Monday, February 4, 2019

Ill-Informed Experts

What right does someone have to tell me how to live my life?  What I wear or how I present myself is no business of anyone else, but me.  It is like someone wanting to criminalize the wearing of the color green, simply because they dislike green. Opinions are everyone's prerogative, however to impose or legislate your opinions is wrong at many levels.  

All of society is under legal constraints to obey laws that prevent harm, and degrade the fabric of humanity. There are social norms that have evolved that contribute to civility. Free speech is both a legally granted construct and a social norm. You have the right to express your opinion but not cause harm.  e.g. “You cannot falsely yell "fire" in a crowded theater”.  

Randomly searching the internet, I fell into a quagmire of conservative misinformation. Many of these published articles are misinformed and hurtful. Several of these are from recognized organizations, quoted by news sources, and likely well funded.  Below is an example from The Daily Signal:

But the very hard reality in this topsy-turvy world is that transgender people are hundreds of times more likely to attempt suicide than the general U.S. population.And what does our enlightened culture do about this very sad statistic? Well, we make it easier for people to transition to this sad and depressing lifestyle. Helping them struggle down the hard road of facing reality is just too judgmental; it’s better to let them move into a make-believe life in which they face a 4-in-10 chance of attempting suicide.

This leap of logic is absurd. It should not be published, much less be considered credible.  

I am not advocating censorship, however, just encouraging that those who publish should be informed. Write about subjects you research, know and understand. Hate speech, paraded as informed logic, is still hate speech.  

I write this only to point out that some supposed “think-tank’s” can be ill- informed and mean spirited. There are those on the conservative side of politics that digest these mistruths fully. 

Be forewarned and take every avenue to counter this hurtful thinking.  


  1. Could not agree more with you Rhonda and especially when vulnerable people might also read this and not be able to distinguish the truth from the pulp that this is. Well done you for highlighting it. Love Linda

  2. The TG community has been publishing the 41% figure about T people attempting suicide for years. It would appear that the author if the quip you posted picked this 'fact' up from the TG community's own writings. If the fact is wrong then I agree with you that it should be better researched and if wrong the debunked.
    I do not agree with the writer's opinion but the opinion part of the piece is the part of 'free speech' which is and should be protected by law.

  3. I’m afraid it is not just the US where this happens. When it comes to right-wing politics in the UK, the think tanks are part of the problem or is it the sources of money funding them? I have given up on the Press and TV news programmes as they are sources of misinformation. Here we have a positive feedback bubble where the journalists interview the politicians and to be informed, the politicians read the journalists’ output. It’s crazy and potentially dangerous.

  4. The term 'Think Tank' is mostly bastardized. No thinking, by incorporating rules of 'critical thinking' and rules of research and documentation. Many of these institutions exist because 'pockets of deep money' exist and unscrupulous persons will produce any such 'crap research' just to siphon off the money.
    This even goes to state legislatures, who allow 'lies and hearsay' to be offered as so called 'testimony' against LGBTQ issues, on the floor of the legislature after "asserting oath of truth in the name GOD". It would be an easy matter to silence such lies by cross examination of such testimony into the admission that the person testifying is not the 'expert' and therefore the testimony and related documented research could be deemed not only to be hearsay, but perjury. If a charge of perjury were ever offered to the person testifying, many would simply not offer such lies in the first place.
    Somehow, the political opposition has no desire to take up the task of a rigid cross-examination.
    In the end the 'truth will out', but not before damage is done to innocent citizens.

  5. If this is from a think tank they are not thinking very clearly. First they say the rate of attempted suicide is 100s of times more likely, then they say there is a four in ten chance of attempting suicide. As Pat said, the 41% figure is a standard number put out there, based as I understand it, on a number of legitimate studies. So they contradict themselves. But the 41% number is, nonetheless, very disturbing. The rate of attempted suicide in the general population I have read is 4.6%, so the rate among TG folks is 10 times the general population. And, as I understand it, there is really no way of knowing if the rate is so high due to societal pressures making TG living difficult, or due to psychological problems within the individual themselves, or, more likely, a combination of the two.