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From Nature:

Seeding an anti-racist culture at Scotland’s botanical gardens

Botanical gardens are re-examining their collections’ colonial roots — botanists of colour say keep going.

Linda Nordling

Hidden figures haunt the archives of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). They are the shadows of people whose contributions to the institute’s cornucopia of specimens have gone unrecognized. The archives contain, for example, exquisite drawings — some made by Indian illustrators centuries ago — of voluptuous pink lotuses, spindly legumes and delicate orchids. But, says Simon Milne, the public body’s chief executive and regius keeper, “we don’t know who those artists are”.

Today, such omissions speak volumes about the arrogance of white European explorers who, for most of the institute’s 350-year history, received the plaudits for building its vast collections of living and dried plants and historical botanical documents. But change is afoot at the RBGE … For the past two years, the institute — which has three other sites across Scotland — has accelerated its work to recognize the contributions of people who were not white Europeans and to make the gardens a more inclusive space to visit and work in.

Such ambitions had existed before the murder in May 2020 of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in the United States. But it was that event and the global movement it sparked that precipitated a step-change in the gardens’ equality, diversity and inclusivity activities. In March, the institution published a racial-justice report that will feed into an action plan to “embed” racial-justice work as a “core aspect” of the organization. This extends to its research and training activities, with the report proposing dedicated PhD funds for students from minority backgrounds and promoting more equitable collaborations with scholars around the world. “We’re not rewriting history, we’re actually trying to tell the whole story,” says Milne.

Plant scientists of colour who follow these discussions are encouraged by the advances, but agree that much remains to be done. …

Before Floyd’s murder, botanical gardens had largely escaped the scrutiny that had resulted in calls for museums to return cultural artefacts and human remains to their places of origin, says Caroline Lehmann, an ecologist at the University of Edinburgh. “Plants are viewed as apolitical, as something pretty you put in your garden,” says Lehmann, who also heads the RBGE’s tropical-diversity programme. However, a cursory look into the history of plant science shows this to be false. Crops associated with globalization, such as cotton, tobacco, coffee and rubber, were central to Europe’s projects of empire and slavery — as they were to slavery in the United States.

“The exploitation of plants is closely linked to the exploitation of people,” says Lehmann, who led the working group that produced the racial-justice report and who is white. The report recognizes that the gardens’ present-day work is partially founded on collections and data deriving from “exploitative, colonialist, and racist activities”. It recommends that the gardens address the lingering legacies of this, which are visible today in the organization’s low representation of Black and Asian staff, volunteers and students. Only around 4% of the gardens’ staff identify as belonging to a non-white minority groups, and all work at the institution’s only urban site, in Edinburgh, where such groups make up 8% of the population.

Representation matters. …

Milne admits that he did not fully fathom the historical links between botany and racism when the RBGE first embarked on its racial-justice work. He recalls telling his team early on that “at least we don’t have a statue or memorial that is of concern”. A colleague then pointed out that the Edinburgh garden’s central statue of Carl Linneaus could be considered just that. The eighteenth-century inventor of the system of classifying plants, animals and minerals espoused dividing the human species into racial ‘varieties’ characterized, in part, by skin colour and stereotypical temperaments. These notions underpinned racist science in the following centuries….

She [Fan] was sceptical that her Edinburgh employer would do any better. So, she was pleased when the RBGE’s Racial Justice Working Group formed. However, after getting involved with the group’s work, she was reminded once more of the emotional burden that disproportionately affects scientists of colour, such as herself, when engaging with efforts to decolonize an institution. Fan began to study the history and power dynamics between China and the United Kingdom. “Researching colonial exploitations towards a race I identify with, while knowing that my workplace was linked to and still benefits from these exploitations, was unsettling,” she says. “It felt very conflicting,” she says — trying to understand the institution’s need for perspectives from people of colour while also resenting the toll that such work takes on them.

… After Floyd’s murder, Kew’s scientific director, Alexandre Antonelli, published an article outlining the institute’s ambition to “tackle structural racism in plant and fungal science”. …

Fungal Racism would be a good name for a band.

Beyond the efforts being made at specific gardens, work needs to be done on a global scientific level. Makunga co-founded Black Botanists Week, a global event to shine a light on Black and Indigenous scholars in botany and plant science. One of that community’s discussions, she says, is whether to rename plants whose scientific names are offensive to Indigenous people. For example, plenty of plants have the taxonomic name ‘caffra’, which derives from an Arabic expression that came to be used as an offensive term for Black people in southern Africa. “Those names have a terrible connotation,” says Makunga. …

For Xaba, there’s a long way still to go. For one thing, places such as Kew continue to hold many of the type specimens of plants that were found in South Africa. These are the first scientific samples of plant species, often dried and mounted with information about where and when they were collected. Botanists in developing countries might therefore have to travel to study these specimens, which remain the property of foreign institutions, Xaba explains.

“It’s those things that really worry people like me. We still have these very one-sided partnerships where we are the colony and natural resources are getting extracted, and people are publishing papers about our biodiversity. They still get economic benefits, and those don’t really trickle down,” he says. “It’s the culture that needs to change, and the whole system that needs to reboot.”

 
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  1. J.Ross says:

    It’s okay. I can talk to plants. I talked to the plants and they say they’re not crazy about getting planted in certain parts of town either.
    ——–
    OT — HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    [catches breath]
    HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Thanks: Renard, Achmed E. Newman
  2. I struggle to stay convinced that I am not the crazy one, a fringe weirdo who views all of the above–and the endless flood of stuff like it–as patent nonsense, while throngs of apparently intelligent, highly credentialed people buzz on and on about colonialism and diversity and equity and racism and hate and on and on and on, apparently seeing substance in all these buzzwords I see as nothing but vacuous obfuscation of the agenda to destroy whites and their societies.

    It’s all so tiresome. How do these ninnies have the energy to drone on and on endlessly, generation after generation, spouting ever more insane and inane theories as to why those on the left side of the bell curve suck?

    I suppose it’s a combo of true believers who liken themselves to holy crusaders; grifters who get real paid doing the old race-hustle shuck and jive; and those with a grudge they’ve been nursing for millennia against those who bested them on their home turf 2000 years ago. Or something.

  3. Fungal Racism would be a good name for a band.

    Their debut album: The Taming of the ‘Shroom.

  4. Inverness says:

    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

    (Mencken)

    • Agree: usNthem
  5. J.Ross says:

    OT — These are the people protecting you from the invisible Russians.
    https://www.theverge.com/c/23374767/dhs-homeland-security-bureaucracy-20-years?utm_source=substack
    Long excerpt with Coen Brothers worthy punchline below more tag; tldr, were DHS in place for IX/XI, nothing would be different.

    [MORE]

    Albright is exactly the kind of guy you’d want in charge of protecting the country from a devastating attack. Known for his candor and ingenuity, he is one of those people with a talent for both hard science and political science. He had excelled at places like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) because he knew how to bring big, complex projects across the finish line.

    So as the Bush administration finalized its plans for a new Department of Homeland Security, ultimately bestowing him the title of assistant secretary for science and technology, Albright was alarmed to find that the people around him were not as prepared.

    “There was almost nobody in the senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security who really understood the details of what it took to run a cabinet agency,” he told me. When DHS officially began operations on March 1st, 2003, everything was so haphazard that one undersecretary worked out of a former cleaning closet with a shower curtain for a door. There was no human resources professional to help Albright hire people and no bank account for his budget. When he tried to type out an email, an orange bar would pop up, freezing everything for three to four minutes; DHS employees soon took to calling this the “orange screen of death.”

    The dysfunction might have been funny, in a Dilbert-meets-Veep way, if the stakes weren’t so high. Albright was overseeing a project called BioWatch, a system intended to detect traces of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Bush described BioWatch in his 2003 State of the Union as “the nation’s first early warning network of sensors,” which would initiate processes to mobilize hospitals, alert the public, and deploy supplies from the national stockpile.

    There was only one problem: BioWatch never functioned as intended. The devices were unreliable, causing numerous false positives. “It was really only capable of detecting large-scale attacks,” Albright explained, because of “how big a plume would have to be” for the sensors to pick it up. And the system was prohibitively slow: every 24 hours, someone had to retrieve a filter and then send it to a laboratory for testing, which might then take another 24 hours to discover a pathogen.

    “The time required after BioWatch might pick up evidence of a toxin and the time required to get it to somebody who might be able to reach a conclusion there might be a terrorist attack — my God, by that time, a lot of people would have gotten sick or died,” former Senator Joe Lieberman told me.

    Albright did his best to make it work. He ramped up filter testing but discovered this overwhelmed the labs. He tried to automate everything. He pushed for new and better devices. But eventually, besieged by illogical requests and turf wars and policy wonks who didn’t know how to implement anything, he got fed up and quit DHS in July 2005.

    This same faulty biosurveillance program remains in place in 2022, sputtering along, costing $80 million a year. The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense has repeatedly called for BioWatch to be terminated or replaced, issuing a report last year deeming it “legacy technology that has long outlived its utility.” Lieberman called the program “an embarrassing failure.”

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  6. Cutter says:

    One, happy Thanksgiving, Steve.

    Two, in a time of shrinking budgets, these people need a way to stand out.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  7. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:

    The only salient and interesting ‘fact’ to be found buried in this thick fog of malodorous guff is that the population of Edinburgh, Scotland is now ‘8%’ non white (!), or, roughly, one in every twelve.

    There goes the Athens of the North.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @New Dealer
  8. When I think of an area populated by darkies and slanteyes, I immediately think of rural Scotland.
    And when did Arabs become honorary Whites for purposes of complaining about colonialism?

    • Replies: @mc23
  9. Apologies if I have made this comment before in the past.

    I am from the land mentioned in this piece, and we value(d) our robust common sense. When in what seems like the distant past political correctness reared its ugly head I thought That is for people completely lacking in spine and common sense such as the English and Americans. It will never catch on here.

    How very and humiliatingly wrong I was.

    Like the 19th century Japanese learning from and eventually surpassing the West technologically, similarly we have shown what we are not slouches in the areas that are leading edge in 2022.

    If there is hope now, it is in the Americans and English (and surprisingly, some continental Europeans such as the French.)

    Oh, for some beer-swilling England football supporters or redneck Southern gun nuts to come and save us from ourselves!

  10. astrolabe says:

    I think I observe a North-South gradient in susceptibility to pathological altruism with a contrast, for example, between Sweden, Scotland and Canada on one hand and Italy, Spain and Mexico on the other. I speculate that altruism in times of plenty is selected for in cold climates. It’s reasonable that the cooperation between neighbours that this would foster is more important in places where food gets scarce. Perhaps the great filter is that instincts and automatic reactions honed in harsh times are, like the immune system, maladaptive in the ‘ideal’ conditions that technology produces.

    • Replies: @Anon
  11. George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer

    Aha……OK.

  12. guest says:

    Sexy pink lotuses.

    Imagine your work as an Unknown Indian artist gets recognized generations after your death, but it’s because some chick thinks your flower drawing is sexy.

    By the way, I assume, as is usually the case, botanical gardens need to be more “inclusive” because those darn colored people don’t give a crap about botanical gardens. Which sounds like a non-problem. If it is a problem, maybe they could try marketing to these people without dumping on white people.

    • Replies: @Spangel226
  13. guest says:
    @Anonymous

    The numbers themselves disappoint. But really it’s their attitude.

    Ancient Athens had slaves and foreign guest workers. But Athenians had self-respect and favored their own.

    Edinburgh is in its sorry state because its intellectual elite thinks the same way as everywhere else in the West.

  14. Anonymous[325] • Disclaimer says:
    @Auld Alliance

    What is perplexing about the SNP’s outright Blairism regarding massive third world immigration into Scotland, is that people who actually know Scots living in Scotland will tell you that the Scots are not particularly fond or welcoming of foreigners.

  15. ic1000 says:

    Such ambitions had existed before the murder in May 2020 of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in the United States.

    Such ambitions had existed before the appeal in August 2021 of Lmarcus Davidson, a Black man, to walk free after being convicted of ringleading the murders of a white couple, Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian, in the United States.

    Such ambitions had existed before the murders in July 2016 of Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patricio Zamarripa, four white and one hispanic police officers, by Micah Xavier Johnson, a Black man, in the United States.

    Such ambitions had existed before the murders in 1940 of Izrail Agol, Solomon Levit, Grigorii Levitskii, Georgii Karpechenko and Georgii Nadson, five white scientists, by Trofim Lysenko, a white Progressive, in the Soviet Union.

    And so on.

    Playing with fire.

    • Thanks: Legba
  16. @guest

    The Japanese are great gardeners, and the Japanese are the only possible rival to world’s greatest garden designers that England and France have. Other East Asians are at least pretty good. I take it this is not what we mean by colored people though.

    But I guess Indians count as colored in this case. They don’t count when it comes to pleas about needing more people of color in advanced math classes, but they count for gardening. Last I went to Edinburgh, nearly all of the 8% people of color seemed south Asian, with many being restaurant workers. In truth, Indian food is better than Scottish food. Isn’t that enough? We need Indian volunteer gardeners as well?

  17. The death of drug-addled black worthless reprobate George Floyd has been used as an excsue for just about any stupid thing. Still, Nature magazine is right here, like a stopped clock.

    Face it, we’re not always in the right. The White man’s oppression of the okra, the pumpkins and the marijuana is debatable. However, even the UN agrees, the White Man should be held completely responsible for widespread Fungicide.

  18. For example, plenty of plants have the taxonomic name ‘caffra’, which derives from an Arabic expression that came to be used as an offensive term for Black people in southern Africa.

    It is the Arabic term for infidel. When the Dutch came into contact with Arab slave traders, they were asked “would you like to buy some kaffirs?”. The term entered the language now known as Afrikaans, and then Southern African English.

    “Those names have a terrible connotation,” says Makunga. …

    They do indeed. People are still getting killed for being infidels. Taxonomic names have nothing to do with it.

    “It’s the culture that needs to change, and the whole system that needs to reboot.”

    Europeans were the first to attempt systematic botany and zoology on a global scale, and gave the science away to the entire world while Makunga’s ancestors lived in mud huts. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

    Albert Einstein described the European origin of science thus:

    “Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made those steps. The astonishing thing is that those discoveries were made at all.”

    — Letter to J.S. Switzer, April 23, 1953; Einstein Archive 61-381

    http://www.autodidactproject.org/quote/einstn2.html

  19. @Auld Alliance

    I guess this stuff—structural racism bullsh*t—is just going to wash over the whole world, like a fungus, or, say, a novel coronavirus, until everyone is exposed and either succumbs or overcomes and becomes immune.

    Early signs are that Northern peoples have poor resistance. Commenter astrolabe theorizes this is because of climatic selection or whatever. Maybe he’s right. I don’t know. The real question is can we avert this New Dark Age?

    Is there an inoculant? For the rational (always a minority), there is HBD. For everyone else, there’s … what? I’d like to say, “old fashioned racism”, but of course it is the stamping out of that that is leading to the present collapse.

    “White Identity”? Maybe. If the modern age demands Identity Politics + Equalism, then White Identity is a logical corollary. But the logic-is-racist movement is already preparing to head that off at the pass…

    “Total collapse”/”Let it burn!“? That may be where this all ends up. And that may be preferable to shambling forward under ever greater parasite load until the host is completely devoured, which is the current odds-on bet.

    • Replies: @Curle
  20. usNthem says:

    Man, just when you think western civ can’t sink any lower…

  21. Anon[412] • Disclaimer says:
    @astrolabe

    I think I observe a North-South gradient in susceptibility to pathological altruism with a contrast, for example, between Sweden, Scotland and Canada on one hand and Italy, Spain and Mexico on the other. I speculate that altruism in times of plenty is selected for in cold climates.

    It’s probably that, since most of the coveted “diversity” arrives from the South, countries like Italy and Spain have received more immigrants than Sweden and Canada and the people have found out that the idea of diversity and the reality of diversity are two different beasts and have begun pushing back.

    It’s kind of like how northerners would mock southerners as racist. It’s easier to be an idealist when you don’t have to live with the ideals.

  22. Which is why it is so hard to find Kaffir Lime Leaves anywhere but your local Asian Market.

  23. mc23 says:
    @Redneck farmer

    A battle here & battle there and most of Europe would be speaking Arabic. The Arabs were massive colonizers.

  24. Jack D says:

    If you ever happen to be on the Harvard campus, I recommend you visit the Glass Flowers, formally known as The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants. This unique collection was made by Leopold (1822-1895) and Rudolf Blaschka (1857-1939), a father and son team of Czech glass artists. Over fifty years, from 1886 through 1936, the Blaschkas produced 4,300 glass models that represent 780 plant species. They are spectacular works of craftmanship and artistry, representing the life’s work of not one but two generations of incredibly skilled men:

    https://hmnh.harvard.edu/sites/hwpi.harvard.edu/files/styles/os_slideshow_16%3A9_820/public/hmnh/files/newgf-case_far_wall_0050_1_0.jpg?m=1515603577&itok=IMvw-16d

    Each plant and flower is reproduced in glass in painstaking detail. (The idea was, especially in those days before color photography, that the only way you could permanently record the appearance of a fresh flower was to copy it in glass). Their ability to reproduce not only the color but the texture of soft plants in hard glass with perfect fidelity is almost supernatural.

    Anyway, you crackers, we gots to smash all that sheet because it is racis’. Just the fact that something so beautiful and requiring such consummate skill and unrelenting toil (no naps for the Blaschkas) exists is racis’ and has gots to go because it makes blacks look bad by its very existence.

  25. Arclight says:

    Mass in-migration of people from lesser civilizations to a higher one is a mistake – always. Although some feel gratitude for the privilege of being able to leverage their talents in a better organized society, most will grow resentful as every day their are reminded of the massive gap in achievements of their host society versus their own, and to be fair there is probably a lot of members of the former that will never view the latter as truly one of them as well.

    • Agree: Gordo, AnotherDad
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  26. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:

    Keeping Africans in Africa seems like it would be better for climate change. Once they get to Europe or North America air conditioning becomes a human right that the state has to pay for.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  27. Gordo says:

    Having visited these sites I can confirm that I have never seen a non-White visitor, piss off the visitors and their revenue will take a big hit.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  28. P.T. says:

    A violent, black, drug addict collapses from an overdose while walking, and a White police officer is convicted of murder so that blacks will not loot, commit arson, and riot. That is the current state of our so-called justice system. What a hoax!

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Colin Wright
  29. dearieme says:

    “The Botanics” in Edinburgh is a lovely spot. Enjoy it before the bastards ruin it.

    And don’t let that madman Sailer turn it into a golf course. Edinburgh is already rich in golf courses.

  30. Lurker says:
    @Cutter

    in a time of shrinking budgets, these people need a way to stand out.

    Ironically because there are more and more of these people.

    And more and more Black mushroom experts to fund as well.

    • Replies: @Cutter
  31. “Get Out!” is a good universal message for the Chip on the Shoulder People.

    https://1movieshd.com/movie/free-get-out-hd-19550

  32. Richard B says:
    @Matthew Kelly

    “It’s all so tiresome.”

    Indeed! Great comment!

    Today, such omissions speak volumes about the arrogance of white European explorers who, for most of the institute’s 350-year history, received the plaudits for building its vast collections of living and dried plants and historical botanical documents.

    Such dribble speaks volumes of the psychotic arrogance of Identity Politics scribblers who actually believe their interpretation of history, or of anything, is the ultimate truth. Then again, psychotic arrogance and self-awareness don’t go together.

    The real point is that they don’t even know what history is, or isn’t.
    History is not about events in the past. It can’t be. Past events are inaccessible.
    No. History is about documents (and artifacts) written, read and interpreted in the present.

    We have a general theory of relativity. And you don’t need to be a physicist to understand the fact that, as theories go, t’aint bad. But notice, it’s the general theory of relativity. Not the absolute truth of relativity. In other words, good as it is, it still leaves room for doubt and questioning. Why? Because it grew out of a cultural situation where scientists had already discovered the secret of modern science – the instability of knowledge itself, or, the inherent instability of all theoretical constructs. Hence the explosion of modern science in the 20th century and the immense control it gave human beings, especially those in power, over human and natural resources.

    So, we have a general theory of relativity. What we do not have, and what we desperately need, is a general theory of interpretation*, let alone a general theory of historical interpretation. And there’s a reason we don’t have it.

    A general theory of historical interpretation would depend on a general theory of interpretation. A general theory of interpretation would depend on a theory of meaning. A theory of meaning would depend on a theory of language, and a theory of language would depend upon a theory of mind, and a theory of mind would depend upon a theory of behavior, verbal and nonverbal.

    If we had these theories in reasonably satisfactory condition we could begin to understand the effect the attribute historical has on the term interpretation. But we don’t. Thereby exposing the illegitimate connection between interpretation and truth.

    The reason the public in general and political opposition in particular have been relatively powerless against Identity Politics is because they too operate out of the assumption that ideology = truth, when it’s only another interpretation. In other words, they too are addicted to salvation systems.

    They only way out of this dilemma is to transcend and ultimately abandon final answers in the form of some salvation system. So, instead of power-based ideology, we’d have knowledge-based power.
    To the extent we can not do this, then we are indeed a biologically maladaptive species that is in no position to laugh at the dinosaurs for getting themselves extinct. After all, they lasted a lot longer than we have so far.

    But who are we kidding? The gap between those who say they care about the survival of the human race and those who actually do is very great indeed. Perhaps there are none.

    *There is an obscure book writen long ago with that title; however, unfortunately, it is not a general theory of anything.

  33. @Anonymous

    Absolutely the most dispiriting moment for me during the Third Reconstruction was when the University of Edinburgh, in response to the George Floyd sanctification, deadnamed the campus building David Hume Tower. It is now known only by its street address. Ironically, during Hume’s life, the University of Edinburgh and the conformist bigots of the time disdained Hume for his suspected atheism.

    If you know about the Scottish Enlightenment, if you’ve read Hume (one of the few greatest in the history of philosophy), if you know about his life (beloved by all who met him, gregarious, entertaining); and compare that to the life, conduct, and achievements of George Floyd, you would be sickened too.

    Further, contrast Hume to Rousseau. The benevolent and convivial Hume sheltered in Britain nasty and reclusive Rousseau from persecution on the continent; Rousseau showed his gratitude to Hume by indulging in petty quarrels and eventually public denunciation of Hume. https://www.amazon.com/Philosophers-Quarrel-Rousseau-Limits-Understanding/dp/0300164289 Rousseau’s rectitude can be further evaluated by reference to the fact that he abandoned all five of his infant children to orphanages. But Rousseau has never been deadnamed (perhaps, to provide context, because such conduct was normal for urban middle classes at that time). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Places_named_after_Jean-Jacques_Rousseau

    Hume was a defender of liberty and opponent of slavery. Out of the enormity of his production, the fanatics point to a single footnote of conjecture on race based on comparative civilizational accomplishments (plausible at the time), a private letter to a friend recommending investment in plantations and loaning a sum, and an observation about the stigmatization of middleman minorities. And if Hume were born after 1950, as his critics were, I’m sure these rare and ambiguous transgressions would be absent.

    This writer professes shock! shock! at Hume’s footnote I think to insulate herself from attack, but then provides needed context, as they say. https://intellectualhistory.net/past-meets-present-list/ruch-to-judgement-on-david-hume More context on middleman minority: https://digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2016/07/on-david-hume-and-anti-semitism.html

    In checking my facts for this note, I came across an intriguing philosopher. For who else, The New York Times, she contributed an op-ed arguing that the most salient feature of Western philosophy is fragmentary remarks by a few of its greats that could by ADL standards be construed as antisemitism. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/opinion/philosophy-anti-semitism.html She recommends inclusion of non-Western philosophers such as Maimonides.

    Maimonides had, shall we say, indelicate views about any duty to save the life of a gentile. Of the Turks and the blacks, he wrote that “their nature is like the nature of mute animals, and according to my opinion they are not on the level of human beings.” Oops.

    She’s also published on abortion, feminism, transgenderism, and the like.

    • Thanks: J.Ross
  34. @Arclight

    …and to be fair there is probably a lot of members of the [host society] that will never view the latter as truly one of them as well.

    And to be accurate, too many of those hosts see this as a feature rather than a bug.

  35. @Matthew Kelly

    Now you know how the last of the old pagans must have felt, watching Christian mobs ransack each other’s parishes over subtle diffeerences in Trinitarian doctrine.

    Wokeism is the new religion now that Christianity has left the cognitive and governing elite’s ranks and the American public square.

    Weirdest of all to me, space aliens are apparently part of the new religion.

    • Agree: Matthew Kelly
  36. @J.Ross

    DHS, like the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, was created to be a bureaucratic hybrid wherein the darker national security state operational elements could be housed. The DHS units, using the DOJ fusion centers across the country, have been stitching together a domestic Phoenix Program. DTRA operates domestically and internationally, and its mission centers on WMD. Specifically, DTRA funds bioweapons labs across the globe, and the private sector operators capable of using bioweapons against regime targets.

    • Agree: J.Ross
  37. @Matthew Kelly

    How do these ninnies have the energy to drone on and on endlessly,

    An extra X chromosome?

    You’ll notice the prominent pronoun here is “she”.

    And even the Chinese girls get “tired”–not in the Chinese sweatshops, but the terrible burden of academic employment in Scotland.

    She [Fan] was sceptical that her Edinburgh employer would do any better. So, she was pleased when the RBGE’s Racial Justice Working Group formed. However, after getting involved with the group’s work, she was reminded once more of the emotional burden that disproportionately affects scientists of colour, such as herself, when engaging with efforts to decolonize an institution. Fan began to study the history and power dynamics between China and the United Kingdom. “Researching colonial exploitations towards a race I identify with, while knowing that my workplace was linked to and still benefits from these exploitations, was unsettling,” she says. “It felt very conflicting,” she says — trying to understand the institution’s need for perspectives from people of colour while also resenting the toll that such work takes on them.

    Someone remind me what the supposed upside of this is?

    • Agree: Matthew Kelly
  38. Curle says:

    “Today, such omissions speak volumes about the arrogance of white European explorers”

    At least the editorial is near the top (2d para) so readers are forewarned enough to avoid wasting time reading the article.

  39. @AnotherDad

    Because I missed one line and I didn’t go to the article, I was figuring that Miss Fan was somehow not Chinese before. Now that I see this, I see her ungratefulness and stupidity in all its glory.

    I mean, AD, in case you haven’t been on campus in a while – in the science, engr, or computer department, almost every one of them is pretty much OWNED by Chinese people. The emotional burden is on Miss Fan’s and her cohorts’ undergraduate students who have to try to understand Calculus when taught with a heavy Chinese accent! I would really resent the hell out of that and be very tempted to blow off all related student loans.

    Of course, trying to listen to a Calculus Professor in Scottish is yet another story …

    … or Air Traffic Control, for that matter:

  40. Muggles says:

    “Botanists of colour”

    ?

    So, all of them but albinos?

    The stink from this sort of thing makes my eyes water just reading it.

  41. It seems to me that Linda Nordling and those she praises are opportunistic pathogens. At least you can eat some fungi.

  42. Plant scientists of colour who follow these discussions are encouraged by the advances, but agree that much remains to be done. …

    What, all 17 of them?

    • Replies: @Raki Rakkoon
  43. Altai says:

    She [Fan] was sceptical that her Edinburgh employer would do any better. So, she was pleased when the RBGE’s Racial Justice Working Group formed. However, after getting involved with the group’s work, she was reminded once more of the emotional burden that disproportionately affects scientists of colour, such as herself, when engaging with efforts to decolonize an institution. Fan began to study the history and power dynamics between China and the United Kingdom. “Researching colonial exploitations towards a race I identify with, while knowing that my workplace was linked to and still benefits from these exploitations, was unsettling,” she says. “It felt very conflicting,” she says — trying to understand the institution’s need for perspectives from people of colour while also resenting the toll that such work takes on them.

    I’m confused, why isn’t the magic dirt in Scotland making her sound like a universalist anti-racist Scottish person? Why does she sound like an ethnocentric Chinese person principally concerned about and identifying with China?

    The metaphor of a transplanted invasive plant comes to mind.

  44. J.Ross says:
    @P.T.

    The bonus is when they riot anyway.

  45. @James N. Kennett

    One of that community’s discussions, she says, is whether to rename plants whose scientific names are offensive to Indigenous people. For example, plenty of plants have the taxonomic name ‘caffra’, which derives from an Arabic expression that came to be used as an offensive term for Black people in southern Africa.

    The vast majority of botanical names are derived from either Latin or Greek. How many indigenous people are conversant in Latin?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  46. These neurotic dimwits are great for laughs. Thank you.

  47. @AnotherDad

    Someone remind me what the supposed upside of this is?

    For the civilizational masochist, masochism is its own reward.

  48. Thea says:

    Someone postulated that the accusers in the Salem Witch Trials ( unintentionally) ate grain infested with hallucinogenic fungi.

    Seeing witches everywhere, seeing racists everywhere. It’s all due to a fungus.

  49. @Anon

    Keeping Africans in Africa seems like it would be better for climate change. Once they get to Europe or North America air conditioning becomes a human right that the state has to pay for.

    Not to mention central heating, which uses up several times the fuel that AC does.

  50. Curle says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “I guess this stuff—structural racism bullsh*t—is just going to wash over the whole world, like a fungus, or, say, a novel coronavirus, until everyone is exposed and either succumbs or overcomes and becomes immune.”

    My guess is it won’t wash over Israel.

  51. @Boy the way Glenn Miller played

    The vast majority of botanical names are derived from either Latin or Greek. How many indigenous people are conversant in Latin?

    The sad fact is that Africans are fluent in more languages than are North or South Americans. They have to be. They don’t just learn foreign languages, they learn in foreign languages, which is a quantum leap.

    A related question is, are we studying how the ADL has managed to get reparations not for blacks, but from them? Amazing.

    Every penny Kyrie Irving gives to “anti-hate” hate groups is a penny not given to someone in genuine need. This should be a scandal.

    Kyrie Irving makes incredible donation to Shanquella Robinson’s family after tragic death

  52. @George Taylor

    We need to pay due respect to the inventor of peanut butter, George Washington Carver.

  53. You just make this shit up.

    Admit it.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  54. @P.T.

    ‘violent, black, drug addict collapses from an overdose while walking, and a White police officer is convicted of murder so that blacks will not loot, commit arson, and riot. That is the current state of our so-called justice system. What a hoax!’

    Let’s fix that.

    ‘violent, black, drug addict collapses from an overdose while walking, and a White police officer is convicted of murder so that blacks will not loot, commit arson, and riot. That is the current state of our so-called justice system. What a hoax!

    There you go. It was definitely a feature rather than a bug.

    • Agree: René Fries
  55. @Richard B

    Good comment.

    There is no ultimate referent without Revelation, no logos without Logos.

  56. Such ambitions had existed before the murder in May 2020 of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in the United States. But it was that event and the global movement it sparked that precipitated a step-change in the gardens’ equality, diversity and inclusivity activities.

    It’s hard to fathom someone writing this in a previously prestigious journal like Nature. It’s just painful; robotic, politicized cant, as bad as anything coming out of North Korea. Self-awareness anyone?

    The deliberate scrunching of a capitalized “Black” next to lower case “white,” the lie that George Floyd was “murdered” when he died of an overdose, and then “diversity, equity, and inclusivity” used with no irony. So cringy.

  57. @James N. Kennett

    Europeans were the first to attempt systematic botany and zoology on a global scale

    As I have written elsewhere, this is true not only of botany or zoology but of every single scientific domain: “The massive indifference of some civilizations and their lack of curiosity about other worlds is a vast subject. Why, until very recently, did Islamic scholars show no wish to translate Latin or Western European texts into Arabic? Why, when the English poet Dryden could confidently write a play focused on the succession in Delhi after the death of the Mogul emperor Aurungzebe, is it a safe guess that no Indian writer ever thought of a play about the equally dramatic politics of the English seventeenth-century court? It is clear that an explanation of European inquisitiveness and adventurousness must lie deeper than economics, important though they may have been. It was not just greed which made Europeans feel they could go out and take the world. The love of gain is confined to no particular people or culture. It was shared in the fifteenth century by many an Arab, Gujarati or Chinese merchant. Some Europeans wanted more. They wanted to explore” etc, https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/and-now-for-something-completely-different/?showcomments#comment-5613044

  58. Cutter says:
    @Lurker

    I’m a philistine, so my vague idea of what botanists do is either working for Big Agriculture or Big Tobacco.

  59. @Richard B

    They only way out of this dilemma is to transcend and ultimately abandon final answers in the form of some salvation system.

    Interesting that Confucianism never was interested in “final answers”. Perhaps we could yet learn something from the Chinese…?

  60. @James N. Kennett

    Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: ① the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and ② the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance).

    [I added in the numbering for ease of reference – they’re not in Einstein’s original letter]

    ② was also invented by the Ancient Greeks. Empiricism is counterposed to rationalism[1] in that empiricism sees value in using observations as the basis for knowledge.

    That said: to reliably “find out causal relationships by systematic experiment” requires well-developed statistical method. Nobody had that until well after the Renaissance. Plato, Aristotle and Thucydides all use language which – in modern translation – seems like it’s part of an early understanding of probability, but it’s mostly hand-waving.

    It’s strange that ‘formal’ probability is so recent: after all, there has been a gambling industry for thousands of years – well before “time immemorial” (which is 3rd September 1189, according to 3 Edw. ch. 15 – the [First] Statute of Westminster 1275).

    Maybe more bookies went broke. Given the amount of free money on offer for anyone who understood how to reliably calculate odds, ‘formal’ probability should have emerged earlier.

    [1] The word ‘rationalism’ is a horse of many colours (KEK). Here it’s used in the sense as applied to one of the competing schools of philosophy in Athens: where the practitioner sits and thinks about a thing, and relies on the rigour of the process to get to the correct answer. No need to do tedious stuff like collecting data and analysing it statistically… fuckwits.

  61. Jack D says:
    @Gordo

    Not far from where I live there is a spectacular arboretum called Longwood Gardens, which was created by a member of the DuPont family. I’ve noticed that it’s very popular with South Asian (Indian) families.

  62. @James N. Kennett

    In my opinion one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made those steps.

    Well, the Chinese did discover the precursor to Viagra, or Cialis, or whatever.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  63. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I don’t know anything about Horny Goat Weed and whether it contains any Viagra precursors, but a few years ago there was a case before the FDA regard Chinese Red Yeast Rice capsules. These were being sold by the Chinese as an herbal remedy having cholesterol reducing properties.

    The problem (from the drug companies POV) is that red yeast rice really DOES have cholesterol reducing properties – it contains a natural statin. In fact, the drug companies were buying red yeast rice from China in order to extract the statins from them which they could sell in purified form as high $ prescription medicine. (A surprising # of drugs or their precursors are not synthesized from scratch in laboratories but are extracted from natural substances). How dare the Chinese cut out the middleman and sell you a bottle of statin bearing red yeast rice for a couple of $.

    In the Catch-22 world of “herbal remedies” vs. drugs that are regulated by the FDA, you can sell anything as an herbal remedy SO LONG AS IT DOESN’T WORK. If it actually works (contains a drug) then it’s regulated by the FDA and you can’t sell it unless you go thru the multimillion $ FDA approval process. So the solution was that the Chinese could keep selling red yeast rice but only if it was purified or made in such a way that it didn’t contain any statins and therefore no longer works.

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