David Thompson


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February 12, 2013



I realise that this is a 'cheap-shot' dig at Ms Lucas but I do find myself asking whether 'demand management' will apply to her?

Is it a case of 'to each according to their self worth'?

John D

The result - and almost certainly the intention - of their study is to make people believe that fewer people died...as a result of minimum pricing

And the BBC laps it up. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21358995


The relationship between price demand and supply is so immutable that governments who meddle only ensure a shortage (and prohibition only ensures a shortage of following the law).

the wolf

For example, he might take the fact that the Federal debt in the US will expand exponentially to mean that, within a few short years, the entire US economy will consist of debt and nothing else. The US taxpayer will be crushed under the weight of debt.



Bingo! Dalrymple: "[Ehrlich's] belief in the end of the world precedes his belief in any particular cause of it."


“Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the [twentieth] century. (The inability to forecast exactly which one -- whether plague, famine, the poisoning of the oceans, drastic climatic change, or some disaster entirely unforeseen -- is hardly grounds for complacency.)”

John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, essay ‘What We Must Do, and the Cost of Failure’, in Holdren and Ehrlich, ‘Global Ecology’ (1971), p. 279



And his belief in the imminence of each new catastrophe doesn’t appear to be shaken by the number of times he’s been wrong, or by the scale of each new error.


Oh, while I remember, this may amuse.

It’s one of these.

Bandit 1

I wish I hadn't clicked on those links, David.

I wish I had the privilege that women have.

Double sigh. :(

Bandit 1

Oh, and the privilege of well-to-do kids who get to go to Oxford and piss about.

Triple sigh!


Oh, while I remember, this may amuse.

It's one of those modern relationships, then?


Aaagh. Comments not working....


Aaagh. Comments not working....

It’s some kind of TypePad meltdown; nothing to do with me. Couldn’t post my own comments on my own blog. Imagine the indignity.

I wish I hadn’t clicked on those links, David.

Oh, you should always click on my links. Ideally in a public place with lots of people watching.

It’s one of those modern relationships, then?

Hey, I’m not judging; I’m just putting it out there. Every day should have at least one surprise.


Oh, while I remember, this may amuse.

Yes I bet students at Oxford can't swing a cat for all that oppressive Patriarchy. (Don't they feel even a little bit stupid using that word?)

Chris S.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/feb/11/dc-comics-homophobic-writer-superman Apparently one of the greatest science fiction writers in decades shouldn't be allowed to write comics (or estensibly anything) else because he opposes gay marriage.


The one about strong female characters in fiction. I have the same complaint, except I find our culture lacks strong father characters. The best father in fiction I can think of is Homer Simpson. Any others?


Chris S, I once met someone who told me in all seriousness that they could only listen to politics in stand up comedy if the comedian matched their own leftwing politics. I particularly love the irony of a group called 'Geek's Out' calling Card 'weird'. And I thought these people were against bullying!


I have the same complaint, except I find our culture lacks strong father characters.

Tony Soprano?

(Well, he is strong.)

Col. Milquetoast

While watching this 1988 documentary on the Margaret Mead/Derek Freeman Samoa controversy I was struck by this bit explaining how the controversy was really about other people being political (that is, the wrong kind of political) :


at 3:31
"This came at a time when there was a backlash on cultural determinism – or explaining things in terms of environment – in this country. It was a political backlash. Out comes this book which supports a right wing political backlash! And gives reason why, in fact, we should be following biologically based national policies. So, that's extremely threatening. I'm not sure he was aware of that. That he was used or could have been used if his book had sold." – Laura Nader, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley

Does she realize how she sounds or is that the point?


"Oh, while I remember, this may amuse."


Here's some alternatives to the "I need feminism because..." drippiness...



Re: Fabian Tassano and kneejerk emotionalism, here's what I regularly see in my education classes for pre-service and in-service public(i.e., US "state") high school teachers. While college is certainly a problem, the rot starts much earlier:

-Since the most serious problem has been identified as indifference, the most important thing you can do as a teacher is to "engage" your students. Then, you at least have the hope that they'll retain something and be able to pass required exams.

-It is claimed that this is done best and most easily when information is presented in a fashion that is immediately "relevant" to the students' lives. (Observe that the immediacy is a key component, since if students could already see the future value of the skills they are being taught, there would be no need to bother with contrived carnival barking.)

-Since it's not clear how to make most high school topics immediately relevant to adolescents, several teachers opt for cheap emotionalism through personalized controversy. For example, illegal immigration from Latin America is an enormously controversial topic in the US, and it directly affects many children in the schools around my area. One US History teacher in my class proudly announced that by comparing the circumstances surrounding immigration laws from about 100 years ago with today's circumstances, she was able to "get [her students] fighting with each other; it was great!"
Similarly, the Science teachers said they often brought up climate change and other issues. Some even framed the matter as a class "debate", but it was fairly obvious that one side was supposed to end up as an embattled minority. So it of course is just a form of academic intimidation (cf. the "Privilege Walk" or "Race race" activities)instead of a serious model of group inquiry and rational disagreement in the discussion of alternatives. One could tell this was the case in those teachers' classes due to the open contempt expressed they expressed for the parents of students who disagreed with the accepted opinion.

-Attempts to question the ultimate value and/or unintended consequences of having students "fight" verbally with one another before they examine the facts of the issues, are roundly dismissed as ineffective (the old "studies show" canard, without actually citing any studies) or discouraging ("Don't you want them to want to learn???") or out-of-touch with the students' reality (usu. a veiled or overt accusation of racial/class insensitivity).


she was able to “get [her students] fighting with each other; it was great!”

Which may help explain the trend towards episodes like this.

Not exactly a model of intellectual enquiry, I grant you. But physical harassment, vandalism and chasing people off campus is all very emotional and therefore, um, relevant. Especially to thugs and would-be totalitarians. And note the participation of leftwing faculty. Setting the tone for a brighter, fluffier tomorrow.


Apologies to everyone whose comments failed to materialise over the last couple of days; apparently it was due to the TypePad spam filter having a fit of random hypersensitivity. For reasons that escape me, it blocked me too, which is sort of funny. Now.

If anyone still has trouble with their comments, do email me.

Dr Cromarty

So, not to put too fine a point on it, how is feminism going to make him feel manly about being bummed by his girlfriend?


"Here's some alternatives to the "I need feminism because...""

It wouldn't have been so bothersome but for the implied state of dependence in the opening three words: "I *need* feminism"? Rather than "I *support* feminism" or even "I am a feminist". When did it all become about people being answerable to a movement, rather than the movement being answerable to people?


Which may help explain the trend towards episodes like this.

It's now official. Leftwing academia is a freakshow.


It’s now official. Leftwing academia is a freakshow.

Quite a lot of it does seem to be irretrievably broken. And so we see Professor Altha Cravey, who likes to “theorize society” and encourage “progressive social change,” and whose chosen method is to shout down invited speakers whose arguments and facts she doesn’t like. Rather than engage with those arguments and facts and refute them if she can, she prevents them being aired at all, which saves her so much trouble. (It’s a fashionable tactic among people who tell us they “no longer need to listen.”) And if Cravey’s example encourages students to do the same, or to start smashing windows and making threats, or to literally chase people off campus, then it’s all in the name of feelings and “social justice.” So that’s okay then.

All that education has really opened their minds.

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