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comment by empty
empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything is Broken - computers are terrible and everything is hackable

    an aphorism of purely mechanical origin

This is false.


The phrase you're using is and always has been derogatory. There's no ambiguity as to what's being referred to as there is with "call a spade a spade".

kleinbl00  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  


    By using ableist language like "loose nut", all you're doing is scapegoating the mentally ill and contributing to the stigma of mental illness.

Show me where it's derogatory towards the mentally ill. Then tell me why I should continue to engage with you if you're going to derail any conversation with your impressions of "ableist language."

empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you know what an innuendo is? :V

kleinbl00  ·  1794 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, I know what an innuendo is, and yes, I understand your point of view. I'm just not going to humor it, nor am I going to validate it. For the sake of "making the world a better place" I'm going to tell you why we aren't going to talk anymore in the hope that you'll understand how needlessly combative you're making your world and, perhaps, take steps to remediate the situation. And by "remediate the situation" I mean chill the fuck out.

Do you remember how, not 24 hours ago, we were discussing neural networks? And how we'll never do that again? That's because you felt entitled to censor my speech for the entire world. You don't know me and I don't know you, but you took it upon yourself to scold me into a speech pattern well outside the norm of conversant society.

Your background in this is irrelevant - we'll get to it in a minute because you seem incapable of discussing it calmly. The simple fact is that you felt entitled to shape my behavior through shaming, despite the fact that my behavior is in no way deviant or offensive. My wife can do that. My kid can do that. My close friends can do that. You and me? You haven't begun to earn the right to ask favors of me. And asking me not to use the word "nut" is akin to you asking me not to use the word "blue."

When I pushed back, you doubled down - sarcasm, condescension, hyperbole, straw men - rather than acknowledging that perhaps you should have tried another tactic besides shaming and antagonism. So we're no longer cordial. Any leverage you could have gained via goodwill is gone. In effect, you made a scene, I asked why you were making a scene, and you chose to justify yourself by making an even bigger scene. An innocent bystander asked why you were making a scene and you dragged him into it. So now instead of shaping our behavior, you've dismissed yourself from casual conversation with two different people. 'cuz I doubt brian's going to be eager to engage you in discussion beyond this point, either.

Now about your illness - sorry to hear about it. But you know what? Your attitude towards it is completely, inexcusably abnormal.

Your only card in this is the victim card, apparently, which you are playing at every deal. So kindly allow me to trump it:

- Girlfriend's aunt had schizophrenia. When she described periods of deep insanity, she used the phrase "I was pretty crazy that day." When describing the behavior of sane people she found unexpected, she described them as "a little nutty."

- Girlfriend's uncle had schizophrenia. He regularly introduces himself as "I'm crazy."

- Sister's father-in-law has schizophrenia. He has said to me on a couple occasions, "take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm kind of crazy."

So that's three people, in my direct experience, who have absolutely no problems referring to themselves as "crazy". "Nuts" to at least one of them was a term used to describe eccentric behavior, not insanity... and this is from a woman who drowned her parakeet because it was slandering her to her boyfriend. But wait! There's more!

- My cousin refers to her catatonic fugue as her "crazy period." When describing (logical) behavior she dislikes, she calls it "nuts."

- My mother will say "I was a little bonkers back then" about the times she was (involuntarily) committed to insane asylums.

- My sister, when asked about her breakdown, says "yeah, I went a little nuts."

That's six people in my direct experience who have no problems with terminology - in direct discussion of mental illness. I'd bring up the ones I've met who do have problems except I don't know any. People who will change the subject in order to scold me about a perfectly innocuous phrase? Well, you're the first.

LISTEN CLOSELY. You say depression kills 1 in 5 people affected by it. In my family it's 2 out of 4. So take a step back and reconsider whether or not you're entitled to to deny my language to me because honestly? It sounds like maybe I'm just dealing with things better than you. Instead of scolding me, perhaps you should take notes 'cuz it wouldn't occur to me to shut down a conversation just so I could bring up my own lengthy suffering with mental illness.

hogwild  ·  1792 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not interested in the content of an argument over the language that upset empty.

However, "My best friends are X" is never some trump card against "I am X". I understand that you feel empty hasn't earned the right to ask you to change your language to make them more comfortable. But this template of "my friends / family from Oppressed Group agree with me!" is generally one to be avoided.

Have you ever read an extremely misogynistic screed written by a person who insists that they get along fine with women, because their mother was one? Ever talked to someone who insists nobody reasonable could be offended by trivializing the Holocaust because their Jewish boyfriend is kind of into Nazi/prisoner roleplay? (I have encountered both scenarios.) That is how your "trump" reads to me. Mental illness in your family is a very personal connection, but it's not the most personal connection.

kleinbl00  ·  1792 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Did anyone ask you?

Do you know me?

Did you notice that the subject of discussion was "things that hurt other people's feelings? "


Well let me just point that out then.

Then allow me to say that I spent pretty much the '90s clinically depressed so even the argument you want to make is invalid.

And then go away.

_refugee_  ·  1794 days ago  ·  link  ·  

empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The phrase only has meaning because it's an innuendo. I think you know more than one meaning for the word "nut". When you use that phrase, the implication is "The problem was caused by human error, and the human in question is mentally ill (a nut).". And maybe you don't think that, but you don't think there's plenty of people who DO make that inference?

It's the same thing as the ID-10-T error. It wouldn't have the sense of "human error due to mental illness" it didn't have a double-meaning, just like ID-10-T has the double meaning of "idiot". This is a pretty basic facet of natural language that middle school children understand.

I've been at jobs where people have used the exact phrase that you used so that they could insult me to my face about my mental health. When I call them out on it, they hide behind the same sort of explanation you're giving now.

Of course, I am not accusing you of doing that, because you weren't. But what you are doing is making the phrase socially acceptable, and thus giving assholes a cover to use those phrases with plausible deniability. It's kind of the same thing (although not as severe) as the people who think it's a good idea to still have Confederate flags flying around.

I don't expect to change your mind on this issue in this conversation, but I hope you'll at least try to understand my point of view.

briandmyers  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honest question - would you consider this to be offensive to the mentally ill (when said to a colleague who, AFAIK, has no mental issues)?

    You'd have to be nuts to try to code that up in Javascript!

Put another way, are you calling for the banishment of this meaning of the word "nuts" or "nutty"?

empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The word "nutty" wouldn't have the connotation of "bad idea" if we didn't stigmatize mental illness, and we stigmatize mental illness because we use words like "crazy" and "nutty" to describe bad ideas. See how it's a self-perpetuating cycle?

Whenever people phrase things like that, what they really mean is "I don't understand why you want to do X." But instead of phrasing the dialogue in a way that asks why they want to do X, instead the mentally ill are scapegoated. This is literally the definition of scapegoating. You don't want to actually talk about why you think the idea is bad, or just tell someone that their judgement is bad... instead you choose a group of people with a biological illness with negative connotations to associate with the behavior that you don't understand the motivations for, because OF COURSE no one would want to be associated with that group of people.

People with mental illnesses are not stupid. They are not irrational. I am stable the majority of the time. But because of language like the example you gave, and because of the way the mentally ill are portrayed in fiction, I have to keep my disability a secret at work because otherwise people will question every single thing I do and use my disability to discredit me when I disagree with them. That is the life I have to live because people use the same words to refer to my disability as they do to refer to unpredictable, dangerous behavior, even though there is no correlation.

Am I calling for the banishment of that usage of the word "nuts" or "nutty"? Not really, but in my ideal world? Yeah. Like, is it really so hard to phrase it in a way that doesn't promote the stigma? Instead of saying "You'd have to suffer from a disability that will likely lead to your death to try to code that up in Javascript!", why not just say, "I don't understand why you'd want to code that up in Javascript!" or "Why the hell do you want to code that up in Javascript?"

It hurts me a lot more than the benefit you gain from being able to use that word. By using that sort of language, you are directly contributing to the complex of memes which hurts me directly on a daily basis. And when I say it hurts me, I don't mean "oh you made me feel bad by saying that". I mean you contribute to a culture where people mistreat me and get away with it in the workplace, in my own family, in school, etc.

briandmyers  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You could have just said "yes", but thanks for the lecture as well, I guess.

edit: I'm sorry, that was flippant. I DID ask you, and I appreciate your taking the time to explain (although I'd have assumed something very like that, if you hadn't). No offense intended, I apologise again for my off-the-cuff disrespect.

empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the edit. I really do appreciate it. I saw your message without the edit in my inbox and I kind of went, "Fuck, another asshole I have to unfollow now."

I really couldn't have said just yes, though. Then people who have been poisoned by toxic opinions will look at it and go, "Yep, she's one of those batty social justice warriors, just like /r/TumblrInAction told me.".

But that's just crazy obvious filterbubble brainwashing. They only are exposed to these criticisms of themselves through the filter bubble that shows them how the critics are obviously crazy. See how deep it goes? How many meta-levels there are to how the mentally ill are stigmatized and politicized even in everyday personal politics?

So if I just said "yes", I'd only be hurting people like you, who are trapped in this crazy internet hivemind of mind-control through filter bubbling. WAKE UP, PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU.

I can't think of a day that's gone by where I haven't heard someone say something about the mentally ill in a way that wasn't either 1. saying the mentally ill are CURAAAZZZY and unpredictable and violent, when pretty much the opposite is true (I'm very set in my habits and I've been a victim of violence throughout my life, even into now, because of my mental illness and NOT because of my actions), or 2. saying that someone they disagreed with was "crazy", effectively labeling then with my disability because they disagreed with or didn't communicate well with some person.

briandmyers  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I won't deny the "asshole" label, though. That's fair.

However - people do need a way to describe aberrant behaviour in others (it happens so very often!), and I think it's asking a lot, to ask them to forego each and every mental-illness-related term - so many. Good luck with that, but I'd urge you to try not to take it personally, and to pick your battles, lest you exhaust yourself. Have a good one.

empty  ·  1795 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't take it personally, unless it's actually personal (i.e, directed at me). But still, I'm going to call it out when it makes sense to do so, especially on social media forums like this, where I don't have to suffer the extra emotional impact of having this sort of conversation face to face. My voice, and the voice of millions others, won't be heard otherwise.

I have a disability that is the subject of mockery in mainstream society. Can you imagine if it were the same for cancer or AIDS? It USED to be the same as AIDS, but we fucking stopped, didn't we? One out of five people with my disability, which is hereditary, die because of it. It killed fucking Robin Williams. People like me are highly functional, higher than average, sometimes, and you use the same words to describe my disability as you do to call into question the judgement of your rivals.

Do you not see how this makes life far more difficult for me?