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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Links - 8th September 2020 (1)

Let's stop romanticising nature. So much of our life depends on defying it - "Cormorants are hunting fish in the now clear waters of Venice. Wild boars roam the avenues of Barcelona and wild goats the streets of Llandudno. Above Los Angeles are blue skies. From smogless Delhi, you can once more glimpse the Himalayas.“The Earth is healing, we are the virus,” runs the meme spreading fast across the internet. It’s a sentiment echoed by many policymakers, commentators and celebrities... Perhaps Ferguson needs reminding that “taking back control” has meant condemning hundreds of thousands of people to death, hundreds of thousands more to losing their livelihoods, and threatening, in the words of the UN World Food Programme’s David Beasley, “famines of biblical proportions”.We should remind ourselves, too, that what is now seen as unnatural and sinful was, not so long ago, celebrated as natural and authentic. Ever since the pandemic broke out in Wuhan, Chinese wet markets have been denounced as despicable and vile. Yet when Alan Levinovitz lived in China, “wandering through the open-air stalls felt liberating and authentic, a welcome change from sterile supermarkets where the chicken lies behind glass, plastic-wrapped by faceless corporations”. Here was “meat in its natural state: unrefrigerated, unprocessed, unpackaged, uncooked and sometimes unslaughtered”... Concepts of “nature” and of the “natural” have, Levinovitz shows, become synonyms for “God” and the “holy”. Humans are sinners not because we have disobeyed God but because we have violated nature, our teacher, in whose wisdom we must discover the moral rules by which we ought to live.Such a moral appeal to nature has long been the means of justifying particular human laws and structures. From interracial relationships to homosexuality, certain activities are deemed as transgressing natural boundaries and so to be forbidden. A ban on interracial marriage, as a Pennsylvania judge observed in 1865, was necessary to prevent the “corruption of races”... How nature is becomes seen as a template for what humans ought to do. And yet so much of human life – from the aspirin we take to alleviate pain to the fridge that helps prevent milk from souring – is a recognition that natural processes often work to our disadvantage, and the moral stance would be to keep them at bay. The romanticisation of the “natural” is, Levinovitz notes, rooted in privilege. Only those who enjoy a lifestyle sufficiently protected from the ravages of nature have the licence to romanticise it... After reading in the New Yorker about how much better was the “natural” parenting style of the Matsigenka, a Peruvian Amazonian tribe, Levinovitz travelled to Peru to see for himself. He was disappointed that they lived not in a “state of nature” but with solar panels and mobile phones. He asked a local whether he was “happy about having electricity”. “He looked at me with confusion,” Levinovitz recalls: “‘Yes,’ he said flatly, as if explaining something to a child. ‘Now we can see at night.’”"
"Nature is healing. We are the virus" is a great example of the misanthropy of environmentalism 

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, Universal Basic Income - "‘I've been a supporter of the principle for many, many years. I think it's no accident that it was one of the key demands of the women's liberation movement back in the early 70s, was an independent income. Because I think in a money based society, the condition of being economically dependent is is fundamentally demeaning. Whether you're a woman dependent on your husband's income, a disabled person, dependent on carers or or even an adult child dependent on your parents, because it can trap people in abusive relationships, but even in non abusive relationships, economic dependence makes, traps people into kind of relationships that are characterized by by guilt and by sense of obligation and by gratitude, and it means they’re not healthy relationships.’"  

 BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, Loneliness - "‘I was always fascinated by the fact that Jane Austen never describes any of her heroes as intelligent, the word doesn't appear’...
‘You argue that loneliness really only emerges as a term and perhaos almost a recognisable experience around 1800… prior to that, when it's used, it's used interchangeably with a rather lovely word, which is oneliness... all it means really is to be by oneself. So the Bible is full of accounts of Jesus being by himself and but doesn't necessarily have an associated emotional lack. And this shift towards the emergence of loneliness from around 1800 comes about because of different changes in society. Different ways of viewing the individual, industrialization, urbanization, a philosophy of the self, which is about the self as opposed to others, and the decline of religion'
‘And you also want to investigate, introduce the rise of the novel as well as as important to our understanding of loneliness’
‘Novels are fascinating. The difference between novels in the 18th century when they first came into being and novels in the 19th century and 18th century, something like Robinson Crusoe. There's not a single reference to loneliness. By the 19th century novels are full of lonely people. And that reflects those kinds of social changes… Wuthering Heights, where you have this desperate desire on the part of the heroine to find love, which is bundled up too in this sense of the self as not being complete without another, or Tess of the d'Urbervilles. And, and so Victorian fiction in particular tends to be full of women who are in search of the significant other and needing to find happiness and an absence of loneliness in the domestic.'"

Getting Pregnant While Pregnant: How Superfetation Works - "Grovenburg became pregnant twice, two weeks apart. Isn't that supposed to be impossible?Almost. There have been only 10 recorded cases of the phenomenon, dubbed superfetation. In Grovenburg's case, she became pregnant first with a girl (whom she has decided to name Jillian) and then two weeks later with a boy (Hudson). The babies have separate due dates — Jillian on Dec. 24, Hudson on Jan. 10"

Facebook Will Stop Labeling Fake News Because It Backfired, Made More Users Believe Hoaxes - "it will stop its short-lived practice of labeling misleading or false stories as "disputed," and will instead provide links to related articles that can give context or truth where needed. Facebook said its attempt to thwart fake news backfired, since the "disputed" label ended up making believers of fake news more defensive and more likely to insist on their version of the truth."

Woman finds out plant she's watered for 2 years is fake - "Caelie Wilkes shared the funny story on Facebook which has since gone viral. Wilkes said she found out the plant was fake while she was trying to move it into a new vase... The plant was originally a gift from the father of Wilkes' children, who also thought it was real"

Roger Scruton How Fake Subjects Like Women Studies Invaded Academia - "If you take a subject like women’s studies, now I know this is a controversial issue but perhaps it can be talked about freely in this room. You can’t talk about it freely in America on the whole. Anyway there – there is a subject, it’s very difficult to imagine and that you would succeed in that subject if you didn’t have either at the outset or certainly in the conclusion feminist opinions.And there is a – it’s a subject constructed around an ideology. It might be that this ideology is grounded in truth, who knows, but to question it is something which is essentially made impossible both by the curriculum and by the way of teaching it.And I think you’ll find that there quite a lot of subjects like that growing in our universities, in which conformity to an orthodoxy takes precedence over intellectual method... Maybe after all in the middle – in the middle ages maybe theology was like that, but the interesting thing about medieval theology is that it encouraged the intellectual method despite it’s requirement of Orthodoxy.We are now going through a time when truth itself seems to be increasingly marginalized from the – from academic scholarship... The most important figure here as you all know is Michel Foucault, who saw all his work as giving “une histoire de vérité” a history of truths. As though truths have a history, you know, something is either true or not true but nevertheless he wanted to rearrange the whole curriculum in such a way that when studying the thoughts of and writings of people of the past, we’re not really interested in the truth of what they say but in the power that speaks through it.That the only commodity, in the intellectual world is power, who has dominion over whom. And that way, of course you can turn any subject however impartial it seems and the outset into an instrument of ideological conflict by saying that you know, to date English studies has been an exercise of male power over the female gender."

Handjob Cabin Isn't a Real Movie, But We Wish It Were

Sexual Exploitation Was the Norm for 19th Century Ballerinas - "It’s not clear who Edgar Degas used as the model for the 1879 painting, L’Etoile, that depicts that tense moment. But it’s likely that she was a prostitute. Sex work was part of ballerinas’ realities during the 19th century, an era in which money, power and prostitution mingled in the glamorous and not-so-glamorous backstage world of the Paris Opera."

My grandma wanted some “creative” grad photos of my friend since we’re graduating at the same time. This was her least favorite : funny

I,Hypocrite - Posts - "Am I too stupid or is it actually saying that the concept of being straight is the normal is a white people thing"
"In what non-white majority countries do you see higher acceptance of lgbt? Africa? China? Maybe arab countries?"
"You've been permanently banned from participating in r/lgbt"
Minority rights are just a way to shit on white people
Comment: "Redditors defending people who would have them stoned without a 2nd thought. Truly amazing levels of cognitive dissonance."

‪Jimmy London - "You can walk into a room full of Muslims and ask whether Gay people should be executed for being Gay; a legitimate theological debate will ensue on why yes (sharia) & why no (reformist) ‪You could never ask a group of Gays if Muslims should be executed & expect 2 be taken seriously.‬ We just don’t have that hate in us. You would be condemned for even positioning the question & possibly ostracised. The Muslim debate on gay death can last HOURS. At some point the religious conservatives (pro death) will accuse the reformist (pro life) of perverting Islam & contorting the Faith, they will accuse them of not being Muslim. That accusation will never be levelled in the other direction. Because it is Sharia compliant, you can NEVER accuse someone of not being Muslim due to the belief that gays should be executed. Let the weight of that sink in. #notall"

Tony Hawk’s Twitter account is a goldmine of awkward interactions - "The legendary skateboarder is probably the most famous in his field to date. Hawk revolutionized the sport with his skateboarding video games, and he might be the only skateboarder any causal sports fan who doesn’t follow the sport can name.Or, at least he used to be... his Twitter account is full of awkward interactions he seemingly experiences every day."

I,Hypocrite - Posts - "92 out of the top 500 subreddits on reddit are controlled by just 4 people" "Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/interestingasfuck."

Being Classically Liberal - Posts - "Not a huge fan of Trump, but it's hilarious how the mainstream media has an overt vendetta against him and then they act like they are victims when he treats them like crap in response."

DADDY'S MAN CAVE - "*Man with T-shirt: "Fuck patriarchy" being handcuffed by policewoman*"

The Cringe Factory - Posts - "So this month for the first time my @OnlyFans bill was more than my rent. Ally achievement unlocked! #sexworkisrealwork #payforyourporn #feminist #onlyfans"
"Imagine endangering your finances to satisfy your porn addiction and then masquerading it as activism."

carol on Twitter - "my dad met my mom for a second, lost her number, remembered she was a nurse, and then called every hospital in the state to ask her out and I can’t even get a text back"

carol on Twitter - "Me: *Posts bikini pic on ig story*
Guy: hiiiiiiii
Me: not u"
carol on Twitter - "quarantine is really the perfect time to shoot your shot one of my friends just asked me out when this is all over I said no cuz he’s 5’8 but still"
carol on Twitter - "It could be worse, I could still be faking orgasms with my ex"

Lim Wen Jun - "The Singapore Story #hardtruths
"No, I don't have dreams. Dreams can never come true anyway."
Teo Zhixian - Year 1, Assumption Pathway School"

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