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Goatse Fa Cai

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Great Expectations: The Soul Mate Quest

Great Expectations: The Soul Mate Quest

"The reality is that few marriages or partnerships consistently live up to this ideal. The result is a commitment limbo, in which we care deeply for our partner but keep one stealthy foot out the door of our hearts. In so doing, we subject the relationship to constant review: Would I be happier, smarter, a better person with someone else? It's a painful modern quandary. "Nothing has produced more unhappiness than the concept of the soul mate," says Atlanta psychiatrist Frank Pittman...

Yet commitment and marriage offer real physical and financial rewards. Touting the benefits of marriage may sound like conservative policy rhetoric, but nonpartisan sociological research backs it up...

The relationship doesn't have to be wonderful for life to get better, says Waite: The statistics hold true for mediocre marriages as well as for passionate ones.

The pragmatic benefits of partnership used to be foremost in our minds. The idea of marriage as a vehicle for self-fulfillment and happiness is relatively new, says Paul Amato, professor of sociology, demography and family studies at Penn State University. Surveys of high school and college students 50 or 60 years ago found that most wanted to get married in order to have children or own a home. Now, most report that they plan to get married for love. This increased emphasis on emotional fulfillment within marriage leaves couples ill-prepared for the realities they will probably face.

Because the early phase of a relationship is marked by excitement and idealization, "many romantic, passionate couples expect to have that excitement forever"...

Flagging passion is often interpreted as the death knell of a relationship. You begin to wonder whether you're really right for each other after all. You're comfortable together, but you don't really connect the way you used to. Wouldn't it be more honest—and braver—to just admit that it's not working and call it off? "People are made to feel that remaining in a marriage that doesn't make you blissfully happy is an act of existential cowardice," says Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco psychologist.

Coleman says that the constant cultural pressure to have it all—a great sex life, a wonderful family—has made people ashamed of their less-than-perfect relationships and question whether such unions are worth hanging on to. Feelings of dissatisfaction or disappointment are natural, but they can seem intolerable when standards are sky-high. "It's a recent historical event that people expect to get so much from individual partners," says Coleman, author of Imperfect Harmony, in which he advises couples in lackluster marriages to stick it out—especially if they have kids. "There's an enormous amount of pressure on marriages to live up to an unrealistic ideal"...

There's no such thing as true compatibility. "Marriage is a disagreement machine," says Diane Sollee, founder of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. "All couples disagree about all the same things. We have a highly romanticized notion that if we were with the right person, we wouldn't fight." Discord springs eternal over money, kids, sex and leisure time, but psychologist John Gottman has shown that long-term, happily married couples disagree about these things just as much as couples who divorce.

"There is a mythology of 'the wrong person,'" agrees Pittman. "All marriages are incompatible. All marriages are between people from different families, people who have a different view of things. The magic is to develop binocular vision, to see life through your partner's eyes as well as through your own."

The realization that we're not going to get everything we want from a partner is not just sobering, it's downright miserable. But it is also a necessary step in building a mature relationship...

We can hardly be blamed for striving for bliss and self-fulfillment in our romantic lives—our inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in the first blueprint of American society.

This same respect for our own needs spurred the divorce-law reforms of the 1960s and 1970s. During that era, "The culture shifted to emphasize individual satisfaction, and marriage was part of that," explains Paul Amato, who has followed more than 2,000 families for 20 years in a long-term study of marriage and divorce. Amato says that this shift did some good by freeing people from abusive and intolerable marriages. But it had an unintended side effect: encouraging people to abandon relationships that may be worth salvaging. In a society hell-bent on individual achievement and autonomy, working on a difficult relationship may get short shrift, says psychiatrist Peter Kramer, author of Should You Leave?...

The steadfast focus on our own potential may turn a partner into an accessory in the quest for self-actualization...

The urge to find a soul mate is not fueled just by notions of romantic manifest destiny. Trends in the workforce and in the media create a sense of limitless romantic possibility. According to Scott South, a demographer at SUNY-Albany, proximity to potential partners has a powerful effect on relationships. South and his colleagues found higher divorce rates among people living in communities or working in professions where they encounter lots of potential partners—people who match them in age, race and education level. "These results hold true not just for unhappy marriages but also for happy ones," says South.

The temptations aren't always living, breathing people. According to research by psychologists Sara Gutierres and Douglas Kenrick, both of Arizona State University, we find reasonably attractive people less appealing when we've just seen a hunk or a hottie—and we're bombarded daily by images of gorgeous models and actors. When we watch Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen's kingly mien and Liv Tyler's elfin charm can make our husbands and wives look all too schlumpy.

Kramer sees a similar pull in the narratives that surround us. "The number of stories that tell us about other lives we could lead—in magazine articles, television shows, books—has increased enormously. We have an enormous reservoir of possibilities," says Kramer.

And these possibilities can drive us to despair. Too many choices have been shown to stymie consumers, and an array of alternative mates is no exception. In an era when marriages were difficult to dissolve, couples rated their marriages as more satisfying than do today's couples, for whom divorce is a clear option, according to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago...

A committed relationship allows you to drop pretenses and seductions, expose your weaknesses, be yourself—and know that you will be loved, warts and all. "A real relationship is the collision of my humanity and yours, in all its joy and limitations," says Real. "How partners handle that collision is what determines the quality of their relationship."

Such a down-to-earth view of marriage is hardly romantic, but that doesn't mean it's not profound: An authentic relationship with another person, says Pittman, is "one of the first steps toward connecting with the human condition—which is necessary if you're going to become fulfilled as a human being.""

Monday, April 20, 2015

Links - 20th April 2015

PBS cans technical virgin - "Yesterday, the PBS Kids Sprout network canned Melanie Martinez, host of “The Good Night Show,” after discovering that she had talked about anal sex in a series of parodies of pro-virginity public service announcements several years ago... what about Chris Rock? A big hit in “Madagascar”! Remember his old routine about the dying Make-a-Wish Foundation kid who says, “I want some big titties in my face! It’s my last wish!” Rock is also the guy who famously said that a father’s most important job is to keep his daughter “off the [stripper's] pole.” This may come as a shock, but did you know the guy who played Donkey in “Shrek” was once a stand-up comedian who did a routine in which he told Bill Cosby to “have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up, Jello-pudding-eating motherfucker”?"
cf. People who call for Ikea to dissociate itself from Lawrence Khong's magic show because he is "homophobic"

Singaporeans in Australia Packing Up for Home - A Singaporean In Australia - "Many were deeply affected by the recent passing of their nation's founding father Lee Kuan Yew and a full week of national mourning both on the streets and on social media. In a bizarre fashion, they had decided to put their professed love for their country on social media into action and are returning to Singapore in doves!"

Minimum Wage Mythbusters - "Myth: Increasing the minimum wage is bad for the economy.
Not true: Since 1938, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times. For more than 75 years, real GDP per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised."
Amusingly the Department of Labor "Minimum Wage Mythbusters" sounds like a partisan hack job rather than being a level-headed factsheet

Twin Lessons: Have More Kids. Pay Less Attention to Them. - Ideas Market - WSJ - "Twin researchers rarely offer parenting advice. But much practical guidance is implicit in the science. The most prominent conclusion of twin research is that practically everything—health, intelligence, happiness, success, personality, values, interests—is partly genetic. The evidence is straightforward: Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins in almost every way—even when the twins are separated at birth. But twin research has another far more amazing lesson: With a few exceptions, the effect of parenting on adult outcomes ranges from small to zero. Parents change kids in many ways; the catch is that the changes fade out as kids grow up. By adulthood, identical twins aren’t slightly more similar than fraternal twins; they’re much more similar. And when identical twins are raised apart, they’re often just as similar as they are when they’re raised together. Once I became a dad, I noticed that parents around me had a different take on the power of nurture. I saw them turning parenthood into a chore... High-strung parenting isn’t dangerous, but it does make being a parent a lot more work and less fun than it has to be... The key point to keep in mind is that twin research focuses on vaguely normal families in the First World. It doesn’t claim that kids would do equally well if they were raised by wolves or abandoned in Haiti. But look on the bright side: If you are a vaguely normal family in the First World, the science of nature and nurture shows that you can lighten up a lot without hurting your kids. Serenity Parenting changed our lives. We used the Ferber method—let the kid cry for 10 minutes, briefly comfort him, repeat—to get our twins to sleep through the night. We enrolled them in an activity or two, but they spent a lot more time watching cartoons while we relaxed. Our family specialized in activities that were literally “fun for the whole family”: reading books together, playing dodgeball in the basement, going to the pool for a swim... Yet eventually I noticed that twin research had another, far less obvious lesson for parents: Have more kids"

Affirmative Action And The Mockery Of Jewish Tradition - "Students of Jewish descent made up 7 percent of the Harvard freshman class in 1900, 10 percent in 1909, 15 percent in 1915, and 21.5 percent in 1922. They were disproportionately successful academically, far outperforming their Gentile classmates in, among other things, degrees with distinction. Jews came to be viewed as a threat to the existing order of the American elite, and so the top schools in the country set explicit and secret quotas for the number of Jews they would allow in—generally in the realm of 5–15 percent. Such quotas were justified on several grounds. One Harvard official admitted to “the disinclination, whether justified or not, on the part of non-Jewish students to be thrown into contact with so large a proportion of Jewish undergraduates.” A. Lawrence Lowell, Harvard’s president, cited the apparently much more benign goal of racial harmony as the impetus behind the quotas. “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews,” he wrote to a Jewish lawyer and Harvard alumnus. “When?.?.?.?the number of Jews was small, the race antagonism was small also. Any such race feeling among the students tends to prevent the personal intimacies on which we must rely to soften anti-Semitic feeling. If every college in the country would take a limited proportion of Jews, I suspect we should go a long way toward eliminating race feeling among the students, and, as these students passed out into the world, eliminating it in the community... By diversity, the ADL means not intellectual diversity but purely racial diversity. And the conflation of racial and intellectual diversity is a telling constant in both briefs. The Union for Reform Judaism even uses the Talmud to support its position on affirmative action, quoting from Berakhot 58a on the website of its lobbying group, the Religious Action Center: “If one sees a great crowd, one should thank God for not having made them all of one mind. For just as each person’s face is different from another, so is each person’s mind different from any other mind.” This is specious. The rabbis of the Talmud were praising intellectual diversity (and for good reason!), but the policy here is racial diversity—and the rabbis are being used as a prop to support it. For the quotation to work as an argument for racial preferences, one must assume that skin color begets ideas... Racial preferences now exist as part and parcel of a higher-education system that too often promotes a fascination with identity politics over a true inquiry into what is just”

Do Men Find Very Skinny Women Attractive? - "many women seem to believe that men find super-skinny women like fashion models especially attractive. In study after study, women consistently underestimate the amount of body fat that men prefer. When asked to predict the figure that men will find most attractive, women consistently choose a skinnier figure than the men actually prefer. The figures women think men prefer are more like fashion models than Playmates. (For what it's worth, men also misjudge women's preferences for male muscle and genital size.) The figures that the men actually prefer are also much closer to the women's own figures than the skinnier ones women believe that men like. This misreading of men's desires may encourage some women to mistakenly think they would be more attractive to men if they weighed less... one possibility is that production costs and marketing strategies combine to create a demand for less curvy models. In addition, it may be that male fashion designers are more likely to prefer boyish figures. Whatever the reasons may be, the differences in the models featured in Vogue and Playboy reveal that men and women don't currently agree on the most attractive female body shape. Which viewpoint is more likely to reflect the healthiest option for women? Over evolutionary history, men's genetic contributions to the next generation depended on their ability to make subtle and accurate assessments about which women would make the best moms. In contrast, women got no reproductive payoff from any ability to make similar assessments about other women's bodies. Hence, odd as it may seem, men's unconscious preferences are more likely to tell us about what has been healthy for women"

Obesity does not equal unhappiness: Study tracks relationship between weight, life satisfaction, and where you live. - "obese men and women who live in U.S. counties with high levels of obesity are much happier than obese men and women who live in slenderer areas. Nor do people of “normal weight” enjoy much of an affective advantage in neighborhoods with more flesh per capita. “This illustrates the importance of looking like the people around you when it comes to satisfaction with life,” explains co-author Philip Pendergast... If you are both heavyset and heavyhearted, it is more likely due to your neighbors being jerks (possibly because their blood sugar is low from living off celery like baleful rabbits)."
Being thin is oppressive to fat people! And apparently if you're thin you must be nasty to fat people

Mainstream media defies govt, keeps Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation secret for 17 days only | New Nation - "The mainstream media has proven that it has a backbone and will not be subjected to the Singapore government’s beck and call as it broke its silence by reporting the news of Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation. This after the various mainstream media in Singapore simultaneously reported on Feb. 21, 2015, that the ex-prime minister was in hospital since Feb. 5, effectively demonstrating that they had been keeping this news secret for 17 days. Singaporeans from all walks of life applauded the mainstream media for sticking to their guns and defying government orders of keeping the ex-prime minister’s real state of health under tight wraps, in the event any news construed to be negative might cause property prices to fall and the economy, in general, to unravel... Jin Hum Ji, a reporter from Singapore Press Holdings, said: “Turns out I was wrong. The Straits Times and Channel News Asia sure knows how to get the story out fast and while it is still hot.” “If you ask me, 17 days is way too soon, because we need to bear in mind that the mainstream media is expected to report that Lee Kuan Yew will live forever.” “This is definitely a win for press freedom. I’m sure such a practice will help boost Singapore’s ranking in the Press Freedom Index next year.”"

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?
Of course, this is from The Guardian
Comment: "What a contrived article all entered around two erroneous assumptions.
1. The definition of expat holds the literal meaning of its Latin root.
2. All expats are white. And British.
To deal with the first point. The Wikipedia quote continues as follows "In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies,[1] rather than for all 'immigrants' or 'migrant workers'. The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an 'immigrant' or 'migrant worker'"
Which is plain disingenuous of the author.
Secondly, expats are not all white, or for that matter all western. But they are all well-off. And usually intend to return home to a similar standard of living.
There could have been an interesting article as "expat" is a loaded term and a product of colonialism so at one point expats were white. And the majority continue to be which is a product of global inequalities. And all sorts of other considered arguments.
But it is an ignorant rant based on twisted assumptions that ultimately looks foolish. Which is a shame as there are real issues to discuss."


12 Disney Princesses As Lukewarm Bowls Of Water - "Disney Princesses can be funny, brave, and endearing. But did you know they could also be containers full of H2O?"

Law firm director boasts about giving “damn good” fellatio - "RollOnFriday’s favourite Singaporean law firm TSMP Law has been left red-faced after one of its managing directors took to Facebook to boast about how good she is at giving blowjobs.. Stefanie Yuen, who is married to her co-managing director, Thoi Shen Yi, unwittingly shared her prowess at oral sex with the entire world... Stefanie told RollOnFriday that it was an irreverent comment made in a closed private circle of friends, which has been taken out of context. She added, “obviously it sucks that a tongue-in-cheek comment has been blown out of proportion”"

What Singaporean Gays Really Think About 377A

"To a gay, clean streets, safety, development and no corruption is kind of meaningless. It's good to have these things but with 377A in place, there's little hope of a meaningful life with the person you love.

As a straight guy, I never saw how life is like for a gay person in Singapore. When I was single, it never occurred to me I won't be married one day. It's something I just took for granted. My problem was in finding the right woman and if that woman thinks I'm the right one for her too.

If you're gay, you have a big problem to contend with. The state does not recognise your marriage; it does not allow you to marry the one you love. In Singapore, they go further. Here, you can't even have sex with the guy you love. Yup, they say they won't enforce the law but do know that if you have sex with another guy, you're committing an offence. They can charge you in court; it's just that they give you chance. So be thankful. Fuck!!!!"

--- Singaporean Liberal on how repealing 377A is more important to gays than clean streets, [personal] safety, economic development and no corruption


A gay friend related to me that "*** once complained to me that so many gay men he met at the sauna were politically apathetic and didn't care about gay activism
but yes. gay activists seem to have rather different goals than gay people"

I already knew that the Unholy Obsession that many Singaporean Liberals (not all of whom are gay) have about 377A was not shared by many gay people, but I decided to sound out the ground more properly.

So I went onto Secret, which in Singapore is filled with gay men.



Me: Gays here: do you really care about 377A? ls it really a problem in your lives?

A: Nope, cant be bothered anymore. As long as my partner and I are happy, I couldn't give a shit about what the law has to say about what we do in private. (5 likes)

B: Yes it is.

As long as there's 377A, every gay man is a unconvicted felon. It needs to be repealed so that the LGBT minority in Singapore can fight for equality. (3 likes)

C: Hey we maybe criminals but we are the Smooth Criminal.

D: Can't be bothered. Why fight? Just concentrate on living your own life. (2 likes)

E: Do you want to be a criminal?

F: Will anyone be bothered by the fine u'll get when they litter? l'm sure almost everyone is guilty of littering before. My point is, matter what matters and don't be bothered by what doesn't.


So we have:

Apathetic to 377A: 4
Anti-377A: 2

Adding likes into the calculation, we get:

Apathetic to 377A: 9
Anti-377A: 4


Either way, it is clear from this sampling that gays in Singapore are apathetic about 377A.

On top of this, it is noteworthy that many people couldn't even be bothered to reply to this - in other words the vast majority of Singaporean gays (on Secret) are so apathetic about 377A that they don't even comment on a thread about it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

everything personal can’t be political

everything personal can’t be political | Fredrik deBoer

"We have this magic words theory of argument where if you deploy certain terms like “tone policing,” the expectation is that you’ve won the argument and the other side has to stop arguing immediately. But those tactics don’t occur in a vacuum. Campus conservatives, for example, have succeeded in so many of their provocations because they have very deftly adopted the tactics and vocabulary of the academic left and employed them for their own purposes...

The definition of microaggression has ballooned to the point where accusations can be deployed for literally any situation. I know people hate hearing this, but it’s just true: there are people in the academy, and now in the broader world, whose personal definition of microaggression seems to be “literally any behavior that I don’t like.” That makes the kind of disagreements that are necessary for academic and political debate impossible...

In the actually-existing discourse communities we have on the left, to ever express skepticism that a given incident constituted racism, sexism, homophobia, or similar means to many that you are “on the side” of the racists, the sexists, the homphobes. Look at the debate about affirmative consent; it’s occurring in a rhetorical environment of ambient threat, where the suggestion that people who question the wisdom or justice of affirmative consent laws are subject to innuendo or accusation of being insufficiently opposed to rape...

The first person to allege discrimination wins, and the person on the other side of that equation loses. This is especially true because we’ve also decided that, once you identify yourself as arguing against political misbehavior, there are absolutely no standards on your own behavior. You are allowed to engage in brutal character assassination if you represent yourself as speaking out against racism or sexism or similar. Look at the odd condition of a Twitter storm: offenses that are often subtle or unintentional are treated as indicative of existential immorality, but the direct, utterly cruel overreactions against these offenses are treated as righteous political acts. Microaggressions breed macro-aggressive responses that are seemingly exempt from standards of fair behavior.

On a personal level, the limitless politicization of daily life actually ends up hurting the people who it ostensibly helps. The way that we deal with the parade of failures, indignities, and problems that make up adult life is by moving on. You often don’t get what you want in life, and it hurts. If you never get over these problems, you subject yourself to long-term unhappiness. So when friends are dealing with hardship we tend to tell them to move on, in time, to get past these feelings. But in a world where absolutely every personal problem is politicized, the attitude is the opposite. When someone alleges that a given problem is a matter of structural oppression, we tell them to hold onto that feeling and never forget about it. The suggestion that someone should move past those feelings is then represented as taking part in that oppression. And I know people, in real life, who seem incapable of moving past disappointments and failures because they’ve so internalized the notion that all of them are a matter of illegitimate discrimination. When every bad date is indicative not of a clash of personalities but of the hand of misogyny, when every rejected job application is a consequence of structural oppression, when every dirty look is racist rather than just shitty, I don’t know how you can make your way through life, which is hard enough as it is...

When you’re operating in an environment where you’re told that absolutely every minor dissatisfaction in your life is a political issue, there’s every reason to adopt the stance of “oppressed minority” rather than “human being dealing with the same constant dissatisfaction that we all do”...

We’ve created these incentives on the left: always politicize; always escalate; always ridicule. We’re living with the consequences of those tendencies now. Unfortunately, I don’t know how we build a new left discourse, given that the two current modes of left-wing expression appear to be a) showily condescending ridicule and b) utter fury"

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Links - 16th April 2015

Vibrators now sold in Watsons stores - "They come in four different personalities, each designed with women in mind. The Tennis Coach, for instance, is "sculpted and fit" and promises to "take very specific aim". The Millionaire, on the other hand, is a "classic gentleman and an all-rounder" who is here to "pleasure you like the princess you are". They are "personal massagers" - also known as vibrators - for women. Each comes in a different colour and is represented by a simple cartoon character. Made by Swedish brand Smile Makers, which comes under the company Ramblin' Brands, these vibrators are the first to be sold by a major retail chain in Singapore. Launched on Wednesday, they are exclusively available in health and beauty care store Watsons Singapore island-wide and its online store."
S$64.95?! One could make a fortune selling sex toys given the markup
I hope they sell Tenga cups soon


Chaos. German style. - 9GAG

Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life - "We find that the 65 mph limit increased speeds by approximately 3.5% (i.e., 2 mph), and increased fatality rates by roughly 35%. In the 21 states that raised the speed limit and for whom we have complete data, the estimates suggest that about 125,000 hours were saved per lost life. Valuing the time saved at the average hourly wage implies that adopting states were willing to accept risks that resulted in a savings of $1.54 million (1997$) per fatality"

Femail goes inside the 'sugar daddy' dating world - "All of the women I talked with stressed that these arrangements weren't 'hook-ups', they were ongoing relationships with wealthy men – many of whom simply don't have the time or inclination to date in the standard fashion. For the most part, it seems that dating the sugar daddies almost entirely for financial support, means that few of these women ever get emotionally needy or attached. Some men are effectively buying their way out of the 'drama' that exists elsewhere... 'Honestly, I don't think it's any different than a marriage with a house wife,' Rachel explains to Daily Mail Online. 'If the wife is not working, she is being paid and supported by her husband, and of course they have sex. Does that make her a prostitute?'... One sugar baby revealed that she actually plans to marry her sugar daddy; Erin Oden, a 29-year-old magician's assistant from Dallas, Texas, who has dated 50 of them, says she 'fell in love' with her first sugar daddy, and the pair are now all-but engaged. 'He doesn't know I still have other sugar daddies,' she admits, adding that she earns around $60,000 annually, 'in addition to trips, clothing, dining out and gifts'... Gianna Phoenix, a 43-year-old Arizona widow and mother-of-two, had her home partially purchased for her by her sugar daddy, and makes $60,000 a year from her 'allowance'. 'Have you been out there in the conventional dating scene?' she asks. 'It’s a nightmare! I've had grown men asking to borrow money from me! Dirt bags.'"

"Hi dear, :)": A Case Of Harassment Between Daniella Sya And An Uber Driver - "everyone has different thresholds for what they consider to be harassment. And that is fine, and no one can judge you for it. In other words, regardless of whether you receive a text like “Hi dear, :)”, or a chain of messages asking about you, it is harassment as long as you are not comfortable with it."
It's harassment because I don't like the way someone is looking at me, or his body language

Allen Blasts Webb Novels For Sex Scenes - "Should the author of a fictional work who runs for office be personally held to account for the scenes in his books? "

The Dancing Man and the cult of well-intentioned idiots. - "No time for facts, we need to run to the rescue of this grown man, apparently. Rather than allowing this man to have the dignity of an autonomous adult, we're treating him like a toddler who needs coddling. This isn't about him, this is about the people who created this narrative... You want to feel good about yourselves without actually doing anything. These people are literally congratulating themselves for not getting up off the couch... A much more nefarious case of well-intentioned idiocy played out on the pages of Rolling Stone recently, when they published a graphic account of a gang rape of a University of Virginia student. In an effort to be sensitive to her, they honored her request to not contact the alleged assailants. The story recounts a brutal rape that left her bloodied and injured from a punch to the face. Rolling Stone was commended for their in-depth journalism. The only problem? The story wasn't true... When Jon Stewart from The Daily Show announced that he was stepping down, a cacophony of well-intentioned idiots flooded social networks imploring Comedy Central to hire a "minority" or a woman to replace him, preferably both. Because if we've learned nothing from Martin Luther King Jr., and we haven't, true diversity comes not from the content of our character, but the color of our skin. And which genitals we have. One candidate in particular, Jessica Williams, stood out from the pack because she's talented, funny and was already a Daily Show correspondent. The only problem? She didn't want the job. Or at the very least, she felt under-qualified for it. In her own words, she said, "I'm not hosting. Thank you but I am extremely under-qualified for the job!" So there you have it, a strong, funny, self-reliant woman evaluated a job opportunity and made a choice for herself and decided not to pursue it. End of story, right? Wrong. That's where things would have ended, if it weren't for some well-intentioned blowhard rushing to protect poor Jessica Williams from herself... Williams responded personally to this article and told her to "Lean the Fuck away"... the best way to avoid this kind of grief and embarrassment is to simply try not to be such a well-intentioned idiot. People don't need to be coddled. Humanity has survived holocausts, wars, natural disasters, plagues and reality television. We don't need our hands held when life gets tough. And the people who do—or think they do—will ask for it. There's no shortage of them in this world. Don't look for victims and don't be a victim."

“Lean the f*** away from me”: Jessica Williams, “impostor syndrome” and the many ways we serially doubt women - "'Are you unaware, how insulting that can be for a fully functioning person to hear that her choices are invalid? Because you have personally decided, that I DON’T know myself- as a WOMAN you are saying that I need to lean in. Because of my choice, you have diagnosed me with something without knowing me at all. For the world to see'. And this is the problem with “lean in” applied as a universal feminist ethos. Like most supposedly universal narratives, it’s incredibly limiting. Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged in the book that she didn’t believe that women “should all have the same objectives” or face the same obstacles, but much of the advice is still presented as inclusive when it’s actually narrowly tailored to a certain kind of woman (namely, white, upwardly mobile and married to, or interested in marrying, a man who is likely the same), working to achieve a certain kind of power while maintaining a certain kind of family life. The book is undoubtedly useful and resonates for some, but, as Roxane Gay pointed out in her thoughtful review, a lot of Sandberg’s wisdom reads something like, “If you want to succeed, be an asshole.” I’d also say that “lean in,” particularly as it’s often rendered in media shorthand, has come to mean that women should ignore their instincts in favor of aggressively pursuing a specific career goal or opportunity at all costs. In a culture that already serially doubts women, this is, in its own way, just another way we doubt women... Such a one-size-fits-all narrative, whether it’s lean in or impostor syndrome, erases women’s agency and is its own form of erasure"

The Petrie Multiplier: Why an Attack on Sexism in Tech is NOT an Attack on Men - "The wonderful thing about the Petrie Multiplier is that there is nothing in it about men being worse people or more sexist than women. And still we get women experiencing dramatically more sexism than men. It's because of the gender disparity in Tech, and the fact that this multiplies up to the detriment of the minority group. The Petrie Multiplier is the amazing effect that the amount of sexism experienced by women compared to men goes as the square of the gender ratio in Tech. And this is assuming that women are equally sexist towards men as men are towards women."

Wit and Wisdom of Mark Rippetoe - Starting Strength Wiki - "When asked to "explain how deep squats won't screw up your femur/hips," so the person posting could explain it to his friend who believes that deep squats are harmful:
"Just because some jackass asserts a thing does not mean that it is worthy of refutation. If the same guy tells you that every space shuttle launch perturbs the Earth's orbit, and that the cumulative effects are just about to start the process of the loss of the atmosphere into space, thus creating a vacuum that will destroy all life on the planet in approximately 36 hours, would you deem this necessary to refute? How much time would you spend explaining to him why this cannot happen? Would not your time be spent better doing other things? And if you devise a concise explanation, why would you assume he would understand?""

LKY is right after all - "LKY is quite right after all when he said that Islam does not promote integration. This appears to be the consensus two days ago among a group of my Malay contemporaries from the Bukit Timah campus after a series of rapid SMS exchanges through What App. No one seems to disagree. An excerpt:
AS: LKY clip on integration. It seems true that Islam does not promote integration. Some would even say Islam is divisive, not only between Muslims and non-Muslims but also among Muslims. Just look at Malaysia between UMNO and PAS, in the Middle East between the Wahhabis and the Syiahs, the Sunnis and the Sufis... So was LKY wrong to suggest that it would be easier to integrate the Singapore Muslims if they were less strict in their religious observances. He did not say Muslims should not observe the basic tenets of Islam.
Remember what Mohd. Abduh said decades ago: In France I saw Islam but no Muslims, but in Egypt, I saw Muslims but no Islam. Can we now say that there is more Islam in Singapore than in Kota Baru or Kuala Lumpur?
IK (playing the devil’s advocate): Islam as practised today has become a divisive force. It is something that our Prophet (PBUH) never imagined, not even in his wildest dream...
AS: I think we will always remain divided. Everyone will say that his Islam is the right and true one and no compromise is possible. So how! Islam could not unite Ali and Aisyah (the Prophet’s son in law and his favourite wife). They even slaughter each other in the battlefield."

Arizona jury foreman says believed Jodi Arias was abused - "Arias, a former waitress from California, was found guilty this month of murdering Travis Alexander, whose body was found slumped in the shower of his Phoenix-area home in June 2008. He had been stabbed 27 times, had his throat slashed and been shot in the face... "I'm very sure in my own mind that she was mentally and verbally abused," jury foreman William Zervakos told the ABC News "Good Morning America" program... Juries only rarely sentence women to death in the United States. While women account for about one in eight murder arrests, less than 2 percent of U.S. death row inmates are women, according to the Death Penalty Information Center... Prosecutor Juan Martinez poked holes in her testimony, noting there were no police or medical reports documenting abuse, and confronted her with lies she told after the killing to deflect suspicion that she had been involved."

Billionairess' Fortune Goes to Charity, Lover Goes to Prison - "According to Chan's statement in court, the two met in 1992 when Wang sought out fengshui masters to help her find her missing husband. The relationship had begun in 1993 when Wang, then 55, asked the Chan, then 32, to give her a head massage and later turned into a body massage. Wang then asked Chan to cuddle her naked to sleep before they had their first sex in front of a statue of Buddha. "During our time together, I would massage her, and we would then engage in loving, passionate sex," Chan said in his statement. "Nina very much took the initiative in this respect. I was captivated by her. She aroused great desire in me and we shared immense satisfaction in our sexual relationship... Several weeks before his criminal trial began, Chan converted to Christianity and renounced fengshui, calling it "a work of evil", according to the South China Morning Post. "Without the lawsuits, I would not have gone to church and would not have experienced God," Chan told the newspaper in an earlier interview. "I have no regrets.""

The Relationship of Age and Gender Subcultures to the Consumption of Rational and Arational Experiences - "It was found that age is inversely related to the consumption of rational experiences and unrelated to the consumption of arational experiences. Female gender was found positively related to the consumption of arational experiences... research suggests that a gross dichotomy of experience may exist. First is the form of experience said to characterize the left hemisphere. Such experience is described as semantic, sequential, ordered, logico-deductive.analytical, and decompositional (Ornstein 1977). It consists of cause and effect comprehension and categorical reasoning--in brief, it is rational. In contrast is the form of experience said to be characteristic of the right hemisphere. Such experience is sensorial. intuitive, holistic, communal, and integrative (Ornstein 1977). It consists of feelings of union, and is mystical rather than scientific. In short, it is arational... [The results] support a subtle and insightful thesis advanced by Bowers and Bowers (1972). After reviewing the literature on primary and secondary process thinking (which are similar in several respects to arational and rational experiences), they concluded that men consumed arational experiences via impulsive and emotional acts upon the external environment. Conversely, women consumed arational experiences via receptive involvement with their own thoughts or by letting certain kinds of external events happen to them."
This suggests that men (and younger people) prefer rationality compared to women (and older people). Even if this isn't evidence that men are more rational than women, it seems to suggest that men have a stronger preference for rationality than women do

An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish
Bertrand Russell

"Folly is perennial and yet the human race has survived. The follies of our own times are easier to bear when they are seen against the background of past follies...

Aristotle, so far as I know, was the first man to proclaim explicitly that man is a rational animal. His reason for this view was one which does not now seem very impressive; it was, that some people can do sums... It is in virtue of the intellect that man is a rational animal. The intellect is shown in various ways, but most emphatically by mastery of arithmetic. The Greek system of numerals was very bad, so that the multiplication table was quite difficult, and complicated calculations could only be made by very clever people. Now-a-days, however, calculating machines do sums better than even the cleverest people, yet no one contends that these useful instruments are immortal, or work by divine inspiration. As arithmetic has grown easier, it has come to be less respected. The consequence is that, though many philosophers continue to tell us what fine fellows we are, it is no longer on account of our arithmetical skill that they praise us.

Since the fashion of the age no longer allows us to point to calculating boys as evidence that man is rational and the soul, at least in part, immortal, let us look elsewhere. Where shall we look first? Shall we look among eminent statesmen, who have so triumphantly guided the world into its present condition? Or shall we choose the men of letters? Or the philosophers? All these have their claims, but 1 think we should begin with those whom all right thinking people acknowledge to be the wisest as well as the best of men, namely the clergy. If they fail to be rational, what hope is there for us lesser mortals? And alas-though I say it with all due respect-there have been times when their wisdom has not been very obvious, and, strange to say, these were especially the times when the power of the clergy was greatest.

The Ages of Faith, which are praised by our neo-scholastics, were the time when the clergy had things all their own way. Daily life was full of miracles wrought by saints and wizardry perpetrated by devils and necromancers. Many thousands of witches were burnt at the stake. Men's sins were punished by pestilence and famine, by earthquake, flood, and fire. And yet, strange to say, they were even more sinful than they are now-a-days. Very little was known scientifically about the world. A few learned men remembered Greek proofs that the earth is round, but most people made fun of the notion that there are antipodes. To suppose that there are human beings at the antipodes was heresy. It was generally held (though modem Catholics take a milder view) that the immense majority of mankind are damned. Dangers were held to lurk at every turn. Devils would settle on the food that monks were about to eat, and would take possession of the bodies of incautious feeders who omitted to make the sign of the Cross before each mouthful. Old-fashioned people still say "bless you" when one sneezes, but they have forgotten the reason for the custom. The reason was that people were thought to sneeze out their souls, and before their souls could get back lurking demons were apt to enter the unsouled body; but if any one said "God bless you," the demons were frightened off.

Throughout the last 400 years, during which the growth of science had gradually shown men how to acquire knowledge of the ways of nature and mastery over natural forces, the clergy have fought a losing battle against science, in astronomy and geology, in anatomy and physiology, in biology and psychology and sociology. Ousted from one position, they have taken up another. After being worsted in astronomy, they did their best to prevent the rise of geology; they fought against Darwin in biology, and at the present time they fight against scientific theories of psychology and education. At each stage, they try to make the public forget their earlier obscurantism, in order that their present obscurantism may not be recognized for what it is. Let us note a few instances of irrationality among the clergy since the rise of science, and then inquire whether the rest of mankind are any better...

People still think that the Divine Plan has special reference to human beings, and that a special Providence not only looks after the good, but also punishes the wicked. I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious-for instance, the nuns who never take a bath without wearing a bathrobe all the time. When asked why, since no man can see them, they reply: "Oh, but you forget the good God." Apparently they conceive of the Deity as a Peeping Tom, whose omnipotence enables Him to see through bathroom walls, but who is foiled by bathrobes. This view strikes me as curious.

The whole conception of "Sin" is one which I find very puzzling, doubtless owing to my sinful nature. If "Sin" consisted in causing needless suffering, I could understand; but on the contrary, sin often consists in avoiding needless suffering. Some years ago, in the English House of Lords, a bill was introduced to legalize euthanasia in cases of painful and incurable disease. The patient's consent was to be necessary, as well as several medical certificates. To me, in my simplicity, it would seem natural to require the patient's consent, but the late Archbishop of Canterbury, the English official expert on Sin, explained the erroneousness of such a view. The patient's consent turns euthanasia into suicide, and suicide is sin. Their Lordships listened to the voice of authority, and rejected the bill. Consequently, to please the Archbishop-and his God, if he reports truly-victims of cancer still have to endure months of wholly useless agony, unless their doctors or nurses are sufficiently humane to risk a charge of murder. I find difficulty in the conception of a God who gets pleasure from contemplating such tortures; and if there were a God capable of such wanton cruelty, I should certainly not think Him worthy of worship. But that only proves how sunk I am in moral depravity.

I am equally puzzled by the things that are sin and by the things that are not. When the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals asked the pope for his support, he refused it, on the ground that human beings owe no duty to the lower animals, and that ill-treating animals is not sinful. This is because animals have no souls. On the other hand, it is wicked to marry your deceased wife's sister-so at least the Church teaches-however much you and she may wish to marry. This is not because of any unhappiness that might result, but because of certain texts in the Bible...

The orthodox have a curious objection to cremation, which seems to show an insufficient realization of God's omnipotence. It is thought that a body which has been burnt will be more difficult for Him to collect together again than one which has been put underground and transformed into worms. No doubt collecting the particles from the air and undoing the chemical work of combustion would be somewhat laborious, but it is surely blasphemous to suppose such a work impossible for the Deity. I conclude that the objection to cremation implies grave heresy. But I doubt whether my opinion will carry much weight with the orthodox...

The sacredness of corpses is a widespread belief. It was carried furthest by the Egyptians, among whom it led to the practice of mummification. It still exists in full force in China. A French surgeon, who was employed by the Chinese to teach Western medicine, relates that his demand for corpses to dissect was received with horror, but he was assured that he could have instead an unlimited supply of live criminals. His objection to this alternative was totally unintelligible to his Chinese employers.

Although there are many kinds of sin, seven of which are deadly, the most fruitful field for Satan's wiles is sex. The orthodox Catholic doctrine on this subject is to be found in St. Paul, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. It is best to be celibate, but those who have not the gift of continence may marry...

It is odd that neither the Church nor modern public opinion condemns petting, provided it stops short at a certain point. At what point sin begins is a matter as to which casuists differ. One eminently orthodox Catholic divine laid it down that a confessor may fondle a nun's breasts, provided he does it without evil intent. But I doubt whether modern authorities would agree with him on this point...

There are logical difficulties in the notion of sin. We are told that sin consists in disobedience to God's commands, but we are also told that God is omnipotent. If He is, nothing contrary to His will can occur; therefore when the sinner disobeys His commands, He must have intended this to happen. St. Augustine boldly accepts this view, and asserts that men are led to sin by a blindness with which God afflicts them. But most theologians, in modern times, have felt that, if God causes men to sin, it is not fair to send them to hell for what they cannot help. We are told that sin consists in acting contrary to God's will. This, however, does not get rid of the difficulty. Those who, like Spinoza, take God's omnipotence seriously, deduce that there can be no such thing as sin. This leads to frightful results. What! said Spinoza's contemporaries, was it not wicked of Nero to murder his mother? Was it not wicked of Adam to eat the apple? Is one action just as good as another? Spinoza wriggles, but does not find any satisfactory answer. If everything happens in accordance with God's will, God must have wanted Nero to murder his mother; therefore, since God is good, the murder must have been a good thing. From this argument there is no escape.

On the other hand, those who are in earnest in thinking that sin is disobedience to God are compelled to say that God is not omnipotent. This gets out of all the logical puzzles, and is the view adopted by a certain school of liberal theologians. It has, however, its own difficulties. How are we to know what really is God's will? If the forces of evil have a certain share of power, they may deceive us into accepting as Scripture what is really their work. This was the view of the Gnostics, who thought that the Old Testament was the work of an evil spirit.

As soon as we abandon our own reason, and are content to rely upon authority, there is no end to our troubles. Whose authority? The Old Testament? The New Testament? The Koran? In practice, people choose the book considered sacred by the community in which they are born, and out of that book they choose the parts they like, ignoring the others. At one time, the most influential text in the Bible was: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Now-a-days, people pass over this text, in silence if possible; if not, with an apology. And so, even when we have a sacred book, we still choose as truth whatever suits our own prejudices. No Catholic, for instance, takes seriously the text which says that a bishop should be the husband of one wife...

Since evolution became fashionable, the glorification of Man has taken a new form. We are told that evolution has been guided by one great Purpose: through the millions of years when there were only slime, or trilobites, throughout the ages of dinosaurs and giant ferns, of bees and wild flowers, God was preparing the Great Climax. At last, in the fullness of time, He produced Man, including such specimens as Nero and Caligula, Hitler and Mussolini, whose transcendent glory justified the long painful process. For my part, I find even eternal damnation less incredible, and certainly less ridiculous, than this lame and impotent conclusion which we are asked to admire as the supreme effort of Omnipotence. And if God is indeed omnipotent, why could He not have produced the glorious result without such a long and tedious prologue?...

The importance of Man, which is the one indispensable dogma of the theologians, receives no support from a scientific view of the future of the solar system.

There are many other sources of false belief besides self-importance. One of these is love of the marvelous. I knew at one time a scientifically-minded conjuror, who used to perform his tricks before a small audience, and then get them, each separately, to write down what they had seen happen. Almost always they wrote down something much more astonishing than the reality, and usually something which no conjuror could have achieved; yet they all thought they were reporting truly what they had seen with their own eyes. This sort of falsification is still more true of rumors. A tells B that last night he saw Mr.-, the eminent prohibitionist, slightly the worse for liquor; B tells C that A saw the good man reeling drunk, C tells D that he was picked up unconscious in the ditch, D tells E that he is well known to pass out every evening... All history until the eighteenth century is full of prodigies and wonders which modern historians ignore, not because they are less well attested than facts which the historians accept, but because modem taste among the learned prefers what science regards as probable. Shakespeare relates how on the night before Caesar was killed,

A common slave—you know him well by sight— Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn Like twenty torches joined, and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched. Besides—I ha' not since put up my sword— Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who glared upon me and went surly by, Without annoying me. And there were drawn Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, Transformèd with their fear, who swore they saw Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.

Shakespeare did not invent these marvels; he found them in reputable historians, who are among those upon whom we depend for our knowledge concerning Julius Caesar. This sort of thing always used to happen at the death of a great man or the beginning of an important war. Even so recently as 1914 the "angels of Mons" encouraged the British troops. The evidence for such events is very seldom first-hand, and modern historians refuse to accept it-except, of course, where the event is one that has religious importance...

It is a curious and painful fact that almost all the completely futile treatments that have been believed in during the long history of medical folly have been such as caused acute suffering to the patient. When anaesthetics were discovered, pious people considered them an attempt to evade the will of God. It was pointed out, however, that when God extracted Adam's rib He put him into a deep sleep. This proved that anaesthetics are all right for men; women, however, ought to suffer, because of the curse of Eve...

Among white men, it is held that white men are by nature superior to men of other colors, and especially to black men; in Japan, on the contrary, it is thought that yellow is the best color. In Haiti, when they make statues of Christ and Satan, they make Christ black and Satan white...

The purest races now in existence are the Pygmies, the Hottentots, and the Australian aborigines; the Tasmanians, who were probably even purer, are extinct. They were not the bearers of a brilliant culture. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, emerged from an amalgamation of northern barbarians and an indigenous population; the Athenians and Ionians, who were the most civilized, were also the most mixed. The supposed merits of racial purity are, it would seem, wholly imaginary...

In Russia, where, under the influence of Karl Marx, people since the revolution have been classified by their economic origin, difficulties have arisen not unlike those of German race theorists over the Scandinavian Nordies. There were two theories that had to be reconciled: on the one hand, proletarians were good and other people were bad; on the other hand, communists were good and other people were bad. The only way of effecting a reconciliation was to alter the meaning of words. A "proletarian" came to mean a supporter of the government; Lenin, though born a Prince, was reckoned a member of the proletariat. On the other hand, the word "kulak," which was supposed to mean a rich peasant, came to mean any peasant who opposed collectivization. This sort of absurdity always arises when one group of human beings is supposed to be inherently better than another...

The discovery that man can be scientifically manipulated, and that governments can turn large masses this way or that as they choose, is one of the causes of our misfortunes. There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship. Education, which was at first made universal in order that all might be able to read and write, has been found capable of serving quite other purposes. By instilling nonsense it unifies populations and generates collective enthusiasm. If all governments taught the same nonsense, the harm would not be so great. Unfortunately each has its own brand, and the diversity serves to produce hostility between the devotees of different creeds. If there is ever to be peace in the world, governments will have to agree either to inculcate no dogmas, or all to inculcate the same. The former, I fear, is a Utopian ideal, but perhaps they could agree to teach collectively that all public men, everywhere, are completely virtuous and perfectly wise. Perhaps, when the war is over, the surviving politicians may find it prudent to combine on some such programme...

You may find your colored help making some remark that comes straight out of Plato-not the parts of Plato that scholars quote, but the parts where he utters obvious nonsense, such as that men who do not pursue wisdom in this life will be born again as women. Commentators on great philosophers always politely ignore their silly remarks.

Aristotle, in spite of his reputation, is full of absurdities. He says that children should be conceived in the Winter, when the wind is in the North, and that if people marry too young the children will be female. He tells us that the blood of females is blacker then that of males; that the pig is the only animal liable to measles; that an elephant suffering from insomnia should have its shoulders rubbed with salt, olive-oil, and warm water; that women have fewer teeth than men, and so on. Nevertheless, he is considered by the great majority of philosophers a paragon of wisdom...

Eating cooked food is "unnatural"; so is heating our houses. The Chinese philosopher Lao-tse, whose traditional date is about 600 B.C., objected to roads and bridges and boats as "unnatural," and in his disgust at such mechanistic devices left China and went to live among the Western barbarians. Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.

The commonest objection to birth control is that it is against "nature." (For some reason we are not allowed to say that celibacy is against nature; the only reason I can think of is that it is not new)...

Women, as the object of our strongest love and aversion, rouse complex emotions which are embodied in proverbial "wisdom"...

In Victorian days the saint was much more emphasized than the temptress; Victorian men could not admit themselves susceptible to temptation. The superior virtue of women was made a reason for keeping them out of politics, where, it was held, a lofty virtue is impossible. But the early feminists turned the argument round, and contended that the participation of women would ennoble politics. Since this has turned out to be an illusion, there has been less talk of women's superior virtue... Women themselves, for the most part, think of themselves as the sensible sex, whose business it is to undo the harm that comes of men's impetuous follies. For my part I distrust all generalizations about women, favorable and unfavorable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience.

The deeply irrational attitude of each sex toward women may be seen in novels, particularly in bad novels... Women novelists, also, have two kinds of women in their books. One is themselves, glamorous and kind, and object of lust to the wicked and of love to the good, sensitive, high-souled, and constantly misjudged. The other kind is represented by all other women, and is usually portrayed as petty, spiteful, cruel, and deceitful. It would seem that to judge women without bias is not easy either for men or for women.

Generalizations about national characteristics are just as common and just as unwarranted as generalizations about women. Until 1870, the Germans were thought of as a nation of spectacled professors, evolving everything out of their inner consciousness, and scarcely aware of the outer world, but since 1870 this conception has had to be very sharply revised. Frenchmen seem to be thought of by most Americans as perpetually engaged in amorous intrigue; Walt Whitman, in one of his catalogues, speaks of "the adulterous French couple on the sly settee." Americans who go to live in France are astonished, and perhaps disappointed, by the intensity of family life...

Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion...

A good way of ridding yourself of certain kinds of dogmatism is to become aware of opinions held in social circles different from your own. When I was young, I lived much outside my own country in France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. I found this very profitable in diminishing the intensity of insular prejudice. If you cannot travel, seek out people with whom you disagree, and read a newspaper belonging to a party that is not yours. If the people and the newspaper seem mad, perverse, and wicked, remind yourself that you seem so to them. In this opinion both parties may be right, but they cannot both be wrong. This reflection should generate a certain caution.

Becoming aware of foreign customs, however, does not always have a beneficial effect. In the seventeenth century, when the Manchus conquered China, it was the custom among the Chinese for the women to have small feet, and among the Manchus for the men to wear-pigtails. Instead of each dropping their own foolish custom, they each adopted the foolish custom of the other...

For those who have enough psychological imagination, it is a good plan to imagine an argument with a person having a different bias...

Be very wary of opinions that flatter your self-esteem...

Other passions besides self-esteem are common sources of error; of these perhaps the most important is fear... Fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavor after a worthy manner of life...

The most refined religions, such as those of Marcus Aurelius and Spinoza, are still concerned with the conquest of fear. The Stoic doctrine was simple: it maintained that the only true good is virtue, of which no enemy can deprive me; consequently, there is no need to fear enemies. The difficulty was that no one could really believe virtue to be the only good, not even Marcus Aurelius, who, as emperor, sought not only to make his subjects virtuous, but to protect them against barbarians, pestilences, and famines. Spinoza taught a somewhat similar doctrine. According to him, our true good consists in indifference to our mundane fortunes. Both these men sought to escape from fear by pretending that such things as physical suffering are not really evil. This is a noble way of escaping from fear, but is still based upon false belief. And if genuinely accepted, it would have the bad effect of making men indifferent, not only to their own sufferings, but also to those of others...

Fear generates impulses of cruelty, and therefore promotes such superstitious beliefs as seem to justify cruelty. Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear. And for this reason poltroons are more prone to cruelty than brave men, and are also more prone to superstition. When I say this, I am thinking of men who are brave in all respects, not only in facing death. Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one. Obloquy is, to most men, more painful than death; that is one reason why, in times of collective excitement, so few men venture to dissent from the prevailing opinion...

Perhaps the world would lose some of its interest and variety if such beliefs were wholly replaced by cold science. Perhaps we may allow ourselves to be glad of the Abecedarians, who were so-called because, having rejected all profane learning, they thought it wicked to learn the ABC. And we may enjoy the perplexity of the South American Jesuit who wondered how the sloth could have traveled, since the Flood, all the way from Mount Ararat to Peru-a journey which its extreme tardiness of locomotion rendered almost incredible. A wise man will enjoy the goods of which there is a plentiful supply, and of intellectual rubbish he will find an abundant diet, in our own age as in every other"
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