Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Is a less progressive system of taxation in Canada’s future?

A hilarious example of really bad writing.

Even more proof that Rand Paul is not a libertarian.

A new runner-up for the title of the worst academic job offer ever. If there are any more spoiled pieces of garbage from Cornell who want to come here and defend this hell-hole of a college, can they please go and choke on their own shit instead?

And if you try opening 2-3 Chrome windows with 20-30 tabs in each one, that piece of shit is like using Windows 95 on a 386sx with 4MB of RAM way back when. It crawls so slowly it might be going backwards in time.” Yes. That has become a huge problem for me. I thought I was doing something wrong but now I’m realizing it’s the nature of this browser. Maybe I should ditch the Chrome at this point.

The negative side-effects of urban biking under the current transport regime are a case study in how individualized solutions (“You don’t like the bus and don’t want to drive? Ride a bike!”) are not solutions.” I agree completely. Urban bikers are an enormous problem in big cities.

The world has gone nuts. There is a bunch of people foaming at the mouth because somebody disliked a book and wrote about it. I often encounter such unhinged reactions to reviews I post. Somehow, for these folks, the statement ‘I disliked this book’ translates as ‘I hate you and deny your worth as a human being even though you are not even this book’s author.’

If you want to have some fun, go read these quotes from Sarah Palin’s new book. They are hilarious.

I agree with this blogger completely that making fun of somebody with obvious mental health issues is not cool. Even if that person is a public figure.

I so love this blogger. She is an enormous inspiration as a scholar and an exceptional human being.

One imagines that because one cannot see how life is already completed that is requires rational or moral measures for its completion.   Condemn drone strikes or announce that racism is wrong.   Work to make sure life complies with your specifications.  It’s supposed to grow into the shape you’ve designed for it.”

This Orthodox deacon single-handedly redeemed the religion of my ancestors in my eyes, so let’s read his great post on the dissing of the Humanities.

A great definition of trolls: “Internet trolls are the amplified voice of common consciousness who tell you what major consensus wants to throw away, disregarding its value.”

This post demonstrates in great detail how co-dependency works. Scary shit, folks. It’s extremely hard to accept that co-dependents choose their sad existence but it’s true. they live exactly the way they want to live.

There is no “sex addiction.”

This is an uncomfortable truth that nobody wants to mention in all the cheesy and sappy gasping about “supporting the troops.”

I’m also curious why many people choose to move to Patheos. What does it offer in return for stealing your blog name and your hits?

I don’t even know what to say about this story of how the sciences have degenerated into complete insanity.

36 thoughts on “Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion”

  1. Oh my God. A 6/5 teaching load???? How in the world is that even possible??? And on top of that, they are expected to publish and have service obligations? Insane. Wow. ………. Also, out of curiosity what do those ads have to do with Cornell?


      1. It can be hard to grasp because mostly our whole moral training mitigates against an understanding, but, for instance, when a troll attacks me and throws dirt, that too is useful dirt. Negative situations when faced directly, give food to the soul.


  2. Regarding that last link: positive psychology has always seemed to me to be the definitive example of a discipline with “physics envy.” That they thought that they could map Human Behaviour to a mathematical equation—with constants known to four decimal places, no less!–just strongly indicates to me that the entire discipline is a pseudoscience.


    1. Agreed.

      It’s like, the goal isn’t necessarily to improve their understanding of human behavior, it’s to find something, anything, that they can quantify!

      (The four decimal places mystify me too! Why not just round up to the next integer?! What *IS* 0.9013 of a “positive emotional event”??)


      1. I also don’t know how they parse out discrete “emotional events,” either. The five-dollar-bill-in-your-pocket feeling comes and goes, but your true love kissing you? Or someone you’ve loved from afar talking to you for the first time? Those are going to color your entire day, if not longer. Other “emotional events” can come and go while that one is still ongoing. If you wake up the next morning still happy because your true love kissed you, is that a new emotional event, or just the same one carrying over?


      2. “What *IS* 0.9013 of a “positive emotional event”??”

        When you’re kissing your true love for the first time, and someone takes advantage of your distraction and pickpockets you, causing you to lose five dollars.

        If your true love is the pickpocket, I guess it would be .3014 of a positive emotional event? (Maybe lower.)

        If they then tell you that you can be their partner both in love and in crime, perhaps we’re talking .6017 of a positive emotional event, as your amorous rapture and romantic fancy war with your conscience and burgeoning dismay.


  3. I really think anyone riding any sort of vehicle, fast or slow, on the road should have to pass a standard driving test. Biking already offers quite a bit more flexibility than motorized vehicles by the fact that one can dismount and turn into a pedestrian in a couple seconds if need be – there’s no need to add to that flexibility by becoming completely unpredictable in traffic. I’ve ridden my bike through urban traffic enough to know signaling your actions and not weaving between cars and into people’s blind spots is not hard.

    I have to disagree with the poster that the situation would be improved by more bike lanes, since I’ve rarely seen bike lanes implemented properly outside of the Netherlands. There’s two things one should never do on a bike for one’s own safety – ride a bike across a pedestrian crossing (bikes move much faster than the pedestrians that the drivers are planning for, so they get hit – it’s the same reason why one isn’t supposed to run across a pedestrian crossing) and ride close to the edge of the road – say, less than 5 feet, although I’ve seen 6 recommended too (both because one falls into a similar visibility-from-crossing-roads problem one gets with the pedestrian crossings and because car drivers get tempted to overtake one by squeezing in past the bike rather than properly switching lanes, which often leads to the cyclist being struck from behind). Sidewalk lanes make 1 very annoying to avoid – while a pedestrian will take 5-10 minutes or so to get between 2 crossings, even a slow cyclist will do it in 1-2 minutes, at which point one’s spending more time dismounting, walking and mounting than riding – and they also place fast-moving, albeit light vehicles among pedestrians, who, in my experience, are impossible to keep off bike lanes. The vast majority of road lanes I’ve seen make 2 impossible, since they limit cyclists to precisely the few feet next to the curb they’re supposed to avoid. The Netherlands does nice stuff with bike lanes separated from both the road and the sidewalk, but I think a lot of those are converted canal-side roads, so it wouldn’t necessarily be something easy to implement in other countries. So licenses and fines seem like the best solution to me – there’s rules one needs to respect on the road for safe circulation, and one needs to do so no matter the sort of vehicle they’re driving/riding on.


  4. “I don’t even know what to say about this story of how the sciences have degenerated into complete insanity.”

    I think the problem is not with the sciences, but with fields pretending to be sciences. The entire field of social ‘science’ seems so intellectually bankrupt.


  5. On the depressed partner, is it possible to live with one in some other way and if not, is it immoral to break up? I mean, with a partner who could not walk, I would still go on hiking trips. But slog through life with a complete downer like that, why do people do it … I know, love … but there is something creepy about this, they seem symbiotically attached, neither has a separate life from the other. ?


    1. The best thing I did for my depressed and suicidal ex-husband was walk out. The moment I broke our unhealthy bond, he rallied, got better, and never even remembered he use to have depression.

      So I definitely think that if a relationship produces not happiness bug misery, leaving it is the only moral thing to do.


      1. “unhealthy bond” … yes … and the idea of staying in a relationship out of duty really gives me the heebie-jeebies, it cannot be good for either party …


    2. Yes Z, going hiking with a loving, loved partner is always a joy and possible even if he cannot walk. With a depressed partner, no hiking or anything enjoyable becomes possible because he is absent, never present, when it comes to talk, enjoy daily life activities, make decisions together or even, more important, bedroom hiking. Not everyone is as brave as Clarissa and have the courage to walk out!. But she is right. It is the thing to do!.


    1. Oh Jesus. Still, the only two blogs that denounce these practices and actually name names are mine and Rebecca Schuman’s. Everybody else is writing endless abstract creeds about the ills of academia but doesn’t lift a finger to denounce the concrete abuses. And that leaves aside the jerks who harass and bully the whistleblowers.


      1. I was misinformed. TT French with another language, mostly German or Japanese. Still.

        The Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages invites applications for a full‐time, tenure‐track position as an Assistant Professor of French starting on August 1, 2014. Responsibilities include teaching French language, literature, and civilization. Qualifications: Successful candidates must be able to teach French and either introductory German or Japanese. Other second languages will be considered.


      2. Posted this on another of your threads but I also think this is excessive:


        • Ph.D. in English or closely related field at time of appointment

        • Experience in college teaching related to digital humanities

        • Teaching and/or research approaches using cross-disciplinary and/or global perspectives

        • Research plan which includes a form of cultural analytics

        • Publication record of critical texts and/or portfolio of digital humanities projects

        • Experience with computational methods

        • Programming/scripting/technical proficiency

        • Potential to attract sponsored research funding

        • Ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the college’s continuing commitment to cultural diversity, pluralism, and individual differences.

        Rochester Institute of Technology. Beginning asst. prof.


      3. How is Ph.D. in English connected to Programming proficiency and Experience with computational methods? The latter is connected to statistics or engeneering, no? Do they want a programmer or an English prof? That’s the funniest ad I’ve ever seen. 🙂


  6. I want to recommend you a great book: “Manhood in America: a cultural history” by Michael Kimmel. It’s extremely readable, and full of interesting facts. So far, read only 3 out of 9 chapters and learned a lot. For example:

    1) You once asked why men (not talking about women here) liked sports so much. His theory is that:

    “working life became too precarious …, so the Self-Made Man turned to leisure activities, like sports, to give his manhood the boost … and … develop some all-male preserves where he could both be alone with other men and teach his sons to become Self-Made Men themselves”

    I suppose in some US places women participate in sports culture too, but think men still heavily dominate among football fans, for example.

    2) There was a visible gay subculture in cities in the 1850ies, and for a while was quite tolerated by not gay men.

    “Gay male effeminacy (me: used as a way to be recognized by other gay people) simultaneously exaggerated the differences between themselves and “normals” and between women and men and thus “served to confirm rather than threaten the masculinity of other men.” ”

    However, as others (women, black men, etc) entered the male sphere, sexuality became one of the central hallmarks of a real man. “Homosexuality and effeminacy were thus added to … men’s anxieties.” And treatment of gay men worsened.

    If you don’t agree with his conclusions, he gives references to sources, quotes and you can judge and conclude for yourself.

    3) In the 1870s and 1880s the Knights of Labor became US 1st mass-membership labor organization. They welcomed both free blacks and women, but not Chinese workers.

    Btw, unlike your students who think writers are always male, I so expected only women to write about gender theory, that thought he was a woman untill reading Acknowledgments. 🙂


    1. Ah, Hugo Schwyzer’s favprote book. I was planning to read it but his admiration of it put me off. Maybe I should reconsider.

      I have to say, it sounds much more interesting in your rendition than in Schwyzer’s.


      1. Have never heard him mention this book.

        May be, his reading “The Second Sex” by Simon de B. put you off too? It’s another book I liked, but in a different way from this one.

        Would love to read your review of it. Do read, it reads as easy as a novel, unlike “The Second Sex” which demanded my closer attention (but to you would be easy too). 🙂


      2. // I have to say, it sounds much more interesting in your rendition than in Schwyzer’s.

        It’s because I’ve been reading you for several years, and tried to suit the ad to the audience as well as I could. 🙂

        Another book I am planning to read (don’t know if it’s good or not) is Manhood in the making : cultural concepts of masculinity by David D. Gilmore.

        In this cross-cultural study of manhood as an achieved status, the author finds that a culturally sanctioned stress on manliness – on toughness and aggressiveness, stoicism and sexuality – is almost universal, and deeply ingrained in the consciousness of men who otherwise have little in common.


        1. “It’s because I’ve been reading you for several years, and tried to suit the ad to the audience as well as I could. ”

          – Ah, crafty! 🙂

          “In this cross-cultural study of manhood as an achieved status, the author finds that a culturally sanctioned stress on manliness – on toughness and aggressiveness, stoicism and sexuality – is almost universal, and deeply ingrained in the consciousness of men who otherwise have little in common.”

          – This is why I strongly recommend autistic / nerdy / oblivious men who forget to notice what is culturally sanctioned.


  7. Have you heard of this new movie? Sounds interesting: Fund interesting the quote at the end of this review.

    ‘Wadjda’: Can a Girl and a Bicycle Change a Culture?

    Wadjda is noteworthy because it’s the first Saudi Arabian film to ever be directed by a woman […] how young Wadjda, played by newcomer Waad Mohammed, navigates her culture and adolescence as a Saudi girl, her relationships with other girls and women, and what seems to be the changing attitudes of her country.[…] her new-found passion and desire for a bicycle.[…] learning to ride a bike has profound cultural, religious, and gender implications.


    Хорошие научные новости: раскрыта одна из физиологических функций сна – Science

    В частности, было обнаружено, что это касается β-амилоида, пептида, который (если он чрезмерно накапливается) играет одну из решающих ролей в развитии болезни Альцгеймера.

    — In short, “будешь мало спать – получишь альцхаймер”, as somobody commented.


    1. Odessa is the nastiest place of all I have ever visited. The people there had this cartoonish vulgarity that I never thought could exist outside of movies. In terms of the inhabitants’ nastiness and vulgarity, only St. Petersburg could compete.


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