It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

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It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:53 am

For the past year scholars James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian have sent fake papers to various academic journals which they describe as specialising in activism or “grievance studies.” Their stated mission has been to expose how easy it is to get “absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research.”

To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.
https://quillette.com/2018/10/01/the-gr ... s-respond/
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:07 am

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by DCComic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:12 am

You seem to have missed the point of peer review and academic publishing.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:15 am

And you remain a humourless finger-wagging scold.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by DCComic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:28 am

Oh- you were joking, not just an ignorant little man trying to laugh at things you can't understand.
I see.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Godjira » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:28 am

Oooh, white folks gettin’ edgy.

Don’t they have jobs?
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:43 am

Argonheart_Po wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:15 am
And you remain a humourless finger-wagging scold.
Well, yeah, he is. This is fascinating though. I've been critical of scholastic values and academia as long as I can remember but I've never seen such hard evidence to prove the system's flaws. My hats off to these folks. Although I do suspect they are probably rich as well as smart, and probably have way to much spare time to kill.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Lost Soul » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:56 am

They are doing science, zamuel. The science of peer review.

The STEM fields are still pretty rigorous though, as a gander here will attest- https://arxiv.org/
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:52 pm

DCComic wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:12 am
You seem to have missed the point of peer review and academic publishing.
Well, in fairness, part of the point of peer review is to gatekeep against articles that either 1) don't contribute to current debate or 2) lack the sort of evidence or methods to make the conclusion compelling enough to debate. Plainly, Mien Kampf put into a SJW google translate does't fit either bill.

The implication of the Quillette article is that the authors' ability to slip these articles into peer-reviewed journals signals some type of crisis in "grievance studies," which they don't define very well (it's probably common sense to their audience, but real testing requires definitions). These journals are informing scholarly debate with hack arguments and articles, suggesting the foundation of the whole enterprise is rotten. Worse, taxpayers are funding it!

The alternative explanation is that low-ranked colleges in search of prestige still prefer faculty to publish even as they teach five classes a semester. Overworked (or underqualified) faculty turn to publish-anything journals, including predatory journals that will publish basically anything if you pay. Researchers that publish in these journals are typically either adjunct faculty (they get paid hourly to be in the classroom) or professors at junior or double-directional state colleges that don't provide faculty explicit research time in their contract. These articles are therefore not really "taxpayer funded".

Which is happening here is hard to tell because neither the OP article, or any other I could find about the experiment, actually provides 1) the full list of articles the authors have submitted 2) the full list or number of journals submitted to or 3) the full list of accepted articles. If the authors pushed all 20 of their fake articles to 200 hundred journals last year and got 7 bites at marginal or predatory publications, the problem is likely that teaching faculty are using nonsense journals the discipline ignores in a desperate bid to get a job with some stability. If the authors were often successful at influential journals, and their fake articles later gather lots of citations, then we're looking at pseudo-science built on a platform of lies.

One way to test these theories would be to look at the faculty that publish in the target journals, and the journals' impact factor. The American Sociological Review, a well-respected journal in that discipline, has a factor just over 5; American Economic Review, about 6. Most publications in both are written by faculty at research universities, or by graduate students intending to teach at one, and both are plausible "grievance studies" journals, as both publish articles about racial or gender bias in social outcomes.

By contrast, Affilia, the journal that published the dog-park rape culture study, has an impact factor of .8. Gender, Place and Culture averages a little below 1, but managed a 1.5 last year. Most of the articles each journal publishes fail to get cited in another peer-reviewed paper in their first two years. The quality of the faculty publishing is harder to tell at first glance. The affiliations of the faculty publishing are not super impressive, but many are in social work departments, and some smaller universities become powerhouses in training social workers. Still, more than a quarter of the authors I googled were obviously adjuncts at their listed institutions.

One essay in the Quillette argues that these results demonstrate university culture is suffused with offensive and aggressive post-modernism that undermines empirical science. I'm not sure I agree that the authors' success here justifies that claim.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by DCComic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:58 pm

Some journals are desperate for content. Publishing lends no credence unless the journal is noteworthy. Many are not.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:07 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:56 am
They are doing science, zamuel.
Ah the science of kissing ass, it's right up your ally I expect.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Lost Soul » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:14 pm

Just because I exposed your stupidity about Tucson, San Xavier and the Yaquis is no reason to hate me.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:14 pm
Just because I exposed your stupidity about Tucson, San Xavier and the Yaquis is no reason to hate me.
Hint: it wasn't my stupidity that was exposed. Your gullibility was quite notable, it obviously carries over to believing whatever fox news tells you. I don't waste time with hate, it hurts those who wear it more than those they focus on. I do find wanton ignorance despicable though.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:59 pm

DCComic wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:28 am
Oh- you were joking, not just an ignorant little man trying to laugh at things you can't understand.
I see.
You really don’t find it funny?
As we progressed, we started to realize that just about anything can be made to work, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates understanding of the existing literature
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by DCComic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:01 pm

No funnier than making shit up and posting it here.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:03 pm

As I said:

A humourless finger-wagging scold.

What happened to you out there on Mount Thatcher?
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by DCComic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:06 pm

A thing has to actually be funny. Funny isn't 'supports my thesis'.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by strife » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:12 pm

AP, you should address greenlantern.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:15 pm

academic journals specializing in “grievance studies”. Really?.

I wouldn’t have though there was ever much science there in the first place.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by eric84 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:27 pm

Look, I don't read much academic literature anymore but I will say that they're supposed to explore somewhat outlandish ideas. So the fact that a few people sought to troll journals isn't all that illuminating.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by lolasf » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:46 pm

It's not just social sciences, it's happening more and more in 'academic' publications.

Scientist Published Papers Based on 'Rick and Morty' to Expose Predatory Academic Journals
Things fall apart, it's scientific.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:58 pm

It’s no surprise and not even news that you can get stuff through peer revew, there are some famous cases of it even in real scientific journals. People need to understand the limitations of peer review, it’s not an audit process the journals and reviewers never have the time or resources to do that. They do basic automated plagiarism checks, they do literature searches to determine if the research is repeating work done previously or if it is new, they do a check of the claimed methodology to ensure it is of defensible quality (they do largely rely on the honesty of the documentation, as I said they generally don’t have audit capability). The more scientific the work the more it able to be checked for robustness (e.g. you can runs the maths on some components)

I am not familiar with journals on grievance studies but I would assume they fall more in the arena of philosophy and social commentary than in science and the more philosophical the work the less it can be scientifically tested. In which case peer review is likely to be more about whether they add to the body of thought in original ways. Again it’s not really surprising that you could get a piece of rewritten Mein Kampf through it is it is rewritten enough to pass a plagiarism checker and probably the reviewers dont spend a great deal of time reading mein Kampf, it’s hardly popular literature these days, and arguably a rewritten piece of Mien Kampf in a social theory style is potentially a validly interesting social theory discussion. For those so inclined.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:57 pm

Flagship feminist philosophy journal, Hypatia, invited resubmission of a paper which argued that “privileged students shouldn’t be allowed to speak in class" and should be subject to "experiential reparations" including “sitting on the floor, wearing chains”.
Fantastic.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:33 pm

People need to understand the limitations of peer review, it’s not an audit process the journals and reviewers never have the time or resources to do that. They do basic automated plagiarism checks, they do literature searches to determine if the research is repeating work done previously or if it is new, they do a check of the claimed methodology to ensure it is of defensible quality (they do largely rely on the honesty of the documentation, as I said they generally don’t have audit capability). The more scientific the work the more it able to be checked for robustness (e.g. you can runs the maths on some components)
As I'm reading it, this is not true at better journals in social science. My own submissions get detailed critiques about the casual inference strategy, and I am almost always required to submit replication data and coding files to avoid a desk reject. When I review other work, I always, at the very least, run the replication code and attempt some basic changes to the model's specifications. Journals typically route papers to area and subject matter experts that provide real feedback on logical problems in the theory and object to the study's neglect of relevant studies missing from the lit review.

The fact that many journals cannot meet this standard (or the similar standard in whatever discipline) is a sign that they should close or stop marketing themselves as peer review.

I still argue that the root of the problem is not scientific fraud or the spread of post-modernism up-ending empirical science, but the irrational preference of two- and four-year colleges to hire over-worked and under-resourced teachers that have a "research" record. It incentivizes bad research and generates demand for marginal journals over, say, better teacher training.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:53 pm

thegreenlantern wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:33 pm
People need to understand the limitations of peer review, it’s not an audit process the journals and reviewers never have the time or resources to do that. They do basic automated plagiarism checks, they do literature searches to determine if the research is repeating work done previously or if it is new, they do a check of the claimed methodology to ensure it is of defensible quality (they do largely rely on the honesty of the documentation, as I said they generally don’t have audit capability). The more scientific the work the more it able to be checked for robustness (e.g. you can runs the maths on some components)
As I'm reading it, this is not true at better journals in social science. My own submissions get detailed critiques about the casual inference strategy, and I am almost always required to submit replication data and coding files to avoid a desk reject. When I review other work, I always, at the very least, run the replication code and attempt some basic changes to the model's specifications. Journals typically route papers to area and subject matter experts that provide real feedback on logical problems in the theory and object to the study's neglect of relevant studies missing from the lit review.

The fact that many journals cannot meet this standard (or the similar standard in whatever discipline) is a sign that they should close or stop marketing themselves as peer review.

I still argue that the root of the problem is not scientific fraud or the spread of post-modernism up-ending empirical science, but the irrational preference of two- and four-year colleges to hire over-worked and under-resourced teachers that have a "research" record. It incentivizes bad research and generates demand for marginal journals over, say, better teacher training.
I will defer to your experience of social science journals, mine is all with medical science.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:08 am

The existence of a monthly journal focused on “feminist geography” is a sign of something gone awry in academia. The journal in question—Gender, Place & Culture—published a paper online in May whose author claimed to have spent a year observing canine sexual misconduct in Portland, Ore., parks.

The author admits that “my own anthropocentric frame” makes it difficult to judge animal consent. Still, the paper claims dog parks are “petri dishes for canine ‘rape culture’ ” and issues “a call for awareness into the different ways dogs are treated on the basis of their gender and queering behaviors, and the chronic and perennial rape emergency dog parks pose to female dogs.”

The paper was ridiculous enough to pique my interest—and rouse my skepticism, which grew in July with a report in Campus Reform by Toni Airaksinen. Author Helen Wilson had claimed to have a doctorate in feminist studies, but “none of the institutions that offers such a degree could confirm that she had graduated from their program,” Ms. Airaksinen wrote. In August Gender, Place & Culture issued an “expression of concern” admitting it couldn’t verify Ms. Wilson’s identity, though it kept the paper on its website.

All of this prompted me to ask my own questions. My email to “Helen Wilson” was answered by James Lindsay, a math doctorate and one of the real co-authors of the dog-park study. Gender, Place & Culture had been duped, he admitted. So had half a dozen other prominent journals that accepted fake papers by Mr. Lindsay and his collaborators—Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University, and Helen Pluckrose, a London-based scholar of English literature and history and editor of AreoMagazine.com.

The three academics call themselves “left-leaning liberals.” Yet they’re dismayed by what they describe as a “grievance studies” takeover of academia, especially its encroachment into the sciences. “I think that certain aspects of knowledge production in the United States have been corrupted,” Mr. Boghossian says. Anyone who questions research on identity, privilege and oppression risks accusations of bigotry.

Beginning in August 2017, the trio wrote 20 hoax papers, submitting them to peer-reviewed journals under a variety of pseudonyms, as well as the name of their friend Richard Baldwin, a professor emeritus at Florida’s Gulf Coast State College. Mr. Baldwin confirms he gave them permission use his name. Journals accepted seven hoax papers. Four have been published.

This isn’t the first time scholars have used a hoax paper to make a point. In 1996 Duke University Press’s journal Social Text published a hoax submission by Alan Sokal, a mathematical physicist at New York University. Mr. Sokal, who faced no punishment for the hoax, told me he was “not oblivious to the ethical issues involved in my rather unorthodox experiment,” adding that “professional communities operate largely on trust; deception undercuts that trust.”

But he also said he was criticizing an academic subculture “that typically ignores (or disdains) reasoned criticism from the outside.” He concluded: “How can one show that the emperor has no clothes? Satire is by far the best weapon; and the blow that can’t be brushed off is the one that’s self-inflicted.” Messrs. Lindsay and Boghossian were already known for a hoax paper titled “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” which they published in the journal Cogent Social Sciences last year under the names Jamie Lindsay and Peter Boyle.

Such hoaxes are unethical, and The Wall Street Journal doesn’t condone them. The Journal expects op-ed contributors to be truthful about their identities and research, and academic journals also rely on the honesty of their authors.

But the trio defended their actions, saying they viewed the deception not as a prank but as a “hoax of exposure,” or a way to do immersive research that couldn’t be conducted any other way. “We understood ourselves to be going in to study it as it is, to try to participate in it,” Ms. Pluckrose says. “The name for this is ethnography. We’re looking at a particular culture.”

Each paper “combined an effort to better understand the field itself with an attempt to get absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research,” Mr. Lindsay wrote in a project summary. Their elaborate submissions cited and quoted dozens of real papers and studies to bolster the hoax arguments.

One of the trio’s hoax papers, published in April by the journal Fat Studies, claims bodybuilding is “fat-exclusionary” and proposes “a new classification . . . termed fat bodybuilding, as a fat-inclusive politicized performance.” Editor Esther Rothblum said the paper had gone through peer review, and the author signed a copyright form verifying authorship of the article. “This author put a lot of work into this topic,” she said. “It is an interesting topic, looking at weight and bodybuilding. So I am surprised that, of all things, they’d write this as a hoax. As you can imagine, this is a very serious charge.” She plans to remove the paper from the Fat Studies website.

A hoax paper for the Journal of Poetry Therapy describes monthly feminist spirituality meetings, complete with a “womb room,” and discusses six poems, which Mr. Lindsay generated by algorithm and lightly edited. Founding editor Nicholas Mazza said the article went through blind peer review and revisions before its acceptance in July, but he regrets not doing more to verify the author’s identity. He added that it took years to build credibility and get the Journal of Poetry Therapy listed in major scholarly databases. “You work so hard, and you get something like this,” he said. Still, “I can see how editors like me and journals can be duped.”

Affilia, a peer-reviewed journal of women and social work, formally accepted the trio’s hoax paper, “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism.” The second portion of the paper is a rewrite of a chapter from “Mein Kampf.” Affilia’s editors declined to comment.

The trio say they’ve proved that higher ed’s fixation on identity politics enables “absurd and horrific” scholarship. Their submissions were outlandish—but no more so, they insist, than others written in earnest and published by these journals.

Gender, Place & Culture, for instance, published a 2017 paper that wasn’t a hoax analyzing the “feminist posthumanist politics” of what squirrels eat. This year Hypatia, a journal of feminist philosophy, published an analysis of a one-woman show featuring “the onstage cooking of hot chocolate and the presence of a dead rat.” The performance supposedly offers “a synthaesthetic portrait of poverty and its psychological fallout.”

The trio say the biases in favor of grievance-focused research was so strong that their hoax papers sailed through peer review, acceptance and publication despite obvious problems. The data for the dog-park study, Mr. Lindsay says, “was constructed to look outlandish on purpose. So asking us for the data would not have been out of sorts. It would have been appropriate, and we would have been exposed immediately.”

One hoax paper, submitted to Hypatia, proposed a teaching method centered on “experiential reparations.” It suggested that professors rate students’ levels of oppression based on race, gender, class and other identity categories. Students deemed “privileged” would be kept from commenting in class, interrupted when they did speak, and “invited” to “sit on the floor” or “to wear (light) chains around their shoulders, wrists or ankles for the duration of the course.” Students who complained would be told that this “educational tool” helps them confront “privileged fragility.”

Hypatia’s two unnamed peer reviewers did not object that the proposed teaching method was abusive. “I like this project very much,” one commented. One wondered how to make privileged students “feel genuinely uncomfortable in ways that are humbling and productive,” but not “so uncomfortable (shame) that they resist with renewed vigor.” Hypatia didn’t accept the paper but said it would consider a revised version. In July it formally accepted another hoax paper, “When the Joke Is on You: A Feminist Perspective on How Positionality Influences Satire”—an argument that humor, satire and hoaxes should only be used in service of social justice, not against it.

Ann Garry, an interim editor of Hypatia, said she was “deeply disappointed” to learn that the papers, which went through double anonymous peer review, may be hoaxes. “Referees put in a great deal of time and effort to write meaningful reviews, and the idea that individuals would submit fraudulent academic material violates many ethical and academic norms,” she said. “It is equally upsetting that the anonymous reviewer comments from that effort were shared with third parties, violating the confidentiality of the peer-review process.” Wiley, Hypatia’s publisher, is investigating in accordance with industrywide ethical guidelines, she said.

After I contacted Gender, Place & Culture about the dog-park hoax paper, I received a statement from Taylor & Francis Group, the journal’s publisher. Tracy Roberts, publishing director for the humanities and social sciences, said that after postpublishing checks raised questions about the author’s identity, the editors launched an investigation several weeks ago. “Helen Wilson” never responded to their queries. “We are now in the process of retracting this article from the scholarly record,” the editorial team said in a statement.

Mr. Boghossian doesn’t have tenure and expects the university will fire or otherwise punish him. Ms. Pluckrose predicts she’ll have a hard time getting accepted to a doctoral program. Mr. Lindsay said he expects to become “an academic pariah,” barred from professorships or publications.

Yet Mr. Lindsay says the project is worth it: “For us, the risk of letting biased research continue to influence education, media, policy and culture is far greater than anything that will happen to us for having done this.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fake-news- ... WAOEBw25we
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Godjira » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:11 am

Meanwhile, the President of the US is on TV making fun of an attempted rape victim, and women’s rights are considered a “grievance”.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:00 am

Zamuel wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Lost Soul wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:14 pm
Just because I exposed your stupidity about Tucson, San Xavier and the Yaquis is no reason to hate me.
Hint: it wasn't my stupidity that was exposed. Your gullibility was quite notable, it obviously carries over to believing whatever fox news tells you. I don't waste time with hate, it hurts those who wear it more than those they focus on. I do find wanton ignorance despicable though.
Only one poster here is as intransigently idiotic as you are. He answers to gootard btw, as do you.

Though I must say, googoo's troll is better this time than his last one.

Your major malfunction was that nobody who lived in Southern Arizona "for 40 years" can be as stupid about Southern Arizona as you. Hell, S8 lived there for two years and called you out on your bollocks about San Xavier and the Yaquis.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Godjira » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:46 am

I don't need to make a troll handle to troll you, Obamanation.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:10 am

I will defer to your experience of social science journals, mine is all with medical science.
That's interesting. What do you suppose is the modal amount of time a reviewer spends writing a referee report in a reasonably well-respected medical journal?

I'd guess that I spent 5 hours or so on each report, but I'm early enough in my career that I'd guess the lack of skill or apathy is driving up the time.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:23 am

Not sure but I suspect it depends on the journal and the complexity of the paper, I would guess for the high end journals and complex papers it is significantly more than 5 hours, but there are quite a few simpler papers as well, if they they are well written and if the reviewer is an experienced literature searcher or has a fellow or student to do the drudge work for them it might take less than 5 hours.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:53 am

Well, you'd think that amount of time would prevent these journals from publishing an excerpt of Mien Kampf with medical terminology, right? We're not talking about holding reviewers accountable for subtle bias in a complex sample here.

The retraction statement published by Taylor and Francis (owners of the journal that published the dog park rape culture article) doesn't in any way acknowledge that the paper is, on its face, absurd. The quote from the WSJ article above suggests that the editors believe the reviewers did their job, which is somewhat gobsmacking to me.

Interesting that so much of the job in medical journals seems to be making sure the paper isn't duplicative of other research. Typically the articles I'm sent are niche enough that I have a pretty good instinct right away.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:02 am

The thing is that for quality medical journals there are multiple reviewers and stages of review hereistheprocessfor the BMJ one of the better publications.

7000 research papers, 7% accepted

•approximate numbers at each stage:
–1000 rejected by one editor within 48 hours

–further 3000 rejected with second editor

–within one week of submission 3000 read by senior editor; further 1500 rejected

–1500 sent to two reviewers; then 500 more rejected

–approx 1000 screened by clinical epidemiology editor and more rejected

400-500 to weekly manuscript meeting attended by the Editor, an external editorial adviser (a specialist or primary care doctor) and a statistician..

•…and the full team of BMJ research editors, plus the BMJ clinical epidemiology editor

•350 research articles accepted, usually after revision

•value added by commissioned editorials and commentaries
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by guruwil » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:07 am

Here is their guidance for reviewers

For all articles
• Is the article important?
• Will it help our readers to make better decisions and, if so, how?
• Will the article add enough to existing knowledge?
• Does the article read well and make sense? Does it have a clear message?
For research articles
• Originality — does the work add enough to what is already in the published literature? If so, what does it add? Please cite relevant references to support your comments on originality.
• Importance of the work to general readers — does this work matter to clinicians, researchers, policymakers, educators, or patients? Will it help our readers to make better decisions and, if so, how? Is a general medical journal the right place for it?
• Scientific reliability:
• Research question — clearly defined and appropriately answered?
• Overall design of study — appropriate and adequate to answer the research question?
• Participants — adequately described, their conditions defined, inclusion and exclusion criteria described? How representative were they of patients whom this evidence might affect?
• Methods — adequately described? Main outcome measure clear? Is the study fully reported in line with the appropriate reporting statement or checklist (these are all collected and regularly updated at http://www.equator-network.org/)? Was the study ethical (this may go beyond simply whether the study was approved by an ethics committee or IRB)?
• Results — answer the research question? Credible? Well presented?
• Interpretation and conclusions — warranted by and sufficiently derived from/focused on the data? Discussed in the light of previous evidence? Message clear?
• References — up to date and relevant? Any glaring omissions?
• Abstract/summary/key messages/what this paper adds — reflect accurately what the paper says?
• Documents in the supplemental files eg checklists for reporting statements eg CONSORT, PRISMA, and STROBE (see http://www.equator-network.org for other examples and for extensions to existing statements); and the protocol for an RCT. Do these properly match what is in the manuscript? Do they contain information that should be better reported in the manuscript, or raise questions about the work?
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:19 am

These look pretty similar to our guidelines. I gotta say, though, that it looks like BMJ is extremely well-streamlined compared to even the best social science journals. That timeline is beastly. Desk rejects within 48 hours??

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:46 am

This conversation with Will actually brought to mind a more important question or critique of this study: there's no control group, so no way for us to compare the acceptance rate of hoax papers with real ones.

To really understand the magnitude of the "hoax effect," you'd want to have the same authors write 20 genuine papers and see whether they fared any better. If the "good faith control group" papers yielded 50 or 100 total acceptances to the "bad faith treatment" group's 7, you might still argue that peer review is doing its job in "grievance" journals, and what the authors have really proven is that some spaghetti sticks if you throw enough of it against the fridge. The shocking finding of the study is then the result of the authors' massively faster production of paper submissions compared to genuine grievance scholars.

The authors make a sideways attempt at this by noting that they published enough papers in a year to make tenure, suggesting that fraud is a fine way to get promoted in grievance studies. But of course most people don't produce and submit 20 papers a year; they attempt to maximize chances of publication on each individual paper (in my field, at least, this is partly because spaghetti tossers get a reputation and their eventual publications are taken less seriously). The paper pipeline is the social sciences is four or five years.

Of course there is some point at which massive production and submission of shitty papers yields a numerically tenureable file due to human error in reviewers. Without a control group, this is just a scientific sounding version of "Shakespeare wasn't a genius! 100 million monkey with 100 million typewriters..."

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by matt_melb » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:31 am

What if we write a paper claiming that when a guy privately masturbates while thinking about a woman (without her consent—in fact, without her ever finding out about it) that he’s committing sexual violence against her?
Damn, now I'll never get appointed to the Supreme Court.
Sure, our “Dildos” paper did that to answer the questions, “Why don’t straight men tend to masturbate via anal penetration, and what might happen if they did?” Hint: according to our paper in Sexuality and Culture, a leading sexualities journal, they will be less transphobic and more feminist as a result.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:37 am

"...much of the humanities, and nearly all of the social sciences have become pulpits for frauds and megaphones for radical inadequates."
Analysis - Correct.

https://spectator.us/2018/10/grievance-studies/
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:02 am

And remember, if you’re tired of subsidising this sort of thing, it’s because you’re “anti-intellectual.”
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:00 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:00 am
your bollocks about San Xavier and the Yaquis.
Lets see, local natives reject the white man's history books and have a very different version of their heritage than the "Official" version. Who will -lost hole- believe ? There's really not much doubt, is there ? Who cares that the White Man's history books change every 10 years or so to adapt to a developing environment, certainly not -lost hole- . Who cares that those "Social Scientists" are stepping on their own dicks to peer review idiotic crap into accepted reality ? Whatever they want to be believed, -lost hole- is their guy.

Of course he loves Donald Trump, who else feeds him so much shit ?
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 pm

Gootard, the Yaquis arrived in Tucson during the Porfiriate, when noble, brown, Mexicans were trying to enslave them.

Now go read a book.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:10 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 pm
Gootard, the Yaquis arrived in Tucson during the Porfiriate, when noble, brown, Mexicans were trying to enslave them.
Here you go Bozo … Chew on this.
During the first two millennia of the Great Drought (6,500 B.C.- 4,500 B.C.) the early Desert Archaic peoples, like their Paleo-Indian predecessors, traveled in small mobile groups, probably extended families, in a ceaseless quest for food, materials, fuel and water. They carried their belonging on their backs, which prevented the accumulation of material wealth and, probably, the development of marked social status. They may have built rough brush or skin shelters at open campsites, perhaps sleeping on beds of grass. They lived in caves or rock shelters if available. They dressed in tanned deer, antelope and rabbit skins and woven yucca fibers. They likely moved in cadence with the seasons, returning in a circuit year after year to familiar areas to harvest ripening wild plants. It appears possible that they spent winters in lower elevations, near streams or playa lakes. They moved up the flanks of mountains during the spring and summer to gathering ripening plants and hunt deer. They traveled to higher elevations in the fall to collect berries, acorns and pinyon pine nuts, returning to the lower elevations, perhaps a winter base camp, with the onset of colder weather.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:24 am

Brilliantly, hilariously, three academics have made monkeys of the social justice flunkeys, writes Helen Dale.
Pluckrose says they coined the descriptive term “grievance studies” because the fields in question are based wholly on discerning — often at ridiculous degrees of magnification — oppression rooted in identity. “They operate primarily by focusing upon and inflaming the grievances of certain identity groups,” she says, arguing this “represents a significant and influential subset of the scholarship coming out of cultural studies within humanities, sociology, anthropology and other social ­sciences.”...

We have just caused a bit of a shitstorm,” Pluckrose told me early Wednesday morning. “We got seven published but of more significance than this are the reviewer comments we got back.”

That is putting it mildly. One reviewer (from Gender, Place, and Culture, the leading feminist geography journal) on the “Dog Parks” paper expressed concern at “researchers intruding into dogs’ spaces to examine and record genitalia”. (Dogs have a right to privacy? Who knew? Certainly not the dogs.) Nonetheless, she still praised it overall as “wonderful”, “innovative” and “rich in analysis”.

Another reviewer — also from Hypatia — praised a paper suggesting that students deemed “privileged” be kept from commenting in class, interrupted when they spoke, and invited to sit on the floor or “to wear (light) chains around their shoulders, wrists or ankles for the duration of the course”. Students who complained would be told that this “educational tool” helps them confront “privileged fragility”.

This paper, alas, won’t see the light of day — any (official) publication was ended by The Wall Street Journal expose.

“This is not knowledge production,” Pluckrose says. “It’s sophistry. That is, it’s a forgery of knowledge that should not be mistaken for the real thing.”

She says the biggest difference between the three hoaxers and the scholarship they emulated is that “we know we made things up”. Of particular note is the way they started with morally repellent or absurd conclusions and worked backwards, using existing academic literature in the field to make those conclusions seem reasonable and ­publishable...
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by kirrabi » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:09 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 pm
Gootard, the Yaquis arrived in Tucson during the Porfiriate, when noble, brown, Mexicans were trying to enslave them.

Now go read a book.
My cousin did family research. My great great great was part of Cabeza de Vaca's expedition party. He starved, was enslaved, survived, and petitioned for and was awarded land grants in New Mexico. What I don't understand is how could he be enslaved when there were no Southern plantations back them. How does that work?
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by thegreenlantern » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:33 am

The more that emerges about this study, the less seriously I take it. Here are four new reasons for skepticism:

First, a lot of the most damning quote from peer reviewers actually come from referee reports that rejected the paper. One reviewer who recommended a rejection said that he included some positive comments so as to not crush the hopes of the obvious beginner that wrote the paper. This seems reasonable to me; some of the referee reports the authors interpreted as their work receiving serious consideration was actually face-saving by a cringing reviewer.

Second, more than half of the published essays don’t make any empirical claims. One was a poem accepted for online publication in a journal of poetry about surviving sexual violence (Poetry Therapy) that publishes everything it receives online … because it’s intended to be therapeutic, not academic. (Remember what I said about these journals not really appearing to be leaders in their fields?) Another of these makes an argument that it’s unethical for powerful people to use satire to criticize vulnerable people voicing their concerns; the authors faced this criticism of their previous experiment. A person might rationally conclude that this argument overprotects vulnerable people in a grievance literature, but arguing that “punching down” is wrong is hardly facially ridiculous, even if the authors secretly disagreed with the idea when they wrote it.

Third, the empirical papers that did get published were probably aided by the fact that they faked a tremendous amount of data. For example the dog park rape culture paper claimed to be based on 1000 hours of observation at dog parks, which allowed the author to construct a dataset of over 1000 humping incidents and 800 dog fights. According to the paper, male dog owners took longer to respond than female dog owners by a statistically significant margin.

No one thinks journal reviewers can police fake data, although publishing does make it more likely that someone else will uncover the fraud. Given that, I have to admit that if 1000 hours of dog park observation really did uncover a difference in response to dog-violence by gender … it would be pretty interesting. The theory surrounding the observation seems facially insane, but fourth tier journals like this are expressly for heroic data-gathering efforts poorly interpreted. 60% of the articles in which the Aero authors faked substantial data were accepted. Less that 25% of those submitted without faked data were.

Fourth, there’s a massive amount of mission creep here. The authors claim the academic rot claims a variety of “grievance” literatures, including sociology. Argon says it includes the who social sciences. Really? Does the publication of a bad poem in a journal of bad poetry really means that robust and replicable findings about racial bias in hiring are somehow suspect? 18 of the 21 journals to which the authors submitted articles include the word “feminism” in their precises, only 6 mention race. This is a thin, thin sample.

Even the study’s authors are confused on what their claim means. At one point, the authors argue that post-modern and feminist theory is“un-care-about-able”; unread even by its own tiny cadre of practitioners. Elsewhere, though, feminism has “leaked into the educational curriculum and university culture… Corrupt scholarship has already leaked heavily into other fields like education, social work, media, psychology, and sociology, among others—and it openly aims to continue spreading.”

Which is it? Is feminism self-evidently ridiculous to all who view it, or the new hegemonic ontology of the entire academy? If the former, why bother taking it down so spectacularly? If the latter, what appeals to such a wide range of science about post-modernism? Can it really be destroyed with a few bogus articles?

Sokal worried that post-modernism would spoil real science; obsession with identity would mar material progress. But here we are, 40 years into post-modernism, on the edge of eradicating AIDS and with pocket computers more powerful than anything around when Sokal wrote the original hoax. Sure, we’re having trouble with climate change, but that’s probably not the fault of intersectional queer theory, or whatever. At my university, critical theory departments have less than 10% the enrollment of classic social sciences.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by matt_melb » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:04 am

Thanks for the above analysis, green lantern. I've formed the impression you've done quite a bit more research than the journalists whose over-excited articles on the fraud I've seen.

There is some beautiful writing in the dog rape paper that you link to above. For example -
Throughout this work the word ‘rape’ describes human perceptions of dogs forcefully penetrating other dogs who have given no indication of wishing to engage in sexual activity (see Palmer 1989). Of course, the following caveat applies. Because of my own situatedness as a human, rather than as a dog, I recognize my limitations in being able to determine when an incidence of dog humping qualifies as rape.
While I closely and respectfully examined the genitals of slightly fewer than ten thousand dogs, being careful not to cause alarm and moving away if any dog appeared uncomfortable, there is some relevant margin of error concerning my observations about their gender in some instances. It is also more than possible – in fact it is inevitable, though I endeavored not to make assumptions – that I misgendered some of their human companions (that is, I tagged a gender to a person who did not self-identify with that gender). In some of the more extreme cases, as is related to pronounced dog behavior (starting fights, urinating on people, humping or other penetrative acts), I attempted to address this shortcoming by asking human companions their preferred pronouns, as situating the results against McKittrick’s (2006) hegemonic presence of the white male subject required this data. If people were comfortable with my question, I then interrogated them further and inquired sensitively into their sexual orientation.
Dog parks are microcosms where hegemonic masculinist norms governing queering behavior and compulsory heterosexuality can be observed in a cross-species environment. They are thusly oppressive spaces that lock both humans and animals into hegemonic patterns of gender conformity that effectively resist bids for emancipatory change. To clarify, within the understanding of compulsory heterosexuality, it is the male who imposes sexual behaviors and expectations thereof upon the female in order to dominate and control her, and any subversion of this in the form of queer behavior is seen as a threat to this hierarchy and its perception as the natural order. By analogy through an animalizing lens, we should expect male human companions to enforce heterosexuality upon dogs in order to control them while responding to and reinforcing their own hegemonic patterns of masculinity, and this I witnessed in full display by responding to deviations from normative heterosexual behavior in dogs with punishment, sometimes physically. As noted in the data section, male–male raping/humping was intervened upon 97% of the time versus only 32% of the time in male–female incidents, and 100% of physical punishment in response to a rape/humping incident by means of shock collar was for male–male rape/humping incidents. Further, among the 39 times dogs were struck by an adult human companion, 14 times (more than any other single reason) were accounted for male–male rape/humping incidents.
I can't approve of the waste of time of journal publishers, or of the peer reviewers who usually accept the role as an unpaid service to the academic community. But it must have been a lot of fun to write.

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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Argonheart_Po » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:20 am

Hugely amusing.

And likely to have long lasting effects on funding, which may not always be a good thing.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Zamuel » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 pm

kirrabi wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:09 pm
Lost Soul wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 pm
Gootard, the Yaquis arrived in Tucson during the Porfiriate, when noble, brown, Mexicans were trying to enslave them.

Now go read a book.
My cousin did family research. My great great great was part of Cabeza de Vaca's expedition party. He starved, was enslaved, survived, and petitioned for and was awarded land grants in New Mexico. What I don't understand is how could he be enslaved when there were no Southern plantations back them. How does that work?
I don't remember much about de Vacca. SW Indians kept slaves though. Status and respect were a necessary part of their social structure, owning a slave or two increased both.
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Re: It’s As If It’s All Bullshit Or Something

Post by Moethebartender » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:45 am

Cow's Head was one of the four survivors and the chronicler of the 1527 Narveaz expedition. His story is an interesting read.
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