Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

The humanities only thrive in crisis mode, because they are the disciplines whose primary function is to confer value on their own subject matter, to certify and credentialize forms of cultural capital.

I’d feel a lot more compassion towards these female journalists who complain that they are being condescended to by male colleagues if they knew the difference between “effect” and “affect.” As a wise old Jew used to say, “If you keep getting passed up for promotions and people tend to shun you, first consider whether you are an unqualified employee and a lousy human being and only then suspect people of anti-Semitism.”

“Steven E. Landsburg, a professor of Economics at The University of Rochester, has reduced the rape of the Steubenville victim, and in turn, all other rapes around the world, to an inflammatory and obnoxious economics equation.” This is a post that responds to Landsburg’s egregiously insulting argument.

Against excessive stigmatization of anger and hatred.

Poor Ukraine, so far from heaven and so close to Russia: “Under President Putin, the Kremlin has taken similar initiatives. In Ukraine, the Kremlin party United Russia, signed an agreement to cooperate with the pro-Russian Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych, who was unsympathetic to the country’s Orange Revolution of the early 2000s. Kremlin support, including a promise to lower gas prices, helped to secure the presidency for Mr. Yanukovych in 2010. Russia has continued to provide strong support for his repressive government.”

A really great post on why students are not customers: “That effective, mutual relationship does not happen when students are viewed as “customers.” I’ve had customers, and I’ve had students. I assure you that you do not want me confusing the two.

The European Union is moving towards fascism. The hard push in the direction of Christian fundamentalism and moral panic experienced in many Western European countries is the result of completely botched immigration policies. It looks like within a decade we will see a liberated, socially progressive US and an ultra-conservative, repressed, witch-hunting EU.

Pictures of phenomenal, beautifully designed books. The text is in Russian, but who cares? The photos speak for themselves.

Show your passport to Jesus. Benedict Anderson would have really appreciated the last photo in this post.

When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings.”

And here is a really great review of the above-linked article: “If you’re white and male (and middle- or upper-middle-class), the culture tells you that you can have it all. If you’re white, male, and developing paranoid schizophrenia, or having profound difficulties with socialization, you’re falling short of very, very high expectations. Why aren’t you thriving? You’re a person who’s supposed to be thriving!

Now that there is somebody else to take down Ross Douthat, I don’t have to do it. As much.

Alaska hates women.

Tennessee is fast on its way towards taking over Alabama and Mississippi for the title of most bigoted and backward state in the Union.  And this week’s story of how GOP legislators in the state capitol building confused a custodian’s wash basin for a “Muslim foot bath” will only further help to cement Tennessee’s reputation for intolerance.” What’s with this obsession with other people’s foot baths, anyways? Freud would see this as the terror of the penis, and a “foreign” one at that. What do you think?

56 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. In case you’ll be interested in the movie CENTURY OF THE SELF:
    http://centuryself.blogspot.co.il/
    “This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”

    It was there but a few days ago, if it isn’t there, the movie surely can be found on Internet.

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      1. Ah! Great documentary about how Freudian subliminal messaging has been used in both advertising and politics to make people feel a certain way. I also recommend “Rise of the Politics of Fear” that explains how neoconservatives and Islamic fundamentalists both have one huge thing in common. Both are on YouTube.

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        1. “Great documentary about how Freudian subliminal messaging has been used in both advertising and politics to make people feel a certain way.”

          – Sweet Jesus on the cross. I can’t believe even highly intellectual people buy this cheap propaganda by pill pushers. There is no “Freudian subliminal messaging.” Freud would tell you that NOBODY can make you “feel a certain way.” Feelings, according to Freud, have an internal locus of control.

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      2. I don’t understand, how are the pharmacy companies connected?

        I haven’t watched the movie yet, btw. But the idea sounded interesting. If Freud’s theories can be used in politics of manipulating masses, isn’t the movie worth watching? Since I don’t know much about Freud, I thought it could be educational in several ways.

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        1. “If Freud’s theories can be used in politics of manipulating masses, isn’t the movie worth watching?”

          – Psychoanalysis can’t even be applied to a group of two, let alone to “the masses.” This is yet another attempt by the pharma companies to scare people away from the only way to solve psychological problems with no medication.

          ” Since I don’t know much about Freud, I thought it could be educational in several ways.”

          http://www.lib.ru/PSIHO/FREUD/lekcii.txt Very accessible, easy, and basic. Why listen to Rabinovich singing Caruso when you can just listen to Caruso? 🙂 🙂

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      3. I apologize for writing that comment, Clarissa, but I didn’t know you would react that way. Someone actually recommended watching the documentary and I found it convincing the first time I watched it. Maybe I should look at it again with a more critical eye. I also don’t understand the connection you’re trying to make with pharmaceutical companies and a documentary concerned mostly with politics. Both are from the BBC.

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        1. ” I also don’t understand the connection you’re trying to make with pharmaceutical companies and a documentary concerned mostly with politics. Both are from the BBC.”

          – Pharma companies sponsor all of such efforts to spread lies about the only method of curing psychological issues instead of keeping them somewhat at bay with drugs. In the US, there is now a population that prefers to pay for medication for life instead of solving the issue once and for all without any drugs. People even medicate small children. This sad state of affairs has been achieved through decades of anti-psychoanalytical propaganda.

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  2. Bob Murphy had this to say about Landburg’s post. I wish he had done a full response to it, but other economists find his post to be full of crap.

    “Seeing Steve Landsburg doing everything in his power to get fired, I will take a shot at my own thought-provoking post that is sure to upset some readers for its apparent obtuseness:”

    Daniel Kuehn had this to say in the comment section.
    “I wish I could unread what I just read on Landsburg’s page.”

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  3. El: I learned quite a lot from watching and it made me even more suspicious of politicians in general. The whole idea of getting the masses to believe in a sort of illusion for political and psychological purposes has been going on since all the way back to the 1920s with Edward Bernays, a relative of Freud. Anna Freud seemed to expand upon her father’s ideas after he died. Bernays also tried to conflate corporatism with markets and “capitalism,” a word I don’t really like to use to describe my own economic views.

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    1. “The whole idea of getting the masses to believe in a sort of illusion for political and psychological purposes has been going on since all the way back to the 1920s with Edward Bernays, a relative of Freud.”

      – Erm. . . Folks, has everybody been celebrating Easter too much? The “whole idea of getting the masses to believe in a sort of illusion for political and psychological purposes” existed long before Freud’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was even born.

      Once again, but slowly: this is cheap, silly propaganda by people who want to sell you pills. There is not a grain of truth to it. Psychoanalysis cannot be applied even to 2 people simultaneously.

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      1. “The “whole idea of getting the masses to believe in a sort of illusion for political and psychological purposes” existed long before Freud’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was even born.”

        – And Freud initially came up with his theories to help people escape from such mass conditioning.

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      2. I’ll have to think about more about what you said, which seems highly plausible now that I think about it. I don’t know that much about Freud either.

        By the way, the person who recommended that documentary to me buys into the “Jewish World Conspiracy/Jewish people control the world” theories and was trying to get me into that sort of stuff with that documentary, so already, I was just watching it to see if the guy’s claims had any basis in truth.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories#Antisemitic_conspiracy_theories

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        1. “By the way, the person who recommended that documentary to me buys into the “Jewish World Conspiracy/Jewish people control the world” theories and was trying to get me into that sort of stuff with that documentary, so already, I was just watching it to see if the guy’s claims had any basis in truth.”

          – And now I’m not surprised. 🙂 🙂

          I will write about psychoanalysis more when I grade the mountain of papers I have in front of me.

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      3. I can’t wait to read your interpretation of what Freud intended to do with the ideas of psychoanalysis and I might try doing some research and actually reading what he said rather than blindly believing in straw man interpretations of what he said.

        This certain person also believes that Henry Ford’s “The International Jew” also has some factual basis along with other people that you may call part of the “extreme right.” They try to make their arguments as convincing as they can by saying that the people who created movie companies like Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and others were all Jewish and that they had this intention of subverting the common folk who didn’t have the “high culture” that they were trying to perpetuate or something like that and a lot of stuff you’ve probably heard before. Same thing with the Federal Reserve and other things. You also have the Holocaust deniers in this movement too. Basically, I’m supposed to believe that Warner Bros. and Paramount were trying to deceive “the masses” with Popeye and Looney Tunes and that Stan Lee is in on the conspiracy with his Superman comics? It’s laughable in that respect.

        Conspiracy theories or not, I still think outright trying to outright baby Israel is dangerous for America’s foreign policy strategy so none of that stuff changes anything even if such a conspiracy existed or if the Rothchilds still had political power in the banks. Sorry for flooding your comments section with fairy tale like fantasies, but that’s what these people believe.

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        1. “Conspiracy theories or not, I still think outright trying to outright baby Israel is dangerous for America’s foreign policy strategy so none of that stuff changes anything even if such a conspiracy existed or if the Rothchilds still had political power in the banks.”

          – Exactly.

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    1. Here is the real insight of the article: “And the medicalization of every bad mood, as if we’re supposed to never experience negative emotions is more psychotic than the “diseases” they are intended to treat.”

      A sign of severe emotional immaturity is an incapacity to tolerate negative emotions. Normally, people know how to deal with frustration and negative emotions on their own by the age of 2. Two and a half at the latest. Those who come into adulthood without that knowledge are emotionally crippled for life.

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      1. Those are also very good points. But I also like the point that those who swing high and low can have insights into things that others do not have. It has been said that Nietzsche had “bipolar” features, although I believe that term should be in inverted commas as it wasn’t an illness with him, just the fact that he could look at reality from its emotional heights and from its depths and that he constantly developed his mind on the basis of adjusting his perspectives like this.

        But it also makes sense that not having emotional control is deeply problematic. Perhaps the helicoptering tendency of parents makes it so that they become processing devices for the child’s negative emotions, whereas many children might actually fare much better with much less attention, so that they would have to see their emotional storms through to the other side and realize that these have a sequence that passes. Others grow up not to be able to do this, and they rely on authority figures to mediate their emotions for them.

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        1. “Perhaps the helicoptering tendency of parents makes it so that they become processing devices for the child’s negative emotions, whereas many children might actually fare much better with much less attention, so that they would have to see their emotional storms through to the other side and realize that these have a sequence that passes. Others grow up not to be able to do this, and they rely on authority figures to mediate their emotions for them.”

          – Absolutely. I’ll add this to my post.

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  4. What makes the introduction of christian fundamentalism so bad is that it often is disguised as progressive measures. The whole ban on porn/prostitution/sex work usually comes from either the feminist heaven formerly known as Sweden or the UK. In both countries feminists have quite the history of teaming up with christian fundamentalists when it comes to do something against the icky porn and sex work. And apparently both have an interest in propagating just the proper ethical and moral behaviour.

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    1. That comment was regarding EU’s descend into fascism, by the way.

      And what is so bad about fundamentalism in the name of gender equality is that every bit of criticism against it is going to get you accused of misogyny.

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      1. “And what is so bad about fundamentalism in the name of gender equality is that every bit of criticism against it is going to get you accused of misogyny.”

        – Fundamentalists are smart and crafty. And “feminists” who follow them like blind sheep are not smart or crafty. They are gullible and deluded. 😦 😦

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      2. The problem is that feminism has incorporated a lot of ascetic values. Nietzsche considered that even the pursuit of “truth” is inextricably bound with the ascetic ideal, that is in turn linked to the historically engendered religious training of the mind and body. So if feminists are saying, “You have to accept feminism because ‘it is true’,” then what else is “true”? You end up with gender essentialism or other metaphysical (religious) postulates. And gender essentialism, false as it is because it does not take into account historical contingency, says that women are asexual or have a different kind of sexuality from men, or so on.

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          1. But, in any case, I find that many of the “feminists” these days don’t understand me. I’ve encountered so many that embrace a very narrow identity politics and then become outraged because my view, values and experiences don’t overlap with theirs. They become extremely petulant.

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              1. They tend to tell me I am arrogant and stupid. Thing is, if I were to ask them to understand my own experiences with patriarchal systems, they don’t care to do so. They huff and puff about that as well….but then finally sizzle out. They only care that I fall into line with their views, their ideas.

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      1. Is it?

        If you are interesting in this teamup, there is some controvery about an article by Joan Smith about the semi-criminalization of prostitution in Sweden going on.

        Have some links!
        http://itsjustahobby.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/joan-smith-and-silencing-sex-workers/
        http://feministire.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/dont-ask-dont-tell-dont-listen-joan-smith-on-the-swedish-sex-trade-law/

        Careful, the first link is to a blog that sometimes posts NSFW stuff. The post I am linking to is worksafe, but the blog generally is not.

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        1. Actually there is an activist, Tracey Tully, on Facebook, who is always proclaiming that do-gooders who seem to be engaged in shutting down the international sex trade are, in fact, just introducing legislation which makes it easier for the police to harass sex workers.

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        2. Sweden is going to the dogs in the midst of a puritanical sex panic. Why don’t these people try to familiarize themselves with the hard work real feminists did to promote sexual liberation and defeat Christian fundamentalism?

          And it isn’t like anybody is hoping to achieve anything but an even greater spike in sex tourism, are they? The links you give show that these activists pretend that women don’t buy sex, even though Swedish and German female sex tourists are known all over the world for their voracity!

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      2. “Actually there is an activist, Tracey Tully, on Facebook, who is always proclaiming that do-gooders who seem to be engaged in shutting down the international sex trade are, in fact, just introducing legislation which makes it easier for the police to harass sex workers.”

        Yeah, that rings true to me. I have read this claim on pretty much every sex worker blog I follow. But then again, I don’t think a single sex worker was present when any of these legislations were written up.

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      3. “German female sex tourists are known all over the world for their voracity”

        By all my dark gods, really?! 😀
        I mean I knew that female sex tourism was a thing, but I did not know that German woman harbor such a special reputation.

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    2. “What makes the introduction of christian fundamentalism so bad is that it often is disguised as progressive measures.”

      – You are absolutely right!! People don’t even notice as these measures sneak past them.

      “The whole ban on porn/prostitution/sex work usually comes from either the feminist heaven formerly known as Sweden or the UK.”

      – That’s the really sad part. The number of policies that a woman-hating fascist like Franco would applaud and that are spearheaded by “feminists” is scary.

      “In both countries feminists have quite the history of teaming up with christian fundamentalists when it comes to do something against the icky porn and sex work. And apparently both have an interest in propagating just the proper ethical and moral behaviour.”

      – And the most bizarre thing is that these “feminists” don’t even stop to ponder how they ended up allied with the same people who have oppressed women for centuries!!

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  5. I go back and forth on whether the current (small) rise of aggressive nationalism in Europe is the product of simple elite stupidity or calculated.

    Across Europe governments have abandoned the citizens who they are supposed to represent in favor of
    a) elite international financial interests who would gladly see everyone reduced to debt slaves
    b) mush-headed ideas of multi-culturalism that have no prayer of working because they are in basic conflict with human nature
    c) discredited utopian ideas of pan-European bureaucratic harmonizaiton with no real tangible benefits

    Of course nationalist parties who appear to represent the interests of the boring, tax cows the elites so despise are going to appear and prosper.

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    1. I believe that the only reason behind the idiotic idea of multiculturalism is the need to hide the complete and utter failure of Western Europe’s immigration policies : “We brought them in, we have no idea how to integrate or adapt them, now you all deal with the shared trauma while we sit back and stare stupidly at the whole mess.”

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        1. I experience profound humiliation when I see one of those shrouded women on leashes dragged past me by their owners. I don’t know how to adapt to this and, honestly, I don’t want to. There are differences that cannot be overcome without sacrificing something that is too important. I cant accept that I have to live in a society where it’s acceptable to treat women this way. If there will only be a small enclave left on the planet where I will be guaranteed that I won’t have to look at this disgusting spectacle of female debasement, I will move there.

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          1. Yes. I agree that there should be cultural standards that ought to be maintained — not everything diluted into some fuzzy cultural pluralism. What is actually human nature is to have certain cultural conventions, & to have an expectation for certain kinds of treatment, based on what is considered normal. That means there is only so far a society can go in integrating other “cultures”. At some point, there are going to be issues of contention.

            I always speak up against those who assert we cannot criticize other cultures, especially in terms of their treatment of women because “it’s just their culture”. That is not only logically inconsistent as a stance, it is gullible, because a lot of the time it is a way of succumbing to guilty feelings about “Western power”. Actually, if your morality is going to be determined by the level of your guilty feelings, best listen to Sam Vaknin.

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      1. // I experience profound humiliation when I see one of those shrouded women on leashes

        On literal, physical leashes? Do you see such at your university or near your house? In a near city / town? I thought there were some Muslim ghettos in US, where one would be able to see such, but not “normal” town.

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  6. Rolling Stone has an article about Tsarnaevs and tried to talk with his university friends, if they may be called so.

    But Brian Glyn Williams, a professor of Islamic studies at UMass Dartmouth and an expert on terrorism and the politics of Chechnya, believes that Tamerlan’s journey – which he calls “jihadification” – was less a young man’s quest to join Al Qaeda than to discover his own identity. “To me, this is classic diasporic reconstruction of identity: ‘I’m a Chechen, and we’re fighting for jihad, and what am I doing? Nothing.’ It’s not unlike the way some Irish-Americans used to link Ireland and the IRA – they’d never been to Northern Ireland in their lives, but you’d go to certain parts of Southie in Boston, and all you see are donation cans for the IRA.”

    his friends are trying to move on. “We’re concerned with not having this tied to us for the rest of our lives”
    ….
    Sam says he thinks the feds tapped his phone. All of the kids were interviewed alone, without a lawyer. “I didn’t even know I could have a lawyer,” says Jackson. “And they didn’t tell me that anything I said might be used against me, which was unfair, because, I mean, I’m only 19.”

    But the worst, they all agree, is Robel, who was interviewed four times by the FBI, and denied he knew anything until, on the fourth interview, he came clean and told them he’d helped remove the backpack and computer from Jahar’s dorm room. Robel is 19 but looks 12, and is unanimously viewed by his friends as the most innocent and sheltered of the group. He is now facing an eight-year prison sentence for lying to a federal officer.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717

    Like

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