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July 2017

Friday Ephemera

Act casual, say nothing. || Moonshiner’s cow shoe. || Meanwhile, in Scotland, life goes on as normal. (h/t, Holborn) || I suspect these are bigger than yours. (h/t, Pogonip) || Hey, it’s a job. || Ideal for peeling grapes and then sewing them back in their skins, the Da Vinci robotic surgical system. || Renting pandas. || Chimney pots. || Where did all the sperm go? || Why parents rarely want their children to be artists, part 19. (h/t, Stephen) || This. (h/t, Julia) || That. || Gusty. || Going rogue. || Girth, thickness and ellipticity: On the shapes of eggs. || “The germs which are in the mouth have spoken to a child!” (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || Tristan goes exploring. || Roman roads of Britain. || Ice fishing basics. || Da Vinci’s notebooks. || Sequel of note. || And finally, how to attract a crowd.

Elsewhere (241)

Ben Sixsmith finds another Guardian writer with a spiteful confiscation fetish: 

What I found most unpleasant in [Abi] Wilkinson’s article [advocating a 100% inheritance tax] is her acceptance that there could be “a small allowance for objects of sentimental value.” It brought the reality of the idea home. Imagine relatives being forced to beg to keep their family heirlooms. Your granddad’s books? Well, okay. It’s not as if they’re first editions. Your mother’s piano? Sorry, pal. Too big for this allowance. Your grandmother’s house? Forget it. We’re selling it off.

[ Added: ] Ms Wilkinson responds to her critics

Michael Aaron on the mental contortions of being “woke,” and why they spread: 

How could it be possible that so many people, large cohorts of students, and indeed entire academic disciplines, are so bamboozled into believing much of postmodernist rhetoric, including that science is a symbol of the patriarchy (you’ve got to click on the link, the title is “Science: A masculine disorder?”) and that the concept of health is merely another tool of Western colonial oppression?

Lee Jussim on the bias of assuming unfair “gender bias”: 

The societal push to equalise gender distributions may be deeply dysfunctional, because it can succeed only by having the perverse effect of pushing people into fields they do not prefer. Of course, on moral grounds, we want to ensure that all people have equal opportunities to enter any particular career. But if there are bona fide gender differences in preferences and interests, equal opportunities may never translate into equal outcomes.

And Shannon Spada on political asymmetries:

A recent poll conducted by Pew Research Centre produced results suggesting… that Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to say that it would “strain” their relationship to learn that a friend had voted for the other party’s candidate. Among all respondents (not just college students), 35 percent of Democrats said that a friend voting for Donald Trump would strain their friendship, while only 13 percent of Republicans said that a friend voting for Hillary Clinton would have the same effect.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

When Being “Woke” Is Bad For You

Putting security tags on items that are frequently stolen is now “openly racist,” apparently, and “quite evil.”

As with an earlier example, note how the pious, “woke” approach is to howl at the effect, in public, ostentatiously, while carefully ignoring the cause. And so the politically corrected line of thinking stops abruptly, prematurely, in order to avoid arriving at a more probable, but unthinkable, conclusion. It’s a pretty good illustration of how “social justice” posturing so often inhibits realism by pre-emptively disallowing certain, fairly obvious inferences and observations. The range of possibilities one is allowed to consider before rushing to Mount Umbrage is dogmatically reduced. Resulting in a person who’s learned, with some effort, to be quite stupid.

Friday Ephemera

This is one of these. // Attention, all fashion-conscious gentlemen. (h/t, Julia) // Why people get dashcams. // Where cash is (nearly) obsolete. // Students on socialism. // Lab-grown capillaries. // Lesbians, 1965. // Lauv. // On colour in film. // Fish farms, from above. // Seen from below. (h/t, Damian) // A brief history of cellophane. // Deconstructed cow. // An archive of vintage Galaxy magazines. // And one of Amazing Stories. // Tag is a pro sport. // Something error happen. // “Maintenance on this track has been deferred for a long time.” // “When she was seen two weeks after… her eyes felt a lot more comfortable.” // Chopsticks of note. // Two for the price of one. // I do like the planes. // And finally, via Elephants Gerald and probably best with subtitles, Song of Bolo.

The Small Matter Of The Bar Tab

Not too long ago, we were discussing a survey of the most aggravating forms of online advertising, from modal windows that slide in and obstruct whatever you’re reading just as you’re getting immersed, to the unspeakable evil of auto-play videos that even when manually paused still follow you around the page, as if intent on degrading the quality of your stay. As noted at the time,

I’m sometimes approached by small agencies that want to clutter this place up with apparently random, low-rent advertising. So far, none of the products – insofar as I’d have any say in what they are – seem likely to entice the kind of people that I imagine visit this blog. It’s just ugly visual noise that would bog down the site. You’re all welcome to bear this in mind - my heroic high-mindedness - next time I do a fundraiser.

Well, heavens. Here we are.

And so, patrons are reminded that this rickety barge is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant for a while longer, 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 left. Additionally, any Amazon shopping done via this link or the search widget top right, or for Amazon US via this link, 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 in over 2,000 posts and 65,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start. 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.

Again, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company. 

Elsewhere (240)

Janice Fiamengo on ‘poor me’ feminism: 

Yes, [the party invitation] is crude, in a Happy Days sort of way, but the fact that such a tame and entirely non-threatening bit of verse doggerel would inspire such Olympic-sized hyperventilating outrage shows us that American college campuses are the exact opposite of “rape cultures.” They are places where even the slightest hint of male sexual bravado is thunderously denounced by everybody breathing.

And wait for the tearful account of being oppressed and imperilled by toilet facilities in the Arctic. It’s what’s keeping women out of STEM, apparently.

Toni Airaksinen on the priorities of academic feminists:

In a recent academic journal article, two feminist professors claim that citing sources in scholarly articles contributes to “white heteromasculinity.” Rutgers University professor Carrie Mott and University of Waterloo professor Daniel Cockayne advance the claim in an article published last month in the Feminist Journal of Geography, but also suggest that citation can serve as “a feminist and anti-racist technology of resistance” if references are chosen with the explicit intent of promoting “those authors and voices we want to carry forward.” The authors say that “white men tend to be cited in much higher numbers than people from other backgrounds,” but dismiss the idea that this is due to the relative preponderance of white male geographers.

And Andrea Vacchiano on the cost of all that racial scolding and denunciation of privilege: 

A sheet compiling the salaries of the top diversity administrators at 43 of America’s top public universities finds that virtually all are paid at least $100,000, with some going well beyond $300,000. The average of $175,088 per year is more than three times the average American’s salary of $44,980. The lowest salary identified by Campus Reform is $83,237, still almost twice as much as the average American salary. A 2016 report by American Association of University Professors found that the average professor salary across ranks was $79,424. In one example, an administrator at Rutgers University named Jorge Schement, vice chancellor of the office of diversity and inclusion, made $253,262 in 2016, while most faculty at Rutgers in 2015 made less than $50,000 a year.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Mother’s Milk

Glenn Reynolds responds to what I can only describe as an example of malevolent feminism:

The quality men you want don’t want an angry feminist such as yourself, who’s disloyal even to her own sons. Why would they?

If you think that sounds unkind, see for yourself.


Added via the comments, a brief summary: 

Continue reading "Mother’s Milk" »

Friday Ephemera

She’s a big girl. // He’s a big girl. // Vertical exercise bike. // The world’s longest running lab experiment, complete with gripping live feed. // Maglev self-levelling elevator goes up and down, also sideways and diagonally. // Cheap old houses. TLC not included. // Looking for lodgers? // Homeland of tea. // Yes, but is the coffee any good? // A dossier of monsters. // The squid and the whale. // I’m pretty sure he does this better than you do. // Oh, what are the humans doing now? // No, after you. // Pea salad. // Pecking order. // “Just don’t provoke them,” he reassured. (h/t, Julia) // A collection of period Maoist posters. // “Sometimes they can act like a solid.” // At last, your very own private island. // And finally, rather emphatically, there may be some softening of the metal.

That Unreal Communism

Oh yeah, “That wasn’t real communism.” We’ve seen a great example of that in Venezuela, where they put everybody on a kind of weight-loss plan that’s made the average citizen lose 20 lbs. Everyone’s starving in Venezuela. It’s like, “Hey, look – another example of what wasn’t real communism.” When someone says, “That wasn’t real communism,” here’s what it means: “I am so narcissistic and arrogant, and so convinced of the rightness of my ideology and my moral purity, that if I was the dictator of a communist state, the utopia would have come in as promised.” That’s what it means. So whenever anyone says that, you think, “Oh boy, I’ve got your number now. I know what you think of yourself.”  

Jordan Peterson.


And let’s not forget this:

A couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.

As noted previously, the left’s self-imagined radicals have little to gain from successful, independent people. Because success and independence – independence of them – makes you the enemy.  

Elsewhere (239)

Uri Harris on the ideological hegemony of the social sciences: 

[In a survey of the political preferences of social psychologists,] there were almost as many people who chose the furthest possible point to the left as there were who chose all the conservative points, the centre-point and the most moderate left-of-centre point combined… People that freely self-identify as far-left in the abstract, in other words irrespective of specific political issues, seem to me to be signalling something: that they are committed to an ideology. The fact that such a large portion of the most influential people in academic social psychology do so suggests that this ideology is entrenched in their field.

Which in turn suggests that what they’re actually doing may not in fact be science.

Franklin Einspruch on free speech and the prattle of Lindy West: 

West possesses a mysterious gift of psychic progressivism that lets her see into the hearts of men and unearth the real intentions behind their stated ones. Or so it would seem. These men are only pretending to care about freedom of speech, for example. They really want to harass marginalised people for having opinions… “They’re weaponising free speech to maintain their cultural dominance,” she says, obsequiously quoting Anita Sarkeesian, another psychic progressive. That flushing noise you hear is the sound of productive dialogue disappearing into the rhetorical toilet. Identitarians like West have never grasped that it is impossible to found a good-faith discussion on bad-faith premises such as these… The irony of [West’s] essay is that its main point – that all this defence of free speech is really about deflecting criticism – is coming out of a camp of left-identitarianism that spent much of the last decade answering criticism with charges of bigotry.

When not deliberately knocking sleeping passengers with her in-flight luggage and boasting about it in articles for feminist publications, and then complaining that no-one wants to sit next to her on a plane, Ms West, a “fat activist,” shares videos of herself eating biscuits. 

And Ace’s CBD on the obliviousness of the protesting class:

At the Impeach Trump March in Chicago 7/2/17, a group of protesters applaud a speech comprised almost entirely of Adolf Hitler quotes given by Shad Daley. This was 20 seconds after saying they need to fight fascism. After the speech, the organising member of was desperate to get Shad more involved.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.