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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Links - 12th June 2018 (2)

Evergreen State and the Battle for Modernity Part 2: True Believers, Fence Sitters, and Group Conformity - "Conformity increased with the size of the in-group, but levelled off once the size reached four or five. In addition, conformity also increased when other group members were perceived to have higher social status. Taking these conclusions into consideration, the university/college setting is the conformist’s wet dream. From the very first day, freshmen are exposed to the ideas and beliefs of authority figures (professors) and older peers (upper classmen) and often encounter these same ideas in small group class break out sessions. In this environment, most young, impressionable co-eds are powerless to combat or contradict any idea thrown their way, no matter how nonsensical. Using this picture-perfect set-up, one could conceivably convert an entire cadre of young minds into believing anything from the earth is flat to biological sex is a social construct (oh wait)... Social scientist Timur Kuran, in his book Private Truths, Public Lies identifies a concept he calls “preference falsification,” in which individuals articulate preferences that are socially appropriate but do not reflect what they truly believe. This explains why a number of social movements, such as the Russian and Iranian Revolutions completely took observers by surprise. Most recently, the United States was stunned when Donald Trump defied virtually every single major poll to win the Presidential election. The theory of preference falsification suggests that large undercurrents of sentiment exist beyond social awareness and only need to be tapped into for the flood gates to open and for large scale changes to take place."

Evergreen State and the Battle for Modernity - "The real issue is, in the 60s and 70s, a new type of scholarship emerged around critical theory, and at the moment critical race theory at the front, it has reorganized the fundamental nature of the academy, because it is built from an incompatible set of assumptions from the sciences and other disciplines… and because of that the two can’t really be in terribly close contact, they have to be compartmentalized away from each other in a normal university setting, but that also means science is not in a position to check critical race theory, so critical race theory has reached some conclusions that I believe are not valid and it is now in such as strong political position to dictate those terms to the sciences that we are seeing a kind of reversal of fortune.'...
we are faced with a three-part distinction between postmodern/modern/traditional... it is between the modernists and postmodernists where the future of society is being fought. Modernists are those who believe in human progress within a classical Western tradition... Postmodernists, on the other hand, eschew any notion of objectivity, perceiving knowledge as a construct of power differentials rather than anything that could possibly be mutually agreed upon. Informed by such thinkers as Foucault and Derrida, science therefore becomes an instrument of Western oppression; indeed, all discourse is a power struggle between oppressors and oppressed. In this scheme, there is no Western civilization to preserve—as the more powerful force in the world, it automatically takes on the role of oppressor and therefore any form of equity must consequently then involve the overthrow of Western “hegemony.” These folks form the current Far Left, including those who would be described as communists, socialists, anarchists, Antifa, as well as social justice warriors (SJWs). These are all very different groups, but they all share a postmodernist ethos."

Methods Behind the Campus Madness - "Most of this campus violence and intolerance wouldn’t occur, for example, without the vocal and tacit support of a sub-section of faculty within today’s academic community. This is therefore much more cynical than a random, spontaneous outburst of student activism which accidentally turns violent. This section of academia, the majority of them postmodernists and ultra-leftists, explicitly endorse the suppression of their ideological opponents as well as free speech and debate. And they explicitly promote an ideological movement which involved hijacking Western academia and using students as their personal army... 'I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgment on Dr. Murray’s work and character, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written.'...
In Yale, a movement against teaching Shakespeare in English courses, was spearheaded by postmodernist academics, working on Queer theory... In the case of Berkeley academic-activists against Milo, 12 out of 13 academics who signed the original letter, were from Critical theory, Gender studies and Post-Colonial/Postmodernist/Marxist background. If one funds a research behind the campus activism, violence and open letters in other institutions and universities, I am fairly certain, it will be all spearheaded by critical theorists and postmodernists. Almost none of them will be qualified to judge any subject, from economics to international relations, to genetics, and evolutionary biology. Almost all of them would be activists... history also teaches us, that most of the violence against free academia is usually led by academics. It’s easy to forget that two of the most notorious anti-intellectual totalitarians, Goebbels and Lysenko, were both academics themselves."

What scares the new atheists | John Gray - "There is no more reason to think science can determine human values today than there was at the time of Haeckel or Huxley. None of the divergent values that atheists have from time to time promoted has any essential connection with atheism, or with science. How could any increase in scientific knowledge validate values such as human equality and personal autonomy? The source of these values is not science. In fact, as the most widely-read atheist thinker of all time argued, these quintessential liberal values have their origins in monotheism... Nietzsche understood that modern liberalism was a secular incarnation of these religious traditions. As a classical scholar, he recognised that a mystical Greek faith in reason had shaped the cultural matrix from which modern liberalism emerged. Some ancient Stoics defended the ideal of a cosmopolitan society; but this was based in the belief that humans share in the Logos, an immortal principle of rationality that was later absorbed into the conception of God with which we are familiar. Nietzsche was clear that the chief sources of liberalism were in Jewish and Christian theism: that is why he was so bitterly hostile to these religions. He was an atheist in large part because he rejected liberal values... it’s hard to make any sense of the idea of a universal morality without invoking an understanding of what it is to be human that has been borrowed from theism... If you think of morality in scientific terms, as part of the behaviour of the human animal, you find that humans don’t live according to iterations of a single universal code. Instead, they have fashioned many ways of life. A plurality of moralities is as natural for the human animal as the variety of languages... This is, in fact, the quintessential illusion of the ruling liberalism: the belief that all human beings are born freedom-loving and peaceful and become anything else only as a result of oppressive conditioning. But there is no hidden liberal struggling to escape from within the killers of the Islamic State and Boko Haram, any more than there was in the torturers who served the Pol Pot regime"

'The Lancet' Praises Karl Marx in Bizarre Editorial - "If Dr. Horton truly believes that Marx is an appropriate teacher, then why stop with him? Undoubtedly, there are plenty of insights we could learn from other unsavory historical figures. Perhaps in upcoming editorials, Dr. Horton will regale us with political pointers from Machiavelli, bioethics seminars from Jack Kevorkian, and anatomy lessons from Josef Mengele. It is time to call out academia's fascination with Karl Marx for what it really is: a pernicious form of historical revisionism that is nearly identical to Holocaust denial"

How to Fix America's Identity Crisis - "The Founders and their successors also struggled with the contradiction between black slavery in the United States and America’s creed of universal human rights. One popular solution to the dilemma was the idea that blacks deserved to be free—somewhere else. In his autobiography the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, himself a slave owner, wrote: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that [American slaves] are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government.” (The Jefferson Memorial quotes the first sentence but not the second)... White Americans also questioned the desirability of various European immigrant groups. In the Federalist Papers, John Jay equated Americans with Anglo-Americans: “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors.” Benjamin Franklin worried that German immigrants were overrunning Pennsylvania. Irish immigrants were seen, at different times, as apostles of French revolutionary radicalism or agents of the Vatican hostile to Protestantism and liberty... the left is deeply invested in the idea that the United States is not a diverse nation-state but rather a multinational state like Canada, Belgium or Iraq. The multiple “nations” or “peoples” of the United States are the five “races” of what the sociologist David Hollinger has called “the ethnoracial pentagon.” These are the official categories used by the U.S. Census: African-Americans, non-Hispanic whites, Latinos (or Hispanics), native Americans and Asian and Pacific Islanders. These categories were settled upon by the federal government in the 1970s, and all except African-American, with its historical basis in America’s white supremacist caste system, are arbitrary to the point of absurdity. For example, Arab-Americans and Norwegian-Americans are lumped together as “non-Hispanic whites” while Americans of Indian and Japanese descent find themselves part of an “Asian and Pacific Islander” community. What is more, according to the Census, Hispanics may be of any race. At the same time, the liberal left in America can’t make up its mind about which identities are fixed and which are fluid. According to today’s progressive orthodoxy, you can choose your gender but not your race. To inflate the numbers of “nonwhites” in America, the center-left has adopted the “one-drop” rule of the old white segregationists—even one nonwhite ancestor makes you a nonwhite. Roughly half of Latinos in the U.S. call themselves “white” but 100 percent are assigned by progressive pundits and Democratic strategists to the “nonwhite” population. In this way, the left promotes some racial labels rather than others for partisan advantage... In both cases, ancestry, race and ethnicity are seen as more important than a common American identity"

Why the #MeToo Movement Should Be Ready for a Backlash - "four feminist Harvard Law professors—Gersen, Elizabeth Bartholet, Nancy Gertner and Janet Halley—released a paper, titled “Fairness for All,” writing that the procedures on campus today “are frequently so unfair as to be truly shocking.” For example, “some colleges and universities fail even to give students the complaint against them, or notice of the factual basis of the charges, the evidence gathered, or the identities of witnesses.”... In a scathing rebuke of today’s investigation and adjudication processes on campus, the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, a leading Title IX consulting firm, released a white paper in April accusing many Title IX officers of “victim-favoring” and putting students’ “sexual decisions under a microscope.” The paper warned that unless campus processes were reformed, a backlash could “set back the entire consent movement.” Democratic politicians in particular have acted with disdain for the rights of accused male students, and with disregard for ending their education and professional prospects. At a 2015 congressional hearing on campus sexual assault, Representative Jared Polis of Colorado suggested that anyone accused of sexual misconduct should be dismissed without any fact-finding at all. “If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people”... “Definitions of sexual wrongdoing on college campuses are now seriously overbroad,” the feminist Harvard Law professors wrote. “They are so broad as to put students engaged in behavior that is overwhelmingly common in the context of romantic relationships to be accused of sexual misconduct.”... Slate intern Lila Thulin recently wrote that as a student at Stanford, she had an experience largely free of the abuse Democrats describe. But now it seemed inevitable to her that something terrible was going to happen at the office: “I began to feel vulnerable, as if a clock somewhere was counting down the time until I, too, would be sexually harassed.” If young women come to presume that male colleagues who take an interest in their work actually have a malign motive, or if male bosses wanting to give opportunities to female subordinates worry about inviting them on work trips, everyone loses... As Laura Kipnis, a feminist professor at Northwestern, writes in her book, Unwanted Advances, “I can think of no better way to subjugate women than to convince us that assault is around every corner.”"

Gender pay gap in modelling industry sees women earn 75% more than men

Why Japanese Web Design Is (Still) the Way It Is - "In two totally different fields, we see that the Japan-specific manifestations of globally known brands tend to be a lot more packed full of content. And the Japanese audience eats it up... Japanese people tend to require more information before reaching a purchasing decision. So for printed brochures, it is standard practice for Japanese companies to create one text-heavy version for the Japanese domestic market, and another “rest of the world” version that gets localized into multiple languages for markets worldwide."

Husband’s Reaction to His Wife’s Sexual Rejection Is Predicted by the Time She Spends With Her Male Friends but Not Her Male Coworkers - "Males among many species, including humans, evaluate cues of sperm competition risk and adjust accordingly their sperm competition tactics. The number of potential sexual rivals can serve as an index of sperm competition risk. Therefore, men may adjust their in-pair copulatory interest in accordance with the presence of sexual rivals. Using self-reports from 45 married men, we test the hypotheses that the time a man’s wife spends with other men—either male friends or male coworkers—will positively predict a man’s copulatory interest in his wife (Hypothesis 1) and his anger (Hypothesis 2), upset (Hypothesis 3), and frustration (Hypothesis 4) in response to his wife’s sexual rejection. The results show that the time wives spend with male friends (but not male coworkers) predicts their husbands’ anger, upset, and frustration in response to sexual rejection, providing support for Hypotheses 2–4. Discussion highlights novel contributions of the current research and provides a potential explanation for the discrepant findings regarding male friends versus male coworkers"

Bermuda same-sex marriage: Government will not block bill - "the British overseas territory became the first country in the world to pass, and then revoke, the law, replacing gay marriage with domestic partnerships... "That bill has been democratically passed by the Parliament of Bermuda, and our relationship with the overseas territories is based on partnership and respect for their right to democratic self-government." MPs on all sides criticised the decision and called it a backward step."
How to get a liberal to support colonialism

#MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations - "California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — whose high-profile advocacy of the #MeToo movement earned her national media notice — is herself the subject of a state legislative investigation in the wake of a report that she sexually harassed and groped a former legislative staffer... Fierro is not the only one claiming improper advances by Garcia. A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser... Two Assembly staffers who were Sacramento colleagues with Fierro, who is now president of his own Southern California firm, Presidio Strategic Communications, confirmed to POLITICO that he related the incident to them immediately after the episode. "
Looks like it's not just male feminists who are suspect

Why do some women who describe themselves as feminists still want men to pay for them on dates? - Quora - "If you asked someone out, you have to realize you are expected to absorb the cost"
"Being a woman is generally more expensive than being a man... they spend significant money on makeup, hair products, nail care, skin care, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories... Tampons, yearly gynecological exams and Pap smears, yeast infection treatment, and UTI treatment add up. Add to that the cost of a bra wardrobe."
"women make about 80% of what men do on the whole and 89% of what men do for the same jobs"
"Many men don't feel comfortable letting the woman pay. The woman may fear that if she tries to pay for the bill, that the man will think that she thinks that he doesn't make a lot of money. First dates are awkward enough; it's easiest just to go with what's expected"
"Call me a feminist but I still believe chivalry is not dead."
"Feminism is about believing women have more important things to do than argue about things like this."
It's very interesting seeing how they justify benefiting from gender norms when it suits them

Alternative Podcast app for iOS 11? - "I listen to podcasts a lot during my commute. I don't really need a lot of features... but being able to listen to a series of individual episodes from a podcast with short episodes (e.g. Stardate, NPR Story of the Day) without having to manually trigger each one is a must for me. I've stuck with the standard iOS podcast app until now - but, with iOS 11, they're removed even this simple feature. Sure I can put in work and build a manual playlist, and that will play in order... but that seems ridiculous when all I want to do is listen to the last five episodes of Stardate (or whatever)."
"It seems like every year Apple screws with the podcast app in a way that makes nothing better. This year they’ve managed to make it worse, so I’ve about had it."
Plus no more playlists

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Widows And War Criminals - "Old cultural practices are still carried out, including widow cleansing when a bereaved woman is forced to have sex with a stranger called a cleanser in order to rid her of an evil spirit she is believed to have inherited upon the death of her husband. The ritual lasts three days. First I had sex on the floor and then on the bed, Pamela tells me. In the morning I burnt my clothes and the sack that I slept on and then the cleanser shaved all my hair. After three days locked in her house with a man she didn't know Pamela returned to her parents' home to make him a roast chicken and then watched him eat it as the ritual requires. This tradition dates back centuries and although it was outlawed by the Kenyan government in twenty fifteen culture can still take precedence over the law in these parts. If women refuse to be cleansed they risk losing not only their property but also the custody of their children"
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