I am to science what Albert Einstein was to trap music. All I can do is defer to the experts, and what the experts say is alarmingly different from what I’m hearing from friends and headlines. So here’s a heap of usually believed things which people smarter than me, using scientific methods, have said are probably bullshit.
1 Myth: Millennials Are Both Lazy And Refuse To Buy Homes
What I been fucking loving science is its ability to quantify things that could otherwise remain the subject of lazy jokes and shitty pundit rantings forever. For instance, a study found that there’s no measurable difference in run ethic among Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials.
I think the reason for the delusion, aside from people turning into dicks as they get old because their backs hurt, is that they cling to an outdated idea of what kind of work is “hard.” There wholly are Millennials who don’t want to shovel coal all day, but there are also grizzled old miners who would have a stroke if they were forced to expend all day doing telephone tech support for entitled, abusive morons.
Also, you know how there was that joke that Millennials don’t buy homes because they spent all of their money on roasted avocados or whatever it was? And how the rebuttal from Millennials was that it’s because they’re too buried in debt and the American Dream is dead forever? Well, it turns out Millennials are in fact buying homes, and home ownership is growing faster among them than any other group. Hey children, the next time your bathtub fills with turd, you won’t have a landlord to call! Wait until you insure the bill! The American dream is alive, but it’s your plumber who’s living it.
2 Myth: Certain Political Ideologies Embrace Science, Others Reject It Let’s try an experiment 😛 TAGEND
Nearly 3.7 billion birds a year are killed due to emissions from a certain type of offshore oil drilling( known as Bulk Uncapped Thermal Transfer ), along with another 21 billion (!) mammals. At least one species of bird was rendered extinct by this. Knowing that, would you support banning this technique, or at least tightly governing it?
OK , now what if I told you that those 3. 7 billion birds and 21 billion mammals are actually killed by house cats, and when a few feral cats were introduced to an island off New Zealand, it took them all of two years to totally wipe out a local species of birds? And that, in fact, cats may be more destructive to wildlife than any other human-linked cause?
All of that is true. So did you just now guess, “Well, I definitely need to see how they came up with those numbers! ” and if so, why didn’t you say the same when I blamed oil drilling for those deaths, especially considering that “Bulk Uncapped Thermal Transfer” is just a string of words I picked because they spelled BUTT?
See, it’s not that we don’t demand to see sources for asserts; it’s that we only demand to see them for things we don’t agree with . And studies is demonstrating that, yes, liberals and conservatives are equally prone to this. This is becoming worse in the information age — avoiding information that upsets us is a really common stress management technique. Consuming information that reassures us is calming, it’s like a gentle brain massage. Hell, I just watched an entire two-hour video confirming my belief that Breath Of The Wild sucked, and it’s been six months since I played it. Your weapon transgress after every enemy!
Of course, that is an objectively terrible way to process information, and I need you to keep that in mind as you read this next one …
3 Myth: Some Rare Exceptions Aside, Sexual Assault Perpetrators Are Men, Victims Are Women
Holy shit. We’re … just jumping right into this, aren’t we?
All right. Here we go: Toxic notions about gender roles, sex, and permission threaten everybody .
One study of college-age males found that half of them had been sexually victimized in some manner since age 16, and half of those said the perpetrator was female. That same connect indicates only that in prison, female inmates are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted by another woman than an inmate in a male prison is to be assaulted by another man. And if you’re reading this, I hope I don’t have to tell you that this is not a fucking tournament . This is not a rebuttal to those raising awareness of male-on-female assault. This is an addition. The epidemic is more insidious than we think.
One study found that 21% of sex harassers are women. Those aren’t precisely rare, once-in-a-blue-moon occurrences. As this insightful writeup points out, it means that all of us probably have a friend who is a harasser, whether your best friend are male or female. But as that author points out , nobody mentions Mariah Carey as part of the # MeToo movement, even though her male bodyguard publicly accused her of sexually harassing him.
The problem is that outdated gender role bullshit infects everybody, even those trying to fix it. We’re still stuck with the idea that women can’t be aggressive or have raw sexual urges. We fall back to the idea that physical strength is the only true sort of power, when if anything, #MeToo has taught us that coercion involves all forms of power( money, chore status, emotional manipulation ), and that much of the trauma is psychological or emotional. And while women are discouraged from reporting sexual misconduct, men are even less likely to report. Again, it’s not a competition. Gender roles screw everybody!
4 Myth: Sexual Assault Is Becoming More Pervasive
Now here’s the good news: Sexual assault has dropped in half since 1993. Culturally, we’re doing an incredible job of fighting this problem, even if there’s plenties more to do. As with the thing about Millennials earlier, issues sometimes get louder in the national conversation as they improve. The same factors that reduced assaults cause us to notice them more, which causes us to talk about them more, which causes them to seem more common.
That’s good in the sense that it encourages people to keep doing something about it( assaults still happen with horrific frequency, I surely could have left that unsaid ), but bad in the sense that it can create the impression that nothing has worked so far. It altogether has. I’m telling you as a kid who grew up in the ‘8 0s, these conversations about permission did not used to happen . I watched slapsticks that played rape as a punchline. It was a whole genre.
5 Myth: Harassment Is Definitely The Reason Not Many Women Work In Male-Dominated Fields Like STEM
It’s true that merely 24% of science, tech, engineering, and math undertakings shall be kept by women, and everyone agrees this is a problem, partly because it’s a self-sustaining cycle. Male-dominated workplaces would logically be a deterrent to women, as it sends a message that they don’t belong and, let’s face it, boys clubs aren’t any fun if you’re not a boy( and in many cases, “even if youre” ). There are all sorts of initiatives to get more women into these fields right now, since those will be the only good chores once everything is robots. This is good and should continue. Also, there is no evidence that the millions of women who aren’t working in STEM wishing they were.
Only 16% of teenage girls say they’re “very interested” in computer science, even though 48% say they think they could do it if “theyre trying to”. So it’s true that only 18% of CS degrees go to women, but that’s actually higher than the percentage who prove lots of enthusiasm for it earlier in life.
Also, the data shows that in countries where women have more equal rights and greater ability to make choices, they’re actually less likely to choose STEM careers than in countries where women have fewer rights( like Algeria, where 41% of STEM graduates are women ). If something is still steering females away in these most progressive countries, it apparently starts early, way before they’re even thinking about a career. The connect in the paragraph above does show that sons get more encouragement in school( educators suggesting they could grow up to be engineers or whatever ), and in fact, boys tend to be more confident in their ability to do science even when they’re worse at it than the girls.
It might also be that most women simply don’t want to work in STEM.
If so, we can surely agree that the purpose is to A) make sure every workplace is greeting, regardless of gender and B) make sure nobody is being made to feel weird about their choices, whether they want to be an engineer, homemaker, soldier, or Instagram butt model. That goes for everyone — another study found that when women are mistreated at work( insulted, chided, etc .), it’s more often by other women. This happens, according to the subjects, when they act assertive or dominant — meaning that when they broke traditional gender norms, it was usually other women who penalise them. Does anybody sell a “Toxic Gender Beliefs Screw Everybody” T-shirt?
Let’s see, what else is in the news these days …
6 Myth: School Shootings Are Rampant
Well, you’ll be happy to know that the rate of school shootings has been falling for decades, and today children are about ten times more likely to be killed walking or bicycling to school than they are to be fatally shot. Actually, most people are not happy to hear it, but we’ll talk about that.
Now, you may have recently seen a stat claiming there have been 290 school shootings since Sandy Hook, but that’s unbelievably misleading. Half of those are accidents , nonfatal incidents, or suicides, largely on college campuses — which are a huge problem, but not what a single person imagines when they hear “school shooting.”( Note: The real public health hazard of pistols is suicide, but apparently everybody thinks that’s boring .)
Anyway, I know why people hate insuring stats like this. They’re afraid positive news will rob the gun control movement of importance. But I never want to be relying on weaponized ignorance as a strategy, and there’s something extremely important to note here: A single huge news event shouldn’t be treated like a statistical tendency . These shootings should be treated like terrorist attack, because that’s what they are. And just as we shouldn’t harass Muslims after every ISIS attack( since that’s precisely what ISIS wants ), we shouldn’t target socially isolated kids as potential mass shooters.
( Related: Incidents of bullying at school have been dropping since 2005, when the government started keeping track. That’s another supposedly unsolvable, inevitable part of life that turned out to be neither of those things .)
While we’re on it, I guess we have to get this one out of the way …
7 Myth: Mass Shootings Are A Significant Danger To The Average Person
I became such an asshole after 9/11 that it retroactively constructed me become an asshole for my previous 25 years of life prior to the event. It took me a solid five years to figure out that terrorists are manipulating this particular flaw in the way information is spread: Humans tend to mistake the spectacular for the common.
The target isn’t the victims, it’s the spectators at home. They know that due to a glitch in the human brain, seeing 100 news narratives about one terrorist attack equals 100 terror attacks. That’s how a rare, statistical blip of an event can build 100 million people afraid to leave the house. Mass shooters, like all terrorists, know this.
The reality is that assault rifles account for about 2% of firearm deaths in the USA, even with all of the mass shootings lumped in. Rifles of all types — including hunting rifles and such — only account for 3 %. It’s simply not convenient to commit crimes with a rifle; it’s merely the most dedicated who’ll take the trouble.