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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Facebook Link Encyclopedia

My Feedly is down and hasn’t worked for days. This means I have no access to my news feed. As a result, I have to rely on whatever people are kind enough to post on Facebook for my news. Here are the links I have filled out for you as a result:

Or you could, you know, just teach

An important article on how Obama screwed over higher ed institutions. If only the author could stop mentioning Trump like an obsessed bunny, it would be a great piece. The good news is that DeVos is trying to roll back the crazy and make it a bit harder to victimize people over hot pink postits. And that’s a good thing, irrespective of all the drama on the subject.

After this, it’s insane to argue that this isn’t an extraordinary opulent society

People are freaking out about this anti-bodega conspiracy and I have no idea why. If bodegas are so crucial to people, they’ll continue to use them. I’m tired of endless drama about this and of seeing these rants forwarded and retweeted so much. 

Rebecca Schuman is going back on the academic job market!  

Free online courses on the early middle ages from Yale! I’ll definitely be watching. It’s my favorite time in history.

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27 thoughts on “Facebook Link Encyclopedia

  1. Two stories that stood out for me:

    FIRST

    Ultra-Orthodox MK Yigal Guetta of the Shas Party announced his resignation from the Knesset on Wednesday amid criticism leveled against him for attending his gay nephew’s wedding.
    […] Yigal Guetta says he attended nephew’s wedding out of respect to his sister; his sister, Suzie Ben-Zvi, is shocked and angered by the reasons for her brother’s decision: ‘It’s disgusting the other is not accepted in this country.’

    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5016063,00.html

    This MK is one of the extremely few relatively tolerant Ultra-Orthodox Jews, right? Then I read an article and see:

    // In light of the criticism, Guetta clarified he disagreed with the nature of the wedding. “I specifically said during the event itself that this was something that is strictly prohibited in the Torah. It’s an abomination, something completely terrible. But there was the matter of my sister,” he explained. //

    SECOND

    Context: The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed in 1977, and the normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt went into effect in 1980. I even studied the speech Begin made at the signing ceremony at an English lesson in high school.

    However,

    Textbook featuring Israeli flag raises ire in Egypt
    Study book for eight graders shows the Israeli flag instead of the Palestinian one on a map of the Middle East, causing the Education Ministry in the country to order the removal of the controversial page from the book and bar it from further distribution while it investigates the matter.
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5016142,00.html

    People who talk about peace between Israel and the Arab world may want to look closer into this case. Despite decades of peace, numerous shared interests and security cooperation, Egyptians want to pretend we don’t exist. What are the chances of peace with other Arabs then? 😦

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    • I will never understand the diseased obsession with wrangling out celebrations of the sexual revolution from the very religious. I say, how about we all leave each other alone.

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      • The very religious make gay marriage in Israel impossible. I do not want them to celebrate the sexual revolution. I want them to show greater tolerance for others and stop forcing their religious beliefs on everybody else!

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        • I didn’t mean you, I mean the sister in the story.

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        • Dreidel on said:

          “The very religious make gay marriage in Israel impossible.”

          That’s the problem with the parliamentary democracy system in many Western countries. That system allows extremist third parties to get a toehold in the legislature, where they can force the major party in power to accept unpopular partisan laws by threatening to bring down the government if their demands aren’t met.

          In America, extremists on both the right and the left always bemoan the fact that third parties are kept out of the national government — but that’s a real benefit to the U.S. system.

          It’s also a huge benefit that when a presidential election is over, the new President — whatever you think of him or his party — is guaranteed a stable four years in office, and can’t be booted out just because he’s unpopular. Otherwise, a LOT of U.S. administrations would have been prematurely ended.

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  2. Alex the Physicist on said:

    Re: Bodegas

    Silicon Valley types are very aggressive in their language. They don’t just say “We are here to offer you an even more convenient way to get what you need!” No, they say “We are here to shut down these guys that many of you regard fondly.”

    Yes, everyone knows that businesses compete, but most businessmen don’t say that they want the guy down the street to lose his job. Silicon Valley guys do say that.

    Plus, most businessmen actually aren’t trying to put the other guy out of business. They’re trying to find a niche that meets the needs of their customers and keeps them loyal. Yes, they adapt as other options come out, but they also recognize that if they try to get up in everyone else’s faces and “disrupt” them then it will get ugly. So they try to find their niche and stay up-to-date with the needs of their customers so nobody else can take their niche. And when they expand they look for customers that they can serve, not businesses that they can crush. Destruction of competitors is supposed to be a byproduct of competition, not a goal. The goal is to stay focused on the customers, the people who will put money in their pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex the Physicist on said:

      Also, Silicon Valley types have a bad habit of bragging about how innovative they are when all they have to offer is a more elaborate version of an old idea. These guys want to offer a fancier vending machine and they’ve persuaded themselves that it is the most creative thing ever. And they want you to know that they are so creative that they will totally crush the businesses that people are fond of. Because they are hip Silicon Valley types and they can use the word “Disruption.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • DWeird on said:

        Startups, far as I know, has a failure rate upwards of 90%, with ridiculous payouts for those who do succeed. Maybe they’re just trying to magically ward off death?

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s exactly what I’m saying. There’s no product. They are just generating hype to milk some crusty, rich VC guys. I see absolutely no harm in this kind of wealth redistribution. Nobody of value stands to lose anything of value. So a few smart kids will get rich on selling air to VC. How is that a problem for us or anybody but the ultra rich venture capitalists they’ll fleece?

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    • If these particular kids didn’t word the project so aggressively and would simply say “We sell glorified wending machines”, they’d fail before they even started. And this way they attracted a lot of attention. That’s all they are selling, the hype, the outrage. There is no actual product. They’ll attract attention, get funding from VC, and move on. That’s the formula of success and it’s entirely harmless.

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  3. Also, people of the past may have been less primitive than many tend to think:

    Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study

    Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers

    “The tablet not only contains the world’s oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/24/mathematical-secrets-of-ancient-tablet-unlocked-after-nearly-a-century-of-study?CMP=share_btn_tw

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  4. I don’t know if one job counts as back on the market. Of course, I also don’t think nine jobs total, three of which aren’t German jobs, counts AS a market, so :). I’ll update everyone on my ‘progress’ (hint: THERE WILL BE NONE). xo.

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  5. I really don’t know what to think about these sexual assault policies. I am aware that something is needed–there was that awful Stanford rape case–but these situations where an accusation means guilt, yet police/courts are not involved, just seem so shady. I got off a committee that was promoting a policy like this because I just couldn’t get behind it, and nobody understood my ambivalence. But in the bad old days, universities tried to bury these things and not involve police, with the result that there was no protection for victim; now they allegedly uber-protect the victim while also punishing the perp without finding out if they really are one, and also keep it all quiet and don’t involve police. It seems like a new permutation of the same-old, and I am not satisfied — although I am willing to have blind spots pointed out.

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  6. Regarding rape on campus, I want to share this shocking comment and ask you whether you think it could be real:

    // I remember being horrified when some female friends of my older boys started college nearby and they relayed to me that they were all informed during orientation that if they are sexually assaulted on campus, police will not be involved unless campus security decided it was ‘necessary’! Like, WOW, just go ahead and hand out ‘Get Out of Rape Charges Free’ passes why don’t you?! But yeah, they were all told that any 911 call made on campus, for any issue – from civil to criminal – is automatically rolled over to the phones of campus security (who has no authority whatsoever to arrest anyone). Then campus security gets to decide whether actual law enforcement officials get contacted. That means if an ambulance is needed, campus security have to be the ones to decide to contact them – which is obviously a needless delay in an emergency. And campus security doesn’t have the same recording system that 911 does – you know, recordings that can be subpoenaed and used as evidence during a trial, especially to speak for a victim when they don’t survive and have identified their attacker.

    This is a major liability and I seriously cannot believe that they haven’t been sued for it yet. But, if someone is assaulted on that campus, they either have to go to the hospital directly, or they have to leave campus – or get someone off campus – to call the real cops. Otherwise, they’re left with an ‘investigation’ that is done in the primary interest of protecting the college from liability, and that’s who get to decide whether or not it’s worth contacting actual law enforcement, based on who they believe is most credible and whether they think a crime took place, in their completely untrained opinion. It’s freaking ridiculous. They’re actively preventing timely reporting, and interfering with law enforcement’s ability to conduct accurate and thorough, timely investigation of crimes!

    If I had found out something like that, I would have yanked my kid out of that college IMMEDIATELY. As it was, I definitely strategized with the girls about how to get outside help, including call ME, I don’t care what time it is, and I’ll send them to you! Because campus ‘security’ has no business whatsoever getting involved in the immediate aftermath with someone traumatized like that! Covering the University’s ass is the LAST thing that anyone needs to be thinking about in that moment, because it gives them all the motivation they need not to believe the victim, who (like you said), deserves to feel heard and supported. So I completely agree that the University’s process for handling things, whatever that is, needs to be kept entirely separate from the reporting and investigation aspects.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2017/09/saturday-link-love-delta-school-lunches-and-rahm-emanuels-math.html

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    • That’s why I’m saying that this is a serious crime that should be handled by law enforcement and not by amateurs on campus.

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      • I agree but I am told this is the right-wing, anti-feminist attitude. I really don’t get it. When I was stalked I called police and they were very good, even had a specialist who got right on the line and gave me specific and true instructions on the steps to take. At my last job, there was a stalker-sexual assaulter (a professor, no less) campus security wouldn’t stop, but when he attempted to assault/rape a person with more chutzpah, she dialed through to city police who came right over and took him away.

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    • I think it’s true. They can make whatever policy they want, it seems. I was once injured on campus (slipped, fell, broke arm) and they would not let me call an ambulance. I had to wait until I could find a friend to drive me to hospital. It took me ages to find out why and I was finally told that the idea was that had an ambulance come, I would have been able to sue to make them pay for the injury (although I did sue to make them pay for the injury, and they did settle … my thought is that if their refusal to allow an ambulance to come had resulted in further harm to me, I would really have been able to clean up).

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      • \ I think it’s true. They can make whatever policy they want, it seems. I was once injured on campus (slipped, fell, broke arm) and they would not let me call an ambulance.

        That’s horrible, Z. Pity you also didn’t sue them for refusing let you call an ambulance. What if injury had been more serious, leading to long term or permanent disability w/o immediate help? In Israel, there is high court; surely the American one could look into the issue of protecting civil liberties of uni students.

        Obama was interested in rape on campus since the issue attracted some Democratic voters. Frankly, I think stopping universities from preventing people from reaching real professional help is the bigger, more serious issue. Just reading about your case made me see red.

        It’s also a nonpartisan issue, and if Democrats were interested, may be Trump could send his own “Dear Friends” letter. Why wouldn’t he jump at the opportunity to imitate Obama and show himself as somebody who cares about university students?

        Btw, before reading your comment, I thought: “Why only rape and not f.e. serious physical assault?” Now I know the answer. 😦

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        • This was never about helping rape victims, never. So much could be done to help victims but nobody even tried. Obama was trying to please the rabid faction of his party that, for some reason, has all the leadership completely beaten down and unable to resist.

          This was never ever ever about helping victims. Lying and peddling the outlandishly false information about 1 in 5 and even 1 in 3 rapes on campus isn’t helping. It does the opposite.

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          • One thing is true: once you call police, you cannot waver in your decision or change your story, and you must follow through on all the advice they give, or you will not be considered serious. The perception is that women/rape and stalking victims will not do that, and it is a fact that some don’t. So some people, it appears, think they can protect victims better by not calling police … but the stereotype about victims who aren’t serious is way out of hand. With my stalker issue, I don’t know how many people said “What? You called the police? You filed for a restraining order? Are you crazy? Do you seriously mean you do not plan to get back together with that guy, forgive him, and so on? Are you actually willing to follow all the instructions that come with a restraining order?” Etc. They would not believe I might actually be serious — it was very strange — like the time I said I was initiating the process to transfer to another university and people were amazed I really did it (they thought I was moving to a worse city and would not be able to tolerate it, and also didn’t think a little girl like me could actually do transfer paperwork and then follow through).

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          • But we also had this case where there was a predator living nearby one of the U’s research units. But he was a friend of an administrator or something, so police could not be called. U preferred to shut down the unit, fire the professor, and slut-shame the victim.

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  7. SB, if you’re interested Uri (he turned 94 a week ago!) has written about Israel, peace, BDS and South Africa:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1505487970/

    Uri has written about his life in the previous column:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1504875705/

    Like

  8. Uri has also written an interesting column

    Crusaders and Zionists
    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1504285130/

    Like

  9. I visit an Israeli news site and suddenly become aware of two terror attacks – in London and in France:

    Police declare blast at Parsons Green underground station in West London to be a ‘terrorist incident’; 18 people hospitalized with burns, none of which are serious or life-threatening, after fire engulfs one carriage; explosive device said not to have detonated properly; ‘Some people got pushed over and trampled on,’ says eyewitness.
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5017012,00.html

    AND

    2 women injured by hammer-wielding attacker yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ in France
    After assaulting women with hammer, the attacker fled and is still on the loose; the women were treated and are not in any physical danger; incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack.
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5017124,00.html

    Like

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