The Criticism Matrix

What do people think of this matrix of people who criticize / hate on you?

Check out the link for more of an explanation.

The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you.


30 days of sexism

“My name is Alanah Pearce and I’m a videogame journalist. I write for various websites, and make regular videos for four separate YouTube channels. I present on one TV show and for Xbox Australia on the Xbox Dashboard. I make news videos, review videos, I host events, I interview developers and I really, really love what I do.I also happen to be female. From March 7 – April 7, I documented everything blatantly sexist anyone has said to me. None of these comments were provoked, none of them were replies to something I said, none of them were at all out of the ordinary and the vast majority of them (an original count of 77 images) have been taken out so that this post isn’t as long as it probably should be. This is a 10-picture indication of what it’s like to be a woman who endorses game culture, every single month.”

See the rest here.

Thanks DF.

Lectures in honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus

This just in in news of the delightful. In honor of the amazing female philosopher Ruth Barcan Marcus, CUNY is hosting a conference that celebrates women working in the philosophical traditions Marcus has so heavily influenced. The organizers (two graduate students – Rachel McKinny from CUNY and Jessica Keiser from Yale) are women. The speakers are all women. The chairs are all women. The claim that women just aren’t interested in ‘techy’ philosophy is once again counterexampled so hard it’s funny.

Here’s the program:

Karen Lewis (Barnard/Columbia)
Elusive Counterfactuals
chair: Jessie Munton (Yale)

Sun-Joo Shin (Yale)
What is Special about Diagrammatic Reasoning?
chair: Ashley Atkins (Princeton)

Maya Eddon (UMass-Amherst)
Fundamental Properties of Fundamental Properties
chair: Zee Perry (NYU)

Delia Graff Fara (Princeton)
‘Romanov’ Sentences are no Problem for the Predicative Theory of Names
chair: Lisa Miracchi (Rutgers)

I can’t think of a more wonderful way to honor Marcus’s memory. This has totally made my day.

Rape conviction rates up, but…

It was reported last week that conviction rates for rape in the UK are higher than they’ve ever been. 63% of prosecutions in 2012/13 resulted in a conviction, which is 5% more than five years previously. Similar success is reported regarding domestic violence. This is, of course, good news. However, it’s not quite a straightforward success.

First,  the ‘conviction’ rate includes all convictions resulting from the prosecution, many of which are not actually for rape (someone might, for example, be tried for rape and convicted of a lesser sexual offence). In 2010/11, the actual rate of conviction for rape was 33% out of an overall conviction rate of 58%. The same is likely to apply to the reported figure for 2012/13.

Second, as the initial linked article points out, another main complaint about the legal process concerns the proportion of reported rapes which result in a prosecution. According to this article, an annual average of 15 670 reports results in an average of 2 910 prosecutions. That’s about 19%. So even if 63% of those 2910 cases result in convictions, that’s a mere 11% of the original reported total. In other words, 89% of reported rapes don’t result in any sort of conviction. Bear in mind that the Crown Prosecution Service recently released a report (pdf) which establishes pretty comprehensively that false allegations of rape are extremely rare.

Third, yet another problem with the legal process is the fact that so many people are discouraged from reporting rape in the first place. For fairly obvious reasons, statistics on under-reporting are hard to come by or verify (one estimate attributed to the Ministry of Justice in the Independent article above is 60 000 to 95 000 — that’s quite a variation between the upper and lower limits). But it’s apparent that this is a problem, and it’s apparent that even if conviction rates continue to increase, there’s a lot more to be done to improve the legal and policing environment which results in under-reporting and under-prosecution.


Reflections from Deborah Copaken Kogan

This is a powerful essay from Deborah Copaken Kogan–well worth a full read, but here’s a snippet:

This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it. A few months later, after delivering a lecture on the media-invented “mommy wars” at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, a song pops up on my iPhone as I’m walking back to my hotel room: Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” “When you ain’t got nothing,” Dylan sings, “you got nothing to lose.”

Yes, I think. Yes.

I suppress the three words that have haunted me my entire adult life—”They’ll smear you”—and choose Dylan’s instead. . .

SWIP Panel at the Joint Session

The SWIP Panel at the Joint Session looks great!  (Edited to clarify: The 87th Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association will be held at the University of Exeter from 12 to 14 July 2013.)

It will be 11.15-13.15 on Sunday 14 July.

Laurie Paul: ‘What you can’t expect when you are expecting’
Kathy Puddifoot: ‘What to think about heuristics and (implicit) biases’
Sandrine Berges: ‘From Sympathy to Social Reform: Sophie de Grouchy’s Republicanism’
Anca Gheus: ‘Three Cheers for the Token Woman!’

We Are Always Taking Sides

From a piece on the New York Time’s refusal to completely drop the I-word (“illegal immigrant”) from its reporting:


“Advocates on one side of this political debate have called on news organizations to use only the terms they prefer,” Mr. Corbett [from the NYT] said. “But we have to make those decisions for journalistic reasons alone, based on what we think best informs our readers on this important topic.” He added: “It’s not our job to take sides.

Continuing to use words developed by some people to categorize other people–especially once those other people start protesting–is taking sides. There is no neutral when it comes to choosing terms of social identity.

Continuing to support the status quo is taking sides.  Framing a claim that a word is degrading as an ‘expression of preference’ is taking sides.  Acting as if only people on one side of a debate have a stake in word choice is taking sides.  Feigning ignorance is taking sides.  Putting your head in the sand is taking sides.  Trying to find a way to not take sides is taking sides.  Trying to not get involved is taking sides.  We are always taking sides.

We do not have the luxury of neutrality, and even if we do, we do not deserve it.


People from the Drop the I-word Campaign say,

If you want to urge the Times to get with the times and stop using the i-word–and you have a Twitter account–please cut, paste, and send out this tweet:

@nytimes drop the i-word completely. #droptheiword