Thursday Link Encyclopedia: The Immaturity Collection

I had no idea that all of the links I gathered for this collection would share the theme of self-infantilization but here you have it. 

Extreme childishness is in vogue, and people who are trying to get elected to positions of extraordinary responsibility think it’s cute to pretend they are 3 years old.

Another example of this: here is a suggestion that the way to help black people is to see them as toddlers.

And one more story about immaturity: “According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, lotteries took in $70.1 billion in sales in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s more than Americans in all 50 states spent on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets, and recorded music sales.

I don’t watch Game of Thrones but here is somebody who does and explains at length why it sucks.

Robin Williams matryoshkas.

The British are finally starting to make some phlegmatic moves in the direction of banning extremism.

In the meanwhile, the University of California is pandering to extreme immaturity in a desperate bid to safe itself: “The University of California at Irvine plans to offer a four-week MOOC based on the FX television series The Strain,which follows the spread of a disease with the “hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.”

And here is an example of somebody who childishly mistakes her psychological problems for a political stance: “It’s pretty terrific how the Patriarchy sets rules for women that effectively mean we can like ourselves, or be liked by “everyone else,” but not both.

I keep having this exact same experience with students and it’s very frustrating. But this indifference is still better than what the previous link shows.

[Spanish] Literature is being squeezed out of Spanish schools.

When George Zimmerman inevitably gets himself killed, I’m sure I won’t be alone in feeling happy about it, in feeling that a standing offense to the concept of justice has been belatedly mitigated. . . I’m sure we all have people about whom we have similar feelings: Darren Wilson, for instance, or Donald Trump.” I especially love it how such people need to hide from their own childishness by projecting it onto “we all.”

When complimented on a good presentation, I’ll sometimes say “Oh you really thought so?” or much worse, “No, it wasn’t! You’re just saying that.” Beyond the conference setting, I’ll deny that I’m a good teacher or won’t take credit for my part in organizing an event by saying “No, colleague X did all the real work!””

Russia rehearsed nuclear attack on Poland.

George W. Bush bashes President Obama over his handling of the Middle East. Wait, what?

Why the teaching of foreign languages in this country often sucks.

If you are fed up with Rate My Professor, check out Draw My Professor.

Microsoft’s wildly inaccurate “How Old Do I Look?” is a data miner’s dream.

I can’t say whether this is immature or simply stupid: “If you want to understand the completely irreconcilable difference I am talking about [between Muslims and Westerners], you need only compare two groups of people: the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, flying their hijacked planes into the World Trade Center, and the New York City firefighters running up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers, determined to save whoever they could, regardless of the risk to their own lives.”

But the winner of today’s immaturity series is the following piece on bathroom signs. The bathroom signs themselves are running a close second.

38 thoughts on “Thursday Link Encyclopedia: The Immaturity Collection”

  1. But…but I like The Strain and Game of Thrones…but in all seriousness, I can see why people will not like the shows. A good friend of mine who is much smarter and better person than me hated the first GoT book and never bothered to watch the HBO show. I love the show Hannibal but again, it is not for everyone; it is a dark show and features graphic scenes.

    Thank you so much for these links!

    Like

  2. I kind of tuned out of the GoT when he dissed one of my favorite characters (Brienne of Tarth, I was slow to warm to the character but now I’m crazy about her) and when he called Danaerys a ‘white savior’ (the whole point of her arc this season is that her plans for ending slavery are turning into an unmitigated disaster for lots of predictable reasons.

    He seems to hold it against the show that it’s not something different (I’m not sure what he wants instead, but it’s clear he wants to watch a different show whose place, he seems to think, is being blocked by GoT).

    I enjoy GoT as well-made middlebrow fare (a few notches below Mad Men or Sopranos, about at the House of Cards level) but I have no intention whatsoever about reading the books.

    Like

    1. I’m definitely not reading the books either because my attempt to warm up to fantasy through Rothfuss didn’t lead to anything positive. And I’m hearing this Martin fellow is even worse.

      My students freaked me out the other day when they told me that they like the show because they are interested in history. 😦

      Like

      1. Ursula K. Le Guin? I’m not a big fantasy person either (big understatement) but I loved the Earthsea trilogy and the heartbreaking (in the best possible way) sequel Tehanu.

        Her novelette Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight? is interesting as fantasy in a non-European setting.

        Like

      2. “My students freaked me out the other day when they told me that they like the show because they are interested in history”

        I guess they got confused when they read that a lot of the plot elements are inspired by events from English medieval history (esp the war of the roses)

        Like

        1. And this is one of the reasons I hate fantasy. The authors are too lazy to do research, so they base the books on some very vague awareness of history and call the whole mess “fantasy.” Fantasy is always ultra clichéd and very lazy.

          Like

          1. It’s less the amount of research the authors did or failed to do, and more that readers decide that reading fantasy based on “history” makes it smarter than it actually is. How many of those people who say they like fantasy because of history actually go and do some elementary fact finding? (Relatedly people reading Phillipa Gregory novels don’t get beyond the boobs and beheadings. :-p)

            Incidentally, do you feel the same way about Guy Gavriel Kay’s work?

            Like

      3. “… they like the show because they are interested in history.” Well, if they are interested in the history of a fictional fantasy world, sure. But for the history of the world we live in….well, they would (obviously) have to look elsewhere.

        (And you had every right to freak out!)

        I’ve never read the GoT books although I have read other science fiction stories by their author, George R. R. Martin. In terms of fantasy itself…it’s mostly limited to Moorcock’s works and the English translations of some Japanese fantasy such as The Guin Saga.

        Like

    2. Completely agree, GoT is very middlebrow. The first three seasons are wildly entertaining though, and I would recommend them to anybody.
      The books are iffy, I didn’t like them much but the screen writers in the first few seasons did a good job of combing Martin’s strong dialog while editing out the irrelevant crap and ‘subtleties’ the books are filled with.
      Agree, Danaerys’s plot is a heavy handed critique of the ‘white savior’ and feels TOO self-aware.
      The 4th season was abominably boring, the 5th is shaping up to be a bit better.

      Like

      1. “The 4th season was abominably boring”

        Well the only reason they made the series was to show a particular scene toward the end of the third season (not the only reason but it was what made them decide to start the show in the first place). Of course the pace of the fourth season was going to be a little slower.

        Interestingly, the first episode I saw was ‘first of his name’ and had no idea what was going on for the most part. The conversation between Cersei and Margaery seemed kind of boring and filler like. When I finally saw it context it fairly crackled with tension and insinuation who knew that “sisters?” said with a smile could reveal so much mutual hatred?

        I also thought Arya must be some insufferable little royal boy that the big guy had rescued and had the unpleasant and thankless job of keeping safe (I’ve never gotten on the Arya train).

        Like

        1. “Well the only reason they made the series was to show a particular scene toward the end of the third season (not the only reason but it was what made them decide to start the show in the first place).”

          • Now I’m curious what the scene is. Pornography of some sort?

          Like

          1. It’s actually treachery at a wedding meant to repair a faltering alliance; all those attending from one side of the alliance are killed, quite horrifically and graphically.

            It’s important to the plot and brilliantly filmed but even if you know what’s going to happen it’s very traumatic.

            Like

  3. One thing to take into consideration on bad foreign language learning in the US. The English speaking countries have the worst first language instruction in the developed world.

    “Traditional grammar” in the Anglophone world is a hodgepodge of pure nonsense that effectively cripples students’ abilities to think in a critical way about language structure. And it can’t be replaced for cultural and political reasons.

    The grammar taught to second language learners tends to be far superior and accurate, if that could be used as a starting point for teaching native English speakers about their language things would be a lot better.

    Like

    1. It’s so true! Plus, it’s impossible to defeat the current orthodoxy in the teaching of English that there are no mistakes in language use because everything is now a dialect that has a right to exist.

      Like

      1. There are interlocking problems (limiting things to the US for simplicity’s sake).

        There’s a fairly well defined standard in the US that, in theory, usually called General American English (General American English) that all speakers can use without sounding weird.

        Mastery of this standard is essential for success. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s how modern nation states work.

        But…..

        Speakers whose home dialects are very close to this standard are never taught how it actually works. Instead they’re taught either nothing or a lot of nonsense about not starting sentences with ‘hopefully’ or not ending sentences with prepositions (which have no justification whatsoever as general rules of usage).*

        Speakers whose home dialect is very different are mostly denied the tools they need to acquire GAE and simply told their dialect is ‘wrong’ or ‘stupid’ and/or a sign of lazy thinking (or worse) and out of self-protection reject the message and acquire GAE imperfectly on their own (or fail to do so).

        It’s completely possible to teach GAE to speakers of very different varieties in ways that don’t shame them or imply they have to give up the dialect of their home communities. There is simply no academic will to do so (despite occasional warbling to the contrary).

        *there might be justification for avoiding these in hyper formal situations but not as general rules to be followed all the time.

        Like

        1. 1,000 likes for this comment cliff arroyo!

          Teaching kids to use the standard without shaming them shouldn’t be such a big deal, but the US just can’t seem to do that.

          Like

    2. So true. My understanding of grammar (in the general sense) improved significantly when I started taking Spanish in middle school.

      Like

  4. “Cameron will tell the [UK National Security Council]: ‘For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.'”

    I am reminded of Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta”, especially his comments in the foreword in which he explained that he wasn’t ready for such a mean-spirited Britain as he saw would be coming in the future …

    I am also reminded of Fukuyama’s insistence in his latest book that the “rule of law” was a necessary pre-condition to the success of certain societies. If obeying the law is no longer enough, what then? The rule of burly men in clown suits? What happens then to the economies that depend on an open society?

    All this sounds uncomfortably like “fascism through the back door” …

    I’ll have to see whether what results is enough to get me to close shop — I’d been leaning toward buying something suitably large near Bristol eventually, but perhaps I should be looking at Barbados instead.

    I have to agree with Alan Moore — I’m not ready for a mean-spirited Britain either …

    Like

  5. http://partialobjects.com/2013/08/game-of-thrones-this-is-an-intervention-now-part-iii/

    I like his series of critiques about the show.

    “In fact, the only reason people like Game of Thrones and other fantasy stories is because they are part of a new shadow genre that I’m going to call ethnocentric fiction. This story constructs itself as an authentic medieval fantasy in order to fill in the backstory of an ethnic identity where history provides none.

    All of these stories, of Westeros, of Middle Earth, of Dungeon’s and Dragons, of the Knights Templar, of Merlin and King Arthur and all the other magical masturbation–all of it is an attempt to fill in that thousand years of pointlessness where the Kings and Knights of Feudalism held sway but achieved nothing. If aliens visited Europe in the Middle Ages, they would have concluded there was no intelligent life on earth.

    But so many people, mostly white people, want that period to have mattered because that was the time when their ancestors held sway.

    The knights and maidens of the real Middle Ages had their time to show the world what they could do, and they spread the Plague.
    .
    .

    Leonardo da Vinci did more in one lifetime than the entire continent did in the previous thousand years. Thousand years.”

    Like

    1. Actually, the so-called Renaissance was a time of darkness and religious fanaticism compared to the much more tolerant and important Middle Ages. We have bought the Renaissance myth of the “Dark Ages” and tend to forget the enormous achievements of the European Middle Ages.

      The 1,000 years between the destruction of Rome and the plague were a time when Muslims brought European philosophy, scholarship, and literature back to Europe. The great Muslim, Jewish and Christian thinkers walked in the gardens of Cordova and Toledo together, working on projects of enormous intellectual significance together. We have forgotten their names and like to think that there was nothing but stupid slaughter in the Middle Ages because this was a convenient myth for those who want to forget the great Semitic legacy of Europe.

      Like

      1. Actually, the so-called Renaissance was a time of darkness and religious fanaticism compared to the much more tolerant and important Middle Ages.
        Interesting that you link this elevation of the Renaissance to a suppression of the memory of Semitic contributions. I think the Renaissance saw the beginning of European empires, which is really pronounced with Spain (1492 is also around when the Spanish Renaissance began) and to a lesser extent England(the beginning of the English renaissance coincided with the beginning of its empire). I also think elevating the Renaissance is linked to this sense of “this is when our empires began” and hoary national myth building. Even with the renewed interest in Roman art was there a sense of “we are reviving this because it’s so great” or “we are reviving it because this is the last known period of a giant long lasting European empire and so we will glorify Greek art like the Romans did and we are totally like the Romans now?”

        Like

      2. As far as I know (noth much), there were big differences between the Early Middle Ages, The High Middle Ages and the Late Middle Ages, and actual “dark age” was just the early period. Isn’t it?

        Like

        1. Exactly.

          Also, the vision of the Middle Ages we currently have is a product of cultural hegemony. Shows like Game of Thrones show us the Middle Ages that are vaguely English. But England became important in Europe much much later. We are prone to seeing the history of the world as the history of Anglos because they have cultural hegemony right now. This is a projection of today’s dominance of the Anglos onto the past.

          Like

    2. All of these stories, of Westeros, of Middle Earth, of Dungeon’s and Dragons, of the Knights Templar, of Merlin and King Arthur and all the other magical masturbation–all of it is an attempt to fill in that thousand years of pointlessness where the Kings and Knights of Feudalism held sway but achieved nothing. If aliens visited Europe in the Middle Ages, they would have concluded there was no intelligent life on earth.
      But so many people, mostly white people, want that period to have mattered because that was the time when their ancestors held sway.

      No, I think it’s more a carry over from the Victorians who ascribed this mythic quality to the time period as part of their nation building. Every fictional story mentioned is mostly English. It also is or was far enough away in time that people could romanticize it and place themselves in the role of nobles or bards without being aware of the dirt. It’s also hugely nostalgic for World War I survivors (
      Tolkien)
      If this high fantasy nostalgia is based on dominance and empire, you’d expect to see much more heavy Victorian fantasy, eclipsing all other historical periods. In that sense, steampunk should explode exponentially in popularity. Also we should expect to see much more romantic gauziness surrounding the 1945-1960s in the future fictional works which will make Mad Men and World War II movies look like gritty documentaries.

      Like

  6. This is really weird. What does USA think Israel may / will do?

    US pushes Israel for progress on nuclear-free zone
    State Department officials speak with Israeli counterparts on efforts to ensure Mid-East remains nuclear nuetral.
    […]
    Establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in one of the world’s most tense regions is a rare point of agreement between the United States and Russia these days. Frustrated by the delay of a conference on the zone that was supposed to take place three years ago, Russia has proposed that UN-led talks be held no later than March 2016.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4660237,00.html

    That this is a “rare point of agreement between the United States and Russia” is very ironic, considering that “The United States and Russia hold more than 90 percent of the estimated 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today.”

    Like

    1. After what happened to Ukraine and the Budapest Memorandum, only a total idiot would agree to give up nuclear weapons under the US / Russia guarantee. I would be ashamed even to bring this suggestion up at this point.

      Like

  7. Israel suspends plan to segregate Israelis, Palestinians on West Bank buses following criticism
    Lawmakers across political spectrum blasted program, with some cautioning impact on Israel’s image and others branding it as ‘apartheid.’ President Rivlin: Separation would have been ‘unthinkable.’
    […]
    Former Likud Minister of Interior Gideon Sa’ar also criticized the program. The decision, he said, “causes great harm to the settlement [enterprise] in Judea and Samaria and to Israel’s image around the world. It cannot remain in place.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.657289

    Like

  8. Civil servant commits suicide after Facebook accusations of racism
    Before taking his own life, population authority manager who was ‘shamed’ on social media says he spent whole life championing equality
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/civil-servant-commits-suicide-after-facebook-accusations-of-racism/

    I read somewhere that the accusing woman wasn’t Jewish, but an African-American woman from Manhattan, who married a Jew and came to Israel years ago. May be, growing up in America also contributed to how she interpreted the events.

    This news item is “only in Israel” type:

    IDF to stop enlisting both parents for reserve duty at same time
    During Protective Edge, many couples were enlisted to reserve service at the same time, leaving their children with no parents at home; IDF appoints special committees to deal with issue.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4660776,00.html

    In other countries women (and men too) don’t serve in the army in such numbers, and thus aren’t called for reserve duty as much, if at all.

    Like

    1. “Before taking his own life, population authority manager who was ‘shamed’ on social media says he spent whole life championing equality”

      • I read the story and everybody who participated in this thing sounds like an infantile hysteroid. It’s shameful to allow oneself to get in such a sorry state that all this insane drama grows of a very mundane event. So there was a queue, what horror, let’s all go die now.

      Like

  9. Interesting what Hamas wants to achieve by that:

    ” IDF: One rocket lands near Gan Yavne
    Alarms sound in Ashdod and the Lachish area near Kiryat Gat; ‘There was a siren and we heard a big explosion.’
    Code red sirens sounded in Ashdod and Lachish near Kiryat Gat in southern Israel Tuesday evening just after 9 p.m. ”

    Now is 21:36, so it was but a few minutes ago.

    Somebody commented: “It’s not a particularly bright idea to challenge an eager and very right-wing new Israeli government….that’s all I’m saying”

    I too don’t understand the logic yet.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.