Patterico's Pontifications


Dafydd Responds to “Must One ‘Intend’ to Be Racist”

Filed under: General — Dafydd @ 2:28 pm

This post is by Dafydd, not Patterico;
The distinction could never be missed:
One of us here is a master debater,
The other is a cunning linguist.

(My apologies for the stress-scansion flub in the last line; I was pressed for time.)

Since Patterico likes to see cross-blog discussions of important issues, hence his current “racism” theme, I have responded to this post by Patterico over on my own blog, Big Lizards: “Race” Face.

33 Responses to “Dafydd Responds to “Must One ‘Intend’ to Be Racist””

  1. Dafydd,

    First of all, could you fix your comment section? Your Word Press or whatever, I doubt does what you want it to.

    Second, what on earth does Beldar being from the South have to do with the merits of his ideas?

    And when I was seven I was taught that my uncle went off to fight Italians. When I was eight, I learned that he beat the Italians but could not beat the Germans. When I was nine I learned that Greek communists killed him. When I was ten I learned that the Germans wanted to kill the Italians and my relatives hid them.

    Cut pork into bite size chunks.
    The lemon peel of some lemon into small slices.
    Salt, pepper.
    Sautee in skillet with a little olive oil until the pork has stopped boiling in its own juice.
    Add about a cup of wine.
    Simmer gently until the wine and olive are reduced into a slightly thick sauce.
    Serve as meze, or as meat dish with fried potatoes, or green beans, or boiled rice as side dishes.

    nk (df76d4)

  2. And any ideas on how to explain The Trinity and Joseph and Mary and Jesus to a seven and a half year old like she just asked and I tried?

    nk (df76d4)

  3. And how come, since 1985 or so, you cannot find a science fiction book by a new writer, or even some established writers, without some gratuitous homosexual content?

    nk (df76d4)

  4. This post is by Dafydd, not Patterico;
    The distinction could never be missed:
    One is a master debater,
    The other a cunning linguist.

    Does that scan better ?


    It’s good to see the old chestnuts being brought out at this time of year !

    Alasdair (ca6df2)

  5. One of us here is a master debater

    Fixed it for ya Daf! 😉

    qdpsteve (5eb540)

  6. Knock it off, you guys. I’m the only one allowed to derail this thread.

    nk (df76d4)

  7. Nk:

    I could recommend my new SF novel, the Pandora Point: All homosexual content is integral to the plot. Is that better?


    Dafydd the Disagreeable (96b517)

  8. That recipe sounds yummy, nk.

    PatAZ (fb7107)

  9. Dude,
    I, apparently alone, am totally stoked by your brilliant mix of intelligence and cleverness.
    To wit: “master debater” and “cunning linguist.”
    I mean, like wow.
    Would you please share any useful information on how you are inspired to come up with such amazing turns of phrase. So subtle. So smart. So c-o-o-o-o-ol. Way cool.
    I shall remain in awe of you. And I’ll cherish that I, and I alone in this little echo chamber, was able to pick up on what you were playing doing with the words.
    Way cool, dude.
    I think I’ll nominate you for the “Pullet Surprise.”
    Get it? Woo-hoo!

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  10. I alone in this little echo chamber

    Feel free to stay there.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  11. And I’ll cherish that I, and I alone in this little echo chamber, was able to pick up on what you were playing doing with the words.
    Comment by Larry Reilly — 12/11/2009 @ 6:56 pm

    Pretty sickening how everyone has been in lockstep over the past few days, isn’t it? No contention or contrary opinions expressed here, nope. Just an echo chamber..ber…ber…ber.

    Try again Larry. Better yet, take EW1’s advice and don’t.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  12. I alone in this little echo chamber

    …which just confirms Larry Reilly has not read the comments and discussion.

    nk: Food Seducer!

    Dana (e9ba20)

  13. I will buy it tomorow, Dafydd, if they have it at Borders, and I will review it at my site (or maybe the Jury if Patterico let’s me) on Sunday morning. I won’t compare you to Vance or Zelazny, but I expect it will be better than what Wolfe has done lately and as good as any of Resnick’s or Cook’s.

    nk (df76d4)

  14. “And any ideas on how to explain The Trinity and Joseph and Mary and Jesus to a seven and a half year old like she just asked and I tried?”

    It’s nonsense.

    Nom de Voyages à L'Étranger (722f70)

  15. “And any ideas on how to explain The Trinity and Joseph and Mary and Jesus to a seven and a half year old like she just asked and I tried?”

    Try “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith” by R.C. Spruill. Clearest explanation I’ve found yet.

    Bart998 (1cdcd5)

  16. #14 Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger:

    It’s nonsense.

    Maybe so, but you can’t just tell a kid that.


    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  17. Thanks Bart998, but it was more immediate. God, Who is the the Son of God, Who became human. She knows the myth of Hercules, and she understood Christ better when I analogized him to Hercules (she knows that Hercules’s father was Zeus and he became a god when he died). And she did seem to grasp the concept of The Trinity or maybe she just wanted me to stop talking about it.

    nk (df76d4)

  18. “Maybe so, but you can’t just tell a kid that.


    Why not? We tell children than worshipping the Sun as a literal god, Zeus, Thor, Mohammed’s teachings, and witches are myths.

    Except that, of course, the Bible takes witches entirely seriously and tells us to kill them. That we must kill them. Which, as our knowledge has grown (while we claim to have beliefs we quietly drop one by one), we’ve stopped doing.

    Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger (518ba3)

  19. nk, whether you’re religious or not, the trinity is notoriously hard to explain. It goes something like this.

    There is only 1 God and Mohammed is not his messenger.

    God has a son named Jesus and, after asking Himself why He had forsaken Himself, He died on the cross for our sins.

    Jesus, unlike the father Himself, who orders child rape and sexual slavery of female virgins, and mass genocide of non-virgin women, boys, and men, threatens all of humanity with everlasting torture in Hell unless we believe in Him.

    Jesus is the nice one. He is modeled after a lamb. He tells us to turn the other cheek, that not everyone one in His generation shall pass away before His return to reestablish His Kingdom after his temporary 3-day death and grand sacrifice on our behalf, and he generally seems to be more fun at parties, turning water into wrong.

    It’s generally okay to swear at Jesus once in a while and make fun of Him, because if one sincerely repents before their death, they can be forgiven since Jesus died on the cross for a long weekend in order to save us, remember.

    But if we deny the Holy Spirit, the 3rd member of the trinity, we cannot be pardoned at all and it’s pretty much over for us, except for Hell.

    So you could explain that to her. It has the virtue of being essentially an accurate portrayal of what the Bible says.

    Or, alternatively, if you don’t want to warp her mind with these primitive myths and childhood fears causing unnecessary shame and intellectual silliness, you could explain that it’s mythological.

    Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger (518ba3)

  20. *wrong = wine

    I regret the typo. Turning water into wine is never wrong in my books.

    Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger (518ba3)

  21. Nk:

    Sorry, it’s not published yet. But when I can find a publisher — one willing to publish actual for real honest to goodness science fiction with original sf ideas (probably a boutique publisher) — I’ll be sending a pdf round to fairly well-known bloggers who will agree to review it… good, bad, or indifferent. And include a link to the Amazon page, whenever and wherever that will be.

    After publishing eighteen novels, this is the book that totally slew my career!


    Dafydd the Impatient (96b517)

  22. I don’t think you understand my position, Dafydd.

    Try again.

    Patterico (64318f)

  23. Well, Dafydd, my “Ballad of Kathryn Johnston” has had at least 3,000 Google hits, which makes me a published poet, I guess. In any case, what does not make you my favorite author is that you write for people forty years younger than me.

    nk (df76d4)

  24. Patterico, here’s where I’m a bit confused.

    Are you saying someone can say something that sounds racist to another person, but the person saying it didn’t intend anything racist because there was no racist thought on their part?

    In other words, they simply don’t believe one race is superior to another, and the other person is mistaken in assuming they believe A > B?

    Because if so, I agree with that.

    Even though what McCain wrote came close to racism, perhaps milder racism than many.

    And I thought it was weird that you somehow are saying you didn’t say what he wrote was racist, when you said it sounds racist, and I personally don’t see how else it could be taken.

    It’s one thing to call a pot and kettle black (cast iron, but some people are touchy and would picture skin color).

    It’s another thing entirely to say they couldn’t accept a black man married/sleeping with their white sister.

    Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger (518ba3)

  25. nk, I would suggest you synthesize John chapter 1. “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d … and the Word became flesh.” That is a starter on the Trinity. Or, if you want, I could snag your email addy from CSPT and we could correspond through email regarding the subject. I’m no expert but I can pretend to be one, since I’m laity. Could even make it a group email of sorts with Adj Dana. I’m whatcha call a Protestant and he’s whatcha call a Catholic, so there’s that difference of similarity.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  26. Oh, I know my Gospels and I remember my catechism. I was an altar boy and a choir boy. But I was surprised that when it came to my own kid I could not tell her things that I discuss with priests over dinner and wine.

    nk (df76d4)

  27. #19 Nom de Voyages à L’Étranger:

    whether you’re religious or not, the trinity is notoriously hard to explain.

    Closer, but you still aren’t pitching to the right age group.

    Children are trying to make sense of the world around them~at the age of nk’s daughter they are beginning to differentiate what is real and what’s not.

    Whether you are religious or not, it’s okay to tell them what you believe, and better to let them know that other people have other beliefs. And even better to teach them that some beliefs can lead people into doing evil things.

    Now, if you are explaining the Trinity to me, that is a different matter. Although, even after many luncheons and wine with priests at the rectory across the street from work, it never took.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  28. That was an interesting post Daffyd. I have bones to pick with it and “racist” and “racism” in general.

    Stepping back from the immediate problem I note that I am an engineer. I have designed electronics for military RF communications. As such I had a list of parts I can use. These are parts screened for reliability. Supposedly these parts of a given designation are all interchangeable. But I intentionally made some additional discriminatory determinations based on past performance of certain vendors. I Discriminated.

    Then I looked at samples of parts from each of the vendors. Their characteristics, in some cases, varied widely from those of other vendors. I selected for those characteristics that I needed and created a new part number for it matching that specification. Oh horrors, more discrimination.

    All through out this project I discriminated against parts by number because some of them were good at high frequencies, where I was working, and some were not. Some had excellent low noise performance and some did not. Some could demonstrate the amplification I needed, some could not. And so forth. I discriminated wildly all over the place based on criteria that would be abhorrent to the race “silicon” from which all these parts sprang. And you can take it to the bank that if somewhere along the line I had discovered that one specific human “race” consistently produced parts that were substandard I’d have discriminated on that. I never did, though. But, I am a racist because I would have.

    I did discriminate based on vendor when I found vendors that produced parts that were consistently at the bottom end of the specification ranges skating the edges. It made sense when I wanted to select the best parts I could for what was essentially one-off projects proving advanced concepts. And I still got stung on a batch of ferrite toroids inductor cores from a known good vendor. They had a bad run. At least I minimized my risks.

    I personally do not consider it to be racist if a person indulges in the same kind of process trying to guess who might be a terrorist on dozens of criteria weighted according to past experience when that person includes race as a criterion. It is racist if that is the only criterion. It’s also stupid; and, when you need the best, it’s also costly. It’s as costly as ignoring a statistically valid criterion when making your judgment.

    Racist and racism are two words that have loose definitions that have largely been created by people with an axe to grind other than the real problems at hand. (The silly fellow who thinks lizards are green is one of them. Lizards are usually gray when you find it in your yard.)


    JD (847e52)

  29. Racist and racism are two words that have loose definitions that have largely been created by people with an axe to grind other than the real problems at hand.

    “Racist” and “racism” have been so overused through the years, mainly by liberals, that those 2 words have ceased to have as much meaning as before. I’d say a more meaningful or telling word is “bigot” or “bigoted,” which (at least to me) refers to a vindictive, irrational, obsessively conformist-minded person.

    Just as almost every person out there — regardless of his or her politics — will be a limousine liberal when it comes to the pursuit of creature comforts and pleasure and the way that interplays with environmentalism, a similar reality applies to at least one particular aspect of racial matters. IOW, how many generally well-educated, generally well-off, thoughtful and even truly open-minded people — regardless of their race — will happily, or nonchalantly, and quickly move to almost any predominantly black neighborhood in most urban areas throughout America?

    For example, there are a lot of truly liberal, truly tolerant people (certainly in their own mind) residing in uber-liberal west Los Angeles who after over 40 years still avoid moving to an ideally located, generally nice, but mostly black community in the city known as Baldwin Hills.

    Mark (411533)

  30. Since Patterico likes to see cross-blog discussions of important issues …

    No doubt, but I don’t think that this endless tempest in a thimble qualifies.

    A long time ago everybody who thinks that McCain is a racist, thought he was a racist, everybody who thinks he was being railroaded thought he was being railroaded, and everybody who didn’t give a damn (and there are a lot more of us than you might think) was bored to tears already.

    Subotai (e0506b)

  31. nk,

    What about this?

    The Grade Two teacher’s manual suggests that first all you make sure your child understands that the Trinity is a mystery. Even very holy people who are very close to God don’t understand it, it’s something that we can’t understand with our limited human minds. A mystery is something that God wants us to know and believe even though we can’t understand it. Explain that lots of people have used examples to try to describe what the Trinity is like, not to explain it. Saint Patrick used a shamrock with three separate leaves in one larger leaf. Some other ways to describe the Trinity use candles or an apple.

    1. Place three candles on the table. Light one of the candles. From that candle, light the other two candles. Point out that two were lighted from one light; that there are three separate flames but they are all equal to one another. Then bring the three flames together to form one flame. There are still three flames, but they are mingled together into one flame.

    2. Bring out an apple. There is the peel, the fruit we eat and the core. These are three distinct and different parts in one apple. An apple must have all three parts, there’s no such thing as an apple without a peel, or without seeds, or without the fruit. In the same way, the Trinity means we must have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    The link also has child-appropriate ways to describe the Holy Spirit but I didn’t read all of it so I can’t vouch for it. However, I liked the part above.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  32. Dafyyd,

    This topic is hard on my old brain but I think it’s important. You’ve given us a lot to think about in your post but, like Beldar (in the comments there), I’m troubled by how you analyze uncommunicated thoughts and also by your example of “prejudiced observations.” Specifically, as I read your December 12, 2009 4:11 AM comment, you believe it as a prejudiced (but not racist) observation to say that “Blacks tend as a group to work less than whites.”

    I view this as a prejudiced statement that would also be racist if it is representative of your willingness to make global comparisons based solely on race. Thus, I think the important point is whether a person’s beliefs reflect a pattern of thinking about or labeling people according to their race. The problem for me comes in defining what constitutes “a pattern.”

    DRJ (84a0c3)

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