Saturday, 21 November 2015

Virtue Signalling

We all know that “prejudice” means “making sweeping assertions without supplying evidence”. People on benefits are all scroungers, immigrants are all fit young men in search of the good life, women aren’t funny - these are clearly prejudiced views. But, mysteriously, "champagne socialists expressing concern about global tragedies are just virtue signallers who fail to live up to their ideals" doesn't count as prejudice.

How can you prove that all those expressing concern for victims of a global tragedy on social media are merely "virtue signalling" and "failing to live up to their ideals"?

You’d need to convince the court that expressing concern is useless, and that there is such a thing as "virtue signalling".

Assuming that there is, who are these people? What did they say? What are their ideals? What would “living up to them” consist of? We would need to agree on a standard of “living up to ideals”, and have their actions judged by a neutral observer.

OK, so this isn't a court of law. But are you saying that in real life it’s OK to make assertions, allegations and accusations without evidence? Of course, you’re free to present no evidence. And I’m free to disbelieve you. Or you could name and shame some “virtue signallers”, and they can sue you, and then we WILL be in a court of law.

But how are you going to convince anybody without evidence? What made you think it was possible? And why would you base your opinions on no evidence?

Even if they are just “virtue signalling”, and not helping, does it help to carp about the way others respond to a tragedy?

I put it to you that you are merely repeating an accusation you have heard or read - on social media, and using a tragedy to put others in the wrong.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Howlers 13

Had the contingencies of history and geography been different? We might be eating a lot more rabbit these days. ( Needs a comma, not a question mark, after "different".)

It’s really clicking all the boxes. (Escape to the Country Well, when did you last tick a box with a pen?)

Highly prized as a symbol of political power: an C18th spectre made in the reign of the Chinese Qianlong Emperor. (‏@WallaceMuseum)

It places the actions and motivations firmly on this earthly plain. ( plane)

What spurned me to write this? (Dean Burnett spurred)

I might write a book about train conductor's English. Today we had apologies for the "sincere delay" that we "incrued". (@NickThornsby severe, incurred)

normative for normal, typology for type, seismological for seismic, methodology for method (Hugh Pearman)

I think it’s quite simple – obviously in a quite flamboyant style. (Antiques Roadshow)

Will such justice be metered out to our teams? (Tim Wonnacott meted)

Painting of Ophelia Recreated as Mural on Boat Roof (Murals go on the walls – les murs.)

fighting a dual (New Scientist duel)

Does Renoir’s pallet hold the clue? (Philip Mould palette)

missed guided: misguided
well-healed: rich (well-heeled)
gin up on: gen up on

blight: plight (Iris’s blight is interesting.)
cellulite: celluloid (Bargain Hunt)

laughing historically: hysterically
Bruce Brainsfather: Bairnsfather (Bargain Hunt)
crapulous: crapey

monasteries were raised to the ground: razed
amphibious: for ambidextrous
please bare with me: bear

art décor:
art deco
upper nova garage door: up and over
deep-seeded: deep-seated (say it in an American accent)

Miss Marples:
Miss Marple
withdrawl: withdrawal
ball out: bawl out

And nobody knows what “cognitive dissonance” means. They use it to mean “denial”. (People go into denial to avoid cognitive dissonance – holding two contradictory ideas at once. Dissonance is the opposite of harmony.)

More here, and links to the rest.