Wednesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Due to my massive traveling, the Link Encyclopedia is late. And quite short thanks to people who make it impossible to scroll down one’s Google Reader feed by clogging it with endless pictures of their ugly cats. Still, here it is:

I’m very much afraid that the following is, indeed, will be the future of Greece: “The lesson, not just for Greece, but for every democratic nation, from this debacle, is that democracy is severely constrained in a globalized world. If an electorate votes inconsistently – as it appears will be the Greek outcome – the inconsistency will not survive. Anti-austerity for Greece implies the return of the drachma. It also implies economic turmoil and ultimately – in my judgment -the replacement of democracy in Greece by military rule.” I also find the idea of the limits that the globalization places on democracy to be very interesting. For smaller, less powerful countries, this definitely seems to be the truth.

Autism and oral exams.

I always wondered where the following way of responding to people’s concerns comes from: “Women are trained and expected to be ‘nice.’  Especially with their friends.  If a friend says, ‘I think I blew that audition because I didn’t have time to prepare,’ the ‘proper’ female friend response will be ‘oh, no, I’m sure you did fine…”  We are Nice.  Reassuring.  This we call, “being supportive.”” Words can’t describe how this attitude bugs me. The last thing you want to hear when you share that you have messed up is this kind of careless dismissal. It always makes me feel completely diminished and brushed aside with my puny little concerns. I don’t think it’s a gender issue, though. In my life, there are 2 men and 1 woman who routinely drive me up a tree with this kind of a response. What do you think?

Why are there so few women in physics? An insightful analysis by a woman who is a physicist.

A very good post in RUSSIAN from a woman who remembers Stalin very well and explains how Putin is obviously trying to imitate Stalin. A very interesting post.  If you do not read in Russian, maybe you can translate it with an online translator.

Writing with beans. A very creative post on academic writing by a talented academic.

I completely agree with this blogger’s ideas on what should be done to prevent “casino banking” from undermining the entire economy of the country.

Why introducing the voucher system for public colleges is a horrible idea.

This is something you should never say when applying for an academic position. Immaturity is not all that attractive in a professor.

A really great post on the wrong questions mothers ask each other and themselves.

And the title of the worst piece of the month goes to the following: “Women are nicer than men. There are exceptions. Most people of both sexes are probably fairly nice, given the nature of their upbringing and opportunities. But in terms of their lifelong natures, women are kinder, more empathetic, more generous. And the sooner more of them take positions of power, the better our chances as a species.” Now let me go and vomit for a while. Notice the insidiousness of this particular brand of sexism. This is precisely the kind of sexism I have always experienced: as a woman, you are supposed to be so much better, nicer and kinder than a man. And if you allow yourself to stop being generous, giving and empathetic at any point, then you have failed as a woman. You are nullified as a female because you cannot uphold this fake standard of self-sacrificial perfection. OK, I need to go vomit some more.

Plus, to compensate for the shortness of the link encyclopedia, here is a random observation: I have encountered half a dozen posts in my feed that make the earth-shattering revelation that Obama’s recent statement of support for the gay marriage is nothing but a ploy to attract more votes. Obama couldn’t care less for gay marriage, these bloggers say. He is just trying to milk the current growing public support for gay rights in this country. What such bloggers don’t seem to get is that this is precisely what a good democratic leader should be doing. He should keep his own convictions, beliefs, principles, religion and prejudices to himself and express the ideas of the people who voted for him. He is our hired manager, and it is his sworn duty to act as such. If the majority of people who voted for him support gay rights, so should he. What Obama believes as a human being is of absolutely no interest to me. All I care about is how faithfully he represents the wishes of the people who voted for him. The Democrat Presidents are not very good at that, normally.

Black Ops.Thinking of Jesus: A Guest Post

As I mentioned before, N. is not only the best of husbands anybody could possibly imagine, he is also a passionate gamer. When he discovered a weird form of identity-building in one of the games he plays a lot, he decided to write a guest post for my blog based on it. Check it out, this is really funny.

The GS96 clan supports a nice Free-For-All game server on a map called Array. I play there a lot, because the crispy snowy scenery is like a cool breeze, much needed given the current weather in Southern Illinois.

As usual, the automated console messages urge the gamers to “be respectful”, use “no racist language”, and so on. In addition, there are funny messages that I thought were a form of advertising: “Female gamer? Join GS96!”, “Family friendly gamer? Join GS96!”. I thought what they meant was akin to “Are you breathing? Join GS96!”

However, when “Are you a Christian gamer? Join GS96!” popped up, I decided to check it out. I couldn’t believe it, but this is all for real:

Even though the clan is against racism, it apparently is fine with discriminating by gender or religion.

Anyway, when I first saw the Christian gamer message, I hoped the clan had discovered another Christian commandment that gives a powerful spiritual boost to multiplayer gaming. A good example would have been:

which would have made the lives of gamers like myself so much easier!

Unfortunately, all they came up with is no swearing policy in the “Christian unit”, and the website makes it unclear what the difference is between, say, a female non-Christian gamer and a male Christian one. What do you guys think are the traits of a true Christian Call of Duty player?

P.S. I have a Steam Black Ops account that caught a rank reset bug. I hear it may be cured once you prestige again. If you want it for free, leave your first name and email and I’ll transfer it to you.

P.P.S. from Clarissa: And what is it with the “No strong/bad language” for the Female Channel of the game? With all due respect for gamers, have you, folks, never seen actual women? Is this why you retain the image of females promoted by Victorian literature that shows us as tender creatures ready to wilt and faint the moment we hear a “bad word”?

But seriously, why would one want to have a special channel for Christians in what is obviously a very violent game irrespective of which channel you use? I’m all for this kind of video games because they allow one to sublimate aggression in a healthy way but how is the process different for Christians than, say, Jews or agnostics?