Monday Link Encyclopedia

“There is a great economic pressure to make humans obsolete.” Especially those who are used to a high standard of living, benefits, human rights, etc.

How to pay for your big Christmas plans.

A great, succinct and insightful analysis of the trans obsession.

I’d love to get on Wikipedia, somaybe this will help.

The latest in commodity activism. It’s hard to believe such idiots exist.

Great news about remission in Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t trust statistics you haven’t falsified yourself. It’s not true that maternal deaths in the US have skyrocketed.

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12 thoughts on “Monday Link Encyclopedia”

  1. Saw today the book “Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past” by Giles Tremlett, and remembered both your complaints that students don’t know anything about the country (like me) and having to read a book per week in some seminars.

    Have you tried making them read a general book about Spainish history and culture at the beginning of your course to serve as some kind of basic knowledge in addition to your lectures. Why not?

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    1. There are people who specialize in studying the ways in which foreign travelers described Spain. There are courses taught on that. But that’s way too specialized for our program. This is something you study after you’ve learned everything else there is. 🙂

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      1. Haven’t read about this particular book enough to see it was about travelers’ descriptions.

        There must be good books introducing Spain’s history and culture, no? There are books like “PCs For Dummies,” why not some good yet basic introduction type book about Spain?

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        1. We do have textbooks. I’m teaching a course on the culture of Spain this semester and it does use a textbook. We’ll start with looking at the map and talking about the geography and the different languages spoken in Spain.

          The problem isn’t the lack of a textbook but that for 19 out of the 26 students in the course, this will be their last course before graduation. Because they have already gotten all their credit requirements by taking 5 advanced courses where they learned how to use accents.

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    1. That’s precisely what I mean when I talk about judging the past from the pov of prissy standards of today’s political correctness. This is a married couple of a previous era flirting with each other. The flirtation is not very inventive. Both use hackneyed phrases – tyranny of the petticoats, friends instead of masters – that were ubiquitous in the 18th century.

      Discussing how everything until 5 minutes ago was “horrifying” to the PC sensibilities if today is quite inane and very much useless.

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      1. Agreed. I doubt I have read as much 18th Century literature as you have, but I’ve read quite a lot. This sounds like a typical flirtatious exchange, and part of a well-trod but still-amorous script that mirrored real-life exchanges by a couple who both knew their places and were quite comfortable in them.

        This isn’t some proto-feminist rebellion, but rather an affirmation of proper societal structuring and a relationship-enhancing exercise between two people who knew each other pretty well.

        We can’t quite know perfectly what either of them meant because our cultural milieu is just too different to understand it fully. But I do know it’s not too likely that anyone on that site (Patheos) has much of a clue.

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        1. I think that if people can’t begin to comprehend how incredibly different the thinking, the talking, the worldview, the whole way of relating to the world and to oneself was, they shouldn’t talk about history at all. If students take anything at all from my history courses, it isn’t the dates or the names. It’s this glimpse of difference and the wonder of it. The people of the 18th century weren’t like us but in funny clothes. The difference is so much bigger.

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          1. “if people can’t begin to comprehend how incredibly different the thinking, the talking, the worldview, the whole way of relating to the world and to oneself was, they shouldn’t talk about history at all.”

            And they have even more trouble understanding that ways of thinking, talking, worldview and relating to the world and oneself still remains very different in different places….

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