Colbert, Sarkeesian and Universal Generalization

Thunderf00t notably, but DJ Grothe and others, were salavating because Stephen Colbert was going to tear apart Anita Sarkeesian during her interview on The Colbert Report. Oh, yes, he hates social justice warriors, feminists and women who talk. Them peoples is scary!!!

But Thunderf00t and his ilk made a mistake, evident by their extreme disappointment when Colbert, in fact, did not belittle, demean and trash Sarkeesian, and even, at the end, asked if he were a feminist. It’s a mistake my husband sees all the time in work done by students in his math classes when he covers universal generalization. It’s a standard priniciple in math–if you need to show something is true for all elements in a set, show it for a generic element in the set and then generalize to the whole. If something is true for generic x it must be true for all x in a set. Students mistakenly take someting true for a specific x and generalize it to the whole, rather than taking a generic element and generalizing it. It’s also called hasty generalization.

That’s what happened with Thunderf00t and others when they eagerly awaited Colbert’s lambasting of Sarkeesian. They took their own viewpoints, a specific x, and generalized them to the whole, which happened to include TV personalities they admire. They heaped upon Colbert their own misogyny and hate, rather than actually looking at his past record of sarcasm, irony, comedy, and satire. They saw in him what they wanted to see, and ended up disappointed (even disillusioned?).

Love it when Thunderf00t claimed it was a boring interview, when the cheers from the audience proved otherwise. Continue to see what you want to see. As much as some of us wish it, the world does not conform to made-up versions of reality because someone wants it to. Hiding your eyes behind hands does not mean you’ve disappeared, even if babies see it that way.

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