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Saturday, July 17, 2010

La petite robe noire

"On ne s'habille pas pour éblouir les autres femmes ou pour les embêter. On s'habille pour se déshabiller. Une robe n'a de sens que si un homme a envie de vous l'enlever, je dis bien l'enlever pas l'arracher en hurlant d'horreur. Un homme ne vous aime pas pour une robe. Seulement, un jour, il vous réclamera aigrement " cette robe bleue tu sais " (aux orties depuis deux ans), qu'il n'avait pas semblé voir. Les hommes se souviennent des robes, mais leur mémoire est sélective. Evitez les barboteuses. Celles-là ils les " voient " d'abord. Et s'en souviennent ensuite."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Links - 16th July 2010

"Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines." - R. Buckminster Fuller


Yvette's Wedding Dresses Panama City Florida Yvette's Yvette's
This is Geocities x10. And it doesn't seem to be a joke

Animated stereoviews of old Japan

The Creativity Crisis - "The age-old belief that the arts have a special claim to creativity is unfounded. When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum... The lore of pop psychology is that creativity occurs on the right side of the brain. But we now know that if you tried to be creative using only the right side of your brain, it’d be like living with ideas perpetually at the tip of your tongue, just beyond reach... When creative children have a supportive teacher... they tend to excel. When they don’t, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school or don’t finish college at high rates. They’re quitting because they’re discouraged and bored, not because they’re dark, depressed, anxious, or neurotic. It’s a myth that creative people have these traits. (Those traits actually shut down creativity)... Rather, creative people, for the most part, exhibit active moods and positive affect. They’re not particularly happy—contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have. But they’re engaged, motivated, and open to the world."

Late-blooming lesbians: women can switch sexualities as they mature - "As many as two-thirds of women who feel lesbian attractions may have changed their sexual orientation over time. The findings appear to pose a challenge to the scientific consensus that a person's sexuality is determined more by their genes than environment... Lisa Diamond, professor of psychology and gender studies at Utah University... tracked nearly 100 women who felt some degree of attraction to the same sex... Over the course of a decade two-thirds of the women changed their sexual orientations"

Everything you always wanted to know about Japanese schoolgirls (but were afraid to ask) - "It is easier for those doing the idolizing to develop an attachment to "a pure, awkward young woman" than to an accomplished performer. Thus even when they are professional, idols strive not to appear too professional, to give the impression that they ended up in the spotlight by accident."

Toyota Is a Symptom of Japan's Decline - "In the early part of the last decade, particularly under the maverick administration of celebrity prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, Japan made fleeting attempts to promote itself as the land of the new new thing: nano-this, bio-that. Nothing stuck. There is still no Japanese Google... [Toyota] suffered from an insularity and parochialism, and a hierarchical structure that discouraged innovation or input from others... Toyota is symptomatic of a nation that has lost its way. According to a 2008 Pew survey, Japanese were more dissatisfied with the direction of their country than almost any other nation, including Pakistan and Russia... A shrinking, bargain-hunting, risk-averse population translates into a deflationary spiral, low wage growth, and decreased tax revenues... Japan will continue to give up, fade away, and blame its limitations on demographics and the changing international balance of power"

Miroslava Mikheeva-Duma: Best dressed mum

WikiAnswers - What is an italian chandelier - "I think it's either a chandelier made in Italy or a really posh chandelier. But I'm not sure! Hope that helps evn tho i don't think it will! lol! x"

Study: Why Older Women Have Higher Sex Drive - "Women in their 30s and early 40s are significantly more sexual than younger women. Women ages 27 through 45 report not only having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than women ages 18 through 26 but also having more sex, period. And they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands. In other words, despite the girls-gone-wild image of promiscuous college women, it is women in their middle years who are America's most sexually industrious. By contrast, men's sexual interest and output... peaks in the teen years and then settles to a steady level (an average of three orgasms per week) for most of their lives... [an earlier study] found that women in their early 30s feel more lustful and report less abstinence than women in other age groups. In both studies, these findings held true for both partnered and single women, meaning that married women in their 30s and early 40s tend to have more sex than married women in their early 20s; ditto for single women. Also, whether the women were mothers didn't matter. Only age had a strong affect on women's reported sexual interest and behavior."

Nine Ways to Crack The Office Dress Code - "The more intellectual or powerful your work environment, the more fashion fripperies are frowned upon. Perfectly dreary but true. Chanel understood this principle and designed for women with work ethic accordingly. “Be a caterpillar by day and a butterfly by night,”‘ she chided, wearing her invisibly elegant little suits everyday. Office chic shares that sense of focus. It is clothing that looks good but doesn’t get in the way of what you have to do and what you have to say. If you need an eccentric expression siphon it into intense little accessories"
Of course, it's much harder for men

One in five adults in love with someone other than partner - "One in four are not entirely happy in their current relationship. And of those who are now completely content with their other half, just over 50 per cent have experienced feelings for someone else. Worryingly, one in six of those who love another will follow it through and become involved in a long-term affair. But better news for the long-suffering partners of those with a wandering eye is that falling for someone else usually only happens once during each relationship. And only six per cent said they were planning to leave their long-term partner for the other man or woman... "The research shows just how many people believe that it's possible to hold feelings for more than one person.""

Doomsday: How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a world-killing event - "251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth... If the methane bubble—a bubble that could be as big as 20 miles wide—erupts with titanic force from the seabed into the Gulf, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will immediately sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists participating in the salvage operation will die instantly. Next, the ocean bottom will collapse, instantaneously displacing up to a trillion cubic feet of water or more and creating a towering supersonic tsunami annihilating everything along the coast and well inland. Like a thermonuclear blast, a high pressure atmospheric wave could precede the tidal wave flattening everything in its path before the water arrives."
Sounds more entertaining than 2012

The tuition nation - "Private tuition – together with the trade in test papers – has become a booming industry, probably raking in hundreds of millions of dollars and providing jobs for thousands of people.... a Chinese-language newspaper reported a father spent almost half his monthly salary, or S$960, to pay for his son’s English lessons... In this small city of 700sq km, there are at least 500 tuition centres, each with a database of home tutors for parents to select from... With the weak employment market for graduates, this is useful. It has allowed many retrenched professionals and executives to survive the crisis of unemployment."

Report: Teens Using Digital Drugs to Get High - "Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics. At least, that’s what Kansas News 9 is reporting about a phenomenon called “i-dosing,” which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with “digital drugs” that get you high through your headphones. And officials are taking it seriously... The educators have gone so far as to ban iPods at school"

Deluded animal rights protestor lets children's pet rabbit loose - "[The note] read: 'This is animal cruelty. Rabbits should not be left in hutches, they should be out in the wild and socialising.' Now Barney is feared to have been let out into local countryside - where rabbit experts say he would be unlikely to survive more than a few days, at the mercy of foxes and other hazards"

Asian millionaires beat Europe in rich list

Shopping centre management install Asian 'stand-up' toilets following cultural awareness course - "They are regarded as unhygienic and backward in many parts of the world - infamously, a controversial sculpture briefly displayed at EU offices in Brussels last year lampooning member states depicted Bulgaria as a squat toilet. Mike Bone, of the British Toilet Association, warned the washing facilities associated with squat toilets could pose a hygiene hazard. 'We really don't see a need for them,' he said. 'Space for public toilets in places like shopping centres is already at a premium, and if this is meant to cater for Muslims we would point out that the vast majority use normal toilets in their own homes.'"

Why A Good Memory Is Bad For You - "Memory is useful because it allows foragers to find food without the effort of searching. "But excessive memory use prevents the forager from updating its knowledge in rapidly changing environments""

Grief-stricken mum breaks taboo - "Weeping inconsolably, the woman, who appeared to be in her 60s, flung her body against the side of the hearse, her wailing a sorrowful counterpoint to the toneless chants of Buddhist monks in the background."
This is one of the most scummy newspaper articles I've ever read

YouTube - Chalk Funny Commercial - Japan Dairy Council

Revealing Japan's low-tech belly - "Police stations without computers, 30-year-old "on hold" tapes grinding out tinny renditions of Greensleeves, ATMs that close when the bank does, suspect car engineering, and kerosene heaters but no central heating... This technological divide goes hand in hand with Japan's much touted "Galapagos" status. Like the plants and creatures on those islands Japan's tech standards and business practices have developed a unique character incompatible with anything beyond its borders"

New book puts death penalty on trial - "1. When foreign governments have clout over our economic interests and are willing to use that clout, their citizens will not face the death penalty;
2. When local citizens come from rich, well-connected families, or when a case threatens to involve others from this stratum of society, a way is found to avoid having them face the death penalty or even severe penalties;
3. When the state is convinced that an accused who is poor and “low-class” is guilty, and provided that exception no. 1 above does not apply, due process is less important than putting him on the fast-track to the noose...
Because so many laws mandate the death penalty, tying the hands of judges, the real decider as to who hangs and who does not is the prosecutor through his ability to pick and choose what charges to level at the accused. It stinks when the quantum of drugs the accused is charged with handling can go up or down depending on the day of the week or phase of the moon"

YTMND - What Women Want
Mel Gibson

Performance and Identity: The Music of Lady Gaga - "I am soliciting essays on a range of subjects that illustrate the influence and impact of Lady Gaga and her music. Essays will come from a range of scholars, including artists, music theoreticians and practitioners, psychologists, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, linguists, literary and theatre scholars, etc."

Marriage isn't a magic fix - "When controlling for differences between the two groups -- namely that cohabitating parents are "typically younger, less well off, less likely to own their own homes, have fewer educational qualifications and are less likely to plan their pregnancies than married people" -- the difference in the likelihood of a split dropped to 2 percent."

Video shows family dancing to "I will survive" at Auschwitz

Star Wars Subway Car « Improv Everywhere - "For our latest mission, we staged a reenactment of the first Princess Leia / Darth Vader scene from Star Wars on a New York City subway car. The white walls and sliding doors on the train reminded us of the rebel ship from the movie"

Honey Pie - "Her lips are full and pink. Her teal green eyes are intense and inviting. Her black eyeliner accentuates her high cheekbones and her strawberry hair complements her light African skin. Her metallic halter dress holds her supple thighs and pushes on her round breast. She is the result of careful attention and workmanship. When you see her up close, you can’t help but stare. At $6000, she’s certainly not a cheap date. For creator, Matt McMullen, she's a work of art. For everyone else, she's a Real Doll."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My first breast enhancement spam

"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." - Ogden Nash


I'm so excited. After years of penis-enlargement spam emails, I've finally gotten my first breast enhancement spam (at least that I remember)! Woo hoo!

Subject: Natural Breast Enhance !!!

Message: Increment of bust size from 30A to 32B

Firmer and more toned breasts from 34B to 34C

Pinkish nipples and fairer breast skin

Menopausal customers experience more vaginal secretion

Lesser hot flushes and relief of menstrual symptoms

Achieve breast fullness

Smoother and tighter breast skin

Singapore's Mail Order Bride Agency

"Love Bought Together" (from the SDN newsletter)

(this advertises their contest, "A Love Brought Together")

I have created a label called "sdn" to aggregate all my SDN posts!

The Elusive Higgs Boson

(From Symmetry Magazine)

An unbeatable collection

"He was a passionate collector of relics - he had the marriage ring of the Virgin, a cup used at the Wedding at Cana, a fragment of the Burning Bush and a complete body of one of the Holy Innocents, the children murdered by Herod."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Potemkin Trees in Singapore

"I planted the first tree after I took office in June 1959. Many of the trees I planted in various circuses (roundabouts) did not thrive. So before the next time I was to pass the site, they would plant a new sapling"

(via Duck)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ne disez pas ça

"Je vous baise chaleureusement"

For all the Champion Grumblers out there

"Complaint can be a powerful political tool. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King both used it to drive social change" (Blurb for Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests)

And, as we all know, Marx was the world's biggest whiner, and he never got anything done.

On the Myth of Multiculturalism in Medieval Spain

"A stitch in time would have confused Einstein." - Unknown


"From the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, the mixing in medieval Spain of the people of three religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - was one of Spanish society's most distinctive elements... Throughout Christian Spain there were large numbers of Jewish and Muslim people, all three groups living together but keeping their separate traditions in what might be described as an early example of multi-culturalism. This coexistence, extremely rare in European history, is often referred to by the Spanish term 'convivencia'. Here's the distinguished historian of Spain, Sir John Elliott:

"Well, as I see it, the essence of multi-culturalism is the preservation of the distinctive identity of the different religious and ethnic communities in a society. And for much of the period of Islamic rule, the policy of the rulers was to accept that diversity, even if it regarded Christians and Jews as adherents of inferior faiths. The Christian rulers when they took over did much the same, because they had no other option really, and at the same time of course, there was really no intermarriage. Intermarriage was forbidden between these communities So it is a limited multi-culturalism""

--- A History of the World in 100 Objects: Episode 62 - Hebrew astrolabe

Also, as with other commonly-mentioned romanticised historical anecdotes of religious tolerance, religions outside the ones mentioned were not treated as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Links - 12th July 2010

"Literature is news that stays news." - Ezra Pound


jing quek SUPERHYPERREAL photography
I had a hard time finding this site, which I thought was called zingapore. It's the guy who lines up Filipino maids, grasscutters/grass cutters, construction workers, old folks/old people, the 501st Legion, fan-wielding taichi practitioners and trishaw riders up in striking poses. And more amusingly, poses some Singaporean schoolboy fantasies: SCGS girls throwing sports bras in the air on what looks like the ACJC track, 4 schoolgirls (from 4 premium schools) squirting/spraying a schoolboy with Coke, uncles pouring soya bean milk/tao huay zhwee on a girl in a bikini. Oh, and who runs around Singapore with red balloons and in red underwear/briefs. As you can tell, I will never be able to lose this site again.

Wealthier is not necessarily healthier: UK study - "In some cases the health of a population has worsened even as the country's national income was rising. This was because issues of poverty and inequality were ignored by policymakers more worried about economic growth, a strategy that may ultimately cost lives"

Election Strategy and Ethnic Politics in Singapore - "Logistic regression of the 1968-2006 parliamentary election results by constituency indicates that the PAP government did create Group Representation Constituencies in 1988 so as to eliminate districts that had voted disproportionately for the opposition in 1984. Analysis using Gary King’s method of ecological inference suggests that ethic polarization between Chinese and Malays was moderately high in the 1976 election, peaked in 1988, and was minimal in 2006. Indians, meanwhile, appear to have voted with the Chinese in all three elections... These empirical results thus cast doubt on the extent to which Singapore’s elections have been truly free, fair, and devoid of ethnic tension. The findings also suggest that young, middle-class, highly educated Chinese have replaced working-class Malays as the greatest challenge to continued PAP dominance"

A Web Site the Size of Belgium - "Q1) What do you call an area the size of 25,000 golf courses?
Q2) How big was the largest iceberg ever recorded?
Q3) How much of our planet would be destroyed if we were hit by a 1-kilometre asteroid?
The answer to all of these is: A "Belgium".
Have you ever noticed that when there is a need to describe how large a piece of land is, Belgium is often chosen as the comparative measure? (Especially when the reference is to an area of rain forest that has been destroyed.)"

Nanny, 30, died from sexual arousal while watching pornography - "Children's nanny Nichola Paginton was found dead in bed naked from the waist down last October with pornographic material running on her laptop. A sex toy was discovered next to her."

The Bad Webcomics Wiki - "The cold war on bad webcomics commences.
Every day, you and your family could be subjected to bad webcomic radiation. Find out what to do about it.
Your guide to finding the right webcomic."
xkcd is listed here?!

'Hollywood Accounting' Losing In The Courts - "Hollywood sets up a separate corporation for each movie with the intent that this corporation will take on losses. The studio then charges the "film corporation" a huge fee (which creates a large part of the "expense" that leads to the loss). The end result is that the studio still rakes in the cash, but for accounting purposes the film is a money "loser" -- which matters quite a bit for anyone who is supposed to get a cut of any profits... it's a fun glimpse into yet another way that Hollywood lies with numbers to avoid paying people what they owe (while at the same sanctimoniously insisting in the press and to politicians that they're all about getting content creators paid what they're due)"

Homework Makes The Grade - "The heaviest copiers were male, and although most of the students in the classes were freshmen and had yet to declare a major, subsequent analyses turned up an interesting trend: “Copying homework is a leading indicator of becoming a business major”"

Time to kick the gender gap into touch - "If football were to become more caring and sharing it wouldn’t be any fun to watch and the clubs would all go bust. Furthermore, football managers are already showing rather too much of their female side as it is – at least as far as their hairdos are concerned... Part of the reason why women are relatively gaffe-free may be that most slips are made in unguarded moments. Women are most likely to be off-guard when with their own sex, and powerful women are nearly always surrounded by men. It’s also because women don’t go around noisily asserting the first thing that comes into their heads. This may be a bad characteristic when it comes to landing a top job but, given that gaffes are now the number one way of ending a high-profile career, it is a pretty useful trait for survival"

Top 10 des meilleurs vu depuis les toilettes

Scientists Cite Fastest Case of Human Evolution - "Comparing the genomes of Tibetans and Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China, the biologists found that at least 30 genes had undergone evolutionary change in the Tibetans as they adapted to life on the high plateau. Tibetans and Han Chinese split apart as recently as 3,000 years ago, say the biologists... Until now, the most recent such change was the spread of lactose tolerance — the ability to digest milk in adulthood — among northern Europeans about 7,500 years ago"

Why You Don't Need to Love Your Job - On Careers - "Most people who merely like, rather than love, their jobs are leading happy and fulfilled lives. Yes, you can get satisfaction and even pride out of doing a decent job well and competently. You can find enjoyment in facets of your work—your colleagues, your geographical location, your schedule—not strictly central to the job but still very important. And you can feed your inner passions in ways other than on the job... Maybe the insistence that it’s essential to adore your job is more distressing and depressing than working at a job that is just OK... every job is temporary. Moreover, it’s not necessary or even possible to be thrilled with what you’re doing every single minute of every single day"

Down for everyone or just me? - "Is [website] down for everyone or just me?"
Besides being useful this is a smart marketing ploy

Snake bursts after gobbling gator - "An unusual clash between a 6-foot (1.8m) alligator and a 13-foot (3.9m) python has left two of the deadliest predators dead in Florida's swamps. The Burmese python tried to swallow its fearsome rival whole but then exploded."
People's misguided ideas of "kindness" towards animals = ecological disaster

Need a Flyer for Your Lost Cat? Don’t Ask This Guy. - "This is a supposed email exchange between co-workers, one of whom (David) is a designer. Shannon is a distraught cat owner who makes the mistake of asking David’s pro bono assistance in creating a Lost Cat flyer."

A Guide To Evil Dictator Facial Hair
Supporting my theory that men with facial hair are evil

Starting school day half-hour later shows big gains for tired teens in Rhode Island study - "Giving teens 30 extra minutes to start their school day leads to more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and even healthier breakfasts... Teens tend to be in their deepest sleep around dawn — when they typically need to arise for school. Interrupting that sleep can leave them groggy, especially since they also tend to have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m... Starting times were shifted from 8 to 8:30. All class times were cut 5 to 10 minutes to avoid a longer school day that would interfere with after-school activities. Moss said improvements in student alertness made up for that lost instruction time"
And starting half an hour even earlier... No wonder we need Teach Less, Learn More

Why men are attracted to women with small feet - "Women with smaller feet have prettier faces, at least according to the men who took part in this study. So do women with longer thigh bones and narrower hips, as well as women who are taller overall. And the contest isn't even a close one... Atkinson thinks men find these features attractive because they serve as markers of a healthy childhood"

DNA Evidence Frees Man After 15 Years Of Marriage - "Henry "Hank" Doswell, 42, was released from his marriage Wednesday, after DNA tests conclusively proved his innocence in the July 1991 fathering of Spencer Doswell, the solitary charge that has kept him committed for 15 years... "I always said they'd made a terrible mistake, that I did not deserve to be put away in the prime of my life, but no one believed me. If it hadn't been for this DNA test, I might have died in that monogamous relationship... after wasting almost half my life on baptisms and birthday parties meant for some other man, I'm not about to take my single life for granted anymore""

Observations - 12th July 2010

"Any great truth can -- and eventually will -- be expressed as a cliche -- a cliche is a sure and certain way to dilute an idea. For instance, my grandmother used to say, 'The black cat is always the last one off the fence.' I have no idea what she meant, but at one time, it was undoubtedly true." - Solomon Short


My last Observations post was in March. No wonder I have so much crap in my draft.

On the obsession with homosexuality: RT punslabyrinth: @gssq hahha.. it's the 'in' thing these days isn't it.. to the point that honestly as a non-homosexual i feel marginalised sometimes!

RT @yaarn "Then there are linguists out there who don't want to see these (minority) languages die because then they'll be out of a job"

When someone says you're "overintellectual", "pseudointellectual", "overanalyse" or "think too much", what they are really saying is "I don't know how to answer your question. I shall avoid it and try to distract you with a Jedi mind trick" or "answering your question makes me uncomfortable. I shall avoid it and try to distract you with a Jedi mind trick".

On summarising himself in discussion threads: "Unfortunately this sort of summary is often necessary as I will often lose track of the line of argument myself and after several posts back and forth, will find myself arguing over something completely unrelated to the original post, or worse, find my earlier position completely reversed in later posts without even realising it."

"What have you learnt from Japanese girls?"
bookshopbear: "That make-up solves many of life's problems for them."

It's ironic that Mandarin, literally the language of Mandarins, has become rebranded as what is literally "normal language" ("普通话").

Patriarchy is a reaction to female mate choice and paternity uncertainty.

I am amused that a lot of people (including most women who have expressed an opinion on the topic) think that female bosses are worse than male ones, but no one thinks males are worse.

Of the people I know or know of who are taking or took breaks from employment, only one is male (and he was studying for his CFA). This is definitely something that must be taken into account when examining the gender wage gap (it almost certainly also has interaction effects with childcare).

Besides possible comparative advantage in doing housework (a suggestion that, bizarrely but predictably, got denounced as "deeply misandrist"), another reason that might explain why women do more housework than men is that they are more fastidious, or have higher standards of hygiene. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find studies on this (note: studies, not rhetoric, or baseless popular magazine articles).

If you're race blind, you will offend racial sensitivities.

If you want a ‘safe’ environment, most likely you just want your views to be ‘safe’ from criticism.
Addendum: keywords - "same from critical", "safe from examination", "sarah silverman"

I wonder if someone has done a study of the "racism" and "fear" of the Other inherent in the US banning Kang Kong, Snakehead and Konnyaku Jelly.

Nature is not Destiny, but if you ignore Nature, you're headed for Disaster.

RT @markleggett I like your Tumblr. Did you really find all these pictures on the internet? You're so talented.

RT @greenteacup: Most of the time, listening to girls talking is like Twitter - Most tweets r pointless n redundant.
(Someone asked what my large number of Twitter followers meant)

If Chatroulette had been coded by a PRC Chinese, would it have become so popular and international, given the closed ecosystem that is the Chinese Internet?

Why Singapore abandoned "Goal 2010": PRCs can't play football.

The Northern Chinese incursion into Chinatown is ironically inauthentic.

Maybe they hire Filipinas in hospitals instead of PRCs because unlike in restaurants, here a miscommunication could literally kill you.

The effects of Slavery: instead of getting riled up over politico-social issues, men hunt down men who've been less screwed

RT @infernoxv: thinks it's appalling how singaporeans with their shite mandarin make fun of the way mainland chinese speak mandarin. example: and then hor 我去他的office的時候那個 clerk很 bitchy的咯,每次給我dirty look, 真是 cannot stand it!

RT @ahaspel: A police state should admit error occasionally and pardon a few prisoners; it persuades the populace that the rest are guilty.

All SDN events which have a surplus of one sex have a surplus of women. In other words, the slots for ladies are all taken and only guys can register. Hurr hurr.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


(I preferred this to jetleg and astronut)

Outrage World

"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought." - John Kenneth Galbraith


How feminist blogs like Jezebel gin up page views by exploiting women's worst tendencies.

"One of my friends posted a link to last week's Jezebel post titled "The Daily Show's Woman Problem" as her Gmail chat status, alongside the words "Every woman must read this." Obediently, I clicked, and read a lengthy post that began with the assertion that The Daily Show is a "boys' club where women's contributions are often ignored and dismissed." When I finished reading, I was outraged! But not, as the majority of Jezebel readers and commenters seemed to be, at The Daily Show.

Jezebel writer Irin Carmon's argument is essentially this: "Former videogame show host" Olivia Munn may soon become the show's first new female correspondent in seven years, but her potential hiring is nothing to celebrate, because, while she's a woman, she's not the right kind of woman.

The rest of the post was given over to quotes from various comediennes and Daily Show executives who'd been fired, or never hired, by the show... Female Daily Show employees whose stories didn't fit into this narrative... were mentioned very briefly...

[This is] a prime example of the feminist blogosphere's tendency to tap into the market force of what I've come to think of as "outrage world"—the regularly occurring firestorms stirred up on mainstream, for-profit, woman-targeted blogs like Jezebel... They're ignited by writers who are pushing readers to feel what the writers claim is righteously indignant rage but which is actually just petty jealousy, cleverly marketed as feminism. These firestorms are great for page-view-pimping bloggy business. But they promote the exact opposite of progressive thought and rational discourse, and the comment wars they elicit almost inevitably devolve into didactic one-upsmanship and faux-feminist cliché. The vibe is less sisterhood-is-powerful than middle-school clique in-fight, with anyone who dares to step outside of chalk-drawn lines delimiting what's "empowering" and "anti-feminist" inevitably getting flamed and shamed to bits. Paradoxically, in the midst of all the deeply felt concern about women's sexual and professional freedom to look and be however they want, it's considered de rigueur to criticize anyone, like Munn, who dares to seem to want to sexually attract men.

When Jezebel was founded, it proposed itself as an explicit alternative to traditional women's magazines. As any first-year women's studies major will tell you, these glossies make money by exploiting women's insecurities... Jezebel must also sell ad space... the easiest way for Jezebel writers to be provocative is to stoke readers' insecurities—just in a different way... women's insecurities sell ads. The only difference is the level of doublespeak and manipulation that it takes to produce that result...

On the Web, writers tend to play up the most jealousy- and insecurity-evoking aspects of controversy, and then anonymous commenters—who bear no responsibility for the effects of their statements—take the writers' hints to any possible extreme. It's just how the Internet works."


"I think you just described the majority of political (not just feminist) discourse in this country in a nutshell"

"Jezebel is a joke. It trades on cheap outrage and dishonest discussion. Note most of the comments are "acceptable opinion" to blatant cheerleaders, nothing else really makes it through. Its rigged as a right wing talk shows hosts call ins. Whether its video games, films, comic books, the answer is always knee jerk screams of sexism. Its like a parody of some chick whos taken a few too many womens studies courses and is raging"

" If you do a little digging, you'll find they don't have any facts--only talking points. It's like the Fox News of feminism. When you try to engage in a thoughtful debate with some of them and they realize they don't have a leg to stand on, they call you names and a traitor to your race... I know feminists aren't a hive mind. But you'd never know it from some of the commenters here, on Jezebel, and on Feministing. It's hard to argue that, generally speaking, the Jezzies' first reaction when confronted with a view that doesn't jive with their own opposing view is to attack or ignore"
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