Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Azuriel and his bad science and accessible easy games

Tobold has a post against affirmative action, which is racism (giving bonus points for race). Considered that Tobold has intellectual following, I was surprised that anyone argued against the idea, but came Azuriel. Before you'd ask why am I babbling about politics again, read the second part of the post.

But for now, let's meet Azuriel:
So your solution [about inequality] is... nothing? Allow the prior status quo to continue into perpetuity? Because that is what doing nothing endorses.

You can't blame a young person, who has the misfortune to be born today white and male and Christian, - Wow. You're right, it's such a burden to grow up showered in unearned privileges, benefiting from a system stacked in one's favor. It would be completely unfair - bordering on obscene! - to, you know, reduce those advantages in some small way. Advantages that are not historical, but continuous and ongoing, even.

"Identity politics" is about acknowledging facts as they exist. We do not live in a meritocracy, and we never will when a disproportionate number of people are affected by a given disadvantage for no reason, e.g. CVs being dismissed unless you sound like a white guy. In the US, 72% of people are white, 12% are black. Unless we posit that there is some genetic issue going on, we should expect to see college campuses, etc, have similar makeups. If they don't, there is something at play, and it behooves us to examine why. Even if "culture" is the culprit, why has that culture developed and what is it addressing?

Affirmative Action isn't the end goal, but we have to start somewhere. If you have better alternatives, by all means, share them.
I replied "@Azuriel: a black guy with a Muslim sounding name got a job of PRESIDENT. Twice. Cut the crap! Traditional racism doesn't exist outside of redneck trucker bars in ex-Confederate states."

But Azuriel isn't finished: "Got some studies? Because I do. Not that I would need them, considering what I witness first-hand on a daily basis as part of my job. Have you even ever stepped foot in America?"

The problem with the research he posted isn't that it's 15 years old, it's probably true today and for a good reason. However it's a wonderful piece of bad science that shouldn't have passed peer review and shows how horrible the state of social sciences is. I mean so horrible that one can get a computer-generated garbage text published just because it's full of liberal buzzwords.

What does this faulty article claim:
  1. Job applications sent under the name "Emily" are much more likely to be accepted than the same applications sent by Lakisha
  2. Emily signals being white, while Lakisha signals being black
  3. Employers are racist for wanting to hire white
The first part is objectively measured. The second is assumed and not checked, despite checking it would be easy. Send photos with some of the applications some with black Emily and some with white Emily. The photo is stronger signal of race than name, so the variation by name should disappear if photo is added (racist employers call back the white applicants regardless name). But our "scientists" skipped this part. They just assumed that "Lakisha means black person".

It's just not true. Until the 60'-es, names had no race-predicting power. Blacks gave the same names to their children as whites. It changed during a single decade due to the "Black Power" movement, "especially among Blacks in racially isolated neighborhoods", meaning "Lakisha" signals coming from the ghetto.

I'm pretty sure that an application with "Emily" and a black photo would get better treatment than a white "Lakisha". But I would go further. I think every "weird" name would be penalized and for a good reason. It signals that your parents are not integrated to the society and take pride in self-segregating, which means that they taught you to condemn the society and don't perform well. I would suggest not to employ Lakisha, regardless color. And for the love of God, if you have to find an employee to a secret agency and the applicants are called "Emily Smith" and "Reality Winner", pick Emily!

There is a reason why assimilated and more-successful-than-whites Asian-Americans have Western names like "Jane Wu". The reason is that they are assimilated and work hard therefore they are successful.

Liberals are mistaking cultural differences for racial ones. People are right to look for signs of cultural fitting and reject those who refuse to. Western culture is the closest thing to meritocracy we have and Emily is much more likely to be Western than Lakisha. An adult person can change her name from Lakisha to Linda or Laura or Lynette or whatever Western name she prefers. Just because her parents were weirdos who blamed the society for their failures, she doesn't have to be one.

Why does this all matter to us? Because this was the first time I actually encountered someone protecting identity politics in the gaming scene. Of course I was aware of people who support that madness, most prominently Hillary Clinton, but I always looked them as "the other": people with gender studies majors working at magazines, "think thanks" and "hipster places", not someone who could be at any of the spaces I am normally present. Granted, Wolfshead talked about "Blizzard jumps on the social justice and identity politics bandwagon", but I took it as a PR move and didn't really consider that someone in Irvine can actually believe that. Azuriel was an eye-opener: indeed if Silicon Valley is Hillary land (Google just had the nerve to announce that they'll censor content that they consider legal, just don't like it), we should assume that game devs are Hillary supporters no less than any other Silicon Valley person.

Assuming this, all this "accessible gaming" nonsense that defies sales numbers (WoW flatlined with WotLK and in fall ever since) makes sense: if the devs believe that bad school grades are the product of oppression that should be countered by affirmative action, they also must believe that bad playing is the product of some social oppression that must be countered by welfare epics and "bring the player not the class" and LFR "difficulty" and "catchup mechanisms" and everything else that plagues games. If we assume that it's a political-moral decision, it's not a wonder that we see it everywhere and not just in some or even most games. Creating a game of meritocracy would not be viewed as a move for a niche but as an act of evil by the liberal devs.

If we consider that, then our problem with accessible games solves itself with the recent defeat of liberalism, especially since Generation Z (born after 9/11) is the most conservative since WW2. Since the game devs are young, soon the industry will be full of conservatives who will not find it a moral obligation to cater to ArthasDKLőL. This will also solve the corruption problem, as conservatives are much less likely to steal and cheat.

Thank you Azuriel for making my gaming predictions much more bright!


Anonymous said...

> Google just had the nerve to announce that they'll censor content that they consider legal, just don't like it

You've done something similar. If someone posts a stupid comment on your blog then you have the right to delete that comment. The comment isn't actually illegal; it's just spam or trolling or whatever.

In both cases a private entity sees something that they dislike. The private entity then chooses *not* to endorse that thing (or give it a broader platform).

If I send a "Hillary for President!" sticker to your home address, then you're not required to wear it. If someone uploads a political rant video on Youtube then Google is required to host it (because of Common Carrier status) but they're not required to promote it.

Anonymous said...

In today's political climate, a racial minority is much more likely to receive positive discrimination than negative discrimination. With equal intelligence and qualifications, a black person will be promoted faster and will rise higher in most companies than an a white person due to affirmative action. With an equal SAT score, a black applicant is far more likely to get into a good school than a white or asian for affirmative action reasons.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I'm a content CREATOR with my free speech. Same is true for New York Times or Huffington Post, they are free to be strongly pro-Hillary and refuse to hire anti-liberal authors or publish their guest submissions. If you don't like my anti-M&S and their liberal bias, stop reading us.

Youtube is a utility, they are providing a technical service, yet they censor content based on ideology. They don't have free speech, because they are not supposed to speak at all, just provide platform for various speakers. What they do is equivalent of electric company refusing to give electricity to liberals.

@Next anon: that's true but not that horribly damaging. After all an applicant with the SAME SAT score must be picked. The problem comes when totally unfit candidate is picked or the bar is lowered to accomodate them. Or - as something that should be reductio ad absurdum instead of reality - illegal immigrant is imported to the country and chosen.

Hanura H'arasch said...

> You've done something similar. If someone posts a stupid comment on your blog then you have the right to delete that comment.

That comparison is just wrong. Gevlon's blog is exactly that, a blog of one individual writing for his viewership. Youtube on the other hand is a platform, they don't create content they just host it.

Trying to censor stuff they don't like or they don't agree with is just shoving their political agenda into everyone's faces. It's similar to refusing to serve black people at your restaurant because you're a racist, with the only difference being we have laws against the latter.

Esteban said...

Leaving aside the merits of the argument itself (in which, it will not surprise you, I think Azuriel is eminently correct) your astonishment at the presence of leftist, fairness-values people in gaming and in STEM fields is a huge case of confirmation bias.

Remember GamerGate? It would not have gained much traction if not for an attitudinal change in gamer identity which threatened an older core that felt encroached upon. Blizzard's Overwatch is completely built around diversity esthetics. The sleeper indie hit last summer was Undertale, a game about finding oneself (etc.) where one can befriend enemies instead of defend them. This summer, it's a gay male dating simulator. (Not joking.) This stuff would not have been possible several years ago.

American academia is left-leaning, and not just in the basket-weaving and gender studies areas. The last time a survey was conducted on the subject, about eight years ago, 6% of scientists considered themselves Republicans, and I do not see any reason why that number would have grown in the post-truth age of Trump. This squares entirely with my own anecdotal experience, as someone who maintains professional connections with scientists (molecular biology and genetics, if it matters) in both Canada and Spain. Practically everyone is to the left of their country's spectrum.

The thing about 'Generation Z' is interesting, but I would be wary of assuming that people who are 16 to 18 have any kind of stable political profile. Still, time will tell. For the moment, the millenial is centre stage, and we all know what they're like.

Gevlon said...

@Esteban: Azuriel quotes a faulty post that is built on "as obvious" that it wants to research: "people are racists".

Gamergate was observed as "gamers vs non-gaming SJWs". Blizzard was observed as making a PR move towards SJWs and not as someone who believes it at all.

The definition of "scientist" isn't clear, as most of the academia is in "humanities" that do not do any measurable science.

maxim said...

Identity politics is going to get more and more traction, because it offers a strong set of political options to those who adopt it in current political environment. Expect to see more and more people telling that stuff needs to change based on the needs of an identity.

As a human universalist, i find this trend rather appalling. However, human universalists are a bit dry on political options right now :(

The current problem with gaming is institutionalised in the form of business models, catering to casuals. Even if conservative people come to prominence, if they don't find stronger business models, they won't get much change done. We are seeing a bit of a resurgence of classic gaming sensibilites in "high difficulty" games, but it seems to have hit a bit of a rut now, having reached the limits of the "git good" idea and not found any other positive message so far.

Of course, nobody can exclude the possibility of some genius appearing and reformatting the entire industry, kind of what Nintendo Switch is currently doing for console market (Nintendo itself is a serial market-reformatter :D). This, however, is not a process that can be made light of or taken for granted

vv said...

But WoW is making more money now than in WotLK times, according to Activision/Blizzard.

> Since the game devs are young, soon the industry will be full of conservatives who will not find it a moral obligation to cater to ArthasDKLőL. This will also solve the corruption problem, as conservatives are much less likely to steal and cheat.

Those people grow up on f2p mobile games. And they find it strange when you can't buy progress for real money in Dark Souls for example.

Gevlon said...

@maxim, @vv: the business solution to accessibility and corruption is open pay-to-win. That proved to get money to the publisher and it's also something that one can plan around. You can choose to pay to be competitive or not play if the payment is too high.

Also, I'm not saying that "fair, non-p2w" games will be all. But they'll become an available niche. Now they are not, because they are politically impossible.

Anonymous said...

If the game devs are young and will shut down on arthasdklol, then surely, among young gamers, there must be no arthasdklol?

It must all be people who are Gen Y, Gen X or Baby boomers?

Gevlon said...

@Anon: arthasdklol is everywhere. There isn't a group without genuine low IQ people or those playing under influence. The reason why Arthasdklol became "a thing" is that due to welfare epics and catchup mechanisms, they appeared in the groups of decent players. Without these they will be limited to low level content.

Anonymous said...

> Youtube is a utility, they are providing a technical service, yet they censor content based on ideology. They don't have free speech, because they are not supposed to speak at all, just provide platform for various speakers.

Read the statutes. Google is required to *host* and *serve* material without prejudice because it's classified as a Common Carrier. If it begins to exclude content for political or preference reasons, then it becomes responsible for all of content that it serves. For example, any copyright holder whose work gets infringed could sue Google (and receive compensation) instead of merely getting the infringing video taken down.

Google does not want that to happen. If Youtube loses Common Carrier status then its business model falls apart. Google's lawyers are treading carefully.

But Google has some discretionary power. It is, for example, able to "Feature" some videos on its homepage which will give those videos greater visibility and ad revenue. It is not required to be neutral in those decisions. It could choose to feature dog videos instead of cat videos. It could choose to promote K-pop instead of J-pop. It might fail to promote the latest meme simply because the Youtube staff haven't discovered the meme yet. It might refuse to ever feature any right-wing content because the Youtube staff is a bunch of Hillary fans.

Google is arguing that the excluded services (comments, recommendations, AdSense, etc) are all ancillary; hence they're not covered by Common Carrier regulations. Google will still host racist videos, and visitors will still be able to view racist videos on Youtube. It's just that Google usually offers a bunch of bonus stuff on a voluntary basis, and they'll now refrain from offering those bonuses to racist jerks.

And remember: Google is a business. It's possible that they're doing this because their decisionmakers are brainwashed SJW beta cuck libtards ... but it's also possible that they're doing it to appease advertisers. If you manufacture high quality soap and lampshades, but your ad is placed beside a Holocaust-denial video, then your company's public image is going to be damaged.

> It's similar to refusing to serve black people at your restaurant because you're a racist, with the only difference being we have laws against the latter.

Restaurants are handled under public-accommodation rules rather than common carrier jurisprudence. Some forms of discrimination are allowed: a restaurant can offer reduced prices to elderly customers, or free meals to military veterans, or special gifts for women who visit on Mother's Day, or provide a children's menu from which adults are not allowed to order.

A common carrier cannot discriminate in this way. If Verizon specifically prioritized the internet traffic of its Sikh customers while throttling Buddhists, then it would find itself in serious trouble.

But remember that common carrier status does not apply to all aspects of a business. Verizon's billing department, for example, might make prejudiced decisions based on a customer's name or residence. If a guy in a rich white neighborhood misses a bill payment then he might receive an automatic reminder, whereas a guy in a poor black ghetto might see his services suspended immediately. That would be scummy (and arguably a poor business decision) but it wouldn't be a violation of common carrier regulations.

Google is arguing that its ancillary Youtube services are not covered by the umbrella of common carriage. It's somewhat legally dubious, but the current leaders in the FCC and Congress prefer *less* regulation of internet services ... so it's unlikely that Google will be forced to back down.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: and what about Google, the search engine? Are they expected to provide legitimate hits, or can they just provide you propaganda pages?

Fun fact: if you google "american inventors" you get a bunch of faces on the top of the screen, practically all of them black and/or women (Bell and Edison being white males), most of them inventing obscure little things.

If you google "amerikai feltalálók" (same thing in Hungarian language), you gut a bunch of famous white male inventors, Eastman, Tesla, Morse, Fulton, Gatling, Fuller, Browning, Goodyear and other easily recognizable names, despite most of them don't have Hungarian language articles among the top hits or even a Hungarian wikipedia page.

More political point: while refusing to host politics can be good business, as a Holocaust denial video would definitely not something advertisers wants, refusing to host right-wing politics only is surely bad business as a fat blue hair chick shouting how white man are cancer is probably also not an advertiser's dream and also the advertisers risk a right-win boycott if they selectively advertise, which is the exact opposite of what they want with advertisements. Remember that half of the US voted for Trump, so acting like they are just some fringe crazies is surely bad business.

Antze said...

World of Tanks developers do not come from the USA and therefore do not belong to Hillary land (as far as I know, they aren't big fans of "liberal" ideas either), yet I believe they cater to M&S like anyone else.

Anonymous said...

"Fun fact: if you google "american inventors" you get a bunch of faces on the top of the screen, practically all of them black and/or women (Bell and Edison being white males), most of them inventing obscure little things."

Well I'll be damned. At first, I didn't get that result as I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google. But I switched it to google just for this, and got the exact result you say.

Azuriel said...

I picked a bad week to go on vacation.

I would suggest not to employ Lakisha, regardless color.

How do you reconcile the dissonance between this and your conception of meritocracy? In this scenario, you have Lakisha's CV in front of you, demonstrating her merit - graduated from X University with Y grade, worked at Z company, etc. Instead, you will throw it in the trash because... reasons other than her documented merit.

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: not recognizing that "Lakisha" is a name shared by ghetto losers or not caring is lack of merit. It's like calling your game character ArthasDKlől. Change it!

maxim said...

You are usually exceptionally quick at jumping at any even slight possibility of the game author having an incentive to rig the game as proof of game actually being rigged. Why are you advocating pay-to-win (no matter how open)?

Anonymous said...

So discrimination based their name/upbringing/class. Classic Gevlon hypocrisy.

guldur said...

@Gevlon: "Lakisha" is a beautiful name. Isn't there anything worth else than competition ? Diversity is what makes our lives interesting and the world of nationalists his doomed to shrink due to its own compulsive selection process and the reality of demography. It's time for you to embrace the world like it is: Beautiful of differences. You are smart enough to figure it out.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: visible P2W is better than invisible rigging, because it allows merit-focusing players to not play. No one will give me back the time I wasted in EVE. If I was aware that I'm actually trying to defeat the community manager, I would just not play.

@Anon: GO KATIE!

@guldur: "arthasdklol" is a beautiful name.
Isn't there anything worth else than competition? No, because it creates value. You know, food, medicine, homes, cars.
Diversity indeed makes our lives interesting. "may you live in interesting times" is a curse for a reason.
The world of Nationalists will shrink and no one cares. The world of "culturalists" will grow and win. No one's color determines his choices, he does. Clarence Thomas is much smarter and wiser than me.
This is my preferred way of embracing diversity, supported by 95% of my countrymen:

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon (in response to @Azuriel): Are you drunk? You just threw out your whole 'meritocracy' ideology through the window because of a racist, and frankly uninformed, prejudice. If you wanted to be truly meritocratic, you wouldn't even want to see an applicant's name on a resume.

And have you actually read the other associations of that name? Even Urban Dictionary (which not so much judges, but tracks usage, based on self-selection bias) is actually 2:1 complimentary.

Please, never run a real business. You'd be quite suboptimal at it.

Gevlon said...

@Druur: blind application process is good to measure actual job ability. It's indeed true, that Lakisha can be just as good at numbers as Emily. Just like Arthasdklol can be just as good DPS as Dorkla.

However people even in workplaces operate as people and carry their culture. Ergo, Arthasdklol will provide anal spam and loot drama and Lakisha will likely cause a HR mess over "microaggression". Sure, in a perfect asocial meritocracy it wouldn't be a problem, because Arthasdlkol can be insta-kicked and Lakisha can be fired the first time she says "Black Lives Matter!" at the workplace instead of working, but we don't live in perfect meritocracy (in that I agree with Azuriel). Arthasdkol will probably make some "fun friends" leave with him and Lakisha's drama will likely cause an expensive lawsuit.

Ironically, these are the problems of liberal systems. In Hungary I could safely employ Lakisha as I know that I can fire her if she turns out to stir drama and the courts will laugh at her for trying to sue over someone "oggled" her or called her work slow. So the reason why Lakisha is unemployable is affirmative action and anti-racism. In such systems, one simply can't take chances with Lakisha.

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon Actually, one can't simply take chances with Gevlon, either. I could stand next to you, say 'While Lives Matter!', and you wouldn't notice because your attention would be focused on Lakisha, hoping to catch her in a fireable offense, instead of doing your work.

Don't run a business. Ever.

guldur said...

Well... The way I see it, Hungary is sucking my taxes to grow and is now going berserk out of fear: Fair enough, people have the right to be frighten...

Gevlon said...

@Druur Monakh: why would I want to fire Lakisha? I want to convert her to the Western values. If Lakisha would turn into a hard-working, meritocratic, decent person, I would consider it a big life accomplishment. My whole blog and all my game projects are about saving Lakisha/ArthasDKlol by teaching asocial, professional approach.

After a decade, I know though that in most cases I'll fail and Lakisha/ArthasDKlol will just take the easy way and blame others for their failures and whine for welfare(epics). It doesn't mean I'll ever stop trying. 1% success means a fellow human saved for every 100 tries.

@guldur: if you think so, you are free to call your country to exit the EU which will stop such tax transfer. I hope you do. I hate those tax transfers just as much as you do, they turned many of my countrymen into leeches and thieves.

Esteban said...

Good grief, but you've made Azuriel's point for him. You'd actually demand that the woman change her name?

The sole virtue of meritocracy is that you are judged on what you have done and what your training says you can do, not what you might do or what you might look/sound/be named like.

Suppose that Lakisha really does come from a ghetto family, with all the disadvantages that entails. Wouldn't the fact that her resume is on your desk and competitive with other applicants suggest that she's got a hell of a lot of determination and ability to make her way up against the odds? If anything, she is more likely to cherish the job and work to keep it, gritting her teeth and letting slide the casual sexual harassment your corporate culture apparently permits, than make an 'HR mess'. It is what most women do.

But hey, go ahead and hire John Worthington III, whose daddy golfs with you or your major client. That's a safe bet, right?

Still, have to hand it to you - your proof is as ever clear and elegant. As long as employers like yourself exist, affirmative action will be needed to offset them. Social mobility via merit alone is impossible.

Gevlon said...

@Esteban: If Lakisha has a competitive resume, that can easily mean that she was affirmative actioned through school with academic performance that would make a white person not graduate, got diversity hired into previous workplaces and was given a letter of recommendation and severance package when she turned out to be useless when a white with same performance would get a "you are fired lazy punk".

John Worthington III IS a safe bet. He might be dumb and lazy and will be useless and I have to lay him down after wasting months of salary and training. But I won't have a lawsuit, a BLM boycott and a smear article on the New York Times when it happens.

Again: the problem isn't with Lakisha. It's with liberals with affirmative action and title IX and antidiscrimination lawsuits and microaggressions and whatnot.

The sad part is that I realize how damaging this is for Lakisha who is not responsible for her name and no one will tell it to her face to change it because of fear of a lawsuit. Lakisha will have to figure out on her own to change into Linda, change her hair and clothing into Michelle Obama style to become SAFE option.

People refuse Lakisha NOT because of hatred or despise but because of FEAR. Lakisha can destroy their company with a Facebook post, without even intent to destroy. A "my boss was an asshole today" can turn into a "Black woman faces racist hate at XX" news item, and even if she later clarifies that it was just "sales were horrible and he was criticizing the whole team without even singling me out", they would go on how she is threatened and having Stockholm syndrome and the workplace is even worse.

Affirmative action and identity politics is the REASON of inequality of certain groups. It makes the DEVIANTS of this group more powerful, therefore damaging the non-deviant part of the group. Lakisha isn't an enemy, she is a weapon in the hands of the enemy (just like fetuses don't attack women, pro-life religious nuts do).

Since Hungary has no such liberal nonsense, there is no discrimination either. Dzsennifer
(Hungarian Lakisha) gets a job with a good resume and maybe even some extra help and extra compliments when she succeeds because we know that she had a long road. We can do that because we know that we can fire her without incident if she steals or doesn't work.

guldur said...

Well, Life is all about content, and people can provide content without actually doing anything "useful". In the perfect world you are seeking, competition would be draining people of their blood and soul, but at the end, there is only death. I'm right now at work looking at four cats doing nothing else but nothing. It's gonna rain. Wind is blowing. This is not ideal: this is life.