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October 20, 2017

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Black Ball

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/moaner-lisa-escapes-oppressive-milliondollar-pay-regime/news-story/63fec1fe5df2103d32e302707ec89442

Lisa Wilkinson and her travails of earning a decent wage. Not unlike Megyn Kelly over in the US.

Hal

Short trip.

If you park the trolley on a hillside, it rolls backwards to the next flat area. And do stop at the stations, that's where all the cats get on and off.

Sam Duncan

“HOW HIPPIES PUT ON THE WORST MUSIC FESTIVAL IN HISTORY”

They. Were. Hippies. The “how” is superfluous.

“Impress your houseguests with a towel elephant.”

That's clearly an aardvark.

“Drawing logos from memory is harder than you might think.”

Takeaway: if you want people to remember it, keep it bloody simple (even Apple's is too complicated), and stop paying smartarse consultants a fortune to change it every ten minutes because nobody is going to take a blind bit of notice.

“Is this the work of toddlers, or college students racking up debt?”

Holy cow. I love the way she says, “B... but Lego™ Serious Play™!” Yeah. I bet the middle managers forced into that shit by their employers can put the stuff together properly. Jeez.

svh

I love the way she says, “B... but Lego™ Serious Play™!”

It's not Lego. It's Duplo.

David

It’s not Lego. It’s Duplo.

You’re expecting precision from someone who boasts of her students “representing intersectionality” with toddlers’ building blocks. And on that note, it’s good to know that a person can become a Professor of Gender Studies at Sussex University despite having no qualification in, say, biology or neuroscience. Such things are apparently irrelevant to the issue of gender.

JuliaM

"Anip said the creature's proportions, a small head with a thick body, did not match any local snakes that he was familiar with."

Really?!?

JuliaM

Sam Duncan:"Holy cow. I love the way she says, “B... but Lego™ Serious Play™!” Yeah. I bet the middle managers forced into that shit by their employers can put the stuff together properly. Jeez."

I have, to my eternal shame, done one of those events. We got Stiklebriks.

David

I have, to my eternal shame, done one of those events. We got Stiklebriks.

I now have a mental image of Julia fashioning some kind of weapon from spiky plastic bricks, before going on a murderous rampage.

JuliaM

"Marvel goes Afro-futurist."

Brilliant trailer, but I think at least one scene in that movie owes a debt to Paul Schrader.

Meh

Is this the work of toddlers

Those are the liberal arts: First principles revealed in sentences begun with 'so'.

Sam

That time in 1972 when a quarter of a million hippies attended a festival sited on swamp land, with lots of bad acid, and only six toilets.

"Unexpectedly"

David

“Unexpectedly”

You know it’s been a good festival when an angry mob is setting the stage on fire.

MC

it’s good to know that a person can become a Professor of Gender Studies at Sussex University despite having no qualification in, say, biology or neuroscience

Is there really much scientific basis to the concept of gender as something distinct from biological sex?

David

Is there really much scientific basis to the concept of gender as something distinct from biological sex?

In terms of psychology and statistical preferences, the James Damore memo, mentioned here, is possibly a good place to start.

David

An educator.

David

Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin and Onkar Ghate discuss free speech.

George

@MC

Sex and gender are two different – albeit related – things. Before jumping to all sorts of conclusions about my politico-cultural values, please bear with me. Here’s how the World Health Organisation defines ‘gender’:

“Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.”

In other words, to say something like "gender is a social construct" (which seems to annoy a lot of people here) is not merely true, it is actually a tautology. It’s like saying that a triangle has three sides, because that’s the definition of the word. Sex is about ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness’. Gender is about social expectations of masculinity and femininity, ‘manliness’ and ‘womanliness’. Sex is about hardware. Gender is about software. (Hormone injections and the like might fall into the ‘firmware’ category….)

If we look at the differences between men and women (in terms of life trajectories, choices made, etc.), some of these differences are due to sex, while some are due to gender. It's just one manifestation of the old nature/nurture debate. We all know that both matter; the question is how much each matters.

David

It’s just one manifestation of the old nature/nurture debate. We all know that both matter; the question is how much each matters.

The problem being that in order to attempt that determination, it helps to have some grasp of the nature part – i.e., some familiarity with biology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, etc. And from what I can make out, most Gender Studies lecturers don’t seem terribly motivated on that front. Apparently, a degree in English literature is all that’s needed to divine the answers.

George

@David. Oh, absolutely. I wouldn't disagree with you at all on that.

Clam

Impress your houseguests with a towel elephant.

My houseguests are lucky to get towels.

David

My houseguests are lucky to get towels.

That’s the spirit.

WTP

Here’s how the World Health Organisation defines ‘gender’:

And here's the genesis of the problem. WHO. The words 'gender' and 'sex' have been used interchangeably for nearly as long as each existed. As sex became a more explosive topic of discussion in 20th century English, people started use 'gender' as a word to differentiate the stuff in one's pants from the fun stuff one does with the stuff in one's pants.

Gender is about software

If that's truly the case, then it's all in your head. It is whatever you (via your free will), your family, and society tell you to be.

George

@WTP.

The words 'gender' and 'sex' have been used interchangeably for nearly as long as each existed.

But that's simply not true. In English, nobody used the word gender other than in referring to foreign languages that have grammatical gender until very, very recently.

And, yes, gender is in your head or in your culture's collective 'head'. It's a concept that has been much abused by morons but it's a valid concept.

WTP

nobody used the word gender other than in referring to foreign languages that have grammatical gender until very, very recently.

Nobody? The word 'gender' derives from the same root as 'genetic'. Sounds pretty 'hardware' to me. I agree it has been much abused and maybe to some extent we are talking past each other while mostly agreeing, but I am quite certain the two words were used interchangeably until quite recently. Perhaps there's a split in academics that goes back further. I haven't the time to dig into that.

Just spent a good bit of time trying to find a dictionary on-line that would give, say the 1993 Webster definitions or such, to no avail. I have been quite interested in these semantics as I have indicated previously in references to Orwell and control of language (and Noam Chomsky is one of the evil SOB's who's hip to this). About 10 years ago I got into a bit of a tiff with a blogger about the meaning of a word (it kills me that I have forgotten what it was). We argued back and forth, he looked the word up online and presented to me proof that he was right. I pulled down my copy of the 1993 Webster dictionary that was sitting on my shelf above and the meaning there (being the meaning of the word as I understood it) was almost the exact opposite.

David

Having unearthed an Oxford Concise Dictionary from the mid-1980s, I see it lists the alternative meaning of gender as “a person’s sex.”

[ Resumes wiping bar absently, pretending not to eavesdrop. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Just spent a good bit of time trying to find a dictionary on-line that would give, say the 1993 Webster definitions or such, to no avail.

Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

Sex:

SEX, noun [L. sexus; from L. seco, to divide.]

1. The distinction between male and female; or the property or character by which an animal is male or female. The male sex is usually characterized by muscular strength, boldness and firmness. The female sex is characterized by softness, sensibility and modesty.

In botany, the property of plants which corresponds to sex in animals. The Linnean system of botany is formed on the doctrine of sexes in plants.

2. By way of emphasis, womankind; females.

Gender:

GEN'DER, noun [Latin genus, from geno, gigno; Gr.to beget, or to be born; Eng. kind. Gr. a woman, a wife; Sans. gena, a wife, and genaga, a father. We have begin from the same root. See Begin and Can.]

1. Properly, kind; sort.

2. A sex, male or female. Hence,

3. In grammar, a difference in words to express distinction of sex; usually a difference of termination in nouns, adjectives and participles, to express the distinction of male and female. But although this was the original design of different terminations, yet in the progress of language, other words having no relation to one sex or the other, came to have genders assigned them by custom. Words expressing males are said to be of the masculine gender; those expressing females, of the feminine gender; and in some languages, words expressing things having no sex, are of the neuter or neither gender

GEN'DER, verb transitive To beget; but engender is more generally used.

GEN'DER, verb intransitive To copulate; to breed. Leviticus 19:19.

The 2016 online definitions are not much different, in fact, compare 1828 gender 2 with 2016 gender: "2 a :sex - the feminine gender".

George

When I say very, very recently I mean post-1960s.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

When I say very, very recently I mean post-1960s.

Apparently Noah Webster didn't get that message in 1828.

pst314

We argued back and forth, he looked the word up online and presented to me proof that he was right. I pulled down my copy of the 1993 Webster dictionary that was sitting on my shelf above and the meaning there (being the meaning of the word as I understood it) was almost the exact opposite.

For those who value truth, that illustrates why one might be reluctant to rely on digitized books.
For Wise Progressive Thinkers, that illustrates why all paper books must be replaced by digitized ones.

WTP

For those who value truth, that illustrates why one might be reluctant to rely on digitized books.
For Wise Progressive Thinkers, that illustrates why all paper books must be replaced by digitized ones.

Yes, this does concern me quite a bit. Yet OTOH, language will and must evolve. What concerns me most is that there is a general obliviousness to the fact that such things go on. The opportunities for change/evolution/manipulation of languages have exploded exponentially beyond the proportions of evolution in communications over the last 150-200 years.

As a school boy I used to roll my eyes when teachers would make a point of correcting, and even having zero tolerance for, slang. Now it is actively encouraged in today's classrooms. Celebrated, even. Granted, it's a fool's errand to think you can control it but that doesn't mean we should be encouraging it.

Hal

Noting the definite dueling dictionaries, my impression for rather awhile has been of sex being what people do, and gender being what people are.

Noting the phrase from a bit back of the fairer sex, that usage contrasted with later occurrences would show the standard shifts in languages that with words do tend to be the cat's pajamas . . .

Hal

The opportunities for change/evolution/manipulation of languages have exploded exponentially beyond the proportions of evolution in communications over the last 150-200 years.

Ehn. Noting Twit and the eruptions that come from it as just one occurrence, I'd argue more that The opportunities for change/evolution/manipulation of languages have exploded exponentially because of the proportions of evolution in communications over the last 150-200 years . . . and especially in the last thirty years, with the general expansion and use of the internet, and then the World Wide Web on top of that.

George

Dictionary definitions include very rare usages, including technical usages. People did not use the word gender to mean sex in normal usage. If you were filling up a form, you were always asked for your sex, not your gender. Of course it has the same root as 'genetic' or 'engender'. Languages with grammatical gender also classify nouns as 'masculine' or 'feminine', even if they refer to inanimate objects. Many of you seem to be assuming that I'm defending the gender studies idiots. I'm not. But the term is not meaningless and is of some usefulness.

WTP

Yeah, Hal. I kinda, sorta, really thought that was my point. Beyond kinda sorta implied a causal relationship. Whatever. But thanks, though.

Noting the definite dueling dictionaries, my impression for rather awhile has been of sex being what people do, and gender being what people are.

Yes. Agree completely. As someone further upthread noted:

people started use 'gender' as a word to differentiate the stuff in one's pants from the fun stuff one does with the stuff in one's pants.

David

For anyone interested in either copyright or the latest Star Trek iteration, discussed briefly here, this may be of interest.

Via Damian.

jabrwok

Just to throw in my two cents on the gender/sex definitional debate, my objection to the use of "gender" to mean "sex" is that it conflates incommensurate definitions. Sure, "gender" (of the linguistic or behavioral variety) is a social construct. "Therefore," says the Social Justice Weenie, "since gender is a social construct, and gender is a synonym for sex, then sex is a social construct and "male" and "female" aren't real things."

Yeah, no. I've encountered a word which I can no longer recall, but it meant "to change the definition of a word in a discussion without notifying the other party that you were now using a different definition". Whatever that word is, it's what I see being done with "gender".

jabrwok

Equivocation!

That was it. They're equivocating.

Sam

For anyone interested in either copyright or the latest Star Trek iteration, discussed briefly here, this may be of interest.

Looks like someone's getting sued.

Hal

Yeah, Hal. I kinda, sorta, really thought that was my point.

A) Great minds think alike, and so do ours . . .

B) Actually, given October 20, 2017 at 18:37 and then October 20, 2017 at 18:40, you posted as I was typing, I posted, I did a refresh, and then saw your post pop up . . .

WTP

What jabrwok said. I think we mostly agree here and this has the potential, as if we haven't crossed that line already, to bore/boor/boar on into endless semantic details. The main problem being, I believe anyway, per jabrwok's observation about SJW's game playing/equivocating/whatevs, that what is evolving into a difference between two words that have essentially the same meaning could have been cut off by properly qualifying the new use of "gender" with something like "clinical gender" or some such. Or maybe there already is a word that the few real sociobiologists who do actual study on this matter use but our Glorious Journalism Professionals choose to turn a blind eye to it, assuming they even make the effort to research that far.

PiperPaul

Speaking of redefinition/destruction of words, here's a multi-part audio documentary from April 4, 2016 on George Orwell:

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/the-orwell-tapes-part-1-1.3513191

Governor Squid

The evolution of language can be a tricky thing. As discussed at length among the old Protein Wisdom commentariat, there are times when words change meaning because the new meaning is clearer and more valuable than the old in describing our current environment, and there are times when a word is perverted because the Left wants to use the "respectability" of an established term to grant unearned respectability to their latest pet project. The latter is how 'liberal' came to mean 'statist,' and how 'fascist' came to mean 'anyone who disagrees with me.'

I think it's important to make the distinction between words that evolve to better serve our communication needs, versus words that are corrupted to better serve the political ends of the Narrative Builders.

Hal

Here’s how the World Health Organisation defines ‘gender’:

And here's the genesis of the problem. WHO.

Robert Mugabe made 'goodwill ambassador' by World Health Organisation

Jonathan

Marvel goes Afro-futurist.

WE WUZ KANGZ: The Movie.

Re: Gender.

I'm not sure if this has been posted before, but Here's Camille Paglia talking to Jordan Peterson about 'Gender Studies'.

Jonathan

@ George:

Here’s how the World Health Organisation defines ‘gender’:

“Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.”

Meanwhile, from actual Science:

Darwinian sex roles confirmed across the animal kingdom

(Via YeYo)

WTP

Mugabe, ‘goodwill ambassador’. I guess we should be grateful there’s no World Mental Health Organization...yet.

David

I have a new guilty pleasure.

Daniel Ream

WE WUZ KANGZ: The Movie.

I wasn't going to say it, because I know our host is a big fan of the MCU. And it really does look like an awesome movie; Hamlet is a timeless theme. And it's not like they didn't do the exact same thing with Thor and Space Valhalla. But it does seem a bit on the nose.

David

But it does seem a bit on the nose.

As I said after the first teaser, I hope they don’t bugger it up with knuckle-headed identity politics à la Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m not sure I could handle two hours of Look At My Glorious Unfathomable Blackness. And it’ll be interesting to see how the film does in, say, China or Japan.

Jonathan

I hope they don’t bugger it up with knuckle-headed identity politics à la Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Too late.

Daniel Ream

I’m not sure I could handle two hours of Look At My Glorious Unfathomable Blackness.

The basic plotline is Hamlet; it'll be interesting to see whether that's acknowledged, inverted, or weighed down with tedious moralizing.

Given that despite being kind of tepid and dull Luke Cage avoided pretty much all the contemporary BLM drivel strongly indicates that Marvel knows that in media where people actually pay money this stuff doesn't sell tickets.

Connor

I have a new guilty pleasure.

You're full of surprises.

David

You’re full of surprises.

After hours of being immersed in the inflated micro-dramas of campus radicals, it’s a kind of mental detox. Comfort TV, of a sort. And it’s pleasing to see demoralised businesses turned around.

I have worse vices.

WTP

You're full of surprises.

Was thinking similar. For whatever reason, I presumed you to be more of a city guy but then car stuff pops up here moderately often. Not that the two are totally exclusive of each other...But to your pleasure of seeing demoralized businesses turn around, are you familiar with the US show The Profit?

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/08/14/the-profit-top-moments-that-made-us-cringe.html

I enjoy it whenever I run across it. I should make the effort to record it to fill my down time but I hadn’t seen it nor references to it in quite a while and kinda forgot about it. Then lately I’ve seen Marcus’s face on billboards and such, so it looks like they’re still making shows.

David

despite being kind of tepid and dull Luke Cage avoided pretty much all the contemporary BLM drivel

Glad to hear it. Though I’ve steered clear of the Marvel TV stuff. I like my escapism shiny, loud and big budget. I recently saw a few minutes of Inhumans and was mesmerised by how cheap and awful it looks. How can you make a show featuring a city on the Moon, a woman with telescopic prehensile hair, and a giant teleporting bulldog, and it still not be entertaining? Yet they found a way.

David

Was thinking similar.

The Other Half is the car enthusiast so I sort of got sucked into it, distractedly at first. But it’s grown on me. Not least as a mental palate cleanser.

David

are you familiar with the US show The Profit?

“This content is not available in your location.” So, no.

wtp

“This content is not available in your location.” So, no.

Heh...thought you guys' BBC were the only ones who played that game. It is on CNBC, sooo...don't know. Well, just as well for the link as I only looked at that specific one after I posted it and the clips have a certain PC segment/quality to them such that I should have picked something else...Anyway, if you find it pleasing to see demoralised businesses turned around, what this guy Marcus Lemonsomethinggreek does is he provides the capital, and more importantly, the business knowledge to small, usually family-owned businesses that at one time were successful but have lost their mojo for whatever reason. Usually it's a second generation thing or a family squabble or an unnoticed market shift. Sometimes, and he usually doesn't discover this until he gets somewhat involved, a drug or alcohol problem. Some of the businesses have a significant number of employees. I think one I saw had 50 people working for it. He doesn't do it as charity per se. He makes it clear (or at least for the couple dozen episodes that I have seen) that he is in it to make money and he must have control of the company to effect the necessary change.

Don't know if there's a way around the content availability problem but it's a great show if you're into that sort of thing. Here's the wiki link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Profit_(TV_series)

will

This is one of these.

Scroll down a ways and you can see the shop from "Open All Hours." G-g-g-g-granville, fetch yer cloth!

Hal

Tiangong-1: Chinese space station will crash to Earth within months

The Tiangong-1 or “Heavenly Palace” lab was launched in 2011 and described as a “potent political symbol” of China . . . in 2016, after months of speculation, Chinese officials confirmed they had lost control of the space station and it would crash to Earth in 2017 or 2018.

. . . said announcement made just in time for the big Chinese Communist gettogether to proclaim such . . . ah . . . glowing . . . results.

Daniel Ream

I like my escapism shiny, loud and big budget.

You can safely avoid the Defenders shows, then. I like them more often than not, Daredevil and Jessica Jones were extremely well done for what they are. But what they are is a kind of throwback to 1970's Death Wish style vigilante revenge melodrama. That doesn't sound like it's in your wheelhouse.

You may like The Great Wall, then, which despite starring Matt Damon was surprisingly fun.

I recently saw a few minutes of Inhumans and was mesmerised by how cheap and awful it looks.

They're trying to do MCU on a TV show budget. It reminded me a bit of Mutant X...

Inside word is that since MarDisVelNey can't get the rights to the X-Men back from Fox that they were trying to set up the Inhumans as their equivalent franchise, complete with all the persecution melodrama. So far it's not doing well.

Given the critical reviews of the last couple of Defenders shows, the Inhumans flop, and the profound indifference that the Justice League movie is now generating, I'm standing by my prediction that we've already hit peak superhero. When the most bankable properties are parodies of the genre, it's done.

jabrwok

Just saw a trailer today for a movie that apparently came out in 2015. The trailer looked amusing (though often enough the trailer is the best part of the movie), so I thought I'd mention it. If anyone has seen it, an opinion would be welcome.

What We Do In The Shadows

Daniel Ream

It's...all right. The core premise has been done, and better, by both the UK and US versions of Being Human and the indie film Netherbeast, Inc.

That said, if you've not seen any of those it's an amusing watch. They're clearly going for a deadpan Spinal Tap vibe.

David

Glenn Loury and John McWhorter discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates.

David

Tim Newman on the woes of the modern British man.

jabrwok

That said, if you've not seen any of those it's an amusing watch.

Thanks Daniel. I have not seen either of the two programs, but I work at a library, so the collection may see an expansion in that direction soon:-).

That said, is there any way to get typepad to notify commenters of responses to our comments? I only checked this thread on a whim as it appeared largely defunct.

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