Yes, you can care about multiple issues at once


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/04/yes-you-can-care-about-multip.html


#2

This could also be used for the argument of “you can’t criticize Wikileaks (or the alleged Russian hacking) without approving of the DNC’s actions.”

EDIT

That is the argument that related events must have related opinions. Good video.


#3

It’s constantly used by douchebros as a way to shut down women’s opinions and belittle their concerns. I wish I could say it was limited to conservative douchebros, but anyone who’s been involved in left-wing politics knows that’s not true.


#4

Richard Dawkins stands out as a shining example. “How DARE you suggest that any of the men in our movement engage in sexist or inappropriate behavior when there are other places in the world where women ARE FORCED TO HAVE CLITORIDECTOMIES??”


#5

Or the first corollary: “If there are more important things to talk about, we should talk about those instead; unless it is the most important thing to talk about, in which case, now is not the time to be talking about that.”


#6

I admire Dawkins for a lot of things, but his mode of leadership in trying to mainstream atheism leaves a lot to be desired. If one is going against the patriarchal norms that superstition exists in part to support, why not start by cleaning up the much more tractable sexism problem in one’s own house? It’s not like that precludes one from talking about how Saudi Arabia is far worse.


#8

First world problems.

*scuttles away *


#9

aw jeez. i’m very familiar with the hierarchy of oppressions. it’s one of many reasons i burnt out.


#10

Yes, you can care about multiple issues at once

Ya mean like tRump does on twitter?


#11

You can care about multiple issues at once, certainly, but you can also only care about a limited number of issues at any one time. There’s more issues than there is available attention, time, and money in the world. This is a fairly non-controversial point. In these circumstances you must prioritize certain issues over others, obviously. And when you prioritize you should do so, surely, based on effectiveness (i.e. how much does one unit of time, attention, and money do) and on impact (i.e. how much human misery can you eliminate in this field). This, too, doesn’t sound very controversial.

With that said, the questions to address are: is this particular issue a good “investment” and, also, if it is ‘over-subscribed,’ i.e. if so many people are already invested that the marginal utility of your contribution is not worth it.

I don’t think we can solve these problems without some sort of massive central planning effort which is possibly infeasible, but it’s certainly not helpful to pretend they don’t exist.

Are trans* issues worth it? I think so, seeing as they are so simple and so can probably be tackled with quite a little amount of effort, all things considered. But you can make an argument either way without being a terrible, horrible person. After all, I keep hearing about trans* folk (approx. 0.3% of the world) which is a fine and laudable thing, but I never, ever hear about the Igbo (approx. 0.45%). This does not seem fair.

Not that I know how to fix it.


#12

Trans - .6% in latest iteration. LGB 4.5% - not .45% - misplaced decimal point.
Of course I remember when they said trans people were 1 in a thousand and trans guys 1 in 100,000. Then 1 in 500 and there were as many trans guys as trans women etc…

Which would make lgb folks the 8th largest “ethnic group” - and trans people larger than many - Czech, Danish, Dutch, Armenian, Portuguese, Welsh - I think even Russian.

Anyway


#13

Igbo the African people. They live near the river Niger. Likely greatest writers in Africa. Those are the ones I had in mind.

And, yes, I stand corrected, 0.6% is the modern value. I just checked and Flores, Andrew R., Taylor NT Brown, and Jody L. Herman. “Race and Ethnicity of Adults Who Identify As a Transgender in the United States.” The Williams Institute (2016). has the 0.6% figure. Provided the value generalizes over the world population, something like 44.4 million people ought to be trans*. Which is a lot, though less than Russians, there being about 140 000 000 of them in various countries, obv. mostly in the Russian Federation.

However, the fact that you didn’t even recognize the name of the Igbo thinking it to be some recondite abbreviation for LBGTQ+ rather proves my point.


#14

And the people who tend to use that phrase, in my experience, tend to obsess over first-world problems…


#15

My apologies - I was thinking of a US audience & population fractions
thereof.

added - also - the upper case I is not distinguishable from a lower l (L) - and given the 4.5% LGB demo - I think it doesn’t really prove any point.


#16

This is known as “the fallacy of relative privation.”


#17

Similarly, “Science” can study more than one thing.
Not, “We are wasting money studying climate change when we should be curing cancer”


#18

The one I’m waaaaay sick of hearing: “Why don’t you people who complain about police violence against black people address black-on-black crime instead?”


#19

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