A while back there was a writer known in communities I frequent (call her Jane) who wrote a think-piece explaining she was very, very upset about an issue. It was, by Jane’s telling, something like the great national sin of our age; it was a human rights violation of epic proportions. This was during the Trump presidency, when ostensibly genocide-equivalent human rights violations were a dime a dozen and dominated every moment of every cable news broadcast.
I am honestly a little confused. The Whole City is Center article seems to be making the exact opposite case, that we should take away the negative connotation, and use the words already in existence in our language, as they allow efficient communication.
I am not at all aware how the conclusion "Scott thinks it’s very unfair to call someone lazy " was drawn, when he seems to be saying that it is totally fair to call someone lazy, just don't moralize and judge them as bad for it.
Nice piece. Calling a person "a liar" doesn't advance debate.
Is most of your post about the role of social norms in policing behaviour? For a norm to do this requires me to feel shame at failing to conform to the norm, whereas the SSC post seems to be written more from the POV of minimising personal shame so as to motivate better behaviour through guilt at not doing 'ones best'. ie if you want to negate a social norm, make it shameless.
It's a bit unclear whether you think labels do have incentive power or not. You reference the twitter mobs policing 'racists', often on little more than a single instance of the pejorative; is it just traditional vices like 'liar' that have lost their sting?
I do like your point that it is useful to resolve definitional debates by getting to what each side is suggesting this means about reality. You say I'm a liar/x-ist/whatever, I say I'm not--what are we predicting about the future? Let the future resolve the dispute.
For certain strident activists, though, I think "voting for $_bad_party" is enough proof. Your character is tested in who you support, more than in how you act in personal interactions for many; unwisely, imo.
This is funny, because I took the exactly the opposite conclusion from The Whole City is Center. The way I read it, the conclusion was more like, if _all_ we mean by "lazy" is this constellation of traits that may have other causes, then the word itself goes back to being useful and we might as well use it. I went back and skimmed it again and nothing contradicted that for me (although I was too, ahem, lazy to read it again in detail).