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msazad

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About msazad

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  1. Evil is a social construct. But yeah, you can't reason with them. Their whole ecosystem is a hateful parasite.
  2. When faced with a multiple-choice form, saying what you're doing often isn't an even option. And when it is, it often is a waste of time. Gender questions asked by non-academics from North America are usually best interpreted as being also about sex unless otherwise specified.
  3. When filling forms in which you're simply asked about about your nationality, you're not supposed to provide the country your folks came from as an answer. So far as I can tell, the people who actually talk about nationality in terms of identity rather tend to be right-wing bigots than immigrants. It's not a given that it's internal debates which should determine who counts as a member. People don't even agree about what is or isn't a religion. If you're going to poll people, you'll have to rely on self-reporting anyway. The issue is whether people will answer based on whatever (if anything) they identify with or based on what they're inferring about social expectations.
  4. On a practical level, I answer a different question because I think there's less risk of being misunderstood that way. I don't think the topics are inherently complicated but I do think that that the way you talk about identity complicates them. Asking the question is not a problem as long as you allow people not to answer or to answer something along the lines of "other". The problem is in my mind more about what you think you're going to be able to conclude from the answers. This is of course not unique to issues of gender and sex. I don't think you should do anything but getting rid of this identity stuff or relegating it to a separate question that is specifically about the way people identify would be an improvement, along the lines of the "what you identify as vs. what some other person identifies you as" dichotomy you proposed upthread. Not conflating gender and sex might also be an improvement. But I guess that depends on your audience. Observation isn't assignment. And the actual gender assignment happens long after the birth. Arguing that different things are the same because of a strong correlation is basically essentialism.
  5. My hypothesis is of course that the these issues have something to do with each other. The first line of Vespucci's post is about orientation translating into identification. I guess I could have been more explicit. How about "the problem is manifest in the following definition" instead of "the problem is the following definition"? FWIW, most people aren't assigned a gender at birth. They're identified as male or female (which is different from gender) based on traits which are in most cases not ambiguous. And how do I tell which gender I identify with, assuming I have to pick one? So yeah, "unanticipated problems".
  6. The problem is the following definition: I know how I present and so I know how to answer such questions (cis man) just like I know how to write down my nationality in a form. But I don't identify as a man any more than I identify with the entity which issues my travel papers. In fact, I loathe that entity as well as masculinity. That doesn't make me genderqueer for any practical purpose. Sure, I've occasionally been called "miss" or been the target of homophobia though I'm not gay but people who aren't being assholes have no issue identifying me as a man. Nobody defines nationality in terms of identity so why do you do so when it comes to gender and stuff? Identity issues are subjective, not demographic data. I don't understand what's going on with identity in your culture but it sure seems toxic.
  7. I don't really do social media. But now that I think about it, some of the people I've unexpectedly set off or who've randomly wished me a violent death these past few years were social media users. When I've been able to get an explanation, it was along the lines of "THEY say that as an insult".
  8. It ain't just this place which evolved that way, is it?
  9. @Yell Wallpaper: But it ain't a matter of nuance or imperfection. Assuming so isn't respectful. You can't possibly articulate who you are by ticking a box anyway. What's at issue instead is what can be inferred about people from box ticks. And that depends on the question's quality and the assumptions underlying it. What you are arguing for is optimizing the answers you're getting from a group you understand and the cost of excluding others. Which is of course your priviledge.
  10. Thanks for the apology sylae. I'm not clear how you think I might have suggested things on a web forum other than through the words I posted. And the words I posted are unrelated to the gist you got. I assume there's a reason you're defensive about this particular topic but if you were to examine the other responses in this thread I think you'd see that's not the only topic people are being defensive about. US-centric language isn't a big deal. And if I may restate my what I said in my first post, the problem isn't the gender/sexuality questions either. It's the answers to the following questions: What are your political views when it comes to social issues? What are your political views when it comes to economic issues? I'm perplexed about the hand-wringing about cultural barriers considering there's an easy fix: make the questions optional. Then no one will be required to commit to a statement along the lines of "the government this, the market that" in order to finish filling the survey.
  11. Since you're curious, I thought pretty much everything that could have been US-centric, was. The politics stuff was totally US-centric (I've never known someone from any other country to think in those terms). But also to some extent the gender/sexuality stuff, the religious stuff and so forth. I did however notice an attempt at internationalizing US educational categories. But I guess if you're for instance Canadian you might not see it that way. I've never been to Canada but I suppose it's not all that different from the US. Sorry for lumping similar countries with their more globally influential relative! And I obviously realize no one intented to insult anyone else! It's just that I would have felt like I was insulting myself had I chosen one of these answers.
  12. I tried to fill the survey in spite of the sometimes intrusive or US-centric questions. I got as far as the following questions: What are your political views when it comes to social issues? What are your political views when it comes to economic issues? Answers were required but all the options were downright insulting. Oh, well. I'll check out the results of past surveys anyway. Sounds like a fun project.
  13. And the way it "just allows" (lovely!) the government to track down assets (whether they're income-generating or not by the way) is by taxing assets. Except people can get out of the tax by reporting information to the US government. It's unethical and strong-arming foreign governments into making this legal has been hugely unpopular but it works. No, people are already taxed irrespective of income under FATCA.
  14. Right, acronym dyslexia. It is nominally in service of an income tax but it does tax (certain uses of) assets by default. As in, "voluntarily" meet the reporting requirements or get taxed heavily, regardless of the constitutional provisions regarding direct taxation. My point is that the very same approach could just as well be used to tax compliant assets at a much lower rate. In any case the fact that the US government finds it useful to go after people's assets as a way to curtail income tax evasion gives the lie to the notion that: No other country carries out financial surveillance like the US does, even the ones which have wealth taxes. I think that many of those around the world who are routinely required to provide information to the US government even though they are not US persons and have no income coming from the USA would be surprised to learn that the US government is only supposed to tax income.
  15. FACTA effectively taxes assets (which is what the Constitution forbids and not a wealth tax as such) under the guise of taxing their use. It's not terribly difficult to work around that Constitution of yours with bipartisan support. That wouldn't work as there would be a strong initiative for smaller states to become tax heavens. But see FACTA for an approach that works. There's an easy solution: tax assets at the maximum rate by default and let the owners report on their own wealth if they want their assets to be exempted or taxed at a lower rate. That would double as a tax on money laundering. Again, see FACTA.