When you can't live without bananas

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Links - 8th December 2021 (2)

Meme - "Action heroes In the 80’s *Muscular*
Action heroes in 2019 : *scrawny, MCU actors*"

GOTTI FAN PAGE! on Twitter - "Niggas that care about you not fun to date unless you tryna get married"

Gung-Ho Geeks - Posts | Facebook - *Human female centaur but with a female lower body*
"I have the weirdest boner rn..."

redheadhatchet: bananonbinary: one of the... - worth a wound - "one of the hardest things to learn as a depressed former Gifted Kid™ is that half-assed is better than nothing. take the 50%, 40%, even 20% job. scrubbing your face is better than not taking a shower at all. picking up your clothes is better than never cleaning. nibbling on some bread is better than starving.  DO THINGS HALFWAY. NOW YOU’RE 100% BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE BEFORE."
"One of my college professors used to say “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”  I didn’t understand that for years because I didn’t do anything poorly, I couldn’t do anything poorly, I had to Do Everything Perfectly.  But brushing your teeth for 30 seconds is better than not brushing them at all when that 2 minutes seems exhausting.  Doing ten minutes of yoga is better than 10 minutes of sitting when 30 minutes of cardio sounds impossible.  Changing my clothes is good when a whole shower is impossible.  Standing on the porch for a few minutes is worth it after being in the house for three straight days because I don’t have the energy to go anywhere.  Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly… because doing it poorly is better than not doing it."

Meme - "hate people like this. if i ain’t answering leave me the fuck alone"
"Or you could grow the fuck up and just say you don't wanna go"

Is eye of newt a real thing? - "Both the English major and the frustrated high school student are likely familiar with this passage during the Witches scene from Shakespeare's "Macbeth": "Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."...
All of the ingredients in the witches brew are simply ancient terms for herbs, flowers and plants. Some say witches gave these flora gross and disturbing names to deter other people from practicing witchcraft. Here's the translated plant list of what's really in Shakespeare's cauldron...
Eye of newt - mustard seed
Toe of frog - buttercup
Wool of bat - holly leaves
Tongue of dog - houndstongue
Adders fork - adders tongue
Blind-worm - okay, a blindworm is a real thing; a tiny snake thought to be venomous"

XIRAN *Preorder Iron Widow! on Twitter - "I love how you can tell if a C-drama is supposed to be serious historical fiction or idol romance by how hot the emperor is"

Meme - ">on her deathbed
>instead of thinking about her children and husband of 70 years she thinks of some homeless dude who fucked her in a boat trip for 2 days
>millions of women consider this a great love story
Why are women like this?
Titanic is just an old woman telling a story about some good dick she got on a cruise"

Meme - "“Please trust me, I grew up in a Communist nation and escaped it as an adult, it was Hell, everyone suffered, their promises were empty, you don’t want it here”
Millenial Westerners: “Okay boomer""

Not Will Ferrell on Twitter - "Rearrange these words: 1) PNEIS 2) HTIELR 3) NGGERI 4) BUTTSXE... Did you get: Spine, lither, ginger and subtext? Tsk tsk."

How Extremists Like The Proud Boys Weaponize Irony And Memes To Spread Hate : NPR
When authoritarians crack down on humour, they just look stupid. Which is why humour is an effective tool to resist repressive regimes

Facebook - "Leftists - “We should strive for equity, not equality.”
The electoral college - “Ok”"
*CA, MI vs WY*

Meme - "As a Palestinian, I admire both Hitler and Stalin in a nuanced way because I'm an adult who doesn't treat WWII like a religion. These men both came from humble origins, they were both able to become the proud ruler of their people, and rose up from the ashes of WWI"

‘It Just Isn’t Working’: PISA Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts - The New York Times - "The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe.  And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. Although the top quarter of American students have improved their performance on the exam since 2012, the bottom 10th percentile lost ground, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal agency... Mr. Schleicher, of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said it was a common misconception that socioeconomic achievement gaps in the United States were much larger than those in the rest of the world... Mr. Schleicher said that differences in school quality affected the performance of American students less than it affected the performance of students in many other nations — meaning that in the United States, there is more achievement diversity within schools than across schools.
Damn maths as a tool of white supremacy! Damn schools for gifted kids! Time to double down on tearing everyone down for the sake of "equity". Time to bitch more about how funding means poor schools are disadvantages

Beef Taquitos on Twitter - *Corporate foot stepping on snake*
"At least its not the goberment"

islamweb.net/emerath/index.php?page=articles&id=29120 - "Prophet Muhammad (PBÜH) said, "The Last Hour will not come until some groups of my nation worship idols" and Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that he said "The Last Hour will not come until women from the Daws tribe wiggle their buttocks (as they circumambulate) around the temple of the idol al-Khalasha.""
Is this twerking?

Facebook - "Always amusing to see leftists Who are essentially doctrinaire in most ways, but then deviate from the norm in one or two areas and feel the full force of the mob upon them for their heresy.  Suddenly they start talking about the importance of free speech, free debate, and reason.  But then when others still deviate from the parts of their theology they still hold to as doctrine, the very things they newly hold onto to protect their own form of heresy are once again thrown out the window, mocked, and ridiculed.  Whether you think Tara Reeade’s claims should be considered with the appropriate amount of skepticism, or you can see examples about how sexual biology might indeed impact the lived experiences of people, but otherwise hold onto the rest of the theology and mock those who would use the same tools to criticize it, hopefully we can understand why “cafeteria liberalism“ is not an option.  "
Facebook - ""Anyone who says that the GOP is the party of rich white people clearly hasn’t heard of the Democratic Socialists of America"  - Yazeed A. Bunyan -"

Why Hamilton Is the Most Right-Wing Musical on Broadway – Left Voice
That was fast

Facebook - ""Anti-imperialism is mostly just a euphemism for Anti-Americanism. - Jonah Gold -"
So much for the myth that liberals hate their countries

Facebook - "A cheery exchange with someone who I knew in the Harvard physics department who went on to become an academic historian.
Him - "Foucault never said that.
Me - "Really?  Here's a full, verbatim, unchanged quote from Foucault."
Him - "That's out of context."
Me - "How so?"
Him - "You're a white supremacist."
Just like a religious apologist.
But I repeat myself."

Facebook - "There's a popular misconception that swords were historically too heavy for women or small men to lift. Thus this comparison chart was created based on the actual weight of historical swords in the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, UK. If you're strong enough to pick up a baby, you're strong enough to lift and to wield the heaviest sword.

Facebook - "Interested to learn about #Islam? This poster tells you everything you need to know. The men are dynamic human beings with faces…the gender segregated women are inhuman, faceless things."

Adam Conover on Twitter - "My former employer CollegeHumor did this. In order to beat YouTube, Facebook faked incredible viewership numbers, so CH pivoted to FB. So did Funny or Die, many others. The result: A once-thriving online comedy industry was decimated. A $40m fine is laughable; shut Facebook down.
A little more context: when I joined CH, fans watched videos on OUR SITE. That meant that we sold the ads & controlled the metrics. We had a killer ad sales team, and made custom videos for major brands. YouTube was mosty just to drive traffic to the site. It was a real business!
We posted links to FB, of course, but the links led to our site! I specifically remember the fateful day someone said “You have to see the numbers native videos get on Facebook. They’re INSANE.” Too good to pass up! So we started posting videos natively to Facebook instead.
The problem: no way to monetize. In fact, instead of viewers coming to OUR site & seeing ads, Facebook’s model is to CHARGE YOU for access to your fans. Site traffic plummeted. So did ad rates, and thus video budgets. Our FB views were awesome!! But we now know those were a lie.
The result: the beautiful constellation of independent comedy sites that represented a new emerging middle class of content creation shrunk and in many places collapsed. All because of Facebook’s falsified viewer data (oh, and all the other shady shit they did)"

Rita Panahi: For intolerance, remember to take a Left turn | Herald Sun - "The notion that the ugly hostility of our polarised political climate, one that sees people defriended, deplatformed and disavowed for their beliefs, is a “both sides” problem is a falsehood. Pretending that both the Left and the Right are equally culpable is not a nuanced view, it is demonstrably false.  When author and sex therapist Bettina Arndt gave a speech at La Trobe University last year, “howling mobs” attempted to drown her out. At Sydney University the riot police had to be called. Yet vice-chancellor Michael Spence attempted a pathetic “both sides” defence to explain the rising tide of “self-censorship”... When is the last time a Leftist speaker was shouted down or their audience needed police protection to enter a venue? It’s simply not an issue. The Left doesn’t require riot squads to control conservative protesters and are not presented with bills from police for being victims of violent activists. Mainstream conservatives are subjected to activists who feel entitled to bully and intimidate not only them but their audience.  Andrew Bolt is Australia’s most-read columnist but his book launch in Melbourne had to be cancelled due to the threat posed by Leftist protesters.  When was the last time someone from the Left had to cancel their event because of credible fears of violence from conservatives?... On radio we have talkback callers who say politics has damaged family relationships, particularly with the young who think if you don’t share their catastrophic view of climate change, border protection or Australia Day, you must be an awful person.  We’ve seen the same phenomenon in the UK with the Brexit and Remain camps and in the US with not only Republicans and Democrats but also pro and anti-Trump voters... DeGeneres leans heavily Left and has been active in promoting Democrats but even that did not save her from the feral lynch mob. It’s instructive that Bush faced no similar hate for being friendly with an ideological opponent. There were no conservative columns decrying Bush’s betrayal for “normalising” DeGeneres and her politics... Actors Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon and comedian David Cross were among those who continued their criticism, along with writers and academics, including Preston Mitchum, who wrote of DeGeneres: “One day y’all will believe me when I say the greatest threat to the United States are white women who believe they’re ‘good’.”"

Meme - "Women get mostly infertile at 40, but luve ti be 80. Without a family, what are you going to do with those 40 long long years?"
Shantelle :"Travel and shop and adopt pets and be happy in my childless life"
Shantelle: "I tweet about having depression, loving the Seahawks, and hating Trump."

"MERRY CHRISTMAS! *roast pig*"

Siraj Hashmi on Twitter - "Someone in New Hampshire detonated 80 POUNDS of explosives as part of a gender-reveal party. It has left cracks in the foundations of nearby homes."
Pakistani-American: "my culture is not your GODDAMN gender reveal party"

Dreadful Exmile on Twitter - "That whole penguin "long neck" thing just got me thinkin', you know? *Penguin skeleton and reconstruction vs Brontosaurus skeleton and reconstruction*"

These weird, unsettling photos show that AI is getting smarter | MIT Technology Review - "The researchers have developed a new text-and-image model, otherwise known as a visual-language model, that can generate images given a caption."

How I explained the 8 schools of magic to my players : DnD - "Illusion: You make someone look like a frog.
Transmutation: You turn someone into a frog.
Enchantment: You make someone think they're a frog.
Conjuration: You make a frog appear.
Abjuration: You protect the frog.
Evocation: You kill the frog.
Necromancy: You revive the dead frog.
Divination: You know that it was actually a toad and not a frog the whole time."

McHimbo™️ on Twitter - "Hey, remember when the Panama Papers were released and they showed how basically every wealthy person on the planet was avoiding taxes by offshoring their money and nothing was done about it except the reporter who broke the story was murdered with a car bomb?"

Unseen Japan on Twitter - ""My son, who loves YouTube, seems to think that 'please subscribe to my channel' is a parting phrase. When he leaves kindergarten or his grandma he says 'Please subscribe to my channel', which puts off everyone around him.""

Michael Malice on Twitter - "Extremists only defend free speech when it's in their personal interest to do so. But they will seize any opportunity to legislate against anything that offends them.  This may come off hypocritical, but I also believe extremists should be forced to live by their own rules."
"“When I am weaker than you, I ask you for Freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your Freedom because that is according to my principles.” ― Frank Herbert"

Despite being a small country with limited resources, why are Singaporeans so nice and helpful? They are helping the migrant workers so much in this Covid 19 situation whereas the apparently richer Arab countries are deporting them in such crisis? - Quora
Singaporean Activists are going to be upset

Liechtenstein is utterly ridiculous - but that’s a big part of its appeal | The Spectator - "Squeezed into half a valley, between Austria and Switzerland, its monarchy is Austrian and its currency is Swiss. It only granted women the vote in 1984, the last European country to do so. Its national football stadium, the Rheinpark Stadion, holds just 6,127 spectators – less than Torquay United. Its national anthem shares the same tune as 'God Save The Queen'. A tax haven with more registered companies than people, its entire population is about the same as Milton Keynes. A railway runs through it, but it has no train station. It’s the world’s biggest manufacturer of false teethIts capital, Vaduz, has a mere 5000 inhabitants. Yet this sleepy town is home to Liechtenstein’s splendid Kunstmuseum, a striking avant-garde building with a superb array of contemporary art... Liechtenstein has no army, but when Hitler marched into Austria, Liechtenstein’s Prince Franz Joseph II went to see the fuhrer in Berlin and somehow secured his country’s neutrality. At the end of the Second World War, when 500 White Russians sought sanctuary here, he heroically refused to hand them over to Stalin. The last time Liechtenstein saw military action was in 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War, when they sent 80 troops to guard the Tyrolean border. They returned home with 81 men, having suffered no casualties and gained a new recruit en route... Franz Joseph’s son, His Serene Highness Prince Hans Adam II, is Liechtenstein’s current ruler. He’s Europe’s richest monarch, worth about $5 billion. He has one of the world’s finest art collections, with the largest private haul of Rubens, and the only Leonardo da Vinci in private hands. Some of this priceless booty is now on public show, but you won’t find any of it here in Liechtenstein. Absurdly - and therefore fittingly - you’ll have to travel to Vienna to see it. Maybe when his amazing artworks return to Liechtenstein, this quiet backwater will attract a few more visitors. Until then, enjoy the elbow room. Truly, this is the land that time (and the EU) forgot."

Thijs Porck on Twitter: -  "And the award for silliest medieval coat of arms goes to... this pair of underpants, belonging to Lord Jan van Abbenbroeck in the Beyeren Armorial (1405)!"

Am I wasting my time organizing email? - "People who create complex folders indeed rely on these for retrieval, but these preparatory behaviors are inefficient and do not improve retrieval success. In contrast, both search and threading promote more effective finding"
Don't waste time filing email

Did a Man Twice Land a Plane on a New York Street on a Bar Bet? - "Thomas Fitzpatrick, 26, was drinking at a Washington Heights ginmill after a bachelor party when he suddenly got the urge to fly. Fitzpatrick drove to the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey where he “borrowed” a Cessa 140 two-seater plane — he apparently knew one of the owners — and then flew it back to Manhattan, where he landed on a narrow street.   Fitzpatrick originally explained his actions by telling police that he was forced to land on the street due to engine trouble. Police were skeptical of this story, however, and suspected that this late-night, booze-inspired flight may have actually started with a bet... Fitzpatrick’s story is certainly a bit unbelievable. So much so that one bar patron was skeptical of the tale when Fitzpatrick recounted his adventure a few years later. In order to prove to his drinking buddy that he was telling the truth, Fitzpatrick once again drove to the Teterboro Airport to “borrow” a plane and then flew it back to the bar."

Prosymnus - Wikipedia - "When the wine god Dionysus went to Hades to rescue his mother Semele, Prosymnus guided him to the entrance by rowing him to the middle of the lake. The reward demanded by Prosymnus for this service was the right to make love to Dionysus. However, when Dionysus returned to earth by a different route, he found that Prosymnus had meanwhile died. Dionysus kept his promise by carving a piece of fig wood into the shape of a phallus and used it to ritually fulfill his promise to Prosymnus, while seated on his tomb... This story is not told in full by any of the usual sources of Greek mythological tales, though several of them hint at it. It is reconstructed on the basis of statements by Christian authors; these have to be treated with reserve because their aim is to discredit pagan mythology"

Cat drinking from a bottle then being squirted in the face

John B. Calhoun’s Mouse Utopia Experiment and Reflections on the Welfare State - "Because of the externally provided abundance of water and food, combined with zero threats from any predators, the mice never had to acquire resources on their own. The young mice never observed such actions and never learned them. The life skills necessary for survival faded away...        The “behavioral sink” of self-destructive conduct in Calhoun’s experiment (which he replicated on numerous subsequent occasions) has since been mostly interpreted as resulting from crowded conditions. Demographers warn that humans might succumb to similar aberrations if world population should ever exceed some imaginary, optimal “maximum.” Others like Kubań point out that the mice utopia fell apart well before the mouse enclosure was full. Even at the peak of the population, some 20 percent of nesting beds were unoccupied.  My instincts tell me that Kubań is correct in suggesting that a more likely culprit in the mice demise was this: the lack of a healthy challenge. Take away the motivation to overcome obstacles—notably, the challenge of providing for oneself and family—and you deprive individuals of an important stimulus that would otherwise encourage learning what works and what doesn’t, and possibly even pride in accomplishment (if mice are even capable of such a sentiment). Maybe, just maybe, personal growth in each mouse was inhibited by the welfare-state conditions in which they lived. Calhoun himself suggested a parallel to humanity... By relieving individuals of challenges, which then deprives them of purpose, the welfare state is an utterly unnatural and anti-social contrivance. In the mouse experiment, the individuals ultimately lost interest in the things that perpetuate the species. They self-isolated, over-indulged themselves, or turned to violence.  Does that ring a bell? Read Charles Murray’s 1984 book, Losing Ground, or George Gilder’s earlier work, Wealth and Poverty, and I guarantee that you will hear that bell...   I can think of one big difference between Calhoun’s mouse utopia and the human welfare state, and it does not weigh in humanity’s favor. For the mice, everything truly was “free.” No mouse was taxed so another mouse could benefit. In the human welfare state, however, one human’s benefit is a cost to another (or to many)—a fact that rarely acts as an incentive for work, savings, investment, or other positive behaviors. That suggests that a human welfare state with its seductive subsidies for some and punishing taxes for others delivers a double blow not present in mouse welfarism... “The welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people.”"

'Germany is not an open society': Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on leaving Berlin - "“Germany is not an open society. It is a society that wants to be open, but above all it protects itself. German culture is so strong that it doesn't really accept other ideas and arguments.”  Ai, 61, added that there is “hardly any room for open debate”.  The artist, who is an outspoken critic of China's government, moved to Berlin in July 2015 after spending four years under house arrest in China. The artist said he had reported experiences of discrimination to authorities while living in Berlin, such as being thrown out of taxis. However, the office investigating them had come to the conclusion the incidents involved “cultural differences” rather than discriminatory offences, he said... Ai had spoken out about feeling less secure in Germany.  He said he was “fighting battles” wherever he went “including with German people who say I should be grateful to them because I am a refugee, and they paid for my life”.  In the interview with the Guardian at the end of last year he added: “This is the mood in Germany right now, the posters I see in the streets saying: ‘We can make our own babies, we don’t need foreigners.’ It’s the mood in much of Europe, including the UK. It’s very scary because this kind of moment is a reflection of the 1930s.”"
Alarmism is so classy

Ai Weiwei on his new life in Britain: 'People are at least polite. In Germany, they weren't' - "While Ai insists he has no illusions about Britain, he still thinks it will be better for his family. “In Britain they are colonial. They are polite at least. But in Germany, they don’t have this politeness. They would say in Germany you have to speak German. They have been very rude in daily situations. They deeply don’t like foreigners.” If Britain does let him down, he assures me he’ll let us all know... “Germany is a very precise society. Its people love the comfort of being oppressed. In China, too, you see that. Once you’re used to it, it can be very enjoyable. And you can see the efficiency, the show, the sense of their power being extended through the connected-mind condition.” You mean there is no room for individuality? “Yes. They have a different kind of suit: it doesn’t look like what they wore in the 1930s, but it still has the same kind of function. They identify with the cult of that authoritarian mindset.”... Is he comparing today’s Germany with Nazi Germany? “Fascism is to think one ideology is higher than others and to try to purify that ideology by dismissing other types of thinking. That’s Nazism. And that Nazism perfectly exists in German daily life today.”"
And yet he quickly went to Portugal
Presumably liberal intolerance isn't Nazism, since those are the Right views

Kant and Critical Theory

Someone characterised Critical Theory as being Post-Kantian just as it was Post-Marxist (confusingly claiming that it was Post-Kantian because it came after Kant), but also claimed there was a strong link between the first two.

Some of Kant's ideas inspired critical theory, but mostly he was opposed to what the project has become and indeed some later philosophers linked to Critical Theory criticised his ideas:

"Kant himself is significant as a philosopher who defends the principles of Enlightened reason against scepticism. He argues for the validity of the knowledge accrued by the natural sciences, but also for the possibility of reason legislating for both individual moral action and the constitutional structure of the state and its relations to other states. Kant’s critical philosophy inspired as much criticism as admiration in the tradition of critique that followed him...

One of Kant’s most productive moves is his analytical distinction between different mental powers, especially theoretical understanding and reason. The former relies on scientific rationality to gain understanding of the natural world of objects which can then be mastered technologically, while the latter is a version of Kant’s practical reason which deliberates about the ends and purposes of instrumental action. Kant’s philosophical system aims at mediation between these two forms of reason, warning about the overextension of either into the domain of the other. Subsequent thinkers, especially Weber and the Frankfurt theorists, have reformulated that distinction as one between two different types of rationality. As a result, Kant’s basic moral principles of respect for persons and autonomy underlie much of the substance of the critical tradition.

Kant also explains how humans can be understood from the perspectives of both scientific rationality, as natural objects, and moral reasoning, as free subjects. In spite of Kant’s attempt to mediate these two incompatible perspectives, a good deal of critical thought has been dedicated to asserting the latter in face of the former, especially when the methods of the natural sciences have been deployed in the domain of the human sciences... While Kant’s first critique aims to establish the validity of natural scientific knowledge, his philosophy, including the problems it fails to solve, has inspired critical thinkers to ground the knowledge gained by the human sciences.

Kant’s sustained attention to aesthetics and judgement has also had its impact on the tradition of critique. According to Kant’s tripartite division of what Weber calls value spheres, aesthetic production and appreciation do not serve the purposes of theoretical understanding and the moral reasoning. Accordingly, in a sense which is highlighted by modernist sensibilities, art is autotelic, meaning that it gives its end to itself. In a world dominated by instrumental reason and administration, certain forms of art can thus be valued by Adorno as a privileged area of freedom indicating utopian possibilities...

Kant’s critical philosophy is presented as a system. His main works were his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and Critique of Judgement (1790). In turn, they analyse the capacities and limits of human mental powers, called faculties, of theoretical or scientific understanding, moral reason and both aesthetic and teleological judgement (meaning judgement about ends or purposes). They are critical in that in each case Kant assesses how far our faculties can take us in answer to the questions: ‘What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope?’1 Theoretical understanding gives us empirically-based, objective knowledge of nature, as established by Newtonian mechanistic physics, but not of ‘things in themselves’ beyond our experience, or of metaphysical entities such as the soul or God. Reason gives us a universally binding moral law, obedience to which constitutes freedom. Each of the first two critiques is immensely significant in itself, but it is the third which systematises Kant’s philosophy in that judgement mediates between understanding and reason, indicating a finality or purpose to the world according to which we can be both objects under the laws of nature and free subjects of the moral law.

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is an answer to the question: what can we know?, but also a rebuttal of both Hume’s empiricism and Leibniz’s rationalism. Kant wished to avoid the contemporary philosophical orthodoxy of dogmatic rationalism represented by Leibniz and Wolff, according to which all true knowledge is derived from the exercise of reason, following innate principles which are known to be true independent of experience. Our subjective knowledge of objects is guaranteed by a divine harmony of the universe between ideas and things, which can be known by understanding the innate principles, and which in turn give us knowledge of metaphysical concepts such as the soul and God. Kant held that such metaphysical speculation was beyond the reach of human understanding, leading instead to a series of antinomies, meaning apparent philosophical paradoxes based on pairs of false assumptions. When pure reason proceeds on the basis of unempirical ideas, it is being used illegitimately.

At the same time, Kant did hold that if used legitimately, the ideas of reason lead to objective knowledge...

In order to justify objective knowledge, Kant argues that it requires a synthesis of reason and experience, of that which we know a priori beyond experience and that which we know from experience. The main difficulty is in establishing the first part...  Kant argues that we can know certain things by reasoning beyond experience, such as that every event has a cause, because such concepts are presupposed by or are conditions of possibility of experience and knowledge. Kant characterises his method for arriving at these conditions as transcendental deduction, because we must transcend our experience to deduce what makes it possible. These presuppositions come in two forms. First, space and time are a priori intuitions of perception, meaning that we can only experience objects as existing in space and time, though we cannot know space and time through our experience. Second, there are twelve a priori categories or concepts of understanding, which are present in our understanding before experience, such as the notion of causality, or that objects exist as substance. These concepts give form to our thoughts about experience in a way that makes our sense impressions intelligible to us. The link between sense-perceptions represented as intuitions in time and space and concepts, and hence between empirical experience and reason that transcends experience, is made by the imagination, which is another faculty that schematises by relating a diversity of sense-perceptions to concepts. The faculty of understanding legislates over reason and imagination to establish a determinate accord between the faculties.

Another aspect of the accord between our faculties is that it is presupposed by self-conscious experience. It is another precondition of knowledge that sense-intuitions must allow for the application of the categories, which also means that if the world is comprehensible it must appear to conform to the categories and their schematisation as laws of nature, such as Newtonian physics. This deduction of a priori principles is subjective rather than objective, because it refers to the perspective of human subjects. It is also the grounds for Kant’s Copernican revolution, according to which the condition of possibility of objective knowledge is that physical objects must conform with our cognitive powers, not vice versa. Yet this does raise the problem that Kant seems to presuppose a similar harmony between a priori truths, or the ideas of reason, and the world, or between the capacities of the knower and the nature of the known, as the one asserted by dogmatic rationalists. His justification for the accord of the faculties with each other and the world does not come until his third Critique.

The knowledge gained by our cognitive faculties is one of phenomena, or physical objects as appearances, rather than noumena, or things in themselves. Kant does not mean that reality is hidden from us behind mere appearances, but that we cannot aspire to knowledge of the world which is conceived apart from the perspective of the knower...

Kant also sees much value in reason’s positing questions beyond theoretical understanding, such as: what caused the world to exist? First, it demonstrates the limits of our cognitive power, because we cannot answer the question. Second, by pushing us to think about the world as a totality, reason provides us with a regulative principle, or a correct hypothesis, according to which we think of the world as subject to universal and necessary laws. By presupposing a systematic unity of nature, reason symbolises the accord between the content of particular phenomena and the ideas of reason. Kant’s interest is not only in establishing the illegitimacy of the use of reason beyond certain limits as a way to justify natural science and debunk metaphysical speculation, but also to establish the legitimacy of reason’s interest beyond the phenomenal world.

Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is so called because it is about the application of reason to action or practice. Our faculty of desire often operates according to natural causes such as instincts, desires or feelings, allowing our will to be determined by heteronomous, or external influences. In that case, reason is, as Hume put it, the slave of passion, for our cognitive powers are limited to figuring out instrumentally the best means to achieve our ends, not what our ends or goals ought to be. But humans are not merely objects governed by the laws of nature...

The idea of freedom as obedience to a law one makes for oneself, or autonomy, came from Rousseau, who was a key influence on Kant. Autonomy is also a question of maturity, an ability to abstract away from one’s personal desires, interests and tastes as well as the opinions of others. If one thinks as oneself only as a rational agent, as free and unconditioned, reason will compel one to embrace duty in the form of ‘categorical imperatives’, which are rules that all rational beings must obey without exception, in order to be true to their nature as autonomous beings. In this Critique, Kant does not have to prove that objective moral principles are true, but that they are what rational beings must think when they think about universal and necessary principles.

There are two basic formulations of the categorical imperative, the first of which is: ‘Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become universal law.’... The second formulation is called the practical imperative: ‘Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.’...

The notion of reason and freedom as ends in themselves also indicates a way out of the key problem for Kant’s system. How can freedom be possible in a causally determined world? How can we humans be both noumena and phenomena? How can the practical knowledge we have of freedom be reconciled with the theoretical knowledge we have of nature?...

Kant’s full answer to the problem comes in his third Critique, but in his discussion of practical reason he suggests that the realisation of moral good presupposes an accord between nature and freedom, such that the ‘ought’ of the categorical imperative implies that it can be fulfilled...

To complete his philosophical system by establishing a link between freedom and nature, Kant needs his third Critique of Judgement: ‘the family of our higher cognitive powers also includes a mediating link between understanding and reason. This is judgement.’6 In particular, this Critique focuses on reflective judgement of which there are two kinds, aesthetic and teleological, of which the first kind can be about either beauty or sublimity. As well as dealing with judgement, the third Critique also covers another faculty, namely the feeling of pleasure or displeasure which lies between our cognitive faculty and our faculty of desire. Just as each of those faculties has a higher form, respectively theoretical understanding and reason, so does feeling, in the form of judgement. Similarly, Kant is concerned to establish a synthetic a priori of aesthetic taste, or a justification for the possibility of aesthetic judgement.

The problem, characterised as the antinomy of taste, is that aesthetic judgement involves both feelings related directly to subjective experience, not conceptual thought, and judgement, for which we give reasons and claim universal assent. Aesthetic pleasure, claims Kant, presupposes that others ought to agree that ‘this rose is beautiful’, or that there is a subjectively universal ‘common sense’ of beauty. The point is not that we should all recognise the same property of beauty in objects, but that we can all share the same feeling. To feel beauty, Kant says we make a disinterested judgement, which means that our feeling of pleasure may not be empirically determined as sensory satisfaction or what feels agreeable to an individual, as in ‘this rose smells beautiful’. Rather, we take delight in the accord of nature’s beauty with our disinterested pleasure. Aesthetic judgement is free of all individual inclination in the same way that practical reasoning is, which is why we expect universal assent. Already we can see one way in which, for Kant, beauty is a symbol of the good, because we make aesthetic and moral judgements from the same disinterested position.

Also, we judge beauty without applying concepts, so that what we have in mind is not the concept of the rose but our intuition, or perception, of the rose. In aesthetic judgement imagination is freed from concepts, that is to say, from the task of bringing concepts to bear on experience, as when we understand, ‘that red and green thing is a rose’. Moreover, aesthetic judgement entails a free, undetermined accord between the faculties. Judgements of beauty always concern singular perceptions, such as of the colour and shape of a red rose. Yet, the imagination still brings concepts to bear on experience, but in a free and undetermined way. Another way to put this is that the faculty of judgement has an indeterminate concept which serves as its a priori principle, in parallel to the principle of ‘lawfulness’, or the systematic unity of nature, for the faculty of understanding, and ‘final purpose’, or the realisation of freedom in the ‘kingdom of ends’ for the faculty of reason...

For the most part, Kant considers beauty only in relation to nature, rather than art. He explains that pure judgements can be made only about free beauty in contrast to beauty that is fixed by the concept of a thing’s purpose. All fine art involves the concept of a purpose, in that the artist has a purpose in creating it, though genius can animate fine art by creating a second nature. Kant thus prefers to focus on pure aesthetic judgements, but his focus on nature also fits his philosophical system better, because it allows him to argue that aesthetic judgement is universal because of its accord with nature’s formal or subjective purposiveness. Judgements of beauty also relate to nature’s real or objective purposiveness, which, according to Kant, should properly be the subject of teleological judgement...

The aesthetic idea of harmony and unity thus leads us to the idea that nature and humans have a ‘suprasensible purpose’, a purpose which is an end in itself...

Kant and Contemporary Critical Theory

Kant’s critical philosophy is more than ample fodder for criticism by contemporary theorists, though some find his philosophical method and system productive as much for its failures as its successes. As a leading Enlightenment philosopher, Kant is often attacked from various postmodern perspectives for the alleged transgressions of modern thought. Most notably, Rorty regards Kant as the arch-foundationalist philosopher, the architect of philosophy that attempts to ground valid claims to knowledge and to rule out invalid claims. Bauman also picks up on Kant’s terminology of reason as legislator, criticising him for asserting the authority of intellectuals to provide universal standards of truth, morality and taste in alliance with modern state rulers in a joint effort to establish modernity as a fundamentally ordered social and political system. Yet, Kant brings reason before its own tribunal, disallowing illegitimate uses of it by debunking dogmatic rationalism. Kant is clearly concerned with the limits of theoretical understanding and the necessity of both moral reason and reflective judgement which cannot be grounded epistemologically. Kant’s political theory of constitutional republicanism and world peace might best characterised as a framework to make morality and autonomy possible on a public scale, and is certainly not an attempt to apply a scientific understanding of causality in the natural world to society.

Kant is also criticised by some feminists for positing what they take to be male-centred norms and values of the self and reason as universal, a criticism which is reinforced by Kant’s view that women are not capable of maturity in the sense of moral autonomy. Gilligan’s feminist ‘ethic of care’ is posited as a contrast to a Kantian ‘ethics of justice’, which, allegedly, is based on a model of moral development reflecting the experience of boys but not girls. Kant is one of many male Enlightenment philosophers whose work is subject to a feminist debate about whether such bias is inherent to his philosophy, such that the notion of rational being cannot be applied to women, or whether his chauvinist opinions can be edited out to produce a gender-neutral philosophy.

Several other key contemporary theorists have critical relationships with Kant which begin from the premise that Kant’s philosophy fails as a system to achieve grounding or validate judgements. Habermas follows the tripartite structure of Kant’s critical philosophy by analysing the different bases for validity claims in three value spheres: cognitive-instrumental, moral-practical and aesthetic expressive. However, he rejects Kant’s notion of transcendental reason, instead proposing a pragmatically based communicative reason which must be presupposed for communication through speech to be meaningful. Lyotard focuses on what he takes to be Kant’s impossible attempt to bridge theoretical understanding and practical reason through judgement, which he interprets as a particular instance of the impossibility of a universal discourse that rules over heterogeneous discourses or ‘phrase regimes’. For Lyotard the incommensurable difference and agonistic contestation between discourses and social groups, rather than universality, is the principle of justice. Lyotard also highlights Kant’s aesthetic of the sublime as that which resists representation by totalising discourse. If Lyotard has a postmodern Kant, Foucault’s attitude is more ambivalent. On the one hand, he regards Kant’s philosophy as the epitome of modern thought which is trapped in anthropological slumber, unable to extricate itself from fundamental antinomies such as between man’s empirical existence and transcendent reason. On the other hand, he credits Kant with an admirable philosophical ethos of critique of modernity as analysis and reflection on limits. But in a Nietzschean twist, Foucault historicises Kant’s analysis of a priori conditions of knowledge, denying that they are universal and necessary and suggesting that limits be transgressed rather than regarded as necessary conditions. Kant’s influence on contemporary critical theory remains considerable, either as a target of criticism or as inspiration for critical philosophy"

--- Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) / Jon Simons in From Kant to Lévi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory / ed. Jon Simons

Links - 8th December 2021 (1 - False Rape Accusations)

How the #MeToo Movement Helped Create a Script for False Accusers - "Judges and jurors, like everyone else, often imagine they are good at catching liars. But studies show otherwise. In research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review, subjects were found to “achieve an average of 54% correct lie-truth judgments, correctly classifying 47% of lies as deceptive and 61% of truths as non-deceptive.” In other words, not much better than a coin flip. Still, there are methods that can help sniff out false narratives. For instance, creating believable dialogue is difficult, even for professional writers. And the stories that go along with most false accusations sometimes contain dubious, stereotypical descriptions of what the accused and the victim supposedly said to one another. In some cases, a false accuser might say that the accused just endlessly repeated the same stereotypically menacing line over and over. Or they might claim that nothing was said whatsoever... The #MeToo movement, along with other previous movements and hashtags, has opened up vast resources online that help victims of sexual assault seek justice, network with allies and other survivors, and recover emotionally from their trauma. This is all to the good. But as Chloe’s case helps demonstrate, these same resources can also be used as tools to create a realistic backstory out of whole cloth.In 2016, a young British woman admitted, after just a few minutes of cross-examination at trial, that she had manufactured a sexual-assault complaint against her father, using the lurid plot of Fifty Shades of Grey as her source material. The father might well have been convicted if he hadn’t mentioned to his lawyer in passing, just a day before trial, that his daughter’s favorite book was, by his recollection, “about a millionaire who takes a young woman under his wing and ‘teaches her about art.’” Likewise, if Chloe hadn’t promoted her interest in sexual-assault prevention on social media and recorded videos about her activism, how would the evidence in her case have come to light? The prosecutor and police reportedly didn’t research any of this in detail before the case went to trial; and when issues were raised by the defense, the Crown made no effort to examine or provide exculpatory evidence. Indeed, the court transcripts indicate that the prosecutor’s behavior was so outrageous that the judge warned about possible contempt charges. Yet this episode produced no social-media outrage, despite the fact that a likely innocent man might easily have gone to jail... To the extent that the outcome will become known to the public at all, it will be classified as an incomplete trial. It won’t be recorded as a false accusation. Just the opposite, in fact: Journalists who report in this field will cite this data point as an instance of injustice to sexual assault victims."

Evil Carl Beech is proof we need EVIDENCE before naming those accused of sex crimes - "False accusations of abuse can ruin you. And the effects of that ruination don’t just evaporate once the lies are exposed.In the past few years, I have met several high-profile figures who have been falsely accused — by others, not Beech — of sexual crimes they didn’t commit, and many have been pushed close to breakdown.The relentless strain they’ve been under — sometimes for years — is all too clear in a face ravaged by worry, lack of sleep and loss of appetite.And then, once your name has been cleared, the all-consuming anger kicks in for all the unnecessary pain inflicted on you and your loved ones.Imagine if it was you... Crown prosecutor Jenny Hopkins says: “Carl Beech has been described by some as a fantasist, but what he’s done goes beyond being a fantasist. He’s a manipulative and very deceitful man and he would quite happily have seen innocent people face the full weight of the law.”  Exactly. Worse, he was aided and abetted by Met Police officers who seemingly showed the intellectual rigour of the Keystone Cops.  And, of course, the jaw-dropping gullibility of political figures such as Labour’s Tom Watson, who persuaded Beech to keep going with his claims after initially being ignored by the more sceptical Wiltshire force. Unforgivably, considering the cost to the falsely accused and their families, the Met Police’s handling of Beech started from the premise of “we believe you”.In other words, those he was accusing were considered guilty until proven innocent — a fundamental breach of how the law should work. Yesterday, it emerged that none of the officers involved in the £2.5million, 18-month-long investigation into Beech’s increasingly fantastical claims of a “VIP paedophile ring” will face disciplinary action.Is that because someone, somewhere knows that it’s the fault of the police system rather than the actions of any individual that created this unholy mess?Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I remain convinced that had Beech been interviewed by a panel of experienced journalists, they would have flushed out his obvious fabrications within minutes.So too would the majority of police officers . . . if they were allowed to act on their gut instinct.But that style of policing is now regarded as old-fashioned in a supposedly progressive world where, post-Savile, everything is viewed through a victim-centric prism... plenty of police officers I have spoken to now despair that promotion is given to those who say, rather than do, the right things.Consequently, many senior positions are occupied by corporate box-tickers who, when presented with a problem, can only solve it if there’s a policy in place that tells them what to do... those who are accused shouldn’t be identified until there is enough evidence to charge them which, ironically, is what happened with Beech, who had previously enjoyed anonymity. I know this is a minority view among my media colleagues"
I encountered someone who was obsessed with "pedos" who still believed there was some vast pedophile network to crack here
Ironically, the experienced journalists wouldn't have done better since they'd go along with the party line of believing victims - as he admits at the end

University of Texas tells its police to hide evidence that favors students accused of rape - "Advocates for due process in campus rape adjudications have long sought to remove college officials from investigations because their various conflicts of interest render them unable to provide basic fairness to either party... That’s why it’s troubling those advocates to see how the University of Texas-Austin is attempting to turn a neutral institution – its campus police – into an advocate for one party.Its new “blueprint,” flagged by Inside Higher Ed, tells campus police to conduct worse investigations. UT-Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault developed the manual, which tells police to ignore contradictions and inconsistencies in rape accusers’ allegations because they must be the result of “trauma"... 'the report essentially suggests that investigators avoid creating any record in which parties might make contradictory statements. So, investigators should “avoid repeating a detailed report” when conducting follow-up interviews, and they should “reduce the number of reports prepared by investigators,” all to limit the defense’s ability to challenge the prosecution’s case.'... The blueprint also lays out several “myths” (Table 3.5) that many people outside of the Title IX industrial complex would think are very debatable.Two examples: “If a girl initiates kissing or hooking up, she should not be surprised if a guy assumes she wants to have sex,” and “Rape accusations are often used as a way of getting back at guys” (persuasively argued in litigation by accused students who note the curious timing of rape allegations)."

Accuser backs out of Title IX proceeding after court orders UMich to allow cross-examination - "When you can make sexual assault allegations with no possibility of being challenged, why wouldn’t you?After a stinging court ruling last month that ordered the University of Michigan to allow cross-examination and a “live hearing,” the student who accused “John Doe” of sexual misconduct has dropped out rather than face scrutiny... Gordon told the 6th Circuit that public records requests show the university has spent $1.2 million so far on lawyers just in this case, which is nearly twice as much as it had spent as of last summer."
No wonder college tuition is going up - legal fees aside the number of administrators needed to deal with this rubbish...

District Attorney In Maine Wants To Start Prosecuting People Based On Accusations And Nothing Else - "District Attorney Natasha Irving said she would try to reform the legal system by prosecuting cases that previously had been deemed “too hard to prove.” She said prosecutors shouldn’t decline to take on such cases because “that response is very damaging to a survivor,” suggesting she believes every accuser is a “survivor.”... Irving also repeated the misleading statistic that just 2% to 8% of sexual assault accusations are false. The number, as I have written numerous times, refers only to cases that have been proven false. The real number is unknown. Using the same logic employed by Irving, one could say just 3% to 5% of rape accusations are true, since that’s how many go to trial and result in a guilty finding."
Then feminists will point to the low conviction rate as evidence of "rape culture". Brilliant way to perpetuate the narrative!

Even if false rape reports are rare, they shouldn't be ignored - "Whenever a high-profile account of alleged campus sexual assault comes crashing down – such as Rolling Stone's gang-rape accusation – activists predictably fall back on the claim that only 2 percent of rape accusations are false.This isn't accurate. First, the 2 percent figure refers to false reports made to the police. Making a false police report carries a penalty, which exists to deter people from doing so (although sometimes that penalty isn't enforced, such as with the Duke Lacrosse rape hoaxer). No such penalty exists on college campuses. (Indeed, even the accuser in the Rolling Stone article, though proven to have lied, did not face any punishment from the school.) Not having that penalty is meant to make accusers feel more comfortable coming forward, although it's difficult to see how being punished for lying would make truthful victims fearful. Regardless, a lack of consequences makes it easier for student accusers to come forward and punish fellow students who may have hurt them or with whom they had a previous regretted encounter that has come to be seen as assault. But let's look at that 2 percent figure as if it applied to all cases. If it were true that 2 percent of rape reports were proven to be false, that would indicate that 98 percent were proven to be true, and therefore, accusers should be believed as a matter of default... The Washington Post, in an article fact-checking a graphic about rape statistics, mentioned a study from the "Making A Difference" Project, which the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women claimed was the "only research conducted in the U.S. to evaluate the percentage of false reports made to law enforcements."... that study actually found 7.1 percent of rape reports to be "unfounded/false." But one can't assume that means 92.9 percent of reports were true. The study found an additional 8.5 percent to be classified as "unfounded/baseless." End Violence Against Women International, which produced the MAD study, defined baseless reports as "those that do not meet the elements of the offense and those that were improperly coded as a sexual assault in the first place." This includes sexual assault reports in which a "follow-up investigation reveals either that no crime occurred or that some other type of crime was actually committed (or attempted)." In other words, a false report of rape... 15.6 of reports could reliably be determined as false, another 17.9 percent weren't actually crimes and just 1.2 percent (or 2.2 percent) could be reliably determined as true. The remainder would fall into a "we'll never know for sure" category... none of this data can be applied to reports of campus sexual assault. There is no data available on the number of campus sexual assault accusations that turn out to be false, as it hasn't been studied. And again, without a penalty associated with false police reports, false accusations made to campus administrators are likely to increase."
Even a study used to propagate the feminist myth that only 2% of rape accusations are false shows that 15.6% of rape reports made to law enforcement are false (which means rape reports are false at an even higher rate). So we could even say that false rape reports exceed true ones

How To Lie And Mislead With Rape Statistics: Part 1 - "As it turns out, only 7.8% of rape reports are true. I know that may seem hard to believe, but I didn’t just make it up.  Technically, it is completely true.  It is also completely horse shit.  It is so misleading and built upon so many undisclosed caveats, that most people would consider it as good as lying if they knew how it was actually derived. The thing is, that “only 2-8% of rape allegations turn out to be false” figure you may have heard?  Not only is it just as misleading (if not more), it actually comes from the exact same data set... 'The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forcible rape than for any other Index crime. In 1995, 8 percent of forcible rape complaints were “unfounded,” while the average for all Index crimes was 2 percent.'"
Rape is lied about a lot more than other crimes

How To Lie And Mislead With Rape Statistics: Part 2 - "So, to clarify, the study found that 7+5 = 12 out of 116 reported rapes were false.  For most people that would be a false reporting rate of 10.3%, which is outside the 2-8% range, but apparently not for the authors.  It would seem that rape reports made by someone other than the victim do not count as false despite being, well, false. At this point all I can say is that at least they are quoting the research of others – if this is the kind of logic they are using, I can only imagine what the results would be if they got to design the study themselves... not only do they try to disguise the fact that the main source for their hypothesis is a study that two of the authors conducted themselves for an organization with a clear stake in the matter, but the entire article is essentially an advertisement for their training sessions. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out the last page of article... 'While it is understandable that investigators might want to prove that the report is false out of a sense of frustration and a determination to get to the truth, this is probably not the best use of limited resources.'...
Do you see the situation they are setting up here?
A rape report can only be classified as false after a thorough fact-based investigation (a confession that the report was false is not enough)
Don’t ask the same question twice so they can’t change their story
Even if you find key parts of their story to be false, don’t pay much attention to it
Challenging the validity of their report could be devastating
Even if you think the report is false, is it really worth your time to prove that it is?...
When they say that only 2-8% of rape reports are false, the implication is that the rest are true. Based on the ways their source data was constructed though, “2-8% of rape reports are false” would only be an accurate statement if you include the addendum “at bare minimum.”  2-8% isn’t actually a ceiling, or even a range, it is merely a floor... there wasn’t actually a rape, but the report doesn’t get counted as false.  Those last two categories combined make up 26.4% of the total rape reports. Isn’t manipulating statistics fun?...   The best way to demonstrate how misleading this methodology is, is to use their data and hyper-conservative classifications to answer a different question:  What percentage of rape reports are true?...   At the end of the day, my point is this – If someone tries to advocate a particular policy based on the fact that “only 2-8% of rape reports are false” an appropriate response might be “Sure, but only 1-8% are true.”"
A determination to get to the truth is anti-feminist

Feminists Try To Debunk False Rape Culture With False Data - "The founder of the Enliven Project, a self-proclaimed “truth-teller,” sees no harm in her bogus graphic. The reason? It created a conversation!"

Prosecute, Smear, Acquit - "Not everyone is aware that the #MeToo “movement” didn’t arise organically. I had been told it was coming well before it happened, that there was a deliberate plan to circumvent the difficulties presented by the legal system, even the Title IX campus sex tribunals, because they required two things that proponents found too hard to address: Evidence and the possibility that their accusations might be tested... You might also note how critical it is to this scheme that the rape epidemic and false accusations lie be perpetrated. With both of these key beliefs in place, the downside of this extrajudicial and subconstitutional system was small enough that people would overlook its harm, ignore the fact that these cries were entirely unproven and would never be proven. There are no rules of evidence on social media, just as there’s no appeal.And regardless of where you stand on the underlying issue, it has been a huge success. It has accomplished its goal of circumventing the principles upon which our law was grounded and eviscerating them. But where does it go from here? There remains a problem with the scheme, that as much as they can get men fired or expelled, books burned, movies trashed and art removed from the walls of museums, they still can’t put men in jail without going through the “regular” legal system... Natasha Irving’s idea of how of “reform” isn’t to adhere more closely to the Constitution, to assure every accused of due process, or to recognize that the job of a prosecutor isn’t to convict, but to “do justice.” Rather, her “reform” is to arrest and prosecute people against whom there is insufficient evidence to convict... This isn’t to say that prosecutors should reject any case that isn’t a slam dunk, but to prosecute men based on the litany of rationalizations, as proffered by the “experts” who teach the jury what they’re to believe to be fact, when the evidence at best fails to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a deliberate abuse of power. Ironically, it’s the same abuse complained of by reform prosecutors in any other prosecution not involving an accusation of sexual assault. Go figure... Will it work? First, it doesn’t have to in order to accomplish its goal. As the saying goes, you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride. Men will be arrested and prosecuted, their faces and the accusations against them will appear in the media. They will lose their jobs, their homes, their families and be criminals. Even acquitted, the belief of guilt isn’t dissipated. After all, juries don’t return verdicts of “innocent,” but not guilty. And as the presumption of innocence is reduced to a “legal technicality” rather than a tenet of law, there is no way to overcome the taint.But second, it may well work. For the reasons detained people plead guilty now, they will plead guilty to sex offenses rather than roll the dice at trial or spend a few years awaiting their chance for vindication. And third, if the rationalizations, the expert witnesses, the narrative, accomplish what their pushers hope, perhaps juries will convict despite the gross inadequacy of proof."

Kansas Prosecutors Drop False Accusation Charges, Claiming Real Victims Would Be Hurt - "The woman was arrested for making a false report, but prosecutors dropped the charges against her in November, citing fears that real victims would be afraid to come forward.Now, a month later, prosecutors have dropped charges against two more women who allegedly made false claims"
If you don't prosecute false accusations, feminists can continue to tout low rates of false accusation

False sex assault reports not as rare as reported, studies say - "The Pentagon issues an annual report on sexual assaults in the military. Nearly one-quarter of all cases last year were thrown out for lack of evidence... “Any man who doubts Ford is hostile to women experiencing abuse, who make accusations truthfully 90 to 98 percent of the time. This is why hard data from the Pentagon, which shows rates of false accusations averaging 18 percent in annual reports since 2009, is important.”... NBC News showcased Ms. Swetnick and reported that she provided the names of four witnesses. One was dead, one said she didn’t know Ms. Swetnick and two didn’t respond.Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick refused the committee’s requests for interviews, according to Republican staffers.Ms. Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 that Justice Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a high school house party 36 years ago when he was 17. He denied the event ever happened. The FBI reported to the committee that agents interviewed supposed attendees, including Ms. Ford’s high school best friend. They all failed to corroborate that the party took place... Mr. Turvey quotes a study by researcher Edward Greer, past president of the Association American Law Schools. He traced the one and only source for the “2 percent” assertion to a 1975 book, “Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape,” which quoted statistics from New York City, not from across the nation.Mr. Turvey cites 10 studies that debunk the 2 percent assertion in the U.S. and abroad.“The power of any lie is equal only to our desire to believe it,” Mr. Turvey wrote. “Specifically, our need and eagerness to believe it. This is the problem with belief — which is accepting something as true or correct without proof.”"

NCFM Member John Davis, Esq.,How Many Rape Accusations are False? - "“Feminism has produced a popular definition of rape that can be expressed as: “Rape occurs anytime a woman has a physical, auditory or visual contact with a man, and, the woman is unhappy, before, during or after the contact.” – John Davis... The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw some serious studies conducted by the U.S. Air Force, Purdue University, and other institutions, into measuring the rate of false accusations of rape.These studies employed an unimpeachable method of recording a rape accusation as false, only if the accuser admitted that it was false.These serious studies concluded that between 40% and 60% of accusations of rape were false (based upon the admissions of the accusers)... Shortly after these studies were published, rape accuser advocates had “rape shield laws” passed in all states that prohibited further scientific research and study of the phenomenon."
This was taken down from Medium. You can't challenge the narrative
If you prevent research into false rape reports, you can proclaim that there is no evidence that there're many of them. Brilliant move by feminists!

Woman who falsely accused man of rape, sending him to prison for 4 years, gets 1-3 years jail - ""What happened in this case is one of the worst things that can happen in our criminal justice system," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon said before sentencing Biurny Peguero to one to three years... Peguero, 27, pleaded guilty to perjury last August, admitting that her claim of rape against William McCaffrey was a lie... In court papers filed by her lawyers, Peguero said she was too drunk to remember the night of the alleged attack so she came to believe her lie.It later emerged that her injuries that night stemmed from a drunken brawl with a friend. Prosecutor Evan Krutoy had asked the judge to sentence Peguero to two to six years "so that there's a chance that she will serve what he served.""

Woman who glued her vagina as part of bizarre bid to frame her ex-boyfriend is jailed for ten years - "Vanesa Gesto accused former boyfriend Ivan Rico of kidnapping her outside her home and abandoning her semi-naked after squeezing the superglue into her private parts.Her story began to unravel when investigators uncovered CCTV footage showing Gesto buying the glue and a 'kidnap kit' including knives she used to harm herself from a Chinese-run supermarket.

Man 'raped and killed by parents' after daughter 'lied he touched her' - "An ‘innocent’ man was allegedly raped and battered to death by ‘vigilante’ parents after a 10-year-old girl ‘lied’ he had molested her ‘as a joke’.The girl claimed truck driver Dmitry Chikvarkin, 48, had touched her and another girl, 3, ‘below the waist’ after he gave them a lift to their carer in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma in Russia.Her dad Sergey Chabin, 33, and his girlfriend Valeria Dunaeva, 25, mother to the other child, are accused of gathering three male friends to attack Mr Chikvarkin after hearing the story... ‘First, he was raped… then they smashed his head with the same pipe, breaking his skull..’ A woman who had cared for the children – an aunt of Dunaeva’s ex-husband – was also allegedly attacked as she tried to protect Chikvarkin"
The perils of moral panic over "pedos" and a culture of believing women

Colo. man imprisoned for 28 years after woman dreamed he raped her expected to be freed after convicted rapist admits to crime, DA claims confession is a lie - "A man locked up for almost three decades after a Colorado woman had a dream he raped her is expected to be freed after someone else confessed to the crime, but investigators claim the confession was a lie.  Clarence Moses-EL was sentenced to 48 years in prison for raping and assaulting a woman after she came home from a night out drinking in 1988.   He spent 28 years in jail after she claimed it was him because she saw his face in a dream.  Twenty-five years later, convicted rapist L.C. Jackson wrote a letter to Moses-EL confessing... The rape victim initially named Jackson when police questioned her... For almost 30 years, Moses-EL was behind bars as Denver police ruined DNA evidence that could have proved his innocence.   Police destroyed body swabs and the victim's clothes, despite a judge's orders to preserve the evidence for testing.  Moses believes the evidence was destroyed because officers didn't want to own up to a massive mistake"

Over Half of Accused Students Found Not Responsible by Campus Sex Tribunals - "An analysis of annual reports from 48 colleges in 21 states reveals that 52.7% of campus sexual assault adjudications resulted in a finding of “not responsible” for the accused student... This finding is similar to a 2017 NCHERM report titled “Due Process and the Sex Police” that stated, “annual summaries show that they are finding no violation of policy 60% of the time in their total case decisions.”  Most institutions review sexual misconduct cases based on the preponderance of evidence standard. In practice, this standard is essentially a measure of credibility of the statements of the accuser and the accused. The fact that a larger percentage of students was found not responsible demonstrates that most allegations investigated by colleges are determined to be unfounded."
In other words, if we apply the beyond reasonable doubt criterion, unjustified rape accusations are even higher

Meme - "You raped me. I'm officially accusing you of raping me, I expect your suicide by tonight. Thanks for your cooperation.
Okay before this goes farther, I've never met this person and I hope never to. *** has never touched me and I pray he never will and I hope he doesn't kill himself to prove a childish point. He called me dumb and I wanted to make a point that's all. So sorry & Thank you."

Manhattan district attorney: 'Rape accusations are as good as proof' - "Every man – particularly men of color – should be afraid. Very afraid.  After a jury returned two guilty verdicts against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., incredulously had this to say about allegations of rape and sexual assault:  “It’s rape even if there is no physical evidence.”"

Swedish #MeToo activist told to pay damages to man she accused of rape - "A Swedish journalist has been ordered to pay thousands of kronor in damages to a man she claimed raped her, in a series of social media posts that got the #MeToo movement under way in Sweden.  Stockholm District Court on Monday found journalist Cissi Wallin guilty of aggravated defamation against Fredrik Virtanen, also a journalist, after she posted on social media in 2017 that Virtanen had drugged and raped her – claims he has always denied."

Monday, December 06, 2021

Links - 6th December 2021 (2 - Plastics/Recycling)

Plastic Packaging Alternatives- Are they causing more harm? - "A panel consisting of 40 academicians from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, has said that a ban on plastics might seem like promoting a cleaner and greener future, but it could lead the environment towards greater damage.  Professor David Bucknall, chair in materials chemistry at the University’s Institute of Chemical Sciences, also agrees with the panel by saying that current arguments surrounding a lessening or ban of plastic use were “short-sighted and not based on facts”. On replacing plastics with currently available materials such as metal and glass would double the global energy consumption and treble the emissions of greenhouse gases. The environmental cost would nearly be four times greater. Firms and supermarkets swapping plastics to other packaging material cause a more negative effect on the environment. For example, glass bottles are much heavier and contribute to more pollution through their transportation. On the other hand, plastics are light in weight. Transportation of consumer goods in plastic packaging requires fewer vehicles which involve burning less fuel and, thereby, prominently reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, paper bags, which are more difficult to reuse, cause greater carbon emissions, when compared to plastic bags. Kate Sang, Professor of gender and employment studies at Heriot-Watt’s School of Social Sciences, has commented that apart from the environmental damage caused by plastic pollution, one must also recognize that single-use plastics have changed the healthcare system in delivering a safe and responsible health service. For example, single-use plastic straws are essential for many disabled and elderly people. Alternatives such as pasta straws are unsuitable because they are not flexible and cannot be used by those with gluten intolerance. Paper straws disintegrate over a short period and silicone straws need to be sterilized, which is simply not practical in public places. Retailers agree that climate change needs to be the primary concern and necessary changes should be adapted to restore our environment. Plastic remains the most effective material in many circumstances, for instance, cucumbers wrapped in plastic last 14 days longer, minimizing food waste... bioplastics can cause immense damage when they end up in the wrong place, says Jo Ruxton, co-founder of campaign group Plastic Oceans. Even plastics labeled as biodegradable can take years to breakdown at sea, during which time they can inflict plenty of damage."

How Useful Is Recycling, Really? - The Atlantic - "One of the few things Americans largely agree on is recycling. This simple act is popular with Democrats, Republicans, free-market diehards, and environmental advocates alike, data consistently show. And among recycling enthusiasts, one group is particularly keen—people already concerned about climate change... Project Drawdown, a nonprofit group that conducts reviews of climate solutions, includes recycling in its recommendations for reining in emissions. But when the group analyzed more than 80 separate means that could help keep the world from passing the oft-cited threshold of 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the recycling industry’s projected contributions fell below the median, trailing geothermal power, efficient aviation, forest protection, and dozens of other actions... “People just really want a way out of their consumption that doesn’t make them feel bad”... Critics say focusing on getting hard-to-recycle materials out of the recycling system altogether would do more to curb climate and environmental issues. Dell suggested going back to “core four” recyclables (cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and aluminum cans), since items such as plastic film and bags are notorious for burdening recycling facilities. But she also cited the Jevons paradox, the economic idea that increasing the efficiency of a resource’s use also increases its consumption. Rather than prioritizing fixing recycling, she said, people should place greater emphasis on scaling back their waste to begin with."

Plastics in oceans are mounting, but evidence on harm is surprisingly weak - "It’s not surprising this has become a cause célèbre. Unlike many other human pollutants in the environment, plastic debris is very visible.  Images of birds or fish entangled in plastic are highly emotive – as is the idea that we could be harming ourselves by eating seafood containing tiny pieces of the stuff... On the question of how much damage microplastics cause to marine life, we certainly know these particles are readily transported throughout our seas and oceans and there is considerable evidence that organisms ingest them. However, the polymers that make up plastics are of minimal toxicity to marine life.  The question is whether they may cause harm in other ways. It could be that organisms absorb these particles and they accumulate in internal tissues, though it’s not clear whether or not that might be harmful to them. Microplastics may also accumulate in the gut and potentially interfere with processes like nutrient uptake or the passage of waste – or they may just be expelled without any negative effects.  A few studies have shown microplastics being absorbed by marine life in very small amounts, but other studies have found the opposite. We don’t even know whether very small nanoplastics with diameters of less than 1,000 nanometres can be absorbed. The studies that do exist on nanoparticles suggest that such absorption is minimal. In short, the jury is still out on absorption... There is considerable evidence to suggest that plastic particles are readily released from the gut of organisms without negative effects – and note that researchers have tended to test for concentrations in considerably higher amounts than are found in the environment... most studies have shown that toxicants associated with plastics are either at concentrations too low to be toxic – or that the substances stick too strongly to the plastics to be released into organisms and cause problems.  In one study, the levels of toxic substances in the tissues of marine birds were actually lower when they had ingested plastics. The investigators suggested the toxic substances already present within the bird tissues were sticking to the plastics and being removed. If so, toxic substances attached to plastics might be less of a concern for toxicity to marine organisms than is feared. Then there are microplastics and the human food chain. We were intrigued by this possibility and conducted an experiment to check. While we cooked in our kitchens, we left open petri dishes with sticky tape to collect dust fallout in the surrounding air.  We compared the amounts of plastic fibres in this dust with the quantities we found in mussels collected around the Scottish coast. The results suggest that while a regular UK consumer might ingest 100 plastic particles a year from eating mussels, their average exposure to plastic particles during meals from household dust is well over 10,000 per year."
Related: UN: Don't worry about drinking microplastics in water

The warm glow of recycling can make us more wasteful - "Laudable initiatives designed to limit the environmental damage associated with consumption, such as the recycling of plastic packaging into clothing or unused bread into beer, have become increasingly popular. In three experiments, we show how such initiatives can potentially increase waste rather than preventing it. Specifically, we show that when presented with such options people may come to psychologically frame their waste creation as a contribution to the collective good that makes them feel good about themselves (i.e. eliciting a warm-glow effect). We argue that such potential ‘wasteful contribution’ effects need to be considered in assessing the true sustainability benefits of certain recycling initiatives."

A type of ‘biodegradable’ plastic will soon be phased out in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment - "Many plastics labelled biodegradable are actually traditional fossil-fuel plastics that are simply degradable (as all plastic is) or even “oxo-degradable” — where chemical additives make the fossil-fuel plastic fragment into microplastics. The fragments are usually so small they’re invisible to the naked eye, but still exist in our landfills, water ways and soils...   Some biodegradable plastics are made from plant-based materials. But it’s often unknown what type of environment they’ll break down in and how long that would take.  Those items may end up existing for decades, if not centuries, in landfill, litter or ocean as many plant-based plastics actually don’t break down any quicker than traditional plastics. This is because not all plant-based plastics are necessarily compostable, as the way some plant-based polymers form can make them incredibly durable... most certified compostable plastics are only for industrial composts, which reach very high temperatures. This means they’re unlikely to break down sufficiently in home composts. Even those certified as “home compostable” are assessed under perfect lab conditions, which aren’t easily achieved in the backyard... Even if you can get your certified compostable plastics to an appropriate facility, composting plastics actually reduces their economic value as they can no longer be used in packaging and products. Instead, they’re only valuable for returning nutrients to soil and, potentially, capturing a fraction of the energy used to produce them.   Finally, if you don’t have an appropriate collection system and your compostable plastic ends up in landfill, that might actually be worse than traditional plastic. Compostable plastics could release methane — a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide — in landfill, in the same way food waste does."

Plastic bags more eco-friendly than paper and cotton bags in countries like Singapore: NTU study - "this was true in cities and countries such as Singapore with densely populated metropolitan areas where waste is eventually incinerated...   “In a well-structured, closed metropolitan waste management system with incineration treatment, using plastic bags may be the best option that is currently available, provided that there is no significant leakage of waste into the environment."  The NTU scientists came to this conclusion after carrying out a life-cycle analysis of five types of bags to evaluate their environmental impact associated with its production, distribution, transportation, waste collection, treatment and end-of-life disposal... “It is essential to evaluate the implications case by case for dealing with plastic waste,” the director of the Residues & Resource Reclamation Centre at the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute said...   In places such as Singapore, where waste is incinerated, the timeline of biodegradation of paper, cotton and other biodegradable materials is irrelevant.   Such bags are suitable for countries that use landfills and regions with higher leakage of waste into the natural environment"
Virtue signalling is more important than protecting the environment, so this won't change people's minds

Why a plastic bag ban could lead to unintended environmental consequences - "The problem with something like a paper bag alternative, however, is that it's also single use, and its production leaves a carbon footprint that is greater than that of the manufacturing of disposable plastic grocery bags... it "takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag"...   While plastic grocery bags are considered single use, many customers actually reuse them for garbage disposal in their homes, dog poop cleanup and storage receptacles... A 2017 study conducted by Recyc-Québec, a Quebec recycling group, found that the reuse for such bags was more than 77 per cent. The study also found that because the conventional plastic grocery bag is thin and light, its production generates the least environment impact, compared with other disposable bags, including paper bags. Meanwhile, Taylor's study found that the California grocery bag ban led to a 5.4-million-kilogram annual increase in sales of store trash bags, which are thicker than plastic grocery bags. More specifically, the study found that store-bought plastic bags increased the sales of small, medium and large trash bags by 120 per cent, 64 per cent and six per cent, respectively... a cotton tote bag would have to be used 131 times before it was better for the environment than the single use of a plastic grocery bag. And Ryan Sinclair, an associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California, found in studies that reusable grocery bags have the potential of carrying bacteria and viruses, including norovirus and coronavirus... Another problem with these reusable bags is that few people wash them...   "If you're going to use them, you should definitely wash them," Sinclair said.   That means people should probably avoid polypropylene bags and get cotton, burlap or nylon bags, and wash them at a higher temperature and use some kind of disinfectant"
Environmentalists will then just demand paper bags be banned too, then people will keep buying reusable bags (in addition to buying more store trash bags - which since they are thicker are more damaging to the environment) and the environment will be damaged even more
Of course environmentalists ignore the fact that washing reusable bags has an environmental impact too

Opinion: The pandemic should have ended Trudeau’s war on plastics - The Globe and Mail - "Plastics are amazing materials enriching our lives and helping us, including during the pandemic.  Those hygienic wipes for countertops and babies’ hands and bodies? The ones that you would have mortgaged the house to buy in March, 2020, but were already out of stock? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they’re made of “materials such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, or rayon fibres formed into sheets.” The containers holding the wipes? Plastic. The face masks and respirators that front-line workers have been wearing throughout the pandemic? They’re made with polypropylene, a type of plastic.  The syringe used to vaccinate you? Plastic. Intravenous medicine bags and tubing? Plastic. Bandages? Plastic. Surgical implants? Lots of plastic. Your hospital bed, and nearly every surface you’ll encounter in the hospital? Much plastic. Medical gloves? Sterile dining utensils? Disposable diapers? Your car’s seat belts, and practically the entire interior, including the airbags? Same for your airplane and ambulance. Plastic.  For Ottawa to declare a war on plastics is to literally declare war on modern life. Look around you right this moment and ponder how many things you see that have plastic components. Unless you’re in a museum that disallows things produced after 1960, I’m betting it’s a very large proportion of the objects and substances around you. Plastics are a purely human invention – nature gave us wood, metal, stone, bones and skins. And that’s about it. Can you imagine what a Pharaoh of old would have given for a nice bulletproof Lexan windshield on the royal chariot? Or an IV medicine bag for a dying child?  Of course, people litter. And we should do more to incentivize people to dispose of waste – all waste – more hygienically and responsibly including in landfills (see the continuing evolution of biodegradable plastics). But in Canada, that’s not what the war on plastics is about. Even according to Oceana, a group dedicated to plastic waste elimination, about “86 per cent of Canada’s plastic waste ends up in landfill, while a meagre nine per cent is recycled. The rest is burned in incinerators, contributing to climate change and air pollution, or ends up in the environment as litter.”  So let’s do some math – 86 per cent, plus 9 per cent is 95 per cent. According to data submitted to Parliament, only 1 per cent of the remaining 5 per cent ends up as litter. That’s a 99 per cent rate of hygienic handling of plastic materials. (Incidentally, Oceana’s climate change angle is silly, since anything we use other than plastics also has a carbon footprint, so it’s a matter of trade-offs, not reductions when considering plastic bans.)  And what’s the real source of the world’s plastic pollution problem? According to a Scientific American article, 93 per cent of all plastics dumped into the sea every year come from 10 rivers in Asia and Africa."

Is the 30-Year-Long Styrofoam War Nearing Its End? - "Styrofoam actually has its advantages over other packaging products, says Trevor Zink, an assistant professor of management at the Institute of Business Ethics and Sustainability at Loyola Marymount University. If you consider Styrofoam’s overall lifecycle impact assessment, looking at factors like energy demand, global warming, water consumption, and other ills, the foam actually has a lower footprint than other packaging materials, says Zink. It’s so light that it it has “lower production and transportation impacts than other products.”   Joe Vaillancourt, CEO of Oregon-based chemical recycling company Agilyx agrees. “Foam is one of the more high utility polymers—very low cost, tremendous value, easy to manufacture—it’s the polymer of choice for things like shipping, food, electronics, etc.,” he says. “And yet it’s being vilified by the public—you have, as typical, a lot of misinformation about it.”...   After New York City’s ban on Styrofoam was challenged in court, the Department of Sanitation undertook a comprehensive study on the feasibility of Styrofoam recycling, and determined that food service foam “cannot be recycled in a manner that is economically feasible or environmentally effective for New York City.” After examining other municipalities that have tried to institute recycling for food service foam over the past 30 years, the report found that the majority of Styrofoam collected for recycling ended up in landfill anyway—but at a higher economic cost and carbon footprint compared to being directly landfilled... Zink, who describes himself as a “deep and passionate environmentalist,” argues that perhaps bans are doing more harm than good. When considering a ban, he says, it’s important to consider what will be replacing the banned product. Since single use food service containers are not going to cease to exist, what would replace Styrofoam? It could end up being another type of material that has a greater environmental footprint than Styrofoam, Zink says. “If we’re going to continue to have single use products anyway, it’s better that they be made of the low-impact material than the high-impact material, and we should do a better job of collecting the waste and preventing it from ever entering these fragile ecosystems.” Otherwise you just swap one bad product for another. Compostable options seem promising, but a report by Clean Water Action states that the majority of compostable single use food service products end up in landfill anyway and that whether composted or landfilled, they do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It seems that mealworms or mushrooms show promise for the eco-friendly solutions to degrade plastic, but that technology is still in its infancy...   “Recycling has become a religion at this point and when things become a religion you stop looking at them through a critical eye—and I think we should,” says Zink, emphasizing that reducing waste is a much more efficient way to manage it. “A better option is not to use the single-use stuff in the first place.”"
This plasticphobe claimed, after I showed why his suggestion of cellulose was worse for the environment, that with 8 billion people on the planet, someone would surely be able to come up with a better alternative to styrofoam - if not for greasy palms. I noted his faith proposition and suggested that perpetual motion machines were similarly being stymied by greasy palms. He also got annoyed when I posted facts and citations
Other articles talk about why single use stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing - even if you only use an environmental lens (and ignore the benefits of convenience or other things humans other than environmentalists value - since inconvenient actions are good for virute signalling)

Wait a Sec, Are Foam Cups Actually Better for the Environment than Paper? - "paper cups are actually more difficult to recycle than foam (made from polystyrene, not Styrofoam, which is a brand name for foam used for insulation) cups, because of the wax lining inside, and paper cups do produce more waste and require more energy and materials to make... people are slightly more likely to recycle foam containers: 16 percent of foam food service containers are recycled in major American cities, compared to 12 percent of paper containers. Plus, when you use a foam cup, you only use one—people are more likely to double up on paper cups because they’re less insulated, making even more waste in the end."

Study: Glass Bottles Harm the Environment More Than Plastic Bottles - "glass is actually more detrimental than plastic because it is mined from rare materials and requires more fossil fuels to produce and ship.  "It might come as a surprise, but glass bottles actually ranked last in our analysis," study coauthors Alice Brock and Ian Williams wrote in The Conversation. "You might instinctively reach for a glass bottle to avoid buying a plastic alternative, but glass takes more resources and energy to produce.""
Follow the science. Unless it clashes with liberal beliefs

A comparison of the environmental impacts of different categories of insulation materials - "More than sixty environmental product declarations of insulation materials (glass wool, mineral wool, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, polyurethane, foam glass and cellulose) have been examined and the published information for global warming potential (GWP) and for embodied energy (EE) has been analysed and is presented. A peer-review literature survey of the data for GWP and EE associated with the different insulation products is also included. The data for GWP (kg carbon dioxide equivalents) and EE (megajoules) is reported in terms of product mass or as a functional unit (FU) (1 m2 of insulation with R = 1 m2 K/W). Data for some classes of insulation material (such as glass wool) exhibit a relatively narrow range of values when reported in terms of weight of product or as a functional unit. Other classes of insulation material exhibit much wider distributions of values (e.g., expanded polystyrene). When reported per weight of product, the hydrocarbon-based insulation materials exhibit higher GWP and EE values compared to inorganic or cellulosic equivalents. However, when compared on an FU basis this distinction is no longer apparent and some of the cellulosic based materials (obtained by refining of wood chips) show some of the highest EE values. The relationship between the EE and GWP per kg of insulation product has also been determined as being 15.8 MJ per kg CO2 equivalents."
This won't stop the plasticphobes

Life cycle assessment of single use thermoform boxes made from polystyrene (PS), polylactic acid, (PLA), and PLA/starch: cradle to consumer gate - "PLA and PLA/starch boxes give a slightly higher environmental impact than the PS box by 1.59 and 1.09 times, respectively, when LUC was not accounted in the absolute scores and clean energy TIGCC was used throughout the life cycle."
This is the idealised best case scenario. When you take land use change and energy source into account, polystyrene (plastic) is even more environmentally friendly

Potential trade-offs between eliminating plastics and mitigating climate change: An LCA perspective on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles in Cornwall - "The model allows users to define key system parameters such as masses of materials, transport options and end-of-life processes and produces results for 11 environmental impact categories including the Global Warming Potential (GWP). The results from the application of this model on the case study of Cornwall have shown that the substitution of PET with glass as the material for bottling under the current waste infrastructure and management practices could lead to significant increases in GWP and hinder efforts to tackle climate change. A sensitivity analysis of the glass/PET mass ratio suggests that in order to achieve equal GWP the glass bottles need to become approximately 38% of the weight they are now"
Those who proclaim we must listen to the scientists still fall prey to plastic hysteria

Europe’s Plastic Recycling is Getting Dumped in the Ocean - "despite efforts to export plastic waste for recycling, new research finds that almost one-third of it leaving Europe isn't getting recycled at all... recycling is a farce – a scheme conjured up by big business to place the responsibility of (profitable) disposables into the hands of the consumer. We are tasked with cleaning up their mess, ostensibly by recycling. Meanwhile, recycling is disorganized, confusing, and broken. Of all the plastic waste we have created, only nine percent has been recycled. Since wealthier nations don’t have the capacity to recycle all of their prodigious waste, much of it was traditionally shipped to China for processing. But in 2018, China closed its doors to foreign waste, leaving the world in a bit of a plastic pickle, scrambling to figure out what to do with it all. One solution has been to ship it to countries in Southeast Asia... "A large share of this plastic is transported thousands of kilometres to countries with poor waste management practices, largely located in Southeast Asia. Once in these countries, a large share of the waste is rejected from recycling streams into overstretched local waste management systems that have been found to contribute significantly to ocean littering."... "Given that such a large share of waste destined for recycling is exported, with poor downstream traceability, this study suggests that 'true' recycling rates may deviate significantly from rates reported by municipalities and countries where the waste originates.”... recycling rates are often calculated based on quantities sent for recycling, irrespective of the final fate of that separated waste, notes the study. Which is to say, those nice recycling numbers that some European countries boast? They are incorrect. And in fact, are a macrocosm of the wishful recycling we do at home – send it off and it will all be taken care of; out of sight, out of mind"
Religious rituals aren't meant to be questioned
If you want to stop plastic going into the oceans, send it to the landfill instead of recycling it
Will people still support recycling if they know how expensive (yet useless) it is? "Free" virtue signalling is cheap. But finding out how much in taxes it costs is another story

Is Canada’s recycling industry broken? - "At the Loraas recycling plant in Saskatoon, 650 bales of worthless plastic pile up outside. Among the towers of packaging: a crumpled parmesan cheese container, a spray bottle of tile cleaner and a tub of garlic mayo. A lot of this plastic, tightly compressed into cubes, has been sitting here for months, waiting for a buyer. But no one has come knocking. “This material here is very hard to move,” said Dale Schmidt, manager of Loraas Recycle. “Currently, it moves at a negative value and it only moves once in a while. We’re having a real hard time getting this stuff to market.” What once could be sold for profit now costs money to haul away, and the notion that Canadians are saving the planet by putting things in a blue bin is proving to be a delusion... with few exceptions, more recycling is being sent to landfill, fewer items are being accepted in the blue bin and the financial toll of running these programs has become a burden for some municipalities. While recycling has never been a money-making venture, cities and recycling companies rely on the revenue from the products they collect at the curb — things like plastic, paper, aluminum and cardboard — to offset the cost of sorting and processing.Everything had a value — for a time... For years, Canada shipped roughly half of its recycling exports to China with the belief it was all being transformed on the other side of the Pacific.“It’s since come to light that, in fact, what they were doing was mining out the valuable materials, and they were, in large part, burning the low-valuable materials”... Other Asian countries have tried to fill the void. From 2016 to 2018, a 98 per cent drop in Canadian plastic exports to China was countered by a more than 1,000 per cent increase in exports to Malaysia. But Malaysia couldn’t handle the flood of materials and, in October 2018, banned plastic imports as well. India did the same. Vietnam imposed restrictions. So did Taiwan.The drug that was China was gone. The message from the rest of Asia was clear: we don’t want your trash... In Cowansville, Que., a recycling facility went bankrupt. The Quebec government responded with a $13-million bailout for the industry and a pledge of another $100 million in the 2019 budget... Instead of landfilling products at the end of processing, some cities have simply told residents they will accept fewer items to start with — a move contrary to the ethos of recycling... Items no longer accepted for curbside recycling include glass bottles, single-use cups such as coffee and yogurt cups, plastic clamshell packaging – the type used for berries and pastries, chip cans and non-deposit Tetra Pak containers, which are commonly used for soup and broth packaging."
So much for all the bright people online who obsess about glass containers as an alternative to plastic

The losing economics of recycling: Canada’s green industry is deep in the red - "At the Bluewater Recycling Association plant outside of London, Ont., an aluminum pop can is the most precious item they receive.It’s worth more than paper. More than plastic. More than cardboard.Selling these products is how recyclers make a profit — and aluminum is the moneymaker. Though it only makes up two per cent of everything that’s trucked into the Bluewater plant, the metal is worth 25 per cent of the company’s revenue.And yet, even aluminum isn’t immune to an industry whose profits are plunging... Only two plants still accept Veilleux’s aluminum. Aluminum pie plates and cat food tins are no longer accepted. Just pop cans and beer cans... “Garbage and recycling is the number 1 rising cost that municipalities are facing right now. Higher than police or ambulance or medical or anything else”... The sharp drop in profits has put municipalities at a crossroads: raise taxes or cut programs. In Kawartha Lakes, Ont., where there’s no appetite for a tax increase, the city has backed away from teaching kids the virtues of recycling... In the U.S., the financial burden of recycling has proven too great for some communities like Franklin, N.H., and Broadway, Va., which have cancelled their recycling programs. But in Ontario, that’s not an option: communities over 5,000 people are mandated by the province to recycle. Exacerbating the financial problem are rapidly rising labour costs. Buyers who are still accepting recycling will only take the highest quality. Gone are the days when a greasy pizza box in a bale of cardboard or a piece of plastic slipped into a package of glass was passable. Now, plants are being forced to sort and sometimes re-sort products to meet stringent requirements, driving up manpower costs."

Canada’s recycling industry is on life-support. Here’s how to fix it - "Anyone in B.C. who makes a product, sells a product or imports a product that’s collected in a blue bin has to pay to recycle its packaging. The province is the only jurisdiction in North America that is both funding and managing its entire recycling system — instead of leaving that responsibility to municipalities and their taxpayers. The model is called “extended producer responsibility,” or EPR, and it’s regulated under a provincial law that came into force in B.C. in 2014... At 69 per cent, B.C.’s recycling rate is the highest recorded in the country."
Of course, the cost of stuff in BC is another story

Cold Storage Memes For Meritocratic Teens - Posts - "If you would ban all plastic straws because of one turtle, would you then ban all metal straws because of one human? #Turtlelivesmatter Vs #Humanlivesmatter"

MPs reiterate call for plastic bag surcharge; MEWR says focus is on reducing excessive use of all disposables - "“Our approach has been to reduce the excessive use of all types of disposables, not just single-use plastics, and to promote the use of reusables. “We do not target plastics alone ... substituting plastics with other types of single-use packaging materials is not necessarily better for the environment.”All types of disposables have an environmental impact, said Dr Khor... There are “good reasons” why single-use plastic bags have to be given or used by the public, added Dr Khor. “For years we have worked hard to inculcate this habit of bagging your rubbish before you dispose it to maintain good public hygiene,” said Dr Khor. “We don’t want to undo such efforts, irresponsible disposal is going to lead to public hygiene issues like pest infestation for instance.” Given that Singapore incinerates all its waste, it does not face the “challenges” other countries who are more reliant on direct landfilling do, she added."
Addendum: Too bad they didn't remember this and forced a plastic bag charge in 2023

Opinion: Sorry, banning plastic bags won’t save our planet - "In just four decades, plastic packaging has become ubiquitous because it keeps everything from cereals to juice fresher and reduces transportation losses, while one-use plastics in the medical sector have made syringes, pill bottles and diagnostic equipment more safe.Going without disposable plastic entirely would leave us worse off, so we need to tackle the problems without losing all of the benefits.The simplest action for consumers is to ensure that plastic is collected and used, so a grocery bag, for example, has a second life as a trash bag, and is then used for energy... More than 20 countries have taken the showy action of banning plastic bags, including even an al-Qaeda-backed terrorist group which said plastic bags pose “a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike.”But even if every country banned plastic bags it would not make much of a difference, since plastic bags make up less than 0.8 per cent of the mass of plastic currently afloat on the world’s oceans.Rather than trying to save the oceans with such bans in rich countries, we need to focus on tackling the inferior waste management and poor environmental policies in developing regions. Research from 2015 shows that less than 5 per cent of land-based plastic waste going into the ocean comes from OECD countries, with half coming from just four countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam... Moreover, banning plastic bags can have unexpected, inconvenient results. A new study shows California’s ban eliminates 40 million pounds of plastic annually. However, many banned bags would have been reused for trash, so consumption of trash bags went up by 12 million pounds, reducing the benefit. It also increased consumption of paper bags by twice the saved amount of plastic – 83 million pounds. This will lead to much larger emissions of CO₂.When Kenya banned plastic bags, people predictably shifted to thicker bags made of synthetic fabric – which now may be banned. But Kenya had to relent and exempt plastics used to wrap fresh foods such as meat and other products... a simple plastic bag, reused as a trash bag, has the smallest environmental impact of any of the choices... We should also recognize that more than 70 per cent of all plastics floating on oceans today – about 190,000 tonnes – come from fisheries, with buoys and lines making up the majority. That tells us clearly that concerted action is needed to clean up the fishing industry."

Opinion: Canadians want less plastic. But will they pay the price? - "while 93.1 per cent of Canadians want the plastic issue to disappear, only 23.2 per cent of them would accept paying a fee to a food company for reusable food packaging. Furthermore, most Canadians would not accept their food bill going up while still seeing more plastic packaging in food stores. These statistics are far from convincing... As a cheap material, plastics have kept food affordable and safe, and have reduced the amount of food waste we all generate... Our way of life and food safety expectations can only force the food industry to use more plastics, if current practices are not altered. For one thing, single servings of ready-to-eat, portable portions are more popular than ever. These servings require more packaging, and thus, more plastics. Secondly, new food safety rules that are now being implemented for better traceability are putting more pressure on the food industry to use more packaging. Most of our food safety regulations are not really aligned with the industry’s environmental obligations. But based on the Dalhousie report, consumers apparently see the environment as a more important factor than food safety... Allowing customers to bring in their own “clean” containers raises significant food safety concerns. Even if containers are indeed clean, the naked eye cannot see pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, or even worse, allergens."
How many humans will need to die in the crusade against plastic?

Canada’s planned single-use plastics ban: What we know so far and what you can do to recycle better - "Blue-bin recycling is a Canadian invention of the 1980s, but only a fraction of the plastic you’ve put in those bins over the years has ever come back to consumers as recycled goods. Only 9 per cent of plastics are recycled in Canada, and about 10 per cent in the United States. Most plastic up in landfills, some is incinerated and some ends up in unmanaged dumps."

Commentary: Why some plastic packaging is necessary - "Plastic packaging is used in the food supply chain because it supports the safe distribution of food over long distances and minimises food waste by keeping food fresh for longer.A 2016 review of studies on food waste found that 88 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the EU – that’s 173kg per person and equals about 20 per cent of food produced.Minimising this wastage is crucial for environmental protection, as well as food security... the use of just 1.5g of plastic film for wrapping a cucumber can extend its shelf life from three days to 14 days and selling grapes in plastic bags or trays has reduced in-store wastage of grapes by 20 per cent.A lot of food is air freighted, so prolonging its shelf life has important benefits for the environment. It minimises waste and conserves all valuable resources involved from farm to shelf.Recent estimates from Zero Waste Scotland suggest that the carbon footprint of food waste generated can be higher than that of plastic. Specifically, 456,000 tonnes of food waste produced in Scottish households were found to contribute to around 1.9 million tonnes of CO2, three times higher than that of the 224,000 tonnes of plastic waste generated. Plastic packaging maintains food quality and safety. Food that is naturally wrapped in its own skin and can be safely transported and consumed without the need for single-use plastic packaging often draws attention. But research shows that these products appear to be sustainable only where short food supply chains exist. When food is transported from further away, as a lot is, plastic can play an important role in protecting it from becoming waste.Furthermore, plastic packaging is more flexible and lighter than alternatives such as glass and card. This reduces transportation costs and the carbon emissions that come with them."

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