Temptations

In my office, I have a huge jar of chocolate-covered raisins. I like to treat students when I’m in a sociable mood.

“God, how do you manage to resist the temptation?” a colleague asks.

But I barely even notice the jar. If it were a jar of pickles or salami slices, yeah, I’d go nuts on it. It would be embarrassing to watch what I’d do to it. But sweets I tend to forget about.

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Twice As Hard

Anyone who does not believe that female academics have to work twice as hard to advance either is not a female academic, is not partnered with a female academic, or is not paying attention.

This is probably true in fields such as engineering, architecture or physics, but in my field, the statement is utterly ridiculous. Forty years ago, absolutely. Today? Don’t make me laugh.

There are no battles conducted along gender lines in my field.

What the People Want

In each of the last three off-year elections — 2006, 2010 and 2014 — voters have flipped control of one or both houses of Congress away from the incumbent president’s party.

And they will do it again in 6 weeks.

What can this possibly mean but that voters subconsciously don’t want the national government to work? It’s obvious that with a president and a congress working at cross-purposes, there will be one stalemate after another. Yet voters keep engineering this situation time and again.

The main reason why the nation-state model is doomed is that people themselves want it gone. They want “the exhilaration of fluidity” (as Jim McGuigan says) even though it comes with a set of enormous risks.

We have to look at the evidence, folks. If you have a different way of interpreting this information, let me know. But I’m not seeing any other explanation.

Leland Doesn’t Remember

I wasn’t at any party 40 or 30 years ago for obvious reasons. I wasn’t even at any 20 years ago.

But 10 years ago I was. And I don’t have the slightest idea of who was where doing what at those parties. It would be bizarre if I did. And parties where alcohol is involved? People are lucky if they remember their own names.

And what can the question even be? “You were once at a party nobody knows for sure when or where. Can you tell us what people did when you weren’t present?”

All of this confirms my belief that Blasey Ford is not lying about the assault. She clearly has an irrationally exaggerated view of the importance of that party. She doesn’t seem to understand that for everybody else it was one in a gazillion parties that they don’t remember.

The Death of Christianity

There is a long and comprehensive article on the Catholic Church scandal in Der Spiegel.

Obviously, Pope Francis and his band of merry abusers didn’t create the crisis. The ideology of consumerism is (see Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Love). But their cynicism is definitely not helping.