He, She, or They in US Patent Law

by Dennis Crouch

The United States Constitution was ratified in 1789.  The following year, Congress passed the first patent act that was then signed-into law by President George Washington.

When the Patent Act of 1790 refers to inventors, it lists gender inclusive forms of “he, she, or they:”

[The inventor(s) must] set[] forth, that he, she, or they, hath or have invented or discovered any useful art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement therein…

Patent Act of 1790. Three years later, Congress substantially rewrote the statute and, at that time changed the pronouns.  The new law eliminated the female pronoun “she.”

[The inventor(s)] shall allege that he or they have invented any new and useful art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement on any art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter …

Patent Act of 1793. See, Kara W. Swanson, Making Patents: Patent Administration, 1790-1860, 71 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 777, 818 n84 (2020) (noting the change).  Thus far, I have not been able to identify any explanation or justification for this particular change in the gender language.  Perhaps the answer here was simply reestablishment of a patriarchy after some higher-minded ideals during the revolutionary era. Chief Justice Burger explained in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that Thomas Jefferson authored the 1793 Act with the intent that “ingenuity should receive a liberal encouragement.” 447 U.S. 303, 308 (1980) (quoting 5 Writings of Thomas Jefferson 75–76 (Washington ed. 1871)), but the Chief Justice did not content with the narrowing of pronouns (or the newly introduced citizenry limit).  [*** Note: Later historians have concluded that Jefferson was not the author.  See, Edward C. Walterscheid, To Promote the Progress of Useful Arts: American Patent Law and Administration – 1787-1836, 79 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 61 (1997) ***].  In any event, this implicit exclusion of women was common for the era (as was explicit exclusion).  Still, unlike in many other areas of American life at the time, the revised statute was not interpreted to expressly exclude women from patenting. That said, patenting by women was at an extremely low level. Women inventors are credited with only 72 patents during the first 70 years of the U.S. patent system. Although the records are unclear, I have not seen any indication that any of the patents issued 1790-1793 were awarded to women inventors.

The patent laws were rearranged and recodified in the 1952 Patent Act. At that point Congress used a more generalized pronoun “whoever” for the new Section 101: “Whoever invents or discovers…”  But, a number of purely male references remained in the statute.  Section 115 required the inventor to make an oath that “he believes himself to be the original and first inventor;” Section 102(f) prohibited a person from obtaining a patent if “he did not himself invent the subject matter sought to be patented.”  These two provisions were amended and removed respectively as part of the America Invents Act of 2011.  Section 115 now identifies inventors as either male or female–requiring an inventor’s oath stating that “individual believes himself or herself to be the original inventor.” Still, other provisions in the law were not changed during this makeover and remain male gendered.  See 35 USC 251 (“patentee claiming more or less than he had a right”); 289; 290; 33 (referring to the patent practitioner); and 116.  In addition, all references to the USPTO Director continue to refer to the director as male.

For its part, the USPTO has not historically asked for the gender of its applicant.  Still, there is plenty of evidence for historic and ongoing systemic gender bias. See, for example, Kyle Jensen, Balázs Kovács & Olav Sorenson, Gender Differences in Obtaining and Maintaining Patent Rights, 36 NATURE BIOTECH. 307, 308 (2018); B. Zorina Khan, Married Women’s Property Laws and Female Commercial Activity: Evidence from United States Patent Records, 1790-1895, 56 J. ECON. HIST. 356 (1996); Deborah J. Merritt, Hypatia in the Patent Office: Women Inventors and the Law, 1865-1900, 35 AM. J. LEGAL HIST. 235, 290 (1991); Carroll Pursell, The Cover Design: Women Inventors in America, 22 TECH. & CULTURE 545 (1981). Dan L. Burk, Do Patents Have Gender?, 19 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Policy & L. 881 (2011).

For many years, the use of a single male pronoun in legal documents has been  frequently interpreted as including all genders of humans as well as other legal persons, such as corporations.  In recent arguments regarding AI-inventorship, the USPTO argued that the Congressional rewrite of Section 115 to focus binary gender identities indicates an intent to limit inventorship rights to only human inventors.

  • Pre-AIA: “he believes himself to be the original and first inventor.”
  • Post-AIA: “such individual believes himself or herself to be the original inventor.”

Of course, our new world also accepts non-binary gender, both under federal law and the law of some states. Interpreting “himself or herself” as particularly limiting is clearly wrong if it excludes non-binary humans from the patenting process.  This brings me back to the Patent Act of 1790.  It appears clear from the grammatical context that Congressional use of “they” in the 1790 Act was referring to instances what we now call joint inventorship.  But, perhaps that early Congress had already stumbled upon a right answer.

127 thoughts on “He, She, or They in US Patent Law

  1. 12

    “our new world also accepts non-binary gender, both under federal law and the law of some states.”

    Not in the Selective Service it doesn’t. See link to sss.gov and link to sss.gov: “Selective Service bases the registration requirement on gender assigned at birth and not on gender identity or on gender reassignment. Individuals who are born male and changed their gender to female are still required to register. Individuals who are born female and changed their gender to male are not required to register.

    The legal authority is based on the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), which does not address gender identify or transgender persons. “

    1. 12.1

      You are off – true non-binary is a fact separate from the gender identity and gender change political philosophies.

      That true non-binary is an excessively small fraction of humanity is a separate fact.

      1. 12.1.1

        “is an excessively small fraction of humanity is a separate fact.”

        But growing.

        Remember, trans IDs saw iirc, a 40x increase in the last 5-10 years. NB IDs are similarly on the rise.

        1. 12.1.1.1

          NO 6 – you are not paying attention.

          The true non-binary condition is NOT in fact growing.

          But that certainly is different than the games of “identity” and “change.”

          Those may well be growing – but those are just not the same as true non-binary.

          If I were a non-binary, I would be rather PO’ed at the high ja cking of the condition for political gain by the intersectionalists.

          1. 12.1.1.1.1

            “The true non-binary condition is NOT in fact growing.”

            Idk about that bro. You are correct about the ID growing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becoming more acceptable and publicized doesn’t create at little more of “true NB ‘condition’ “.

  2. 11

    “Still, unlike in many other areas of American life at the time, the revised statute was not interpreted to expressly exclude women from patenting. That said, patenting by women was at an extremely low level. Women inventors are credited with only 72 patents during the first 70 years of the U.S. patent system. Although the records are unclear, I have not seen any indication that any of the patents issued 1790-1793 were awarded to women inventors.”

    Some feminists who obviously know nothing about the patent system have proposed a solution to a similar modern “problem”– Miriam Marcowitz-Bitton, Yotam Kaplan, and Emily Michiko Morris, “Unregistered Patents & Gender Equality,” Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, Vol. 43 (2020): 47–89.

    They say women don’t get their “fair share” of patent rights because you have to apply for a patent, and that is costly; so they want to create a new regime of “unregistered patent rights.” Oh. That makes sense. link to academia.edu

    1. 11.1

      When I get called “anti-patent” around here, I am lost as to what objective meaning could attach to that term. Mr. Kinsella, however, really does make the term intelligible. This is what it means to be “anti-patent.”

      link to mises.org

  3. 9

    On point:

    Peterson Twitter ban rebuttal

    https://fb.watch/e0aT-VvRbz/?fs=e&s=cl

    1. 9.1

      Yeah I saw it, it sux he accidentally Elliot and then now he just won’t back down.

      1. 9.1.1

        Did you bother doing more than “seeing” it, 6?

        There was nothing accidental about ANY of Peterson’s posts – and the rebuttal I provided absolutely slams the inane PC Woke world view.

        Try listening to it: he’s not a legal mind, but he absolutely dismantles the Twitter “you violated our rules”
        C
        R
        A
        P.

        1. 9.1.1.1

          “There was nothing accidental about ANY of Peterson’s posts ”

          Oh I thought he said explicitly somewhere that he had accidentally ellened’. But he was so pis sed off that they tried to make him change it, under penalty, that he’d literally rather die than change it.

  4. 8

    I am curious if there are other instances of ‘she’ being used along with ‘he’ back in the early days of this country . I am guessing not many if at all.

  5. 7

    Notably, in Spanish, a gendered language, the male is used when males and females are intended. The attempts by some to use LatinX amuses me. Most Latinos I know (including my husband from Mexico) bristle at its use.

    1. 7.1

      As I have noted, the “Open Southern Border” project may backfire tremendously on the “D’s” in charge.

      Most Latino folk tend to veer conservative (very much including my own family members – to whom I remain oddly Left of Center (even though I am actually very much Center).

      1. 7.1.1

        Nah! White Conservatives always find a way to let their core racism send Latinos scrambling to vote for Democrats.

        1. 7.1.1.1

          Lol – is that the “new and improved “R” word according to the Woke propaganda (systemic and even unconscious and all)?

          You do realize that your posts betray your chosen moniker, eh?

        2. 7.1.1.2

          “let their core racism send Latinos scrambling to vote for Democrats”

          If you can give a solid example I’d appreciate it. Are we talking about immigration restriction so that we don’t have a gazillion south americans, in specific coming into the country when it’s supposed to be that we’re drawing from around the world in the bizarre immigration setup we have?

        3. 7.1.1.3

          Core racism? Please elaborate.

        4. 7.1.1.4

          White Conservatives always find a way to let their core racism send Latinos scrambling to vote for Democrats.

          Doubtful. At various times in our nation’s history, the Irish, the Italians, and various other immigrant groups were not considered “white.” The social construction of “whiteness” changes with time. In all likelihood, the various immigrant groups from Latin America will get absorbed into our U.S. construction of “white,” at which point the descendants of those immigrants will vote the same way as the rest of the U.S. “white” population.

          1. 7.1.1.4.1

            Greg, now Asians are officially “White” as are Nigerians

            1. 7.1.1.4.1.1

              seems rather amazing then how diverse “White” is then, eh?

              Or is this to be contrasted with Joe Biden’s “Then you aint Black” comment?

            2. 7.1.1.4.1.2

              I am not sure what “officially” means here, as there is not “office” that certifies “white” status. I fully expect that when the dust settles in another decade or two, we will have reworked our construction of “white” to encompass at least those of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean descent, and perhaps other Asians as well.

              I am dubious, however, that we will ever rework the construction of “white” to include Nigerians. The construction of “white” has has been very fluid, but the one constant in the construction has been to define “white” over and against “black.” A world in which people of African descent get classed into the “white” category is a world in which the category ceases to have any meaning at all. That would be a happy outcome—to be sure—but not one that seems presently to be emerging, or ever likely to.

              1. 7.1.1.4.1.2.1

                “I am not sure what “officially” means here, as there is not “office” that certifies “white” status.”

                It’s the same office that distributes White privilege cards

                1. Sorry, I responded to your 7.1.1.4.1 as if it were a remark intended straightforwardly. I gather from 7.1.1.4.1.2.1, however, that you had meant 7.1.1.4.1 as a joke. My apologies for totally missing the point. We need some sort of punctuation to signal irony, because it is too easy to miss (at least for me) in its subtler presentations.

              2. 7.1.1.4.1.2.2

                Little known fact (or perhaps more accurately, little appreciated fact):

                Elon Musk is of African descent.

              3. 7.1.1.4.1.2.3

                “I fully expect that when the dust settles in another decade or two, we will have reworked our construction of “white” to encompass at least those of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean descent, and perhaps other Asians as well.”

                Nah bro, they’re honorary white, credit must remain where credit is due to minorities who have overcome as well as they have. And obviously they still have quite a few ha te crimes against them (tho a low percent), so we cannot have them being whi te and thus not getting protection.

                “A world in which people of African descent get classed into the “white” category is a world in which the category ceases to have any meaning at all.”

                There’s plenty that are white on the inside so to speak. And quite a few of them know it. They get made fun of.

          2. 7.1.1.4.2

            “We need some sort of punctuation to signal irony, because it is too easy to miss (at least for me) in its subtler presentations.”

            Greg, the body of modern politics is now so absurd that sane people cannot tell what is said in earnest and what is said as a lark.

          3. 7.1.1.4.3

            “Doubtful. At various times in our nation’s history, the Irish, the Italians, and various other immigrant groups were not considered “white.” ”

            That’s because they’re (or I should say “we’re”) actually not, as officially compared to actual whites (the whitest of white britbongistanlanders and north germans along with arguably the teensy population of denmark and sweden).

            ““I am not sure what “officially” means here, as there is not “office” that certifies “white” status.””

            Sure there is, almost any DMV will do so, as will most major government offices. Although they currently allow for self-certification, and then they just believe you, there is penalty for lying to the gov.

            “In all likelihood, the various immigrant groups from Latin America will get absorbed into our U.S. construction of “white,”

            My prediction is that within our lifetime mostly only the castizas etc. will truly make it in to accepted whiteness.

    2. 7.2

      Three quick responses:

      (1) I am not clear what relevance there is in the observation that “in Spanish… the male is used when males and females are intended.” Spanish is Spanish and English is English. Their grammar is not our grammar, so insights about their grammar tell us little about how properly to construe a statute that—all agree—is written in English.

      (2) It is definitely true that “Latinx” is an affectation of prestige dialect English speakers, mostly of a high-education, upper socioeconomic status. It has little use among the larger English-speaking population, whether of Anglo heritage or Latin heritage.

      (3) It is strange that it was thought necessary to invent a new gender-neutral term “Latinx.” English has long had the term “Latin” to describe exactly the ssme population as is encompassed by “Latinx,” and “Latin” is already gender neutral.

      1. 7.2.1

        My understanding is that the term “Latinx” was originally created by people who referred to themselves as “Latinx” for use in the English language and has generally been a fairly niche word. It was not a term created by white people or intended to necessarily used in Spanish. It has gained wider usage as people look for a term that expresses the idea. From what I have read, the term “Lantine” is a more popular gender neutral term used in Spanish among people who prefer a gender neutral term. I will leave it to people who identify with these terms to express how they feel about this language evolution and its wider adoption.

        1. 7.2.1.1

          My understanding is that the term “Latinx” was… not a term created by white people or intended to necessarily used in Spanish. It has gained wider usage as people look for a term that expresses the idea.

          Not really sure what you mean by “wider” usage. According to Pew research, only ~25% of U.S. Hispanics have even heard the term “Latinx,” and only ~3% actually use the term. I guess that 3% is wider than (e.g.) 0.5%, but it hardly what one might term “widespread” usage.

          I do not fault the good intentions of the folks who coined this term. I really do not much care what words folks use to describe themselves. As a practical matter, however, you are much more likely to see “Latinx” used (in print) by Anglo writers than by Hispanic writers (if only because there are more people of Anglo descent in this country than there are people of Hispanic descent).

          1. 7.2.1.1.1

            I have seen it used by non-Spanish-speaking persons (not just whites) to refer to what would have previously been denoted Latino, Latina, or the plurals. Not sure how it started.

        2. 7.2.1.2

          because “feelings” (and lived experience) are paramount.

      2. 7.2.2

        Greg’s “do not see” app appears to have been mis aimed, and he cannot see the plain issues directly brought about by Neo-Liberalism Post-Marksian identity politics.

        This may afflict the Hard Sprint Left crowd pretty seriously.

        1. 7.2.2.1

          Neo-Liberal: favoring policies that promote free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending

          Post-Marxism: Instead of emphasizing the priority of class struggle and the common humanity of oppressed groups, post-Marxism discusses the sexual, racial, class, and ethnic divisions of modern Western society.

          Neo-Liberal Post-“Marksism”: shrug

          1. 7.2.2.1.1

            Neo-Liberal Post-“Marksism”: shrug

            Just so. Empty buzzwords…

            1. 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Empty Greg commenting….

              The guy who cannot see that an issue exists…

          2. 7.2.2.1.2

            rather than shrug – listen to some Dr. James Lindsay.

            Oh wait – YOU already think him to be on the Far Right.

            Maybe stop sprinting hard left then…

          3. 7.2.2.1.3

            “Neo-Liberal: favoring policies that promote free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending”

            The term “free-market capitalism” is an oxymoron.

            The goal of Capitalism is Monopoly.

            And in the proper term “Monopoly Capitalism” the “Monopoly” part is redundant.

          4. 7.2.2.1.4

            Maybe do more than a single swipe (was that Wikipedia?).

            Neoliberalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

            https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/neoliberalism/

            If you were not so adverse to Lindsay, you would see that he uses the definition AS used by the groups he discusses.

            1. 7.2.2.1.4.1

              Nothing in that link refutes the definition I provided. It, in fact, reinforces that neoliberalism and any form of “marksism” or “post-marksism” are not compatible (e.g., a lot of the criticism of neoliberalism comes from a “marksian” perspective). Point after point in the article shows that the two philosophies are not compatible.

              I guess I’ll ask you, who specifically self identifies as a neoliberal post-markist?

              Empty buzzwords. Do better.

              1. 7.2.2.1.4.1.1

                Actually, no it does not support your position and quite in fact pulls in the opposite direction.

                But you have been far too quick to dismiss Dr. Lindsay, and as I pointed out, he uses terms as used by his opponents.

                You having a problem with the term only shows that you don’t even understand the fundamentals of your own belief system.

                That’s not a good position to have.

          5. 7.2.2.1.5

            “Neo-Liberal Post-“Marksism””

            I think they just mean people who are largely corporatists who are generally neo liberal, but whom adopt the mantle of post marxist cultural struggle trappings to help them with their attempt to “look good” from the perspective of their system being virtuous or not (because without those cultural trappings everyone tends to eventually see that corporate neo liberalism is not in fact all that virtuous).

      3. 7.2.3

        It was an observation that it is not only white men from the 18th century who used the male form to include both males and females.

        1. 7.2.3.1

          Thanks – its genesis is in Wokeism.

          Those that engage in Wokeism (apparently) like to pretend that Wokeism isn’t even a thing.

        2. 7.2.3.2

          What—of any possible relevance—does that prove? As it happens, I agree that the likeliest explanation for the removal of “she” from the 1793 text is that the authors intended that “he” includes women. XXI century colloquial Spanish usage really tells us nothing, however, to support that understanding of XVIII century formal English usage.

  6. 6

    Humans come in two forms, men and women. And that’s it.

    A man saying he’s a woman, or having his testicles removed, doesn’t make him a woman, and a woman saying she’s a man, or having her ovaries removed, doesn’t make her a man. Not even at the University of Missouri.

    1. 6.1

      Humans come in two forms, men and women. And that’s it.

      Actually, that is not true, as humans do (albeit very rarely) come in non-binary.

    2. 6.2

      Humans come in two forms, men and women. And that’s it.

      Words mean whatever the community of speakers use the words to mean. I was raised with an understanding that all humans fit neatly into the categories “man”or “woman” (but never both). I am quite comfortable with that social construction of gender, so I would happily endorse your assertion.

      For better or worse, however, neither you nor I get to make that call. If the broader community of English speakers decide to construct the social concept of gender with more categories than “man” and “woman” (and with a possibility for ambiguous half-classification among more than one of these categories), then the words take on those new meanings.

      I am game to join you in resisting the redefinition. Here’s hoping that our resistance will succeed!

      1. 6.2.1

        One of the problems Nebbins is that the group advancing different usage of language are doing so for political ends (and quite divorced from any actual scientific inputs).

        Actual science – like math – is merely a product of the prior patriarchal hierarchy, replete with systemic ISMs of all kinds.

        1. 6.2.1.1

          Politics?!? In our language! Egads! (See made up words and phrases like “wokeism” and “neoliberal post-marksism”)

          1. 6.2.1.1.1

            Or the countless genders that have been made up? Or the use of cis and trans for some of those genders? I think of organic chemistry. Still.

          2. 6.2.1.1.2

            Again – your quip only shows your own lack of understanding Squirrel.

            Do a bit of research, eh!

      2. 6.2.2

        “If the broader community of English speakers decide to construct the social concept of gender with more categories than “man” and “woman” (and with a possibility for ambiguous half-classification among more than one of these categories), then the words take on those new meanings.”

        I heard the other day that it’s biologists that deciderer this one, though it was from a bigoted source

        1. 6.2.2.1

          Well, certainly the newest Justice refused to answer a Congress critter question and deferred to biologists.

          Of course, the Dobbs case let loose the Liberal Left’s “men sh ut up” refrain.

    3. 6.3

      O snap, we’ve got some transophonin’ over here. I honestly can’t tell if its serious or trolling though as it is so blatant.

  7. 5

    1 U.S.C. s 1 seems relevant here.

    It’s titled “Words denoting number, gender, and so forth,” and says that “ In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise—

    “words importing the singular include and apply to several persons, parties, or things;

    “words importing the plural include the singular;

    “words importing the masculine gender include the feminine as well…”

    link to law.cornell.edu

    I’m surprised to learn that a 1790 patent statute used “she.” Maybe one of the drafters of the 1793 statute was surprised too

    1. 5.1

      Lol. I remember dismembering one of Malcolm’s inanities with that 1 U.S.C. s 1.

      It’s a good item for Pro Say to take note of as well.

      1. 5.1.1

        “It’s a good item for Pro Say to take note of as well.”

        Hilarious my friend . . . had the same thought!

        Yes; you’re still wrong believing that SCOTUS intended that one . . . can mean two . . . can mean three . . . can be 100 (alleged abstract ideas per claim / per claim set).

        But hilarious nonetheless!

        1. 5.1.1.1

          What is hilarious is your refusal to take counsel of what legal terms of art mean and insist on an errant colloquial view that you alone persist in taking.

          But you be you.

    2. 5.2

      All of 1 U.S.C. 1 has been the same since at least its last recorded revision – June 25, 1948. Researching when there was a prior comparable federal statutory “words importing the masculine gender include the feminine [unless the context indicates otherwise]” provision before that would seem relevant to this historical discussion?

  8. 4

    all of a sudden everyone is once again a biologist

    1. 4.1

      … or offending all the intersectionalists out there with this transphobic emphasis on binary.

      My feelings are sooooo hurt – I have been victimized — now give me reparations.

      1. 4.1.1

        ?

        1. 4.1.1.1

          I forgot the /s.

  9. 3

    The new law eliminated the female pronoun “she.”… Thus far, I have not been able to identify any explanation or justification for this particular change in the gender language.

    I doubt that there are going to be any contemporaneous commentaries on the intended significance of the revisions. As Adam Smith observed, “the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market,” and the extent of the legal “market” was pretty small back then. There just was not call for folks to write commentaries on statutory revisions in early U.S. history like there is now, when so much money can depend on the change of a comma or a colon.

    One of my favorite professors used to refer to grammar and orthography as “XIX century affectations.” I expect that is what explains the change. As you note, for a time there formal grammarians used to hold that the use of a single male pronoun—and not just in legal documents—includes all genders of humans. This is how I was taught grammar back in high school, although my college English professors were adamant to the contrary.

    The likeliest explanation for the change is that the 1790 drafters just threw something together in that which seemed appropriate grammar. By 1793, however, grammar sticklers had had enough time to get in there and try to comply with the more formalized grammar rules that were coming online at the end of the XVIII century. This only seems noteworthy now because the XIX century convention of using “he” to denote all genders (i.e., as the “unmarked” pronoun, as formal grammarians would say) has fallen lately into disregard. Trying to impose XXI century political significations onto XVIII wording is a surefire way to get yourself wrapped uselessly around the axle (as the so-called “originalists” daily prove to us).

  10. 2

    OMFG – please stop the virtue signaling.

      1. 2.1.1

        Anyone who indulges in the gender identity politics B$.

        1. 2.1.1.1

          I take it you don’t have teenage girls, do you?

      2. 2.1.2

        Accusing someone of virtue signaling is always done in bad faith. Its a form of ad hominem attack that dismissing an argument by essentially stating that you do not care about the issue, you just want to appear to care about the issue, as a way to dismiss the possibility that anyone actually can care about the issue.

        Anon then follows up with the good old “identity politics” canard which is used to that, similar to “virtual signaling” is used to minimize issues that face certain demographic groups and dismiss discussions of how the law formally and informally is structure to advantage some people and disadvantage others. It also ignores, in that regard, that all politics are essentially identity politics. It goes with the old saying, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”

        1. 2.1.2.1

          Yeah – that’s total B$ (but entirely unsurprising coming from such a Leftie).

        2. 2.1.2.2

          Accusing someone of virtue signaling is always done in bad faith.
          No. Evaluating whether someone is virtue signaling is a contextual analysis. Granted, it is a subjective contextual analysis.

          There are certainly instances in which the context of the person’s history/environment and what they are advocating for clearly indicate that this isn’t just a cause du jour However, there are also instances in which people are obviously sticking their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and virtue signaling based upon that. I see no problem calling someone out for virtual signaling when it is painfully obvious that is what they are doing.

          That being said, I don’t Dennis’s comments raise to the level of virtue signaling.

          1. 2.1.2.2.1

            There are instances were a person claims to care about an issue for clout, but doesn’t actually care. Accusations of this nature come from people who actually care about the issue. I have not encountered an example where this applies and the person that cares accuses the other person of “virtual signaling” (the concern is often address a different way). In my experience, it is exceedingly rare for a person who cares about an issue to use the phrase. When a person who does not care about the issue makes an accusation of “virtual signaling,” it is always done in bad faith.

            1. 2.1.2.2.1.1

              Pure B$ – as it is clear that Squirrel is ONLY viewing his version of “caring” as “authentic.”

              Dr. Lindsay roundly debunks this Woke tactic.

              1. 2.1.2.2.1.1.1

                We have a jar around here now. Every time you use a meaningless term like “woke” to dismiss whatever it is you dont like, you have to put a quarter in the jar.

                1. Your premise is a fallacy.

                  You – like Greg – refuse to even recognize a known term.

                  Is it nice in that little bubble?

                2. It’s not that the term “woke” doesn’t have a definition. It’s that it has no meaning other than “a thing I do not like” when you invoke it because your usage is completely divorced from its meaning.

                3. My usage is completely in line with its meaning.

                  That YOU don’t understand this is a YOU problem.

        3. 2.1.2.3

          Accusing someone of virtue signaling is always done in bad faith.

          One will frequently see accusations tossed around about these parts that so-and-so is “anti-patent.” This label is treated not merely as a neutral descriptor, but rather as a species of character flaw (e.g., “… you[r] reputation is dropping to the joke level with your continued anti-patent judicial activist support”). I have never really understood what to make of this vituperation, because it lacks any objectively coherent meaning. If I advocate for a 30-year-from-filing patent term, does that make the folks who are content with the existing 20-year term “anti-patent”? If someone else comes along and advocates for a 50-year term, does that suddenly make the 30-year supporters “anti-patent”? In practice, the content of the term “anti-patent” is devised by the person slinging the charge, and it is not logically possible to discuss the fairness of the accusation because there is no objectively accessible meaning which the neutral observer can employ to assess whether the charge is accurate or inaccurate.

          I mention this because it seems to me that the same is true of the epithet “virtue signaling.” What does this even mean? Everyone who makes that accusation appears to have a secret, private meaning in mind that is deliberately inaccessible to public evaluation. It is a charge to hurl when one has no real or solid basis to criticize, but nevertheless wants to make a criticism. As you say—bad faith.

          1. 2.1.2.3.1

            I have never really understood what to make of this vituperation

            More pure B$.

            What is it with the Liberal Left and this inability to see that others view THEM as the problem?

        4. 2.1.2.4

          As a practical matter, almost all actual charges of “virtue signaling” represent efforts by members of a privileged caste to police race traitorism (or class traitorism, etc) and to keep the perceived traitor “on side.”

          1. 2.1.2.4.1

            Two different filters….?

            Your comment is awaiting moderation.

            June 30, 2022 at 7:57 am

            This “as a practical matter” is completely out of touch with what “v1r tue signaling” means.

            In any context.

        5. 2.1.2.5

          “Accusing someone of virtue signaling is always done in bad faith.”

          Anyone engaging in virtue signaling does so in bad faith as virtue signaling is so much tripe.

    1. 2.2

      I agree with this sentiment.

      1. 2.2.1

        The sentiment expressed by anon in response 2.

        1. 2.2.1.1

          No, I’ll modify that. I don’t support the “virtue signalling” remark. I’d put it differently: the use of the male gender pronoun includes the female, unless otherwise made clear from the text. 1 US 1

    2. 2.3

      OMFG – please stop vice singaling.

      1. 2.3.1

        The singular and palpable panic that some people bring to any discussion of “virtue signaling” speaks volumes. The over-the-top desire to shut down discussions of any topic that can be derided as “virtue signaling” says more than any actual argument that could ever be presented in words.

        1. 2.3.1.1

          Or not — are you even aware of how pernicious the Woke movement is?

          Maybe check out some of the Dr. James Lindsay podcast series.

          1. 2.3.1.1.1

            … and I have to chuckle as “virtue signaling” is ONLY indicated in my post, thereby showing (once again) that Greg “I Use My Real Name” DeLassus
            L
            I
            E
            S
            in his posts that he blocks and does not read my posts.

            Oopsie.

            1. 2.3.1.1.1.1

              If he doesn’t respond to your posts, it could be because of the content of your posts–not that he hasn’t read them. I find myself justifiably ignoring you all the time.

              1. 2.3.1.1.1.1.1

                And there jumps NS II – into the weeds again.

                Greg has on multiple occasions been very clear as to having blocked my posts from his view (with an app).

                Your try here is an utter
                F
                A
                I
                L

                As for you 1g n0ring my posts – hey, that’s your loss.

          2. 2.3.1.1.2

            You mean James Lindsay, the right wing grievance culture grifter? Or is perhaps the James Lindsay that espouses the L.L. Bean version of cultural bolshevisms?

            1. 2.3.1.1.2.1

              He’s not Right Wing

              We’ve had this conversation before.

              1. 2.3.1.1.2.1.1

                We have had this conversation before. The benefit of my comment is not for you, as you will not be convinced of your manifest wrongness. It if for others that may be deceived by your comment.

                1. Except, you are the one deceiving.

                  Or to be more direct:
                  You are
                  L
                  y
                  i
                  n
                  g

                  Once upon a time this blog had a rule against such.

                  I know that your Hard Sprint Left makes it appear that Lindsay to be Right Wing (perhaps also you might consider Joe Rogan to be Right Wing as well), but that is just not so.

                2. Or… it is Lindsay’s sprint right after realizing that the left wasn’t buying what he was selling and he got his fee fees hurt, and like may before him, he had to stand on the political street corner in order to put food on the table.

                3. Not sure what alternative universe you visited to glean such a background for Dr. Lindsay, but that has no touch with the reality of this universe.

                  He has been more than clear about his background and genesis of involvement with Wokeism, and his scholarly output stands true and firm.

                  I “get” that you may not like those facts – but whether you like them or not simply has no bearing.

                4. Anyone that uses a term like “wokeism” is definitely a hack and a fraud. He’s just selling you the political version of patent medicine.

                5. You do know that the term COMES from the Woke themselves, eh?

                  If you listen to Lindsay, he fully documents his sources.

                  You may not like that he references the actual Liberal Left with their own material, but what you like just does not matter.

                  As to “patent medicine,” would you be referring to your own anti-patent biased viewpoint towards patents?

                  THAT would be an indictment against you, so, not a great move on your part.

                6. Yeah he sure sounds like a far right dude.

                  “Lindsay has supported Democratic Party candidates, including volunteering for Barack Obama, and was part of the New Atheism movement.[26] He is a critic of woke culture, which he analogizes to religious belief.[27] He describes “the Social Justice Movement” as his “ideological enemy”.[28] Though he opposed Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election, Lindsay announced his intention to vote for Trump in the 2020 election, arguing that the danger of “wokeness” is much greater than that of a Trump presidency.[29]”

                  “he had to stand on the political street corner in order to put food on the table.”

                  Nice. More “doctors” should understand this.

              2. 2.3.1.1.2.1.2

                Re: “Lindsay announced his intention to vote for Trump in the 2020 election, arguing that the danger of “wokeness” is much greater than that of a Trump presidency.[29]”
                How could any rational person, at this point, compare the significance of the “woke bogyman hysteria” over (a) some left wing agitators with no real power than at most getting a couple of professors fired by wimpy college administrators [who can be sued for that], with (b) a President and some bizarre unofficial-attorney advisors who would actively attempt a coup to retain the presidency after indisputably losing an election and dozens of legal challenges, Republican paper ballot recounts, and his own AG?

                1. WOW – wake up Paul – Woke has infected the entire “D” machine.

                  We have seen FAR more authoritarianism from the puppet masters of Biden than anything ever excreted during the Trump era.

                  And with far worse results in both immediate and long term impacts.

                2. How could any rational person, at this point, compare the significance of the “woke bogyman hysteria”… with (b) a President… who would actively attempt a coup to retain the presidency after indisputably losing an election and dozens of legal challenges…?

                  Two quick responses:

                  (1) I listened to a couple of James Lindsay podcasts. I would not call him “irrational,” but he was not a deep thinker.

                  (2) To be fair, at the point in 2020 when Lindsay said that he would vote for Trump, the coup attempt had not yet happened.

                3. “but he was not a deep thinker.”

                  WAT? He literally does 4+ hour deep thought sessions on the regular. Does he have to be marcus aurilius tier deep thinker for you to find him to be deep? Or just woke?

                4. 6,

                  Greg is deeply infected with the Woke, and cannot recognize anything outside of what he already believes.

                  His “he’s not a deep thinker” is NOT surprising, and only shows what Lindsay describes as the iron rule of Woke projection.

                5. He literally does 4+ hour deep thought sessions on the regular.

                  Quantity is not the same as quality. Anyone who has had to grade freshman term papers knows that it is commonplace to mistake “long” or “tedious” for “deep,” but I assure that they really are not the same thing. The whole thing is a tedious series of arguments by analogy and cherry-picked outrages.

                  If—as I gather—there is an audience that is entertained by this sort of thing, fair enough. That is the beauty of a free country—that we may each pursue that which makes us happy. There was scant little in there, however, that you might map out in symbolic logic and find to be logically sound. Within the small category that would hold up as sound, there was even less that might qualify as illuminating. Most of the logically sound stuff was restating the obvious.

                6. Dozens I’m guessing you haven’t listened to him. He literally traces intellectual roots of minutia and translates what leftist thought leaders are actually referring to in their own little intellectual thought worlds/scenes into everyday language so that non-leftists can even understand what is being discussed in deep leftist “thought” and ways of thinking. Again just how deep does this have to go before it is deep thinking?

                  “The whole thing is a tedious series of arguments by analogy and cherry-picked outrages.”

                  He isn’t even making “arguments” for like 95-99% of his work, he’s making analysis and explanation in the common tongue for the everyman to understand what is being discussed.

                  “there is an audience that is entertained by this sort of thing”

                  Um it’s being informed, not being entertained. I assure you it becomes increasingly tedious to follow leftist thought through their nonsensical “Intellectual” (psuedo intellectual anyway) roots. To the point of being nearly maddening. Especially when you do not have a leftist mind master there to justify what the fck is even being discussed. I think it would be entertaining for him to keep a leftist mind master on hand to have discussions about his pontifications and see how they justify etc. or hand wave away what is being discussed.

                  “There was scant little in there,”

                  In his hundreds of hours of analysis? What are you talking about specifically?

                7. I’m guessing you haven’t listened to him.

                  Like I said, I listened to a couple podcast episodes. I do not pretend that this makes me a scholar of his work. He was not worth a lot of my time, so he did not get a lot of my time. I found the podcasts boring and facile, but different strokes for different folks.

                8. I’m guessing you haven’t listened to him.

                  Like I said, I listened to a couple podcast episodes. I do not pretend to be a scholar of his entire body of work. His podcasts were not worth a lot of my time, so they did not get a lot of my time. I found them boring and facile, but fair enough if that sort of thing floats someone else’s boat.

            2. 2.3.1.1.2.2

              Hmm, that comment evaporated…

              He is also not a “gr1fter” – perhaps you meant something else (do you know what a “grifter” means? perhaps you have hears some 1984’d version of the word…)

              1. 2.3.1.1.2.2.1

                Anon they refer to any popular “thought” content creators/writers that are against their movement as grifters (even when those grifters are literally just opposing leftist grifters with opposite grifting).

                1. What makes him a grifter is that, when his mask slipped off and he was no longer able to make money and have cultural cache on the left, he switched up his message to fit right wing audiences so he could make money selling his snake oil to the right. I harbor serious doubts whether he believes what he sells other than he believes that it will remove money from the pockets of his right wing listeners. Thus, he is a grifter selling far right ideas for money. He is a poster child for the Rule of Goats.

                2. “What makes him a grifter is that, when his mask slipped off and he was no longer able to make money and have cultural cache on the left”

                  When did this happen? He was, to my knowledge, never particularly making all that much money off the left. I’m going to need to see some receipts. And it would be nice to see that he isn’t doing it because he recognized that the left was going way too far into crazytown, even though he himself is natty high in trait openness (literally similar to myself). He was literally giving massages in po dunk nowhere to pay the bills iirc prior to making small money online. To the best that I know he still isn’t making all that great.

                  “I harbor serious doubts whether he believes what he sells other than he believes that it will remove money from the pockets of his right wing listeners. ”

                  How much of him have you even watched? I mean you’re saying he’s going through the trouble of being a huge thespian instead of simply grifting off of lefties and getting a kush corporate “sensitivity trainer” etc. gig.

                3. … a kush corporate “sensitivity trainer” etc. gig.

                  Maybe this just shows the warped perspective of someone in the top 5% income bracket, but when I look up the salary range for corporate sensitivity trainers, it does not look all that “cushy” to me. The 90th percentile still earns <$100K/year. It is a low value profession, and not surprisingly, it comes with low value pay (although, probably more than it is actually worth, for all that).

                4. 6,

                  “Mask come off” is directly related to Squirrel’s iron rule of Woke projection, as the only masks coming off are those of the Woke.

                  No wonder Squirrel is in a Hard Sprint Left mode.

                5. “profession”

                  Sensitivity trainer, a PROFESSION! LOLOLOLOL!

                  omg, what will they think of to call their literal leftist racketeering next?

                  “it does not look all that “cushy” to me.”

                  Considering they’re mostly halfwit “feelers” who would otherwise be doing retail sales etc. I’d say 60k is doing extremely well. Wonder why my non-leftists bros can’t get in on that sweet sweet 60k?

                  Yes anon is correct about the ESG stuff as well, you don’t want to go small time, you want to get in on the real cash in corporate leftist racketeering.

            3. 2.3.1.1.2.3

              “the L.L. Bean version of cultural bolshevisms”

              Based.

            4. 2.3.1.1.2.4

              Lindsay is a hard-core Obama-loving, Trump-hating Dem, but keep spewing your nonsense

              link to en.wikipedia.org

  11. 1

    The change (dropping “she”) in 1793 is interesting. Is it really true that the change was unremarked upon (as far as we know) for 207 years?

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