Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who Gets Screwed Because We Are Socially Required To Speak in Code

Steve Sailer brings us the news of a Chinese couple suing because their offspring was murdered while attending USC and their recruitment materials gave a false impression of the safety of the immediate area around the campus.

Of course, the materials used the code word 'urban' in describing the campus.  Most Americans know what that is code for, but the requirement to speak in code terribly screws over the naive and the foreign.  In this case our collective mendacity on race quite possibly cost two students their lives.

But foreigners aren't the only people screwed over.  Check out below what a real estate agent isn't allowed to tell you, even, or perhaps ESPECIALLY when the information is a matter of public record.


Imagine this sort of conversation, which despite the euphemisms in play, would still be illegal for a real estate agent to participate in---so we'll assume it's with a work associate and a naive newcomer to a city:
I'm thinking of moving to Jezebel Heights
Oh, I hear the schools are really bad there... (implicitly---dude, it's FULL of NAMS)
Well, I don't care much about the schools, I'm not even married yet
(heard by the work associate)---I'm down for some gentrification---not---I'm blissfully unaware of what you meant by 'bad schools'

Euphemisms destroy communication when the cipher 'key' isn't shared.  They also eventually start to get used as premises in arguments, leading to no end of nonsense.


Bill said...

English-speaking societies have been low-context cultures for a good while, America especially. On racial matters (and on other matters as well), we are slowly evolving towards a high-context culture.

Reactionaries do not normally line up in favor of low-context cultures. Low context cultures are mobile, free-wheeling, welcoming to outsiders, and etc. The free market wants low context.

High context serves as a barrier to entry to foreigners and serves as a barrier to communication among different groups. These are good things, right? They foster locality, particularity, insularity, and other good things.

I understand why Steve Sailer, a modernist's modernist, does not like high context. Why don't you?

Jehu said...

Because I'm a reactionary of largely English extraction. Lots of things foster good things that I'm not terribly in favor of (e.g., a large comet striking the Earth, total economic collapse, etc).
But the fundamental question is who...whom. Who does this required code-talking benefit? Certainly not me and mine.

Matthew said...

But, Jehu, you and yours understand the bullshit euphemisms. Immigrants don't. What's the problem?

Alrenous said...

Academically, the main function of obfuscation is to freeze inquiry at a particular level.

You can talk about good schools, and natives will know what you mean. But what are the implications of good schools? You can't talk about those, you can't even develop the code to include those. And imagine trying to get two implications deep using code.

Also point eleventy-billion of progressivism gets people killed.

Bill said...

Yes, academically. But not practically. The people who need to know what "good schools" means almost all do know. You can see the wheels turning in lower IQ whites. They're talking to you, they get to a dangerous topic, they slow down and are obviously doing internal translation from "too many NAMS" to "bad schools" or whatever. Obviously, this is inefficient, but, just as obviously, efficiency is not the be-all and end-all.

Jehu said...

Lots of young non-neurotypicals who are part of me and mine don't get it. Lots of kids from the Midwest who move to a big city for college don't either. It's not just about Chinese students. Also, as Alrenous points out, there's a significant price associated with having to speak in code, and lots of groups that aren't me and mine are a lot better at it. Since the system is (or ought to be) ours, it follows we ought to set it up as much as possible to favor us. We're not as good at high context as a lot of other ethnicities, inviting competition on that score is foolish, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Funny you bring up real-estate agent code-speak. I just bought a home near Atlanta and had two different agents use the most direct-indirect code possible.

Me: I would like to live in Jezebel Heights.
Agent: You don't want to live there.
Me: Why?
Agent: For legal reasons, there are certain things I am not allowed to say.

Seriously, it was that obvious. I always knew why I "wouldn't want to live there" but I took some perverse pleasure in seeing what they would say.

Alrenous said...

I suggest avoiding using code yourself too, because it always puts the code-user in a tactical bind. It's a vulnerability.

Perhaps we should see code-users as innocent, terrified victims. If they're adults, I'm not going to condemn attacking them through the code.

Sadly I've never had the heart to follow through on this. I get to the sputtering nonsense stage and then I feel too sorry for them.

If you're feeling vindictive against a code-user, you can always attack them by selectively, in turns, misunderstanding and breaking the code.

If someone accuses you of gentrification for moving somewhere urban, ask why they want you to live somewhere rural. If they get more open, ask what's wrong with living near differently-coloured people. Ask if that means they want whites out of Africa and generally how their ideas make any sense. Works especially well in public, where plausible deniability and calmness vs. sputtering is pretty important.

Or break the code and call them racist. "You think I shouldn't live there because it is full of blacks, don't you? You're racist, aren't you?"

They can sputter and try other codes - break those too. Bring everything into the open.

Or they can go open first, but to avoid the racist charge they're going to have to lie, which you can then catch them in.

Using codes is a no-win situation against a determined attacker.