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.

25 thoughts on “Wednesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Thanks for the link! Re my vignette – it´s not the immaturity as much as the revelation that this person does not actually know how to use a library (but has to have been shown physically where the books in a particular subject are).


    1. I think that it is definitely a sign of immaturity when one hasn’t even learned how to use library resources before getting one’s PhD. I teach my Freshmen how to use the databases and the Interlibrary Loan system.


  2. Yay, links to read! Adding mine to the mix:

    I like swimming, and contrary to a lot of US cultural narratives, I’m comfortable with my body in a swimsuit. But the articles about them make me want to strangle someone with a thong.

    On make up, beauty standards, and feeling like I need to cover up chronic pain.

    Also, just to prove I am not angsty about trivial issues all the time, the latest installment of my play about a vampire who has a thing for grilled cheese.


  3. The false feminism that demands that women ought to be viewed as “nicer”, hence superior to men, is responsible for a lot of regressive social tendencies. For example, on the job, a woman is expected to be your mother, your sister, your confidante, etc., whereas men are held to no such standards.

    We have a very effective female Prime Minister in Australia — our first. She has managed to do the impossible, what many pronounced could not be done, which is to hold together what was originally a hung parliament, and which has been until recently (I’m not sure it still qualifies for this definition, due to subtle machinations) a minority government. She’s also unmarried and an atheist. If there was an residual stigma attached to these, she has overcome it.

    Yet, people judge her more harshly because as a mother and a sister and a personal confidante, she has seemingly let them down. At least, I imagine that is what is behind some of the severe criticism from leftist females.


  4. “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.”

    Mhh… yeah. I have several times been told that I’m not femenine because I’m not kind. And well, it seems you probably do understand how much it pisses me off…

    Welcome Back, Clarissa 🙂


  5. Haven’t read yet, but seen word “psychoanalysis” and thought the 1st paragraph was curious.

    После 1-ой Мировой Войны социология, антропология и другие науки, имеющие отношение к изучению общества, дружно сделали вид, что вопросы механизмов власти (= отношений господства/подчинения) совсем не так важны, как это может показаться. Просто в обществе возникают время от времени ЧАСТНЫЕ противоречия, для которых можно и нужно срочно найти ЧАСТНЫЕ решения, и продолжать В ЦЕЛОМ жить дальше. После 2-ой Мировой Войны, когда выпестованная культурой WASP(1) белокурая бестия надежд и инвестиций не оправдала, механизмы власти вообще стали темой-табу. Людям стали скармливать психоанализ, как раньше скармливали 10 заповедей; вывод и в том, и в другом случае один и тот же: висит на тебе первородный грех/комплекс/архетип/расстройство, природа твоя греховна/девиантна, иди, молись/лечись, тем ДОЛЬШЕ, тем лучше, а мы тут пока… кхе-кхе.. гм…


  6. Re Greece, globalization and democracy. I have somewhat different vision. The globalization is not a key factor here. The key factor is personal responsibility. Why didn’t “to everyone according to his needs, from everyone according to his ability” work? There was significantly less globalization when the socialist system collapsed… It did not work because few people are responsible enough to give according to their abilities if their needs are met anyway. Same with democracy – if the sense of personal responsibility is missing, people just vote for whichever populists promise them more, regardless of the reality. As it is happening in Greece. As for globalization – I rather see it as a buffer which allows that irresponsible behavior to persist longer than it should. Allowing the consequences of irresponsible behaviour of any group of people to be somehow smeared all over the world, so that nobody notices anything until it is too late. If Greece was not a part of eurozone, it would have to adjust much earlier.


    1. Oh, I agree with you completely. This overblown social safety net was a recipe for disaster from the get go. Now I’m wondering if Greece’s example will serve as a warning to other countries.


      1. I do not think so. People are not very good at limiting themselves unilaterally, especially knowing that the fruits of them limiting themselves unilaterally will be eaten by those who will be the last to limit themselves, who would do so only reluctantly, when faced with complete collapse of their countries.


      2. Yes, it is what living in QC does to one.
        Have you heard – our glorious government offered student union representatives as well as the representatives of the unions backing the students (which are not our unions, just some random public employee unions) an opportunity to oversee the budgeting of the universities. Now, in general, overseeing the dealings of the administration may not be a bad idea… But to let professional activists (or aspiring professional activists / aspiring corrupt politicians) do that? Some most radical union already declared that their demands are not limited to making administration more efficient. Fees should be reduced at all costs, including at the expense of research. Ultimate populism.


        1. The students have defended their rights from the rapacious bureaucrats. Now it’s the professors’ turn to defend theirs.

          The only reality of the situation is that Charest and his buddies want to buy new mansions and a fresh bunch of whores. There is no shortage of money in the province. There is the just a bunch of rich bureaucrats who are growing greedier by the day. Those who can’t defend their interests against these criminals lose.

          On a smaller scale, the same is happening at every single university. A corrupt administrator in need of mansions, gadgets and whores successfully sells everybody the myth of money shortages. And we all bark at each other in feeble attempts to save money to please this jerkwad (or a bunch of them).


      3. Nobody defended greedy bureaucrats here. But, putting union activists in charge of watching corrupt administrators will result only in the total number of corrupt people increasing… exactly by the number of union activist involved.


    2. Someone I know who works in tax & accountancy law was prophesying disaster from before Greece joined the Euro, based upon the complete fictitiousness of assorted Greek client accounts. They reckoned that in order for Greece to have been admitted, there must have been an attack of collective blindness all the way up to Luxembourg. Which is somewhat worrying, even to someone who mildly approves of the experiment.


  7. The “women are nicer than men” post is interesting. However, I know males who work both in industry and in academia who argue that this is true, but only superficially. They argue that women managers are slow to anger, which is helpful, but that if they do become angry, they hold grudges far longer than men do. I am not sure this is true, although I am also aware of anecdotal “evidence” to this effect.

    It their observations are valid, I am really curious what kind of cultural conditioning/upbringing could account for this sort of difference.


    1. I never listen to any of these “all men / women are…” Observations because they are evidence of nothing but the observer’s own prejudices and hangups. If only the world could be so easily explained by relying on basic physiological binary.


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