S. Verona Lišková

https://sverona.dev

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Nope, not really. The only significant change I made to my life was cutting out alcohol, but that really needed to happen anyway. Maybe I've been a little more nervous, but I'm always a little nervous, and I have plenty of outlets for nervous energy.

Let's steelman the position a bit, because I believe you're putting "defund" and "abolish" into the same bucket.

I don't like the cops. But I think --- pessimistically --- as long as civilization exists, they will have their niche. Humans alive today are neither Homo economicus nor hunter-gatherers (with very few exceptions.) There is a subset of things humans are capable of doing that perhaps cannot be solved any other way without abandoning society as we know it. The hardline abolitionists I know either are okay with abandoning society or believe that that subset is empty. I cannot abandon society without forgoing modern medicine which I need to live, and I doubt the latter position.

Compare veganism, a topic perhaps more grokked by this audience. The analogous, comparative strawman is "abolish animal exploitation entirely." Yeah, that sure would be nice, and I think that actually defending this view as a bulwark against moderation is laudable, because it represents an ideal utopia --- but I don't see a path to it without first ending scarcity. The position that is actually held in my experience is "fight to minimize animal exploitation as much as possible." The former goal is acknowledged to be more or less impossible, but it represents a world for us to dream of.

When people say, "abolish the police," I think they dream --- laudably! --- of a post-scarcity utopia in which ethics has been solved, there is functionally infinite care for everyone, etc. I think that's a world worth dreaming about and fighting for, and part of that means holding the idealist bulwark. But --- I am a pessimist --- I do not believe we'll ever get there. But I can still say without self-contradicting that the surface area of things we need the cops for should be aggressively minimized. We don't need to torture and kill one moral patient per human per month, and we don't need to send the cops after people dying deaths of despair.

This, despite its recent usage as a thought-terminating cliche, is what I actually believe is meant by DTP; and it sounds an awful lot to me like the view you're endorsing.

Another commenter said this doesn't depict 2084, but 2034. I think it depicts 2021.

Perhaps I'm incapable of laughter, but I think enough of the younger folks have recognized the tendencies of the pathologically online and are getting away from social media that incentivizes this kind of thing that this piece reads as an outdated caricature. Ironically, this is caused at least a little bit by the enshittification of those same platforms at the hands of Zuck, Musk, et al.

My personal opinion: Almost all Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Mastodon activism is performative, intended primarily to discharge feelings of guilt. The phrases "circular firing squad" and "leftist infighting" appear a lot. This is because the social problems of our age are almost completely beyond the average person's ability or willingness to meaningfully affect. When they choked out George Floyd, everyone with a blog lamented it publicly, said their piece about white supremacy and antiracism, millions marched in the streets, and very little happened after that. Kudos to the people of Minneapolis and Capitol Hill for going one step further, but even that was over inside of, what, a month?

I see journals and other post-Floyd cottage industry tchotchkes that say things like "what'd you do today to end white supremacy/patriarchy/cisnormativity/...?" These are well-intentioned but promote exactly this kind of thing. They need to say "your social media does not count towards this exercise." Are you willing to risk your life for a perfect stranger? House a homeless person? Care for the suicidal? Self-immolate in front of a government building? No? Okay then, donate to the SPLC or ACLU or Lambda or whatever and kindly STFU about how you're one of the good ones. You're the equivalent of the white moderate that MLK and Malcolm X so famously disparaged.

Torrey Peters wrote what I consider a near-perfect metaphor for the cases of "cancellation" that actually affect someone's livelihood (Isabel Fall, Lindsay Ellis) as opposed to the ones that the supposed "cancellees" turn into books and comedy tours. It's mainly applicable to trans people, since that's who Peters was writing for, but the thrust of the argument (we don't have sufficiently many elders to help us navigate the world because they were systematically/stochastically repressed or murdered) can be adapted to other social groups and movements.

I strongly suspect I have something in the same general cluster you speak of, but I don't have a diagnosis. There's a sustained and entirely artificial shortage of ADHD meds. I take 450mg bupropion XL, which seems to work pretty well for me.

His political views aside, it's well-known that the alpha/beta dynamic doesn't even apply to wolves, let alone humans, except for the ones that care a great deal about performing it.

The problem is that supporting scientific investigation is likely to do the same. Any sort of genetic marker of transness will be immediately turned against our community and used to fracture us. They want to fight against us no matter what the science says. There is no way for us to win by rational argument, or by anything else, really. You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themself into.

I certainly have the sense it could. But those comparisons are in sedentary people, not athletes, and it's also possible that out in those tails training causes the differences to mostly disappear.

This has been a nice exercise but I think it's tangential.

I don't really follow this. In the data I've seen, HRT brings trans women halfway between cis men and cis women. Janssen et al 2000 does not contain any trans women, and the place you are quoting from in the linked report is kind of convoluted and since the report has already been misleading one time I don't really feel like wasting time following the report's argument. Please lay out the argument for this if you want me to believe it.

Here is my interpretation. The relevant data are contained in Table 6 of the 2022 report on page 25, and show that the relative muscle loss caused by 12 months of feminizing HRT in sedentary trans women is around 4 percentage points. Table 1 of Janssen 2000 gives the normal distributions the 2022 report seems to be referring to: for cis women, mean 30.6% and SD 5.5%; for cis men, mean 38.4% and SD 5.1%. This supports, I think, both your claim that a year of HRT puts trans women at about the halfway point and the 2022 report's claim that this is nevertheless "within the normal distribution." That's a mathematically imprecise claim but I think they mean "within one sigma."

I think all this is a wash. In particular, I agree with your halfway-point claim at 12 months, but disagree with it on longer timescales. I would like to see a paper examining a longer timescale.

The Everest regression here is "when you control for height and lean body mass, cis men aren't actually stronger than cis women", yes? That would be a deal-breaker if they were comparing cis men and cis women, I agree, but they're not. I don't think I've seen anybody make that claim. The claim that's being made is, as I follow it:

  1. Feminizing HRT brings muscle mass and strength to "within the normal distribution...for cis women (Janssen et al., 2000)", thereby controlling for LBM, and
  2. the arena of elite sport selects in some way for height (note that greater height does not confer an advantage in all sports; the canonical example is powerlifting, in which shorter lifters have less distance to move the same weight);
  3. hence the statistical application of those controls is justified; and
  4. while there is a statistically significant difference in LBM and strength after feminizing HRT, it is within distribution (Janssen again) and not clearly more egregious than other biological differences at the elite level; e.g., those possessed by Michael Phelps and Caster Semenya; and
  5. the Harms study shows (or purports to show; I haven't scrutinized it too closely) that other commonly-cited factors (bone density, etc.) do not confer any significant advantage.

Am I following your contention?

I was going to post this in my original comment, but decided not to: the quantum of belief is the story, not the study. "They're going after the children" and "they're pretending to be women so they can win sporting events" have shown to be two of the most easily-believed stories, so conservative media has been leaning on those angles. Even some people who are nominally cool with my existence believe the latter if pushed a bit, despite the preponderance of the evidence [0] showing that there's no significant advantage after enough feminizing HRT.

Incidentally, there's a dominoes meme I've been meaning to make for some time now, with "Someone posts a mathematical monograph on a new kind of decision theory to the Internet" at the small end and "Pop star leaves world's richest man for transfemme hacker" at the big end.

We appreciate power.

[0] https://www.cces.ca/transgender-women-athletes-and-elite-sport-scientific-review

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