Not Yul Brynner
Agency And Its Enemies

Elsewhere (305)

Noah Carl on the undiscussable: 

Consistent with earlier studies, [Louis Jacob and colleagues] observed a moderately strong negative association between IQ and obesity… The authors also found that the association remained statistically significant when adjusting for a range of other variables. However, their findings were not warmly received in all quarters. On 26 February, the journal [Lifestyle Medicine] published a letter to the editor titled ‘Concerns regarding “Association between intelligence quotient and obesity in England” and unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.’ Despite comprising only a couple of thousand words, the letter has thirteen authors, which tells you something really needed saying.

After introducing themselves as “academics, health professionals, health psychologists and lay experts in weight stigma and discrimination, public health, patient advocacy and risk communication,” the critics assert that “the contents of this paper are likely to cause unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.” I had assumed that ‘obese’ was the correct medical term, but that is evidently no longer the case. Perhaps if the original authors had referred to the “association between intelligence quotient and bigger bodiedness,” they could have forestalled some of the criticism.

Note the signatories’ conceit that “people in bigger bodies” should have some kind of veto over research into obesity.

Via Captain Nemo, Damian Counsell on race, facts, and fervour: 

[A] senior elected representative in two of the most powerful institutions of the establishment Left has invoked the phrase [“institutional racism”] to justify telling a non-white woman occupying one of the three great offices of state that she should be expelled from the country of her birth. For a segment of the self-proclaimed Left, the words “institutional racism” conjure a threat so cryptic that it requires no evidence, and so evil that it excuses overt racism. [Howard] Beckett deleted the tweet, but his subsequent apology is even more revealing. “I’m very sorry for my earlier tweet,” he wrote. “I was angry to see Muslim refugees being deported on the morning of Eid Al Fitr.” At the time of writing, the immigrants in question are believed to be Sikhs, not Muslims; but such distinctions matter little to a particular kind of crusader.

And Simon Webb on black “microaggressions”:

Since we’re all very familiar with the things which white people do which are sometimes identified as being racist “microaggressions”… I thought it might be amusing to reverse the process and think about things which some of those who are of African and Caribbean heritage routinely do but which can be construed in a negative or racially charged way… Such frictions cut both ways and I think it is a mistake to single out white people as the group always giving offence.

Curiously, the terms “black microaggressions” and “microaggressions by black people” yield few pertinent Google results and the phenomenon of, say, overtly contemptuous teeth-sucking, a common enough occurrence in some classrooms, is not, it seems, widely discussed. Except, of course, when exalted as a great accomplishment

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