Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

If you really do want to go to college, work for 6-7 years, and save like mad. If you get a decent, hard cert and start a “real” IT job at 21, you should be able to save something like $70,000 by the time you are 26. Then go to college all you like.” The only problem with this suggestion is that employers are increasingly reluctant to hire even receptionists with nothing but a high school diploma. I also thought that was unfair until I had to deal with a completely dense and uneducated receptionist last week.

It turns out I’m not the only person who dresses up to work at home.

A history of arcades and a history of blaming criminal behavior on games. A really great article, folks.

An example of a really horrible, annoyingly weepy teaching statement. Teaching statements are usually a huge waste of time, so my personal advice is: be as concise and functional as you can. At our department, we just skim them looking for the word “communicative.” If the word is there, the applicant advances to the next stage. If not, the applicant is kicked out of the context.

Is there a better way to let the world know you suffer from a severe erectile dysfunction than this?

There are atheists, and then there are brainless atheists. I find them as idiotic as religious fanatics because they have the same tendency to screech stupidly in a fit of a narcissistic rage.

All really brilliant people (like me and this blogger, for instance) hated school and loved college. Although we experienced them in different countries. I’m sure there is an explanation.

The problematic nature of the “pregnancy is not a disease” mantra. I agree with this blogger and I have to add that “pregnancy is the most natural thing in the world” bugs me to no end. Humanity abandoned all pretense at doing what nature intended with our bodies such a long time ago that insisting there is anything natural left is highly stupid. In terms of pregnancy, nature intended that a woman would start getting pregnant every year from the time of the menarchy and die in childbirth by the age of 25 when she would already be a total physical wreck. I don’t think you know anybody who lives this way, do you? It’s also curious how nobody is proposing to treat our teeth as nature intended (i.e. let them rot and fall out by adulthood.)

If wedding preparation is the time an adult woman is allowed to indulge, then perhaps her engagement marks the beginning of a phase of socially acceptable material-driven self-centeredness.” Is that the reason so many women obsess over the stupid wedding ceremony? Is it because they don’t feel they are entitled to be the center of the universe throughout their entire lives? Poor idiots.

And speaking of marriage-then-babies: I have yet to come across a married couple where the baby has only the woman’s name.” I’m certainly not a baby but I used to be one. My sister, too. We have our mother’s name, and our parents have been married for 37 years. And I can bet you anything that you do not have a better or a closer relationship with your father than I do with mine.

Toilet paper and pathos.

I made his salad yesterday and it was very good. (Radishes, cucumbers, apples).

A religious fanatic was screeching about Christianity while sexually abusing her own daughter. Why am I not surprised?

A good post on women’s bodies as public property. I would like to add to the blogger’s list 1) the endless advice that pregnant women get from strangers as if it were other people’s duty and right to manage the pregnant women’s bodies, and 2) people always trying to touch pregnant women’s bellies. Ask any pregnant woman and she will tell you how weird it was to feel that being pregnant somehow demolished the personal boundaries and put her body into public circulation and use.

Don’t let university libraries die because if you do, this will happen: “At my university we have not bought books for about fifteen years and we do not have access to very many journals. They have fired the bibliographic instruction librarian, too. People are taught not to look at the MLA or other very comprehensive bibliographies because we do not have most of what is in them.” This is just horrifying.

University of Toronto seems to believe that freedom of speech consists in inviting insane people to blab incoherently on campus.

Talented people can make even a post on pubic lice fascinating.

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48 comments on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. “nature intended that a woman would start getting pregnant every year from the time of the menarchy and die in childbirth by the age of 25 when she would already be a total physical wreck”

    If I remember my human ethology (and too busy to look it up right now) a womens’ fertility tends to be hindered by a nursing child and women in foraging societies average a child every three or so years. A woman who nursed her babies and got pregnant every year would be an outlier.

    The point is taken that human pregnancy and childbirth is much more traumatic than in many species (due to massive head issues). It could be worse though…. just hink of the poor hyenas (hurts even thinking about it and I’m male).

    • Cliff Arroyo is basically correct about this. Breastfeeding releases hormones, which block ovulation. (In other words, it works the exact same way as the pill). In nomadic hunter-gatherer societies, it is rare for women to have more than one child every three to four years. Besides LAM, the other reasons are sometimes periodic semi-starvation due to intermittent nutrition, and the fact that children would have to be able to walk to be able to keep up with a mobile group. If there were too many children born to close together, no one would be able to carry them all.

      • “Cliff Arroyo is basically correct about this. Breastfeeding releases hormones, which block ovulation.”

        - Come on, folks, this is an old husbands’ tale. Just ask any gynecologist. Or any woman who believed this stuff and then ended up with an unwanted pregnancy. It is ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY UNTRUE.

        Let’s not use my blog to spread this dangerous mythology.

      • Planned Parenthood says the following:

        “While a woman is continuously breastfeeding, her body does not make a hormone that is necessary for ovulation — the release of an egg from an ovary. Pregnancy cannot happen if an egg is not released.”

        It pretty much backs up everything we’ve said about breastfeeding being a method of birth control.

      • ““While a woman is continuously breastfeeding, her body does not make a hormone that is necessary for ovulation — the release of an egg from an ovary. Pregnancy cannot happen if an egg is not released.”

        It pretty much backs up everything we’ve said about breastfeeding being a method of birth control.”

        - I don’t know what motivates them to perpetuate this lie but that’s exactly what they are doing. This is not true. I’m not very surprised, though, since Americans seem to be less educated about human sexuality than anybody else in the developed world.

        Once again: this is a very dangerous myth. Every woman needs to get on birth control immediately after giving birth if she wants to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

      • Oh, I know why they are lying! It’s part of the insane pro-breast-feeding propaganda that ails so much of this country.

        Mystery solved. The word “continuously” was the key to solving it.

        These jerkwads have no shame in their disgusting dedication to keeping women out of the workplace for good. I’m completely incensed.

      • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the exact sorts of people you said to ask) backs up what PP and I said.

        And from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada:

        The lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) of contraception is highly effective as a temporary postpartum method in a variety of cultures, health-care settings, socio-economic strata, and in both industrial and developing country locales. The method is based on the physiological infertility of breastfeeding women caused by hormonal suppression of ovulation.

        In other words, the evidence is quite overwhelming. LAM is indeed an effective (if done correctly) method of contraception for the first six months postpartum.

      • I have to insist that these egregious and dangerous lies stop being perpetuated on my blog. For you as a man, this is a discussion point. For women, this is an enormous risk.

        Breast-feeding DOES NOT prevent conception, no matter what lactation freakazoids say about it.

        I’m also quite shocked by the degree of insensitivity in a thread where I shared that I personally know women who suffered because of these lies. Their experience is dismissed because a bunch of fanatical creepos posted something somewhere. When will we stop allowing religious fanaticism to drown out the voices of women who suffer as a result of their vicious propaganda?

      • Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada – if you actually spent any time in contact with this organization, you’d know that a more woman-hating bunch of losers is hard to find. Canadian obstetrics has zero respect for women. Zero.

    • “If I remember my human ethology (and too busy to look it up right now) a womens’ fertility tends to be hindered by a nursing child ”

      - This is a myth. :-) I alone know at least 4 babies who appeared in this world because their mothers believed – for some weird reason – that breast-feeding is a method of birth control. A friend who is a highly educated, ultra intelligent woman is in her 7th month of pregnancy right now because of this myth.

      It is about as widely spread as the belief that coitus interruptus is a good method of birth control.

      • Here are two threads with a number of women talking about how breastfeeding wasn’t reliable birth control for them (there are a few who report it was, at least for themselves, but for the most part it isn’t – there’s a good deal of individual variability):

        http://www.cafemom.com/group/babies/forums/read/17400178/Does_breastfeeding_prevent_pregnancy

        http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-to-circle-of-moms/has-anyone-gotten-pregnant-while-strictly-breastfeeding-480356

        Even in the link that Rob F provided on “natural family planning” there are a number of women who don’t meet the criteria and for whom such planning is unsuitable for various reasons. Furthermore, for women who meet all the criteria the only way to increase its reliability as a form of birth control is to go on a strict breast-feeding schedule (don’t let the kid go more than 4 hours or 6 hours in between feedings, feed on demand, etc.) – so that a woman’s whole schedule revolves around it, and she needs to be concerned about timing everything properly; even then it’s still not as reliable as some would have you think.

      • Notice I wrote fertility “tends to be hindered” not “absolutely shuts down” and I mentioned correlation and carefully did not equate this with causation.

        Counting on breastfeeding alone to prevent post-partum pregnancy is probably not a wise idea.
        My point was that human fertility is not devised so that a woman will get pregnant once a year (a condition not really found among foragers) and in a pre-industrial environment a variety of factors (including breastfeeding) seem to correlate with annual pregnancies not happening.

  2. I am annoyed by these weepy teaching statements too. In our department, we usually scan the teaching statements to see what classes the candidate would like to teach or would be able to teach, and if these classes fit in with the teaching requirements of the department.

    And that salad looks absolutely yummy!

  3. YES! I totally overlooked the pregnancy thing in my list, which I have also heard and written about. And also people trying to tell women to (or not to) breastfeed…no matter which side they take, someone thinks they’re wrong.

    • And also people offering unsolicited and VERY insistent opinions on the issue of the delivery method a woman chooses. It is as if everybody suddenly became a greater expert on a woman’s pregnancy than she is or her doctor is.

  4. Thanks for the link!

    I also shared a recipe for gouda mac and cheese. While it sort of fails on the sustainability front (both for using mammal meat and dairy as well as for being more expensive than I can cook on a regular basis), it is full of win on the taste front.

    • I’ve never seen this idiot but I know that he said, “”Women’s liberation and the male midlife crisis were the same search–for personal fulfillment, common values, mutual respect, love. But while women’s liberation was thought of as promoting identity, the male midlife crisis was thought of as an identity crisis.” This is a statement of a person so stupid that I suspect he suffers from anacephaly.

      • Well, yeah, clearly he is projecting. Read my subsequent comment (replying to myself).

        I think the majority of men find it very difficult to put themselves in women’s shoes; to imagine what it might be like without power, self-determination, etc.

    • Unfortunately, though, you give an even partial hearing to these men’s right’s dudes and they will eat you for breakfast. I have found before that when what people are really fighting for is self esteem, there is nothing you can do or say to appease them. I think that is the substance of what the men’s rights entities are fighting for. They don’t need to contend for material wealth or power, but they don’t know how to get self esteem. Problem.

      • There are all whiny babies, that’s all. Never do anything, achieve anything, just whine.

        In the US, there is a hugely important issue that men could fight for and if they did fight for it, they would achieve it. That issue is paternal leave which in this country does not exist. However, these MRA clowns do nothing to advance this issue. Instead, they whine impotently and stupidly about their fathers’ rights being taken away by evil feminists. Yeah, blame the Big Mommy figure instead of growing the fuck up already and doing something about your issues.

        The only purpose in the entire MRA movement is that of blaming every single problem in their useless lives on the bugbear of feminism.

      • Yes, they don’t have an analysis that is for sure. But I think it’s not just blaming mommy but trying to get mommy back. They tend to bleat, “So what are you [a woman] doing to fight for our rights? Why aren’t you out protesting?” They have no shame.

      • “They tend to bleat, “So what are you [a woman] doing to fight for our rights? Why aren’t you out protesting?” They have no shame.”

        - Very true. A group of 50 3-year-olds cannot produce as much whining as one middle-aged MRA.

      • Well, as your Farrell quote pointed out, it must be their mid-life crisis.

        I have a theory that one only really experiences a midlife crisis if one has not been living authentically. For instance, if you have been living according to an ideology that has promised obeying its rules will ultimately bear fruit, you might suddenly feel let down in mid-life when this doesn’t happen. That’s it not the fault of feminism, though, which (as Farrell’s quote also points out) allows women to actually make an authentic identity for themselves. The unmaking of men comes about because they have bought into all sorts of nonsense in the first place. “Stop allowing your life to be determined from the outside and instead develop an inner life of your own,” should be the advice given to whining males. Above all, stop trying to steal feminism’s inner light. If it’s not your own light, you’re just going to make everything so much worse for yourselves. Growing up means learning how to establish an identity on one’s own terms. Oprah cannot do it for you. Smashing feminism can’t do it for you. Sometimes it takes baby steps.

      • “I have a theory that one only really experiences a midlife crisis if one has not been living authentically. For instance, if you have been living according to an ideology that has promised obeying its rules will ultimately bear fruit, you might suddenly feel let down in mid-life when this doesn’t happen.”

        - HA!!! This is MY theory. :-) :-) A mid-life crisis is a realization that your life is miserable because you have been organizing it to fulfill somebody else’s vision of what a good life should be like. The less authentic one’s life is, the greater is the horror of the realization that time is flying by and one is not living the way one would like to.

        ” “Stop allowing your life to be determined from the outside and instead develop an inner life of your own,” should be the advice given to whining males. Above all, stop trying to steal feminism’s inner light. If it’s not your own light, you’re just going to make everything so much worse for yourselves. Growing up means learning how to establish an identity on one’s own terms. Oprah cannot do it for you. Smashing feminism can’t do it for you.”

        - There is nothing to add.

  5. Thanks for the link!
    Concerning the history of American arcades, something that the author didn’t really touch on is that arcades are apparently not dead in Japan:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19447_6-arcade-games-too-awesome-to-get-released-in-west.html

    Given that arcades can still provide a unique gaming experience which can’t really be replicated at home, I don’t see why everyone is so absolutely pessimistic about the future of the industry. I fail to see why such innovations wouldn’t prove popular if they could be released to the American market.

  6. What on earth is a “teaching statement” and who on earth would take such a thing seriously?

    My “teaching statement”:

    I need to make money that I can exchange for goods and services so that I don’t end up living under a bridge and/or starving to death. Teaching adults is one of the less disagreeable ways for me to do that. A teacher of adults (by which I mean anyone who has finished high school) is not a guardian or pseudo-parent or best buddy to their students though of course courtesy and concern for their well-being is necessary. Now I’ll use the word ‘communicative’ so that I make it to the next round of this misbegotten reality show.

    Most students want to be challenged with work that is difficult and stimulating. Nonetheless, they may need a good deal of prodding to get started, keep going and finish. This is because most people are fundamentally lazy. Luckily I am a fundamentally lazy learner too (even when I’m very interested in the subject). This helped me realize that complex ideas need to be broken down into smaller chunks and those smaller chunks need to be repeated in lots of different ways (not repeated the same way again and again) for students to learn something they will remember five minutes after the test.

    My primary goal is to help make students independent of me (or any other particular teacher). Everything I do in class is meant to directly or indirectly help them do that.

    • I love this teaching statement. :-) I wish I got one like that from a job candidate. It would make such a welcome change from the endless weepy, “I nurse and baby the students through every second of class because the fragile creatures will have their tender sensibilities hurt if I don’t.”

      “Communicative: in the context of foreign language teaching simply means that the instructor doesn’t spend the entire class lecturing on HOW to speak a language but realizes that in order to learn to speak, the students need to get a chance to speak. Hopefully, as much as possible.

  7. // Is that the reason so many women obsess over the stupid wedding ceremony?

    Yes. One of the biggest reasons, imo.

    // Is it because they don’t feel they are entitled to be the center of the universe throughout their entire lives? Poor idiots.

    Aren’t you supposed to be the center of your life (in a specific way I find hard to explain)? Are you against feeling “entitled to…” or no?

    • I think nobody should wait forgave wedding to have a good time and be the center of attention. Such women seem to need a man to “make them real “, validate their existence as worthy of enjoyment. This is why I call them idiots.

    • “Aren’t you supposed to be the center of your life”

      Of course, every person is supposed be the center of their life. A few miserable souls want to be the center of everybody else’s lives (or at least the center of attention) for as much as possible. I find the whole culture of bride-centric engagements and weddings to be really off putting and alienating and cannot identify with people who can tolerate them. It’s like the opposite of ‘empowerment’.

      • ” I find the whole culture of bride-centric engagements and weddings to be really off putting and alienating and cannot identify with people who can tolerate them. It’s like the opposite of ‘empowerment’.”

        - I agree. Bleh. I strongly believe that the more expensive and huge the wedding, the weaker is the relationship it is supposed to cement. Strong relationships don’t need the pomp to make the occasion special because for people who love each other every day together is a celebration.

        I managed to avoid all this when I got married but it’s harder to avoid other people’s wedding obsessions.

  8. I read this now and thought you would like it:
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=300413

    The soft bigotry of low expectations

    It’s time for soft bigotry and double standards to disappear, in the Middle East and everywhere.

    bigotry displays itself regularly in the reportage over the “Arab Spring,” Syria’s casualty count, the massacres in Mali, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian triangle.

    The shocking aspect of the reportage in question is its racist bigotry against Arabs – who are depicted unconsciously but inferentially, by the major news outlets, as being incapable of measuring up to the high expectations of international morality.

    THE RELUCTANCE to expose and condemn unequivocally the savage murder of Arab innocents victimized by Arab governments is not the only anomaly in the Middle East. Another is the invidious double standard of the indecent and unreasonable rush to judgment practiced by too much of the western media when Israel is required to defend itself against rockets from Gaza and terrorism within Israel.

    A particularly painful example of the double standard occurred in the first moments of Israel’s recent battle against Gazan rockets, when one of its drones took out the leading architect of Hamas’s terrorist planning against Israel. The response was a salvo of criticism from Arab sources (expected), but almost equal measures of condemnation from western sources, as if the life of a terrorist was inviolate.

    Yet American drones have been actively pursuing terrorists and their enclaves in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan for the past decade, including as recently as December 2012. The American press, while ready to dump on Israel for this brand of warfare, has been remarkably mute on drone strikes.

    News organizations in the West, with rare exception, have devoted concentrated, one might say obsessive, attention to the loss of life resulting from Israel’s two incursions into Gaza in the past decade, while granting only a nodding recognition to the human disaster in Syria and other parts of the Levant.

    It’s time for soft bigotry and double standards to disappear, in the Middle East and everywhere.

    The author is a distinguished emeritus professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

    • “The shocking aspect of the reportage in question is its racist bigotry against Arabs – who are depicted unconsciously but inferentially, by the major news outlets, as being incapable of measuring up to the high expectations of international morality.”

      - I have no idea what “high expectations of international morality” are supposed to mean.

      “News organizations in the West, with rare exception, have devoted concentrated, one might say obsessive, attention to the loss of life resulting from Israel’s two incursions into Gaza in the past decade, while granting only a nodding recognition to the human disaster in Syria and other parts of the Levant.”

      - This part is true. But it isn’t a double standard (other countries do a lot worse and nobody cares) it’s the desire to promote a convenient narrative by excising uncomfortable realities. See my post on Timoshenko yesterday.

      • // – I have no idea what “high expectations of international morality” are supposed to mean.

        It’s similar to what you said before, that US people expect less of Fatima than of Clarissa (whether you live in US or abroad). Be it about burqa or “international morality”, aka “not committing war crimes”.

      • Yes, but nobody seems to have any expectations form the US. Or Russia. Israel, probably, but then the article’s author should have just said that without hiding behind the vagueness of “international morality.”

  9. About elections results in Israel:

    Likud-Beytenu received 31 seats and Netanyahu will remain the prime minister. Nowadays in the political arena I see only him as being experienced enough for this role, even if I don’t totally agree with him on all things.

    Newspaper coverage in Israel and abroad may be misleading, when it claims:
    “With 99.8% of votes tallied, Right and Left blocs tie with 60 seats each; voter turnout 66.6%”

    Misleading since they put the 2nd biggest party “Yesh Atid” (“There is future”) with 19 seats in the Left bloc. This is a new party with Yair Lapid, a former famous journalist (with zero political experience), as its’ head. In practice, it is Center – Right leaning party, with half Lapid’s voters defining themselves as Right. Lapid won voters from all sides by talking about economic situation, “ending the exemption from the military draft for the ultra-Orthodox”, reforming Israeli political system and leaving not socioeconomic themes on the side for the most part. Lapid will gladly join Natanyahu’s government, and definitely doesn’t see himself being close to the Left.

    There is something ironic in the second in size party being led by somebody, whom most people wouldn’t want to see Prime Minister.

    So far, new parties without a stable voter base, like “Yesh Atid”, disappear after 1-2 terms, and I won’t be surprised, if Lapid’s party will suffer the same fate. Many young people wanted “something new”, and only in the last 2-3 days before voting “Yesh Atid” dramatically gained strength. Even though the world economic crisis hurt Israel less than many Europe countries, after elections there is no solution but to raise taxes, and voters reacted to that.

    I predict a coalition of Likud-Beytenu, Yesh Atid and religious Right parties. The only question is which of the last those will be. Definitely religious, Right “Jewish Home party” led by Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Naftali Bennett, and I think “Shas”, the Haredi party and traditional partner of Likud, will be in government too, despite Lapid.

    Would you like to post about Israeli elections? May be other will be interested in the discussion too.

    • In short, the election results are politically Right [*] (no belief in ability to reach agreement with Palestinians) AND with desire to economically care for the middle class, which serves in IDF, pays taxes and sees rising housing prices.

      [*] Even people, who are for peace talks, are often for them not because they believe there can be any results, but because of international community’s demands. Personally I am not for giving without any real guarantee from the other side they’ll follow agreements, and everything only pointing to more bombs and worse for Israel situation the more we give.

  10. NEW YORK, March 25 (JTA) — French Jews have grown so disgusted with anti-Semitism that more than one quarter of them are considering emigrating.

    That’s according to a new survey of the 500,000-member French Jewish community, the second largest in the diaspora.

    Most French Jews blame Islamic fundamentalism for the rise in anti-Semitism.

    Overall, 78 percent of French Jews blame radical Muslim youth in France for spreading anti-Semitism, while 76 percent also blame Israeli policy toward the Palestinians for hardening French government policy and contributing to anti-Semitism. Sixty percent also point to the French themselves as culprits.

    http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=41975

    The French have grown more likely to believe that Jews hold too much power in business or world finance, as well as other “classical anti-Semitic notions,” according to a new survey from the Anti-Defamation League that compares attitudes in 2009 and 2012.

    The poll, released Tuesday, found nearly half of the French people surveyed said they think it is “probably true” that Jews there are more loyal to Israel than France, an increase from years past. Asked if Jews “still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” more than a third of the respondents agreed.

    The new survey covered not only France but nine other countries across Europe. Nearly one third of the Europeans surveyed held “pernicious anti-Semitic beliefs,” the Anti-Defamation League said. Five thousand telephone interviews were conducted across Europe for the poll, 500 in each country surveyed.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/03/france-jewish-school-shootings-anti-semitism-poll.html

      • Yet readers on this blog told me how anti-Semitism is practically the thing of the past, how safe it’s for Jews anywhere but in Israel (wonder how long it will last) and so on. I linked this to throw some doubt on these beliefs.

        // What can I say if I heard this among members of my own family?

        Before living in Israel I would be silent, now I think I would directly tell them it’s anti-Semitic statement. Jews didn’t volunteer to play the role of the boy for beating for all seeking excuses people.

      • There is much shorter road from “favorite excuse” to pogroms than many would like to believe. Even in modern, “enlightened” world.

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