Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

A good crop of interesting links this week.

Every time a school or a department tells me they are a “family,” I run in the opposite direction; it means they have grandmothers to take care of, dominating parents, sibling rivalry, and all the other things that make families not about love and support but zones of Darwinian survival.” I couldn’t agree more. Any workplace that claims to be structured as a “family” is filled with weird people who will try to subsume you in their weirdness. This is a type of personality disorder that makes people structure every relationship as a familial one.

Do you celebrate the International Translation Day?

We found Peruvians to be, speaking very generally of course, extremely courteous, “correct” and friendly in a reserved way.” So true! My Peruvian brother-in-law regularly drives me up a wall with his excruciating and extreme politeness. I’m very rude and uncouth myself, so I feel very demeaned by his intensely polite manners.

Even good, progressive men tend to enter into a sanctimonious, annoying, condescending tone when they feel the weird and inexplicable need to have opinions on abortion. Look at this post, for example. The author pontificates about abortion and rape as if they were pieces of a puzzle that he is interested in on an intellectual level. I’m sure that he doesn’t even begin to realize that this approach to a painful, tragic, complicated reality he is physiologically incapable of accessing makes him a stupid jerk. And a typical mansplainer.

What’s more, when arranging a haircut for myself today, I found that there was a price even to being gendered correctly; women’s haircuts, as it turns out, are considerably more expensive than their masculine counterparts.” So true! I once asked N. what he paid for his haircut, and he said $7. I dream of a day when I will be able to leave a tip that does not exceed $7 to a hairdresser, and here N. goes and gets an entire haircut for that amount. Take into account that it is more difficult to cut his hair than mine. My haircuts simply involve trimming the hair in a straight line, while his involve maintaining different lengths on different parts of his head.

If this is how Alaska looks in late September, I probably need to move there.

A pseudo-feminist blogger insults gay people and acts as a passionate rape apologist. She would make Todd Akin proud with her insistence that some rapes are “legitimate” and some are not. You really need to be a special human being to tell a rape victim, “No, I don’t think you were actually raped because I have my own definition of rape.”

One of the very sad consequences of the ideological rivalry between the sciences and the humanities is that everything that has come out of physics over the last sixty years or so has been cursed with incredibly boring, incredibly stupid names.”

Some critical thoughts on online university teaching.

Do students have an incentive not to cheat?

A beautiful dragon made of carved watermelons.

Wonderful news! “California is now the first state to outlaw “conversion therapy” — treatments intended to “cure” homosexuality — when practiced on minors. (You can read the bill here). The future of the bill is up in the air, since several right-wing groups are saying they will sue to have the law overturned.” Not so wonderful news: “The future of the bill is up in the air, since several right-wing groups are saying they will sue to have the law overturned.” What kind of an animal would subject his or her own kid to this kind of barbaric “treatment”? Can you even imagine having parents who hate you this much?

IKEA: will be happy to debase women to make a buck. “I’m furious with those who assert that IKEA is not to blame. Saudi did not ask for women to vanish from the IKEA catalogues distributed in its blasphemous anti-Islamic country, and that is a terrible (and racist) defense of IKEA.” I agree completely. IKEA is at fault for accommodating the woman-hating agenda that was never even suggested to it. The fault here lies squarely with this Western company that hates women to the extent that it engages in erasing women without even being asked to do so. This is one more case of a company blaming another culture for its own hatred of women. Shame on you, IKEA. I will never buy anything from you again.

The basic discipline of a scholar. A beautiful, beautiful post.

I think this must be the worst sentence I ever read anywhere: “So many of her stories move me, make me ache with truth and motherhood and disparity.” And as we all know, I get to read a lot of crappy writing.

A really beautiful detailed post on how to track your research. I use the same method, too.

Abstinence-only education starts with the idea that teenagers listen to adults and manages to get even stupider.” An absolutely brilliant and hilarious article. I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

For real though, there’s nothing more hilarious than watching two white dudes on Fox using the way a black man speaks — they even called it an accent — in an attempt to prove that he’s racist. I mean this stuff is so pathetic, that I’m sure real professional racists laughed as they watched the discussion above. No seriously, after four hundred years of slavery, Jim Crow, and all other forms of systemic racial oppression that would make the safest of save negroes spaz te fuck out, is this the best these jokers can come up with?” So true.

Happily, a new branch of the neuroscienceexplains everything genre may be created at any time by the simple expedient of adding the prefix “neuro” to whatever you are talking about. Thus, “neuroeconomics” is the latest in a long line of rhetorical attempts to sell the dismal science as a hard one; “molecular gastronomy” has now been trumped in the scientised gluttony stakes by “neurogastronomy”; students of Republican and Democratic brains are doing “neuropolitics”; literature academics practise “neurocriticism”. There is “neurotheology”, “neuromagic” (according to Sleights of Mind, an amusing book about how conjurors exploit perceptual bias) and even “neuromarketing”.” I have not yet encountered this “neurocriticism” fad. Have you?

From one of the best feminist bloggers writing today: “We shouldn’t be teaching our boys that they should aspire to greatness while teaching our girls to aspire to mother a great man.” Hear, hear!

Americans cheer Justin Trudeau’s bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party but intelligent Canadians know better. Well, what can you expect from royalty-obsessed Americans who swoon when they hear the name “Kennedy”?

“I don’t have much respect for empty gestures. I especially don’t care for them when they are motivated not out of genuine wish to improve things, but to soothe an emotional/intellectual sore spot of people who are otherwise quite comfortable.” I can’t tell you how much I agree with this.

The best observation ever on Mitt Romney: “This man has more positions than the Kama Sutra.”

And the post of the week: the Tea Partiers as a product of anal eroticism. The comments are especially hilarious. Do read them if you want to see a bunch of completely brainless idiots congregate on the same thread. It’s a priceless experience.

18 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

    1. It is the only way to work and I have decided that the reason more people do not know it is nepotism. Students who are favorites of certain professors at Harvard do not have to work that way, and they get jobs and are promoted, and they promote weird undisciplined non productivity.

      This is of course not a measured comment but I think there is something to it.


      1. I think there is certainly an argument for saying that the image of the brillant, haphazard genius-scholar perpetuates ill-discipline in good students who are inclined towards academia. Whether this is through hero-worship (and the assistance) of ‘top’ scholars and mentors, an outdated image of academia, or a sort of self-indulgence, who can say?!


        1. My point is this: nobody who gets anything done actually works in that haphazard way. But, people who are under someone’s protection, can sometimes survive that way.


  1. Hm, re that woman at the Virgo site… I notice she says “I like to get fucked by men” instead of “I like to fuck men.” The choice of phraseology is telling.


    1. I would use “I like to fuck men” if I liked to penetrate men. I dont – I like being penetrated by men, hence the passive tense.

      Its not a question of some rapes being legitimate, and some not. Its a question of what forms of sexual assault should be included in the concept of rape. In almost every country the legal definition of rape includes penetration – only Germany as far as I am aware extends the definition of rape to include non-penetrative sexual assault. I believe that unconsensual penetration is the demarker of the concept of rape.


        1. Off topic, but is there a reason that every single one of my students writes “seperate”? Is this a confusion with “desperate”? I’m going nuts correcting this mistake in every single paper. What’s worse, they bring it into Spanish, too.


      1. I think, in English at least, the misspelling stems from how the word is pronounced. We don’t really pronounce the first “a” in “separate” — it’s more of a short “e” sound.

        Though we don’t pronounce the second “a” like an “a” either … a truly phonetic spelling might be more like “sepperit”. So I don’t know.

        And this obviously does not apply to Spanish, as the “a”s in “separar” and various forms thereof are pronounced like any other “a” in Spanish. So I guess I don’t have a good answer. 😐


  2. When I woke up this morning, my body was aching with some weird disparity. I put it down to the tabasco sauce and coffee I consumed yesterday, which cause inflammation in my neck and shoulders, where the muscles tend to be already tense.


  3. “Can you even imagine having parents who hate you this much?”

    Well, definitely, since mine tried political conversion therapy on me for the longest time.


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