francois, as a student of human nature I can with 95% confidence say that the girl did that to you because of one of two things:

1. She wanted attention (you'd be surprised by how much of negative human acts are done solely for this reason)
2. Someone actually DID grab her in some bad way, but she didn't see who, and blamed you as a scapegoat because you were from out of town, overweight, shy, etc. And then exaggerated it because see number 1.

People are too quick to blame weird nonsensical shit on someone being "crazy." Nah bro. Humans are awful enough when they're fully sane and aware of their actions.

In any case, whether I'm right or not (and I admit I could be wrong), I'm really sorry that happened to you and just want to let you know that you are aces in my (and everyone who matters) book.
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François
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby François » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:41 pm

Thank you, it means a lot to hear it. I must admit I had some trepidation writing this. I understand the "believe all accusers" notion is useful, necessary even, but I happen to be in a rare situation where I myself can't quite apply it universally, absolutely, and in the strictest sense, for the immediately obvious reason. The movement we're seeing these days is absolutely valid, and part of its strength comes from how it doesn't encumber itself overmuch with nuance. If part of the price to be paid is that I have to be very careful about who I share some events of my life with, then let it be least among my contributions.

As for the girl's reasons, I didn't mention it because it didn't seem entirely relevant at the time, but she had a friend who swore up and down that she saw me do it too, so the odds of it having been an honest mistake seem, well, maybe not zero but rather low. I'm well-acquainted with the fruits of cruelty, and attention-seeking as a motive had crossed my mind, but it felt like it might have been bad form to raise the possibility myself. In any case, that's probably another reason why the risk of false accusation punches so far above its weight: everybody knows shitty people.

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sei
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby sei » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:26 am

The Empathy Gap in Tech: Interview with a Software Engineer. Presented in context of that Google firing that was discussed in this thread, a long while back.


Friday wrote:1. She wanted attention (you'd be surprised by how much of negative human acts are done solely for this reason)
2. Someone actually DID grab her in some bad way, but she didn't see who, and blamed you as a scapegoat because you were from out of town, overweight, shy, etc. And then exaggerated it because see number 1.

People are too quick to blame weird nonsensical shit on someone being "crazy." Nah bro. Humans are awful enough when they're fully sane and aware of their actions.

If the girl is a rational actor in pursuit of attention, then her empathy levels would need to be pretty low to blame a victim? If so, are they sociopathically low? And if so, is sociopathy a form of insanity or not?

If she's not acting rationally, how irrational does she have to be before she's insane?
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Mongrel
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:09 pm

On the subject of accusations being taken as evidence, Margaret Atwood had a very good essay today in the Globe.
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Thad
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:22 am

I certainly don't have Ms. Atwood's feminist bona fides, but it seems to me that she's conflating multiple different issues.

She's describing an internal employee investigation that was conducted in a manner that did not meet basic standards of evidence, and used the legal system to prevent the accused from defending himself. I'm not familiar with the details of the case and can't vouch for whether she's describing it accurately, but if she is then I agree with her criticisms.

She then describes a legal system which found the accused not guilty, but did not result in the accused getting his job back. Overall it sounds like the legal system did its job in this instance; the standards for losing your job are not the same as the standards for a guilty verdict in court, and the problem here seems to be doubling back to #1, that the workplace inquiry was conducted improperly. There are potential legislative solutions here; off the top of my head, tighter restrictions on what NDAs are allowed to suppress.

From there she goes to "What if #metoo replaces the legal system?" and maybe it's because I'm only halfway through my coffee but it's not entirely clear what she means. She conjures images of the Salem witch trials and the French revolution, but I'm pretty sure she only intends them as metaphor and she doesn't really expect roving bands of vigilantes to start executing accused sex criminals. (Somebody did slap Harvey Weinstein a couple of times in a restaurant last week.) I think that would make a good basis for a Margaret Atwood novel, but I don't think it's a pressing real-life concern. On the other hand, Mike Pence is the vice president, so we're a heartbeat away of living in a Margaret Atwood novel as it is.

My best guess is that she means the old "what if false accusations become the norm instead of the exception?" hypothetical, and while I suppose it's an SF author's job to tease social trends to their logical conclusions, she's hardly the first person to ask that question. The answer remains the same: if that happens, we deal with it then; in the meantime, we believe accusers. That doesn't mean we throw out standards for evidence in workplace investigations or at trial; it means that these are all different contexts with different standards of evidence, and we should do a better job of recognizing that.

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Mongrel
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:40 pm

I took it as her speaking more socially. There may not actually be roving lynch mobs, but there are certainly internet lynch mobs, where a person may have been judged publicly and their life effectively ruined before legal due process is allowed to take place. It's a plea to let cooler heads prevail and not rush to judgment.

Which... good luck with that Margaret. I may agree with such a sentiment, but I think the internet lynch mob has become a pretty dominant social force at the moment. That said, I think there ARE cases where the evidence become overwhelming before anything goes to trial. When you have a dozen accusers and many of them have photos, video, or solid corroborating witnesses, well... let's still let it go to trial, but I think we know the accused at least had *something* unsavoury going on.

If the article crosses multiple issues, it's because she's trying to address a broader social issue (that rush to judgment) along with a personal one (the accusation that she is a Bad Feminist for placing due process above giving accusers wide leeway) in the same essay, and maybe that doesn't work as well as it might.
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pacobird
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Re: Barefoot and Pregnant

Postby pacobird » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:15 pm

I'll be the guy who says Garrison Keillor got screwed.
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