David Thompson
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May 09, 2016

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Min

This is likely to make racial gaps larger, which would strengthen the negative stereotypes that students of colour find when they arrive on campus.

Somewhere an SJW's head is exploding.

Steve B

It is fascinating to watch as the movement which was nominally born out of a desire to improve the lot of women who were "devalued" and "marginalized" by our society, who were shut out of the marketplace of ideas because of their gender...has been inexorably taken over by a vocal and angry mob who are now themselves systematically devaluing and marginalizing men and shutting them out of the marketplace of ideas (at least in academic circles) because of their gender. The feministas don't want to level the playing field...they want to turn the tables.

They don't want equality. They want revenge.

David

They want revenge.

Well, if you watch this, for instance, or pretty much any of Janice Fiamengo’s video series, you’ll see that sadism, spite and an urge to coerce are not uncommon motives. And as the guts of campus feminism is basically a conspiracy theory, a non-rational worldview, it’s essentially insatiable. Whatever the actual status of women in society, whatever advantages they enjoy, not least on campus, the drama and cultivated grievance can never end.

Steve 2 - A Touch of Stevil

Hullo David.

Gaad Sad and Janice Flamingo are obviously fake names, like "Chester Draws", "Elephants Gerald", or "Barrack Obama".

I've got nothing against flamingos, mind you. But let's be honest: they're just gay ostriches.

They think they're so sexy, standing on one skinny leg and showing off their fabulous pink plumage. It's all a bit attention-seeking if you ask me. Like they're the Boy Georges of the bird world.

At least they don't have that scary makeup Boy George thinks is a cunning disguise for his double chin. You'll never see a flamingo eating a pile of chips.

Anyway, re: apologising for being white and male. I think we should go for it, they'll probably respect us more!

The Magnificent Milo has inspired me with his work.

"I'm so sorry that we invented electricity, the printing press, universities, your problem glasses, catfood, the KFC Bargain Bucket, Spanx, iPads and Tumblr."

"Also, I'm sorry you're fat."

David

At least they don’t have that scary makeup Boy George thinks is a cunning disguise for his double chin.

Heh. Someone pointed that out to me a couple of weeks ago. Not a good look.

Dan

David, just wanted to thank you for introducing me to Janice Fiamengo's videos.

R. Sherman

I Boy George still alive. I would have thought someone would have answered his "Do you really want to hurt me" question with "Yes. Yes I do" long before now.

David

just wanted to thank you for introducing me to Janice Fiamengo’s videos.

She does good work.

RY

Excellent article by Jon Haidt and Lee Jussim.
One imagines they're going to take some serious flak for that.

David

Excellent article by Jon Haidt and Lee Jussim. One imagines they’re going to take some serious flak for that.

I should think so, yes.

As Haidt and Jussim put it,

A 2001 study by Robert Kurzban of the University of Pennsylvania… found that race was much less prominent in how people categorised each other when individuals also shared some other prominent social characteristic, like membership on a team. If you set things up so that race conveys less important information than some other salient factor, then people pay less attention to race.

All of which is pretty obvious and is experienced daily by millions of people going about their lives, though generally by people whose minds haven’t been deformed by exposure to the Angry Studies racket. In short, the way to get past race is to stop fixating on it and to engage with people as individuals, not as mascots of some rival, eternally competing group. However,

Conversely, when groups are put into competition with each other, people readily shift into zero-sum thinking and hostility.

And yet this zero-sum thinking, this tribal antagonism, is the default template of “diversity” hustlers, who balkanise students along racial lines, pit them against each other, tell them they’re being “oppressed” by some other group and then pander to and amplify any mote of grievance, whether real or imagined, cultivating a kind of racial paranoia among their brown-skinned victims, while trying to foster pretentious collective guilt among supposedly “privileged” and “supremacist” white students.

And should any students dare to dissent and say they’re not terribly interested in a person’s pigmentation, they may well be accused of “neo-racism” and told that, “To ignore race is to be more racist than to acknowledge race.

And so it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that the identitarian tribalism favoured by the left, its vast and growing “diversity” bureaucracy, is actually intended to perpetuate and exacerbate racial tension, or even to invent it, thereby justifying even more spending, more coercion, and the employment of more hustlers like themselves.

sackcloth and ashes

And Steve2 is back. :-)

Joan

Fun prom photo gets compared to a Klan lynching.

http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2016/05/08/video-game-director-plays-the-kkk-card-as-he-ruins-superhero-prom-picture/

David

Fun prom photo gets compared to a Klan lynching.

But they’re having gendered fun. How very dare they?!

RY

David, indeed. To all of that.
There's something truly wicked about this whole racket.
My mother grew up in South Africa during Apartheid. She - and her siblings and friends - left after finishing university and earning enough money to get on the boat.
They left for England, and for America.
We were brought up in London. At the local primary school, my mother, there for some kind of school event, asked me to point out a friend she hadn't yet met. I did.
Years later, she told me she had been deeply moved that I had pointed out my friend, who happened to be black, by describing what she was wearing.
It was a different world.
Thankfully.
These people make me angrier than I can say.

Jib Halyard

David, before I make any further comments here, I feel that I must first check my privilege:

I benefit from the privilege of living in a globalised capitalist economy that provides more prosperity to more people than anything else that has ever existed.
I benefit from the privilege of living in a world where Western science has conqured countless diseases and provided undreamt-of comforts.
I benefit from the privilege of living in a civilisation where Enlightenment ideas have freed us all from priests and supernatural beliefs.
I benefit from the privilege of living in a land that provides individual freedoms and protections from abitrary power.
Just imagine the stunned silence that would follow...

David

There’s something truly wicked about this whole racket.

I still like John Ellis’ description of the Angry Studies hustle:

Just as Pinocchio went off to school with high hopes, only to be waylaid by J. Worthington Foulfellow, minority students are met on the way to campus by hard-left radicals who claim to have the interests of the newcomers at heart but in reality prey on them to advance their own selfish interests. Of course, what black students need is the same solid traditional education that had raised Irish, Italians, and Jews to full equality. But that would not serve the campus radicals’ purpose. Disaffected radicals want to swell the ranks of the disaffected, not the ranks of the cheerfully upward mobile. Genuine progress for minority students would mean their joining and thus strengthening the mainstream of American society - the mainstream that campus radicals loathe.

It captures the basic dynamic.

rabbit
men will stand up and before they even speak they have to “check their privilege” and talk about how they’re white and they’re male, and how that means that therefore they can’t really understand the experience of victimisation, and they have to apologise for that, and erase themselves in some way, and acknowledge how terrible they are

If it gets me laid, I'm all over it.

RY

It captures the basic dynamic.

Yes. That's very good.

Keep them angry, keep them frustrated, keep them bitter, keep them "yours."

David

Keep them angry, keep them frustrated, keep them bitter, keep them “yours.”

The irony being that the victims of the hustle typically imagine themselves as radical titans, subverting this and that, speaking truth to power, and all the rest of it. There are in fact dupes, suckers, foodstuff.

Criticas

If it gets me laid, I'm all over it.

It won't. Don't listen to what women say, watch what they do (or who they do...). Weak men are not attractive to women.

David Gillies

Hanlon's Razor is useless as a diagnostic tool when faced with the social justice Left. Even if one were to reject the idea that they were actively malevolent (a possible interpretation, albeit not one I can find myself able to support) then their bovine obtuseness in the face of mountainous evidence that their policies wreck lives and create discord is so great as to embody an evil all of its own.

Jason

So Waponi Woo was modeled on Nauru. Who knew?

Trevor

If it gets me laid, I'm all over it.

In those circumstances, best to stick with Madam Palm and her five lovely daughters. They won't mess with your mind.

dicentra

I benefit from the privilege of living in a civilisation where Enlightenment ideas have freed us all from priests and supernatural beliefs.

I take it you've never heard of Al Gore, Jr, son of a senator who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

dicentra

Hanlon's Razor is useless as a diagnostic tool when faced with the social justice Left.

Given that the movement as a whole behaves like a sociopathic narcissist, I'd say that Hanlon's Razor should be exactly reversed for best effect.

Hanlon's Razor is fine when your neighbors or in-laws are involved but not with SJWs, Bolsheviks, or any kleptocrat and his flunkies.

Which, assuming malice will get you to Understanding Them (and predicting their next move) much faster than the other named razors.

PiperPaul

I'd guess that Malicious people controlling Stupid people would be quite effective and... hey, WAIT A MINUTE!

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Meanwhile, in New York City, ...using safety as a pretext for discrimination or as a way to reinforce traditional gender norms or stereotypes is unlawful... so it is now illegal for a bartender to refuse to serve a pregnant woman alcoholic beverages because giving your child fetal alcohol syndrome smashes the patriarchy, or something.

“Accommodation of pregnant women cannot be a favor,” Azadeh Khalili, the executive director of the Commission on Gender Equity, said in a statement supporting the new guidelines. “It is a human right and the law in New York City.”

A human right, I tell you. Of course, Miss or Mrs. Kahalili is featured in Women In Islam where consuming alcohol, let alone by a woman alone in a bar, is most assuredly not a human right, but then she is also the first Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity which is also not exactly a feature of mohammedanism.

So, getting back to Hanlon's razor, "progressives" are both stupid and malevolent, there is no other way to explain their constant immediately self-contradictory statements and actions.

Of course it will be a field day for the lawyers who will sue if the bartenders don't serve, and will sue if they do and Miss or Mrs IMustDrink winds up with an FLK.

dicentra

"progressives" are both stupid and malevolent

"War Is Peace" — Stupid or malevolent?

"We have always been at war with Eastasia" — Stupid or malevolent?

"Ministry of Truth" — Stupid or malevolent?

"Bartenders cannot cut off pregnant women because Patriarchy" — Stupid or malevolent?

There is a tipping point after which stupidity cannot possibly be just stupidity: it must necessarily be a malicious attempt to humiliate the populace by forcing them to accept an obvious lie.

Azadeh Khalili knows how stupid her position is but she doesn't effing care: it is "logical" by the lights of her Path to Power and so it must be "so."

Don't believe me? Stupidity often relents in the face of information; malice doubles down.

And there's all the math you need on that.

David

Meanwhile, at the University of Minnesota:

[Fat activist, Virgie] Tovar said diet culture is a tool of “white heteronormative society” and declared that “exercise and diets are constructs.” Society, she said, is fat phobic and that “Fat phobia is a form of bigotry, is a form of discrimination.” Tovar harped about discrimination regarding choices in sexual partners, how chairs are designed, and public transportation usage. In fact, Tovar claimed that fat shaming has made her avoid public transportation during peak hours. At no point did Tovar address deaths caused by heart failure or diabetes… The event was sponsored in part by the university’s School of Public Health and its Office for Equity and Diversity.

It's high in educational fibre.

Liz

The event was sponsored in part by the university’s School of Public Health

⊙_ʘ

David

⊙_ʘ

What’s interesting is how these clowns can take an issue that previously elicited no particular feeling and then, almost instantly, make it objectionable. I mean, in general I don’t particularly care how big and fleshy someone is – I don’t consider it my business. But when self-styled “activists” start telling students that being too fat for the average chair is both oppressive and someone else’s fault, and that not fancying people who are morbidly obese is a form of bigotry, and on a par with racism, then polite indifference becomes hard to sustain.

Likewise, when students are told that “fatness has little or nothing to do with health”…

…by someone who’s enormous to the point of impracticality and who was famously reduced to panting sweats after lifting her arms half a dozen times while sitting down.

And so while I don’t much care if someone is weighty, I do tend to dislike the kinds of personalities who become “fat activists.”

bilbaoboy

My feelings entirely. I couldn't care less until somebody tries to stuff it in my face and try (unsuccessfully) to make ME feel guilty. The powerpoint is just so intellectually strong and right I am stunned!

It comes down to a a case of rationalising one's insecurities/failings by finding someone else to blame them on.

She protesteth too much, me thinks!

Key takeaways?

Kentucky FC
MacDs
B. King
Taco B

Cruel? No she's asking for it.

George

@bilbaoboy

Indeed, the choice of the word 'takeaways' was possibly revelatory of something rattling around in the vast space of her unconscious...

redlonghorn

The fact that the School of Public Health is teaching students that "fatness has little to nothing to do with health", while simultaneously preaching to students about patriarchy, white supremacism, colonialism, and all the other intersectional bollocks, suggests quite a bit of mission creep going on with that organization. Shouldn't they be focusing on things like disease prevention and research?

R. Sherman

Stupid or malevolent?

To quote Instapundit, embrace the healing power of "and."

R. Sherman

Meanwhile, in New York City . . .

This business of serving pregnant women alcohol is interesting because it sets up a possible conflict among the various regulations of human activity beloved by the nanny state. In New York, a bar owner may be held liable for civil damages sustained by third parties if the bar serves "habitual drunkards" or someone "visibly intoxicated," the definitions of which are left to the discretion of the bar owner.

In the case of a pregnant woman, the "third party" would be the child born with fetal alcohol syndrome, a set of circumstances, which in my jurisdiction would result at a minimum in the removal of a child from the custody of mother and perhaps prosecution for felony child endangerment.

My inner libertarian believes that people should assume personal responsibility for their own actions come what may. However, if the state is going to require that certain of us act as proxies in enforcing certain codes of behavior, then the state better grant me the same immunity it has from civil liability for doing so.

R. Sherman

Damn HTML fail. I must learn not to comment before finishing my first cup of coffee in the morning.

David

Damn HTML fail.

‘Preview’ is your friend.

R. Sherman

Well, at least I didn't repeat that unfortunate Grenache incident.

David

I don’t even make eye contact before I’ve finished coffee #2.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Don't believe me? Stupidity often relents in the face of information...

Alas, particularly among "progressives", the stupid are too stupid to know they are stupid and thus will never relent in the face of information, no matter how overwhelming (cough)bernie(cough)(cough)Venezuela(cough).

The event was sponsored in part by the university’s School of Public Health...

At one time schools of public health served a great purpose and were at the forefront of ridding the world, at least in the west, of such things as endemic TB, typhoid, cholera, malaria, polio, rickets, and other numerous other diseases which could be addressed at a population level as well as an individual one. However, having succeeded so well in eliminating real threats, they had to turn to claptrap like the intersectional bollocks, climate change, and the usual leftist drivel. Compounding this unfortunate turn of events, no "health" experience or study at all is required to get into most schools of public health (London, Tulane, and a couple others have specialized sub-programs, e.g., parasitology, that require actual medical knowledge), and yet the graduates wander out convinced that they are, as a result of a grueling 9 month program crammed into two years, actual health experts, though they couldn't tell a guinea worm from a guinea note.

Indeed, the choice of the word 'takeaways' was possibly revelatory of something rattling around in the vast space of her unconscious...

You give her unconscious too much credit, as she is over here in 'Murika, I doubt she knows your "takeaways"=our "take outs".

Meanwhile, in the lighter (pardon the upcoming pun) side of "progressive" stupidity, The Atlantic wonders Why White People Don’t Use White Emoji.

When they were first launched in 2015, emoji skin tones corrected an obvious wrong.

An obvious wrong, having to use a generic yellow emoji was the same as Jim Crow laws, apartheid, the Holocaust, and the Rape of Nanking combined.

Aditya Mukerjee, an engineer in New York, advocated for eliminating the racial modifiers altogether, arguing there are few situations when a generic emoji and a bit of context are not enough. For all the white angst about using white emoji, he’d argue using a darker skin tone is an even bigger decision for people of color.

“Every time I use an emoji, I have to make a choice: Do I use a colored racemoji, and draw attention to my ethnicity (even when it's not pertinent), or do I use a default emoji, which may misrepresent me altogether?” he wrote in an email. “It’s disempowering because people of color are uniquely burdened with this choice.”

The horror, the horror.

David

“It’s disempowering because people of color are uniquely burdened with this choice.”

I had no idea that being “misrepresented” by one’s own choice of emoji was a thing one could be “disempowered” by.

Truly, we live in an age of heroes.

jabrwok

On a lighter note, marbles and magnets. Rube Goldberg would be proud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ9gs-5lRKc

R. Sherman

I had no idea that being “misrepresented” by one’s own choice of emoji was a thing one could be “disempowered” by.

My long-suffering wife who has a Ph.D. in English believes that the whole emoji phenomenon is result of people not being able to write properly. That is, people cannot adjust their word choice, sentence structure or tone to convey what they really wish to communicate to the reader. Thus, they are forced to rely upon cute cartoons. It's a combination of laziness and shallow thinking.

In other words, it's another sign of the end of Western Civilization.

David

“It’s disempowering because people of color are uniquely burdened with this choice.”

The above is laughable, but consider the thought process behind it, the signalling, the mental habit. Countless students have been encouraged to search out or hallucinate ways in which they can construe themselves as being unfairly disadvantaged, based on their ethnicity or gender or whatever, by some mote of fleeting inconvenience. In this case, the terrible “burden” of choosing an emoji without feeling “disempowered” – and all in the pages of a national periodical, and with no apparent embarrassment.

David

marbles and magnets.

What sorcery is this?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Truly, we live in an age of heroes.

Titans, David, Titans; you cannot begin to imagine the horrors of being an Indian engineer in a parochial place like New York City.

David

Titans, David, Titans;

As a habit, a way to signal status and political sophistication, it seems likely to make a person tiresome and generally unpleasant to be around. And as others, quite rightly, avoid that person for being a pretentious, neurotic, narcissistic bore, this will presumably then be seized upon as further proof of some cosmic injustice.

As a recipe for happiness, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

As a habit, a way to signal status and political sophistication, it seems likely to make a person tiresome and generally unpleasant to be around.

True enough, but I have to wonder why they continually seize upon such trivial crap over which to dither. Regarding the emoji mess, as an experiment, I looked at my phone and can't help but wonder, in my simple minded way, if people of pallor who use other than pure cracker emojis do so because the duskier hued ones show up better against the white text background.

Crazy notion, I know.

Jib Halyard

I take it you've never heard of Al Gore, Jr, son of a senator who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The point I was trying to make is that this checklist of privileges that white males are expected to recite in universities today is irrelevant compared to the privileges that Western civilisation bestows upon everyone, regardless of their ranking in the Victimology Olympics

WTP

OK, this has been bugging me for quite a while now...wth was wrong with the semi-colon followed by the closing paren? The way some of these emojis are rendered (looking at you, FB) kill the subtlety of the intent of the user IMNSHO. I have the damn things turned off on my work IM system (Skype) because to me the just look stupid. I may have to turn them back on as I'm getting more texts that make no sense otherwise. Either way it seems to me the control on how they are rendered belongs to the sender, not the receiver.

David

I looked at my phone and can’t help but wonder,

Oh my. I poked about and discovered I have the ability to embellish my messages with hundreds of these things. Every facial contortion, on any colour face, with various hats and gestures, along with some basic sign language and, for reasons that escape me, excrement, robots and a selection of giant cats.

What a time to be alive.

R. Sherman

Meanwhile in Colorado

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Either way it seems to me the control on how they are rendered belongs to the sender, not the receiver.

Indeed, which is why the simple text based ones work (if you have to use them at all), because what somebody sends from a Samsung may not be the same as what shows up on an Apple (or vice versa), or an HTC, or anything but another Samsung of the same vintage.

I got a text from a friend and had no idea what the hell the symbol was supposed to mean so I had to turn to this chart to translate. As an example, if someone sent you a Number 2 (no not that kind, the one in the chart), or a 26, or a 34 from a Samsung, but you had an Apple, you would probably infer a meaning other than what the sender intended (as indeed I did).

Surreptitious Evil

Personally, not being bright yellow, I don't feel particularly empowered by standard emojis, despite being the epitome of the privileged classes (white, straight, Protestant, able-bodied Western male.)

David

white, straight, Protestant, able-bodied Western male.

I think you should make your way to the Shaming Carousel. 300 rotations should do it.

PiperPaul

Emojis are overly-representative of the dominant skin tone in The Simpsons. Why are there no protests?

Anna

Meanwhile in Sweden.

dicentra

“Fat phobia is a form of bigotry, is a form of discrimination.”

Fat "phobia" exists only because obesity is not a status symbol at this point in our society. Turn the clock back 300 years and fat was IN because only the wealthy could be fat. Skinniness meant you were a member of the icky poor lower classes.

Now, being fat signals that you can't afford a personal trainer, eat expensive "organics" (instead of fast food), and that you chug 64-oz Big Gulps from the 7-11 just down the block from your trailer park.

dicentra

no matter how overwhelming (cough)bernie(cough)(cough)Venezuela(cough).

(a) He would say he's aiming for Sweden (ca 1973), not Venezuela; (b) Selling Sweden is a TACTIC to launch himself into power, not a well thought-out philosophy that he'd actually stick to; (c) Venezuela isn't a failure for Maduro and the Chavistas.

dicentra

My long-suffering wife who has a Ph.D. in English believes that the whole emoji phenomenon is result of people not being able to write properly.

Emoticons evolved on electronic bulletin boards to make up for missing body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, which carry most of the communication burden when we speak, in person or over the phone.

They're to make up for the fact that there are no or tags or other easy means to imbue your writing with the ineffables that speech and bodily gestures so easily communicate.

That said, a string of emojis has the same impact as a big sloppy "kiss" from a toddler with a runny nose: ewwww!

Hedgehog

...if someone sent you a Number 2 (...), or a 26, or a 34 from a Samsung, but you had an Apple, you would probably infer a meaning other than what the sender intended

So the content of the message now depends on the device on which the message was written? How am I supposed to know whether my correspondent has an Apple, or a Samsung, or an HTC?

My text messages, both the ones I write and the ones I receive, are blessedly free of emojis. But then I use language to communicate, not to obfuscate.

WTP

from Anna's Sweden link. Sweden math appears to be based on Eritrean math. Not very trustworthy.

Isaac meanwhile maintains he’s only 15, since he started school in Eritrea when he was 10 and then went to school for an additional seven years. He finished school two years ago, which according to him, makes him only 15.

The Lund District Court finds this sort of calculation bizarre, but the judge has decided to move forward with the case under the assumption that he is, in fact, just 15. The judge sentenced Isaac on Friday based on the charge of juvenile sexual assault, which means he’ll be sent to counseling.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/08/swedish-mother-opens-up-home-to-refugee-who-promptly-assaults-her-daughter/#ixzz48HEaC0pa

Farnsworth M Muldoon

So the content of the message now depends on the device on which the message was written?

Yep, written and received. I hate text messages with the fury of 1000 exploding suns to begin with and should be isolated to emergency communication where a phone call would be too disruptive, but I got a No. 34 on my HTC which is the "OMG I am passing a kidney stone" emoji, but was sent as a Samsung No. 34 "Tired Face" which resembles a tired face as much as Obama resembles the MGM lion.

The only way I knew it was the "tired face" was by asking the party of the second part what the hell it was supposed to be - if it was the kidney stone one for real I was about to summon an ambulance. Yeah, they promote clear communication.

David

Meanwhile, in academia, where the great issues of the day are given enormous thought by immensely clever people.

R. Sherman

So, what do you have to show for yourself?

David

So, what do you have to show for yourself?

He’ll be a supervillain by the time he’s old enough to drink.

Trevor

Meanwhile, in academia ...

Say what you will about these yackademics, but it is an achievement of sorts to be able to so consistently out-twaddle the Postmodernism Generator.

David

Stereotypes, you say?

Chester Draws

In the case of a pregnant woman, the "third party" would be the child born with fetal alcohol syndrome

We need, as a society, to calm the fuck down about fetal alcohol syndrome.

A pregnant woman having a small glass of wine late in the pregnancy is going to do no harm to the baby. My wife generally didn't like alcohol while pregnant, but the half dozen she had scattered across not only didn't give our kids any syndrome at all, it was never going to.

Fetal Alcohol is a risk in the early period if you consume large amounts. When people cannot tell you are pregnant. If you want to avoid fetal alcohol syndrome then you would need to refuse to serve any woman under the age of 50. Unless they are heavily pregnant, because they are the only ones you can be sure aren't in the early stages of pregnancy.

While I don't consider the ability to be served booze a human right, I do think people should not take alarmist stories in the media and then construct their own medical moral code based on their incomplete understanding. Otherwise we risk having a campaign for legalising marijuana often by the very same people who get all uppity about Fetal Alcohol -- never wondering what heavier toxins might do to a baby.

dicentra

So the content of the message now depends on the device on which the message was written?

On the language used to encode the message, yes.

pan

English = skillet
Spanish = bread

…and so on.

R. Sherman

@Chester

I don't disagree. My wife comes from a family of German farmers where pregnant women were advised to drink two beers a day, and the kids turned out OK. My point is the nanny state winds up concocting conflicting imperatives in its attempt to regulate human behavior all to the detriment of people whose behavior is regulated.

New York allows the litigious to sue bar owners for damages "caused" by their serving of alcohol, where "proximate cause" is legally deemed to be the serving of the beverage and not the voluntary consumption of same by someone who is, by definition, a 21 year old adult. Now, however, a bar owner must worry that the same 21 year old adult, who is refused service will bring a lawsuit for damages as a result of "gender discrimination."

Such regulations demonstrates that the worthies in charge believe they're supervising a kindergarten instead of making sure the garbage is collected and violent crime is suppressed.

PiperPaul

"I do think people should not take alarmist stories in the media and then construct their own medical moral code based on their incomplete understanding."

But this is exactly what happens every single day!

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

I do think people should not take alarmist stories in the media and then construct their own medical moral code based on their incomplete understanding.

Speaking of incomplete understanding and your anecdote notwithstanding, particularly given that state of knowledge regarding the topic has increased radically, the actual fact is that there is unimpeded passage of alcohol across the placenta and as the fetal liver has minimal alcohol dehydrogenase activity, fetal exposure is actually greater. Both ethanol and the metabolites, particularly acetaldehyde, which also passes across the placenta via the mother, have been demonstrated to have adverse effects on cellular differentiation and metabolism in the fetus.

That having been said, it is true that the risk is greatest in the first 8 weeks, and that the risk is generally dose dependent, the operative word being generally as it is impossible to tell in any individual what "dose" will have an effect.

As far as epidemiology goes, in the US the incidence (new cases) is estimated at 1-2/1000 live births, I have seen a UK estimate of 6-7000/year, so it is not, as you seem to suggest, a trivial concern. If you would like a comparison, the incidence of measles in the US in 2014 was 0.20/100,000.

So the bottom line from the standpoint of medical facts is that if one wants to drink while pregnant, one is assuming an unknown risk for someone else, but it is idiotic to make it illegal for a bartender to refuse to serve a drink to a pregnant woman

dcardno

I have seen a UK estimate of 6-7000/year, so...

Was that meant as 6-7/1,000 live births (the same form as the US statistic)? If not, it's higher (to me, strikingly so) than the US rate. There were ~700,000 births in the UK in 2014, the year that I could most readily find, and it won't be much different for 2015 (or this year, in fact), and 6-7,000/year would be an incidence of ~10/1,000 live births, compared to the figure of 1-2/1,000 live births that you cited for the US.

Chester Draws

Thanks for the comments, which I mostly agree with. I'm not suggesting pregnant women drink -- there is a risk, and the reward isn't worth that risk.

I think the higher figures bandied about are too large, because if a mother drank and there is a developmental anomaly then FAS gets applied as a catch all these days. Since the rate of alcoholism/binge drinking is rather higher than 1/1000 there must be a lot of kids born to alchoholic mothers who don't get it. Which does suggest the odd glass late in pregnancy is less risky than unpasteurised cheese, say. I wonder how many supermarkets refuse to sell unpasteurised cheese to pregnant women?

People need to know the risk, and then make their own decisions.

An issue is that people overstate unusual risks, and occasional risks, relative to ones they face every day. I had a spat with a friend last week at the pub because he refused to believe that the risks for second hand smoking were much lower than people believe. He was quite convinced that we get cancer quite often from other people's cigarettes (the actual danger is mostly respiratory disease, and then mostly in children, and then often massively overstated). He then drove home after having a couple of pints. I wonder if he considered that the risk he took then was much worse than suffering a bit of second hand smoke. Probably not.

J.M. Heinrichs

Farnsworth
"Yep, written and received.
The emojis originated in Japan where there were about three cell networks, each with its stable of customised cell phones. Part of the customisation was an emoji alphabet allowing the user to compose 'text messages' of emoji only. Each cell network had its own alphabet which prevented emoji comms with the other systems. When Apple began plans to release the iPhone in Japan, its failure was predicted because it had no emoji system and couldn't use the others. After about six months of iPhone sales, the other cell networks decided they would 'help' Apple incorporate their emojis and the common product began to emerge.
Except for Samsung ...

Cheers

Jeff Guinn
My long-suffering wife who has a Ph.D. in English believes that the whole emoji phenomenon is result of people not being able to write properly.

Based upon my experience, the whole emoji phenomenon is, like the promiscuous use of exclamation marks, almost exclusively female.

Of course, it may well be that I'm hanging out with the wrong people.

David

the whole emoji phenomenon is, like the promiscuous use of exclamation marks, almost exclusively female.

That’s been my experience too. Day-glo smiley clutter seems very much a girlie thing.

Nikw211

Stereotypes, you say?

I experienced a discomforting feeling of unreality when I read that the Greater Manchester Police had been forced to apologise for staging a counter-terrorist simulation exercise in which the 'terrorists’ shrieked "Allahu Akbar”.

Why?

Why apologise?

Who else are they expecting?

Britain First? The EDL? The IRA? Some angry Mormons who just aren’t going to take it any more, perhaps?

We’ve been told for months now that it’s only a matter of time until a Mumbai / Nairobi / Paris / Bamako / Brussels (etc.) style attack is going to hit the UK, even to the extent that they are predicting the attack to come over the summer.

While clearly, we don’t live under a Communist Totalitarian government, that apology put me in mind of this quote from Theodore Dalrymple:

    I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity.

Just run your eye down this global list of terrorist attacks that have happened in this year alone and it becomes obvious just how absurd that apology is.

PiperPaul

"risks for second hand smoking were much lower than people believe"

On the other hand, I suppose it is pretty convenient and appealing to have a ready-made health boogeyman to focus all one's worries upon. And might explain the sometimes extreme enthusiasm displayed towards stamping out all everything related to smoking (except marijuana, of course. That must be legalized and consumed with enthusiasm immediately).

prm

No doubt like many here, I've seen lots of this stuff over the years. And maybe it's the proverbial straw, or surprise that I can still be surprised, but this http://reason.com/blog/2016/05/10/the-university-of-oregons-thought-police made my blood run cold.

I'm struggling for comparisons. 1984? Soviet Russia? I think it’s the bloodless, matter-of-fact, bureaucratic recording, the lack of affect, as it were. Only obeying orders, and all that.

“A staff member reported that another staff member made a culturally incompetent remark while facilitating a training.”

or

“Response: A BRT Advocate spoke with the reporter, and a BRT Case Manager held an educational conversation with the president and the advisor of the group.”

An educational conversation. As in, Comrade, we need to talk about your comments, I hear they may have expressed displeasure with the Party. Perhaps you would like to reconsider them? Better yet, come with me to our facility. It can help with the psychological issues you clearly have.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

@dcardno

The UK numbers seemed high to me me too, but I found it quoted in two places, not that constitutes proof. The difficulty with determining the actual incidence of FAS, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as it is now called, is that it is always going to be a bit of a SWAG (short of cordoning off two identical populations, using one as a totally abstinent control group, and another that is rationed alcohol) because a) an accurate history of alcohol use is rarely given, and b) an accurate diagnosis has to be made. Regarding the latter, The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Surveillance Network case definition, for example, is based on "...facial features, central nervous system abnormalities, and growth deficiency..." all of which can have multiple etiologies, but can only really be tied to drinking if one has an accurate history.

Regarding any difference between the US and the UK, it would not surprise me that there might be a slightly higher incidence in the UK, not because the people are bad, but because the acceptance of drinking in general seems to be greater. The same is true of regions of the US, for example, the northeast and left coasts as opposed to the South where alcohol laws may vary county by county, and dry counties still exist - not that they don't drink there, but they might not admit it...

Anyway, incidence and prevalence (existing cases) numbers in the literature vary widely - prevalence of 55/1000 in South Africa, and 43/1000 in Croatia ? Bottom line, a known biological link and hard to quantify risk, and some best guess epidemiology.

Joan

Stupidity often relents in the face of information; malice doubles down.

E.g.

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/233537/

David

E.g.

Quite. Yet another example of “social justice” blather being used as a fig leaf for an obnoxious personality. And it’s maybe worth noting that in general, quite often, how a person treats a waitress - or a cashier or the guy delivering the pizza - can tell you quite a lot.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

“A staff member reported that another staff member made a culturally incompetent remark while facilitating a training.”

If the students at Oregon aren't totally ovine, seeing as how this nonsense is evidently totally anonymous, they could have no end of fun calling in bogus reports, particularly against the administration, SJWs, and Useless Studies types, and break the system.

WTP

Don't know if you can see this without a FB account but I think I've found a match for TrigglyPuff

https://www.facebook.com/799782143482590/videos/811941245600013/

svh

"An online petition is demanding that DePaul University cancel an upcoming appearance by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, claiming his speech “hurts” and “kills” people."

http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7577

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

...I've found a match for TrigglyPuff...

Possibly, though I am surprised with his winning ways that he has no Farcebook friends, perhaps someone with a Farcebook account could direct him to Triggly's OK Cupid account.

WTP

Yeah, just discovered it's fake, but in a way true. Some gamer on YouTube with a million views on some of his stuff. Handle of Boogie2988. The FB comment made me suspicious but for Triggly's sake I so wanted to believe. Everyone should find someone to be happy with, doncha think? Even if happy==miserable because, who are we to judge?

Jason

Nikw211, regarding the apologetic faux-terrorist, Tim Blair had an amusing (for certain values thereof) juxtaposition relating to that: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/art_imitates_death/

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