In Space No-One Can Hear You Scream

“Decolonizing” the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) could boost its chances of success, says science historian Rebecca Charbonneau.

From Scientific American, obviously.

You see,

Increasingly, SETI scientists are grappling with the disquieting notion that, much like their intellectual forebears, their search may somehow be undermined by biases they only dimly perceive—biases that could, for instance, be related to the misunderstanding and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups…

But of course. Some trajectories are, I guess, inevitable. As one might imagine, the author of the article, Camilo Garzón, is keen to signal his own modish sensitivities, and so the interview with Ms Charbonneau begins as it means to go on: 

“Decolonisation” seems to be a problematic term,

This prompts much rhetorical nodding, along with the news that space exploration is “a stand-in for encounters with Indigenous peoples.” Sadly, before this claim can be explored or tested in any way, we shift sideways in search of a point. Says Ms Charbonneau:

Continue reading "In Space No-One Can Hear You Scream" »


Not In Fact An Optimal Situation

It was, like, so awesome.” 

Or, “Woman with mental health problems craves validation from other people’s eight-year-olds, whom she manipulates, seemingly with impunity.”

Readers may wish to devise captions of their own. 

Update

Via the comments, and somewhat related, this illustration of ideological capture.  

And so, a woman who has been raped and is understandably uneasy about cross-dressing men venturing into female-only intimate spaces, including changing rooms, showers, and rape support groups, is patronised and scolded – at length, on her own doorstep, by a female police officer - for not believing that “trans women are women.” And the police officer, this rambling fool, the one doing the patronising, is the one who claims to be offended. On behalf of dysmorphic and autogynephile men. “You’ve got in your head that a trans woman is not a woman. You need to educate yourself,” says she.

In another context, it could pass for black comedy.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.


Friday Ephemera

Bubbling detected. || An abundance of ladybirds. || Singled out. || Monkey see, monkey do. || Mahi-mahi. || “It’s mango, don’t you like it?”  (h/t, Ben) || The shadow of the Moon. || Magic show of note. (h/t, Desert Rat) || Signage. (h/t, Perry) || Summon the worms. || Today’s word is uncrossable. || Kiss of life. || I foresee accessibility issues. || Steals car, kidnaps child, when caught invokes victimhood. || As cabin views go, it’s pretty decent, actually. || Treasuring the good times. || Hardcore teacher. || Two types of home security, exchanging looks. || Stealth tech in action. || He was sent to buy curtains. || That’s exactly how I would’ve done it. || How to enhance your viewing of vampire-romance movies. || And finally, via Paul Johnson, when the Space Age met the Stone Age, in 1964.

Oh, and a reminder that I now have a Twitter account.  


Only Doing It For The Betterment Of Us All

Time to revisit the world of “queer studies,” via the academic journal Qualitative Research:

I wanted to understand how my research participants experience sexual pleasure when reading shota, a Japanese genre of self-published erotic comics that features young boy characters. I therefore started reading the comics in the same way as my research participants had told me that they did it: while masturbating.

Hey, I’m just reading what it says here.

In this research note, I will recount how I set up an experimental method of masturbating to shota comics, and how this participant observation of my own desire not only gave me a more embodied understanding of the topic for my research but also made me think about loneliness and ways to combat it as driving forces of the culture of self-published erotic comics.

It’s embodied, you see. And before you go getting any untoward ideas, it’s all being done selflessly, high-mindedly, for the greater good:

Untangling this largely unresearched knot of desires for fictional boy characters will give us a better understanding of human sexuality and provide a more solid basis for policymaking.

Continue reading "Only Doing It For The Betterment Of Us All" »


Elsewhere (312)

Anna Slatz on when an 80-year-old lady encounters the pointy end of transgender ideology:  

When [Julie] Jaman asked… why no signs had been posted informing women that males could potentially be in the locker rooms, she says she was told: “‘We post pride signs, and we assume that lets women know what to expect.’”

What is expected, it seems, is that women who are not entirely comfortable with dysmorphic men using ladies’ changing rooms and showers, and watching small girls undress, should simply pretend that it isn’t happening. As is the custom, a kind of farce ensues, including accusations of “hatred,” bigotry, and being “unscientific.”  

Heather Mac Donald on the woke capture, and corruption, of medicine:

Medical schools and medical societies are discarding traditional standards of merit in order to alter the demographic characteristics of their profession… Black students are not admitted into competitive residencies at the same rate as whites because their average [second year ‘Step One’] test scores are a standard deviation below those of whites. Step One has already been modified to try to shrink that gap; it now includes nonscience components such as “communication and interpersonal skills.” But the standard deviation in scores has persisted. In the world of antiracism, that persistence means only one thing: the test is to blame. It is Step One that, in the language of antiracism, “disadvantages” underrepresented minorities, not any lesser degree of medical knowledge…

Continue reading "Elsewhere (312)" »


Friday Ephemera

Guess he needed some attention around the back end. || He does this better than you do. || Not unstylish sea beastie. || Autonomous, unmanned beverage and snack car. || What do you keep in your drawers? || Delivery detected. || Why dogs don’t rule the… oh. (h/t, Perry) || Greetings, human. || Greenery of note. || Gothic mansion, Lancashire, needs a little work. || Kraftwerk being Kraftwerk, 1982. || Classy funeral do. || What concerns me, though, is the lack of toilet paper. || Middle-school teacher needs your help. || And in mining museum news. || Nightmare scenario. || Jar contents of note. || Meaty scenes. || Tokyo, 1935. || He’s “validating” himself. Other terms are available. || It’s like a Rorschach test. || At last, a flamethrower for kids. || And finally, his telekinetic shield proved somewhat inadequate.


After 15 Years, He Finally Cleaned The Place

Yes, a subtle layout overhaul. A light dusting. As is the way with such things, there may be one or two glitches to sort out, archived videos that need to be resized, etc. Do feel free to point them out. But overall, the blog should be more legible and responsive to a range of devices. Less squinting, I think.

Also, I now have a Twitter account. By all means follow me there. I mean, you wouldn’t want to miss anything, would you?

And because there’s always, but always, a catch…

It’s time to remind patrons that this rickety barge, on whose seating your arses rest, is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant a while longer, and remain ad-free, there’s an orange button below with which to monetise any love. Debit and credit cards are accepted. For those wishing to express their love regularly, there’s a monthly subscription option top right. And if one-click haste is called for, my PayPal.Me page can be found here. Additionally, any Amazon UK shopping done via this linkor for Amazon US via this link, or via the buttons top right, results in a small fee for your host at no extra cost to you. 

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last decade and a half, in over 3,000 posts and 150,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start - in particular, the end-of-year summaries, which convey the fullest flavour of what it is we do. A sort of blog concentrate. If you like what you find there… well, there’s lots more of that. If you can, do take a moment to poke through the discussion threads too. The posts are intended as starting points, not full stops, and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found. And do please join in.

As always, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company. 

Consider this an open thread. Share ye links and bicker.


Friday Ephemera

Smell it first. || Fortune favours the bold. || The thrill of cardboard. || Buzz Aldrin’s bits. || Meat in a tube. || One-minute pantomime. More, should you want it. || When women conspire. (h/t, Tim) || Counsel sought. (h/t, Perry) || His costume is better than yours. || The machine uprising, day 4. || With fractions of a wheel. || Jailhouse Rock. || Billie Jean. || Lucky or unlucky? || Fierce animal death-match. || Naptime detected. || Incoming. || Incoming 2. || Not the best place to lose a shoe. || Best not to, methinks. Apparently, it was considered “extremely erotic.” || Assorted Victorian exercise machines. || Mouse pad detected. || Taking dad to the cleaners. || And finally, a moment of manly triumph.


Reheated (70)

As I’m a little busy, more items from the archives.

How Dare You Not Defer To My Lack Of Self-Possession.

A “queer person and educator” is asked not to swear and scream in the workplace. Loud outrage ensues.

Objections to being shouted at, and sworn at, are framed with great haste as a sign of complicity in oppression: “Tone-policing is rooted in colonialism and white supremacy,” we’re told. In short, then, when a suitably black or gay person shouts at you, you “need to be quiet and listen” - and by implication, you should promptly defer, however wrong or ridiculous, or nakedly opportunist, the shouting person may be. You must “validate” their rage, and any incoherence, with lots of silent nodding, before rolling submissively onto your back. Because, being members of a Designated Victim Group, even if irrelevant or based on nothing whatsoever, they matter, and clearly, you don’t. What with all that “privilege” you apparently have. And because reciprocal courtesies just ain’t woke. It’s the progressive pecking order. Know your place. 

You’re A Monster, Just Admit It.

If you aren’t keen to become fat, activist William Hornby thinks you must be racist.

Mr Hornby is, of course, “raising awareness,” a mission that entails steering his followers to a Fat Liberation Syllabus For Revolutionary Leftists, where we learn that, “Fat liberation is a radical anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-state movement that was started by fat Black and Brown disabled queer and trans people.” And where we’re told, quite emphatically, that a reluctance to become fat is “intrinsically entangled with white supremacy, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and capitalism.” And therefore, obviously, really, really bad. The goal, then, for all chubby-and-enlightened people, is to “abolish capitalism and settler colonial states like the US,” along with “abolishing prisons and police,” and dismantling the “fatphobic logic of productivity, discipline, and personal responsibility.” One can only hope that this revolutionary project doesn’t involve stairs or significant exertion.  

It Says ‘Poison’ In Large Red Letters

A reminder that the absurd and the sinister aren’t mutually exclusive.

Continue reading "Reheated (70)" »


Friday Ephemera

It’s a lot to take in. || A miscalculation occurred. || Not ideal, really. || A light snack, owl style. || Little white lie brings many tips. || First gurgle. || “Children realise early on that the fit between forefinger and nostril is pretty good.” || She helpfully has her pronouns tattooed on her face. || Or perhaps you’d prefer dining option C…? || The progressive retail experience, parts 438 and 439. || The progressive retail experience, interrupted version. || Topple “white supremacy” with lettuce, only $58. || Go on, take one for the team. || Attitude detected. || Why spiders don’t rule the Earth. || Typo of note. || Parenting. || Little helper. || A project for the weekend. || And finally, he does this better than you do.


Reheated (69)

For newcomers and the nostalgic, more items from the archives:

Our Betters In Distress.  

At the University of York, scenes of theatrical fretting.

Readers may note that the agonising – in which any depiction of a monkey immediately conjures thoughts of black people - does rather speak to the weirdly dogmatic assumptions of the agonised, rather than the object being agonised about, or how said object is generally understood. It must be those intersectional lenses we hear so much about. 

Our Betters Victorious, But Still Unhappy.  

Los Angeles Times columnist has considerate neighbours and is therefore, naturally, outraged.

As readers may be a little confused by the air of displeasure, I should point out that no history of neighbourly rancour is offered as an excuse – no disputes over hedges or noisy pets. Nothing of that sort is mentioned at all. Ms Heffernan’s neighbours are, it seems, to be frowned upon, indeed despised, in print, in a newspaper they may well read, simply for failing to vote for Mr Biden.

Modern Love

If it wasn’t complicated and unsatisfying, everyone would do it.

To illustrate this terribly progressive lifestyle arrangement, we’re introduced to a Brooklynite comedian and podcaster named Billy, his girlfriend Megan, and his girlfriend Megan’s other boyfriend Kyle.

Land Of The Before Times

An attempt is made to glamorise a fashionably radical hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Continue reading "Reheated (69)" »


Miracle Occurs, Authorities Confounded

Two prisoners at New Jersey’s only women’s prison have become pregnant after having sex with a transgender inmate. The women had engaged in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” the state’s department of corrections told NJ.com. They were being held at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility at Union Township, about 16 miles west of New York City. The transgender prisoner, Demi Minor, 27, who is serving 30 years for manslaughter, has been moved to another prison for young adults.

Clearly, dad material.

As a result of the pregnancies, the New Jersey Corrections Department said it was currently reviewing the policy for housing transgender incarcerated persons with the intention of “implementing minor modifications.”

Maybe we’re the ones in the mirror universe, where everything is slightly askew.

Via Darleen in the comments.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.