Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Relief and Factual Convenience

There should be a name for that kind of balanced relief that people trying to be data-virtuous feel when the facts resolve in ways reasonably convenient for their values.

Data virtuous meaning people who take it as obligation to accept inconvenient facts at an equal rate and pace as convenient ones, and who would either work around inconvenient facts in their value conclusions or change those conclusions.

The reason it's a balanced relief is that one doesn't want to threaten one's efforts to be data-virtuous by placing too much value-stock in how the facts align; wishful thinking is in that direction.

The most recent context for this is that continued neurological studies have cast severe doubt on many of the supposed differences in potential between human males and females. The previous conclusions, tenative as they were, were things that I saw as being a bit thorny for gender-role-abolitionism. Not defeating, of course; there's a lot of variation within both genders, enoughso that it's still easy to make policy arguments for eliminating structural differences in society that respond to (most) gender specifics. But I allow myself a tiny cheer inside when more differences are found not to be real, keeping that cheer balanced with a grim reminder that I should accept whatever conclusions seem to be good science. It's a balancing act, but so is much in life.


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