Thursday, July 11, 2019

NY Times quotes Roissy blog

This blog is getting some unwanted attention from this NY Times article:
The technological frontiers being explored by questionable researchers and unscrupulous start-ups recall the discredited pseudosciences of physiognomy and phrenology, which purport to use facial structure and head shape to assess character and mental capacity.

Artificial intelligence and modern computing are giving new life and a veneer of objectivity to these debunked theories, which were once used to legitimize slavery and perpetuate Nazi race “science.” Those who wish to spread essentialist theories of racial hierarchy are paying attention. In one blog, for example, a contemporary white nationalist claimed that “physiognomy is real” and “needs to come back as a legitimate field of scientific inquiry.”
This is not a reference to this blog, but to the now defunct Chateau Heartiste blog. It was banned by Wordpress, without public explanation. I doubt that it was banned for white nationalism, as I never saw him express such views.

However he wrote about beauty and ugliness a lot, and he discussed social trends. Yes, many of his opinions would be called racist by the NY Times leftists. He said a lot of things that leftists despise.

It is outrageous that his blog was banned, as it was filled with fascinating insights about human nature. He often did cite scientific studies to back up his views.

I just quoted his comments on physiogonomy in 2016 as provocative. Most everyone does make some judgments based on appearance.

The NY Times says:
Affect recognition draws from the work of Paul Ekman, a modern psychologist who argued that facial expressions are an objective way to determine someone’s inner emotional state, and that there exists a limited set of basic emotional categories that are fixed across cultures. His work suggests that we can’t help revealing these emotions. That theory inspired the television show “Lie to Me,” about a scientist who helps law enforcement by interpreting unforthcoming suspects’ expressions.

Dr. Ekman’s work has been criticized by scholars who say emotions cannot be reduced to such easily interpretable — and computationally convenient — categories.
Ekman does seem to overstate what can be done with his approach, and reading the emotions of others can often be wrong.

But nearly everyone reads emotions from facial expressions. Some claim that dogs can do it. If you cannot do it, then psychiatrists say you have autism.
If physiognomy gained traction, “one will hang children before they have done the deeds that merit the gallows,” Lichtenberg wrote, warning of a “physiognomic auto-da-fé.”
Soon AI systems will be predicting criminality based on DNA, faces, habits, friends, health, and anything else available to the surveillance state.

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