Not Old at Thirty-Five

A student wrote me an email to ask about a sentence from a XIX-th century text that she didn’t understand. The student is a native speaker of Spanish and a very good student, which made me very curious about the passage that confused her so much. The passage in question said something like:

Even after she reached the age of 35, the Countess still looked shockingly fresh and in possession of all her attractions.

I had to explain to the student that people of my age were considered to be quite old 150 years ago.

And then there are those who claim there is no progress.

Poetic Justice

Boris Berezovsky, one of the people used by the KGB during the organized collapse of the USSR to fake a transfer of power and generate anti-Semitism, has committed suicide in London. It is really rewarding to see that his banditry did not make him happy. Instead, he found himself so miserable, lonely and depressed at the age of 67 that he decided to kill himself.

Before you get on the high horse of how wrong it is to celebrate somebody’s death, remember that you have absolutely no idea what Berezovsky and his fellow bandits did to all of us in the 1990s.

May he rot in hell.

We Could Have Defeated Them So Easily!

If Sendgrid is already sending people to a single (as far as I know) blogger who denounces them for unfair hiring practices (see the comment section of my very first post on the subject), then imagine how easily we could have collectively defended the people involved in the Dongle-gate and shown these companies their place.

This precious opportunity to defend the rights of every single one of us to speak freely in person and online has been squandered by every idiot blogger and Facebooker who has started fanning the flames of gender wars in response to Dongle-gate. We could have unleashed the fury of bloggers and social networkers on these companies and bent them over our collective knee within a day. They are pissing themselves in fear already.

When will people finally start getting over the “Girls have cooties! – No, boys have cooties!” mentality and get smart?

The Power of Tribal Thinking

This is absolutely horrible:

In their 2002 book, Partisan Hearts and Minds, the political scientists Donald Green, Bradley Palmquist, and Eric Schickler argue that party loyalty is a tribe-like social identification. Despite parties’ shifting stances on issues, and despite changes in personal beliefs over time, voters tend to continue to affiliate with the same political party.

Are people really that stupid and unprincipled? Is identity, which is nothing but a vague, unsubstantiated sense of belonging to a poorly defined group of people the absolute majority of whom you will never meet, really more important than ideas, beliefs, principles? Do people really prefer to serve a party rather than make parties serve them? Is self-interest really so easily defeated by stupid, brainless, unthinking allegiance to somebody else’s interests?

These are rhetorical questions. I know the answers, unfortunately.

N. and I have decided that when (in his case) and if (in my case) we acquire the US citizenship, we will both register as independent voters. It makes zero sense to both of us to promise that we will support any given party irrespective of the road it chooses to take in the future and the actual platform each candidate runs on.

Workers’ Rights Lose Out to Gender Wars

What I find especially hilarious is that there are so many people who complain about the patriarchy and then proceed to discuss the story about PyCon, SendGrid and  Adria Richards in terms of gender wars (“Men are to blame!” “Women are to blame!” “Men victimize women!” “Women victimize men!”).

Gender wars are a product of the patriarchy  It sets the victims of the oppressive gender roles against each other and sits there waiting for the poor losers to devour each other. Which is exactly what’s happening right now.

If you find an article or a blog post that puts the blame in this situation where it belongs, namely, on the stupid, unfair employers, please leave a link. I’m trying to find out how many people can see past the gender-blaming and notice that there are two poor unemployed schmucks in this story who lost their jobs over nothing. And there is a curious gender symmetry among these recently jobless people.

And if you don’t see that this is a story about nothing other than workers’ rights, I sincerely hope you never post anything on social networks and nobody posts anything about you on social networks that might be used to ruin your career.