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    From the Washington Post:
  • @Hepp
    I'm not too optimistic about this "backlash" to PC. It's older guys like Bill Maher and Seinfeld, while younger comedians like Schumer and Louie CK are pretty much full SJW.

    Guys like Maher and Seinfeld have a voice because they were grandfathered it, becoming famous at a time when it was possible to be an up and coming comedian who wasn't fully PC. Jay Leno too, Sort of like how Pat Buchanan became famous a long time ago and still gets some MSM attention, while if he was a young writer saying these things he would have never gotten the chance to be influential.

    The next generation of comedians will be fully domesticated, and see these complaints about political correctness as nothing but the final grasp of some old white males who were insufficiently sensitive.

    I like these comedy stories if only for the inevitable and ridiculous smears against old OnA comics like CK and Schumer as being more fully domesticated and PC than Seinfeld (been doing the same act for 20 years) and Leno (lol).

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  • There are some of us who have waited years. It has even come to pass that we have grown into manhood, and one generation has waned and another waxed as George R. R. Martin has been weaving his series A Song of Ice and Fire. His "So Spake Martin" once had oracular aspect for the...
  • @ackbark
    Though personally my brain fogs over whenever the scene shifts to Dorne, I think many people do the last two books a great disservice.

    People who object to them seem almost universally to be people who started the books years ago when they were much younger and now they're older, they have a lot more on their minds and they simply don't have the time or the attention to devote themselves to something that is only getting denser and denser, and, in the last one, with huge tracts of real utter grotesquerie.

    Martin is laying out an entire world here that will live a very long time after him, and though I think he has said he wants no one to continue them if he dies, you know someone will, probably a lot of people. In reading them I've often thought there were parts that could make really excellent movies just by themselves, independently.

    I don’t think people are put off by density. I think they’re put off by the obvious Dark Towerization of the series. Most authors do their best work in early adulthood and middle age. Martin’s put himself in a Stephen King situation where he’s an old man in very wealthy, comfortable circumstances trying to wrap up a series he started when he was much younger and more driven.

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  • The show has pretty consistently been better than the books have been since Storm of Swords. Brienne is completely tolerable on-screen. We’re not constantly having our time wasted with Bran chapters.

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  • According to the Census Bureau, only 1.9% of the half-million people of Spokane County, Washington self-identify as black. And the town of Coeur d'Alene, ID is 0.4% black. But a basic tenet of economics is that supply grows to meet demand. From the Spokane Inlander: Media firestorm swirls around Rachel Dolezal, the local NAACP president...
  • This woman’s life is a sort of inverse Human Stain.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Stain

    It is slowly revealed through Zuckerman’s musings that Silk is an African American who has been “passing” as Jewish (and white) since a stint in the Navy. He completed graduate school, married a white woman and had four children with her. He never told his wife and children of his African American ancestry. As Roth wrote in the novel, Silk chose “to take the future into his own hands rather than to leave it to an unenlightened society to determine his fate”.[2]

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  • From the Washington Post: “I don’t play colleges,” Seinfeld said on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “… I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’” Seinfeld then offered an example that seemed unrelated to his original thesis. “My daughter’s 14,” he said. “My … wife says to her,...
  • @iSteveFan

    “I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative,” Seinfeld compatriot Chris Rock told Vulture last year.

    Conservative how?

    “Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody,” Rock said.
     
    I am glad Rock clarified that they are not voting republican, but I can't accept that these kids are social conservatives. I would guess most of this cohort supports gay marriage, the blank slate and other left wing causes. Additionally, I doubt they regularly attend religious services. It's pretty rich of Rock to call them conservative.

    SJW’s are neo-temperance hags. Mirthlessness is the primary attribute of conservatives in popular parlance.

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  • Canaries in a coal mine.

    Modern comedians make a living on being street-corner wise guys, by and large. If you listen to them interact with each other, they’re absolutely vicious – when Patrice O’Neal died, not twelve hours had passed before Dave Attell had declared the need for a purple suit and gigantic coffin. But being mean to people is something very fraught in the discourses of younger, college educated individuals. There is no “giving shit,” that is, making fun of someone to his face. There’s only sniping once he’s out of earshot and a self-congratulatory alliance against “bullying.”

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    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    ... when Patrice O’Neal died, not twelve hours had passed before Dave Attell had declared the need for a purple suit and gigantic coffin.

    Bruce Jenner had to wait until Patrice O'Neal was safely dead before he could pull this stunt of his. Jenner knew O'Neal's laughter would shatter the spell. Same thing with Mattress Girl.

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  • From the NYT: Seven Leading Architects Defend the World’s Most Hated Buildings As told to ALEXANDRA LANGE, JUNE 5, 2015 ... Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, N.Y., was already dilapidated when Hurricane Irene dealt it further damage in 2011. Since then, many have argued that, with its more than 80 roofs and...
  • @syonredux
    Yeah, Brutalism was definitely one of the odder fads in Western history.Here's the Brutalist City Hall that Boston erected in the '60s:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_City_Hall


    Reaction was not favorable:

    In the 1960s, then-Mayor John F. Collins reportedly gasped as the design was first unveiled, and someone in the room blurted out, "What the hell is that?"[10] City Hall is sharply unpopular with some Bostonians, as it is with some employees of the building, who see it as a dark and unfriendly eyesore.[.....]

    City Hall is so ugly that its insane upside-down wedding-cake columns and windswept plaza distract from the building’s true offense. Its great crime isn’t being ugly; it’s being anti-urban. The building and its plaza keep a crowded city at arm’s length.
    Paul McMorrow, The Boston Globe, 2013[9]
     
    Frankly, it makes the NorCal patriot in me luxuriate in the Beaux-Arts grandeur that is San Francisco City Hall:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/SFCityHall.png


    Of course, it was built back when people knew how to build public architecture....

    Boston’s awful city hall is gentled, somewhat, by the plenty lovely Massachusetts state house located just a few blocks away.

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  • A couple of years ago, a reader called BLS wrote me a study of why obscure Dubois County in southern Indiana stands out above most of its seemingly similar neighbors. Now, Raj Chetty's study confirms BLS's observations: Dubois ranks 50th in the country out of 2,478 counties (and second in Indiana to Lagrange) for upward...
  • @jimbojones
    Guys, I don't want to be a spoilsport, but a lot of this racialist stuff is a bit hard to take seriously.

    So the Germans are some kind of supermen whose very Germanic Aryan essence dooms them to success. Where have I heard that before? Oh, right.
    What I don't get is, if the Germans are so intrinsically great, where were the Germans in the period between the beginning of the world and 1700? When I read the history books, it's mostly Greeks, Italians, and Frogs that do the heavy lifting before 1700. How come that paragon of German awesome, Frederick the Great, preferred to write in French, and spent much time corresponding with the philosophes?

    The Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has some fine recent books. One of the points that he makes in one of his books is the following: Back in the day, the Germans were considered hopelessly lazy and stupid by the powers of the day. Ditto the Koreans at another point in history. And indeed, in 1955 South Korea was basically a hole in the ground. Today it is a premier industrial state and a powerful cultural force in the world. What happened there? Did the hapless Koreans suddenly "evolve"?

    Apart from the weird genetic determinism at its end, the piece Steve quotes is excellent. And it seems to confirm, in an elegant way, what we know - a society or a community which values cleanliness, industry, and so on, and manages to propagate its views across the generations, is doomed to succeed. On the other hand, yesterday someone linked to an article about the gypsies in the comments under one of Steve's pieces. And that article said that, yeah, if a society does not value cleanliness, industry, and so on, and manages to propagate its beliefs across generations, then its doomed to squalor and Hobbesian degradation.

    German territorial disunity prevented full international participation for much of the Renaissance and Middle Ages but the German lands were usually pretty prosperous and well-populated (Thirty Years’ War excepted, of course). That and the Austrians’ status as history’s most consistent military incompetents* explains Germany’s relative silence on the international-historical scene until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    *military incompetents but dynastic geniuses

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  • @SFG
    "Fair enough but then how does genetics explain this? Both groups are white Europeans related closely genetically."

    Groups that start out the same can diverge over time due to selective pressures. Do you think Scandinavians have the same propensity for violence they had during Viking times?

    They’re pretty good at Counter-Strike.

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  • From New York: The rest is "Ephraim" talking via DW Gibson's narration (keep in mind that this is unsourced): ... Jewish people, they’re going to come in and they’re going to try to rip off the black tenants — and the tenants know it, there’s word of mouth. So it’s like, “Oh, a Jewish guy...
  • @PB and J
    Here's the real question: why is this guy revealing the specific information he does -- in particular, the whole sotto-voce "they could come back but don't know it"? He knows he's talking to a reporter.

    There’s almost certainly a degree of Erdleyan fictionalization.

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    • Replies: @S. Verdad
    I prefer Rubinian.
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  • Not from The Onion: Economist, Bloomberg columnist, and Noahpinion blogger Noah Smith tends to go on in some detail about all the evil racist anonymous HBD fanatics that he's always uncovering in every obscure corner of the Internet that he searches out. For example, his latest: From The Onion: Anti-Homosexuality Sermon Suspiciously Well-Informed BOSTON—The Rev....
  • Despite being maligned over and over again as some sort of internet pariah state, 4chan is still where every joke you read on the internet comes from.

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  • La Griffe du Lion has been one of the more stylish, audacious, and influential underground intellectuals of the 21st Century. No one wields a sharper Occam's Razor than La Griffe. His pseudonym is drawn from an anecdote about a set of cutting edge math problems proposed by Johann Bernoulli in 1696. An anonymous correspondent solved...
  • @ben tillman

    As with most people I come into contact with who participate in public discussions under a pseudonym, I’ve tried to remain fuzzy about who La Griffe really is.
     
    What I'd like to know is why you (under your real name) and La Griffe (under his pseudonym) show up as possible connections every time I log in to LinkedIn. And what about that girl I only went out with twice without ever emailing her in 1999. Granted one of the dates was game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, but still.... How do they know?

    Probably browser history.

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  • Hillaryista economist J. Bradford DeLong tweets his approval of Europe being overrun by African desperados: That reminds me of a plot device in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash lifted from Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints: the Raft, a vast agglomeration of flotsam, inhabited by impoverished south and southeast Asian refugees drifting inexorably across the...
  • Stephenson is cryptocon. Anyone who loves early modern Europe as much as he does has to be.

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  • From The New Yorker: High school ... the one I remember the most clearly is this conversation between Connie, Clifford, and the Irish writer Michaelis: “I find I can’t marry an Englishwoman, not even an Irishwoman…” “ Try an American,” said Clifford. “Oh, American!” He laughed a hollow laugh. “No, I’ve asked my man if...
  • International Turks are pretty normal, white-looking people. If I were a Turk in England with bourgeois parents I think I’d be a little pleased to find my ancestors are sufficiently fearsome to merit reference in the literature of an island hundreds of miles away.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Mongols today absolutely love the fact that everybody has heard of Genghis Khan.
    , @whahae
    What is an "international Turk"? Maybe we only got the national ones in Germany but I would describe very few of them (including bourgeois ones) as white-looking.
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  • A general theme of my work going back to the last century is that the glass is usually part empty and part full, and the part people choose to emphasize often depends more on the spirit of the age than on the data. From The Independent: This Britain Was Always a Nation of Immigrants meme...
  • @Anon
    Just because people invade doesn't mean they get to breed. If invaders don't bring their own foreign women with them, they'll find it tough to locate mates. Though the Big Shots at the head of the invasion can usually find native wives, that doesn't mean Joe Ordinary Soldier in the ranks can. Joe Ordinary was often at the short end of the plunder list--the Big Shots reserved the mass of the loot for themselves--and he didn't often gain much in the way of land holdings.

    Look at the Norman invasion. The men who were rewarded with land were the fellows who raised the troops back in France, men who were already aristocrats to whom all the Joe Ordinaries owed feudal obligations. In other words, the winnings went to the invaders' own 1%. Joe Ordinary would have found it difficult to end up with enough assets to make him attract to native women, if he wasn't killed in battle, or maimed badly enough to make him hideous to women, or if he didn't die of exposure to unusual diseases found in this new land. Just look at the death rate among the early settlers in America. Anyone invading England may have had a comparable death rate.

    Also, killing a woman's family and friends and burning her family farm is not a way to recommend yourself as a mate. Most sane women will hate your guts if you do that. Another point: The very traits that made Joe leave his foreign lands to become a raider were very likely a penchant for violence and theft, and an inability to make something of himself at home, and the foreign women didn't want to settle down with such a noxious specimen. Thus he became a surplus male and went a-raiding. But the same unpleasant personality traits would also work against Joe with new women in the foreign country as well.

    The Bastard’s armies largely dispersed after Norman victory in Britain and the settlers he brought with him hardly numbered 8,000 souls. It really isn’t terribly surprising the genetic imprint they left is minimal.

    The idea that environmental differences between England and northern France killed a portion of the invading population comparable to European settlement of American malarial swamps is laughable on its face.

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  • A new study reveals: American college students sometimes have problems understanding the accents of instructors with Asian surnames, white people to blame. Accent on Bias March 2, 2015 By Scott Jaschik Rate My Professors is a student evaluation site that frustrates many professors, who say that the nonscientific standards leave faculty members open to unfair...
  • i’d bet literally any amount of money the majority of university math class withdrawals are produced by professors from asia and the former soviet bloc

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  • A strange film from highbrow horror director David Cronenberg (The Fly) that tries to combine movie industry self-satire with multigenerational incest-driven "Greek tragedy" (in Cronenberg's words) in the manner of Sophocles and Aeschylus. There is a lot of talent in the movie, although the casting isn't always perfect. Cronenberg originally intended the role of the...
  • @grey enlightenment
    anyone else been to chipotle? It's popular, but is the food good?

    it’s fine – rice and grilled meat and stuff in tortillas. like most things mexican, better when drunk.

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  • The NYT reported on today's Supreme Court case: It would have been great if Scalia had banged his gavel and summarily declared Abercrombie & Fitch guilty by Reason of Pederasty. From a New York profile of
  • its like my deliberate declaration of differentness is causing people to treat me differently

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    its like my deliberate declaration of differentness is causing people to treat me differently
     
    Exactly! People spend time and effort thinking about their clothes and grooming habits, except for the ones who don't. Obviously, the outcome of all this effort (or lack) says something about you. Why in the world should the rest of the world disregard all this free information about you?
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  • Radiohead's "Creep" ranks with Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit" near the summit of 1990s grunge rock blond male self-loathing: The late comedian Patrice O'Neal analyzed "Creep's" appeal to white people: As O'Neal points out, the moment in "Creep" that speaks most deeply to the white soul is the stuttering sound on the electric guitar at...
  • @J1234
    One of the most important skills a radio personality can possess is the ability to laugh obligingly while interviewing a comedian. It often comes across (to me) as the most insincere laughter that a person could possibly muster up. That's probably because most modern comics seem more pathetic than funny. Some are genuinely funny, but most of the "comedy club" variety aren't.

    This guy isn't so bad, but the "white people get a bad rap" line seems more like schtick to me than anything else. It's possible that there might be some degree of sincerity there, but usually, when a prominent black celebrity shows himself to be slightly more reasonable and somewhat less venomous and moderately more conciliatory than Kanye West, he's heralded as being wise, noble and insightful. There's very little wisdom to be found among modern comics.

    Modern comedy seems more about forcing a perverse world view on an audience and not so much about humor. But the audience usually plays along. Like radio personalities, most audiences laugh at modern comics sort of the way religious cultists worship Jim Jones - like it's their job and responsibility to do so.

    I get the feeling this is becoming one of those topics that demonstrates that a significant portion of the iSteve commentariat is comprised of humorless old scolds.

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    • Replies: @Laguna Beach Fogey
    Oh, you're just realizing this now?


    For more of same, check out the guys over at Vox's place.
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  • @V Vega

    Meanwhile the comic I loathe the most is Louis CK. I hate the bitter, angry, self-loathing, left-wing white comics. Louis CK, Marc Maron. So boring and predictable and depressing. I get it, you hate white people and wish you weren’t white so you could complain about your life without feeling guilty...
     
    Louis CK is a committed negrophile from way back–even Chris Rock has commented on it–but I don't know if it translates to hating white people. He's a former Catholic. I've noticed, for some reason, the traumatization of being raised a Catholic sometimes becomes sublimated and winds up creating odd behavior. For Louis, his rage finally translated itself into him being a self-appointed Holden Caulfield to black people.

    As far as Marc Maron, he's just a former pothead, and coke burnout, now nicotine fiend. Like most druggies, he's not that complicated. We used to call them "self-willed brats." In the context of being a middle-aged entertainer, he's a devoted neurotic exploiting his afflictions as an artistic conceit.

    where did this meme that louis ck is some sort of ultra liberal negro triumphalist originate?

    i ask this as someone who’s listened to ck’s every stand up special and radio appearance produced before the year 2014

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    • Replies: @V Vega

    where did this meme that louis ck is some sort of ultra liberal negro triumphalist originate?

    i ask this as someone who’s listened to ck’s every stand up special and radio appearance produced before the year 2014
     
    Apparently, you missed out on "Pootie Tang."
    Or noticed in his current television series, he cast a black woman as his wife for no reason related to reality, despite his character's children being white?

    Louis CK's negrophelia is considered a given amongst his black friends:

    http://youtu.be/OKY6BGcx37k?t=15m10s

    He's the most committed negrophile since Quentin Tarantino.
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  • @Chang
    Patrice O'Neal was awesome. Probably my favorite black comic of the last 20 years.

    Key & Peele are good, but they both had a white parent, so bit different.

    Patrice would joke about anything. Nothing was off limits, but he never seemed angry or bitter. Even that clip there shows it, I think. He liked white people.

    He used to joke about dying of diabetes, too. Which is what killed him. Funny dude.

    Meanwhile the comic I loathe the most is Louis CK. I hate the bitter, angry, self-loathing, left-wing white comics. Louis CK, Marc Maron. So boring and predictable and depressing. I get it, you hate white people and wish you weren't white so you could complain about your life without feeling guilty for complaining while you're a rich white guy. Jesus.

    I think you’re exaggerating the anti-white self-loathing of Louis CK somewhat.

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    I posted this exact same clip, but Steve bounced it.

    Now I'm glad I never donate.
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  • I talk a lot about the Volunteer Auxiliary Thought Police, but there also appear to be the Volunteer Auxiliary iSteve Content Providers, such as Pulitzer Prize winning NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof who seems since the middle of last year to be choosing topics specifically to be mockable here. Is it a clever business strategy, a...
  • I’m sure these stats are due to cishet pogroms and not the fact that transsexuals are sad, crazy weirdos who wind up involved in drugs and prostitution.

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  • Mark Leibovich writes "Tom Brady Can't Stop" in the NYT Mag about how Super Bowl quarterback Tom Brady, age 37, has a plan to still be a star in the NFL at age 42-43: The trip represented a rare separation between [Tom] Brady and Alex Guerrero, his best friend and ever-­present guru for training and...
  • I think Welker was busted for molly.

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  • For most of my life, the imminent downfall of the House of Saud has been predicted. And eventually one of those predictions will come true. In the meantime, it's worth considering how the Saudis deal with the kind of transitions between one generation and the next in the royal line that have proved treacherous for...
  • @Bettega
    I wonder if Saudi Arabian girls would be so enthusiastic about emancipation if they saw HBO Girls, the actual endgame of feminism and sexual liberation, instead of South Korean soap operas which are made in another country conservative as Saudi Arabia, just less extreme on enforcing it.

    In the end, i doubt Saudi Arabia is so bad. If it was so bad people would emigrate more. How many Saudis live in the West fleeing the terrible persecution of the religious police? How many people from secular dictatorships such as Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt or Syria and Iraq (even before their destruction).

    You actually see a fair few Saudis/Emiratis/Omanis/etc. as foreign students at Anglophone universities where they spend all their time drinking and getting drugs for the less wealthy American/British kids. Islamic conservatism is less of a drag when it’s nothing to shoot off to London or New York for months at a time.

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  • The Oscar nominations are out. Four movies were nominated for both Best Picture and Best Director, so those are the presumed frontrunners among the BP nominees: "American Sniper" "Birdman" - Best Director "Boyhood" - Best Director "The Grand Budapest Hotel" - Best Director "The Imitation Game" - Best Director "Selma" "The Theory of Everything" "Whiplash"...
  • I really liked the Grand Budapest Hotel (mostly out of a weird affection for pre-war Austria-Hungary) but my favorite movie of the year has to be Nightcrawler. I’m a little bit shocked Gyllenhaal was snubbed for best actor.

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  • The American Olympic committee decided to make Boston the official U.S. nominee for the 2024 Summer Olympics. (Rio hosts 2016 and Tokyo 2020). The International Olympic Committee will now be open for bribing until announcing a decision in 2017. The Olympics are an upper middle class festival in a world where mass audiences are increasingly...
  • Boston is the greatest city in the world.

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  • From the New York Times: This #Illridewithyou Social Media Justice Warrior phenomenon was a two stage rocket. We've already discussed the second stage booster Tessa Kum, who garnered worldwide You Go Girls props for coining the immortal hashtag, and her underlying motivation (sheer anti-white racist rage). But what about the first stage booster rocket, Rachael...
  • “Coalition of the Illing” sounds like a Pharcyde album.

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  • From Commenter ABN: Do we even have the language anymore to articulate the concept of being personally cuckolded? Is the word "cuckold" even in current circulation? Here's a question: in John Milius's 1984 Red Dawn, you're watching a low to mid budget teen action fantasy with Charlie Sheen, and it's pretty okay. But then Patrick...
  • “Is the word “cuckold” even in current circulation?”

    You should definitely google that.

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  • Ed West writes in The Catholic Herald of Britain: I wonder why post-Puritans have opposite feelings on immigration in the UK and the US? In recent years, I've spent a little bit of time in the most post-Puritan parts of America, like Stockbridge, MA and Chautauqua, NY, those beautiful little towns west of Boston with...
  • “If they did not gradually drift toward unafiliated, what exactly is your theory?”

    They intermarried with Catholics.

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  • “Erm, correct me if I’m wrong, but New England, New York, and New Jersey, when they were dominated by English-Americans, were voting for a Republican Party which at the time was the leftist party. Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but the Northeast, arguably with the exception of Pennsylvania, which btw was settled predominantly by Germans and not English (the Quakers lost control of the state legislature to Germans even before the Rebellion) has always been left leaning.”

    I don’t know where that guy’s getting the idea that Puritans were conservatives. Maybe in a social sense they were in favor of extreme propriety but in England they were obviously anti-Catholic and anti-Anglican (i.e., the establishment, that which would be conserved) and in the United States they were the bedrock of the abolitionist movement.

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  • Over the years I've realized that since I regularly verbally bludgeon readers people think I'm a severe and overly serious person. Apparently the headshot which I have on Twitter also seems a bit dickish (it was taken in Florence in 2010). To compensate for that I had a friend take this picture of me recently....
  • The “how did you first hear about” question reminded me how I used to read pharyngula and now I want to drink myself to death.

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  • One of the weird side-effects of my desultory attempts to spell out in intellectual terms the moderate, common sense concept of citizenism and its implications for immigration policy is that it seems to inspire more respectable (i.e., more extremist) intellectuals to spell out their reactive nuttiness in ever more explicit, self-parodic detail. For example, here...
  • That’s an Onion headline, right?

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  • From Slate: Revenge of the White Male Voter By Amanda Marcotte Wednesday morning after elections: the time to sift through the various exit poll data to take the temperature of the country, or at least the people who bothered to turn out to vote. Lots of interesting information out there today to explain the Crushing...
  • “At what point does “the Liberal Media” figure out that they’re discrediting themselves with pretty much 90% of men (and not a few of the best women) for the sake of all those clicks? Or is the theory that people who come to comment stick around to read other , more reasonable articles?”

    Slate isn’t “liberal media.” Slate is scarcely media at all. Its entire business model is dependent upon articles being annoying enough to get people to click them on Facebook.

    Single women are on Facebook and they’re just about the only people clicking links. Ergo, we have a steady deluge of rape crisis moral panics and other staples of third wave feminism.

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  • There's a rather boring but predictable complaint in The Washington Post, In the land of make-believe, racial diversity is a fantasy. We've been here before. The author of The Washington Post piece seems angry that his black child can't identify with the white characters that dominate in fantasy films. But what this has to do...
  • Pah! It’s not like it’s Soldier of the Mist.

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  • “Why couldn’t the main characters in these films have been a panoply of diversity? The beauty and ease of diversity in fantasy is that it requires no explanation. It’s fantasy, after all. Just as you don’t have to provide a metaphysical explanation for the existence of a talking snowman, neither would you need to explain why one sister in “Frozen” was Latina, the other white and their dead mother Asian. A fantasy world just is. The strength of the story is all that matters.”

    This is really an insane position to take. Anyone who likes fantasy, or even fiction in general, knows there are backgrounds behind the people and events presented in a given work. Even if it isn’t explicitly mentioned, the reader intuits it, or can intuit it if the world presented in the work is sufficiently consistent.

    That’s why there isn’t any room for Asian daughters of Danish royals or black hobbits. It directs your attention to whatever bizarre alterations the author decided to introduce into evolutionary biology or physics or whatever instead of the story presented in this alternate world. If that’s what you want to focus on, fine, but just putting it there and letting it sit leaves a big chunk of the audience scratching its collective noggin.

    Also, on the topic of non-white dominated fantasy worlds, both Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun tetralogy (most of which is set in a far future Argentina) and Peter Watts’ Blindsight are excellent.

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  • One of the most pressing problems of our day is Diversity among the cast of Saturday Night Live. For example, recently SNL was feted for hiring a woman to be Weekend Update anchor. But ratings are down so she got dumped a few weeks ago. But they brought in a black man, Michael Che, to...
  • “I happened to catch a couple of Che’s SNL sketch appearances. He’s not funny; or it’s possible he himself may be funny but the SNL writers have just fed him the same dull, sub-sophomoric, dud material they’ve churned out for the last thirty seasons.”

    Oh hey, it’s “there hasn’t been a single passable song released since 1958″ weighing in on comedy now.

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  • I almost feel bad for comedians these days.

    The acceptable targets are basically just white males, so you work with it I guess ?

    The comedic greats, who were the heros of today’s comics would probably be thrown in prison for hate crimes.. seriously, would Eddie Murphy be able to do ‘Delerious’ today… or even Beverly Hills Cop?…recall he got kicked off the hosting gig at some award show for some mild anti-gay remark.

    Things have changed QUICKLY.

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  • From The Weekly Standard: Well, except for the eggs that get cracked making this particular omelet, but Heather has some excellent points and you should read the whole thing
  • “In addition to Columbus, this week we should also reflect upon the awesomeness of Francisco Pizarro, who in the Battle of Cajamarca achieved the most spectacular victory by an outnumbered force in the history of the world.

    With 168 men, he defeated the main Inca army of 80,000. And not raw recruits, but a victorious force of veterans that had just prevailed in an Inca civil war.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cajamarca”

    Conquistadors are heroes in the classical sense – inhumanly great. Of course now we’re supposed to roll our eyes at glory, but if stuff like this isn’t glorious I don’t know what is.

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    • Replies: @dumpstersquirrel
    "Atahualpa's wife, 10-year-old Cuxirimay Ocllo, was with the army and stayed with him while he was imprisoned."

    Wow, some things never change, do they? Even to this day a lot of mexicans really have a hard-on for prepubescent girls or girls just on the cusp of puberty. So is this a culture that white people should tolerate, accept, celebrate, and eventually teach their own children or is this part of rape culture? Leftists must be horribly torn by such questions.
    , @Hey Steve
    You know -- that was an interesting read. I hadn't really read about Pizarro since probably the 7th grade when I read it up in world history class....

    I think the wiki article said it was a ratio of 450 or so men to 1 Spanish fighter. Amazing.

    Makes you wonder how paper tiger our military/security establishment is...
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  • An op-ed from the NYT: Throw Out the College Application System By ADAM GRANT OCT. 4, 2014 THE college admissions system is broken. When students submit applications, colleges learn a great deal about their competence from grades and test scores, but remain in the dark about their creativity and character. ... This leaves many colleges...
  • This sounds a lot like a way to make higher education even more lopsidedly female. Also, it’s another example of how ed reformers are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they’ve been the ones in charge for nearly half a decade – I’m pretty certain at this point that GPA’s are mostly reflective of trivial, tedious stuff like turning in homework and dragging lessons to a halt by raising your hand every eight minutes.

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  • The iSteveization of everything
  • “It’s funny because it’s a little subversive underneath the SWPL tropes. The pic of the moon landing clinches it.”

    I tend to think there’s a lot of semi-normal-dudeishness behind the scenes at SNL (most east-coast comics tend to be nominally liberal but generally normal dude-ish white-ethnics often without college educations and exposure to tumblr style feelings-politics). Tina Fey was able to run the show there for years, after all, and 30 Rock is one of the most surreptitiously conservative shows ever on network television.

    Also whenever I see Sarah Silverman or see her mentioned I have to wonder what she really thinks of her Kibbutzim sister.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    SNL writers are not recruited from the comedy scene for the most part. They are mostly recruited from publications like the Harvard Lampoon and are generally very young. The retirement of Downey has been a disaster for that reason because it's pretty clear there are no adults in the room. I think that Lorne Michaels insistence that the Weekend Update anchors also be writers in order to catch lighting in a bottle again like he did with Fey and Seth Meyers is exacerbating this because the product speaks for itself and the new Yost guy obviously can't write.

    30 Rock was conservative in the way All in the Family and that Michael J Fox show from when he was a kid were conservative: their parody right-winger struck a cord and become sufficiently popular that they had to keep feeding them good lines. Also it seems pretty clear that Fey is a pretty misanthropic person at heart and misanthropy can lean conservstive at times.

    One more purely speculative item it seems Obama's victory over Clinton definitely dredged up some resentment at blacks that Fey took out on the Tracy Jordan character.
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  • As we all know from reading the newspapers, life in the few remaining majority male institutions, such as the Harvard Business School, is a living hell for young women: the insensitivity, the repulsive frat house culture, the constantly being asked out on dates by future captains of industry ... Can anyone blame Harvard Business School...
  • @AsIf

    This is kind of an old thread and all but I have to ask: Have you ever considered that you come off as super crazy?

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  • I've been writing about lesbian eugenics since this 2000 article in VDARE on how Melissa Etheridge and Jodie Foster went about selecting sperm donors. (Etheridge always struck me as just sort of a lesbian Bob Seger, but Foster is a pretty interesting person.) So, thanks to everybody who sent me versions of this story. From...
  • @anon

    I don’t really know why you’re expecting us to cheer for the possible downfall of a TV physicist.

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  • We live in an era when females outperform males on average at a wide range of routine tasks, such as coloring within the lines, turning homework in on time, graduating from high school and college, not going to jail, pulling together marketing plans, not dying, and the like. When the culture decided around 1964 to...
  • Those first two paragraphs are really great and incisive. I don’t have any other observations to make, I just want to affirm that this is the type of post that makes it obvious why iSteve has become a sort of nexus of contrary conservative thought on the internet.

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  • From the Jewish Journal of Greater L.A. (via MondoWeiss): David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter? by Rob Eshman 2 days ago One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha'aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the...
  • Whiskey? Is that you?

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  • Reader joey/joe/joe comments: Yet, high iq isn’t a guarantee of curiosity about the world. If you are like me, when you meet someone for the first time, you can very quickly tell if they are ‘interesting’- specifically, if they are what I’m calling ‘curious.’ This isn’t exactly identical to iq, though iq is almost always...
  • It’s entirely possible to be curious and stupid – or curious and tedious, at least. Think of the fat Wicca spinsters of the world.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    It’s entirely possible to be curious and stupid – or curious and tedious, at least. Think of the fat Wicca spinsters of the world.
     
    Hey, now! No sly humor. This is a serious discussion about absolute facts.
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  • From the New York Times, we learn of the latest crisis requiring Maoist self-criticism among goodthinkers: ‘Burly,’ a Word With a Racially Charged History By KYLE MASSEY AUGUST 25, 2014 5:25 PM 115 Comments Kyle Massey is an assistant news editor. He has worked at The Times since 1999. As protests raged after the fatal...
  • He can lift a hundred pounds right up over his head.

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  • The Monkey Cage, the political science blog in the WaPo, notes: Monkey Cage Is segregation the problem in Ferguson? 72 More By Jonathan Rodden August 18 Over the last few days, punditry about Ferguson, Mo., has converged on a common, well-rehearsed narrative about segregation in St. Louis that goes back to the 19th century: whites...
  • “ISIS is pretty terrifying”

    Yes, horrifying. The militia force that can barely project control over the heavily Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria poses a major threat to my personal safety.

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  • Macroeconomist Scott Sumner brings up the perennial question of why Brazil is the Nation of the Future and always will be. Brazil has made a heartening amount of progress in this century, but so has the global competition, such as China and South Korea. Brazil averaged 402 on the 2012 PISA school test scores. That’s...
  • “can’t answer that as to the period where it fell from being one of the most dynamic empires to a relatively static one at the start of the 20th century, but it’s very easy to explain the situation it’s in now.”

    Well that’s an easy one: Everyone in early modern Iberia was totally insane and half the world was sparsely populated by stone-age savages (except for Meso-America, I guess, but that was densely populated by stone-age savages whose conception of war was prelude to brutal ritual conducted not to kill but to capture). It makes sense that their empires would deteriorate to mediocrity after the world ran out of peoples to conquer who hadn’t yet invented steel.

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  • Seth Stevenson writes in Slate: Nah, the 1970s attempt by the federal government to impose the metric system on America was already doomed by the 1980s. I supported switching to the metric system during the 1970s. My idiosyncratic suspicion is that what killed the metric system was one of its first and most visible successes:...
  • In Europe I was less weirded out by metric measurements (which my education had more or less prepared me for) than the ubiquitous use of 24 hour time. I mean conversions are pretty easy but it takes a long-ass time to get a visceral feeling for what time 18:00 is.

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  • Noah Berlatsky writes in The Atlantic: Shakespeare's history plays are largely concerned with "legitimacy." He had to walk a creative line politically since Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, Henry Tudor, had come to power in a rebellion against King Richard III, so Richard had to be demonized. But unsuccessful rebels had to be bad or at least...
  • “My personal feeling is that the line that holds the key to Shakespeare’s politics and opus is Prospero’s take on Caliban: “a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick.” Shakespeare’s plays are about the triumph of nature over nurture. Thus they are very elitist, racist, sexist and fabulous.”

    Really all you need to know about Shakespeare’s attitudes toward entrenched aristocratic prejudices or whatever w/r/t minorities or sundry oppressed peoples is that the well spoken bastard in Lear is still the bad guy.

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  • “Shakespeare was more a deist or pantheist, rather than someone who steeps himself and his works in every dot and tittle of Christian dogma. Milton, despite his political liberalism, was more the latter.”

    This isn’t a contradiction. Devout (Calvinist) religiosity in that era was liberalism. The revolutionaries after Cromwell were more often than not aristocratic and Catholic. The establishment was Anglican and more and more supported by an increasingly secular bourgeoisie. The wackos shouting on street corners demanding theaters be shut down were belt-buckle hat-wearing Puritans.

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  • Before I moved to Chicago in 1982, I separated my record collection into 2 stacks, the stuff I wanted to keep and the stuff I didn't care for. I lugged the latter to a used record store where a clerk much like Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons paid me $0.50 to $2.00 for the...
  • “I can’t imagine why they’d be worth anything when you can hear almost anything on Youtube for sitting through 5 seconds of a commercial.”

    There are still people who don’t use AdBlock when they’re trying to listen to music on Youtube?

    Also those New Wave and Post-Punk records are going to be even more worthless because indie music for the last ten years has been dominated by bands taking their queues from marginally outside-the-mainstream 80′s acts and there are doubtless hundreds of reprints of Fear of Music, Unknown Pleasures, etc.

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  • Noah Berlatsky writes in The Atlantic: Shakespeare's history plays are largely concerned with "legitimacy." He had to walk a creative line politically since Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, Henry Tudor, had come to power in a rebellion against King Richard III, so Richard had to be demonized. But unsuccessful rebels had to be bad or at least...
  • Kind of hard to not be anti-Puritan when Puritans are anti-you.

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  • From The New Republic, which is owned by Chris Hughes because he lived down the hall from Mark Zuckerberg in the Harvard dorm: I always had the same GPA: 3.7 to 3.8 (out of 4.0) from high school to college to B-school. Partly, this was because some classes were genuinely very hard for me. But...
  • A partial cause of the lack of extra-curricular participation among low test score colleges is likely that a significant number of people going to low test score colleges are commuting from variously prohibitive distances. Another aspect is that the students there aren’t school drones and have pre-existing social commitments that they’d rather fulfill – an interesting corollary to ethnic affinity organizations (particularly Asian ethnic affinity organizations) being some of the more passionately populated extra-curricular clubs in such schools.

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  • From Minding the Campus: AN AMAZING DIVERSITY PLAN AT MADISON JOHN LEO JULY 17, 2014 46 COMMENTS A remarkable article on the University of Wisconsin (Madison) appeared yesterday on the John William Pope Center site. In it, UW economics professor W. Lee Hansen writes about a comprehensive diversity plan prepared for the already diversity-obsessed campus....
  • “The justification will be that not having a spouse of another race is ‘discrimantory’ and of course, ‘discrimanatory’ , when used in that context is the highest evil possible in the USA.”

    Yeah lefties always speak glowingly about when the Aussies tried that with the aborigines.

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  • I wanted to come back to the popular NYT Magazine article "Why Do Americans Stink at Math?" about how they teach math better in Japan, as you can tell because Japanese students average a higher PISA score than American students. According to the article, the Common Core now offers us another opportunity to teach math...
  • Schools spend too much time making math relevant. I can’t even count how many times I fell asleep listening to someone drone on about lemonade stands or percentages of candy I could eat if x did y (I graduated high school in the mid-2000′s). My problem with math is that teachers never went through any trouble to make verbal sense of what math is doing (I’ve been taught to factor maybe a half dozen times in my educational career and I still have no idea what it is or what it does) and that’s probably because it’s impossibly difficult to make verbal sense of math if you have no visceral faculty for doing it.

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  • In a review of John McWhorter's book The Language Hoax, which denounces the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Oliver Kamm writes in The Times of London: Put like that, the idea that language determines thought seems absurd. Why do people believe it? There is an understandable motivation. Peoples are diverse. Whorf analysed what were once popularly and falsely...
  • Whorfianism is mostly wishful thinking by lefties looking for some kind of expanded new age consciousness among provincial or extinct languages – the noble savage applied to linguistics.

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    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
    What is described here as "Whorfianism" is actually much older. It can be found in the psychology and epistemology of the abbé de Condillac (1715-80) and perhaps ultimately traces back to mediæval nominalism. It is congenial to leftists because the notion that the words we use shape our thoughts follows logically from Marx's dictum that conditions create consciousness, rather than the other way round. Some bad ideas just keep coming back.
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  • Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a teacher these days? Here's one of those robot animations. It's by a schoolteacher who calls himself Mr. TeachBad. In it, the spunky heroine gets professionally developed according to the latest theories on "Differentiated Instruction" by a downtown staffer in a bloody hockey mask. The final...
  • The real fun begins when desperate teachers start dumping terms like Bloom’s taxonomy and “kinesthetic learning” on the class itself. Even idiot kids aren’t necessarily total idiots – they tend to understand that when you’re describing them as tactile learners what you’re really doing is calling them retarded.

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  • A significant factor that doesn't get considered enough in trying to make sense of current intellectual life is that the overwhelming academic and media dominance of English, with the huge home field advantages it gives Americans and Brits, not unreasonably galls more than a few Continentals. Consider French economist Thomas Piketty. Like so many other...
  • If you read something like Stefan Zweig’s memoir it seems like even pre-war European universities were places where the professoriate went to work on the condition of a comfortable stipend and where students went because they were bored or because they needed to demonstrate to their parents that they were doing something other than intellectualizing at cafes and dying of syphilis.

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  • From Newsweek: By the way, it would be wise for the media to stop assuming that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a disinterested authority, and instead notice that the SPLC has a very lucrative gig organizing the expression of hate toward targets of its choice. You might almost say it is America's most successful...
  • Can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Zizek has been a flavor of the month academic since the 80′s, I think, but he’s more famous for appearing in interviews shirtless and smoking cigarettes than anything he’s actually written. What’s a little plagiarism if it means more time spent enjoying the pleasant parts of being an international intellectual?

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  • From CNET: Sonny Bunch comments on this familiar journalistic pattern of denouncing heavily Asian Silicon Valley firms as "mostly white" at the Washington Free Beacon: So why does the “mostly white” meme persist about tech companies? I think it’s because those who are obsessed with diversity for diversity’s sake have a hard time reconciling one...
  • Where tech or laundromats go, so go Asians. Put your finger on any major metropolis on a map of the United States and you can bet there’s going to be a pretty significant enclave there of Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

    And I’m sure that if you check the demographics of a tech hub on the other side of the country (say, Cambridge, MA) they won’t be too far off from those of Silicon Valley.

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  • Here's a paragraph from a long, not very interesting article in the NYT about a 9-year-old Haitian boy's struggles with not flunking out of of New York schools: "After decades of rote learning ..." Which decades? The 1810s to 1840s? Is Mr. Gradgrind still the most influential educational philosopher of our day? This reflects a...
  • My high school memories are haunted by memories of excited, 25 year old teachers stipulating that they weren’t like those other dreadful teachers we had and that they’d be using the nebulous criterion of “participation” to determine 20% of our final grades by, as far as I could tell, total fiat.

    Of course, I never had a public school teacher who acted otherwise. They all seemed to give that same speech during the first week in apparent ignorance of the fact that literally every single one of their colleagues was also giving enormous weight to participation and homework completion. This went on for the entirety of my pre-university career and the strength of this particular mental virus is such that I’m sure new teachers still see themselves as confronting the nineteenth century educational leviathan of testing, scoring, drilling and judging.

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  • A reader asks:
  • “Watching the alt right get steamed rolled while they celebrate the waning influence of the religion right is going to bring such joy to my heart. Honestly, the one political movement with less people in it that the libertarians (really different sides of the same aspie coin) is so choosy about their allies. The alt-right is a cancer as far as mainstream politics goes. The only faction that doesn’t openly spit in its face the religious right gets all of no reciprocation from Nietzsche fan boys. If that doesn’t tell you that the alt-right is about something other than winning elections and “protecting” traditional American I don’t know what would.”

    Whatever, man. Being flushed down the same shit-tunnel of mass-immigration and hugbox, no-meanness mass-media as everyone else will feel a little smoother knowing I never voted for the sort of cartoonish, new-Protestant idiocy the Republicans have entangled themselves with for the last twenty years. I’m sure a symbolic about-face on irrelevant wedge-issues like abortion and gay marriage would have saved this whole sinking ship of American governance but I’ve gotta give into my east-coast elitism here and abstain from endorsing hayseed Pentecostals and Evangelicals leading anything, let alone my country.

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  • Of course not. The country is better off if the center-right proceeds as it has and self-immolates through neocon interventionist idiocy and anti-worker corporatism. And I’m glad the religious right is stone dead. Maybe if the elephant offs itself we’ll get something neither insane nor embarrassing, though that’s a distant, fading hope.

    Oh, and not even a captcha, Steve? Nice. Though I’m hard-pressed to choose a pseudonym.

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