Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

On expressing one’s opinion son one’s own blog: “It doesn’t affect my ability to do anything. It’s just an opinion. Not a personal attack on anyone. An opinion. The only thing it could possibly affect is other people’s opinions of me. Other people may read about my opinions and take them personally. They may assume that I don’t like them–personally. They may assume that I’m a callous person. But these are their problems, not mine. If they’ve never learned not to make assumptions about others, I’m not taking responsibility for that. And I’m not going to stop writing, or “tone it down,” for the sake of someone else’s comfort.” Yes, yes, and once again, yes.

Wikipedia’s gender gap.

Many people enjoy dumping on Ayn Rand’s praise of selfishness. What they forget, however, is how many folks are robbed of having any sort of a worthwhile existence precisely because they have been browbeaten into a fer of selfishness: “According to conservative evangelicalism, thinking of your own needs is “selfish.” You’re supposed to spend your life sacrificing for others and ignoring your own needs. It’s selfish to want out of a failed marriage, selfish for a woman to want a career, selfishfor a couple to choose not to have children.” I say, let’t all concentrate on our own happiness and forget the idiots who want to rob us of agency by guilt-tripping us into servicing them with our lives.

I know we are all sick and tired to death of hearing about Arizona’s flurry of woman-hating legislative endeavors. There is one, however, that I just found about from a blog of a teacher from Arizona who resents the state’s meddling into her discussions with her students. Libertarians, hello? How come there is never a single peep out of you when the government intrudes into anything other than your right not to pay taxes and to abuse your children as you see fit? Huh?

UK’s David Cameron is getting criticized for the following suggestions  he made for school reform: “Pupils, he said, should “stand up when their teacher walks in the room”. He then catalogued – in a characteristically verbless paragraph – other attributes every school should acquire: “Real discipline. Rigorous standards. Hard subjects. Sports where children can learn what it is to succeed and fail.“” Other than the sports which, in my opinion, should be substituted by unsupervised running and playing outside, I don’t see what’s so wrong with this plan. We always used to get up when the teacher came into the classroom. The practice is useful and pedagogically sound. I think Cameron is onto something here.

You’ve really got to be a vile, vile jerk to dismiss men’s postpartum depression as non-existent or insignificant. I’ve had close friends of mine – both male and female – suffer from postpartum depression which is why it angers me more than I can tell you to see some poor excuse for a journalist dismiss their suffering because she can’t get over a bunch of ridiculous, offensive stereotypes.

It must be the spring avitaminosis that brings every wackadoo out into the open: “Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese compared anti-smoking signs in Monongalia County to a key part of the Holocaust, which killed millions of Jews. . .  “In Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke-free environment,” Raese said. “This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. OK? “Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that?” Raese said. “Same thing.””

In Story of Burqa: Case of a Confused Afghan, Brishkay Ahmed, an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker travels to Afghanistan with the purpose of unraveling the history of the garment and gauge the opinions of those in the country. . . No matter the real history, the stories generally point to the same end. Ahmed observes that the burqa has long been used to the benefit of those in power, and women consistently emerge as the losing party.”

Introvert’s definition of work: Being pestered every five minutes about something trivial, and not allowed to concentrate.” This is precisely why I refer to sitting in my office and eating pumpkin seeds as grueling work and to doing my research at home as a holiday.

And the post of the week: why proselytism is wrong.


7 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion”

  1. Wow, two links in one week! Thanks. 🙂

    Re: the Ayn Rand thing, I feel like it’s an issue of overcompensation. Yes, most traditional instructions for women on how to live emphasize selflessness entirely too much. Rand, I think, is on the opposite end of the spectrum and emphasizes selfishness entirely too much. A healthy approach to life is probably somewhere in the middle, where you’re willing to compromise some things for some people, rather than all things for all people, or no things for no people.


  2. Severe post-natal depression has a marked physiologic component due to the massive shift in hormone levels. There is nothing comparable in men. While men can be depressed after birth, that depression is not “post-natal depression” proper, but is a result of life changes (“reactive” depression). Of course women also have “reactive” depression in the post-natal period. Without details of onset, prior episodes, etc, it can be difficult to distinguish between mild hormonally related post-natal depression and reactive depression.


  3. In my immediate circle, Cameron’s suggestion is getting the eye roll treatment for several reasons. One, it smacks of fiddling while rome burns. Two, more importantly, his government has embarked on an extremely controversial policy of setting up ‘free’ schools, which are basically selective schools, tax payer funded, but with no effective government control or regulation, so his opinion is moot. And three, there is a certain amount of knee jerk reaction there – but if you read the rest of the proposals, he wants schools to adopt the private school policies that he personally is familiar with because they are the best, uniforms, games, ‘Great Britain’, stiff upper lip, discipline, blah blah blah, without examining what really makes private school outcomes better – namely, money, resources, time and equipment. Oh, and their intake of kids are in a better to place to learn to start with. So yes, there’s a certain amount of chaff flying about Cameron being a posh privileged wanker – IMO he is.

    Now, my personal take is the above, but also that standing for teachers probably has it’s place in some schools, but frankly, that should be up to the school to decide. Possibly even the individual teacher. However, the PM getting involved in a debate over it is just nitty gritty micro managing piffle. As a basis for a national educational policy, it sucks. I personally think he’s desperate for distractions from the Leveson inquiry.


  4. ~ a week ago was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel and the most moving were words from Donia Rosen’s diary (she was 12 when she hid in the forest after her family was murdered. Donia survived and immigrated to Israel) :

    “Words fail me, but I must write, I must. I ask you not to forget the deceased. I beg and implore you to avenge our blood, to take vengeance upon the ruthless criminals whose cruel hand has deprived us of our very lives. I ask you to build a memorial in our names, a monument reaching up to the heavens, that the entire world might see. Not a monument of marble or stone, but one of good deeds, for I believe with full and perfect faith that only such a monument can promise you and your children a better future.”

    Today in the evening starts Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day. And tomorrow in the evening, immedately afterwards, will begin Yom Ha’atzmaut the 64th, Independence Day. Just wanted to share.


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