Friday Ephemera
Get Them While They’re Soft And Yielding (3)

Elsewhere (265)

Matthew Blackwell on empathy, asymmetries and “woke” hostility: 

[Jonathan] Haidt and his colleagues… sought to discover how well conservative and what Haidt terms ‘liberal’ (i.e., progressive) students understood one another by having them answer moral questions as they thought their political opponents would answer them. “The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse… Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives... and it goes a long way in explaining the different ways each side deals with opinions unlike their own. People get angry at what they don’t understand, and an all-progressive education ensures that they don’t understand.

For further illustration, see this and this. Or poke through just about anything here tagged “academia.”

S A Dance on the horrors and hokum of grad school humanities: 

I had never read Althusser’s Reading Capital and I had never read Marx’s Capital, which, perhaps, guaranteed my floundering in grad school given the pervasiveness of Marxist thought in the humanities… I went to graduate school because I found studying literature exhilarating and fulfilling. In my undergraduate honours thesis I analysed the significance of Herman Melville’s allusions to the Book of Job in Moby Dick. I wanted to do more of that: studying and understanding the great works of literature. Instead I was asked to understand how “The Althusserian ‘ideological interpellation’ designates the retroactive illusion of ‘always-already;’ the reverse of the ideological recognition is the misrecognition of the performative dimension.”

And Gad Saad on “toxic masculinity”: 

Think of the male archetype in romance novels, which is a literary form almost exclusively read by women. He is a tall prince and a neurosurgeon. He is a risk-taker who wrestles alligators and subdues them on his six-pack abs, and yet is sensitive enough to be tamed by the love of a good woman. This archetype is universally found in romance novels read by women in Egypt, Japan, and Bolivia… Most of the traits and behaviours that are likely found under the rubric of “toxic masculinity” are precisely those that most women find attractive in an ideal mate. This is not a manifestation of “antiquated stereotypes.” It is a reality that is as trivially obvious as the existence of gravity.

See also this short clip of Jordan Peterson discussing women’s preferences in pornography. 

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



If an artist or would-be artist is preoccupied with “disrupting” my “worldview” – if that’s the goal, the measure of their ambition – then there’s a very good chance that they aren’t doing their job…

Similarly with the so-called journalists who declare that their job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. No, your job is to report what happened that is of significance. Not to mention wtf happy people can’t be left alone. Journalists have repeated this mantra ad nausium for a generation or more and I have yet to hear anyone of significance express an objection.



Ed Bo

Perhaps someone could tell me what Britain thought of the Americas during the revolution, and vice-versa?

Geoffrey -- I don't think this fits neatly into the idealist/traditionalist dichotomy. I say this as a Yank who has read extensively on the period, but I don't really consider myself an expert. So this analysis is worth every penny you are paying for it...

As R. Sherman points out, the Americans considered themselves Englishmen, and would have been happy to return to the traditional arrangements that had existed until the 1750s. Unfortunately, the British debt incurred during the Seven Years War made this impossible.

On the other hand, it really was about the principles for the Americans -- most Birtons in power thought the Americans just didn't want to pay taxes. (Pitt the Younger was the only one who really understood the American mindset.)

So when the Parliament arranged a scheme that would actually save the Americans money on tea while still asserting Parliament's right to impose taxes unilaterally, they were dumbfounded by the Americans' violent reaction.

TheAmericans would have been easily satisfied by representation in Parliament, but that was a non-starter in Britain, mainly due to the much broader suffrage in America, due both to lower property requirements and the greater ease of obtaining them in America. From the British viewpoint, the rabble could vote in America.

The universalist rhetoric (all men are created equal, etc.) came much later, and of course got way ahead of the reality in a slave-owning society (as many Brits pointed out). But that actually was not key to the movement. The core issue was that "we're Englishmen, we have the rights of Englishmen, and you're treating us like Frenchman!"

I sometimes ask young people who complain about the hypocrisy of the Declaration of Independence if they think the world would be a better place today if the DoI had just asserted "the rights of Englishmen".

The key irony for me is how a movement that started as a desire to return to traditional arrangements turned into an idealistic invention of a new form of government and society.


Only when the chicken isn’t using them anymore.

Turk Turkleton

Amanda and another feminist, whose name I forget

That would be Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister/Shakesville. Last I heard of her, she was apparently aiming to be one of those people who need to have a wall of the house knocked down so they can be removed from the couch with a crane.

Funny enough, her blog was the first place I ever saw people clamoring for a "safe space" while practicing the performative histrionics that have become so commonplace now. I still have an incredulous email to my closest friend saved, dated June 10, 2009, linking to one of her posts for the purpose of sharing a "What fresh hell is this?" laugh. Ah, we were so naive back then!


But what does it mean to make progress in our knowledge of, say, English literature?

Preserving and passing down the experiences, imagination, and, where applicable, wisdom of those who came before us to those younger and less experienced than us - that is progress in teaching literature. That is one of the main points of written language itself. Instead they corrupt it, commit sacrilege upon it, and seek to turn the work of clearer minds, now gone from this world, into utter babble, for their own glorification.


Do David and Pogonip also throw away the chicken's heart and liver?

Eeek! It's hard enough to find chicken livers but I have yet to source the hearts.

(both go into raw cat food, but I love me some nice liver pate once in a while)


A lot of what people are doing when they insist that you cat doesn’t really love you and you must be fooling yourself is a kind of mansplaining

If a "mansplanation" is a faulty explanation of something you understand perfectly well, offered by someone who's convinced you're almost incapable of correct understanding due to imagined gender-related cognitive difficulties - and I think Amanda Marcotte would be comfortable with that definition...

...isn't the above quote offering one?


Do David and Pogonip also throw away the chicken's heart and liver?

Watch for their daring experimental film, "Bring Me the Heart of Foghorn Leghorn."


most Birtons in power thought the Americans just didn't want to pay taxes.

Ah, that explains the root of the problem: The reasonable Britons had been supplanted by cruel Birtons.


Making something beautiful is a much humbler ambition, compared to all this worldview disrupting, and generally much more difficult.


Ironically, a truly transgressive artist would make something beautiful, what with all the other "artists" producing their worldview-disrupting drek. How can these "artists" not notice that we are not living in Victorian England or 1950s America anymore. They're trying harder and harder to shock, but it's all been done already. Nothing is really that shocking anymore, except maybe stumbling across some truly beautiful public art.

Spiny Norman


That is one of the main points of written language itself. Instead they corrupt it, commit sacrilege upon it, and seek to turn the work of clearer minds, now gone from this world, into utter babble, for their own glorification.

The main thrust of Jeff Goldstein's Protein Wisdom blog, until it was hacked and destroyed. (I still don't understand the often nasty vitriol thrown his way by fellow (alleged) conservatives.)

Turk Turkleton

Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives

Oh, no, no, no. You see, conservatives are just prisoners of fear. If we can just help the poor, irrational things to feel safe from harm, they'll become liberals. It's science!


"(I still don't understand the often nasty vitriol thrown his way by fellow (alleged) conservatives.)"

Nor do I.



I believe it was a combo of jealousy of his writing skills and a resentment borne of embarrassment by "house conservatives" knowing they were exposed as selling off bits of their souls in exchange for being allowed at the Establishment Table.


Not sure about the hearts—if I remember I’ll look tomorrow when we go to the store—but chicken livers are readily available in midwestern chain groceries, and since several Jewish dishes use chicken livers, you should be able to get them in kosher markets as well. If that fails try an Asian grocery, preferably one run by Chinese people; the Chinese eat everything.



There's an Asian supermarket close by (I get my favorite Japanese curry there) so I'll check out the meat counter next time I go!


Cucumbers exist to be sliced thinly and served in a Hendricks gin martini.

Dr Cromarty

Peterson-related and ***very*** funny

Sam Duncan

Happy Commonwealth Day, everyone!

A Canadian subject of Her Majesty is refused temporary entry to the UK because of alleged racism, while Syrian jihadists who've been in the EU for ten minutes have the absolute right to come and live here. And objecting to this state of affairs constitutes “racism” in itself. Ain't life grand?


You know how people hereabouts denounce themselves and report voluntarily to the correction booths? Ahead of the curve:


Additionally elsewhere, and in education.

I present you Stephen William Hawking, Order of the Companions of Honour, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts



Here's a story ripe with delicious irony: sensitive lefty musicians get so upset by criticism that not only do they demand that 'white men' say nicer things about them in future, but they insist that 'white men' not even review their album - why, what are they even doing *listening* to it - in future!

The kicker? A right-on lefty op-ed criticising these 'white men' for never shutting up by a guy who is, by any obvious description, one of those white men themselves.

can cis white men stop reviewing our album. it’s not for you.

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