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reactionary bullshit trump woke yeah totally sure right

It turns out that woke doesn’t lose, at least where Olympic medals are concerned

If you’ve been reading my “week in woke posts you’ll know that a number of American right-wingers rooted against American athletes at the Olympics — because the athletes representing the US were supposedly too “woke” for their own good, more concerned with political correctness than with patriotism.

Some of these right-wingers took it another step, going on to argue that all this “wokeness” was actually causing individual athletes and teams to fail. Donald Trump endorsed this bit of magical thinking in a statement he put out after the American women’s soccer team picked up an uninspiring bronze medal instead of the gold one that had generally been expected.

“Woke means you lose,” Trump declared,

everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has. …

They should replace the wokesters with Patriots and start winning again.

But there are a couple of little problem with this, er, hypothesis: first, it’s utterly illogical, in that “wokeness” has no effect on performance, and second, it’s not true, at least when it comes to the performance of American athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.

True, the “woke” American women’s soccer team did a bit worse than expected, but, as Aaron Blake notes in the Washington Post, most of America’s supposedly too-woke-to-perform athletes actually did fine.

Sure, he points out, early losses by America’s Women’s soccer team and men’s basketball team seemed to provide evidence for the “get woke, go broke” narrative.

The culprit was quickly identified: The athletes were too focused on being “woke” and not focused enough on winning. Maybe if they would just “shut up and dribble,” the United States would win more medals. For most of the Olympics, the United States trailed in gold medals behind China, of all places.

Well, guess what: some of the most-criticized “wokesters” ended up at the top of the podium.

[D]espite their early stumble against France, the men’s basketball team wound up winning gold. Ditto the women’s basketball team, whose players and professional league have been more socially progressive than in any other major American sport.

And even the Women’s soccer team contributed a medal to the Americans’ collection.

If you look at the big picture, Blake points out, America’s team didn’t do too poorly at all. For one thing, they won the medal count.

With the Olympics over, the final results are in. And the argument, to the extent it should have been taken seriously in the first place, isn’t really that compelling.

The U.S. team has won the most medals at every Summer Olympics since 1992, and it did so again in this one, taking home 113. …

It wound up eventually edging out China on gold medals, too, 39 to 38.

As for women’s soccer, the irony is that the team that did win the gold — Canada — was, well, basically more “woke” then the team with the bronze. As Blake notes, the Canadian team

also knelt in support of racial-justice protests, and it was a focal point because one player was the first openly transgender athlete to medal at an Olympics. The team also … wore pro-transgender-rights armbands in scrimmages.

Wokesters 1, “Patriots” 0.

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Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
9 months ago

@VP

Were just thinking on this, and I think it’s because they’re young.
They’ve not grown old enough to not feel the need to provide a reason/excuse for not caring about something, so they scramble for some sort of justification.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
9 months ago

Knitting is knotting. With the knot needing to come out as a wearable piece of clothing, often with a colorful design that isn’t turned into a jumbled mess, and that won’t come unknotted while it’s being worn or in the wash.

As always, the devil is in the details.

Has any knot theorist ever characterized all the topological equivalence classes of sweaters?

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
9 months ago

@Talonknife

I always think it’s weird that people are shocked when China does well at the Olympics.

Are they? Legitimate question, as I don’t really pay attention to sporting commentators, and people in my circles are never shocked because they are aware of state-sponsored athletics. If you can make a living at being an athlete, you’ll get some good athletes.

@Victorious Parasol

I never understand those trolls who say they’re too busy with Important Things to worry about [fill in the blank].

Especially in this case, as he’s clearly not busy enough to not worry about this site, giving himself the lie.

@Surplus

Has any knot theorist ever characterized all the topological equivalence classes of sweaters?

Yes, but I forgot where I read the article. I’ll try and find it for you. ?

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
9 months ago

@Threp

They certainly make me feel old these days. But we’ve all aged a bit more than usual since spring 2020.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
9 months ago

@Surplus

It may be of interest to you that while machine knitting has been around for yonks, crocheting is still a human-driven craft. No one’s been able to build a robot that can do all the things a crocheter does with a hook.

I can only do single-chain crochet if it’s necessary to bind off a project, and I wish there were a machine to do it for me … but the flip side is, I’ve never objected to the price of any commercially sold crochet. Unless I know the crafter personally, the odds are good that work was performed by somebody working under sweatshop conditions. From the simplest bit of trim on a garment to the fanciest tablecloth, you’re looking at the effort of human hands.

Snowberry
Snowberry
9 months ago

Meanwhile the US Basketball team took the gold, and no less than 6 of them are (reportedly) some form of LGBTQ+. Cue people frantically googling to find out WTF what was going on with the photo of Sue Bird kissing Megan Rapinoe right after the win. (They’ve been dating since 2016 and are currently engaged, FYI.)

Makroth
Makroth
9 months ago

@Insurgency

And we’re supposed to just believe you?

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
9 months ago

@Insurgency:

So you’re here bothering us because you’re so busy doing all those other things?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
9 months ago

Plus, Simone Biles came back to win a medal and has no publicly declared she is pro-choice!

Oh, I see we have one of those trolls who’s going to spend hours telling us he’s too important to care about what we discuss here. That’s always credible.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
9 months ago

@Nequam: Please do, I love the smell of citronella!

I love that Tom Daly immediately knitted a cozy for his gold medal. I also love how he looks in a Speedo; his husband is a lucky man.

I have never been able to knit, whereas my mother could knit ANYTHING. She couldn’t crochet, though, go figure. Different skill set.

@Talonknife: China also identifies athletic talent young, and sends them to special schools where they mostly just sport. All day, every day for years. They don’t have to pay for their own lessons/coaches/equipment or have jobs to support themselves — they just sport. Naturally, this is going to produce a lot of medalists. Someone who’s done nothing but their sport for 10-15 years is going to be good.

There’s a guy in my neighborhood who barely missed the Olympic team this time around, and he had to pay his expenses to get to the training center, matches, tryouts with a day job. His parents paid all that when he was young. I met him because he was getting rid of a still-nice couch and hoisted it onto/off the roof of the car and into my place. And he’s not even a weightlifter! Nice guy.

Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ Vicky P et al

I do find the interrelationship between knitting and related crafts and maths fascinating.

I love knots (Boy Scout); but it almost gets quantum mechanics thinking about the topology issues around them. I recently watched a maths lass I like investigating whether it’s possible to hang a painting from two hooks in a way that removing either of the hooks makes it fall. That got really deep. It can be done; but the maths behind it was incomprehensible to me. Then again, most maths is.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
9 months ago

@Alan and all: there’s a character in the long-running “Liaden” series by Lee & Miller (highly recommended) who becomes a hotshot starship pilot because the same part of her brain that lets her crochet intricate things also lets her plot tricky routes through hyperspace and around wayward planetoids and such.

Also, irregardless of wokeness, I would like to give a shoutout to the US show jumping team, who unexpectedly got silver in a thrilling sudden death jump-off. Nobody’s talking about them, even though one of the team is young, pretty, blonde, and her dad’s very famous.

Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

Re: Funding and sport

This is sort of on that topic. It compares how much funding each sport gets versus results. I haven’t read it myself. It was the Euros last month, so I’ve done this years’s quota of pretending to be interested in sporting events. But people may find it interesting.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/58112331

Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ gss ex noob

the same part of her brain that lets her crochet intricate things also lets her plot tricky routes through hyperspace 

That’s funny; I was literally thinking on those lines when I did that first post!

I’m sure if we sat down knitters and craftspeople with cosmologists we’d have warp drive by next Wednesday.

Come to think of it, isn’t warp a weaving term?

Last edited 9 months ago by Alan Robertshaw
TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
9 months ago

@Insurgency

We already know what feminists and Incels/MGTOW’s want, and they tell us so themselves.

Feminists want their rights safeguarded, their bodily autonomy maintained and not being marginalized, persecuted,trivialized and mistreated on the auspice of being women.

Incels hate women and wanna enslave, abuse or kill women for daring to not being sexually avalible or forcing themselves to be treated like chattle that the Incel feels owed sex from and feeling like inadiquete men around despite this inadiquecy stemming from thier toxic, self defeating and self harming ideology and narrowly extreme and inflexable praxis of “what makes a real man”; to the point where they are so damn homophobic that they refuse to shower because they think thouching themselves makes them “turn gay”.

MGTOW’s meanwhile are Misogynists deluding themselves into thinking that they are an activist group and just want to hate, abuse, enslave, kill or otherwise just be assholes towards women who they refuse to see as people and want to either “put them in their place or put them in graves”.

Seriously, Incels and MGTOWs are little different than the Anti-Semite who wants to do harm against Jews simply for being Jews that exist near them, or the White Supremist Fascist who wants to enact race wars to create white ethnostates. Just substitute “Jewish People” and “People of Color”, with “Women” and you’ll know why this kind of ilk do the vile crap they do.

Also, for the record: I was a socially awkward teenaged boy and child growing up: and never at any point had the thought cross my mind that I should be a raging Misogynist who wanted to treat girls and women like crap or brood over spiteful desires to kill them for my own failings, follies and baggage. So don’t pull that bs canard.

Though the fact your name is a nod to the fact you play Insurgancy Sandstorm and you are a part of that strata of gamming community makes a modicum of sense why your coming here invoking dishonest balance fallicies and invoking dubious rhetoric like “antifa Neo-Femminists”; because insurgency sandstorm is the same gaming comminity that engages in such an extreme level of xenophobic racism, Misogyny and other co-morbid bigotries that it makes the Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty Communities look tame and progressive by comparison. Serioually; the insurgncy sandstrom comunity is a dumpster fire of ugly, burning, impotent and co-morbidly bigoted hate that it’s not even funny.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
9 months ago

Oh, weaving! That’s a whole ‘nother branch of conversation. I’m only a beginner, but it’s fun. Except for the parts that are exhausting, like warping the loom, otherwise known as “spending a couple hours walking back and forth with yarn, half-bent over half the time.”

This is a tutorial for the kind of loom I have and the warping technique I usually use.

And here’s for the math nerds interested in knitting, or for the knitting nerds interested in math:

https://www.americanscientist.org/article/adventures-in-mathematical-knitting

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
9 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Come to think of it, isn’t warp a weaving term?

No, it’s definitely a term Nvidia invented for streaming multiprocessors. Next you’ll be thinking thread had a meaning before multicore processing… ?

Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ Vicky P

Ooh, that Klein bottle thing was interesting. Again, I was actually thinking of them when I was posting. I love all the synchronicity here!

(Why did the chicken cross the Moebius Loop?)

@ big titty demon

it’s definitely a term Nvidia invented for streaming multiprocessors

Oh gawd, that’s the sort of thing I fall for if you say it with a straight face.

A Japanese friend was able to convince me that Japan didn’t have paper money; which is why Pachinko tokens are used as currency there.

Which I then repeated at a seminar on NFTs.

Insurgency
Insurgency
9 months ago

Insurgency was never meant for weak minded soft woke children. It’s a game that was designed for grown people with commonsense.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
9 months ago

Then why are you playing it?

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
9 months ago

Oh, you heard it here first, folks! Our latest trollikin is all grown up, it’s official! ?
(I love the way they had to say that out loud, to make quite sure we knew …)

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
9 months ago

@Alan:
While I’m a little out of the loop on it these days, I used to be involved with an origami mailing list that included a few serious mathematicians as well. Origami is a more powerful set of tools for geometric constructions than the traditional ‘compass and straight-edge’; it’s actually possible to trisect an angle and double the cube via origami, whereas both of them are impossible with just compass and straight-edge.

There has been a fair bit of work on the mathematics of what are normally considered crafts and hobbies over the last few decades. A good chunk of that is probably due to the usual issue of trying to find a thesis topic that nobody else has done before, but it has still produced some fascinating results, and at least some of that has fed back into said crafts, as people have started doing things like starting from mathematically-generated fold sequences to create new designs in origami.

Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ jenora

There has been a fair bit of work on the mathematics of what are normally considered crafts and hobbies

It is all pretty amazing; how maths describes the real world. And how counter-intutive a lot of it is. Well, to me anyway. But stuff like origami, and the Klein bottle knits that Vicky posted just blow my mind. I do have trouble visualising things in 3D though. And 2D for that matter.

One of my friend’s PHD was literally about what knot was best to tie something. That had a lot of maths in it.

https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/17205

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
9 months ago

Math describes the real world because math is really just the language of modelling things.

Which in itself is hugely significant. Being able to model the world made us potent tool-users in the past few million years. Language, when it came along, did much more, turning us from one more social tool-using sophont along with the other great apes, the corvids, the proboscids, and probably a few more, into a civilization-building planetwide apex predator (the first such on land, preceded mainly by sharks) whose land use and smelting activities, as well as some of our largest constructions (pyramids, Great Wall), would have been detectable from space.

Combining the two; wrapping “modeling the world” in language to create quantitative and exact formalisms, gave us modern mathematics. A few dribs and drabs as far back as the Bronze Age but the bulk beginning in the Renaissance. Soon after that, steam engines and mechanization are spreading, and in a few more centuries, we’ve got bootprints on the moon and, for better or worse, have begun to radically alter the atmosphere and landscape of this planet.

With just mental modelling you can make a hand-axe. You can figure out bronze and iron eventually by trial and error. You can row across the north Atlantic or raft to Pacific islands. With precise math you can do anything. If it’s possible at all you can. Fire, schmire — our obtaining of the power of the gods has more to do with Pythagoras than Prometheus, though energy is admittedly useful to make all of our wonderful machines go. (Prometheus has nothing on Einstein, Feynman, and Oppenheimer, though.)

The roots run deep, of course, and beyond western Europe. The classical civilizations (including China’s of that era) got things started; even the neolithic peoples had obviously figured out some geometry and astronomy. A millennium ago China and the Islamic world were the main areas of mathematical ferment. The Arabic numerals now used almost universally for writing numbers came from the latter, as did the word “algorithm”, though a few individual examples of those go back to ancient Greece. (The Sieve of Eratosthenes, for finding prime numbers, is one.) But as with mechanical engineering it seems to have been haphazard progress in fits and starts until Renaissance Europe, with Newton maybe giving things a big boost in particular. Modern notations and methods of proof seem to date to there, along with the roots of most of the branches other than geometry and arithmetic — algebra, vectors, calculus (coinvented by Newton), early forms of set theory (maturing much later, in the 20th century).

An interesting question is whether we’ve exhausted the low-hanging fruit yet. And if not, what technological consequences will follow. AI? Warp drive? A working net-energy-producing fusion reactor would be nice right about now.

This also goes to the wisdom of sending all those graduate students chasing after original thesis topics. They’re our scouts in the search space, expanding our knowledge bit by bit, like ants bringing home crumbs and leaving a pheromone trail for the rest of us to follow.

Perhaps one is already enroute to the nest bearing a crumb of warp drive physics …

WingedShadow
WingedShadow
9 months ago

So “Get woke, records broke” then!

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