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It’s insinuated into more reputable subjects, slyly, without parents’ knowledge or approval, and results in the subject on which it piggy-backs – and whose class time it uses - being intellectually degraded, thereby reducing any benefit that might have otherwise been had. It’s worth noting the sheer arrogance of the educators who are foisting their own politics on any children left in their care. It might interest you to know that this training initiative is quite likely a response to the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa)’s call for a Global Competency for an Inclusive World In other words, far from being the instigators of this, Teach for America and EdX are just one group of educators amongst many – around the world that is – responding to that report. As the BBC reported last year the idea is that: Schools can provide opportunities for young people to learn about global development, equip them with the means of accessing and analysing different cultures, help students engage in international and intercultural relations, and foster the value of the diversity of people. However: A big part of the problem is that there is no clear definition of what global competence should embrace, and how to make it measurable for educational policy and practice. The report goes on to explain the OECD’s answer to that problem through a series of questions students could be tested on which include, among other things: How well can [students] comprehend other people's thoughts, beliefs and feelings, and see the world from their perspectives? What are the different approaches to multicultural and global education used in different countries? How are culturally diverse groups of students being taught? How well are schools challenging cultural and gender biases and stereotypes? How can receiving countries integrate diverse groups of people and avoid rising extremism and fundamentalism? Et voilà - here comes a six-week online course to help teachers "blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers and mathematicians.” To what extent such questions are likely to be eagerly adopted by teachers in the average Saudi-funded Wahhabist Madrassa is hard for anyone to say ...
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Insert Ideology Here at davidthompson
From sH2 Does 'polyamory' count as greed or selfishness? From the article on John Updike: Though later, in his 1996 memoir Self-Consciousness — which is an altogether excellent read — Updike would speak of that youthful promiscuity with great disdain, proclaiming those behaviors to be “malicious, greedy … obnoxious … rapacious and sneaky … remorseless,” ...
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Elsewhere (232) at davidthompson
And yet that dynamic seems awfully common among devotees of unstable multi-partner relationships While what prompted Kolpakov to shoot Anable is still unknown, I just noticed another video from The Skpetic Feminist called 'Polyamory As Opposite of Jealousy' in which Kolpakov can be heard to say: “Polygamy is ... almost always focussed around the disproportionate pleasure of the male ... that’s not at all what polyamory is. Poly people will have to be very patient and just explain to people - time and again, time and again, time and again, that it’s about being able to love more than one person at a time.” That video is dated to May 3rd, just 10 days before the shooting. The description box below the dateline includes – for some reason in parenthesis – this note: (This was streamed before Athena joined our relationship of Poly-Fidelity). I stress that this is all just speculation, and again that Kolpakov is said to be suffering from PTSD – but again, it really is hard to believe that the complexities of adding a third woman to their polyamorous set-up did not play some role in increasing his stress levels. Commitment to idealism founders to the extent that it is in conflict with reality. This might well turn out to be a tragic example of that.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Elsewhere (232) at davidthompson
What nobody ever does is closely examine the rate at which polyamorous relationships fail, the mental state of the people involved in them In a somewhat uncanny coincidence, a trio of polyamorous feminist atheists on Youtube, going by the name of The Skeptic Feminist took a tragic turn at the weekend when the only male member of the group, Aleksandr Kolpakov (known online as ‘Russian Dead Pool’) shot and fatally wounded Heather Anable (whose online name was ‘Poison Ivy’, named after the Batman villainess). Kolpakov was a US Army veteran and it’s understood that he had been suffering from PTSD. As with Tim Newman, these were consenting adults and how they chose to organize their domestic affairs was nobody’s business but their own – even so, I find it quite hard to imagine how the particular stresses and strains involved in living in a polyamorous relationship would have been helpful for the stress levels of someone with an already imbalanced mental state. For instance, I’m not sure how seriously to take this, from Miss Dreadful’s piece on polyamory in the New Statesman: I live in a commune, I date multiple people ... I’ve made the same choice that men my age have been able to make for centuries without being scolded by society ... Next week, one of my partners is getting married, and this week I went to his stag night as part of the groom’s party. I’m happy for him, and for his fiancee, whose permission I got before mentioning her in this piece. Penny has talked widely and often about the delicacy of her own mental state so I feel there’s something more than a little hollow and unconvincing about the eagerness with which she wants to let the reader know how calmly she is taking to this news of the marriage of one of her partners. I can't help but feel someone - Penny or the former partner's new spouse - is being slighted. In a not dissimilar way, here is a short video The Skeptic Feminist made in which the late Miss Anable, with Kolpakov sitting beside her, tries to argue for the virtues of “Committed Polyamory”. And also in a not dissimilar way to Penny, you have to wonder who exactly Anable is trying to convince with her argument – the audience or herself. I guess no one reads John Updike anymore.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Elsewhere (232) at davidthompson
Godfrey Elfwick goes to #Eurovision
Toggle Commented May 13, 2017 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Who??!?! Have a butcher's at this
Toggle Commented May 5, 2017 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
Yes, it's all made up crap. It is? To be fair, it's hard to tell these days as we all know. I’ve used up my free articles for the month Also me.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2017 on Don’t Inhale The Thinner at davidthompson
I can't make up my mind as to whether this story best illustrates the meaning of irony or schadenfreude. Thoughts, anyone?
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2017 on Don’t Inhale The Thinner at davidthompson
In for a Penny, ... I may be alone in this, but on reading that Slate article, I felt a palpable sense of relief - Miss Dreadful has finally come out of the political closet she has been hiding herself in all this time and has just come straight out with it (my italics): We are sick and tired of years of watching invertebrates and parasites suck the life out the body politic and being told this is what democracy looks like ... ... this is allowed. It is absolutely allowed, in a system that calls itself democratic and has not yet faced prosecution for false advertising. It shouldn’t be allowed, but it is. Theresa May [...] has abandoned almost all pretense of respect for the veneer of democratic decency lacquering the cracks in British civil society I am no longer a supporter of Scottish independence. I am now an advocate of Scottish invasion. Britain doesn’t do crypto-dictatorship with as much braggadocio as other nations I might mention, but we do it all the same. The answer is that British democracy is broken, and the pieces are on fire, and the people picking them up, the people trying to reassemble a fractured future for themselves in the shoddy rubble of this fucked-up country, will never work in Westminster. There you go. The line about wishing for an invasion by the Scots is intended as a joke, obviously, but the intention behind the joke is as startlingly clear as the other extracts I've picked out - Penny is begging for the iron hand of a dictator to sweep aside all those icky things she detests - you know, those icky things like other people having points of view that are not to her personal liking. Like a thousand spoiled and smarmy pieces of shit that preceded her - Unity Mitford springs to mind - allowing the plebs the vote leads to all manner of bother - bother of the kind that sees Penny's pet politics never see the light of day (or if they do, only ever see it stillborn). "Fascist" is so over used that its currency has been practically devalued - nevertheless, I find it really quite hard to read that Slate piece by Penny and not arrive at the conclusion that she is a thorough-going anti-democratic snobbish dictator-worshipping piece of shit.
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2017 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Feminist dilemma. Here is another. It's really quite extraordinary, especially the last third or so. The author is a sociology instructor ... I have to ask, and not for the first time, what on Earth are they doing in sociology?
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2017 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Very funny article here in my opinion - well worth the read. Here's a taster: To find fault with the former First Daughter is to invite the wrath of thousands. Love of Chelsea correlates closely with love of Hillary, toward whom her fans have long felt an odd protectiveness, as if she were a stroke survivor regaining the power of speech rather than one of the most influential people in the world. That goes even more for Chelsea, who is often treated less like an independent 37-year-old multi-millionaire and more like the 12-year-old who still deserves to be left alone.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2017 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
#ProgressivesCareMore While I voted Remain and am not overly filled with warmth at the thought of our current Prime Minister, I nevertheless get really rather irritated by the dreary conceit behind this graphic, which has proliferated like the proverbial mushrooms after rain on my social media since May's snap election announcement. Although he was talking about Plato, I think Popper has something interesting to say about the underlying message of things like that graphic: In defending collectivism, [Plato] can appeal to our humanitarian feeling of unselfishness; in his attack [on individualism], he can brand all individuals as selfish, as capable of devotion to anything but themselves. This attack, although aimed by Plato against individualism in our sense, i.e. against the rights of human individuals, reaches of course only a very different target, egoism. But this difference is constantly ignored by Plato and by most Platonists. Why did Plato try to attack individualism? I think he knew very well what he was doing when he trained his guns upon this position, for individualism, perhaps even more than equalitarianism, was a stronghold in the defences of the new humanitarian creed. The emancipation of the individual was indeed the great spiritual revolution which had to led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy. Plato’s uncanny sociological intuition shows itself in the way in which he invariably discerned the enemy wherever he met him.
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2017 on The Moron Veto at davidthompson
Amy Alkon has identified the unnamed beneficiary of these piously lowered standards I don't know Alkon and am a little uneasy about her identifying the "unnamed beneficiary" in question as this means that "Alex Southwell" must now also be identified against his/her wishes. On the other hand, I was also slightly amused to spot this: Teaching Statement: Taking from Paolo Freire, ... The "unnamed beneficiary" has spelt Freire's name wrong - it's Paulo Freire, not Paolo Freire
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2017 on Elsewhere (230) at davidthompson
... thuggish ‘activism’, which gratifies all manner of unbecoming impulses, and requires less intelligence. Slightly off topic I know, but I have just become aware of Shelley Garland, 'an activist and a feminist ... currently completing an MA degree in philosophy'. I feel she may have plumbed philosophical depths hitherto undreamed of with this Huffington Post blog in which she poses the question 'Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?' Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men. If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa's biggest cities. If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened. It would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely – the denial of the vote to white men for 20 years (just less than a generation) would go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world. The influence of reckless white males were one of the primary reasons that led to the Great Recession which began in 2008. This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed. Like Heather MacDonald, I am generally also 'reluctant to wield the epithet “fascist”'. Then again, if the cap fits ...
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2017 on Academia, That Temple Of The Mind at davidthompson
... the being named Caleb Luna is “a first-year PhD student at University of California, Berkeley, ... I clicked through to Luna's Twitter account and the first thing I see is this reTweet, apparently shared with approval. Good to see that critical thinking is in rude health at UC Berkeley then.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2017 on Insufficiently Swiped at davidthompson
Confess! Ffffuuuuuuuuucccckkkkkk! 'Scuse my French, but ... Ffffuuuuuuuuucccckkkkkk! “We have all reinforced hypermasculinity one way or another regardless of our gender! ..." Really interesting use of the word 'all' there ...
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2017 on Shakedown, Down Under at davidthompson
Off Topic, but related ... ... probably the craziest thing I've seen in a long, long while ...
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2017 on Shakedown, Down Under at davidthompson
Oh, and then there’s this, which I think you just have to see for yourself. A case of life imitating art?
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2017 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
“My favorite thing to talk about are the things you’re not supposed to talk about.” At least that's one thing Miki Agrawal and her staff agree on, then.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2017 on Elsewhere (228) at davidthompson
such dramas and spluttering aren’t rare aberrations, but routine events Have you seen this open letter from the McMaster's University President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) yet? [T]he concept of freedom of speech has most often been mobilized to protect specifically counter-hegemonic ideas, ideas that actually challenge, rather than reiterate, the status quo. Freedom of speech was also not conceived as a means to protect normative ideas from contestation by marginalized communities, but to protect those whose speech might actually contest normative or nationalist ideals from censure, punishment, or retaliation by state forces. There is nothing rebellious or revolutionary about insisting on the naturalness of the (now long debunked) gender binary or of what Dr. Peterson describes as the “biological fact” of sexual difference neatly categorizable as ‘male’ and ‘female’ (a “fact” subjected to intense critique, questioning and reconsideration by numerous scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and even the biological sciences for several decades now, which demonstrates the limited extent of Dr. Peterson’s knowledge on this subject, since he seems either entirely unaware of this body of literature or else unwilling to engage with the challenge it poses for his own arguments). Can you credit the gall of it? I know I can't. I no longer believe that they think anyone is stupid enough to actually believe this mockery of an argument, this sham justification which permits them alone the right to say what they want, when and where they want, with absolute impunity, while simultaneously demanding that others be forbidden that very same right. If I had any patience left for this hateful nonsense, I would be embarrassed. The flimsiness of the veil they are trying to cover their obscene grasping at power with is rank with dishonesty. They are fooling no one with this (except perhaps some naive and idealistic students who sincerely think they are doing the right thing). But while no one is fooled, there are more than a few who are intimidated into silence by them out of fear - a silence which they are choosing to interpret as tacit agreement (but in their heart of hearts they must surely know that this is capitulation, not assent). Peterson's highly appropriate response.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2017 on Caliban’s Mirror at davidthompson
In other news ... Oh ... my ... God. For a moment, I was completely baffled - what possible umbrage could she take from that model of a bi-plane? Then I saw her explanation. And then I saw who her employer is: Consumer affairs reporter for @BuzzFeedNews. Fres-YES. Pet mama. Tell me all your scam and shady biz stories leticia.miranda@buzzfeed.com I think it says more about the calibre of staff at Buzzed than it does about graduates of Chicano-Latina studies (but hey, po-TAY-to, po-TAR-to). I was born in the 70s, my parents in the 40s and my grandparents in the teens/20s meaning that World War I and World War II weren't just things that happened in history classes - they were a very real part of my family's lived experience. As a North American woman in her 20s that would forgive her ignorance - it does not - as someone who gets to write 'journalist' on her resume and as a reporter into consumer affairs - forgive her gullibility, her lack of caution, and the total absence of the kind of fact-checking that ought to be second nature to someone in her profession. (And given that such facts are literally accessible at her finger-tips, it makes this an inexcusable act of incompetence). Is it any wonder people have such little faith in journalism these days?
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2017 on Caliban’s Mirror at davidthompson
Jordan Peterson on “privilege” and its precedents And as if right on cue ... the usual parade of insufferable clowns comes to town, unironically complaining of a lack of tolerance while simultaneously behaving in a way that in practically any other context would earn them a well-earned punch in the snout. As Peterson suggests, it's quite eerie how much the assumptions of these clowns echoes the words of someone like Stalin in his 1937 address, 'Defects in Party Work and Measures for Liquidating Trotskyite and Other Double Dealers': [Party Comrades] have forgotten that Soviet power was victorious in only one-sixth of the world, that five-sixths of the world are in the possession of the capitalist states. They have forgotten that the Soviet Union finds itself encircled by capitalist states. We have an accepted habit of chattering about capitalist encirclement, but people don't want to ponder about what this thing is-capitalist encirclement. Capitalist encirclement - it is not an empty phrase, it is a very real and unpleasant phenomenon. Capitalist encirclement - it means that there is one country, the Soviet Union, which has established at home a Socialist order, and that there are, besides, many countries, bourgeois countries, which continue to carry on the capitalist form of life and which encircle the Soviet Union, waiting for the opportunity to attack it, to crush it, or, in any case-to undermine its might and to weaken it.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2017 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Dr Jordan Peterson, filmed at Ryerson University, chats about the ideological corruption of social psychology. Just been listening to this over my morning coffee - fascinating stuff for all kinds of reasons. Also - somewhat belatedly regarding the 10th anniversary - I've left a token of my appreciation for this blog in an envelope on the mantel, behind the more aesthetically pleasing of your ornaments.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2017 on Opening Windows Into Men’s Souls at davidthompson
Someone was even holding a sign implying that Murray is in favour of eugenics, which, given his actual writing, is about as perverse as you can get. From the 10th anniversary edition of Charles Murray’s Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Please excuse the length of this quote, but I do believe it’s worth the effort to read (even – perhaps especially – for those who might disagree with him). To sustain [social] mobility, the United States has depended on the willingness of the poor to make investments – of time, energy, psychic commitment, and money [ ... ] The investments are made in the hopes of long-term gains. But the ultimate payoff is remote. To sustain the effort over what may be a protracted period, the system must also offer incentives and rewards before the prize is attained. The principal ongoing incentives has been faith that investments do pay off, based on what has happened to other people [ ... ] Role models have to exist of whom the youth can credibly say, “if he (she) could do it, it is possible that I can do it, too.” [ ... ] The principal ongoing reward has been praise for trying. This regard has been especially important for the largest single class of poor “investors,” students who make present sacrifices to get an advanced education. Under the traditional model [ ... ] his parents are proud of him, he is used as a model by other parents in the neighbourhood, his classmates vote him most likely to succeed, and – an important plus – he knows that society itself applauds [ ... ] The incentive (“It is possible to succeed”) and the reward (“People admire me for trying”) were both gutted. The black ghetto again forms the archetypal example of characteristics found (not only in America, but world-wide) wherever some members of society have been segregated and told they are inferior. Virtually every commentator on what it is like to grow up black in America, whether novelist or sociologist or memoirist, has reflected on the devastating effects of racism on self-confidence [ ... ] This debilitating aspect of black socialisation is not a recent creation. The problem is that post-1964 social policy fed it. Every assumption that a young black in the ghetto might make about his inability to compete with whites was nourished by a social policy telling him, through the way it treated him day to day, that he was an un-responsible victim. Society’s actions were at odds with society’s rhetoric telling him to be proud and to believe in himself. Day to day, going to a typical inner-city high school, such a young person saw that most of the special programs were directed at the most conspicuous failures. There were likely to be special programs for the mentally retarded, for the learning-disabled, and for the emotionally disturbed. The rules of school conduct placated the trouble-makers. Special tracks for the gifted were attacked as elitist. Where programs for the gifted (or just the hardest-working) did exist, they fell into the magnet-schools trap – to avoid trouble, the course materials were watered down and the demands (and sense of reward) were low. The ambitious and hard-working students were passed along with A’s and with the teachers’ gratitude for not contributing to the discipline problem, but without an education that enabled them to compete in a good university. Outside of school, the rules of the game argued against the proposition that hard work pays off. The network of social service agencies – the most visible (legitimate) resource bank – existed to help the least provident and least able. The most conspicuous local success stories were drug dealers, pimps, and fences. Friends who were arrested by the police went free or were assigned to educational or counselling programs for which the youth who went straight was not eligible. And when the hard-working student did get into a government-sponsored job program, his first lessons were the ones who did no work were treated exactly the same as he was, except that he was likely to come under attack from his coworkers for threatening to get the others into trouble. This experience contained only one kind of lesson: In the day-to-day experience of a youth growing up in a black ghetto, there was no evidence whatsoever that working within the system paid off. The way to get something from the system was to be sufficiently a failure to qualify for help, or to con the system. What a racially segregated society once taught the young black about living with his inferiority was now taught by a benevolent social welfare system. The difference was that in an earlier age, a black parent could fight the competing influences. The parent could drum into the child’s head the belief that he could make it – that the people who said otherwise were racists who obviously wanted him to fail. How did a parent in the aftermath of the reform period compete with a system that proclaimed its devotion to equality, but whose purpose was to minister to a black population that it tacitly assumed had proved its inability to compete in the straight, white system? Let us once again do some role-playing. Let us say that I am an adolescent who has grown up surrounded by longstanding influences that make me doubt my ability to compete in the larger society. I look around and find evidence that others like me are unable to compete. I am told by spokesmen – white and black alike – that it is not my fault, that I am a victim of forces beyond my control. If I expect to fail, it is extremely useful to believe what I am told. In fact, it is essential. If I observe a peer who is studying hard, I am threatened. Such a peer is asserting one of two things, either of which is unacceptable. One assertion is that he is better than I (and is therefore free of the forces that excuse me for failing). The other assertion is even more threatening: that he is not better than I, but rather I am wrong in excusing myself for failing. Either way, I have a motive to discourage such behaviour by my fellow students [ ... ] The situation varies [ ... ] but the norm in inner-city schools during the 1970s was that the hard-working student was said to be “acting white” and was subjected to severe criticism, isolation, even physical assaults. There was no “praise for trying”; instead there was social ostracism, which, for the typical adolescent, is perhaps the worst of punishments [ ... ] My hypothesis is that white poor communities [ ... ] will exhibit the same attitudes among their youth and the same [social] immobility ... No wonder they want to burn him - he's a heretic.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2017 on Turf War at davidthompson
This: The motor of fake news is not inaccuracy. It’s malice. Also that (Ye Gods!): Most informed people understand that this is a remarkably stupid time to be alive. And if this doesn't qualify as the other, Lord alone knows what will ... paranoid delusion definitely has its place alongside malice and stupid.
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2017 on Elsewhere (226) at davidthompson