David Thompson
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June 21, 2017

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BW

Kids are being taught sociology by someone who thinks white people are "inhuman assholes".

#Progress

Rafi

There are three Americans of Korean origin in Pyongyang’s clutches right now, in fact.

So Korean-Americans have "white privilege" now?

Angus

OMG, the Uni apologised for asking students to only pooh in the toilets! Apparently multiculturalism and an increased risk of contracting dysentery go hand in hand.

David

So Korean-Americans have “white privilege” now?

East Asian minorities tend to rather scupper the “privilege” narrative. But the author, Ms Sha, is someone who wants us to believe that being imprisoned in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years in a hard labour camp, for stealing a poster, then suffering extensive and mysterious brain injuries and being left in a persistent vegetative state… is not unlike being a middle-class black journalist who writes for the Huffington Post.

As noted earlier, Ms Sha denounces the nefarious, all-explaining “privilege” of people paler than herself, and does so in terms that suggest a deeply obnoxious personality. The irony being that unpleasant racial attitudes are more likely to be excused and actively indulged – say, with articles in fashionable publications – if the person airing them is, for instance, a black woman with leftist views.

I think a factor in things like this is that it’s difficult to look distinctive and contrarian, and therefore “woke,” if you react as many others will. This matters, quite a lot, if you’re a status-seeking ‘progressive’. And so you have to perform some quite involved contortions and arrive at unconvincing conclusions, regardless of evidence or common decency. (What comes to mind, oddly enough, is a scene from Downton Abbey, in which Violet reminds Mary that contrived callousness can be just as vulgar and unbecoming as theatrical sentiment.)

NielsR

"So Korean-Americans have "white privilege" now?"

I wouldn't be surprised if their average salaries are at the level of the white oppressors, so they must do. Only explanation, innit?

"mythology of whiteness" - well that's a horrible idea. Loosely translating to "I hate you because of what I think your race thinks, on average, and because my race's mythology isn't competitive"

Jen

What comes to mind, oddly enough, is a scene from Downton Abbey,

You're full of surprises, David. :-)

David

You’re full of surprises, David. :-)

Hey, I’m complicated, okay?

As I’m sure I’ve said before, one of the pleasures of Downton Abbey is its emphasis on stoicism and emotional self-possession, which now seems so unfashionable. That, and its ability to wring high drama from smudges, missing buttons and Mrs Patmore’s kitchen crises. The downstairs micro-dramas are often much more interesting than the deaths, wars and bankruptcies happening upstairs.

[ Added: ]

It’s also the only mainstream TV series I can recall that depicts a recurring socialist character, the schoolteacher, Miss Bunting, as both selfish and bigoted. Which is to say, with some psychological realism.

Lancastrian Oik

All bodily fluids, solids and toilet paper must be disposed of down the toilet. While I appreciate that the [student] population is multi-cultural and different countries have different practices, here in the UK the accepted practice is to use only the WC.

I've seen what the indigenous folk get up to in the shower and lavatory blocks in one of the infield campsites at the Le Mans 24 Hours and would suggest to the Strathclyde University caretaking staff that they have that notice translated into French.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Kids are being taught sociology by someone who thinks white people are "inhuman assholes".

Also someone who thinks that drawing $130K/year plus benefits for sitting in a sinecure in the Angry Studies Department is being oppressed.

"So Korean-Americans have "white privilege" now?"

Anyone not explicitly a leftist is automatically a white male which explains why no feminists are celebrating the defeat of Osshoff, (whose only accomplishment seems to be apparently being the model for the new Ken dolls), by a woman in the Georgia District 6 special election.

pst314

So Korean-Americans have "white privilege" now?"

The Rodney King riots, and numerous smaller incidents, have shown that many black Americans hate Koreans, especially hard-working immigrants who are working long hours in tiny stores.

Burnsie

#LetThemFuckingDie

Well, he does have to play the part to keep his Angry Studies gravy train rolling. I'm sure this will boost his standing in his branch of academia.

Nonetheless, it's quite a glimpse into his mindset. It's downright Hutu-esque, if I'm allowed to draw a race-appropriate analogy.

And people wonder why so many Americans are so passionate about gun ownership rights.

Sam

It’s also the only mainstream TV series I can recall that depicts a recurring socialist character, the schoolteacher, Miss Bunting, as both selfish and bigoted. Which is to say, with some psychological realism.

That.

David

That.

She’s churlish, arrogant and dismissive – and much more prejudiced than the people she rails against and whose hospitality she abuses. It was refreshing to see socialism associated with unpleasant characteristics.

Geoffrey

I dunno, I recall Meathead from All in the Family oftentimes being portrayed as just as much of an asshole as Archie was. In fact, I actually liked Archie more, since I recall him supporting a few things that weren't good for him because of some sense of ethics, whereas Meathead was never really willing to make his own sacrifices, to the point of being a freeloader on Archies good will.

It has been a while since I've watched it though, so perhaps my memories are tainted by how I think things would have gone between a mild bigot and a socialist hippy.

Alice

Mr Warmbier, she wrote, was merely experiencing her own “daily reality.”

These people are insane.

David

These people are insane.

Well, it’s interesting just how often ‘progressive’ posturing can be difficult to distinguish from a mental health issue.

Tom
...I actually liked Archie more...

Most people did, which came as quite a shock to Norman Lear as Archie was to be the obvious object of derision as opposed to the guiding lights of his daughter and son-in-law. It turns out that most working and middle class people of the 1970s looked more favorably on a man who worked two jobs to support his family, even if he was rough around the edges, than on two freeloaders who didn't know how good they had it.

Who'da thunk it.

Deborah

It seems that everyone accepts that Otto Warmbier, in fact, stole the poster. I find the acceptance of this, without reservation, quite astonishing. Personally, I have always doubted that the theft, or attempted theft ever took place, for some reason I just don't trust any information provided by the Norks. But, I'm White, so that's probably just a product of my privilege.

dicentra

Evabody queue up to buy Godfrey Elfwick's album.

Spiny Norman

Tom,

middle class people of the 1970s looked more favorably on a man who worked two jobs to support his family, even if he was rough around the edges...

That was Carroll O'Connor's influence. Even though O'Connor was a committed Leftist, he correctly surmised that a grouchy curmudgeon Archie would be much more realistic than the cartoonish bigot Lear imagined, and make for a much more successful show.

Spiny Norman

Deborah,

It seems that everyone accepts that Otto Warmbier, in fact, stole the poster. I find the acceptance of this, without reservation, quite astonishing.

The young Englishman Warmbier was with nearly every hour of the tour claims the "theft" never happened.

David

Evabody queue up to buy Godfrey Elfwick’s album.

“By gently slapping his penis against his thigh, he creates a delicate rhythm...”

Tom
Evabody queue up to buy Godfrey Elfwick's album.

I really love that guy, or gal, or intersex... whatever.

That was Carroll O'Connor's influence.

I believe you're right Spiny, another actor might not have been nearly so likeably human in the role. It's funny that the same thing happened with the Ron Swanson character in Parks and Recreation; created to be a libertarian clown, he became loved by the shows fans. They eventually turned him more squishy though, at least from what I understand as I've not watched the whole series.

Steve E

From the Tim Blair story:

"If you’re a leftist, however, you always have to find a way around the facts, which is why combative lefties always sound like lawyers knowingly representing a guilty client."

How very true.

Boatswain's Mate

And let's face it, Archie had the best laugh lines.

Gloria: Do you know that 60 percent of all deaths in America are caused by guns? (Ed. note: an obvious untruth)

Archie Bunker: Would it make you feel any better if dey was pushed outta windows?

What's not to love?

WTP

...I actually liked Archie more...

I may have mentioned this here before but a couple years back I ran across an episode of OITF where Mike and Gloria have decided not to have children because all the bad things that were inevitable. Mike goes on a rant about how by 1980 everything will be polluted, in x years this awful thing will happen, yadda-yadda-yadda. Archie then makes a few statements the have proven to be almost prescient. IIRC. As a result of watching this episode I had a bumper sticker made for my pickup truck with Archie's picture and the phrase, "Deep down, you know he's right". To better explain said bumper sticker to a friend, I tried to look up this episode again on YouTube where I had then seen it, and couldn't find it.

WTP

Or AITF. Was using the Edith pronunciation (still can't spell that word) of "All"

Thomas Fuller

Someone on Godfrey's very amusing Twitter page mentioned this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbs7q5E5mHE

I can't believe David hasn't critiqued it, but in case he hasn't, there it is.

Spiny Norman

I can't believe David hasn't critiqued it, but in case he hasn't, there it is.

Egad! That's "Yoko Ono" level of awfulness.

(It looks - sounds - familiar. I'm pretty sure it's been linked here before.)

Jim Whyte

The Scots take showers? You learn something new every day.

jabrwok

The Feminist screech-fest reminds me of a passage of Schopenhauer's of which I've just become aware:

And you cannot expect anything else of women if you consider that the most distinguished intellects among the whole sex have never managed to produce a single achievement in the fine arts that is really great, genuine, and original; or given to the world any work of permanent value in any sphere.

I somehow doubt that the women on the stage represent "the most distinguished intellects among the whole sex", but they certainly don't undermine his case.

Alex deWinter

Fear not! Just in that the Evergreen College nutbars will be given a stern warning.

Thomas Fuller

jabrwok

I have been re-reading Jane Austen, and he is wrong. Female writers lack what I would crudely term as 'cock': the ability to create compelling forward movement in a work of fiction, but what they lack there they can make up for in subtlety, and I can think of no novelist more subtle than Miss A. Defining 'greatness' in a writer is difficult, but I'm pretty sure she qualifies. She is at least as good as many male novelists about whom there is no disagreement.

Some of the best male writers have in fact been homosexual, like Mishima or Forster, who seem to have an insight that is absent in say, Hemingway (to take an extreme example) or even Greene.

Trevor

... Evergreen College nutbars will be given a stern warning.

That'll learn 'em.

Daniel Ream

given to the world any work of permanent value in any sphere

Hedy Lamarr invented frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology. Pretty much anything Wireless-G uses it.

neal

I just learned that cock fighting involves chickens and gambling.
And Mexican food.

And bull fights, with stabby things.

I was a young boy, wearing a madator outfit with dancing girls. Then accordion lessons.

Did not seem very sanitary, but one works with what is given.

Hal

. . suffering extensive and mysterious brain injuries and being left in a persistent vegetative state, is not unlike being a middle-class black journalist who writes for the Huffington Post. Mr Warmbier, she wrote, was merely experiencing her own “daily reality.”

Hmmm. Perhaps if suffering extensive and mysterious brain injuries and being left in a persistent vegetative state, is . . . her own “daily reality.”, then that could explain what she's writing.

jabrwok

Regarding Austen and Lamarr, even Schopenhauer admits that there are exceptions. His thesis appears to be that those are simply exceptions which prove (ie: test) the rule.

Regardless, I just found the synchronicity of having read the Schopenhauer quote shortly before seeing the Feminist Theatre too amusing not to share:-).

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Well. This tidbit seems to hit upon nigh every topic here. In the far off Great White North, colleges are being "indigenized" because, actually I am not too sure of because other than the white man's way is bad medicine - or something

“Everything is based on reading stuff,” he explained. “Everything is laid out in a hierarchical and linear fashion. Look at the aboriginal ways, from visual expression to the wampum belt, dances and oral storytelling. It’s not linear. Everything is based on the circle.”

Everything.

Supporters of the effort, though, say that no matter the challenges, or the motives, a university degree is a long-term cure for many of the insidious ills afflicting aboriginals — poverty, unemployment, addictions, poor health, incarceration, hopelessness.

Yes, a read degree, one in Angry Indigenous Studies, not so much, unless they need baristas on the Indian Reserves (Canadian for Reservation).

Last year, the academic governing body agreed that all of the 17 colleges and schools, from dentistry to engineering, should include indigenous knowledge.

Note to self - avoid Canadian bridges (vehicular or oral).

BackwardsBoy

Ms. Sha's comparison's comparison of her daily life with that of the late Mr. Warmbier is quite correct in one aspect: her persistent vegetative state.

David

In other news:

Because self-induced hysteria is so exhausting.

George

Regarding Austen and Lamarr, even Schopenhauer admits that there are exceptions. His thesis appears to be that those are simply exceptions which prove (ie: test) the rule.

Well, if he does so it certainly doesn't come across in the quote, with its 'most distinguished' and its 'never' and its 'single' and its 'any's... not the sort of language that suggests exceptions.

And its generally considered that the 'prove = test' explanation for the expression 'the exception that proves the rule' is incorrect. A better explanation - and one more in keeping with the original Roman legal precept - is that the fact that something is recognised to be an exception proves that there is a general rule from which it derogates.

George

And it's generally considered... (That's what comes from using 'Preview' just to check that you've closed off the italics!)

David

That’s what comes from using ‘Preview’ just to check that you’ve closed off the italics!

Or “doing the Lord’s work,” as we shall henceforth refer to it.

George

Amen.

David

[ Lovingly polishes enormous gold-framed notice above bar. ]

“Thou shalt.”

jabrwok

Well, if he does so it certainly doesn't come across in the quote, with its 'most distinguished' and its 'never' and its 'single' and its 'any's... not the sort of language that suggests exceptions.

Yes, it's further down in the linked essay. I prefer to not quote massive blocks of text if possible.

And its generally considered that the 'prove = test' explanation for the expression 'the exception that proves the rule' is incorrect. A better explanation - and one more in keeping with the original Roman legal precept - is that the fact that something is recognised to be an exception proves that there is a general rule from which it derogates.

I hadn't heard of the Roman legal precept explanation, and the prima facie explanation of the saying, that an exception to the rule demonstrates the validity of the rule, never made any intuitive sense to me. The "proves = tests" interpretation makes sense in that a proving ground is a location whereat something is tested to see if it works, hence "proves = tests". It's not a matter to which I've dedicated a great deal of research time though, as it rarely arises.

Microbillionaire
And its generally considered that the 'prove = test' explanation for the expression 'the exception that proves the rule' is incorrect. A better explanation - and one more in keeping with the original Roman legal precept - is that the fact that something is recognised to be an exception proves that there is a general rule from which it derogates.

That Roman legal precept may also be true, but you can also see some evidence for 'test' quite easily if you perform a small sound shift, one of the most historically common, still seen in a great many cognates in Germanic languages, and say for example: "The exception that probes the rule".

In the Scandinavian languages, the word for "test" is... well, it's mostly still "test", but a common synonym is prøve (Norwegian, Danish) or prova (Swedish).

Microbillionaire

A couple of cognate correspondences for those wondering what I might be on about:

The English number "seven" is in German called sieben. A grave is called Grab, silver is silber, to die is sterben (from "starving"), and elvish things are elbisch.

I'm not a professional linguist, but it sure looks to me like "prove" is the anglified form of "probe" and the word got re-imported (as I hear happened to produce "guarantee" and "warranty") a while later after the meaning of the first import drifted a bit.

To some people, this is nice because it adds nuance and precision to the language.

To other people, it's a demonstration that English is even worse than popularly believed: not only does it famously mug other languages for their vocabulary, but often it then mutilates the stolen property and has to mug the poor victim a second time for a replacement!

George

[...] that an exception to the rule demonstrates the validity of the rule, never made any intuitive sense to me.

Well, yes, obviously, which is why the expression isn't 'exceptions prove rules'. Rather, it is used in very specific circumstances.

Take, for example, the conjugation of verbs in English. There are rules about this. There are also exceptions. But that's why we talk about irregular verbs. We call them 'irregular' because we recognise that they are exceptions and they are of sufficiently limited number to prove the validity of the rules in general.

Or let's say that we're sitting around with a gang from work over lunch and somebody says "Men are taller than women", then somebody else chips in with "What about Susie in accounts?" (said Susie being 6'2") and everybody else then joins in with variants of "Yep, that Susie is pretty tall all right". The simple fact that everybody has noticed that Susie is particularly tall (rather than being typical) doesn't disprove the assertion that men are taller than women; on the contrary, it adds weight to the assertion (or height if you prefer). Many 'rules' refer to averages or norms (c.f. the expression 'as a rule' which means 'usually but not invariably').

And it's also true that 'prove' (and cognates thereof in other languages) can mean 'test'. But that just means that the incorrect explanation has a certain plausibility on the surface (and wasn't pulled out of someone's derrière without any thought). Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis (the last bit has disappeared from the modern expression) is pretty unambiguous.

Microbillionaire

Really, I just like talking about cognates as an excuse to say elbisch. It sounds so incredibly fake-foreign, as though you don't actually know any German and you're just mispronouncing English a little. Or maybe you're writing a shitty fantasy novel and your agent told you that nobody's buying Tolkien ripoffs these days, so you quickly change your Elves and Dwarves into the definitely different Elbs and Dwarbs.

Microbillionaire

Speaking of the number seven, midgets, and minor linguistic drift:

In 1937, two cultural landmarks came out: Tolkien published the book The Hobbit, about a hobbit and a wizard and a gang of midgets looking for treasure, and Disney published the arguably similar film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, about a princess and a witch and a gang of midgets looking for treasure.

Tolkien would then proceed to dictate the future spelling of "Dwarves".

George

I'd never realised that The Hobbit and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out in the same year. I've learned something interesting today.

David

Last year, the academic governing body agreed that all of the 17 colleges and schools, from dentistry to engineering, should include indigenous knowledge.

Because “dentistry” and “indigenous knowledge” go together so well.

David

Further to the charming, not-at-all-racist Professor Johnny Eric Williams, Daphne Patai on liars, morons and imaginary wrongs:

During a formal debate [at Harvard], ostensibly about renewable energy, two black debaters decided instead to attack their opponents’ skin colour, and suggested that since “white life is based off black subjugation,” the ethical thing for whites to do is to kill themselves. “Affirmative suicide, that’s cool,” one experienced debater declared. “It’s one little step in the right direction.”

Some kinds of dumb you just can’t fix.

David

Note also Professor Patai’s comment, below the article, about the pressure to grade very leniently:

[Professors] who are demanding and give students the grades they deserve (not the ones they want) are likely to face problems, even recriminations and demands they shape up (i.e., get better [student] evaluations or else).

And by ‘leniently’ I mean unfairly.

George

Because “dentistry” and “indigenous knowledge” go together so well.

Groovy, baby! (we're all indigenous to somewhere, after all...)

Lisboeta

Because “dentistry” and “indigenous knowledge” go together so well.

Oil of cloves works when the dentist's surgery is shut.

Lancastrian Oil

Because “dentistry” and “indigenous knowledge” go together so well.

Bad medicine?

Daniel Ream

Regarding Austen and Lamarr, even Schopenhauer admits that there are exceptions. His thesis appears to be that those are simply exceptions which prove (ie: test) the rule.

He's not stating a general rule, he's making a universal statement.

Any philosopher who fails to realize that a single exception is sufficient to disprove a universal statement isn't very good at his job.

Note to self - avoid Canadian bridges (vehicular or oral).

In all fairness, nobody much regards Saskatchewan universities as shining beacons of academic achievement in the first place. My alma mater (one of the top three math, engineering and dentistry schools) had a significant number of out-of-province students from SK.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

In all fairness, nobody much regards Saskatchewan universities as shining beacons of academic achievement in the first place.

I'll take your word for it, but I don't think their engineering graduates building steel girder bridges by tying the girders together with well chewed sinew instead or bolts, rivets, or welds, is going to enhance their reputation.

dicentra

Apparently multiculturalism and an increased risk of contracting dysentery go hand in hand.

In the horn of Africa the toilet habits are only slightly stricter than you'd find in a herd of cows: human dung is left in the open, then people touch their faces and eyes with dirtied hands, thereby contracting an eye disease that turns the eyelids inside-out and causing blindness, not to mention considerable pain.

Right now, in the 21st century, this is happening. People have to be explicitly taught to defecate in privies and other designated areas instead of where they happen to be standing.

Human society is truly awful. Offal. Whatever.

David

Oil of cloves works when the dentist’s surgery is shut.

MDMA is much better. Does that count as indigenous knowledge?

David

Right now, in the 21st century, this is happening.

It’s easy to forget that, elsewhere, the Stone Age still exists.

dicentra

Hedy Lamarr invented frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology. Pretty much anything Wireless-G uses it.

Wireless LAN uses DSSS (direct-sequence spread spectrum) because FHSS requires more radio agility. FHSS is used in baby monitors, I do happen to know. And other stuff.

Ada Lovelace (daughter of Lord Byron) is credited as the first computer programmer, devising algorithms for Charles Babbage's analytical engine. The ADA programming language used to be the standard for U.S. DoD.

It's always hilarious to point that out when feminists declare coding to be so unbearably masculine.

sH2

MDMA is much better.

I don't think the chemist will sell me that.

David

I don’t think the chemist will sell me that.

No, there is that. But I can vouch for its effectiveness if you’re in a jam. I once had a wisdom tooth pushing up against an existing molar, resulting in intense, unrelenting pain, with no dentist to hand for 24 hours. In desperation, I took some Ecstasy, and in a few minutes the pain had been transformed into an equally persistent sensation, of comparable intensity, but which wasn’t at all disagreeable.

It was quite an evening, as I recall.

Geezer

MDMA is much better.

If the problem is tooth decay, it is not. Oil of clove, mixed with zinc oxide, can be a temporary dental filling. MDMA treats the distress, not the cause of the distress.

David

MDMA treats the distress, not the cause of the distress.

I wasn’t recommending it as a long-term solution or an alternative to, you know, dentistry. But as a temporary relief from severe pain, the effect was quite interesting. The sensation, the information, was still there, same place, same vividness, just… not pain. As if it had, as it were, changed colour.

Geezer

As if it had, as it were, changed colour.

My gut once exploded, and when the folks in the emergency room finally decided to shoot me up with some opiate, the pain was still there, but there was a veil between it and my pain receptors.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

...the pain was still there, but there was a veil between it and my pain receptors.

Essentially. The method of action of opiates is both by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters, as well as making you not care that you hurt - or much of anything else, for that matter.

Chester Draws

My gut once exploded, and when the folks in the emergency room finally decided to shoot me up with some opiate, the pain was still there, but there was a veil between it and my pain receptors.

A sensation I find worse than the pain itself.

I'd rather have a much milder painkiller than the disconnect that opiates bring.

Spiny Norman

In other news:

O frabjous day!

In other, other news.

It showed up in my Twitter feed (from a rational feminist who couldn't believe it was real). It's just so insane I couldn't decide if it is parody or not. I assume David and the Guild of Evil minions can decipher it...

From the comments:

Dick Thrasher
What in the actual fuck
Just replace "white" with "jewish" and tell me this bitch doesn't sound like a fucking nazi

Justin Goldberg
"Initiating their parasitism." As a Jewish person, I'll say this much: That line sounds eerily familiar.

Shame on her. "Never again" applies to *everyone*.


(If it has been posted already, please disregard, with my apologies.)

Geezer

I'd rather have a much milder painkiller than the disconnect that opiates bring.

The opiate just got me to the emergency surgery that soon followed.

ftumch

Thankfully, there is video footage of David's improvised pain control:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QhHSl-bdpU

Spiny Norman

...the pain was still there, but there was a veil between it and my pain receptors.

Essentially. The method of action of opiates is both by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters, as well as making you not care that you hurt - or much of anything else, for that matter.

The first time I experienced the unique pleasure of passing a kidney stone, one of my colleagues at work delivered me to the nearest hospital, thinking I had appendicitis, where the lovely people in the emergency room shot me up full of morphine.

The pain and cramping was still there, but I was beyond caring - and I was too busy flirting with the nurses (one of whom was a former high school classmate, which made a class reunion about 2 years later slightly awkward...)

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

In other, other news.

The authoress of that screed describes herself, or theirself, or whatever:

Worship Leader for the Progressive Women's Christian Ministry at my college, intersectional feminist, dedicated to Jesus and the progressive movement as a whole! Also an advocate for AAPI rights as a woman of color! Jesus, women, and progress: basically my life! White men need not contact.

Now I am not a Biblical scholar, but I am thinking abortion in general, and race specific abortion, is not included in "Topics Jesus Espoused", but then I am not an intersectional feminist of color.

It appears she is also Asian (as in Oriental, not Mideast Asian) which in the US put zer among the most privileged, and in the world, I believe the majority, so what the bee in xer bonnet is, is not exactly clear. Maybe she hasn't gotten over the Opium Wars.

Ben

The authoress of that screed describes herself...

Yeah, I'm calling BS on that entire article - it's just some quality trolling. Not a single other article. Hell, the whole site might be a joke.

Spiny Norman

I'd rather have a much milder painkiller than the disconnect that opiates bring.

Opiates and opioids have their place. Hydrocodone (Vicodin/Vicoprophen/Norco) is the only pain med that has any effect at all when I have a recurrence of the damned stones.

Spiny Norman

Hell, the whole site might be a joke.

I have my suspicions as well. Poe's Law in action...

Godfrey Elfwick, an screamingly obvious parody, still catches the unaware.

Spiny Norman

Also:

Not a single other article.

No surprise there. The whole "Medusa Magazine" site only went live earlier this month - another reason to be suspicious.

PiperPaul

"recurrence of the damned stones"

I've heard that lots of people take drugs for the damned stones, usually at their concerts.

Patrick Brown

"In the horn of Africa the toilet habits are only slightly stricter than you'd find in a herd of cows"

My brother worked for a variety of aid agencies in a variety of African countries. If forget which country he was in, but they built a latrine block in a refugee camp, not much more than holes in the ground over a pit, with a roof over it. The refugees just shat all over the floor until someone had the idea of painting footprints on either side of the holes. Then they figured it out.

Tom
Right now, in the 21st century, this is happening. People have to be explicitly taught to defecate in privies and other designated areas instead of where they happen to be standing.

Human society is truly awful. Offal. Whatever. - dicentra

The refugees just shat all over the floor until someone had the idea of painting footprints on either side of the holes. Then they figured it out. - Patrick Brown

They keep pushing the date back but it seems as though humans have been civilized, in one form or another, for at least 10,000 years, 30,000 if you believe rudimentary flutes count as civilized and I do. How is it that people living on the continent where humanity quite literally became human have not figured out basic sanitation? That's not rhetorical, really, why is this still a problem?

Is it the tribal nature of the culture? I've heard Kim du Toit, an American who was born and raised in South Africa, describe it as "Africa always wins.", i.e. no matter what you do in a positive direction the culture will sabotage or overwhelm your actions.

Matt G

Perhaps the final kick in Warmbier's corpse courtesy of HuffPo and this 'La Sha' (if ever a name conjured up such a wealth of negative preconceptions so deservedly) character comes from the apparent fact that her original rant defiantly remains on the site.

Worse though is that they've allegedly 'tinkered' with it since his death in an optimistic attempt to portray 'La Sha' as slightly less sadistic than before.....yet crucially haven't acknowledged said revisions. This of course gives the false impression to the unwary that the current article is in fact the original.

....And I don't doubt for one minute that 'La Sha' and HuffPo's editor immodestly regard themselves as anything less than peerlessly liberal, compassionate, tolerant people too. Lovely.

Microbillionaire

Tom, my amateur impression is that it's very much a multi-factor feedback loop (and lack-of-feedback) of culture, biology, environment, and extra factors which could kinda be wedged into one of those but don't really come to mind when one says those three words.

If you burn down your house in for example Finland and have to sleep in a cave, you probably die of the cold. If you burn down your house in Kenya and have to sleep in a cave, eh, it's still warm. The Finnish environment thus functions as very harsh discipline: Keep things working or die.

And the flipside to that is seen in things like the Lowest Bidder Principle: "everything will be as shitty as it can get away with." Making things less shitty consumes time and energy that could be spent having fun. Occasionally people internalize high standards and won't let themselves get away with too shitty things, but more often they don't.

Then a hundred other things from family structure to corporate structure to government structure get in on the act of things being the way they are partly for a hundred tiny reasons, and society is very complicated, and we wring our hands and throw money and gentle prods at the problem because major fixes by force have so often dealt terrible collateral damage.

An acquaintance of mine once proposed the formalization of that last observation into a rule: all effective intervention is unethical. Because an effective form of intervention, almost by definition, is something that can reliably be used to modify a person's or a group's behavior. And at the very least you get into definitely murky ethical territory when thinking about how to reliably modify a person's behavior as though he were an object rather than a free-willed individual.

PiperPaul

"all effective intervention is unethical"

The Prime Directive?

Microbillionaire

Ha. My impression is that the Prime Directive is more of a statement that all intervention is unethical, regardless of effectiveness, and in practice we're going to do it anyway!

Hal

"all effective intervention is unethical"

The Prime Directive?

------

Ha. My impression is that the Prime Directive is more of a statement that all intervention is unethical, regardless of effectiveness, and in practice we're going to do it anyway!

Nah.

If there was actually a formal statement that the Prime Directive had ever actually consisted of, that would be convenient. I was mainly remembering references to prewarp technology before doing that bit of Googlemancy.

A reality keeps being much more in the area of a combination of Keep things working or die. . . . everything will be as shitty as it can get away with . . . and society is very complicated . . . , and definitely different and far from all effective intervention is unethical---That latter being little more than Oh, why should we bother doing anything at all?

Taking the Finnish weather example, the answering reason to actually intervene starts with situations where intervention is required to assist some in the situation where some dying will cascade over in to all dying, therefore the issues of all overrule the issues of merely some . . . when that applies . . .

---and noting "everything will be as shitty as it can get away with." I'm mildly amused to note that this morning's collections of headlines include Republicans hoping to claim that Obamacare can be considered a failure because a couple of insurers have dropped out.

My first reaction when I first read of Anthem and whomever was exactly that if a company deliberately underbids to get some contract, and then realizes that underbidding was pointless and self damaging, then of course they're going to drop out---and the fault remains with the inept bidders, not with the contract being bid for.

As Scott Adams is pointing out, among the reasons that Obamacare is and remains a success is a focus on . . . designing Obamacare to cover more people than before . . .

Everyone knew Obamacare would need future tuning to get it right. That gave us mental permission to focus on the good parts we understood – the greater coverage – and hope the other details would get worked out later. President Obama nailed the Contrast Problem like the Master Persuader he is.

That was then.

Now, President Trump and the Republicans have the “going second” problem. The public will compare their proposed bill with Obamacare and conclude that the one metric they understand – the number of people covered – does not compare favorably with Obamacare. The contrast is fatal.

We know Paul Ryan will do his wonkish best to tell us about all the amazing advantages of this new bill. And we know the public won’t understand any of it. But they sure will know it doesn’t cover as many people. Done. Bury it.

Going back to that friend of a friend story of the refugees and the latrine, that illustrates that the starting design for the improvised latrine was going to be . . . not much more than holes in the ground over a pit, with a roof over it.

As is noted, the more correct and complete design involved . . . the idea of painting footprints on either side of the holes . . .

So yes, when some variety of intervention is needed, do it, but attention to detail is required.---and that list of details will include the willingness to acknowledge that sometimes something will go bad, and the willingness to plan for that as well . . . .

Mere hand waving based on mere ideology or mere faith is never enough.

Alex deWinter
My gut once exploded, and when the folks in the emergency room finally decided to shoot me up with some opiate, the pain was still there, but there was a veil between it and my pain receptors.

That was exactly my experience when I wound up in the ER with sciatica making it feel like someone had dipped my leg in acid. One shot and it was as if the pain was on the other side of a clear wall. I think it was Demerol they gave me, but I was pretty out of it.

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