Howdy everyone! Know I haven’t been the biggest voice around these parts for a while, but I figured I’d just dive in.
First let me just come out and say that I understand Ampersand’s response to Bob’s recent post. Bob voiced his opinion, but obviously didn’t provide a lot of information beyond what it was that he believed.
However, if Amp’s going to be calling for evidence, I think a little balance might be good. As in, where is his evidence, precisely?
With a subject as serious as this, it would seem appropriate to take our method a little more seriously. In the article that started this discussion, there is very little effort to make a case that rape or abuse or violent crime of any sort has changed, either for better or for worse, in Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
Looking further at the “Hidden War on Women” article, we get a lot of “things are worse” and “we’ve observed an increase in the number of women being sexually abused and raped”, but no account of how these observations are made or recorded, and how it is being determined that things have reached a worse level than they were previously.
Ampersand called for evidence from a source that is not “laughably partisan”. I’m not sure how he defines that, but for my own part I don’t particularly care how partisan a person is–or which party they subscribe to. All I care about is soundness of method, because there is little else to satisfy my desire to be assured that I am not being bullshitted by someone who is potentially bullshitting themself.
Feeling passionate about your beliefs is all well and good. But if you’re going to get fired up with righteousness over a perceived injustice, then I would hope you are taking your subject seriously enough to explain your method of interpreting the information that’s being thrown at us.
This is the age of information, ladies and gentlemen. I’m sure I could find plenty of accounts arguing that we’ve allowed Afghanistan to be consumed by Alien Monkeys, were I to scour to internet for long enough. The important thing is not how many accounts you can find–the important thing is setting a standard in order to determine what should be taken seriously.