Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Marcotte, Housework, and "Gender Essentialism"

   One last thing about that characteristically crappy Marcotte piece about housework...
   Marcotte accuses advocates of a Chait-style different standards explanation of "gender essentialism" (a term that's frequently used in a disastrously confused way on the left). She writes:
Eventually a man pops in and says that it’s women’s fault for having too-high standards, an argument that starts with the gender essentialist assumption that all women’s standards are high and all men’s are low.
   But that's bullshit, of course. Chait doesn't ever say nor suggest that all women have higher standards of cleanliness than any man. That would be stupid. And it's a straw man. What he suggests is that men typically have lower standards than women. I mean...since it isn't true that all men do more housework than their gfs/wives, there's no reason to even consider postulating that all men have lower standards than any woman... Essentialism just doesn't enter into this discussion in any way.
   Jeez, Marcotte is just really bad... 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Do Men Do Less Housework Because They Have A Different Standard Of Cleanliness? Chait v. Marcotte

   I've often wondered whether that might be part of the explanation...though speaking for myself, it's pretty clear that it's not the whole explanation...
   Anyway, Jonathan Chait suggests that it is at least part of the explanation.
   Guess what Amanda Marcotte thinks? Is it, even in part, a difference in preferences? Or is it...teh menz = eeeevil?  No...go on...guess!

President of Connecticut College Should Apologize to Andrew Pessin For False Accusation of Racism/Hate Speech

   Bergeron has an excuse of sorts--she seems to have accepted the accusers' version of things without checking them out herself... One way or another, there is no doubt that she owes Pessin an apology.  

Krugman: Errors And Lies

  As I've put it myself many times, we were lied into the Iraq war.
  Because the GOP is still committed to denying this, we need to continue to speak the truth about the matter. It's not a close call. It's a very straightforward matter. It used 9/11 as a pretext to carry out an unrelated war that it wanted to conduct. It, in effect, inflicted a second 9/11 on the United States.
   I still can't write about this without becoming furious.


   Just another opportunity for some jabbering about rape crisis feminism.
   Feminism needn't be stupid, you know...though political movements often are, and identity politics more so than other I suppose it's par for the course...
   Was the feminism of my youth this ridiculous? Was I just too callow to see it?

RIP Coach Gut

   I've been busy, and largely without web access, so I'm just getting a chance to post about this.
   I really liked Bill Guthridge, and, of course, really loved watching some of those teams.
   Dang, this has really been a tough year for the Carolina family...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Michael Walzer: Islamism And The Left

   You should read this at Dissent.
   I didn't realize this was Walzer until I'd finished it. I think it's just great and mostly right on the money. It's my impression that there is still some uncertainty about whether terrorism is driven by e.g. poverty, but the evidence I've seen is against that claim. Walzer does miss the opportunity to comment on the fact that the far left errs repeatedly by denying that ideas are powerful, and trying, in good Marxist fashion, to attribute all political action to socio-economic forces. He's also wrong to basically identify leftism with unmitigated political good. The far left is nuts--as irredeemably insane as the far right. Better to think in terms of liberals and/or centrists as opposed to extremists.
   It's instructive to note how much space Walzer has to take up genuflecting to shibboleths... He burns paragraph after paragraph trying to establish his progressive cred in a no-doubt futile effort to avoid being charged with islamophobia by the very leftists to whom he is speaking.
   Anyway, I say read it. It's good.

Jeb Bush Would Invade Iraq Again, Even Knowing What We Know Today

   Here's Beinart on it.
   Sure, he reversed positions as soon as he found out that people remembered how that is completely insane... But at least we know what he really thinks, despite his retraction. And that alone makes him unfit to be President.
   And it's hard not to suspect that a lot of the GOP secretly agrees with Jeb. And that's a very good reason to keep them as far away from the Presidency as possible... Congress, too...but that's going to be a lot harder...
   The reason politics is such bullshit is that people rarely have to admit error. Unless, y'know, it's some tearful self-recrimination about sex or something...
   Iraq is a kind of litmus test. If, in 2015, you still think that it was a good idea, then you are an idiot. It's kind of hard to even defend thinking that it was a good idea in 2002...but it's impossible to defend it now. There are a lot of controversial issues and close calls in the world of policy...Iraq is not one of them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Classical Literature Too "Triggering" For Columbia Students

link, via Reason


   Ok look...  It's not that this is abject stupidity...  It's not that there are no thoughts here worth discussing... As I somtimes note, it's kind of hard to be wrong about everything...
   One might have an interesting discussion about these issues. I'd certainly be willing to do so. I used to not teach J. J. Thomson's "A Defense Of Abortion" in class because there are a couple of very abstract references to rape. I thought something like: well, why risk bringing that topic up when it might be very upsetting to some people, and there's a very large number of other things we might read in an intro class? At any rate, I don't think this is unmitigated idiocy... And pretending that it is simply weakens the case that really ought to be made against all this...
   But anyway: I'm not going to discuss the real issues. No time. Got too much to do. Haven't thought about them enough.
   What I'm going to gesture at is this: what's really insane about all this stuff is the bizarre, dogmatic, cultishness of it all. This stuff is plagued by absolute obsession with a rather narrow range of issues (the Holy Trinity: race, sex, class, and some peripherals). The bizarre pronouncements about what we must and must not do (for whatever is not mandatory is forbidden...) are handed down as if ex cathedra from true believers. And the guiding ideas seem to be that no one must ever feel uncomfortable about anything... No, wait: certain kinds of people must never feel uncomfortable about certain kinds of things...but everyone else is supposed to be ceaselessly wracked with guilt about other things--being white, being male, being straight, being Western, etc...  We must never miss an opportunity to rend our garments about our horrible, horrible Western heritage. No topic is too tangential, no connection too tenuous... I'm all for a dispassionate look at our history...but obsessive self-flagellation is something else entirely.
   And then, of course, there's the point that Brown makes in the Reason piece: the truly mind-boggling hyperbole... The SJW's trump card is: I was afraid. The student wasn't merely upset by the discussion--she felt "unsafe." In a classroom at Columbia. These, the safest people living more-or-less the safest lives of any people who have ever lived lives on this Earth are--allegedly--terrified. Of everything. It might be a pose...on the other hand, they may actually have talked themselves into something like real fear... Who knows? But the old PC's "I was offended" isn't good enough anymore. "I was afraid" is the move in the game to which there is supposed to be no response...  If I assert that I was afraid, then you must stop doing whatever I claim has frightened me. I am--if I am a member of certain groups--entitled to live a life entirely unperturbed by thoughts, words and deeds that I find upsetting...I any way.
   So, anyway. We can discuss the issues. I'm ok with that--though I am actually strongly inclined to think that this stuff is all overblown and confused. But, of course, I could be wrong. What I'm really concerned about, though, is that the bizarre SJW cult is increasing in power--largely, I think, because liberals tend to fall on their knees before such claims, almost no matter how unreasonable. And so the cult gains more and more influence, especially in academia--a salient that's particularly vulnerable to attacks from the left, and from which the cult can exercise disproportionate influence. this cult knows the shibboleths. The mere mention of them often breaks liberal resistance.
   And critical thought about such claims is itself one of the things alleged to be oppressive. "The student claims she was essentially dismissed, her concerns were ignored." "Essentially" dismissed? Or dismissed? Does "her concerns were ignored" really mean: her concerns were considered? I suspect that what's really meant here is that the professor had the temerity to fail to automatically comply... But here I speculate...
   Anyway. Discus the issues? Sure, ok. They're certainly not the most important issues confronting us... But sure. Let's discuss them. My guess is that a rational discussion of this stuff might help break the power of the SJW cult. And that would be a good thing. (And it would still be a good thing even if they turn out to be right about some things.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dems Introduce Bill To End Gerrymandering

Unlikely to succeed, of course. But IMO gerrymandering is at least as big a problem as our campaign finance problems.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Will Obama Murder Glenn Beck In The Night?

Yeah probably.

Why Physics Needs Philosophy

If We're Not Going To Tax Carbon Emissions... about maybe we at least quit subsidizing them?

Will The Clintons Murder The Authors Of The New Book About Them?

Well probably...duh

Friday, May 08, 2015

Scientific Disciplines: Not So Sexist After All?

Krauthammer: "Come Back To Me In Five Months" If We Haven't Found Any WMDs...

   That was, like, a whole lot of five monthses ago...
   If you're not held to account for your errors, you just get to say whatever you want.

Right-Wing Lysenkoism: GOP Slashes NASA's Earth Science Budget