Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

I’m a crappy blogger these days with little of interest to say. So I will share links to the articles of people who do have things to say. As always, feel free to leave your own links. And I promise I will have something of interest to say eventually.

Jews without Israel. Why are the North American Jews losing their emotional attachment to Israel?

If you are planning on entering the academic job market, read this post and learn how to figure out what the job listings really say.

The Charter of Quebec’s Values makes a few steps in the direction of showing religious fanatics their place but then stops short of making it completely clear that a secular society will not tolerate fanaticism spilling over into the public spaces. This is a good start but it needs to become a lot more than that.

One of the more disturbing revelations about the NSA: “NSA director modeled top secret war room to look like the bridge of Star Trek’s Enterprise.” This is just plain scary.

A great post on doing a PhD while suffering from a chronic illness. I wrote my dissertation while in the grips of a severe depression, so I know what this blogger is talking about.

What hides behind the bland language of NSA’s denials.

A brilliant post on the reasons behind the anti-intellectualism of some intellectuals.

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24 thoughts on “Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion”

  1. Sorry, you lost me on this charter thing… Did you actually read it?
    I am not a fan of religious fanatics, but declaring anyone wearing a scarf or a kippah a religious fanatic who has to be “shown his place” is ridiculous.
    The charter is actually a trick by PQ to rally otherwise reasonable people like you for their “Quebec belongs only to [French-speaking, white, post-Catholic] Quebecois, and everyone else is a guest” agenda. Thus, although I share some concerns behind the charter, I will oppose it in principle, because I believe at this moment it is the PQ which needs to be “shown their place”, and not the minorities.
    Jewish General Hospital already declared they will not obey the charter. Some people of UdeM actually proposed to make October 1 a day of demonstrative wearing of “visible religious symbols”. So I am looking for an “Atheist” T-shirt, actually.

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    1. I dislike both nationalist fanaticism and religious fanaticism. Still, I believe that the latter is much more dangerous than secular nationalism. The reason why I believe so is that secular nationalism does not result in a curtailment of women’s rights while growing religiousness invariably does.

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      1. But has anyone actually seen those dangerous religious fanatics infesting public services? I mean – In Quebec, not in the Bible belt. 🙂 I haven’t… I’ve seen a woman wearing a scarf working at RAMQ. The scarf did not interfere with her doing her work… I’ve seen some medical personnel in kippah in Jewish General. Actually – some women in scarves too, as strange as that may sound. Did not notice it being in the way of them administering a blood tests.
        There is also no direct correlation between wearing a scarf, for example, and “curtailment of women rights”. My graduate student’s wife is wearing a scarf. Otherwise she wears jeans, not a burqa. She is probably more outspoken than him. She is a Ph.D. student at a top-ranked university. And he is sitting with the baby, between finishing his Ph.D. with me and finding the next job. But, oh horror, her wearing a scarf trumps all of the above.

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        1. I believe that people should keep their religion to their houses of worship and their homes. In a secular society, there should be no spillage of religiousness from private spaces into public. Of course, people need to become more enlightened to understand this but it’s got to begin someplace.

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  2. College administrators being their usual oppressive selves..

    http://coreyrobin.com/2013/09/15/university-of-oregon-to-faculty-you-belong-to-me/

    “Bargaining unit faculty members have no expectation of privacy in emails, files, documents, or other information created or stored on university information assets. The university may monitor the use of, and review documents and other information stored on university information assets. Emails sent on a bargaining unit faculty member’s non-university email account and information created or stored on non-university computer systems belong to the bargaining unit member except to the extent that they address work-related subjects.”

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      1. We’re talking about non-university email accounts here.

        More from that article:

        “Read that last sentence carefully. Not only is the administration demanding the right to monitor and review the faculty’s UO email accounts, but it also arrogates to itself the right to monitor any emails on the faculty’s non-UO accounts (and computers) so long as those emails or documents “address work-related subjects.” So if I email my wife on my Gmail account, complaining about the action of a university administrator, or if I keep a diary on my home computer in which I talk about what that administrator did, that very same administrator can demand to read and review that email or document.”

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  3. “The Charter of Quebec’s Values makes a few steps in the direction of showing religious fanatics their place but then stops short of making it completely clear that a secular society will not tolerate fanaticism spilling over into the public spaces. This is a good start but it needs to become a lot more than that.”

    The worst topic about this debate is the fact that leftist activists in Québec are strongly against a secular State without religious symbols. This is raving lunacy at its worst.

    I hope that Liberals outside Québec will step up and told Québec leftist activists that they’re fucking wrong.

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      1. Please show me those people whose rights are being trampled on. Apart from the imaginary right not to encounter people who are visibly different…
        Then think of the men of certain religion widespread in the former French colonies… They do not wear any visible religious symbols. What exactly does this new charter offer to prevent these men from performing public services according to their religion (and not the secular law), which is not yet regulated by existing laws? You do not do your job, you get fired. No need for extra laws. Is that really a leftist attitude?
        It would be interesting to see some charter introducing some criteria of religious fanaticism other than appearance. But this will never happen, because the charter is not meant to solve any problem other than distracting people from PQ management failures.
        Also, look at what happened in the FSU. The religion has been pushed underground… and then it came back with a vengeance. Do we really need religion pushed underground, and legitimized and glorified by oppression?

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        1. “The religion has been pushed underground… and then it came back with a vengeance.”

          – I don’t think we can say that at all. People abandoned religion and did it quite easily and happily. I knew one practicing family back in the 1980s but those people were weird and very exceptional. I don’t think there were crowds of folks practicing secretly. And today the only thing that is back with a vengeance is rhetoric. Can you imagine the post-Soviet people really giving up sex and meat for the whatever you call it, the Lent or whatever? That’s hardly likely. I don’t think we should fear fanatics getting aggrieved and feeling like martyrs because they already do.

          The funny thing is that as I’m writing this, I’m sitting here wearing a religious symbol. But I have no problem taking it off when I go outside. I can do it easily because the values of the separation between the church and the state are absolutely crucial to me. I want to live in a society where these values are shared in the same way as we share the belief that it’s not acceptable to beat people in the middle of the street or give bribes to police officers. It is only when people agree to keep their religion to themselves that anything good is possible in any society. This is not an innocuous fashion statement or choice of accessory. This is a sign of an ideological resistance to what I see as the central foundational principle of Western societies. The argument that “a cross (burqa, etc.) is just like a pair of sneakers, why can’t I exhibit it as freely as the sneakers?” is completely dishonest as it ignores the history and the context of the cross and the burqa.

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  4. // The argument that “a cross (burqa, etc.) is just like a pair of sneakers, why can’t I exhibit it as freely as the sneakers?” is completely dishonest as it ignores the history and the context of the cross and the burqa.

    Looking on crosses (not that I’ve seen much in Israel, sometimes on tourists or foreigh workers) produces some kind of weird animosity in me. Or, may be, I exaggerate and it only makes me deeply uncomfortable.

    Guess both because it’s religion in the public sphere (understanding that most religious people want to force others too with laws) and because of bad historic memory of associations with pogroms, “Jews killed Jesus”, KKK’s burning crosses, etc.

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    1. “Looking on crosses (not that I’ve seen much in Israel, sometimes on tourists or foreigh workers) produces some kind of weird animosity in me. Or, may be, I exaggerate and it only makes me deeply uncomfortable.”

      – And I’m more than willing to respect the discomfort and not engage in this kind of exhibition. See how easy it is for civilized people to resolve this issue?

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  5. I’ve been thinking about you, not knowing what’s OK. You have written that you want people to continue talking to you, so I’ll share some links. If you would rather I not linked to some kinds of things, or on the contrary would like more of something, please say.

    (in Russian) The famous painter (even I’ve seen художник Крамской-‘s Неизвестная on a chocolate wrapping) had a daughter, who was a talented painter too, but nowadays is virtually unknown. She lived before and after revolution, and had an interesting fate. The post is about her and with beautiful paintings of her and her father.
    http://eho-2013.livejournal.com/56444.html

    Racism in Russia or the Irony of Life: a Jewish member of Duma, whose daughter lives in USA, posted a racist pic on Twitter (Obama and his wife looking on a banana).

    Her answer to criticism? Роднина тут же отписалась в своем Twitter: “Свобода слова – есть свобода. За свои комплексы сами и отвечайте”.

    My first thought shows how much knowing of antisemitism influences people, despite immigrating to Israel at young age: “Doesn’t she understand that such behavior will draw attention to HER nationality, especially in a country like Russia?”

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    1. I had no idea Rodnina was Jewish. The photo she posted is absolutely disgusting. This new practice of filling the parliament with athletes is completely bizarre. These are often people who have no understanding of politics.

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    1. Thank you for the link. It made me smile. Poor guy.

      “I mean, how you can feel that burning love when you’re sitting at the table discussing how to use the last $20 in your bank account? How can you feel it when you get into an argument? How can you feel it when you think it makes perfect sense to put your socks on the floor after you’re done with them, and she has this crazy idea that they need to go in the laundry basket?”

      – Answer: very easily. But not with a person who portions out affection to reward you for good behavior.

      “No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun. It’s a verb. Better defined as giving. As putting someone else’s needs above your own.”

      – Somewhere a bunch of therapists are happily rubbing their hands and giggling in joyful anticipation.

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