Political Correctness
Definition from Google. noun: the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. A simple example: If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman. Is this offensive to the men doing the nicknaming? Is it offensive to others who might hear them? Does it matter? A more complex example: As reported in the media, in a memo to students sent out by West Virginia University (WVU), Title IX coordinator James Goins, Jr. declares that anyone who refuses to use a person’s preferred transgender pronouns is breaking federal law! A political example: Robert Litan, a Democrat, was fired from his left leaning think tank after delivering testimony against an Elizabeth Warren-backed Labor Department plan to regulate financial advisers. Half of House Democrats and virtually all Republicans in Congress oppose the plan because of its costs. Instead of rebutting his argument, Ms. Warren decided to punish it, he was fired from his think tank. One ridiculous example: Princeton University’s ‘Men’s Engagement Manager’, to rehabilitate men that are too masculine. Obviously there are many more, even more dramatic, examples of political correctness gone wild in our culture today. Political correctness can be best described as the opposite of or the enemy of truth.

Get Out of Gun Control, Apple

8/16/16
By JONATHAN ZITTRAIN,
from The New York Times,
8/16/16:

This month, Apple previewed some changes to its next generation of iPhones and iPads with the promise that “all the things you love to do are more expressive, more dynamic and more fun than ever.” That especially includes emojis, those little icons that, according to one study, 92 percent of the online population now make part of their everyday communication. One change in particular, though, is not delighting everyone. Apple’s new suite of operating systems appears to replace its pistol emoji, which was an image of a six-shooter, with a squirt gun. Apple hasn’t said why it would be making this change, but this summer, along with Microsoft, the company lobbied Unicode, the nonprofit consortium that decides which emojis should exist, against adding a separate rifle. For those emojis Unicode has already approved, like gun, it’s up to each company to create a picture for it. It’s possible that the company’s decision on the pistol resulted from a #DisarmTheiPhone campaign by a public relations firm working with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “There is a gun we all carry that we can all give up,” explains a video on the campaign’s website — meaning the iPhone’s picture of a gun. But the campaign was not asking individual people to abstain from using the emoji; it aimed at persuading Apple to prevent, in one swoop, anyone from sending or receiving that cartoon image of a handgun. Apple’s change is ill considered because it breaks the conceptual compatibility that Unicode is meant to establish. Anyone with an iPhone ought to be able to send a message to someone with another company’s products — like Google or Microsoft or Samsung — and have what’s delivered communicate the same idea as what’s sent. But with this change, a squirt gun sent from an iPhone will turn into a handgun when received by an Android device, and vice versa.

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