Male and Female Robots

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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:06 pm

Carleas wrote:Sorry, WendyDarling, I meant to respond to your early comment as well.

WendyDarling wrote:If we were to scrap traditional biological references to the sexes and their corresponding genders then Siri with a female voice would be referred to as a male which would be confusing, retarded, and inaccurate.

This doesn't follow. Siri's only social-sexual attribute is the sound of her voice (I think Apple actually been careful not to give her additional female social-sexual attributes, to the point that in WWDC talks and on their website, they actually don't use gendered pronouns to refer to her).

Now, we consider some rules for social sex recognition: one rule is that we rely solely on biology, in which case it's incorrect to refer to Siri as female. Another would be that we rely on biology for humans and the sum of social-sexual attributes elsewhere, which is what seems to be the predominant anti-trans position, and under which we treat Siri as female because the sum of her social-sexual attributes says 'female'. My position is that we rely on the sum of social-sexual attributes in all cases, under which we treat Siri as female because the sum of her social-sexual attributes says 'female'.

WendyDarling wrote:We recognize based on biology for it is literally what signifies gender. I don't believe in social sexual distinctions as legitimate for they are based on unnatural lies.

Come on, you don't accuse everyone who refers to Alexa or Siri or Data or Thor by a gendered pronoun of being a liar. You don't act the way you're describing. You actually use gendered language for things that do not have a gendered biology, and you have no problem with other people who do that. The only basis on which you can do that is the social signaling of sex.


Mad Man P and I agree with the nature of what is biologically represented which you seem to have a disconnect with. Biological representations are constructed regarding Siri and Data that signify a biological sex which you want to dispute while at the same time supporting that faulty representations of biology in the case of trans persons should be accepted. No Siri with a female voice should not be interpreted as male which is what you desire people do in the case of trans when trans women sound like men but we should call them women. That is absurd.

Biological sex is often assigned to things that are not biological but most often the things represent biological attributes in manner of voice, shape of face, body type. Such assignments make sense since they are modeled on reality. What you espouse does not make sense for it is not modeled on reality.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:15 pm

Mad Man P wrote:First of all you can point to the WRONG spot on the map, it's not arbitrary where "New York" is represented there.

Sure, and if you think a satchel is a purse you can be wrong about the intended signal about social sex.

That's a bit flip, but the point is that we can misinterpret social sexual signals, and we can misidentify them in ways that are wrong in the same way that pointing to Boston on a map and calling it "New York" is wrong. That gets complicated, as your thought experiments illustrate: What if Data had Siri's voice and lipstick? A beard and boobs? Exactly the same but wore a dress? The same as the series but played by a woman in a Brent Spiner mask? But I don't think the existence of ambiguous cases is a defeater for clear cases.

Mad Man P wrote:Second, referring to people as though they are of another gender is not like pointing to a map... people are not commonly viewed as "representations".
It'd be akin to pointing to the ACTUAL city of Boston and saying "New York"... No one would assume what you meant was "it represents New York"
Even if they did I doubt they would agree... as it's more akin to Boston than it is to New York...

I mean, both New York and Boston have 'Chinatown', what is that supposed to represent?

But more seriously, though I agree that "people are not commonly viewed as 'representations'", I think there's a good reason to think that they actually are representations, or rather that their social identities are representations. As I mention above, social identity is a kind of fiction, we portray ourselves not how we are, but how we want other people to see us. That's true when a biological man suppresses his emotions, and it's true when she wears makeup and a dress and introduces herself as Brittany.

Mad Man P wrote:Our treatment of men and women socially is a reflection of what we perceive to be typical differences between them. Now our perception might be wrong, we might be misinformed, but we're not looking for exceptions to inform our behavior... we're looking for the norms, the most typical examples and patterns, that is what we want to inform our behavior. Because then our behavior will be suitable and comfortable to the majority.

But if a person is telling you that their behavior will conform to the social norms of female behavior, and we have every reason to believe that they are accurately describing themselves, our behavior will be better informed to listen to them. And that's exactly what we do with non-biological characters to which we ascribe a social sexual role.

Gloominary wrote:99.8% of the time the cast used the noun android in reference to the android Data, not man, and no one took offence to this, including Data himself.

It's hard to search the script of the entire series for times when the word "man" is used to describe Data, so I can't verify. But it's not hard to find that in basically every episode, Data is referred to with male pronouns, he's called "Mr. Data", his subordinates refer to him as "sir" (though that term is used inconsistently in the Star Trek universe, and doesn't reliably signal gender), and in an early episode a crotchety old man calls him "boy" a whole bunch (though perhaps not after learning he's an android). He and Lore refer to each other as "brothers".

In any case, he's socially accepted as being male gendered, whether or not he is "a man". That's kind of the point I'm making here.

WendyDarling wrote:Biological representations are constructed regarding Siri and Data that signify a biological sex which you want to dispute

I dispute that they signify biological sex, yes. They signal social sex. No one takes Siri's voice to say anything about her biology, and nothing about her social sex is in tension with that.

WendyDarling wrote:Biological sex is often assigned to things that are not biological but most often the things represent biological attributes in manner of voice, shape of face, body type.

Again, I think you're making a social/biological distinction, and just avoiding the word. No one is claiming anything about Siri's biology why they refer to her as 'her'. That use of 'her' is purely social: it's social sex that's being assinged.

Also, transmen who supplement testosterone get a deeper more masculine voice and a more male body type.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:45 pm

Carleas wrote:the point is that we can misinterpret social sexual signals, and we can misidentify then in ways that are wrong in the same way that pointing to Boston on a map and calling it "New York" is wrong. That get complicated, as your thought experiments illustrate: What if Data had Siri's voice and lipstick? A beard and boobs? Exactly the same but wore a dress? The same as the series but played by a woman in a Brent Spiner mask? I don't think the existence of ambiguous cases is a defeater for clear cases.


Exactly right.. when we know a creature to have a biological sex, whether human, fish or alien we don't need to do a lot of guesswork or interpretation based on approximations or similarity of appearance, voice, social behavior etc. Never mind the more abstract relationships like with "mother earth" or ships...

But if a person is telling you that their behavior will conform to the social norms of female behavior, and we have every reason to believe that they are accurately describing themselves, our behavior will be better informed to listen to them. And that's exactly what we do with non-biological characters to which we ascribe a social sexual role.


See this is why your approach to this topic is a red herring... I have to disagree with the above.
This is decidedly not what we do with characters like Data or Siri... What we do with them is not predicated on their preference, but rather our own judgements about what they represent, if anything.
A forklift does not get a gender... because we don't feel it reminds us of any gender in particular and we've no sufficiently poetic relationship with them from which to draw a some abstract simile, either.

If you had left machines and fictional characters out of this, we could have had a separate discussion all together...

Some people wish they were a different gender than what they are...
We might well decide to treat some men like women and vice versa if that's what they prefer and they can signal this to us by way of their dress, say.
On the other hand, there's a case to be made that indulging such wishful thinking to the point of delusion might ultimately not be what's best for people in that situation.
That perhaps the most compassionate thing we could do is look into ways that would allow them to find comfort in their own bodies...

And this is why I think you want to make the case you're making. If we can undermine the "reality" of gender in the first place, there's no "delusion" we could be complicit in creating.
Not that I'm questioning your motives... but noting the the utility of trying to separate biological sex from gender.

We can always separate the thing from our own behavior in response to the thing. Your "social identity" is merely how we respond to you socially.
You might do the same with regards to intellect and our social response to intellect. We could start treating morons as the greatest minds who ever lived... because that would make them happy.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:56 pm

I'm going to take your points out of order Mad Man, because I think my response to your later points clarifies the arguments you address in your earlier points.
Mad Man P wrote:And this is why I think you want to make the case you're making... if we can undermine the "reality" of gender in the first place, there's no "delusion" we could be complicit in creating.

I see myself as, first, describing the reality of how we assign social sex, and then applying the insights from that description to show that we don't need to appeal to anything delusional to grant people their chosen social sexual identity. Rather than trying to undermine the concept of sex, I'm showing that the existing concept is already distinguished into a social and a biological component, and that those components are already applied separately. The idea that biological and social sex must be one and the same does not need to be undermined, it's already demonstrably false.

Mad Man P wrote:If you had left machines and fictional characters out of this, we could have had a separate discussion all together...

But those are exactly the cases in which the social and biological concepts of sex are most clearly distinct. I'm pointing to the existing concept of sex in a context in which is purely social, and knowingly ignores biology.

Mad Man P wrote:What we do with [characters like Data or Siri] is not predicated on their preference, but rather our own judgements about what they represent, if anything.

It's not predicated on their preference, but it is predicated on superficial, non-biological, purely social attributes like voice or dress or behavior.

A test case would be, if you learned that some person in your life had genitals that do not correspond to the sexual role you'd always assumed they inhabit, should you begin to refer to them as their biological sex and not the social sexual role you had previously granted them? (assume further that you learned about their genitals incidentally, i.e. not in some context in which the shape of their genitals is socially relevant (e.g. at the end of a date))

If you would continue to treat them as the same social sex as you always had, I think that says something about how you should treat someone who clearly communicates their social sexual preference. Since I watched Austin Powers recently, I am reminded of the scene in which Austin insists that Basil's mother is a man because she looks "manish". The gag is that doing so is awful, no matter how "manish" you think someone looks. How would you distinguish how you treat a manish-looking biological woman from how you treat a transwoman, if both are presenting as socially female (i.e., both offer the same signals about their preferred social sex, in the form of dress, speech, behavior, etc.).

Mad Man P wrote:we don't need to do a lot of guesswork or interpretation based on approximations or similarity of appearance, voice, social behavior etc.

Nor do we need a lot of guesswork or interpretation to treat someone in a dress and makeup and introducing themselves as Brittany as a female for social purposes, regardless of what we suspect about their genitals (and regardless even of what we know about their genitals, to the extent that it's irrelevant. Just as those indicia are sufficient to treat a fembot as a socially female robot, so too are they sufficient to treat Basil's mom or a transwoman as socially female. That's how the concept of sex is already used in contexts that aren't politicized.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:18 am

Carleas wrote:I think my response to your later points clarifies the arguments you address in your earlier points.


Sorry Carleas, I get the sense that you're not really understanding my arguments, much less addressing them.

I see myself as, first, describing the reality of how we assign social sex, and then applying the insights from that description to show that we don't need to appeal to anything delusional to grant people their chosen social sexual identity.


This is not what you're doing... you're mixing numerous different things together, tossing spaghetti on the floor and inviting me to untangle the mess.
But I enjoy the challenge so let's go...

You start by noting that objects, concepts, phones and androids, whether real or fictional are often addressed as male or female...
I comment that this gender is merely to reflect some simile we detect, it's representational not descriptive. The same way New York can be found represented on a map... without it in any way BEING New York.
Or a more clear example could be the way we might say of someone "that man is a Lion", that statement is not descriptive, it's representational..
Yet, you mistake this for "social identity" either intentionally or mistakenly.
Then you equivocate on this misapprehension saying that "social sex" therefore does not hinge on biological sex... which is true, but for very different reasons that matter.

Social anything, whether sex, ethnicity, or whatever else, is merely what we call the social responses to a person's sex or skin color or given attribute.
A response that changes depending on the culture, customs and perception. What's more, this is true of any and all attributes of a person... intellect, age, height, eye color, whatever
We can treat people AS THOUGH they had a different hair color... and then we'd have a "social hair color" distinct from "physical hair color" and so on.

So to cut through the sophistry and language games, what we're talking about here is treating people the way they want to be treated... and where we draw the line on that.
We can treat you AS THOUGH, any number of things... But should we?
Why not assign you a social "intellect" and call you a genius to make you feel better about yourself?

Intellect is after all just as separate from "social Intellect" as sex is from "social sex"... one is a factual statement about you, the other is a social treatment.
So we can assign people as "social" geniuses who are idiots... why not?

I would think the answer is obvious...
Like I pointed out before: Our treatment of men and women is a reflection of what we perceive to be typical differences between them
REAL differences... that we believe warrant the difference in treatment.
If you do not possess the characteristics that warrant the treatment, treating you as though you do would be an aid in establishing a delusion.
Telling males that they are women, is no different to telling idiots that they are geniuses.
Or telling Children that they are 60 year olds... Or short people that they are tall... or bald people that they have hair on their heads

Now you can rattle on about how It's only a change in "social" treatment... no one is changing their real height or intellect, age or biological sex
You can claim that those terms only ever referred to the "social" intellect/height/sex, so it's not a "delusion" if the social treatment really DID change.

But that's a line of shit and we all know it.. those terms were never addressing the "social treatment" but the actual attributes that we believed warranted the subsequent difference in social treatment.

Now I happen to believe that a lot of our cultural norms were justified on inaccurate beliefs about sex differences. Many changes in social behavior could be justified on our modern understanding of the differences in sex and what those differences warrant... But then take the case of trans women, that is biological men, being allowed to compete in female divisions of various sports. That is the product of a delusion that we've established.

The differences in physiology between men and women warrants keeping the sexes separate in the interest of fair competition and sportsmanship in lots of fields...
Yet for fear of disappointing these poor souls who feel trapped in their own bodies... we've decided to lose our fucking minds and throw a man into a cage match where he gets to beat the shit out of women
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:59 am

Carleas wrote
The idea that biological and social sex must be one and the same does not need to be undermined, it's already demonstrably false.

I haven't seen you do this with anything other than the female naming of boats and nobody knows why they were named female names and that seems to be more of a thing of the past anyways.

Mad Man P wrote
That perhaps the most compassionate thing we could do is look into ways that would allow them to find comfort in their own bodies...
I agree but how? Especially when their happiness hinges on our perception of them. It's not enough for them to be humored with a female name or a her, they really want to be known as women in all respects even though their biology will never be overcome. They cannot not be delusional and what they demand in the forms of access and laws makes their delusions harmful to other people.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:35 am

Carleas wrote:
If we treat Siri as human do we then accept that humanness is not about biology

The answer is that while only we can be truly human on a biological level we can apply the definition to other beings for psychological / philosophical reasons
If we think of machine intelligence as being the next stage in human evolution it is only natural that the same terminology is applied for reasons of continuity
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:46 am

Assignations of gender are significant in various modes of perceptive or indicative ways.

Some or most literal gender signification are quite arbitrary, German being one of them.
Figuratively, the division between natural and simulated , as in intelligence, the modus is first scripted5, as in the Siri example, first the name is set as a feminine name, no correspondence with the role Siri performs.

Robots obviously by virtue of anatomical distinctions, do require a more factual representation.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:01 am

WendyDarling wrote:
Especially when their happiness hinges on our perception of them

Looking to others in order to validate ones own sense of well being is not a very good idea because not everyone thinks the same
I can accept how someone sees themselves but am under zero obligation to agree with them just because it will make them happy
I would never deliberately trigger anyone because of it but I must have the freedom to think for myself regardless of anything else
Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own state of mind and should not be expecting anyone else to see them exactly the same as they do
I can treat anyone with respect while within my own mind questioning how they see themselves - these two things are not mutually incompatible
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:08 am

WendyDarling wrote:I agree but how? Especially when their happiness hinges on our perception of them. It's not enough for them to be humored with a female name or a her, they really want to be known as women in all respects even though their biology will never be overcome. They cannot not be delusional and what they demand in the forms of access and laws makes their delusions harmful to other people.


To be fair, a lot of these demands are not coming from transexuals but rather people who are in an arms race of virtue and victimhood that pretend to speak for transexuals.
Those militant jackasses rub their stink off on transexuals and in the process errode people's natural sympathy for the condition...

I don't know a heck of a lot about transexuals nor the state of real science on the topic. I worry that even if there were a better solution waiting to be discovered, we'd be incapable of exploring it due to the dogmatic and delusional declaration that they ARE women and anyone who says different is a "transphobe"... who would want to fund that research and take the abuse that would invite?

I can't imagine what it must be like for actual transexuals and at the end of the day, I'd be willing to "feed the delusion" if that helps ease their minds
until a better, less absurde solution presents itself... I don't know how else to help them... but my willingness to play along has its limits.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:46 am

The scientific definition of a woman is a human born with tits, a vag and XX chromosomes.
The conservative definition is in agreement with the scientific.
Under this definition, women are women and transwomen are men.

Now progressives acknowledge that about half of people are born with tits, a vag and XX chromosomes, and the other half with penises and XY chromosomes, but for them, sex organs and chromosomes don't define humans as men and women, so what does?
What is, or are the progressive definition(s) of a woman?

Is the progressive definition of a woman: a human with more female physical secondary sex characteristics (shallow voice, hour glass figure, etcetera) than male?
If that's the case, under this definition, (virtually) all women are women, and (virtually) all transwomen are men, for virtually all physical secondary sex characteristics align with primary sex characteristics (sex organs and chromosomes) for (virtually) all people.
And that's not what progressives are looking for, is it?
They want 100% of transwomen to be 100% woman.

Is the progressive definition of a woman: a human with a female brain?
If that's the case, under this definition, and according to the latest neuroscience, most if not all women are women, because at best women have female brains, and at worst women have androgynous brains, and most if not all transwomen are men, because at best transwomen have androgynous brains, and at worst transwomen have male brains.

Brain and mind are really just two ways of perceptualizing and conceptualizing the same thing, unless you're say a Cartesian dualist that is (we won't go there), so if you have a fully male or androgynous brain you have a wholly male or androgynous mind.

So in other words, the scientific/conservative definition of sex isn't just biologically meaningful, it's socially meaningful (brain = mind = behavior + biology is socially relevant in and of itself, I mean we interact with men and women differently because of their different primary, and physical secondary sex characteristics).
Is the progressive definition of sex biologically or socially meaningful?
Let's first ascertain what it is:

If you believe you are or feel like a woman for any reason, or no reason at all, you're a woman.
So you see, it doesn't even matter how well you can pass as a woman.
If say Brock Lesnar wakes up one morning and says he believes he's a woman, he's a woman, even if he keeps on being the same ole hyper-masculine Brock Lesnar, he doesn't have to so much as wear eyeliner or put on a dress, let alone tone down his extremely choleric, type A personality.
He doesn't have to have his brain/mind examined by a neuropsychologist either, to see if they can find anything scientific.
So for the progressive, Brock Lesnar is every bit as feminine as say Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, if he says he is, and conversely, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift are every bit as masculine as Brock Lesnar, if the say they are.

So in other words, the progressive definition of sex is both biologically, and socially meaningless.
Now why should we turn meaningful words into meaningless ones?
Are beliefs/feelings as good as reality...are beliefs/feelings reality?

What else works like this?
Is the most extroverted person an introvert simply because they believe they are?
Is the most idiotic person intelligent because they believe they are?
Sure, maybe people are entitled to their delusions.
We may even go so far to say that is their reality for them, but is it our reality for us?

Masculinity and femininity aren't just sounds, they're suppose to refer to something we're all able to experience.
If your words are 100% personal and unverifiable, they're not really words or a form of communication, they're noise, nonsense.
You may as well say you're an alien from planet X.
Interesting perhaps, but we have no rational grounds for believing either way, in fact we have rational grounds for believing the contrary, so we don't owe you our assent.

Now ask yourselves, why, why are the social engineers trying to subjectify sexuality into oblivion in particular, why not go after all or other aspects of reality?
Is there an agenda behind it, or is it just a kind of mass neurosis, virtue signaling gone off the deep end?

I remember Carleas brought up in a thread of mine that for him, someone is a Christian just because they say they are, even if they know absolutely nothing about Jesus or the NT, so long as their belief seems sincere, whatever sincerity would mean in this context.
Now I disagree with Carleas about this analogy, I mean Christians are excommunicated, and even punks and goths are disparaged as poseurs if they can't live up to the norms of their subculture, but even if religion and subcultures worked this way, why should we make sexuality work this way too when most language and thought doesn't?
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:33 am

I can accept that a transwoman who was born biologically male now see themselves as female
But that is not the same as a woman who was born biologically female and is still biologically female

Equally I can accept that a transman who was born biologically female now sees themselves as male
But that is not the same as a man who was born biologically male and is still biologically male

These distinctions are simply statements of fact and is the only reason for me stating them
For I accept the right of anyone to identify however they wish even if I disagree with them

The one thing that you will truly own is your own body simply because for the entirety of your life it is yours and yours only
So once you become an adult you should have the freedom to do to it whatever you want regardless of what anyone thinks
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:02 am

We may give objects like boats and dolls gendered names.
We may refer to them with gendered (pro)nouns.
But unless there's something wrong with us, we do so in a playful way.
A doll is not literally male or female, just as it's not literally human.
And even if it was, it's in a shallow, superficial way, it's masculinity or femininity is nothing compared to the genuine article.

And as for androids and gynoids, they haven't been invented yet, or at least widely distributed, and what's more, they're primitive compared to the hypothetical stuff we read in novels, see in films and on television.
It's silly to model our language after science fiction.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:19 am

Carleas wrote:[
Most importantly, it just erodes the meaningful distinction between men and women. As you show, it becomes harder to make true general statements about women if the set of women includes people with penises etc.
Right off the bat that's a problem since there are true general statements about men and women, and there will continue to be. But further I don't this is what is happening since the right hand and the left hand don't know what the other is doing, and one of the Left's hands is moving backwards. If you feel a certain set of not clearly delineated feelings, you are not your biological sex. Given what transsexuals then display - which tends to be traditional female personality traits, and accounting for their being trans along stricter sexual dimorphism (than wht the Left otherwise allows as true generalities), we are getting, yes, a double message, but one that includes a stronger dimorphism. Couple this with the messages about what is wrong with men, which is also strongly sexually dimorphism based, we don't have some breakdown, we have a crazymaking mixed message that now includes stronger messages about the differences in the mix. Gregorsy Bateson is rolling over in his grave.

But another way is that it shifts how people signal female-ness. One reason that drag queens go over-the-top in terms of femininity is that they are trying to overcome their biology:
I think that is part of it. I think another part is they worship or have strong feelings about feminiity and see it in a certain way. It is a presentation to us and to themselves of an archetype of femininity.

as drag queens are by definition not transsexual, they still have many male traits
Most transexuals who have become women still have visible male traits and likely not so easily seen as well.

a flamboyant femininity is one way to outweigh them, so be perceived as feminine despite their male physiology. Similarly, because biological sex affects gross morphology like the shape of the face and body, features which are hard to alter even with sex-reassignment, transwomen may wear more feminine clothes and more makeup to overcome those latent male signals. As a result, as trans people gain prominence, it may be that the most feminine-presenting people in society are trans, and that very strong adherence to traditional sexual roles becomes a weaker signal of biological sex.
I suppose that is possible. I think it is outweighed by the messages that if you feel a certain way which includes 'women's emotional traits and attitudinal traits and relational traits' then you are or may well actually be women, is sending messages about who is a woman much stronger than those related to clothes. And looking at your own wording 'to overcome male signals'. That also reinforces the differences or hypothetical differences.

That means that biological women who want to signal not only their social sex but their biological sex will be incentivized to be less feminine. The example that comes to mind is of the 'pixie cut', i.e. very short hair typically only worn by very feminine-featured women. Short hair is a traditionally male signal, but it can be a strong female counter-signal that says in a sense, "I'm so feminine that I don't need traditional social sexual signals for you to see that I'm a woman".
And this sends weird messages about butch lesbians. Or anyone who just likes short hair as a woman. We are adding all sorts of meanings, still signaling wildly.

I have gotten the impression that anyone who tries to have a rational and self-consistent position on these issues is considered loopy.
Well, you're right, though I meant I believe in reincarnation and that one's soul can end up in a body that does not match it. I don't quite think of it in the ways 'soul' is traditionally used, but I don't want to go into the complexity here.

And with the world being what it is, I have to admit that it's a bit crazy to take the risk of even engaging in a conversation such as this. But it's clearly a topic worth discussing, if only so we have a reasonably well thought out response when our kids inevitably ask.
Yes, I would only take this discussion up with close friends and family. These are socially (at the very least) dangerous times to not tow the party line of whatever party predominates in one's social and professional circles. In social media minutes one could find oneself considered a fascist, racist, homotransphobic monster, or the equivalent wrong thing to be on the right.

I admit there way be trends of fuzziness about sex/gender due to the messages about sex - biological sex does not matter, biological sex matters a lot, men and women are the same, men and women are different and radically so. But I don't see the fact that there is a contradiction weaking the strenght of either message. I think it will merely add more anxiety.

I also see the problem as most severe with children. Parents can allow kids to determine their sex very early and this will include medical intervention.

It seems to me any physicalist should be against this. IOW if the distinction between men and women is not there, then there should be no need to intervene in the endocrine system of growing children. Since to a physicalist, there is nothing but the physical body. Whatever traits it gives personality, sexual interest, relating traits, is identical to the person's traits. Any intervention in the body, assumes philosophical beliefs that do not fit with physicalism.

Adults can be hypocritical, those that are, and change their bodies as they like. But kids should not have this done to them. And further, those people advocating for it, who are saying it makes senses, are being hypocritical if they are physicalists, as much of the left is.

https://www.rt.com/news/464888-doctors- ... ign=chrome

There's money being made on experimental treatments on children. And it is taboo on the left to question this (in general).
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:32 am

Gloominary wrote:
And as for androids and gynoids they havent been invented yet or at least widely distributed and whats more they are primitive compared to the hypothetical
stuff we read in novels see in films and on television
It is silly to model our language after science fiction

When androids become common to the point of acceptance it will not be seen as remotely unusual to gender them or give them human names
Especially the ones that will be manufactured exclusively for sexual purposes - it only seems strange to some now because it has yet to happen
But go far enough back in time and there will be things we regard as perfectly acceptable that to our ancestors would seem very strange indeed
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:32 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
And as for androids and gynoids they havent been invented yet or at least widely distributed and whats more they are primitive compared to the hypothetical
stuff we read in novels see in films and on television
It is silly to model our language after science fiction

When androids become common to the point of acceptance it will not be seen as remotely unusual to gender them or give them human names
Especially the ones that will be manufactured exclusively for sexual purposes - it only seems strange to some now because it has yet to happen
But go far enough back in time and there will be things we regard as perfectly acceptable that to our ancestors would seem very strange indeed


It may seem surprising , but they have already been invented, are in production and brisk sales and I don't know what their names are but sure that they are not named Ken and Bar by.

I hope here I'm not incriminating myself, but a friend told me about them.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:39 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
And as for androids and gynoids they havent been invented yet or at least widely distributed and whats more they are primitive compared to the hypothetical
stuff we read in novels see in films and on television
It is silly to model our language after science fiction

When androids become common to the point of acceptance it will not be seen as remotely unusual to gender them or give them human names
Especially the ones that will be manufactured exclusively for sexual purposes - it only seems strange to some now because it has yet to happen
But go far enough back in time and there will be things we regard as perfectly acceptable that to our ancestors would seem very strange indeed

I don't think androids are going to become more common, in fact I think people are going to become less common, figurative, and literally, it's going to get harder to find them.
But even if androids do become more common, just as we use the noun android, to mean manlike, we should invent new pronouns for them, like heish and sheish or hish and shish, for they're male and femalelike, not literally male and female.
If anything we should make our pronouns more congruent with reality, not less.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:50 am

Meno_ wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
And as for androids and gynoids they havent been invented yet or at least widely distributed and whats more they are primitive compared to the hypothetical
stuff we read in novels see in films and on television
It is silly to model our language after science fiction

When androids become common to the point of acceptance it will not be seen as remotely unusual to gender them or give them human names
Especially the ones that will be manufactured exclusively for sexual purposes - it only seems strange to some now because it has yet to happen
But go far enough back in time and there will be things we regard as perfectly acceptable that to our ancestors would seem very strange indeed


It may seem surprising , but they have already been invented, are in production and brisk sales and I don't know what their names are but sure that they are not named Ken and Bar by.

I hope here I'm not incriminating myself, but a friend told me about them.

Yea but they're nothing like Data, they're just slightly more sophisticated toys.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:46 am

surreptitious75 wrote:I can accept that a transwoman who was born biologically male now see themselves as female
But that is not the same as a woman who was born biologically female and is still biologically female

Equally I can accept that a transman who was born biologically female now sees themselves as male
But that is not the same as a man who was born biologically male and is still biologically male

These distinctions are simply statements of fact and is the only reason for me stating them

Exactly.

This isn't a linguistic upgrade, it's a downgrade by any measure.
The progressive definition of man and woman is both biologically, and socially meaningless and inferior to the scientific/conservative definition.

Now if they at least made it so you had to pass some neuropsychological evaluations to qualify as the opposite sex, or you were one of those elite trannies, sex reassignment surgery and cosmetic surgery or naturally feminine appearance and personality, the whole 9 yards, maybe then I could halfway see their point.
But no, It's the same ole bald, beer belly Bob (ahem, Bernice) you always knew, likes to go fishing and play Call of Duty into the wee hours of the morning, except now he's sporting eyeliner and a wig because his wife divorced and emasculated him and he's having a midlife crisis.
It's another one of his phases he'll grow out of, but don't tell him that.

For I accept the right of anyone to identify however they wish even if I disagree with them

Ditto for me. I don't care if they identify as the queen of England, but don't expect me to address you as her majesty every time you prance or waltz into the room, or you've got another thing coming.

The one thing that you will truly own is your own body simply because for the entirety of your life it is yours and yours only
So once you become an adult you should have the freedom to do to it whatever you want regardless of what anyone thinks

Same here, I'm pretty live and let live, but progressives aren't, it's authoritarianism with a smiley face.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:08 am

Gloominary wrote:
I dont think androids are going to become more common in fact I think people are going to become less common figurative and literally
But even if androids do become more common just as we use the noun android to mean manlike we should invent new pronouns for them like heish and sheish
or hish and shish for they are male and femalelike not literally male and female
If anything we should make our pronouns more congruent with reality not less

Human beings are not going to stop reproducing any time soon as global population is now at record levels and is continuing to rise - like it always has
There will almost certainly be an increase in human android sex in the future but that will be an alternative rather than a replacement for natural sex
No one is going to be worrying about correct pronoun usage when an android that is absolutely beautiful is giving them the best blow job they ever had

There will be campaigns for androids to be given the same legal status as humans and anyone not accepting this will be regarded as androphobic
Androids and humans will be treated as different but equal even though their processing and other capabilities will exceed that of humans
They will eventually surpass us in all areas and may even bring about our extinction when we become superfluous to their requirements
Our only hope is that they are programmed with sufficient empathy so that this will not happen - although it may in reality be inevitable
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:43 am

surreptitious75 wrote:Human beings are not going to stop reproducing any time soon as global population is now at record levels and is continuing to rise - like it always has
There will almost certainly be an increase in human android sex in the future but that will be an alternative rather than a replacement for natural sex
No one is going to be worrying about correct pronoun usage when an android that is absolutely beautiful is giving them the best blow job they ever had

World population growth is rapidly decelerating and within the next century or two we'll probably have world population decline, just like we have white and east Asian population decline.
Really the only continent that's currently growing is Africa, which's unfortunate because it's a cesspit, some of them are already banging on our doors looking for stuff.



Humanity faces so many challenges I don't know where to begin.
Look up mass coronal ejection for starters, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-would-happen-if-solar-storm-wiped-out-technology-geomagnetic-carrington-event-coronal-mass-ejection

I don't want to derail Carleas' thread anymore than we already have, so that's all I'll say about that.

surreptitious75 wrote:There will be campaigns for androids to be given the same legal status as humans and anyone not accepting this will be regarded as androphobic
Androids and humans will be treated as different but equal even though their processing and other capabilities will exceed that of humans
They will eventually surpass us in all areas and may even bring about our extinction when we become superfluous to their requirements
Our only hope is that they are programmed with sufficient empathy so that this will not happen - although it may in reality be inevitable

Really?
I'm still waiting for my flying car, ray gun and a cure for cancer.
No humanity is finished, you've been watching too much Star Trek and not enough Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Mad Max and Terminator.
Study history, all civilizations fall.
The Romans had technologies the Babylonians and Egyptians didn't have.
They invented the book, newstablet, postal service and primitive computers for crunching numbers, distances and astronomy, that was their information revolution.
You can have my beyond meat burger, I'll pass.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:44 am

Gloominary wrote:
The progressive definition of man and woman is both biologically and socially meaningless and inferior to the scientific / conservative definition

I would for reasons of practicality and respect address a tran by their name and gender and pronoun of choice
But I would still accept that they were not the ones they were assigned at birth and that their transition was therefore a less than natural one
But equally so it is not for me to pass judgement upon someone else for their life choices - especially ones that I myself have no experience in

We now openly accept black people as equal when once we kept them as slaves
We now openly accept gay people as equal when once homosexuality was classified as a mental illness
So hopefully the day will come when we openly accept trans people too and they are not exposed to similar prejudices
But it will take a while because as a percentage of the total population the actual number of trans is very small indeed
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:50 pm

Mad Man P wrote:But then take the case of trans women, that is biological men, being allowed to compete in female divisions of various sports. That is the product of a delusion that we've established.

Gloominary wrote:And that's not what progressives are looking for, is it?
They want 100% of transwomen to be 100% woman.

I should clarify that neither of these are part of my position here, and I apologize if I have not been clear. My claim is only that we should grant people their expressed social sex where only social sex is relevant, i.e. not necessarily in medical, athletic, romantic, etc. contexts in which biology becomes salient. This is not an all-or-nothing choice, we can grant e.g. a coworker in an office their expressed social sex, and still continue to debate how we should regulate sex divisions in sports. My position is not at odds with how surreptitious puts it (and which Gloominary also accepts "exactly"):
surreptitious75 wrote:I can accept that a transwoman who was born biologically male now see themselves as female
But that is not the same as a woman who was born biologically female and is still biologically female

Equally I can accept that a transman who was born biologically female now sees themselves as male
But that is not the same as a man who was born biologically male and is still biologically male

These distinctions are simply statements of fact and is the only reason for me stating them


I blame this misunderstanding in part on something Mad Man points to:
Mad Man P wrote:a lot of these demands are not coming from transexuals but rather people who are in an arms race of virtue and victimhood that pretend to speak for transexuals.

I think this also speaks to common perception that most transsexuals are "delusional". The basis for that perception seems to be the edge cases tand virtue signaling oneupmanship (and perverse media incentives to be salacious or inflammatory). My impression is that most trans people understand that they are bound to their physical bodies for life and can only modify them to a degree, and only make the more limited request that they be able to live socially as the sex that suits them in contexts where biology it isn't relevant (and further understand that there are actually contexts in which biology is relevant).

Mad Man P wrote:Why not assign you a social "intellect" and call you a genius to make you feel better about yourself?

I think this hypo also goes to my point about relevance. I would ask, why shouldn't we treat people as geniuses to the extent intellect is irrelevant? That doesn't mean giving them the privilege and deference that comes with intellect, e.g. we shouldn't ask a moron to do our taxes or run our country (...), but in other contexts where intellect doesn't come into play, why not? What would that even look like?

Mad Man P wrote:Our treatment of men and women is a reflection of what we perceive to be typical differences between them
REAL differences... that we believe warrant the difference in treatment.

Gloominary wrote:according to the latest neuroscience, most if not all women are women, because at best women have female brains, and at worst women have androgynous brains, and most if not all transwomen are men, because at best transwomen have androgynous brains, and at worst transwomen have male brains.

I think these claims overstate the science on these matters. The 'real differences' aren't very well established, and we should expect any real differences that are established to be not hard lines, but distributions with some degree of overlap, i.e. whatever about a brain we end up calling "male" and "female", there will be biological men whose brains are more female than some biological women, and likely who are close to the normal for biological women. That latter group may not be large, but then transsexuals make up less than .6% of the population, i.e. they're plausibly more than three standard deviations from the norm.


WendyDarling wrote:I haven't seen you do this with anything other than the female naming of boats

I have never pointed to the female naming of boats. The distinction between Data and Siri, on the one hand, and the Titanic on the other, is that Data and Siri are quasi-social, they interact in human-like ways, and their social sexual assignment derives from the same social sexual attributes we use to assign sex to humans. To see this, we can turn on Siri's 'male' voice, and we start thinking of and referring to him as a 'he', i.e. when we change the social sexual attribute to male presenting, we refer to him as male. That's a significant difference from how we use female pronouns to refer to boats.

It also goes to the issue Mad Man takes with representation: While there is a representational aspect, we're literally using the same social signaling cues to assign sex to Siri and Data as we use for humans. Not representationally similar, the very same. If Data wears lipstick, we see it as incongruous in the same way that we see it as incongruous for a typically male-presenting human to suddenly start wearing lipstick. If Siri says something only a man would typically say, it is incongruous in the same way that it would be for a human woman to say something only a man would typically say. And for the same reason: we'd be getting mixed signals of social sexual role.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I also see the problem as most severe with children. Parents can allow kids to determine their sex very early and this will include medical intervention.

I agree with this, and I think it's a very hard question. Children don't fully understand what men and women are, so their self reports about being in the wrong body are unreliable. Their social and personal identities are still inchoate, and they may experiment with identities to explore who they want to be. The medial interventions are often permanent, and can have harmful side effects (evidence suggests that puberty blocking, for example, causes significant and permanent cognitive impairment).

I think the right approach for children is to let them explore and to not treat it as a medical issue until they're old enough to understand what they're asking for. That does mean delaying transition until many sexual features are already in place, e.g. the larger body structure differences that accelerate during puberty, but it also avoids parents projecting onto them an identity more concrete than they could possibly have at that age. Jesse Singal has done good reporting exploring these issues; he's has gotten a lot of criticism for it from trans activists with a particular worldview, but he's mostly not taking a position with respect to worldview, but reporting on empirical results that should inform any coherent worldview.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:We are adding all sorts of meanings, still signaling wildly.

I agree. This is part of why I think it must lead to greater gender equality: the signals become fuzzier, space is created for more diversity of sexual expression, and people are forced to deal with ambiguity. That leaves a space for people to express a wider variety of social sexual identities.

At the end of the day, I think the kids will have an easier time with this, because they will grow up in a world where it's all normal, and they'll be 'native speakers' of the new concepts that shake out. Older generations struggle because concepts that have already crystallized and which they already shaped their worldview to make sense of, are suddenly in flux, and the necessary rethinking gets harder with age.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:28 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
But then take the case of trans women that is biological men being allowed to compete in female divisions of various sports
That is the product of a delusion that we have established

Trans women have an unfair advantage over biological women because they have higher levels of testosterone
Biological men have an unfair advantage over trans men for the same reason

Trans athlethes should therefore only compete against each other in order to eradicate this double unfairness
Although at the moment there are not enough of them to justify this but hopefully there will be in the future
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Silhouette » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:01 pm

Carleas wrote:The use of sex in fiction, and in relation to clearly non-biological person-like entities, suggests that the position that sex is entirely dictated by biology must be false. In fact, there is a meaningful use of sex that is abiological, that is related to social roles rather than genetic facts.

Is this significant? "Sex in fiction" versus "in fact"?

I'm sure you're all familiar with the French language, and its prolific use of the masculine and feminine. Is a car really a female? Is a couch really male?

When you see someone, first impressions are next to unavoidable, and even if you're able to defer judgment - prejudice is optimal via natural selection, particularly for potentially dangerous environments. Sex is a significant judgment to make, and it doesn't require rational analysis to work out whether someone is sexually compatible or competition - there's no need when it can all be done unconsciously. Perhaps sexual judgment has so much value, evolutionarily, that sexual prejudice even extends to syntax in cases like French - even if only by secondary association.
It seems to be the case that people assume as much relevant information about other people as possible, only to be changed in line with an authority accepted to be greater than first impressions, hierarchically.

For example, if you trust the person's word, or a group of people's words more than your first impressions, and they tell you the person in question is in fact not the sex you supposed then you might change your mind. Particularly when told by strangers, this usually isn't the case, unless you're a kid or otherwise recognise your lack of experience in the matter, because "you know what you see". However, something like science might be respected more than visual appearances, so when science comes up with measurable concepts like chromosomes - that might convince you otherwise. But if something like "neuter" (an accepted gender in languages like Latin) is not part of the common lexicon, it's not going to be taken into account when judging someone and the default is basically boolean: true or false - a black and white binary where "if not one, then necessarily the other". And only once this default position is established in your mind first, can it then be adjusted in the way I just described, perhaps even moving past the binary, assuming there is the will to do so.

So sex is a communication first and foremost, and not just through superficial and circumstantial cultural associations like hair length, dress, make-up etc. - things like facial proportions, facial hair and body shape take precedence in your first impressions. You see any conflict between the above troubling people all the time, where people are immediately uncomfortable and comment or lash out in other ways with any degree of aggression/fear/amygdala response. Unfamiliarity and cognitive dissonance often manifest negatively when presented with a guy in a dress, or a woman with facial hair. Of course plenty of people can at least withhold such a reaction, and perhaps even unlearn any initial impulse if they ever had one at all.

When presented with Siri, Data, or Han Solo etc. they communicate something through their appearance that shifts this evolutionary prejudice into gear, and we arrive at our default asap, before any subsequent analysis can challenge us. We might then realise that they don't actually sufficiently meet the criteria of our default assumption - and yet the default assumption remains as the fallback. The fact that it's just a guess doesn't stop this.

This precedes behaviours in the social sense of "gender". It's the reason that for all this affirmative action to both equalise the representation of "all genders" in all fields, and somehow to undermine the significance of gender at the same time (somewhat incompatible goals!), that we still get people who resist these well-intentioned movements. Sex being "either social or genetic" misses this more fundamental point, I think.
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