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June 03, 2016

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R. Sherman

Regarding the two volume set, "The [No Spoilers]" mentioned, sadly, I found it quite derivative of another work published ten years ago by a then-six year old, which work contained the memorable line, "and then she went poo." It was also illustrated by the author's mischievous older brother.

I'm possession of the original, signed by the author, it having been bestowed upon me with much pomp by a certain first grade teacher during a particularly lively discussion about academic achievement.

jabrwok

The dicey moments were interesting. Good art, though often disturbing (the kids being smashed against the gate was unpleasant). Then I read the comment by "Chaos" who was so delighted about the girl throwing the guy down the stairs: "it really sticks it to the patriarchy!"

Will no one rid me of these meddlesome, virtue-signalling SJWs?

Regarding fart-man, I wonder what he ate?

And can vacuum-girl, who has demonstrated an impressive control of a staple household cleaning device, also know how to make a good sandwich?

As always, all very entertaining.

I don't recall whether it's been featured in these pages previously, but the cinematic masterpiece Kung Fury can now be seen in all it's 80s-inspired, low-res glory.

jabrwok

"And DOES vacuum-girl"...read twice, post once!

Simen Thoresen

A Chinese rap-song about Marx. With possible translation in the comments;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAKxtuLEqR8

-S

David

Morning, all.

Don’t try this at home.

David

When it’s felt necessary to have riot police on campus, to protect visitors and discourage violence and thuggery by your own students, maybe it’s time to rethink your university’s apparently neglected discipline policy, and your student intake, and possibly parts of the curriculum.

Hal

Not thinking things through, I fear.

Oh, sooner or later someone will get the point . . . several times over.

Tim Newman

More on the Figment "Arts" Project.

David

More on the Figment “Arts” Project.

Imagine my surprise. I’m sure their parents are terribly proud.

Tim Newman

"Angela" is the girl in the skeleton costume. I am fairly sure that most of her lifestyle is driven by a childish rebellion against her parents' expectations. What I've found so interesting about this past few months is that despite knowing about all this "arts" bullshit - largely thanks to your efforts in exposing it so regularly - I'd never actually met anyone involved in it and gotten to know them properly. I fear these people are *exactly* as you imagine them in person.

David

I fear these people are *exactly* as you imagine them in person.

The ones I’ve met have tended to be from fairly uniform socio-economic backgrounds and of an even more uniform psychological type. And the obligatory leftism has always sounded like an excuse.

Captain Nemo

Riot police on campus

I don't think I even need to click on the link. It's Milo again, isn't it?

Tim Newman

The ones I’ve met have tended to be from fairly uniform socio-economic backgrounds and of an even more uniform psychological type.

That's interesting, actually. Maybe I should have stuck around long enough to meet some of her New York friends. In hindsight I wish I'd kept my mouth shut and gone undercover for a while, I'm sure I would have gotten enough material to write a book and retire. She did once tell me that the great thing about Burning Man was the diversity of the people there, with everyone from hippies to corporate lawyers represented. I asked how many of them were openly Republican. Silence.

PiperPaul

More on the Figment “Arts” Project.

"Moron: The Figment Arts Project"

Mags

“The stench started masking the smell of their popular hickory-smoked ham.”

*Throws away ham sandwich bought for lunch*

David

In hindsight I wish I’d kept my mouth shut and gone undercover for a while,

Well, despite their pretensions of being destined to educate the rest of us by blowing our tiny bourgeois minds, I doubt there’s much of value they could teach you. Unless inadvertently, as a cautionary tale.

Tim Newman

I doubt there’s much of value they could teach you

It was an interesting exercise in trying to open my mind as wide as possible and try really, really hard not to be judgemental and to attempt to see another point of view. But in the end I came to the conclusion that she was either lying, deluded, or both and if I were to buy into any of this I would have to be deluded myself. It was a genuinely interesting mental exercise though, trying to see if I could pick a path of sense through this train-wreck.

David

and if I were to buy into any of this I would have to be deluded myself.

I’m not sure any of the people here could buy into it, however much they tried. And assuming you could, you might end up as one of the people who spend their evenings watching something like this, apparently unironically.

Joan

"The Opposition"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cTZb0zScwE

David

“The Opposition”

Heh. Inevitable.

CJ Nerd

David, thank you for running this blog and helping expose the idiocy out there.

I have a serious question for the community here.

I'm considering enrolling at the Open University for a science degree. Not social science, proper science, with waves, and particles, and facts, and maths, and no feelings or waffle.

I self-identify as white, male, straight and cisgendered. At some universities, it looks like I would have to denounce myself for this level of privilege.

I've been a bit put off by the stuff I read here. But I've twigged that, if I read a site devoted to documenting academic PC fruitloopery, then finding academic PC fruitloopery is only to be expected. Although I don't doubt that it's out there, it isn't necessarily everywhere.

I'm hoping I'd avoid this sort of stuff for two reasons. Firstly, because the OU is likely to attract people who are motivated to study, and secondly, because I suspect hard sciences are like Kryptonite to these people.

If I were to enroll, how much of this sort of stuff would I be opening myself up to?

David

If I were to enrol, how much of this sort of stuff would I be opening myself up to?

I don’t know much about the OU. I once knew someone who was doing an OU psychology degree and she mentioned how left-leaning assumptions were hard to miss, but that’s psychology. In my experience, people in the sciences, engineering, etc., tend to ignore the Angry Studies crowd, or look on them with an appropriate mix of bewilderment and disdain.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Riot police on campus. I don't think I even need to click on the link. It's Milo again, isn't it?

It wasn't, but in the same vein, Milo did point out, and I am paraphrasing, that leftists have been in control of universities for over 30 years, but we are now told they are hotbeds of rape, racism, intolerance, bigotry, and various other forms of hate and oppression, so perhaps they might want to look at what they are doing wrong.

Of course for that to happen, a leftist would have to admit that he, she, them, or xoze, were wrong, and the chances of that are about the same winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

David

Leftist editor at Vox incites violence, vandalism and thuggery.

Hedgehog

Not directly relevant to the Ephemera, but certainly in line with discussions that have taken place in these parts:

http://fredoneverything.org/college-then-and-now-letter-to-a-bright-young-woman/

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences (I use the latter term loosely)discovers that people are sexist when it comes to hurricanes.

Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations?...Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.

Well, the obvious solution would be to go back to giving them all female names.

Here is some hard hitting "science":

Estimates suggest that hurricanes kill more than 200 people in the United States annually, and severe hurricanes can cause fatalities in the thousands. As the global climate changes, the frequency and severity of such storms is expected to increase.

First, estimates may suggest anything, but there are actual numbers, for example, in all countries affected last year, 83 were killed, 14 in the US. Aside from Katrina in 2005, you have to go back to 1972 to go over 38, and 1969 to bust their"200 anually", so other than their fourth points of contact, I am not at all sure from whence they pulled that number.

Regarding the second "point", this lot have been preaching for years that gorebull warming leads to hurricanes increasing in number and intensity, whereas for the last 11 years, there has been dearth of anything over Cat 3 making landfall in the US. It would be too hard to go to th freeking NOAA website and look this stuff up, I guess.

The author affiliations - you will be gobsmacked:

Department of Business Administration

Department of Psychology, Institute of Communications Research, and Survey Research Laboratory

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

I am not sure how this malarkey gets published, but the whole load of bollocks is at the first link if you are feeling masochistic.

R. Sherman

@ Hedgehog

Marvelous link. I also noted with some amusement, that beneath the final "Love, Uncle Rick" was an advert for a university's online education program. "Thirty-five 'Edu' (sic) Degrees To Choose From Accredited And Flexible. Learn More."

Hedgehog

@ R. Sherman: The "artificial intelligence" (using the concept rather loosely) that goes into the placement of online ads may not be fully developed yet. Or maybe it is. Just wondering if the "Learn more" means "Learn more about our programs" or if it really is intended to convey "Learn more than you would by attending one of those educational institutions about which Uncle Rick seems to be so incensed."

WTP

Heh...AI and ads...don't recall exactly where/what I was reading today but it had some not positive things to say about Bill Clinton and to some extent HRC's involvement in a marginal for profit university. At the top of the web page was an "I'm with Her" ad for the hildabeast. I think it was WaPo. There was some soft pedaling of the story but it was not a story the Clintons would want to hear much about.

R. Sherman

@Hedgehog

The sad thing is, the university in quo was Mizzou, my alma mater, as well as my long-suffering spouse's. Together, we have six degrees from same. The proverbial cold day in hell will appear before it gets another dime of my money or my youngest darkens the door of its formerly "hallowed" halls.

dan

CJ Nerd: I don't think it would be an issue at all. Except if you join Facebook groups for the students or subject, that will usually be full of crap. I don't have a FB account for that reason. I've never encountered that in a science degree.

Hal

I don't write news headlines, I just read 'em. Currently at the top of the Google news feeds, I find the following:

The Latest: Art Exhibit on Lampedusa Tackles Migrant Crisis
New York Times
Italy's president has opened a temporary exhibit of artworks on the island of Lampedusa to promote dialogue about the migrant crisis.

Migrant crisis: Hundreds rescued from boat off Crete
BBC News

Migrant crisis: Bodies wash ashore in Libya; hundreds missing off Greece
CNN

From Greece: Hundreds missing as migrant boat capsizes off Greece
Kathimerini

Opinion:104 migrant bodies washed up on Libyan beach
Jamaica Observer

One is rather reminded of the basic message of the Flower Sermon.

In turn, as actual news outlets continue to present the actual news, perhaps an ideal exhibit could consist of dead migrants, where of course the NYT would show appropriate involvement by sending a reviewer.

Liz

Leftist editor at Vox incites violence, vandalism and thuggery.

Can we call them Brownshirts yet?

David

Can we call them Brownshirts yet?

As Ace puts it, “Another bout of leftist rioting and personal violence in service of suppressing a political rally - this one apparently undertaken with the connivance and permission of the police, the agents of the state itself, and the support of the mayor… Something ugly, dangerous, and thoroughly anti-American happened last night.” Needless to say, the appeal of, say, a physical border and an end to illegal immigration isn’t exactly undermined by scenes like this and behaviour like this - by the migrants in question and their leftist cheerleaders.

[ Added: ]

More here.

Hedgehog

@ R. Sherman: 6 degrees from Mizzou? That'd be 6 degrees of separation, I gather?

Hedgehog

scenes like this and behaviour like this

What we see in the US is eerily reminiscent of the Weimar Republic, although so far without the right-wing shock troops. It is troubling that we see more and more comments about the end of democracy. See, for example http://journalofamericangreatness.blogspot.com/

The idea that a democracy eventually collapses under the weight of its contradictions and that it inevitably descends into Caesarism is of course not new, but twenty years ago nobody would have made this argument with any seriousness about the USA.

I wonder if what we see in the political realm is yet another aspect of what Franklin and David are discussing in the realm of the arts, albeit a rather more dangerous one. See also Democracy is Killing Art in the "Cargo Culture, Reheated" thread.

David

It is troubling that we see more and more comments about the end of democracy

At risk of sounding more pessimistic than I actually am, the kind of civilisation we tend to take for granted is not a default state or, I think, particularly stable. For instance, it isn’t clear to me to what extent a modern first-world democracy can survive large demographic changes of the types under way if the changes keep favouring a low-skill, lower-IQ, difficult-to-employ, dependency-prone population.

WTP

twenty years ago nobody would have made this argument with any seriousness about the USA.

Well, I didn't make THAT argument 20 years ago, but I did make similar arguments about PC, the MSM, and where university "education" was headed. The damage that is done by things as "silly" as arguing oral sex isn't sex, that dropping ones pants and asking a subordinate employee to touch "it" did not constitute sexual harassment but complementing a female coworker on how nice she looks does. That the country was headed down a bad, bad road was foreseeable. It's just that "Serious" people did not concern themselves with such things. One indication as to whether or not you were a "serious" person was whether or not you concerned yourself with such things.

PiperPaul

OT, couldn't resist: Harambe The Gorilla Mauled By Cecil The Lion In Animal Heaven.

John Brady

If I were to enroll, how much of this sort of stuff would I be opening myself up to?

CJ, I'll share my own experiences with the OU.

I tried an OU course a few years ago - introduction to social studies. Admittedly, this was always likely to be left-leaning, but the experience was very depressing. They provided their own OU textbook for the course, and marks were not awarded for quoting material outside of the course. In other words, this left the lecturers free to impose their own spin on the subject, with no corrective external references.

For instance, they pushed the view that economics was a zero-sum game; that supermarkets were evil (and laughably, that people who shopped in farmer's market were no longer consumers - they were in a different ethical category), and that the global footprint of humanity was using up 1.4 planet earths per year. This latter point became part of an exam question and no counter-points were offered.

The online forums were there to reinforce the material. My attempts to question the material were ignored by the tutors. Those who praised the material received pats on the head. I joined the course in the hope of learning something new; instead it was obvious that the tutors new little beyond Guardian-level talking points and were not open to challenge.

I found the experience depressing, and quickly dropped out.

It's possible that the real science courses have higher standards, but the big question is: are they using standard academic textbooks, or have they created their own bowdlerised versions? If the latter, I would steer well clear.

Fred the Fourth

@ Hedgehog: 1974 - Imagine my surprise, as an entering freshman at UC Berkeley, majoring in Physics, to find that fully HALF of the incoming class were not eligible for English 1A, but were instead required to take English P (as in Preparatory). The most popular major by far was Psychology. There were so few declared undergraduate Physics majors that 1) we were not even on the list published by the Daily Californian paper,and 2) I got a key to the Graduate Student's lounge. As a Freshman.
I had been admitted to UCB despite stating, in my application, that I really wanted to go to Cal Tech but could not afford it. I guess the department was hard up for new blood. The damn PHYSICS department at UC BERKELEY. FFS.

R. Sherman

. . .[I]t isn’t clear to me to what extent a modern first-world democracy can survive large demographic changes of the types under way if the changes keep favouring a low-skill, lower-IQ, difficult-to-employ, dependency-prone population.

The problem is democracy without anything else. In a pure democracy the "dependency-prone" view the ballot box as their own personal ATM and there are an unlimited number of politicians willing to keep the ATM filled in order to maintain their own positions of power. The answer, of course, is limiting the right to vote to those who a) are citizens, b) work and c) pay taxes.

Hedgehog

the kind of civilisation we tend to take for granted is not a default state or, I think, particularly stable

I often make that argument in discussions with friends or colleagues, but then of course I am as pessimistic as I sound. Just a cursory glance at history ought to be sufficient to convince anybody of the accuracy of that assessment. There have been many civilizations, some of them extremely evolved, that have disappeared in the blink of an eye. Rome is estimated to have had over one million inhabitants in the first century AD. After the Gothic War in the 6th century the population dropped to 30,000, and the rest of the country wasn't that much better off. And talking about a low-skill, lower-IQ, difficult-to-employ, dependency-prone population, that is pretty much what Rome found itself with when the Goths barged in. Except, possibly, for the dependency-prone part. Although of course Rome was already a welfare state of sorts, with free distributions of grain to the urban population.

I like to tweak my Manhattan-dwelling acquaintances with a question along the lines of, "How long do you think civil order will be maintained if there is, say, a minor cataclysm that causes a widespread black-out and that prevents the delivery of food to the supermarkets and bodegas of the city?"

Hedgehog

@ Fred the Fourth: If that happened in 1974, I can only say that things went to pot pretty fast after J. Robert Oppenheimer passed away.

As an aside, I am currently reading Kip Thorne's Black Holes & Time Warps (a cracking good read, by the way), and I was amused to find out that [t]he Caltech nuclear physicists were a more rowdy bunch than Oppenheimer's entourage, and that Hartland Snyder, who, along with Oppenheimer, performed the calculations that showed that an imploding star massive enough to not end up as a white dwarf or as a neutron star had to end up as a black hole, actually fit right in in Pasadena at Caltech. So, Fred, was that also the reason for your preference for Caltech?

Hedgehog

One indication as to whether or not you were a "serious" person was whether or not you concerned yourself with such things.

Well, yes. In the financial industry, where I happen to work, nobody ever seems to worry about a trading strategy when it appears to be making money. It's only when there are losses that people start to look at the details. You could say that nobody wants to look too closely at a money-making strategy for fear that it might not, after all, be real. Which, of course, allows fraudsters such as Bernie Madoff to ply their trade.

Southpaw

Re: American malls 1989 -- Why oh why did I give my Members Only jacket to charity?

Podski

@CJ Nerd: with regard to the OU, I can offer the following "insights"...

I did an arts degree with them about 20 years ago. There was a fair bit of lefty bias in the materials, but it wasn't overwhelming. My tutors didn't particularly push that line (or any other), and I was free to argue from a non-left angle and still receive high marks.

My partner did an OU degree in Physics and Maths about 10 years ago. In the first course (S103?) there was a focus on global warming, with no apparent questioning of the so-called consensus. But, after that, very little bias of any type.

A friend has just started an OU degree in the social sciences. The Marxism is pervasive.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile in New Zealand, important research at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch reaches the horrifying conclusion that Legos are becoming "...moderately or brutally violent."

Johnnydub

" The answer, of course, is limiting the right to vote to those who a) are citizens, b) work and c) pay taxes. "

The cry during the Boston Tea Party was "No taxation without representation" - why not "No representation without taxation"?

After all:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Alexis de Tocqueville.

David

Can we call them Brownshirts yet?

San José Police Department: “Arresting the thugs would have made them angrier, so we didn’t bother. We just watched them smash people in the face with bottles.”

I’m paraphrasing, but only just.

Geezer

The answer, of course, is limiting the right to vote to those who a) are citizens, b) work and c) pay taxes.

I am a citizen, and I pay taxes, but I'm retired, so I don't "work." Should I have lost the right to vote when I retired?

R. Sherman

@Geezer

But you're retired from something. I've no problem with people who've worked all their lives and built a retirement nest egg. I object to people who've not contributed to society but have a long, long history of merely sucking at the teat of public largess.

jabrwok

sucking at the teat of public largess

This is where it gets sticky. I'd happily include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, and all the other wealth-transfer schema out there under the heading of "public largess", and thereby disenfranchising. Unfortunately, the current recipients of the monies taken out of my paycheck get to vote, and they'd get enough sympathy from low-info-voters who believe one is entitled to another person's money, that those recipients aren't going to be disenfranchised, short of war or a new Dark Age anyway.

Hopefully it'll all fall apart after I die or emigrate to Mars.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

I'd happily include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, and all the other wealth-transfer schema out there under the heading of "public largess", and thereby disenfranchising.

You might want to rethink that a bit, sooner of later, even if you have worked your whole life, you will get Socialist Security, though likely less than you paid in if you are moderately successful. When you hit 65 you are are automatically getting sucked into the Medicare Part A business, and pretty much forced into the Part B crap unless you either blow it off or are fortunate enough to have married someone at least 30 years younger with killer private insurance. OTOH, if you are not that fortunate, and you go with Part B, despite having had to pay into the system your whole life, you get to pay even more if you have been smart enough to plan to have a decent retirement income as Part B costs increases with income.

It is a system so Byzantine only a congress of lawyers could have thought it up. Regardless, being disenfranchised for something one is compelled to participate in is a bad idea, but I can get behind the Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, EITC, and inversely means tested Socialist Security - if you haven't paid in, then you get no vote.

jabrwok

You might want to rethink that a bit.

Yeah, well, were it up to me, all those programs would be eliminated and I would be free to keep my entire paycheck (as would everyone else who works for a living). I don't expect the systems to last long enough to allow me to sponge off the next generation, so at this point I'd settle for just keeping my money henceforth. Of course I won't be given that option either:-(.

Oh well, there's always Aaron Clarey's retirement plan.

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