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Open Thread 11-17 May

by afew Mon May 11th, 2015 at 01:55:08 AM EST

Seven Days


Display:
Guardian - Zoe Williams - Labour's leader is not the problem. The party's missing soul is

The debonair, metropolitan response to Thursday's crushing defeat for Labour is to wonder who they'll pick as their new leader. Come on, depression is for losers; pep yourself up with an opinion or two about whether Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper will take the party in a more marketable direction.

"Labour should search its soul before it searches for a new leader," wrote Neal Lawson, from Compass. "Any wannabe Labour leader should stand down so the party can understand why it lost before it can decide how it might win". Although I agreed, I couldn't understand why he was saying it: if this party were capable of listening to criticism from outside, making connections that weren't hacked from its bumper book of why-we-lost-in-1992 cliches, it wouldn't be in this situation. An organisation that needs to be told to think seriously cannot be told to think seriously. "I'm just kicking the cat to check that it's dead," Lawson replied.

The problem will not be solved by Cooper or Chuka Umunna because the problem is not that Ed Miliband was too far left. "We mustn't descend into left-wing factionalism," David Blunkett said on Thursday night, as if all their problems could be solved if only they could return to a time when they were considered "centrist". These words - left, far-left, centrist, right - have no objective meaning. The ideas of the centre ground - that the private sector is better at everything, that growth is the highest value for a society to aspire to, that people on benefits must be starved into work because they're lazy - would five years ago have been called the right, and five years before that been called the far right.

there's 1001 essays floating around the internet, flogging old sores and dead horses trying to establish a dominant narrative and create the mould for the coming Labour leader. Much of it you've heard before more times than you care to mention, some of it comes from the excluded getting their retaliation in first.

And just occasionally, if you trawl enough of the rubbish you'll find the odd nugget of gold. This essay is one such.

Asking all the right questions and pointing out flaws in the emerging narriatives.

Not that any of it matters cos the new leader will be some dreary neo-Blairite. But it's nice to get the bullshit pre-washed

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 11th, 2015 at 03:36:04 PM EST
That is indeed better than most commentary.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 12th, 2015 at 04:29:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama's plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote | US news | The Guardian

Barack Obama's ambitions to pass sweeping new free trade agreements with Asia and Europe fell at the first hurdle on Tuesday as Senate Democrats put concerns about US manufacturing jobs ahead of arguments that the deals would boost global economic growth.

A vote to push through the bill failed as 45 senators voted against it, to 52 in favor. Obama needed 60 out of the 100 votes for it to pass.

Failure to secure so-called "fast track" negotiating authority from Congress leaves the president's top legislative priority in tatters.

It may also prove the high-water mark in decades of steady trade liberalisation that has fuelled globalisation but is blamed for exacerbating economic inequality within many developed economies with the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. Internet activists had said the deal would curb freedom of speech while other critics charged it would enshrine currency manipulation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 12th, 2015 at 04:27:46 PM EST
This is especially gratifying news after listening to msnbc - the allegedly liberal cable network - yesterday. They pulled out all stops to derail Warren & Co. The capper was the Oxford tones of Obama shill Richard Wolffe warning that the UK elections showed what happens to a party that strays too far left. Not even questioned.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Tue May 12th, 2015 at 06:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The entire world owes a debt of thanks to Liz Warren

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 02:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a defeat for the world's corporate lobbies, in the US, in Europe, and in the Pacific. Though they have, these days, no nationality. This was the big push to take trade off the table of democratic control : to de-politicize it. Is it dead? Prepare the wooden stake.

It lets the European parliament off the hook. I wasn't looking forward to seeing it standing up to the Commission's negotiators... then standing down again.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 04:45:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All that was defeated was the "fast-tracking" of the legislation. There was still a majority of Senators in favour.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 05:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. And once the corporate lobbies get to work on the Democrats...

Obama's plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote | US news | The Guardian

"This is one of the most important issues that will come before the Congress for business in America, particularly exports," Arizona senator John McCain told the Guardian after the vote. "They're going to have to galvanize the business community to put pressure on the Democrats to at least allow votes."

Perhaps the best hope is the rather surrealist bill to force negotiators to force the EU to place no restrictions on trade with the occupied territories in Palestine. There's a limit to how much of this sort of bullshit that even the Commission's negotiators can take. Surely. (Reassure me!)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 06:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If fast-tracking for a multilateral trade deal is defeated, then the trade deal is dead, since it only takes a couple of good poison pill amendments to kill it if it is not fast-tracked.

As far as "a majority of the Senate supports it", under the rules as abused repeatedly by the Republicans when in minority, a working majority in the Senate is now 60/40.

There is a process that can be employed to destroy that and return the Senate to a majoritarian system, but the White House (specifically, the Vice President) has to go along with that process, and there are enough things that a simple House and Senate majority could pass that the White House would rather not veto that its not likely to proceed to that option.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 06:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it common for a president to pass key legislation with the opposition, against his own party?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 07:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton and NAFTA
by IM on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 08:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reworded:

Is it common for a president to fail to pass key legislation with the  support of the opposition, against his own party?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 08:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NAFTA, so called welfare reform and Clinton
by IM on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 03:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought they passed. Did they fail the first time in this way?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 14th, 2015 at 02:16:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can recall, its mostly trade agreements that when passed are with a majority of the Democratic caucuses voting against, with support by a Democratic administration swaying enough Democratic votes to result in passage.

It was, at one time, common for key legislation to be passed on a "bi-partisan" basis. For instance the Civil Rights Act under Johnson passed with a smaller Democratic majority and a larger Republican majority, and required the votes of some from each caucus to pass the House and to escape filibuster in the Senate (where previous efforts to pass Civil Rights Acts had been quashed through the 1950s).

Note also that President Obama is entering Lame Duck status, when the actions that the President can take to reward supporters and punish opponents are dwindling, and so the administration's ability to sway key votes on the Democratic side is fading.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed May 13th, 2015 at 12:24:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So much for that: Democrats yield in Senate trade deal (Politico, 5/13/15)
... At the least, the agreement means the Senate is likely to pass new powers for the president to fast-track trade pacts through Congress.

But Democrats failed to guarantee enactment of their priorities by attaching them to the fast-track bill. ...

Well done, you guys!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 14th, 2015 at 11:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now it goes to the House, where it does not yet have the numbers ... its a race to see whether anybody can whip up the nativist Know Nothing part of the Republican coalition against "freer movement of people" in the TPP to generate GOP opposition faster than the Democrats cave to the White House.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun May 17th, 2015 at 09:46:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, it is not satire:

by Fran on Thu May 14th, 2015 at 03:03:25 PM EST
Porn and video game addiction leading to 'masculinity crisis', says Stanford psychologist
Zimbardo gave a TED talk in 2011 outlining the problems facing young men's social development and academic achievement, which he puts down to excessive use of porn, video games and the internet [...]

Giving an example of the mindset of a gaming and pornography-addicted young man, he says: "When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft. When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected" [...]

Phillip Zimbardo is famous for the 1971 Stanford prison experiment, in which 24 students were asked to play the roles of 'guards' and 'prisoners' in a mock prison at Standford University. Intended to last for two weeks, the experiment was abandoned after six days, after the previously normal 'guards' became extremely sadistic and the 'prisoners' became submissive and depressed.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 02:22:24 AM EST
Zimbardo gave a TED talk in 2011 outlining the problems facing young men's social development and academic achievement, which he puts down to excessive use of porn, video games and the internet.

Correlate or cause? Maybe young men with poor social development and academic achievement take refuge in excessive video games, online and porn rather than books and TV as in the good old days. Looks like self-medication to me.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 05:11:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I vote for correlation.

Nevertheless, how great is the percentage of men worthy of positive feminist attention nowadays?

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 05:58:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you mean feminine or feminist?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:03:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wrote what I meant.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:07:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then the sentence doesn't make any sense.

The best criteria I can think of for being "worth of positive feminist attention" is respecting women as equals and not being a sexist dickhead.

Frankly, I think assholes pushing their justifications for being assholes on boys are more of a problem than feminism: the traditional men's roles so beloved of uptight conservatives, MRAs, PUAs and  the like are a deeply uncomfortable straightjacket for many men. Not to mention the effects of the heteronormalism bundled up with being a Real Man™

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feminists look so frustrated, that I have to wonder, whether anyone meets the Platonic expectations in their heads.

If we are concerned about recent male issues (justifiably or not), the traditional "straightjacket" would not be foremost problem.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we are concerned about recent male issues (justifiably or not), the traditional "straightjacket" would not be foremost problem.

Why on earth not?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Life on Earth was pretty fine for millennia.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:40:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was what now? Unless you mean before those pesky multi-celluar things got going.

Here's a fun story to put with your other ones.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My pet theory is that with the invention of agriculture, the specialised male hunting behaviours got misdirected into domestic violence and war.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I've sparred with some women who would call into question the idea that those are specialised male behaviours. We keep interpreting overlapping propensities as binaries.

You want to pick the best hunters? I'd guess 30% of them would be women.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:58:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My pet theory is we really don't know enough about early humanity, which is probably why we just love to project theories on it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:24:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Loads of just-so stories, often justified by references to hunter-gatherers that seem to be the remnants of failed civilisations.

There's a fun anecdote about a building in one of the ancient Sumerian cities. We know almost nothing about the culture. Big structure, colonnades and so on. Two archeologists interpret it: one, from a capitalist background, is sure it's a market hall; the other, a marxist, is sure it's a central facility for cooperative works and sharing of produce. All we know is that it was a pretty big covered building ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my other comment around here somewhere. One basin over maybe.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In which I'm sure they bowed down and worshipped idols.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:04:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I once entertained a pet theory, a very hopeful and positive one, based on "German night" at an enormous gay bar in Brixton UK. Something about a dance off instead of physical battle. Some of the same hormones raging.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually a lot of the rest is prehistory.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:48:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, a couple of millennia between the invention of agriculture and the invention of writing. If you must quibble, and spoil my rhetorical flourish.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they relied on computer modeling to conclude that (specifically limited) sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands. A (somewhat scientifically confirmed) story indeed.

The shift to agriculture had a big impact on male genetics, most certainly. A new mode of resource distribution alters a lot.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:05:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's at least as good as the rest of the just-so stories about palaeolithic times and hunter gatherers.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:06:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But definitely not better, as yet.

There is certainly a lot of wishfulness in your 30% guess.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:11:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're assuming "good hunter" == "biggest and strongest", which isn't obvious at all.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I know why male lions lie around waiting for their share while the females do all the hunting.

For example.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To challenge the established paradigm, you really have to come up with high quality data and behavioral models. Assumptions on "biggest and strongest" do not matter.

Many evolution psychology "stories" refer to the hunter-gatherer legacy.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:29:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Victorians were sure animals had hierarchical structures - not even dogs and wolves work like that: analysis very often reflects the culture doing the analysis.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your analysis reflects a lot, indeed.

I had nice pet theories as well. Something about greed, violence being just not-so-common viruses of human interaction, perpetrated by relatively few, for example. But I recognized a few times that less lovely established "stories" are not cynical jokes.

As for dogs and wolves - definitions of hierarchy could be bended, mismatched heavily. But "fair" hierarchal considerations definitely help to explain a lot of canine behavior.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, you see my advantage is that I am much more cynical that you.

Greed, selfishness, violence are universal. Conversely, so are generosity, selflessness and compassion. The mix, and the circles to which each are applied, varies from person to person according to life experience and genetics - and how they've been taught to gain status in their culture.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
mmmmmm I am unhappy with this. The possibilities are universal. And we have agency, we have choice. Something is wrong here.

Other people, in the flesh, seem to me very much akin to natural disasters. One can only try to prepare, and sit them out.


Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think people have as much agency has they think they have.  Choices are always constrained.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat May 16th, 2015 at 10:36:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything would be fine, like a Beatles song. But resources are limited. We will have undeserving others and Mad Max (though I am less sure about that Charlize Theron character).
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Undeserving others exist to shore up the power of those who want to concentrate power in their own hands.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All that is inevitable whenever "There is not enough for everyone" is in sight.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think there isn't enough for everyone in Europe? US? Japan? Seriously?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:06:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask Californians already, whether there is enough water for everyone.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll let the Californians comment on that, but I get the impression that the distribution and use of water isn't exactly optimal.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:11:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Companies like Nestle are helping with the "right" distribution mightily.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first step is the construction of "scarcity." I believe this is artifice necessary, basic to capitalism. In reality, there is no scarcity. Of, for instance, arable land, human labor energy and innovation, time, water, blood, air. All these scarcities are whipped up, called into being out of nothing.

In reality there is an abundance of everything that is necessary. What is missing is a philosophy of abundance.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:11:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rich are living abundance very consistently. But abundance for 7 billion people? Really, would scarcity be all artificial with 700 billion on the planet?
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:22:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No of course there are limits to everything. We are beyond carrying capacity now. But that is pardon the expression a trivial problem, easily corrected. In fact it is the same fear of scarcity that keeps the birth rate up. The USA would collapse, pace the whole Republican and Teabag contingent, without immigration. As I understand it the same is true of parts of Europe. With development and education the same conditions could prevail elsewhere.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:30:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are beyond carrying capacity, but in reality, there is no scarcity? A momentous triviality.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The difference is distribution, waste, misallocation, grift, "profit" for a parasitic class.

I make my living being paid to refrain from planting crops on my land. It makes too much sense financially for me to do other wise.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What would a perfect allocation change? The humanity would still be beyond Earth's carrying capacity, facing harsh limits of key resources within a few decades.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:45:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not. Fair allocation of resources (water, sanitation, education, especially for girls) will bring rapid demographic transition. Population increase is indeed a trivial problem, once we assume fair resource allocation.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:51:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do we know this that surely? If you could, would you assure the humanity that this is a triviality with all responsibility?
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 10:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not saying that the demographic transition is a law of nature in the same order as the sun rising in the east every morning.

However, thus far in human history, in every country where the survival of one's children to adulthood is reasonably guaranteed, where there is a pension system so that old people don't die in extreme poverty, and where, crucially, young women have access to education, the demographic transition has happened.

These conditions are easily achievable everywhere in the world, with a more equitable distribution of resources.

It is possible that there is a country where these conditions would not achieve the expected result. But I doubt it.

Achieving the more equitable distribution is the only hard part. The rest is human nature :)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 12:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can pretty much guarantee children get to adulthood, the elderly don't starve and women can have an education you have already achieved a more equitable distribution of resources.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 12:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I said :
eurogreen:
These conditions are easily achievable everywhere in the world, with a more equitable distribution of resources.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 12:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That part of human history is only ~50 years old.

Plus, is the question causation or correlation settled here?

by das monde on Sat May 16th, 2015 at 02:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would it? With widespread vegetarianism for instance? There are literally millions of hectares fallow in the US alone for market reasons. Nothing to do with global need.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does "beyond carrying capacity" mean then?

Modern agriculture is a wonder of feeding the billions of people - but with ~7:1 ratio of energy investment / output. The energy flow is becoming more expensive, and this is visible in rising food prices, smaller packings, lesser processed quality.

Would you employ all the hectares now just to feed all people today, or would consider twice what awaits in 2099?

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 10:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, it looks like the moment to trot out my signature.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 12:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To challenge the established paradigm, you really have to come up with high quality data and behavioral models.

This isn't physics: this is story-telling around small and disputed statistical differences.

Men are, on average, stronger than women: it does not follow that I can bench-press more than my woman competitive weight-lifter friend.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Many evolution psychology "stories" refer to the hunter-gatherer legacy.
Many Economy textbooks still refer to barter in hunter-gatherer societies preceding the invention of money,...
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 04:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we are concerned about recent male issues (justifiably or not), the traditional "straightjacket" would not be foremost problem.

Also, this is gibbering bollocks: any deviations from it are punished.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:52:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What punishment are we talking about? I have limits for feminist militant attention for deviations.
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:07:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've alluded to some of the problems yourself: play the proper status game for the culture or your status will be reduced.

Performing "female" roles will reduce your status, will attract opprobrium, may even attract violence depending on the details.

I have limits for feminist militant attention for deviations.

Again, you seem to have invented your own language here.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:13:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are not going to disengage status from the human condition, do we? Even if sex matters determine the status game like nothing else.

Even here at ET, we implicitly accept that some (practically, a majority of the humanity) has to find itself in lower status - because they won't vote for own interests, or do not understand progressive theories (including feminism), or listen to wrong "just so" stories. Is this enough justification to burn other status evaluations?

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:51:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even here at ET, we implicitly accept that some (practically, a majority of the humanity) has to find itself in lower status - because they won't vote for own interests, or do not understand progressive theories (including feminism), or listen to wrong "just so" stories. Is this enough justification to burn other status evaluations?

We implicitly accept what now?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why you ask me to repeat myself, again?
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm hoping you'll say something less awful the second time?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:17:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what?
by IM on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What ???

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat May 16th, 2015 at 03:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of it has ever been more than stories. We are great at stories. Look at salmon. The story is they all head back to the old mill stream or sewer pipe of origin.

And the story is true. Except for the fraction of the population that "forgets" to go downstream - these become steelhead on the Pacific coast of NA, distincly different in appearance - and the fraction, always, that wanders off into adjacent streams and watersheds on their way home. They are not lost; this variability, this plasticity of behavior, is the key to the success of the salmonids. Is it such a stretch to imagine that similar plasticity of phenotype and behavior - undelineated and largely unknown to us still - might play a role in human development?

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no. Being bored in school is an entirely new phenomenon caused by video games.

Not that there is nothing there, but every time a discussion about addiction overly focuses on the specific substance or action alarm bells start ringing in my head.

Might of course also be a result of journalists being journalists and always telling the same story.

by generic on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
generic:
Being bored in school is an entirely new phenomenon caused by video games.

Hate to contradict, but I was bored in school long before video games existed. And I was not alone.

Puberty is a powerful thing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:21:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I shouldn't be contradicting you but the other guy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 07:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he thinks this is bad, wait until VR porn arrives....
So what would the effect of this be on the way we behave? Dr Ashley Conway is, as far as he knows, the only psychologist in the UK developing VR as a tool to treat psychological disorders. He has had much first-hand experience with the technology and says that VR porn has the potential to become the "crack cocaine" of the industry.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 03:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World's rudest robot set to simulate the fury of call center customers
New Zealand-based technology firm Touchpoint Group is developing the world's angriest artificial intelligence machine that it hopes will one day help big banks, telcos and insurance companies defuse explosive episodes in customer service.

The new machine learning research project, which Touchpoint is investing $500,000 to develop, is being built with input from one of Australia's big four banks, which is supplying reams of real-life customer interactions that have been collated over the past two years. Telecommunications companies and insurance firms are also contributing data.

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 02:30:11 AM EST
Why You Should Not Go See "Mad Max: Feminist Road"

The truth is I'm angry about the extents Hollywood and the director of Fury Road went to trick me and other men into seeing this movie. Everything VISUALLY looks amazing. It looks like that action guy flick we've desperately been waiting for where it is one man with principles, standing against many with none.

But let us be clear. This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic. And this is the subterfuge they will use to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, further ruining women for men, and men for women.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 04:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. Both Australia and NZ are down under, anyway.

Charlize Theron sure talked a lot during the trailers, while I don't think I've heard one line from Tom Hardy. And finally, Charlize Theron's character barked orders to Mad Max.

Nobody barks orders to Mad Max.

Did they pay the "Vagina Monologues" expert more than the budget of the original film?
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Both Australia and NZ are down under, anyway.
So is South Africa where Charlize Theron is from.
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 03:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You tricked me into reading that. I was suspecting that eventually a subtler point would emerge, something in the vein that the portrayal of women equal to men in all things would be silly because all humans differ in qualities and traits (so that some women will be equal (or stronger) to men in physique, and some women will run circles around men because they have superior logic, etcetera.)

Guess I was expecting far too much. Though one glance at the website should have warned me there would only be blunt macho man rage.

Now wait a minute... How come you're reading that?!?

by Bjinse on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair question...
Picked it up from the Guardian, but I thought it would be funnier to link to the original source.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 'Man-O-Sphere' is outraged about Mad Max? Hand me my popcorn! | Jason Wilson | Comment is free | The Guardian

But the final straw is that the film shows a man and a woman standing together against the kind of world reactionaries fantasise about inhabiting.

A postapocalyptic, hierarchical society that treats women as chattels, and gives free rein to cosplay machismo: that's a pretty good picture of the redpill utopia. For a woman to take the lead in challenging it, and for a man to support her efforts, is far too depressing a reminder of the kind of progressive change they impotently rail against.

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 03:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Furiosa is not an Iron Lady, simply the best to implement a TINA agenda? I will be confused.
by das monde on Sat May 16th, 2015 at 12:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read a little more on the story... A significant letdown for me is gonna be the motivation of the main villain (Immortan Joe). Surely, movie villains are often build on ridiculous premises... But relevant to the gender discussion here, I have to guess that a powerful leader in a post-apocalyptic anarchy will have many women interested. No need to have slaves for breeding by force. Even Stalin, Hitler were not focused on that.

Thinking of a more realistic Mad Max world, I see 2 guidelines. For one, power dynamics in human societies (however crumbled) is based more on establishing authority rather than overwhelming with force. Relying on the latter would be a ridiculously hard (and soon disrespectable) way. A post-apocalyptic anarchy would have no shortage of demand for imaginative leadership.

Secondly, all humans (including maniacs) operate from their core values and beliefs. Dependence of the core values on available resources (personally, or in the social environment) is well captured by Graves' value systems, inspired by Maslow's pyramid of needs. Even the authoritarian "level #3" band lords (godfathers, etc) have their responsibilities. In sum, I do not see how a sex-obsessed lord would keep his status even within his group.

by das monde on Mon May 18th, 2015 at 05:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am gobsmacked. George Miller has been laying this trap to - what, steal my masculinity from me according to one of the most insane sites I've ever seen - for 35 years now.

Women and homosexuals are discouraged from commenting here.

Sane heterosexual men as well, it would seem. I thought I was familiar with the general outline of retarditaire thought online, but this! It is an enormous labyrinth of folly:

Socialism, feminism, cultural Marxism, and social justice warriorism aim to destroy the family unit, decrease the fertility rate, and impoverish the state through large welfare entitlements.

Every civilization was formed on the backs of slaves

The Damaging Effects Of Jewish Intellectualism And Activism On Western Culture

As for the film itself, meh. I don't freight it with all this cultural significance. Miller wanted to outdo himself yet again, and he succeeds. Genius in its way. On the other hand, I am 35 years older now and have seen enough things blow up already.

Can't wait to see a review of Maggie from the loons at ROK. Or I could just write it for them. Schwarzenegger emasculated, blah blah.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:23:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, Schwarzenegger:

by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absent that pesky - and outmoded - requirement about being born a citizen, he would stoop even lower and run for Prezznit.

And he would win.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 06:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 08:51:04 AM EST
Buying these 11 things means you're unwittingly funding the Tories

As for the US:

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 09:17:29 AM EST
B.B.King:

Love this guy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 15th, 2015 at 12:35:25 PM EST
I saw him at the Vienne jazz festival in, um, 2007 I think. The concert was already sold out, so I had to buy season tickets. Which was good because I saw a lot of good things. But he was the best.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 18th, 2015 at 05:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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