"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Links - 6th October 2018 (2)

HARPER: Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is a threat to all of us - "The rise in anti-Semitism across Europe should be alarming to all of us, and not just for moral reasons. History shows that the mindset which embraces anti-Semitism rarely restricts its hatred to the Jewish minority. Today’s threats against Europe’s Jewish populations are both different and more diverse than those in the past. Far-right extremism is still with us, but now represents only one slice of the problem. Radical, jihadist Islam is now the much larger threat. However, the far-left has also become a substantial source of anti-Semitism. Today’s hard-left exhibits a particularly pernicious form of anti-Semitism – one couched in anti-racism rhetoric to make it socially acceptable in polite company... we arrive at the sorry phenomenon that is Britain’s Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn – a man who lays wreaths at the graves of anti-Semitic terrorists, and then thinly papers over his actions with nonsensical hair-splitting. Mr Corbyn’s comfort in the company of anti-Semites and other extremists whom he calls “friends” speaks for itself. While he claims to embrace such individuals in the name of “peace,” it is a peace that only ever involves the enemies of the West generally and of the Jewish people specifically. From the highest levels to the foot soldiers of Corbyn’s Momentum, not a day goes by without another vile display of anti-Semitism, darkly hinting about an omnipresent Jewish cabal, controlling the media and conspiring for their comrade-leader’s downfall... It is the far-left’s obsession with Israel that concerns us most specifically. Our organization is premised on a simple demand: A fair debate about that country, on the same terms which we extend to debates on all other countries. Today’s anti-Semitism all too often manifests itself in the singling out of Israel, depicted as a uniquely horrific place, responsible for all the ills of the Middle East, if not the world. A fair examination would show that nothing could be further from the truth. Israel grapples with some of the most acute challenges the West faces in defending ourselves against jihadist aggression while maintaining modern, open societies. Israel carries this burden admirably, sustained by a democratic polity and a civil judiciary that, in some instances, surpass our own practices. It does this despite having been repeatedly tested under fire in ways our own citizens would simply not tolerate... This column, which first appeared in The Telegraph, was co-authored with David Trimble, who was First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002."
This has the imprimatur of a Nobel Peace Prize winner

'Nazi uniforms' at Gloucester 'Allo 'Allo reunion accidentally spark hard-right fears in twitter storm - "An ‘Allo ‘Allo reunion on the streets of Gloucester has led to outrage over the 'hard right' due to their Nazi uniforms."

Can somebody finally settle this question: Does water flowing down a drain spin in different directions depending on which hemisphere you're in? And if so, why? - "There is an African country near the equator where entrepreneurs have set up two toilets, one just north of the equator, the other just south of it. For a fee, they will allegedly demonstrate that the toilets flush in opposite directions. It is only for show, however; there is no real effect. Yes, there is such a thing as the Coriolis effect, but it is not enough to dominate the flushing of a toilet--and the effect is weakest at the equator"

Subway removes pork from stores after 'strong demand' from Muslims - "Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers. It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules. The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with 'the views of religious communities'."

Mystery prize machines are back, boxes no longer a mystery - "Hey Box, which ceased operations along with all other vendors last month, has tweaked its business model to comply with the law. The boxes in the machines now have a plastic window, making the contents visible. On Aug 16, the police had said that operating the machines was considered a form of public lottery and was illegal. Previously, users typically paid $10 to buy a box which contained a mystery prize, usually mobile phone accessories, but which could also include luxury goods and gaming consoles."
Just sell some crap with a chance to win something valuable and it's probably alright since stores run such promotions all the time

Student Kicked Out Of Class For Asking Feminist Professor How Women Are Simultaneously 'Powerful' And 'Helpless Victims Of Patriarchy' - "Students in the class describe Dr. Richards’s initial reaction as one of complete shock. “She just stood there with her mouth open and her hands on her hips,” one student told us on the condition of anonymity. After a full sixty seconds of silence, students allege, Dr. Richards “lost it” and yanked Johnson out of his chair. “Typical intolerant male!” Dr. Richards reportedly yelled as she dragged Johnson from his collar into the hallway. “TOXIC MASCULINITY, BEGONE!”... Johnson has since apologized to his professor, his class, as well as the entire student body, claiming that his question came from a place of “subconscious misogyny” and that he won’t let it happen again."

Chinese farmer declares war on property developers with homemade wheelbarrow cannon - "Yang Youde, who lives on the outskirts of the bustling city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, said he had fended off two eviction attempts with his improvised weapon, which uses ammunition made from locally sold fireworks... His approach is more aggressive than most, but Mr Yang's problem is a common one. Anger over property confiscation is one of the leading causes of unrest in China, with many people forced to give up homes and land to make way for anything from roads to luxury villas."

IVF to fix male infertility 'infringes human rights of women' argue scientists - "Women are unfairly paying the price for men's falling fertility, scientists have warned... a widely used form of IVF which involves injecting a sperm directly into an egg, before implanting it into the mother, is now being used regularly to ‘bypass’ male infertility. Scientists warned that the treatment infringes ‘the basic human rights and dignity of women’ because they are forced to undergo invasive procedures to harvest their eggs and then implant an embryo, even though they themselves are not infertile."
???
We have explicit discriminatory policies on potty parity, dedicating more space to women's toilets, and men having no reproductive rights but something men cannot control and is a quirk of the environment infringes human rights; if it were women who were infertile, they would be pointing to this as evidence of sexism instead


Why Did Foucault Disregard Iranian Feminists in His Support for Khomeini? - "The transition to the Islamic Republic, ruled over by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, found the unlikely support of Michel Foucault, the French philosopher well-known for his anti-authoritarian critique of Western modernity, who expressed great enthusiasm for the Shi’ite Islamist elements of the Revolution... The authors argue that Foucault’s attitude in this sense — rather than signify some aberration or lapse in judgment — indeed follows from his post-structuralist political theorizing, which rejects the Enlightenment and despairs at the historical possibility of emancipation. As such, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution serves as an important warning for Western radicals and intellectuals vis-à-vis revolutionary movements, anti-imperialism and political authoritarianism in the rest of the world. Moreover, it raises questions about the liberatory potential of post-structuralism, detailing how that tendency’s preeminent spokesperson so clearly betrayed Iran’s workers, women, LGBTQ citizens, dissidents and religious and ethnic minorities by romanticizing what French leftist Maxime Rodinson refers to as “a type of archaic fascism.”... Foucault privileges pre-modernism, irrationalism and traditionalism — and therefore patriarchal domination... in certain ways, the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini can be said to typify the “will to power” developed by Friedrich Nietzsche, the authoritarian irrationalist whose thought was central to Foucault’s worldview, as was that of Martin Heidegger, the Nazi-friendly phenomenologist whose concept of “being toward death” resonated with Foucault. The authors have a point, then, in observing that “Foucault’s affinity with the Iranian Islamists […] may also reveal some of the larger ramifications of his Nietzschean-Heideggerian discourse.”... an Iranian woman named “Atoussa H.” to call him out publicly. In a letter to Le Nouvel Observateur published in November 1978, Foucault’s critic issued a warning about the philosopher’s romanticization of Islamism and the prospect of an Islamic State in Iran, noting that, “everywhere outside Iran, Islam serves as a cover for feudal or pseudo-revolutionary oppression.” Atoussa H. despaired at the prospect of having the reign of the bloody Shah merely yield to religious fanaticism. Foucault’s public reply to Atoussa H. was condescending and evasive — rather than respond to the woman’s concerns, Foucault accused her feminism of being Orientalist... Foucault failed to grasp that “an anti-Western, religiously based system of power” could be as oppressive as fascism or Stalinism... Foucault’s delusions regarding Iran mirror the serious errors expressed by several left-wing intellectuals in history — Albert Camus, for example, who rejected Algerian independence from the French Empire, or the numerous thinkers who lent their support to the Soviet Union and Maoist China — and they are well-critiqued by Dunayevskaya’s denunciation of observers of the Iranian Revolution who prioritized anti-imperialism over internal oppression"

Michel Foucault's Iranian Folly - "Islam values work; no one can be deprived of the fruits of his labor, what must belong to all (water, the sub-soil) shall not be appropriated by anyone. With respect to liberties, they will be respected to the extent that their exercise will not harm others; minorities will be protected and free to live as they please on the condition that they do not harm the majority; between men and women there will not be inequality with respect to rights, but difference, since there is natural difference. With respect to politics, decisions should be made by the majority, the leaders should be responsible to the people, and each person, as it is laid out in the Quran, should be able to stand up and hold accountable he who governs."

Dave Rubin on Twitter - "Hi @teamyoutube, can you let me know what about this interview with researcher and author @DrDebraSoh caused it to be demonetized? And not just by the algorithm but also by manual review"
"Sex Research, Asian Discrimination, and #MeToo (Debra Soh Full Interview)"
If science advances "harmful gender stereotypes", science is hate speech and must be marginalised


Street Grooming, Criminality and Culture – Youth & Policy - "In Birmingham in 2010, a report compiled by West Midlands Police (WMP) identified groups of ‘Asian’ men grooming school girls with alcohol and drugs and then sexually abusing them (Oldham, 2010). The report was not made public in order to avoid inflaming racial tensions in the run-up to the 2010 General Election"
I thought it was a far right conspiracy theory that this was being suppressed

Shteve #Refollow Again One of These Was Banned for Promoting an Unhealthy Body Image
Glorifying obesity is healthy

Who's Afraid Of PJ Thum? - "PJ Thum is not just any garden-variety opposition. He is a rare and unique archetype found only in Singaporean politics: The PAP Minister Gone Rogue."

EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals - "The business of big journals is about as lucrative as it gets. The market is worth €10 billion a year globally, with operating margins for publishers of about 30 per cent. A 2005 Deutsche Bank report referred to academic publishing as a “bizarre triple-pay” system, in which “the state funds most research, pays the salaries of most of those checking the quality of research, and then buys most of the published product” for thousands of euros per year."

Academic slams Qantas after she is called Miss instead of Doctor - "Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer, an Australian academic currently working in the UK, took to Twitter on Friday to complain about her experience of being called Miss... 'I'm first gen to finish high school (let alone get several degrees) in my family … I'll be damned is some trolley dolly gets to decide what honorific I get called, FFS.'... British man Tim Almond said people who insisted on being called Doctor on planes when they didn't have a medical degree could UK man Tim Almond said he had two friends with doctorates who refused to use their correct title outside of professional conferences. 'You're asking for trouble on an aircraft. A passenger gets stuck and they'll ask you for help,' he tweeted... 'Your tweet is exactly about ego. How many male doctors write tweets to Qantas complaining they get called Mr & not Dr ? If they did, they would cop exactly same the responses as you,' one man wrote."
Her denigration of cabin staff is very telling

An Incredibly Horny Dolphin Is Terrorizing Swimmers at a French Beach

‘Human impulses run riot’: China’s shocking pace of change - "These three surges in suicide demonstrate the failure and impotence of legal institutions in China. The public security organs, prosecutorial agencies and courts all stopped functioning at the start of the Cultural Revolution; thereafter, laws existed only in name. Since Mao’s death, a robust legal system has never truly been established and, today, law’s failure manifests itself in two ways. First, the law is strong only on paper: in practice, law tends to be subservient to the power that officials wield. Second, when officials realise they are being investigated and know their position won’t save them, some will choose to die rather than submit to legal sanctions, for officials who believe in power don’t believe in law... In China today, Buddhist temples are crowded with worshippers, while Taoist temples are largely deserted. A few years ago, I asked a Taoist abbot: “Taoism is native to China, so why is it not as popular as Buddhism, which came here from abroad?” His answer was short: “Buddhism has money and Taoism doesn’t.”... Protests today are not geared towards transforming society – they are simply designed to protect the material interests of the group involved"

Observations - 6th October 2018

"Join the military.
See the world.
Kill people."

"a HR manager [commented] about how Singaporeans need to stop "killing one another", and he gave the analogy of how certain nationalities would celebrate their people who are 97% competent and put them up for promotion, but his Singaporean teams would say that the 97% competent is still lacking 3% and not ready for promotion."

“I've been married for over 20 years, and my Japanese wife still freaks out about my gaijin nose at least once a week"


"If Arabs had to choose between two states, secular and religious, they would vote for religious and flee to secular." - Ali Al Wardi

Mizan Nayan @amizannayan: Islam was introduced to move Arab from tribalism, but Arab tribalism has conquered Islam. - Dr. Eyad Serraj.

"In Sunni Islam, female circumcision is mandatory in the Shafi'i mazhab and encouraged in the other mazhabs. This is because the Prophet's family practised it. So it has a basis in the Sunnah."

"Muslims who wish to convert from Islam face severe obstacles"
"Hence the agony in mat rockers' voices as they belt out: "you can check out anytime but you can never leave"."


The problem with people who have "funny" fake names on Facebook is that when you want to find them it's a pain

"I think a better title for this article would be "two dickheads had an argument on social media and for some reason we need you all to care about this""

To get around the minimum fee on microtransactions problem (which is why they want to charge us $5 for a month rather than $0.05 per article), media sites should offer packages - e.g. 30 articles for $3

MMORPG: Many Men Online Role Playing as Girls

If your app won't stop harassing me till I write a review with no way to dismiss the nag permanently I'm giving it a one star rating


"Even spagetti is straight until hot amd wet"

"Has the National Council of Churches made a statement about the adulterous @STcom scandal yet?"
"Maybe when there is a yearly parade at Hong Lim Park called Scarlet Dot celebrating adultery under the freedom to love outside of mono-normative constraints they might."

"Transgendered people want to be accepted for who they are, yet they weren't able to accept themselves for who they were?"

Claiming Christians who have opinions on public policy are just hiding their dominionist views is like accusing secular Muslims of taqqiya whenever they denounce Islamism

"I used to talk to older generations of Chinese about SJWs in the West.
They would say to me, "Yeah, yeah.. We heard it all before, privilege, oppressor class, victim class, identity struggle, self crit sessions, class struggle theory whatever.. Those white kids sound like lamer versions of the Red Guards. You heard of the Red Guards?"

"Once you please one group, you have to please everyone."

Links - 6th October 2018 (1)

'Bull---- investigation,' 'sham,' 'horrific cover-up': Democrats blast FBI Kavanaugh report - ""There is no corroboration of the allegations" made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or Ramirez."
When the FBI investigation doesn't go your way...
Strangely the Anita Hill investigation only took 2-3 days (i.e. even shorter)


Prosecutor Who Questioned Ford Shreds Her Case In Five-Page Memo - "Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford last week during a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a five-page memo that was released on Sunday that outlines why she would not bring criminal charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Mitchell's memo notes nine significant problems with Ford's testimony and underscores that her case is "even weaker" than a "he said, she said" case... "Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard...
Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account... She does, however, remember small, distinct details from the party unrelated to the assault. For example, she testified that she had exactly one beer at the party and was taking no medication at the time of the alleged assault...
Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend... Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault...
The date of the hearing was delayed because the Committee was informed that her symptoms prevent her from flying. But she agreed during her testimony that she flies “fairly frequently for [her] hobbies and … work.” She flies to the mid-Atlantic at least once a year to visit her family. She has flown to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Costa Rica. She also flew to Washington, D.C. for the hearing."

Amid Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle, Democratic Enthusiasm Edge Evaporates - "Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared... In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were "very important." Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie... The results come amid the pitched and hotly partisan confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court"

Opinion | For Once, I’m Grateful for Trump - The New York Times - "I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I’m grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying. I’m grateful because he’s a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger... “I’d rather be accused of murder,” he said, “than of sexual assault.” I feel the same way. One can think of excuses for killing a man; none for assaulting a woman... “Boo hoo hoo. Brett Kavanaugh is not a victim.” That’s the title of a column in the Los Angeles Times, which suggests that the possibility of Kavanaugh’s innocence is “infinitesimal.” Yet false allegations of rape, while relatively rare, are at least five times as common as false accusations of other types of crime, according to academic literature. Since when did the possibility of innocence become, for today’s liberals, something to wave off with an archly unfeeling “boo hoo”?... Swetnick’s claims border on the preposterous. They are wholly uncorroborated. But that didn’t keep Kavanaugh’s opponents, in politics and the press, from seizing them as evidence of corroboration with Blasey’s allegation, which is not preposterous but is also largely uncorroborated, and with the allegation of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez — uncorroborated again... Will a full-bore investigation of adolescent behavior now become a standard part of the “job interview” for all senior office holders? I’m for it — provided we can start with your adolescent behavior, as it relates to your next job... Listening to Richard Blumenthal lecture Kavanaugh on the legal concept of falsus in omnibus — false in one thing, false in everything — when the senator from Connecticut lied shamelessly for years about his military service. And then feeling grateful to Trump for having the simple nerve to point out the naked hypocrisy... Listening to Dianne Feinstein denounce Kavanaugh for failing to reflect an “impartial temperament or the fairness and even-handedness one would see in a judge.” This lecture would have gone down more easily if Feinstein hadn’t gamed the process for her own partisan purposes, and at huge personal cost to Kavanaugh and Blasey alike... the facile stereotype of “white privilege” that keeps cropping up in discussions of Kavanaugh’s background is yet another ugly tactic in the battle to defeat him."

WATCH: Kavanaugh Accuser Swetnick Walks Back Some Of Her Explosive Allegations - "Julie Swetnick, the Kavanaugh accuser represented by sensationalist lawyer Michael Avenatti, changed parts of her story during an interview with NBC News that aired on Monday, appearing to walk back some of her most explosive claims about the Supreme Court nominee. NBC News' Kate Snow noted that the network could not verify any of Swetnick's salacious claims before she highlighted how Swetnick's claims during the interview varied from her written declaration... Swetnick's credibility has come into question amid recent reports concerning multiple unsubstantiated sexual misconduct claims she's made against employers, one of which has accused her of lying about her education and workplace experience"

Could Brett Kavanaugh be angry because maybe — just maybe — he has been wrongly accused? - "Could he not also feel entitled to some measure of fair play? Before these allegations surfaced, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) insisted that Kavanaugh’s nomination was “evil.” Since then, Kavanaugh has been accused of orchestrating rape gangs. And yet we’re supposed to believe his anger derives not from such accusations but from some abstract idea of white male powerlessness? Kavanaugh’s critics have fallen into an argument built on a narrative of bigotry. Men from his background have done bad things in the past, and since he fits the stereotype, he is a symbol of their collective guilt. Women have been treated horribly when they’ve made allegations, so now we must believe all women. Never mind that there were times in America when “believe all white women” was the rule. When they made allegations against black men, it led to some unspeakable evils. “To Kill A Mockingbird” is in many ways a modern allegory about those times."

Rifts Break Open at Facebook Over Kavanaugh Hearing - The New York Times - "“I want to apologize,” the Facebook executive wrote last Friday in a note to staff. “I recognize this moment is a deeply painful one — internally and externally.” The apology came from Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy. A day earlier, Mr. Kaplan had sat behind his friend, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, when the judge testified in Congress about allegations he had sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford in high school. Mr. Kaplan’s surprise appearance prompted anger and shock among many Facebook employees, some of whom said they took his action as a tacit show of support for Judge Kavanaugh — as if it were an endorsement from Facebook itself. The unrest quickly spilled over onto Facebook’s internal message boards, where hundreds of workers have since posted about their concerns, according to current and former employees. To quell the hubbub, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, last Friday explained in a widely attended staff meeting that Mr. Kaplan was a close friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s and had broken no company rules... Mr. Kaplan’s show of support for Judge Kavanaugh hits a particularly sensitive spot for Facebook. It has been weathering claims from conservatives and Mr. Trump that Facebook is biased against right-wing websites and opinions. The company has denied this, saying it is a neutral platform that welcomes all perspectives. By showing up at Judge Kavanaugh’s side, Mr. Kaplan essentially appeared to choose a political side that goes against the views of Facebook’s largely liberal work force... Mr. Zuckerberg defended Mr. Kaplan’s appearance as a personal decision that did not violate company rules. Mr. Zuckerberg also said he trusted Mr. Kaplan’s judgment, even though he himself would most likely not have chosen to attend the hearing, said two people who were at the meeting. The messaging backfired. Some employees — particularly women — said it came across as if Mr. Zuckerberg was shrugging off Dr. Blasey’s comments about sexual assault, saying that the chief executive’s remarks had caused “stress and trauma” and were “painful to hear.”"
What happens when you hire SJWs

Brett Kavanaugh and the Problem With #BelieveSurvivors - "If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion. Whether an investigation takes place at a school, at a workplace, or in the criminal-justice system, neutral fact-finding must apply, regardless of how disturbing we find the offense, the group identity of the accused, or the political leanings of those involved. History demonstrates that ascribing honesty or dishonesty, criminality or righteousness solely on the basis of gender or race doesn’t increase the amount of equity in the world. The best reporting of the #MeToo movement has shown that when journalists examine all the possible holes in an accuser’s account, find corroborating witnesses and documentary evidence, and give the accused the opportunity to respond, they make the victim’s story more powerful... the Republican questioning of Ford was not particularly harsh, and while it was intended to knock her credibility, that’s the purpose of adversarial proceedings... the Senate Judiciary hearings echoed the quasi-trials that regularly take place on college campuses... I have yet to talk to an accused student, even one who was eventually cleared, whose life wasn’t profoundly damaged; every one has told me that at some point he considered suicide. So I understand that Kavanaugh’s anguish was real, and I believe he was entitled to express it... In one sense, the hearing was theater, not fact-finding, because except for a handful of undecided senators, the rest had already made up their mind about the accusation based entirely on their desire to either seat or thwart Kavanaugh... We don’t even have to imagine the dangers of a system based on automatic belief—Britain recently experienced a national scandal over such policies. After widespread adoption of a rule that law enforcement must believe reports of sexual violation, police failed to properly investigate claims and ignored exculpatory evidence. Dozens of prosecutions collapsed as a result, and the head of an organization of people abused in childhood urged that the police return to a neutral stance. Biased investigations and prosecutions, he said, create miscarriages of justice that undermine the credibility of all accusers. The legitimacy and credibility of our institutions are rapidly eroding"

Harvard Law Students Filed Title IX Complaints Claiming Brett Kavanaugh’s Presence Was Sexual Harassment - "Kellogg and fellow student Julia B. Wiener, also a senior, filed complaints claiming Kavanaugh’s presence on campus would create a “hostile environment” for women because of the uncorroborated and thin sexual assault allegations against him... Law professor Janet Halley also dismissed the strategy, telling the Crimson: “I urge the students to divert their energy from this implausible claim that he’s going to create a sexually hostile environment by teaching at the Law School to the really grand issue of whether he’s fit to be in his current judgeship or promoted to the Supreme Court.” Kavanaugh has already withdrawn from teaching another course at Harvard, even though he has taught for more than a decade with mostly “glowing praise.”"
Maybe Title IX should just go

(PDF) The Prevalence of False Allegations of Rape in the United States from 2006-2010 - "Approximately 5% of the allegations of rape were deemed false or baseless. That was at least five times higher than for most other offence types... The researchers who conducted the other studies reported prevalence rates varying from 3 to 90%... The FBI has NEVER said that false accusations of rape are only 8%. The FBI, in all of its crime reports, has a boilerplate phrase which states: “Law enforcement determines that 8% of rape complaints are false every year.” That does not mean the other 92% are true. It simply means that law enforcement does not refer 8% of cases to prosecutors because those 8% are so obviously false that they do not meet the low test for “probable cause.”"
Wikipedia: "Cases of disputed consent were not included in the results as they were subject to judicial review in court"

Does the FBI Say that Only 8% of Rape Accusations are False? - "Let’s examine the myth that only 2–8% of rape accusations are false. Loyola University Law School did an exhaustive study on this myth. They traced the myth back to a feminist novelist in the 1970’s who stated, without any basis, that the rate of false accusations of rape were only 2%. [Ed: "The Truth behind Legal Dominance Feminism's Two Percent False Rape Claiom Figure"] In reality, we know that in the 1980’s and 1990’s, before rape hysteria took hold of our mainstream media, the rate of false accusations of rape were between 50% and 60%.

Logic, Empathy, Honesty - "Paul Joseph Watson has been suspended for 12 hours, just as Alex Jones is permanently banned. The reason? Sharing a video about Alex Jones. Pretending this isn't political censorship is now beyond stupidity and into complicity. These organizations are out to control the landscape of political speech, and we can't be silent while they control us."

Sarah Baker - Kamala Harris: "The government should not tell women what to do with their bodies"
"A new movement to legalize prostitution faces a fight with Kamala Harris"
"“The government should not tell women what to do with their bodies, except when I am the government and they have unauthorized consensual sex with other adults—and then they should go to jail.” Kamala Harris, I guess."

Friday, October 05, 2018

Links - 5th October 2018 (2)

*laughs in diabetes* - "The Guardian: "Fighting fatphobia. Ten ways to do the right thing."
"Unhealthy lifestyles put four in five adults at risk of early death""

Governments have failed Canada's sex workers—and they're running out of patience - "There hasn’t been a recorded murder of a sex worker in Vancouver in nearly a decade... The changes can be traced back to 2012, when Vancouver police drafted a new policing strategy that completely overhauled how they deal with sex workers, and the sex trade more broadly... in Vancouver, sex work is effectively decriminalized... But Vancouver is a lone exception to the rule in Canada. Go outside Metro Vancouver—where police, by their own policy, are largely unconcerned with enforcing Canada’s laws around sex work—and it’s a totally different scenario... According to a research project conducted by York University masters student Arlene Jane Pitts in 2015, sex workers have in recent years “not witnessed any decrease in police harassment and instead stated it had increased”... Canada’s new laws—ones that supposedly decriminalized sex work, complying with a major Supreme Court ruling on the matter—have only made things worse... some peer-review studies back up the assertion that decriminalization does reduce violence and improve health comes for sex workers. A 2016 study, published in peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, studied the correlation between HIV transmission rates amongst sex workers and government policies on the sex trade... Decriminalizing sex work doesn’t win many votes. Cracking down on it does."

Acute HIV infection in Singapore: predominance of men who have sex with men. - "Men who have sex with men account for the majority of patients with acute HIV infections in Singapore, many of them also being co-infected with syphilis"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Brainwashing, Legal Brothels and Hair Transplants - "Officially China says these reeducation camps don't exist… China censors big time, but thus far, it can’t censor satellite photographs taken from space. A human rights researcher in Germany called Adrian Zenz has made it his life's work to document the rise of the camp system in Xinjiang. He matches the images of camps he finds on Google Earth with tenders for construction and staffing. He identifies barbed wire, walls, watchtowers and car parks for the guards. He reckons up to a million Uighers may be in the camps"

Why some men in Papua New Guinea cut their skin to resemble crocodiles - "the older men bear the marks of crocodile initiation. But it's dying out. "The missionaries were against it," says Simon Kemaken, a primary school teacher. "We still have a ceremony every few years to revere the crocodile, but these days few local boys are getting cut." He says the cost of arranging the scarification ceremonies is putting the younger men's families off. Yet in Parambei, where the Catholic church is present, scarification remains almost universal among the men. I wondered why the church's influence hadn't prevailed here... It was one of those moments when modern Westerners like me often tut and think "Oh, why can't we leave these people's customs alone?" Until Malingi revealed the missionaries had also persuaded his ancestors to stop head-hunting... heads were stripped of their flesh - which would be mixed with pig and dog meat and fed to children, to make them strong. I imagined the practice had disappeared ages ago, so was surprised when he insisted it only ended around 1943... he told me the next mass scarification of the village's young men into the cult of the crocodile would take place this November. "It is important we continue this in Parambei," he insisted. "The crocodile cutting gives us a sense of purpose. After the men have undergone the pain of cutting they are ready for anything in life.""

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Leading The Change - "It would be easy to laugh at Macedonia’s dispute with Greece... try not to chortle at the accusation that a poor, tiny land-locked country of two million citizens might have territorial designs on a chunk of its much larger southern neighbour. And suppress those giggles when you hear of the protesters insisting that the people to the South have no right to call themselves Macedonian because their ancestors only arrived in the sixth century… Few visitors can keep a straight face when they clap their eyes on the center of Skopje. Over the past decade Macedonia’s capital has suffered severe collateral damage during an epic campaign of trolling aimed at Greece. The main square now boasts - if that's the right word - a humongous, poorly proportioned representation of a warrior on a horse perched on a vertiginous plinth surrounded by musical fountains. It's not officially Alexander the Great, but there's little doubt about who it's supposed to be. Nearby on another fountain he’s represented as a breastfeeding baby and his father Philip of Macedon is also rendered in stone completing Macedonia’s bid to claim for its own a family of Greek heroes. In fact, this was the core of a government policy known as antiquisation. It was an effort to recast Macedonia as the cradle of civilization and involved the construction of vast neo-classical buildings as well as the installation of scores of statues...
[As a member of a South African group which fought for civil rights in 1968] The vast estate on which the University was built was donated by Cecil Rhodes. His statue, brooding with his chin in his hand, stood at the foot of the main campus. I winced every time I went by - aware of his legacy as an imperial figure and it was good for me. It was just the kind of barb students need to prod them into inquiring into the past. But the students of 2015 saw things very differently. Human excrement was flung at the statue, demonstrations were held. The university administration, attempting to contain the rage, removed Rhodes, but the fury only escalated. The vice-chancellor's office was trashed, works of art were removed and burnt, lecturers were abused and classes disrupted. Each time the administration attempted to reason with the students, to no avail. Amnesties were given and criminal action forgiven yet still the anger burned. One of our fellow members of the 68 protest was forced to abandon his classes - in maths, of all things, and lecture from home by video finally. Finally and tragically, the bullying contributed to the death of one of South Africa's finest black academics - Professor Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. He took his own life. The circumstances are contested, but few deny that the aggression and abuse he received played no part. As the Vice Chancellor put it, all of us at UCT failed him"
SJWism kills

Mary Beard’s life in Classics - History Extra - "They help us see ourselves from the outside. History is partly about realizing how weird you're going to look in two thousand years' time... what would the Romans think think of us has to be a question that follows, what do we think of the Romans?...
We have to be careful about being, being too confident of our own superiority. And I think I once spent a long time in the Colosseum just listening to what largerly school parties were told, and it was interesting that every European language that I could understand, the teacher's pattern was very much the same. It would say, what happened here? And eventually usually a little boy would say: Oh people came and killed people here for pleasure. And the teacher would then say, would we do that now? And they say oh no we wouldn't. And you wanted to say, hang on, you know, hang on. I know that boxing isn't a fight to the death, but what do you think happens to boxers in old age? I think the same goes for slavery... do we have slaves now? And you say no. Hang on a minute. There are people on this planet living in the same conditions that we are now deploying. So I think that there's two sides to the morality."

Female spies of the Civil War era - History Extra - "Letter locking. The modern envelope, the mass produced envelope, is actually nineteen century invention. So before the 19th century letter writers folded the sheets of paper on which they had written the words in such a way that it became its own sending device. Writers really manipulated their paper in such a way that the the folding could sort of function as a key. For instance, it could identify the letter writer. If we were both spies we would, for instance, have agreed that you would send me a leter folded like a triangle shape which was particularly different to fold, so if the letter was intercepted and then re-sealed by the interceptor and it would receive it, I could sort of check all the folds to see whether all the paper locks are still intact, whether all the paper fibers would still line up, whether all the slits or corners are exactly as I would expect, so it would actually advertise better, a letter would have been tampered with...
Women were thought to be inferior in this period and they were thought not to be capable of political thoughts. So when an interceptor came across a letter for instance, written in a woman's hand, he would often not open that letter thinking that a woman’s letter would be full, of domestic tittle tattle anyway. So those letters passed through the post office unopened. So you actually see some male spies mimicking women's hands because they obviously realize that this is happening. And when women were caught and interrogated they were often released within weeks or days, even because it was sort of concluded that because these spies were women, they could not have acted as a spy. They would not have necessarily have had the skills to act in a political way. So they were released whereas the men were executed...
Good spies are invisible. So that also means that I've only found the unsuccessful spies"
Patriarchy!

Charles de Gaulle reconsidered - History Extra - "[He did] end two, or 150 years of French history, because the French had been deeply divided since the Revolution between those people who looked back a bit nostalgically to a more, a regime where there was greater power, the government executive, almost like a monarchical regime and those who looked to a more fragmented palimentary system. And De Gaulle, who had been a monarchist in his youth, created what he explicitly called a Republican monarchy. And so you could say that his achievement is in some sense to bring together the two traditions. The Republic on one side and the monarchy on the other side, which had divided France since 1789.. not everybody likes the Fifth Republic and its works, but nonetheless there is a broad consensus about the political regime for the first time since the Revolution. And that is an extraordinary achievement...
De Gaulle… the antagonist for him in 1940, for 39/40 wasn’t Nazism, it was Germany.. he believed that the fundamental motor of human history is the nation state, so he never really believed in ideology. So it wasn't Hitler the Nazi, it was Hitler, the incarnation of the desire for Germany to dominate Europe… he never talked about the Soviet Union, he always talked about Russia, and he said, often, that… the old Russia will absorb Bolshevism like blotting paper absorbs ink. In other words, there is nothing eternal about the Cold War...
People used to say that the Mediterranean ran through France, like the Seine runs through Paris, so that's what made Algeria,so much more traumatic for the French it, it's not just giving up a bit of Empire - it’s giving up a bit of France. frass. In fact, Algeria had been French for longer than Nice"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, When is comedy offensive? - "I think the job of comedy, well, certainly the kind of comedy that I love is about shining a light into dark corners. So being able to expose things that you don't normally talk about, and being able to kind of laugh at them in lots of ways is quite sort of healing. A friend of mine ran a whole festival in fact, around consent, and lots of people got very upset at the idea that we were gonna have a comedy night at this and it was an all-female bill actually...
I think it was George Carlin, who was accused of being a shock comic and he said he wasn't offended by that term. Because shock is a form of surprise, which all comedy is based on. So there's always gonna be that kind of element to stand up comedy, I would say, in terms of sensitivity. So a lot of the time when people are getting offended it’s actually on someone else's behalf, and that's what's quite interesting. So, for example, with this consent night we're talking about, we're talking about Natalie's show just there. My friend who was running it was a survivor. And we did loads of interviews. And the people who got upset were people who kind of weren’t affected by it. So I think sometimes it's the feeling, the need or getting upset on someone else's behalf. Rather than your own. And also you can't control that because each individual person has a different thing that they would find offensive. So you'd end up talking about nothing if you start pandering to what everyone thinks you should and shouldn't talk about…
‘What I was surprised by this year was unlike last year, people seemed to be much more even-handed about Brexit. I think last year, there was a certain amount of... a lot of people using Trump and Brexit as a punchline for jokes without actually having the joke there’"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, The threats around President Trump - "The key thing is, unlike the IMF or the World Bank China doesn't ask many questions. What is your business model, how are you going to make a profit? So the money was coming... New buildings, this new airport. Everything is looking very positive in Sri Lanka, but the government is not making money out of these projects. As a result for example, the port which hardly attract one or two ships a week, which means the Sri Lankan government was not able to repay the money. As a result they had to re-negotiate the debt deal just for the port alone and China took control of the port on a 99 year lease and that it was clear that China was not expecting this money to come back."
If willing buyer willing seller meant China's predatory loans are okay, then there's nothing wrong with loansharking

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Addendum: EP1 Imperial Germany vs Nazi Germany - "The fact that the Second World War German military is infested and run by Nazis is what makes it inferior to the First World War military... the ideological question now becomes at least as important, and I think you can easily make the argument more important than the question of merit. Or technical expertise. Once ideology becomes more important than merit, and once the Nazis begin to place people in positions all up and down the leadership tree from top to bottom, just like Stalin did in his system, then you begin to see the impact of people that are less competent on the system...
The [WWI] German military was extremely adept at walling off their ability to negatively impact things too much. And the best example of that, of course at all, is how the military dictatorship of Germany were able to sort of isolate and quarantine the Kaiser himself, the imperial warlord of Germany. Sit in the corner, play with your maps and your ships. We have a war to conduct, and they did...
Well why didn't the Germans cut their losses when you have all this territory in the Soviet Union? Well, in the First World War, that's when you make a deal, right? You go to the Russians, and you go, listen, all this territory of yours and we're gonna stay here. But I tell you what, you give us a good peace deal, we'll pull back a little. You can negotiate from that, right? But the Nazis were hemmed in by their ideology. They can't make a deal here. This isn't a battle for the best deal we can get. This is in Hitler's mind, a life or death struggle. The plans that the Nazi leaders have for this area in the East requires them to move millions of people eastward, maybe have a starvation plan to start culling the numbers and then inserting German farmers into this whole, the entire thing. There is no plan B here. There is no place for compromise."

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Addendum: EP3 A Four-Star Conversation - "The All-Volunteer Force is a different kind of army from a citizen-based army. And I think it's probably true that a professional force can be a learning organization whereas by and large, citizen-based armies are not because they're constantly taking in new guys for a short term of service and they have to train them from the beginning, every six months."

Penguins are assholes

"The Adélies dive very beautifully. We did not see this at first, before the sea-ice had gone out, because to enter the water they had only to drop a few inches, but later, when entering from the ice terraces, we constantly saw them making the most graceful dives.

At the place where they most often went in, a long terrace of ice about six feet in height ran for some hundreds of yards along the edge of the water, and here, just as on the sea-ice, crowds would stand near the brink. When they had succeeded in pushing one of their number over, all would crane their necks over the edge, and when they saw the pioneer safe in the water, the rest followed...

The reluctance shown by each individual of a party of intending bathers to be the first to enter the water may partly have been explained when, later on, we discovered that a large number of sea-leopards were gathered in the sea in the neighbourhood of the rookery to prey on the penguins. These formidable animals, of which I show some photographs, used to lurk beneath the overhanging ledges of the ice-foot, out of sight of the birds on the ice overhead. They lay quite still in the water, only their heads protruding, until a party of Adélies would descend into the water almost on top of them, when with a sudden dash and snap of their great formidable jaws, they would secure one of the birds.

It seemed to me then, that all the chivvying and preliminaries which they went through before entering the water, arose mainly from a desire on the part of each penguin to get one of its neighbours to go in first in order to prove whether the coast was clear or not, though all this manoeuvring was certainly taken very lightly, and quite in the nature of a game. This indeed was not surprising, for of all the animals of which I have had any experience, I think the Adélie penguin is the very bravest. The more we saw of them the fonder we became of them and the more we admired their indomitable courage. The appearance of a sea-leopard in their midst was the one thing that caused them any panic. With dozens of these enemies about they would gambol in the sea in the most light-hearted manner, but the appearance of one among them was the signal for a stampede, but even this was invariably gone through in an orderly manner with some show of reason, for, porpoising off in a clump, they at once spread themselves out, scattering in a fan-shaped formation as they sped away, instead of all following the same direction."

--- Antarctic Penguins / George Murray Levick


BBC - Earth - If you think penguins are cute and cuddly, you're wrong

"Reputation: Penguins only live in icy regions near the poles. Penguins form lifelong loving relationships with their partners and are the perfect caring parents.

Reality: Most penguin species live in temperate or tropical places. They frequently cheat on their partners and engage in homosexual acts. Penguin mothers kidnap each other's chicks...

Douglas Russell of the Natural History Museum in London, UK unearthed a paper called "Sexual Habits of the Adélie Penguin". It was labelled "not for publication".

The paper was the work of George Murray Levick, Scott's expedition scientist and the first person to witness an entire breeding season. He was shocked by what he saw: gangs of males engaging in homosexual sex, sexually abusing chicks, and mating with dead females. At the time, the material was judged too depraved for public consumption...

One confused penguin even kidnapped its own natural enemy, the chick of a penguin-eating bird called a skua...

Emperor penguins form long-distance relationships that endure the Antarctic winter, and this has made them the poster children of monogamy. The penguins themselves have different ideas, and regularly get "divorced". Similarly, 81% of king penguins choose a different mate every season.

Infidelity is also commonplace. Nearly a third of female Humboldt penguins cheat on their partners.

This cheating is sometimes driven by factors that, to us, seem shockingly mercenary.

Adélie penguins build nests out of stones, and a shortage of stones has pushed many females into "prostitution": they mate with other males in exchange for stones. Some duplicitous females have started going through the elaborate courtship ritual to get the stones, and then running off before the male can mate. Both sexes also steal stones from their rivals' nests."

Links - 5th October 2018 (1)

Cultural Studies Is the Target of Another Hoax — And This One Stings - "They wrote 20 credible papers in about two weeks (!) each...
They taught themselves how to produce these papers in only a few months with no formal background in the subjects at hand.
They were not investigating ideas on the edge of analytical philosophy, where non-intuitive notions of reality have an obvious and well-accepted place.
The fact that they had claimed to perform obviously ridiculous fieldwork is all part of the hoax.
Ditto for their obviously ridiculous statistical analysis...
It’s those who are outside these fields but still close to them—and who perform real scholarship themselves—who need to accept what this hoax shows and help lead a cleanup of a badly polluted area of the academy. Unfortunately, what we’re probably going to get is (a) a number of knee-jerk defenses because it’s not worth getting all these folks mad at you, and (b) the usual crew of right-wingers saying “See?” That will allow the whole affair to be forgotten in short order, and that’s the worst possible outcome."
Mother Jones joins the fascists

Can Star Wars Be Saved? - "the fact that Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) became Star Wars' first ever financial failure can largely be placed at the feet of its predecessor. Many fans were simply too unhappy with The Last Jedi to continue with the series so soon. Strangely, the result is that the Star Wars Anthology films, which hinted entries about Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, are now put on hold and Johnson has been given his own Star Wars trilogy... The biggest crime of The Force Awakens is not that Abrams delivered yet another remake, but that in doing so he undid every single victory the original trilogy won at the end of Return of the Jedi (1983)... The Force Awakens is not merely content with destroying the legacy of the original series, but the prequels as well... Johnson's mandate was, it seemed to fans, to not only ruin the joy of the past trilogies but also the promise of this one as well... were the prequels nearly as polarizing to fans as The Last Jedi or even The Force Awakens have been? No. Not even close. Even 1999's Jar-Jar Binks rich The Phantom Menace hasn't achieved the pariah status that The Last Jedi is now condemned with... Do you know which Star Wars film the fans have been reported loving? Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), which is the one Disney Star Wars film that Lucas did work on. The Han Solo origin film was his idea and it was Lucas who hired Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan to create the plot and started the whole thing moving forward before he departed his own company. Sure, Solo is the first ever Star Wars franchise's financial failure, but again, whose fault is that? Is it Solo's fault or that of its largely reviled lead-in, The Last Jedi?... Call it a crazy piece of trivia or call it comeuppance, but just as Lucas had his own outlines for the sequel trilogy, so did Abrams create his own sequel scripts after having scrapped all of Lucas' ideas. What happened? The Last Jedi writer/director Johnson scrapped every bit of Abram's ideas in favor of his own... Say what you want about the prequels or even the original trilogy (both have been derided and praised at different times), at least they had a single vision and that vision didn't include simply remaking the work of others... If Abrams is so adamant to end the Skywalker saga why is he also so determined to rip it off and repeat it just slightly differently?"

Kaitain Jones's answer to Did The Last Jedi kill the franchise? - Quora - "Probably, yes. But it will manifest as the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. The IP will walk on for a while, seemingly unharmed, then collapse. But the blame should be shared at least as much by JJ Abrams and “The Force Awakens”... A common argument dismissing concerns about The Last Jedi is, “The prequels were awful but the IP survived anyway”. Well, the prequels WERE a bit lame, but in a very different way. Their sins were ones of execution, most obviously dialogue and performances. Everything felt stiff, and the romance thread between Anakin and Padme felt very unconvincing. Yet at no point was the core story ever problematic... Palpatine’s rise to power should be seen as the Great Aberration after thousands of years of peace safeguarded by the Jedi. Episode VI was intended to be the point at which the Republic was restored and the aberration is over. Yet this is potentially problematic for making a rip-roaring sequel to Return of the Jedi... For the first time in Star Wars, there is no joined-up thinking. This doesn’t feel like a story written by people thinking about lore, mechanics and continuity. This feels like a story written by people who understand what Star Wars looks like on the surface but none of its internals and complexities. This is a film designed by a focus group. Lucas’s prequels felt clunky but authentic. The sequels feel snappy and vibrant but inauthentic. They don’t really fit the SW universe... Last Jedi wants to go SO far in the other direction that it throws the baby out with the bathwater. It feels like it’s designed to be everything that Star Wars fans DIDN’T want, almost for its own sake, to make a point. You can call this bold, but you can also call it arrogant and self-indulgent. It would be forgivable if Johnson set up a whole slew of interesting new plot threads and ideas, but he doesn’t... And then nothing is set up for the final chapter. No interesting questions, no cliffhangers, nothing unresolved. Other than the aforementioned question of what on earth Kylo Ren actually wants. Are we rooting for him to die? To be saved? What’s at stake? What’s motivating me to see Episode IX? Finally: Star Wars is a somewhat formulaic franchise. The formula is what makes it successful. It would certainly be bold and subversive for Coca-Cola to start shipping apple juice in their cans, but we should not necessarily applaud them for doing so. And if I were Coca-Cola I would be very wary of dismissing the complaints of Coke fans as coming from people who don’t understand bold visionary moves."

Disney: The Star Wars Franchise Is In Trouble - The Walt Disney Company - "While Disney laughed off the controversies surrounding The Last Jedi, Solo’s failure has made it get serious. In the wake of the flop, Disney canceled a raft of other spinoff film projects, including one set to be led by Rian Johnson, erstwhile director of The Last Jedi... When Disney made the groundbreaking decision to allow Joss Whedon to mastermind a multi-film, multi-superhero shared universe, it seemed like a tremendous financial gamble. Yet it paid off massively, and continues to do so. With Star Wars, Disney took a very different approach. Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, seemed to prefer treating each film in the new trilogy separately, rather than as a single narrative"

Intrigue and Drama on the Han Solo Set - WSJ - "It isn’t unusual for high drama to surround big-budget movies in Hollywood. Many cinematic series, including Marvel, DC, the X-Men, Fast and Furious, and James Bond, have replaced writers and directors or had significant reshoots. But firing directors in the midst of production, as Ms. Kennedy did to Messrs. Lord and Miller, is rare... Mr. Lucas hired Ms. Kennedy shortly before Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. Since then, there have been three director changes over five “Star Wars” films, raising eyebrows in Hollywood and among fans... A firm and decisive hand is needed in running a major Hollywood franchise, and Ms. Kennedy’s supporters say she has worked well with J.J. Abrams, director of 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” and Rian Johnson on last year’s “The Last Jedi.” Others say she has too frequently second-guessed her own choices and hasn’t effectively resolved disagreements with directors... People who have worked with her on past movies, including “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park” and “The Sixth Sense,” described her as more of a skilled manager than creative mastermind... momentum for the series is on the wane since “The Last Jedi.” Controversial among fans, its ticket sales fell faster than for earlier “Star Wars” movies, a sign of weaker word-of-mouth."

Regarding the "Lucasfilm Story Group" : saltierthancrait - "collectively they have practically ZERO experience in writing or entertainment... How the Hell did this happen? Why did Disney let a group of people with zero experience play such important roles in the franchise they paid 4 BILLION dollars for? The members of the LSG are probably getting 6 figure salaries too. My biggest question however is what exactly was the metric used by Kathy Kennedy and Kiri Hart for hiring these people? It obviously wasn't writing, entertainment, film or television experience... nor was it experience in the Star Wars universe. It looks like they only hired one person from within Lucasfilm's existing pool of employees (Leland Chee from Lucas Licensing).... so what exactly were the qualifications and experience they were looking for when choosing people to hire for the Lucasfilm Story Group? That's what I want to know. I want to know why they hired this batch of people who are so obviously unqualified. I think we're over the target now regarding who to "blame" for the sorry state of Star Wars today: Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, Kiri Hart and the Lucasfilm Story Group seem to be the culprits."

Mike Prinke's answer to Why is Rey considered so annoying? - Quora - "Fundamentally she is a character lacking in agency, waffling between heroics that we’re ideally supposed to think are thrilling, or being a quibbling doormat who doesn’t want to be here. The fact that she’s so good at the heroics but wants nothing to do with them leaves the character frustratingly under-utilized, but worse than that, leaves the audience with only her to blame for it... For the better part of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, however, Rey is repetitively cast as the “reluctant hero,” a character who doesn’t really want to be in the position she’s in and constantly spends the movie trying to get out of it and hand the burden of heroism off to someone else... In The Last Jedi Rey has some newfound resolve to try and get Luke to come back and join Leia’s Resistance. Finally, she has a goal and a direction — but the goal is to beg the previous main character to come back and save the world so that she doesn’t have to. Worse yet, Luke spends the entire movie trying to avoid coming back himself, making each character’s desire not to participate in the story the central conflict of their arc. He doesn’t have any alternative goals or problems for her to solve, he doesn’t have any tests or trials for her, he doesn’t even want to make them up. As a result there’s a lot of time that passes where these characters are just caught in a dead-end before Chewie finally berates Luke into getting involved... [Luke's] decisions make this story go forward. Rey’s indecision drags her back. As a result her adventures feel less like they take a natural pace, and her accomplishments as a hero feel somewhat hollow."

California Bill Requires All Corporate Boards to Have a Token Woman - "California might become the first state in the nation to force publicly traded companies to put women on their boards of directors"
Just get a man to identify as female

A History of Malay Singaporeans in Ten Objects - "This advertisement for Guinness Stout was featured in a programme book for the 1968 West Malaysia Teachers’ Union (Kesatuan Guru-guru Malaysia Barat) Annual General Meeting. For this reason, its reach may not have been widespread. However, it raises interesting questions about attitudes towards Islamic dietary restrictions and how they change over time. The caption in bold reads — “Guinness Stout: good for us”, and the passage proclaims, “A glass of Guinness Stout whets the appetite. A glass of Guinness Stout restores energy. For every glass of Guinness Stout is healthy. It provides strength when your body feels tired and lethargic. This is the drink that gives extra health to every meal. Yes, after work, whenever you’re exhausted or sometimes lack appetite, nothing is better than a glass of Guinness Stout.”

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Germany's far-right - "‘What we see, is that the public and the media and also the BBC, and everyone else is not accepting that people getting furious about those killings. It's not one killing for what now two three people are arrested. There is a killing every other week, and we've got 447 killings and murders by illegal migrants last year’
‘The number of crimes, according to the Interior Minister, the number of crimes committed in Germany is at the lowest level since 1992.’
‘It is rubbish... The numbers of murders are going up by 100 percent, 400 percent by the illegal migrants coming from 2013. What is going down by thousands of numbers is the the stealings of bikes, and you can't say look, there are less bikes stolen and this outnumbers by far the amount of more killings...
We said that for months and years now already we said look if you do this policy, it will be very difficult for the public to keep the control because people get angry. What we are doing at the moment, we are calling the people not to fight, not to be angry, not to be violent. This is what we tell the people in public, but in the same minute of course we do understand that people are angry and it's just ridiculous to say-...
These [people giving Nazi salutes] are Nazis and they are known, this is nothing to do with our party, and this is what you try to link together and this is what makes people even more angry because there're thousands of very normal citizens walking in the street and expelling that they do not agree with the policy. And they are angry. But if you, and this is what German media is doing as well. They will be put all together with those Nazis with the few you've seen. You've seen maybe, I don't know, 20 or 40, or something, and then you blame all those other thousands walking there quiet and not violent, and you just call them all to be Nazis. This is what makes people even more angry. So that's the media whose responsible for the situation which is getting worse'"

Imam Tawhidi - "Memorial photographs of migrant victims at the truly peaceful protest today in #Chemnitz. Yet the media calls them “far-right”"

Rebecca Baldwin's answer to What screams “I’m asking to be pickpocketed”? - Quora - "there are huge signs that warn you about pickpockets... When the subway stops and tourists immediately see these signs, they stop in their tracks and check their most valuable possessions. They check for their money, credit cards, passport, and visa by touching their pants, coat pocket, or purse where their valuables are. They will even check their neck and wrists to make sure their necklaces and watches are still there from the subway ride. Once they feel their valuables are still safe with them, on they go. Well, what they don't realize by doing this is they’ve actually told pickpockets and other thieves where their valuables are... don’t wear expensive jewelry out during the day. It’s just stupid to do that and too easy to get a nice necklace yanked off your neck. Even wealthy people rarely wear expensive jewelry when sightseeing. Many even wear replica costume jewelry during nice dinner evenings out. The only times I see people wearing a ton of nice jewelry are when people want to shove their wealth in your face. That’s just asking to be robbed."
Clear evidence of our disgusting pickpocket culture

Ubang: The Nigerian village where men and women speak different languages - "boys grow up speaking the female language, as they spend most of their childhoods with their mothers and other women, as Chief Ibang explains. By the age of 10, boys are expected to speak the "male language", he says. "There is a stage the male will reach and he discovers he is not using his rightful language. Nobody will tell him he should change to the male language." "When he starts speaking the men language, you know the maturity is coming into him." If a child does not switch to the correct language by a certain age, they are considered "abnormal", he says."

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Links - 4th October 2018 (2)

Eyes On The Prizefighters - "A random guy on Twitter with a few thousand followers, Landon Simms, tweeted on Sunday night:
"My grandfather is a 96-yr-old German. When seeing Antifa videos, he shakes his head and says; 'We didn't think it could happen in Germany either. These people (Antifa) act and sound like the NAZI party's Sturmabteilung. Stop them now or you'll regret it.'""

Video: Portland Antifa Beats Bernie Sanders Voter for Carrying an American Flag - "Footage shows Paul Welch, 38, wrestling with masked anti-fascists for possession of the American flag he brought to the counter-demo. They demanded he let go of the flag, calling it a “fascist symbol”... He feared he would be beaten to death but was taken to hospital by onlookers and his head gash stapled back together by doctors"

When the Left Glorifies Violence Against People It Dislikes, Trump Wins - ""Why Civil Resistance Works," a study written by Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, found that nonviolent tactics were much more effective than violent tactics... Another study, by Princeton University Assistant Professor of Politics Omar Wasow, found that violent extremist movements in the United States in the 1960s and '70s inspired a conservative backlash that helped elect Richard Nixon to the presidency. Nonviolent protests, on the other hand, did not provoke a backlash... Nothing drives people into the arms of someone like Trump quite like property destruction. Nothing undermines public support for a policy when that policy's backers resort to violence. Trump ran on a platform of restoring law and order to society, and he won."

Latina Antifa to White Antifa: ‘You’re Inherently Racist, Racism Is In Your DNA’ - "“You’re still white,” the woman yells at the man. “You’re still responsible. This is your fault. You’re inherently racist. It’s in your blood. It’s in your DNA.” “I’m seriously telling you to do the work,” she barks. “Punch a Nazi. Stop being performative.” The white Antifa guy squirms about how he’s been “f**king fighting for like three months” and puts himself at risk “all the time,” but only gets laughed at and mocked in return."
I wonder why there aren't more "allies"

Unite the Right rally 2018: Antifa attacks police and journalists in Charlottesville and Washington, DC - "This is not the first time antifa protesters have been violent. In August 2017, about 100 anarchists and antifa members assaulted far-right demonstrators who were marching peacefully in Berkeley, California, with pepper spray, water bottles, and direct physical assault... 'violence can reinforce right-wing views about the left. As Michael Kazin, a history professor at Georgetown University and editor of Dissent magazine, told me earlier this year, “[N]on-leftists often see [the left] as a disruptive, lawless force. Violence tends to confirm that view.”'"

Antifa Protest at Portland City Hall Against Police Brutality Turns Violent - "A masked antifa thug wearing a baseball helmet and gray shirt smashed a security guard over the head and face repeatedly with a megaphone"

Former Bay Area professor gets probation for bike-lock attack on pro-Trump demonstrators - "A former community college teacher and anti-fascist activist accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault for allegedly attacking attendees of a Northern California political rally. Eric Clanton’s attorney Daniel Siegel said the 29-year-old agreed to the plea deal Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court. He was sentenced to three years of probation. The Alameda County district attorney’s office initially charged Clanton with felonies for hitting several pro-Trump demonstrators on the head with a bicycle lock during a 2017 demonstration in Berkeley. Police seized flags, pamphlets and other paraphernalia associated with anti-fascist movements from his apartment."
If he'd been on the right insted of antifa...

Antifa Activists Are Freaking Out About a Proposed 'Unmasking' Law - "The proposed law would enhance penalties for anyone who interferes with another person's "protected rights" while wearing a disguise... the new and worrying trend here for people like Monaco is the strategy of repurposing a tactic meant to fight racists for the arrest of people on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum"
Apparently laws are meant to fight ideologies you don't like instead of being fairly and equally applied

Antifa compiles list of ICE agents identities and blasts it all over Twitter - "Antifa, a violent, so-called anti-fascist group, tweeted out a list of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ identities... In several video clips, Antifa members are recorded assaulting individuals they described as being right-wing nationalists and alt-right. Department of Homeland Security documents have shown that Antifa has at times posed a greater threat then the so-called white supremacists they combat."

“Antifa Isn’t A Hobby Or A Fad”: A Q&A With Mark Bray - "the violence of fascism and the violence of anti-fascism are only identical if you ignore what fascism means. There is a de-politicization of fascism that sees it as essentially an individual failing committed by a lot of people rather than a force in political history that need to be confronted. So what happens is these confrontations are understood as just individuals committing acts of violence rather than as a political struggle... It is the product of serious political analysis. It’s a reaction to what they perceive to be an imminent threat... Anti-fascists argue that the real enemies of free speech are those who want to murder most of humanity. They don’t see fascism as a difference of opinion that can be argued with, they see it as a political opponent to be organized against... the dangers of organized fascism mitigate the benefits of a free speech absolutism.
Maybe if the "far right" position themselves as fighting the imminent threat of communists, they will be vindicated as the good guys"
If everyone you disagree with is a "fascist", you're justified in shutting them down and using violence against them


Antifa Is Trying to Ignite a Civil War - "no white nationalists were visible in the crowd at Berkeley last weekend. Instead, the “No to Marxism in America” rally was organized by the Oregon-based Patriot Prayer group, which says it supports free speech and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The group’s Japanese-American leader, Joey Gibson, denounced white supremacy last week, saying that if he supported white nationalism, “I’d have to punch myself in the face.” The organizer of the event identifies as a transgender person and also supports President Donald Trump. The person accused Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín of promoting an outright lie that the “No to Marxism in America” rally would promote white supremacy. Antifa thugs and left-wing protesters at Berkeley are falsely equating people who support the Constitution to people who believe the white race is inherently superior. It is an intentional strategy to brand mainstream conservatives, libertarians and other free-speech advocates as racist fascists who are essentially neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. This is the same rationale that left-wing documentary maker Michael Moore used in a recent cnn interview, during which he smeared the “vast majority” of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump as racists... The fact is, groups like Antifa need the threat of white supremacists in order to justify their existence. When they cannot find any Ku Klux Klan rallies to protest against—a common problem, since there are so very few actual members of the kkk in existence—they condemn libertarians and free-speech advocates as fascists"

DHS: Antifa, Not White Supremacists, Posed ‘Greatest Threat To Public Safety’ At Coulter Event

Antifa Rages Against Google’s Dissident - WSJ - "Campus activists called us misogynists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis. A person claiming to work for campus audiovisual services tweeted that he could break into our event through a back entrance and “literally turn the whole building off.” There were threats of violence. A Facebook user—it’s not clear if he’s connected to PSU—suggested he’d throw “active grenades” at Mr. Damore onstage. Campus police took these threats seriously enough that they denied our request for a larger venue, despite overwhelming interest. PDX Women in Tech, a local activist group, proclaimed itself “disheartened and appalled” that we were “engaging in discourse without an opposing viewpoint.” If they’d asked us, they’d have known we invited every tenured and tenure-track professor from the women’s studies department and were rebuffed. Meantime, the administration and student government have organized three counterevents to challenge “the notion that women do not generate ideas”—something Mr. Damore has never claimed. Opponents also attempted to deny our event an audience by hoarding the free tickets and not using them. I used to be an evangelical Christian but became disillusioned with conservative organized religion because of its zealotry and hostility to free thought. When I enrolled at PSU, in one of America’s most secular cities, I thought I was entering a world of open-minded and thoughtful young adults. Instead I encountered a new kind of fundamentalism, many of whose adherents claim to disavow religion... Freethinkers of Portland State find ourselves confronted with a new secular religion, called “intersectionality.” This doctrine conceives of human beings in terms of a good-and-evil binary of “oppressed” and “oppressor,” reducing individuals to a collection of group identities rated within a hierarchy of “marginalization.” Intersectionality’s true believers tend to be far less tolerant than traditional religious believers with their sophisticated apologetics. To intersectionalists, skepticism is an existential threat. To question their beliefs, I’ve been told, constitutes “debating someone’s right to exist.” The title of our event is “We Need to Talk About Diversity.” The proof is that our adversaries are so determined to shut us down."

Occupy Democrats Logic - Hmmm | Facebook - "Twitter accounts not shadow-banned:
Communist Party USA, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Linda Sarsour, Maxine Waters, Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan, Media Matters
Twitter accounts censored & shadow-banned:
Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys, Alex Jones, Ronna McDaniel, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes
Notice a pattern?"

Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello Calls Antifa 'Heroes,' Trump President For Nazis

Major Figures Work To Mainstream Violent Antifa Protesters - "Journalists and major liberal news outlets have compared violent American flag-burning protesters to soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy — all while downplaying the leftists’ violence... Persons associated with the movement have previously stabbed a police horse and beat people with bike locks."

Review: Pride and Promiscuity by Arielle Eckstut - "when Arielle Eckstut brings her ready imagination to conjuring the sex scenes that Austen was not able to provide, she can write as if this were homage rather than desecration"

32 World Flags That Are So Creative, They Must’ve Been Made by Geniuses - "We can see many animals, tools, and even weapons on national flags but the image of a human is only on the flag of Belize."

Here's why you can smell rain, according to science - "rain itself has no scent. But moments before a rain event, an "earthy" smell known as petrichor does permeate the air. People call it musky, fresh — generally pleasant. This smell actually comes from the moistening of the ground"

Social science replication crisis: studies in top journals keep failing to replicate - "Recently, a team of social scientists — spanning psychologists and economists — attempted to replicate 21 findings published in the most prestigious general science journals: Nature and Science. Some of the retested studies have been widely influential in science and in pop culture, like a 2011 paper on whether access to search engines hinders our memories, or whether reading books improves a child’s theory of mind (meaning their ability to understand that other people have thoughts and intentions different from their own)... 13 of the 21 results replicated. But perhaps just as notable: Even among the studies that did pass, the effect sizes (that is, the difference between the experimental group and the control group in the experiment, or the size of the change the experimental manipulation made) decreased by around half, meaning that the original findings likely overstated the power of the experimental manipulation. “Overall, our study shows statistically significant scientific findings should be interpreted rather cautiously until they have been replicated, even if they have been published in the most renowned journals”... A group of scientists took bets on which studies they thought would replicate and which they thought wouldn’t. The bets largely tracked with the final results."

The Grievance Studies Scandal

Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship

"Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities. Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem.

We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” (for example, gender studies) or “critical theory” because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of “theory” which arose in the late sixties. As a result of this work, we have come to call these fields “grievance studies” in shorthand because of their common goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.

We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research. Because open, good-faith conversation around topics of identity such as gender, race, and sexuality (and the scholarship that works with them) is nearly impossible, our aim has been to reboot these conversations. We hope this will give people—especially those who believe in liberalism, progress, modernity, open inquiry, and social justice—a clear reason to look at the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left and say, “No, I will not go along with that. You do not speak for me.”...

While our papers are all outlandish or intentionally broken in significant ways, it is important to recognize that they blend in almost perfectly with others in the disciplines under our consideration. To demonstrate this, we needed to get papers accepted, especially by significant and influential journals...

What we just described is not knowledge production; it’s sophistry. That is, it’s a forgery of knowledge that should not be mistaken for the real thing. The biggest difference between us and the scholarship we are studying by emulation is that we know we made things up...

What if we write a paper saying we should train men like we do dogs—to prevent rape culture? Hence came the “Dog Park” paper. What if we write a paper claiming that when a guy privately masturbates while thinking about a woman (without her consent—in fact, without her ever finding out about it) that he’s committing sexual violence against her? That gave us the “Masturbation” paper. What if we argue that the reason superintelligent AI is potentially dangerous is because it is being programmed to be masculinist and imperialist using Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Lacanian psychoanalysis? That’s our “Feminist AI” paper. What if we argued that “a fat body is a legitimately built body” as a foundation for introducing a category for fat bodybuilding into the sport of professional bodybuilding? You can read how that went in Fat Studies...

Just about anything can be made to work, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates understanding of the existing literature.

Put another way, we now have good reasons to believe that if we just appropriate the existing literature in the right ways—and there always seems to be a citation or vein of literature that makes it possible—we can say almost any politically fashionable thing we want...

1 paper (the one about rape culture in dog parks) gained special recognition for excellence from its journal, Gender, Place, and Culture, a highly ranked journal that leads the field of feminist geography. The journal honored it as one of twelve leading pieces in feminist geography as a part of the journal’s 25th anniversary celebration...

The papers themselves span at least fifteen subdomains of thought in grievance studies, including (feminist) gender studies, masculinities studies, queer studies, sexuality studies, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, critical whiteness theory, fat studies, sociology, and educational philosophy. They featured radically skeptical and standpoint epistemologies rooted in postmodernism, feminist and critical race epistemology rooted in critical social constructivism as well as psychoanalysis. They all also endeavored to be humorous in at least some small way (and often, big ones). The project so far has generated more than 40 substantive editorial and expert reader reports, constituting a further 30,000 or so words of data that provide a unique insider’s look into the field and its operation.

Our papers also present very shoddy methodologies including incredibly implausible statistics (“Dog Park”), making claims not warranted by the data (“CisNorm,” “Hooters,” “Dildos”), and ideologically-motivated qualitative analyses (“CisNorm,” “Porn”). (NB: See Papers section below.) Questionable qualitative methodologies such as poetic inquiry and autoethnography (sometimes rightly and pejoratively called “mesearch”) were incorporated (especially in “Moon Meetings”).

Many papers advocated highly dubious ethics including training men like dogs (“Dog Park”), punishing white male college students for historical slavery by asking them to sit in silence in the floor in chains during class and to be expected to learn from the discomfort (“Progressive Stack”), celebrating morbid obesity as a healthy life-choice (“Fat Bodybuilding”), treating privately conducted masturbation as a form of sexual violence against women (“Masturbation”), and programming superintelligent AI with irrational and ideological nonsense before letting it rule the world (“Feminist AI”). There was also considerable silliness including claiming to have tactfully inspected the genitals of slightly fewer than 10,000 dogs whilst interrogating owners as to their sexuality (“Dog Park”), becoming seemingly mystified about why heterosexual men are attracted to women (“Hooters”), insisting there is something to be learned about feminism by having four guys watch thousands of hours of hardcore pornography over the course of a year while repeatedly taking the Gender and Science Implicit Associations Test (“Porn”), expressing confusion over why people are more concerned about the genitalia others have when considering having sex with them (“CisNorm”), and recommending men anally self-penetrate in order to become less transphobic, more feminist, and more concerned about the horrors of rape culture (“Dildos”). None of this, except that Helen Wilson recorded one “dog rape per hour” at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon, raised so much as a single reviewer eyebrow, so far as their reports show...

Why Did We Do This?

Because we’re racist, sexist, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, transhysterical, anthropocentric, problematic, privileged, bullying, far right-wing, cishetero straight white males (and one white female who was demonstrating her internalized misogyny and overwhelming need for male approval) who wanted to enable bigotry, preserve our privilege, and take the side of hate?...

We have stated firmly that there is a problem in our universities, and that it’s spreading rapidly into culture. It is aided in this by being tricky to understand and by intentionally using emotionally powerful words—like “racist” and “sexist”—in technical ways that mean something different than their common usages. This project identifies aspects of this problem, tests them, and then exposes them.

The problem is epistemological, political, ideological, and ethical and it is profoundly corrupting scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. The center of the problem is formally termed “critical constructivism,” and its most egregious scholars are sometimes referred to as “radical constructivists.”...

Peer review can only be as unbiased as the aggregate body of peers being called upon to participate. The skeptical checks and balances that should characterize the scholarly process have been replaced with a steady breeze of confirmation bias that blows grievance studies scholarship ever further off course. This isn’t how research is supposed to work...

Politically biased research that rests on highly questionable premises gets legitimized as though it is verifiable knowledge. It then goes on to permeate our culture because professors, activists, and others cite and teach this ever-growing body of ideologically skewed and fallacious scholarship...

Look at the hundreds of papers we cited to enable us to make these claims and to use these methods and interpretations and have reviewers consider them quite standard. Look at the reviewer comments and what they are steering academics who need to be published to succeed in their careers towards. See how frequently they required us not to be less politically biased and shoddy in our work but more so."

***

The Grievance Studies Scandal: Five Academics Respond

"For the past year scholars James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian have sent fake papers to various academic journals which they describe as specialising in activism or “grievance studies.” Their stated mission has been to expose how easy it is to get “absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research.”

To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia...

Twenty years ago, Alan Sokal called postmodernism “fashionable nonsense.” Today, postmodernism isn’t a fashion—it’s our culture. A large proportion of the students at elite universities are now inducted into this cult of hate, ignorance, and pseudo-philosophy. Postmodernism is the unquestioned dogma of the literary intellectual class and the art establishment. It has taken over most of the humanities and some of the social sciences, and is even making inroads in STEM fields. It threatens to melt all of our intellectual traditions into the same oozing mush of political slogans and empty verbiage.

Postmodernists pretend to be experts in what they call “theory.” They claim that, although their scholarship may seem incomprehensible, this is because they are like mathematicians or physicists: they express profound truths in a way that cannot be understood without training. Lindsay, Boghossian, and Pluckrose expose this for the lie that it is. “Theory” is not real. Postmodernists have no expertise and no profound understanding.

Critics of Sokal point out that his paper was never subjected to peer review, and they say it was unfair to expect the editors of Social Text to spot errors concerning math and science. This time there are no excuses. LBP’s papers were fully peer reviewed by leading journals. The postmodernist experts showed that they had no ability to distinguish scholarship grounded in “theory” from deliberate nonsense and faulty reasoning mixed in with hate directed at the disfavored race (white) and sex (“cis” male).

King Solomon said of the fool: “His talk begins as foolishness and ends as evil madness” (Ecclesiastes 10:13). Can a disregard for evidence, logic, and open inquiry combined with a burning hatred for large classes of people perceived as political opponents (“racists,” “sexists,” “homophobes,” “transphobes,” etc.) possibly lead to a good result? The editors and peer reviewers who handled LBP’s papers have revealed their true, vicious attitudes.

The flagship feminist philosophy journal, Hypatia, accepted a paper (not yet published online) arguing that social justice advocates should be allowed to make fun of others, but no one should be permitted to make fun of them. The same journal invited resubmission of a paper arguing that “privileged students shouldn’t be allowed to speak in class at all and should just listen and learn in silence,” and that they would benefit from “experiential reparations” that include “sitting on the floor, wearing chains, or intentionally being spoken over.” The reviewers complained that this hoax paper took an overly compassionate stance toward the “privileged” students who would be subjected to this humiliation, and recommended that they be subjected to harsher treatment. Is asking people of a certain race to sit on the floor in chains better than asking them to wear a yellow star? What exactly is this leading to?...

The battle was lost around 1991. Around that time the great historian of the Tudor period, G.R. Elton, had been fighting rear-guard action for the discipline he loved. He saw history in the tradition of Leopold von Ranke: a meticulous examination of the primary evidence and a refusal to allow present-day concerns or attitudes to colour the subject matter. But traditional history, like all other disciplines, came under attack. Elton fumed that the younger generation was on “the intellectual equivalent of crack”, addicted to the “cancerous radiation that comes from the foreheads of Derrida and Foucault”. But Elton lost the day to Hayden White who “deconstructed” history...

Where some of us might see Niccolò Machiavelli, Francis Bacon, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, or David Hume palpably struggling with the deepest questions of political philosophy or epistemology, Cixious or Greene see only dead white men. What they say matters less to them than who was saying it. Thus, the competing systems of knowledge that came out of the Enlightenment – rationalism and empiricism – are both always-already tainted as “products of the patriarchy.” It has been the explicit goal of post-modernity to reject reason and evidence: they want a “new paradigm” of knowledge...

Sokal’s spoof took aim at obscure language and epistemic relativism. But his quarry escaped...

One published paper proposed that dog parks are “rape-condoning spaces.” Another, entitled “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism” reworked, and substantially altered, part of Mein Kampf. The most shocking, (not published, its status is “revise and resubmit”) is a “Feminist Approach to Pedagogy.” It proposes “experiential reparations” as a corrective for privileged students. These include sitting on the floor, wearing chains, or being purposely spoken over. Reviewers have commented that the authors risk exploiting underprivileged students by burdening them with an expectation to teach about privilege.

These psychoactive hoax papers, some penned in just a few hours, are taken seriously because they fit with social science sub fields in which reason has been exchanged for ideology. How did we get here? Did it begin with scholars wanting to right social wrongs?...

Readers are ill-served by opaque writing. Text can be hard-going because of its specialised content (such as string theory), or hard to decode because it has been written to sexily seduce the reader into slowly undressing the meaning (such as poetry, take, for example, the metaphysicals). But the shamed hoaxed journals too often host unintelligible waffle. Clear writing is not a matter of style; it’s a matter of clear thinking...

For academia to be worth anything, it is crucial that reviewers and editors understand what any particular experimental design can deliver. This holds for quantitative, qualitative, and post-qualitative (whatever that is) research. Reviewers and editors must object when results or interpretation over-reach the methods. If a hypothesis is unfalsifiable, it doesn’t hurt to say so. The function of empirical work is to steer us closer to the truth about the world. It is therefore crucial to distinguish between what can constitute evidence and what cannot...

When I grew up something like the following order of badness prevailed: murder (the worst), followed by serious physical violence, cheating and lying, nasty shouting, nasty speaking and at the milder end, nasty thinking. This has changed. There is evidence that many scholars favour punitive thought-reform. Orwell had a word for this.

It is emblematic of that huge change that I feel queasy here, at risk of being misquoted, when I say that a sexist, racist, or foolish thought or comment is likely to be punished with what was formerly reserved for someone who throws a punch at the Dean’s snout. This, while actual scientific waffle—and worse—is published without criticism...

It is a carefully guarded secret in philosophy that feminist philosophy is often not characterized by intellectual rigor and high academic standards...

A good example is an article from the Australasian Journal of Philosophy in which a feminist describes a “phallic drama” involving two statements, p and ~p (the negation of p):

There is really only one actor, p, and ~p is merely its receptacle. In the representation of the Venn diagram, p penetrates a passive, undifferentiated universal other which is specified as a lack, which offers no resistance, and whose behavior it controls completely.

Note that this is no longer a Sokal-type hoax but an instance of authentic feminist philosophy. Sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference...

The authors have pulled off a modern Sokal hoax. The sequel is rarely as good as the original, but in this case it was more comprehensive and more fun than Sokal’s mockery of postmodernist scholarship (a computer-generated version of which can be found here). The project exposes some of the cultish ideas shared by faculty who have created fake subjects and staffed their departments with political activists. Many faculty in these departments seem alarmingly eager to hijack for their own ends the emotional circuitry of teenagers who arrive on campus in search of a tribe to join and a dragon to slay...

The main problem is not the rise of trendy disciplines with names that end with the word “studies,” or the opportunity cost of spending taxpayer money on bogus scholarship and bad education rather than medical research and space exploration. The problem is that many students are required to take these classes as part of a “diversity” requirement at universities, and that when students graduate, these ideas influence leaders of corporations like Google, which can manipulate its search engine to alter elections and change our epistemic environment in subtle ways.

To take an example, many students in universities and employees at Google take bias training courses that tell them “white privilege” and “systemic racism” explain disparities in outcomes between groups, despite the fact that—to take one example—Asian Americans from China and India (‘people of color’) make more money and are incarcerated at lower rates than whites. According to the conspiratorial worldview of many faculty in grievance studies departments, citing statistics and making arguments that go against the privilege narrative proves that you have an unconscious bias against minorities, and that you’re probably a white supremacist...

Their articles did pass peer review in journals from fields whose basic assumptions are shared by mainstream subjects like literature, sociology, and (increasingly) philosophy...

It is worth reminding those who subsidize this circus that we’re not in Las Vegas."

What happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus.


This suggests that feminism really is about hating men, anti-racism really is about hating white people etc

Technically, anti-Semitism is "punching up", so resembling Mein Kampf is not a bad thing (within the anti-racist paradigm)
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