Reading Roundup: 2013-11-03

Still trying to keep this as a weekly thing.  Similar topics are grouped together.  These are all things I’ve read in the last week and thought were worth sharing.  I’d like to start working through some older things too but there’s already 20 links in this list!  Maybe I’ll should start prioritizing and making cuts?  I’ll see how many people are actually clicking the links/how many they’re clicking and go from there.

“Top Generals: Obama is ‘Purging the Military'” – Posted only to highlight the challenges of the military remaining apolitical as the issues it faces become ever-more political.  The Cold War as very apolitical from a military perspective: build more and better weapons, train more and better troops, and win the Big Battle.  Counterinsurgency and social-transformation are inherently political issues and where we draw the lines in dealing with them is going to be tough to figure out.

“Brown May Review Policy After NYPD Kelly Silenced”, “Students Walk Out Of Murray Talk” – Disturbing in that it exemplifies the lack of reason-based discourse in higher education I have talked about.  Identity politics focus on people rather than issues, and ad hominem attacks are inevitable.

“The Obamacare Sabotage Campaign” – Like I predicted, Democrats are constructive a narrative that blames the technical failure of the ACA website on political obstructionism by Republicans. 

“California Resident: ‘I Was All For Obamacare Until I Got the Bill'” – Evidence that people had no idea what they were voting for, even though a large community has been warning of exactly this consequence for years.  Guess we’re going to insist on learning the hard way.

“Government is Magic” – Thanks to Vox for posting this.  This is exactly the phenomenon I wrote about recently, wherein as a society we simply don’t understand how the world our ancestors built and we inhabit works.  Our fundamental disconnect with reality is going to continue until we learn our lesson through repeating, unavoidable failures.

“Cal State’s Ethnic Studies Programs Falter in Changing Times” – A harsh reminder that victimology-studies don’t lead to any productive output.  Also, points out that entire academic departments were created to absorb students who had to be accepted to obtain the “correct” diversity ratios but who weren’t interested or capable of tackling the existing STEM programs.

“Why Did a High School Prank Lead to a Young Man’s Suicide?” – Zero tolerance and extreme punishments are returning to bite us in the ass.  It feels good to be a white knight, flogging social undesirables to gain status until the excesses of such policies hit close to home.  There is a growing movement that believes sex-offender laws, much like the three-strike laws, have reached a point where they are becoming counterproductive, and episodes like this add fuel to that.

“School Lawyer Lied about ‘Arrest’ Of Girl Suspended for Trying to Help Drunken Pal, Attorney Says,” – More zero-tolerance shenanigans.  Our policies are actively discouraging the behavior we supposedly want out of people.

“Sean Penn: Commit Tea Partiers, Ted Cruz, by Executive Order” – Because the arrest and detainment of political dissidents under the guise of mental health hasn’t ever facilitated anything bad happening.

“Orson Scott Card on SFWA” – Another from Vox.  OSC is in the news because of the Ender’s Game movie, and that has called attention to his political views.  It’s interesting to see how the whole political spectrum has shifted so that even our relative right and left are not centered on any absolute principles any more.

“I Guess I’m Not a Feminist” – Video at the bottom shows yet another dude catching on to the different between equity and gender-feminists.  Pretty comprehensive.

“Teen Girl Achieves Amazing Success By Ignoring 50 Years of Feminism” – Boy, this is gonna be awkward.  How could the media resist the story of a girl triumphing over a world stacked against her?  But she does it by…rewinding to 1950’s advice that would make modern women cringe? 

“Men Civilize Women, Women Socialize Men”

“Uneasy Quiet” – The Social Pathologist predicts a counter-reactionary movement by the media.

“When ABC Met the Manosphere…And Me” – More on the counter-reactionary movement by Matt Forney

“The Buyer’s Market” – Of course, there wouldn’t be a counter-reaction if no one was noticing the reactionaries in the first place…

“L.A. Fights Plague of Garbage in Central City Neighborhoods” – Interesting only because it squares with my observations of being overseas.  American public sanitation standards are certainly an outlier, even among other wealthy nations.

“It’s Time To End The Stigma of Infanticide” – Reminds me of a medical ethics class from college.  Like my last post on frameworks, its interesting what happens when you hold people accountable for the entire framework they have created.

“Help Doc, I’m Bored By Things!  I Think I’ve Got the ADHD!” – In the same vein as my opinion towards depression.  We accept the world we live in as “normal” and pathologize our inability to adapt to it.  In reality, we need to recognize the abnormality of the world we’ve created and deal with the impacts it has on normal human psychology.

“Fatso: The Damning Codependency of Betas” – Read this when it was posted, and I happen to be in the middle of reading The Narcissism Epidemic.  It’s scary how much this paradigm accounts for in explaining modern behavior.



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